Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Hamilton Predators

First off, I want to let you know that I have not only gotten my job back, but it's better than before, which is good news for me.

Second, as one of the few that picked the Ducks to take this series, I am looking quite good right now.

And finally, as it's almost 3 am here in Toronto, I wanted to point you all in this direction:

we thought we'd see the Waterloo Preds, or maybe the Winnepeg Preds, but the Hamilton Predators seem to be in our future...

Monday, May 28, 2007

Here We Go!

First I want to say sorry for the lack of updates this past week. I've had a very hard week with my own life and haven't had much time for anything else. Unfortunatly I lost my regular job, so I've been busy trying to put things back together. Hopefully things with me will be resolved shortly and we can move forward. If anyone is hiring, feel free to contact me, haha! Also, we are still looking for someone to help us re-design so if you would like to help I'd love to hear from you.

So I head into the finals with a 12-2 record, which is the best I've ever done in the post-season. A lot of people I talk to believe Ottawa is the team to beat, but I really like Anaheim in this series. Anaheim in my opinion has a better defense and goaltending, while Ottawa has the better offense.

It was a year ago that Chris Pronger led a mediocre Edmonton team to the final, and that team was one win away from winning it all. This years Anaheim team is far superior that last year's Edmonton team, in all aspects. That being said, Ottawa is also far better than last years Carolina team, which makes me optimistic that we will see one hell of a series over the next two weeks.

In the end, I am picking Anaheim to win in seven games. J.S. Giguere will likely be the Conn Smythe winner, though a strong series by Pronger could give it to him as well.

In other news, the Habs have signed Markov to a four year deal. The numbers are not known yet, but the talk the other day was $5 mil per year. The agent denied that, and I thought that was a little much, so we'll wait until we get a number.

Enjoy your Monday, it's a nice one out there!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Adam Breaks Down Cup Final

Adam Forsyth has been our top writer for over the past year, and he writes amazingly. Here is his breakdown of the cup final. Expect a blog from me tomorrow taking a look at the Preds ownership situation as well as my cup final prediction.


How they match-up

Goaltending - J.S. Giguere has the experience of going to a game 7 final and the understanding of the nerves that will contribute to the performance of such a game, while this is all relatively new for Ray Emery. Giguere has been playing extremely well, and has a Conn Smythe Trophy with his name on it for his performance in a losing effort in the 2003 Stanley Cup Playoffs, in getting the boot by the Scott Stevens & Niedermayer led New Jersey Devils. Ray Emery has the confidence of his teammates and has been a cool and collected performer throughout the season. Even as the Sens struggled out of the gate of the 2006-07 season, flailing away to a sub-par and close to .500 start, it was in no way the fault of Emery. He was one of the lone bright spots, after having big off-season free agent signing Martin Gerber flop. Midway into the season though, something changed, and seemed to simplify the Sens defensive scheme to playing and they were led by the play of their last line of defense. While Emery deserves a great deal of credit, it is usually experience in the playoffs that tends to be the difference.

Advantage: J.S. Giguere, Ducks

Forwards - The Ducks have a plethora of young stars that can put the puck in the net. They tend to play three lines worth of scoring touch, and are nicely complimented with grit and enough mucking to slow down an offensive juggernaut. With Selanne, McDonald, Getzlaf, Penner, and Perry on board, they can definitely put the puck in the net. While it has been a glaring display that as goes Selanne, so do the Ducks, droughts from their big line will be magnified in a series against the all-around Senators. The Perry-Penner-Getzlaf line (affectionately called, the PPG line) proved they can potentially step up in a dire need, by playing huge in the deciding game 6 versus the Red Wings, they will surely need more performances such as that to make this series a winnable one for them. A healthy Todd Marchant will also help in their shut-down approach in containing the big line that the Sens have. Pahlsson will continue to be a thorn in the sides of the top offensive offerings, and back-checking won't be an issue. The Ducks have shown signs of scrambling at times, which will be a no-no against the Ottawa bunch, as they will make you pay. The Sens will continue to roll four lines comfortably, and get excellent contributions from them all. It has been an incredible performance thus far of Heatley, Spezza and Alfredsson, as they have taken charge and decidedly turned their game up a notch (or two) and led this team to the promise land. The trio has been scoring at will regardless of what match-ups opposing coaches throw their way, and will need to continue that way in order to have success in this years final series. The only question that many have, is should they stumble along the way, is there anyone that can step up and take the initiative to score the big goal? They definitely have the firepower down the line, as the addition of Mike Comrie could become huge, as well as dependable net-fillers Fisher, Kelly, Schaefer and Vermette are more than capable in assisting the top line should any issues arise. Truth be told, the Sens will need a more balanced attack in taking on Jiggy and the Ducks. I expect some big goals to be scored by some lesser known heroes and not only by the likes of Alfie, Spez and Heatley.

Advantage: Ottawa Senators

Defense: - Man, what a group of overall defensemen we have here. On one side of the ice, we have what is arguably the best two-man tandem ever to be formed on a team in a long time with Chris Pronger and Scott Niedermayer leading the Ducks defense corps. On the other side of the ice, we have one what has to be the most talented top 6 defensive line-up in recent memory. With apologies to the rest of the Ducks d-men minus Francois Beauchemin; who has really blossomed into an excellent 3rd option for the Ducks contributing on both sides of the rink, but O'Donnell, Huskins, DiPenta and whomever Randy Carlyle decides to throw out for limited minutes between Ric Jackman and Aaron Rome the Ducks are definitely depending on big minutes and contributions by their big three of the blue line.As for the Sens on their blueline, each of their top 6 defenders contributes in a way that is and has been critical to their success along their journey to the Stanley Cup Final. Wade Redden has been the power play specialist that they expect him to be, moving the puck and allowing the creation of many offensive opportunities. Joe Corvo has been everything that they would have hoped for in acquiring him in the off-season. Tom Pressing has been steady and played in every situation possible, while contributing offensively as well. All the while, the trio of Anton Volchenkov, Chris Phillips and Andrej Meszaros have played over 20 minutes a night, while shutting the door to the offensive superstars they have faced. Throw in the spot duty of the talented Christoph Schubert and the Sens can throw seven extremely capable options the Ducks way. When they are rolling on all cylinders, which they seem to have been doing since the new year started, the Sens are tough to beat.

Advantage: Ottawa Senators

Power Play: This is a classic case between one teams incredible quarterback tandem of Pronger & Niedermayer (along with a strong 3rd option of Beauchemin) and comparing them to the offensively gifted forward trio of Heatley, Spezza and Alfredsson. Ottawa has 14 PPG's heading into the final in 70 chances for a success rate of 20%. While the Ducks have scored 13 PPG's in their 85 opportunities for a success rate of 15.3%. The Sens will definitely continue to get a bunch of opportunities as the Ducks aggressive in your face style of play will surely open up the ice with numerous man advantages, allowing the Sens to potentially change the game with odd man goals. I expect the Sens to continue to get the big goals when they need it, led by their superstars.

Advantage: Ottawa Senators

Penalty Kill: Only due to the fact that the Ducks will be more seasoned in PK situations, along with the fact that they have two great penalty killing forwards in Marchangt and Pahlsson do I feel that this is a definite advantage to them. I understand that the Sens have been firing on all cylinders, and have even gotten stellar backchecking efforts from their stars, but for the most part, they won't see the ice as frequently when down a man. How can you deny a PK with the overpowering D that the Ducks have?

Advantage: Anaheim Ducks

Intangibles: The Ottawa Senators have a lot on their side. They have the momentum of quickly disposing each team thrown their way. They took care of the young upstart Penguins in 5, a tough Devils squad in 5 and then easily handled the regular season champion Sabres in 5 as well. The Sens only had home ice advantage in their opening series, so they have proven that they can win on the road. They played their last game on Saturday (May 19th) and with the opening game to this series taking place on Monday, May 28th, will that week and a half off help, or hinder? Of course their bumps and bruises will heal, but talk to anyone in the know, and that much time off, without a true shoulder rub, hard-hitting affair (which the Ducks will definitely supply) it usually has a negative effect. Depending on what type of series this is, the Sens will play their own brand of hockey and will have the upper hand on the skill level. If grit is necessary, players like Neil, Volchenkov and McCammond's services will continue to be critical.The Ducks will also get a bit of time to heal, with a 5 day break in between games. That should help some of the aches and nagging pains that tend to persist this time of year. Home ice is and always will be huge, especially if the series goes the distance. So, the Ducks get the edge there, for sure. The Ducks ability to muck it up and win ugly can also help them along the way. As stated many of times, the Wings were the better team in the Western Conference final, but the Ducks found a way to win. Sometimes, there isn't an explanation for it, but the final score is ultimately what it is all about. In saying that, the experience factor could be critical should the Sens feel shell-shocked in what is all but one of their players first appearance in a Stanley Cup final (minor role player Oleg Saprykin played with the Flames in the '04 Final vs. Tampa Bay) in comparison to the abundance of not only appearances in the Finals, but leadership in the greatest of shows. Scott Niedermayer has won a trio of cups, while Pronger, Giguere, O'Donnell and the other Niedermayer have at least been there in recent history. So, they know what it is like to be on that grand of a spectacle.

Advantage: Anaheim Ducks

Overall Advantage: Ottawa Senators will win the Stanley Cup in 6 games, becoming the first Canadian based NHL franchise to win the cup since the 1993 Montreal Canadiens upset the Wayne Gretzky led Los Angeles Kings.

Conn Smythe Trophy Winner: Ottawa Senators Jason Spezza

Monday, May 21, 2007

Hockey Card Sale

As we approach the off-season, which will be a busy time for us all here, we're looking for a way to raise a little money in hopes of purchasing a few upgrades. As the 06-07 season draws to a close, the 06-07 Upper Deck Hockeycards will go out of print. So, we are offering some of these cards at huge discount prices.

If you wish to help us out and purchase some hockey cards at the same time, here is what you get. We are selling them in sets of teams. If you do not know Upper Deck, they issue two series' per year. So if you purchase our toronto package you will get all of the Toronto Maple Leafs base cards from series 1 AND series 2. All team packaging are just $1, unless noted below:

Toronto: $1.50 due to rarity of a few of the cards
New Jersey: $2 (good deal considering Brodeurs card alone is worth $2)
NYR: $2.50 (two gretzky cards worth over $4 combined)
Pittsburgh: $3 (good deal considering the Crosby card by itself is worth $3, plus Crosbys checklist card is worth a few bucks also)

Is set has 13-14 cards in it. Shipping is 3.99 to Canada, 4.99 to US and 5.99 over seas. This shipping price applies for 3 sets or less. For each additional set add .75. If you are interested please email me at Feel free to email me to ask any questions you have.


Thursday, May 10, 2007

Saskin Fired

The NHLPA has fired Ted Saskin. Check the forums for the latest.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

No Surgery For Sundin + Leafs News

Sundin has met with doctors and Sweden, and he will not need surgery. He has a small tear in his labrum, but it will NOT require surgery to repair.

When this story first broke I was sent two newspaper articles from Sweden, talking about how angry Sundin was with this. The belief around people I talked to is that one side of ownership (Tanenbaum) wanted Ferguson fired along wiht Pat Quinn last year. That never happened, and apparrently Larry still wants Ferguson gone. It is believed that someone on Tanenbaum's side leaked the hip injury information in hopes of embarressing Ferguson, and hoping there would be more of a reason to fire him. It doesn't seem as though this has happened, and all signs point to allowing Ferguson to handle this seasons off-season tasks.

The Leafs have signed defenseman Ian White to a three year deal worth 850k per season. Not a bad deal at all, as White has developped into a very good young defenseman.

Final leaf news of the moment, Toronto will pick 13th in the Entry Draft...if I was them, I would move up a bit and grab 11th ranked Angelo Esposito. Yes, the kid has falled about 10 spots, but I also think he'll have something to prove. Whoever selects him will get a huge steal.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Round 3, Lets Do This!

My first round was a dandy, I went 8-0 with four the second round I went 3-1 with 2 perfects making my total 11-1 with six perfects...(not bad, I've perfectly predicted half the series, and picked 11 of 12 winners)...this round is not easdy though...

(1) Buffalo vs. (4) Ottawa
- The two teams everyone thought would make it to finals have, and what a series this should be. Friends I've talked to all believe it will come down to who is better: Miller or Emery. I, however, feel it will come down to the defense of each team, and I feel Buffalo has the advantage there. Both teams have great offense, and solid young goalies, but Buffalo is a bit stronger and more reliable on their back-end. Sabres in six games. (I want to say seven, but i am jus feeling six).

(1) Detroit vs. (2) Anaheim
- Detroit has home ice which could be HUGE in this series, but Detroit's defense is also pretty banged up. I think Anaheim lacks the offense they may need against Detroit, but with Detroit's hurting defense, I think Anaheim can do this. Ducks in six.

I promised a Sundin story and you will get it, but since it's May 8th, and Sundin is meeting with doctors tomorrow, I'm going to hold off.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Big Choices In Net

Over the last few years, we've seen a lot of two-headed monsters in the nets of NHL teams. We've seen Roloson and Fernandez, Miller and Biron, Giguere and Bryz, Nabokov and Toskala, Vokoun and Mason, and the list goes on...

Roloson and Fernandez were the first to split, and just a few months ago the Miller/Biron monster was broken apart. This summer, it appears we'll lose a few more, but in these cases, how do you decide which one to keep.

We start in Anaheim, where Giguere is set to become unrestricted at season's end. Giguere has done so much for this franchise over the past five years, in my opinion it would be a no-brainer to bring this guy back, but all talk has Anaheim going with Bryz and letting Giggy walk. Lets compare the two Anaheim goalies playoff stats, shall we

Giggy: 6 games played, 4-1, 1.42 GAA, .950 SV%, 0 SO
Bryz: 5 Games played, 3-1, 2.09 GAA, .929 SV%, 0 SO

Both goalies have amazing numbers, which is why its not fair to keep both of them, but clearly JS Giguere is the better goaltender. Yes, he's making more money, but I think it's worth it.

Next we go to Minnesota, where Backstrom is set to become an unrestricted free agent. Backstrom started all five Minnesota playoff games, which to me is a clear statement that he's their guy. How do you start Fernandez next year after you told him he wasn't good enough to play in last year's playoffs? Backstrom went 1-4 in the playoffs, but his GAA was only 2.22 and his SV% was .924. He's good enough to be a #1 goalie, and if Minnesota lets him walk, I think they've made a big mistake. If they can't trade Manny, then suck it up and keep both goalies. Letting Backstrom leave would be a serious negative for this franchise.

We head to Nashville, where there are some serious questions around what to do with their goaltending. Nashville decided to go with Vokoun in all five of their playoff games, and that didn't turn out well. Vokoun went 1-4 with a 2.96 GAA and a .902 SV%. I am confused as to why this team didn't turn to Chris Mason, who played most of the season in Nashville this season, while putting up amazing numbers. Mason had a better SV% and GAA during the season, and has been the better goalie over the past year. Once again, Money is the issue, with Vokoun making a lot more than Mason. If I'm Nashville, I find a taker for Vokoun, and move forward with Mason. This guy is the real deal.

Finally we head to San Jose, where their two headed monster seems to be working best. Both guys are under contract for next season, so this doesn't have to be resolved, but the rumours still swirl that San Jose would like to get rid of one of these guys. Nabokov has started all eight playoff games for the Sharks, going 6-2 with a 2.01 GAA and .922 SV%. Nabokov has been a great goalie for a long time now, and I think he's a permanent fixture in San Jose. With that said, I feel Toskala should be given a serious chance, and that would have to happen on another team. The 30 year old went 26-10 this season, with a GAA of 2.35 and SV% of .908, numbers which are good enough for a starting goaltender to have. Career, Toskala is 65-28 with a 2.35 GAA and Sv% of .914, very good numbers. Nabokov is the man for San Jose, but if I'm a team needing goaltending, I'm trying to find out how to get Toskala out of San Jose. He's cheap, he's young, and he's one hell of a goaltender.

I'd love to hear what you think on these goaltenders, who would you keep, and who would you let go? Which teams do you think would be interested in picking up one of the extra netminders? Email me at

I've been digging for the last 24 hours on the Mats Sundin story, I'll post what I know in a few hours, stay tuned.