Puck Podcast – October 18th, 2008

This week on the Puck Podcast we discuss the tragic death of an NHL prospect as well as the shocking firing of an NHL head coach. We also talk with NY Post writer Larry Brooks about the Rangers season so far, we talk about the new big rivalry in the NHL, we throw a Michigan football player into the penalty box and there’s been another Cuba Gooding, Jr. sighting in the NHL. All that plus a complete report on all 30 teams plus your e-mails and a whole lot more.

MP3 File

Savard Fired

About Doug Stolhand 27042 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. Love the show, but I hate the new format. Almost unlinstenable-a dreary slog through the league. Very much preferred the shorter, weekly time-line format. Haven’t gotten more than a couple minutes into the last two podcasts before bailing out. Please revert to old format.

  2. In regards to the Malkin Ovechkin situation… No one really knows why Ovechkin started taking runs at Malkin last season. One thing that I do know is that there were (unverified) reports that Ovechkin punched Malkin’s agent. It was after that event that we started seeing Ovy target Malkin. A bit of a tinfoil hat explanation but I just thought I would share. Here is a link.


  3. I forgot to add that Ovechin himself denies that the incident itself occurred and there isn’t a whole lot of reason to disbelieve him. Either way it does seem like Ovy wants Malkin to drop the gloves and I am not sure why.

  4. Skip,

    Doug and I recognize that the show still needs to be tweaked to make us happy which we hope will in turn make everyone else happy. However, we still put a lot of time and effort into that “unlistenable dreary slog” through the league in the first period so while we very much want feedback, especially from people who have constructive criticism, those comments are not appreciated by me.

  5. As far as format… What I do miss is some of the back and fourth debate about games. I can go to the web to find game scores and information and I can listen to other podcasts if I just want opinions but it was (or is) your ability to mix news and with personal opinions that I truly like. The new format eliminates some of the discussions that you used to have that I enjoyed.

    I wouldn’t recommend a commentary on every game because as the one poster stated it is already a very long section but if you can find a happy medium I do think that it would break up some of the constant onslaught of information.

    I liked the “hot and not” from last week but I agree that if you have to cut something for the sake of time that would be the most logical choice.

    I guess what all this comes down to is “what can I get from your show that I can’t get from somewhere else”.

  6. Mathew,
    You will be happy to know, then, that Eddie and I are going to try to add more “back and forth debate” to the show beginning this week. Please take a listen and let us know what you think with a post next week.


  7. I have to agree. When I was listening to the podcast where you started to explain the plan, I was thinking you were going to highlight one or two teams per week. When you said all 30, I wondered how it would fit time-wise. Perhaps combining short summaries with more updates on the blogs might make more time for debate and talk that the show has offered.

  8. Hey guys, thought I would put in my two cents on the format after listening to two shows.

    First off, I will suggest that if you keep this format of team by team, keep the line up the same. As in, don’t start with one team one week, and another team the following week. Reason for that is, for those who find the show long (not everyone has 2 hours on their hands… heck, it takes me 2-3 days to listen to the show) they can forward to their team, and move on. Knowing where their team is in the line up all the time would make that option easier.

    Second, I like the weekly game report myself. It had a much better flow. How about doing the games, then touching on each team record of the week, their position in the standings, and new and notes. Just a thought.

    On the good side, you guys seem to be getting more interviews done, and I think those are awesome, even when they are of guys whose team I don’t like 😉

    On a totally different note here. What’s the deal with the continued “The West is much better then the East” talk? You keep saying things like the West is in a different league, and the East is a minor league to the West. Yes, Detroit has a ton of talent. Yes, San Jose is a very talented team. Anaheim? *sniker* come back to me when they don’t get outshot 28-4 in two periods against Toronto. The rest of the West’s top teams are good teams, but nothing over the top. In the East, you have the hardest working team in Buffalo, you have the best one-two punch in Pittsburgh with Crosby-Malkin, you have Montreal who is arguably one of if not the deepest team in the league.

    I’m not trying to say that the East is better, I’m just getting tired of listening to every western fan go on about it because they hear still a few reporters say so.

    Anyway keep up the good work guys…. and Eddie, I hope you’re enjoying your Kings being higher in the standings then Doug’s Ducks. I smile every time I see that (I like the Kings… up there with Edmonton after my Canadiens)

  9. I would have to agree that the new format is a little long. Not necessarily too long time-wise, but long as in the first period is very hard to listen to and makes the show seem long.

    When there is so much information people can’t remember any of it. If you only go over key news, with back-and-forth talk, it is much easier to remember.

    I actually don’t care about hearing news from my own team because I follow them already. I like to hear news from the rest of the league. But to hear details from every game, every team, is so much info that at the end of the first period, I don’t remember what was important.

    By the way, the second period and third period still rock.

  10. “I’m not trying to say that the East is better, I’m just getting tired of listening to every western fan go on about it because they hear still a few reporters say so.”

    In 2005-06, the West went 79-52-19 (0.590) vs. the East; the East went 71-62-17 (0.530) vs. the West.
    In 2006-07, the West went 82-48-20 (0.613) vs. the East; the East went 68-63-19 (0.517) vs. the West.
    In 2007-08, the West went 83-53-14 (0.600) vs. the East; the East went 67-67-16 (0.500) vs. the West.
    In 2008-09, the West has gone 14-10-0 (0.583) vs. the East; the East has gone 10-8-6 (0.542) vs. the West.
    In 474 total games since the lockout, the West has gone 258-163-53 (0.600) vs. the East; the East has gone 216-200-58 (0.517) vs. the West.

    The records, all culled from NHL.com, very clearly show the difference. Note that the East has actually gotten worse versus the West every full year so far, relative abilities to gain “third” points notwithstanding (if we consider just wins and losses, we see a 258-216 advantage to the West, or percentages of 0.544 vs. 0.456). Furthermore, consider where all the best defencemen, defensive and two-way forwards, and goaltenders play: out West. There’s less scoring, but better overall records, because of that. Also, consider that the East’s three straight Cups (’03, ’04, ’06) were all narrow victories over plucky low seeds, while the last two Western cups (’07, ’08) were pretty dominant performances against previously-solid high seeds.

    There’s a very good reason everyone says the West is better than the East: it’s true.

  11. Jean-Francois & Jason,
    I’ll save my comments on whether the East is better than the West for the show. If anyone else has comments, though, please add them here and we’ll read the best of them on the show this week.


  12. I like the new format and the run through of all the teams. If you don’t like a portion, please just skip it. I don’t mind the puckpodcast taking a long time. I have all week to listen. I find it very difficult to find quality information on all teams and players.

    Keep up the good work.

  13. What’s with the Dallas Stars? I’m on the east coast, so the only familiarity I have with them is watching On the Fly. Still, I was under the impression that they are a good defensive team. After losing to the Devils earlier tonight (my only real sample), I believe they are competing with the Flyers and Canucks for most goals against. Is this attributed to Turco’s sub-par play or the that of the blueline’s?

    P.S. Come to think of it, the Pacific teams that are not San Jose have surprised me so far.

  14. “Also, consider that the East’s three straight Cups (’03, ‘04, ‘06) were all narrow victories over plucky low seeds”

    So, how good are your top seeds if a plucky low seed can beat them? And if the low seeds are not any good, that means the west is top heavy?

    And that’s exactly what it is. The West for a long time has had the best 2-3 teams, which tips the scale into the West’s favour. Even looking back to the start of the century, it was Colorado, Detroit, and Dallas that were the teams to beat. Now you have Detroit and San Jose (and Anaheim, if you still want to put them in there now). I wonder what those records you posted would be if you removed the top three teams from each conference.

    Again, I’m not saying the East is better, but that there is no respect for the East is ludicrous.

    “Furthermore, consider where all the best defencemen, defensive and two-way forwards, and goaltenders play: out West.”

    All the best defensemen in the West? Okay, lets take a look at stats all from the NHL.com site. Take a full season’s worth of stats, so lets go to last season. Hits: Komisarek, Orpik, and Chara are 1-2-3, and all from the East. Blocked Shots: Komisarek, Volchenkov, Smith, Hamrlik 1-2-3-4, all from the East. Goals: Green, Phaneuf, Chara, Markov. 1-3-4 from the East. Assists… 1-2 goes to the West. +/-: 1-2-3 is West as well.

    And once more, I’m not saying the East is better, but to say that ALL the best defensemen are in the West is far fetched. There are lots of top flight defensemen in the East.

  15. Oh, I forgot about goalies….

    The West plays a defensive style compared to the more free wheeling style of the east. Of course GAAs are going to be better in the West. But last year, 6 of the top 8 SPCT leaders were eastern goalies.

    Oh, and maybe you forgot about the best goalie in the league plays in the East: Martin Brodeur…. you might have heard of him 🙂

    Speaking of Brodeur, I think the shutout record is even more impressive then the win record. Back in the day when a goalie could easily pick up 20 in a season, who would have thought that record would fall?

    But really though, even if I’ll enjoy seeing the records fall (and yes, I am a huge Patrick Roy fan, so it’s a bitter sweet one for the wins) is New Jersey’s coaching staff stupid? Weekes is not a bad goaltender, so why is Brodeur once again playing every game? They have two games against the Islanders. Did they really need Marty in there for both? He going to play 78 games again this year, hit the wall, and NJ will be a first round exit regardless of who they play. Those guys are pure morons… especially when they have a quality backup in Weekes.

  16. “All the best defensemen in the West?”

    I knew as soon as I saw this you’d nail me on it. Fair enough; I mean to write “most of the best”, and I didn’t. My mistake. However, using Hits and Points as gauges of good defencemen is not valid. They *look* good, sure, and they can be part of the toolset of a good defenceman, but Paul Coffey set a bunch of scoring records, and no one ever confused him with a good defender. Besides, the fact that the West is the lower-scoring conference immediately excludes most of their best offensive defencemen from the overall offensive standings. Anyway, I’m thinking of the guys you send out against the best scorers in the League — the Iginlas, the Thorntons, the Crosbys, whomever — in the last minute with the net empty at the other end. Some of those guys, yes. Brooks Orpik? No. Jason Smith? It kills me to say this about a guy like Gator, but not anymore, no. Plus, just look at who the perpetual candidates for the Norris have been for the last half-dozen years: Lidstrom, Pronger, Niedermayer, Zubov, Chara. Four of the five come from the East, and now that Phaneuf has somehow wrangled his way into the conversation, make it 5/6.

    As for the bit about the West having the top two or three teams tipping the scale, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Other than the flat-out terrible teams, most of the Western Conference had winning records against the East, at least in the work I did in putting those stats together.

    I’ve heard of Brodeur, Mr. Smarty Pants. 😉 Have you heard of Roberto Luongo, Miikka Kiprusoff (first month of any season notwithstanding), Christobal Huet, Evgeni Nabokov, Jean-Sebastien Giguere, and Marty Turco? Again, not all, but most of the NHL’s best goalies are in the West.

  17. I don’t think that you can say that the West is better than the East or vice versa but without a doubt there are more competitive divisions. The Southeast division is a joke. You can’t tell me that the Caps, Canes, Panthers, Thrashers, and Lightening are as competitive as the Atlantic Division with the Penguins, Devils, Rangers, Flyers, and Islanders. Yes the Red Wings are an amazing team but having a division where your rivalries are the Preds, Blackhawks, Blue Jackets, and Blues certainly makes things a lot easier.

    People will argue about and compare the Wings, Sharks, Pens, Rags, and Habs but in all honesty for overall balance of solid teams the best division is the Northwest. In the Northwest potentially any one of those teams could win the division by the end of the season. No one honestly believes other than die-hard fans that the Kings, Blues, Leafs, or Islanders have a shot at the division title.

  18. Also, I’m very curious if Eddie and Doug have a comment on the whole Oilers v. Dave Berry controversy that seems to have the entire blogosphere wringing its hands (Andy Grabia’s listing of responses is up to about 75 now). I figure they have a bit of a unique perspective as “New Media” with press accreditations.

  19. “Miikka Kiprusoff”

    Hehehe. You said Kiprusoff… 🙂 I’m sorry, but while I’ve liked Kip, he’s no longer a top tier goalie. His game has been going downhill ever since he took the Flames to the Finals. It’s not just his first months either, last season he had a save percentage of .906 for the year. So far this season, it’s .880. Brutal!

    I think goaltending is good in both conferences. In the East, you have Brodeur, Miller, Lunqvist, Price, Fleury, Vokoun, Toskala….. no, seriously, I’m kidding about Toskala… just making sure you were paying attention 🙂

    “there are more competitive divisions”

    That I agree.

  20. I don’t see why people think the Wild are going to trade Gaborik now. Unless you think that he is going to cause problems in the locker room Hossa has proven that if you wait till the trade deadline to make a deal you can get so much more.

    Who knows maybe they will trade him early but I think that his stock will be worth more at the trade deadline esp. if he stays healthy for a few months.

  21. You joke about Toskala, but watch the guy play… He REALLY IS one of the best goalies in the East. Outstanding goalie.

  22. Ahead of who? Toskala is good goalie, but far from being a great goalie. And I’ve seen him play, HNIC likes to shove Maple Leafs hockey down our throats every Saturday, even when there’s better hockey to watch with Ottawa and Montreal.

Comments are closed.