Hockey Headlines

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Live Blog: Flapping Isn't Gonna Work

Here we go, kids. Live-blogging this spectacular Game Two battle between the Jets and Ducks. Are you ready? Not much to tell you other than Mathieu Perreault will play for the Jets, Matt Halischuk heads back to the press box, and Jiri Tlusty drops from the third- to the fourth-line. Anthems are being sung, so let's get right into this game!

FIRST PERIOD

  • I like the pace so far in this game. Someone needs to hammer a Duck to slow them up. There's no way they'd be able to skate across the blue line without a new bruise being handed out.
  • Clayton Stoner is trying to be a human wrecking ball. I've seen about enough of that.
  • Love me some Adam Pardy. He should help Jakob Silfverberg out by taking his head off. No one enters that crease.
  • How do you stick-check a guy like Myers? Seriously.
  • Chris Thorburn needs to goad Stoner into a scrap.
  • High-sticking? Maybe Pardy missed the memo about taking penalties.
  • Ducks were 2-for-3 in Game One. Don't remind me.
  • Solid forecheck by the Jets thus far. Nothing happening for the Ducks.
  • Sonuva... can't the Jets just leave Kesler alone? He's useless.
  • Myers will serve two-or-less for high-sticking as well.
  • One penalty over after a big save by Pavelec.
  • Watching Corey Perry cuss after missing a glorious chance is one of those little things that makes me smile every time I think about it.
  • Buff the Destroyer just killing off 30 seconds of time. No biggie.
  • Jets kill both penalties! Well done, boys!
  • Let's tip our caps to Pavelec as the Jets at first commercial break are being outshot 14-3. No dented twine thus far!
  • Cassie Campbell's piece on Kesler makes me hate him more. And Team USA. And the Canucks. The only team I don't hate that he's suited up for is the Manitoba Moose.
  • I'm glad to see that Sportsnet is burning all their commercials early. This war shouldn't be missed by anyone.
  • If that puckhog from the Boston Pizza played on my team, I'd beat 24 wings out of him if he did that on the ice. You jerk. 
  • I love that Garry Galley gives the Ducks the edge after winning Game One. You kinda think that would be the case, no?
  • Mike Duffy... er, Bruce Boudreau with a "what did I do" look. Shut up, Bruce.
  • Hampus Lindholm is off for interference. Because he deserved it.
  • Jets fail to get it deep, and Anaheim clears easily. Gotta be better.
  • Did the Jets know they had the extra guy for the last two minutes?
  • Not sure I like these defensive combos being rolled out by Charlie Huddy. How did Stuart and Enstrom get paired together?
  • Galley doesn't watch much Jets hockey, apparently, when talking about standing guys up at the blue line. That doesn't happen.
  • Kesler elbowed Myers in the head? Toss him. That's garbage.
  • Kesler will sit for two-or-less for his horsepoop move.
  • $10 for the first Jet to rip a slapshot off Wild Wing.
  • The Jets simply aren't winning foot races right now.
  • Trouba rips one off the post!
  • Jets are now 0-for-2 on the power-play tonight. C'mon, gents.
  • I have to say that the Ducks are really bottling up the neutral zone tonight extremely well. They're almost playing an aggressive left-wing lock.
  • That'll do it for the first period. 0-0 after one frame!

SECOND PERIOD

  • Everytime someone mentions "Edmonton won the draft lottery", the people around me lose their minds. I'm guessing they're mathematically-eliminated by January next season.
  • If I'm the Oilers, I dangle that pick to Arizona for their pick, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, and Mike Smith. And then draft Noah Hanifin. Rebuild is suddenly improved by three years. 
  • I love how Sportsnet keeps flashing up the line combos with Benoit Pouliot in there. Pouliot isn't going to change the fortunes of the Oilers.
  • And Craig MacTavish basically admits they're taking McDavid. No-brainer there. Which means the Oilers will find a way to screw this up.
  • Myers needs to straight-arm Kesler any chance he gets.
  • I understand the whistles get put away in the playoffs, but how did Kesler not get called for bear-hugging Scheifele from the face-off dot to the end boards?
  • Thank the hockey gods that Pavelec came to play tonight. 
  • I was kinda hoping Byfuglien was going to erase Tim Jackman from existence. He opted to play the puck. I can live with that.
  • Almost zero chances for both teams in front of the net. This could be a one of those games that's decided off a fluky goal from the corner or something.
  • Penalty coming to Anaheim is slashing on Jackman. Give him five and a game for that one. It was on the forearm! Precedence!
  • Excellent idea by Wheeler to take it to the net. Gotta see more of that.
  • Seriously, Ladd. Seriously. Slashing Getzlaf. You know better.
  • How is that not interference on Getzlaf for running a pick on Scheifele?
  • Love seeing Jim Slater skate it from behind the net to the blue line just to whip a prayer of a shot wide. Excuse my sarcasm.
  • Garry "Ducks" Galley going pro-Anaheim again.
  • Jets are playing a wee bit too loose for me right now. Tighten it up, boys!
  • Good chance for Lowry off the Stempniak shot, but stick checks are effective, readers. If you're tying up a stick, I present the Anaheim Ducks as your example.
  • Someone cover Kesler!!!
  • Good job by the Jets in clearing the front of the net. Pavelec saw that one all the way, making the easy save. Gotta keep that going.
  • I still have a hard time believing Bruce Boudreau was in Slap Shot.
  • ADAM PARDY!!! A great toe-drag to set up the first shot, and he follows up with a wrap-around and it's in the back of the net! 1-0 WINNIPEG!
  • This is under review. Wheeler apparently brought the party into the crease.
  • Looks fine to me. Not sure why this is taking five minutes.
  • Goal stands!
  • Anaheim called for a penalty. Kesler's heading off. Send him to the showers.
  • Kesler appears to be sitting for elbowing. Dirty player.
  • Nothing doing on this power-play either. Maybe we decline them?
  • Jets lead after two periods!

THIRD PERIOD

  • Need another goal here in the third period. Let's go, Jets!
  • Liking this energy from the Jets so far!
  • Pavelec with another massive save on Beleskey!!!
  • Perreault just got destroyed by Rackell. That's brutal. Suspend him.
  • Stafford with a solid wrap-around, but Andersen stops that.
  • That end-to-end action is insane!
  • Ducks with a ton of pressure.
  • Ladd with a dumb, dumb penalty.
  • Ok, that flurry of action results in a Ducks goal. Someone scored. Who cares. Ducks tied it up there. 1-1 TIE.
  • Jets suck it up and Pavs makes a good save right after the face-off.
  • This game is becoming a chess match.
  • Are you kidding me? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!? Silfverberg should be punched out for that. Holding the stick turns into a goal? Brutal. 2-1 ANAHEIM.
  • I'm nearing clinical depression after that goal. Ok, not really. But that one stings. Silfverberg should never gotten to that puck. Cheater.
  • That'll do it. I hate this game.
Until next time, I'm getting therapy!

Friday, 17 April 2015

The Same Problem

I'm bagged today. I'd like to say that I'm going to with the Jets in their first playoff series for every minute, but I don't know if I can stay up to all hours of the night and function the next day. I did make it through last night's game, though, and I got to see a hard-hitting, fast-paced game between the Ducks and Jets. There were scoring chances, there were big saves, and there were lots of hits, but what sunk the Winnipeg Jets in Game One was a familiar trend: untimely penalties. The most penalized team in hockey this season knows they can't give the Ducks a chance to skate with the man-advantage, and their fall in the third period resulted from two power-play goals-against in the final frame.

The Jets, to their credit, only took four penalties through the whole game, but the Ducks capitalized on the Jets' first and third penalties of the night, and both penalties were unnecessary in terms of why they were taken. Mark Scheifele's roughing penalty was a punch to Ryan Kesler's face and chest after Kesler had been irritating him all night, and Frolik's boarding penalty was entirely selfish as he hammered a Duck into the boards. Perry scored to tie the game 2-2 on the Scheifele penalty while Getzlaf buried the second power-play goal to ice the game at 4-2 while Frolik watched.

Two selfish penalties resulting in two power-play goals, and the Jets now find themselves down 1-0 in the series.

Overall, the Jets have nothing to get overly worried about their game, but they need to refrain from taking selfish penalties. Stick infractions will occur, but both the Scheifele and Frolik penalties were players reacting to annoyance and/or frustration. That's entirely what happens in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and the Jets needs to control those emotions if they want to succeed.

Game Two is on Saturday. The Ducks were 2-for-3 on the power-play. The Jets were 0-for-3 with the man-advantage. Special teams show up big in the playoffs, and the Ducks proved just how big they are with two goals from their two best players while skating a man up.

The Jets can't make those mistakes again if they want to win their first NHL Stanley Cup Playoff game. And they won't survive if they don't change their ways.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Thursday, 16 April 2015

The Hockey Show - Episode 135

The Hockey Show, Canada's only campus-produced hockey radio show, is back tonight with a couple of guests, some goodbyes, playoff chatter, and a song that will be played over Manitoba's radio waves for the first time! I'm actually excited that we have the exclusive to this new song by an emerging artist, so you'll hear that off the top while we close out with one of this artist's songs that put her on the map. Our two guests are coming in to promote an upcoming event, and we'll talk about the four games last night on the NHL Stanley Cup Playoff schedule, the four games scheduled for tonight, and who we're predicting to see in the next round!

Kevin and Vin will be in-studio tonight as they are gearing up for the 2015 edition of the Re/Max Cup taking place here on May 22-24 at the Glenwood Community Center in Winnipeg! This is one of the better ball hockey tournaments in this great nation, and they always have incredible prizes for fans and players! Kevin and Vin will discuss the tournament, how many teams are signed up, who may challenge for the Re/Max Cup, and much more. Reportedly, there may still be a few spots available if you're interested! Find out tonight!

We'll also wish Columbus a fare-thee-well tonight as she'll be joining us for her last show as she heads home to the USofA for the summer. We'll keep in touch with her as she prepares for a world-wide tour next year as she continues her studies in South Korea! We'll also share in a fare-thee-well for Aaron Sabasch, the host of Straight Ahead, who has the time slot right before us on UMFM. Aaron's final show is tonight, so we'll send him off by talking about his beloved Calgary Flames with him after they downed the Vancouver Canucks last night in a great game. We'll miss you both, but we'll keep in touch!

We'll also toss in our predictions for each of the Stanley Cup Playoff series. We'll chat about no further discipline to PK Subban and whether that's the right call. We'll talk about goalies and their impact on series as Scott Darling pushed the Blackhawks past the Predators last night after putting up a wall through nearly four periods. We'll definitely talk about what the Jets need to do to defeat the Ducks. And finally, I have an announcement for Jets fans to encourage them to come out and support the team!

We have another big show tonight and the phones will be open for Whiteout Power! Buzz us at 204-269-UMFM (204-269-8636) and we'll put your comments about the Jets on the air! Of course, we will be live on 101.5 UMFM on your radio dial in the Winnipeg region or you can listen live between 5:30pm and 6:30pm CT on your web-enabled device at the UMFM webpage! You can tweet me anytime you like by hitting me up at @TeebzHBIC on Twitter. You can also post some stuff to Facebook if you use the "Like" feature, and I always have crazy stuff posted there that doesn't make it to the blog or show. Tonight we get ready for the first Whiteout since 1996!

PODCAST: APRIL 16, 2015: Episode 135

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

So Much Controversy

Let the controversy reign! We're only one game into the 2015 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs and we've seen, depending on your perspective, one of the postseason's most vicious slashes or one of the best acting jobs on the planet. Personally, the slash that PK Subban delivered on Mark Stone looked bad in terms of Stone's reaction, but his return just a few minutes after Subban was dismissed from the game is a little curious considering how he sold the slash. Let's break this down because someone said something in the post-game scrum that will probably leave his wallet a little lighter.

There's no denying that PK Subban slashed Mark Stone, so I'm not going to try to argue that point. Both Subban and Montreal coach Michel Therrien admitted that he committed the infraction, so we'll let that portion of the equation rest.

Instead, we need to look at the fallout from the slash. Before we do that, here's the video of Subban hacking Mark Stone on the arm.
Mike Johnson talks us through that pretty well, but the final tally was a five-minute major and a game misconduct for PK Subban. The optics of that slash look bad, but Mark Stone sold it hard as if Subban hit him with a machete in an effort to amputate Stone's arm. I'm not buying it.

The Subban penalty was committed at 8:23 of the second period. Mark Stone played 15:06 in the game over 21 shifts. Unless he was double- and triple-shifting in the first 28:23 of the game, Mark Stone returned to the game meaning that his fleeing down the chute to the dressing room was possibly necessary at the time, but certainly not indicative of a major injury.

Why is that important? Well, referee Steve Kozari invoked Rule 61 and its subclauses to come up with the five-minute major based on the optics of that slash. The rule reads as follows:
With the speed in which Stone left the ice and went to the dressing room, Kozari had to assume that he was injured. He went down like he had been shot, and then immediately went to the dressing room. Kozari's hands are tied on that call because it really did look like Stone was hurt, so Rule 61.3 states that a major penalty has to be called. Because the major penalty was called, Rule 61.5 came into effect which is how Subban was given the early dismissal from this game.

The problem is that Stone returned to the bench minutes later and took a regular shift. If he's doing that, he's not injured. Or at least not seriously injured. And if he wasn't seriously injured, then Mark Stone embellished that injury which should mean he gets a warning from the league for his embellishment. It also means that the officials in this series now will watch Stone a little closer for any sort of embellishment because Stone made Kozari look bad with his call on Subban.

Officials don't like being shown up, readers.

Further to this, the post-game press conferences saw Ottawa head coach Dave Cameron get a little heated as he spoke about how he believes that Subban should be suspended. The problem is how he framed it.
That's not going to sit well with the NHL. Comments regarding any sort of vengeance or bounty towards another team or player will bring some serious heat from the NHL Offices, and Dave Cameron crossed a line in suggesting one of his players will dish out some served-cold revenge for the slash on Stone.

And these two teams have the possibility of playing six more games? Wow.

I'm not the NHL, but I am going to tell you what I think should happen in the aftermath of tonight's game. You may not agree, but this is exactly how I see this playing out so that both teams are happy with the outcome.
  1. PK Subban is fined for his slash. No further discipline.
  2. Mark Stone is warned for embellishment. No further discipline.
  3. Dave Cameron is fined for his comments. No further discipline.
The Canadiens and Senators will clash again on Friday, and I expect the messages sent by the NHL to be heard by both teams. Game One was intense with a 4-3 Canadiens win coming out of the carnage in the second period, and there is hope that these two Canadian rivals can carry the same intensity through the next six games.

Let's just keep the sticks down, the embellishing to a minimum, and the threats out of the media's hands. This could be a series for the ages.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Random Tuesday Musings

It's Stanley Cup Playoffs Eve! While I'm still gathering names for the petition to make the opening day of the Stanley Cup Playoffs a national holiday here in Canada, I've been bouncing some thoughts around in my head. I'll admit that most of these thoughts deal with how to properly weave bacon together so that I can wrap a pork roast in succulent bacon before throwing the whole thing into a smoker, but I digress. I have some hockey thoughts as well, so let's put pens to paper and get this show on the road!

I happen to be on the boat that says that if the San Jose Sharks fire Todd McLellan, they've fired the wrong guy. It's not that Doug Wilson has done a poor job in San Jose, but he's certainly not done himself any favors recently. His comments about removing Joe Thornton's captaincy and his poor free agency record (John Scott???) in recent years should be enough to facilitate a change.

  1. If McLellan is fired by the Sharks, how fast would the Bruins jump at the opportunity to have him coach the Bruins?
  2. If Claude Julien is fired by the Bruins, would he pull a Boudreau and head west? San Jose could be in the market for a fiery guy like Julien.
  3. I don't see Peter Chiarelli going to Toronto if he's fired. I don't see him wanting that hassle in terms of trying to piece together that radioactive roster. And he'd be saddled with Kessel again. Although, if anyone knows about trading Kessel, Chiarelli is your guy.
  4. Toronto has a lot of overpriced pieces based on the returns they saw this season, but I could see teams taking a run at either Joffrey Lupul or Tyler Bozak this summer. If Toronto is truly looking to unload these guys, they can probably get a decent return. Kessel and Phaneuf are going to be challenges.
  5. If Arizona misses out on Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel, the rebuild there will be set back once more. I love some of their young players, but they need that catalyst to really give their youth movement a shot in the arm. Jack Eichel would be a huge piece in the desert, and would fit comfortably between Domi and Duclair in the near future.
  6. Edmonton desperately needs to improve their defence, and Noah Hanifin should be the only guy they are looking at if they have a chance to draft him. Goaltending could be improved as well, and they would do themselves a big favor in signing Boston University's Matt O'Connor. O'Connor is scheduled to meet with Edmonton during his cross-country tour.
  7. O'Connor will also meet with Ottawa who seem to have brushed aside both Craig Anderson and Robin Lehner with Andrew Hammond's play. If the Senators can trade one of those two away during the summer, Hammond would platoon with the guy who stays. O'Connor would have a good shot at being "the next guy" in Ottawa if he wants it.
  8. I'm unsure how much hockey a lot of people are watching in their average lives, but those who have watched the Washington Capitals in recent weeks know that Barry Trotz will have his team over-prepared in their meeting with the Islanders. If Holtby continues his outstanding season and the Capitals can neutralize John Tavares' effectiveness, that could be a short series.
  9. Not having Travis Hamonic will hurt the Islanders more than they think. He's not a Karlsson or Doughty, but he's the guy who sets the table for the Isles. In their series with the Penguins, Hamonic threw a couple of monster hits that gave the Islanders a ton of confidence. Missing him for more than a game will hurt the Islanders in a big way.
  10. Tampa Bay has the ability to sweep Detroit. I don't think they will. While Detroit won't likely win the series, I can see guys like Nyquist, Tatar, Pulkkinen, and Jurco stepping up to provide offence while Datsyuk's shadow is all over Stamkos. With Mrazek starting Game One for Detroit, things could south quickly if the goaltending fails the Red Wings.
  11. The Rangers, while winning the Presidents Trophy, seem a little overrated in my view. Rick Nash's four goals in 37 playoff games with the Rangers is a worrying stat. Can the Rangers' MVP find a way to break through this season? If he does, last season's run to the Stanley Cup Final in spite of Nash will be forgotten quickly. If he doesn't, the Rangers will struggle.
  12. The Penguins will most likely play five games in this year's playoffs. There are too many eggs in a few baskets, and that has to change if they want to see more games. David Perron, Chris Kunitz, and Daniel Winnik need to be a lot better, but their playoff lives will hang on the defence. Personally, I'm not sure those guys could beat a high school team right now.
  13. Montreal will literally go as far as Carey Price will carry them. You can make arguments for guys like Pacioretty, Subban, Markov, and Plekanec, but this is Price's team. If he hits a cold streak, the Canadiens could suffer.
  14. There is no easy way out of the Central Division. St. Louis, Chicago, Nashville, and Minnesota
     all have a shot. Nashville, in my opinion, has the worst chances of the four simply because they aren't as physical. Pekka Rinne could be the reason they emerge as the winner, but the last few weeks of hockey they played don't convince me they have what it takes. And that includes getting past Chicago in the opening round.
  15. Chicago seems to be a consensus favorite now that Patrick Kane is scheduled to return for Game One, but there's always the fatigue factor that one must consider. Chicago was second only to Los Angeles in playoff games-played in the last four years, and that has to take a toll. When you factor in the physicality of running into either St. Louis or Minnesota in the second round, you have to wonder if they have the gas in the tank to finish off another run. They have the talent and the tenacity, but we might see Chicago play some ugly hockey to stay alive.
  16. I like Minnesota, but I fear that they're going to burn out. They've been playing playoff hockey for nearly two months, and goaltender Devyn Dubnyk has started nearly every game in that time. Fatigue could roll into the picture here as well - both mental and physical. Running into a team like St. Louis could pop that Wild bubble.
  17. St. Louis looks like the real deal with the talent they have, and this certainly could be their year if they can survive two rounds of overly-physical hockey. They have a ton of solid talent up front, and they have experience on their blue line. Elliott and Allen are solid goalies, but they can be beaten at their own game. All you need to do is punch them in the mouth first.
  18. Vancouver has relied on the Sedins and Vrbata all season, and the playoffs are no place for one-line teams. While I like some of the other players on the Canucks' roster, the vast majority of their offence comes from Sedin-Sedin-Vrbata. They will have their hands full with the Flames' speed and their solid goaltending. If they Swedes catch fire, though, they could be dangerous.
  19. Fast, skilled, unrelenting, and not a care in the world about what anyone says. The Calgary Flames are that team that, if taken lightly, will shock everyone. They get contributions from all over the lineup, and they have great goaltending. Calgary could upset a few teams before all is said and done in this year's tournament.
  20. Anaheim comes in with no pressure on them as they skated to the best record in the Western Conference. Goaltending has become a bit of a question mark in recent weeks, and there's some concern about the blue line's foot speed. They have enough offence up front to be a contender, but the questions about their own zone shouldn't be ignored.
  21. It seems that everyone's comfort pick in this year's playoffs is the Winnipeg Jets. They're big, they're fast, they're getting contributions from everywhere, and they've been playing playoff-style hockey for the last couple of weeks. They could upset the Ducks, and, if they do, they seem to be a favorite for the Western Conference Final. I like the Jets' chances if, and only if, they play the series against the Ducks one game at a time. If they deviate from how they've played in the last few weeks, the Ducks will prevail.
  22. Friend of The Hockey Show and current Boston Blades forward Janine Weber has her Austrian team at a 2-0 record at the IIHF Division 1 Women's World Hockey Championship. They battle the 2-0 Czech Republic tomorrow as she looks to keep the good times rolling. Way to go, Janine!
  23. The roster for the Canadian team for the upcoming men's World Hockey Championship was released with the first 19 players. It's a star-studded lineup thus far as players like Tyler Seguin, Jason Spezza, and Claude Giroux will anchor the Canadian entry. With the Erie Otters advancing in the OHL playoffs, it appears that Connor McDavid will not be joining this squad, but it would be interesting to see how he fit in had he been available.
  24. Have you entered the HBIC Playoff Pool yet? Why not? It's free, there are prizes, and it's fun. Get in there and get yourself some free gear!
  25. Playoff start tomorrow. Only one team will stand at the end! PSYCHED!
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!