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Old 10-13-2007, 03:31 PM   #101
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Default NHL.com

As you can see nhl.com has changed their format why you ask? i have no freaking clue i thought it was fine last year. But one thing that really ticks me off is the fact they removed (shift charts) from the game summaries which i really liked.

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Old 10-13-2007, 06:02 PM   #102
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Default Simon back after 25-game ban

On the other end of the latest suspension rise...

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PHILADELPHIA - It's not that Chris Simon is unrepentant about the stick-swinging incident seven months ago for which he received a 25-game suspension, the longest sentence in NHL history. But something inside him relishes the fact that he will make his comeback Saturday night in Philadelphia, a fight town if ever there was one.

Simon was drafted by the Flyers, and even though he was traded before he ever donned their uniform, he always has appreciated the physical style of a franchise once known as the "Broad Street Bullies." Already this season, two Flyers have been suspended for the use of excessive force, so Simon anticipates the sort of game that should be right up the back alley he has inhabited for the most of his 15 NHL seasons.

"I'm really excited to be back playing," Simon said on the eve of his return. "I love the style that's been played by the Flyers in the past. That's always been the type of game that's played into my hands."

Actually, Simon has rather soft hands for an enforcer, as his 159 career goals attest. But he doesn't kid himself. Simon is among the toughest of a breed for whom the key to survival in the NHL has been a willingness to handle the rough stuff.

That's the player the Rangers' Ryan Hollweg chose to hit from behind March 8 at Nassau Coliseum, triggering a response that Simon knows was wrong but, at the same time, arose from a basic survival instinct that has allowed him to remain a force at the age of 35.

To this day, Simon says he doesn't remember Hollweg's hit or his own reaction because of the concussion he received when he was lifted off his skates and driven face-first into the glass. But Simon has studied tape of the incident, trying to make sense of it.

He has seen the image of himself rising on wobbly legs and turning to face Hollweg, who circled back toward him. As horrifying as the visual of Simon's swinging the stick toward Hollweg's chin might have been, he noted that his hands remained well apart on the stick, not together.

"I didn't swing my stick at him," Simon said. "I chopped him. I know it's wrong, but it wasn't a golf swing or a baseball swing like everybody else says. I don't want to do that again. But I'm still going to play the same way I always have. It was a reaction thing, not an action.

"Getting hit the way I did, I was injured on the play. I wasn't myself. I was half-knocked out. It wasn't like I was looking for anybody. I didn't even know who hit me. He came back towards me, I was hurt, and that's all I could do. I didn't want to get hit again."

Simon doesn't deny responsibility for what could have turned into an incident with far more serious repercussions if the blow he delivered had done more damage. But as a fighter, Simon understands what happens when you get knocked down.

"When we fight in hockey and a guy gets hurt, if you've ever been in that situation, it's like you're an animal," he said. "Your instincts take over.

"When I'm fighting, if I hit somebody hard and hurt him, I know what's coming. Because the guy is trying anything he can to not get knocked out. That's what happened to me. I think if I had been hit again on that play, I would have been out. That's the only logic I can put to it."

The first memory Simon has of that night was in the dressing room after his ejection. "I remember being in the room, and I saw Chris ," Simon said. "My eyes were dilated. I was wobbly still. I didn't even know where I was."

Simon said he was worried about Hollweg's condition. As it turned out, Hollweg required just two stitches for a cut on his chin and played in the Rangers' next game two days later. If Simon had not been suspended, he would have been unable to play for at least the next two weeks because of nausea resulting from the concussion he received.

But having done his time, Simon said he's interested only in moving forward with his career. His job description remains the same, and he expects to play as hard and physically as ever.

"I go out thinking about what I have to do to stay in the league, to play my game," Simon said. "I've always been the type of player who's stuck up for myself and, more importantly, for my teammates. All I've been thinking about is my first game against the Flyers. I'm really excited to get back out and help the boys."
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Old 10-13-2007, 06:09 PM   #103
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Lazy and Stupid says nonis
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Old 10-13-2007, 09:59 PM   #104
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Originally Posted by Bronx33 View Post
Q. Is the Jordin Tootoo incident under review?

COLIN CAMPBELL: No, it’s not.

WHY NOT ? he tried to do the same thing as downie but he missed, its not that he pulled up or got out of the way, he missed, he still clipped him, so bascally as weve been saying the nhl is ruling by result, do what ever you want as long as you dont hurt anyone.
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Old 10-15-2007, 04:28 PM   #105
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Default Jesse Boulerice put on waivers

PHILADELPHIA - Jesse Boulerice was placed on waivers by the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday, a decision made on the heels of his 25-game suspension from the NHL.

Boulerice received the ban Friday for his vicious cross-check to the face of Vancouver Canucks centre Ryan Kesler during a game last Wednesday. It matched the longest punishment handed out by the league for an on-ice incident.

Boulerice, a 29-year-old native of Plattsburgh, N.Y., has 319 penalty minutes in 167 career NHL games. He's averaged less than five minutes of ice time per game in his NHL career.

The Flyers signed him as an unrestricted free agent before the season after he won a job in training camp. He played in just two games this season.
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Old 10-15-2007, 10:06 PM   #106
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BerniernextRoy is not happy to report that Bernier has been sent down to Lewiston in the Juniors.


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On theory that playing on the Kings, with their defensive problems, would chip away at Bernier's confidence: ``I think that's the concern they've got. He's a quality person. He's shown the ability to play and play well. He showed the ability to bounce back from goals and anything else that can be construed as a mistake. You got to like the physical makeup he's got; you love the mental makeup he has. And it's going to carry him a long way. What we're saying is it's just not right now. Now is not the time for him to be here. For his long-term development, that's the decision that's been made.''

On Bernier's reaction to the news: ``He's disappointed. That shows you the quality of person he is. He wanted to make a difference here and he wanted to continue to get the opportunity to make a difference. We're not going to give him that opportunity. We're going to concentrate on his development.''

``Obviously, we're concerned about the mindset he's got. As we told him this morning, `You're a great goaltender. Act like a great goaltender and believe this is a short-term setback for you.' He's going to progress at the right level and maybe the right speed.''

On possibility of Bernier coming back up this season: ``I think the rule's is that, in an emergency situation, you can bring up anyone under contract. But, for all intents and purposes, he's going to complete his junior year. Hopefully he'll have a great junior year, maybe play for the Canadian national team at the world juniors tournament, and at the end of the year they could bring him up here or at our farm club level.''
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Old 10-16-2007, 06:58 PM   #107
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Anybody else see the cheap cross check to scott parkers mouth by duvie westcott at the end of the blue jackets game?

Blue Jackets defenseman Duvie Westcott was fined $1,000 by the NHL today -- but not suspended -- for his blow to the face of Colorado winger Scott Parker.

NHL VP Colin Campbell took into account that Westcott has no previous record with the league and has never been suspended. Westcott explained his view of the situation with Campbell, that he merely lifted his hands and stick in the air to defend himself. Campbell must have believed him.

Westcott is eligible to play Wednesday when the Blue Jackets host Dallas.

-- Aaron Portzline
aportzline@dispatch.com

Last edited by Bronx33; 10-16-2007 at 07:03 PM..
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Old 10-16-2007, 07:44 PM   #108
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Default His name is John Tavares

And the kid is tearin up the OHL...

Eight games in, John Tavares and the Oshawa Generals are on fire.

Oshawa won 8-2 yesterday against the Kingston Frontenacs, with Tavares picking up a hat trick and two more assists. The Generals are 5-2-1 this season, and have scored an average of five goals a game, outscoring opponents 40-27.

It's really no surprise that the just-turned-17 Tavares leads all of Canadian major junior in scoring already, with 13 goals and 22 points in eight games. He's on pace for a 109-goal, 184-point season if he gets into as many as the 67 games he played last season. (Sidney Crosby had 66 goals and 168 points in his 17-year-old season with Rimouski.)

Now, as I said, it's early, but 109 goals would be the third-best ever in major junior history, behind only Mario Lemieux's 133 in 1983-84 and Guy Lafleur's 130 in 1970-71. Players have topped 200 points 11 times in junior hockey.

Tavares will almost certainly miss a portion of the OHL season while at the world junior championship in the Czech Republic this Christmas, so that puts a dent in any potential record chase. In terms of career records, however, he's just 83 goals from matching the all-time OHL goal scoring record and 246 from the points record.

The major junior goal scoring record is held by Lafleur at 314, which means Tavares will need another 184 goals over the remainder of this season and the whole year in 2008-09 — about 125 games — to meet that mark.

Ineligible for the entry draft until 2009, he might as well chase a few records.
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Old 10-16-2007, 08:03 PM   #109
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Default Chelios bluntly addresses Bettman/Daly emails

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Chris Chelios confirmed that he and the NHLPA's search committee have unanimously nominated attorney Paul Kelly to be their next executive director:

October 15, Associated Press: The NHL Players' Association officially nominated former assistant U.S. attorney Paul Kelly on Monday for its executive director position. The unanimous nomination was made during a conference call Monday night with the union's 30 player representatives, who will conduct a secret ballot vote during the next week. A majority vote is required for Kelly to be elected.

The Red Wings defenceman is guardedly optimistic about Kelly holding the PA's so-called "partners," a.k.a. the NHL, accountable for their actions:

"We've got a way to see what happens, but he's been recommended," Chelios said Monday night in Anaheim after Detroit's 6-3 loss. "Obviously the word's out, so it just remains to be seen what the board thinks and what the players think, and we'll go from there."

Ted Saskin was fired as executive director union last May amid allegations he ordered the spying of NHLPA player e-mail in the midst of a player uprising that challenged how he took over for Bob Goodenow after the NHL lockout in 2005.

"A lot of it had to do with where we are now," Chelios said. "We'll discuss it at length with the players and inform them about why we came to this decision. And we all believe we made the right decision.

"He obviously knows the law, and he's been in pressure situations, legal situations, and we're stuck with the CBA for the next two years at least -- maybe five -- and I think we have to learn the CBA first, and then make sure that everybody's held accountable for that. And if anybody tries to cheat now or do anything wrong, we've got the right guy now."

Naming Kelly wasn't the PA's only order of business on their Monday conference call with all 30 teams' player representatives:

October 15, TSN: The union membership is also dealing with the ratification of its revised constitution, a multi-page document that specifies significant change to the structure of the NHLPA's executive.

The changes in the constitution include the detachment of the title of General Counsel from the position of Executive Director.

Historically, both jobs have been filled by the same person. Pending ratification, the union will hire a lawyer to work closely with the newly appointed executive director.

An ombudsman will also be added to the mix with this individual, likely a former player, acting as the "eyes and ears" for the membership to ensure the lines of communication between the players and the newly hired executives remain open at all times.

The voting will also be drastically altered. With the elimination of the players' executive committee each team will receive a maximum of one vote, cast by the appointed player rep.

When asked about the email conversations between Saskin and both NHL commissioner Gary Bettman--who suggested that Saskin send Chelios on a one-way trip to Moscow--and deputy commissioner Bill Daly, who actively assisted Saskin in attempting to undermine the player insurgency, Chelios was blunt:

October 16, Globe and Mail: "I'd like to sit down in a room with Gary Bettman and ask him what he meant by that," Chelios said. "I would love to know. For the past two years, the way Ted conducted himself, it doesn't surprise me one bit. As far as Gary Bettman [and the NHL] is concerned, there's no question what they did was unethical.

"The NHL supported [Saskin]. Was it illegal? No. Was it morally wrong? Yes."

Chelios, along with former player Trent Klatt and Edmonton Oilers' goaltender Dwayne Roloson, was a significant thorn in Saskin's side for two years. Those known as dissidents were upset at how Saskin was hired in the wake of Bob Goodenow's resignation and how Saskin was signed to a five-year contract worth $10-million.

Later, after it was alleged Saskin had accessed the players' private email accounts to learn who was against him, the dissidents grew in number and were able to suspend Saskin and then fire him with what they believed was cause. That decision was endorsed by Toronto lawyer Sheila Block, who oversaw an independent investigation into Saskin's dealings.

As Chelios noted, his stance hasn't exactly changed--since the 1995 lockout, when Chelios suggested that commissioner Bettman ought to watch his back:

October 16, Detroit News: "I feel the same way about him (Bettman) and Daly and Saskin as I did from Day One," Chelios after said Monday's morning skate in Anaheim. Chelios is a longtime critic of the three hockey leaders. "Just look back at some of my quotes. Everyone knows how I feel about them."

Chelios went a step further, acknowledging what many observers believe--that several prominent player agents attempted to lobby their clients to go to the NHL outside the NHL-NHLPA relationship to quietly agree to a salary cap, and Chelios went straight for the king of player agents in doing so:

October 16, Detroit Free Press: Chelios also had harsh words for agent Don Meehan, whose clients among the Wings include Nicklas Lidstrom and Kris Draper.

"In my opinion, Donny Meehan played a role in undermining our union," Chelios said. "He's been involved in investments that were, to say the least, sketchy or shady. Now, with the e-mails we've looked at, and this is my opinion, he took a role with Daly and Bettman and Saskin. The players' union was the least thing in his mind."

As Chelios has noted previously, the full story of what happened during the lockout, as well as what happened during Ted Saskin's tenure as the PA's executive director, has yet to be told:

"There's a lot more than people know about, and when a new executive director gets in there and he starts talking to the players, let them handle it," Chelios said before Kelly's nomination was announced. "It's far from being over. There's a computer hard drive missing. Ted said he destroyed it. Who knows where it is? You don't know what to believe."

Though Chelios, 45, is nearing the end of his storied NHL career, he insists he has no future as a union leader. He has told younger players they need to care more because soon he won't be around to lead the fight. "I want what's best for the union and what's best for the league," he said.

There is, of course, the caveat, and it's a simple one--the league-friendly media, led by MSG Network's Stan Fischler, will continue to claim that a fully-functioning labour union influenced by Chris Chelios will lead to the downfall of the league:

October 15, MSG Network: So, Paul Kelly becomes new boss of the NHL Players' Association. Since Chris Chelios and Eric Lindros were on the selection committee we can expect the new union's new Executive Director to share Bob Goodenow's militancy - unless we hear different from Kelly, himself. Should Kelly take the NHLPA to a more compromising position, it will be the upset of the half-century.

Already, we've heard from one prominent agent who makes it clear that he'll be surprised if the majority of players allow Kelly to lead them into another no-win war. "There's too much to lose," the agent insists. The problem is this: will the small, but dominating, Chelios clique take another one of their macho, war-like stances?

While some members of the media wisely note that the NHL's one-time golden boy, Bill Daly, is now under the microscope like never before, those who were around to unseat the first executive director of the NHLPA say that Kelly's the right man to right the union's ship--if only for the first time:

October 16, Toronto Star: On a conference call with NHL team player representatives last night, a five-member search committee led by Detroit's Chris Chelios recommended the players union hire the 52-year-old Kelly, who is an unknown to many in the hockey industry.

But people who know Kelly say his ties to hockey run deep. In the 1990s, Kelly worked closely with former Maple Leafs defenceman Carl Brewer in efforts to prosecute NHLPA founder Alan Eagleson. At the time, Canadian authorities were uninterested in Brewer's claims that Eagleson had mismanaged the Toronto union's money.

There were worries that U.S. authorities would similarly disregard complaints against Eagleson.

"We had been told that the Mulroney government had put a lot of pressure on (former U.S. attorney general Janet Reno) to have the case against Eagleson dropped in the U.S.," said Susan Foster, Brewer's long-time companion. "Paul Kelly was adamant that was not going to happen. If it wasn't for him, I believe Eagleson would not have gone to jail.

"I think hiring Paul would be a beautiful new beginning for the union," she said.

One way or another, under Kelly's tenure, the truth will probably come out, if only in piecemeal fashion:

Some players and agents are now asking the union to release email correspondence between Saskin and several prominent hockey agents after learning how close Saskin was to NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly. In several instances, according to emails reviewed by the Star, Daly passed on to Saskin information that was not widely known about who his enemies within the union might be.

The man who helped Kelly nail Eagleson--the Eagle Tribune's Russ Conway--says that Kelly's hiring should satisfy both the NHLPA's membership and fear-mongers like Fischler:

October 16, New York Sun: "(Kelly's) a great choice for players and families, and for the game and their fans," said Hall of Fame hockey writer Russ Conway. "The reason is because he can get things done in a manner that isn't always a battle and a war. He has the ability to get people to listen to different points of view... He isn't a warmonger."
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Old 10-16-2007, 09:32 PM   #110
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Anybody else see the cheap cross check to scott parkers mouth by duvie westcott at the end of the blue jackets game?

Blue Jackets defenseman Duvie Westcott was fined $1,000 by the NHL today -- but not suspended -- for his blow to the face of Colorado winger Scott Parker.

NHL VP Colin Campbell took into account that Westcott has no previous record with the league and has never been suspended. Westcott explained his view of the situation with Campbell, that he merely lifted his hands and stick in the air to defend himself. Campbell must have believed him.

Westcott is eligible to play Wednesday when the Blue Jackets host Dallas.

-- Aaron Portzline
aportzline@dispatch.com

ok i didnt see the hit, but its really starting to sound like the league has a hard on for the flyers, i mean downie gets 20 for a hit similar to what tootoo does who gets nothing, then boulerice crosschecks a guy to the face and gets 25 and this clown gets nothing ? WTF ?

Last edited by Bronx33; 10-16-2007 at 09:57 PM..
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Old 10-16-2007, 09:57 PM   #111
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It was a two handed crosscheck to the face iam not really sure how colin is determining the difference so far it really is based on the injury. (which is really no deterant what so ever) basically hes setting himself up for a super major injury to somebody.
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Old 10-17-2007, 01:47 AM   #112
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5TUqE-tT0I

Anyone else in the league have video projection onto the ice?
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Old 10-17-2007, 01:13 PM   #113
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everybody shoots logos an stuff onto the ice, thats the first time ive seen the whole rink used tho.

didnt they try something like that at the allstar game last year ?
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Old 10-17-2007, 01:25 PM   #114
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Bob Hartley fired by Atlanta.
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Old 10-17-2007, 01:45 PM   #115
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Found a pic of you Chadta...hope you don't mind me posting it. (Chadta has the Hat.)


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Old 10-17-2007, 05:12 PM   #116
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Default Hartley dismissed

Adding to socals post...

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You can’t fire the players, so the winless Atlanta Thrashers fired the coach Wednesday when Bob Hartley was relieved of his duties behind the bench, making him the first NHL coaching casualty of the young season.

“I felt, watching every game, it wasn’t going to change. And I needed to do something about it,” General Manager Don Waddell said on a conference call with reporters. “I never predicted I’d be making a coaching change six games into the year.”

The Thrashers have not won a game yet this season, and including their first-round playoff loss to the Rangers in the spring, Atlanta lost 10-straight games under Hartley’s watch, including the first six of the new season. The Thrashers slipped to 0-6-0 Tuesday night, but it was even before the final buzzer sounded on that game that Waddell made up his mind.

“Going into last night I was just hoping we would win a game,” Waddell said. “We lost last night 4-0. We played a very good first period and once Philadelphia scored their first goal it was panic mode. I could see we were in big trouble. We gave up two really quick. Witnessing that, I just said this team needs a fresh voice, maybe a fresh face here to take some of the heat off them and let them just go play their game and just go out and have some fun and win a game.”

For now, that new voice and face will belong to Waddell, who will take over for Hartley until a full-time replacement is found. With a busy schedule and the NHL season in full swing, Waddell says he’s willing to wait to find the right guy for the job rather than make a hasty hiring. Therefore, this will be Waddell’s second cameo as head coach after he filled the same position before Hartley was hired to replace Curt Fraser in 2003.

Waddell went 3-5-1 in his nine-game coaching stint four years ago before hiring Hartley, who had won a Stanley Cup in 2001 as head coach of the Colorado Avalanche.

Hartley, Atlanta’s second head coach, posted a 136-123-32 record in his tenure with the Thrashers and guided the franchise to it’s first-ever division title and playoff appearance last spring. Atlanta’s postseason was brief, lasting only four games as they were swept by the Rangers in the first round.

The losing continued into this season with six-straight wins, a league-worst nine goals scored, and Waddell acknowledged that poor playoff showing also played a small part in his decision to replace Hartley this week.

“Certainly we have to be aware of what happened last year, but I really thought that the summertime would heal a lot of that history and the remembrance of it, but obviously it didn’t with some of our players,” Waddell said. “I think last year may have played a small part on how we finished. I felt the direction we’re going right now, the six games, we haven’t played very well. We’ve played well at periods of time, but not for any full 60 minutes of the game. I couldn’t let it go any longer.”

Following a conference call with ownership, Waddell said he made one of the toughest drives he can remember to the rink to let Hartley know.

“It was very emotional for me,” Waddell said. “Like I said, Bob has done a very good job for us and he’s become a very good friend and I had to separate that because at this point I feel – I don’t want to lose him as a friend – but we had to do something to try to help this team. We have a lot of games left. We’ve only played six games. We have 76 games left and we feel like we can salvage the season.”

They’ll begin trying to save their season Thursday against – who else? – the New York Rangers.

Last edited by Bronx33; 10-17-2007 at 05:17 PM..
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Old 10-17-2007, 06:36 PM   #117
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Default NHL Top 15 Player Rankings - Week 2

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2007-2008 Player Rankings: Week 2
Rank Player Team Comments
1 Paul Stastny
Games: 6
G: 5
A: 8
PTS: 13
Avalanche As of Tuesday night, Stastny is tied for the overall league lead in scoring with 13 points. He has points in five of Colorado's six games this season.
2 Henrik Zetterberg
Games: 7
G: 5
A: 8
PTS: 13
Red Wings Zetterberg is tied with Stastny and posted four goals and two assists in four games over the past week.
3 Jason Spezza
Games: 7
G: 0
A: 11
PTS: 11
Senators Spezza's assist streak continued (he has at least one helper in each of the Sens' seven games), but he has yet to score a goal.
4 Daniel Alfredsson
Games: 7
G: 5
A: 4
PTS: 9
Senators The Senators captain falls a few spots after posting just one assist in three games this past week.
5 Niklas Backstrom
Games: 5
Wins: 4
Loss: 0
GAA: 1.378
SV%: .945
Wild The Wild netminder is third in GAA (1.38), fourth in save percentage (.945) and is tied for the league lead in shutouts (2). Minny is 5-0-1 as a result.
6 Martin Gerber
Games: 6
Wins: 5
Loss: 1
GAA: 1.986
SV%: .941
Senators Through Tuesday's games, the Senators goaltender leads the NHL in wins (5), but loses a little ground after allowing five goals in a loss to the Canes.
7 Nicklas Lidstrom
Games: 7
G: 1
A: 4
PTS: 5
Red Wings Lidstrom drops a few spots after the Red Wings went 1-2 on the week and 1-for-16 on the power play over that span.
8 Mike Comrie
Games: 6
G: 4
A: 3
PTS: 7
Islanders Comrie's top line has cooled (he has one assist in three games) and so have the Islanders.
9 Daniel Briere
Games: 5
G: 4
A: 4
PTS: 8
Flyers Briere enters the Top 15 after continuing his strong start for the Flyers. The forward has eight points in five games.
10 Brian Campbell
Games: 5
G: 1
A: 8
PTS: 9
Sabres The Sabres defenseman is also a newcomer after a huge week -- one goal and seven assists in two games. He now leads all blueliners with nine points.
11 Nik Antropov
Games: 7
G: 5
A: 4
PTS: 9
Maple Leafs The only bright spot in Toronto these days, Antropov has nine points and leads the league in plus/minus (plus-9).
12 Cam Ward
Games: 5
Wins: 4
Loss: 0
GAA: 1.795
SV%: .942
Hurricanes The Hurricanes goalie has posted three straight wins and had a 1.67 GAA and .939 save percentage over that span.
13 Martin St. Louis
Games: 4
G: 0
A: 5
PTS: 5
Lightning The Lightning forward falls after failing to post a point this week as his team went 1-1.
14 Patrick Kane
Games: 5
G: 0
A: 4
PTS: 4
Blackhawks The rookie has a four-game points streak and set up the Hawks' game-winning OT goal against the Stars.
15 Michael Cammalleri
Games: 7
G: 6
A: 2
PTS: 8
Kings Cammalleri drops after a bleak week for the Kings. He had three points in the team's two wins before being held pointless vs. Minny.

Last edited by Bronx33; 10-17-2007 at 06:38 PM..
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Old 10-17-2007, 06:45 PM   #118
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Default It's time the NHL scrapped fighting

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Another clueless **** that mom and dad let play with dolls blogs his opinion on something he clearly knows nothing about.




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October 17, 2007 4:24 PM

Before we get bogged down in the details (and I'm sorry to say this, but any discussion about fighting in hockey inevitably gets bogged down in the details), let's describe the subject at hand for what it is. Fighting in hockey sees two men circle each other, and then, using their bare fists, punch each other in the face. This continues until one or both combatants fall to the ice, whereupon the fighters will be smothered by the referees. A fight will also be said to have ended if one of its participants is lain on the ice, unconscious. Presumably, a fighter dying in the line of duty would also signal the end of a duel. Not even hockey can condone the spectacle of someone thumping lumps out of a corpse.

Let's imagine that you're an American family, off to enjoy an evening of sport. Better yet, let's imagine you're a Canadian family - much more poster friendly. "What do you fancy going to see tonight, eh?" asks Dad, from somewhere in the Toronto suburbs. "Wow, I know!" says Mom. "Let's go and see the Maple Leafs play! They're up against the Montreal Canadiens. We might get to see them beat someone half to death!" "By a man using his bare fists?" ask the kids. "You betcha!" answers Pop. "Yay!" they all yell. "Hooray!"

Can't quite see it happening, can you? Yet hockey likes nothing better than to present itself as a family activity, which it does with some success. For while the magazine Sports Illustrated describes the game as having a "moral vacuum" at its core (a phrase I cannot hope to better), what it also has is a rich vein of euphemism. So bare-knuckle beatings are merely "dust-ups", players "going at it" are participants willing "to drop the gloves" or who "enjoy the physical play". They are not, so far as I know, referred to as "psychopaths engaging in an activity which, if indulged in in the arena's car park, would see both of them in court".

These days the National Hockey League likes to refer to itself as "The New NHL". Since the league lost its entire 2004-05 season to a labour dispute that did no one but the NBA any good, rules have been tweaked to make the game speedier and more attractive to the eye. These rule changes favour the skilful player, a consequence of which has seen a reduction in the number of fights. And while last season's Stanley Cup-winning Anaheim Ducks did buck the trend with their willingness to indulge in (ahem) "Old-Time Hockey", these days you're more likely, much more likely, to see hockey without violence than with.

Still, try this. Ask a friend to respond to the words "ice hockey" with the first thing that springs to mind, and the reply will probably be something to do with fighting. This is the sport's enduring image. Rarely mentioned is the phenomenal skill involved in controlling a three-inch wide, one-inch thick lump of rubber while skidding about the ice at more than 30 miles an hour. No one seems to know about the 61 all-time records set by Wayne Gretzky, a sporting poster boy whose achievements eclipse even those of Michael Jordan. No, it's fighting that catches the eye of those who aren't really watching.

The theory works like this: the NHL's skilful players need protecting from the opposing team's physical players by having physical players of their own to rely on. It's like a sporting arms race... actually, it's a sporting fist race. So Sydney Crosby, flush-faced phenom of the Pittsburgh Penguins, needs arch-goon George Laraque's hulking presence to allow him the freedom to perform. This is certainly true, but it's true because the NHL allows it to be so. Players who fight are not ejected from the game, instead they sit for five minutes in the penalty box. What this is is a slap on the knuckles.

It is also reckoned that fighting acts as a pressure valve and thus excludes the nastier aspects of the game from becoming too prevalent. These arguments (and I told you we'd get bogged down in them, didn't I?) are as predictable as hearing Hey Ho, Let's Go at a Ramones concert.

I hate to break up the routine, but here are some things to consider. In 2000, Boston Bruins' "enforcer" Marty McSorley blindsided Vancouver Canucks "tough guy" Donald Brashear with his stick, causing Brashear to convulse wildly on the ice. (McSorley was convicted of assault.) In 2004, Canucks star player Todd Bertuzzi broke the neck of Colorado Avalanche skater Steve Moore by punching him from behind and then following him to the ice. And just last week Philadelphia Flyer Jesse Boulerice (whose antics once incurred a one-year ban from playing in the minor Ontario Hockey League) was suspended for 25 games, almost a third of a season, for a cross-check to the face of Canuck Ryan Kesler which left its victim very much dazed and contused. The frankly crackers idea that fighting prevents violence doesn't really seem to be working, does it?

You might have guessed by now that when it comes to scrapping in hockey, I am the host of an Islington dinner party. I want to see it banned. It's not so much that it shows the sport in a bad light - although, yes, it does - but that it's unrepresentative of what really goes on. It's a bit like talking about Bob Dylan and concentrating solely on the fact that he's Jewish. And while the essential crux of the NHL's fighting conundrum might make the Palestinian question seem like the opening round of The Weakest Link (yes, dammit, I too feel the surge of adrenalin when two players "drop the gloves"), the truth is that it's time to say this, and to say it out loud.

Smell the smelling salts. Fighting's gotta go.
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Old 10-17-2007, 07:00 PM   #119
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Old 10-17-2007, 07:54 PM   #120
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Default A chair came out of the stands to take a couple of shifts



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Truth be told, the chair didn't play that badly. It didn't get out of position, blocked a few shots and probably had a better plus-minus than some of the players.

While the chair left some of the Canuck players scratching their heads ,it was an example of the Vancouver coaching staff searching for ways to improve an NHL team that has struggled to win faceoffs, has suffered too many defensive breakdowns and is third in the Western Conference for goals allowed.

During a drill, the chair was placed about four metres inside the blue-line. The idea was for the Canuck defencemen to keep their heads up, try to shoot around the obstacle, and get some pucks on net.

"I don't think I've seen that one," said defenceman Aaron Miller, a 13-year veteran. "I really wanted to hit it."



Goaltender Roberto Luongo shrugged.

"I skated with a chair once when I was five," he said.

Miller understood what the coaches wanted.

"We have to work on getting our shots through," he said. "We've had too many shots blocks.

"Those are the measures the coaches are taking. I guess every little tool you can use to try and make yourself better is fine with me."

Coach Alain Vigneault was asked if the chair experiment was a success.

"I'll tell you after the next game," he grinned. "That, like other areas of our game, we need to improve on and get better."

A 4-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks Monday night left Vancouver with a 3-3-0 record. A team that is built on playing solid defence has given up 21 goals this season and has seen its penalty kill sink to 15th in the league.

Luongo has already faced 165 shots this season. Only Martin Gerber in Ottawa has faced more.

Defensive breakdowns and bad decisions have resulted in turnovers in the Vancouver zone. That means Luongo has to be almost perfect for the Canucks to win.

"That's what being a goalie is all about," said Luongo. "I can't worry about the breakdowns happening in front of me. My job is to make sure that when a breakdown occurs I'm ready to make a save."

Of the Canucks who have played four or more games, only Alex Burrows and Jeff Cowan are plus-1.

"We can't just rely on Roberto making save after save," said Canuck captain Markus Naslund, who has two goals and is minus-4. "We have to be strong in front of him and limit the chances and stay out of the penalty box to keep the score down."

Vigneault said better defence will result in more goals for the Canucks.

"Playing good defence enables us to make good offensive chances," he said.

Faceoffs are another area of concern. The Canucks are ranked near the bottom of the league in winning draws.

"Such a big key to winning games now is puck possession," said Naslund. "It starts with faceoffs and protecting the puck, not throwing it away."

Defenceman Willie Mitchell agreed there is lots of room for improvement but cautioned the season is still early. Last year the Canucks struggled until Christmas, then went on a tear in the New Year to win the Northwest Division.

"Last night we had a game where we fell apart after they got a little momentum," said Mitchell. "Next time a team gets one (goal) on us . . . we are going to handle that situation better."

Vancouver received some good news when the league informed the team forward Matt Cooke's game misconduct Monday for leaving the bench has been erased. Reviews showed Cooke was already on the ice when a melee broke out with about 28 seconds left in the third period.

"I knew it was non-issue," said Cooke. "I didn't go out on the ice to get into an altercation."

Cooke said the Canucks have the talent to play better. They just have to use it.

"I don't know if it's so much defence as it is communicating and making sure the effort is there," he said. "Making sure the intensity is where it's supposed to be for the entire 60 minutes."

The Canucks face the Los Angels Kings at home Friday, then begin a four-game road trip with stops in Columbus, Carolina, Detroit and Washington.

Vigneault said the team is close to playing the way he wants it.

"I don't think we're that far away," he said. "We've had moments in games where we haven't looked as sharp."
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Old 10-17-2007, 08:11 PM   #121
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I guess karma finally caught up with Mr bertuzzi...

Todd Bertuzzi was put on the injured reserve list for a concussion after being further evaluated this morning. Bertuzzi suffered the concussion in Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Wild when Derek Boogaard checked him hard in the offensive zone. Bertuzzi left the game in the first period after he was hit and did not return. The one week time frame is a minimum as the league requires that he be completely symptom free for a week before he is cleared to return.

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Old 10-17-2007, 08:18 PM   #122
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Check out Kopi's sick move in the shootout-

http://sports.espn.go.com/broadband/...deo?id=3066947
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Old 10-17-2007, 08:42 PM   #123
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Default NHL recaps around the web comparison

Tapeleg does a kicka** job addressing a subject that has been bothering me lately.

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Old 10-17-2007, 08:47 PM   #124
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 24champbailey View Post
Check out Kopi's sick move in the shootout-

http://sports.espn.go.com/broadband/...deo?id=3066947
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Old 10-17-2007, 08:50 PM   #125
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Default Players to use heated blades in practice; games a possibility

TORONTO -- Some NHL players are about to find out if heated skate blades will make the cut.


Six to 10 players will try them first. If there are no glitches, the blades then would begin appearing in NHL games.

"The NHL is very interested in confirming the data provided by Therma Blade Inc. to establish the safety and reliability of the blade under NHL game conditions and we have agreed to allow a small group of players to test these blades in practices over the next few weeks," said Kris King, the NHL's senior manager of hockey operations.

King said once he receives from the company a list of players who want to participate, he and Stu Grimson of the NHL players union will review it and decide who'll be asked to wear the blades.

The NHLPA welcomes trials for the heated blades.

"There is a lot of interest among players throughout the NHL right now to see how Thermablade performs under game conditions," said Grimson, the union's associate counsel.

Thermablades use a rechargeable battery and a microprocessor within each skate blade to maintain a temperature of 41 degrees. The warm blade increases the thickness of the water layer between the blade and the ice surface, and the company said its tests have shown this reduces gliding friction and starting resistance for skaters.

The charged battery in each blade will last for about two games. Fingers placed on sensors on either side of the rear of the plastic blade holder for three seconds activates the battery to warm the blade. The system automatically turns off when a player is idle on the bench, and the energy of returning to the ice reactivates the system. The system is turned off by repeating the process used to turn it on.

Wayne Gretzky was so impressed with Thermablades when he tried them more than three years ago that he invested in the company.

"I should still be playing," a smiling Gretzky said while skating on the blades for a video shown during the product launch at the Hockey Hall of Fame on Tuesday.

The Phoenix Coyotes coach said he wishes his players could get them first because Thermablades will "revolutionize the game of hockey."
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