Last week we met with NHLPA Director of Player Affairs Glenn Healy at the Players' Meetings in Las Vegas to discuss the CBA, Olympic participation, and regular season length. These are his stories.
Q: Are the players concerned about rising escrow payments?
A: Ask anyone out there if they want to give 18% of their paycheck back. They would probably say a resounding no. They're not happy about that in any way. It’s the league’s responsibility to grow the game. Our responsibility is the 60 minutes you play and we’ve done a pretty darn good job with that.
Q: How do you balance the desire to grow against finding sustainable markets to host teams?
A: We have no say in that. We don't get a vote. It's not worth even thinking about.
Q: Who are some of the stronger active player voices in the NHLPA?
A: We broke into four small groups today. Manny Malhotra and Robyn Regehr were big voices in my group.
Q: Do subgroups of players ever bind together to persuade the NHLPA to table issues specific to their needs?
A: I think we kind of get the idea of what a team is about. Mark Messier talked today about being part of that Players' Association team. I don’t think that’s an issue. I think our guys understand what a team is. They do it every day all year long. They get it.
Q: Has a player ever sent a lawyer to a NHLPA meeting on their behalf or has a group of players ever hired a lawyer to voice an opinion?
A: I’ve never seen it happen in my 15 meetings.
Q: Has the NHLPA given thought to CBA extension in 2011?
A: Strategy is way underway. The horses are way out of the barn for 2011.
Q: Are the Olympics a priority going forward?
A: Ask Ovechkin what he thinks about Sochi, Russia. We almost had to put a seatbelt on him at the player meeting when he saw it was going to be a potential Olympics. To play an Olympics in your country when you're the most powerful and most important person in the hockey world? The players in a resounding way believe that in a worldwide growth aspect the Olympics are something that has great potential for us.
Q: What do players feel is the ideal length for the regular season?
A: Less practice. The seven days between games where the coach gets to pretend he's Attila the Hun, put a game in there. And taking away the pre-season would probably be a thing guys would look at. Why are we playing nine exhibition games? Teams are already picked in a cap world.
Many thanks to Glenn for speaking with us.
Monday, June 29, 2009
Last week we met with NHLPA Director of Player Affairs Glenn Healy at the Players' Meetings in Las Vegas to discuss the CBA, Olympic participation, and regular season length. These are his stories.
Last week we met with the Calgary Flames' blueline bruiser and player representative Robyn Regehr at the NHLPA Meetings in Las Vegas to discuss expansion, relocation, and his biggest rival. These are his stories.
Q: Discuss the NHLPA's position on Southern US franchises.
A: Now that the players' salary and benefits are tied into a percentage of the HRR number, having teams in some of those areas might not make sense. Gary's vision was to put all these teams in the Southern US and places like that and all of the sudden get a big TV contract and we haven't seen anything like that. The TV contracts have gotten smaller and the teams, a lot of them, are in serious financial trouble.
Q: Is the word contraction ever discussed in NHLPA meetings?
A: There’s never any talk of contraction and that's for a few different reasons. First of all, we want to see as many jobs as possible in the NHL. That being said, there’s also really good places for those hockey teams to go. It was poor judgment by Gary that put these teams in places where they’ve struggled and those are the ones that people talk about contraction. There’s also been some mismanagement. How many lifelines are you going to throw a mismanaged business before it's time for them to either move on or change in some way. I think there are some really good markets available in the US. So the option of contraction hasn’t even been talked about or thought about.
Q: How does the NHLPA approach franchise relocation or expansion in terms of location?
A: You have to look at a bunch of things. How’s the relationship between the fans and that type of team. In Winnipeg there’s a history there so it would probably be really strong in the first couple of years and hopefully for many years after that. If you look at Canada you have to factor in the currency exchange, a lot of people forget about it. Five years ago that was really hampering the Canadian teams to where they were considered a small market team. Well now that currency has swung substantially in the other direction, especially a couple of years ago, where it makes Canada a much more viable market. But there’s that element of risk there. If you go somewhere that's more sustainable in the US you take that risk out of it. So you have to look at a whole bunch of different things when looking at that. I’m not smart enough to say what factors are more important than others or how you prioritize them.
Q: Do you think Las Vegas would succeed as a NHL town?
A: Yes I do for a few different reasons. First of all, I think they do a really good job of marketing here in Vegas. There’s some teams that do a good job of that but here it’s taken to a whole other level and I think it would be pretty successful. There is a minor pro team here and talking to some of the people that have been around that team they say that the fans are great. You also have a lot of people. I’m not sure the numbers on what Vegas attracts for tourists and visitors but it’s a substantial amount every year. To get a fraction of those people in to see hockey, you may be introducing new people to hockey. I think it would be a real exciting opportunity for the NHL to have a team in Vegas.
Q: What about another team in Southern Ontario?
A: I think players would love to have another team in Southern Ontario. It's a place where you would be playing to very knowledgeable hockey fans. It's a place where you'd probably be playing to a capacity crowd and they really do appreciate the franchise. There's been some teams put in really weak areas that could do well in Southern Ontario.
Q: Who’s the Flames biggest rival?
A: Right now? Well historically it’s been Edmonton but over the past couple of years I think Vancouver has really become a pretty heated rivalry.
Q: Who’s your least favorite player on the Vancouver Canucks?
A: The majority of them. I’d have to say Burrows.
A: I can’t tell you that really. It’s a story that was told to me by a friend in Calgary and I just can’t share that with you.
Many thanks to Robyn for speaking with us. Best of luck next season.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Last week we met with Calder ('07), Art Ross ('09), Conn Smythe ('09), and Stanley Cup winner ('09) Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas to discuss the pool party and his plans for the Cup. These are his stories.
Q: Tell me about the pool party at Mario's house?
A: Oh it was a good time. Lots of people came, friends, family, kids. Great time with the Stanley Cup in the pool. Lots of pictures of the Cup. It was a great time.
Q: Were you in the pool with the Cup?
A: I didn’t swim. It’s not a big pool. The kids swim, I drink.
Q: What are your plans for the Stanley Cup this summer?
A: Yeah, I'm planning to take the Cup back to my town in Russia. I have lots of friends and I’ll have a big party of course.
Q: Are you friends with Pavel Bure?
A: Oh yeah, we have dinner when I’m back. We’re friends.
Many thanks to Geno for speaking with us. Best of luck next season.
Last week we met with hockey aficionado and king of the big and small screen Jerry Bruckheimer at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas to discuss franchise ownership, Hollywood shinny, and CSI: NHL. These are his stories.
Q: What draws you to the game of hockey?
A: You know, I played it as a kid for about a year and went to a lot of games with my dad. It’s just something when you’re in Detroit, you know, it's Hockeytown so you get involved.
Q: Are you interested in owning a NHL franchise?
A: You know, I love the sport. If something happens, you know, I’d love to get involved but you never know.
Q: Are you evaluating the Phoenix Coyotes situation?
A: You know, we look at it but it’s up to the Judge.
Q: Are you working on any hockey related projects?
A: We’re working on a few things that will make it to the big screen or small screen.
Q: I was just talking with Michael Bublé and he’s looking for a hockey game in LA. Have you got room for another skater in your weekly pickup?
A: He’s not good enough unfortunately.
Many thanks to Jerry for speaking with us.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Last week we met with Hart, Art Ross, Pearson, Plus/Minus, and Stanley Cup winner Martin St. Louis at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas to discuss how he spent his day with the Cup when the Lightning struck in 2004. These are his stories.
Q: I heard a rumor that you brought the Stanley Cup back to your alma matter the University of Vermont during your day with the trophy.
A: Yeah, I hired the Samples to play a private party and Phish showed up. I had a photo shoot with Trey Anastasio for a magazine and I told him you know if you want bring your band and come see the Cup. And they just showed up. They actually got on stage and played with the Samples for three or four songs.
Q: How do you know Trey?
A: I know Trey from being alums there I guess. It’s not like we were close friends but when there was some concert close I’d go and chat with him backstage.
Q: Are you a Phish fan?
A: Yeah, I definitely like some of their songs. They’re very creative.
Q: What other kinds of music do you listen to?
A: I love the Samples. A little bit of everything. I can’t say that I just stick to one thing.
Many thanks to Marty for speaking with us. Best of luck next season.
Last week we met with the Vancouver Canucks' pesky two-way forward and 2009 Selke finalist Ryan Kesler at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas to discuss rooming on the road and NHL enemies. These are his stories.
Q: Who’s your roommate on the road?
A: Bieksa. We’re good buddies so it makes it easier.
Q: How do they determine roommates?
A: A lot of the time the coach picks it.
Q: Do you ever play cards with Luongo?
A: No. I'm more of a dice player than a card player.
Q: Is there a dice game on the Canucks' jet?
A: Not yet. I may have to start that.
Q: Who got on your nerves the most during the 2009 playoffs?
A: No one really rattles me or gets on my nerves. It's tough to say. I just play hard. If they’re talking to me that means I’m doing my job. Nobody really bothers me.
Q: How do you spend the off-season?
A: I live in Michigan in the summer. I hit the gym Monday through Friday and work out.
Many thanks to Ryan for speaking with us. Best of luck next season.
Last week we met with Hart ('94), Pearson ('94), two-time Selke ('94, '96), and three-time Stanley Cup winner ('97, '98, '02) Sergei Fedorov at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas to discuss comrade Vladamir Konstantinov, the Olympics, and next steps in his playing career. These are his stories.
Q: What’s it like to see Vladdy here tonight?
A: I don't know, it hurts you know. We were roommates, we grew up together. It’s hard. I was happy to see him. I said hello in the rehearsal before the show it was great. I thought he improved more from when I saw him last but obviously he's in a tough spot. It’s mixed emotions. I think it always will be.
Q: Are you in touch with other members of the Russian Five?
A: Yeah, we see each other once in a while. I talk to Slava Fetisov more than anyone else. We’ve got along pretty good since I was 15 or 16. So yeah, we’re in touch. But everyone has their families, kids, and other responsibilities you know so it’s different.
Q: Are you close with Pavel Bure?
A: We were colleagues once upon a time but when he finished his career I was still playing so we are in different stages of our life. I haven’t seen him much but I know he's doing good.
Q: Are you going to call him about a spot on the Russian Olympic team?
A: I’m not worried about the Olympics. I’m worried about getting employed again because I’m unemployed and it’s not comfortable for me. So I’m trying to organize that.
Q: Are you trying to stay with the Capitals?
A: The Capitals are my main priority and loyalty. We’ll see where that leads us but we’ll look at every possibility.
Q: Do you still check the scores in Detroit?
A: Not really. I live there all summer so I have plenty of friends who would tell me without asking.
Many thanks to Sergei for speaking with us. Best of luck next season.
Friday, June 26, 2009
Last week we met with the Chicago Blackhawks' barely legal Calder winner and Canucks killer Patrick Kane at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas to discuss Scotty Bowman, playoff grudges, and favorite road cities. These are his stories.
Q: When does the emotion of a playoff series end for the players?
A: I think when the game’s over you kind of sit there and think about it. You realize it's not the end of life and you gave it your all. As long as you’re giving it your all and you’re out there working hard that's all that matters.
Q: What’s carries over to the next season in terms of lessons or grudges?
A: Maybe take down a name here and there but you try not to hold the grudges. You try to play as much as a sportsman as you can. If you hold grudges it’s going to take away from your game. You got to go out there and only worry about playing your game. If you’re going to hold grudges in this world and this new game you’re going to be in the penalty box a lot and you’re not going to be very successful.
Q: Have you reminded Luongo tonight of your hat trick last month?
A: When the hockey season is over you just try to be friends off the ice. All hockey players are great guys. They present themselves so well and they’re so friendly to talk to. I don’t think there’s any hard feelings there.
Q: Knowing how long the season can be when you go deep into the playoffs are you going to train differently or try to pace yourself during the regular season?
A: I think it came down to timing in the playoffs. We didn't get the timely goals. If we scored one of those overtime goals and made it a 2-2 series that could be a totally different series. That comes with experience. Timely scoring comes with experience.
Q: What impact did Scotty Bowman have on your club this year?
A: He was definitely a bird’s eye view. He didn’t really come into the dressing room and say too much. But I think when he had a point he would tell everybody what his opinion was and I’m assuming they would listen to him.
Q: Are you a talker in the room?
A: I think a lot of guys talk in different ways. I don’t really talk in the room when it comes to pumping guys up. For me I just like to joke around with the guys and keep them loose and try to keep myself loose and not too uptight. The guys who are the real talkers in the room would probably be Sharp. Sharp’s a big talker.
Q: Is Byfuglien a talker?
A: No. Byf’s the same way. He likes to joke around and keep guys loose and have fun . If one guy can’t keep the guys loose one day they’ll be another guy who steps up and tells the jokes.
Q: Do you have a favorite road city?
A: Montreal. I love Montreal. That was a fun city. Obviously LA was a nice city to go to. There's a lot of nice road cities. Fort Lauderdale doesn't suck.
Many thanks to Patrick for speaking with us. Best of luck next season.
Last week we met with six-time Norris winner, four-time Stanley Cup champion, and current captain of the Detroit Red Wings Nicklas Lidstrom at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas to discuss his off-season regime and number one rival. These are his stories.
Q: Where are you spending the off-season?
A: Heading back to Sweden here in a few days to spend a couple of months. Visit the family and friends over there before I come back again before training camp. We’ve got a summer place on a lake and we just kind of hang out there and let the kids water ski and wakeboard and do all that fun stuff.
Q: How do you keep in shape while all that's going on?
A: I work out almost everyday whether it’s running or lifting weights, playing tennis or using the stationary bikes. I do a lot of different things to stay in shape.
Q: Who do you feel is your biggest rival, Pittsburgh or someone in the West?
A: You know, you only play the East when you get to the Finals so you're looking at beating teams in the West. San Jose had a very strong regular season. They were the team to beat. Anaheim is always tough to play against because they have the experience on their teams. Those two teams are probably the toughest opponents. But within our own division we’ve got Chicago making strides. They made it to the Conference Finals. I think Columbus made the playoffs. St. Louis is getting better so within our own division its getting a lot stronger.
Q: Which was the harder series, Anaheim or Pittsburgh?
A: You know they were fairly equal in the way they went to a Game 7 and how hard you had to battle to get the win. So I still think the Pittsburgh series was harder because we lost it.
I didn't have the heart to remind Lidstrom that his Wings swept Columbus without ever relinquishing the lead in the Blue Jackets' franchise first playoff appearance this year. When you make it to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals I suppose such moments are overshadowed.
Many thanks to Nicklas for speaking with us. Best of luck next season.
Last week we met with the President's Trophy winning coach of the San Jose Sharks Todd McLellan at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas to discuss his team's playoff letdown against the Ducks and next season strategy. These are his stories.
Q: Discuss the impact of Jeremy Roenick and Claude Lemieux on your team this year.
A: Well we’re talking about two Hall of Fame players so anytime they walk into the locker room they have instant credibility and respect. Jeremy had been there for a year prior and had created a number of relationships with players and people in the community. Claude, his experience in the playoffs and winning Stanley Cups and Conn Smythe trophies speaks volumes. Obviously we didn’t get the job done that we wanted to but it wasn't because of the impact they had. They made a real positive one and it’s certainly been an honor having them involved in our organization.
Q: What’s the next step for the San Jose Sharks?
A: Well right now we’re in that evaluation process. What we can’t do is get caught up in the emotion that we went out in the first round. We did a lot of really good things during the regular season, attained a lot of the goals that we set, team records, and league records. We have to keep that in mind as we move forward. Ultimately the goal is the Stanley Cup. So there will be some changes personnel wise and perhaps with the way we approach things and play a little bit but that will show up in September, October, and November.
Many thanks to Todd for speaking with us. Best of luck next season.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Last week we met with fulltime fan, part-time color man, and hopeful owner-to-be Michael Bublé at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas to discuss his favorite franchise, the Vancouver Canucks, and playing hockey in Los Angeles. These are his stories.
Q: Have you had a chance to talk with Luongo and Kesler about the Chicago series?
A: No, I think they'd probably beat the hell out of me if I did. I don’t know what happened. You know man, I took it really hard. I think I said some of the dumbest stupidest stuff and really I don’t know anything. I’m just a fan. I’m just a passionate man. And listen, they tried their best. They’re a good team. I hope they can keep a lot of those boys together. It’d be nice to see the Sedins come back just to see what they could do if they get another couple pieces and watch Luongo win the Vezina and Stanley Cup next year.
Q: What do you think of the rumored $63m over 12 years for each Sedin?
A: I love it. I like long term deals. I think Detroit has done really well with it. But I don't know. I’m not Mike Gillis. I think Mike probably has his own ideas and reasons and agenda. Listen, I don't know what’s going on I’m just a big fan of the Sedins.
Q: Are you a hockey player?
A: Yeah, I play.
Q: Do you play in Jerry Bruckheimer's weekly hockey game in LA?
A: No but I’d love to. I've heard Tim Robbins is pretty rough though, I don't know if I’d want to get out there with him. Tim Robbins is like 7’6”. On skates he’s 8’9”.
Moments later we conveyed Bublé's interested to Bruckheimer. Jerry responded without hesitation, "He’s not good enough, unfortunately." While you may not be welcome to wing Robbins, the invitation to lace 'em up and guest post for The Puck Report stands. Think about it.
Many thanks to Michael for speaking with us.
Last week we met with the Calgary Flames' fearless leader Jarome Iginla at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas to discuss the recent firing of Mike Keenan. These are his stories.
Q: Tell me about the coaching change in Calgary?
A: It’s always hard to see a coaching change and we are definitely bearing responsibility. We’re all trying to reach our goals and unfortunately we didn't do that.
Q: As the captain do you feel any personal responsibility for the firing?
A: Oh absolutely. You look in the mirror at the end of the year, and as a group of veterans we do that, and look at areas we should have been better. One area that comes to mind is back to back games where we had a terrible record. Also, defensively we weren't nearly as strong as we have been in the past. We try to emphasize certain areas to improve on. So especially during the playoffs you watch different games and you keep thinking about our team and how you can improve. Once the season is over you look to next year and you can’t wait to get it going.
Q: How did Keenan’s criticism of Kiprusoff from the 2008 playoffs carryover to the next season, if at all?
A: They talked about it a lot over the summer and tried to work together and understand each other. But during the year it wasn't an issue. I think they talked over the summer numerous times but during the year it was good they both had a good relationship and definitely had mutual respect for each other.
Q: And your relationship with Keenan?
A: I really like Mike. I think he's a good coach. I think there were a lot of good things he did for our team. I was sorry to see him go. We didn’t finish where we wanted but some of our players had their best season. He helped me too with the Messier and Leetch stories from the winning days. As a veteran group we’re trying to learn how to get over that playoff hump and also just get better during the regular season.
Q: Finally, which player on the Canucks gets on your nerves the most?
A: I wouldn’t want to tell you. I wouldn’t want to, nope. None of them.
Many thanks to Jarome for speaking with us. Best of luck next season.
Last week we met with Vancouver Canucks' captain Roberto Luongo at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas to discuss his favorite NHL cities, the Sedins, team flight poker games, and his future with the franchise. These are his stories.
Q: What do you think about the Awards coming to Las Vegas?
A: I think it’s awesome. You know the guys enjoy coming here and have a good time. I think they should probably bring more stuff here. Like the Draft, the All-Star Game, the pre-season, everything. The Winter Classic, they could do that here too right?
Q: What’s your favorite NHL city other than Las Vegas?
A: I was going to say Vegas. I like to go to Montreal because it’s my hometown. You know, LA is a good place to play. There's a bunch of great cities in the NHL so it’s tough to pick one. But Montreal is my hometown so I do enjoy going back there.
Q: In light of the Sedins rumored $126 million 12 year proposal have you considered a long term strategy regarding your next signing?
A: Well right now I think it’s still a bit early to talk about that for us. You know we definitely want to see what happens on July 1st with our team and see who comes in. We’ll make a decision after that but I know the Canucks organization is a winner and they want to win. That's always a good starting point.
Q: What do you do during the summer in terms of training?
A: A bit of everything. I don’t usually hit the ice until the end of July. I'm mostly training at the gym. The thing I’ll probably be doing a bit differently this year is I’ll probably be going back onto the ice a bit earlier than I’m used to and maybe try to get off to a better start to the season.
Q: Do you play poker with your teammates on the team flights?
A: Yeah, there are a lot of guys. But Darcy Hordichuk is by far the worst player I’ve ever seen. Guys like Juice always seem to be there at the end.
Q: Do the Sedins cheat at cards?
A: They talk in Swedish all the time so I don’t know what exactly they’re saying. But I’m sure they’re probably giving away their own hands.
A special thanks to Roberto for speaking with us. Best of luck next season.
* See also Today In NHL History - Luongo's Playoff Poop.
* See also Today In NHL History - Luongo's Stick Gets Stuck.
* See also Today In NHL History - Luongo Trade (FLA-VAN).
* See also Today In NHL History - Luongo Trade (NYI-FLA).
* See also Roberto Luongo Interview - 2011 NHL Awards.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Among the missing pieces in the NHL's off-season schedule is a rousing roast to air out the frustrations of the year. If the Commander-in-Chief is willing to open up for an evening of friendly fire surely the Commissioner along with his staff and constituents can do the same.
Originating in 1920 the WHCA's annual dinner has evolved into an opportunity for writers and the regime to trade targeted truisms cloaked in comedy, climaxing in 2006 when Stephen Colbert addressed the President in Comedy Central character exposing the absurdity of his administration.
If not for fun and fraternity, the NHL should participate in such an affair for the desperately needed TV ratings and charity-related revenue. The obscure cable carrier of choice would likely be inundated with eyeballs exceeding that of their on-ice productions.
For the self-proposed inaugural event, to be held on the eve of next year's NHL Awards in Las Vegas, I nominate Ron MacLean to MC and Denis Leary, armed with his Friars Club and Comedy Central experience, to represent the writers. I'll leave the league to fend for themselves.
After all, what pairs better with Sin City than comedy ... other than gambling, boozing, and whoring or course.
Friday, June 19, 2009
Say what you will of teams in the Sun Belt, the NHL Awards have found a new home in Sin City. Boasting what can only be described as a fan fantasy bonanza, the move is a welcome addition to the NHL schedule.
Better known for their silky hands than silver tongues, the greats of the game limped through the scripted program at the Palms offering more gaffes than grace. From Kirk Muller's Elmer Fudd Tricia Helfer intoxication (here at 7:36) to Ethan Moreau's crossed legged crotch squeeze (here at 7:25) and Roenick's flub of the Fan Fav (here at 8:14), polished it was not.
These missteps, however, were matched with moving moments from Tim Thomas (here at 6:58), Zdeno Chara (here at 4:50), and Steve Sullivan (here at 3:25), and comic relief care of the NHL (here at 3:16) and OV (here at 7:07).
Was Chaka Khan out of place on this stage? Yes. Were some of the presenters sleep deprived, hungover, and perhaps drunk? Yes. Did it matter? No. The magic of the awards in Vegas belonged to the hours outside of the 90 minute telecast, offering unprecedented access to the players at poker tables, the pool, and post-party.
Whether bold, blind, or both, the NHL deserves credit for skating into the 100 degree heat of the Mojave. The telecast needs help regardless of location. Banning Roenick, hooking the presenters on Phonics, and handing over the hosting to Michael Buble would be a start. The parts before and after, however, were perfect.
Desert doubters ought to book a ticket to the awards next year and experience it firsthand. You won't be disappointed.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
CONN SMYTHE: Malkin
ART ROSS: Malkin
ROCKET RICHARD: Ovechkin
JACK ADAMS: Julien
LADY BYNG: Datsyuk
KING CLANCY: Moreau
FAN FAV: Luongo
* See also 2015 NHL Individual Awards Winners.
* See also 2014 NHL Individual Awards Winners.
* See also 2013 NHL Individual Awards Winners.
* See also 2012 NHL Individual Awards Winners.
* See also 2011 NHL Individual Awards Winners.
* See also 2010 NHL Individual Awards Winners.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Ever wondered what would happen if hundreds of professional hockey players descended upon the desert with a fistful of dollars and no curfew or scheduled morning skate? Stick around and find out.
Tonight The Puck Report leaves for Las Vegas to cover the 2009 NHL Awards action from the Palms' Pearl Theater. In addition to pending pictures and posts on this page, follow us on Twitter at @puckreport for updates from the property's pool, poker tables, and Playboy Club.
Remember, what happens in Vegas posts on The Puck Report.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
DET (2) v. PIT (4) = 3-4
PIT (4) v. CAR (6) = 4-0
BOS (1) v. CAR (6) = 3-4
WAS (2) v. PIT (4) = 3-4
BOS (1) v. MTL (8) = 4-0
WAS (2) v. NYR (7) = 4-3
NJD (3) v. CAR (6) = 3-4
PIT (4) v. PHI (5) = 4-2
DET (2) v. CHI (4) = 4-1
DET (2) v. ANA (8) = 4-3
VAN (3) v. CHI (4) = 2-4
SJS (1) v. ANA (8) = 2-4
DET (2) v. CLB (7) = 4-0
VAN (3) v. STL (6) = 4-0
CHI (4) v. CGY (5) = 4-2
Saturday, June 13, 2009
In a world largely ordered and often ruled in 3s, many have said and some even sung that it's the magic number. The Pittsburgh Penguins, on the other hand, have found post season pleasures presented in pairs.
Led by their dynamic duo, Crosby's Butch Cassidy to Malkin's Sundance Kid, the Penguins have clawed to consecutive Cup Finals (2008, 2009), twice overcoming 0-2 series deficits (WAS, DET) and surviving Game 7s (WAS, DET) with a pair of goals from Crosby in the former and Maxime Talbot in the latter, bringing the Steel City their second major sports championship of the year (NFL, NHL).
In Detroit the deuce was not delicious with Marian Hossa perfecting a pair of Stanley Cup losses (2008, 2009) and Mike Babcock becoming the only coach to lose a Cup Finals Game 7 for two different teams (ANA, DET).
With Penguins' precedent in pairs, time will tell if the rule of threes stretches beyond survival and storytelling to Pittsburgh hockey history.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
In the closing moments of Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals, a frustrated Evgeni Malkin attacked an unwilling Henrik Zetterberg. Malkin was assessed 17 minutes and Zetterberg 5. Both served only 19 seconds.
In the first period of Game 3 Malkin assisted on two goals prior to 16:41 and Zetterberg scored and assisted after 4:41, the respective times each would have been freed had their penalties carried over from Game 2. Such a circumstance would have nullified the Penguins' first period markers, having them chasing an equalizer instead of an empty netter in the final minute of Game 3.
With Colin Campbell incapable of a consistent application of the league's rules, most notably 47.22 mandating an automatic one game suspension for an instigator in the final five minutes, perhaps disciplinary action is best left to the on-ice officials. Rather than playing politics, penalties would simply continue from one game in a series to the next, much how they travel from the end of regulation to the overtime period.
Campbell could still apply the rules, if he so chose, punctuating an on-ice infraction with a fine or suspension as he pleased. But those who did the crime would actually do the time. In other words, justice would be served. A progressive, and likely too aggressive, concept for today's NHL.
* See also Today In NHL History - Malkin Fights Zetterberg.