Puck Podcast – April 25th, 2009

This week we review the second week of the NHL playoffs with highlights and sounds from each series. We’ll also discuss Martin Brodeur’s meltdown, Sean Avery’s benching and John Torterella’s clash with the fans, a pair of rookie goalies getting the job done in both Anaheim and Washington, a reported that may cost Vancouver the Stanley Cup as well as give our picks for the best goal and best hit of the first round. All that plus your e-mails and a whole lot more.


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About Doug Stolhand 26984 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.

59 Comments

  1. With regard to the too-many-men penalty assessed to the BJs in game 4, read the rule book.

    Hitchcock himself said, “per the rules, it’s the right call”. Modin played the damn puck and was an idiot, no interpretation necessary, end of discussion. It happened 4 1/2 feet away from an official and the Wings finished it.

    According to Doug, the official should of “eaten the whistle” and just let a clear violation be ignored—ridiculous. How about eating their whistles virtually anytime they define the game to be “tight” or for any other personal reason?

    I don’t think it’s fair to rip the refs for making the right call because you wanted the BJs to go further because it was their first time. Playoff virgins or not, they deserved to play in a game officiated fairly, and the Wings deserved that fairness as well. Simply finishing off your comments with “the Wings deserved to win…” doesn’t change the thrust of your argument that the violation should have been ignored.

  2. According to the rules distance to the bench does not matter if a player involved in substitution plays the puck while the retiring player is actually on the ice.

    Relevant paragraph from Rule 74:

    “If in the course of making a substitution, either the player entering the game or the player (or goalkeeper) retiring from the ice surface plays the puck with his stick, skates or hands or who checks or makes any physical contact with an opposing player while either the player entering the game or the retiring player is actually on the ice, then the infraction of “too many men on the ice” will be called.”

    As far as I can tell officials are not given any discretion in this case.

  3. I agree. And sure we’re Red Wings fans, but it is pretty much a black and white rule. You cannot play the puck if the guy you are replacing is still on the ice. There is no “grace period”. You see calls for too many men when guys are in the middle of a change and the puck hits a guy’s skate on accident. So for a guy to play the puck and not pay attention to what’s going on…. it’s gotta be called. Columbus also took a late delay of game penalty for shooting the puck over the glass, a rule which I still don’t really like. I felt bad for Columbus for about 5 seconds until the fans started throwing bottles on the ice.

  4. I love someone talking about sportsmanship while at the same time being blatantly derogatory towards the other team using names like “BJ’s” and “Virgins”. I suppose that you could write if BJ’s by claiming that Blue Jackets is too difficult to type or too hard to spell.

  5. Well, the Sharks managed to narrowly avoid what I thought was inevitable and both Marleau and Thornton played very well. I was not impressed by this, though, but by how well the Ducks managed to stay in the game. That said, the Sharks had almost twice as many shots as Anaheim (48 to 25) and it was pretty obvious without Jonas Hiller’s play, the Ducks wouldn’t have been in the game past the first period nevermind into overtime

  6. Mat: Sorry, just for you, Blue Jackets. I cut and pasted that from your post, meant no disrespect and will try harder to completely spell out all names of all teams in the future. Will that work for you AH?

  7. RE The gentleman in Montana offended by the Chicago fans: I spent 21 years in the US Air Force and my son is in Iraq for the 3rd time. I am in NO way offended by the fans cheering and clapping during the National Anthem. On the TSN feed they appear to have removed their hats and I would rather have a crowd cheering the anthem then the disrespect shown in Montreal before game three against Boston. To that end, thumbs up to Bob Gainey for chastising the fans and their game four conduct was much better.

  8. I love the cheering in Chicago. Every year at the Kings-Avalanche Frozen Fury in Las Vegas, fans just scream the name of their teams in a druken stupor and even start throwing in obscenities: “#%*ing KIIINNGGSS!!” and so forth. Honest cheering as an emotional response to the excitement of the game, the arena, the anthem, the country (ies) that u live in that allow u to enjoy professional sports and even the genuine emotion of being proud of those that make sacrifies for our nation that we do not? I got no problem with that. I think it’s awesome. Better than two guys behind me talking about getting nachos. My grandfather bled for that flag and what it represents to the world, pal… Show some respect in the least, show some genuine excitement at the most…

  9. I would like to clear up the Martin Brodeur incident after game 4.

    Brodeur was very upset yes….. but not just about the 4th goal, the 3rd carolina goal scored was absolute crap and there most definitely should have been an interference call on the carolina player driving the net, no question about it. So Brodeur keeps his mouth shut until finally it happens again later in the last seconds of the game, costing the devils the game and a 3-1 series lead. I can tell you right now in that situation I would have done alot more than throw my stick.

    In my opinion, and yes I am a Devils fan (but a pretty fair one), I think the bump was not “incidental”. It is obvious the Hurricanes crash the net and try to get a little contact on Brodeur, it has been that way for years. Just because Jokinen was looking at the point doesn’t mean he doesn’t know where Brodeur is. Also, Brodeur does not come up into Jokinen, Brodeur is out and set. While I think the bump did happen well before the shot (according to replay but really only about a second), i think it could have possibly kept Brodeur from getting over to the left that extra little bit necessary. Brodeur never complains and he has been abused this whole series so I would give him some slack.

    The reason the referee gave Brodeur for not calling a penalty was that he had time to reset. So that means that the referee would have called a goaltender interference penalty had it happened closer to the time of the shot, therefore saying that he felt it was NOT incidental contact, it had just occurred early enough that Brodeur could have recovered.

    It was a tough call and pretty hard to take considering the magnitude of the situation and the fact that it was similar to an overtime situation. I wanted to throw my television so for Brodeur to only throw his stick I was actually quite surprised.

    Devils in 6

  10. When I play and watch hockey I notice that refs tend to not call too many men on the ice if the player leaving the ice plays the puck while his replacement is quite close to the boards. I read the post above stating the rule and i’m surprised for sure.

  11. Come on guys. Quoting the rule book? If you watch hockey, and I know you do, THAT call will almost never be made because most officials will use common sense. The player is at the bench, still on the ice but out of the play. The player that is on for him plays the puck with no opposing player around him. What advantage is gained by the offending team? In this case, there is none. By calling the penalty you obviously give the other team a huge advantage with the power play. Compounding this call was the time, score and situation. Good officials don’t always call penalties according to the letter of the law.

  12. I guess maybe we should just scrap the rules, it is the playoffs right? Let’s just allow anything, let’s use commons sense, and other times, not use common sense. Let’s make a judgment call and then, follow the rules. This makes perfect sense, should of considered it before I posted, my apologies. Maybe we should lobby the NHL to remove every rule we don’t feel “allows the the offending team an advantage”. Now that would really be something.

  13. Mark- There is something to be said for allowing “The Flow Of The Game.” I remember a quote once that said a foul is actually committed on EVERY possession of an NBA game. If that’s true- and I couldn’t tell u because NBA basketball has become unwatchable for me- we would see a stoppage in play EVERY 20 SECONDS. Let’s say there is a hook on a player that doesn’t have the puck and has no real chance of recieving it, or a goaltender gets bumped as the puck is squirted out of the offensive zone; do you really think we should stop the game, let all the scrums and facewashes occur, let the captains and/or the alternates come over and whine, get the offending player into the box and set up the face off and stand there while the red waits 10 mins to drop the puck?

    If something is egregious, sure. The point when Avery just tomahawk chops someone with his stick; call the major and the misconduct. But at some point we have to let players play and use a referee’s discretion at times to give us re best possible game under the circumstances. No one is ever %100 satisfied with officiating, but that human element is a great part of the sport to me.

  14. I can’t believe you guys are still arguing about the too many men on the ice penalty. It is evident to me that Modin wasn’t using his head…. bottom line.

  15. Kris: My original issue, if you read the posts, is the comment that simply because the BLUE JACKETS were in the playoffs for the first time, they should get special treatment on that call to continue the series.

    I have no comment on the NBA other than to say the entire league and officiating, is a joke, as we’ve seen with ref controversy. I can’t draw a single comparison to that freak show league with the NHL.

    I’m all for flow of the game, I get your point. Hooks are sometimes called, sometimes not. Same for obstruction, interference, offsides, etc. The point is that the call was made and that’s that. I don’t wish for a call to be ignored simply for a series to continue—I just can’t understand that logic.

  16. Btw guys thanks for the shout out on the podcast. You certainly don’t need to do that as I realize that most of the time I am talking out of my ass on this blog. I regard to what you said, I am not knocking Ovechkin as a player. He finished checks, is fast, sees the ice well, etc. He is a great player. As far as shots on goal, not only does he need to get into a position where he can take that shot but the puck has to make it to the goaltender to be considered a shot in the first place. Many players take shots towards the net during the game but they are not considered shots on net due to defections or going wide.

    All that aside, do I think that Jeff Carter would have had 11 more goals had he taken 186 more shots on goal this season or Kovalchuk would have had 13 more goals had he taken 253 more shots on goal this season? Yes. I do not think that Ovechkin is the most talented goal scorer in the league.

  17. In regard to fan superstitions- as examples by Eddie sitting in particular spots and such- is anyone doing anything for their teams in the playoffs? There may be something to it…

    As an Avalanche fan, I decided to grow the Playoff Beard the last two playoff seasons. Didn’t shave from the end of the regular season. And, though they were the lower seed both years, they won their first series.

    In both instances I was forced to shave as a result of attending functions in which severe facial hair was unacceptable. This happened between rounds 1 and 2; leaving me clean shaven at the start of round two.

    Avs never won another game…

  18. When neither of the changing players touch the puck, refs use their judgement (usually not a call as long as it is not like 25 ft) but as soon as a player touches the puck while the other is still on the ice is should be a call 100% of the time. He was dumb for coming off the bench and playing the puck. This is not a judgement call like hooking, this is a must call just like a player in their zone shooting it over the glass.

  19. Mark, Andy & Dustin,
    You are all 100% correct, the rule book clearly states that the on-ice officials were simply enforcing a black and white rule and that they made the correct call on the Too Many Men On The Ice incident in Game Four.

    Since you guys are such sticklers for the rule book being enforced strictly and not allowing the referees to make any interpretations based on common sense, the situation of the game or any other factor, I’m sure you’ll agree that they missed quite a few calls in that game. One rule, for example, could have given each team numerous powerplays throughout the game and the series:

    “75.2 Minor Penalty – A minor penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct shall be assessed under this rule for the following infractions:

    (i) Any identifiable player or goalkeeper who uses obscene, profane or abusive language or gestures directed at any person.”

    Thanks to a basic ability to read lips I know for a fact that a few players on the Red Wings were guilty of using some obscene language directed at members of the Blue Jackets and as such they should have been given a minor penalty, no interpretation necessary, end of discussion. Playoff veterans or not they deserved to play in a game officiated fairly, and the Blue Jackets deserved that fairness as well. As far as I can tell officials are not given any discretion in this case. And sure I was rooting for the underdog to win one game on their home ice in that series, but it is pretty much a black and white rule.

    The point, of course, is that there are a lot of rules that are not enforced to the letter of the rule book and that should have been one of them. There hadn’t been a penalty called since the 10:05 mark of the second period. What’s more likely: that there was not ONE violation of the rules in 28 minutes of playoff hockey, or that the refs were letting things go during the third period? Clearly it’s the latter and this should have been let go as well.

  20. Regarding the audio clip from The Redwings Radio Network – if I didn’t know any better, I’d swear that Dr. Demento had come out of retirement! A very distinctive voice.

  21. Doug, Let’s be realistic. I don’t see how you can compare and give the same weight to two rules violations, when one is a ‘relatively’ non-influential verbal badgering, while the other is a much more game-affecting condition.
    What’s less fair – making a ‘random’ call, or allowing a team to play the puck with six skaters on the ice? next you’ll say we should give the underdog a 2-goal handicap to make it more ‘fair’…?
    I am for the underdog as much as many of us are, but I don’t understand how this issue is open for debate. And I’d be saying the same thing if the call was against the Wings.

  22. So what you’re telling me is that Columbus can throw out 7 guys whenever they feel just because Red Wings have potty mouths? If the guy coming off the bench doesn’t play the puck then it is in Columbus’s zone POSSIBLY giving Wings a scoring chance. I’m not a Wings fan, but I just hate how everyone complains about the consistency of calls and then they turn around and want the refs to be inconsistent with the rule book.

    Relating Cursing on the ice with two many men is not helping your debate. Either you’re ignorant in actually thinking they are hand in hand or you are just trying to insult your listeners intelligence.

  23. Beer Man – Am I saying that the Blue Jackets can put seven men on the ice? No. I’m saying that when a guy is less than six feet from the bench and is skating directly to the bench without interferring in the play in any way it should not be considered having too many men on the ice.

    Some of you have pointed out that had Modin not touched the puck it wouldn’t have been called. Why not? Is it acceptable to have six men on the ice as long as the sixth one out doesn’t touch the puck? Just because the guy touches the puck does not make it any worse, in my mind. Having a guy jump out a second or two earlier – therefore getting involved in the rush or back on defense a second or two earlier than he should have been – is just as influential on the play. Yet that gets ignored all the time I think every fan knows that.

    To say the rule book does not allow for interpretation with regards to too many men on the ice is disingenous. We’ve all seen examples of teams with six men on the ice – with the puck – who did not have a penalty called on them because one of the six was within a few feet of the bench. It’s cleary up to the discretion of the on-ice officials. They chose to call this a penalty, I would have liked to have seen them let it go – as they let go a lot of things in the third period of that game. But, they called it. Was it technically a penalty? Yes. Could it have been ignored (as many other things that both teams did in the third period which were technically penalties) without effecting the outcome of the game? I believe so.

    The Blue Jackets player leaving the ice was within a few feet of the bench and would have been off the ice within a second at the most. I think it’s erroneous to suggest that the Blue Jackets gained an unfair advantage by having that sixth player on the ice.

    The reason I brought up the other rule was simply to point out that there are NHL rules which are black and white which are ignored on a regular basis. The only rule that HAS to be enforced is delay of game – shooting the puck over the glass from the defensive zone. There’s no room for interpretation on that one nor can it be ignored. Other than that I believe just about every rule is up for interpretation as to when it should and should not be enforced. (At least, that I can think of off the top of my head).

    The Red Wings were by FAR the better team in the series and there’s not a doubt in my mind that they would have won the series with or without that call. I just hate to see a series ended by a controversial call. It is good for discussion, though, and I thank you all for posting your thoughts on here. More proof that two people can watch the same thing yet see different things.

  24. On a side note I think the automatic penalty for a puck going over the glass is asinine. I understand the purpose of the penalty but 9/10 the puck going over is unintentional.

    As far as too many men on the ice. I didn’t see the event everyone is talking about but when I am at the game I see this penalty overlooked at least once a game. As long as it is obvious that the other player is skating off the ice and well out of the play it generally gets a pass. Should it? I donno, but it does.

    On another side note. After all this time the NHL hasn’t come up with an easier way for the players to get on and off the bench?

  25. Doug: Imitation being the highest form of flattery, I’ll say thanks. For all the rest of that, to use your favorite word, ridiculous.

  26. Donald Brashear has been suspended for six games – one for making contact with Colton Orr during the pre-game warm-ups and five for his hit on Blair Betts during the first period of Game Six. I will hold my thoughts on this until the show this week but am curious what you all think of the suspensions?

    By the way, I love this quote from Troy Brouwer about the hit he put on Dion Phaneuf in Game Five – the hit that will prevent Phaneuf from playing in Game Six: “Our heads did collide and I think him not ready for it, he’s not able to brace himself and that’s why it stunned him I guess.”

    I think him not ready for it? Is Brouwer a cave man?

  27. Totally agree on Brashear waxing Blair Betts—it’s the intent that matters, not the cracked orbital bone. With respect to the pre-game warm up, didn’t see it. However, if it didn’t impact play, I think it’s up to somebody’s discretion, right?

  28. They had to call the pre-game incident, Mark – Brashear was guilty of using some obscene language directed at members of the New York Rangers…..

  29. Dave: I’m sure you’re right, probably called him a dodo or some such thing.

    I’m guessing Chicago wraps it up tonight and San Jose pushes into a game 7…

  30. Mark- As a Det fan, the LAST thing u should be calling for is a black and white interpretation of the rule book. How many penalties do u think Holmstrom could be called for in a game? And if u say “none,” you’re delerious, my friend…

    As for the games tonight, awesome to see that piece of trash Bertuzzi cost his team again. I wish he was on a different team, because I cannot stand the fact that a class act like Iginla is sharing the same dressing room as someone who doesn’t deserve to be on a professional team.

    And the Sharks? Still one more period, but I think still ONLY one more period. And the bloodletting will begin. Jumbo, Marleau, Cheech, maybe even Boyle and Blake: gone-zo! This team, in any incarnation just CANNOT get it done.

    And as for the Ducks? That huge contract for Giguire just doesn’t seem like a great idea anymore, eh?? Ahh, Burke’s salary cap nightmare legacy…

  31. On the Det/Clb Too Many Men call: Modin touched the puck, before his swapping player was on the bench. It’s his fault, and he should have used his head before playing the puck.

    On Brashear’s suspension: I have to say… I didn’t expect him to get that much. 6 PLAYOFF games? It’s not that I don’t agree with the punishment, but I’m just SHOCKED that the NHL went there. IMO, they’ve always under-penalized for playoff infractions (i.e. Pronger), so seeing Mr.Campbell hand down 6-games was almost refreshing. I think Brashear deserves that number though, because his actions were ruthless. I don’t care much about the pre-game stuff (Automatic 1-game for violating that rule), as that stuff doesn’t bother me. The hit on Betts was nasty though. Brashear himself got embarrassed (run into the boards by Voros), and took his frustrations out on a completely unsuspecting player. He was head hunting. He wanted Voros, but couldn’t catch him, so he set his sights on Betts, who happened to be the closest, and easiest, target. What’s most interesting to me in all of this is the fact that Colin Campbell has finally come out and just admitted that the severity of injuries do weigh in on the “sentence” of the suspensions he hands out. He denied it in the past, but let it slip in that MacLean/Campbell interview about Carcillo and Cammalleri. I think Betts’ rather serious injury pushed the number of games on this one.

    Also, I think this suspension is just going to work as more fodder for the whole “Star Power = Shorter Suspension” argument. Would another player have gotten as many games?

    On Kris’ comments about dismantling the Sharks: I’m sure some names will be on the way out of San Jose, but I think they’d have to be crazy to move Boyle. I think he was one of their best players in the playoffs, and the deal they made to get him in the first place is looking really, really good. He’s one I’d hold onto.

    ‘Grats to the Ducks though. That’s a mighty feat. What does everyone think of their chances vs. Detroit in round 2 though?

  32. So Carey Price gets booed, makes an easy save, recieves the Bronx Cheer and salutes the fans… Does that mean he’s getting traded to Colorado??

  33. If Hiller plays like this, the Ducks have a chance.

    As for Boyle, I thought he played great, too. Hell, even Mr Penalty Box Rob Blake played well. But I think the Sharks- if they dismantle the “core”- are almost rebuilding, and are not going to go anywhere to justify Boyle’s salary anymore. If the Sharks implode that lineup- I think at LEAST two big names are going to go- they have to admit that they are going to be treated as a rebuilding team and a youth movement to some degree. The Gooch is the future and the face soon enough. Thorton did everything from being the quiet leader to trying to muscle up Ryan Getzlaf; but he cannot make this team a playoff winner. His post game comments are going to be interesting. His reaction on the bench after Getzlaf’s goal was the synopsis of someone who just couldn’t believe what was happening…

    And in the words of the great Jedi Master Yoda: “That is why you fail…”

    I’m sure he and Marleau and Cheechoo and Boumeester and Kovie will all be on the Red Wings next year…

  34. Adam….. absolutely right on about the Brashear hit. He was on a mission to hurt someone…. badly.

    He tried to get at Voros I believe but Voros changed before Brashear could get to him so Brashear turned around and saw Betts dump the puck and start to turn unsuspectingly for the bench. I have always been fine with what people call “late” hits (even though this was border line late in my opinion) but his intent was clear with the thrust of his arm upwards after the hit. He clearly went head hunting and he should pay.

    I absolutely despise Brashear. There is no place for him in this league. He is an awful skater and a real embarassment to the talent level in the league.

  35. Yeah, let me hear. SJ sucks. SJ needs to rebuild. SJ needs to fire the coach..and the GM. After hearing the last podcast, Doug and Eddie talk about how fans dont affect the outcomes of NHL games. I might disagree. I feel like the one who bought down the Sharks. Though I still have health, my house, and still play rec hockey, it has been a down year that makes the last so-so year look like the good old days ie stock, UCLA Bruins, and the Sharks, the reason why I love to play hockey.

    What about Nabokov? I know the D in front of him is not as good as Anaheim’s but I just dont think he can lead the Sharks to the Stanley Cup. This is one thing I hope I am wrong. But every year I am right.

  36. Did anyone else happen to see the Sharks practice putting in their dressing room during the 2nd intermission?

    I think it is pretty evident that the leadership is extremely soft up front for the Sharks. I have stated before that Marleau is overrated as a player and even more so as a leader; don’t even get me started on Thornton’s offensive leadership capabilities. Let me just say that game 4 displayed the lack of care in Thornton’s game. I am not a San Jose fan and that even pissed me off that he showed no emotion when down 4-0 in a pivotal game. Thornton is nothing but a waste-of-talent regular season player.

    Thornton and Marleau should be gone if Wilson knows what is good for him, but maybe Wilson should be gone for repeatedly making the same mistake in believing in their will to win.

    Congratulations on another pathetic playoff performance San Jose.

  37. What a waste, after such a strong regular season and the President’s trophy. But the core was there for a cup. Is dismantling really the most sane solution? Maybe a more surgical approach, starting at goaltending/defense. 18 goals against in 6 games…?

  38. Dennis in Oregon – WELL SAID earlier about the National Anthem, and thanks for your service.

    Doug – thanks for posting that McLean/Campbell interview – it was as good as you said.

  39. Dave, SJ keeps trying a “surgical approach” and it keeps failing. Two seasons ago it was the tandem goaltending of Nabby and Toskala; neither would be too tired and they’d have the gas for a long run. Bumped in round two. Last year it was the addition of Brian Campbell; grit and toughness in the back end and the ability to get that outlet pass to the forwards. Bounced in round two. This year it was adding FOUR STANLEY CUP RINGS in Blake, Boyle and Lemieux. Blasted in the FIRST round. And this season they even boasted the “addition” of 30+ goal scorer Setoguichi!!

    This team, with this core- Thorton, Marleau, Erhoff, Grier, Clowe, Pavelski- CANNOT WIN THE STANLEY CUP! If they had at least MADE it to the Finals a year or two, I would say, yes, they’re a player away, a system tweak away. But they cannot even make the CONFERENCE finals! They’re not a game away- they’re TWO WHOLE ROUNDS away!! This isn’t a piece of the puzzle fix. As an Avs fan, I’ll use the 98-99, 99-00 teams. They were one round, one GAME from the finals. Add Rob Blake to give the other D men some rest and help Borque, Sakic, Forsberg on the PP? Championship. Because they were a STEP away.

    The Sharks? Not even close…

  40. I haven’t read any of the comments (sorry, just wanted to voice this, so I’m not sure if anyone has said this yet), but what do the Sharks do over the off-season? Players like Marleau and Thornton have proven again that they cannot get it done in the post-season. Do they get moved? Are some of the other guys getting moved? Do you try and bring in a proven playoff-player via trade or free-agency? Lots of questions for this team going into the summer.

    On the other hand, your Ducks looked good Doug. Pronger and Niedermayer showed this series why they were not dealt at the trade deadline. They were all over the ice shutting down the Sharks all series long. A great series for them and also for Hiller and Ryan. If they continue you play like that against the Red Wings, we could see another Cup championship in Anaheim this June.

  41. And to voice my opinion on the booing and cheering of the national anthems:

    I have been to a few Hawks games and I think it is very weird how everyone stands and cheers the whole time. At first when I was a kid, I was really freaked out and couldn’t believe my ears. I went against SJ in March and still couldn’t believe it. Is it rude or unpatriotic? No way. Its their way of hyping their team up and, yes, cheering for their country. I think it is very cool.

    And in St. Louis, we had a bunch of morons booing the Canadian national anthem. Let me just say to anyone who does this: You are an ass. Chances are, most of your players are Canadian! Do you really think they enjoy hearing their fans do that? Respect our northern neighbors, without Canadians we wouldn’t even have hockey in the states!

  42. If the Sharks had not gone lost their series, I’d have nominated the Devils losing their 2 goal lead as a bigger choke – I was shocked earlier.

    Brent Sutter did not match his coaching the previous 82 games – he reverted an aggressive scheme back to a passive style reminiscent of the past two Devils seasons. Also of note: Jay Pandolfo and John Madden either matched or exceeded the playing times of Zach Parise and Patrik Elias. A second year coach, yes, but still questionable decisions. Also exposed was the blueline. They played well, were even top-flight during the regular season – this did not hold up. Apart from Paul Martin and Johnny Oduya, the “No-name defense” could not make regular stops.

    And though an evenly matched series, Carolina evidently seized opportunities at the right times. Unable to clear the puck, like the Devils at the ends of games 4 and 7? As a result, the Hurricanes were able to hold the puck for extended periods for chances and goals. Perhaps the most important factor. Also of note was Cam Ward – his overall work in the series matched Brodeur’s, but Ward did not allow two deflating goals like Brodeur did at the end of Game 7. Not exactly seizing defeat from the jaws of defeat, but still close.

    A tad stunned to be concerned about my team’s offseason, though – bandwagons, anyone (who is a fan of an eliminated team)?

  43. Props to the Ducks for playing solid, keep-it-simple hockey, ie playoff hockey. Their effort is being overshadowed by another dismal postseason effort by the Sharks. Too much to address as far as the Sharks are concerned, but lots of good points by others here so far.

    And I at least got one series right! Canes in 7, what a finish!

  44. I can’t believe Versus could not show live coverage of the amazing end to the ‘Canes game 7 due to “contractual obligations…” That bites.

    And, Kris, you totally schooled me… SJ needs to throw out the scalpel and grab the hatchet.

  45. I’m sorry if I sounded harsh, Dave. While SJ is not my favorite team, I enjoy watching them play and like a good deal of their players. And I had them going all the way. Combine this with the fact that three of the four teams left on the West are on my “Most Hated” list: Van and Ana; with Detroit being paramount to the coming of the Black Death. So I was SO disappointed in their play that I just want and feel they need to gut this team…

  46. Kris – you did not sound harsh. You sounded DEDICATED.

    So, I take it you were pulling for Chicago tonight. I think they did a great job fighting back in the third, and I am looking forward to the next game. I have not decided who should last to take on the Wings in the next round… 😉 But it would be great to see a Hawks/Wings series for the conference championship. The Ducks can’t do it again – they are toast.

  47. Don’t count out the Mighty Ducks, buddy… We’ve been giving alot of the blame to the Guppies for blowing it (again), but let’s not forget that Ana played extremely well and Hiller played like a champ! Just about any NHL team can beat another on any given night and the Ducks, playing like this, can pull out 4 victories in 7 games. I don’t think they WILL, but I think they CAN. They have the experience, the skill and the grit to upset Det. And they play well at the Ponda Center, so they may only need to “steal” one at Joe Louis. Should be great hockey… Between two teams I hate. Dammit…

  48. Nucks/Hawks game was great end-to-end action and much more physical than I expected, hope the rest of the series is just like this one

  49. If the Mighty Ducks can do it, it should be tonight. The Wings typically start slow and now, Rafalski is out of the lineup with an injury. Adios Rafalski, adios Lilja hello Chelios. We’ll see.

  50. Kris” I know this is music to your ears that Chelli is playing but remember, you hate the Ducks too!

    You never know, he might just surprise you, not to mention that if needed, Lidstrom can play the entire game.

  51. The hit on Hudler last night from Anaheim’s 4th line nobody, is worthy of suspension—here’s to him getting 5 additional games off to consider letting up on a player’s head after he releases the puck. Anaheim’s doing exactly what everyone expects them to do and it all flows down from the coach, another class act.

  52. Chelios played less than ten minutes, but I love seeing him out there. And how about that other defenseman… Lidstrom sure impressed. And he’s pushing 40, isn’t he?

    That hit sucked. Elbow or shoulder, the puck was gone. And yeah, the coach showed his colors in the post game interview. I know he needs to defend his team’s actions, but it was pathetic, I thought.

  53. That’s what I meant, the post game conference with Carlyle showed what he’s made of. Yes, nice to see Chelli out there and Lidstrom is 39.

    Tomorrow should be good.

  54. I still laugh every time Chelios winds up from the point, knowing for a fact that he is going to hit his target of… the backboards.

  55. Being a Devils fan it was a moment of shock, but then again it was daeja vu, as the hurricanes once scored with under 10 seconds left to tie it, and win in OT years ago. But i was amazed that Sutter put Havelid out there. In Game 2 – in OT puck off his leg into the net, and in Game 7 – he leaves his man – wide open to tie it at 3. Andy Green could have played better. As always they over achieve during the regular season, and flutter in the playoffs. Sutter made a lot of bad choices that is for sure. Something interesting is that Torteralla pulled lundquist for a rest and the end of game 6 with a deficit. Also to make sure he did not get hurt and would live to see a game 7. Sutter left Marty in there. Maybe in game 6 the devils would have rallied around Scotty like they did all season? Wasnt it worth a shot at all?

    The Rangers were lucky to be up 3-1. Henrik was unreal, but no supporting cast.

    The interesting thing is the Hurricanes have owned the Devils, and The Ducks have owned the Sharks. So where they really surprises?

    There was one mistake (that i found) in the podcast – The devils and hurricanes alternated wins, they did not both just win at home.

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