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May. 1st, 2006

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Today's "holy shit!" moment in hockey

Malkin's NHL transfer fee - the amount of money to be paid by the Pens to have his contract released from Metallurg Magnitogorsk in the Russian SuperLeague - may cost the Pens millions.

As in, twenty-five.
When asked how much the Penguins should have to pay for the services of Malkin, Velichkin made a comparison to soccer star Andriy Shevchenko's move from Dynamo Kiev to AC Milan for $25 million.

There's no way of knowing if Pittsburgh can afford that, given how cash-strapped the franchise is (and all the talks of a new owner buying them out and moving to Houston). But Malkin was supposed to be the set-up man for Crosby, and Pittsburgh has their eye on Johnson for the 2006 draft. How will this mess up their rebuilding plans?

Malkin has definitively stated that he will be playing in the NHL for the 2006-2007 season, but Russia's insistence on the millions throws into question which jersey he'll be wearing.

Apr. 30th, 2006

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The NHL in fifteen seconds: the April 29th "other bloggers" edition

The Devils love curling

They must, because all you could hear today was "Sweeeeep! Sweeeeep!". Man, I need to stop using Hughson's jokes. The Rangers are out in 4 straight as the Devils got goals from the usual suspects (Gionta, Gomez and Elias). The Oilers fought off the officials and the Red Wings to hang on for a 3-2 win, making that series now 3-2 heading back to Edmonton Monday. Ottawa is currently up 2-0 on Tampa Bay (are you watching me on CBC?) and later tonight, catch my buddy Jim Hughson as he calls the next Calgary victory over Anaheim.

From: Greg Millen's Blog

The Senators won their series against Tampa Bay with a nailbiting 3-2 victory. The last 30 seconds of play saw the Sens on the PK and Tampa Bay working hard to get the tying goal. However, Ottawa closed the deal, and they advance to the next round.

I think this sums up the series nicely:

Detroit continues to piss off not only Detroit fans everywhere, but the guys over at VCOE and Vancouver fans who are rooting for Edmonton to go down in flames. The Oilers are up 3-2 in the series after a 3-2 victory over the Wings.

Calgary harnessed the awesome Millen power against Anaheim on Saturday also with a 3-2 victory. The Flames now lead the series 3-2 as the Ducks head back to Calgary. Burkie must be feeling the pinch.

Prediction: if Anaheim loses to Calgary, Canucks fans will start calling for the head of Cloutier. Think about that for a minute.
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The NHL in 15 minutes: April 28, 2006

Carolina (2) at Montreal (6)

Habs fans hoping that Montreal would rally together and win this for their captain, whose eye injury may sideline him for the series, were left disappointed after a 3-2 Carolina win. Montreal played catch-up the whole night, trying to match Carolina goal-for-goal, but unable to close the deal. Brind'amour scored for Carolina in the third and Montreal never caught up. The controversy of the night? Williams, whose high stick in game 3 severely injured Koivu, got away with another one as his stick got Markov in the face. No call was made.

Carolina ties the series at 2-2 as they head back to Montreal.

Buffalo (4) at Philadelphia (5)

A close game after Philly fans booed Dumont off the ice following a Gauthier spear, Buffalo looked like they had their game on the right track after ending the first period 2-1. However, Foppa Floppa Forsberg tied it at 2-2 early in the second while Nedved, Umberger and Floppa Pete sealed the deal in the third. It looked like Buffalo might bring the game to OT after a shorty by Grier with 19 seconds closed the gap at one (hey, stranger things have happened – remember Cooke with 3.6?) but Philly held on to win 5-4.

Philadelphia ties the series at 2-2 heading back to Buffalo.

Dallas (2) at Colorado (7)

José "hair club for men" Theodore won the battle of the suck against Turco. Which actually translates into a 4-1 win for Dallas over Colorado, in mathematical terms. To be fair, Dallas completely outshot Colorado 39 to 23, even as the defense tried their best to minimize chances on Theodore (and rightly so) by blocking 23 shots. The Stars stave off elimination for one more night as they had back home after a decisive win.

Colorado leads the series 3-1.

Apr. 28th, 2006

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Who says Bertuzzi isn't a team player?

Apr. 26th, 2006

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The NHL in fifteen minutes: April 26, 2006

New Jersey (3) at New York (6)

Jagr's back! Lundqvist's back! And neither helped as Langenbrunner scored just one minute into the first period. It was a double suck for New York tonight as not only did Jagr – and everyone else on the Czech national team – fail to score on Brodeur, but Lundqvist let in 3 goals on 9 shots. You remember when you were a kid and you just wanted to win at that video game, just once, so you set it to two player mode, but only played one team? Yeah, this game was exactly like that.

GOOD: Brodeur recording his 21st playoff shut out.

BAD: Being a Rangers fan.

Final score: 3-0 New Jersey.

New Jersey leads the series 3-0.

Carolina (2) at Montreal (7)

First period: No score.
Crowd: Boo.

Zednik: Score!
Crowd: Cheers!
Koivu: OW MY EYE!
Referee: Would you like some cheese with that whine?
Crowd: Boo.

Crowd: (at 10:00) Cheers!
Brind'amour: (at 11:27) Score!
Crowd: Boo.

Referees: Huh? What? Oh, right, we call penalties. What do you mean some guy on Montreal got crosschecked?
Crowd: Boo.
Referees: Tomas "Dr Hook" Plekanec for hooking.
Crowd: Boo!
Staal: Scoooooooooore!


GOOD: The atmosphere in Montreal was unbelievable, showing the other teams a thing or two about playoff crowds.

BAD: The refs continue the double suck with two blatant non-calls on dangerous plays, one that resulted in Koivu leaving the game with an eye injury and not returning.

Final score: 2-1 Carolina.

Montreal leads the series 2-1.

Buffalo (4) at Philadelphia (5)

After getting slaughtered by Buffalo 8-2, Philly proved that the only team that's bending over in the playoffs is the Rangers. The Flyers answered every Sabres goal, and then some. Forsberg was impressive with a 3-point game (2G 1A), and the Flyers fans were impressive in their selective hearing, tossing out their hats when Gagne netted the 4th Philly goal of the game in an odd attempt at congratulating Forsberg. Philly fans also showed their lack of class when they booed Dumont (who recently returned from abdominal surgery) after he left the ice, injured, from a blatant attack by Gauthier.

GOOD: A great game for Forsberg and a much-needed win for the Flyers.

BAD: Gauthier and Philly fans' lack of class.

Final score: 4-2 Philly.

Buffalo leads the series 2-1.

Dallas (2) at Colorado (7)

It was the battle of 'who's got the worse goalie?' as Marty "my cat's breath smells like playoff loss" Turco and Jose "well, at least they're not trying to sell me on ebay this time" Theodore compete head to head. Colorado proved their strategy of team goaltending still works as they blocked 19 shots. To his credit, Theodore also stopped 19 shots (Dallas had 22 SOG). Though the game went into OT, neither team had to work that hard as Tanguay won it for the Avs 1:09 into the first OT period and Turco let in a soft goal in the 3 shots against.

GOOD: You probably weren't watching this game tonight.

BAD: Morrow's "defensive" "play" in the third that resulted in a man advantage for Colorado, allowing them to tie it up with 56 seconds left in the third.

Final score: 4-3 Colorado.

Colorado leads the series 3-0.
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The NHL in fifteen minutes: April 25, 2006

Ottawa (1) vs Tampa Bay (8)

Pretty much a slaughter house in TB that night. If you're sad that you missed this game, you might as well fire up NHL06 and set the level to "make the other team cry" because you'd get the same effect and just as funny. A disallowed goal for Tampa Bay in the third… or the second… or does it even matter? The score was 8-4 Sens at the time. A comeback was not in the cards.

The good: it was Redden's first game back since his mother's death and not only did he have a 3-point game (1G 2A) but was a +3, the highest on either team, and the first star.

The bad: Tampa Bay.

Final score: 8-4 Ottawa.

Ottawa leads the series 2-1.

Calgary (3) at Anaheim (6)

What looked like another exciting series was made boring by the 24-minute penalty parade in the second. A total of 27 penalty minutes were called on the Flames and 23 on the Ducks. Sadly, that was the most notable experience of the game, as Calgary ended up winning handily.

The good: Huselius had a 3-point night: one goal in the 2nd and two assists on the Langkow and McCarty goal.

The bad: A ridiculously-called playoff game with too many unnecessary penalties – taken and called.

Final score: 5-2 Calgary.

Calgary leads the series 2-1.

Nashville (4) at San Jose (5)

Perhaps the most surprising event of the evening was Nashville leading San Jose at the end of the first. The Sharks took it back in the second and the third, scoring two per period. Interestingly enough, Thornton was kept off the score sheet and finished at –1 even with over 10 minutes of power play time. However, where one man vanishes, two more appear: Marleau scored two goals and Ehrhoff bagged three assists. San Jose also kept their penalty troubles down to 10 minutes, while Nashville tried out their Anaheim impersonation by taking twice as many and finishing the game with 20 PIM.

The good: Marleau and Ehrhoff, proving that San Jose isn't just a one man team (I'm looking at you, Rangers).

The bad: Nashville's pathetic 17 shots on goal. Maybe they wanted to give Toskala the night off.

Final score: 4-1 San Jose.

San Jose leads the series 2-1.

Detroit (1) at Edmonton (8)

It looked like Edmonton was going to take this game home when they played the first 48 minutes with a 3-1 lead, but a meltdown by Roloson brought the Wings right back in it with two goals 18 seconds apart halfway through the third. The game went into double OT and lasted past midnight. After a disallowed goal by Detroit, wherein the puck actually slid under the side of the net, Edmonton finally got the puck past Legace – or rather, Detroit's "defense" as they failed to clear even after two spectacular saves.

The good: Albertans rejoice: even if Canadian beef is being banned for export, it looks like they've found a new market in "things to throw on the ice during a hockey game."

The bad: Detroit's defense couldn't be found with a GPS last night.

Final score: 4-3 Edmonton.

Edmonton leads the series 2-1. And really, who saw this coming?

Apr. 25th, 2006

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End of the Crawford years

At 3:30PM PDT, Dave Nonis held a press conference to announce Marc Crawford's (forced) departure from the Canucks organization.

He stressed that Crawford did a great job with the team but that, in spite of his success, he feels that it was best for the organization to let him go. A change behind the bench is only the starting point for this team and Crawford's firing does not, in any way, absolve any of the players from the lack of effort this season. In fact, he feels that it puts more pressure on them. There is much more blame to go around and a lot of it falls on the leadership on the team. The effort just wasn't good enough.

A short list will be drawn up with potential head coaches and a thorough interview process will be held before they make their decision. Nonis is open to guys who don't necessarily have the head coach experience but who, nonetheless, are a good fit for the team. Just because Crawford didn't have the success with the Canucks, it doesn't mean he's a bad coach. This move was done in an attempt to jump start the club.

He feels that no team in the league was better prepared night in, night out, than the Canucks. No team was better prepared for the post season. But there were too many nights when the players tuned out the coach, and not because the message they were hearing wasn't the right message. It was because certain players weren't listening.

There wasn't any one player, or even a group of players, who was/were a factor in the decision to let Crawford go. The players are supportive of the coaching staff and hold a lot of respect and like for Crawford. That said, their like doesn't change the fact that they didn't have the jump this season that they've had in previous seasons. The team needs new energy.

If he feels the best decision for the organization is for Bertuzzi to go, then Bertuzzi will go. But he still doesn't have an answer.

There will be a new focus on accountability, from the captain, to the players, to the coaches, to the equipment manager. He still thinks that the Canucks are a good hockey team and have good players, but what they need is a hard-working club, attention to detail; things that make teams strong and successful.

Decisions and responsibility lie solely in Orca Bay's hockey operations department. Owners are not to blame.

Also, Nonis would like you to know that the new head coach will be the man who is right for the club, not the sexiest. But a headshot wouldn't hurt.
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It probably seemed like a good idea at the time

On the same night the Montreal Canadiens beat the Carolina Hurricanes 5-6 in double OT – with Cam Ward stepping in for Gerber after a terrible display of goaltending – there was a question in Jeopardy! related to the team. If one flipped the channel to ABC right after the game, they would have done so in time to catch the $800 question in the category "The NHL."

The question? A picture of the Habs logo and a request to name the "storied franchise."

Jacqueline Lovell buzzed in. "Who are the Blackhawks?"

She finished in second place.

Apr. 9th, 2006

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Hockey jokes

Little David was in his 5th grade class when the teacher asked the children what their fathers did for a living.

All the typical answers came up -- fireman, policeman, salesman, etc. David was being uncharacteristically quiet and so the teacher asked him about his father. "My father's an exotic dancer in a gay bar and takes off all his clothes in front of other men. Sometimes, if the offer's really good, he'll go out to the alley with some guy and make love with him for money."

The teacher, obviously shaken by this statement, hurriedly set the other children to work on some coloring, and took little David aside to ask him, "Is that really true about your father?"

"No," said David. "He plays for the Toronto Maple Leafs, but I was too embarrassed to say that in front of the other kids."


Mario Lemieux, Steve Yzerman and Wayne Gretzky all die at the same time. They all end up in heaven. God, being an avid hockey fan request that all 3 see him at the same time. The 3 greats meet with God, and God states to them that he wants them to sit next to him. God starts with Steve Yzerman and asks, "Why should you sit on my left?"

Steve replied with "I'm the longest running captain in hockey history. I'm one of the greatest scorers in history, and I've lead my team to a Stanley Cup on one knee"

God lets Yzerman take a seat on his left.

God then asks Mario why he should be allowed to sit on his right. Mario says, "Well, I turned a last place team into a back to back Stanley Cup championship team. I'm probably the most talented player of all time, and I'm the only player to score all 5 different goals in one game"

God lets Mario take a seat on his right.

God then turns to Wayne and says, "Hmm, where am I going to let you sit."

Wayne looks at him and says, "I think you're in my seat"