Thursday, September 30, 2010

Hockey's biggest rivalry officially home to Hockey's biggest captain height difference

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Oh Captain my Captain!
Yup, it's official. The Habs announced yesterday that Gionta will be leading the Habs down the yellow brick road to wherever they're going this year.

Tis the season for season previews but I don't think I'm doing one. I never get it right and even if I did I don't think I'd care to spend all day patting myself on the back about it. Let's just say there's plenty to be excited about this year.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

PJ Axelsson suspended 2 games for knätackling

Yes, it's true. PJ "Pebben" Axelsson was suspended today for a knee-on-knee hit on Marcus Paulsson, former Islanders' 5th-round pick...from 2002. The hit is near the end of the video, from Aftonbladet:
Normally I'd get youtube for this sort of thing but it's just not available there. Yet.

If you watch that video above you get to see Pebben hit the guy and then flip out a bit because the guy turned at the last second. PJ was ejected from the game immediately. Frolunda still won but

PJ has of course reached out and apologized for the hit. If you look at it, he's not going for knee-on-knee but he certainly ends up doing it. In the Hockey Expressen article, they say: "Per-Johan Axelsson kommer in bredbent och utdelar en tackling, som till följd av att motspelaren plötsligt vrider sig, träffar olyckligt och orsakar skada." which in non-moonspeak means something along the lines of "Pebben skated in for the hit with a broad stance, and Paulsson suddenly turned, and unfortunately caught his knee"

Here's the picture of the aftermath, you can tell the right leg is a lot bigger than the left:

So, I think we all learned an important lesson. Don't get drafted by the Islanders in the 5th round in 2002.

Thanks to @puckarinen and @sarah_connors for the heads-up.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Thanks, TSN, for that amazing headline/picture combo.

No, I'm not going to write up a review. The events are all over the place. Horton scored in the first 1:35. If anyone has a youtube or whatever from puck-drop to that first goal, I'd love to see it. I am, however, going to just put this gif right here:

Yeah, that owned. Spacek is probably still chasing Bergeron.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Watch the Rookie Game Live Right Now!

I've set this up earlier today to see if it will broadcast tonight properly. If you see the rookie game below:

If that doesn't work, please please please leave a comment letting me know and click here to go to the official page.


Monday, September 13, 2010

Bruins partner with Gods of Metal in Finnish Hockey Team form

The Bruins just signed a deal with JYP, an SM-Liiga team from Finland. I immediately reached out to sleza, a real live Finn, as someone who might know more about them than me. Here's what she found out, with minimal editing:

For somewhat unknown reasons, the Bruins have signed a deal with a Finnish team called JYP (note, the pronunciation is close to “yup” not to J Y P) which enables training co-operation, a player exchange and exchange of information between the organizations. The co-operation will include 6 teams: Boston Bruins, Providence Bruins, Reading Royals, JYP, D-team (JYP’s “farm team”, plays on the 2nd highest league in Finland) and JYP’s A-juniors. The final details of this deal will be discussed in Prague between 8th and 10th of October.

Basic info: JYP is a Finnish Elite League team from Jyväskylä. I know, I know… It’s a horrible word monster with too many umlauts. But hey, at least it’s not Örnsköldsvik. The team is the only Elite League team in the Jyväskylä area (and the only team in its near – and not so near – surroundings for that matter) so it has a pretty large potential fan base.

Jyväskylä’s first hockey team (and the granddad of the modern JYP) was found in 1947 and the team has played in the Elite League from 1985.

Success: JYP’s best years this far were in the late 80’s and early 90’s but they didn’t won their first championship until 2008-2009, when they destroyed Kärpät 4-0 in the final series. This was quite an achievement since Kärpät had won 4 from the last 5 championships before that. JYP was also 3rd in 2009-2010 season (yes, we have “bronze game” in our league and yes, some players occasionally skip that). Their journey in the league hasn’t been skating from one success to another if you count the golds but overall, with the small/medium budget, they’ve done good work.

Despite not being bad in the big boys’ league, their success in the juniors has been better: "JYP is renowned for its strong work with juniors. The club’s junior teams have won numerous Finnish youth championships, most recently in the spring of 2007, when JYP’s ‘B’ juniors (under 18) won the gold medal.

Players: Like said, their budget is not the highest one in the league so the star players they might have had, have usually moved to other teams pretty quickly, following the siren call of money. Some of the biggest names who played in Jyväskylä are Steve Kariya and Michael Nylander.

From JYP’s players 15 have been drafted to NHL, among them Ducks’ 4th round pick in 2009 Sami Vatanen, who (despite the low draft) is one of JYP’s top prospects and broke last season the rookie defensemen’s points record.

Missing link in the puzzle: JYP’s Director of Player Development/player development coordinator Jukka Holtari is also a Bruins scout.

Fun fact: They know how to make an entrance:

Thanks very much to friend of the blog sleza for writing this up for us. And the sweet youtube video. My thought: could it be a destination for an underperforming player a la Nylander last year?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Tuukka Rask: Revisiting the 'New Kid'

With Tuukka coming off of a relatively successful first season as a full-time NHL goalie, I felt that it was time to revisit him, and explore a little bit more of his past. What I discovered was far more than I had ever imagined possible.

Tuukka Rask is not his original name. He was actually born "Tuukkarrasque." This name illustrates who the man REALLY is: The Tarrasque.

(eat your heart out Days of Y'orr - CH)

From Wikipedia: "The Tarrasque is a highly destructive creature. It needs to eat constantly and savors its desire to destroy in order to survive. As a result, it has many combat methods. It can attack with its tail, its claws, its spikes and horns, by stomping, by grabbing and by slamming its massive 130-ton body into opponents." Does this not perfectly describe our young goalie? 130 tons is an exaggeration, he is actually only 169 pounds... FOR NOW.

It is this writer's humble opinion that, once Tuukkarasque comes closer to fully grown, now only will he dwarf the net making scoring on him all but impossible, he will eat habs faster than the Canadiens can pay people to stop caring about playing hard.

(like I need an excuse to post this picture - CH)

Oh, and one other thing...

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

SBNation Mock Draft: Results

Goodbye Fake Michael Ryder. Goodbye Fake Andrew Ference. We knew you well, and in the end you provided us with a good way to drop some serious cap space dough. This also means we get to see McQuaid play the "punch faces and be mediocre at hockey" role that Hnidy did when he was here. It solves the depth and salary problems up front. And we've still got a fantastic goalie tandem in Thomas and Rask.

In memoriam:


Thursday, September 2, 2010

SBNation Mock Draft: Protected Players

So SBNation is doing a mock expansion draft because hockey isn't here yet and we're all a little bored, no matter how many times we watch Brady2Moss make magic in the preseason. The first part of the exercise went as expected and a couple of Canadians still crying over the Jets and Nordiques get to feel a little better about themselves as a result.

Now comes the interesting part: They'll be having a mock expansion draft. Each team gets a chance to protect some but not all of the players. Here's the criteria, stolen from the post over at Hockey Wilderness, where they're having trouble picking enough players to protect, and I don't blame them:

- Teams can protect either "1 goalie, 5 defensemen and 9 forwards" OR "2 goalies, 3 defensemen and 7 forwards."
- If you go the two goalie route, at least one goalie left unprotected must have played in at least 10 games last season OR 25 games in the last two seasons combined. One game = at least 31 minutes.
- Each team must leave unprotected at least one defenseman who appeared in 40 games last season OR 70 games in the last two seasons combined.
- Each team must leave unprotected at least two forwards who appeared in 40 games last season OR 70 games in the last two seasons combined.
- Players who have played in 49 or fewer games are automatically exempt and do not need to be protected.

So Seguin is exempt, but Johnny "51 games" Boychuk is not.

Originally I decided to go the 2 goalies, 3 defensemen, 7 forwards path because, well, I thought Thomas was a good enough goalie to be worth more than protecting a 4th and 5th defenseman and an 8th and 9th forward. After laughing at Toskala all last year while watching Colombus go down in flames in front of Steve Mason I think Thomas is worth it. Yes, his contract is pretty ridiculous but I just don't know if Rask is ready for 60 games+ playoffs. He looked tired in the Philly series, you know?

But then again maybe I want to play the will-he-won't-he sweepstakes with Thomas. The upside is he's good, the upside of leaving him dangling is that his contract is giant. Plus, only 2 guys can get taken and only 1 of those can be a defenseman or goalie. So maybe someone's more likely to take Ference than Thomas? Uh oh, that was a spoiler.

So far, 1 Keeper Goalie: Tuukka Rask.

I'm worried about him getting too many starts but there are un-signed goalies out there, right?

Which brings me to the next step of the exercise, the defensemen. Here are the defensemen eligible for this exercise:


So of course Chara and Seidenberg are locks, and Boychuk and Hunwick have too much upside to let go. That brings it down to a game of which defenseman do you expose? As mentioned before, I'm gonna go with Ference. He's a hell of a guy and I'm a big fan but when I don't protect Thornton in the forwards someone else who is popular should probably get on there. Also Stuart's cap hit is a hell of a lot more friendly. This gives the GMs a choice between Ference and Thomas. Should be interesting.

Moving right along we need to keep a couple forwards around. Because we're dangling Thomas we get to pick up to 9 forwards to keep around. We also need to expose up to 2 forwards that have played a bunch of games the last season or two. So here's the list:


Above the line are the 7 who I think are pretty much no-brainers. Obviously Ryder is going to go unprotected, and maybe you leave Sturm out there too. Paille can end up in the protected list - I like his style. And I'd probably put Sturm on there too, yeah. Let's keep sturm around for now. He's hurt anyways. So that means our dangling forwards are Michael Ryder (sorry Chemmy) Greg Campbell (sorry Colin, thanks for suspending Matt Cooke for intent to injure) and Shawn Thornton (sorry katie).

So here's the final protected list:




Where'd I screw it all up? Let me know.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Nathan Horton: The Goomba

Yeah I've been gone for a while but there hasn't been a whole lot going on, so I'm about ready to write some things. I've got the itch and the same thing keeps popping up time after time:


I mean, have you seen the man? I'm hoping he jumps immediately into the category of "I don't care if he's got a face tattoo, as long as he scores goals like this:
Oh yes, I'll take one of those please.

So yeah, let's get into it. I'm excited about the guy, you're excited about the guy (or you should be you ignoramous or fan of another team) and who wouldn't be? Heck, back in 2009 someone thought he was awesome enough to make a custom NHL 09 cover:
Great work, Custom Sports Covers! They did another one for NHL10, actually. And a Thomas NHL10. Whatever. Here's a Powerplay snnnnnnnipe on one Jonathan Quick:
Yes, yes, yes, Horton!

So what about statistically? Well, first of all he's had 20 goals in each of the last 5 years but you probably already heard that one about a million times. Well, I have anyhow. Let's see, last year he was 4th on the Panthers in GVT, and second in Defensive Value. GVT is a little odd because you're better off comparing to the team than the whole league. Either way, a big part of that Florida team. And then he comes up here, a goal-scoring talent who just squeezed 20 goals out of Stephen Weiss, Michael Frolik, and the corpse of David Booth. Oh, did I mention 7 of his 57 points were in concert with Dennis Seidenberg? Oh, probably should've mentioned that one.

Lucic-Savard-Horton? I need a napkin.

He's also fought a couple guys you may remember: Hal Gill, Arron Asham, Tim Gleason, etc. Of course, that was all a couple years ago. According to, his last fight was in the 08-09 preseason: Dropping the Purse with Ryan O'Byrne. The video isn't on youtube, so instead watch Horton try to take on the hilariously larger Hal Gill:
Look at him try to pick up Gill. What?

So we shouldn't really expect much in that department from him. Oh well. We've got Thornton and friends to take care of face-punching. What this team needs is goals and I'm pumped at the thought we might actually get some this year.

All that aside, and I think most importantly, he looks like a Goomba:
Thanks to random Puck Daddy Commenter "Richard R" for pointing this out.
GO Goomba!