Puck Podcast – September 26th, 2009

On this week’s show we’ll talk about some major news involving the Phoenix Coyotes, we’ll give you plenty of player news including a comeback coming to an end, a couple of players calling it a career, several player signings and some injury news. We’ll also wrap up our division previews with a look at the Southeast Division and we’ll give you our predictions on which teams will make the playoffs this year AND who will win the Stanley Cup. We’ll also read some of your posts and e-mails and a whole lot more.

MP3 File

You’ve heard our picks for which teams will make the playoffs, and you’ve heard our picks for who will win the Stanley Cup. What do you think? Post your playoff and Stanley Cup predictions here and we’ll see how you do.

About Doug Stolhand 27035 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.

25 Comments

  1. Playoffs, in order of seeding:
    East
    Capitals
    Bruins
    Penguins
    Flyers
    Hurricanes
    Rangers
    Canadiens
    Maple Leafs

    West
    Sharks
    Blackhawks
    Canucks
    Red Wings
    Ducks
    Flames
    Blue Jackets
    Kings

    Stanley Cup Finals
    Hawks over Penguins, 4-2

    I really feel like this is Chicago’s year, as long as Hossa comes back by December and can get into a groove with his teammates by mid-season. If not, maybe it’s the Pens’ time once again, as much as it pains me to say that.

    On a sidenote, still looking for some more managers for a H2H Yahoo fantasy league. I’m open to adding between 7-11 more guys between now and our draft on Wednesday, so if you want to join with a bunch of your friends now’s the time to do it. Unique scoring, divisonal rankings w/ playoffs (using the old-school NHL divison names), and overall just a competitve but fun enviorment. And there’s no more knowledgable hockey fans on the ‘net than PP listeners, those are the kind of guys I want in my league. Our live draft will be right on the eve of the regular season, wednesday at 10:30 pm est, so it’ll be a great way to get psyched for it as well.

    Just shoot me an e-mail if you’re interested, iidxias@tmail.com, and I’ll get you an invite ASAP.

  2. Just as a reminder and for the record, here are our playoff & Stanley Cup Predictions:

    Doug:

    Western Conference:
    1. San Jose
    2. Vancouver
    3. Detroit
    4. Calgary
    5. Anaheim
    6. Chicago
    7. Columbus
    8. Dallas

    Eastern Conference:
    1. Washington
    2. Philadelphia
    3. Boston
    4. Pittsburgh
    5. Carolina
    6. New Jersey
    7. Montreal
    8. NY Rangers

    Stanley Cup Finals: Vancouver over Philadelphia

    Eddie:

    Western Conference:
    1. Chicago
    2. San Jose
    3. Vancouver
    4. Detroit
    5. Calgary
    6. St. Louis
    7. Columbus
    8. Anaheim

    Eastern Conference:
    1. Boston
    2. Washington
    3. Philadelphia
    4. Pittsburgh
    5. Carolina
    6. NY Rangers
    7. Montreal
    8. Buffalo

    Stanley Cup Finals: Washington over Chicago

  3. Okay, here we go. Listed in seeding order.

    WEST
    ———-
    San Jose
    Detroit
    Vancouver
    Calgary
    Chicago
    Anaheim
    Dallas
    Columbus
    (St. Louis)

    EAST
    ———–
    Pittsburgh*
    Boston
    Washington
    Philly
    Carolina
    New Jersey
    Buffalo
    Florida
    (NY Rangers)

    *= President’s Trophy
    (9th Place Team)- They’ll make the playoffs if someone above has a disasterous season of injuries, like last year’s Stars.

    I think Detroit has the experience to get out of the gate well and get well ahead of a shaky Chicago team playing without it’s superstar pickup until Christmas. Vancouver and Calagary will battle for the Northwest title, with the loser getting a ton of points within their division because it’s HORRIBLE. Kings will be in the hunt until their goaltending let’s them down with about a month to go. Phoenix will flirt with establishing the worst 82 game schedule record in history.

    Pittsburgh’s experience, talent, goaltending and a full season under Bylsma will lead them to the best overall record. I’m not buying Ray Emery to take Philly farther than 4th, and I’m nervous placing them there. Carolina, Jersey and Buffalo ride their goaltenders into secure spots and Florida’s annual late season spot gets them in with a few games to spare. Montreal will be in a media/fan lead assualt by the Olympic break and not be a contender all year. Tampa Bay finishes last in the conference.

    Boston wins the Stanley Cup over Vancouver, breaking the heart of The Great White North…

  4. I think that it is silly to get upset at Gretzky over how much he was paid to coach. I likewise think that it is silly to get upset at players for taking outrageous contracts.

    Agent: “Hey John you know that outrageous contract we pitched? The idiots actually agreed to the amount.”

    Player John: “What? I’m not worth that much. You go back to those bastards and tell them to consider dropping the price. If they absolutely refuse to take me for less, tell them I am willing to throw in a no-trade clause to sour the deal.”

    When a person is overpaid for their job you have to blame the people that hired the person not the person being hired.

  5. Okay Doug, you’re going to have to post some video of your stand up. You have to have at least ONE VHS cassette stashed away somewhere, right? Don’t be ashamed of the mullet and nausea-inducing, neon-colored “Hammer” pants, I’m sure your loyal listeners won’t hold it against you. C’mon, give us loyal listeners a few more free laughs!

    Anyways, here goes my picks for the season, “girlfriend styley”

    WEST

    1 Canucks -My new girlfriend, too hot and smart to ignore.
    2 Sharks -My wife, a cruel tease who never gives it up.
    3 Red Wings -Hot soccer mom but currently in a depression.
    4 Ducks – My wife’s worst enemy, hot but certain death.
    5 Blackhawks – Potential tweeker, missing teeth (try to avoid)
    6 Flames – Two words: rough sex!
    7 Blues – Ugly up front but a crazy back end.
    8 Kings – Hot temp today, director of operations tomorrow.

    EAST

    1 Flyers – The mobster’s daughter, you HAVE to like her.
    2 Bruins – Blue collar but Harvard-bound, hitch your wagon.
    3 Capitals – The Russian princess, beautiful until she smiles.
    4 Penguins – Party girl, crazy talent but too tired.
    5 Canes – Retarded cheerleader, can’t remember her name.
    6 Habs – Trop petit pour le prendre. Pouvons-nous seulement parler?
    8 Rangers – Smartest girl who never shows up for school.

    STANLEY CUP FINAL

    Canucks over the Bruins

  6. Just a thought about the whole Pascal Morency situation: he was coming on to the ice as a sub at the time, so he wasn’t really “leaving the bench” in the way that we normally think of it, where a 6th player jumps onto the ice. I’m not really sure what the rules are, but in my eyes what he did was not as bad as people are making it out to be.

  7. Also, I just wanted to mention that the way the European soccer leagues (try to stay awake, Doug) is that they all take a break on certain weekends, when there are scheduled international games. It would be like, in football, if the NFL took a break for a week and all the players played in international games. I would suggest that the NHL should take a break for the duration of the Olympics (or at least the hockey competition) so that everyone can go play and the teams don’t get screwed over. I realize that this would make an already long season even longer, but I don’t know if that’s too much of a problem to have every four years. Or, the league could just do some “creative scheduling” and have each team play slightly more often in order to still have roughly the same start and end date.

  8. Once I got over my initial surprise after hearing my post read by Eddie on the podcast this week, a kind of horror set in. I was kind of rough on old Gretz’s handling of his situation with the Coyotes, but it sounded a whole lot worse when Eddie read it than what I intended when I wrote it. It sounded like I was calling Gretzky’s entire career into question, which was not my intention and I think you guys took it to mean that I was saying his playing career was tarnished because of his less than stellar tenure as coach in Phoenix.

    Again, that was not my meaning. What I should have made more clear was that, in my opinion, his character has been called into question a bit by his invisibility since the end of last season. As coach of the Coyotes now, NOT his days as a player. It looked a lot to me like it was more a financial matter to him and nothing more. Like Doug said, people would have lined up to slap him on the back if he had showed up the first day of camp, announced that he was still the coach and it was his team. I would have admired him for that. Instead, he seemed to pull a Dany Heatly disappearing act.

    And Mathew, I’m not angry with Gretzky for taking 8.5 million dollars a year for the last 4 years while his team never made the playoffs. That’s between him and Jerry Moyes, I could care less. What I don’t find silly about it is that he could take a salary like that, fail on every level of his job, and then paint himself like he’s the victim here. As Doug would say, give me a break.

  9. While I agree that Wayne should have showed up for work he was eventually being told, “Look we are going to fire you we just have to wait until the judge makes his ruling so we can figure out which one of us is going to do it.”

    I would have went to the GM too and said, “Dude just fire me now.”

  10. If you’re the coach, you show up for work. It’s really pretty simple. I don’t care what the circumstances are. You think Scotty Bowman would have let someone dictate what he could or could not do with his team? Sometimes you have to grow a set and put your head down and just keep going.

  11. I think the Canadian media have been the ones who have painted him as a “victim”, and for his part, he’s behaved like one. It’s almost farcical. To hear them talk about it you would think he won a couple of Stanley Cups with the Coyotes over the last few years.

  12. With regards to the national media I don’t recall there being a large stink made when Peter Laviolette was fired in Carolina, not too many people were claiming that Ron Wilson got jobbed when he was fired in San Jose and I don’t think there was so much as a peep made in the press when Dave Tippett was fired in Dallas. Why not? All three had great success with their teams – hell Laviolette won a Stanley Cup! Did they not “put their heart and soul” into coaching their teams like Gretzky is said to have done? Should they have been excused from any responsibility for their teams failures on and off the ice?

    This isn’t little league and there are no points for trying. The only thing that matters for coaches is how many games did you win and how deep did you get in the playoffs and when you look at Gretzky’s record it speaks for itself – he was a failure as the Coyotes head coach. Yet to see most NHL media reports accounts of Gretzky stepping down as head coach this was a man who was being treated unfairly. By whom? How? He stunk as a head coach and he didn’t exactly have the Midas touch when it came to hiring front office personnell nor drafting talented players.

    With regards to his part-ownership in the team, I would use the same argument that Ronald Reagan used in 1980 to defeat Jimmy Carter – are the Coyotes in better shape today, either on or off the ice, than they were four years ago? I think everyone would agree that they are not so what, exactly, did Gretzky bring to this team? What will his legacy with the Coyotes be?

  13. Whoever cleaned up my predictions post, thank you! I don’t look like such an idiot anymore.

    Indeed, the Canadian media coverage I have witnessed regarding Gretzky’s situation does indeed portray him in a positive light. Bob McKenzie(from TSN) was featured on NHL Live yesterday and was apologizing so hard I thought maybe Gretz had murdered someone. He brought up Gretzky’s record at the All-Star Break last season. And points out that Gretzky started out with almost no talent on his roster. McKenzie stressed his work ethic and his superstar presence in the desert. That always smacks to me as someone who is attempting to list all of the good qualities of an individual because his track record is absolutely atrocious!

    Listen to the stats brought up on this week’s ‘Cast. Compare and contrast Gretzky and Tippet. How Gretzky kept his job after being in 5th place before the All-Star break to having to trade away Ollie Joikinen at the deadline because they were sellers should be beyond anyone that posseses common sense. In complete contrast, Tippet had a team that lost it’s Captain, it’s best defensemen and a horrendous start by it’s #1 goalie to stay in the playoff race far longer then they had any “right” to.

    And Tippet is fired, while Gretzky is given the chance to stay through the summer?

    As to why Wilson or Tippet or Laviolette didn’t recieve the same treatment, well, none of them are national heroes. And, frankly, Wilson and Laviolette “deserved” to get fired as they just could not meet expectations again and again. How does anyone in the media look at Gretzky’s track record and portray him as the victim? Especially considering his contract hampered the team’s bottom line.

    (And I do not blame him for taking the cash. I make fun of Jeff Finger’s ridiculous contract all the time, but I am laughing at Leaf’s management for offering that much scratch to a completely inexperienced defensemen. The Kings are guilty of this as well, now, with Scuderi’s insane amount of cash for, in reality, two kick saves in the Finals. But, yes, if someone walks up to me and offers $8.5 million for a job I’ve never done before, I’m signing on the dotted line!)

    I think the media in Phoenix is not so complementary.

    Well, at least they wouldn’t be if they were paying attention.

    Complete topic shift- Eddie, what do you think of the Kings hiring the writer from The Daily News to be thier personal “beat” writer for their website? Management swears he will be objective, but he IS writing for kings.com…

  14. FYI – On the Pens message boards people are complaining to DirectTV and most of them are getting discounts on their Center Ice package.

  15. I’ve complained to DirecTV twice now and I didn’t get a discount! And I’m an automatic renewal early bird subscriber! Bastards!

  16. Alright, time for my predictions:

    West
    1) San Jose Sharks
    2) Calgary Flames
    3) Detroit Red Wings
    4) Chicago Blackhawks
    5) Vancouver Canucks
    6) Anaheim Ducks
    7) St. Louis Blues
    8) Dallas Stars

    Just missing: Columbus Blue Jackets

    East
    1) Boston Bruins
    2) Philadelphia Flyers
    3) Washington Capitals
    4) Pittsburgh Penguins
    5) Carolina Hurricanes
    6) New Jersey Devils
    7) New York Rangers
    8) Tampa Bay Lightning

    Just missing: Buffalo Sabres

    I think that there is not enough credit given to the Tampa Bay Lightning. I realize that they were supposed to bounce back last year and faltered, but this year the team has added Hedman, who I think is one of the few rookies of our time that will make an immediate impact. Plus the addition of Ohlund will really help the back line; he plays an East Coast style of defense that wasn’t recognized in the West. He plays the puck very well and is smart in his own end, having the great knack of getting the puck up to his forwards quickly. I agree with Doug that they need someone else who can play on the top line, so that may be an issue to address mid-season when the team is sure on their current owner.

    I also do not see Montreal being that tough. I think they will finish strong, but will come up short due to a debauched first half of the season. That many changes cannot make a team have a strong impact early. But Eddie believes in them, so I guess I am probably going to be wrong. Eh, stranger things have happened.

  17. Yeah, but, unfortunately Tampa has no goaltending. Too many good shooters in the East to survive if you don’t have a high-quality netminder…

    Rumor floating around that Gretzky is talking to the Kings about an “Advisor” role.

    Thoughts?

    I think it’s a huge mistake. Terry Murray has got something special here and I think putting Wayne Gretzky anywhere in your building will undermine his authority. Even if he is only involved in off ice non-player activities- like what Luc does- it’s still a distraction at this point for such a new coach. Because of Wayne’s head coaching history, I think there will be whispers whenever Murray “falters,” even taking into account Gretz’s horrible coaching record.

    Keep him outta the building, Dino!!

  18. Kris- I feel that Smith has not been given enough of a chance yet. He was on an atrocious defensive team last year, and still posted decent numbers. Look at Washington – last season they toggled between Brent Johnson and Jose Theodore for most of the season, and those guys are horrid! This year will be his to prove.

  19. True that an offer sheet precludes a trade, but if Toronto signs him to an offer sheet, nothing stops Boston from matching the offer (or whatever accepting the offer is called) and flipping Kessel to Nashville for 2 first rounders or more.

    I agree that Boston must not think much of the guy to not make room.

  20. Jeff- Brett Johnson was good. Jose “Secretary Of Suck” Theosuck… Well, sucked. And the Caps have mutiples of offensive talent more than TB right now- at least until Stamkos finds his groove. I like Smith, too, but until his head is okay again and proves it, I’m not convinced. They’re gonna be better, sure, but they’re not claiming a top eight spot. 😉

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