Puck Podcast – April 18th, 2009

This week we review the first three days of the NHL playoffs with highlights and sounds of each game. We also talk with Ducks play-by-play voice John Ahlers about Anaheim’s series with San Jose, we discuss the suspension to Daniel Carcillo and lack of suspension to Michael Cammalleri, a controversial end to Game One between the Flames and Blackhawks , Vancouver playing nasty, some coaching changes throughout the league and a whole lot more.

MP3 File

About Doug Stolhand 27106 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. I feel an awful lot of resentment towards Canada. There is no doubt that Canadian teams get a little leeway because they are so much more popular. That said, I do not think it results in much of an advantage for those teams. Hockey in Canada is by no means taken as seriously as football in the US but there is a lot of pressure on players. There are only a few places in the US where this pressure is similar (Detroit, Philadelphia etc.) and for the most part those teams enjoy the same biased support from the league.

    This brings me to the Cammalleri incident. Message sending deals with violence once a game is decided. Carcillo knew that the Flyers had lost, whereas Cammalleri’s team was by no means out of the game. Teams know that when they have lost a game they may be able to salvage something by injuring (mentally or physically) the other team. I’ve played in some series myself and it can be downright frightening at the end of a game when your team is ahead, simply because guys know that taking a penalty is meaningless. Top players are the most at risk and the last thing the league wants is somebody putting a star out of action in last-minute scrum.

  2. Logan,
    I’m surprised at the comment “hockey in Canada is by no means taken as serious as footbal in the US”. Really???

  3. Doug- NO ONE in Washington would’ve purchased a #60 Jose “Secretary Of Suck” Theo-D’oh!” jersey, would they? Was that a signing that anyone besides Suck’s agent was excited about? And you mention giving Nabby a blank check, but what about the decision NOT to keep Huet? Although he’s not the #1 in Chicago, he would defininetly be an upgrade in DC. And I missed it, what happened to Washington’s back up for most of the season? I’m sorry, I forgot his name.

    And you’re right on the money about Zach Parise. Dude is a S-T-U-D. Easily one of the most underrated goal scorers in the league. Too bad NJ’s playoff games are not on any national channel so maybe he could get some exposure…

  4. Logan: You’re insane. I’ve lived 20 minutes from Canada my whole life, to think hockey is not taken as seriously as football is in the U.S., is just ludicrous. You should spend a little time in Canada, or know someone from that country, you’re opinion would change quickly.

    Related to either of the shots to the head you referenced…game on the line or out of reach, doing that is not hockey, it’s the act of being an asshole. If a player does that on the ice, they likely do such disrespectful things off the ice as well and would not be anyone worthy of my respect. Playoffs or not, it’s a sport for Christ sake, not life and death. Neither of those guys has any class and I hope neither ever ends up in Detroit. Nobody worthy of respect in such a great game would act in that manner.

  5. I am Canadian and have lived in both western and eastern Canada. I’ve played hockey in at least a hundred tiny Saskatchewan towns and have followed hockey, both in the NHL and in minor leagues. I would say that, at most, 25% of my friends are even aware of current events with the NHL. That said, few of my friends are into athletics at all, so this may be a poor point for comparison.

    Now, perhaps I judging based on a poor cross-section, but the people that I know that have been in small-town USA have often commented about the enormous high-school football stadiums with capacities close to the population of the town. Most high schools in Canada do not even have hockey teams, nevermind their own hockey arena comparable to a professional one.

  6. If you need a break from the NHL, the U18 WC are having their medal round games today which are taking place in Fargo, N.D. and Moorehead, Minnesota. Right now, Canada is leading 4-2 over Finland in the Bronze Medal Game. Then later tonight, the USA will take on Russia for Gold at 8:00 PM ET/5:00 PM PT tonight. The USA won has medaled at the U18 Level 6 straight years.

    Then later this week, the IHWC gets underway on Friday.

    Here’s the tournament groups.

    Group A: Canada, Slovakia, Belarus, Hungary
    Group B: Russia, Switzerland, Germany, France
    Group C: Sweden, USA, Latvia, Austria
    Group D: Finland, Czech Republic, Norway, Denmark

  7. Is there somewhere that offers video or maybe audio files of all the post-game interviews?

  8. Kris,
    The Caps would have kept Huet if they were able to. They loved him there, and wanted to keep him, but Huet took a contract from Chicago instead. They expected to be able to sign Huet again, and had a contract on the table, but Huet jumped ship, without letting the Caps match. They were shocked and surprised as anyone. Suddenly they found themselves without a goalie for the next season, and Theodore was the only starting goalie still available. Chicago must really be hot on Huet though, because there was a lot of talk about Huet going back to Washington in exchange for Nylander around the deadline (when Chicago felt they really needed a #2 Centre).

    I think hockey’s just as popular in Canada as football is in the US. The reason why highschools aren’t as likely to have hockey teams here in Canada is based on the fact that it’s much more expensive of a sport. Not only to participate, but also to facilitate. Government funded schools just can’t afford to fit that sort of expense into the budget. Hell, we have a hard time getting textbooks for everyone, heh. I think hockey INTEREST in Canada is just as strong as football interest in the US, though. Following it is a lot easier than playing it. This is coming from Southern Ontario, at least, where I assure you, more than 25% of the people (well, guys at least, haha) I know keep up to date with the happenings of the NHL.

  9. I must admit, I’ve been swayed. That said, I live in Kingston and have a much different experience. I am relatively sure, however, that I associate generally with a “sports-ignorant” segment of society and I would make the guess that this is not the case for MOST Puck Podcast fans. I suppose I’m just a bit disappointed that Canadian teams purportedly have such an advantage but yet seem to be pretty mediocre. If Detroit relocated to Canada (or hell, even if just its management jumped the border), I might have less instinctual opposition to the idea of a NHL Pro-Canadian bias.

    That said, the bias is fairly evident when it comes to the star players that get publicity, although that is less the NHL’s doing than it is the general hockey media (which I admit is largely Canada-based).

  10. How come nobody is talking about the Tom Kostopoulous elbow shot at Hundwick or whatever. That should have been looked at pretty seriously as the intent was so obvious. I believe Mark from Hockeytown mentioned that a guy that does stuff like that is typically a jerk off the ice too. Kostopoulous tried to steal a lady’s purse earlier this year.

    Cammelleri’s act was absolutely inexcusable. As far as i’m concerned that’s a 5 and a game and then the league can look at additional punishment. Calgary has to be penalized badly for that because of such a stupid act. I can’t believe that after the game people were defending Cammallerri because Havlat got 2 goals in the game (after he got hit). I’m sorry but that is just a dumb defense. If Avery did that just imagine the consequences.

  11. Nick,

    Plus plus, freakin plus. Kostopoulous nailed that dude with a very apparent elbow and I am in utter disbelief on all of the attention that Carcillo got, and Tommy gets nothing?! This is why the NHL higher-ups are not taken seriously by NHL fans.

    And there is really nothing left to be said about Cammelleri’s shot. I like the guy, but that was ridiculous. The guy deserves just as much as Carcillo got. Justifying it by saying that it was at a different point of the game is outrageous.

    Think of it this way; if the one team puts out their “tough guys” or “goons” to START the game and nail everyone of the good players with an intent to injure them, that is different than if that act is done at the end of the game? Completely inexcusable by Colin Campbell and co.

  12. Sharks… $&#%ing, dumb-@$$, $&@/:;ing bloody $&%#^*ing SHARKS!!!

    Might as well HAND the blasted cup to Lidstrom right now. Guess all that “ring-wearing” experience amounts to an even BIGGER gagging sound coming from San Jose! How the hell can a team that KNOWS it’s playing for EVERYTHING come out with abso-$&%#ing-lutely ZERO energy?!? They’ve spent the entire season changing the San Jose “game” into a net crashing force and not a half wall passing team waiting for the power play. And what happens in the second season? Whenever the puck is anywhere within 10 feet of Hiller, there is not a SINGLE teal jersey to be seen.

    I know not to ever count out a defense speareaded by Niedermeyer and Professional @$$ Pronger, but, COME ONE!! Two freakin’ goals in six periods?!?

    The Sharks are not allowed to have that moniker next season. Sharks are one of the most successful groups of creatures to ever exist on Earth. Very little, if anything, has changed in the species’ design in over 65 million years. They are quite possibly the most effecient and successful killing machines to grace the planet.

    These @$$ clowns in San Jose? Not so much…

  13. Sorry…

    That should be “SPEARHEADED…”

    And it’s three goals in six periods. I forgot they got the late goal last night.

  14. There’s no doubt that Joe Thornton will have some major explaining to do after this series if it continues this way. He has a great goalie, a good coach and a good supporting cast so that team not showing up is a mystery.

    On a lighter note, I loathe teal anything so I’m with you–strip them of their name and change that hideous jersey to another color!

  15. Guys, this is nothing new in San Jose. Every single year they have the most dominating teams in the regular season. Mark….. Thornton has had all those things u mentioned since he has been in San Jose. It’s not just Thornton, what about the captain Marleau? I am not a fan of him at all (i mean he’s a good guy but so overrated). Every year he blends in in the playoffs.

    But, I think the real problem is their goal scoring. They cannot score in the playoffs, and Nabokov can only do so much. I also don’t really think the sharks have that dynamic player that can really hurt you with his puck handliing skills and speed. Thornton coasts around the ice making saucer passes, marleau is nothing special in my opinion, cheechoo is hot and cold, michalek is pretty good. I think sometimes they are a little too big and not enough speed.

  16. All good points, but is often said, playoffs is about will, not skill. They all have skill but many disappear in the playoffs. I guess I’d agree on almost all of that, they simply don’t elevate their game to the next, required level come playoffs and for that, you need a leader to show the way. My point is that neither Thornton or Marleau is the guy, obviously.

  17. Mark…. right on, they both are very soft leaders. I’ve seen Thornton play live and he can be dominating with his size when he’s willing to play. It’s too bad he never wants to play…. or shoot.

    Todd McLellan has been pretty poor as well. Roenick on your first line? No one would let him have a spot on their team a couple years ago.

  18. On a totally different subject, just had the pleasure of running into terrible Ted Lindsay again in the lobby of my building. If you have an interest in how he and Gordy Howe and others fought to establish an NHL players union, go find (or buy) the movie “Net Worth”. It was a TV movie from 1995 (a CBC production) and any hockey fan would love it. Ted is 84 years old now and has some great stories but his story is outlined remarkably well in this movie and is a reminder to what he’s done for the players—and how it cost him a career.

  19. So I was pretty psyched today to sit down and see the first ever playoff game in Columbus. I couldn’t wait to see how crazy the crowd would get and whether the Blue Jackets would respond to win a game. So I turned on the TV and saw… the Cavs game preview. I don’t get Versus here at college, so I can’t even watch my hometown team play! Whoever is in charge of the NHL (I’m looking at you, Gary Bettman) needs to get a better TV deal. The NHL isn’t going to get new fans if they can’t even watch the freaking playoffs! Even soccer is on ESPN now! Come on, NHL, get with it!

  20. Ugh.. I screwed up that one. Sent the link for the final comparison first. Sorry to ruin the fun, heh.

  21. So anyone who saw the Blues-Canucks game tonight witnessed Barret Jackman and all of his glory. Seriously, just coast in your back end and allow the guy to take the shot. Yes, Mason should have had it, but Jackman gave him all the time in the world. Anyone want him? If I were John Davidson, I would trade him for a doughnut to feed my fat head.

    And how about that Ducks-Sharks game? I love seeing these defensemen score. Both these teams have a strong scoring depth from the blue line.

  22. Carter – the Jackets/Wings game was not on VS. anyway, so we all missed it (except for those with subscriptions on satellite, etc). Makes no sense to me. I would have at least expected you guys to see it on one of your local networks.

  23. re: Cammalleri vs. Carcillo

    Guys, how many times have you complained that the mainstream media only comments on hockey when there are ugly incidents (stick swingings, bitings, skate-stompings)? I think the edict that was issued before the playoffs might have had something to do with the fact that NHL execs don’t want the great elements of a tough, gritty game to be bypassed in favor of sour-grapes melees on Sportscenter.

    Yes, the Cammalleri penalty was similar to Carcillo’s, but how it was reported wasn’t. Carcillo’s was presented as thuggish goonery. Cammalleri’s was presented almost as a morality play — Player A does something bad/stupid to Player B. Player A goes to penalty box. Player B scores goal. Player B goes on to score game-winner and Player A feels shame. It gave the sports media a narrative that moved beyond the violence to focus on goals and winning. Carcillo’s actions didn’t.

  24. Jeff – sorry I missed that great finish to the Sharks/Ducks game. I was burned out from the last 2 nights that I stayed up late to watch the Sharks not show up.

  25. It’s shameful that Gainey is leaving Carey Price in the past two games vs. Boston. The kid is completely done mentally and Boston is shelling his ass. I do not understand Gainey or his stupid dumbfounded grin.

  26. Can we finally agree to put Sean Avery down like a rabid dog? Maybe Tortorella could slip something into Avery’s pre-game smoothie and relieve us all of this complete moron?

    If you haven’t had a chance to see his latest (3) incidents of ugliness from tonight, take a look, the guy is a complete asshole—I’m convinced he has a mental imbalance.

  27. Carter- Although I agree that the NHL’s TV deal could be better, remember that they took what was offered. I don’t believe ESPN or ABC wanted the NHL on it’s screens anymore. Your ire is understandable, but I think it’s misplaced when aimed at Bettman- in this case, anyway. We may be able to blame him for the fact that the Cavs and basketball in general is something any sports network would wish to put on rather than hockey, but the decision to not find ANY outlet for local coverage probably rests with FS Ohio.
    The same situation occured here with Tuesday’s Ducks game. Games 1 & 2 were broadcast on VS, FS West (or PrimeTicket) carried the game and blacked out the VS coverage. Game three was not on any local cable, just VS. If you had a cable service that didn’t carry VS-very likely- you missed it. While a local channel KDOC carries some Ducks games, game 3 wasn’t there either…
    I don’t think this is anything to do with re NHL’s TV deal as much as it does with local program directors. But, please correct me if I’m wrong…

  28. I think the Habs may have screwed up Kid Price more than we thought when he was on a Yo-Yo string in last season’s playoffs. He’s never seemed the Dane since the start of that 2nd round against Philly. Heck, it may be go so far as the removal of his “safety net” with the trade of Huet. Almost as if the pressure he never seemed to feel before came crashing down on him. But I’m no sports psychologist, I just play one in blogspace…

  29. I mentioned it earlier that Ovechkin’s 56 goals is a direct result of the number of shots he takes and not because he is a great shot. His shot percentage is gawd awful and against the Rangers it is very apparent that he isn’t all that great of a sniper.

    In the playoffs the dude has a 2.9% shot percentage. Yes Lundqvist is a fantastic goalie but when you are the leading scorer in the league and are proclaimed the best player in the NHL you should be doing better than 1 in 35.

  30. Hey Guys,

    Just wanted to comment on all the people saying that they can’t even watch games in certain areas. There are some great online streams that i know of.

    http://www.myp2pforum.eu is a really great site, just click on the nhl room and click the streams link for that date and then scroll down. there is normally at least one stream of each playoff game on that day.

    Enjoy guys

  31. I also just wanted to say that I am absolutely ashamed of the Montreal fans booing Carey Price and I applaud him for standing up for himself the way he did. I am a huge Devils fan and I am definitely very harsh on them at times but never would I boo my team (even though they sit on a lead everytime in the 3rd and ask for trouble) when they are trying their hardest. Carey Price is only 21 and has great potential.

    People talk about Melrose being bad for Stamkos, Montreal Fans are cancerous for Carey Price.

  32. Also, I just read Matthew’s email.

    I completely disagree. I am not an Ovechkin fan but to say that Ovechkin is not a sniper is ridiculous. I don’t see many guys score on wristers from the blue line, let alone on a consistent basis. He scored on what was “just a rocket” according to Lundqvist from near the blue line tonight in a losing effort. I think what you are seeing is that one SKATER can’t win a game, Ovechkin is shooting way too much and not using his teammates.

    What a show by Lundqvist, awesome player.

  33. Look I can go out to my basketball hoop. I am a terrible shot but if I stand at the 3 point line and lob up 30 shots chances are one of them is going to go in. I am not saying that he is a bad shot I am just saying that the number of goals that he gets in the season is not very indicative of his shooting abilities. In the marines a sniper’s mantra is “one shot, one kill.” They take their time, position themselves well, and with outstanding accuracy percentage hit their goal.

    Ovechkin isn’t using a sniper rifle he is like Rambo with an M60 on his hip blasting 500 pucks a second at the goal. Sure one of those are going to go in and not everyone has the ability to shoot an M60 from their hip but I wouldn’t call snipering.

    AO one shot one kill? Hardly. He isn’t a sniper.

  34. Colin Campbell is really scrambling:
    I have not tried to justify Camalleri’s actions in my original post, but rather postulate as to why their was such an obvious discrepancy in the NHL’s reaction. There is clearly a lot left unsaid but Campbell seems to confirm what I was suspicious of.

    How is it possible that the Sharks are playing so poorly? Anaheim is not a bad team but their dominance makes one wonder if San Jose was suffering from injuries or had made several bad deadline moves (neither the case).

    Do any Sharks fans have any insight?

  35. If the Sharks lose this series to the Ducks, as it certainly appears likely at this point, what does that mean for the future of this franchise? In my opinion, you have to take a long, hard look at what you can get for trading Joe Thornton at the draft. It just doesn’t appear like winning with him in the playoffs is possible, certainly not in San Jose at the very least.

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