Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Awesome Audio of Tom Kostopoulos Chirping Corey Perry

Listen here for some great audio of Calgary Flames forward Tom Kostopoulos chirping Anaheim Ducks Hart Trophy candidate Corey Perry. The incident occurred after Cam Fowler scored to put the Ducks ahead 2-1 at that point in the first period.

Two things I love about this:

1. The language used at about 20 seconds into the video.


2. Chicken-Parm-Ray Ferraro pausing so his mic can pick up this fantastic gem - God bless you Razor.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Tonight's Matchups

Huge night in the NHL on Thursday as 18 teams are in action with many games having playoff implications.

Out in the Easten Conference:

Penguins vs Flyers - inner-state rivals faceoff in the City of Brotherly Love as the Pens look to gain some ground on the conference-leading Flyers.

Montreal vs Boston - all eyes (especially of league officials) will be on this game as the two teams take to the ice for the first time against each other of Chara's hit on Max Pacioretty. The Montreal forward suffered a fractured vertabrae and a concussion on the play. More importantly, the Canadiens sit just three points behind the Bruins for the division lead though Boston has two games in hand.

Toronto @ Colorado - the Leafs look to keep their playoff chances alive in a critical matchup against the struggling Avalanche. Toronto sits 5 points out of the 8th playoff position with only eight games remaining; every game is a must win for them.

Let's take a look at the Western Conference cluster-f###:

Anaheim vs Nashville - If the Stars' loss to Anaheim in OT last night that kept them on the outside looking in wasn't bad enough, the last thing they want/need tonight is this game decided in OT or a shootout. The Predators play 6 of their remaining 8 games at home. The Ducks' oldest player, Teemu Salanne, scored the game-tying goal with just over 5 seconds left in regulation last night in Dallas, and their youngest player, Cam Fowler, scored the winner in overtime off a 2 on 1 feed from Bobby Ryan.

Columbus vs Phoenix - At 7-2-1 in their last ten, the Coyotes look to keep pace with the Sharks as they continue to press for the Pacific Division lead. The title could come down to their home-and-home against San Jose to close out the regular season but it starts tonight against Columbus.

San Jose @ Los Angeles - Speaking of the Sharks, they'll play their second game in as many nights against the Kings. If the playoffs started today, these two teams would be a first round matchup so expect both teams to bring their 'A' game. Since the Sharks are on the back-end of back to back games, Antii Niemi may get the night off. A win for the Kings will put them ahead of idle Chicago for the fifth seed.

I know the NCAA basketball tourney has some big games tonight, including my alma mater, but we're all about hockey here at Talkin' Puck!

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Couple of Gems

Check out these two tic-tac-toe goals from tonight:

First, from Nashville:

This one from Carolina:

Not too much of a coincidence that these goals were scored against the two worse teams in the NHL.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Quick Thoughts on the East

I was talking to a friend about the Pens and the Eastern Conference today. Here is a quick blurb on the way I see things as they stand now:

Boston and Philly are the beasts in the east. Montreal isn't big enough to go deep especially if they go 7 games in round 1 but have potenial to upset like last season. Washington is garbage. I'm done thinking that they are just having trouble executing new systems -I think its more on coaching. Atlanta, Carolina, TO, and Buffalo all have a chance to finish in the bottom two seeds but will most likely get smoked in round 1. TB is sitting pretty, they weren't supposed to be as good as they are right now but with Stevie Y at the helm, Boucher selling his ways to his team, and talent like Stammer et al they're kind of a sexy pic if Roli can stay healthy and consistent.
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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Annual Ovechkin Viewing

Since exploading into the league in 2005, Alex Ovechkin has been one of the NHL's premier players. It's interesting, to say the least, to see his goal production in such a decline after putting 52 in the back of the net a year ago.

Whatever the reason is for his "decline" (conditioning, lack of adaptation, or saving himself for the playoffs), I never miss an opportunity to watch the Great 8 live.

The first time I watched him live couldn't have been a better game. A fortuitous Vegas trip just days before afforded me the opportunity to witness, first-hand, what's known as "The Goal":

I've see him play three more times in person - once in Columbus and twice in San Jose - where he's always put up points and, in some cases, completely taken over games. I'm concerned that tonight I'll be left dissatisfied with his performance but it wouldn't be a surprise given the way he has been playing this season.

I do find it intersesting to hear broadcasters, especially in the Western Conference, talk about Ovechkin (and the Capitals) this season. Usually, it begins with his career numbers versus the team he's facing that night, which is almost always more than impressive. Then they talk about how Ovechkin over-shadows the ability of his teammate Niklas Backstrom. The focus then moves to his struggles this season and what it might be attributed to. Once Ovechkin seizes on opportunity and scores a goal, his play is described as "vintage" as if the 25 year-old is in the twighlight of his career.

An off year? By Ovechkin standards, sure. But no matter the outcome of this season (and playoffs) for the Capitals, I don't doubt that next season he'll put over 50 ginos in the back of the net and score over 100 points - scorers like Ovi just don't lose that ability. Tonight, though, I'm just hoping for some "vintage" Ovechkin.
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Monday, January 31, 2011

2011 NHL All-Star Game Thoughts and Musings

The following are some notes I took while watching the ASG last night. I'm so happy god created DVR's:

Should just be renamed: World’s Greatest Game of Drop-in

Positionally, Ovechkin didn't play too differently than he does in a regular season game. Worriesome.

Kane’s sauce pass on Byfuglien’s first period goal was filthy.

I’d be surprised if Ed Olczyk can walk and chew gum at the same time. I’m sure he has some very entertaining stories from his playing days though.

Every time Doc Emrick couldn’t tell which player had the puck, he just called said player, “Toews”.

To say the players overpass is an understatement, but most of the passes are, down right, sick.

The Ron Francis interview during the second period was great because a) Ron “The Franchise” is awesome and b) because Doc Emrick barely spoke for about 10 minutes.

A lot of shots off the post. Hot.

Kesler’s microphone coming loose then flopping around behind him during play then Ovi passing it out of the zone once it fell to the ice was painful yet hilarious to watch.

Crowd cheered loudest when Staal scored in the third – to be expected.

Love it that Ovi threw his stick at Matt Duchene while he was on a breakaway – the first ever in All-Star Game in history.

I love Charissa Thompson.

I don’t remember if Nash-Staal-Perry were used on a line in the Olympics but that’s one scary line.

Prior to Dan Boyle’s assist very late in the 3rd, I had forgotten he was even in the game.

Glad it was a close game and happy to see Patrick Sharp win MVP.

Now that the show is over, teams now realize that there are 28 days until the trade deadline and every point counts going down the stretch.
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Monday, January 24, 2011

Evgeni Manning

I'm sorry - not actually sorry - but Evgeni Nabokov needs to suck it up, act like a professional, and report to the Islanders. Instead he's acting like Eli Manning did when the San Diego Chargers drafted him and he refused to sign.

Nabby, this is the process. You signed a deal worth "peanuts" knowing full well that this was a possibility, and now you act like a diva refusing to report. Reportedly, his agent sent out a letter to NHL teams that Nabokov wanted the opportunity to be a starter, the Islanders are giving him that and now he's saying he wants to help a team in the playoffs. I totally get his desire to compete for a cup but he hasn't done anything worthy this season to earn that opportunity, and it's not like he's Scott Niedermayer where the Ducks allowed him to basically take half the year off the season after winning the Cup.

Report, play your ass off, then go sign as a free agent next year.
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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Nabbing Nabby

NHL insiders reported today that the Detroit Red Wings are close to signing Evgeni Nabokov.

In an earlier post I conveyed my thoughts on where Nabby could end up. Since then, Tampa Bay decided to trade for Dwayne Roloson instead of making a play for Nabokov. Waivers could have been the deciding factor in Steve Yzerman's decision to go with Roli and based on the recent players the St. Louis Blues have lost through the waiver process, that may have been the right play.

The challenge for Ken Holland and the Red Wings is how to structure a contract that will disuade other teams from claiming Nabokov.

If I'm a GM for another team in the Western Conference, or especially in the same division, I don't want the Wings to get Nabokov - they're already tough enough to play against.

Assuming the Wings only sign Nabby to a one year deal, Scott Howson of the Columbus Blue Jackets should place a claim on him, send the inconsistent Steve Mason to Springfield, and go with Garon as a backup. The Jackets aren't too far out of a playoff spot and having Nabokov in net plus adding a deadline aquisition could be what this team needs to become a contender. It's time for Howson to swing for the fences and get aggressive.


EDITORS NOTE: I was thinking about Steve Mason being sent down to the AHL, did some research, and realized that since he's played over 60 NHL games he is not exempt from waivers either. It would probably not be a good idea for Columbus to risk losing him - especially given Detroit's goaltending situation after this season and a motive for retaliation - to another team.
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Monday, January 3, 2011

Clowe Tells it Like it is

Ryane Clowe's post game presser after the Sharks' 4-3 loss to the Canucks. Sorry for the audio.

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Winter Classic Thoughts

To me, the Washington Capitals look like a different team - or are starting to, at least.

Watching them skate to a 3-1 victory in the Winter Classic, I was left with the following impressions: 

Simeyon Varlamov came to play - Varly made a statement to Bruce Boudreau that he can play in a big game. Under the bright lights with almost 70,000 and with 4.5 million TV viewers, Varlamov was tested often and seemed to be able find the puck better than Marc-Andre Fleury under the sub-par conditions at Heinz Field. 

Perreault is great energy player for the Caps - Mathieu Perreault finishes his checks, gets pucks deep, and can contribute offensively. He seems like he's bought into Boudreau's system.

Ovi starting to play like Ovi - For those who are starting to wonder if Ovechkin has lost a step, keep in mind, he's won every individual award but his ultimate goal is the Stanley Cup. He's learning to be a better all around hockey player which will silence his critics in the playoffs. But, my god, take him off the point on the PP. He's so much more dangerous when he's on the wing and can be more mobile. When he's on the point, penalty-killers just get into his shooting lane. Maybe Boudreau is saving that for the playoffs as well?

Mike Green played very physically - especially against Jordan Staal. It's nice to see Green playing this way but can his body keep up with that level of physicality.

Speaking of Jordan Staal - Pit should be scaring teams even more now with Staal back in the lineup. 

And finally...

Alex Semin - When I saw the condition of the ice, I, and probably many, felt it favored the Penguins style of play rather than the usual flashy Captials' transition game. I was proved wrong as the Caps really worked on getting the puck north and deep behind the Penguins defense. Alex Semin looked like the odd man out in that style of play, which isn't surprising, but if Washington plays that type of game more frequently, Semin could find himself on the trading-block as the deadline approaches.