Playoffs Hockey, Non Playoffers Part Deux, Bettman

Hello fellow hockey fans and happy new week to the year. It’s playoffs hockey, but before I get to that, I think the non-playoff teams from the West deserve some very general coverage. Besides, I’d like to hear what those fans think of their teams as well.

Playoffs hockey is the real talk, though, and now that a couple of games have been played there is no need for me to act like an “expert” in analyzing the obvious as others do on TV before the playoffs started.

Annnnnnd……….. Gary Bettman. Yes, this is going to be quite controversial and I dare you to read!Let’s get right to it.

Colorado Avalanche: Just by ONE point they missed the playoffs, by ONE. If these guys made it, I doubt the Detroit Wings would have such an easy time beating them. I am not sure why it took so long for this team to really perform the way they should have, but once they did they flew. It’s hard to see what kind of changes may be made. Obviously the topic will be whether or not Jose Theodore remains with the team. I could actually see GM Giguere keeping Theodore for commodity and maybe giving him another chance. Buying him out would be inefficient for the club as part of his salary will count against the cap, and paying a player 2/3 of a contract when he is not playing is no joy ride for an owner either. Joe Sakic will be back for next season, which is excellent news. The Avs may need to make changes as far as letting older players go and trying to bring in younger veterans. Their defense is a definite issue, so I’d expect an Avs front office to be splashy splashy in July with a key defenseman.

St. Louis Blues: Has GM Larry Pleau lost control of the team? John Davidson has definitely made an impact and while Blues fans may have thought that this team will take a long time to get back on its feet, think again. From being the worst in the league to finishing with 81 points and 10th in the West. The Blues will be very busy this summer. I think they may even trade their 1st rounder to possibly land a key player to the line-up. It’s on the right track and I would not be surprised if they cleanly make the playoffs in 2008.

Columbus Blue Jackets: It must be in every Blue Jackets fans prayer that GM Doug MacLean gets fired. Please… fire him. I have never seen a smart hockey person be so incompetent like Doug as he has talent on that team. A total failure to the franchise. Has never come close to making the playoffs. Always has holes as far as depth. Invested so much money in popular players. It’s all wrong. Hiring Ken Hitchrooster was a great move, but it would be completely useless until the team gets a good GM.

Edmonton Oilers: I do not blame the Oilers for trading Ryan Smyth. The guy apparently felt so sure of winning the negotiations that when he heard he was traded, completely hurt his feelings. I like what Kevyn Lowe did. Hey, I wanted Smyth to remain an Oiler too, but I have had it with these players of his calibre thinking that they are in control. Lowe stood up, ownership stood up, and basically said that they won’t overpay anyone. This Oilers team cannot afford to overpay any player unless it’s a Chris Pronger in their hands. But, what happened in the past stays in the past. Time to move on. What should Lowe do? He’s got to find depth and definitely get a center. Go after Scott Hartnell, take a chance at Viktor Kozlov. Find skilled depth that can skate. Why not even take a chance at Alexei Morozov? Bring Oleg Kvasha for depth if necessary. Maybe Alex Hemsky will turn either of those two into good scorers, much needed scorers. Lowe has to re-invent the Oilers now that Ryan Smyth is gone; although I would always think it as a possibility that Smyth may want to come back.

Chicago Blackhawks: At least they are trying to set up a starting point in the right direction. Owner Bill Wirtz, the cheap-o that he’s been, has committed nearly $14M for just two players. GM Dave Tallon may have raised the expectations too high for this season. But, this team is young and man can it skate. Find second tier players that contribute and fit under Savard’s system. They have the goalie, the defense has to sharpen itself, the veteran forwards must commit, and the youngsters have to contribute in all aspects of the game. Can that happen next season? Absolutely. I am rooting for this team to make a playoff comeback. I’d love to see all Original Sixers be back in it at the same time.

Los Angeles Kings: Dean Lombardi has not really convinced me. The best move was acquiring Jack Jonhson. Worst move was trading Sean Avery for much less than what he is worth. This team appears to be in too much of a gray area and no sense of identity or direction. It’s a toss, no one knows what Lombardi will do this off-season and that’s all we can really look at. Any Kings fans out there have any idea?

Phoenix Coyotes: After years of not liking Michael Barnett, he is finally gone! What else is there to say about this team? I have no idea. It all depends who gets hired as GM and until that happens, no one knows what the plans are for this team.


Red Wings vs. Flames
-Flames only hope is to win all three home games and cross their fingers for game seven. I never had faith in this team, I think it was just so uncharacteristic of them to barely make the playoffs, only with luck. This is obviously Darryl Sutter’s fault though. Jim Playfair is not the right coach for this team. I think he is a good coach, but not fit for the Flames. The players evidently need Sutter behind the bench. I was actually pondering if Sutter was going to do the same thing that Devils GM Lou Lamoriello did when firing coach Claude Julien just before the playoffs. I have faith in the Flames when they play at home, which is why I thought of this being a seven game series in favor of the Red Wings. Yet, I think they are as good as done. The Red Wings on the other hand have an easy team to beat. The Flames just flat out stink on the road, but the Wings are a usual good team overall and this may be a year for them to win it again. They need to stay healthy, though, especially Hasek. The real test will be in the second round though.

Ducks vs. Wild
-I am surprised that it is already 3-0 for the Ducks. The Wild appeared to be the kind of team to have pulled an upset, or really make it difficult for the Ducks. Yet, they look to be done. So people say, or think. Oh really, says I. Can anyone remember how the Wild ended up playing in the Western Conference Finals a few years back? Please, do remind me as I recall some amazing comebacks.

Canucks vs. Stars
-I thought it was actually going to be easier for the Canucks to beat the Stars, but it’s not. Yet, they can win the series in five games, as I thought of first. Why? Despite the Stars playing well and just so tough, they are quite done. The Stars are done because the Canucks have showed so much better fitness and stamina than the Stars in this series. The Stars looked way too tired in the third period last night. The Canucks plan should be to keep a consistent level of tempo and wear the Stars down in the third periods. Stars appear to start too energized in the first period or two, and then their age shows. Marty Turco has played well, yet still is not proving to be the goalie to take this team in the Finals. So, Canucks have to keep themselves physically fit as that’s what will win them this series.

Predators vs. Sharks
-Talk about old time hockey in this series. If the Blues don’t give the Sharks that rivalry in the playoffs, the Predators will! Two too many nasty plays by the Preds though and seeing players injured in the playoffs is quite disturbing. I honestly have not watched much of the two games, only heard
them on the radio, but it sounds like a great series that could go either way. Both coaches should also keep their mouths shut as the bickering can only throw their players off their game and lose focus.

Islanders vs. Sabres
-Insane on Rick DiPietro’s part to risk another concussion. If he does, then it could get very problematic for him. Too big of a risk and I think the Islanders organization is responsible for it. If anything happens to DP, it will cause havoc. But so far, my very out of whack idea of the Sabres winning the series in six games does not seem that bad, does it? The Islanders are a pain in the butt to beat and it’s a team riding on goaltending and coaching tactics. Ted Nolan giving Buffalo a hard time? You know he is loving it. Buffalo is a strong team though, and I’d expect them to be back on track and start winning decisively, yet I cannot help myself from thinking an upset will be quite possible. Buffalo may be trying to work too hard down low and behind the net. Work too much around the net. That’s not how you beat the Islanders. The shots have to come through and the Islanders have one of the worse defenses in the league as far as shots allowed. Take shots from the point, many of them, and crash the net. Loose pucks and rebounds will be plenty. As for the Islanders, take advantage of Ryan Miller. The guy looks so beatable that as good as he is, I think DiPietro will outplay him every game.

Devils vs. Lightning
-I am already wrong in my prediction thinking that the Devils would sweep. But, they really asked for a loss the other night. I have no faith in Tampa Bay, as good as their forwards are, their goaltending is abysmal, defense mediocre, and coach Tortorella is nothing but a whiner who finds anything to complain about to the refs or to his players. The Devils should win this one quite easily. The Bolts almost missed the playoffs for a reason, and the Devils will easily prove that reason. There is just no way that the Devils will lose this series. No way.

Senators vs. Penguins
-The Senators beat themselves in Game 2. The Penguins didn’t beat them. The last two goals in that game were from pathetic defensive plays by the Sens. But, Sens regain lead and the Penguins look to be scrambling too much. I definitely think that defense and goaltending will lead the Penguins to a first round exit. Marc-Andre Fleury is very skilled, but I see he looks too unsure sometimes and that’s not going to win you any games. The Armstrong hit on Eaves was cleanly dirty, per se. Why clean? Ruled correctly. Why dirty? It seemed like Eaves was being directed by the Penguin behind him to lay him for Armstrong to hit him. It almost seemed set up. I know it wasn’t, but I think that hitting a player so hard when in a weak defensive position is just dirty. Of course Armstrong knew he was going to knock the guy out cold. Eaves should have kept his head up, but even if he did it seemed like he wasn’t going to avoid the hit. This is when Chris Neil just needs to hammer a Penguin. If not, then Gary Roberts will start causing trouble, throw the Senators off their game and voila`, Roberts would beat the Sens once again. Yet, I am confident that the Senators will win this round because of experience and better preparation.

Rangers vs. Atlanta
-So far so good for the Rangers as these past two games has been about goaltending and goaltending. Nothing else but goaltending. What a move by coach Hartley to play Johan Hedberg. I thought the guy was a total nut, but Hedberg was just amazing in Game 2. The Rangers are in a good situation, but nothing is guaranteed. I know Rangers fans are excited about the 2-0 series lead and heading on home ice. But, don’t think that this Rangers team is not capable of losing two in a row, at home. They are VERY capable to allow that. The key here for the Rangers is to definitely win Game 3. They win Game 3 and they put Atlanta in a situation where they HAVE to win four games in a row. Can it be done? Yes, but quite unlikely. You can say great things about Henrik Lundqvist and Sean Avery, even Jaromir Jagr, but what about the youngsters? Dan Girardi, Tomas Pock….these two get to play against the league’s top in Marian Hossa and Ilya Kovalchuk. Jed Ortmeyer playing well, Ryan Callahan skates non-stop. Thumbs up to the young players. As for the Thrashers, they HAVE to win Game 3. Winning that game means a 2-1 series lead, but it’s more than that. It’s stopping the Rangers for a moment and slowing down their roll. A 2-1 series means that Atlanta has found a way to beat the Rangers and can definitely win the next game, which is back-to-back by the way. Even if they would lose Game 4 and it becomes a 3-1 series, then it’s three games to win in a row. Sure as hell better than trying to win four in a row! I think it’s the kind of series that can end in five games, Rangers won’t sweep, or in seven games. We shall find out soon enough.

Gary Bettman

Let’s get something clear here folks. The Canucks vs. Stars game that ended in four overtimes and had infomercials running was not Versus’s fault, nor Bettman’s. Time-Warner was responsible for it as other cable providers did not pull that blooper, such as Cablevision. And this is what is really getting on my nerves. I don’t care how much you dislike a person, but to unfairly judge him for anything that happens is just pathetic and illogical. I mean, when this happened….who was first blamed? Gary Bettman. Are you guys kidding me? First find the reasons and the information to understand what happened instead of just stupidly pointing a finger without even knowing what really happened.

I remember watching a CSI: Miami episode and in the last five minutes of the episode, CBS cut, stopped the show with BREAKING NEWS. I remember that night and when I saw that, I got slightly scared as if the news is so urgent to stop a program, then maybe something really bad has just happened. And hey, we live in a nasty world nowadays. Well, it turned out that the breaking news was of Arafat’s death. Viewers were outraged and I was too. It was breaking news, but not so breaking enough to stop the last five minutes of a show. If anything, let a news ticker scroll at the bottom of the screen mentioning it. What happened in the end? The producer who made that decision was fired. It was his fault. Or, was it? Maybe I should have blamed Jerry Bruckheimer for signing with CBS. Maybe I should blame the heads in CBS headquarters. Nonsense, they didn’t make that mistake, the person who made the decision was at fault.

Yet, put that situation in the NHL world and people would be blaming either Bruckheimer and-or CBS top executives. See the logic in this? It’s just ludicrous that whatever happens, it’s Bettman’s fault. Enough already. I am getting sick of it as a hockey fan that fellow hockey fans are great at pointing fingers, whining, complaining, criticizing…..and what not? And, do I see any alternatives mentioned? People were outraged when the NHL joined with VERSUS. Please, someone mention another station that would have dedicated the same time and programming. ESPN? TNT? FX? What is it with people who criticize a decision made by Bettman, calling him an idiot, yet cannot come up with a solution, an alternative, a better idea? Who is the real idiot then?

US hockey fans who practice this kind of stupid nonsense really need to zip it because they are making hockey as the sport with the whiniest fans in sports. Cut the crap, folks. If you think you can do a better job than Gary Bettman, then apply for the job.

As for Canadian hockey fans, you are right that the guy has a preference to US NHL than Canada NHL. I agree that it’s unfortunate that he does not appreciate and value Canadian hockey fans as much as he should. But, this is a business and no one can really play Mr. Nice Guy when billions of dollars are involved. Bettman’s mission is t
o regain ground in the USA for the NHL. Not to be cold-hearted in any way, but when a Canadian complains about how Bettman is making biased decisions in favor of the US market over the Canadian market; my only answer to that is “DUH”. Eighty percent of the league is made up in the USA. The twenty percent up in Canada has already reached its peak, it’s a mature product in Canada and it won’t go beyond 20%. It’s fact, it’s reality, get over it.

Bettman got criticized if the Penguins were going to leave. Bettman got criticized for allowing the Penguins to stay. Bettman got criticized for showing interest in Kansas City. Bettman got criticized for the twisted story of US cities interested in expansion NHL teams; reality was that he clearly stated the NHL has no interest to expand as it’s not in the right stage in order to do so. He got criticized for not considering a Canadian city as far as the Penguins potential move. Bettman gets criticized if Mick McGough makes a bad call. Bettman gets criticized if the game is not physical enough. He gets criticized if a game is too violent, officials lose control, and injuries happen.

It’s becoming ridiculous, stupid, childish, and illogical. I am not a fan of Gary Bettman. I think the guy has done too many mistakes and I’d definitely welcome a change. But, this stupid criticism and bashing of Bettman with no basis is starting to get out of hand and it’s starting to really piss me off as a hockey fan. The guy can do one good thing and no one talks about it. The guy does a bad thing and everyone wants his head. No wonder why the NHL cannot be taken seriously by the sports world. The commissioner himself cannot take NHL fans seriously either if they keep doing this and you know what? He is right. I have lost patience and I am not taking any fan seriously who just bashes Gary Bettman for the heck of it and doesn’t even have all of the information to make a good point.

So, yeah it seems like I am defending Bettman and I’ll get grilled for it, I know so. But, I am a diehard hockey fan and I love the NHL. Criticize it all you want, good luck living without it then. Stop watching it then. No one is forcing anyone to watch the NHL; so if you see so many things wrong with it..go watch the AHL, go watch college hockey, the CHL junior leagues. And if there is a hockey fan who has the right qualifications to be a commissioner of such league, the NHL, then please….step up. Show me what should be done; and no, I don’t want ideas. I want real solutions. I want those real solutions, or alternatives, to have facts, numbers….. show me how this league can spend so much and make profit. Show me how you’d run the NHL on a daily basis like Gary Bettman does. Anyone? Please, if you are a hockey fan who knows how to run this league and has the qualifications to do so, speak up. I’ll be waiting.


I like to do off-topic once every now and then, and usually it’s on a good subject. Yet, tonight it’s a very sad subject. Over thirty people have been murdered in Virginia Tech. What a horrible……horrendous, day. Please, if you believe in religious faith, pray for the families who lost their children and loved ones. It’s just such horrible news and I cannot believe these things can happen. A few months ago it happened in Montreal too, I believe, correct? Or just outside of Montreal. What is wrong with people nowadays? Apparently this was a situation over a girlfriend/relationship type of thing. People, don’t go crazy over this stuff. If you got problems and just want to place so much rage and anger to the world, help yourselves. Don’t blame others by killing them. If you know of friends who have these troubles, help them. This is just horrible stuff. You are born evil a la Adolf Hitler, we can only fight with good and we’d understand why a person like that would be so evil. Yet for just a kid to loose his mind like that out of nowhere and just start killing people because of his own issues……….. yikes. We can only pray and hope for these things not to happen, and do so for those who have mental problems and pray-hope that they won’t do anything crazy. These events really become a reality check for us and we should feel happy to be alive and reward our life by appreciating it. I wish the best for the families of those victims………, this has been just horrible.

Thanks for reading as always,

Micki Peroni

34 Responses to Playoffs Hockey, Non Playoffers Part Deux, Bettman

  1. wingerxxx says:

    I live pretty close to Virginia, and my prayers are definitely going out to everyone involved there.  Horrible, horrible day in this area.

    To the playoffs…

    If you're a Penguins fan, you have to be pretty nervous right now.  From an unbiased perspective, the Sens have been the better team so far.  If the Senators were going to collapse as they have done in the past, Game 3 was definitely the time.  Instead, they stepped it up.  The Sens just don't look like the team that has choked so much in the past, and I think a lot to comes back to Alfredsson, who has been fantastic in this series.  The Sens are also not afraid to knock Crosby around, and play physical with Pittburgh.  Also, Malkin has not played very well.  And he must play well, if the Pens have a shot.  Crosby ain't going to do it alone.  If this series continues as is, the Senators will win it. 

    As for the Rangers series, now that we can match lines a little easier at home, I think the game is very winnable.  But if the Thrashers win it, its a brand new series.  If Atlanta loses it though…sorry, I just don't see them winning 4 in a row against Lundqvist.  I thought that putting Hedburg in was a good move.  He's done well in the playoffs before.  But if it all comes down to goaltending…again, the Rangers have the huge edge. 

    Watching the Isles game right now…good 1st period, but they won't take anyone in front of the net!  It's maddening.  And they're going to need Yashin to step up his game if they have any chance of winning this series.  He is their captain, and like Alfredsson in Ottawa right now, he's got to put his calculating nature on the ice aside and start playing with pure guts.  Yashin plays with ice water in his veins…it's his greatest strength and his greatest failing.

    The high sticks from the Lightning tonight are a little overboard, especially the one from St. Louis.  I hope the Lightning win though…just because I hate the Devils lol. 

    Last night's game with the Canucks and Stars…I didn't believe for a second that Dallas was going to win that game in overtime.  Not with the way the 3rd period went.  And sure enough, Pyatt wins it with a pretty one-timer.  Dallas is playing on pure instinct right now, while the Canucks are able to set up plays a lot more easily.  Vancouver is in a really good position right now, especially with the 4 OT win in Game 1. 

    Anaheim is looking like a scary team.  And Minnesota is a good disciplined team.  As long as they have Prongermeyer on the blueline, and the goaltending sharp, they have a shot to beat any team in the league in a 7 game series.

  2. Kraut182 says:

    Re: Bettman and "Eighty percent of the league is made up in the USA. The twenty percent up in Canada has already reached its peak, it's a mature product in Canada and it won't go beyond 20%."

    Eighty percent of the league is made up of the USA because Bettman moved 2 Canadian teams to the US and made multiple expansions into the US.  I'm not saying it was wrong then, but the situation between then and now are much different.

    For starters the US$/CDN $ is now down to 1.13.  This is in stark contrast to the 1.5 or so it was when Quebec and Winnipeg lost their team.  Canadian teams ticket income (which makes up a big majority of overall income) is now worth 25% more than it was 10 years ago. 

    Combine that with the new cost certainty of a cap and I think there definitely could be room for more hockey in Canada.  But that won't happen, because instead of giving hockey to the people who want it Bettman will continue to try and make people who don't want hockey learn to enjoy it.

    I'm not qualified to be Commisioner of the NHL, nor am I qualified to be a mechanic or fly a plane.  But I can recognize a bad job when its being done.  If I had recognized a had a bad mechanic I'd switch to another one, if I recognized I had a bad pilot I'd make a complaint to the airline to have him removed.  I recognize my favorite sports is being run by someone who I don't think has been doing a good job and has been more than adequate time to do so … but all I can do about it is complain and wait.

  3. Hoondog2 says:

    good points. Also, what kind of message is Bettman sending to a new market with all the rule changes, they're saying they have an inferior product. The only real solution would be to allow about 4 teams to die if they can't sell the game in a certain market, and then spread that talent throughout the league.  Bettman must bite the bullet on this one, but its not going to happen.

  4. PSU_Penguin says:

    I can't say I'll be surprised if the Pens lose.  Ottawa has been by far the better team.  Crosby, Fleury, Roberts, and Talbot for about 2 periods are the only Pittsburgh players who look like they came to play.

    Don't underestimate Hedberg in crunch time, remember he was the one who came out of SJ's minor league system and led the Penguins to the conference finals in 2001. (I still remember being at a 3-0 shutout of Washington and yelling Mooooooooose)

    I have to say I am very, very surprised that Tampa has gone up 2-1 in the series after tonight.  I thought NJ would be able to stifle their top line and take the series in 5.  Very surprised.

    I didn't want the islanders in the playoffs, because I feel like they're built for it.  The whole team seems ready to crash and bang and scrape their way by as far as they can get.  I don't know that they'll last long but if Buffalo makes it out of this series, they will be much worse for ware.

    I'd love to comment on the west, but lacking satellite TV all I can say is that the Flames look awful, and Detroit should have no problem with a sweep.

  5. wingerxxx says:

    Smyth, Sillinger and Blake all hustled hard tonight…but Yashin, Satan and Kozlov didn't look too good at all.  Yashin didn't have a bad first period, but kind of vanished.  He must have had like 5-6 minutes of even strength time the whole game.  If those guys don't start scoring, I don't see the Isles moving on in the playoffs. 

  6. mikster says:

    “ighty percent of the league is made up of the USA because Bettman moved 2 Canadian teams to the US and made multiple expansions into the US. I’m not saying it was wrong then, but the situation between then and now are much different.”

    Back then, those moves were the right ones to make as far as ownership. Quebec to Colorado was a success, yet no one likes to mention that one.

    Now the currency exchange has been better for a few years, but i still think that taxes are quite steep for Canadian owners, no?

    “Combine that with the new cost certainty of a cap and I think there definitely could be room for more hockey in Canada. But that won’t happen, because instead of giving hockey to the people who want it Bettman will continue to try and make people who don’t want hockey learn to enjoy it.”

    Bettman’s job was to make the NHL grow. Adding a team in Canada will not make the NHL grow. There is no growth for hockey in Canada since it is a top sport. It’s like as if Italy adds a new soccer team in Serie A in hopes that it will grow the sport. It already reached its mature point. If you want the sport to grow, you have to try and find new fans. Like back in the day when the league spread out to Chicago…….then it worked in New York….. people started to like the game of hockey. Of course times were different back then, but you have to try. It is also the job of the new team to then be successfull and be worth it for new fans to show interest. Yotes used to be fine when they were making the playoffs and being competitive. Barnett has sucked testies and the team lost a bunch.

    The governors told Bettman what to do and he tried to do the best job he could have done to do it. Did he succeed? No. Did he fail? I wouldn’t say that yet. Is he doing a great job? No. But, it’s unfair to just bash the guy for anything he says or does.

  7. BruMagnus says:

    I am nervous.

    The Sens have outplayed Pitty each game to date. Despite Malkin's 4 points, he hasn't shown up. He even admitted to Gonchar that NHL playoffs are far more intense than European playoff hockey. If he doesn't pick up his game, I don't see us winning, because as good as Sidney is (and with Gary Roberts, he's clearly been the team's best player) he can't do it all alone.

    I expect a big goal from Max Talbot in Game 4 that will turn the tide in our favor, leading to 3 straight wins, or hopefully a Game 7 OT showdown, with Sidney getting the winner.

  8. BruMagnus says:

    If the Canucks somehow manage to win (they have played quite poorly and it's only Luongo that has kept them in it), I'd expect a 5 game exit from them versus the Ducks. That is unless Calgary can turn it around and upset Detroit (not likely).

  9. BruMagnus says:

    Brodeur has to be better. He has let in a shaky goal in each game.

    He will rebound with a shutout in Game 4, just watch. I still think NJ in 6, though it may come down to game 7.

  10. NjDEVSFN says:

    Unfortunately Mik, the Devils are doing everything in their power to make sure you're wrong.

    Brodeur, especially, is playing pre-season practice hockey as opposed to post-season hockey.

    The Devils have played well enough to keep games close, but they need Marty to step up and turn a 3-2 loss into AT LEAST an overtime game. He has failed to do so the last 2 games as he has given up 4 of 6 goals that have been 100% stoppable (all 3 in Game 3).

  11. bestever says:

    i hope it becomes a reality seeing that i have tickets for game 7.

    go pens go

  12. bestever says:

    i hope malkin does not turn out to be another yashin although i believe that he is extremely tired and the reason for his lack of hustle is the fact that he has never played as many games.

  13. tacitus says:

    About your comment on the Wings not handling the Avalanche as easy as Calgary. Being a Wings fan, i woulda much rather saw the Avs number 8 then Calgary. Calgary has a much better goalie, and 6 Dmen that are good defensively, hit hard and can wear ur team down. The Avs do have better Offence in my opinion with Sakic, Hedjuk, Svatos, Wolski and Stastny, but i dont think 2 rookies, 2 underachievers and Sakic who is always good woulda been a threat this series. Colorado's young guys are nowhere near as good at Pittsburghs, and Pittsburgh is getting schooled by a lesser team in Ottawa. Fact is Calgary is a better TEAM then Vancouver is amazes me how Calgary didnt win there division.

    Side now: how wrong is it that the 2 best teams in the west (nash/SJ) play in the first round.

  14. wingerxxx says:

    The Canucks haven't looked great, but they have been better than the Stars so far.  Thats really all that matters.  Dallas can be a pretty stifling defensive team.  The Stars just can't get their offense going, when they need it.

  15. habsoverserver says:

    Micki, in light of the violence in Virginia, perhaps you should change your icon. 

  16. PSU_Penguin says:

    Rule changes don't mean we have an inferior product, I don't believe.  The NFL changes a lot of rules every year, and they're not considered an inferior product by most (I didn't say all, I know a lot of people have problems with the NFL).  I see rule changes as keeping the game healthy.  No rule changes would mean we'd still be skating 8-on-8 or whatever it was oh so long ago when the game was invented.

  17. moosehockey says:

    I completely disagree with what you say about not bringing back another canadian market and how that wont help grow the league.

    The 6 current canadian teams currently generate 33% of the NHL's revenue… so 1/5 of the teams generate 1/3 of the revenue.

    Another interesting point here:
    "- With the best team in the NHL to date, gate receipts in Nashville were up 28% on Dec. 31, at just shy of $525,000 per game. That still left the Predators in 23rd spot overall, with nightly gate receipts that are less than half of four Canadian teams, and not equal to 60% of the ticket revenues the Calgary Flames and Ottawa Senators reap on a per-game basis."

    I mean this is Nashville… they have been a good young team expected to do well this season and they're sitting in 23rd spot in NHL revenue? Thats rediculous… they are trying to sell a sport in markets that just do not care about the game.

    I agree with you that the Quebec to Colorado move worked out very well and that is because Denver is a hockey market… but Winnipeg to Phoenix? Cmon now… that was never going to be good for the game.

    There are certainly some non-traditional hockey markets that will work like Dallas for example but I just don't understand why they keep trying to make it work in places where clearly hockey is not a priority.

    Adding a 7th team in Canada would not only bring in additional gate revenue but would also generate more games for canadian TV therefore increasing the price the canadian media would pay for their NHL coverage (which is much more than the US TV deals).

    Again, I just don't understand how bringing in another Canadian city or two would be bad for the game or would hamper growth in any way, if anything it would help the NHL money wise and we all know its a business.

  18. BruMagnus says:

    I agree, I dont see Malkin becoming "another one of those Russians."

    I think he's exhausted, and definetely not used to North American playoff intensity.

  19. BruMagnus says:

    Anything short of the Cup (or at worst Conference Champ) is a failure.
    If the Canucks win one round, who cares, they'll lose to the Ducks. And their season will be a disappointment.

  20. BruMagnus says:

    I could say the same about Ottawa-Piitsburgh, but then I'd look like a fool because people would point out Buffalo (read: Detroit) and NJ (read: Anaheim).

  21. BruMagnus says:

    I miss the Winnipeg Jets and possibly my personal favorite Logo/Uniform.

  22. TheDonkey says:

    I don't think you will get much more revenue from Canadian broadcasters by adding a small market Canadian team.  You will get a little bit from Sportsnet for maybe adding a Winnipeg broadcast team. 

    the only impact on HNIC is that we will all still get the Leafs for the early game and we will see less of the Flames, Oil and Canucks as they split time with the 4th team.  No extra $$ will be had from the CBC.

    Sad but true.

  23. wingsfan13 says:

    it would be really easy for the wings to steamroll the avs if they were in.  their goaltending and defense is a joke

  24. moosehockey says:

    TSN, Sportsnet, NHL Network, NHL Center Ice… propably some local coverage as well. Yeah, it may not affect HNIC all that much but they're definetly not the only hockey coverage in Canada.

  25. mikster says:

    Thought about it last night, working on it. I may even change title of my column. Not sure though.

  26. mikster says:

    Not like the Flames have been brilliant in that department either though, plus……..they can’t score. Avs have been rolling, goaltending and defense improved and above all, their offense was working really well.

  27. mikster says:

    Devils know how to come back. Don’t worry, i think they will easily win the next three.

  28. rojoke says:

    Bettman didn't move anybody anywhere they didn't want to go.  Marcel Aubut couldn't "blackmail" the proper people in Quebec City to build him a new rink and hand it over to him, so he sold the team.  THEY moved it to Denver.  The same thing happened in Winnipeg.  The city wouldn't finance a new arena, and ownership sold the team, who moved it to Phoenix.  The Board of Governors voted to approve the moves.  Bettman doesn't vote on anything at the Board of Governors meeting.  They are his bosses.  If they tell him they want a team on the moon stocked with dwarves, he's got to get it done.

  29. rojoke says:

    Why?  It's a pair of boxing gloves, and the title has nothing to do with what happened at VT.  At least I don't see a connection, even indirectly.

  30. habsoverserver says:

    He changed it. It was a handgun. 

  31. habsoverserver says:

    I think the title is fine. 

  32. Kraut182 says:

    "Now the currency exchange has been better for a few years, but i still think that taxes are quite steep for Canadian owners, no?"

    I don't really understand the American tax system, and Canadian taxes are made up of provincial taxes which are different from province to province, but taxes mean profits.  If you're losing $10M/season you don't really have to worry about taxes.  If you're a team in the NHL making a profit I tend to think you look past the fact that its $4M instead of the $4.5M it would have been in the U.S.

    I'm not arguing that it was a bad idea to try to expand the game south, you never know until you try, but I do think it was too much too fast and was done poorly.  And while I try not to blame Bettman for everything he does these days, I think he deserves to be fired and I've thought so for some time.  Its like having Mike Milbury as your GM, sure he might make a good move every now and again but you still know he's a bad GM who deserves to go.

  33. wingerxxx says:

    Nah, he won't be another Yashin.  Not a chance.

    They actually play very differently.  It's almost like comparing fire and ice. 

    Yashin plays a very calculating game, and tries not to expend any extra effort unless he has to.  As said before, he plays with ice water in his veins, which is a good and bad thing.  He has very good hands around the circles, but is not the fastest skater.  Still a very skilled playmaker, when he's on.  When he's not…as Ted Nolan can probably tell you, it's not even worth having him out on the ice. 

    Malkin is much more aggressive and plays with a lot more passion.  That aggresseion is what makes him special, and he'll get much better as he gets older and develops.  As it stands, I would take Malkin over Yashin any day of the week. 

  34. Radio says:

    That reminds me, in consideration and respect for the victims of the Vtech shootings, I'll go have a shower right now and make sure I wear only blue jeans for the next week. Or maybe I'll make a fresh batch of orange and then change my name to McOfficer Peaceful.


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