Puck Podcast – April 10, 2010

On this week’s show we’ll talk about the playoff picture becoming clearer and the race for the NHL scoring title, we’ll tell you about a player crying on the bench and another calling out the best team in the NHL. We’ll also discuss yet another milestone for a future Hall of Fame goalie and a shocking story from Europe involving a coach and his players…celebrating.

MP3 File

About Doug Stolhand 27035 Articles
Doug Stolhand is one of the co-founders and co-hosts of the Puck Podcast and has been a member of the NHL media since the show's inception in 2006.


  1. Avs fans should prepare for disappointment. This little run is nearing it’s end, their playoff opponent will see to that.

  2. Probably, along with three other teams.

    Considering that the Avalanche finished 28th overall last year, I cannot imagine a lot of fans DISAPPOINTED in finishing 8th in the West and 13th overall this season. Anderson has proved to be a #1 goalie for the moment, there is more hope that he will prove this over the long run than there was with Budaj. Hopefully Sacco realizes he needs some rest. The young core seems to be supremely talented, with Calder candidate Duchene, O’Reilly, Yip, Wilson, Galiardi and Stewart all making big contributions to the team as a whole. Before Rob Flake decided to try and end his season, Peter Mueller seemed to be rejuveinated and there is at least a good reason to expect him to play well next year as well. Porter is a nice pick-up, as well. They were able to shed The Smythe’s contract (and get a good D man in return) and have some cap room going forward. Which is key as all of these kids become RFAs. Sacco is a good coach, and hopefully has learned something, along with the team, from this late slide.

    CAN they win an opening round series? Sure. Will we be surprised when they don’t? No. They are not as talented and experienced as the top three teams and Detroit. They are not Cup contenders right now, to be sure, but we can see the road ahead.

    I do not think there is a SINGLE Avs fan that is disappointed in this season and would not be if that season ends in the first round as long as they play hard.

    Nice of you to post here to give us a hard time, though. Really appreciated.

  3. Regarding the whole Winter Classic thing and non-traditional stadiums to play the game in, the first stadium that came to mind was AT&T Park. It’s cold in San Francisco in January, The Sharks could host it (Ok, it’s not in San Jose, but close enough), and SF is a major sports Market. As a fan of the Sharks and someone who lives in the Bay Area, I would love to see that.

  4. There are no points for second in anything, better line up the Prozac.

    Doug’s Av assessment earlier this season was mostly correct, it’s just that his timing was off, like mine.

    I revel in the Avs demise, and always will.

  5. If the Winter Classic ever moves out west… well, that probably is not going to happen, since the NHL does not know the Western Conference exists until they show up in the Cup final… But IF it were ever to play out west, I can see the Avs in Mile High and Vancouver playing at Qwest Field against a USA team. I don’t know if Pac Bell Park (AT&T Park just sounds wrong!) could really stay cold enough to support NHL quality ice. But I may be wrong…

  6. Hello? People? How are you going to play an outdoor hockey game (they play on ice – remember?!) out West? Yes, I’m sure it gets “cold” but come on – it’s not doable. You can get a Western team to play but it’s going to have to be held on the East coast. Sorry, but we have climate on our side. lol

    And good lord, enough of this conspiracy theory crap about a bias against the Western Conference. It doesn’t exist.

  7. Mark – Hockeytown. At the end of last season, the Colorado Avalanche announced officially that they were rebuilding the team. They brought up the most rookies of any team in the NHL and blooded them. Most pundits were predicting them to finish dead last in the NHL.

    The fact that an inexperienced team made the playoffs, regardless of a possible first round exit, will only add seasoning to this promising young team. Not even the most ardent Avs fan would pick them to win the Stanley Cup, so any playoff experience is a definite bonus and should help them progress further next season.

    “I revel in the Avs demise, and always will” – this is the type of inflammatory comment that causes Red Wings fans to have such a bad reputation. Nice to see that you are keeping it stereotypical. Well done.

  8. As Doug mentions in the ‘cast, the first outdoor NHL game that I can remember was an exhibition game played in Vegas in Sept. While the ice was WORTHLESS, it was also done,
    what? 15 years ago? 20? It is DO-ABLE to hold the game at AT&T Park or Dodger Stadium. But if the ice conditions are horrendous, is that fair to either team during a game that counts?

    And when the Calder candidates are announced and they are Howard, Myers and Rask, even though Duchene is leading all rookies in points and goals, you can come back
    and talk about there not being an East Coast bias. It exists in every major sport because of the large amount of media and management that is in the Eastern and Central time zones that simply do want to stay up until 1am to see the end of Kings and Sharks games (as an example).

  9. two things…

    Eddie: sorry you had to kill the Hockey Minute. Hopefully Fox will adjust your schedule so you can start it up again. I will keep it subscribed in case it happens.

    Suggestion for a “non-hockey weather” venue for a Winter Classic: DODGER STADIUM with you and Doug dropping the ceremonial first puck. It’s been shown the ice surface can be prepared; view the NCAA Frozen Four at Ford Field.

  10. Kris,

    When is the last time you stopped what you were doing and watched a Buffalo or Montreal game? Likely never. Hockey has traditionally been a Canadian and Northeastern U.S. game – that’s a fact – and you can’t blame East Coast folks for sticking to the teams they’re comfortable with – the Kings are a terrible example since this year is the first time in what…nearly a decade that they’ve made the playoffs? They’ve been in the league for over 30 years yet you still hear people talk about getting folks interested in hockey in California. How long is it going to take for people to get interested in hockey there?!!

    It’s less of a bias than a simple matter of geography. You support the teams that are from your area. I’m not going to apologize for liking New York teams – that’s where I’m from. It’s ridiculous to suggest that I have to support West coast teams simply out of fairness to you. You guys never pass up an opportunity to bash the Eastern Conference – it’s childish and I’m tired of hearing about it. It’s whining.

    And to use your reasoning Kris, we could hold a Winter Classic in Death Valley – sure, the ice would be TERRIBLE, but hey, it is “do-able”. Who wants to watch a game where the ice is in horrible condition? Why don’t we just have a hockey ball Winter Classic instead?! lol It has to be COLD OUTSIDE for an outside hockey game to work. The whole reason for the Winter Classic is right there in the name – WINTER classic. Winter = cold and snow. Somehow, folks sitting in shorts and t-shirts in Dodger Stadium is NOT my idea of a Winter Classic!

  11. Mark- Having the Center Ice package, I watch Buffalo, Montreal, Boston, Florida, New Jersey and New York ALL THE TIME. To insinuate otherwise is an insult, my friend. How much time do you spend watching SJ or Dallas or Vancouver? I am not disagreeing with you that the sport is BASED in the Northeast. The NHL offices are in Toronto. The NHL’s US operations are run out of NYC. Media outlets like THN and TSN are also in Toronto and NYC is the largest media market in the world.

    What I’m concerned with is growth. Pittsburgh is not all of a sudden going to fall off the hockey map if Sid is not on our tvs on Jan 1. But allowing a team or two west of the Mississippi some national exposure can do nothing but help the sport as a whole. There are thousands and thousands of underserved fans out here that indeed get the short end of the shaft when it comes to coverage.

    The “whining,” as you put it, comes from seeing good stories in the Western Conference all but ignored so we can head about crappy teams like the Maple Leafs and the Rangers.

    (And, if I rememer right, you’re a Rags fan, yes? Yeah, don’t think you are ever gong to have a reason to complain about coverage… ,-) )

  12. You could probably host the Winter Classic out West. I’m told that the humidity is worse for ice conditions than heat.

    Is there going to be a puck podcast playoff preview?

  13. Kris,

    I watch quite a few Western Conference games since I also have the Center Ice package on my computer (but it’s through ESPN360.com’s service here in Denmark). I don’t differentiate between “Western” and “Eastern” ,just like good hockey – so I routinely check out Vancouver and San Jose, as well as Colorado and even Phoenix (since the Coyotes have easily been THE most talked about NHL franchise this season AND gotten the most press, regardless of it was good or bad. lol)

    Your use of the “Rags” word kind of shows me your own bias against Eastern Conference teams – strange when you complain heartily about a bias going the other way (again, it all comes down to where you live and the team you support) – when your team has been around for a century and is the largest market in the country then you can expect the same coverage as the Rangers get. To compare a market like Colorado to one as large and established as New York is a little silly. I don’t mean you’re silly but your argument is. You can see that those two markets are not going to be equally represented, especially when NY has 3 NHL teams plus the Devils. That’s four teams to choose from right there – doesn’t leave much room for your typical fan to wonder how the Canucks are doing.

    And who is “ignoring” these good stories you’re talking about coming from the west?! Again, you can’t seriously expect someone from the Northeast to have the time (after he or she has processed the lastest news from the Rangers, Devils, Caps, Bruins, or Philly games) to have the free time to wonder how Shane Doan is doing this year.

  14. Well, after reading these posts, I decided to try applying some cold, hard logic to the debate over the bias. Personally, I felt there was a bias, though I live on the East Coast and have lived their all my life. So, I’ve dug up the winners of the Calder, Norris, Hart and Vezina trophies for the last 10 years (which goes back to the 1998-1999, since no trophy was awarded in the lockout year). First, the Calder. Going back over the past 10 years, the Calder has been won five times by Western Confrence players (Nabokov, Drury, Jackman, Kane and Mason) , and five times by Eastern players (Gomez, Heatley, Raycroft, Ovetchkin and Malkin). That’s pretty much even, its also been even since the lockout. Next, the Norris. The Norris has been one EIGHT times by West players (Lidstrom SIX times, MacInnis, and Pronger) and only twice by East teams (Chara, and S. Neidermayer). Now, that’s admittedly skewed (because one player for one team has the award f-in six times), but its still even in confrences even without Lidstrom. The Hart trophy has been won by West players three times (Pronger, Sakic, Forsberg), East players five times (Ovechkin twice, Theodore, St. Louis, Crosby), and by one player (Thornton) who split his time between two confrences. Okay, that one appears to show bias. The Vezina has been won by West players once (Kiprusoff) and East players nine times (Brodeur four times, Hasek, Kolzig, Thomas, Theodore). Again, that would appear to show bias. So the bias theory would appear to be true, especially when you remove the six Lidstrom titles. Its West awards: 17 East awards: 22 (not counting Thornton), and without Lidstrom East has double the awards. One more thing I thought of, How about competitive balance? Well, that’s been nearly equal, over the last ten years, five Stanley cups for the West, and five Stanley Cups for the East.
    So, yeah, I think their is bias though I live in the East. If I didn’t listen to the podcast, I would think Drew Doughty was a baker and Jonathan Quick ran track, because the West doesn’t get much coverage (In Maryland, the NHL in general doesn’t get coverage). Until Steve Mason won the Calder Cup, I had no idea such a person existed, much less that they were any good (At that time, I did not listen to the podcast or read THN). It’s a shame it’s like that, because it should be the writer’s job to stay up and watch those games or at least read the stats. Those must be the same guys who think that all teams south of a certain point should be either nuked or moved to Canada.

  15. Keith Tkachuk gets the name “Walt” from the 1970’s New York Ranger, Walt Tkaczuk. Playing at the center position, Walt was a feisty skater that could chip in his fair share of pucks. Eddie Olczyk, Tkachuk’s friend and line-mate from Winnipeg, coined him this nickname way back when and even tells people his name isn’t Keith; its Walt. You can check out Walt Tkaczuk’s stats at http://hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=5415

    Also, to correct Doug, the Blues actually did something really cool during the “jerseys off our backs” ceremony. I was lucky enough to attend and saw them hand out everyone’s jerseys to random fans that got tickets throughout the game. They announced Walt last, and to his surprise every fan on the ice had a jersey in their hands. The Blues allowed Tkachuk to keep his last home jersey forever. I thought that was a really nice gesture by the organ-I-zation.

  16. Some of us consider Detroit an “East” team despite their Conference affliation as they play in the Eastern Time Zone. The award winners, I think, are not as much an indication as the people chosen to contend for the award. I’m not arguing that most of those players deserved those awards. But who contended for them? As a quick example, many are choosing Tyler Myers as their Calder winner. Myers has similiar numbers to LA’s Drew Dounghty last season (but plays for a contender this year, where Drew did not last year). But Doughy was not even in the top three in voting last year.

    I am not saying that Colorado or LA or Phoenix is going to get the same coverage as NY’s teams or Toronto or Montreal. I never expect to see that. Again, to think that journalists on the East coast are going to stay up until 1am to see the end of a Vancouver/Anaheim matchup is ludicrous. But, they should be checking up on stats and highlights the next morning, and I am not convinced they are.

    I don’t want to see the NHL become like baseball, where six teams
    seem to “matter” and the rest can pound sand…

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