Saturday, May 22, 2010

Cheating Sons of Bitches

If Only You Knew The Power of the Dark Side

Turns out that the Canadiens thought it would be funny to leave a little extra in front of the visiting locker room before the game today. Sand and dirt to be specific. Their crack team of stadium quality control didn't cover the floor until halfway through the third period. If you were wondering why every Flyer had skate problems today, that's why. Fucking scumbag team resorting to bush league tactics to slow Philly down. Darth Pronger is not going to like that one bit.

It would be nice to see the Habs organization fined and stripped of a draft pick. We'll see if they ever do that 'Slapshot' crap again.

- rare tip of the hat to NBC for reporting info regarding the dirty floor

There's No Hockey In The Summer

Renamed Again: Chesapeake Bayhawks

Although primarily a hockey blog, this doesn't mean we can't mention other sports - especially ones that barely conflict with the NHL. In the ever inept style of the NHL's version of Napoleon, Gary Bettman (for those asleep at the wheel) to this day has managed to make sure hockey is still not on ESPN. Surprisingly, lacrosse is one of the sports filling decent spots on weekends. MLL, Major League Lacrosse, takes up a lot of the summer - where there is no NHL to watch.

If you don't know who the Chesapeake Bayhawks are, don't feel bad. They were previously Baltimore and Washington (DC), playing now in Annapolis MD at the Navy Memorial Stadium. As all of you should know by now, I'm a homer through and through for my teams - but I do pay respect. As a UM grad, I still pulled for Joe Walters (the slowest player on the planet, but everything still hits net) last year when he was on Toronto.

MLL players, similar to several players in the NHL, have heart. Case in point, Brett Queener (Toronto Nationals goaltender) is absolutely the fucking man. Last season, played the championship with a BROKEN HAND and won. Take that Kari Lehtonen (both: making a championship game and toughness). Queener is the scary-type of goalie, who will try to start a rush, and keep the other team on their toes.

My team is the Bayhawks, and you should get in on it. Unless you're rooting for Philly, Montreal or Chicago, you've got nothing better to do anyway. Yes, it's over San Jose, unless the Sharks learn how to do the heimlich on themselves with the back of a chair. Don't count on it.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Pepe LeHalak

Skunked in the 2nd After Allowing 4

Sacré bleu! The Price is Wrong lets in two more en route to a 6-0 shellacing on Broad Street. Flyers lead the series 1-0. Six different goal scorers for Philly. Let's see if they can continue to hold serve Tuesday at 7:00 PM Eastern.

NHL Conference Finals

Here's your quick guide to the NHL Conference Finals

#7 Philadelphia Flyers vs
#8 Montreal Canadiens

Two of the most passionate fan-bases, in the same series, meet again. Despite being the two lowest initial seeds in the Eastern Conference, this series should be great, and well deserved for both loyal, high-pressure cities. Montreal's sensational goalie Jaroslav Halak should be on everyone's mind when it comes to the NHL playoffs MVP (Conn Smythe), and the 3-ring circus that is the Flyers infirmary leaves everyone to guess 'who will step up next'? Is it pumpkin-hour for the Orange and Black, or will we see another French surrender?

#2 Chicago Blackhawks vs
#1 San Jose Sharks

If you're a fan of hockey, you know that Chicago is a lock to win. San Jose manages to find its way out of the playoffs year in and year out, despite promising regular season records and stellar home-ice domination at the Shark Tank. Will this be the year they shake King Kong off their backs, and compete for the Stanley Cup, or will the young and talented Blackhawks help Marian Hossa reach yet another finals?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

What if Broad Street Didn't Fight Back?

Didn't take long for the NHL to roll this commercial out did it....

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Don Cherry Is Retarded

Remember this gem last year when Alexander Ovechkin did his fire dance with the stick? Yeah...pot calling the kettle black, comin' right up

Hypocritical Moron

Fine, I get it. You're overtly in love with everything Canadian. Whatever. You love Boston, fine. You despise Daniel Carcillo. Okay. But this, is just plain stupid, start at the 3:15 mark.

Seriously? Carcillo (6' 0" 205 lbs) should only go after guys like Colton Orr (6' 3" 222 lbs, or Carcillo +3" and +17 lbs), but Marc Savard (5' 10" 191 lbs, or Carcillo - 2" and -14 lbs) is off limits? Savard is too small, Carcillo should only pick on guys his size? Really? Carcillo is more similar in height and weight to Savard than Orr, but oh wait, he plays for Boston. If Cherry doesn't like it, he makes shit up and hopes his blind following engraves it in stone. Carcillo is a bully and a coward? How about he's adapting to the "new" NHL, where divers are rewarded (the entire Pens* roster), and suckering guys into retaliation magically grants you power plays (Sean Avery). You don't like it, fix the fucking NHL.

That Colton Orr incident was a game the Flyers needed to win, and with the way the NHL calls penalties (think back to that bullshit Daniel Carcillo vs Matt Bradley call yielding a Washington NINE MINUTE POWERPLAY or Simon Gagne vs Anton Volchenkov call yielding a fraudulent Ottawa goal and an Ottawa SEVEN MINUTE POWERPLAY), Carcillo picked his spot. When some guys do it, they're smart, but Carcillo isn't? Cherry even went on to say Savard got what he deserved! C'mon. Carcillo is a middleweight agitator, who's role has changed to mean more to the team (22 points this season), while Orr solely exists as heavyweight muscle (17 points in his entire 6 year CAREER). There was no "help me" or any of that crap, get over it Cherry.

I know Savard is a scorer, and very valuable to his team - but he got what he deserved. You don't slash a goalie's glove, especially after the whistle. Savard also has a suspension on his record for biting in the past, which is certainly more Jarko Ruutu's style.

Jarko Ruutu After Signing His Ottawa Contract

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Capital Collapse, Part 2 of 6

For tonight's post, we will review the assistant coaching staff, and captaincy unit of the Capitals.

First up:

1st assistant coach: Dean Evason

Why we keep him:

Tenure - He's been with the Capitals for five seasons now. And he was drafted by the team in 1982, playing a whopping 17 games over two seasons (hey, it's something).
Success - Since he's been with the team, he's been to the playoffs three times. As a head coach in the WHL, he has a winning record over five seasons (168-144-17 with 31 ties), and two playoff appearances, winning one series. He's also one of the most respected assistant coaches in the game today.
What he brings - Defensive experience, something the Capitals so desperately need.

Why we can him:

Tenure - So what? He's an assistant coach.
Success - He also was an assistant for the first two Godawful seasons post-lockout. His only real experience as a head coach was in the WHL. He has no prior professional coaching experience.
What he brings - He's a defensive minded coach. But the Capitals are horrible at defense. Something doesn't compute. Either he's not doing his job, or the players aren't listening, or something's up. Oh, I know. He's not the Capitals defensive assistant!

The verdict:

Fire him. Purge the coaching staff, bring in a new head coach and let him decide who he wants to work with. It'll be tough to let a guy like Evason go, but he's not part of the solution.


2nd assistant coach: Bob Woods

Why we keep him:

Tenure - He's been with the Capitals organization since 05-06. He also served as a player coach under Boudreau during Bruce's last year with the ECHL Sea Wolves.
Success - He won an AHL championship with the Hershey Bears monster squad in 08-09. He also coached the Sea Wolves to the playoffs for four straight years, going deep twice.
What he brings - Four solid years as a player-coach in the ECHL. Plenty of accolade as a player in the minor leagues, including retiring as the ECHL's record holder for games played.

Why we can him:

Tenure - He's been here for a year.
Success - He inherited that Bears team.
What he brings - Experience aside, he's the Capitals defensive assistant, and the team sucks at defense. Something's wrong.

The verdict:

Along with Evason, fire him. Purge the staff.


3rd assistant coach/video: Blaine Forsythe

Why we keep him:

Tenure - Three year veteran coach with the Capitals
Success - He's a tag along with the Capitals success.
What he brings - Not really sure.

Why we can him:

Tenure - He has none.
Success - None that I can find.
What he brings - Did he even play hockey at any level?

The verdict:

Fire him along with the rest.


Goaltending coach: Arturs Irbe

Why we keep him:

Tenure - He has none with the team, but a plethora of experience as a goaltender.
Success - As an undersized goalie, he took a Sharks team that was a disgrace to professional hockey in 92-93 and went deep in the playoffs in 93-94. He also was key in taking the Hurricanes to the Cup Finals in 01-02.
What he brings - A ton of experience, he's played in Russia.

Why we can him:

Tenure - He has none. It's his first year coaching anywhere.
Success - He's never won a Cup.
What he brings - He played really well against us when he was with the 'Canes.

The verdict:

A tough call, but a purge is a purge. I think he's a great fit with the organization, especially if Varlamov is the starter moving forward, but clear the whole staff and make way for fresh faces. Show the players that no one is untouchable, even someone who doesn't seem to be the problem. If the team doesn't succeed, then no one is safe.


Tomorrow, the forwards.

Monday, May 3, 2010

A Capital Collapse

So the dust has settled. The Caps choked in only a way the Caps can. Up 3-1 against an 8 seed, the Caps found a way to lose. Three times straight.

So, how do we move forward from here? Who do we can, who do we keep, who do we kill? For a President's Trophy winning team with a two time MVP, no one is to be spared. Let's start from the top:

General Manager: George McPhee

Why we keep him:

Tenure - he's been the boss since '97.
Success - Five Southeast Division Championships, seven playoff appearances in twelve seasons. One Stanley Cup appearance (97-98).
Drafting - A lot of NHL regulars were drafted by GMGM. Included (in order of draft year, not prominence or impact with the Capitals): Boynton, Barch, Beech, Sutherby, Pettinger, Paetsch, Oduya, Eminger, Semin, Gordon, Fehr, Ovechkin, Schultz, Green, Lepisto, Tim Kennedy, Backstrom, Varlamov. Neuvirth, Chris Bourque, Mathieu Perreault, Alzner, and Carlson are all in the works, and have some decent NHL experience under their belt.
Trading - Some of his better trades include: Carey, Allison, Carter, and a 3rd for Oates, Tocchet, and Ranford; future considerations for Craig Billington; 3rd round pick for Kristich; Zednik, Bulis, and a 1st for Linden, Zubrus, and a 2nd; Linden and a 2nd for the 1st that became Semin; Oates for Maxime Ouellet, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd round picks; Witt for Beech and a 1st (Varlamov); Ted Ruth for Fedorov; (NHL scoring leader) Lang for Fleischmann; Nylander for a 2nd; Gonchar for a 1st, 2nd, and Morrisonn; Bondra for Laich and a 2nd round pick that was traded to the Avs; a bag of pucks for Jagr.
Free Agency - Pothier, Brashear, Kozlov, Poti, Knuble, Morrison

Why we can him:

Tenure - So what?
Success - Seven playoff appearances in twelve years for a team that had that much talent, and in that soft of a division. The Capitals lone Stanley Cup appearance in (97-98), though he inherited the team. One series win in the eleven seasons since.
Drafting - Overall it's been very positive. No one's perfect, but GMGM is pretty damn good.
Trading - Jagr.
Free Agency - Nylander. And the fact that Pothier and Poti are considered highlights.

The verdict:

Keep him. He's had mixed success, and built this current team from the ground up. He was given a fresh start after the lockout, and he's more than proven his weight with his drafting and trading track record. The Capitals were never very active in the free agency market, and that has to change. McPhee needs to pursue some free agents, and throw some money around. He's got the biggest draw in the world by having an already strong team; all he has to do is go after the right people. More on this to come.


Head Coach: Bruce Boudreau

Why we keep him:

Tenure - He's been with the kids since 05-06.
Success - His only two full seasons with the Bears, he appeared in two Calder Cup Finals, winning one. He's also won a championship with the ECHL Mississippi Sea Wolves (apparently Mississippi has ice). With the Capitals, he inherited a team that was quickly maturing, and implemented a "fun style". Couple that with the fact that he was coaching a bunch of players he was coaching a year prior in the NHL, and you have a player's coach. The players trust him. Or at least the young ones do.

Why we can him:

Tenure - What tenure?
Success - I could coach the Caps to 50 wins in the pathetic Southeast. "Hey Ovechkin. Put puck in net. Go."

The verdict:

Fire him. He's a player's coach, but he's not a great coach. He doesn't really seem to have a stranglehold on what it means to coach playoff hockey, and he doesn't really seem to care that his team can't even spell defense.

Bring in a disciplinarian. Bring in a guy who's hardened. But make sure it's a young coach. A guy who's willing to work with what he's got, and cultivate a guy like Semin into a hard worker. Or make Green a better defenseman. Yes folks, I'm talking Rick Tocchet. The guy that resurrected Steve Downie's career. The guy that brought Stamkos to the next level. You remember, Stamkos, the Rocket Richard winner who's not ready for the NHL. The guy that inherited a team riddled with problems from the ownership on down, and took them to respectability, even though they weren't even supposed to compete for a playoff spot.

And he did this with a rag-tag group. Imagine what he could do with the softest team on the planet.


More to come, I'm tired.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Crackdown on Diving?

Philadephia #48, 2 Minutes for Skating Near Crosby

"Terry Gregson, the NHL's director of officiating says the league is cracking down. Gregson says embellishment was evident in the first round."

"Prior to Round Two, Gregson reminded his officiating staff that they are in charge of the integrity of the game and they must do everything they can to uphold it."

Darren Dreger via

We'll see if they really mean it this time. I would love nothing more than PPs getting cancelled out due to diving/embellishment. Even better, I'd like to see a diving as the ONLY penalty called tight. Hooks aren't hooks if it doesn't affect the skater - I don't care about "parallel to the ice" or dumb shit like that. Same for slashing resulting in broken sticks when the league refuses to set standards for flexibility/rigidity/resistance. Keep in mind, this is a tough game, featuring guys like Ian Laperriere - who despite losing a half-dozen teeth and needing around a hundred stitches, finishes the game.

NHL players are professionals and should act as such. We all know that elite players can skate amongst the best in the world - so why do they fall so easily? Because diving is accepted, and the league is turning into a special-teams game. I hope they are serious about diving, but chances are, it'll fade just like last time.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Sorry for the Delay...

I have been very busy this week with school and roommate hunting. I will post a write up of the Caps postseason and my ideas for next season and beyond, after I get off of work.