Sunday, August 13, 2006

Who is hated.

We the aforementioned list of the loathed was published in the Province newspaper today. As the population submitting commentary was Province readers of course there would be some bias towards hockey celebrity. Notes from the list are as follows:

#1) Don Cherry – most hated but likely most loved too. It is interesting that the man can be seen as both narrow minded and rude yet patriotic and insightful at the same time. Often with both views held by the same person. Remember Don was voted to the CBC’s ten greatest Canadian’s list. Don placed seventh amongst vote getters. In a segment of Coaches Corner he seemed to believe he had actually been voted ‘the’ greatest Canadian, then the greatest Canadian ‘still living.’ He seemed truly crestfallen to have Ron remind him that David Suzuki is still alive. Dr. Suzuki placed fifth. CBC Greatest Canadian

#5) the ‘sports’ media – Tom Larcheid (former?) Canucks colour man, Tony Gallagher Province columnist and Dave Pratt Team 1040 Anchor all took hits for their approaches to their work. For my money Larcheid is a nice exuberant guy who loves his work. It hard to believe that he was once a linebacker. Gallagher is a damn good gumshoe even if he does come off as snide at times. We all remember Burkie. There was no love lost between Brian and Tony. Brian’s commentary: when the Canucks win the cup, Gallagher’s headline will be “Canucks use ugly cars in parade.” Which leaves Pratt who is just damn annoying. Donny Taylor was recently interviewing Trevor Linden. Donnie asked the Canucks veteran if he liked Jim Rome’s sports talk show. Trevor’s measured response was “are you asking me if I like the show or if I listen to the show.” Rome suffers from a similar syndrome as Pratt known as FigJam(Wiki it in the context of Phil Mickelson).

My personal favourite Greg Millen didn’t make mention in the article.

#6) Gary Bettman – the Count took all the usual shots. Like Cherry, Bettman can be both loathed and loved. It is interesting how he has single-handedly both destroyed and saved the NHL. My only real beef with Bettman is his organization's control over Lord Stanley’s mug. What happened in ’04-05 was criminal for the history of the game and the chalice. Here’s a suggestion. As far as I know the Canadian Senate is useless. Give administrative control of the Cup to the Senate. You kill two birds with one stone! The Senators get a reason to exist. Should insanity ever overtake labour/management in the NHL let the fine Senators decide to award the cup to the top Junior team or the top European team or arrange a tournament of ALH/ECHL teams. The possibilities are endless. Interesting rant.

#8) Dick Pound – I often wonder if this guy is, himself, on drugs. He seems so adept at beating his own chest and going off half cocked. Come think of it given his name maybe it isn’t just his chest that’s taking the beating. Or going off. Dick’s Rant

#9) Mark Messier – This one is a bit of a surprise. For those outside the coven of Canucks fans I’m sure the Moose’s selection is truly a puzzle. Keep in mind Messier’s years here in Vancouver were some of the darkest in the franchise’s history. Still I’d have thought Iron Mike Keenan would have been seen as a bigger villain from that era. Try this.

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Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Vote Early Vote Often

The Province - our local tab format rag - is inviting readers to 'tell us. Who do you love to hate?' Hockey fans get your Greg Millen votes in early and often.

Submit your material here: Mail

Greg Millen Home Page
Greg Millen Blog

Can you spot the spoof?

Ciao,


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Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Who DO the Canucks have?

NHL

Matt Cooke Left Wing 5'11" 205 lbs.
Willie Mitchell Defence 6'3" 205 lbs.
Brendan Morrison (A) Centre 5'11" 185 lbs.
Markus Naslund (C) Left Wing 5'11" 195 lbs.
Mattias Ohlund Defence 6'2" 220 lbs.
Rick Rypien Center 5'11" 170 lbs.
Sami Salo Defence 6'3" 215 lbs.
Daniel Sedin Left Wing 6'1" 190 lbs.
Henrik Sedin Centre 6'2" 192 lbs.
Brandon Reid Centre 5'9" 170 lbs.

Dan Cloutier Goaltender 6'1" 195 lbs.
Roberto Luongo Goal 6'3" 205 lbs.

Farm

Marc-Andre Bernier Right Wing 6'3" 198 lbs.
Mike Brown Right Wing 6'0" 210 lbs.
Nicklas Danielsson Right Wing 6'0" 170 lbs.
Evan Fuller Right Wing 6'1" 198 lbs.
Michael Grabner Right Wing 6'0" 170 lbs.
Jannik Hansen Wing 6'0" 176 lbs.
Jeff Heerema Right Wing 6'1" 190 lbs.
Ilia Krikunov Wing 5'11" 169 lbs.
John Laliberte Right Wing 6'1" 185 lbs.
Justin Morrison Right Wing 6'3" 200 lbs.
Tommi Santala Right Wing 6'3" 215 lbs.

Mario Bliznak Centre 6'0" 185 lbs.
Matthew Butcher Centre 6'1" 185 lbs.
Artem Chubarov Centre 6'1" 205 lbs.
Brad Moran Centre 6'0" 190 lbs.
Tim Smith Centre 5'9" 160 lbs.
Sergei Topol Centre 6'1" 183 lbs.

Evgeny Gladskikh Left Wing 6'0" 176 lbs.
Mason Raymond Left Wing 6'0" 170 lbs.
Andrew Sarauer Left Wing 6'4" 190 lbs.
Sergei Shirokov Forward 5'10" 176 lbs.
Juraj Simek Left Wing 6'1" 189 lbs.
Francois-Pierre Guenette Left Wing 6'0" 183 lbs.

Luc Bourdon Defence 6'2" 199 lbs.
Chad Brownlee Defence 6'2" 190 lbs.
Alexander Edler Defence 6'3" 194 lbs.
Kris Fredheim Defence 6'1" 170 lbs.
Matt Gens Defence 6'0" 180 lbs.
Denis Grot Defence 6'1" 180 lbs.
Matt Hansen Defence 6' 198 lbs.
Mikko Jokela Defence 6'1" 215 lbs.
Kiril Koltsov Defence 5'11" 183 lbs.
Nathan McIver Defence 6'2" 185 lbs.
Daniel Rahimi Defence 6'3" 213 lbs.

Julien Ellis-Plante Goaltender 6'0" 188 lbs.
Lukas Mensator Goaltender 5'8" 167 lbs.
Cory Schneider Goaltender 6'3" 195 lbs.
Alexandre Vincent Goaltender 6'4" 193 lbs.
Matt Violin Goaltender 6'1" 180 lbs.

Draft but not Signed

Michael Grabner Right Wing
Daniel Rahimi Defence
Sergei Shirokov Right Wing
Juraj Simek Wing
Evan Fuller Center

Canuck Free Agents.

Vancouver's Free Agents are:

Group 2 - Restricted

Juha Alen
Jozef Balej
Kevin Bieksa
Tyler Bouck
Alex Burrows
Josh Green
Ryan Kesler
Jason King
Lukas Krajicek
Mika Noronen
Prestin Ryan
Jesse Schultz
Roberto Luongo - signed by Vancouver for $27M on 29-Jun-06, Four year deal.
D & H Sedin - resigned by Vancouver for 3.5M each on 30-Jun-06. Three year deal.

Group 3 - Unrestricted

Nolan Baumgartner - signed by Philly no financial details. Two year deal.
Sean Brown
Sven Butenschon
Keith Carney - signed by Minnesota 01-Jul-06. No terms available.
Anson Carter - said to be talking hard with the Leafs.
Craig Darby
Johan Davidson
Jason Doig
Wade Flaherty
Ed Jovanovski - signed by Phoenix 1-Jul-06
Justin Kurtz
Trevor Linden
Richard Park
Leif Rohlin
Jarkko Ruutu - signed by Pittsburgh 4-Jul-06 for $2.3M on a 2 year deal.
Vadim Sharifijanov
Lubomir Vaic
Eric Weinrich
Willie Mitchell - signed by Vancouver for $14M. Four year deal.

Group 6 Unrestricted

Lee Goren
Maxime Ouellet

Players without Contracts or Qualifying Offers.

Wade Brookbank
Rob McVicar
Brandon Nolan
Marc-Andre Roy
Nathan Smith

Phew seems like a lot of paper work!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Welcome Willie Mitchell

Sportsnet.ca -- To help replace Ed Jovanovski, the Vancouver Canucks have signed free agent defenceman Willie Mitchell to a four-year deal which will pay him $3.5 million per season.


Mitchell was a +19 last season. The knock on him is his foot speed. Suggestions are he'll never be a +19 on a team other than the Jacques Lemaire ruled Minny Wild.

Still Mitchell is a BC boy. Welcome home Willie.

Bye Bye Baumgartner.

Sheeze....

The Philadelphia Flyers announced that they have agreed to terms on a contract with 6’2”, 205-pound defenseman Nolan Baumgartner and 6’2”, 198-pound defenseman Lars Jonsson, according to club General Manager Bob Clarke. Baumgartner, a Group 3 free agent, signed a two-year contract, while Jonsson signed a one-year contract. Per club policy, financial terms were not disclosed.

We'll miss the Baummer.

Bye Bye Jovo Cop!

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) - Ed Jovanovski agreed to terms on a five-year deal worth $32.5 million with the Phoenix Coyotes, who pried the big defenseman away from the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday.

"He was the player we wanted," Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky said of Jovanovski. "This is huge for our franchise."

The Canucks didn't make an offer to keep him.

"Obviously we're dealing with a ceiling in this game and Vancouver had a lot of players ... that were obviously a priority to get done and I don't think there was any room to get me in there," Jovanovski said. "I had a great time playing in Vancouver and I appreciate the support the fans gave me there."

Friday, June 23, 2006

Bye bye Bert!

The secret is official on the Canucks web site now. Luongo is a Canuck. Allen, Auld and Bertuzzi were the high price. Well we did also get a first round Czec defenseman named Lukas Krajicek and a sixth round pick this year. And Keenan had a good chuckle too.

Vancouver, B.C. - Vancouver Canucks Senior Vice-President and General Manager Dave Nonis announced today that goaltender Robert Luongo, defenceman Lukas Krajicek and a sixth round pick in tomorrow’s Entry Draft have been acquired from the Florida Panthers in exchange for Bryan Allen, Alex Auld and Todd Bertuzzi.

"We are very excited to be making this announcement today," said Nonis. "We believe that in Roberto we are getting a player who has represented his country at the highest level, has been nominated for the Vezina Trophy and has proven that he is among the elite goaltenders in the world. Lukas is a young, skilled, puck-moving defenceman who has a very bright future in this League. I would like to thank Todd, Bryan and Alex for their contributions to our hockey club over the years and wish them and their families the best of luck in the future."

Friday, June 16, 2006

How Much Do Hockey Refs Get Paid?

I noticed in the Google searches that bring people to this site that there have been some queries on how much a NHL Referee gets paid. It does make you wonder how much Mick (Mr. Magoo) McGeough gets to tweet his whistle and waive his arms in obvious, yet never successful, attempt to take flight.

Now I don’t think the NHL would publish such personal information so here are three sources:

From www.AskMen.com

“Incidentally, while the National Hockey League's (NHL) athletes make less than their brethren in football, basketball and baseball, no other officials in any of the four major sports leagues make more than those in the NHL, where starters get a $115,000 salary. After a 15-year career, an NHL referee may be looking at an annual pay upwards of $220,000."
From USAToday.com

“The base salary range for NHL referees is $110,000 to $255,000 and $72,000 to $162,000 for linesmen. But no NHL official is getting paid during the lockout. Most are essentially unemployed, according to Walkom, although referee Don VanMassenhoven is selling cars and Bill McCreary is installing cabinets.”

From slam.canoe.ca

“The entry level salary is $90,000 a year, while the most senior officials can make up to $225,000. The referees are paid extra for each game they work over 70 games -- overtime, if you will -- and the 20 referees and 19 linesmen selected to work in the playoffs earn bonus money.”
If we throw out the high and the low the number is about $110K for starters and $225K for veterans. Average the numbers and the range is $105K to $233K. I’d assume these are all current US$.

I wondered how Mr. Magoo was selected to work the finals. For example where’s Kerry Fraser – for my money a very creditable yet much less influential part of the games he stewards. Much to my surprise there is an entire site dedicated to hockey referees. http://www.hockeyrefs.com/ They referenced the following story. The bottom line is the league picks the officials for the finals based not on experience but by their past performance in the playoffs. So Mr. Magoo is your ref for the finals because this is the ‘style’ the league wants. *roll your eyes now*

TORONTO, Ontario, Canada — The NHL has announced the four referees and four linesmen on the officiating team for the Stanley Cup Finals. Taking charge will be referees Bill McCreary, Brad Watson, Mick McGeough and Paul Devorski with linesmen Greg Devorski, Jay Sharrers, Jean Morin and Pierre Racicot assisting.

NHL director of officiating Stephen Walkom selected the officials based on their performance in the playoff’s earlier rounds, a HockeyRefs.com source said.

The Stanley Cup Finals starts with the Carolina Hurricanes hosting the Edmonton Oilers Monday in game one.

Notebook
McCreary, 50, is making his eleventh appearance ... Watson, 44, and Devorski, 47, are making their third appearances … McGeough, 48, is making his first … Greg Devorski, 36, is the brother of Paul Devorski … He is making his first appearance … Sharrers, 38, the league’s first black official, is back in the finals after several seasons trying to become a referee … Morin, 42, is working his second finals, while Racicot, 39, is in his first … All eight officials are Canadian, though some of them have resided in the United States since joining the NHL.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

And Mister Richard Pound Responds...

This one is from the AP.

WADA Calls NHL Doping Test Meaningless

© 2006 The Associated Press

MONTREAL — The NHL is trying to fool the public with a flawed anti-doping program, the chairman of the World Anti-Doping agency said Tuesday.

Dick Pound said league statements Monday that there were no positive tests among 1,406 administered during the season were meaningless given the loopholes in its anti-doping program.

"All we can do is keep drawing the attention of the public to its shortcomings and make sure the public understands that it's being fooled by the NHL when it says it has a serious testing program," Pound said.

He said the NHL does not test for stimulants and other banned substances and does not test at times when players are likely to be caught, such as during offseason training.

Pound did not back off a statement he made in November that up to a third of NHL players may be using performance-enhancing drugs "if you include the full range of drugs, most of which they don't test for.

"I think they should make clear what they test for and what they don't. And make it clear when they're testing out of competition and in competition. And make it clear they don't test before and after games. And they don't test in the offseason and that they only test for steroids."

NHL players, management personnel and representatives of the NHL Players Association expressed delight when it was made known that none of the tests taken since January were positive.

And many mentioned Pound, saying the results proved his estimate was wrong.

NHLPA executive director Ted Saskin said Pound "should be embarrassed by his baseless and uninformed allegations.

"I would hope that in the future he refrains from commenting on NHL players since his last remarks were so off-base."

Pound said the league's program lacked transparency and that it should make public its "whole testing protocol," including who is administering the tests, how they were taken and which players were tested at what times.

The league said each of the league's roughly 700 players was tested up to two times between Jan. 15 and the end of the regular season. The tests were administered by the independent lab Comprehensive Drug Testing of Long Beach, Calif.

The program is run jointly by the league and the players association. It is the first time the league has had anti-doping tests.

Players were not tested for the drugs on WADA's list of banned substances that are prohibited only during competition, such as stimulants. Some cold remedies that contain stimulants, such as ephedrine, are suspected to be widely used by hockey players.

Bill Daly, NHL deputy commissioner, said the test results showed that "doping is not a problem in our sport.

"We're pleased but not surprised by the results," he said.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Well Mister Richard Pound?

From the Canadian Press (CP) - Think Don's gonna have a comment on this?

NHLers come up clean

1,406 drug tests this season
By PIERRE LEBRUN

(CP) - There were no positive drug tests among the 1,406 administered under the NHL's new anti-doping program, The Canadian Press has learned.

Sources confirmed no violations were found after doping tests began in January under a program jointly run by the league and the NHL Players' Association. It's the first season the NHL has had an anti-doping program.

A first-time offender under the league's policy faces a 20-game suspension. The ban is increased to 60 games for a second offence while a third offence means a permanent suspension.

Dick Pound, head of the World Anti-Doping Agency, wasn't immediately available for comment Monday.

Pound said earlier this year that NHL's anti-doping program was "very seriously flawed."

He also made headlines last November during a speech in London, Ont., when he claimed one third of NHL players were likely taking performance enhancing substances. Players as well as league and union officials unanimously denied his claims.

Defenceman Bryan Berard of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Colorado Avalanche goalie Jose Theodore both failed out-of-competition tests administered by their respective national anti-doping organizations. But neither was suspended by the league because the failed tests didn't come under the NHL program.

Berard's urine test on Nov. 12 showed traces of the steroid 19-norandrosterone. He was banned from international competition for two years. He tested by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency because the blue-liner was on the U.S. Olympic hockey preliminary roster released last September.

Theodore, who was on Canada's preliminary 81-man Olympic eligibility list but not named to the final squad, failed a doping test Dec. 9. The urine sample showed Finasteride, a masking agent for steroids that is also commonly found in hair-restoration drugs. Theodore used the hair product propecia and that's what led to the failed doping test. He had been taking the drug for years didn't realize it contained a banned substance.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Another Round

Well we start the conference finals Friday. The Ducklings host the Oil in the west. Carolina take on Buffalo back east.

Some more invites to the Captains Club have been revoked. Joe Sakic, of course, but he’s a member already.

Patrick Marleau. Hold your head up high. You are a great leader on a great young team. I suspect you are going to have several more opportunities to be invited into the club in the coming years.

Interesting the NJ Devils do not have a player who wears the ‘C.’ Had they won likely the cup would have been passed from Bettman to either Elias or Madden. Other teams have won the cup with no ‘C.’ For example, the Bruins with Phil Esposito and Bobby Orr won in ’70 and 72 with no player wearing the ‘C.’

The other player to have his invite rescinded was Daniel Alfredsson. This one creates the most buzz. For whatever reason there is a bias towards Canadians in the Captains Club. In fact if you forget those Scottish and even one Russian born players from back in the 1800’s and early 1900’s every Stanley Cup champion has been Captained by a Canadian – with one exception Derian Hatcher an American – Dallas Stars in 1999. Even this distinction has a footnote. Many believe Mike Modano was the Captain of that team – he is also American. Others say Hatcher was injured in the final series and that the ‘C’ was worn by Joe Nieuwendyk – a Canadian when the cup was passed to the winners. For my money Hatcher receives full credit for being the only modern era, non Canadian, cup winning Captain.

Alfy, of any European born Captain, plays the game, in my opinion the most like a Canadian. He’s a former Calder Trophy winner. He’s had 56 points and 58 penalty minutes in 79 playoff games. Will Alfredsson get another chance to win? Most likely he will. Will it be as a Captain? I suspect not.

Ciao,



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Friday, May 12, 2006

Sorry Burnaby Joe

Well Mister Sakic… not this year. Not in ’06. Anyway you have two rings. You've been handed the challis and lifted it over your head. But being from a ‘burb of Vancouver you understand. It is bitter but you swallow and accept it. Your mind, your teammates, your fans tell you “maybe next year.” Yes isn’t it always “maybe next year.”

Ciao,


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Sunday, May 07, 2006

Cup Captains

Captain’s Club Members

Dave Andreychuk, Arthur Coulter, Aubrey "Dit" Clapper, Bill Cook, Bob Davidson, Bob Gainey. Bobby Clarke, Bruce Stuart, Cecil Blachford, Charles Joseph Sylvanus "Syl" Apps, Chuck Gardiner, Clarence "Happy" Day, Dan Bain, Denis Potvin, Derian Hatcher, Doug Young, Dunc Munro, Ed Litzenberger, Eddie Gerrard, Emile "Butch" Bouchard, George Armstrong. George Boucher, Guy Carbonneau, Harry Trihey, Harvey Pulford, Hector "Toe" Blake, Henri Richard, Howard McNamara, Jean BĂ©liveau, Joe Malone, Joe Sakic, John Gottselig, Lanny McDonald, Lionel Hitchman, Mario Lemieux, Mark Messier, Maurice "Rocket" Richard, Mike Grant, Modere "Mud" Bruneteau, Pud Glass, Ralph "Cooney" Weiland, Reginald "Hooley" Smith, Scott Stevens, Sid Abel, Sprague Cleghorn, Steve Yzerman, Sylvio Mantha, Ted Lindsay, Theodore Samuel "Teeder" Kennedy, Tommy Phillips, Wayne Gretzky, Yvan Cournoyer

From the modern era of the NHL I am missing 1925 (maybe Lester Patrick), 1922 Toronto St Patricks, 1918 Toronto Arenas and 1917 Seattle Metropolitans.

Missing from the ‘challenge years’ 1915, 1914, 1912, 1908, 1903, 1902, 1899, 1896, and 1894.

New candidates for induction this year: Jason Smith, Mike Modano, Jerome Ignila, Scott Neidermayer, Greg Johnson, Patrick Marleau, Daniel Alfredson, Rod Brind´Amour, Saku Koivu, Daniel Briere/Chris Drury, and Keith Primeau.

Passed the selection committee’s first round test: Jason Smith, Partrick Marleau, Scott Neidermayer, Daniel Briere/Chris Drury, Daniel Alfredson and Rod Brind´Amour.

Exiting member with hopes to exclude new membership in 2006: Joe Sakic.

Ciao,


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Sunday, April 16, 2006

Foster City Looking to Adopt

We are the City of Vancouver (and surrounding burbs). Our troubled child has finally gone and left us - again. With eight weeks of hockey left in the 2005/06 season we are hopelessly adrift without a team to cheer for. Applications are welcome to be our foster team. We do not want to seem ungrateful but we do have some minor conditions.

Management: Your GM has to have a name that fits into a sentence that contains the names Bob Gainey and Doug Wilson and doesn’t seem out of place. Preferably he’s not a New York lawyer and has never worked for the NHL Office. Your claim to the position has to be more substantive than you once lit Brian Bruke’s cigar. If you were once Brian Burke’s errand boy that’s nice – now run along.

Coach: Your coach has to be a former player that’s won more than one Stanley Cup. He can’t be a screamer. His name can not be Mike. He has to blend the right combination of tactics and strategy with instilling a fear of failure within his players.

Owner: Your owner has deep pockets and a passion for the game. Your owner knows to stay the hell away from anything to do with hockey operations unless it is to drop off cheques. If you have some documented connection to Captain Cook that would be nice too.

Captain: Your Captain is Canadian born. He’s from a place like Owen Sound or Sault St Marie or even better Burnaby. He’s lead the Canadian Juniors to a world championship preferably as their Captain. Joe Sakic I mean you. Iggy? Ok maybe you too.

Primary Line: You seem to score about six points a night. Not every night but most nights. You never start sentences “We had our chances, but” You never say “it is what it is” or “we don’t care.” You do say things like “I, personally, will do whatever it takes to make this situation better.” You play 3/4 of the game in the opposition's end of the rink in control of the puck. You tried a drop pass once and it was nice. You're thinking to try it again maybe next week.

Secondary Line: You seem to score about five points a night. Otherwise you’d be the primary line. You are never a risk on the ice. You’re a collective plus 30. Carter, Sedin, Sedin feel free to think we are talking about you.

Role Players: You do not have a needler in your midst’s. You do not hit from behind. You do not chirp. Individually, you score at least a point every three games. You fight when needed. One of you is a feared pugilist. One other is suspected to be able to beat the crap out of your tough guy if he was so inclined. If your names are Cooke, Park, Ruutu or Burrows please do not apply.

Defence: Your defence corps is consistent, fast and sure. You have more than one guy who can shoot the puck. You crumple opposing forwards on a regular basis. You have a blend of wily veterans and youth. If your name is Luc Bourdon please step up. If you are thinking about life in Florida or Sweden or Finland please do not. Vancouver is a nice city.

Goal: You have taken your team deep into the playoffs more than once. You have a habit of winning one game a month all on your own with a score like 1 – 0 or 2 – 1. You do not need fancy hair products. You do not easily break your bones. You have never had major reconstructive surgery. You’re happy to play 65 games and win 40 of them. Your backup is happy to play less than 20 games and will win 10 of them.

Applications are being accepted now. Calgary and Edmonton – stop laughing – and forget applying. We could never bring ourselves to cheer for you.

Ciao,



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Who Won?

I sit at the dinner table Friday night poking at a piece of steak and a naked baked potato. The conversation goes something like this:

The Little One: “Dad who won the game last night?”
Dad: “I don’t know. I didn’t watch it” he lied.
Wife: “The Sharks won. It was lots to two.”
Dad: “It was five to three and it doesn’t matter.” Stunned silence. Whoa did Dad just say hockey doesn’t matter?
Dad: “Hockey is over now. It doesn’t matter. Edmonton, Calgary, Montreal and Ottawa all get to go on and play for the Stanley Cup. In Vancouver we get to go home. Even the Ducks and the Sharks get to go on.”
Wife: “They are the Canucks what do you expect.”

Oh please let me pick and major artery out of my neck with this steak knife and hopefully I’m dead long before the Emergency Response Team even answers the 911 call.

The Little One: ”We can just cheer for another team Dad!”
The Big One: “Yea we can cheer for Calgary. Zoro is from Calgary.” (Zoro is the damn cat - and another story.)

Forget the steak knife I’ll use the fork.

Dad: “We are NOT cheering for Calgary. Or Edmonton.” After some thought “maybe we could cheer for Ottawa.”
The Little One: “Who will win the Stanley Cup Dad?”
Dad: “Well sweetie maybe Detroit. Detroit is very good. But from the east Ottawa and Carolina are good. Also the Rangers look to think they are special. But Detroit sweetie.”

The Big One: “Can’t Calgary win the Stanley Cup?”
Dad: “I don’t think Calgary can beat Detroit.” And thoughts turn to yes who will win the Stanley Cup Tournament this year? The steak tastes a little better now.

Ciao,


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Playoff Seeds

This report for the Western Conference discusses the results for games between April 9th and April 15th. The point predictions are for the days April 16th to April 18th.

Period of Analysis 09-Apr-06 to 18-Apr-06

SeedTeamCurrent PointsLast 10 PointsPredicted Points
1Detroit12219126
Detroit, again, picked up all the available points this week. They beat the Oilers, St Louis and Chicago.

Detroit has two games left. One with Dallas one with Nashville. Look for Detroit to end the season with an astonishing 126 points. The Wings are the West’s number one seed.

2Dallas11114113
This week the Stars dropped another game to the Sharks. This time on the road. They beat the CBJ’s and Minny. Dallas ends its season on the road with games in Detroit and Columbus.

Dallas has two games left. The Stars could go as high as 115. Dallas Stars are the West’s second seed and should end up with 113 points.

3Calgary10317102
Calgary picked up points in every game this week yet lost to LA (SO). They beat Anaheim and Colorado this week.

Calgary has a game left. It is on the road at the Duck Pond. The Flames could go as high as 105. Based on the play of the Ducks I’d suggest they’re stuck at 103. The Calgary Flames are the West’s third seed.

4Nashville10412102
The Preds won all their games with the bottom feeders. Blues-Minny-Dogs produced 6 points for Nashville.

The Preds have a game left with Detroit. The Preds could go as high as 106 points. Given it is Detroit, Nashville has toped out at 104 points. The Nashville Predators are the West’s fourth seed.

5San Jose9917101
The Sharks have got in the habit of winning and they like it. In the last seven days they picked up 10 points. Included in this were wins over Dallas, Phoenix, Vancouver (twice) and Anaheim. There is talk of Joe Thorton for MVP.

As the last game of the year is with LA look for the Sharks to end with 101 points. The Sharks are the West's fifth seed.

6Anaheim961098
The Ducklings seem to have come back to earth. A trip into the western death triangle can do that. They beat Vancouver but lost to both Calgary and Edmonton. Roast Duck was also on the Sharks’ menu on Saturday. Three unanswered first period goals cooked the fowl. At 96 points and sixth seed the Ducks have given a good show for themselves. Congratulate Burke as this has his finger prints all over it.

Anaheim’s last game is at home to the Flames. I think the Ducks will win to end up with 98 points. Anaheim will be the West’s sixth seed. If they don’t win check Colorado for the complications.

7Colorado951095
The Av’s have not had a road win since March 25th. It shows. This week the Av’s lost to Minny but beat Phoenix in the Pepsi Center. Then it was out onto the road and into the death triangle – not usually a problem for the divisional rival. Theodore started two games and lost them both. Calgary in regulation and Vancouver in OT were the victors.

Colorado’s last game is in Edmonton. If Colorado wins or gets to overtime and Anaheim loses then the Av’s can leapfrog the Ducks into sixth. I don’t think this is going to happen simply because the Ducks are going to beat the Flames. I suspect it is a bit much to be asking Theodore to step up and be a playoff goalie now. Then again I’m not a NHL GM. Give Edmonton the win.

8Edmonton931195
Edmonton picked up the only two points they needed this week with a 2 – 1 win over Anaheim. Coupled with the Canuck losses the Oil backed in to the post season with 93 points on Thursday night.

The Oilers have a game left. On Monday the host the Av’s Rexall Place. I’ll give that one to the Oil on the strength of home ice and better goaltending. The Oilers have 93 points and will get to 95. They will be the West’s eight seed.


Booking Tee Times.

9Vancouver891094
The Canucks’ season officially ended with a lost in San Jose and Edmonton’s win over Anaheim the same night. Truth be told the season was over with the loss to Anaheim on the Duck Pond back on April 2nd. The lost the next night in LA signed it. A second loss this time at home to Anaheim sealed it. The loss at home to San Jose stamped it. Joe and the boys delivered it express mail to the Shark Tank Thursday.

Vancouver’s defence, scoring and goaltending is just not good enough to be a NHL playoff team. Now the off season will see if Vancouver’s management is good enough to build a NHL playoff team.

11Los Angeles87687
LA’s imploded. Their done…. And no Sean Avery to boot.

Current Dance Partners.

When the playoffs start my predictions for match ups are as follows:

Detroit – Edmonton
Dallas – Colorado
Calgary – Anaheim
Nashville – San Jose

The only questionable spot is will Calgary get the Ducks or the Av’s in the first round.

Ciao,

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Sunday, April 09, 2006

Playoff Hunt #9

This report for the Western Conference discusses the results for games between April 2nd and April 8th. The point predictions are for the week April 9th to April 15th.

Period of Analysis 02-Apr-06 to 15-Apr-06

SeedTeamCurrent PointsLast 10 PointsPredicted Points
1Detroit11617109
Detroit picked up all the available points this week. They beat Minny, Calgary and the CBJ’s twice. This week the Wings host the Oilers before going out the road to meet St Louis and Chicago. The President’s Trophy looks to be a lock for the Wings as they are eight up on their closest rivals and nine up on the rest of the west. For the sake of the Canucks let’s hope there is no collective let up in the Wings. A win against Edmonton, their only serious opponent this week, would suite the Canucks fine. Looks like another six point week for the Wings.

Detroit has five games left. Three road and two home. The Wings could go as high as 126. Based on their results in the last twenty they will reach 125 points.

2Dallas10714113
This week the Stars dropped a home game to the Sharks. They beat the Ducks and the Dogs. Dallas continues its road trip to San Jose Sunday night. Three road games in four nights. They face a desperate Sharks team. I figure the only plus the Canucks can draw from this that the Stars may want to avenge the home loss to the Sharks last week. Modano is day-to-day with a wonky knee. I figure Dallas for six points this week.

Dallas has five games left. Three road and two home. The Stars could go as high as 117. Based on their results in the last twenty they will reach 114 points.

3Calgary9814102
Calgary picked up points in every game this week but still lost to Detroit (SO) and Vancouver (OTL). Calgary has games with Anaheim (home), Colorado (home) and LA (road) this week. Kiprusoff is still playing unbelievable. I saw the game with Vancouver. Had the Kipper not kept his team in it the game could have been five or six zip in the second period. Kiprusoff is a MVP candidate. Anaheim is a hot team. Give Cowtown four points this week.

Calgary has four games left. Two on the road and two at home. The Flames could go as high as 106. Based on their results in the last twenty they will reach 104 points.

4Nashville988102
Early in the week Nashville continued their tail spin. Again, they finally won thanks to the St Louis Blues. Other than the Canucks who doesn’t love those Blues. This week brings three more dances with the bottom feeders. Blues-Minny-Dogs should produce as many as 6 points but more likely 4. Give them the loss in Phoenix.

The Preds have four games left. The Preds could go as high as 106 points. Their results would predict low at 101. The end result will be closer to the 103 given their easy opponents.

5Anaheim941498
The Canard take it out on the road and into the death triangle this week. The order is Vancouver, Calgary then Edmonton. They end the week in San Jose’s Shark Tank. Huge games all round here. However, Anaheim needs only about one or two points to land them in the post season. As well, wins in Vancouver, Edmonton or San Jose could end those respective teams’ seasons. First up is Vancouver who recently beat Calgary by the will and determination of Ed Jovanovski. Although these same Canucks were on a three game losing skid including being embarrassed by the Ducks on the Pond last Sunday afternoon. Vancouver is a desperate team with home ice advantage. After the game the Ducks will hop the commuter flight over the Rocks to Calgary. Here I see a bit more success. Calgary has their position for the post season secured. I’d expect to see Kipper get a night off somewhere and why not against Anaheim who they face twice in the next two weeks. Then it is up Highway 2 with a day off to visit the city with that big shopping mall. Edmonton is also a desperate and needs to win two of four to get to the 95 points plateau. The week ends in San Jose. By then the Sharks will have played four games including a home and home set with Vancouver. The Sharks need to win three of six to reach 95. If the Sharks have one or more wins between now and the Anaheim game – look out. Otherwise, it will be a meaningless game and the Ducks will prevail. Give the Ducks four points this week via wins in Calgary and San Jose.

Anaheim has five games left. Every game is against a team fighting for playoff position including games with Edmonton, San Jose and Vancouver. They also play Calgary twice. Anaheim could go as high as 104. Based on their results in the last twenty they will reach 101 points. Given the strength of the opponents 99 points might be very optimistic.

6Colorado921298
Joe Sakic and the boys had two bottom feeder wins and a lose to San Jose. At 92 points the Av’s need to win two of the five remaining to reach 96 points. They should get these points early with easy games at home against Minny and Phoenix. The other two games this week are on the road with Calgary then Vancouver. I guess a split of these two. Give Colorado six points this week.

Colorado has five games left. All at home before going out to the death triangle – Calgary-Vancouver-Edmonton as their last three. Colorado could go as high as 102. Based on their results in the last twenty they will reach 98 points. Given four points in the next two games, picking up two more on the road trip to end the season at 98 and in the playoffs sounds about right. If they lose either of the first two, you might wonder about the Av’s picking up four points in three games on the road out west.

7Edmonton911295
Edmonton picked up five of what should have been six easy points. There was a huge controversy in Minny as the video review didn’t pick up a Edmonton goal that was scored and Edmonton went on to lose in OT. This week the Oil continues their road trip and face St Louis then Detroit. They then return home to face the Duckies. St Louis should be a win and Detroit a loss. The Anaheim game will require a win if the Oil is going to make the play offs. Give Edmonton four points this week.

The Oilers have four games left. Two at home after completing the remaining two on the current road trip. The final game of this week against Anaheim. This game could be more meaningful to Edmonton. Edmonton could go as high as 99 points. Based on results of the last twenty the total looks like 96. Winning against Anaheim and Colorado is going to be important to the Oil.

8San Jose891397
The Sharks did what they have to do. Win. They hold their own destiny more than any other bubble team. The Sharks play Dallas (home) and Phoenix (road) before the two games in two nights with Vancouver. They end the hosting Anaheim. At 89 points the Sharks need six points to reach 95. They have many options and can get to 95 without a win against Vancouver. Most likely though the best bet is a home win against the Modano-less Stars, win in Phoenix, and split with Vancouver.

With six games left the Sharks could go as high as 101 points. They have two road games and four home games. Based on their last twenty their projection is 97.

Outside looking in.

9Vancouver891094
The Canucks could make the playoffs. I think they need help. The bubble teams they could reach are Colorado, Edmonton and San Jose. San Jose is the realistic target. Last week's lost to Anaheim and Los Angeles down in La La Land hurt far more than they realized. Saturday night they took a two – zip lead in to the third period and promptly threw that away. When desperation turned to panic, Ed Jovanovski put himself in the right place at 2:27 of the extra frame to score the winner. Jovo played 17:26 in his first game in two and a half months. Eddy seemed to provide the spark and leadership that the Nuck’s have lacked for sometime. We’ll even forgive him that he was the one in the sin bin when the Flames got their first goal half way through the third period. Vancouver’s regular season ends this week. Does Vancouver’s season end this week? Likely it does. The games remaining are Anaheim, San Jose back to back and Colorado. The Nuck’s have 89 points and need six to reach the 95 level. Their games are at home with the exception of the two hours and a bit flight down to San Jose.

With four games left, the Canucks could go as high as 97 points. Based on their last twenty results the predicted total is one short at 94. If Vancouver wins them all they still need San Jose to drop a couple along the way.

10Los Angeles85687
LA’s imploded. They can at best hope for 91 points. Their done….

Current Dance Partners.

If the playoff were to start only a few days early on April 16th my predictions for match ups are as follows:

Detroit – Edmonton
Dallas – San Jose
Calgary – Colorado
Nashville – Anaheim

Ciao,

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Friday, April 07, 2006

The Role of Blogs

Jeff and Alanah at Canucks Op Ed were rejected by the Canucks on a request to interview a member of the Canucks team. There is an interesting discussion of this – here. Including my comments on the issue which are reprinted below:

A couple thoughts.

J & A: I take small issue with the line “Increasingly, it is blogs who are filtering the mainstream media, and that is incredibly important.”

I read Canucks Op Ed and a handful of the other usual suspects’ material religiously. I write my own material. In my opinion you (we) express opinion that leads the ‘accredited’ media. For example, on January 30th you wrote “Just say goodbye to Eddie, Canucks fans. Wish him well, then put him out of your head. Pretend he never existed.” Your insight to the fact that we had perhaps seen the last of Jovo in a Canucks’ uniform. Yet on April 5th Gordon McIntyre writes in the Province that “one or two games could be all GM Place fans may see of Jovanovski in a Canucks uniform.” This is one of many examples where Bloggers actually lead the mainstream media coverage. We see and say things far faster than the accredited media can ever hope.

JJ: When searching through the game recaps over on Canuck’s dot com I found an error in one of the scoring summaries. The area that Kevin Klinghorn calls Ice Pack. I mailed Kevin and alerted him to the problem. Within a few hours Kevin had responded politely and fixed the error. Seems like a good guy to me.

Temujin: Nothing personal dude. Just my observation. I used to read that stuff on the message boards at canucks dot com. After a few months of the colour of the Cayenne Cloutier was driving and endless announced trades for Luongo one has to ask isn’t there a better way to waste my time? So I started my own blog – at least, I feel my content is relevant. At least, I feel Canucks Op Ed, Tom Benjamin, JJ, Mike Browne, Todd contribute to my understanding of the games and the team. Suggesting assistance from the 1000+ message board posters, in my opinion, only furthers the lack of credibility of quality blogs like Canucks Op Ed.


Tom Benjamin has more related to this topic here

Ciao,


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Sunday, April 02, 2006

Playoff Hunt #8

This report for the Western Conference discusses the results for games between March 26th and April 1st. The point predictions are for the week April 2nd to April 8th.

Period of Analysis 26-Mar-06 to 8-Apr-06

SeedTeamCurrent PointsLast 10 PointsPredicted Points
1Detroit10817109
Stop the presses! Detroit failed to pick up all the available points. The Wings dropped a game to Chicago of all teams. The loss was in over time so only one point was forsaken. Since the Olympic break the Wings have lost two outright, lost two via the Shoot Out and has now lost one in OT. This week the Wings play Minny and Calgary on the road. They return home to meet the CBJ’s in a home and away twin bill next Friday and Saturday. With a six point cushion on Dallas, the questions this week is when does Mike Babcock take his foot of the gas in preparation for the second season. Calgary, who played strong in their last two, represents the only significant opponent this week. Columbus has fancied themselves in the spoiler role. Nash and the lads are on a five win streak. Prior to this was a five game losing streak so I’m not to worried about the CBJ’s against Detroit. Give the Wings six points and make note of the predicted loss being in Calgary.

Detroit has seven games left. Five road and two home. Two are against teams in the playoff hunt. Calgary (road) this week and Edmonton (home) next week. The Wings could go as high as 122. Based on their results in the last twenty they will reach 120 points.

2Dallas10215101
This week was pretty much as expected. LA did pull off an upset on Saturday. This week the games are all within their own division with San Jose visiting followed by a trip out to the Duck Pond and Phoenix. I figure Dallas for six points this week. Sorry Lexie.

Dallas has six games left. Three road and three home. One or three are against teams in the playoff hunt. Depends on how you view the Sharks. The game mid week with Anaheim is the toughest match up. The two with the Sharks, at home this week, and out in the Shark Tank next week, could be key to the Sharks’ success. The Stars could go as high as 114. Based on their results in the last twenty they will reach 111 points.

3Calgary921198
Calgary ended the week on a high. They lost early to Dallas. Then beat LA. They went down 2-1 to Colorado then poured five in to win 6-3 in a battle for first in the division. The week closed with a Battle of Alberta notched up with a convincing win over Edmonton in Edmonton. Calgary has a busy week with four games in seven nights. Detroit, Phoenix and Minny come to the Saddledome. The week ends with a hop out to Vancouver for a loss to the Canucks. Give Cowtown six points this week.

Calgary has seven games left. Two on the road and the rest at home. Five are against teams in the playoff hunt albeit one is Detroit. The Flames face both Vancouver and Detroit this week. The Flames could go as high as 106. Based on their results in the last twenty they will reach 100 points.

4Nashville9412100
Nashville has been in a little tail spin. They finally won again thanks to the St Louis Blues. This week brings four dances with the bottom feeders. CBJ’s, Hawks-Blues-Hawks should produce as many as 8 points but more likely 6. Give Columbus the win.

The Preds have seven games left. With all the games against bottom feeders, they are a lock for the 4th seed. The Preds could go as high as 108 points. Their results would predict low at 102. The end result will be closer to the 108 given the opponents.

5Anaheim881492
Burkies Duckies cooled a little this week. They picked up one home ice win against the Stars. The Ducks face a big challenge this week. Vancouver visits Sunday afternoon. They then play LA, Dallas and LA. Next week it just gets better with a stroll through the Northwest death triangle and a season ending visit to the Shark Tank. We are about to see how real these Ducks are. I predict it to unfold this way: Loss to Vancouver, two wins over LA and a loss to Dallas. Give the Ducks four points this week.

Anaheim has eight games left. Three at home before going out for the last five on the road. Every games is against a team fighting for playoff position. The Ducks should end LA’s hope this week. Anaheim could go as high as 104. Based on their results in the last twenty they will reach 99 points. Given the strength of the opponents 99 points would be very optimistic.

6Colorado881294
Joe Sakic has 17 points in his last 9 games. Unfortunely Joe can’t carry a whole team. The Av’s lost to Edmonton and Calgary. They beat the Ducks. The schedule is fairly easy one for the Av’s this week. Only three games home games with Hawks, Sharks and Blues visiting the Pepsi Center. Give the Av’s an easy six points this week.

Anaheim has seven games left. All at home before going out to Calgary and Vancouver for the last two. The Sharks are the other team in the hunt that the Av’s will face. Colorado could go as high as 102. Based on their results in the last twenty they will reach 96 points. Given the strength of the opponents the total will be closer to 102 than 96. Maybe about 99 points.

7Vancouver871193
The Canucks are on track to make the playoffs. They need wins in Anaheim Sunday afternoon and in LA Monday night. Then they sit and wait for the week to unfold and the Flames to arrive next Saturday for the late edition of HNIC. The Av’s and Ducks are at 88 points. A win Sunday will leap frog the Nucks up to 5th seed. The idle period that follows will see them drop back to 7th or 8th seed.

Vancouver has seven games left. Three road games and four at home. All the games are with teams fighting for playoff position. The Canucks could go as high as 101 points. Based on their last twenty results the predicted total is that magic number 95.

8Edmonton861292
An easy six points for Edmonton this week. They host Phoenix Monday then go out on a four game road trip to the mid west. Thursday/Friday will see them in Minny and Chicago. No worries there I think. Give Edmonton six points this week.

The Oilers have six games left. Two at home and a four game road trip. Two games are against play off teams – one being Detroit. The final game of the year is against Anaheim. This game could be meaningful for both teams. Edmonton could go as high as 100 points. Based on results of the last twenty the total looks like 93. I’m not sure 93 is enough to make the second season. Edmonton is going to have to win everything except the one game in Detroit.

Outside looking in.

9San Jose831288

The Sharks didn’t do as well as they should have in this last week. Two loses to the CBJ’s and the Coyotes followed up with a OTL to the same Coyotes hurt them. This week gets no easier. The Sharks go out on the road to Dallas, Colorado and LA. They may pick up one or two points in LA. Maybe by next week the Sharks are out of it.

With eight games left the Sharks could go as high as 99 points. They have five road games and three home games. If the magic number is 95 points the Sharks can only drop two games from now to the end of the season. Seven of eight opponents are in the hunt and the other is Phoenix who just beat them twice. The Sharks are not going to make it.

10Los Angeles831285
LA experienced what many team have this year. A trip to Western Canada that saw them play three games in four nights. The order was Vancouver, Calgary then Edmonton. Three losses. Say good night Jeremy. Good night Jeremy. The game is going to miss you. The win picked is against the Sharks on Thusday.

Current Dance Partners.

If the playoff were to start only one week early on April 9th my predictions for match ups are as follows:

Detroit – Anaheim or Edmonton
Dallas – Edmonton or Anaheim
Calgary – Vancouver
Nashville – Colorado

Ciao,

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Saturday, April 01, 2006

Wild 2 at Canucks 1

I watched the game on SportsNet with my eight year old daughter. For whatever reason for the first time she took interest in the game and had questions. Watching a game with a young non hockey fan leads to some interesting scenarios.

First up was the puck taking a crazy bounce off one of the Referees directly at the Canucks net where a startled Auld had to steer it to safety. Jim and John got into an exchange. John says that if the puck goes directly in off an official a goal is not awarded. That’s a new one. I’m not sure I believe John but he is indeed an ex-NHL goalie so I figure he’d be up on subtle rules like this. An eight year old daughter’s take was “how do you tell which one is the Ref?”

“Ah no worries. There are two of them. They wear the striped shirt with the red arm bands.”

“Why red arm bands?”

“So you can tell them from the linesmen who do not have arm bands.”

After some time of picking out Ref’s and Linesmen her thoughts turned to “what is their job?”

“Ah great question. The Refs get to call penalties. The Linesmen can too but they never do. The Ref blows the whistle when the puck goes out of the rink and he controls the game. He decides when a goal is scored and who scored it. The Linesman looks after offside, icing and they get to stop the players when they fight.” Good enough answer to create another session of officials watching. BTW we’re calling them Zebra’s by now.

“Dad one of those Zebras was waving his arms like this.” She makes the ok sign for an onside play at the blue line. Wow ok.

“It is the Linesmen’s job to make sure the puck doesn’t go over that blue line before any of our players do. The puck must precede the players into the offensive zone. The Linesman will signal like that to tell the players and fans that the puck went across the blue line legally.” We also cover the raised arm for offside.

“Oh so the puck is like royalty. It must be first in line and the players have to follow behind?”

“Yes sweetie but only when it crosses those blue lines.” And good enough for another session of game watching.

“Dad? I think that was offside but the Zebra did not blow the whistle.”

“Ah yes it was dear but there is a slight change in the rule called ‘tag up offside.’ It means that our players can go inside the blue line before the puck but as long as they do not touch the puck or the other team’s players the linesman can decide to wait and give the player a chance to go back outside the line and then come back in after the puck. We call that ‘touching up’ or ‘tagging up.’ Understand?”

“Why do they have off side anyway?”

“Ah errr ummm because it has always been that way? Actually, the offside gives an advantage to the defence. It creates the offence and defence zones. The blue line helps a team defend against getting goals scored. You see, if the defenders can get the puck just over that blue line then all our players have to all go out of the area and have to start again. The blue lines are very important to our game.”

Oh look the first period is over. Nothings happened – still 0 – 0. We’ved covered officials and the finer points of offside. So far so good.

Second period drags on an we are reduced to singing “Boring, Boring” like they would at a English soccer game. Then Chouinard dribbles one through Auld. Oh heck now we’re done. The way this is going I’m seeing 1 - Zip Wild as a real ending.

BUT NO! The Brothers come through! Sedin to Sedin to my other brother Carter(31) and we’re back on even terms.

The second period featured a lot of discussion about scoring goals. For example: “How much do the players get paid if they score a goal? Is it like $10?”

“Well no sweetie. It is much more than that but they do not get paid per goal. If you score lots of goals the team will want to pay you more. If you can not score goals the team will not want to pay you much.” Thinking of rich D-Men, I add “of course stopping goals is important too. If you stop lots of goals the team will want to pay you much too.”

“So the goalie gets paid a lot?”

“Exactly.”

We go a little deeper. “Some players do have rules where they get bonus money if they score lots of goals. But these bonuses are more like you get one bonus if you score 30 goals and another for 40 goals and even more for 50 goals.”

“How much bonus do you get for 50 goals?”

“Oh it depends on the team and the player. In some cases it could be millions of dollars.”

“Wow! Did any of our players get millions of dollars for scoring 50 goals?"

“No sweetie not for a very long time. We had two players Naslund and Bertuzzi who a couple years ago came close to getting bonuses for their goals scored. But they ended up with only 49 and 46 goals.”

“Why what happened?”

“That is a good question. We do not really know. Some people though there could be some selfish play as one tried to make sure he got to 50. Other thought that they stopped scoring as they tried to help the other get to 50. Still others think that the team was more focused on being in first place and that distracted them from their scoring.”

“So were we in first place?”

“Well, again, no sweetie. We came close but no 50 goals, no first place and we lost early in the playoffs too. Then we say well maybe next year.”

“Was next year good?”

“Nope. Not as good. Then we had a year off. And now this year we are not as good again. Each year the team is getting a little less ‘good.’”

Oh look second period is over. Two goals and incentive bonuses covered. Ah love these Wild Minny games. All over the hockey world look at the opportunities Jacques Lemaire is creating for parents to bond with their children.

Third period – half way through and shots are 2-2. “Dad I’m going to bed.”

“Good idea sweetie. This isn’t very exciting is it?”

A total of seven shots in the third. OT settles nothing. The SO is ends with Koivu being one in six to score. Even that was boring.

While the Nucks lost their Shoot Out the Ducks were winning one. Ducks and Stars featured 8 goals and a 2 – 0 shootout win. Dallas’ first lost of the season via the SO.

Since ‘the team meeting’ we have three of six points against Edmonton. Three of four against the Wild. This was the minimum required but OK still on track to get to 95 points.

Next up those same Mighty Ducks of Anaheim on the pond Sunday afternoon.

Ciao,


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Thursday, March 30, 2006

Nice Globe n Mail Piece

Grant Kerr of the Globe and Mail did a nice piece on Trevor Linden in the paper today. You can find an online version here

Thanks for the heads up to JJ over at Canucks Hockey

Ciao,


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Sunday, March 26, 2006

Playoff Hunt #7

This report for the Western Conference discusses the results for games between March 19 and 25th. The point predictions are for the week March 26 to April 1st.

Period of Analysis 19-Mar-06 to 1-Apr-06

SeedTeamCurrent PointsLast 10 PointsPredicted Points
1Detroit10316109
Detroit picked up points in all their games this week. The Wings lost two shoot outs: one to Nashville and one to Columbus. This week the Wings travel to St Louis and Nashville. They return home Friday for a match up with the Blackhawks. The Wings continue to roll. Expect another six points this week.

2Dallas9716101
My percidtions for Dallas last week were bang on. Then again it isn’t hard when the Ducks are red hot and the other two opponents were Minny and Chicago. Dallas will host Calgary tonight. Mid week will see a home and home pair with Anaheim. The Stars end the week in LA facing the Kings. Calgary has been alternating Wins and Loses. They are schedule for a win. I figure the games with Anaheim to be split – home ice wins. I’d suspect the floundering Kings will not right themselves under new coaching in just one week. Give the Stars two wins and four points.

3Calgary869100
As mentioned above Calgary has gone into a pattern of Win-Loss-Win-Loss. The Flames lost in Minny and Columbus. Both games they should have won. This week brings four games. First is wind up of their long road trip with a win in Dallas. LA visits Calgary mid week followed by Colorado on Friday. LA is a win and Colorado is a loss. Next Saturday night will feature another battle of Alberta for the late game on HNIC. The Oil needs the win more and is on home ice. This week the Flames will pick up four points.

4Nashville921696
Nashville had an up and down week. They lost in Anaheim and LA but they won in Detroit. They blew a few leads in LA so look for the Preds to come out hard in Scottsdale on Tuesday. The remainder of the week features visits from Detroit and St Louis. Detroit will win. St Louis will not. Give the Predators four points this week.

5Anaheim861890
No your eyes are not playing tricks on you. Yes your red hot Anaheim Mighty Ducks are the west’s fifth seed at this point. The Canard have taken flight with six wins in a row and nine of their last ten. March, to date, they’ve had points in eleven of thirteen games. Their PP has gone nine of fifteen in their last three games. Their PK has given up two goals in the same stretch. This week the Ducks move from Phoenix to Colorado but like have spent time at home between. Later in the week a home and home pair with Dallas is on tap. Colorado has some injuries, so I’ll predict a Anaheim win on the road. With Dallas let’s assume a split. Give Anaheim four points this week.

6Colorado851189
Colorado lost Svatos and Tanguay. Svatos is done for the year. Tanguay is out for two to three weeks with a strained wheel. Budaj has played all games since Aebischer’s exile. He has posted a very average 4-3 record in seven starts. This week will see both Edmonton and Colorado travel to the mile high city for a Sunday game. Both are coming off wins. Maybe the only difference is the Oil travel east while the Av’s travelled west. Those of you who travel a lot know ‘west is best.’ For those who don’t it is a gain or loss of time zone thing. So Avs win tonight. Mid week is a Ducks visit. I’ll given that one to the Ducks. Friday is a visit to Calgary. I’ll given that one to the Av’s. Total four points for the Av’s this week.

7Vancouver82786
The Canucks didn’t start the week with a lost to Detroit. They started the week by being embarrassed big time by a vastly superior Detroit team. The only thing good to say about the night was that Igor Larionov was in the building signing copies of his DVD. Likely old Igor mentioned he used to play for the Wings without mention of the team he broke into the league with. The expected hand wringing and player’s meetings followed. And surprise it worked; almost. You’d think with three games against your closest rival that this little back to back to back affair with Edmonton would have meant something. Well thanks to these idiotic three point games Vancouver started the week on point behind Edmonton and ended the week tied with them. Edmonton played poorly in the first game. Vancouver played poorly in the third game. The middle game was the most excitement with a come from behind tie and SO win. I will admit that the Shoot Out was exciting – we were all glued to our Pay Per View or CKNW for about ½ an hour while they got that over with. I could rant about three point games until I’m blue in the face. However, on to the week ahead. So did the team meetings really work? We find out on Monday when the Kings come to town. Maybe a PP that is 1 of 17 in it’s last three games isn’t a worry. Maybe all the odd man rushes Edmonton had on Saturday, including a shorthanded goal, are not a concern. Maybe the team is all pulling on the right end of the same rope. After LA we in Vancouver get the treat of two home games with those damn Minnesota Wild. Who knows how it will go? The maximum anguish would be a loss to LA and a split with Minny. On the other hand if they win over LA, I can see them winning both over the Wild. Optimistic six points. Pessimistic two points. Let’s say realistic four points. Sorry Nucks 86 points will be good enough for ninth spot come April 1.

8Edmonton821088
For analysis of how Edmonton’s game went just see Vancouver. They picked up three of six points. Vancouver picked up four of six. Edmonton started the week one up on Vancouver. They end the week tied in points but Vancouver ahead in the seeds with three additional wins. Edmonton travels from Vancouver to Colorado for a game tonight. I’ve given that one to the Av’s. The Oilers return home to face the Wild, Kings and Flames. I’ll give all those games to Edmonton. Six points this week will hold Edmonton back in eighth seed.

Outside looking in.

9Los Angeles811081
LA had a win over Nashville under new coach John Torchetti. However Pavol Dimitra is out for nasal surgery and JR broke his ankle in the Nashville game. I do not see the Kings going anywhere but down. Sorry LA no points in the death triangle – order Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton or when you return home to face the Stars.

10San Jose801688

With LA in trouble and with four games against bottom feeders this week it is time to start to watch the Sharks. In their last ten the Sharks have picked up points in nine including seven wins. The Sharks have Chicago and the CBJ’s on the road. They return home to face the Desert Dogs twice. There is no reason to expect that the Sharks wouldn’t win all of these. Eight points will put the Sharks into the post season dance. If tied at 88 points with Edmonton the Sharks get the advange from having one more win.

Current Dance Partners.

If the playoff were to start on April 2nd my predictions for match ups are as follows:

Detroit – Edmonton
Dallas – San Jose
Calgary – Colorado
Nashville – Anaheim

Bert - Nassy - Trevor six points this week or:

Capilano Golf & Country Club
420 Southborough Dr., West Vancouver, BC V7S 1M2 Canada
Call for Tee Times: 604-922-9331

Ciao,

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Thursday, March 23, 2006

Counting by Two’s

I was looking over the Vancouver Canucks schedule for a number of reasons, including the playoff status, pay per view games and some thoughts as to Trevor Linden. I’ll give my commentary on Trevor in early April – likely in the break between the LA and Calgary games. As for the rest of the season, today, it lines up as six sets of two games.

- Continue to face the Oilers – tonight & Saturday.
- LA Kings are played twice – 27-Mar & 3-Apr
- Minnesota Wild come to town for two games – 29 & 31-Mar.
- Face the Ducks twice – 2 & 10-Apr.
- Back to back games are played with San Jose – 12 & 13-Apr

This leaves two April, Saturday games on Hockey Night in Canada. These are with the Flames on 8-Apr and Avalanche 15-Apr.

The Canucks currently have 80 points. More than 95 are going to be required to get into the main dance. Fifteen points in 12 games or a winning percentage of 0.625. Fifteen points against 7 opponents. Not only do the Canucks have to win one of each pair they have to have a win plus a point from the other game in at least three of the pairs. The Kings and Wild don’t worry me. The Sharks and Ducks do. It is going down to the area where the Canucks have had the least success all year – Edmonton, Colorado and Calgary – the strong Northwest Division. Play my game of counting by twos as well as win the remaining games against the Northwest and everything should be fine.

Ciao,



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Sunday, March 19, 2006

Sergey Who?

This Blogging can be an interesting thing. I have some code within the pages that tells me on a free service from a guy in Ireland what pages are being read from where for how long and other stuff like that.

Once Tom Benjamin linked me on his Canucks Corner my traffic took off. Well by take off I mean it jumped from a couple of views a day to tens of views a day. Thanks again Tom! By and far the most popular page has been the video of Ruutu’s hit on Jagr in the Turin Olympics – it is here

One interesting thing. I can see the Google search strings people are using to reach my pages. I noticed recently that for some reason I am getting hits on Sergey Mylnikov. To this my initial reaction was “huh – who is Sergey Mylinkov?” It turns out Sergey was a Russian goaltender during the 1987 Canada Cup Series. I wrote about that series as part of the coverage of Mario Lemieux’s retirement – here I had unintentionally included Sergey’s name in the piece.

By further investigation I found this interesting site - click here. It contains a list of many of the Soviet and Russian players with some connection to the NHL. For example, did you know the first Russians to win the Stanley Cup were Sergey Nemchinov, Surgey Zubov, Alexander Karpovtsev and Alexey Kovalev who were all part of the 1994 New York Rangers. The Rangers beat Pavel Bure and Evgeny Namestnikov of the Vancouver Canucks in seven games. Evgeny only played one playoff game that spring and I do not know if it was in the Ranger’s series. Regardless his name would have been added to the cup had the Nuck's won.

Sergey Fedorov and Igor Larionov have the most cup wins by Russians. Both have won three times as team mates on the 1997, 1998 and 2002 Detroit Red Wings. Given Larionov and Bure’s history with the Canucks wouldn’t that have made an interesting trivial question. Who won a Stanley Cup first? Larionov or Bure?

So did Sergey Mylnikov ever make it to the NHL? Yes he did. He was drafted 127th overall by the Quebec Nordiques in 1989. As a rookie he played ten games (568 minutes) winning 1, losing 7 with 2 ending in ties. He gave up 47 goals one an empty netter. His GGA was 4.96 and Pct was 0.858. Sergey played for Russia in the World Cup that spring. He played four more seasons, two in Russia and two in Sweden. He appears to have retired after the 1994/95 season.

Ciao,


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Playoff Hunt #6

This report for the Western Conference discusses the results for games between March 12 and 18th. The point predictions are for the week March 19 to March 25.

Period of Analysis 12-Mar-06 to 25-Mar-06

SeedTeamCurrent PointsLast 10 PointsPredicted Points
1Detroit9716103
Detroit won all it’s three games this week. Edmonton was the closest match with a shootout win. This week sees the Wings end their current road trip with a game in Vancouver. They return home to face Nasville, San Jose and Columbus. The Canucks are desperate. Detroit played last night in Edmonton. Maybe Schneider is still feeling charitable. Maybe Vancouver can win. Otherwise another six points for Chelios and crew.

2Dallas931497
Dallas won everything they could. Vancouver, LA and the Sharks were their victims. This week the Ducks, Minny and Chicago all visit Dallas. Let’s figure the Ducks for a high level of desperation. Give Dallas four points this week.

3Calgary821190
As expected Calgary and Colorado split a home and home set both with home ice wins. The battle of Alberta saw Edmonton win in overtime. The week ended with a thumping by Nashville. The Flames continue on a seven game road trip. They play four games in six nights this week. Four games they should win. Minny twice, St Louis and the CBJ’s all host Iggy and mates. Give the Flames eight points this week.

4Nashville881692
Nashville is rolling. They won all games convincingly this week. Vancouver (0 – 5), Phoenix (0 – 2) and Calgary (4 – 9) all fell to the Preds. This week has a game with St Louis then out onto the road for engagements in Detroit, Anaheim and LA. I’ve picked Detroit to win. I also think Anaheim is making moves. Give Kariya’s gang four points for wins against the Blues and Kings.

5Colorado801288
Colorado is rested and a good thing as they play four games on the road this week. They start fast with three California games in four nights. The order is San Jose, Anaheim then LA. I figure the Av’s to win these games. Then it is off to the Midwest for a date with the Blues. Likey another win. Give the Burnaby Joe and his mob eight points this week. If there is a surprise it will be in Anaheim.

6Los Angeles791279
My predictions for LA two weeks ago were goofy. This week I’m less than perfect again but on closer analysis it was just one unexpected loss to the Desert Dogs. The Sharks ad Stars won. St Louis lost – they again who besides the Canucks does St Louis beat. This week is quiet for the Kings but the opponents are big: Colorado; and Nashville. I suggest maybe no points for the LA Kings this week.

7Edmonton791183
The Oilers played as expected and got a bonus in a SO loss to Detroit. They split games in Minny and won a battle of Alberta with home ice advantage. This week can be described in one word: Vancouver! Three in a row. One in Rexall Place followed by two in the Garage. Smyth, Smith and buds have not lost to Vancouver this season. Vancouver is better in goal. Vancouver has a better defence. Edmonton has more scoring prowess. Edmonton starts the week one point ahead of the Canucks. Why not end the week one point ahead of the Canucks. I’ve picked Vancouver to beat Detroit at home Sunday. Therefore for my prediction to come true Edmonton needs to win at home and in one of the road games. Give Edmonton four points this week. If they get six points and Vancouver only as few as two it will be time to consider booking a tee time.

8Vancouver78982
Canucks lost to Dallas and lost bad to Nashville. They came out of Ohio with two points. The played marginally well enough that when the hockey gods smiled on the Team they were are to benefit. That benefit being when BMo banked one off Malhotra and into the CBJ’s net for a 3-2 win. Sunday 19-Mar-06 is a beautiful sunny day on the North Shore. One of those days when you can golf in the morning, ski in the afternoon and talk a stroll on the seawall in the evening. The time when we can flout or Lotusland noses at the rest of Canada. It is the time of year when distant memory reminds me of when you’d start to think about cleaning up the blueback gear, hoping the fairways would dry earlier in the day and consider who the Canucks might draft this time around. Are those days gone or are they about to return? Tonight the conference leading Detroit Red Wings will give us an indication. Three back to back games with Edmonton later in the week has the potential to cement it. This may be the ultimate in homer optimism but I think Nassy and the boys will beat Detroit tonight. I think they will also not make the road ahead easy for themselves and drop two of three to Edmonton. Look for the Canucks to pick up four points this week. Any less and fishing gear, tee times and draft position will be next week's topics.

Outside looking in.

9Anaheim761582
The Neidermayers and cast executed as expected. A lost to Detroit and two wins over bottom feeders. The Ducks have their destiny in their own hands. They are two points back of Vancouver. They have three games in hand on Vancouver and Edmonton. They have four games in hand on LA. They match the play of those teams and win the in hand games and they’re in and one of the others is out. It doesn’t come easy for the Ducks. This week they face Dallas, Colorado and Nashville sandwiched between Columbus and Phoenix. Five games in seven nights. Three of them road games. I predict six points. Wins over Columbus and Dallas.

Current Dance Partners.

If the playoff were to start on March 26th my predictions for match ups are as follows:

Detroit – Vancouver or Anaheim
Dallas – Edmonton
Calgary – Los Angeles
Nashville – Colorado


Ciao,

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