Habs working hard to kill off Caps & Max sighting in Birmingham

Last Friday, the top-seeded Washington Capitals were set to finish off the eighth-seeded Montreal Canadiens. They had taken games three and four in Montreal by a combined score of 11-4 and returned home with a 3 games to 1 series lead. With a win, they could have joined the Philadelphia Flyers as Eastern Conference teams that had punched their ticket to round number two and a week off to prepare for it.

Washington won the President’s Cup…had the league’s best G/G average, (3.82)…and the highest ranked power play, (25.2%). They had survived an early-series scare, losing the first game and then trailing 4-1 in the second period of game two, but now it was time to take care of business…do away with the first-round fodder and move on.

Besides, the NHL world is really just looking forward to that Crosby/Ovechkin rematch in the Eastern Conference Finals…so this first-round is just and exercise in academics, right?

Well if so…it seems Montreal has yet to receive the memo.

Behind Jaroslav Halak’s 53 save performance and Michael Cammalleri’s two goals in game six, the Canadiens will return to D.C. …a place where they have won twice in three games…for the all important, deciding, do-or-die, there is no tomorrow, lose and go home, win and move on, game seven on Wednesday night.

So how are they doing it so far? Well, one major reason is that Halak has held off the mighty Capitals offensive juggernaut when it’s matter most…holding them to but two goals on 92 shots over the last two games. Another has to do with the Hab’s penalty kill unit allowing Washington just a single power play goal, an Ovechkin tally in game four. This even though the Caps have been afforded 28 chances on the man advantage.

That’s a kill ratio of .96.4%…and it’s helped them to get to within a game of killing off the top-seeded Capitals.

The Habs and Caps are the only series in the east still yet to be decided as Monday night the Boston Bruins finished off their 6-3 upset of the Buffalo Bruins with a 4-3 win in Beantown behind a pair of goals by David Krejci.

If Washington pulls this series out with a win Wednesday night, they will take on a much-rested Flyers squad while Boston and Pittsburgh square off. If the Canadiens come out victorious…winning three straight after being down 3 games to 1…then the Penguins become the highest remaining seed and will draw Montreal while the Bruins and Flyers would go at it in round two.

Tomorrow night we’ll be treated to a seventh game in the battle between Detroit and Phoenix. This was brought about by the Coyotes win Sunday afternoon in Motown. If the Yotes pull this out…and that’s whom I am pulling for…then that would mean all four top-ranked teams advanced setting up a Sharks-Coyotes and Canucks-Blackhawks matchup.

If Detroit wins, they will be rewarded by drawing the top-seeded Sharks.

Vancouver will face off against Chicago regardless, who played there way into the elite-eight by way of a 5-3 game-six win last night in Nashville. This, of course, was preceded by Saturday’s dramatic overtime win when Marian Hossa went from sin-bin to hero…scoring 10-seconds after being freed from the box after a boarding call with 63 second left in the third earned him five minutes in the box with the Hawks down 4-3.

Afinogenov Sighting in Birmingham

Where does one go to prepare for the World Championship? Why Birmingham, Alabama of course. At least, that is, if you are Maxim Afinogenov.

Afinogenov scored a career-high 24 goals for the Thrashers last season (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Afinogenov scored a career-high 24 goals for the Thrashers last season (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

As Ray Melick of the Birmingham News reports, last Tuesday Max was in town with his girlfriend Elena Dementieva…who was there with her Russian National Team tennis teammates competing in the Fed Cup…and was looking for some ice time. So he shows up at the Pelham Ice Rink for a little adult pick-up game…to the delight of not only those he played against but for the fans that got to spend a little time with him afterwards.

Jeff Cheeseman, the director of hockey at the ice rink, said he was surprised to get a call from Afinogenov’s agent …but he was happy to make sure Max was on the list, even waiving the $10 sign-up fee.

“He was very professional, sharing the puck and everything”, Cheeseman said of the 30-year old native of Moscow who is scheduled to be a UFA this summer. “The I told him we have a little better level of competition on Thursday nights with BASH, (Birmingham Area Select Hockey). These are guys who played college or minor league, a few of the old Birmingham Bulls”.

“As a general rule, we don’t allow drop-ins”, Cheeseman continued. “We made an exception”.

As for the game…after Afinogenov scored seven goals in about ten minutes for the black team, making the score 7-2, he was “traded” over to white squad. The final score was 16-13 white…Max scoring 17 of the 29 overall goals and all three for team white after the score was 13-13.

After the game, word got around that the NHL star player was in the locker room and Max stuck around making sure everyone who wanted an autograph on a stick, jersey, puck or picture… got one.

He then thanked the players for allowing him to join them as well.

Sounds like a fun night and a good time had by all the lucky fans that happened to be at the rink that evening.

147 comments Add your comment

R. Stroz

April 26th, 2010
11:55 pm

R. Stroz

April 26th, 2010
11:58 pm

Kind of ironic that Max scored 17 goals isn’t it?

What was the number of that player that recruited Max for the Thrashers?

Brendan

April 27th, 2010
12:04 am

Nice blog on the Montreal-Washington series. If someone asked me to identify the two series that would go all seven games, I would have said, “Boston vs. Buffao” and “Los Angeles vs. Vancouver.” I sure wouldn’t have said “Phoenix vs. Detoit” and “Washington vs. Montreal.” But that’s why they play the games.

Nice to see Max destroyed competition at a fraction of his talent level.

R. Stroz

April 27th, 2010
12:12 am

I’m sure if Rawhide didn’t check my votes on the outcome of the playoff series, I would be 100% accurate.

Cornbread

April 27th, 2010
1:08 am

Max = Typical Hot Shot Ice Hog

Just sayin’ ;) Good for him to get out there and lace ‘em up with the mortals.

BestTimesNow

April 27th, 2010
1:52 am

Here’s a link my videos and pictures of the game when Maxim was in Birmingham. It was a lot of fun.

http://www.youtube.com/user/BestTimesNow

ScottBravesfan

April 27th, 2010
2:45 am

That’s awesome that Max would do that. Classy guy

LAC

April 27th, 2010
3:04 am

We should have our AHL team in Birmingham, close by and hockey was a sucess with the
Birmingham Bulls of the WHA in the 70’s… Even Paul “Bear” Bryant attended games on a regular basis !!!

Carolina moved their AHL team to Charoltte for next season, Why not us to B’ham ?

Then we could develop our own players with our system, not like the mess in Chicago !

Plus Hamberger Heaven is in B’ham, Best in the WORLD !

ben

April 27th, 2010
6:39 am

Max did a classy thing. I hope he can come back, but oh well. Now that Dudley is making the choices, I know I will be.

Lee

April 27th, 2010
6:47 am

Talk about an upset! The Caps should’ve swept the Habs!

GO BLACKHAWKS!

World Be Free

April 27th, 2010
7:41 am

Brendan-I hate to say I called the Sabres’ demise, but I am not surprised. A bunch of 3rd liners, half of which won’t go into the corners, take a hit to make a play. The guy they let go for nothing, Briere had a great series for Philly. You gotta have guys who are willing to make sacrifices if you are going to advance in the playoffs. Sabres will be on the golf course, again later this afternoon. Maybe now some of our fellow Thrasher fans can wonder why they get so crazy over a road win in Atlanta in the middle of a season. You have to take victories when you can. This is a 40 years tradition and counting.

LAC-putting a team in Birmingham would help the Thrashers build their following in the south, outside Atlanta. I remember the Bulls during their WHA days.

Joe Friday, don’t know what your gig is sometimes. Saw your post about Ellis last night (via Rinne). Not sure what your stance is on a new goalie, other than advocating for an old UFA that’s never won anything, which will require at least $5M to attract (maybe) to Atlanta. If we commit so much to a new goaltender, how much more will we have to sign our free agents and pickup another piece, or two? You should have some more respect for your fellow posters, but you don’t.

JLH

April 27th, 2010
8:00 am

BTNOW – Thanks for the video…………..Nice to see a player that just loves being on the ice! Brendan, I don’t understand your cynicism about Max…….. Do you really think his ego needs that kind of stroking?

Yes, I have to agree about moving our AHL team down here…… Birmingham or Gwinnett….. But I have to say, I don’t expect a commitment of that magnitude from this ownership group…..

GaVaHokie

April 27th, 2010
8:21 am

Very cool about Max! Love hearing stuff like that… Evander Kane dropping in on youth hockey in Atlanta, Max dropping in on men’s league in Birmingham! That’s how you build a fan base.

DWTOO

April 27th, 2010
8:27 am

Nice to see Max mix it up with some local guys. He probably could have scored 50 – 60 goals if he felt like it. Would not want to be the goalies that night. Like the part where it states Max passed the puck and mixed it up. Max showed his class by hanging around after the game talking with the players and hanging around to sign autographs.

Imagine another professional athlete playing/hanging with the locals? That’s why hockey players are the best.

Birmingham would be a great place for our A League team. Gwinnett’s too close – not enough interest for two teams.

GaVaHokie

April 27th, 2010
8:34 am

FYI… on the Draft front, our best possible pick now is #23 with the Nashville exit. Vancouver and Chicago are both Division winners. One of them will make it to the Conference Final.

Here is the best case scenario:

30) Detroit/Phoenix
29) Pittsburgh
28) Vancouver/Chicago
27) Philly
26) Washington
25) San Jose
24) Chicago/Vancouver
23) Atlanta (via NJ)

Red Light

April 27th, 2010
8:34 am

Operating on 3 hours sleep after arriving home at 4:55 am. A great playoff atmosphere last night in Nashville. Rinne was simply awful in the first period, seemed to be fighting the puck and didn’t look comfortable until midway through the second period. Despite trailing 3-1 and giving up the mid-ice goal, the Preds bounced back and made a nice comeback effort, particularly after withstanding 10 minutes of shorthanded play in the second. Following those penalty kills and during a break in the action, the crowd stood, hooted and hollered and waved their white towels for a solid 2 minutes to salute their team. A great scene.

More a bit later. COFFEE!!!!

GaVaHokie

April 27th, 2010
8:36 am

also… you can sub out Philly and Pittsburgh with Montreal and Boston… it doesn’t matter, still works out the same. If Washington and San Jose make the Conference Finals, then Chicago picks 26th and we pick 25th.

jimbo

April 27th, 2010
8:45 am

Talk about a Rink Rat. I hope we keep him. What’s up with Halak? Looked like a combo of Roy/Brodeur. At times during the season he looked like Norm Maracle, flopping all over the place. Great to see the intensity of the playoffs and I hope that we get a new coach who instills this type of intensity into our boys.

World Be Free

April 27th, 2010
8:46 am

So are we resigning Max? Anyone else for keeping him other than me?

ThrashDawg

April 27th, 2010
8:46 am

I would like to see us resign Max to a two year deal. Off topic a little here but, is anyone else a little concerned we might go for a coach with little to no NHL head coaching experience? There has been alot of talk about the assistant coach in Chicago and I just don’t know if I am ready for that after Anderson. I would like a proven winner in the NHL, just my two cents.

Savannah Blueland Fan

April 27th, 2010
8:55 am

Chicago wins!! YEA!!!! Despite a whistle-happy bunch of referees.

Habs win!! BOO!!! All those white flags in the stands; so very French. So, is Washington going to choke again like last year?

Holding to my prediction that Blackhawks defeat the Capitals in 5 games.

Rawhide

April 27th, 2010
8:56 am

So are we resigning Max? Anyone else for keeping him other than me?

WBFraising hand, jumping up and down….OOOoooh, ME!! ME!!! ME!!!

Imagine another professional athlete playing/hanging with the locals? That’s why hockey players are the best.

DWTOO – Indeed…by far they are the best, most accessable pro athletes out there.

BestTimesNow – Nice!! Thanks!

More a bit later. COFFEE!!!!

Red Light – Trixie’s brewing some up down…when done, I’ll pour ya a cup. Take it black or with cream/sugar?

I would like to see us resign Max to a two year deal. Off topic a little here but, is anyone else a little concerned we might go for a coach with little to no NHL head coaching experience? There has been alot of talk about the assistant coach in Chicago and I just don’t know if I am ready for that after Anderson. I would like a proven winner in the NHL, just my two cents.

ThrashDawg – Agree on 2 year deal for Max…3 tops. As for your comments regarding possibly bringing in someone w/ no experience as an NHL head coach….I argee in general as well. I opined just after the firings that the new guy should come with proven experience at this level. I just don’t think we have time to give anyone else “on the joib training” like we did Anderson.

kracker

April 27th, 2010
9:06 am

LAC…great idea on having the Thrashers AHL affiliate in Birmingham. It probably puts a player on as little as 4 or 5 hours notice in a pinch when his team is at home, and he’d easily be available for the next day. Grows the SE fan base and expands hockey generally in the region, all good stuff.

Of course, it requires either AHL expansion or the relocation of a current team. I doubt there’s any chance of the Wolves leaving Chicago.

DWTOO

April 27th, 2010
9:07 am

Sign Max “Right F’in’ Now”!

WBF – It must “hurt” to say those words after watching Max play in Buffalo. However, he must have had an ephinany (sp?) this season. He still makes the bad pass and presses too much. And he’ll never be confused for a defensive specialist, but, he hustled, back checked (to the best of his abilities), and rarely took a shift off (face it – they all do).

Savannah Blueland Fan

April 27th, 2010
9:11 am

Oh, yeah…almost forgot: GO COLORADO!! Go Avalanche? Go ‘Lanche? We’ll work on your name later.

World Be Free

April 27th, 2010
9:13 am

Bill-me too, I like Thrash Dog’s suggestion of a 2 year deal. Gotta keep Max motivitaed by having to work for anotyher contractr in the near future.

Thrashdog-there are a number of names suggested out there for our next coach. I look at the success of younger coaches like Cory Clouston in Ottawa and Dan Bylsma in Pittsburgh to see young guys that bring a fresh approch to their respective teams. I am a big fan of Ramsay or other expeirences coaches. But I also worry if an older coach’s style and approach are not with the game as it is played today. I still consider Cunneyworth a candidate, though I think Randy has little chance of getting an interview here becuase of his role under John Anderson.

Smoothie

April 27th, 2010
9:17 am

Whether or not Max re-signs is entirely up to Max and his agent. Dudley Doo Wadd will sign him if the price is right. As long as they don’t over-shoot the target (I say no more than $2.25 M on avg), then Max should be back in Blueland this season. Preferably I’d like to see him play on the 2nd line with Kane and Pevs, at least to start out the season. Hopefully we’ll get our hands on Patrick Sharp for our top line and Little can slide down to the 3rd line between Jimmah and the Droid.

ThrashDawg

April 27th, 2010
9:22 am

WBF- I guess my gut feeling is the organization and more importantly the fan base needs a coach with a solid winning track record in the NHL. A younger coach is going to be met with some skepticism from the players (Anderson) and a luke warm response from the fan base. A young coach might be good in stable organizations like Pittsburgh and Ottawa, I just feel we are too fragile for this type of scenerio. We need a coach that will demand respect from the organization, players and fans.

Rawhide

April 27th, 2010
9:25 am

WBF- I guess my gut feeling is the organization and more importantly the fan base needs a coach with a solid winning track record in the NHL. A younger coach is going to be met with some skepticism from the players (Anderson) and a luke warm response from the fan base. A young coach might be good in stable organizations like Pittsburgh and Ottawa, I just feel we are too fragile for this type of scenerio. We need a coach that will demand respect from the organization, players and fans

TD – Spot on, IMHO. If they look to the Wolves again and hire their coach, I think most people would roll their eyes and say, “Well…there we go again, making the very same mistake we did 2 years ago”. The coaching hire needs to signal a desire…an expectation…that winning now is the objective.

FormerIslesFan

April 27th, 2010
9:26 am

Note to GS29: I realize that that it was only games 5 and 6 and both were elimination games, but do you still hold the position that Halak is not a “money” goalie?

ThrashDawg

April 27th, 2010
9:28 am

Rawhide- Amen Brother!!! Dudley needs to send a message that this is not Thrasher business as usual to the players, fans and the rest of the NHL. It is time to put Atlanta in the hockey business with a respected coach.

da 'boomer

April 27th, 2010
9:30 am

Rightshot

April 27th, 2010
9:39 am

All for signing Max to a 2 year deal.

Savannah Blueland Fan

April 27th, 2010
9:42 am

Scratch my last post!!! I meant—-GO COYOTES!!! Maybe I’m the one that needs more coffee!

kracker

April 27th, 2010
9:44 am

Max – yes, 2-4 yrs at $2-2.5M per. Max will still be fast w/ good moves 5 yrs from now.
Coach – prefer a formerly successful NHL head coach…but at least a solid assistant coach

Basically, for the above 2 topics, as well as all the other upcoming decisions, I’m trusting the new GM.

No GM makes the right call every time but it will be really great Duds starts off his tenure by hiring the right coaches, making the correct selections (and possible deals) at the amateur draft and hopefully his initial roster changes all work.

Get The Puck Out

April 27th, 2010
9:44 am

Lamire has retired. Maybe he just wanted out at NJ. Any thoughts on Lamire?

Red Light

April 27th, 2010
9:48 am

OK. First thing about Nashville is that the area surrounding the arena is a lot of fun with plenty of food and entertainment options, so unlike anything we experience around our venues. Yes, we have Taco Mac, Dantanna’s, STATs, etc. but there is no “area” near our arena. A food court just doesn’t do it. Outside the Bridgestone Arena, it’s mindful of a smaller, less raucous Wrigleyville in Chitown. Lots of Chicagoans made the trip and I visited with several before the game. Many got their tickets after Sat.’s win and because they can’t get tickets at the United Center, they made the seven-hour drive to Nashvegas.

Like Philips Arena, the Arena has a Center Club style club restaurant called the Patron Platinum Club run by the same folks that provide the food service at the United Center, Philips Arena, Bridgestone Arena, etc. A buddy of mine set us up there for the pre-game buffet and talk about letting the fox loose in the hen house! Very, very nice and unbelievable spread.

The game was boosted by a traditional playoff atmosphere and I have to give Nashville fans a lot of credit, although like Atlanta, they cheer for their goalie when making a routine save from 100-feet. Of course, after the unfortunate 2nd goal, I could see their point.

There is no question which team was more talented: bigger, faster, deeper, more skilled and the right team won the series. However, using the ifs and buts after Game 5, the outcome could have been much different.

Should you have the opportunity to watch a playoff game in future years in Nashville, I highly recommend it.

World Be Free

April 27th, 2010
9:51 am

Thrashdog and Bill-can’t argue with your thoughts. In fact I think you are right on concerning an experienced coach. So are we looking at Stevens, Ramsay, or someone else?

Rawhide

April 27th, 2010
9:54 am

So are we looking at Stevens, Ramsay, or someone else?

WBF – I would think those names are at least on Dudley’s list…as well as others. He’s not in a rush to do this in the next couple of weeks. He’s said he wants to wait until after the playoffs are done to speak with a number of candidates.

Red Light

April 27th, 2010
10:03 am

Thoughts on Lemaire?

Time to hang it up. Great system coach but his no-nonsense, gruff approach hasn’t worked for several years now with the veterans who tire of his constant criticism. He won a Cup and lost in the conference finals three times. Nice career and now it’s time for him to enjoy his retirement. He’ll be 65 in September and it may be time for him to take Lou with him.

John MacLean will be Lemaire’s replacement. Former Devil who holds the franchise record for goals, seven years as an assistant and now coach of the Lowell Devils (AHL). Tommy Albelin will be one of his assistants as will Mario Tremblay if he isn’t chosen instead of MacLean.

TableHockey

April 27th, 2010
10:05 am

WBF – for what it’s worht – the names I keep hearing from the talking heads are Ramsay and Torchetti

Smoothie

April 27th, 2010
10:15 am

Lemaire is taking an office job with the Devils. He’s retiring to the comfort of a luxury box at the Rock. He will not be our coach.

I’m liking the idea of John Stevens the more and more that I think about it. Can coach young players, has proven his system works in the playoffs, plays a gritty, hard fore-checking style and has not yet had a goalie as talented as Pavelec between the pipes. Assuming we can hire a legit goalie coach and Stevens brings in some good assistants, I think this team can grow under his tutelage. I’m okay with Ramsay but again worry about his age and ability to connect with young players. Torch is the guy with all the cache (and obviously is tight with Duds), but I can’t help but think he’ll stay put and hope he succeeds Quennville when he gets the ax next year. Why do I say that? Because they will choke and lose in 6 games to Vancouver. They will lose a key player or two this offseason, start sluggishly and Quennville will be the sacrificial lamb on the altar for the Hawks, much like Stevens was in Philly. So I’m officially going on record that Stevens will be our next Head Coach in ATL.

Red Light

April 27th, 2010
10:31 am

11 coaching changes since 1998 in New Jersey.

From Briere about the differences of Stevens and Laviolette: “”There is a difference in philosophy, in the way they wanted us to play,” Danny Briere said. “John was more passive, waiting for chances and for teams to turn the puck over. Peter wants us on the go, to attack at all times.

“I remember him showing clips of a lot of the guys over the first couple of weeks,” Briere continued. “As soon as the puck would turn, our first instinct would be to sit back and wait for the other team. Pete didn’t want that. He wanted us to be on the go all the time. I think, mentally, it was adjustment to just get on the same page he was of having us go on the forecheck all the time.”

Not sure if Stevens has any connection to Dudley, and that means his chances are limited. Tampa Bay for him?

Joe Friday

April 27th, 2010
10:35 am

“You should have some more respect for your fellow posters, but you don’t.”

No need to get your panties in a bunch, but sure I do, just don’t respect tripe like advocating Ellis for our goalie.

I explained to those of you advocating Ellis that he wasn’t the answer here, much less an improvement over Moose, and you didn’t want to listen. So the irony of Rinne coming out last night and absolutely crapping the bed in the 1st, and STILL not getting pulled for Ellis, speaks volumes as to Ellis and his ability, or lack thereof. Just the facts, man, could care less about blowing smoke up your rear about this or that, fact is Ellis couldn’t beat out Rinne who just took his club out of a key Game 6 and got knocked out in the 1st round. That’s not what we need here.

Red Light, not suprised to hear the faithful came down the road for the game. Cubs’ fans did the same thing when the Cubbies played the Braves a few years ago in the Wild Card series. Couldn’t get a ticket to save your life in Wrigley, I had some of my boys fly down and we had 10th row 3rd base line, bought after the season ended. The boys couldn’t believe we didn’t sell out here. We called Turner Field, Wrigley South, that week.

World Be Free

April 27th, 2010
10:42 am

Red Light-thanks for the inout on Briere. Danny was always pretty frank and open on how he feels about things. I am actually pulling for briere in Philly to make Darcy Regier look bad. I don’t believe there is any connection between Stevens and Dudley. Tochetti and Ramsay have the Duds’ connections, so I think have to believe they have to be the two leading candidates.

What about Lindy Ruff? Is it time for a change with ther Sabres? Just saying…..

World Be Free

April 27th, 2010
10:44 am

Joe, thanks for the flaming turd response on Ellis. It’s interesting you would pick a blog name like Joe Friday. On TV, Joe Friday was a predictable stiff with no personality. Dan Ackroyd’s parody of him in “Dragnet” solidified his cigar store Indian personality. By your postings, I‘d have to say you hit the blog name right on.

Joe Friday

April 27th, 2010
10:54 am

“I‘d have to say you hit the blog name right on.”

Awww, someone has their feelings hurt. Quit crying and man up, Sally, or not, but please quit asking for losers like Ellis as our answer in goal. Think big.

“the names I keep hearing from the talking heads are Ramsay and Torchetti”

I think the odds are pretty strong that it’ll be Torchetti.

Rawhide

April 27th, 2010
10:58 am

Red Light – I love Nashvegas….The Blueland Chronicle boys and I headed up there at the end of January to see the Thrashers play the Preds. Great crowd…even despite the 7-inches or so of snow that fell the day prior. I love how the arena dumps you out right on Broadway, what with all the live-band bars and all.

Took us 4-1/2 hours to get back to the hotel that was 2 blocks away. Don’t ask me why….shrugs

Oh well…what happens in Nashvegas, stays in Nashvegas.

Red Light

April 27th, 2010
11:01 am

Smoothie

April 27th, 2010
11:07 am

You want facts man? Here you go:

In 111 games (99 starts), Dan Ellis’ career numbers are nearly better than Moose’s career year. Ellis has a career SV% of .912 and a GAA of 2.64 despite a relatively poor 2nd year in which his SV% was .900 and his GAA tumbled down to 2.94. But that .900 SV% was still better than 5 of Moose’s seasons as a back-up. Moose’s career year was the first one in 5 seasons in which his SV% was actually above .898.

While Moose certainly toiled on worse teams over the last several years, dismissing Ellis’s numbers as a potential UFA for the Thrashers is quite short-sighted and petulant for someone who likes to use facts to form conclusions. If you think Moose is going to duplicate his career year at 37 years of age, you are quite the gambler.

The bigger point is Ellis has the potential to be a solid goalie and at least a back-up for Pavelec for years to come where as Moose may have one or two decent years left in him at best. If you are so down on Ellis, does that mean you are sold on Pavelec to start 50+ games next year? Cuz your pipe dream of getting a player the caliber of Nabby is far-fetched at best.