Saturday, January 15, 2011

Top and worse Teams

The Road Warriors
It's a well known fact, that to win hockey games, you have to score goals.Espacially when your on the road.Here are the top five teams in goals scored on the road.
  1. Philadelphia 78
  2. Atlanta 73
  3. Vancouver 72
  4. Boston 69
  5. Detroit 68
The five worse teams:
26.Ottawa 50
27.Washington 46
28.Islanders 44
29.Montreal 43
30.New Jersey 37

Its nice to score goals,but also have prevent them also.Here are among the stingyiest teams on the road.
1.Pittsburgh 43
2.Boston 51
3.Montreal 51
4.Vancouver 56
5.Rangers 56

The worse:
26.Carolina 74
27.Edmonton 74
28.Atlanta 78
29.Islanders 78
30.Tampa Bay 93

Its hard enough to score on the road,but it can be as difficult scoring on the powerplay.Here are the top teams that have scored the most powerplay goals on the road.
1.Vancouver 26
2.Atlanta 20
3.Detroit 20
4.Tampa Bay 20
5.San Jose 20

The worse :
26.Nashville 9
27.St-Louis 9
28.Edmonton 8
29.New Jersey 8
30.Florida 6

While on the road, scoring a short handed goal as the home team is on the powerplay, can sometimes rattle them.Here are the top teams in that category.
1.Rangers 6
2.Philadelphia 4
3.Atlanta 4
4.Boston 4
5.Colorado 4

The worse :
26.Florida 1
27.Anaheim 1
28.Montreal 1
29.Tampa Bay 0
30.Buffalo 0

All numbers from NHL.com

That's all for now !

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Thank You Pat

Thank You Pat
For the great memories.If I may,I will speak on the behalf of the fans of the Hull Olympiques.There was never a dull moment in the Robert-Guertin arena.It have may have been destiny,but thirty years before you started coaching junior in Hull at the time,an another legend was being schooled also,I believe he was William Scott ''Scotty'' Bowman.Like him,you ended up coaching the Canadiens.

Pat,not too many people can brag about having the chance to have coached two legendary goaltenders,Roy and Brodeur,both brought you to cup finals.

When looking at your coaching career,Pat,in your first five years behind a bench,you never got less that 85 points.In the first seasons behind the Canadiens,Leafs,Bruins and Devils bench,you averaged 45 wins,and 103 points per season.Three Jack Adams trophy wins.All coaching original six teams,Montreal in 89,Toronto in 93 and Boston in 98.You may have not gotten it in New Jersey,but won a better trophy, The Stanley cup.

Lets take a look at the players you had the pleasure to coach.Larry Robinson,Bob Gainey,Chris Chelios,Guy Carbonneau and Patrick Roy in Montreal.Doug Gilmour,Wendel Clark,Dave Andreychuck,Grant Fuhr in Toronto.You got to coach Joe Thornton, when you where both in your first season in Boston.You had a pretty good line-up in New Jersey when you won the cup.

In all, you had a pretty good career as a bench boss,Pat.You will be missed.I know your looking down and wondering and reading the papers delivered to the pearly gates,and saying to yourself, ''Move on boys and girls.'' We will Pat,but it won't be easy.

Pat,we will look after Line,Jason,Maureen and your grandson,Samuel.

Thank you again,Pat,for the great memories.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

After 20 games last year and …

As most teams will be getting closer to the 20 game mark of the season,I thought it would be idea to look at their record after same amount of games last year.I placed the teams by divisions and by the amount of points they got.So let’s start with the Eastern Conference teams. Teams in red,missed the playoffs.

Eastern Conference

NorthEast Division

Team

GP

W

L

OTL

PTS

Buffalo

20

12

6

2

26

Ottawa

20

11

6

3

25

Boston

20

8

8

4

20

Montreal

20

9

11

0

18

Toronto

20

3

11

6

12

Atlantic Division

Team

GP

W

L

OTL

PTS

New Jersey

20

14

5

1

29

Pittsburgh

20

13

7

0

26

Philadelphia

20

12

7

1

25

Rangers

20

11

8

1

23

Islanders

20

7

6

7

21

SouthEast Division

Team

GP

W

L

OTL

PTS

Washington

20

12

4

4

28

Atlanta

20

10

7

3

23

Tampa Bay

20

8

5

7

23

Florida

20

9

9

2

20

Carolina

20

3

12

5

11

Western Conference

Central Division

Team

GP

W

L

OTL

PTS

Chicago

20

13

5

2

28

Columbus

20

12

6

2

26

Detroit

20

10

6

4

24

Nashville

20

11

8

1

23

Sr-Louis

20

8

8

4

20

Northwest Division

Team

GP

W

L

OTL

PTS

Calgary

20

12

6

2

26

Colorado

20

12

5

3

25

Vancouver

20

10

10

0

20

Edmonton

20

8

10

2

18

Minnesota

20

7

11

2

16

Pacific Division

Team

GP

W

L

OTL

PTS

San Jose

20

13

4

3

29

Los Angeles

20

11

7

2

24

Dallas

20

9

5

6

24

Phoenix

20

11

9

0

22

Anaheim

20

7

10

3

17

As you can see,even with a good start,Calgary, missed the playoffs. I now its pretty hard to compare one season to an another, as a lot of teams change their personel year to year.Either signing free agents or change coaches.But in the end,its order for one and only reason,win the Stanley Cup.We often mention playoff races,but in reality it’s a marathon.Winning the grand prize in hockey, is the hardest of all major sports.

In January, I will take a look at where the teams where at midpoint in the season in 2009-10.

The Salary cap

I try to stop myself from laughing everytime I read a Gm mention that its hard to make trades under the cap system.Nobody, told you that you had constantly bump against the cap limit every year.Keeping yourself some space in case of possible injuries,slow starts and make shake ups would have been a great idea.You can always go the owner and ask them why they allowed a cap system based on average salary instead of actual salary.Gentlemen,before the lockout, the average payroll per team was about 43.5 million per team,based on actual salary.Today,under the present system,its about 55 million.So much for cost certainty.Don’t expect too much sympathy from the fans in the next CBA negociations.

The Canadiens traded defensemen Ryan O’Byrne to the Colorado Avalanche in return for centerman,MichaĆ«l Bournival from Shawinigan of the Quebec major junior league.The Canadiens had them on their list in 2009,but Colorado grabbed in the third round.It’s a good trade for both sides.it also gave Habs Gm Pierre Gauthier some cap space he needed,but also O’Byrne will see more ice time in Colorado than he could of in Montreal.Thank you,Ryan for your services in Montreal,I’m sure you will take what you learned will help your career in Colorado.

Philadelphia Flyers,resigned restricted free agent Jeff Carter to an 11 year,58 million dollar contract,which take effect in 2011-12.With this signing, the Flyers have 57.5 million committed to 18 players.If the cap stays the same next season,Paul Holmgren could be forced to trade a player.

That’s all for now. !

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The 50 greatest goals and...

A famous picture and Goal
If you are not old enough to remember the famous Bobby Orr goal in the 1970 Stanley cup final.You have certainly seen the picture, the video or have been told about it.
For St-Louis Blues fans,its a goal they would like to forget.It was the last time the Blues have reached the cup final.The Blues have reached the semi-final a few times since.In 1986,under Jacques Demers they were beaten by the Calgary Flames.
In 2001,under Joel Quenneville,they were beaten by the Colorado Avalanche.Quenneville has a cup ring with the Colorado team and added an another this past spring as head coach of the Chicago Blackhawks.Bleacherreport.com has an article about the 50 greatest goals.They include both regular season and playoffs.
The Montreal Canadiens, a superpower of hockey in the 1970's,had in its ranks,one of the best right wingers in the history of the NHL, Guy Lafleur, who scored his team's most important goal of it's history.I know Don Cherry is going to hate this one.Its late in the third period in game 7 against Boston.Cherry's team had just taken the lead 4-3,in a shell shocked Montreal Forum,a new hope came for the die hard Canadiens supporters,the Bruins get called for too many men on the ice.Well,Scotty Bowman was licking his chops at this one.He put his 5 best players on the ice.Lafleur passes it to Lemaire and he back passes it to Lafleur,blasted it past Bruin goalie, Gilles Gilbert.We all know what happened after that.Enjoy the videos.

If you think some teams are feeling a cap crunch this year,just wait until next season.Since it will be the last year of the CBA,teams will no longer have the cap cushion.In other words,they will not be allowed to go over the limit with bonuses.Example, let's say the cap limit next year is 61 million.You have a 23 player roster that cap hits add up to 59 million,but you have bonuses that come up 4million.Well, your going to have fit the 4 million in bonuses within the 61 million allowable cap space.As payable bonuses will not be able to be tacked on to the following year, like it was last season and this season.Benjamin Benya takes a look at the cap situation for all 30 NHL teams.

Bowman still enjoys the hockey life
William Scott ''Scotty'' Bowman,coached in his last NHL game in Detroit over eight years ago,as his Detroit Red Wings won the Stanley Cup for a third time under his leadership.In the summer of 2008,shortly after seeing the Red Wings beat the young and upcoming Pittsburgh Penguins,he accepted a similar position with an another upcoming young team,the Chicago BlackHawks.The decision to move on to Chicago,was a personal one.Stan Bowman, at the time was as assistant-gm,but also had battled with cancer.A year later,the young Bowman became Gm.A chance to work with his son,who was named after the famous trophy, after Scotty won his first in Montreal,against the organization he had joined.In June,Scotty and Stan Bowman became the first father and son to have their names on the Stanley Cup the same year.

Scotty,just turned 77 in September.You would think he would be home enjoying a quiet life.No,his passion for the game is still there.Bob Verdi,an historian for the Blackhawks has a great piece on the legendary coach.Just when you thought you knew everything you needed to know about him, he has an another for you to learn.

That's all for now !

Friday, October 15, 2010

The home opener and ...

There was a time when teams that would be part of the home opening of certains teams,they wished they could trade places with someone else.The Montreal Forum was one of those buildings.It wasn't the building itself,they feared,but the team that played there.It was the home of the mighty Montreal Canadiens.The temple of hockey, house of legends.

Who could blame them.Les Canadiens could intimidate you just by taking the warm up.Then they would stare you down during the national anthem.Those were certainly the good old days.Other buildings also that kind of aura,but nothing beat the chilling effect of the grand old building at the corner of Ste-Catherine and Atwater, in the core of Montreal's downtown area.

Today,that is all gone, the newer building,the Bell Center does not have that same effect,neither does the team.The last home opener in the Forum was the beginning of the end of what was once one of the greatest hockey dynasties.On October 17th 1995,then President,Ronald Corey proceeded with a major house cleaning, that would have a domino effect that would last for years,even decades. To this day,the organisation is still trying to recover.


The new building,now known as the Bell Center,formely opened as the Molson Center.It has not been kind to its tenants.For a long time, you couldn't give tickets away.Of course that has changed since the end of the lockout in July 2005.In the five years since the 2004-05 cancelled season, the Canadiens have sold out every season,it most likely will again this year also.Against all odds, Les Glorieux,made it to the Eastern conference finals.The expectations will be high.In the six home openers they have played since the cancelled season, they have a 1-3-2 record.No Harry Sinden, the ghost haven't followed, but then again, you may want to get Bruce Boudreau's opinion on that one. By the way,in 14 home openers in the Molson/Bell Center, the Canadiens have 4 wins,5 losses, 3 tied games and 2 OT losses.

What to do on a rainy day ?
Since it was a boring day here in Canada's national capital,I decided to go thru some stats on the fastest starts since the end of the lockout by the six canadian teams.Fun uh ? It was.Well lets start with Les Canadiens,their best start to a season since the lockout, came in 2008-09,when they went 8-1-1 for 17 points out twenty in the first ten games.This tied the Vancouver Canucks record in the 2005-06 season.The Ottawa Senators had the best of all six canadian teams in the 2007-08 season, when they went 9-1-0 in their first ten games.So much for great starts,Marc Crawford,Guy Carbonneau and John Paddock where all fired later on, following those good starts.

All stats used,are from the good people at hockey reference.

Around the League
There seems to be a new owner coming to town in Glendale,AZ, to buy the Phoenix Coyotes.Chicago businessman Matthew Hulsizer is closing on the deal to purchase the team from the NHL,according to Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press. The purchase price is targeted at about 165 million,25 more than the league paid for it 2009 from bankruptcy court. The league lost 30 million while running the team.


That's all for now !

Thursday, October 07, 2010

There back and ...

The 92nd NHL marathon begins today
The puck will drop in Helinski,Finland in the game between the Carolina Hurricanes and the Minnesota Wild.But we all know the official season starts in North America.This is the sixth season of the Salary cap era.

Besides the Helinski game,eight teams will be in action tonight.Two of the league's oldest franchises will meet in Toronto.The Montreal Canadiens and the Toronto Maple Leafs will face off at the Air Canada Centre at 7 pm.The game will be broadcasted on the CBC and RDS for the french viewers in Quebec.As always, the expectations will be high for the storied franchise from Montreal,espacially after the surprising playoff run last spring.As for the Toronto team,its an ever lasting building process since the end of the lockout five years ago.After the Montreal-Toronto game,the CBC will head west for the battle of Alberta,between the Edmonton Oilers and the Calgary Flames.It should be an entertaining evening of hockey.

In the last few days,the experts,pundits and bloggers have made their predictions on the upcoming season.The late great coach of the Montreal Canadiens,Toe Blake, once said that predictions are for gypsies.I will follow that and more go on the lines of a possible scenario for each conference.I believe we really get a better picture of a season in January,which is the season's midpoint.

In the Eastern conference.Last season,the Capitals,Devils,Sabres and Penguins finished in the top four.I think the Penguins,Capitals and Sabres will be there again.So a dog fight could occur for positions four to eight.The teams that will be hunting for the spots are : Boston,Ottawa,Montreal,New Jersey,Philadelphia,Tampa Bay,Rangers and Carolina.It should make for some entertaining hockey.Like last year,we may have to wait til the last weekend of the season to find out who the last team or teams to make the playoffs.

In the Western conference.Last season,San Jose,Vancouver,Chicago and Phoenix finished in the top four.This season,Detroit will take back it's place in the top four and join San Jose,Vancouver and Chicago.I think Los Angeles has a good chance at sewing up fifth place.So contrary to the Eastern conference,only three playoff spots are up for grabs in the West.Phoenix,St-Louis,Nashville,Colorado,Anaheim and Calgary will be fighting for those spots.

As I mentionned earlier,we should have a better idea of the possible playoff pictures once the season hits midpoint.Other than staying healthy, and being consistant ip front, on defense and in goal,is there a formula in making the playoffs ? Yes, having good home and away records.In the eight teams that made it to the playoffs in the West,none of them where below 22 wins at home,while in the East,all but two teams reached that mark.Boston and Montreal had 18 and 20. Out of the eight teams with playoff spots in the East,only four won 21 games and more.Two of the teams below that mark had losing records going in to the first round.Ottawa and Philadelphia.In the West,three teams finished below the 21 win mark,Vancouver had a losing record.

Its was harder to make the playoffs in the West than in the East.Colorado made it with 95 points,while Montreal snuck in with 7 less points at 88.The first seven teams in the West had 100+ points going in to the playoffs to the four from the East.

We should be in for a good end entertaining season,folks.

Around the League

The San Jose Sharks have named Joe Thornton as their captain.DanBoyle will be wearing one of the A's as will former captain, Patrick Marleau.During the regular season,he will be good.His leadership will surely be tested come playoffs.Just like in Washington,the Sharks fans want a cup.The Sharks finally made for the conference finals last spring,but lost in four games to eventual cup champions,Chicago. Can he lead them down the path to glory ? We will find out next spring.

In its season preview show,TSN has predicted that the Detroit Red Wings will win the 2011 Stanley Cup.Here is quote by Bob McKenzie '' Everything old is new again.Zetterberg and Datsyuk are playing together, Franzen and Filppula are healthy, happy, and productive, and maybe it's a last hurrah for Nicklas Lidstrom." His collegue on the panel,Pierre Mcguire agreed with McKenzie. McGuire then added "They're just too much, well coached, rested, and angry with what happened to them last year in the San Jose series."

Coaches on the hot seat was also on TSN's season preview.Darren Drager listed the following : Todd Richards in Minnesota,Marc Crawford in Dallas,Ron Wilson in Toronto,Randy Carlyle in Anaheim,Alain Vigneault in Vancouver and Bruce Boudreau in Washington.I will add, Claude Julien in that group also.

That's all for now,enjoy the season.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Quebec fans send message to NHL and ...

Quebec fans want their team back
Quebec Nordiques fans by the truck load descended on historical Plaines d'Abraham to drum up support for a return of their team, who had moved to Colorado,following the 1994-95 shorten season.

The message was also clear that the canadian government should put up the money for a new building.It was also a message sent to the NHL brass,that this market must be given back a franchise.With struggling franchises in non traditional markets,the NHL's board of Governors can not overlook a good potential market like the one in Quebec city.According to hockey columnist,Yvon Pedneault,Gary Bettman has given a drop date for the franchise in Phoenix.If no owner is found by December 31st of this year,there is a good chance, the Coyotes will be relocated.No particular alternate market was mentionned,but with the demonstration yesterday in Quebec,it will be hard to pass by.The teams in the canadian market represent 31% of the yearly revenues for the NHL.

The hockey news recently polled NHL players and asked where the NHL put a team via either relocation or expansion.Quebec City got 33 votes,Winnipeg 18 and Las Vegas 12.

Should the league look in to the Islanders cap situation ?
Larry Brooks from the NY post thinks it should.The Islanders have been able to reach the cap floor because of the Yashin and Whitt buyouts,which total in a $6,088,400 cap hit.Brooks wonders why the league is not too worried about this,as they where with the Kovalchuck contract contraversy.

What's in store in the next CBA ?
Pierre Lebrun from ESPN,takes a look at possible points the NHL would like to change in the next round of CBA talks in two years.Lebrun mentions the following points as ones the league and the NHLPA may look over.

• Lower the percentage of the players' share from the revenue pie from the current 57 percent (which would obviously lower the salary cap).

• Explore the magnitude of the payroll range; the current gap is $16 million from the higher to lower limit (this season, it's $59.4 million to $43.4 million).

• Try to scrap salary arbitration, which has long been a thorn in the league's side, especially now in a cap system.

• Adjust the age for unrestricted free agency.

Records since the lockout

Eastern Conference

Team

Rank

GP

W

L

OL

PTS

New Jersey

1

410

240

134

36

516

Buffalo

2

410

230

136

44

504

Ottawa

3

410

223

144

43

489

NY Rangers

4

410

209

146

55

473

Caroline

5

410

215

156

39

469

Montreal

6

410

211

153

46

468

Pittsburgh

7

410

208

153

49

465

Washington

8

410

204

151

55

463

Boston

9

410

197

151

57

451

Philadelphie

10

410

194

165

51

439

Floride

11

410

183

167

60

426

Atlanta

12

410

188

176

46

422

Toronto

13

410

181

172

57

419

Tampa Bay

14

410

176

184

50

402

NY Islanders

15

410

171

191

47

389

Western Conference

Team

Rank

GP

W

L

OL

PTS

Detroit

1

410

257

101

52

566

San Jose

2

410

248

114

48

544

Nashville

3

410

228

143

39

495

Anaheim

4

410

219

139

52

490

Vancouver

5

410

224

146

40

488

Dallas

6

410

221

144

45

487

Calgary

7

410

217

146

47

481

Minnesota

8

410

208

159

43

459

Colorado

9

410

206

167

37

449

Chicago

10

410

195

165

50

440

Phoenix

11

410

193

186

31

417

Los Angeles

12

410

181

183

46

408

Edmonton

13

410

179

188

43

401

St-Louis

14

410

169

180

61

399

Columbus

15

410

175

187

48

398


That's all for now.