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Friday, April 27, 2012

NHL Round 2 Playoff Predictions - West and East 2012

Coyotes vs. Predators

The Predators are looking very strong with the addition of Radulov. In the Preds series against the Red Wings, I really hated when Weber grabbed Zetterberg’s head and smashed his face into the glass; and therefore, I hope that Weber and the Preds are upset by the Coyotes. As previously stated, I really like Mike Smith and I hope that he takes the Coyotes further, and especially since Steve Yzerman (VP and GM of the Lightning) did not sign Smith last year but instead decided to ink Roloson to a one-year deal worth 3 million. What a fool Yzerman was and he cost the Lightning their playoffs this year! I would not be surprised if Yzerman trades for Luongo (who has now asked to be traded), or signs a free agent (please see my article entitled: “Goalie Gonna Need Some Shades,” in which I describe the situation that Yzerman has got himself into and the free agent goalies that will be available to him—and he has an advantage since who doesn’t want to live in Florida). 

In the regular season, the Coyotes won two games and the Predators won two. The scores were (first game of the season to last): 5-2 Coyotes, 3-0 Preds, 3-2 Coyotes and 5-4 shootout victory for the Predators.

I expect the Predators to outshoot the Coyotes but Smith might be able to hold the fort like he did against the Blackhawks. I should note that Smith only played the Preds once this year, the last meeting between the teams, while LaBarbara played the other three—and very well indeed. It is nice to have a good back-up goalie, and you know what just happened to the Penguins due to Fleury collapsing and their not having a back-up goalie who could do any better.

This series is likely to go six and maybe seven games. The Predators are the favorite to win but don’t count out the Coyotes.

Blues vs. Kings

Both teams are playing extremely well and both teams have exceptional goaltending. In the regular season the Kings won three of the four meetings between the teams. The scores were: 5-0 Kings, 3-2 Kings, 1-0 Blues and 1-0 shootout Kings.

You can flip a coin in this series but due to the Kings performance against the Canucks I am going with them; however, I would prefer it if the Blues advanced because I like Brian Elliott and the way the team has turned things around this year. I am not a fan of Carter due to his crying while in Columbus.

This series should go at least six games and possibly seven.

Capitals vs. Rangers  

The Rangers were pretty fortunate to have advanced in my opinion, because the Sens had convincingly beaten them three of the four games they played in the regular season. I saw some favoritism by the officials towards the Rangers in Round 1, but I don’t believe that will happen in Round 2 against the Capitals since they are both American teams.

Holtby was fantastic in net against the Bruins, and Ovechkin is playing hard and he and Giroux are the two best players in the world right now.   

In the regular season, out of four games, the Caps won two and the Rangers two. The scores were:  6-3 Rangers, 4-1 Caps, 3-2 Rangers and 4-1 Caps to close out the season.

Good riddance to the John Tortorella and his dirty-playing New York Rangers! Capitals will win in six or less games in my opinion.

Flyers vs. Devils

I previously picked the Devils to be the upset team in the East and stated that the only team that they could not beat was the Bruins (as proven by the regular season record).

In the regular season between the Flyers and Devils, each team won three games out of the six between them. The scores were:  3-0 Flyers, 4-3 shootout Devils, 4-1 Flyers, 6-4 Devils, 4-1 Devils and 3-0 Flyers.

Giroux is playing outstanding but I have a major problem with Bryzgalov in net. I predict that he will choke as he did in the last series against the Pens, and as he did last year in the playoffs when he was with the Coyotes and played the Wings in Round 1. I believe that the Devils can upset and win this series but it will depend on Bryzgalov and Brodeur. I can’t stand Laviolette who needs a good punch in the mouth, and Brayden Schenn too.  

This series should go six games but could go seven.

TJ Stanley


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Capitals Orchestrate Upset of the Bruins — Ward Scores in Overtime

WHAT A WONDERFUL DAY FOR AN EXORCISM!

The Capitals were able to eliminate the defending Stanley Cup Champions tonight and it was Joel Ward who was able to bang home the winner in overtime.

Lucic, Thornton, Chara and Marchand: I hope you hackers enjoy your early golfing season this year and I hope that you all can break 100!

From my “NHL Playoff Predictions—East” article I quote:

“Do the Caps have anything to be afraid of? No, because they have won three of the four meetings against the Bruins this year (5-3 win, 4-1 loss, 4-3 win, and 3-2 win).

The Caps goaltenders Vokoun and Neuvirth are both injured, but Braden Holtby is an excellent goalie and had 35 saves in the 4-1 victory over the Rangers. In fact, Holtby’s numbers in seven games played this year are better than both Vokoun and Neuvirth. Holtby has a Save Percentage of .922 , one shutout, and a GAA of 2.49; while, Vokoun, in 48 games played, has a Save Percentage of .917, four shutouts, and a GAA of 2.51.

If the Caps lay it all on the line and Holtby can overcome the nerves and provide the support in net; then, the Caps have a legitimate chance of dethroning the Bruins. Thomas and the Bruins are going to be extremely tough and I am picking them to win the series but it would not shock me if the Caps were able to orchestrate an upset. I hope that the Caps win but my money is on the Bruins.”

The Bruins are the dirtiest team in the NHL so I must say it once again:

WHAT A WONDERFUL DAY FOR AN EXORCISM!

You can see Ward’s overtime goal by clicking the link below. Thanks to youtube.

If you want to return to my site please remember to click the back arrow in your browser after watching.


TJ Stanley


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Torres Given 25 Game Suspension for Hit on Hossa — Video of Hit

In my previous article on the Raffi Torres hit on Hossa, I stated that Shanahan was likely to be inconsistent and throw the book at Torres. Well, he did just that today by giving Torres a 25 game suspension!

I agree with the suspension and especially after watching the following video which shows a better angle of the hit. I believe that the injury to Hossa’s neck happened when his head hit the ice and not when Torres made contact.

However, I disagree with all of the other suspensions that Shanahan has handed out in the playoffs because they have been far too lenient! And, Shea Weber wasn’t even given a suspension for grabbing Zetterberg behind the head and smashing his face into the glass! This was a purposeful intent to injure and a fit of anger that should have also been given a long suspension along with salary loss; however, Shanahan decided to heavily favor the Predators and Weber and he only game Weber a piggy-bank fine of $2500. That is no punishment whatsoever since Weber makes 7.5 million this year! Clearly, Shanahan favors certain players and teams and he is totally inconsistent in his judgments. As I previously stated, he needs to give longer suspensions and the players need to lose a good chuck of their salaries. This is the ONLY way to significantly reduce dirty hits in the NHL. Shanahan and company haven’t figured this out for some reason? You have to wonder about their intelligence.

I have removed the embedded video and provided a link to watch it. After watching, click the back arrow in your browser to return to my site.


TJ Stanley

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Raffi Torres Hit on Hossa Hyped by the Media — Shanahan Likely to Continue to be Inconsistent with his Judgments and Give Torres Extra

Marian Hossa is a great player and it is very unfortunate that he appears to have suffered an injury from a hit by Raffi Torres in Game 3 of the series between the Coyotes and Hawks.

In my opinion, the hit by Torres was not near as bad as the media has made it out to be. Hossa had the puck and passed it and then Torres came in and laid a hit on him with his shoulder. True, Torres left his feet but no elbow was thrown so I don’t see any attempt at all to injure Hossa. In fact, if you view the video closely you will see that the injury probably occurred when Hossa’s head hit the ice and not when Torres contacted him. After Hossa hit the ice the trainer told him to remain on the ice and it is hard to say whether Hossa actually needed to be taken off the ice on a stretcher or not. I think he could have gathered himself and left under his own power but it is always best to be safer than sorry. Hossa was released from the hospital later that same evening so his injury could not have been more than whiplash or a mild concussion. That was fantastic news because nobody in their right mind wants to see talented players injured.

Now, comes the part where the NHL exercises punishment on Torres for the hit. Due to the media and Torres’ history, I believe that Shanahan is likely going to give Torres more than he has given to other players in the playoffs. If Shanahan acted as he has with other suspensions in the playoffs he would only give Torres two games. Shanahan let Shea Weber off with a $2500 piggy-bank fine for grabbing Zetterberg behind the head and smashing his head into the glass! I find that a much bigger offense as compared to Torres’ shoulder hit on Hossa because Torres did not intend to injure while Weber clearly did! All said, if Shanahan is going to be consistent he should give Torres two games, but it will likely be more due to the media and Torres’ history.

I would like to see the NHL and Shanahan be much more strict on fines and suspensions because this is the only way to reduce the number of infractions against the best players in the league. Shea Weber should have been given 10 games in my opinion, and also loss of his salary for 10 games (as calculated from his regular season salary). I can’t understand why Shanahan and the NHL cannot figure out how to reduce the injuries! Any child could figure it out. Obviously, $2500 is nothing to Weber when he is making 7.5 million this year! You have to make the players pay deeply for the infractions so that they won’t want to ever commit any again. Shanahan and company at the NHL obviously do not have the reasoning powers to be able to make the player protection plan one that works.

By the way, Hawks coach Joel Quenneville publicly made some derogatory comments about the officiating in the game and the NHL just slapped him with a $10 000 fine

You can view the video at the following link.

After watching, please remember to click the back arrow in your browser if you want to return to my site.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GAQs8lq6KJ8

TJ Stanley


Penguins 10-3 Win Over Flyers — Team Decides to Score More than Fleury Could Let In — Bryzgalov Publicly Excuses Himself Again — Rinaldo’s Attack on Michalek

As I wrote the evening before the game, Bryzgalov is a terrible playoff goaltender and I was expecting him to choke in the playoffs this year just as he had done last year when he was with the Coyotes. Bryzgalov was pulled after letting in five goals out of 18 shots (.722 Save Percentage) and then the Pens scored five more on Bobrovsky who also faced 18 shots—taking his confidence away as well.

After the game, Bryzgalov was quoted as saying, 

“When you have world-class players like they have and constantly they were on the power play, it’s tough to win a game like that.”

This is yet another disgraceful statement by Bryzgalov in excusing his poor play, because, he only played 23:07 of the game before being pulled and it was the Flyers who were constantly on the power play in the first period—five 2 minute penalties against the Pens as compared to just two for the Flyers (and a third at the 20 minute mark which extended into the second period). So, Bryzgalov was merely excusing his own poor play as he has done in the past.    

The other factors in this huge win for the Pens was the greatly improved play of Malkin (2 goals and an assist), an outstanding game by Staal (a hat-trick), more excellent play by Crosby (1 goal and two assists), and a good game for Sullivan (1 goal and two assists), Niskanen (a goal and an assist), and the rest of the team. You have to think that the team was determined to score more goals than Fleury could have let in—8 goals in each of the two previous games. As for Fleury in this game, he faced just 25 shots and let in three for a poor Save Percentage of .880. However, it was a significant improvement over the previous two games, and in the first three games against the Flyers his Save Percentage was utterly brutal at .798 and his GAA was an abominable 6.34. He had faced 84 shots in the three games and let in a brutal 17 goals! That is a goal every fifth shot!

In this 10-3 game, Zac Rinaldo of the Flyers was given a game misconduct for crosschecking and roughing penalties that he committed against Michalek (when the score was 9-3). He should have been given more because he crosschecked, butt-ended, and also punched Michalek in the face. In my opinion, he was so out of hand that he should be suspended for at least one game—Shanahan didn’t have a problem in suspending Neal and Adams. You can view Rinaldo’s circus act by clicking the link below.

After watching please remember to click the back arrow in your browser to return to the article. 


Game 5

What can we expect in the next game? Well, the tides have turned and the Pens should be able to defeat the Flyers again. James Neal and Craig Adams will be back in the line-up for the Pens after serving their one-game suspensions. Asham’s four-game suspension leaves him out of the series and finished for the year unless the Pens can come back and eliminate the Flyers. If the Flyers want to play tough and drop the gloves, the Pens can bring in Steve MacIntyre. He can easily take care of anyone on the Flyers. 

TJ Stanley


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Fleury Blowing Penguins Cup Quest — Bryzgalov — Playoff Goaltending and Predictions

In Fleury’s three games against the Flyers his Save Percentage is utterly brutal at .798 and his GAA is an abomination at 6.34. He faced 84 shots in the three games and let in a brutal 17 goals! That is a goal every fifth shot! In the regular season his goaltending was excellent (but not outstanding) and his Save Percentage was .913 and his GAA was 2.36. He has totally collapsed mentally in this series against the Flyers, but when you examine his playoff record over the past six years he has only been outstanding one year (and that was in the 2008 playoffs when his Save Percentage was .933 and his GAA was 1.97). In the 2009 playoffs, the recent year the Pens won the Cup, he played respectably and his Save Percentage was .908 and GAA 2.61. However, in the 2010 playoffs his Save Percentage was only .891 and GAA 2.78; and, in the 2011 playoffs his Save Percentage was also less than stellar at .899. All said, he has not played well in the playoffs for the last two seasons and this year he is so brutal that he is sucking the energy and desire from his teammates. The Penguins have fought hard for goals but when they have had a lead or have come from behind to be within striking distance, Fleury has collapsed and allowed goals that have taken the wind out of his team and that have been responsible for three losses in a row.

If the Penguins had better back-up goalies, Fleury would have been pulled in Game 2 and would never have started Game 3. It would not be a surprise if they acquired a goalie before next year (likely a free agent who wants a good shot at a Cup), and they may select one in the draft as well. Early in the season I wrote an article entitled: “Best Goalie Duos and the Advantages that they Provide,” and in that article I stated that having two good goalies was a huge advantage in the regular season and also in the playoffs if a goalie got hurt or was not playing well. The teams that have a big goaltending advantage are the Blues (Halak and Elliott), Bruins (Thomas and Rask who was injured), Rangers (Lundqvist and Biron), and the Kings (Quick and Bernier who has had a tough season but his more recent games were better). Mike Smith and Jason LaBarbera have also proven to be a good pair. The Canucks have a good duo when Luongo is playing at his best; however, he has not been consistent this year and is highly overrated—and his stats prove that he is not the elite goalie that people want to make him out to be. Elite goalies have great yearly stats—always. Luongo also has not always taken responsibility for his bad play, and in fact he has shifted blame on his teammates—and this is one reason why they prefer to play with Schneider between the pipes, and another reason is because Luongo is making a lot more money than most of his teammates despite the fact that he is not contributing more to the team.

Are the Penguins Out? — Bryzgalov

The chances of the Penguins coming back in the series are not good, but I am not giving up on them yet because Bryzgalov is a brutal playoff goaltender too. I predicted Bryzgalov to play poorly in these playoffs because he was absolutely terrible in last year’s playoffs when he was with the Coyotes. He simply cannot deal with the stress. In the three games against the Pens his Save Percentage is very poor at .868 and his GAA is 3.96.

Playoff Goaltending

You have to have good goaltending to win Stanley Cups. I predict that the Flyers will fall short due to Bryzgalov. The Blues (Elliott and Halak) and Predators (Rinne) are going to be tough in the West, and the Kings are surprising thus far with Jonathan Quick standing on his head (as he did most of the regular season too). Mike Smith also has the ability to shut-down teams. I give the Predators the nod to win the Western Conference due to Rinne, the addition of Radulov, and some trades (that were focused on winning the Cup this year). In the East, if the Bruins do away with the Capitals I expect Thomas and company to cruise through the Round 2 and also win Round 3 and return to the Finals. The Rangers are overrated and the only reason that they are up 2-1 in games on the Senators is due to Lundqvist. The Sens won three of the four regular season games and are a better team. Lundqvist won’t be enough if the Rangers make it to Round 3 and play the Bruins. The Devils can beat anyone except the Bruins and therefore need the Caps to pull-off an upset. The Devils need better goaltending because they lost to the Panthers tonight and are down 2-1 in the series. 

TJ Stanley


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Brayden Schenn Crosschecked Crosby and Arron Asham Gives Schenn a Crosscheck Back — Deserved Punishment

NHL.com reports that two Penguin players will have to answer to Brendan Shanahan on Tuesday.

James Neal will have two hearings on Tuesday for a hit on Sean Couturier (no penalty called) and for a charging penalty that he took against Giroux.

Arron Asham will have an in-person hearing on Tuesday for his crosschecking of Brayden Schenn in the first period of Game 3. Asham’s revenge on Schenn is a perfect example of NHL officials not calling a penalty in a previous game and Shanahan not providing additional punishment—and I am speaking of Schenn’s gutless, intent-to-injure crosscheck from behind on Crosby on April 1st that went entirely unpunished, and it was brutal because Crosby was not expecting to be hit from behind since he was not near the puck and was getting ready to leave the ice. Getting hit from behind when you are not expecting it is dangerous, and yet the officials never called a penalty and Shanahan did not punish Schenn despite the fact that it was a clear-cut attempt to injure a superstar player (and one who had just come back from a long time off due to concussion)! Shanahan has no excuse for letting Schenn off. In that game a brawl took place after the crosscheck on Crosby and a clean hit on Briere, and that brawl was entirely the fault of the Flyers (and they should have been fined). Regarding Asham, if Shanahan would have punished Schenn for the brutal crosscheck on Crosby, then, Asham would not have given Schenn what he deserved. My question to Brendan Shanahan is:  Why can’t you provide just punishment so that teams don’t have to mete-out the punishment themselves?

Asham was given a match penalty for his crosscheck and you can expect Shanahan to suspend him for five games, and possibly fifteen games. Shanahan and the officials need to call things fairly and strictly because they know that when they don’t the guilty players (like Schenn) are going to be retaliated against. PREVENTION rather than waiting for the retaliation is much better. You would think that Shanahan and the NHL would be intelligent enough to know that?  

Schenn’s Crosscheck on Crosby on April 1

The announcer in this broadcast below is a total imbecile because he says of Schenn’s hit on Crosby that Schenn is a “character kid…tremendous character.” Tremendous character? For crosschecking a guy from behind when he isn’t expecting it, and doing it to a player who he knew was coming back after suffering a concussion! That isn’t character, but it is mental illness! I am glad at least that Asham got a few good punches in on Schenn in the brawl that occurred later in the game—by the way, to view the brawl click on “Labels” and then on “Pittsburgh Penguins” and then scroll down a few articles until you see the video.

I have removed the embedded video to speed-up my site. Click on the link to watch it and then click the back arrow in your browser to return to my site.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3914TpZblM

Asham’s Crosscheck on Shenn — Payback

The announcer is the video below is the same guy who praised Schenn for his crosscheck on Crosby, calling Schenn a “character player.” In this video he says that “Not even Penguin fans can like Asham’s crosscheck on Schenn.” He’s wrong because I am a Pen fan and I LOVE THE PAYBACK because Schenn got what he deserved for purposely trying to injure Crosby. Screw Schenn, and maybe he has learned one of the unwritten rules in hockey: Don’t try to injure better players or anyone else unless you want to be a victim yourself!

After watching, please remember to click the back arrow in your browser to return to my site.


TJ Stanley


Monday, April 16, 2012

NHL Responsible for Injury to Alfredsson — Shanahan and NHL Favoring Certain Teams — Alfredsson Now Likely to Retire After this Year

In Games 1 and 2 between the Senators and Rangers, Erik Karlsson and Daniel Alfredsson were both targets that Ranger coach John Tortorella set before his players—and if you don’t believe that I suggest that you take a closer look at Tortorella, including his starting a Dec. 20 game in New Jersey with his three enforcers (which in turn led to fights and brawls in this game and subsequent games between the teams because coach Peter DeBoer of the Devils was not going to be pushed-around by Tortorella). Karlsson has been repeatedly punched in the face, slashed, crosschecked, and roughed-up numerous times in the two games, and without penalties being called—purposely not being called, and later I will discuss why. And, in Game 2 the Rangers were able to get Alfredsson, and it was Carl Hagelin who clearly launched his elbow to the head of Alfie. Alfie left the ice and did not return and is “questionable” to play in Game 3 on Monday.

Let’s take a look at Hagelin’s elbow to the head of Daniel Alfredsson and then I shall provide further comments. To return to my site please remember to click the back arrow in your browser after watching.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jE5Nz2efcW8

Brendan Shanahan and the NHL are directly responsible for allowing this act of violence to be executed on Alfredsson because they purposely did not give the officials instructions before, during, or after Game 1 to not tolerate brutality as has been frequently exercised in playoff games. If this was done and longer suspensions given to players who commit serious offenses; then, Hagelin would not have launched his elbow to the head of Alfredsson. In my opinion, the NHL purposely decided to “let the animals play” because that is the Rangers type of game and not the way the Senators play. Of course, the Sens had to retaliate because the officials are refusing to exercise proper justice themselves. A brutal game full of dirty play is obviously to the Rangers advantage because they cannot match the skill of Alfredsson, Karlsson, Spezza and Michalek. We have proof of this fact by simply examining the four regular season games between the teams this season. Ottawa won 5-4, lost 3-2, won 3-0, and won 4-1. Clearly, the Senators are the better team if the officials call the game fairly rather than letting the animals control the game and brutalize the best players!  

The officials, Shanahan and the NHL know that a great player like Karlsson can only be assaulted so many times before he is seriously injured or scared to play like he normally does, so, they let the Rangers players do pretty much anything they wanted in order to give them an advantage and a good chance to win the series.

Shanahan gave Hagelin only three games for the elbow on Alfredsson, but really it is too late since Alfie is injured and the NHL and officials should have gotten control of the game prior to this point rather than favoring the Rangers “style” of play. Furthermore, Shanahan needs to give equal suspensions in the regular season as in the playoffs, and, in the case of Shea Weber, Shanahan only gave him a piggy-bank fine of $2500 for grabbing the head of Zetterberg and smashing his face into the glass! Weber should have received a 10 game suspension and loss of that part of his 7.5 million dollar salary, rather than a $2500 fine which means nothing to Weber. All said, Shanahan has been biased and has favored certain players and teams in the playoffs just as he did throughout the regular season. Anyone who disagrees with that needs to go back and watch all of his judgments, decisions which are not unbiased but show clear favoritism—and Lucic is a prime example, since Shanahan let him get away with murder this year.

Screw Shanahan and the NHL for not making fair and serious efforts to take out the dirty stuff from the game. Suspensions need to be more severe and the players need to have to pay more money, because, this is the only way that the game will improve so that the more elite players can be protected from “animals” who don’t have as much skill. This is pretty straightforward and I wonder why Shanahan and the NHL have not figured it out yet? Fighting is needed in the game right now because the NHL is not enforcing the rules of the game! The NHL has refused to act responsibly by calling all penalties and giving every team an unbiased chance to win. If the NHL is not going to control the animals and properly protect the skilled players then why should we even watch the game? Anyone who wants to watch dirty play and brutality ought to focus on UFC. Hockey fans who have played the game know that brutality takes the beauty out of the game and makes it too dangerous to play. Why should Stamkos, Datsyuk, Giroux, Crosby, Malkin, Eberle and so forth be subjected to the unnecessary risk—that the NHL themselves are creating? It is the NHL themselves who are responsible because they are not enforcing the rules on the ice and neither is Shanahan giving firm enough suspensions and fines. Fines of $2500 are a joke and every player knows it! Have you ever wondered why the NHL would hire a guy like Shanahan for the Player Safety position? That is ridiculous in of itself.

NHL Favored Boston and Chicago Last Year in the Same Way

Last year the NHL allowed the Blackhawks and Bruins to utterly brutalize the Canucks, and it was nothing short of criminal in some instances. What we have is three American teams (Rangers, Blackhawks, and Bruins) who have been allowed to do almost whatever they want to brutalize two Canadian teams. I wonder why? Could it be the huge amount of extra revenue that the NHL makes when an American team wins and when hockey is more popular in the US? Of course that is the reason. As I stated in another article, I am not heavily biased towards a Canadian team winning because four out of my eight favorite teams are in American cities—and the Lightning and Penguins are in my top three of the eight. I am just calling it like I see it and I see purposeful injustice. If the NHL would make sure that officials call the games fairly then we would not have to point fingers. If the NHL would allow the best players to perform in the regular season and also in the playoffs, then, we would see teams with the most talented players winning the Cup every year—and that is the way it should be.   

Alfredsson - Retirement Now?

If Alfie decides to retire at the end of this season, I blame it entirely on Shanahan and the NHL because they did not make any attempt to prevent him from being a victim.  

TJ Stanley


Friday, April 13, 2012

Bertuzzi Fights Weber in Game 2 because Brendan Shanahan Did Not Suspend Weber

In Game 2 between the Red Wings and Predators, Todd Bertuzzi fought Shea Weber just 1:36 into the game. Brendan Shanahan and the NHL should have given Weber the suspension he deserved for smashing Zetterberg’s face into the glass in Game 1 (see my previous article and the video by clicking on “Labels” and then “NHL Misc." - second article down below this one); but, they did not and the Red Wings / Bertuzzi had to attempt to deliver the punishment on Weber themselves. Shame on Shanahan / NHL for favoring Weber and the Predators, and for subsequently not preventing the fight between Weber and Bertuzzi.

You can watch the video of the fight by clicking the link below. I can’t have every video embedded because is slows down the loading of my site.

After watching, please click the back arrow in your browser to return to my site.


TJ Stanley


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Weber Smashes Zetterberg’s Face Into the Glass — Brendan Shanahan / NHL Let Weber Off With Piggybank-money Fine!

As I have stated over and over again, Brendan Shanahan has been corrupt in carrying-out his job duties because he favors certain players and teams. He is totally inconsistent in his judgments.

Bitz from the Canucks gets a two-game suspension plus the major boarding penalty and a game misconduct (Game 1 against the Kings); while, Weber gets a small fine of $2500 for grabbing the head of Zetterberg and smashing it into the glass (Game 1 of Predators vs. Red Wings)! Weber is making 7.5 million dollars this year and $2500 is piggy-bank money to him, and therefore he received no punishment at all! The crime occurred at the end of Game 1 so he didn’t even see penalty-box time. Weber deserved a 10-game suspension for purposely trying to injure Zetterberg but Shanahan and the NHL let him off with pretty much nothing. This is the type of bullshit that makes me want to just stop watching hockey altogether. In an interview with Zetterberg, he sounded shaken and he stated that he thought that this was the type of garbage the NHL was trying to remove from the game. I feel bad for him because he did not deserve it and he is one of the better players in the league.
 

You can click the link below to view Bitz’s boarding penalty on Clifford. How can Bitz get a suspension and not Weber??? Weber’s infraction is clearly a more deliberate attempt to injure!

After watching, please remember to click the back arrow in your browser to return to my site. Thanks to youtube! 


TJ Stanley

NHL Playoff Game Results — Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Penguins vs. Flyers

The Penguins blew a 3-0 lead as the Flyers rattled-off four straight goals and secured a 4-3 overtime victory. There was no excuse for the collapse by the Pens and Marc-Andre Fleury has to take part of the blame since his Save Percentage was brutal at .846. As a goalie you have to play a lot better than that if you expect to help your team advance and win a Stanley Cup. Bryzgalov’s Save Percentage wasn’t much better at .893 and that is not a surprise since he collapsed last year in the playoffs when he was with the Coyotes. This was a game that the Pens should have won but they let the Flyers back into it. The Flyers have come from behind in other games this year and you have to respect their work ethic. Schenn had a goal and two assists for the Flyers and was named 1st Star of the game, while Briere had two goals and was named 2nd Star. Voracek scored the game-winner in overtime. Crosby and Depuis both had goals and assists, and Letang had two assists as well. Kennedy scored the Pens other goal.

Red Wings vs. Predators

The Predators battled for a 3-2 victory over the Red Wings tonight to take a 1-0 lead in the series. The Wings out-shot the Preds 37-26 in the game but Jimmy Howard was not as sharp as he could have been and his Save Percentage was poor at .885. Rinne had a great game and he is going to have to continue to play well if the Predators are to put-away the Wings. Gaustad had one goal and Bourque two goals for the Preds, while Zetterberg and Holmstrom both scored power-play goals for the Wings. I was glad to see 17 penalties called in this game because this is the only way to allow the better players to be able to exercise their talent and benefit their team. Better players cannot give their team an advantage when they are being held, crosschecked, hooked, boarded, slashed, roughed-up, punched, tripped, and so forth; but, when the penalties are called they can show what they have on power-plays. Penalties need to be called in the post-season just as they are called in the regular season. Why let the animals rule the ice in the post-season?

Canucks vs. Kings

The Kings took a one game lead in the series after defeating the Canucks by a score of 4-2, including an empty-netter. The result really was not a surprise to me because the game unfolded much like their last meeting of the season which was a game where the Kings badly out-shot the Canucks—however, in that game the Canucks came out with a 1-0 victory. Tonight’s game was tied at 2-2 with 3:14 left in the third when Dustin Penner banged home an easy goal to the side of Luongo. Notably, for the Kings, Richards had a goal and two assists, Willie Mitchell a power-play goal, Dustin Brown the empty-netter and Carter had two assists. Burrows and Edler scored for the Canucks.

TJ Stanley


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

NHL Playoff Predictions — West — 1st Round

Canucks vs. Kings

The Canucks are hurting due to missing Daniel Sedin. The Kings badly out-shot the Canucks in their last meeting (38-25) in which the Canucks squeaked-out a 1-0 victory. In the four games between the teams this year, both have won two games.

I believe that the Canucks will find a way to win the series but they could get themselves into big trouble if they don’t score some goals and if they rely too much on Luongo. Luongo can be excellent or he can fall-apart. For the Kings, Quick has the ability to shut a team down, Dustin Brown is finally playing up to his ability, Kopitar is returning to form, Williams and Mitchell are playing very well, Doughty is turning things around, and Carter has provided additional offense as well as some inspiration to these other guys—but unfortunately the inspiration to the King players has been fear for their jobs, and especially Dustin Brown.

All said, if the Canucks don’t give all that they have then the Kings will be advancing to the Second Round.  

Blues vs. Sharks

The Blues have won all four games this season (4-2, 1-0, 3-0, 3-1) so they are obviously the favorite to win this series. Elliott has an injury but I think the Blues would have started Halak anyway. Niemi has been good in the playoffs so you can expect him to play well for the Sharks. The Sharks are a solid playoff team and have knocked-off the Red Wings two years in a row, and therefore, only a fool would count them out of this series. It would not be a surprise if it goes six or seven games. If the Blues get the great goaltending and play to their potential they should be able to come out on top. The Sharks are not as strong this year due to trading Heatley—a trade that really made no sense on paper and has proven to be a disaster.

Coyotes vs. Blackhawks

Most people are taking the Blackhawks to win this series, but not me. The Coyotes won three of the four games between the teams this year (5-2 loss, 4-1 win, 4-3 win, 3-0 win), and they are a much improved team as compared to last year. Bryzgalov totally collapsed in the 1st Round last year, but I doubt that will happen with Mike Smith—who played absolutely amazing in the last couple of weeks of the regular season. The Coyotes can win this series within six games.

Red Wings vs. Predators

This is a tough series to pick but I have to give the nod to the Predators because the Red Wings are beat-up a bit, because the Predators have strengthened their team with trades, because Radulov has returned, and because the Predators have home ice advantage. Each team has won three of the six games between the teams, but the Predators have won the last two. If Rinne plays like he did last year in the playoffs, the Predators can provide a crushing blow to the Red Wings season.

TJ Stanley


NHL Playoff Predictions — East — 1st Round

Capitals vs. Bruins

To my surprise, the Caps showed some guts by beating the Rangers in the final game of the year, thus preventing the Rangers from winning the Presidents Trophy. With that victory and a Panthers win and Senators loss, the Caps have found themselves in the predictable position of meeting the Bruins in the 1st Round.  

Do the Caps have anything to be afraid of? No, because they have won three of the four meetings against the Bruins this year (5-3 win, 4-1 loss, 4-3 win, and 3-2 win).

The Caps goaltenders Vokoun and Neuvirth are both injured, but Braden Holtby is an excellent goalie and had 35 saves in the 4-1 victory over the Rangers. In fact, Holtby’s numbers in seven games played this year are better than both Vokoun and Neuvirth. Holtby has a Save Percentage of .922 , one shutout, and a GAA of 2.49; while, Vokoun, in 48 games played, has a Save Percentage of .917, four shutouts, and a GAA of 2.51.

If the Caps lay it all on the line and Holtby can overcome the nerves and provide the support in net; then, the Caps have a legitimate chance of dethroning the Bruins. Thomas and the Bruins are going to be extremely tough and I am picking them to win the series but it would not shock me if the Caps were able to orchestrate an upset. I hope that the Caps win but my money is on the Bruins.

Penguins vs. Flyers

The Flyers have won four of the six games this year (3-2 win, 4-2 win, 6-4 loss, 3-2 win, 6-4 win, and 4-2 loss) but the Penguins are much stronger now that they are healthy (including Crosby being back) so I am predicting a Penguins series win—and maybe in as few as five games. In fact, I am predicting the Pens to be the 2012 Stanley Cup Champions.

Rangers vs. Senators

The Rangers are big favorites to win this series but I do not know why? In the four games between the teams the Senators have won three of them (5-4 win, 3-2 loss, 3-0 win, 4-1 win). I am predicting the Rangers to fall in the 1st Round against the Sens. Lundqvist has been the main reason for the Rangers great success this year, and in my opinion, the rest of the team is not deep enough to give them a good chance to win the Cup. If they manage to overcome the Senators, I believe they would fall in either the 2nd or 3rd Round depending on who they would have to meet. The Senators will likely take care of the Rangers in six games.

Devils vs. Panthers

The Devils and Panthers have split the four games between them this year; however, with everything on the line the Devils should be able to overcome the Panthers within five games.

TJ Stanley


Saturday, April 7, 2012

Stamkos Joins the 60 Goal Club

With today’s goal Steven Stamkos joins the following greats who had 60 or more goals in a season:  Wayne Gretzky, Mike Bossy, Mario Lemieux, Jari Kurri, Teemu Selanne, Phil Esposito, Steve Yzerman, Jaromir Jagr, Brett Hull, Bernie Nicholls, Luc Robitaille, Dennis Maruk, Alex Ovechkin, Guy Lafleur, Alexander Mogilny, Pavel Bure, Steve Shutt, Lanny Mcdonald and Reggie Leach.

Let’s have a look at Stamkos’ momentous 60th goal. By clicking on the “Labels” and then the Lightning you can view Stamkos’ 50th, 55th, 56th, 57th, 58th, and 59th goals. Thanks to youtube.com!

Malkin scored his 50th today and you can view that afterwards by clicking on the “Labels” and then the Pittsburgh Penguins. You can also view a couple of his best goals for the year in the Penguins section. Or, to view his 50th goal you can click the following link. After watching, please click the back arrow in your browser to return to my site.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ndqe3EbahI4



TJ Stanley


Malkin’s 50th Goal

In the Penguins final regular season game today against the Flyers, Malkin was finally able to score his 50th goal of the year. If Malkin failed to get his 50th, he would have lost a lot of votes for the Hart Trophy, and especially since Steven Stamkos scored his 60th today in Winnipeg.

Let’s have a look at Malkin’s goal. Afterwards, by clicking on the “Labels” and then the Penguins, you can view a couple of his best goals of the year. Thanks to youtube.com.

You can view Stamkos' 60th goal, as well as his 50th, 55th, 56th, 57th, 58th, and 59th goals by clicking on “Labels” and then the Tampa Bay Lightning. Or, for his 60th, you can click on the following link. If you do that, please click the back arrow in your browser after watching to return to my site.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFZvyXPRD0g

I have removed the embedded video of Malkin's 50th as a means of speeding-up my site. You can view the video on youtube by clicking the following link. To return to my site you would need to click the back arrow on your browser after watching.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ndqe3EbahI4

TJ Stanley


Friday, April 6, 2012

Phoenix Coyotes Update — Pacific Lead and in Control of their Own Destiny — Video Boedker’s Goal

The Coyotes defeated the Blues tonight by a score of 4-1, and with the win they moved into first place in the Pacific Division (with 95 points) and are now the third seed in the Western Conference. The Coyotes are in control of their own destiny, and to hold onto the top spot they just need to win their final game on Saturday in Minnesota against the Wild. The Wild have played them very tough this year so it could be a very close game; however, you can expect a little extra effort by the Coyotes because they want to win their first Division Title and they also want home ice advantage in the playoffs. The Sharks will host the Kings later on Saturday evening and whoever wins that game could re-possess first in the Pacific if the Coyotes lose—both teams are one point behind Phoenix.

The win tonight was also a huge confidence-builder for the Coyotes because the Blues had won all three of the previous meeting between the teams this year (3-2, 4-1, 4-0). Mike Smith was the 1st Star of the game tonight and Yandle, Vrbata, Doan and Boedker scored for the Coyotes.

In my previous article on the Coyotes (“Phoenix Coyotes — Differences That Could Take Them Further This Year”), I stated that they were a different team this year and that their chances in the playoffs would be better due to the addition of Mike Smith, the improved and outstanding play of veterans Ray Whitney and Radim Vrbata, the addition of Raffi Torres, the great play of Lauri Korpikoski who has three short-handed goals, Yandle’s steadiness, Hanzal’s good play when he has been healthy, and Doan’s experience. I also stated that Dave Tippett is an outstanding coach, and you know that he will do his best to get everything that his players have. He was the coach of the year in 2010—Jack Adams winner.                     

Boedker scored a nice goal tonight for the Coyotes and you can see it by clicking the following link. Thanks to YouTube!

After watching, please remember to click the back arrow in your browser to return to my site.


TJ Stanley


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Stamkos’ 59th Goal and Malkin’s 49th Goal – Videos

Tonight, both Stamkos and Malkin edged within one goal of achieving personal milestones. Stamkos netted his 59th goal of the season against the Leafs and will have three periods against the Jets on Saturday to join the 60-goal club. Malkin scored his 49th of the year against the Rangers tonight and he will have the opportunity at 50 on Saturday when the Pens host the Flyers, however, he will have to get more shots on goal than tonight’s total of two shots if he wants to increase his chances of scoring. In my opinion, he plays better when Crosby is not around. I think he has mentally brainwashed himself into thinking that Crosby is the best in the world (Malkin stated that previously) and this has taken away from his own confidence and performance. Malkin is the best in the world right now and he needs to believe it and bring it to the rink.

If Stamkos gets 60 goals and Malkin fails to reach 50, then, Stamkos is going to get more votes for the Hart Trophy than he otherwise would have. You know that these voters of the “Professional Hockey Writers Association” love goal-scorers and that is why Corey Perry won last year with 50 goals over Daniel Sedin who had 41 and who won the Art Ross for most points.  

Below is a link to watch Malkin’s 49th goal of the season from tonight’s game against the Rangers.

After watching, please remember to click the back arrow in your browser to return to my site.


Below is a link to watch Stamkos’ 59th of the season in tonight’s game against the Leafs.

To return to my site, click the back arrow in your browser after watching.


TJ Stanley


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Senators Mistreat Lehner — Ottawa will Lose Against Bruins if Meet in 1st Round of Playoffs

In a previous article entitled, “Bryan Murray, Lehner, Bishop and Auld,” I spoke about Senators VP and GM Bryan Murray and I was very concerned about his decisions regarding his goaltenders. I stated that with Anderson out of the line-up, Robin Lehner was definitely their best goalie and that they should have relied on him if Anderson could not make it back before the playoffs or was not able to get back into form in time. I was also concerned about Bryan Murray’s statements after acquiring Ben Bishop from the Blues, because he suggested that Bishop was going to get the call over Lehner—despite the fact that Bishop had been a minor-league goalie for years and had never proven himself at the NHL level! How can you make a decision on a goalie when he has only played a handful of NHL games in several years and has not played a game for your team? Furthermore, as a GM, are you not supposed to give the goalie who is playing the best the opportunity to win for your team—and Lehner proved he was the best! To be kind, let me just say that Murray is definitely one of the worst GM’s in the league.   

From my previous article, I quote:

“After Craig Anderson lacerated a tendon in his pinky finger (while in his kitchen), 20 year old Robin Lehner was brought up from Binghamton (Senators AHL affiliate) and Auld started the next game which was at home against the Bruins. Boston won by a score of 5-3 and Auld let in four goals in 37 shots, which gave him a Save Percentage in the game of 0.892—not impressive at all. 

In the following game against the Islanders, Lehner was given the start and he performed outstanding, stopping 28 of 30 shots which equated to a Save Percentage of .933. He was the 1st Star in the game.

The Senators then went on the road to play the Bruins. The Senators had not beaten them this year and Robin Lehner was given his second straight start. He totally shut-down the Bruins by stopping 32 shots and earning his first NHL shutout! Once again, he was named the 1st Star in the game.

The Senators returned home to play the Blackhawks and Lehner was given his third straight start. He played great in stopping 37 shots in a 2-1 loss, and was named the 2nd Star of the game.   

The Senators then traveled to Florida to play the Panthers. The entire Ottawa team did not play well, including Lehner who was not as good as his previous three starts. The Panthers won the game 4-2.

Then Bryan Murray decided to send Lehner back to Binghamton and to bring up Ben Bishop.”

Well, Bishop was brought up and was not great in his first game against the Lightning, and his Save Percentage was .893. In his second game, against the Rangers, he was better but was nervous at the beginning of the game and let in a weak goal. In the following half a dozen games he had some good games and some average games and really wasn’t anything special—but better than Alex Auld for sure. At that point, Murray should have put Auld on waivers, or even sent him to the minors, but he did not. Lehner should have been given the starting position and not Bishop, at least until Anderson was back in the line-up and playing his best hockey; but, Murray sent Lehner down and Lehner remains in the minors right now—unbelievable!

Well, Bryan Murray’s mistreatment of Lehner worked against him because Bishop injured his groin and will be out for the season. If the Senators want to play Anderson I can understand that, but why isn’t Robin Lehner the back-up right now? Let’s take a look at the stats of the four goaltenders and then I will talk about the Senators likely 1st Round playoff match-up against the Bruins, and let me just state that only ONE Senator goalie has beaten the Bruins this year in five games between the teams.

Craig Anderson:  In 62 games he has a Save Percentage of .914, only three shutouts, and a GAA of 2.83.

Alex Auld:  In 14 games he has a brutal Save Percentage of .884, zero shutouts, and a GAA of 3.35.

Ben Bishop:  In nine games he has a Save Percentage of .912, zero shutouts, and a GAA of 2.41.

Robin Lehner:  In five games he has a Save Percentage of .935, one shutout, and a GAA of 2.01.

Clearly, Lehner and Anderson are the two best goalies of the four, and when you consider Lehner’s overall play in the four games that he played after Anderson was injured (1st Star, 1st Star, 2nd Star), you can’t help but see that Bryan Murray has grossly mistreated Lehner!

If I was Lehner, I would not sign any long-term deals with the Senators, and when restricted free agency comes around I would not sign but wait and see what offers come from other teams to see if the Senators want to put out a lot of money. I would also go through salary arbitration if necessary.

Senators—Bruins Playoff Match-up

The Senators have lost four of the five games against the Bruins this year, and they will play once more on Thursday before their likely meeting in the post-season.

In the first three losses, Craig Anderson was in net. Then he lacerated his finger and the Senators played Auld in the next game against the Bruins on February 25 in Ottawa. The Bruins were victorious again and won by a score of 5-3. Three days later, the Senators visited Boston and Lehner was given the start. Lehner played outstanding and made 32 saves and earned a shutout in a 1-0 victory. He was the 1st Star of the game and it was the only victory that the Sens have had over the Bruins this year.

Thus said, why is Lehner in the minors right now? Why was he sent down in favor of Ben Bishop? Why is the Senator organization mistreating Lehner? Why is the Senator organization clearly not interested in giving the team and fans the best chance of winning? Well, due to their bias towards Auld and Bishop, I hope that the Sens get knocked-out quickly by the Bruins. This would be a good lesson for Bryan Murray and maybe the fans would voice their displeasure like they did last year. Get Murray out and watch the Senators improve greatly!

TJ Stanley


Monday, April 2, 2012

Stamkos’ 57th and Incredible 58th Goal - Videos

Tonight the Lightning played their final home game of the season as they hosted the Capitals. It was an extremely important game for the Caps since they hold the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and were only two points in front of the Sabres. It was also a big game for Steven Stamkos since he was four goals shy of 60 with four games to play.

The Lightning were up 2-1 with 3:17 left in the third when Jason Chimera of the Caps scored his 20th to tie it up. With just over one minute left in the third, the Lightning had the puck in the Caps zone and Stamkos positioned himself in front of the goaltender (Neuvirth) while Martin St. Louis controlled the puck off to the side of the net and passed it to Lee at the right point, and Lee then passed it to Clark on the left point who in turn fired a shot at the net. The rebound ended-up in front of Stamkos who banged it home for his 57th goal of the year! The Caps pulled Neuvirth with less than one minute left and were able to get the puck into the Lightning zone and a tipped shot on Roloson; but, then the puck was cleared and Stamkos gathered it on the right side near center and skated up ice. As he was entering the Caps zone he received a body-check which knocked him off balance, but as he went to his knees along the boards he was able to corral the puck and wrist a sharp-angled shot at the net—one that miraculously went in and with just one second left in the game! He celebrated but was not sure if he scored before the time had expired and had to check with his teammates; and, still in shock, Stamkos had to ask the ref if the goal counted. Stamkos was one happy guy to have scored his 58th of the year, and when interviewed on the ice afterwards he was very humble and thankful. Stamkos will have three games to get two more goals to reach 60, and those games will be on the road against the Canadiens, Leafs and Jets.

If Stamkos gets 60 goals he will join the likes of Wayne Gretzky, Mike Bossy, Mario Lemieux, Jari Kurri, Teemu Selanne, Phil Esposito, Steve Yzerman, Jaromir Jagr, Brett Hull, Bernie Nicholls, Luc Robitaille, Dennis Maruk, Alex Ovechkin, Guy Lafleur, Alexander Mogilny, Pavel Bure, Steve Shutt, Lanny Mcdonald and Reggie Leach.

You can watch Stamkos’ 57th and incredible 58th goal by clicking the following link to youtube.
 
After watching, you need to click the back arrow in your browser to return to my site.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQGR9FxXREs

TJ Stanley


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Penguins - Flyers Brawl — Crosby Cross-checked — Vitale Nails Briere

On Sunday, April 01, 2012, the Penguins hosted the Flyers in a game that had some meaning because the Penguins were only three points up on the Flyers (102 – 99) before the game and they wanted to ensure that they kept home ice advantage in the playoffs over the Flyers since the two teams will surely meet in the first round. Well, the Flyers overcame the Pens in this game and that puts them just one point back with each team having three games left, including a meeting between each other in the last game of the regular season on Saturday in Pittsburgh—which should be a heated affair. The Pens will travel to Boston to meet the Bruins on Tuesday and then return home to host the Rangers on Thursday, while the Flyers will host the Rangers and the Sabres before Saturday’s game. The Pens and Flyers met in the first round of the playoffs in 2009 and the Pens won the series in six games and went on to win the Stanley Cup. I believe that will happen again this year.

The story of today’s game was a dirty play by Brayden Schenn, a big hit by Joe Vitale, and a brawl instigated by the Flyers.

Brayden Schenn cross-checked Crosby to the ice from behind when Crosby was just casually skating to the bench after Steve Sullivan’s goal with less than five minutes left in the game. It was a gutless crosscheck by Schenn and this is the type of garbage that needs to be taken out of the game. Schenn saw the name Crosby on the sweater and decided to see if he could give him another injury—and that is undeniable. Yet, the refs didn’t even give Schenn a penalty and this is what makes fans want to turn off their TV sets and computers. 

To see the cheap shot on Crosby by Schenn click the following link. The announcer in this broadcast doesn’t have the intelligence of a worm because he says that Schenn is a “character kid, tremendous character.” Tremendous character??? For crosschecking a guy from behind when he isn’t expecting it, and doing it to a player who he knew was coming back after suffering a concussion! That isn’t character, but it is mental illness! I am glad at least that Asham got a few good punches in on Schenn.

Please remember to click the back arrow in your browser to return to my site to watch the brawl.  


After Sullivan’s goal, the Pens pulled Fleury and the Flyers scored an empty-netter at the 18:45 mark, making it 6-3 in their favor. Pens coach Dan Bylsma put out his fourth line to finish the game and Vitale nailed Danny Briere with a clean body check as Briere crossed his own blue-line. The Flyer players did not like the hit and started a brawl. Arron Asham was able to get some good punches in on Schenn, and Engelland gave Wayne Simmonds of the Flyers a deserved beating for wanting to fight. Coach Laviolette of the flyers lost his cool although he had no reason to do so since it was Schenn who started it by cross-checking Crosby and the Vitale hit on Briere was entirely clean. Laviolette got up on the boards and he and Pens assistant coach Tony Granato yelled at each other. 

I have revoved the embedded video to speed-up my site. Click the link to watch it on youtube and then click the back arrow on your browser to return to my site.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZUwBO2Wjkk

The Pens ended-up with a power-play and scored to end the game with a 6-4 loss. The next three games for each team will be important because home-ice advantage is at stake.
TJ Stanley