NHL 2011-12 Season Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Ockeghem, Oct 12, 2011.

  1. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

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    Jeff,
    Thanks for the article. I love the paragraph with all of his nicknames.
    "Brat (by Bruins coach Claude Julien)...".
    :)
    And for the record, it's probably no surprise that I love Brad Marchand. ;)
     
  2. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    This was one of the quietest trade deadlines I can remember. The big rumor was Rick Nash being on the block, but Columbus wanted a king's ransom for him and no contending team was willing to give up core talent. He'll probably get dealt in the offseason.
    Montreal sent Andre Kostitsyn to play with his brother in Nashville. The big joke in Montreal was speculation on whether the Russian mob had established a new territory in Nashville (the brothers were rumored to have some issues with the mob a few years ago).
     
  3. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    Last night's Habs - Wild game was one of the most bizarre, ugly hockey games I've ever seen. It could have set the sport back 30 years! :laugh: Consider:
    • The officials were calling interference penalties on dives with no contact, while ignoring Pacioretty being tackled while attempting to get a loose puck and shoot into an empty net. Minnesota scored the tying goal a few seconds later.
    • Habs rookie Ryan White goes berserk and pummels Veilleux on two separate occasions -- the first time just 10 seconds into the game.
    • Habs rookie defenseman Emelin misses a check on a Wild player and wipes out teammate Erik Cole with a spectacular body check at center ice.
    • Minnesota starting goalie Backstrom pulls a groin making a routine save early in the 1st period, and backup Harding has to enter the game cold during a 3 on 5 shorthanded situation.
    • Montreal blew a 3 goal lead with under four minutes to go, giving up two goals with the Wild's goalie pulled.
    • Minnesota couldn't stay out of the penalty box throughout most of the first period. Lots of stupid penalties.
    • The shootout concluded with the worst penalty shot attempt I've seen at the NHL level. Minnesota's Devin Setoguchi first loses the puck and then falls down at the top of the faceoff circle, and Habs goalie Carey Price casually skates out to the circle and gathers in the loose puck. Search "Setoguchi" on YouTube if you want to see it.
    It was like an episode of the Twilight Zone with bad actors. :laugh:
     
  4. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

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    Boston has made few moves. Rian Rolston will be back with the team after having been waived.
    http://espn.go.com/nhl/story/_/id/7634661/nhl-families-deal-trade-deadline-moves
     
  5. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

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    The NHL may be moving closer to implementing a new icing rule.
    http://espn.go.com/nhl/story/_/id/7682889/nhl-moves-step-closer-new-icing-rule-gm-meetings
     
  6. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    I'm not quite sure what the above means. Is icing negated if the offensive player beats the defensive player to the faceoff dot? Does the puck need to be touched between the faceoff dot and the end red line? Is the play blown dead after the puck crosses the end red line? The puck isn't going to just stop when it reaches the faceoff circle.
    I always figured the NHL would eventually just end up using the icing rule as it's enforced in the juniors and NCAA -- the play is blown dead immediately once the puck crosses the red line. I guess not (at least, not yet).
     
  7. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    Montreal has fired GM Pierre Gauthier. Halleluiah! It's about time!
     
  8. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

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    And the Bruins defeat the Islanders 6-3 this afternoon. They clinched a playoff spot when the Sabres lost Friday night.
    The Rangers look very, very strong this year.
     
  9. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

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    It may only be a regular season game, but it felt really good to get a victory against the Rangers (and in New York) today. The Bruins had lost the previous three meetings this year against them. I think it was needed for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that Boston could end up playing them in the playoffs at some point.
     
  10. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

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    Scott,
    I know you've followed the AHL over the years. I just read about this today. It's pretty amazing, actually.
    http://espn.go.com/minor-league-hockey/story/_/id/7757864/ahl-norfolk-admirals-win-22nd-straight-game
     
  11. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    That is a pretty impressive accomplishment.
    While on the topic of minor league hockey, my Plymouth Whalers got through the first round of the OHL playoffs, winning four straight games after falling down 0-2 in the series (falling behind 3-0 in both games). After Game 2, the coach publicly blasted his players as "soft, over confident and cocky" (all true) -- I can only imagine what he said in private in the locker room. In the next three games, Plymouth outscored Guelph 21-6. They scored four shorthanded goals in a 9-3 win in Game 5. I do not ever remember seeing a team score four SH goals in one game before. The next series against Kitchener begins Friday night.
    My Habs are close to wrapping up the #2 spot in the draft lottery, which would ensure them of no lower than the #3 overall pick this summer. The #1 pick will probably be Nail Yakupov from Sarnia (OHL), while picks 2-4 could be Alex Galchenyuk (Sarnia of OHL), Mikhail Grigorenko (Quebec Major Junior League), and Filip Forsberg (playing in Sweden). All four are skilled forwards /centers, something the Canadiens desperately need. Only Yakupov is NHL-ready, though. The others will need more seasoning in the juniors.
    As for the NHL playoffs, I think it's a wide open battle this year. IMO, the Rangers, Penguins, Blues, Predators and Canucks (if they have the guts to bench Luongo for Schneider in goal) all have pretty equal chances of winning the Cup. I would add the Bruins to that list, but it's so difficult to repeat that I cannot pick them.
     
  12. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

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    Scott,
    One thing I've noticed about you (correct me if I'm wrong) is that your favorite teams are not necessarily goverened by your geographic locale. (I cannot make this claim, and will forever be a Bruins, Celtics, Patriots, and Red Sox fan as I was born in Massachusetts and lived in and around the Boston area for much of my life before moving to Michigan in 1993.) I'm intrigued that you're a Plymouth Whalers fan, and I think I've read that you followed the Hartford Whalers (Connecticut) back in the day. I vaguely remember the New England Whalers in the early 1970s. BTW, are you a fan of the Carolina Hurricanes? I could certainly see why you might be given the history of the Hartford Whalers. I didn't really follow the OHL, but I used to watch some of the AHL games years ago. In the early 1970s, my passion for hockey was devoted to Bobby Orr and the big, bad, Bruins, and when I wasn't watching them on WSBK television, I was playing street and ice hockey at every opportunity.
    Regarding this year's playoffs, the West looks really strong. It will be a bloodbath just getting out of that conference in good shape. In the East, I think the Penguins and Rangers are the teams to beat this year. As far as the West, I don't have a lot of faith in either the Canucks or Red Wings, although I suppose you cannot ever count Detroit out, especially if the Red Wings are able to get their team healthy. Two teams that might surprise me are St. Louis and Nashville, although I don't know if I'm sold on the Blues despite their excellent home record.
     
  13. McPaul

    McPaul Screenwriter

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    So we pulled the trigger. As soon as the pre sale started last Thursday, we bought playoff tickets.
    Our playoff pack consists of Game 2 and 5 of the first two rounds. 3 of the games, we are just outside the blue line row 3, not too far from the penalty boxes, and the fourth will be blue line, front row, 6, and 7 seats away from the Nucks bench. I'll be on the teevee!!!
    Soooooo stoked, as neither of us have been to a playoff game before. (ok I have, but Kamloops Blazers don't count!)
    Woooo hoooooo!!!!
     
  14. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    Scott,
    I became a Plymouth Whalers (and OHL) fan mostly because the team built it's new arena 5 minutes from our home around the same time we moved into the neighborhood 17 years ago. My wife and I went a few times, and she became hooked on hockey, too, so it's something we can do together. We've been going regularly for many years now. I never really followed the Hartford Whalers, other than via their old Adams Division playoff rivalries with the Montreal Canadiens, who are my favorite NHL team (as you know).
    I became a Habs fan from growing up watching Hockey Night in Canada on CBC as a kid (starting around 1970). I had a TV in my room (my grandfather repaired TV's as a hobby, so I got it for free), but it only got VHF (channels 2-13), so I could watch HNiC on Channel 9, but not the Red Wings on UHF -- plus, the Wings were horrible with lousy ownership then. I became enamored with the Habs style of play and all those exotic French-Canadian names as a youngster, and they were the first team I ever rooted for to win a championship (in 1971). I was completely hooked after they won another Cup in '73. The rest of my family are diehard Wings fans.
    My mother and her family were from western Pennsylvania, so I grew up rooting for the Pittsburgh Steelers before they ever won anything. I am a Lions fan, too (unfortunately). I was a dedicated Tigers fan when I followed baseball, but I stopped following the sport after the strike/lockout in '94 and never went back. As for the NBA, I'm more of a "fair weather" Pistons fan, and only pay attention when they are decent, but I've pretty much lost interest in the NBA over the past few years, too.
     
  15. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

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    Scott,
    That's great that your wife took to hockey after attending a few games. I (and eventually my wife and I) attended Bruins and Celtics games back at the old Boston Garden. My earliest memory of attending Bruins and Celtics games was about 1974-ish, when I was sixteen. On one such occasion during halftime of a Celtics game (they were playing the Pistol Pete-led New Orleans Jazz), I got to meet Johnny Most (the voice of the Celtics for decades). On another occasion, I got to meet M. L. Carr before tip-off. Those are some of my fondest sports memories.
    I'm sure you're aware that when the Bruins won the Stanley Cup in 1970 and 1972, they did not have to go through Montreal. Last year was special for me, because I think it was the first time (at least in my lifetime, if not ever) that Boston defeated Montreal en route to a Cup, but I'm not certain. You'd know that for sure, I would think. :)
    It looks like we both became hooked on hockey at about the same time. After the Bruins won the Cup in 1970, every kid in my neighborhood owned hockey skates and hockey equipment. And in the summer, we took to the streets and played street hockey for hours. I can recall those times when we'd be in the middle of playing, and a car would come down the road, meaning we had to stop play. Ugh. Good memories, though.
    Speaking of Pennsylvania, it looks like the battle for that state will begin in earnest now that we know that the Flyers and Penguins will be playing each other in the first round of the NHL playoffs. That should be quite exciting. I don't give the Flyers much of a chance in that series, as I would say that the Penguins are playing the best hockey of just about any team right now. As for a few of the other series, I think Nashville could upset Detroit in the first round, especially since the Red Wings are mediocre on the road. I am also thinking that this could be the year that Phoenix gets out of the first round. Maybe. The Bruins could have their hands full with the Capitals, but I think Boston will advance to the second round.
    Go Bruins!
     
  16. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    Last year was definitely the first time in my lifetime where the Bruins beat the Habs in the playoffs and also won the Cup. i am not sure about any other potential times in the Original Six days, but I know the Habs had a very long playoff series victory streak versus the Bruins of over 20 series.
    We played a lot of street hockey growing up, too. I usually played goalie, and always dreamed I was Ken Dryden. :laugh:
    I actually think the Penguins have an excellent chance of winning the Cup this year, so I am with you on them beating the Flyers. I am not a big fan of Crosby, but do like former Plymouth Whaler James Neal from that team. I also agree that Nashville will probably knock off the Wings, and that the Bruins will beat Washington. The Caps have been a huge disappointment.
     
  17. DavidJ

    DavidJ Producer
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    Is it just me or is the Western Conference wide open? I wouldn't be surprised by any of the top 6 winning the conference and the cup.
     
  18. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

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    Scott,
    I am curious to see if the Rangers can make any noise in the playoffs.
    David,
    No, you're not alone. The Western Conference looks very strong, and I do think about six teams could win it all.
     
  19. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    The Rangers do seem to have a very well rounded team. They have an excellent goaltender, too. However, it seems like the regular season conference champs struggle to win the Cup lately.
    And, yes, the West is wide open. Predicting a Cup winner gets tougher every year.
     
  20. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    Here are my first round picks in the playoff pool we have at work:
    Rangers in 6
    Penguins in 5
    Bruins in 5
    Devils in 6
    Canucks in 5
    Predators in 6
    Blues in 5
    Blackhawks in 6
     

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