Puck Podcast – May 9th, 2009

This week we analyze each playoff series with comments on Alexander Ovechkin’s controversial hit, the fantastic series between Chicago and Vancouver, a stunning turn of events in the Carolina/Boston series and a controversial ending to Game Three between the Ducks and Red Wings. We also discuss the possible sale/relocation of the Coyotes, the Islanders owner saying he regrets buying the team, a Penguins fan threatening to kill Ovechkin, a Rangers player calling it quits plus a whole lot more.

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In this PuckPodcast.com exclusive we answer some listener feedback from the past week.

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About Doug Stolhand 26986 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.

70 Comments

  1. Off his own defender?!?

    Caps-Pens game 5 deserved a better ending than that!

  2. I think if the puck made it through Poti, Crosby would have burried that pass anyways. Varlie was glued to the other side of the crease, and Crosby would have had an empty net. Then again, Crosby HAS been stopped with an empty net a few times already this series, haha.

  3. I loved the call when varlamov got knocked over and his mask flew into the corner and he said “his head is in the corner” brilliant stuff!. I agree crappy ending to a great game, and I was hoping for a penalty when a cap got dropped miles away from the puck just before the goal.Great show as always & happy birthday Doug!.

  4. I’ve been delaying forming an opinion on the Jim Balsillie issue because media coverage seems to either be Canadian (and hence overwhelmingly pro-JB) or American (and understandingly opposed).

    Oddly enough, an interview on TSN was the deciding factor for me.
    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=278083#

    Anybody who believes Balsillie isn’t completely clueless in regards to this issue deserves to actually witness him in action. I’m all for another team in Canada but if this man was in charge of a team, I can’t imagine it performing well even in a “hockey market” under his direction.

  5. As far as AO firing the puck at the end of the game… had it been another player on the Caps I would have said, “well he probably was just doing a last toss at the net.” As you stated on the odd empty net goal, AO put the puck between two players and out of the reach of MAF. Consequently, when I see AO square up, with no one pressuring him, at the end of a game and fire it directly to the center of a player I find it hard to believe that it was accidental. Alone this is not that big of a deal but when you look at some of Ovechkin’s behavior overall I feel that it is prudent for the NHL to hand out a warning. He didn’t need a suspension or even a fine but for the safety of the players I think it is good for the league to say something to the effect of, “watch your charging, quit leaving your feet, and keep your knees in.”

    I have a question about the show, you have said that you were in the press box. Most shows I am not even aware that you had this sort of access to the game and the players. Are you able to take a recorder into the locker room so we can get a few interviews? I like hearing the interviews with the major players but I really love when people get in and talk to the support players on a team. Also what do the other media outlets think of those in the new media. Do they accept you as equals or are you kind of the red headed step child?

  6. Tom Poti has to try to block the pass, that’s the defenders job during a 2-on-1. Tough way to lose, and had he decided to shadow Crosby a little more maybe Varlamov would just make a good save, but I think Poti did what he felt he had to do. Varlamov was inching toward Crosby, so it’s not a foregone conclusion that he would have scored.He had a much better chance that went wide earlier.

  7. Regarding message boards and the like – there was a Ducks fan who got severely flamed after posting something to the effect of “ha ha, my team won.” After I responded, he made this strange argument:

    One reason I love the Ducks is because I was born in NORTH AMERICA not Europe like all Detroit’s good players.

    So of course I had to remind him that their best player of all-time is from Finland and they are riding a hot goaltender from Switzerland.

  8. I wish this game had been on national TV because nobody watching could make that argument about Detroit not being Hockeytown. Chanting, singing, cheering, not booing every little penalty and offsides like they do in Vancouver. The crowd was awesome today and so were the Wings.

  9. Okay, but what about the hundreds of Wings fans sitting in the bowl that do nothing but stand up, turn around and raise their beer to the cameras OVER AND OVER again, even during play?!? Joe has the worst camera angles and those fans who think they are so awesome that they can’t help but make sure EVERYONE knows they made it out to a game drive me crazy…

  10. Kris: Living in California, you’d obviously have no idea the complacency that fans at Joe Louis Arena have on most nights, because the outcome is known. You guys out there actually have no idea who will win most nights when you go see your team play, so you get worked up.

    The majority of those in attendance at the games here take the Wings for granted, combined with a fair amount of hockey knowledge, causing a pretty calm atmosphere. It drives me insane as well that the fans only get loud and energize the Wings in critical situations at the Joe.

    However, the beer chugging idiots there are the same beer chugging idiots at every arena in N.A., even in Kali-for-nee-a.

  11. Ahh, the beer chugging idiot. Ruining real fans’ sports experiences for decades!

    Both winners tonight looked dominant. Det really seemed to have the game in hand by the start of the third. And the Canes? Should not have bothered to leave the hotel. Canes looked like a team that started to believe their own hype. And reacted by playing dirty. I like the Canes and thier “story” here in the playoffs, but I cannot abide their disgusting performance tonite.

    Jussi Jokienen’s slash to what I believe is Chara’s Achilles heel and Walker’s cheap shot knock out of Ward’s orbital bone is going to cost Boston, and I’m sure the NHL is going to make sure it costs Carolina, too. If Boston loses Chara, Boston will never know “what could have been…”

  12. Doug – I liked your analysis of why the intended whistle call should be reviewable (regarding the Hossa non-goal). The NHL really should consider that logic – especially for a weird rule like that. Or else, don’t review ANY calls and let the calls stand, as made on the ice. One or the other.

  13. I think the “intended whistle” is crap, too. The NHL needs to adopt a discernable, DEFINITE stopping point. In the NFL, the whistle IS the stoppage of play, end of story. Anything that happens after the SOUND of the whistle does not “exist.” And the sound of the whistle is a part of the reviewable play process. In the NHL’s case, only goals are reviewable, so the sound of a blown whistle should factor in. If you are reviewing it already, get everything as right as you can.

  14. You would think that after all of these years sports would have moved on from the whistle to something else. Like a button they could push that would make a sound through the whole arena.

  15. Ha! Doug & Eddie – The end of your exclusive fan feedback show instantly reminded me of many episodes of Hockey Night in Canada… I swear, it sounded like Grapes and McLean going at it… good stuff. Hey, maybe Doug’s new nickname could be Raisins….

  16. Dave: I agree completely, loved the end when Doug chastised Ed for not allowing him a final thought. I’ll go with Raisins as well, Doug’s too young to be called “Prunes”.

  17. You guys suck! I had never heard of ‘Cindy Crysby’ until your last podcast and now I can’t keep from laughing as I watch the Pens/Caps game tonight!

    Nice to see the Caps win in OT – this series really is measuring up to all of the hype.

  18. Anyone else enjoy seeing “the best goalie in the world” being lit up by the Hawks? Hopefully another early exit for the Orcas.

  19. These are the two best games to be played in one night so far. And with the amount of incredible hockey being played in the last two weeks, that’s saying alot! This 2nd round has been the best in my memory! Amazing hockey and few blowouts! Between two games tonight, it felt like there were a dozen lead changes.

    And, *damn* Bettman got what he wanted and there’s a Caps-Pens game 7! Can’t believe hockey fans are stuck with THAT!

    GO HAWKS!!

  20. Hey guys, just been catching up and at some point will comment on the Phoenix brouhaha, but in the meantime, I downloaded the Bonus Segments, and noticed that last week’s and this week’s download links point to the same file, so I wound up with two of the same episode. 🙁

  21. Crosby might complain too much but the diver on the ice last night was Semin. My heart can’t take too many more weeks like this last one.

  22. By the way, after the hockey we saw last night, is there any doubt that hockey is the best sport ever and playoff hockey is one of the greatest things ever? 😀

  23. What!? Doug’s got a laughable playoff beard!? And he’s going to shave it as soon as the Ducks are booted (IF they are booted, I should say..)!? WE NEED PICTURES OF THIS “BEARD”! Someone snap a shot sometime before tonight’s game, in case Anaheim can’t pull a win out of the bag!

  24. Just leaving an interesting stat line here:

    Daniel Sedin
    Regular season: 82 points in 82 games
    Playoffs: 10 points in 10 games

    Henrik Sedin
    Regular season: 82 points in 82 games
    Playoffs: 10 points in 10 games

    Vancouver would be unwise to let the Twins go this offseason (unless their asking price is exorbitant). Not true gamebreakers, but their postseason play improved upon previous years. Besides, signing UFAs to build a core is usually unwise – see the Rangers acquiring Drury and Gomez in 2007. Hopefully, Mike Gillis can get the Twins to sign Zetterberg/Franzen-type contracts – lucrative, long term, and relatively low cap numbers.

  25. The Sedin Sisters will be expensive, as you MUST sign both to get either. I can’t see too many teams signing two players that are nearly codependent on each other to a long term contract. Daniel has a few off years? Henrik probably will, too. And you have MILLIONS and MILLIONS invested in both? Not good. Funny you mention Drury and Gomez as I think this is sort of the situation the Rangers are in with them. Lots of $$ and years invested in two players that are giving u NOTHING for that kind of scratch! Seems they both perform terribly at the same time and have spurts of productive play at the same stretch too. I think the Sisters should not be expecting alot of years, even if the $$ is right…

    Of course, Jeff Finger makes $4 million per for three more seasons, so I guess anything can happen…

  26. We get 27 of a possible 28 second round games.

    This is the best second round ever.

    Almost helps that my favorite team ISN’T in it. Don’t know if my heart could take it!

  27. Crazy…. I am going to agree that as far as I can remember this is not only the best second round ever but the best round that I have ever seen in the NHL.

  28. Pathetic.The Wings deserve their fate now. That was nearly the most embarrassing effort I’ve seen them produce in a playoff game in years.

    Assuming they were going to win in 7 is like saying they’ll win in 1, it means nothing. It will come down to effort. The Wings had none, were uninterested for 2 1/2 periods and wasted a chance to finish the series. I blame everyone including Babcock who should of had them mentally prepared.

    At this point, I have to assume the Ducks have the advantage and I’m not looking forward to Thursday.

  29. Mark – they were outplayed and outcoached, all around. I agree. The Ducks had the desire, and dictated the game. I thought for sure the Wings would close that out on the road and we’d have a Winter Classic rematch for the conference finals.

    But I will also say, Osgood is playing much better in these playoffs than I ever expected. You were right about him. He will have to step it up even more if Detroit is going to be out-shot like that again in game 7.

  30. I am going to have to eat crow also and admit that Osgood has been very good these playoffs.

  31. Great Playoffs, I can’t wait for the game sevens.

    Good shows guys,

    When I checked Ovie’s hit on Gonchar, it didn’t look like an intent to injure and during the clip I saw on youtube, Ovie looks down the ice to Gonchar and is obviously concerned. I think it was reckless. My is guess is that the league will crackdown on Ovie next year and give some charging penalties for leaving his feet, but they won’t do anything this playoffs.

    What I don’t get is why at least 4 Pens have been coming out from behind the net (to Ovie’s side of the rink) and not seen him coming till the last second. Live, you can see him at the top of the circle waiting for the guy to come out from behind the net.

    Naslund turned down an offer to play in the last Olympics because his knee was still messed up. Since he still hasn’t returned to form, I don’t think he is thinking about Vancouver, which is an unfortunate situation.

    If Naslund retires, how is his cap number affected. He made 5 million this year and is signed through next year at 3mil. Did the Rangers essentially pay a guy 5mil for one year, with a 4mil cap number, or are they on the hook for some amount next year?

  32. Dave and Mat: All good points.

    I would not say, however, that the Ducks played a better all-around game. I thought the first period, for both teams, looked like a seniors beer league. Hossa couldn’t complete a pass, Hossa couldn’t get a puck deep (three times) Holmstrom forgot to take off his ankle weights before the game, and no one had any urgency to finish hits on either team (except for Darren Helm) or go after loose pucks, they mailed it in. Both teams were nervous and tenative, as were the fans.

    In the end, I still believe when Detroit plays with urgency, no one can stop them, the Wings win, they are too deep. I’ve said this all season with respect to the Wings and the fans at the Joe, unless things are on the line, they are both complacent and it’s maddending.

    I freely admit that anything can happen in one game, but I fully expect them to win Thursday because the series is now on the line. I expect the Joe to be dead until they get a lead. To me, it’s simply motivation for the Wings and Babcock blew it by not getting that fire burning, and he knows it.

    Finally, glad we can put the Ozzie debate to rest—until it comes up again. He is not stealing games, he’s not winning them on his own. He’s part of a team and doing his part to win, every night. You can’t fault the guy on either goal last night.

  33. Kris, good response; though I do disagree on some points (sorry about the length):

    Their codependency definitely limits the legitimate inquiries to (what I’ve seen mentioned often) Minnesota, Toronto, and Vancouver (I follow them most closely after my favorite team).

    Vancouver’s offense without the Sedins (and Sundin) is barren: Demitra is inconsistent, Burrows and Kesler must prove consistency, Bernier and Raymond will be asked to improve. Canucks fans have hitched their hopes for the next Trevor Linden (leadership, not playing style) on Cody Hodgson, but prospects, no matter how highly touted, are unknown quantities at this point. Mike Gillis can understandably blow the team up if re-signing the Twins proves too expensive. I’d rather they stay, though. If guys like Hossa, Havlat, Gaborik, and Cammallerri hit the market and are seen as potential replacements, I’d still be wary.

    If Gillis is to reconstruct personnel, he should look at the blueline and Luongo. Apart from Edler (impressed, though still improving) and maybe Bieksa, the rest are slow or unreliable when needed. Ohlund’s decline was put highlighted by Pat Kane. Mitchell is prone to one-on-one defeats and bad clears. Salo is effective, but made of glass, while O’Brien is a replaceable third pair-type. I leave specific players up to others.

    Regarding Luongo, the captain and franchise player just did not make the saves necessary to preserve third period leads. A superb goalie, he still has some chances to disprove doubters in the playoffs. However, his contract is up next year – he has commented that re-signing is contingent on the Canucks being Cup contenders. Questionable, especially since he’s yet to take them over the hump. They’ve been grooming Corey Schneider since 2004; could be an interesting situation.

    About Gomez-Drury: as a NY-based Devils fan, I am familiar with the Rangers’ situation. Gomez and Drury are redundant centers; would have been good to sign just one. Drury’s “intangibles” have yet to show up the past two springs; he’s a support/second-line player, anyway. Gomez is also a complementary player; with a true sniper or shooting winger, however, an effective top line can be formed (provided he doesn’t float). Hossa, Gionta, or aforementioned wingers could fit well. Unfortunately, Gomez may also be the most appealing player if Glen Sather wants to move an expensive contract (Redden being the other albatross).

  34. As I’m reading the current THN’s article on Russian NHLers, I cannot help but post what my buddy and I pointed out to be Team Russia’s #1 PP unit in 2010:

    Ovechkin, Malkin, Datsyuk, Kovalchuk and Gonchar…

    Will the IIHF change the rules during Russian games to force refs to give Team Russia more time on the man-advantage?? My God…

  35. I play hockey, not well but I play. There is a huge blind spot when you come around the back of the net. First it alreay feels a bit claustrophobic back there so you tend to want to put your head down to make sure you avoid the net but also once you commit to a patch and you are in the turn there isn’t a whole lot of room to move out of the way of someone.

    Colby Armstrong used to be the worst for trying to catch people coming around the net. He would hunt them from the top of the circle and leave his feet on devastating hits.

    Next to chasing down an iced puck I think that circling around the net is probably the most dangerous spot on the ice.

  36. Game Seven. Penguins-Capitals. Ovechkin. Crosby.

    Series features great goaltending. OT excitement. Superstar hat tricks; on the same night. Pure physical play and some nastiness.

    Game seven features… Jose Theosuck. 4-0 with 12 mins to go in the second.

    AND A WASHINGTON CAPITALS TEAM THAT HAS FORGOTTEN HOW TO PLAY HOCKEY!!!!

    This game is a COMPLETE letdown. I hope the other four teams come to the rink to PLAY!

    Dammit…

  37. Not entirely unexpected for me. Unless you have the offense of the dynasty Oilers or the 1990-1992 Penguins, lack of team defense will catch up as it has for the Caps.

    As has been noted throughout the series: their blueliners are vulnerable to adventures in their own zone and flubbing outlet passes; not all of their forwards backcheck regularly. Until tonight, Varlamov has shown that he can usually make stops on opposing chances resulting from his team’s aggressive system.

    Andrew in Pittsburgh: Naslünd’s 2-year contract for $8 million was front-loaded, so that’s why his annual salary differed. Cap number is the term salary divided by term length, so he’d always count $4 million against the cap. The only inactive situation he’d have affected the Rangers would be if he had signed at 35 years of age – at the least, they’d have been stuck with his cap hit. He signed the contract days before he turned 35; with retirement, his the contract is null and 4 million dollars of cap space appears.

  38. I think that everyone knew that if Varlomov cracked it was going to be a blowout.

  39. I didn’t think the Wings looked BAD in Game 6, but the things they did just didn’t work – they usually make everything look so easy. I can’t believe they ended up with as many shots as they did, it seemed like so many went wide or hit skates and sticks. It will be very interesting… the last time they played a Game 7, they were coming off a 2-0 win and back from a 3-2 series deficit. But the last time they lost a possible clinching game, they won the Cup the next.

  40. I knew the Caps team D would be a detriment to their long term success, but I thought they would still COMPETE. Only one of the first six games featured a winning margin of more than one goal. The team looked good in their wins, an seemed to shut down everyone but Crosby in games one and two. Guess the Penguins woke up. Weird that both games six and seven were won by the road team. I think that says alot about the coaching staffs in that they had their respective teams ready to play with a successful strategy on the road.

    I think the Pens will have a harder time of it in the East Finals, no matter who they face. Both the Canes and the Bruins have veteran talent in net. In the end, Pitt was facing a rookie goalie in the second round. Should be a good series no matter who plays the Pens.

    There was some talk on the NHL Network’s “On The Fly” pundits that Washington should have gone back to Theosuck earlier. Did Var NOT win a game seven already? I’m not sure when they felt that the change BACK should has been made. Theosuck looked like he was playing for a Mighty Mites team in his one start. Varlamov (I have no idea if that’s the correct spelling) didn’t really falter until game five here in round two and then responded with a hard fought road win the next game on the road, facing elimination. I think they went with the goalie that gas them the best chance to win.

  41. Hey, does the NHL still have a “Divers List?” Because if they do, Johan Franzen needs to be on the top of it…

  42. Kris: No divers list, they just allow certain players to play like thugs as they have no skill, Pronger leads that celebrated bunch.

  43. Guess Chelios will be in the hand shake line at least, huh?

    Gutless *bleep* …

  44. Kris: Get the sleep out of your eyes, he could not have been more ineffective in this series. Hey, could you post a Duck eulogy while you’re here?

  45. Holmstrom? One elbow and the guy’s a target. Yeah, that guy is soft, doesn’t take any abuse. Maybe he should pull down his socks and show you his shins which probably have permanent stick marks on them. As for diving, the Wings, if they dive, dive smart. They always have the puck, so why not just fall and get right back up? I saw three Ducks in the last two games lie on the ice then play the next shift.

  46. Has nothing to do with the elbow.

    Look, I get that he takes abuse. But NOTHING like the abuse he would have seen before the lockout. I’m not even saying he’s not tough- a “thug” has to be tough. The problem I have with Holmstrom- besides the fact that he’s a Wing- is he cheats. His posisitioning is illegal- and I believe a few people on this board have expressed their desire to see the game called more to the letter- and he gets away with it because he’s a Wing. He interferes with the goalie time and time again and there is nothing called. If the league wants to let that play go, change the damn rules already.

    The elbow is just gravy… And I think Pronger’s dirty too.

    No eugoly as I hate the Ducks, too. Lesser of two evils in this case. The Chelios comment had nothing to to with his (lack of) play; but the oft mentioned classless act of refusing to shake hands with the opposistion when they lose a series.

    Obviously my predictions took a beating. So I’m gonna say Wings-Canes in the Final now…

  47. W O W

    I saw thugs and I saw dives in the west tonight… and they lost. Lick it, Pronger.

    That second period was the most fun I have had watching hockey on TV in a long time….

  48. What no one mentions is that any other player in the league has the right to go to the same spots Holmstrom does to make his living—they just lack the balls to take that abuse. Saying his positioning is illegal is subjective.

    All of his cups and all of his playoff appearances will be easy to remember in retirement when he’s limping around for the rest of his life. The physical pounding he takes night in and night out is insane. Anyone has the right to take that abuse, if they choose, that shouldn’t be forgotten.

  49. I forget what player it was but whenever he played someone that liked to sit in front of the crease he used to play with a short stick so he could constantly butt end the player in the ribs.

    Anyways, as far as rules it is time for the NHL to put durability standards in place for sticks. I have seen way way too many brake in these playoffs. It wouldn’t really bother me if it only hurt the player using the stick but these things have gotten so fragile that if the defender hits the the other player’s stick wrong it breaks and then the person gets a slashing call.

  50. I agree Mathew – way too many broken sticks. And the defenders can use them to block shooting lanes. They move the stick pieces around on the ice like chess pieces.

  51. Mark from Hockeytown is pumped that his beloved Red Wings have eliminated the Ducks from the postseasom, whom he hates with a passion. (I think)

  52. Matt: Don’t let anyone ever tell you your stupid. I’m guessing you hear it a lot, just don’t internalize it. It’s all about you.

  53. I was just commenting on how happy you must be that Detroit is advancing, especially against Anaheim since you don’t like them. Haha, that’s all I was saying, man.

  54. In related news, Toronto fans are disappointed the Leafs missed the playoffs.

    (????)

  55. What was that business on the dot in the Ducks/Wings game 7? I thought if there were two infractions on the faceoff (by the same team) it was a penalty. Delay of game, right? Did anyone ever explain why the Ducks didn’t get a PP after that? Just curious…

  56. Mark in “Hockeytown” – I couldn’t help but notice, after reading your previous posts, how full of yourself you are. Why do you insult people so readily? There’s something a bit disconcerting about people who live too vicariously through their favorite sports team. And as much as I love the Puck Podcast… get a friggin life.

    Toodles.

  57. Nate (somewhere): Thanks for the psychology session, good stuff.

    I’m off to hook up with 4 of the Wings at local eatery up the street. We do business with many of these guys, that’s why I live and die with them. That’s my “friggin life”, how’s your friggin’ life?

    I saw the face-off infraction where two Wings were tossed and it should of been an automatic penalty. I know Mickey Redmond discussed it while doing the color commentary but I missed the explanation, I’m sure it’s in the game notes somewhere.

  58. So, there’s something wrong here…

    I turned my tv on after I got home from work this afternoon and have been flipping channels since. And there’s no NHL hockey on it.

    This makes me sad…

  59. Kris… You, too? We called the cable company… thought something was broken…

    Come on Sunday!

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