Looks Like We’ve Got Ourselves A Series

Four games down in the Stanley Cup Finals and so far the two participants have held serve on home ice. Detroit came out victorious over the weekend with a pair of 3-1 wins, now Pittsburgh has answered with a pair of 4-2 wins.

Good…I was hoping this would go seven anyway!

Jordan Staal’s shorthanded breakaway goal at 8:35 of the second tied the game a two and opened a three-goal explosion by the Penguins. 1:59 later, Sid Crosby broke the tie and then Tyler Kennedy provided some cushion at 14:12 of the middle frame, a beautiful tic-tac-toe style tally from Crosby and Chris Kunitz.

Evgeni Malkin opened up the scoring early in the game with his 14th of the playoffs…he now also has 35 overall points after he assisted on Crosby’s first goal of this series.

The Pittsburgh win set up the all-important pivotal game five on Saturday night and also insures that they will get one last chance to cheer their Penguins on one last time in Tuesday night’s game…and one more chance to “BOO” Marian Hossa, who shunned them last summer in order to join forces with the Red Wings.

But so far in the four games against his former team, Hossa hasn’t given Pittsburgh fans any reason to quiet their vocal disapproval of him. Outside of a pair of secondary assists Sunday night, he’s been held off the scoresheet.  He’s been held without a goal during seventeen of the twenty playoff games so far for the Wings and has been held scoreless in the last five games.

The Wings are going to need Hossa to step it up a notch if they’re going to get Big Mo to swing back in their favor.

Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 37 of the 39 shots Detroit was able to get through on him Thursday night, this after turning away 27 of 29 last Tuesday in game three. Pittsburgh will need more of that out of him as they head back to Motown over the weekend.

Continuing Conn Smythe Consideration

We’ve discussed possible Conn Smythe candidates over the course of the past couple days. As you’ll recall, I placed Chris Osgood as my front-runner going into the fourth game of the Finals. Obviously there is still a very good case to be made for the Red Wing netminder…however, one Mr. Malkin is making a serious run at this as well with 14 goals and 21 assists so far this spring.

Malkin’s performance throughout the playoffs has been both impressive and consistent…recording a goal and/or assist in 17 of the 21 playoff games so far.

No Need To get Antsy Over Salmela

There is one less Thrasher player to me concerned about in regards to their contract status. Don Waddell has accomplished his first contract deal of the offseason, inking defensman Anssi Salmela to a multi-year deal.

And there was much rejoicing!

psssssssst… Hey Don, now that you have that pile of work off your desk, let’s get working on that Reasoner guy new, eh?

Weekend Reading Assignments

Darren Eliot writes that smarts and a little luck helped to open the door for Joe Nieuwendyk, the Stars new GM.

Puck Daddy witnesses Octopus brutality while in Pittsburgh.

The NHL’s general managers have decided against proposed headshot penalty.

Terry Frei of ESPN.com asks…is too much draft hype a bad thing?

59 comments Add your comment

Bob

June 5th, 2009
9:44 am

Osgood is being exposed for the poor play he exhibited all year. If it wasn’t for the pipes saving his butt in the 1st two games, this series would already be all but over.

All the Pens have to do is keep playing the way they have, and this series is theirs, last night’s 2nd period was just plain awesome!

ranallo10 (in AT)

June 5th, 2009
10:31 am

So much for the 10 minute warning…is Trixie sleeping on the job?

I agree that Detroit, as a team, got lucky in the first two games and were not head-and-shoulders better than Pittsburgh. However, I disagree that the last two games can be blamed on Osgood in any way shape or form. The game winning goal, scored by Kennedy, was all due to poor defense and a good pass by Crosby. The shorthanded goal was a defensive lapse that allowed a skilled forward a 1-on-1.

If it wasn’t for Osgood Detroit would be golfing and Anaheim or Chicago would be playing against Pittsburgh…hence he’s their MVP through the playoffs to this point, and deserving of the Conn Smythe IF Detroit pulls off a win (I don’t agree with awarding the MVP to a player on the losing team, alah Giguere).

Malkin is as dominant as he’s ever been and Crosby is hot (again). That’s tough to stop. Fleury is playing better than usual (in my opinion he’s always been the biggest question mark for their team), which makes Pittsburgh the hotter of the two teams. Detroit doesn’t seem to be playing in the neutral zone with the same comfort they’re used to, and it’s finally showing in the final score. Alternatively Pittsburgh seems quite content with how they’re playing right now and the success it’s bringing them.

Tony C.

June 5th, 2009
10:48 am

They’re really missing Lijlia and a 100-87% Datsyuk. That being said, Cindy has really shut me up this postseason-whining about hat-tricks aside, he’s been the best player on the ice more often than not. Watching him and Zetterberg square off is just about the best oplayer-vs-player matchup I’ve seen since this century began.

Looking forward to game 5. the big question is: can Fleury remember to pick up his (home-ice) game on the way to the airport?

Also, I found this fun game:
http://www.post-gazette.com/icehouse/hossa.asp

Rawhide

June 5th, 2009
10:48 am

ranallo – Trixie is off one of her twelve scheduled 5-day weekends during CY2009. I think she’s off to Paris on a shopping spree.

Seriously, I have no idea how I’ve let her talk me into so much vacation time.

DWTOO

June 5th, 2009
10:52 am

Like the milk carton picture of Hossa. Appears he deserves the reputation for disapperaing in the playoffs. Note that the carton is a half pint. Pile on the indignities.

A couple of posters got after me on Chris V’s blog regarding remarks about Hossa. Let me reiterate (sp?) I have no problems with anything he did about getting traded. My problem with Hossa is that he did not give a full effort during his last season here – in fact I think he went about half speed. That’s un-good for a professional.

ranallo10 (in AT)

June 5th, 2009
11:00 am

Seriously, I have no idea how I’ve let her talk me into so much vacation time.

It’s amazing how much one hears when they maintain eye contact…you should try it some time.

Tony C. — Being without Datsyuk and Draper definitely hurt their play, but last night it seemed that no matter what the defense did the Pittsburgh team was prepared. Rafalski looked rough at times, as did Kronwall and Stuart. There were far too many blind backhanded passes to nobody in particular that were cause by an active Penguins forecheck…one of which was Kennedy causing the pressure on Zetterberg and resulted in the passing clinic which lead to the GWG.

Pittsburgh is playing better than Detroit, plain and simple. Too bad.

Alan

June 5th, 2009
12:33 pm

but last night it seemed that no matter what the defense did the Pittsburgh team was prepared.

The Detroit defense actually did something?

Well, they did leave Osgood hanging, so I guess that’s doing something. You could tell Osgood was ready to murder his teammates — especially after that breakaway in the waning seconds of the second period.

He played a rather mediocre game in the regular season, but has been stellar in the playoffs. Up until now, anyway. Still, what people don’t seem to recognize is the defensive breakdowns that occured yesterday.

It’s easy to blame the goalie, but if that’s all you’re doing, you’re obviously not watching the game. One could easily replace “Osgood” with “Lehtonen” in Bob’s statement, and it’s the same crap people posted up regarding the Thrashers all season long.

Bob

June 5th, 2009
1:35 pm

Osgood is just plain not playing well. Those long shots in let in during Game 3 were very telling, and what they heck is he doing constantly ducking pucks, he did it again last night, ducked and one went in right over his shoulder. That’s just plain poor. He had an awful regular season but he’s just been bad in this series, if it weren’t for the pipes the Pens hit in the 1st two games, this series is already over.

Couple that with Zetterberg completely worn out and has to go again tomorrow night, even if Datsyuk gets back in, he’s not healthy. Lidstrom is down. Writing is on the wall here, Alan, and I’m going to laugh all the way to bank if Hossa has to sit there and watch the club he should be on skate the Cup.

Thomas Magnum

June 5th, 2009
2:03 pm

Hey Rawhide, can you add our blog to your links?

http://www.thewordonthebird.blogspot.com

Thanks!

Alan

June 5th, 2009
2:04 pm

You have fun laughing, Bob. If we win, I certainly won’t be rubbing it in anyone’s face.

You not only didn’t read my above statements, you repeated your first post. My point stands that Detroit’s defense has been piss poor in these last two games. Then again, I tend to be a bit more analytical than simply stating a goalie stinks.

ranallo10 (in AT)

June 5th, 2009
3:01 pm

“Then again, I tend to be a bit more analytical than simply stating a goalie stinks.”

That’s the easy way out, as you stated. In my opinion the Detroit defense as a whole has been suspect (I’ve seen three of the four games), and lucky bounces won the first two games for them. I was concerned for Detroit heading into Pittsburgh, and now that the bounces aren’t going their way Pittsburgh is outshining them.

When the offensive unit that gets the most opportunities is Draper’s line, they’re in trouble.

Don Waddell

June 5th, 2009
3:31 pm

Lets talk about me, I’m important, ya know.

Bob

June 5th, 2009
3:44 pm

Don, what’s your take on the makeup of the Red Wings. How would you build that club better?

In the series, what’s wrong with your former club, the Wings? Old goalie? Old dmen’s legs gone? Zetterberg being overplayed? NHL unfair in their scheduling?

Don, I’ve felt all along that this GM, Kenny Holland, was a GM that could bring certain qualities to the table, absolutely. Would you agree?

Alan

June 5th, 2009
3:52 pm

When the offensive unit that gets the most opportunities is Draper’s line, they’re in trouble.

That is indeed irksome. But at least they’ve brought a ton of energy to the table. They should have left Abdelkader in instead of putting Leino in. Abdelkader looked quite solid, while Leino looked lost and neutralized.

According to Babcock, Datsyuk is supposed to play tomorrow night. Maybe. Sigh. I’ll believe it when I see it.

Til then, two to 12.

Don Waddell, sign Reasoner already.

Glovesave29

June 5th, 2009
3:54 pm

Bob – Detroit stopped their aggressive forechecking. This allowed the Pens to get open ice to set up plays in which they used their speed and skating ability, to which they have a marked advantage over Detroit. This left the Wings D with no support, and thus they needed to overcommit. Because they tried to do to much, the Pens used the same skating ability and great passing to make the D and Osgood look like a fool. Cannot blame just the goalie, it was a breakdown on all levels. If this schedule were protracted out a bit, I think the Wings would be solidly in control. But with so few days off here in the SCF, youth is being served. To combat this, younger players such as Helm and Abdelkater are being used, and will continued to be used more and more.

Don Waddell

June 5th, 2009
4:23 pm

Well. uh. Bob, the Red Wings are a pretty good team. Um, they’ve had a couple of good draft picks that, um, have workrd out for them.

I don’t think there’s anything, um, wrong with the Wings, they have alot of experience, ya know. I think it will come out down the stretch.

I would love to have Kenny Holland as a GM here because…I SUCK.

Bob

June 5th, 2009
5:31 pm

“I would love to have Kenny Holland as a GM here because…I SUCK”

We’ve felt all along that, um, yes, you suck. Absolutely.

PensFan

June 6th, 2009
4:05 am

I agree Osgood wasn’t to blame. Except for Game 3, he has been great for Detroit. He had NO chance on the Crosby, Kennedy and Malkin goals. The Staal goal would have been a tough save.

Fleury reallly improved in terms of hugging that post on wraparound attempts and odd angle shots. Also Fleury wasn’t falling on his ass too much as he is prone to do due to his overplaying. One of his best playoff efforts.

I thought Guerin was the rare Pens player who had a poor game.

I do think the Pens need to go with 7 Defensemen in Game 5 and sit one of their fourth liners. Boucher can keep Letang and GOnchar fresh for the 3rd period. Pens D will be challenged frequently in Detroit and will need the extra help they can get. The forwards can easily make up for the 4th liner with 5 min of ice time anyway. I might keep DuPuis and rest either Satan(who has tailed off a bit recently and had only 5 min of ice time) or Craig Adams(who has played every game and can use a game off while DuPuis picks up the slack).

My ConnSmyth nominees
1) Malkin (just went up to #1 after his marvelous Game 4 effort)
2) Osgood(he could still regain this if he plays well the rest of the time and Detroit wins. Osgood is the reason Red Wings beat Anaheim overall)
3) Crosby (if Malkin gets special attention and wilts, while Crosby shines and Pens win, then Crosby can shoot up to #1)

Rawhide

June 6th, 2009
10:01 am

Thomas Magnum – There ya go…it’s been added.

LAC

June 6th, 2009
11:54 am

Everyone should go to tsn and read some of those NUTTY comments by those NUTTY Canada fans… Just what the HELL bothers them so much about about teams in the South ?

Funny now that some are talking about moving Tampa and Florida…
Moving a team to Hamilton,On is STUPID !

Who is and who is not losing money ? What I do not understand is this, IF these owners here, spent the $ and put a GOOD team on the ice, what would happen ?

First it would draw more fans, then playoffs, MONEY in their pockets !

Why can this simple concept NOT be done in Atlanta ? Owners are stupid
and have NO clue about winning ! Second a GM who has had far too long to try to build a winner, he has NOT !

Well sprit guys, put a WINNER on the ice and watch profits grow, keep playing the CHEAP hand where we cannot win and watch yourselves LOSE more money. Just hard to understand why youwill not make the changes needed to make the Thrashers a winner rather than a loser they have been. Would be nice to see Atlanta in the finals… Wish we were talking
about that !!!!!!!!!!!

Sage of Bluesland

June 6th, 2009
2:00 pm

Wings lose–Hossa denied. Love it!
Pens lose–Crosby denied. Love it!

Unfortunately, one of these clowns will win…Tough choice, isn’t it?

Oh well, at least they’re both still playing as opposed to the Thrashers who stop playing when the regular season concludes–well, except for the one fluky year…

And we have our hopes and prayers that our sniveling, chortling, bumbling, blustering little fraud of a GM actually does something positive so we can proceed with our “Five-Year Plan”…

Cut the funds and watch how fast–FAST–the change takes place…and if the ownership moves this cursed and ill-led abomination of a franchise, then so be it. Guess what, the Sun will indeed rise tomorrow. Funny, L.A. didn’t dry up and blow away when two–TWO–NFL teams left the city…

Grow up, gain some common sense, and for the love of all that’s holy, stop being such sheep…

Sheep[3 different ones]

June 6th, 2009
3:11 pm

Baaa Baaaa Baaaa.don’t watch the Cup. it will hurt you.Baaa Baaa Baaa…

Brendan

June 6th, 2009
8:24 pm

Eyes on Fleury, Osgood, and Datsyuk in tonight’s game. Every in the series is important. This game is huge. The next game will be even huger. Last year, the Penguins had 14 playoff wins. I wonder if I can find even one Penguin fan who would say, 15 playoff wins reflected “incremental progress?” My guess would be … Penguin fans see winning the Cup as progess.

Is it true, that Don Waddell’s contract is being negotiated at this time? What’s there to negotiate, I do wonder? Where can I find a job where continually being inside the lottery draft and claiming guys off waivers made me “promotion worthy.” Then again, some people doubt that ownership holds the cards here. “Stupid is as stupid does.” If the Atlanta Spirit, LLC, actually renews Don’s contract, what’s left to say?

Any idiot blogger can make a pick at #3 or #4 or 1st overall … by reading the morning paper on the day of the draft. Any idiot blogger can claim a guy off waivers. Any idiot blogger can make incremental progress by being in the lottery draft on an annual basis. Any idiot blogger can place a team in the bottom third of the Conference eight times in nine (8/9) seasons. Honestly, what’s to negotiate???

ranallo10 (in AT)

June 6th, 2009
9:41 pm

Minor correction…they’ve been in the bottom third 7 of 9 times.

Jethro

June 6th, 2009
10:38 pm

Well Brendan, soundz like I could bee a GM.

Brendan

June 6th, 2009
10:44 pm

And how much difference does that make from the larger point, I do wonder? Is only 7 of 9 in the bottom third of the Conference more contract extension-worthy than 8 of 9? If the Spirit, LLC extends Don’s contract … “reasonable doubt” has been removed about their capacity to run an NHL franchise.

I “credit them” with the idea that they simply don’t want to pay two people to be the GM at the same time. And that, once Waddell’s contract expires, they just won’t renew him. If that’s not the case, and the truth is … that they find Waddell to be the best GM out there to lead this team, then that is very telling.

Brendan

June 6th, 2009
10:45 pm

Jethro, you could.

ranallo10 (in AT)

June 6th, 2009
10:50 pm

I said “minor correction”…I wouldn’t argue that minor inaccuracy completely invalidates your point.

Besides that, where are you reading/seeing/hearing Waddell’s contract is being negotiated?

Brendan

June 6th, 2009
10:57 pm

Osgood got the shutout. Those who think he should be the Conn Smythe winner are probably smiling right now. Pittsburgh isn’t done yet. When this series shifts to Pittsburgh, that venue change could push the Penguins to extend this series. Tonight’s game was the 5th in 8 nights. That was supposed to favor Pittsburgh’s younger legs.

Fleury got pulled. I don’t think Garon gave up a goal. Fleury should be well-rested for Game Six. This second period may have been the turning point in the series for Detroit. But remember the rule: Either (1) you win or (2) you don’t. As Mark Messier used to say, “They don’t give anything for three wins in a series.” And 15 wins isn’t enough.

In 2001, the New Jersey Devils came home to try to clinch the Cup in Game Six vs. Colorado. The Avs won in a shutout, and then took Game Seven. In 2004, Calgary won Game Five in Tampa Bay, but didn’t win Game Six back in Calgary. The ended up losing Game Seven to Tampa Bay. In 2003, Anaheim trailed New Jersey, 3-2, in the series. But they won Game Six at home to force Game Seven. Right now, this series is mirroring the 2003 Cup Finals, where each team held serve at home throughout the entirety of the series. I hope we do get seven games. I love Game Sevens, especially in the Finals.

Wings fan in Ga.

June 6th, 2009
11:02 pm

LAC, what bothers Canadians about teams in the South is the majority of people in the South don’t give a s— about hockey, while most people in Canada do give a s— and can support teams better than Atlanta, Florida, Nashville, Carolina and Tampa. Try getting a ticket for a Maple Leaf game the day of the game. Good luck, and they aren’t good. Try getting a ticket for a game in the South, and you can pretty much get it anywhere in the building.

ranallo10 and Brendan, I thought Waddell has a lifetime contract with the Thrashers. It sure looks that way.

Sage of Bluesland

June 6th, 2009
11:18 pm

Canadians would never put up with the utter incompetence exhibited by Don Waddell for near a decade now…Contrasted that with the sheep who continue to wave the wittle fwags and “hope” for better days ahead…

I say let the owners move this abomination of an organization; they have run it into the ground and don’t care whatsoever about it–except to be schedule-fodder for the rest of the league.

How sad!

Oh well, in the immortal words of one of the owners: “Deal with it”.

Indeed–yet you still subsidize this arrogance?! Only a sheep would do that…

Brendan

June 6th, 2009
11:18 pm

Color me embarrassed, but I misread the AJC Thrasher poll question. It reads, “Don Waddell says HIS CONTRACT discussion is ‘on going,’ should he be renewed?” Or words to this effect. But then, I saw, right above it, that the poll question was referencing Ondrej Pavelec.

You can see how a person could misinterpret that. But, while we’re still on the topic, Forbes Magazine (not a sports publication,) says Don Waddell is under contract until 2010. If that’s true, then this upcoming season would reflect the final year of Don’s deal. Essentially, Don, himself, is a pending UFA!!! Better lock him up!!! Sorry, that’s my standard ‘knee-jerk’ reaction. It’s not apt, here. Not this time, anyway.

Here’s what I believe, in case anyone cares. I believe Don Waddell is very crafty. Because of that supposition, I suspect that he had his agent write in a clause that reads, “If Waddell isn’t fired during the final year of his contract, the contract automatically renews itself for another season.” Thus making him, really, under contract until 2011.

I can’t prove that. I have ZERO knowledge of that. But I sure wouldn’t be surprised to hear it. But if Waddell doesn’t have some kind of clause in his contract that self-renews it, then this would actually be his LAST YEAR, per Forbes. I don’t trust Forbest magazine. But let’s say it is true. Then Don’s agent needs to pick up the phone and get a deal in place, if the Atlanta Spirit, LLC, is amenable to contract negotiations for the GM at this time.

So, who knows?? Maybe they ARRRRRRRE in contract negotiations. Shaking my head. I wouldn’t put it past them. Worse yet, I don’t know that the Spirit is displeased with Waddell. If they are, indeed, pleased with him, and the 7 of 9 in the bottom third of the conference results, then … why wouldn’t they renew him? They clearly don’t believe in ‘accountability.’ They believe in a kooky theory of ‘GM longevity’ that basically reads as follows. “If the GM knows his job is secure, and stable, he’ll learn and grow in the position, correcting mistakes of the past.” Hey, ya know what? When it’s own the team and it’s YOUR MONEY … you can subscribe to any kooky theory you want. Other owners want to make more money, via playoff revenue. And they sure don’t want to alienate their lifeblood, also known as “their fanbase.” Let’s never forget that 76% of team revenues come from ticket sales.

I know people cringe when Sage comes on this board. But … if the Spirit renews Don Waddell, and you keep giving the Spirit your money at the ticket window … Sage is right. You’re enabling. And, directly indirectly, YOU just renewed Don Waddell.

Brendan

June 6th, 2009
11:33 pm

I would like to ask a Red Wings fan if they think Don Waddel is “the one that got away!” Let me rephrase the question. If Kenny Holland weren’t the GM in Detroit, would you want Waddell in that post? Any Wings fan can chime in on this one.

Brendan

June 6th, 2009
11:39 pm

Correction: I meant to write, “When you own the team, and it’s your money, you can subscribe to any kooky theory you want.” Honestly, I don’t care if the Spirit, LLC donates money to the Harry Krishnas. I just don’t want them to mismanage the Thrashers hockey team.

When I think about the Maple Leafs, and their soldout games, I don’t wonder why they haven’t won a Cup in 40+ years. When the fanbase throws ‘blind support’ of a team, there won’t be any accountability over results. Luckily for those Toronto fans, they have a hockey media that holds some sway in effecting change. Although, I’ll admit, sometimes that Toronto media has influenced the direction of the Leafs in a negative way.

Midfield

June 6th, 2009
11:43 pm

What were they chanting in Detroit? Was it “Crosby’s punk” or something worse than this after his cheap shot on Zetteberg? I hope Bettman heard it much clearer in the building than I did watching it on TV.

N/A

June 7th, 2009
12:28 am

The fans in Detroit alternated between CROSBY SUCKS!, WE WANT THE CUP!, and OZZY! OZZY! OZZY! Gotta love the shutout but I know Pittsburgh will make a game out of Game 6. Still they must be experiencing an unconfortable feeling of deja vu.

Alan

June 7th, 2009
1:43 am

what bothers Canadians about teams in the South is the majority of people in the South don’t give a s— about hockey, while most people in Canada do give a s— and can support teams better than Atlanta, Florida, Nashville, Carolina and Tampa.

And what about those years Vancouver couldn’t even get 10k in their building? The years Calgary stunk? How about when the Ottawa Senators filed for bankruptcy? Canadians (not all, but some) conveniently forget these examples. And when reminded of them, they always have an excuse.

The teams in the southeast have not been marketed very well. That’s a huge problem when it comes to getting people in the building. But the bigger problem is the on-ice performance. Get that up to par and we’ll see an increase in attendance.

When it comes to hockey, only people in Toronto want to watch a loser. Colorado stunk, and they couldn’t fill their building like they could in years past. When Pittsburgh sucked, they couldn’t fill theirs either. Boston? Same story.

Not interested in arguing. Just making a statement.

N/A, Detroit absolutely dominated tonight. I was impressed. The cheap shot antics bothered me a bit, but I knew one of those cement heads was going to try to test out Datsyuk’s foot. Osgood looked more confident, and his more aggressive play showed it. Everyone seemed to play with renewed confidence and energy.

Hoping for a game six win. I know people here are unhappy with Hossa, and rightfully so, but I would be greatly amused to hear the chorus of boos when he touches the cup.

LAC

June 7th, 2009
6:09 am

Hey “wings fan” Ever check those droves of EMPTY seats in New Jersey ?

How about on Long Island. Plenty of seats to go around in Edmonton from
attendence I see, And even in Rustroit the games tha past few seasons were played before less than a full house !

I was raised in the SOUTH and I put hockey above any sport I watch or attend… College football simply stinks, nascar bores me and nothing is better than a good well played hockey game anywhere anytime.

These canada fans think the own the game and they DON’T, they whine all the time about SE teams, mainly Atlanta, why not Carolina or Washington or Tampa ? Maybe it’s because they have won and made the playoffs… I will admit 110% that we have the WORST owners in professional sports and a GM who is a looney tunes LOSER whne it comes to putting togather a WINNING franchise, any other team in the NHL would have FIRED him years ago… And there in lies our problem.

Until we get a committed OWNER and a NEW GM we will never be a winner
and continue to be looked at as a bad team.

But I still say to ALL canada fans, pull out your canada teams, form the canada hockey league play only in canada and shut the hell UP !

Dwayne

June 7th, 2009
8:34 am

I wonder what the ratings were in Canada after all the Canadian teams were eliminated from the playoffs. I wonder if they cheer for the team with the most Canadians on it to win the cup. If Canada does form their own league, I hope they don’t take all their players. Some of them are pretty darn good. Of course they would whine about that too.

Wings fan in Ga.

June 7th, 2009
9:42 am

I agree with you, “LAC”. I go to more hockey games than any other sport, but let’s be honest here – how many people in the South actually care? Yes, there are some great fans here, but the majority of people don’t care.

Personally, I don’t listen to what Canadian fans have to say, so I don’t get bothered by their opinion. I have never really understood why anybody cares about what they have to say. After all, it is the country that brought us such viruses like Bryan Adams and Celine Dion.

Alan

June 7th, 2009
10:52 am

Yes, there are some great fans here, but the majority of people don’t care.

Now that we’ve identified the problem… how about some solutions?

Just because Canadians tend to support their teams better than we tend to does not mean people don’t care. We don’t fill the arena because people are pissed off at the direction of the team, not because people don’t care. Believe it or not, I know quite a few Canadians who don’t care about hockey.

Hope springs eternal here right now, with a good young core group of players and the impressive end-of-season run we had. However, hope doesn’t bring people in the door. Lots of people are still holding out for a Waddell firing. It’s one that surely will happen if Kovalchuk is allowed to walk. I don’t want to think about what losing Kovalchuk will do to this market, though.

The number one way to create a hockey fan is to take them to a game. Everyone I invited to games in 2007-2008 are currently watching their second SCF series on TV and loving every second of it. Those folks never did before, and if they did, it was because they wanted to see a fight. The excitement of the sport doesn’t translate very well to television, as we all know.

Atlanta has great fans, but an even greater potential. Things need to really change around here. But once they do, this city will sell out every night, just like Toronto and Montreal. Create a reason for people to attend. Incentives to invite friends, colleagues, and co-workers.

Atlanta has never iced a winner, so comparing us to teams in Canada is fallacious. Especially if you parrot the line Canadians use, but then say you don’t listen to what they have to say.

N/A

June 7th, 2009
12:38 pm

Allen: To tell you the truth I wasn’t surprised at Pittsburgh’s breakdown. I just loved the way Detroit handled it. No chatter, no retaliations, no cheapshots they jsut went out there and did their business. There’s no doubt that Pavel’s return added a huge lift to the team. Personally I hope Hossa breaks out for Game 6. No better time in my book.

Alan

June 7th, 2009
1:37 pm

I enjoyed seeing the Pittsburgh parade to the penalty box. With as petulant as they were last night, I hope that’s the only parade they have.

Director of ticket sales.

June 7th, 2009
7:25 pm

Atlanta Thrashers do not have ALOT of great fans. They have 1,426 great fans, 4,628 good fans, 1,618 weekend fans, and 278 walk up fans on any given night.

Midfield

June 7th, 2009
7:33 pm

I am expecting a very biased officiating in Pittsburgh. The league is going to try to save Crosby’s face and prolong the series.

LAC

June 7th, 2009
8:54 pm

YOUR VIEW
Thrashers GM Don Waddell says his contract is ‘on-going.’ Should he be ‘re-signed’?

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Yes 11.48% 21
No 88.52% 162

Well the FANS are having their SAY, ok “owners” deal with it and get us a NEW GM !

LAC

June 7th, 2009
8:57 pm

Wings fan, As you can see there is a lot of PRIDE & PASSION on these ajc blogs and we set a NEW attendence record for an expansion team.

Playoffs were a SELLOUT both games… If we had a new GM we might get there sooner !!!

Wings fan in Ga.

June 7th, 2009
10:45 pm

I know there is a lot of pride and passion among the diehards here, I’m not disputing that. I remember in the recent years after the lockout, when they were up on the cusp of making the playoffs before ultimately advancing in, Philips was a great, great atmosphere. Of course, it was a good team to watch, too. I want them to get back to being good, whether Waddell is GM or not.

As a fan of the Detroit Lions, I know all about shoddy GMs and pisspoor teams (yes, I’m still a fan even after 0-16). When Waddell finally is released, if ever, it will feel like a holiday. Trust me.

Just out of curiosity, since this happened before I was even alive, why did the Flames leave?

Crazy Ivan

June 8th, 2009
8:24 am

@Director of Ticket Sales: Do you have any proof or are you just full of $h!t?

Bob

June 8th, 2009
8:37 am

“I would be greatly amused to hear the chorus of boos when he touches the cup.”

Boo!!!