Video replay gets goal call right in Philly as lack of replay robs Tigers pitcher

Wednesday night the Philadelphia Flyers pulled off a 4-3 win in overtime, taking their first game of their series with the Chicago Blackhawks after dropping the first two in Chicago. There are several factors that lead to Philly’s victory…not the least of which was that their second goal was made possible by the league’s ability to utililize video replay to get calls right.

With the score tied 1-1 in the first period, Chris Pronger’s shot on goal deflected off of Scott Harnell’s stick and slithered through Blackhawk’s goalie Antti Niemi. Defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson swept the puck away and, even though the red light was flashing, play continued for another 1:42. The boys in Toronto then took another look at the play and correctly awarded the goal to Philly… although initially they gave it Pronger before changing it to Hartnell.

The rest, as the old saying goes, is history.

This was a prime example of why the NHL…and NFL for that matter… implemented video replay to help in getting calls right…but not all professional sports have such ability. And if you’ll allow me to divert away from hockey for a moment, I’d like to share with you way having such rules in place are a very, very good thing for sports.

While game-three of the Stanley Cup Finals was playing out, 450 miles west-northwest of Philadelphia another major sporting even was taking place in Detroit’s Comercia Park. The Tigers were hosting the Cleveland Indians in a MBL American League Central Division matchup and a little bit of history was a-brewin’. Tigers’ pitcher Armando Galarraga was in the process of pitching a perfect game…no opposing batters reaching base either by base hit, walk, error or hit batsman. It’s something that has only been accomplished 18 times prior to this season. Oddly enough however, two perfect games were pulled off just last months.

But never has a Detroit Tigers pitcher tossed a perfect game.

There were two outs in the top of the ninth…Detroit leading 3-0…and the assembled crowd was on their feet in anticipation of that last, historic out. Jason Donlald was Cleveland’s last hope. He hit a bouncer to the right side of the infield…first baseman Miguel Cabrera moved to his right to field it…turned and flipped to Galarraga who was covering first…the ball was squeezed in the pitcher’s glove, right foot made contact with the bag…OUT!

Joy…rapture…pandemonium…time to celebrate the first perfect game in Tigers history…

Ummm, wait…not so fast.

First base umpire Jim Joyce called Donald safe…and the perfecto was lost.

Now, upon further review of the play, it was clear that the runner was indeed out. However, MLB has no rule which allows for the play to be reviewed and…if deemed necessary…overturned.

The play and the call…not to mention the historical context… were errily similar to the one that still haunts St. Louis Cardinal fans from game-six of the 1985 World Series against the Kansas City Royals…one that allowed the Royals to sneak out of the park with a 2-1 win. KC then came back the next night to pound the Cards 11-0 in game-seven, taking…some in St. Louis would argue, stealing…the championship.

The play that will forever stay in the memory of Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga...as well as umpire Jim Joyce's (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

The play that will forever stay in the memory of Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga...as well as umpire Jim Joyce's (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

To Joyce’s credit, the 23-year umpiring veteran openly admitted he blew the call after he saw the replay for himself. “It was the biggest call of my career, and I kicked the #$%@ out of it”, he said afterwards. “I just cost that kid a perfect game”.

“I thought he beat the throw. I was convinced he beat the throw, until I saw the replay”.

Also not to be overlooked here is the way the pitcher who was robbed of his spot in the MBL history book reacted to the play. “I would have been the first person in may face”, Joyce continued. “But he never said a word to me”.

Galarraga retired the very next batter after the controversial play…completing the “28-out perfect game”.

After the game, Joyce asked to speak to Galarraga to offer up his apologies.

“You don’t see an umpire after the game come out and say ‘Hey, let me tell you I’m sorry’”, Galarraga said of the meeting. “He felt really bad”.

Now, moving back to hockey…when I was watching the Blackhawks-Flyers game last night and the reviewed play gave the Flyers the deserved goal, my first thought was about the fans back in Chicago who were coming to the realization that their team was going to be on the wrong end of this deal. It reminded me of a play three years ago that went against the Thrashers in game four of the playoffs.

I apologize in advance for re-opening this old wound…

As you’ll no-doubt recall, the Rangers were up 3 games to none and the Thrashers were clinging to their slim hopes to remain alive in the playoffs. The score was 2-2 in the third period and a shot zipped by Johan Hedberg, deflected off the bottom of the crossbar, landed on the line and then kicked out.

It looked like we had dodged a bullet…but upon further review, the puck hit the ice right on it’s side allowing for just a sliver of white ice to be seen between the red line and the black puck. Clearly, it was a goal and a 3-2 Rangers lead.

I remember cursing that damned video replay rule that night!

But in the end, the correct call was made…as was the case last night in Philadelphia…and that’s what is best for integrity of the game.

Unfortunately for Armando Galarraga and Tigers fans…this is not the case in MLB.

112 comments Add your comment

GaVaHokie

June 4th, 2010
12:17 pm

Here’s a summary of the Dudley interview with Bettman…

How did you get started? blah blah…
How did you get so good at scouting? Dudley talked about his scoring system for analyzing propsects (without any specific info). He scores guys on Skating, hands, aggressiveness,hockey sense, etc. and they get a total score.

Transition from Asst. GM to GM? blah blah… most notable part,he said, “I said the same thing in Chicago and they laughed at me, but Atlanta is a good team waiting to happen”

Who do you like in the Cup Final? blah blah…

In conclusion… pretty weak interview.

World Be Free

June 4th, 2010
12:59 pm

Draft article-interesting-
http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/story/2010/06/03/spf-nhldraft-rising-falling.html

Goaltending-as mentioned before, I really think the Thrashers should seriously look at Josh Harding in Minnesota. You could get Harding, probably for a high pick this season, sign him at a reasonable contract and have him in nets for a long time. The options on July 1 will cost alot more, using money that might be needed for other upgrades.

GaVaHokie

June 4th, 2010
1:42 pm

WBF… thanks for that link. I actually read that Nino had a bad showing at the Combine (per ESPN Insider).

If so, he might not be our pick… Dudley recently said that the Combine just “confirms what he already knew”. That sounds like a GM who was impressed with Combine results. So, Nino might not be the choice.

… a few guys that had great Combines in our area of the draft were Emerson Etem, Brett Connolly, Nick Bjugstad and John McFarland.

McFarland had the best standing long jump. You might say big deal, but apparently, according to Norm Gledhill, it’s one of the biggest determining factors in picking the best athlete.

http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?catid=635

E.J. McGuire compares McFarland to Brenden Morrow (I’ll take that!). Plays 5-on-5 and plays the PK. McGuire says he’s the perfect combination of speed, skill, and hockey knowledge… sounds familiar to Dudley’s “scoring” analysis I mentioned above.

… just speculating. I know a lot of people want Nino. I want Etem. But, it seems like McFarland might fit the Dudley mold.

World Be Free

June 4th, 2010
2:10 pm

Sounds like Dudley must have already did some extensive scouting last year, in his previous position. I think EJ and Dudley know each other too, from Dudley’s days in Buffalo.

Smoothie

June 4th, 2010
2:11 pm

Hokie, the more I read about Etem, the more I like him. I’ve watched his video footage and I love his speed. Seems like he would be a great complement to Kane crashing the net off the other wing flanking Bryan Little…tons of speed and hustle!!

But it may be too hard to pass on Skinner to play the pivot since we’re a bit thin on future scoring depth there (assuming Espo can’t make it all the way back). Not to mention he is Jeremy Morin’s set-up man and it makes you wonder if two guys who combined for 97 goals in JR should be together at the NHL level given the chance. However, his stock is rising so much that I think someone will take him before # 8.

I reckon we’ll be choosing between Johansen, Nino, Etem and perhaps Connolly if he drops due to his injuries.

If the scouting reports are that high on Mcfarland, then I’m fine with taking him should he be available at the 24th pick.

GaVaHokie

June 4th, 2010
2:30 pm

I think Skinner is more likely a 24th pick… yes, his stock is rising, but Central Scouting has him at 34th up from 47th in Mid-term rankings with a “red hot” status.

I hear what you’re saying… but going by experts, his “rising stock” seems to elevate him to 1st Round where he was normally supposed to be a 2nd rounder… in fact, his draft status could play out just like Jeremy Morin.

GaVaHokie

June 4th, 2010
2:33 pm

I would like to see Etem at 8th, and then try and move up from 24th to say 15th to get McFarland or to 18th to guarantee Skinner (just in case).

Speaking of Morin and Skinner chemistry… Bogosian was super stoked last summer when we drafted Morin. He said, “Morin? That’s my boy!”

So, you figure Morin is Bogosian’s boy, and if Skinner is Morin’s boy, that makes for a good locker room, IMO.

Smoothie

June 4th, 2010
2:38 pm

Other than CS, every publication and blog I’ve read has Skinner Top 15 or higher. I think it is very unlikely for a 50 goal scorer in his “sophomore” JR season to fall below 20. Not saying it isn’t possible, but recall that Morin didn’t project to be a 1st rounder due to his poor skating. I haven’t seen that knock on Skinner at all.

We shall see. I’d be very happy with both Etem and Skinner but I just don’t see us being that lucky to get Skinner at # 24.

GaVaHokie

June 4th, 2010
2:41 pm

Of course, there’s always the “Blake Wheeler” scenario… Wheeler was ranked in the 20’s and Gretzky (PHO) went out on a limb and took him 5th.

Side note: I still hate Wheeler to this day… Gretz got major flack for taking him that high, then Blake plays 3 years of college, turns down the Phoenix contract offer and signs with Boston.

MB

June 4th, 2010
2:44 pm

Great clip on the behind-the-scenes tour of the combine, Hokie. Now I remember why I never made it into the league. ;-)

In regards to replay, the Galarraga call may well be the tipping point that leads to it being instituted in some form by MLB. It seems like each of the major sports has had at least one signature moment where a blown call was so obvious, seen by a great number of fans, and of such import that it pushed the leagues into adopting replay. In football there was a clear touchdown waved off in a Houston v. Pittsburgh playoff game, and then years later a Testaverde touchdown that shouldn’t have been in a Jets v. Seattle game. In the NBA, the Lakers hit a buzzer beater to beat the Kings in the playoffs, only the shot hadn’t been released in time. Harder to find info on the NHL’s adoption of it, but it appears to be related to two goals allowed by the Bruins that shouldn’t have been. In each case, though, it seems that public outcry finally pushed the leagues and owners to adopt rules that they’d been considering anyway.

Those leagues, however, did not have Bud Selig as commissioner, and if there’s ever been somebody who could bury his head deep enough in the sand to ignore all sound, fury, and logic, it’s Bud Selig. Heck, one of the best things about Gary Bettman is that at least he’s not Bud Selig.

Opponents of replay in each sport have argued that it will slow down the game and that it reduces the human element, and to a degree they are right. But in general each sport has done a good job determining which situations merit review, and most continue to tinker with it to make it as unobtrusive as possible to the flow of the game while still managing, more often than not, to get the call correct.

Personally, I’d much rather see the right call be made at the expense of a typically short delay in action (< 2 mins.). Just think about Wednesday night's game…two reviewed calls had significant impacts on the game. Both were reviewed correctly and allowed the players on the ice to determine the outcome, not the missed call of an official.

GaVaHokie

June 4th, 2010
2:45 pm

Smoothie… you can’t go wrong reaching for a 50 goal scorer.

Or, maybe you can. :)
http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/teams/players/bio/?id=1849

Brendan

June 4th, 2010
2:59 pm

Here’s a boxscore to Game 3. Notice that Braydon Coburn was a -3.

http://www.nhl.com/ice/boxscore.htm?id=2009030413

HookyBob

June 4th, 2010
5:53 pm

WBF: Damien Cox on http://www.thestar.com/sports/hockey/nhl/article/818888–cox-diminutive-briere-rebounds-to-play-like-a-giant (sorry I couldn’t make it link) has a good article on Briere. A memorable line “a classic story of redemption or vindication.” He thinks Danny is Conn Smythe worthy should Philly prevail.

Lee here’s one for you: http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/hockey/blackhawks/ct-spt-0604-blackhawks-dan-mcneil–20100603,0,1249382.column My take away line from this article,..”it was acceptable to use “mother” as an adjective whenever a Blackhawk,..did something objectionable.”

Can hardly wait for tonight’s game,…a couple of big, brown bears going at it with every fiber of their being.

For those of you focusing on the Thrasher’s rebuilding this year,…is Iginla worth our #8 pick. (He’s almost 33, makes $7M/yr, & signed through June 2013). His influence on Kane and in the Atlanta market could be very valuable. I’d love to see a line of Iggy, Kane & Byfuglin (hey a guy can dream right).

So, is the consensus so far that the Pronger-Byfuglin match-up is way lopsided in favor of Pronger (and Pronger has pretty much shut down Toews as well)? Biggest surprise for me, so far, is that the first lines are not scoring,..and getting scored on. Is Laviolette making the better chess moves? Was the Giroux-Leino-Hartnell line a stroke of genius or what? Finally, I have trouble cheering for anyone named Claude,..but the way Giroux is playing I’m rethinking that.

HookyBob

June 4th, 2010
8:46 pm

Rawhide: As your title suggests there is definitely a lesson to be learned from the missed baseball call. But, some 48 hours later, I’m thinking the lesson is not about video replay. I’m thinking it is more about “How to take the high road” when something goes very wrong or an injustice is served. Galarraga, Joyce, Detroit fans, and baseball in general will long be remembered for how honestly and respectively this incident was dealt with. (I agree Selig has egg on his face,…but there is already so much there who notices?)

This incident, and those involved, may become more famous that the previous 18 perfect game pitchers. So, in a odd twist, these people will be remembered more than those who did reach the rarest of baseball’s mountain tops,…and you know what,.. they brought a city and fans of a sport with them.

We benefit it two ways. We are witness to history and,….some of us may learn from this and “take the high road.”

World Be Free

June 4th, 2010
9:04 pm

Hooky-great point, Danica Patrick should take notice and learn.

Tony C.

June 4th, 2010
9:36 pm

Great game tonight…. Incredible effort and “johnny-on-the-spot”ness displayed by Richards on the first goal, but uhhh-dude if Torchetti has anything to do with the way the Blackhawks are playing team defence in this sereis, I’m hoping he’s not going to be our head coach next season.

The ‘hawks PK is better than it has been, but other than good individual efforts (from Keith particularly), the guys in white sweaters look lazy and disinterested in their own 3rd-we’ll see what the 2nd half of the game holds (11min left in 2nd as I write this)… but this is not Cup-winning defence Chicago is displaying tonight.

HookyBob

June 4th, 2010
9:50 pm

Hey,… is Dudley interviewing for assistant coaches too? Call me nieve,… but I’d think he hires a coach and the coach then picks the assistants. You know…don’t bother calling me nieve,…I’ll take that as a given.

Yesterday I read an article about what a mediocre (sp) SCF this is. I disagree, but I may too focused on the moment. Life is good,…eh?

Tony C.

June 4th, 2010
9:58 pm

Also, unless we can somehow get Seguin, I really feel that Johansen is the guy…. although there’s a lot of good guys that I think are all worth our #8 pick that are ranked between 5-17 by central scounting.

I’m really hoping we don’t trade our picks unless it’s to move up. Or for a mix of players and picks- a scoring pivot and a stay at home D-man and a 1st-round and 2nd-round pick… you know something completely unrealistic-unless Milbury somehow gets another GM gig.

Rawhide

June 4th, 2010
9:59 pm

HookyBob – Your 8:46 pm post was very well put!

Here is the link the Gary Bettman show on XM that Rick Dudley was on.

Tony C.

June 4th, 2010
10:25 pm

Although, if Spezza really wants out, I might be convinced to give up #24, #54 and a prospect (going to have to be a good one I’m afraid) for Spezza-I think that might do it as well, due to the large cap-number Spezza’s contract (5 yr remaining @ $7M per) represents and the lack of teams that have the room to take it on.

Rawhide

June 4th, 2010
10:43 pm

Ice Edge Holdings has exclusive rights, with some conditions, to negotiate a lease agreement for the Phoenix Coyotes with the city of Glendale, AZ.

Brendan

June 4th, 2010
11:23 pm

Wonderful game, tonight. We will have at least a six game series. Chicago’s failure to score in overtime of Game Three, to take a 3-0 series lead, now grows larger. It doesn’t mean the Blackhawks won’t win the Stanley Cup. It just means that their path to doing so is going to take longer.

Chicago made a great comeback, after being down, 4-1. Ville Leino with the game-winner. I noticed Coburn was on the ice for the 1st Blackhawk goal. But I’ll go easy on him, tonight, as he personally saved/prevented Chicago from tying this game, with that glove in the crease nudging the puck safely to the side of the net, while Leighton was helpless.

Philly’s 3rd goal was amazing. A perfectly “timed” pass. It wasn’t just a nice pass. There was precision timing involved there. A moment slower or faster, and maybe Niemi can get in position to make a play. Instead, the Flyer player basically got a wide open net in which to tap the puck. Amazing play. One of my favorite goals of the Finals, so far. The other pretty goal was Blair Betts goal, tucked just inside the far post, in Game One, I think.

This was a fun game to watch. What a Finals!! Philly hardly crumbling here, as a 7th seed versus a 2nd seeded “powerhouse” club from the West. The Flyers are halfway home to the Cup now. This might be their last and final win of the season, but at present, they are halfway home. For a team that needed a shootout win in Game 82 to make the playoffs, win # 14 in the playoffs means their 7/8ths of way to they’re goal of 16 wins. Yes, as ARE the Blackhawks, as well.

I know this much. I can’t wait for the 2010 Stanley Cup Champions DVD to come out. I’m definitely going to buy it.

Dwayne

June 5th, 2010
8:14 am

World Be Free

June 5th, 2010
9:07 am

Tony C, don’t know why Ottawa would want to part with Spezza. You don’t give up a player like that unless you can get one of equal of greater value in return. Thrash don’t have that to offer. That contract will be tough to trade, especially if we are commited to getting a goalie in the next few weeks.

Brendan, it was a good ganme. Not a Flyers fan, but I give them high marks for playing 60 miinutes of team hockey. I keep flashing back the weekend this season that we swept the Flyers and how good the Thrashers looked against the Stanley Cup finalists. What amazes me about this series is how weak Chicago’s team defense is from the blueline in. The Hawks have been leaving Flyers all alone and failing to complete their checks. Chicago needs to be more physical, Big Buff has not been the force he needs to be, especially along the boards.

Red Light

June 5th, 2010
9:24 am

Kane: 1 goal and 2 assists
Toews: 1 assist.
Byfuglien: 1 assist
Versteeg 1 goal, 1 assist

That won’t get it done, and I’m not sure the Blackhawks have enough leadership to come back from being down 2 games to 2. That’s right, they’re down 2-2 because Philly could be up 3-1 in the series and in my opinion has had the better of the play and looks poised to take the series.

Say what you want about Coburn’s -3 in Game 3, but this kid can skate and move the puck. At his size, you’d like to see a more physical presence, but he hasn’t backed down and HookyBob is right on about Pronger vs. Byfuglien. In fact, Byfuglien has been invisible for the most part. I find it interesting though about how much ice time the top four Philly defenders are getting, The rest between Games 5 and 6 could really help them.

Chicago is best when they get goals from the middle six forwards. If they don’t get them, they’re done.

Claude Giroux is simply amazing and fun to watch. A skilled player with hockey sense. Wish we could say the same about Bryan Little.

Hossa must really be scratching his head today. He’s still two wins away and it’s not getting any easier.

Should be a very interesting Game 5 tomorrow night!

Lee

June 5th, 2010
2:15 pm

Man, Dudley did some great work with Florida, Chicago, and the Lightning! Good signs….

Tony C.

June 5th, 2010
4:57 pm

W.B.F.-I personally think they’d be foolish to let Spezza go, but if things are really toxic there, and he’s privately told their front office he’s ready to try somewhere else, then I think we’d be foolish to not make a play for this guy.

Personally, I just worry that BOTH our 1st-round picks are “in play”…. I sure hope not.

Smoothie

June 5th, 2010
7:32 pm

http://blog.dispatch.com/cbj/2010/06/svitov_not_in_cbj_plans.shtml

Any chance Svitov ends up back with his biggest former admirer, Rick Dudley? If he was a bit younger and played on the wing, then perhaps. But as a big, hard-checking C, I doubt it. But if for some reason Jimmy Slater defects in FA, then Duds might offer Svitov as insurance for Cormier if Patrice can’t make the jump. Reasoner could always go back to 3rd line C, but Cormier’s speed might be too great of an asset with Slater and say, Machacek or even Klingberg. They would be raw, but a line of Slates-Cormier-Klinger would be awfully fast, hard-nosed and aggressive on the forecheck. Twill be very interesting to see what direction Duds goes in.

Red Light

June 5th, 2010
11:22 pm

Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced today that the club has signed defenseman Dennis Seidenberg to a four-year contract extension. And, they re-signed tough guy Shawn Thornton to a two-year deal. Next idea?

World Be Free

June 6th, 2010
12:56 am

Tony C-Sam Pollock, the legendary GM of the Habs always said that the team that gets the best player in the deal wins the deal. That being said, if the Thrashers trade 2 high picks for Spezza they win that deal. I think he needs a change of scenery, just because he’s the scapegoat for everything bad in Ottawa. Fact is, he is a legitimate # 1 center. That’s a big contract though.

Red Light-Boston is up against the cap, so that menas somebody else will be available from the Broones. Congrats to Siedenberg, who is finally getting his due. Shoulda signed him last summer, as several of us suggested back then.

Smoothie-we may turn to Svitov if the other options end up like Siedenberg, resigned by their current teams. Nobody commented on my post about Harding; I think he could be had for a 2nd round.

Brendan

June 6th, 2010
6:25 am

Things are definitely getting very interesting in the SCF, Red Light. It’s at moments like these when I say to myself, “If Chicago’s gonna do it, then Kane, Toews, Sharp, and Byfuglien have to establish themselves.” It’s not JUST FOR MONEY the the league determines that playoff series should go as many as seven games. It literally takes that long for one team to emerge as the better club.

And yes, I do subscribe to the theory that says the better team wins in a best-of-seven. I’m not nearly as convinced of that in a best-of-three or best-of-five. My way of thinking says, “You can lose one game because of bad bounces. You can lose another because of poor officiating. And you can lose a third if you slipped on a banana peel, at an inopportune moment. But if you lose four, you’re out of excuses.”

So, this is it, Red Light. This is when push comes to shove. This is the time when we separate the winners from the losers, the men from the boys, and the champions from the challengers. If Toews, Kane, Hossa, Byfuglien, Sharp, Bolland, Keith, Campbell, Sopel, Hjalmarsson, and Seabrook want their names engraved on that trophy, then there’s no more room for -2 or -3 or not being on the stat sheet, offensively. The NHL won’t hand Chicago the trophy just because it’s been 49 years since they last had it.

Big players have to step up, BIG, in the Finals. What I love about Philly’s game is … they just keep coming. At every moment that I would see the Thrashers crumble in the same situation, Philly just comes roaring back. The Flyers get their chances. I’ve never seen them snuffed out, in any game. I’ve sat through games at Philips Arena with enough frequency to know that, “we ain’t scoring tonight,” by the middle of the 2nd period. The Flyers don’t get lulled to sleep. That’s an amazing trait to have, for a hockey team. Credit Peter LaViolette for keeping his troops motivated. All the time.

Final thought: This year, some “rookie” goalie is going to win the Cup for his team. And sadly for the Montreal media, it’s not Ken Dryden, Patrick Roy, or Carey Price or Jaroslav Halak. Montreal’s media seems to think that when rookie goalies make a big splash in the playoffs, it should be their team that does it. The point? This is a tremendous amount of pressure for a rookie netminder to be facing. This is now a “best-of-three” for the Cup. And every save … EVERY save … gets magnified. What do they always say? “You cannot win the Cup without good goaltending.” For Niemi, there’s probably more pressure. Chicago, being a # 2 seed, is expected to win. Especially with home ice, versus a # 7. For Leighton, Philly fans are forever complaining about their lack of goaltending in the playoffs, then making some reference to Pelle Lindbergh as the guy who would have delivered untold Cups for them. That is a tragedy, and a topic for another blog, but for Leighton … he carries the weight of a hockey city on his back, too. Flyer fans can be unforgiving. They love ya when you win. They hate you when ya lose.

So, let me ask you posters/bloggers, which rookie will crumble under the weight of this enormous pressure of the Finals? Leighton or Niemi? Or, is the answer, “neither?” It’ll just be a case of the better team emerging, without “goaltending” being the issue.

World Be Free

June 6th, 2010
9:10 am

I’d say neither, cause neither goaltender has stepped up and stole a game for their team yet.
Leighton has been good, but he has yet to rise of the levels of Pelle or Hextall. He needs to steal tonight’s game in Chicago.

Another factor not discussed is the power of the captaincy. Richards has stepped up bigtime, providing timely plays at both ends of the rink. He has lifted his team to a 2-2 deadlock. Toews on the other hand has been not stepped up, as Brendan would indicate is needed. Big Buff needs to get mean too. Chicago has not been physical enough, especially Seabrooke and Keith.

World Be Free

June 6th, 2010
9:26 am

Bruins have inked defenseman Dennis Seidenberg to a 4 year, 13 million dollar contract extension.
Obviously, the Bruins like Seidenberg as much as some of us did last summer. That’s a $3.25M cap hit for the coming season. Who is going to go in Boston? Rumor is Bergeron is available, only in trade for a scoring winger. Patrice is a UFA next summer.

GaVaHokie

June 6th, 2010
9:41 am

Eklund claiming that Boston is considering Spezza for the #2 pick.

Surely, Chiarelli can’t be that stupid.

World Be Free

June 6th, 2010
10:56 am

GaVa-saw the same thing; the first thing I thought was-
With all the Broones caps issues, how could Boston afford Spezza’s $7M contract?
Beside, Boston is solid down the middle, what they need is scoring off the wings.

I think you probably laughed just like I did. That’s Eklund, probably wanted to get everyone going.

World Be Free

June 6th, 2010
11:11 am

Great UFA link w/salaries and addl info-

http://www.thefourthperiod.com/freeagents/

Red Light

June 6th, 2010
11:13 am

A big playmaking center like Spezza, although a bit of an enigma, is a nice tonic for a lot of teams. But, he plays pretty hockey rather than hard-nosed hockey, and as many here have said over the years, they’d rather have a team with a tough personality. Therefore, Spezza doesn’t fit here in my opinion.

SCF banter: Goalies have played well and haven’t been the cause of the meltdowns on the scoreboard. As WBF said, inside their own blueline the Blackhawks have been crater-like and seem to relax after scoring the go-ahead or trying goals and the Flyers have made them pay. To beat Philly over the next three games, the Hawks must forecheck, bang, forecheck, bang, repeat, to wear down Philly’s overplayed d-men. If you don’t see that happen tonight, Philly will hoist the Cup.

Brendan

June 6th, 2010
11:28 am

How many years are left on Spezza’s contract? I haven’t looked, but if Boston thinks they can re-sign him once that contract is up, whenever it may be, it might be worth “thinking” about, since Spezza is only 27. Okay, he’ll turn 27 on June 13, in exactly one week. His PRIME YEARS still ahead of him???

Answer: Yes

I don’t know, because I haven’t looked, at what Spezza’s cap hit or contractual situation is, but I know he was a 2nd overall pick from 2001, who was packaged in the Yashin deal between the Islanders and Ottawa. And yes, Chara was part of that deal, as well, for Yashin. I think the Islanders eventually bought Yashin out. I bet it’s still hitting their cap in some capacity.

Now, more to GaVaHokie’s point, is it wise to trade a 2nd overall pick from 2001 for a 2nd overall pick from 2010? Not unless you like subtracting 9 years from the clock. Well, at a minimum 8 years, since a 1st round lottery draft pick will own the rights to this player for this length of time, unless they cannot sign him to an entry level contract.

Spezza doesn’t disappear in the playoffs. If I were Ottawa, I wouldn’t consider trading him, unless Spezza came to me for a trade. That’d be different. If I’m Ottawa, I’m coming off a playoff year, as a # 5 seed, with Michalek still in place as a result of the Heatley trade. Why ditch one of the most important, most productive players on my roster, for the rights to Tyler or Taylor, who may be at least a year away from contributing in anything resembling a meaningful manner? Now, I hear ya. One step backward, to move 4 giant steps forward, conceptually. Again, I’d want to know how many years I had Spezza locked up for before I even consider it. If Spezza is set to hit the open market next year, or the year after that, and I don’t think I can keep him, that would change things.

If I’m Boston, I don’t dream of trading the pick I fleeced Brian Burke out of. I rub Tyler/Taylor in his face for the next 8 years, as Exhibit A why don’t do these kinds of trades within the division. But if I’m Boston, and I cannot re-sign Marc Savard, I do have to consider options for replacing him. Fortunately for the Bruins, Don Waddell is not their GM, so they won’t be signing Steve Rucchin and Glen Metropolit to plug the gap left by Savard.

Smoothie

June 6th, 2010
12:21 pm

World – I like it. If we can get quality goaltending depth in the form of Josh Harding for the 54th overall pick, then go for it! I think the Wild are quite high on Khudobin so this may be a realistic scenario for us.

GaVaHokie

June 6th, 2010
1:02 pm

Brendan… 4 years remaining, $7 mill cap hit… salary is $8 mill the next 3 years and $5 mill in the fourth. The recent rumor is that Spezza was sick of being scapegoated in Ottawa.

Boston has no use for Spezza. They just extended Savard for 4 years.

Brendan

June 6th, 2010
1:28 pm

GaVaHokie, thanks for that update. That’s good news for the Bruins on extending Savard for another 4 years. Did they do that fairly recently? Or was this done back in January or April, and I just plum forgot? Do you have the financial details on the deal? Did he get $5 million-per-season again? Or did he do better than that? In any event, $7 million is a high cap hit for Spezza. The last I heard from Bettman, the cap would rise approximately 1.0 to 1.5 million next year.

Surprising?? I think so. There were plenty of posters here who swore up and down that the 2011 cap would be the first time under this CBA that the cap decreased. I wonder how much the books got cooked to say that revenues ROSE in 2010? I think Commissioner Bettman wants to save face that this CBA has been a rousing success, with the cap growing every year. Last year, it did grow, but by only $100,000, from $56.7 to 56.8 million. But, if it’s true that the cap will rise to roughly $60.0 million, then Bettman can claim some form of victory in his labor relations. The cap started out at $39.0 million, then rose another $21 million in six years, if the $60.0 million cap figure is correct. Bettman can claim the cap rose an average of $3.5 million per season, while players like Spezza, Campbell, Drury, Briere, Lecavalier, etc. all got cap hits up over $7 million, so … the “system works perfectly–owners are happy and so are the players.”

But the reality is … that Bettman does NOT have 30 healthy franchises, as was his stated goal, in 2005, during the Lockout. Phoenix is still in trouble. Florida is in trouble. Edmonton is on rocky ground. Atlanta struggles, at league minimum payrolls. I’m not too sure St. Louis is on strong footing. Tampa Bay may have new ownership, but let’s see how much they spend. And the list goes on and on.

Hokie, if Spezza is unhappy in Ottawa, I think he’ll get many suitors, but he must be shopped privately for Ottawa to get the best deal. If everyone knows Spezza is on the market, then they might not get as much for him. Then again, the whole world knew Heatley was going to bolt from Ottawa, and look how well Bryan Murray did on that deal. I never would have believed that Ottawa could be in a playoff team in 2010, much less a 5th seed, back in August of 2009.

Brendan

June 6th, 2010
1:49 pm

Here’s a link to Game Four boxscore: http://www.nhl.com/ice/boxscore.htm?id=2009030414. Red Light & WBF, note that, at -4, was Buffalo-native Patrick Kane. That kind of performance, along with Kane being a -3 in Game One, I believe, is the sort of thing that can keep both he and Toews from Conn Smythe consideration, if this continues. Again, if Kane and Toews, and Hossa, each get three points tonight, Chicago will win, and take control of the series. If not, then we could see Philly hoist the Cup in Game Six. It’s not often that a team loses the first two games of the Finals, then wins the Cup. But, nothing Philly has done this year falls within any standard paramenters. From their entry into the postseason, to the 3-0 series comeback, to down 2-0 in the Finals, it’s been a thrill ride for Flyer fans.

Okay, notes from Game Four. Aside from Kane being a -4, Sopel, Toews, and Bolland were a -2. Duncan Keith played 30:41, with three assists in that game. Now, let’s look at the Philly side. Pronger was a +4, even, playing 27:51. Ready for a surprise??? Braydon Coburn led all Flyer blueliners at 27:52 in TOI. But yes, Coburn was a -2 while playing those minutes. At +2, were Matt Carle, Claude Giroux, and Arron Asham. (I love Giroux; his value is on the rise.) Ready for more surprises? Kimo Timmonen played 26:59 for Philadelphia. That’s a lot of minutes. Matt Carle wasn’t that far behind, either, at 24:35.

Final Thought: My coin flips determined that Chicago would win the Cup. My pick was Chicago. I will finish 3-3-9 vs. picks made by flipping a coin to determine the winner, with “heads” assigned to the higher seed and “tails” to the lower seed. This marks the 2nd year in-a-row that I will have FAILED to defeat coin flips in my predictions. I can only hope that the rest of you are doing better than that. I am 9-5 coming into the Finals. I will be 9-6, if the Flyers win. I will finish a rare 10-5, if Chicago wins. And rest assured, it means I’ll go 6-9 next year, to even things out for my averages. But I have one nice feather in my cap. I have only mispredicted the Finals four (4) times since 1976. Four. (1976, 1989, 1995, and 2008). It hope it reaches five this year. It’d be the second time in three years, too. (Yikes.)

Brendan

June 6th, 2010
2:09 pm

I got to thinking that we’ve been spoiled by all these seven game series in the Finals this past decade. We had them in 2001, 2003, 2004, 2006, and 2009. Here’s how they went, in case your curious:

2001: COL, NJ, COL, NJ, NJ, COL, COL. For Ray Bourque to win his Cup, they had to win Game Six in New Jersey to force that 7th game, at home.

2003: NJ, NJ, ANA, ANA, NJ, ANA, NJ. Home team held serve, every time. Giguere got the Conn Smythe, on the losing team.

2004: CAL, TB, CAL, TB, CAL, TB, TB. Martin St. Louis scored in 2OT to win Game Six on the road, to force Game 7 back in Tampa Bay. This marks the 2nd time, this decade, that the team who LOST GAME FIVE, at home, rebounded to win the Series. So, keep that in mind.

2006: CAR, CAR, EDM, CAR, EDM, EDM, CAR. The Hurricanes nearly let this one get away. Up 3-1, they lost Game Five to close out at home, then lost Game Six, had key injuries, and clearly called into the question the outcome of Game 7. Truly, it was a memorable Finals. Perhaps, Game One the most memorable, with Edmonton squandering that big lead, when Rolosson got hurt, and Ty Conklin had to fill in. That game might have cost the Oilers the series.

2009: DET, DET, PIT, PIT, DET, PIT, PIT. Okay, if you’re keeping track, this is the THIRD TIME this decade that the Cup winner had to win Game Six to force Game 7, to win the Cup. The difference this time was that Pittsburgh was AT HOME for Game Six, when they had to force Game 7.

Now, I’m hardly advocating that someone should feel “good” about losing Game Five. Historically, the team that wins Game Five, in a 2-2 series, more often than not wins the Series or the Cup. But here we have three (3) recent examples of how losing Game 5 didn’t spell the end, for the Cup winners in 2001, 2004, and 2009 (Colorado, Tampa Bay, and Pittsburgh).

Carry on.

World Be Free

June 6th, 2010
3:48 pm

Brendan-Spezza has 5 years left at $7M/year. Big commitment. I think that big contract will reduce the number of suitors to a short list.

Red Light-I know Spez doesn’t like to get his nose dirty. But he has really never had a chance in Ottawa. Even if he played tougher, he was always considered the centerpiece with the Sens, so any lack of success in the playoffs was going to be pinned on him. He is today what he was in juniors. That being said, I’d take him at the right price. I think Ottawa would make a deal to try and keep Volchenkov, especially after losing Chara a few years ago. Still can’t believe anybody would pay Wade Redden $6.5M.

Smoothie-getting Harding makes alotta sense. One key for me is to not have to deal with trying to sign a goalie and fill other holes on July 1. Getting Harding now and his name on a contract allows Dudley the chance to focus in other areas on July 1. He would be an improvement over our current goaltending tandum.

Pretty soon, I think July 1 will become just another date on the calendar. 7.1 has been a feeding frenzy date up till now, but a number of teams have been burned by overspending on July 1. I also think some of the players that wanted to move on July 1 have been burned by moving to new clubs, versus having stayed where they were today and taking a reasonable contract. Remember what the first day of free agency used to be in the NFL? Plenty of players changing teams in the first 24 hours. Now the first day of free agency in the NFL is just another day. These days, managing the cap is just as important as managing the players you decide to retain or sign via UFA.

Brendan-Toews and Kane are still just kids; their finesse game hasn’t translated to the SCF, especially with the fight defense the Flyers play. Even Buff has been ineffective. If Chicago is going to win, I think the 3 guys who will step up are Eager, Sharp and Brouwer. Each has played well so far in the series. All 3 players have the size and aggressive games to separate themselves from the Flyers. You make a good point about the amount of ice time the Flyers’ “D” has had to play in this series. You gotta run them to take them offf their games.

Speaking of games, there’s a classic on NHL Network right now-Habs/Broones “79 Stanley Cup called by my favorite, Danny Gallivan. Very few helmets, no checks from behind, players hitting each other hard but respectfully and Wally Harris calling the game. No advertising on the boards either-the good old days!

Brendan

June 6th, 2010
3:54 pm

WBF: Indeed. The good old days, before the commercialization of hockey. It’s only a matter of time until we get a venue called, “Gee, Your Hair Smells Terrific!” Arena.

GaVaHokie

June 6th, 2010
4:02 pm

I stand corrected, Spezza has a 5th year at $4 mill

GaVaHokie

June 6th, 2010
4:06 pm

Also, Marc Savard got a 7 year extension with Boston back in November… I forgot to expand the list on NHLnumbers…

http://nhlnumbers.com/overview.php?team=BOS&season=0910&expand=y

World Be Free

June 6th, 2010
5:07 pm

Brendan-I long for the gold old days, especially when I see these hits from behind. You didn’t see those in the old days, when few players wore helmuts. Bettman has to make getting rid of these cowardly hits and head shots his top priority to get out of the game, no matter who is the offender. No more favorites on cheap shots.

GaVa-the Broones have some hefty contracts and very little scoring off the wings. I am sure they would like to get Tim Thomas off the books too. I don’t think the Leafs will be dealing with Boston anytime soon, after giving up Rask for nothing, then paying a ransom for Kessel. Two bad moves by 2 different Toronto GMs.

Brendan

June 6th, 2010
6:35 pm

GaVaHokie, I just checked out your NHLnumbers link … and all totaled up, Boston will pay out $48+ million for Marc Savard, over 11 seasons, if you count the $20 million he’s already made over the last four years. Well, doesn’t seem like Savard was afraid of making commitments, just not to Atlanta. I repeat, eleven (11) years in Boston. This new 7-year deal averages out to a cap hit of just over $4.0 million Those last years make it very easy to move Savard, if Marc were willing to waive an NTC, since he’ll make $1.5, then the apparent league mininum of $525,000 for the final two years of the deal. The Bruins were nice to front load the contract like that for Savvy. This contract obligates the Bruins to pay Savard until he’s 38 or 39 years old.

If Savard were just willing to be paid $4 million for each of those 7 years, the Bruins would have more “wiggle room” for contracts. Of course, I hear ya. “Why should Savard AGREE to that? Those first two years are $7 million, and Marc probably has investment plans for those extra $3 million.”

Sigh. Maybe this is why I like minor league hockey so much. Salaries are around $40,000 to $75,000. Everyone’s working hard for that money. Everyone’s trying their best. And so forth. I think fans have every right to scream, “Hey Chara! Nice pass! $7.5 million, for that???!!”

And why do I think the fan is CORRECT to yell it???? He paid HOW MUCH to get in? $75 Maybe $100. Even if it were only $35, the truth is … the fan pays the salary. Don’t talk to me about the corporate sponsorship in the luxuries booths, and naming rights by Philips, etc. That price trickles down to the fan, significantly. When I lived in Norfolk, VA, I paid $15 to sit behind the bench of an Admirals game, in the Kelley Cup Finals!!! I think they were playing the Pensacola Ice Pilots. $15, to sit behind the bench, for games in the FINALS! $15 can buy you a 400 level seat at Philips Arena, and a hot dog.

Brendan

June 6th, 2010
6:42 pm

WBF, there was definitely a “healthier respect” among players for themselves. But, we don’t have to look far for a culprit. Full metal masks, from peewee to high school, leaves a player nearly completely protected. No need to control the stick. No need to worry about head hits. That cage protects all, barring a FREAKISH stick-swinging incident.

But you can’t make them play without helmets anymore. No one will buy that one.