Tuesday, March 04, 2014
Monday, December 30, 2013
Like him or hate him, Penguins Star Sidney Crosby is an elite hockey player, that has put up some crazy numbers in his short hockey career. Think about this, (25g-461a—720pts) in 520 games evens out to 1.41 PPG for the All-Star forward. Imagine if he hadn't suffered all of those concussions? If my math is right, Crosby missed over 100-games due to post concussion syndrome issues. Also, he missed about 20-games due to a ankle injury during the 2008 hockey season.
- Ray Shero on the Clock (thehockeywriters.com)
Friday, August 30, 2013
|English: A faceoff in the New York Islanders' first game of the 2009-10 NHL season, against the Pittsburgh Penguins. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
The Globe and Mail — Like the NFL, the NHL had had its feet held to the fire in recent years over the manner in which it deals with the incidence and severity of head injuries, both their prevention and monitoring. The Boston University Centre for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy has found evidence of CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) in the brains of several former players. CTE is a degenerative disease caused by repeated brain injuries.In sports like racing, hockey, football, MMA, you’re playing in a sport that the next play could be your last. It’s not outside the realm of possibility that you could suffer a fatal injury and be killed. I do have a problem with football players turning around and suing the NFL, especially the ones that have made a lot of money to play a kids game. That doesn’t mean I don’t feel for their plight if they’re injured in a questionable play.
Several high-profile players, including Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have missed large amounts of playing time with concussions and the league has rewritten rules and changed their interpretation in response.
Frank Brown, a spokesman for the NHL, said the league would not comment on the settlement.
The NFL, which generates an estimated $9-billion in annual revenue, will not be compelled to share internal documents that would indicate how much the league knew about concussions and when it knew. That is one reason why Paul Echlin, a Burlington, Ont.,-based sports-medicine specialist and an expert in the field of concussion research, said the NFL settlement serves the economic interests of each side without having much of an influence on the bigger picture.
Sunday, June 09, 2013
|Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Kevin McGran, Sports reporter -- Leaf Nation must look at how the Boston Bruins manhandled the New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins and wonder what might have been . . . if only the Maple Leafs had held on to that Game 7 lead.Sounds like Maple Leafs are still smarting from their game seven collapse to the Boston Bruins.
The Leafs, however, aren’t wondering any such thing.
“We lost,” head coach Randy Carlyle said emphatically, putting the notion to rest.
“You can look at it and hypothesize we would have had success, but that’s far from guaranteed,” added goalie Ben Scrivens. “And I’m sure if you would have asked the Rangers (about the possibility of) playing Toronto, they probably would have thought they’d have had a pretty good shot against us.
“There’s a lot of speculation. I don’t know if I would go so far as to say we would have had as much success. Obviously we have a lot of faith within our group that we can get the job done.”
In a surprising twist given the one-sided Boston-Toronto matchup the past few seasons, the Leafs had more playoff success against the Bruins than did the playoff-experienced Rangers and talent-loaded Penguins.
And figure this out: Phil Kessel’s four post-season goals vs. Boston are more than Rick Nash (2), Brad Richards (1), Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin (zeroes) combined.
What did the Leafs do that Pittsburgh should have?
Saturday, June 08, 2013
|Boston Bruins (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
You would have thought that the Penguins were totally hosed in the Eastern Conference finals against the Boston Bruins. I guess the Penguins fans didn't see any of the numerous infractions that went uncalled against the Bruins that could have led to another power play in their favor.
All that I heard after game one was Crosby whining about the officiating and how the Bruins were getting away with bloody murder. Did he see Jonathan Toews getting mugged on the ice against the Detroit Red Wings? It’s not just him.
Ken Campbell, The Hockey News -- There is not enough space in this column or any other to chronicle the litany of blown calls and shoddy work done by the supposed best officials in the world during these playoffs. But wouldn’t you like to, just once, see an important game that is officiated to the same standard as one in the regular season? And it all comes down to one of two things: Either the officials are making up their minds to be far more lax during the playoffs in the name of “letting the players decide it” or the league is mandating they change their approach. Neither one of them, quite frankly, is very appealing.Here’s my question, did Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins have the mindset that they were entitled to a Stanley Cup? It seems like the Penguins were never in this series. I almost think that the Bruins were the one team that they didn’t want to play from the start.
Case in point was Wednesday night in Game 3 of the Boston-Pittsburgh series. Had referees Marc Joannette and Dan O’Rourke called all the violations of the rulebook, there probably wouldn’t have been enough players to play 5-on-5 at some points in the game. Then again, had they called the fragrant fouls early, perhaps the players would not have gone through the game thinking they could get away with pretty much anything.
Instead, the two of them made it very clear that they were going to call next to nothing. Then what happened? Well, Jaromir Jagr clearly hooked Evgeni Malkin in the neutral zone and scooped the puck from him, a play that ultimately resulted in Patrice Bergeron scoring the game-winner in double overtime. Basically, Joannette and O’Rourke set the standard and the players responded to it and the game was decided in large part by a restraining foul that clearly should have been called.
During the series, the Bruins took away the Penguins time and space and made it tough sledding for the Penguins offensive players. The Penguins never really seemed to make the necessary adjustments until game three and by then it was too late.
On the other side of the ice, the Bruins players got to the dirty areas to score goals and do the little things that they had to do to push their team over the top. Hockey is about making adjustments; the Boston Bruins made the adjustments and did what they had to do to win this series, the Penguins did not.
What if? What If the refs “had” called more penalties and called the games more tightly? Does anyone think that it would have really would have made much of a difference? I don’t… Both teams combined were 0-26 on the powerless play. Maybe the refs were saving us the agony of having to watch the Bruins and the Penguins suffer on the power play.
Here’s some numbers for you; “0” – here’s how it looks; Evgeni Malkin (0g-0a—0pts) -5 Sidney Crosby (0g-0a—0pts) -2 Jarome Iginla (0g-0a—0pts) -4. Tuukka Rask was the first goalie to have two shutouts in a series since Phiadelphia Flyers goalie Michael Leighton in 2010 Eastern Conference finals versus the Montreal Canadiens.
Now that the Boston Bruins have swept the Penguins, and they're going back to the Stanley Cup Finals - for a second time in three seasons - we can finally give the Bruins their due.
Friday, June 07, 2013
|English: NHL Commisioner Gary Bettman in 2007. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Say-Oh Nara Pittsburgh
Sad day for Gary Bettman, the NHL PR office, and the city of Pittsburgh. Their glorious flagship franchise and their face of the NHL is now hanging up their skates for the offseason. In truth, with the exception of Matt Cooke, there isn't a lot to NOT like about the Penguins... if you forget about all the media hype and attention lorded upon that franchise for seemingly no other reason other than Sidney Crosby.
The truth is, the same thing that haunted the Pens since Crosby was drafted reared its ugly head again: Bad Team D and spotty goaltending. The Penguins defense simply ISN'T GOOD. In many regards, UND fans can understand this by stating the following: Pittsburgh plays a similar game to Minnesota Gopher hockey. The Penguins, like the Gophers, are a slick passing, great puck handling, finesse style team that can be disrupted and handled if you can play solid D and be physical. The Bruins are solid defensively and played very physically. They swept the Pens. It was that simple.
The Bruins weren't flashy. They weren't especially fun to watch (sorry Goon and B's fans). They were sturdy, lunch pail type players... and Gregory Campbell wins the word for Oh my Goodness fortitude. Good grief. They don't nearly have the hype surrounding them as the Pens do. And the B's let the Pens keep the hype. I'm sure the media covered the victors only because they had to while really pining to get to the Pens lockerroom to see what the Golden Child had to say.
As for goaltending I don't know what to say about Tomas Vokoun. I REALLY like Tomas. I thought he was one of THE most underrated goaltenders in the entire NHL for about a 5 year stretch (until Halak stole that title from him while with Montreal). It's sad that he's on the decline of his career and he'll have nothing to show for it. Vokoun and Iginla (again, sorry B's fans) are two of the only players on the Pens I sympathize with.
As for Fleury, I said it before and I say it again: Fleury is in the top 3 for most overrated goaltenders in the NHL. The other two being Carey Price (Montreal) and Roberto Luongo (Vancouver), though Luongo is fading from this list because his career is fading as well. I think Jonas Hiller of Anaheim may take Luongo's spot before long. To be nicer to Fleury, though, Price is still #1 in this category. But there's time left despite Price holding the edge in age.
Where do the Pens go from here? To the Golf Course.
Good riddance. Now Mr. Bettman... Now's the time to start marketting a team OTHER than your beloved. Are you going to have the cahones to do it or are you just going to sit back in your office and sulk?
An Interesting Comment by a Blowhard
Speaking of Gary Bettman, I was listening to ESPN Radio blowhard Colin Cowherd the other day and he actually made a decent point (in between fluffing himself up as some sort of uber objective yackityyacker which only his fans actually believe is true). He commented on the popularity of sports other than the NFL (he said that the NFL is far and away the most popular and there's no sport out there that will come close... and he's right) the NHL has a marketable product that is interesting and entertaining. However, they don't market the product at all. They don't make the media talk about the NHL at all. They hide it away on a cable TV station (Versus) for a long time and then benefit by the purchase of Versus by NBC, which has the rights because they cannot wrest the rights to the NBA from the other networks. They marketted themselves by saying "We're back" when that was outwardly foolish.
I agree. I can't believe it but I agree with Cowherd. ESPN doesn't care about hockey. He says its because of this failure to make themselves marketable and in the mainstream. That's probably most of the issue but not all of it. ESPN's bread and butter is the NBA. And whenever it mentions the NFL ratings go through the roof. So, that's where they focus. ESPN did put in a bid for the NHL TV rights but the bid was low and the priority was such that the NHL would invariably be buried or preempted if something they felt was more important was on. I have no confidence that, outside of the NHL playoffs (provided they didn't conflict with the NBA playoffs or finals), would even appear on ESPN itself. Mostly likely it would have been ESPN 2 or 3. NHL Tonight, even during the years that ESPN did air NHL games, was aired closer to midnight than to primetime. Why would Bettman, as questionable as his intelligence is at times, want that for his league?
But in truth, Cowherd is right in that the NHL does a VERY VERY VERY VERY bad job of marketting itself. They put commercials on NBC and the NHL Network and NHL Center Ice does get some Ad time but that's it. I bet they could find ways to get Crosby on ABC or Ovechkin on Fox Sports pushing the NHL. I'm sure they could find storylines to push for just about every NHL team if they wanted. But they don't. They focus mostly on the Penguins, Crosby, and the Finals and let the rest twist in the wind.
Let's face it: The NHL will NEVER EVER be as popular as the NFL. I'm not suggesting they even try to compete with even COLLEGE Football. But I'm pretty darn sure they could garner more of the viewership market than they are getting now. Baseball is a slow, tedious, and downright boring sport to watch. It takes FOREVER to get through a game... heck, it takes too long just for the pitcher to decide upon a pitch and then start his windup. The NHL is fast, exciting, physical, challenging to play, and ENTERTAINING to watch. It's time it was marketted that way.
A Final Interesting Factoid
I'll leave this rant with an interesting factoid. Unless my research is off, if Chicago finishes off L.A., this finals will mark the first time Boston has faced Chicago in the Stanley Cup Finals. How mindblowing that you could have two Original Six teams that have NEVER faced off since the Stanley Cup finals began (1927)
Wow! What a mad finish to the end of a great game. This was a hard nosed series. Hard fought series. The Boston Bruins are going back to the Stanley Cup Finals for the second time in three years.
Against the Bruins in the ECF, Evgeni Malkin (0g-0a—0pts) -5 Sidney Crosby (0g-0a—0pts) -2 Jarome Iginla (0g-0a—0pts) -4
— Eric J. Burton (@goon48) June 8, 2013
Tuuka Rask goes 4-0, 0.44, .986 in the series.
— Mike McMahon (@MikeMcMahonCHN) June 8, 2013
Incredible to think that the Bruins never trailed the Penguins at any point in their sweep. #domination #hockeynight
— MoniKa Platek (@MonikaPlatek) June 8, 2013
Mike Milbury from NBC Sport Network didn't like this play and thought there should've been a penalty called on the play. I don't know. I looks like Sidney Crosby skated into Daniel Paille, but who knows, it really doesn't matter now since the Penguins didn't score on the power play anyways.
Thursday, June 06, 2013
Tuesday, June 04, 2013
(Click your mouse on the picture to get the picture to move)... What's that thing about karma? You can also tell who the actual skilled player is. I think this is better than revenge. It's also a good example of how effective that the Boston Bruins have been in getting the Pittsburgh Penguins off of their game. I also believe, that the Bruins have also done a very good job not getting wrapped up in the extra stuff after the whistle causing them to have to kill a bunch of senseless penalties.
Sunday, June 02, 2013
Boston Bruins forward David Krejci scored two goals in game one against the Pittsburgh Penguins and now leads the NHL in points during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. This was Krejci's first goal of the game and also the first scored in the series, by either team. True to form, Krejci has been big during the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs and leads all players in scoring with (7g-12a—19pts).
This was Krejci's second goal of the game.
Fellow line mate Nathan Horton is also having a good 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs as well and is tied for fourth with Sidney Crosby (6g-9a—15pts). This was the goal by Horton that sent the Penguins fans to the exits.
Last night, the Top line was big for the Boston Bruins; Krejci had (2g-0a—2pts) and Horton had a three point night for the Bruins (1g-2a—3pts).
Haha this is funny @jroadsreal @goon48 twitter.com/bergcar5/statu…
— gretchen berg (@bergcar5) June 2, 2013
Someone put this on twitter last night, I know it's old but it fits with the current Pittsburgh Penguins, especially with Sidney Crosby whining about the officiating after last night's game. Apparently, Sid bad mustache and all didn't watch the game between the Blackhawks and the Detroit Red Wings.
Shelly Anderson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette --- Before Marchand's hit on Neal, Matt Cooke sent Boston defenseman Adam McQuaid into the boards in the second minute of the second period, earning a major penalty for hitting from behind, a game misconduct and a review from the NHL, which could decide to suspend Cooke.Look, I don’t think anyone is questioning whether the hit that Brad Marchand put on James Neal was worthy of a five or not – I get that – the call probably should have been a five minute major and I was surprised that it wasn't. Now were going to have to put up with Crosby's excessive whining the rest of the series every time his team doesn't get a call.
Some of the Penguins' discontent stemmed from Marchand getting a two-minute boarding penalty for the hit on Neal, not something similar to Cooke's penalties. "I don't see the difference, really," Crosby said.
Crosby, rarely one to publicly criticize officiating, said the way referees Chris Rooney and Brad Watson called the game contributed to the overflow of emotion.
"It's tough," Crosby said. "They're letting a lot go out there, and the more it gets like that, the more it's going to escalate. You can only control and channel that stuff so much. You keep letting guys do that stuff, you're just going to push the envelope. That's something we obviously want to stay away from, but it's kind of a natural thing when it gets like that."
Asked if it was also a matter of the Bruins trying to get under the Penguins' skin, Crosby didn't back down.
Saturday, June 01, 2013
I thought that Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand was lucky to remain in the game after his hit on Penguins forward James Neal. This could have been a five minute major. There could be two suspensions coming from this game, when it's all said and done. Probably not though. This was not a good hit, dangerous hit. Marchand is a repeat offender as well.
Video of dust up at the end of the period included as well.
Malkin and Bergeron fighting is why the playoffs are rad. Also, I like fighting.
— Ryan Kennedy (@THNRyanKennedy) June 2, 2013
Sorry but Crosby has no right to go after Rask, Crosby cut into Rask's path and gave him a bit of an elbow
— Erik Erlendsson (@erlendssonTBO) June 2, 2013
Marchand takes a bad penalty. Not worse than Cooke but still a stupid penalty, only gets 2 minutes, luckily #DailyLive
— Bruins Daily (@BruinsDaily) June 2, 2013
Sunday, May 19, 2013
This is the hit that Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik put on Ottawa Senators forward Chris Neil. There was no penalty called on the play, in my opinion, this was a dangerous hit, but not necessarily dirty, but dangerous.
If you're a fan of the Pittsburgh Penguins you probably think this is a good hockey play. If you're a fan of the Senators, you probably wanted a penalty on the play. The head coach of the Ottawa Sentors Paul MacLean didn't like the play and was unhappy about on the players bench. I suppose in the regular season, there might have been a penalty called on the hit, it's a what we call a push check, a form of checking from behind. What do others think of the hit?
#TribHKY >> Neil lost footing, Orpik give him good shove during his fall. #pens #sens
— Rob Rossi (@RobRossi_Trib) May 20, 2013
Chris Neil.....hi...you're injured!
— Injury Ninja (@InjuryNinja) May 20, 2013
Like Lucic's hit on Gunnarson, that's a penalty a month ago.
— Joe Meloni (@JoeMeloni) May 20, 2013
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
|Minnesota Wild (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Boston's Overcoming of Odds or Toronto's Epic Collapse?
Boston came back from a 4-1 deficit to win 5-4 in OT which can only be described as an incredible collapse by Toronto. Sorry Goon, you can say that it was the determination and skill of Boston players to fight back from being down that much to win if you wish, but.... Toronto should have won this game.
Is the series a collapse by Toronto? This one I'm not so sure of. Neither team held a two game advantage. It was 1-0, 1-1, 2-1, 2-2, 3-2, etc. I think it was a pretty good series overall, but one, again, Toronto should have won.
The Hart Trophy
Sidney Crosby, Alexander Ovechkin, and John Tavares are the three finalists. Not Toews. Brad Schlossman wrote a nice article explaining this and how some nice hockey media writers are questioning why, but... Comon. In a shortened season you go to your go-to player if that player puts up respectable enough numbers.
Sidney Crosby is going to win it. Does he deserve it? His stats are not poor enough to say "No," but then again, Ovechkin had a rough start and really poured it on. At one point, I believe Washington wasn't even very competitive early on... Tavares is just the dark horse on a team that played better than expected. Tavares is the Stamkos of this year's Hart Trophy finalists. Bless him he's good enough, but the NHL has other ideas.
Crosby will win it hands down. Gives the media and the NHL the PR angle for the offseason.
Crisfield decommits from UND. What does that mean?
Overall, not much. Things happen. Not sure why, but whatever the reason is, it happened. What does it mean for UND? Our game is changing. And it has to thanks to the rules and the officiating. It took long enough but I think it was bound to happen eventually anyways. In short, North American hockey is becoming more European (Don Cherry is probably having a stroke about this...well that's karma because his suits just about give me epileptic seizures). Physical hockey is being squashed for finesse. Good news for my Red Wings. Bad news for my UND.
So next year you can expect UND to be NOT very physical on D. The only physical D we really have are Panzarella and Senkbeil (who might not have even played D last season? Don't remember... and I don't know if he's especially that physical either).
Good news for Haters though. They'll be able to diversify themselves away from the usual "Fire Hakstol" to "Hakstol is recruiting Gopher wannabes and wusses!" Whatever. We saw it last year as your PIMs went down again last season.
Minnesota Pro Sports Fall on their Faces again
Folks, I've watched Minnesota Pro Sports all my life and I've watched some collegiate endeavours as well. I was watching when UMN Football coach Glenn Mason just about did cartwheels because they made it to the Music City Bowl. And listened as he explained that just making a Bowl game is the mark of a successful program.
I was there when Twins GM Terry Ryan said Free Agency solves nothing and proved it by signing awesome players in Ruben Sierra, Rondell White (who he said would be a middle of the lineup power hitter that will hit 30 homers.. yet his career high was around 23), and a few fat pitchers. No, Mr. Ryan, the way YOU run free agency solves nothing. And the Twins have a bunch of conference titles and first round exits (showing that their conference was weak to begin with).
I was there when Wolves GM Kevin McHale signed Latrell Spreewell and all those incredible contracts and explained that he built a winner... Yup. Wolves up until VERY recently, were the punchline.
The Vikings.... they don't sign free agents and they can't draft... or they couldn't for a long while. They sniffed the promised land once but well.... they left their "dominant" offense in the hands of a kicker.
The Wild... OY. Talk about a flawed team.
The attitude that a well rounded team is one that mixes a random strategy, a dart board, and the word "potential" pervades Minnesota pro sports.
The truth as I see it is this: None of these teams will win it all. They're not run the right way. Some have bad ownership (Wolves, Wild, Twins for the longest time). Some can't draft (Wild, Wolves, Vikings for the longest time). Some can't evaluate talent (all.. though the Twins SOMETIMES hit home runs). Minnesota Wild sign Parise and say that their goal scoring problems are over.... and you guys believe it! Really? It's the same statement they said when they went out and got Havlat...and Heatley... I hate Pittsburgh but they didn't stop at Crosby. They seemed to focus on one basic need at a time. They drafted offense and then goaltender... their D stunk. Then they worked on D... and now mediocrity like Fleury and Dupuis have their names on the Cup. Minnesota's strategy? Draft two way players, gritty defensive forwards, and some speed. No finishers. No scorers. No grit in the offensive zone. PM Bouchard is overrated and he's a perimeter player anyways. Koivu and Parise... that's it. Granlund might be good but who knows? You all thought Brett Burns was good too.
What I'm getting at is that there seems to be absolutely NO strategy to building a Minnesota Pro team. They just focus on the long term (how many times did Terry Ryan say the word, "potential" when describing any Twins player? No "Now" talent at all) and never seem to get restless for the present. Hey, I know the feeling. I used to be a Cubs fan. Offended that I'd compare teams that have been to the championship game far more times and far more recently than the hapless Cubs? Think about it. Take away the 105+ year futility streak and what do you have? You have Minnesota.
The Wild need scoring. They need to draft scoring. They need to sign scoring. They should basically do that ONLY for a year or two. It's lopsided, I know. But you aren't going to win the Cup with a team of Zuckers, Veillieuxs, Clutterbucks. You've got Koivu and Parise... You need 2 or 3 more scorers. You need two SOLID lines of scoring talent. Pittsburgh can roll almost 3 lines and that's excluding their D. It's why Pittsburgh will win, I kid you not, 2 more Cups, before Minnesota plays Game 1 of the Finals.
Minnesota is getting better... but will it continue? What will this offseason bring? I think the draft is a BIG indicator. IMO, if the Wild draft anything but scoring talent in the first 3 rounds of the draft, I think they're just destined for a higher payrolled version of the same old same old.
- Dustin Brown elbows Jason Pominville (ndgoon.blogspot.com)
Sunday, May 05, 2013
I might have to admit, that I agree with Mike Milbury and Jeremy Roenick on this one here. I thought it was a bad call. I also thought that Sidney Crosby went down really easy. The word embellishment was on the tip of my tongue as well, after I saw the play live.
If I am not mistaken, they're kind of accusing Sidney Crosby of taking a bit of a dive there... Is that what others are hearing too? I am hearing buzz words here. Pittsburgh was the beneficiaries of a somewhat sketchy call at the end. Crosby also goes down a little bit too easy there. Hum!
Love reading all the tweets about today's games. Even all the bitching and whining those certain classless penguin fans r doing. Comical
— Jeremy Roenick (@Jeremy_Roenick) May 5, 2013
Monday, April 22, 2013
Senators forward Chris Neil absolutely steamsrolls Penguins defenseman Simon Despres. Neil was given a charging minor on the play. So in watching this hit, did Neil catch Despres in the head with his forearm and should this have been more than a 2-minute minor penalty?
Sunday, March 03, 2013
Boston Bruins versus the Montreal Canadians... At first, it appeared that the puck had gone off of Max Pacioretty's stick, but after further review it was obvious that it went off of Johnny Boychuk's stick and the goal was awarded to David Desharnais.
Montreal goal listed as to Max Pacioretty, but thatll be changed to David Desharnais off Johnny Boychuk's stick en route to net. Habs up 2-1
— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) March 4, 2013