PUCK YOU! Season 3, Episode 5: The 2012 PlayoffsPUCK YOU! Season 3, Episode 5: The 2012 PlayoffsPUCK YOU! Season 3, Episode 5: The 2012 Playoffs

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Hello hockey fans! PUCK YOU! has returned for to discuss the 2012 NHL Playoffs! As always, we’ve stayed true to the idea that this is a commentary about hockey by fans, for the fans. Censorship has no place here. Now that we are over a week removed from the Stanley Cup Final, we’ve had time to analyze and assess the madness that has happened over the last two months. We discuss a ridiculous amount of Goalie-related news, and speculate to what happens during the 2012 NHL Entry Draft and the fate of Rick Nash. Let’s get to it, shall we?

Our panelists include Bruce McGee, Al Creed, BaptisBlacktick, ThinkSoJoE, G, ThatDamnDoubleC, Greg Saga. and Armchair MVP.

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miracle on ice
It all began with 16 teams…

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Question 1.1: What were your overall thoughts on the 2012 Playoffs? What were your favorite stories between teams and rounds, and what were you disappointed with?

Greg Saga: I found the most interesting story in the playoffs was in how the Western Conference unfolded. Vancouver was bounced in the first round, and perhaps the owner of the Los Angeles Kings should send a thank you letter to Duncan Keith for that one, but Detroit fell to Nashville, San Jose fell to St. Louis, and Chicago fell to Phoenix; the perennial Western Conference favorites were all eliminated in the first round. But it wasn’t just first round upsets that signal a change in the west. Nicklas Lidstrom retirement is huge; San Jose barely earning a playoff spot and then were pulverized in the first round would lead one to assume that team has hit their zenith and is coming down; the drama surrounding Roberto Luongo is indicative of the instability within the Canucks organization.   

ThatDamnDoubleC Upsets. Upsets. Upsets. Who picked the Penguins to go out after scoring 10 in Game 4? Or the Flyers to go out in 5 to the Devils in the second round? Or the Nordi.. I mean the Coyotes make it all the way to the Conference Finals? Even the Kings.. the 8th seeded Kings, winning Lord Stanley’s Cup, even though a few people I know of actually picking the Kings to make the finals. Favourite stories? First of all, that there just shows I’m from a different country, as I spell favourite with a ‘u’, and secondly, I was surprised that Canucks fans didn’t riot. I was surprised that Bryzgalov wasn’t attacked by a bear, and finally.. disappointed that those PeskyStars didnt make it, after being ahead of the Pacific Division with about a week to go. Maybe next year..

Bruce McGee: The playoffs were good, but nothing super spectacular until the finals. It was nice to see the coyotes do well, even if some people in Phoenix seem to hate money. The Kings getting the cup was also fine by me. More on the Kings in another question

G: There were some fantastic stories this year, and some kind of “stories,” the latter being frustrating. After the defending Boston Bruins were sent packing and golfing for the summer, the slough of tweets about Joel Ward scoring the definitive goal were completely racist slurs that set back hockey and North American culture decades. It shows how brutal some people’s mind sets are, stupid racist fucks.
However, I throughly enjoyed watching the Penguin/Flyers series. It was a true battle, and one of the reasons I love hockey. With that, we had two great stories between the misleading eighth seeded Kings and the financially challenged Devils run to the Final. And what a contrast it was. The Kings powered through everyone who stood in their path while the Devils seemed to be outmatched at the start of each series managed to eke by and shut up the naysayers.
Oh, John Tortorella’s abuse of the media “idiots” was epic and hilarious. But since I despise the Rangers, the only thing about seeing them lose to Jersey was realizing Tort’s was done for the post-season.

Armchair MVP: I loved the playoffs this year because they were so unpredictable. It wasn’t only him obviously, but Martin Brodeur turned the clock back a little bit, I definitely did not think he had another Cup run left in him. There’s also the Kings redemption story, after underachieving the entire year, and on a more personal level, Richards and Carter making Paul Holmgren’s offseason gamble look really bad.

My least favorite thing was also the unpredictability. I got absolutely destroyed on my picks this year. I also didn’t like that my playoff bandwagon (I need one with the current state of the Flames) in Nashville couldn’t make it happen this year.

Al Creed:Well, the League came roaring out of the gate with one of the BEST opening rounds to date. The action was unbelievable! And then… it fell flat. Why? Was it going head to head with the NBA? Or spotty coverage on NBC? Or having some of the league’s bigger names die an early playoff death, leading to not-so-classic matchups like Nashville vs. Phoenix? Who knows.

ThinkSoJoE: I highly enjoyed all the games I got to watch, and that’s a testament to the great players in the game today. Obviously, my favorite story was the Los Angeles Kings, as beating the #1, #2, and #3 seed in your conference – and not losing a road game until game 5 of the Finals – is absolutely impressive

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And then there was two…

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Question 1.2: What are your thoughts on the Stanley Cup Final? Are you happy with the outcome, why or why not? Any surprises or other comments?

Armchair MVP: As much as I would have liked to see Martin Brodeur win another title, I can’t say I was really disappointed with the result. I was more surprised that the Kings lost a road game than anything else. Was there ever any doubt that if the Kings won the Cup, and maybe even if they lost, that Quick would win the Conn Smythe?

Greg Saga: The unlikely success of the Los Angeles Kings and Phoenix Coyotes cements the idea there is a change within the west–if there is realignment, as was proposed earlier in the season, now that is a real change–but all which is left in the conference is uncertainty and opportunity.

Al Creed: Bittersweet. While I was very, VERY happy to see Mike Richards and Simon Gagne win a Stanley Cup, it’s such a shame that they weren’t wearing the Orange and Black. It’s only a consolation that they won it with the LA Kings, a team I rooted for when I was 8 years old. Oh well, BETTER LUCK NEXT YEAR.

ThinkSoJoE: It turned out like I’d expected, and again, I’m glad there was great hockey through the entire series, even if at some points the Devils didn’t look like they even wanted to win the Cup.

Bruce McGee: No real surprise for me with the finals. I liked seeing the Kings win and seeing Brodeur play will was excellent. He helped my fantasy team this year.

ThatDamnDoubleC I picked the Devils. I thought maybe Kovalchuk would step up. I thought maybe Brodeur’s rings could shine in the lights of the Staples Center and steal an away win. I thought that maybe, just maybe, the Kings’ luck had ran out. But I was wrong on all counts. The Kings showed to use trades to full effect, trading for stars such as Mike Richards and Jeff Carter, and proving that Jonathan Quick is one of the best goalies in the National Hockey League. The Finals.. weren’t the best I’ve seen. It always seemed like after the first two games that the Kings were going to win. There was really only one team in the Finals the whole time, and the Devils were there just to fill the numbers. It wasn’t a competitive series, that’s what disappointed me the most.

G: I was not invested in either team outside of my fantasy pool. With that being said, it is always nice to see a team win their first Stanley Cup. I was shocked at both the fact LA did not sweep New Jersey, but Martin Brodeur returned to full form in games 4 and 5. What can you say about the guy other than kudos to a year-one ballot hall of famer who has accomplished everything he could already? If The Devils had won, I would have enjoyed seeing Martin raise the cup one more time. I count all of these as potential and realized surprises.
However, when it comes down to it, this was The King’s cup to win. They steamrolled through the West, nearly tying the Oilers record for quickest playoff win. If you look at that in itself, I am certainly happy with the outcome and can safely say I feel the better team won.
In conclusion, I don’t think that Bernier’s high stick was that controversial. He drew blood, and on a play where within the rules of where the player is facing, merits a major and a game during the regular season. True, this was the end of the Devils as the Kings scored 3 devastating goals towards destroying the Devils. But if the call had not been made, we’d be hearing the exact opposite from LA.

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miracle on ice
It took a lot of great plays to beat all the top net minders, and Roberto Luongo too!

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Question 1.3: Can the Kings go back to back and defend their Stanley Cup Championship? Can the Kings even make the playoffs next year, knowing how tough it is to even get out of the Pacific Division?

ThatDamnDoubleC Somebody’s gotta say no, and in this case. It’s me. No, the Kings will not defend the Stanley Cup. They won’t even make to the Finals. As for the Pacific Division.. Phoenix are unsure of their future, so every season could be their last season in Phoenix. San Jose’s big names are getting older on offense, and as good as Niemi is, can he be good for the whole year? The Ducks have got to have a good year somewhere, and next year could be it. Bobby Ryan’s due for a breakout year, with only one season of 65+ points (71 in 2010-11). Dallas could struggle a bit next year. There may be a little money in the cap to go out in Free Agency, but Jamie Benn is a RFA this off-season, and he will surely be the first priority to be signed. Which could leave us with the same squad we had last season, and with the AHL-affiliate finishing bottom of the AHL, our future may not be as bright as some might hope. Which leaves the Kings, scraped into the playoffs, but dominated once they got there. Will that form continue into next season? Probably not at first, depending on how much the off-season hurts the older brigade of the Kings. But with Jonathan Quick in net, anything is possible.

Bruce McGee: Given the right frame of mind and the right breaks the Kings can go back to back. They have the talent and the coaching. That said repeating as champions in any sport is getting harder and harder every year. Be fun to watch next year and see what happens.

G: Honestly, I doubt it. There was a number of intangeables in place for LA’s run to the cup, that are not necessarily going to fall into place the same way they they did in 2012. Can Quick maintain his stellar play? Can the Kings retain the same roster (or replace the missing pieces with suitable replacements)? Can Sutter get the same vision to work twice? And of course, can they generate the late regular season momentum as they roll into the post season as the underdog favorites? While I don’t know the answers to any of these questions (except the latter being “no” as they are the defending Stanley Cup Champions), there is a good reason Lord Stanley’s Cup is considered the hardest championship to win in North American sports leagues. No.

Armchair MVP: I don’t believe the Kings will go back-to-back just because of how difficult it has been in recent memories. If my memory serves me correctly the Wings were the last team to do so in the late 90’s. I think they’ll be a playoff team though, especially if two things happen. The first is that they keep playing within the system that Darryl Sutter has implemented rather than tuning him out, the second is that Jonathan Quick does not regress into Steve Mason territory. Based on those two items, I think it’s safe to assume they’ll be back in the playoffs.

Al Creed: The odds are against them, completely. BUT, that is not a criticism against the Kings, but mere projection. It’s very, very hard to make a return trip to the Final, much less defend the Cup (just ask the Red Wings), so I wouldn’t put money on a King’s repeat, at least right now.

ThinkSoJoE: No. There is too much parity in the league right now for a team to go back to back. If they can keep their core players in tact, there’s no reason they couldn’t get a decent playoff run in next season though.

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miracle on ice
Often considered a player that no one could say a bad thing about, but will the PUCK YOU Crew agree?

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Question 2: On May 31st, 2012, the Nicklas Lidstrom era officially came to an end as the dominant and groundbreaking defenceman announced his retirement from the game at the age of 42. During his career, Lidstrom racked up a lengthy list of accomplishments including numerous Stanley Cups, Norris Trophys, All-Star appearances, and amazingly enough only missed 46 out of a possible 1,873 games, regular season and playoffs games. What are your thoughts on this first ballot Hall of Famer’s legacy and contributions to the sport?

ThinkSoJoE: That looks more like a statement to me, G. Everybody retires sooner or later, but yes, it’s a huge loss for Hockeytown. Though, I don’t expect that to be the only big name on the retirement list this post season.

Bruce McGee: Being a Red Wings fan it is a little hard to watch Lidstrom end his hockey playing career. Still when you get past all the statistics and awards he leaves us with two very important lessons. Number one, that you can still be a class act and play to a very high level. I always appreciated that about him and would have the same amount of respect and admiration for the man no matter what team he played for. Number two, there is something special about walking away at the top of your game. Sure Lidstrom might not of been at his peak, but he is walking away before the inevitable slide in skills take hold. I understand why professional athlete’s attempt to play for as long as possible, but there comes a point where understanding you can’t play to the standards you set for yourself. Lidstrom understands that and I was not shocked at all to hear this announcement and I respect him even more for it.

G: What else can Lidstrom accomplish? He’s done it all in the league, and retires not only as likely the best defensive player of his era, but at the top of his game. The man himself noted he did not want to have the game itself to pass him by (which is hard to believe possible, with Lidstrom being a Terminator after all), rather to call it a career when he deemed it appropriate. What made his style of play so credible is that he didn’t need to be physical to be effective. It was almost like he was the game’s cat to every other player’s mouse. He would make it seem like you had enough space to make a play, only to fall into his trap. Don’t blink random skater, because in that decisive moment, Lidstrom had already stripped you of the biscut and sent it down the ice to his team mates while you stand agape and looking foolish… and also quite happy he did it in a way that didn’t leave you bloodied, lying against the boards in a daze. There’s very few players who could spend so much time in the league and leave with no one able to justifiably have harsh words for them. Nicklas was one of the very few of that calibre. I wish he played on my team.

Greg Saga:  Dear Nicklas Lidstrom, congratulations on a fantastic professional hockey career. The most remarkable thing about it is how much hockey you played during it. Very rarely injured and many deep playoff runs–this in conjunction with logging huge minutes during those games would lead me to believe you might have been on the ice for more NHL hockey than any other player of your generation, save Martin Brodeur. You are the smartest player I’ve ever seen. You made the game look easy. In a game where everybody is blasting around going nuts, you would calmly make a sound play, which usually was the right play. Your game was so enjoyable to watch because of your awareness and rationality. Thank you for being the model of how to play defense in the new NHL.  

ThatDamnDoubleC What could possibly be said about Nicklas Lidstrom. Any hockey fan knows just how much Lidstrom dominated, how you wanted Lidstrom on your team and how you feared playing against him. Mere words cannot do the career of Lidstrom justice. Most people would say that he is still one of the best in the league now, at 42. But his retirement will leave a massive hole in the Red Wings defense. A Conn Smythe winner in 2002, seven James Norris trophies, but most amazing than all the awards he has received, he was only a minus player once in his career, and that didnt happen until he was 40! He played with greats such as Yzerman, Coffey, Fedorov, Chelios, Shanahan, Zetterberg and Datsyuk at the Wings. He sits tenth all time for games played with 1,564 NHL games. His presence on the ice, and his skill on the ice will be missed by the NHL. There wasn’t a player like him, and there probably won’t be again.

Armchair MVP: My new greatest regret as a hockey fan is that I never got to see Lidstrom play live. It’s obvious that he’ll be a first ballot hall of famer, and he did it with a sense of class that is almost unmatched in any sport. To paraphrase Ken Holland, he wasn’t a low-maintenance player, he was a no-maintenance player. This is a guy who young players can always look to model their careers around both on and off the ice.

Al Creed: I have always seen the Red Wings as adversaries, especially after 1997. As such, I have always resented, even HATED anyone who ever wore that crimson jersey, save two. Stevie Y, and Nicklas Lidstom, two stand up guys in a sea of European bastards. He definitely deserves to be sent to the Hall of Fame ASAP.

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Decisions… decisions, some are made without careful thought

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Question 3: GOALIE-O-RAMA! There have been a plethora of goalie related stories that occured during, or within the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs. We’re just going to lump them all together into one giant topic in which the PUCK YOU crew will sound off on all or any of them. Here’s our menu:

– 47 year old Dominik Hasek wants to return to the NHL. His last NHL appearance was during the Red Wings 2007-2008 campaign, and some speculate there is a real possibility he could return to action provided there is not a lockout during the 2012-2013 season.

– 38 year old Tim Thomas wants to “take time off.” Is this Thomas forcing the Bruins to either trade him where he wants to go (his no trade clause ends in the summer) or make them pay him not to play. He has already said he wants to play in Russia 2014 Winter Olympics.

Tomas Vokoun signs a 2 year $4 million deal with Pittsburgh (one which the Leafs passed on). And, does this make the Pens more effective considering having a solid backup provides an option if Fleury struggles as he did during the first round series against The Flyers?

– The Vancouver Canucks early exit in this years playoffs, has led to the highly paid netminder stating he wants out of the city (at least according to coach Alain Vigneault) Will/can Luongo be moved? Where could he go?

– Martin Brodeur is old… but not that old. The old dog seems to have learned how to merge the Butterfly style with his traditional standup style. On Tuesday, following New Jersey’s loss to Los Angelas, Martin confirmed he will return next season. After New Jersey rolled over the Flyers… Brodeur looked like he found the fountain of youth. What happened to Philly? Should Martin remain active?

– Phoenix vs LA – A Battle of the Goaltenders. Smith and Quick both recorded shutouts and goals in one game during their way to the NHL while in the ECHL. This was a showdown of two phenoms this season.

ThatDamnDoubleC I read a great paragraph on Yahoo! Sports about this very subject, and I am using it as my argument.”Dominik Hasek, 47, would like to play in the NHL again. As a backup? As a training camp invitee? Doesn’t say. But we’d love to see it happen. Preferably in Tampa Bay in a tandem with Dwayne Roloson, so he can have someone to reminisce with about the discovery of fire.” I could go on about a certain Game 6 of the 1999 Stanley Cup finals, as Hasek was in goal for the Buffalo Sabres at the time, but that dead horse has already been beaten. Me going on about it, would be like them making the Hangover 3..

Timmy Thomas. Realizes Tuukka Rask is a better goalie than him, so rather than be benched. He decides to ‘take a year off’, to face the fact that he’ll be benched next season. Either that, or he knows that there will be a lockout, and he’s just getting a head start on his holidays.

Isn’t Vokoun done? Isn’t that why the Capitals went with Neuvirth and Holtby? I know he was injured, but still. This does nothing to the Penguins. it just means that Marc-Andre Fleury will play a few more games in net, knowing he has an old, run down security blanket waiting for him if he needs it.

Luongo to the Maple Leafs. Brian Burke would make that move. Trade his first round pick for the next seven years, as well as James Reimer, Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul, all for the services of the Gold medallist. We all know how crazy Brian Burke gets with trades. He traded for Tim Connolly AND Colby Armstrong. He traded away Tyler Seguin, and the possibility of getting John Tavares, so we know he’s a bit mented. That’s my choice, Roberto Luongo will be a Toronto Maple Leaf next season.

Brodeur should remain active, otherwise his whole body will just shut down and die. If Brodeur even sleeps, his old fragile bones will just disintegrate into nothingness next to his wife, or mistress, or floozie, or whomever he shares his bed with at night. If Brodeur can still go though, then chances are, he could be the oldest Goalie in the league if Roloson decides to drop.

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But then if Hasek comes back, Brodeur will feel young again, so I say keep playing Marty, keep attempting that flying poke check, and don’t leave the Devils. Stay a one-team guy.

Look what the Stars gave up. We drafted Mike Smith. He was the back-up to then stud Marty Turco. He lived with Turco’s family. He traded him to Tampa Bay along with Jussi Jokinen, Jeff Halpern and a fourth-rounder in 2009 for Johan Holmqvist and Brad Richards. Now he’s a Wile E., stopping most things in his path, and winning Pacific Division titles, and all we got in return were no playoff years, even with money-hungry Brad Richards at Center.

ThinkSoJoE: Hasek did well in Ottawa during his last run, but that’s because Ottawa’s D-men didn’t let him do any of the work. He doesn’t have it anymore. Move on.

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Thomas wants to “take time off” because he’s still stuck in the back of that cab from the Discover card commercials, waiting for Peggy to mail him a new card. Seriously though, if the guy wants time off, he certainly deserves it.

The Pens are a deadly team regardless, as long as Malkin and/or Crosby are healthy. Doesn’t matter what they do in net, they’re a difficult team to win games against.

Would Luongo want to be moved? Where WOULD he go? He’s a hell of a goalie, I’m sure the Canucks will do whatever they can to keep him on as a franchise player.

Philly sucks, just like they always have. That’s what happened to Philly.

G: So much to tackle here, so I will just go into short retorts to all of them. Firstly, there was a time that Hasek was a marketable commodity. Now is not one of those times. I think it would take a ridiculously desparate club to sign Hasek as a starting goalie (cough, cough, Maple Leafs). With that being said, perhaps there is a role as a backup (and future goalie coach position) to a team with a younger starter who could use a mentor if the price is right.

Tim Thomas is basically playing hardball with the Bruins. By stating he does not want to return, he is essentially saying he wants to decide where he will be traded. If the club doesn’t want to pay him to sit at home, they will have to compromise and find a home for him where he wants to play. But with that being said, I don’t think Batshit Insaneville has a hockey team.

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Vokoun going to the Penguins is a smart move. Fleury collapsed on too many occasions during the first round of the playoffs, but the club had no confidence in anyone but him. This takes some pressure off their number 1 goalie, but I have little reason to expect him to lose his job to his elder.

God damn, Luongo is going to be hard to move with his inane contract. This might be resolved if there is a some resolution available to management coming out of the CBA over the summer for Vancouver to alleviate the front-loaded overpaid players like Roberto. For all intensive purposes, it appears he is done with the Canucks, but it’s going to take some financial wrangling on Vancouver’s part to make the move if the CBA provides no new options. I’d love Edmonton to take him, but for maybe 25% of his current contract at most.

I expect Brodeur to return for at least one more season. Unless there is a lockout, because that will likely be it for him otherwise.

I really enjoyed the drama between Quick and Smith in the LA/PHO series. Both nettenders put out some of the best play in their respective positions through out the regular season, and right into the playoffs. It was a great climax to see the two battle it out to the end. While the series had a somewhat controversial finish (at least if you ask Doan), the better team won. But perhaps, not the better goalie.

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Al Creed: [Hasek] JUST. GO. AWAY. Seriously!

[Thomas] Man, fuck this sanctimonious asshole. Fuck him, and rip off that stupid moustache to boot. He makes a big deal about not wanting to meet the President over Tea Party bullshit, and now he’s doing this to the Bruins, a team that didn’t have to take a chance on his decrepit old ass. I don’t like the Bruins, but that’s just shitty pool. I hope he never plays in the NHL after this bullshit powerplay.

No. See, Vokoun’s skilled, but he has never, EVER been “Good Enough.” He’s been in the League since the late 90’s, but he’s only been to the post-season twice. It smells more like a panicking Penguins team than a smart move to me.

It seems that, whenever things don’t go Luongo’s way, the dude wants to high-tail it. I think the Canucks will move Luongo if they can; it’s not like they’re hurting for a goalie. As to where, I’ve heard that he may be heading to Toronto. Goodness knows, they need a goaltender.

[Brodeur] OOOO, an Al-Flamebait question! You wanna know what happened to the Flyers? The Flyers pulled the worst possible opponent for the second round, that’s what. The 2011-12 season MO for the Flyers was outscoring Bryz, who came down with a BAD case of Russian Superstar Syndrome, in which a Russian player suddenly stops caring about winning, as soon as he cashes in a big payday. That works wonders against an offensive team like Pittsburgh, but not a defensive team like New Jersey, or New York for that matter.

As for Marty, Patrick Roy is still the best. Period.

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Greg Saga: I never really liked Roberto Luongo until this one game where he single handedly beat the Calgary Flames. The players on the Flames have a routine. When they are named as as a star for the game, they skate a little circle around the Saddledome ice then give their stick to a fan. That game Luongo was named first star. Most opposition players don’t take a skate, but Luongo did and then gave his stick to a Vancouver Canucks fan in the dome. I saw that and thought: “this guy isn’t that bad.” Roberto Luongo has had a hard run lately with the Canucks. He was named captain of the team, removed as captain, had a coach constantly jerk his chain, and had some terrible performances during a stanley cup playoff run. I wish the Vancouver Canucks fans would just say, “hey Lou despite everything we love you,” but it’s not and he’ll likely be moved. Where? Hopefully to a place where the coach treats him really good because, you know, this guy isn’t that bad.    

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Armchair MVP: New Jersey Devils. Pretty sure they had the oldest goaltending tandem of all time with Brodeur and Hedberg, if they didn’t I have no idea who would have beat them. This is a chance to put that record into almost unbeatable territory. Make it happen.

Tim Thomas used to be such a good story, the guy that came absolutely out of nowhere to become one of the NHL’s better goalies. I do believe he’s trying to force himself out of Boston, and in doing so he reminds me of the most annoying sports figure of all time, Brett Favre. Please don’t do more to make a caricature of yourself than you already have, Timmy. Although I fear we may be close to crossing the Favre line of ridiculous.

I love this move if I’m a Pens fan, personally I’ve always been a huge fan of Vokoun. I think he represents a huge upgrade over Brent Johnson, and he’s extremely battle-tested. This may force Fleury into a mindset where he’s playing for his job, even if that’s not necessarily the case. And if Fleury’s in that mindset, he’ll either bust, or play out of his mind. Good gamble for Pittsburgh to take.

You need a team with either a lot of cap room, or you need to accept a salary dump or two if you’re Mike Gillis. The market got a little bit smaller with Stevie Y making the big play for Anders Lindback. But I still wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a team out there who takes the gamble, thinking they’re a good goaltender away from contending. After saying that, I can feel all eyes shifting simultaneously to Brian Burke.

I don’t think anything “happened” to Philly. They were lucky they ran into an imploding Marc-Andre Fleury in the first round, and then when they faced even Trevor Kidd level goaltending, they weren’t able to advance. I thought Fleury made them look a lot better than they were playing in round one, and their luck ran out against the Devils.

There are few things more fun in my opinion than seeing a goalie put one in. Congrats to both [Smith and Quick] for providing the only offense they would need in the respective games.

Bruce McGee: A lot of this goaltender news does not interest me in the least. Some of it’s just high paid atheletes pandering and some is just business. I will say again that I was impressed by Martin Brodeur’s grit and determination and while I don’t expect huge things from him next year, I think he can play solid for the Devils. Hasek just needs to stay retired. I like him, but it’s over man enjoy your retirement.

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miracle on ice
Will this exist?

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Question 4: The Draft is on June 22nd. If you’re the Edmonton Oilers, what do you do, and who do you pick? Go with the obvious number one, snag a desparately needed D-Man, or trade down for NHL ready players (and draft picks)? Also, will we see Rick Nash moved before the Draft, the Free Agency Frenzy, or just remain in Columbus?

ThatDamnDoubleC Sign Nail Yakupov, and then do what you can to either trade for some defensemen or go all out in Free Agency and sign a stud like Ryan Suter. Signing Yakupov gives the Oilers their offense for the next fifteen years in Hall, Eberle, Nugent-Hopkins and Yakupov, which means they don’t have to worry about it, and can start worrying about everywhere else. Also, if there’s a lockout this season, then the Oilers will have the #1 pick again next year, adding more young studs to the lineup. Then maybe they can stop living in the past, and worry about finishing ahead of the Blue Jackets. Speaking of Columbus, do they move Rick Nash? What would they get for Rick Nash? Is Rick Nash really a great player trapped in a crap team’s lineup? The one time he scored over 70 points for the Jackets, they made the playoffs. It would have to be a truly amazing offer for the Blue Jackets to get rid of Rick Nash. If they can find the right players, they can easily build around him. But then again, do you trade Nash now, whilst he still has some value? I say, trade him. Trade him for a ton of prospects, reset and go again. Build around guys like Jack Johnson, and create a superstud team, which will all hopefully hit their peaks at the same time and become dominant.

Bruce McGee: I am sure in some corners of the hockey community what I am about to write is blasphemy. Yet I really don’t pay any attention to the draft outside of casually glancing at who Detroit picked up a few days after the draft is over. Never been into drafts and such in any sports I follow and hockey is no different. That doesn’t mean I am making fun of people who live and breathe the draft no sir. It just doesn’t interest me that much.

G: I’m very much on the fence about this. I realize and understand the anger circulating around many fans that the Oilers have gotten three first round picks in a row, but as a fan, you know I am giggling. If the Oilers are going to move that pick, they will want a top two defenceman and a first round pick. Anything less would be a retarded move on their behalf.
I sincerely doubt Nash will be a part of a trade with Edmonton, however, since his team threw him under the bus… Nash is going to be gone either at the draft or on July 1st.

ThinkSoJoE: I’ll be honest, I haven’t been following this stuff. Rick Nash needs Buffalo. Buffalo needs Rick Nash.

Armchair MVP: If I were the Oilers, I would move down a spot or two and try to take Ryan Murray. They’re loaded enough in terms of forward prospects, I think they need to develop a defenseman with that high of a ceiling to complement what they already have. Plus, you could probably get a few more picks later in the draft by making that trade, which then gives added flexibility for more trades or more picks.

I’m looking for Nash to be moved after July 1, because Howson has been very conservative in his trade approach so far. He is waiting for the exact right deal, and teams have not been eager to give up blue-chip prospects so far. But maybe after a backup-plan in free agency for some team goes horribly wrong, and another team gets their guy, some GM will be desperate enough to make the deal Howson wants.

Greg Saga:  On a hockey forum someone asked what constitutes a successful season. In twenty-nine cases a successful season means having the team exceed expectations. For the Edmonton Oilers a successful season means having a miserable year then winning the draft lottery. If you don’t believe me, look at the shit eating grin Steve Tambellini flashed at the draft lottery. Then him and Kevin Lowe managed the Canadian Nation Team to fifth place finish at the IIHF World Championships. It doesn’t matter what the Oilers do, it appears the Oilers brass can’t get it right. Even when Tambellini gets the top pick of the draft, or the luxury of assembling a team from the deepest nation in the world it all goes sour. Maybe this time everything will be different.  

Al Creed:I don’t know, nor care about who gets drafted when. As far as I’m concerned, you’re only worth knowing when you’ve proved yourself on the Big Stage. As for the Oilers needs, I would go for a defenseman. I think the Oilers are ok on Offense.

Also, as long as the overrated doofus doesn’t find himself in Black and Orange, I don’t care what happens to Rick Nash. 😀

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“Last Chance To Rant”

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G: I’d really like to know what John Tortorella and Pete DeBoer were yelling at each other during Game 5 of the Eastern finals. I realize the commentators between the two benches cannot disclose the information, but that was one of the best parts of the post season.
I’d also like to know how the suspension of Raffi Torres will translate in the future. Sure, it was a dirty hit, but 25 games? Are you kidding me? Yes, I saw the ShanaBAN video like anyone following the NHL, but the punishment is WAY too harsh.

Armchair MVP: Vote for Pekka.

ThinkSoJoE: I’ve got nothing. I’m actually pretty content right now. Just hoping that the league and the NHLPA can keep me that way, especially when I’m trying to launch a hockey blog in September.

ThatDamnDoubleC Last Chance you say? Meh, I’m tired. This Puck You (and Puck your Mother), took forever. I’ll go back to watching episodes of Wonder Showzen.

Greg Saga:  Dustin Penner is a two time stanley cup champion. It doesn’t seem right, but in the words Shakespeare though the mouth of Lear: “I am even. The natural fool of fortune.” Act 4, Scene 6  

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Hockey fans! We want to hear from you. The point of this panel is to allow fans to chime in, not the professionals. You pay their salaries, so tell them what YOU think below in the comments section.

Here at Wonderpod Online, we encourage discussion and celebrate debate. The internet can be stifling for some, but we prefer to open our doors to authors and writers from elsewhere to come on board in our panels and discuss passions that might not be represented at their other homes. With that being said, we hope hockey fans are enjoying the regular season up to this point in time.

Have an idea for a topic you’d like us to tackle? Sign up and post it below.

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Shameless Plugs!

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Some of our panelists write elsewhere on the internet, and we’d like you to check out some of their websites!

Bored Wrestling Fan
A break down of various professional wrestling programs and events from the eyes of the smarky fan

The Cultural Revolution (TCR Comix)
Al Creed’s comics dominate tongue and cheek humour here

Wonderpod
A weekly podcast about the world of video games, from player experiences to current events in the industry, Bruce McGee, Pat Man, and Gun Sage provide insight into the medium for any gamer (whether casual or “pro”).

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