Puck Podcast – October 17, 2009

On this week's show we'll talk about an amazing comeback as well as all the big hits, goals, fights and saves from the past week in the NHL. Doug will discuss his trip to Phoenix for the Coyotes home opener and we'll read your e-mails and posts and a whole lot more.

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About Doug Stolhand 26990 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.

37 Comments

  1. Hey Matt, I’ve been considering grabbing this as a service. You’ve mentioned the pros, but are there any cons? Any info on it would be appreciated.

  2. I’ve had very good success so far…on busy nights (Saturday) the service can get a little slammed…I often watch the archive of the game, which they post 20-30 minutes after the game. By watching it this way, I can fast forward through all the commercials and period breaks and just watch hockey.

    Worth every penny to me, especially with all the challenges of trying to get Blackhawks games…I live in the blackout area, but my WGN telecast is the national one and not the local one from Chicagoland, Versus and Direct TV is a mess…. Cable companies are the only ones keeping the blackout stuff in play…they won’t have a business model in a few years like newspapers are struggling with now. I hope they take a lesson from the music industry from a decade ago with Napster and embrace this technology, or they’re going to experience the same challenges that the publishing industry is going through now…

  3. The Florida Panthers also had a “Win Or It’s Free” promotion. Either last season or the season before, the Panthers 4 Game Pack featured the caveat that any loss (of the FOUR) qualified you for another game ticket for free!

  4. I agree with you guys about retaliation on clean hits. It’s ridiculous. Brian Burke was on Off The Record (sports show on TSN in Canada) a couple of weeks ago defending that, but it’s just got no place in the game. I can remember times when Gretzky would get nailed with a clean check… Everyone would look to Semenko to see what he was going to do… He’d just stand there with a look on his face like, “You should have kept your head up!” There really needs to be greater punishment for that kind of thing.

    As for the 2 minute vs. 4 minute penalty for high-sticking, you made a good point that maybe this needs to be revisited, but I recall explaining the rule to a girlfriend once. I explained that it’s two minutes for hitting a guy with your stick, but four if there’s blood drawn. I stopped and said, “What a great game! A real man’s sport!”

    As much as I hate to admit it, Chicago is a great team. They play a lot like the Oilers in the ’80s. It’s really too bad that the cap is going to force them to give up their core, resulting in a weaker team beginning next season. Oh well. That’s Bettman’s dream of “equal mediocrity” — oops, I mean “parity” — in the NHL.

  5. So, with apologies to Doug and pundits at The Hockey News and TSN, I was never buying the Canucks as serious Cup contenders. I think they will make the playoffs, but I think there are three reasons that they will not win the Division, recieve a low seed in the playoffs and lose the first round without the home ice advantage:

    1) Vancouver has shown a complete inability to string together back-to-back successful seasons in recent years. They will win the division for a season and a round in the playoffs (or at least bring the first round to game seven); the next season they fail to qualify for the playoffs altogether. Since they won the division last season and destroyed the Blues in round number one… Well, I’ve seen history repeat itself enough…

    2) Luongo never seems to react well under pressure. In relation to the reason above, if your team has a good #1 line (which Van always does with the Cobra Twins) and one of the top five goalies in the league, I think you should be one of the top eight in your conference. But they still missed the playoffs completely in 2008. This season, much is expected of the two teams Luongo will be a part of. The pressure on Team Canada is, of course, well documented and I think it may already be in his head. With such a short try-out, the competition to be the starting goalie in the most important hockey tournament to be held in Canada in, what, two decades, will be played out in the NHL season. With Brodeur’s pedigree and the “heat and hype” surrounding Mason, Luongo may be thinking that he has to be absolutely extraordinary to recieve significant time between the pipes for Team Canada. Luongo has always been considered a World-Class goalie, but much of his statistical success was garnered in Fla, where he had no pressure to win. So far in Vancouver, though he has been fantastic at times, he also has not delievered in the clutch situations as often as he has failed (think of Marty Turco for so many seasons). So far this season(and it’s early), he’s failing to meet the expectations surrounding Team Canada and the Canucks.

    3) With the preperation for the Olympics and the time needed to refurbish GM Place, no Canuck (save for those playing in the Games) will set foot in their home arena, or their home clubhouse, for nearly a month. While teams in the league will play two weeks on the road, the Canucks’ two weeks of NHL games are spread out over four. If I was Canucks management, which I am not, I would find ANY way to get the team together for some scrimmages in the arena. I think the sense of familiarity will go a long way towards having a successful road trip. If they do not perform well on the trip (especially now with the bad start to the season), they will struggle to even make the playoffs.

    Let me be clear, I think the Canucks will make the playoffs (ggrrrr), but I think they are going to be in the bottom half of the qualifing teams. And I don’t think Luongo had anything to prove regarding his posistion to Team Canada. I believe he should be the primary starter during Round Robin play and only if he falters would I replace him as the #1. The #2 reason above has to do with what I believe Luongo may be thinking.

    As I listened to and read so many pundits believing the Canucks were poised to make a serious run at Lord Stanley, I just kept coming back to the reasoning above as a serious counter-point.

  6. Hey guys, if the Wild continue to struggle I was wondering if you could try and get the Wild beat writer on again to maybe give some insight to what the team is doing to fix the situation.

  7. Loved the father-son story about living under the same roof and liking rival teams. I grew up on Long Island in the ’70s and ’80s, and both my parents – along with all of my friends – were rabid Islanders’ fans. I can’t say exactly why, but I’ve always loved the NY Rangers. Things could get pretty heated,ha ha, especially when the Rangers played the Islanders, and this was during the Islanders’ heyday. I think sometimes my mother just wished hockey would go away, lol – I think she got tired of the constant bickering between my dad and me. Anyway, we grew to grudgingly appreciate one another’s teams, and my dad was genuinely happy for me when the Rangers won the Cup in ’94. My point? I guess I don’t have any ha ha. I suppose it’s just proof that sometimes, regardless of who your family and friends root for, you just like another team.

  8. Hey Mathew,
    Heard Wild GM Chuck Fletcher on Hockey Central yesterday and was amazed to hear him say that until this season, there had been no pre-season testing whatsoever of the Wild’s players. No endurance testing, no strength or condition testing…nothing. I found that kind of shocking, as did the Hockey Central guys.

    I think he’s going to be a good GM and the team will right itself. Remember, they’re playing a completely different system this year, and that’s going to take some time to implement. And while I’m talking about Hockey Central and the Fan 590 radio in Toronto, can’t they leave the damn Leafs alone for one day?! They’re only 7 games into the season! The chatter over the Leafs is just endless and has gone way past the point of ridiculousness already. God help Kessel when he comes back – I hope he can handle that kind of pressure.

  9. Has anyone else noticed that NHL Live on Home Ice (and the NHL Network) has become “Rangers Talk?”

    And without pre-season testing/cconditioning, is it a possible explanation to the Gaborik mess in MN?

  10. Well the NHL network is based out of New York city so that is probably why there is all of the Rangers talk. Sort of like why the NHL in Canada talks about the Leafs 90% of the time.

  11. Ah fellas, I think the Rangers success so far is the reason they’re being talked about so much, which is also kind of silly since we’re only about 10 games into the season. Also, New York is the biggest media market in the country, so….that’s why.

    Kris, your comment on Minnesota’s lack of strength and conditioning tests in the pre-season was exactly what I thought when I heard what GM Chuck Fletcher said. And they were discussing groin injuries in particular. Perhaps if they had an actual conditioning program in place there, Gaborik wouldn’t have missed all those games during his time in MN.

  12. Of course the Ranger’s season thus far and market are contributing factors to the amount of discussion. It is more than that though… The Flyers are also another big market team but if they were 7-1 you wouldn’t see quite as much chatter.

  13. But remember that NHL Live is a NATIONAL satellite show that is supposed to cover the League. And the guests, hosts and commentators do indeed vary the subject matter. What I was remarking on was the fact that it SEEMS like %85 of the callers are asking about the Rangers. “Hey, why isn’t Dubinsky the #1 player in the league? He’s better than Ovie” and the ubiquiotus “Umm, why don’t the Rags get Sauer and Arnason and a draft pick and trade ’em for Crosby and Malkin? The Pens would totally do that!” seem to dominate the call-in discussions. I was just curious as to how that came about as the entire time-zone is listening at the same time…

  14. I hate call-in shows. Really. The bit of dialogue you just described is why I hate them. Look, I listen to Hockey Central from Canada and have to listen to them endlessly bicker about what is wrong with the Leafs this season. Answer? Everything. ha ha They talked about that stupid dodgeball practice the Leafs had for most of the week. Who cares?! To be fair, they have been covering the Sens, Canucks and Flames as well, which they should because they’re doing a hell of a lot better than the Leafs. But, Toronto has insane fans and so does New York – they’re more vocal and they come from a huge market. Get used to it. They could put chimps out there on the ice in either of those cities and every game would still be a sell-out. The Flyers? Well, everyone hates the F-ers, that’s why we don’t talk about them. 😉

  15. That chimps on ice comment is going to come back to haunt me, I know it – especially with all the Rangers-haters here. 😉 I just wanted to add that there are probably legitimate reasons why say, Atlanta or Columbus or LA or even Dallas are not big topics on the national sports shows. They’re not big hockey markets, the fans don’t have the same rabid (over)interest in their teams, and the teams themselves have not been around long enough to elicit that kind of devotion. That being said, all the more reason to listen to the Puck Podcast. You’re not going to get that kind of overall coverage anywhere else, and I’ve come to appreciate (and started to watch) a lot of teams I would otherwise not even think twice about.

  16. Although the show NHL LIVE, on both the NHL Network and NHL Home Ice channel, is broadcast out of the NHL store in New York City, I believe both networks are based and operated out of Toronto.

  17. They are, but the show has hardly any Leafs talk compared to Rangers talk. I know all the reasons, but it still seemed strange to me. Oh well.

    I agree that call-in shows are THE WORST. My buddy and I always turn on Kings Talk on the way home from Staples and I don’t know why we do it. After the opening loss to Phoenix, I told him and his fiance that the first call would be something about trading Quick and would somehow involve the Kings getting either Crosby, Malkin or Ovechkin. Neither thought I was going to be proven right… Until the first call was someone, clearly intoxicated, that came up with some bizarre three way trade that somehow got Quick, Brown or Simmonds and some picks to NY Rangers, Avery and somebody to Pitt, and Crosby to LA. Even Nick Nixon told the caller to sober up and “call back in the middle of the season when [his] head’s on straight.” My friend’s fiance could not believe that I had NAILED it. But, I told her, I speak from experience! It seems that the majority of fans that feel the insatiable need to get their opinions heard are the minority of hockey fans that have NO clue as to how the NHL works…

    Like the Pens fans that thought Lecaviler was going to end up there last year and called NHL Live everyday about it? Ever heard of THE SALARY CAP??!!??

    And on a unrelated topic, where are the Bruins fans out there? How do you feel now that Savard and Lucic are out for up to six weeks (or more) and you have now traded away Kessel and Kobesew. Their 08-09 leading scorer and two of their top four are gone for a reasonable amount of time, if not gone completely. How are the Bruins going to replace 99 goals and 232 points? I know they spread the scoring around last season, with seven 20+ goal scorers, but three of them will not being wearing B’s on thier chest for at least a month. And Lucic had as many points as Kobasew. Especially without their biggest dealer in Savard, I think everyone suffers. To the Boston fans out there, are you worried? Or are you excited to possibly have two picks in the top fifteen (and quite probably a top two! Good job, Burke!)?

  18. Please, please, please, PLEASE STOP PLAYING MIKE LANG!!! He is HORRIBLE!! I cannot stand his tired, contrived, STUPID worthless imitation of Rick Jeanneret anymore!

  19. He isn’t imitating Jeanneret. He has been announcing the exact same way for 35 years. Other than being animated the two have completely different styles. Believe me all that it will take is one time of them playing Steigy and you will want Lange back.

  20. I’m with Kris, you guys play at least one Penguins call every week. It does seem like you guys play a Mike Lange call just to settle a bet. Last week, it was the most mundane call ever, an opening goal by Malkin, not exciting at all… BUT THEN! “get that dog off my lawn?” I’m a guy who finds humor in things that are not funny (it’s the internet’s fault) but that guy does absolutely nothing for me.

  21. My favorite was the time Lang used the Mae West line “Oh, come up and see me sometime”, and Doug sarcastically remarked what a timely reference that was. Classic.

    The guy is horrible. You have to wonder who on earth is renewing his contract over at Penguins radio. I feel my blood pressure go up every time I hear his calls on the Puck Podcast – it’s like, how stupid can he be this time? And he always seems to top himself! ha ha

  22. “Believe me all that it will take is one time of them playing Steigy and you will want Lange back.

    That’s the TV guy, yes? How about we have neither and just have Doug and Eddie describe the play? I can’t stand him and his belief that the opposistion daring to take the ice against Crysby should be an automatic 2 Minute Minor! What a myopic homer!

    “BUT THEN! “get that dog off my lawn?” I’m a guy who finds humor in things that are not funny (it’s the internet’s fault) but that guy does absolutely nothing for me.”

    This is what I mean. I find Jenneret genuinely humorous. And I find him “GENUINE.” I just can’t shake the feeling that Lange is just a big act and he cannot illict a chuckle out of me at all.

    (And I posted this on Eddie’s FB “Hockey Minute” post as well, furthermore stating that the guy in Detroit that hits puberty EVERYTIME a Red Wing scores (along with Lange) makes my ears bleed.)

  23. I’m not a fan of Mike Lange or Rick Jeanerette, but I can at least tolerate Lange.

    This must be hit of the week. Willie Mitchell of the Canucks coming out of the sin bin to absolutely rock Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews. It reminds me of two hits, Darcy Tucking rocking Sami Kapanen into the boards and he fell a few times trying to make it back to the bench and the Brian Campbell hit on RJ Umberger in the playoffs a couple of years ago.

    Toews hit by Mitchell.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMIAWYiQUpM

    I just like seeing these two again and thought you might too!

    Kapanen hit by Darcy Tucker.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_aq3WlwPJM

    Campbell hit on RJ Umberger.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ryeIO36Mqw4

  24. I can’t quite believe this is real, but Mike Lange was actually inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame back in 2001 – he received the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award, given to those in the media who are deemed to have helped the sport. It boggles the mind.

  25. “Helped the sport?” How?

    Well, maybe by allowing fans to appreciate their local announcers more?

  26. I can understand why people that are not Pens fans don’t like Lange. I have been listening to him for so long it would almost be wrong to have him not calling the games. It was strange when he left television. I have his comment at the end of game six “Meet me in the schoolyard for all the marbles on Friday night in Detroit!” as one of my ring tones.

    He is kind of like lutefisk. If you didn’t grow up with it you probably aren’t going to like it but if you did it would be hard imagining Christmas without it.

    My problem with Jeanneret is that the Sabres could be down 4 – 0 in the 3rd and Buffalo could score and the man still has a cow. Yay, you are now 4-1. Good going.

  27. “My problem with Jeanneret is that the Sabres could be down 4 – 0 in the 3rd and Buffalo could score and the man still has a cow. Yay, you are now 4-1. Good going.”

    From what I have HEARD from Lange, he has the same problem. Take Dustin’s point from above. It’s the first goal of the game and he seems to be treating it as if Malcontentkin has just scored the game winner in OT. I’m not really berating his excitement, though it is way over the top and does bother me, but more for the stupid expressions he comes up with that are just not funny.

    Having said that, I do not listen to him as I assume you do, so I will defer to you if you say Lange does not have the same problem of going nuts for what amounts to meaningless goals.

  28. Lange doesn’t really come up with new statements which is why they are so dated. For instance when he says, “Hop in the Cordoba baby were’re going bowling.” He probably coined that phrase when people hoped in Cordoba’s and went bowling. He doesn’t really say them to be comical. Lange has been using the same 10-15 lines since the 70’s.

    The only time he really says a new phrase is when a new player comes along. He is the first person I heard call Malkin “Geno”.

  29. Kris – Ken Kal’s voice does go a little high sometimes… and Paul Woods has a speech impediment (I think) and says “uh” a lot. But I can’t believe what I heard Ken Kal say tonight, because he does not do things like this normally. “He goes coast to coast like buttered toast.” Apparently rhyming trumps all logic and wit.

  30. Kris, regarding your comments on Vancouver, you could be onto something. Case in point – they had the mediocre Wings on the ropes early at home last night (even sending Osgood to the bench in the first period) and still gave up the loss.

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