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RE: General NHL Talk - 3/26/2008 1:18:30 PM   
Jeff Jesser


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I'm talking coming off the bench.  It's not like he skated towards him, took one shot and it was over.  That ass whooping lasted a good 30 seconds.  I'm not at all trying to sound like a bad ass but if I were on the bench you can believe that I would have flow over those boards.  Suspension be damned.  It would be a whole different story if that keeper was trying to defend himself.  He just turtled and Roy didn't let up. 
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RE: General NHL Talk - 3/26/2008 1:49:56 PM   
Jim Frenette


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Jeff Jesser

I'm talking coming off the bench.  It's not like he skated towards him, took one shot and it was over.  That ass whooping lasted a good 30 seconds.  I'm not at all trying to sound like a bad ass but if I were on the bench you can believe that I would have flow over those boards.  Suspension be damned.  It would be a whole different story if that keeper was trying to defend himself.  He just turtled and Roy didn't let up. 


I see now. I guess that would be a good excuse to do that

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RE: General NHL Talk - 3/30/2008 9:45:40 AM   
Jim Frenette


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The Flames lost to the Oilers last night. Now the Wild just need to take care of bussiness at home and they can get the 3 seed. I really don't want the Flames to get the 6th seed either

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Post #: 53
RE: General NHL Talk - 4/5/2008 11:36:39 AM   
So.Mn.Fan


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The NHL NEEDS Ovechkin in the playoffs.
Most dynamic player in the game today.
Skates like the wind, hits like a truck, scores like Gretzky, motor never stops.
Market this guy. And Malkins not far behind. The new NHL, faster, scarier, better.
Post #: 54
RE: General NHL Talk - 5/2/2008 9:34:19 AM   
Jim Frenette


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Watching the Pitt/NY game I became impressed with Crosby and Malkin. Hossa took a hard hit and who goes to his defense? The two stars of the team. Loved seeing them willing to mix it up.

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RE: General NHL Talk - 5/9/2008 5:58:39 PM   
So.Mn.Fan


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Always respected this guy as a coach.
Thought he did a lot with a little there this year (due to injuries)
Who they fill the spot with should get very interesting.
Been some big names in that organization over the years.
They are talking about restoring some of the old ways, we'll see what that means.
 
DENVER -- The Colorado Avalanche say Joel Quenneville is out as coach after three seasons.


Quenneville was 131-92-23 in Denver, but just 2-2 in playoff series after inheriting a team that was on the slide after a decade of dominance in the NHL.


Avalanche general manager Francois Giguere said the decision was mutual.
"After meeting with Joel, we mutually agreed that the best decision for both parties involved is to go separate ways," Giguere said in a team statement.
Giguere doesn't have a timeline for when he'll hire a new coach, but he does have one requirement -- an up-tempo philosophy. He wants the Avalanche to play with more speed.


"We've always been an organization that's been a puck possession, upbeat, high tempo, high energy, attacking [team]," Giguere said. "That's the way the Avalanche have always played and I think that's the way I foresee this team continuing to play."


The Avalanche were hit hard by injuries this season, and it spilled over into the postseason series against the Detroit Red Wings. Peter Forsberg (groin), leading scorer Paul Stastny (knee) and forwards Ryan Smyth (foot) and Wojtek Wolski (ribs) all joined Marek Svatos (knee) on the bench during Detroit's sweep.


Colorado was swept out of the playoffs by Detroit last week, and Giguere faces a huge task this offseason, facing decisions on 13 players who will become unrestricted free agents if they're not re-signed.


Quenneville was an assistant with the Avalanche during their Stanley Cup run in 1996, then was hired away by St. Louis. He spent eight seasons with the Blues, becoming the team's winningest coach with 307 victories. In 2004, Quenneville became the fourth coach in Avalanche history.


"Joel Quenneville has an outstanding reputation in this business," Giguere said. "When I was hired as a GM, I was a big believer in Joel. I still am a big believer in Joel. Sometimes, for whatever reasons, you need to go in separate ways. It doesn't mean you're not a good coach."


Quenneville was a defenseman in the NHL for 13 seasons, including a stint with the former Colorado Rockies. He also played for Capitals, Devils, Maple Leafs and the former Hartford Whalers.


Quenneville coached his 800th game this season, joining Bob Pulford and Jacques Lemaire as the only coaches in NHL history to both play and coach in 800 or more games.
Post #: 56
RE: General NHL Talk - 5/10/2008 6:05:31 PM   
Don T in CO


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One local TV station says that Pat Burns may be coach Q's replacement.

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Post #: 57
RE: General NHL Talk - 5/11/2008 1:05:00 PM   
So.Mn.Fan


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Any feelings on that, Don?
I was thinking they'd look younger/closer to the team/connected/etc than that.
Not that he's not a great coach.
Post #: 58
RE: General NHL Talk - 5/11/2008 9:15:58 PM   
Don T in CO


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Not really, but I am excited to hear that they want to play a more up-tempo / pressure game.

Thoughts on the Wings / Penquins final?

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RE: General NHL Talk - 5/12/2008 9:00:04 AM   
So.Mn.Fan


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Kinda looking that way, eh?
I think both will get stretched out a little yet, I expect Dallas to win 2 games for sure, and Philly at least 1.
But you're right, thats the final.
And what a final it should be.
I really believe the West is Best, by quite a bit, but when you match up, you never know how it will turn out.
Pitt is the only team right now capable of scoring with the Wings.
Out-scoring them? Nope.
But Pitt will win (most of) their home games, so it will go at least 6, hopefully 7.
I'm just bummed hockey is winding down so fast.
Good luck on the new coach there, you should be excited about the re-loading of the roster and a new outlook.
Hope Sakic hooks up a good gig whatever he decides. I was impressed by some of the Avs unknown youngsters, tough and gritty and ready to step in. You've always been willing to spend money there to win now, you should be very happy about that.  
Looks like we'll all be chasing the Wings for awhile. They just keep re-loading as well.   
Post #: 60
RE: General NHL Talk - 5/12/2008 9:53:46 AM   
Don T in CO


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Well, I'm concerned that it might not be a real smooth transition.  It's one thing to say that you want to play up-tempo/pressure hockey, but the Avs (Sakic, Forsberg, Bruno, etc.) don't really have the roster to do that.  And, except for a prospect or two their minor league talent isn't that deep (the Lake Erie Monsters did not have a good season).

OTOH, the front office has shown that they are willing to spend money and go after free agents - so if they can get a young forward or two and a defenseman with a big shot then the Avs might be okay.
Post #: 61
RE: General NHL Talk - 5/13/2008 5:00:58 PM   
So.Mn.Fan


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So much for my Stars hope.
They're done like dinner.
Detroit is smothering in all aspects of the game.
Ron Wilson out as Sharks coach.
Can't change all the players (I guess), is the theory there.
Post #: 62
RE: General NHL Talk - 5/14/2008 9:27:27 AM   
Jeff Jesser


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Yeap, it looks like a Pens/Wings final.  Will be fun.  What is really depressing is that the Pens have built a power house in about 3 years and the Wild seem to be stuck in mediocrity with no end in sight 
Post #: 63
RE: General NHL Talk - 5/14/2008 9:55:11 AM   
So.Mn.Fan


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Interesting talk yesterday about drafting NHL players.
This playoff season,
Philly has gotten 38 goals from 1st-Rd draft picks.
Detroit has gotten 1. Yep, 1 goal.
They listed off the guys, Franzen was a 3rd Rder, all the other "stars" are late picks.
Zetterbug and Datsuyk and Lidstrom are all later-than-3rd-rounders.
The average hockey fan would assume they are loaded with bonus-babies and sure-things. Nope.
That org has great eye for talent.  
Agree as usual, Jeff, we are spinning our wheels, while many clubs are loading up.
Mn deserves a team that can compete for it all.
The state and it's fans have provided everything they have asked for ... patience, loyalty, trust.
Along with great facilities, great attendance, great interest.
Winning the toughest (most-competitive, anyway) division in hockey was a nice bone, now build on it.
Post #: 64
RE: General NHL Talk - 5/14/2008 12:10:25 PM   
Don T in CO


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One of the Denver writers (Adrian Dater) had dinner with Scotty Bowman during the Wings/Avs series and Bowman credited much of the Wings success to a particular scout; the guy who recommended the drafting of several Swedish players.

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RE: General NHL Talk - 5/14/2008 9:30:49 PM   
Tim Cady

 

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Stars just won't die, up 3-1. Can't watch twins tonight.

Looking forward to Pens/Wings finals myself.
Post #: 66
RE: General NHL Talk - 5/17/2008 7:25:01 PM   
So.Mn.Fan


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Huge testicle-check again today by the Stars.
All the pressure shifts to the Wings now. 
(or actually had before todays game)
Fun to see guys with their backs to the wall respond like the true warriors they are.
Glad to see that jackass Holmstrom take a stupid penalty late (punching a guy on the bench) and cost them any chance they had at getting back in the game.
Totally undisciplined.

< Message edited by So.Mn.Fan -- 5/17/2008 7:39:01 PM >
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RE: General NHL Talk - 5/18/2008 8:09:35 PM   
So.Mn.Fan


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Sheesh, Phlyers could have saved the gas money for that trip.
Penguins will be fresh and ready when the Wings finally get thru the Stars.
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the number 33 - 5/19/2008 2:06:43 PM   
Stacey King


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not talking about Don Beaupre but the Stars comeback attempt vs. the Wings


In Stanley Cup playoff history, only two teams have lost a series after leading three games to none. One of them, however, was Detroit against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1942 Stanley Cup Finals - and there is no doubt the Red Wings have been reminded of that fact.

For those who believe in numerology, there is another odd bit of history at play.

The 1975 New York Islanders are the only other team to rally from a three-game deficit - and they just happened to do it 33 years after the Red Wings' collapse. A pattern could be developing - 1942 ... 1975 ... 2008?
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RE: the number 33 - 5/19/2008 8:25:02 PM   
So.Mn.Fan


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Figured that ...
All the Stars did was piss off Detroit.
Its over.
Pens/Wings.
Should be a fun Final.
Post #: 70
RE: the number 33 - 5/20/2008 4:49:24 AM   
So.Mn.Fan


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Burnside takes the Pens in 7.

There is often debate about which Stanley Cup matchup might be best for the greater good of the NHL: big market, small market, Canada, West Coast, East Coast.

There's no right answer (just wrong ones, more often than not), but no matter how you cut it, the 2008 Stanley Cup finals have all the makings of a classic matchup between some of the most skilled players in the game.

The Detroit Red Wings are trying to win their fourth Stanley Cup since 1997. They are led by captain Nicklas Lidstrom, who will make his case as the greatest defenseman of all time before he's done. The Pittsburgh Penguins, meanwhile, are led by the finest 1-2 punch in the NHL in Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Pittsburgh is in the finals for the first time since 1992, when now-owner Mario Lemieux was leading the club to the second of back-to-back Cup wins. The Red Wings and Pens are the only teams to successfully defend a Cup championship since that year (Detroit won in 1997 and 1998).

While the Red Wings wobbled a bit in the first round (versus Nashville) and the West finals (Dallas), the Penguins will hit the finals boasting a 12-2 postseason record, just slightly more impressive than the Wings' 12-4 record.





1. Asked and answered. You'd think folks would be talking about a goaltending duel. After all, Detroit's Chris Osgood had the top goals-against average (1.65) and third-best save percentage (.927) heading into a sensational outing Monday versus the Stars and Pittsburgh's Marc-Andre Fleury had a 1.70 GAA and .938 save percentage after three rounds.

Yet both netminders are still struggling for respect and you can bet many will be asking if one, or both, will fold under the pressure of being in the finals. It says here goaltending will be a factor, but only in a good way. Osgood has been here before, winning as a backup to Mike Vernon in 1997 and as a starter in 1998. He's been stellar in relief of Dominik Hasek, who went sideways in Game 3 of the opening round against Nashville. Osgood, now 10-2, hasn't faced a ton of shots (fewer than 22 a night on average), but he's been good when needed (witness his 15-save performance in the third period of Monday's Game 6).

Fleury represents the more impressive of the two, given this is just his second playoff experience. You can count on one hand the number of questionable goals Fleury has allowed this postseason. When the team has needed timely saves, he has provided them as he did early in Sunday's 6-0 series-clinching victory over Philadelphia. He has shown nothing approaching nerves, although he will face a much more talented offensive team than he has seen in the first three rounds. Still, the Pens should hit the finals with a slight edge between the pipes.

2. Wither "The Mule?" Both of these teams are loaded when it comes to offense, but if there is a chink in the Wings' armor, it is their scoring balance up front. Since goal machine Johan Franzen went down with concussion-like symptoms after the Wings' second-round sweep of Colorado, Detroit has struggled at times to produce offense (the Wings scored two or fewer goals three times in six games versus the Stars). Franzen still leads all players with 12 goals and five game-winners. Without him, the pressure on the Wings' top line of Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk and Tomas Holmstrom is significant. Shut them down, as the Stars did in the middle of the West finals, and the door will be open for the Penguins, whose offensive depth is so impressive. If Franzen comes back (he hasn't been cleared to practice, according to reports out of Detroit), the offensive table will be quickly leveled.

3. Pick your poison. We haven't seen a team boast this much world-class talent down the middle since maybe Joe Sakic and Peter Forsberg were in their prime in Colorado. Start with Crosby, who centers the Pens' "1A" line. Then go to Malkin, who centers line "1B." The Wings will have their hands full regardless of how good their defense is (and it's plenty good). Crosby and Malkin have combined for 40 points in 14 postseason games, and Crosby will hit the finals tied with Zetterberg for the playoffs scoring lead. Almost lost in the shuffle is Pittsburgh third-line center Jordan Staal, who had a terrific series against Philadelphia (four goals). Although his grandfather passed away in the middle of the East finals, Staal is playing like a man possessed at age 19. All three spend considerable time on the power play, which ranks second in postseason efficiency. The challenge for Detroit coach Mike Babcock will be in getting out the defensive matchup he wants against either Crosby or Malkin. Watch for Lidstrom and Brian Rafalski to play against Crosby and Niklas Kronwall and Brad Stuart against Malkin.

4. The thin blue line. Talking about the Penguins' blue line has almost become urban legend. At the start of the playoffs, the Penguins' blueliners were supposed to be their Achilles' heel (that, and Fleury) and their team defense was thought to be suspect. But the stats suggest the opposite: Pittsburgh has allowed an NHL-best 1.86 goals against per game. The Penguins have also consistently built leads and defended them with sound play from the goal on out. That said, the Wings will try to put as much pressure as possible on the Penguins' D. Hal Gill has enjoyed a strong playoffs and was especially effective in the second round in shutting down Jaromir Jagr. But he is still Hal Gill, and if the Wings can pressure him into overhandling the puck, that's a bad thing for the Penguins. Ryan Whitney and Kris Letang are a talented young defensive duo, but lack experience. Watch for the top duo of Sergei Gonchar and Brooks Orpik to draw the assignment of trying to shut down the Wings' big line.

5. The Big Bang theory. One of the ways to beat a team like the Penguins is to keep the puck away from them, and the Red Wings are one of the best puck-possession teams in the NHL. Another way is to knock the Pens off the puck. Philadelphia tried with limited success, as did the New York Rangers. Detroit does boast one element that will be new to the Penguins in these playoffs, and that's a big-time open-ice hitter like Kronwall. The talented Swede, who is enjoying his first injury-free playoffs for the Wings, has been a difference-maker at both ends of the ice. He leads all playoff defenders with 12 points, one more than Gonchar. But he also has the potential to deliver devastating hits and punish opposing forwards in the Detroit zone. If he can make life interesting for players like Malkin, who likes to weave in and out of traffic moving through the neutral zone, that will be a bonus for the Wings.





• Defense vs. defense: If, as we imagine, this is going to be a clash of skilled titans, then the Wings will start the series with a huge edge on the back end. Lidstrom, Kronwall and Rafalski have combined for 32 points. While Gonchar is steady, the production from the back end drops off pretty quickly with Whitney (six points) and Rob Scuderi (three). That's a mismatch the Penguins will have to compensate for with more scoring from their forwards or exceptional team defense that takes away the Red Wings' threat from the back end.





• Red Wings: Zetterberg, who had two points in Monday's series-clinching victory over Dallas, has points in 10 of his past 11 playoff games. He has three game winners. Valtteri Filppula has one point in his past five games.

• Penguins: Crosby has nine multipoint games this spring. Gary Roberts has played in just six of the Pens' 14 postseason games after suffering a groin injury and then a mild case of pneumonia. He did not play in Game 5 on Sunday, but did practice the day before. He has also been a healthy scratch this postseason.





For the record, we are 10-4 through the first three rounds and have successfully picked the Penguins and Red Wings to reach the Cup finals. All of which means nothing, but we thought we'd say it anyway. Even though the Red Wings boast a much more talented blue line (at least on paper), we like Fleury's toothy confidence and think the Wings aren't going to have an answer for Crosby, Malkin and Staal down the middle. In the end, it will be the Penguins. Penguins in seven.

Scott Burnside is the NHL writer for ESPN.com.
 
 
Me?
I'm going with the Red Wings in 6 or less.
I'm gonna have to be shown that the West doesn't play much tougher, better, hockey than the East.
I think they do. But I can change my mind.
Pens have to show me.
Detroit will have by far the best D Corps the Pens have seen.
Fleury can make all the difference however. He has really impressed me, gives up no bad goals.
A very solid, sound, tender. And the Pens young guns may give Osgood fits. We'll see.
Wings need Franzen to return, and Zetterberg and Datsuyk to produce. If that happens, they win.
Does have all the makings of a great series, thats for sure. 
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RE: the number 33 - 5/20/2008 12:04:22 PM   
Jeff Jesser


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Pitt is scrappy but I'm aggeeing with ya.  Wings in 6.  They are too deep on D.
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RE: the number 33 - 5/22/2008 12:02:57 AM   
So.Mn.Fan


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Fascinating piece from ESPN on a side of the game some love and some hate.


http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/eticket/story?page=goons&lpos=spotlight&lid=tab3pos1
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RE: the number 33 - 5/27/2008 10:59:09 AM   
Jeff Jesser


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I said Det in 6 but it may not make it that far.  Pitt is getting smothered out there. 

Also, Fluery let in 2 yesterday that I would consider soft.  Especially for the finals.  The Pens have no chance if he doens't start standing on his head.  I really thought this series would be better.
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RE: the number 33 - 5/27/2008 12:03:46 PM   
TJSweens


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Jeff Jesser

I said Det in 6 but it may not make it that far. 


Is it possible to get swept in 3? Boxing has a 3 knock down rule. One more game and the NHL may have to intervene and declare a TKO.

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