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Posts Tagged ‘tampa bay lightning’

#2 Boston Bruins @ #30 New York Islanders

Eric – Bruins – If the Bruins don’t win I will eat my hat.  *gimmie*
Marc – Bruins – The Isles were already hopeless with MacDonald… now Danis is in net. *gimmie*
Rory – Bruins – Ha! *gimmie*

#25 Toronto Maple Leafs @ #15 Carolina Hurricanes

Eric – Canes – Fantasy team pick (Cam Ward)
Marc – Canes – blah
Rory – Canes
The Leafs have lost 8 of their last ten.  Plus they suck.

#22 Nashville Predators @ #6 Montreal Canadiens

Eric – Preds – hahaha Pekka.
Marc – Habs – The Preds are looking good recently but it’s tough to go into the Bell Centre and win.
Rory – Habs – No dollar bills are going to be mailed out tonight.

#9 Philadelphia Flyers @ #27 Tampa Bay Lightning

Eric – Flyers – There is no possible way that the Lightning beat the Flyers tonight.  None.
Marc – Flyers – The Lightning are back from a long west coast road trip where they actually won 2 out of 3.  But they lost 7-1 to the Sharks and jet lag is a bitch.
Rory – Flyers – Come on, now.

0421080255#20 Edmonton Oilers @ #19 Minnesota Wild

Eric – Wild – I flipped a coin.  It landed on it’s rim.  Bad teams are bad.
Marc – Wild – Backstrom is the man.
Rory – Wild – I flipped a coin – these two are practically the same at the moment, stnadings-wise and record-wise, anyway.

#21 Colorado Avalanche @ #28 St. Louis Blues

Eric – Avs – They’re on a roll… of sorts.
Marc – Avs – These teams are both pretty bad, but at least Col has looked decent lately.  Stl has lost their last 2 and 7 of the last 10.
Rory – Avs – St. Louis is suckin’ it big time this season.

#13 Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo. @ #23 Dallas Stars

Eric – Stars – They’re playing pretty well lately.  But then again so are the Sabres.
Marc – Stars – Yes, I’m actually picking Turco.
Rory – Stars – Why not?  I like to mix it up.

#14 Phoenix Coyotes @ #11 Vancouver Canucks

Eric – Canucks – Luongo hath returneth.
Marc – Canucks – Luongo is back in action.  Sanford got waived… ouch.
Rory – Canucks – Not-so-sucky team playing pretty-damn-sucky team. (Ed. Note:  Look at the standings…)

#3 Detroit Red Wings @ #24 Los Angeles Kings

Eric – Wings – Just beat up the Ducks last night.  Didn’t have to travel very far today.
Marc – Wings – When the Wings turn it on, they are the best team in the NHL.  Anyone who has watched a team try to hold on to a 3rd period lead against the Wings knows what I’m talking about.
Rory – Wings – LA shouldn’t even bother to show up to this game.  Save everyone some time and effort.

#5 Calgary Flames @ #1 San Jose Sharks

Eric – Sharks – The Flames probably have the best chance to had the Sharks their first home regulation loss.  But I don’t think that will happen.
Marc – Flames – This would be a big time upset, but I freakin love Kipper almost as much as the Mini-Kipper.  Almost, but not quite. (see video below)
Rory – Sharks – San Jose haven’t lost at home in regulation and only twice in OT.  Yup.

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Where has 5-hole.com Pick ’em been for the last 3 weeks, you ask?   Well, I was in Beijing looking for a lovely young bride.   Eric was on a flight to Florida with his financial adviser.  And Rory was negotiating contracts in California.

Now we’re back, and just in time because there’s a full slate of games on tap for tonight.  It’s a great night to have the NHL Center Ice package.  On to the picks!

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There is controversy brewing over the Penguins’ game winning goal scored by Sidney Crosby in overtime last night.  The big question is whether Crosby made contact with the puck above or below the crossbar.  The goal was reviewed and it stood.  So what’s the problem?  The call on the ice was goal.  The replay did not conclusively disprove that.  It’s a goal right?  Maybe, maybe not.

1Why it’s a goal:
1. The NHL says it’s a goal, therefore, it’s a goal.
2. Someone at Pensblog drew a cute picture!  They can’t be wrong, can they?

Why it’s not a goal:

1. Conspiracy theorists claim the NHL is just furthering the Sidney Crosby love fest.

22. The picture from Pensblog is misleading because the puck was not in line with the corner where the post and crossbar meet when it made contact with Crosby’s stick.  It was actually closer to the center of the crossbar.  Oh no!  The new line goes under Crosby’s arm and the puck!  NO GOAL!
3. Commenter Tom L. on the Puck Daddy post says, “Crosby is 5′ 11″, 6′ 3″ on skates. The crossbar is 4ft high and the puck hit a few inches below his armpits. Unless Sid’s swollen head is 28 inches tall, that’s well over 4ft.”
4. If the NHL had disciplined Crosby for his actions in the game against Atlanta, he would not have even been playing in this game.
5. This picture left by another commenter in that Puck Daddy post shows with more lines that the net is only 80 pixels tall in the image, while the distance from the puck to the ice is 91 pixels.  11 pixels isn’t all that much but it’s still something.
seanwasrightcrosbyhs

I say it was no goal.  But what do I know?  Onto the picks!

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No, Mats Sundin hasn’t decided yet. About 10 minutes after this was posted, Sundin announced he will be going to the Canucks… more later

1067183 (more…)

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Lightning Canadiens HockeyYes, we made picks yesterday and no, we didn’t post them.  We’re sorry.  But just to show our dedication to this, I am revealing to everyone that Marc and I both picked the Habs as our gimmies last night. The Habs lost. To the Lightning.  That’s right, the Lightning.

Last night, I went 5-3 and dropped my first gimmie of the season by picking the Habs over the Bolts.  Marc also went 4-4 and also dropped his gimmie by picking the Habs.  Rory went 3-5 last night but did not pick the Habs as her gimmie.  She went with the Sharks who won.

Oh well.  Let’s get to some news:

Petr Prucha’s days in a Rangers uniform may be numbered.  Andrew Gross over at Ranger Rants has this:

Renney was asked whether Prucha’s latest three-game stint was enough of a sample for him.

“Yup,” Renney said. “If it wasn’t, he would still be in. He gave me everything he could. It depends also on what you need. Nigel is in primarily because of his ability to score and help create offense. Also, he’s a playmaker. He helps, I think, supplement what we might need offensive by his ability to make plays. It’s where we are and what we need to generate. It’s capitalizing on guys that have been out of the lineup that want badly to get back in and do the right thing as they do that.”

So there you have it.  Nigel Dawes: playmaker.  Did anyone actually notice Dawes in that game on Wednesday night?  I mean besides the time in the third when he blew his golden opportunity.

The Islanders got absolutely destroyed last night by the Pittsburgh Penguins.  Enjoy:

Picks coming as soon as I clear all these hats out of the way… (more…)

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We won people!  We got rid of the skills competition!

picture-1

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Hello!  Yes I’m alive and so are Marc and Rory.  They say hi.

The Rangers are 17-8-2 right now which places them atop the Eastern conference.  But are they really as good as their record would suggest?

Some days I watch them play and I would argue that they are just as good, if not better than their record suggests.  On other days (Oct 15, Nov 8*, Nov 22, Nov 30) they play terrible, uninspired games.  Why is it that there is such a large swing from game to game?  How can the Rangers right the ship and keep it that way?

*What happened to  “Every goal of every game,” NHL.com?

1. Fix the Power Play. Yes, I know. dead-horseBut seriously, something must be done about this.  The Rangers have the most power play opportunities in the entire league, their offense is what some would call stacked, yet they are ranked 11th in the Eastern conference.  Let me just throw out a few teams that have a better power play.  The Islanders, the Thrashers, the Lightning.  In the last five games, the Rangers are just 2 for 21 with the man advantage.  At least Tom Renney is now admitting that there is something wrong and is even considering putting a forward at the point. aaaaaaah

I think there’s forwards who can do that job. There’s defensemen, too. They just have to do it with a certain level of confidence and assertiveness.  We can look at a number of different guys. What would Zherdev be like back there? Chris (Drury) we’ve tried. What would Scott (Gomez) be like back there? What would Nazzy be like? That’s a short list of guys.

The problem I have with putting a forward at the point is that the Rangers are already leading the league in short handed goals against and they’ve been playing with two defensemen on the power play the entire season.  By putting 4 forwards on the ice, you’re conceding that your PP unit will not be as defensively sound.  Look how easily Chris Drury pounces on the defensive mistake of Martin St. Louis, caught out of position along the boards during a Lightning power play.

So, what do you do if the defensemen on the PP have not been effective but adding a 4th forward would add to the risk of shorthanded goals for a team that already gives up too many shorthanded goals?  Take the defensemen that aren’t working *cough*Rozsival*cough* on the PP off of the PP and put a different defenseman on the point.  Marc Staal doesn’t need the perfect pass to rip a slap shot.

Scott Gomez, please stop hanging around at the half boards and pretending to be Jaromir Jagr.  Cycle the puck and get some low, hard shots to the net with a man set up right in front.  Rebounds and deflections galore!

76074654CM010_NEW_YORK_RANG2. Give Petr Prucha a chance. Dear Tom Renney, Why is it that Dan Fritsche is allowed to have so many games to be consistently invisible yet Petr Prucha gets very few games to play hard, throw the body around, and draw some penalties?  You recently allowed Fritsche to play 10 games in a row.  He scored 1 goal against the Panthers and got 3 assists against the Devils (2) and the Bruins (1).  He scored his first goal of the season in his 9th game in a row.  I wonder if his goal came as a mix of playing against an inferior team plus getting more comfortable playing as he was playing on a more consistent basis.

Please, please allow Prucha 10 games in a row to show you that he is the better player and that he deserves much more ice time than you give him.  Why not try him on the Power Play?  Nothing else seems to be working so far.  Don’t forget, the teams you will be facing in the next couple weeks are much stronger opponents than the ones you faced in the last two weeks.

3. Stop stumbling out of the gate. The Rangers played 13 games in October. They scored first in eight of those games and had a record of 10-2-1.  They played 14 games in November and scored first in only four of those games.  Their record in November was 7-6-1.  In fact, before the game in Tampa, the Rangers had gone eight games without scoring first.

It might be alright to play catch up with a team like the Lightning or the Brodeur-less Devils.  Especially when you have a goalie like Henrik Lundqvist to keep you in it, but what happens when you stumble so hard that you can’t get up in time and give up 4 goals in the first 23 mintues of a game?  You need to come out of the gate strong and finish strong as well.

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