NHL Finals – It’s Like Deja Vu All Over Again

Saturday is get-away day for me. Vacation officially ends as I pack up the family into the suburban assault vehicle and make our way back home from Orlando. We first will make a stop in Jacksonville to visit the mother of the Divine Mrs. R…spending the night as so I can be able to catch game-one of the Stanley Cup Finals.

And speaking of the finals…looks like we all spent the last twelve months going through the draft, free-agent signing season, training camp, pre-season, a regular season in which 30 teams played 82 games apiece, then into the playoffs where 16 teams went to 8 teams which then whittled down to 4 teams and now to only a pair…the same two teams that squared off against each other last June.

How quaint.

Here is a quick run-down on their playoff stats that they have compiled in the past seven week.

Record: Detroit = 12-4… Pittsburgh = 12-5

Goal Per Game: Detroit 3.69… Pittsburgh 3.82

Goals Against Per Game: Detroit 2.12… Pittsburgh 2.76

Power Play: Detroit 25.7%… Pittburgh 19.3%

Penalty Kill: Detroit 73.7%… Pittsburgh 83.6%

Shots Per Game: Detroit 39.5… Pittsburgh 34.9

Shots Against Per Game: Detroit 28.8… Pittsburgh 28.9

Couple of things stick out to me there…first the Wings 25.7% effective PP is huge! However, the Penguins PK has held their opponents to only scoring 16.4% of the time when on the man advantage. Which one is going to succeed here…the Red Wing’s power play or the Pens penalty kill…could go a long way in determining things.

Also, their SA/G are almost dead-on equal…but look at the offensive attack coming from the Big Red Borg. Almost 40 shots on goal each game. Honestly, I don’t think they’ll do quite as well against Pittsburgh’s defense…but even if that’s 34 or 36 SOG in the series, that’d be impressive. Pittsburgh’s challenge is to at least match that which they have done so far. But that’ll be a tall order against Rafalski, Lidstrom & company.

Goalie matchups would give the edge to Chris Osgood…statistically speaking. He has a 2.06 GAA and .926 SV%… Marc-Andre Fleury’s numbers are 2.62 and .906. But those numbers could be a bit deceiving as Fleury sees more shots per game than does his counterpart. As for Ossgood, going into the playoffs the one area of concern for the Wings was between the pipes…there seems to be little concern today.

In the end I look for both these guys to come up strong as they have all post-season.

Up front, Pittsburgh’s big threats are Sid Crosby and Evgeni Malkin of course. Each have 28 overall points in the playoffs…Crosby with 14 goals and assists, Malkin has 12 goals to go along with 16 helpers. After that, Bill Gueron has 14 points, Sergi Gonchar and Chris Kunitz each have 12 and Rusian Fedotenko has 11.

For the Big Red Borg, Johan Franzen leads the way with 10 goals and 9 assist followed by Henrik Zetterberg with 9 golas and 9 assists. Cleary and Filppula both have accounted for 14 points…Flipper doing so with 13 assists…and Marian Hossa has 12 overall points.

The two met twice during the regular season, splitting the games. On November 11 the Penguins managed a 7-6 overtime win in Motown. Detroit lead 5-2 with just under 15 minutes to play, but Jordan Staal scored three times in the third period…the last one with about 23 seconds left on the clock to force OT. He then set up Fedotenko for the game-winner with 1:11 remaining before the shootout. Then in Pittsburgh on February 8, the Wings exacted a measure of revenge by shutting out the Penguins 3-0. Ty Conklin was in goal that day for the Wings and he stopped all 25 shots he faced. Datsyuk scored twice and Hossa once.

As for the schedule…game one is slated to begin shortly after 8:00 Saturday night with game two to be played Sunday. It has yet to be determined what time the face off will take place. So, if it’s an afternoon afair, could that short turn-around time play into the favor of the younger legs of the Penguins…especially if they were able to steal away a victory in game-one? Hmmmmmmm??

So…all that leads to this. Who do you like in the series?

Me? Well, this one looks close with maybe a slight statistical edge going to the Borg. But that’s not why I’m gonna pick ‘em.

Nope…see, in all three rounds I predicted Detroit would win…first against Columbus, then the Ducks, then Chicago. And all three times, of course, they did. Conversely, in all three rounds I predicted the Penguins would not prevail. I thought Philly would take the Pens in 7, I thought Washington would do so too against Pittsburgh as well as Carolina. All three times, I was wrrrrrrrrr…I was wrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr…I was less correct then I normally am.

So, why change up things now? I’ll side with the Wings and pick against the Pens, saying Detroit in…oh, let’s just say… six.

It’ll be just like deja vu all over again.

49 comments Add your comment

R. Stroz

May 29th, 2009
10:20 pm

It’s like vuja de all over again since Hossa is on the other team.

Mr. Heat Miser

May 29th, 2009
11:27 pm

Maybe Cleary will punch Crosby in the nuts from behind while being held down by Lindstrom.
Maybe Cooke will board Hossa so hard he knocks out his front teeth.

Brendan

May 30th, 2009
12:58 am

Officially, I’ll go with the Red Wings in seven games. But I’ll be rooting for Pittsburgh. But I want to explain why. It doesn’t have anything to do with Hossa. It has to do with Detroit always having an “edge” in these matters. When players hit unrestricted free agency, where do they want to go? Allright, who said Phoenix? (Wise guy.) When the players they draft come due for contracts, how often are they lost to other teams? I want someone, ANYONE, to explain how and why Detroit doesn’t have an advantage? They have great ownership. They have a great GM. They have vast cash resources that ensure that the GM will be given as much of an advantage to sign players as possible. See Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Franzen, Lidstrom, etc. They have no fan learning curve to overcome; they are an “Original Six” franchise. The result? Every year, since 1993, Detroit is among the “Top 4 favorites” to win the Cup. That’s not an accident. It’s a calculated strategy on their part. And believe me, the NHL has “no problem” with the visibility and success of the Detroit franchise, or its moniker, “Hockeytown.” To be clear, I’m not Red Wing hater. I admire them. But I recognize they have several advantages working in their favor … that other clubs … just do not and CANNOT. No amount of revenue-sharing will ever give Edmonton, Buffalo, Phoenix, and Florida a “fair shot” at it. When those markets get there, it’s because the stars aligned for them. And the “window of opportunity” closes up real quick for such clubs. Like 1-2 years later.

Okay, Part II of why I want Pittsburgh: What a story it would be!! At Christmas 2008, the Penguins were all but done. They fired their coach and promoted Dan Bylsma. They’d go on to become one of the best 2nd half teams of the season, climbing all the way up to 4th, from I believe, 13th position, at one point. Okay, so they earn home ice for the opening round, where they defeat their division and cross-state rival, the Philadelphia Flyers. If you’re a Penguin fan, that’s about as sweet as it gets, beating Philly. In Round II, the CSF, the “dream matchup” of Crosby vs. Ovechkin materializes. But things don’t start so well, and the Pens find themselves in overtime of Game Three, facing an 0-3 hole that would certainly spell their doom. Instead, Letang scores and the Pens go on to take the series in seven, thus growing the legend of Sidney Crosby, and Evgeni Malkin, who also had an overtime winner in the series. In the CF, they sweep out the 2006 Stanley Cup Champions.

How much BETTER does it get, for Pittsburgh? This is a DREAM SEASON that emerged from a nightmare. The only thing missing … is the silver chalice being presented at center ice, by the Commissioner. The Pens repeated as Eastern Conference Champions. No small feat, given the competition in the East this year. Boston was solid, Washington was tough, the Devils are ALWAYS a threat to win it, Philly was pretty good, and even the Rangers had their moments. And what more can be said about how Carolina played down the stretch and through the 1st two rounds.

The Penguins drafted Marc-Andre Fleury 1st overall in 2003. They won the Crosby sweepstakes in 2005. They picked up Malkin, 2nd overall, in 2004, and Jordan Staal, 2nd overall in 2006. They swapped out Ryan Whitney for Kris Kunitz. Their depths players have come through. They added Fedotenko as a free agent. He’s paid some dividends. It’s hard to argue with how this team has been assembled. I think Therrien was the problem, earlier in the year. Now they have an aggressive game plan that works for them. I wish the Penguins nothing but success as they attempt to fulfill their destiny.

N/A

May 30th, 2009
1:52 am

Well considering the Pens like to prove you wrong you are the one I will officially blame if they loose this series.;D I have a sneaky suspsicion that Hossa will turn it up a couple of notches…life has taught me that there is nothing more precious to a man than his pride and coupled with a chance to win the Holy Grail of Hockey…well let’s just say I’ll be surprised if Hossa lets his old team (that he only played for for four months)get the better of him. Pittsburgh is a much stronger team than last year but then again so is Detroit. Should be a fun cardiac-arrest inducing Finals.

PUTTING ON THE FOIL

May 30th, 2009
8:15 am

We don’t need no stinking nutcracker on the cup. Go Wings.

Alan

May 30th, 2009
4:55 pm

Wings in seven.

Jameson

May 30th, 2009
5:50 pm

ranallo10- From the previous blog, I’m not sure who brought it up when Jokinen was put on waivers, but I was definitely calling for us to pick him up.

B. Thenet

May 30th, 2009
6:17 pm

Detroit in 5. This is going to be an ugly series, and I think Fleury will be the goat.

Tony C.

May 30th, 2009
7:27 pm

I hate them both.

Ok hate may be too strong…. no. Nope, I hate ‘em both.

Tony C.

May 30th, 2009
7:28 pm

Although if NHL marketing would break down and promote somebody not named Crosby, it’d probably go a long way towards me just loathing the icebirds.

Tony C.

May 30th, 2009
7:46 pm

Also, if anybody’s got a better translation than Google’s please let me know:

http://news.sportbox.ru/Vidy_sporta/Hokkej/Iliya-Kovalichuk-Sbornaya-Rossii-nastoyaschaya-Krasnaya-mashina

Q&A w/#17… he apparently says that NHL in Atlanta feels like his child and he wants to be a lifelong Thrasher.

Wings fan in Ga.

May 30th, 2009
10:04 pm

Tony C., Hitler hated and look what he did. It’s OK to dislike a hockey team, or any sports team for that matter, but in the long run, this is just a game. And you aren’t the only one who might not loathe Crosby as much if the NHL promoted other players. I have a ton of respect for Crosby, got to meet him and he was nice to me. But the NHL and NBC does go overboard with it.

I translated that article since I speak fluent Russian, and Kovy said he would love to play for Vancouver. “НЕ ДЕЛАЮ ИЗ СЕБЯ МЕССИЮ” actually means, “Vancouver is great hockey team and I love to play for them.

Tony C.

May 30th, 2009
10:07 pm

Wings Fan- Hitler? Seriously?

Wings fan in Ga.

May 30th, 2009
10:51 pm

That’s what I’ve been told all of my life – don’t hate, that is what Hitler did. Just dislike.

WINGMAN

May 30th, 2009
11:22 pm

I said before tonight detroit in 6! After what i saw tonight…maybe < !!

B. Thenet

May 30th, 2009
11:37 pm

I just used the yahoo web translator on the article, and it said that money was his top priority and he would prefer to finish his career in “Atlanta”

I like my initial prediction after tonight, but if the Pens can bring that physicality on a more consistent basis it could be the key to keeping themselves alive in this series.

Brendan

May 31st, 2009
12:17 am

Pittsburgh had a chance tonight. The first goal was fluky that Fleury gave up. Malkin had a breakaway that might have changed things. Woulda, coulda, shoulda. I would say that the Pens had a decent outing in Game One. Luckily, there isn’t time to dwell on it. They play at 8PM tomorrow, I believe. I think Pittsburgh might have some advantage there. The team that wins Game Two, for some reason, has the highest percentage of winning the series, in a best-of-seven series. I have no idea why that is. I would think the Game Five winner would be a stronger indicator for who will win a series. If Pittsburgh gets down, 0-2, it’s not OVER. But it’s going to be very tough. Remember, Pittsburgh was down 2-0 to Washington and won that series. I do realize, the Caps aren’t the Red Wings. I just want to see a long series.

Okay, when does the clock start ticking on tendering qualifying offers to RFA’s?

Alan

May 31st, 2009
2:26 am

Tony C., Hitler hated and look what he did.

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a Godwin on one of Rawhide’s blogs.

Also, according to everything I’ve read (I put it through Google’s translator, Promt’s translator, and InterTran), Kovalchuk says he wants to finish his career here. Now, let’s see Donnie and DASG open the wallet and give Kovalchuk what he wants.

ranallo10 (in AT)

May 31st, 2009
9:22 am

Interesting…my understanding of the (rough) translation was money wasn’t what he cared about.

Alan — That’s precisely what I thought, re: Godwin.

Thrashers27

May 31st, 2009
11:04 am

Wings fan, you’re an idiot. That is not what “НЕ ДЕЛАЮ ИЗ СЕБЯ МЕССИЮ” means. I can’t say precisely what it means, but there is nothing about Vancouver in that group of words.

Fluery cost the Pens that game last night.

kracker

May 31st, 2009
12:11 pm

Google translate says НЕ ДЕЛАЮ ИЗ СЕБЯ МЕССИЮ means NO CASES OF YOURSELF MESSIAH…hmmm

The entire question and answer translation reads:

- How do you think has changed in you as a player and as a man after two washers in Quebec? What you taught a world championship? (Scream231)

- Nothing has changed. Even score. Yes, it was a very important moment in my life, because in sports always want to be the winner. But do not make up the Messiah, just want my team to win. A boom foster the press, but I feel this attitude, I try to pass everything by ear.

Nothing at all about playing for Vancouver in there.

Smoothie

May 31st, 2009
12:35 pm

I would suspect that those translations from the Russian newspaper interview are pretty accurate as Kovalchuk has been saying and doing all the right things since being named Captain of this team. He is a more mature person and the bona fide leader of this team. He is a more fulfilled player on a personal level as he has lead his Russian bretheren to back to back World titles.

Now it’s time for DWad and the ASG to ante up and give the man what he wants and deserves: a chance to compete in the playoffs and contend for Lord Stanley’s Cup. Do I think the Thrashers will go deep in the playoffs next year simply by inking a couple of free-agents this offseason? Hell no. But I do believe that they can make the playoffs with the RIGHT acquisitions and thus convince Kovy that he made a good decision in signing a 2 yr extension for market value.

However, I feel a player like Antropov would be a poor fit for this club; I do not think he would jibe with our style of play and thus disrupt chemistry. I would rather we take a serious run, albeit fruitless in all likelihood, at Marty Havlat. But more realistically we should be targeting a guy like Mikael Samuelsson. If we can’t get Havlat to sign here, it’s not the end of the world.

We still have a guy by the name of Bryan Little who will be a year wiser, stronger and better prepared to handle the rigors of playing top line RW minutes. I have no problem with pairing him up with Kovy and Peverley to start the season if we can bring in a guy like Samuelsson to play with Kozzy and White on the 2nd line.

I’d rather go after solid two-way players who won’t demand a small fortune to sign in FA. If we can’t sign a dynamic winger like Havlat or Gaborik (unlikely), why overspend for a traffic-cone of a forward like Antropov who doesn’t really crash the net that hard for his size?He seems to float around a lot and prefer to play for the pretty play rather than the tough and gritty play.

Use the money more wisely to bring in guys with above average skill like Chad Larose or Sammy Pahlsson or Chris Neil to bolster your grit and toughness on the bottom two lines. Draft Evander Kane and groom him to play Top 6 minutes in 2010-11. Bring in a proven Top 4 D-man to play with Hainsey and augment your bottom two lines in such a fashion other teams won’t want to play against us.

Say no to the soft giant C from Kazakstan and yes to gritty, hard-nosed North Americans who will make your team better without breaking the bank. 2010 will be a better FA pool and we’d be wise to not get carried away this summer. I honestly don’t think it’s an all or nothing proposition by Kovy; he simply wants a better team around him to give him a legit chance to compete. He’s not Marian Hossa who simply wants to blend into a team of stars and coast his way to a Cup. He wants the pressure on his shoulders, but he can’t do all the heavy lifting without the right type of players on his squad.

Wings fan in Ga.

May 31st, 2009
12:53 pm

Thrashers27, it was a joke. I don’t speak Russian. Geezus. Lighten up.

Thrashers27

May 31st, 2009
1:27 pm

I wondered if you might be making a joke, but you never know with the douchebaggery that goes on in this place at times.

You should note, however that the blogosphere isn’t necassarily the best place to convey sarcasm, or jokes unless you state in your post that you in fact are joking, or being sarcastic.

Thrashers27

May 31st, 2009
1:56 pm

Hey!!! What the…Did anybody else notice this from the AtlantaThrashers.com interview with Waddell…He talks about the draft and Tavares and goes on to say “…I don’t think we have to worry about him because I’m pretty sure he’s going to be there at the fourth pick.”

Either that’s a typo, Don is crazy, or he knows something that we don’t.

Any thoughts?

Here’s the complete answer and a link to the interview:
Waddell: These are in no particular order- they’re just who’s coming to mind off the top of my head, but we’ll start with John Tavares who everyone knows is very skilled. Good playmaking abilities but a really good scoring touch. He’s going to put up points and goals in this league for a long time. I don’t think we have to worry about him because I’m pretty sure he’s going to be there at the fourth pick.

http://thrashers.nhl.com/team/app/?service=page&page=NewsPage&articleid=423446

kracker

May 31st, 2009
2:01 pm

Smoothie – 2010 will be a better FA pool and we’d be wise to not get carried away this summer.

DW has hinted at much the same sentiment by talking about the chances for quality FA acquisitions or trades being better next summer when he expects the cap pressure to increase. Regardless, some successful – perhaps costly – moves have to be made this summer. Kovy could possibly extend this summer but I feel there will be zero chance of him staying in Atlanta if the Thrash finish in the bottom five again.

kracker

May 31st, 2009
2:06 pm

Typo. It jumped out at me, too. I can’t imagine why it hasn’t been corrected. Even if Waddell mispoke and actually left out the word “not” it should be inserted in brackets > [not]

N/A

May 31st, 2009
2:32 pm

I would love for a guy like Samuelsson to come here but I think the only problem with him is that he needs the depth of Detroit to support him, talent we just don’t have here.

Wings fan in Ga.

May 31st, 2009
2:59 pm

That’s true, but I figured Vancouver was such a random place, people would pick up that it was a joke.

Alan

May 31st, 2009
3:27 pm

I think if you had said “Moose Jaw” or “Flin Flon,” people would have recognized it as a joke. :)

Brendan

May 31st, 2009
5:24 pm

So, we’re just hours away from a series being practically over already. Come on, Penguins! Make it a series!!! I want seven games.

HookyBob

May 31st, 2009
5:45 pm

Hossa is coasting? Not hardly.

This year Hossa led a very talented team in scoring. In my opinion he backchecks better than anyone else in the league. (Recall what happened to our shots against total per game as soon as he was traded.) You cannot coast and simultaneously backcheck. He works,….hard.

My hat goes off to him for having the guts to sign a one year deal in pursuit of his dream.

Comments as off-base as “Hossa coasting” take away from the credibility of the rest of the post.

Brendan

May 31st, 2009
10:57 pm

Penguins must win Game Three. This is the beauty of the playoffs, no? It’s either (1) you win or (2) you don’t. Excuses don’t factor in. Everyone, in life, has excuses. They’re like air. Dan Bylsma must have his guys ready to win both games in Pittsburgh. The change of venue can be significant. The line change matchups. The 7th man. Etc. I thought the Penguins played “okay” for two road games against the most dominant team of the past 15 years. I think Guerin hit a goal post. The effort was there. Fleury can’t give up that 3rd goal. That was the backbreaker.

I sure hope Pittsburgh can reorganize and even the series. I want to see 7 games, irrespective of who wins. For Detroit, they haven’t won this series yet. They’ve very importantly “held serve” at home. But remember the rule: “You either (1) win or (2) you don’t.” The League doesn’t issue championships for 14 playoff wins. So, Detroit must keep winning, too. For Pitsburgh, the “magic” happens NOW, or it doesn’t. Period, the end. That’s the beauty of the playoffs vs. the 82-game regular season. It FORCES the issue to an immediate conclusion, and rather quickly.

Rawhide

May 31st, 2009
10:59 pm

They are The Big Red Borg…and resistance is futile!

Sharon

June 1st, 2009
1:57 am

The Big Red Borg… I like it :)

The Finals have been really entertaining so far. I’m likin’ the lack of whistles.

Go Wings!

The Real Fan

June 1st, 2009
8:08 am

WILL SOMEONE TELL ME WHERE THE COVERAGE OF THE NHL FINALS ARE IN THIS PAPER?

Jameson

June 1st, 2009
8:45 am

Is it just me, or has Fleury just dropped the ball in these first two games?

Tony C.

June 1st, 2009
9:31 am

So far, this series is showing why I thought Boston had the best chance of actually beating The Borg coming out of the east.

I think they have the depth and the “nasty” to keep Detroit out of their end, and just enough skill to light the lamp.

Still, the way that Detroit has set up their player development system, I figure we’re going to keep seeing the Tikhonov/Bowman system being refined by Swedes and Russians with a token North American or two just for form’s sake. Until somebody just completely mangles Lidstrom a la Van Impe on Kharlamov, we’re just going to keep seeing the same thing.

Wow. How exciting. I mean it is incredible when you see a Zetterberg or a Helm on the PK just completely dominate (seriously last year that 5-on-3 kill by Zetterberg is perhaps the single best virtuoso single-player performance of this decade) the other team, but how much fun is it to watch four games of The Borg scoring one goal on the rush, one PP goal (with or without “goaltender interference” controversy depending on who’s barn their playing in), then settle back to play keep away for the last period?

Thrilling stuff I tell ya.

In Detroit’s defense -it’s not their fault that they have figured basically all the important parts of how to maintain and develop players who play the Tikhonov/Bowman system the way they want. My point is that it’s not getting any more exciting to watch. Maybe it’s not as truly gawdawful boring to watch as Lemaire’s NJDevils team from ‘95. But it’s getting there (for me at least).

Not really a slam on Detroit, just that it takes a lot of the fun out of it when the “annointed one” and his team are the “best” team out of the East, and yet here we go again, with Detroit putting on a clinic.

Wow! Such excitement in the finals! Seriously, the second round has been the best hockey (for the fans) of these playoffs. I reckon Gary will send Babcock a memo and Cindy gets a win on home ice before The Borg clinch @ the Joe.

How thrilling, and such a surprise.

Alan

June 1st, 2009
9:34 am

Great games. It was nice to see Detroit get help from the fourth line. How about Abdelkader’s goals in those two games? I hope the Thrashers were watching — it doesn’t matter where the puck is, or if you even have it under control. Put the damn thing on net! Only good things can happen!

Two to 12. Let’s go Red Wings!

Smoothie

June 1st, 2009
10:32 am

Thanks HookyBob for straightening me out! ;-) I did not realize I had such a credibility problem on an internet paper blog where people consistently express their OPINIONS in a fashion that is neither thoughtful nor credible.

But alas, you are right about the choice of words I used in describing Hossa. “Coast” was not the right word and when I typed it yesterday I thought about changing it, but my post was not so much intended to indict Hossa as it was an attempt to draw attention to the stark contrast between the aforementioned and our esteemed captain.

Hossa did not want a leadership role and he chose an “easier” route to the Cup in my estimation. If you ask me, he is not showing any “guts” by signing a one-year deal to play with the best team in the league. How is that gutsy? Signing a one year deal to play with a team like Boston, Chicago or Vancouver would have been gutsier.

But that wasn’t my point anyway. I was trying to express my appreciation for the way Mr. Kovalchuk has conducted himself thus far as the leader of this team and point out how he is much different than Hossa in that he wants to lead not only by example, but also by his voice and words.

Really the only reason why I didn’t change the choice of words yesterday was because I figured it would be fun to let yet another closet Red Wings fan on a Thrashers blog to call me out for something nitpicky like one hastily chosen word to describe a guy who did in fact coast and loaf his way to his next contract while wearing Thrashers blue during the 2007-2008 campaign.

But then again, that’s just one man’s OPINION.

Midfield

June 1st, 2009
11:56 am

Is it just me, or the NBC announsers sounded like Orwellian “Heil Crosby” band?

Dwayne

June 1st, 2009
11:56 am

As was at a local pub the other nite, sitting next to a Georgia Southern University professor from Moscow, he informed me how to pronounce Kovy’s last name, its not chuck, its chuk, probably should have a squiggly line over the “u”, anywho, I told him about how we call sidney crosby(his name does not warrent capital letters) cindy crotchby, he is going to inform everyone he knows. He also let me know the cindy is the 2nd best player on that team, and as good as AO or our beloved Ilya Kovalchuuuuuuuk. When does season start? I’m tired of baseball and basketball, at least Lebron is gone!!!! HAHA

Dwayne

June 1st, 2009
11:57 am

oooops…NOT as good

Tony C.

June 1st, 2009
12:25 pm

Dwayne- So is that “choook” (long vowel-sound like the first “u” in “cUcumber”) ???

Tony C.

June 1st, 2009
12:27 pm

Also, somebody let the FUBAS morons know that Trade Cliff’s deal with Toronto runs out in August… While I’m sure Burke wouldn’t like to loose Cliff, I bet that some sort of arrangement could be made to waive the remaining few months of the contract.

Brendan

June 1st, 2009
12:44 pm

If Cliff Fletcher leaves Toronto, and he decides to remain active in hockey, I’d bet he’d be headed to Minnesota, to join his son, the new Wild GM, Chuck Fletcher.

I’m very interested to see what Brian Burke does at the draft. He’s stated, back in April, that he ISSS moving up in the draft. That might just be wishful thinking on his part. He’s targeted Tavares. But who hasn’t? It’s up to the Islanders to be (1) stupid and trade him or (2) smart, and select him. Yeah, well, what is the Islanders get an awesome deal for Tavares? Heavy sigh.

Glovesave29

June 1st, 2009
1:05 pm

Brendan…I vote (1) Stupid – lets not forget this is a team (new GM, I know) that used their first overall in consecutive years to draft a goalie…and DiPietro cannot TOUCH Luongo. I think the Isles go for Hedman.

Saw an article yesterday (I believe on TSN, but cannot be sure) that Bettman was quoted as saying he thinks the cap will drop from $56.7M to $54M.

Wings fan in Ga.

June 1st, 2009
1:38 pm

Another reason the Stanley Cup Playoffs are the best – the handshake after each series. Reason why – see Lebron James after Cleveland lost to Orlando.

Dwayne

June 1st, 2009
2:23 pm

wings—–my reason for not caring about basketball anymore. 2 many pouting, whiney babies….uh-oh…we got cindy crotchby…i hope the league stops his crying, sissified ways…maybe someone will bust his chops.