Monday, April 30, 2012

Hockey Players And Mohawk Hair Cuts

After seeing multiple players on the Nashville Predators sporting Mohawk hair cuts in the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs, my initial reaction was "You look like a goofball. I hope you lose". That was how I felt seeing Brian McCabe's multi-colour mohawk once upon a time in Toronto, and it is how I feel today. Just because McCabe did it, doesn't make it cool. If anything that precludes it from being cool. If I owned a professional hockey team, I would institute a team rule banning mohawks, and if that cost us a free agent or two, so be it. I'd specifically put a stipulation in every player contract that no player will receive a salary for any duration of time that they sport a mohawk, and any no movement clauses are immediately voided.

Aboriginal players would have a mohawk exemption. A native with a mohawk is scary. A white man with a mohawk is a goof.

My ban would even include "The Mr T"

Friday, April 27, 2012

2011/12 Florida Panthers R.I.P

They were lucky to even make the playoffs, much less advance to the second round. The Florida Panthers squandered a 3-2 series lead to lose in game 7 overtime against the New Jersey Devils; but honestly Florida this was the high end of what you could have expected a year ago. Bergenheim was the reason that it went to seven games and was the series MVP for the Panthers. Weiss, Versteeg, Goc, Campbell, Samuelsson tied for 2nd in team scoring with 5 PTS a piece. Their goaltending was average, but they proved able to battle back from behind to win on multiple occasions.

Tomas Fleischmann was pricey at $4.5M, but he earned his salary. Kris Versteeg might have been their best acquisition, scooped up as Philly was clearing room for Mr Universe. Stephen Weiss is a very useful player, and it was nice to see him finally get to play in a playoff game (unlike his former teammate Bouwmeester, who is the active leader in career games played without playing in playoffs). Sean Bergenheim is a bargain at $2.75M, even if he does save his best for the post season. Samuelsson and Sturm are UFAs, but while Mikael still has some gas in the tank, Marco is pretty much done. Sturm was done last year, but Gillis made a bad buy, his top free agent acquisition.

Brian Campbell was a huge boost to this roster, but he doesn't come cheap. At the very least he's played his way off of my NHL worst contracts list, but teammate Ed Jovanovski may have played his way onto the 2012 list. $4.25M for 3 more years, a 36 year old with a lot of hard miles on the odometer, 63 GP, 13 PTS, -11, 16 minutes per game does not a $4M player make. Even if the journeyman retires, he signed at 35+ so the cap hit continues even if he retires (though that's not money out the door, and helps this financially troubled franchise hug the floor).

Jakub Markstrom is their future in net, so Clemmenson (UFA) will likely be allowed to walk. Theodore has 1 more year at $1.5M, a very fair price, and should split duties with Markstrom next season. Many pundits have reported that the Panthers system is stocked with some high end young prospects, which will form a solid foundation for the Quebec Nordiques for many years. "If you build it, they will come..."

2011/12 Ottawa Senators R.I.P

Does losing in the playoffs still count as a disappointment when few predicted they would even make it to the post season? For most of 2011, this was one of the worst teams in the NHL; then Craig Anderson and Erik Karlsson found their form and the team hasn't looked back. They took the #1 seed New York Rangers to seven games and lost despite a valiant effort. Craig Anderson had a great series, but the goalie at the other end was just a little bit better when it mattered the most. Jason Spezza led the team in scoring, where Milan Michalek was a profound disappointment in the playoffs, scoring 2 PTS over 7 games. Karlsson had 1 point in 7 GP, Greening 1 point, Alfredsson 2 PTS in 4 GP. Aside from Spezza; Nick Foligno and Chris Neil were the team's best forwards.

Karlsson picked a great time for a breakout season, leading the NHL in defenseman scoring by a country mile, set to become a restricted free agent in the offseason. If Drew Doughty got $7M over several years (having never won a Norris trophy), who much will Karlsson be due if he wins the trophy this year? Filip Kuba will be their toughest UFA to replace should he depart for greener pastures. With Karlsson due a big raise and Gonchar having another year left at $5.5M, it is unlikely that Kuba will return. Phillips comes at a reasonable price, and Jered Cowan will likely be relied upon to play an even bigger role next season, probably a bump from 19 minutes to about 22 minutes.

Daniel Aldredsson has one year left on his over 35 front loaded contract, so whether he decides to play next season for $1M or retire, the $4.3 will still come off the cap number. Not that it matters, Ottawa has one of the league's lowest payrolls. They have the room to add some big pieces provided ownership wants to spend the money. Zenon Konopka was a great bargain at $700K, and should generate more demand this summer than he received last summer. Detroit could certainly use a player of his skill set. Even if you don't think 3.6 PIMs per game is a "skill", he is great on faceoffs and kills penalties. Greening, Z.Smith, and Condra will all be coming back for under a million dollars, which helps. Turris showed a lot of promise this season and has become an important building block in the future of the franchise.

For an idea of how I've tracked this team over the course of the entire season, below is the collection of my Ottawa Senators power rankings blurbs. I do a power rankings every 2-3 weeks using a formula based mostly on goal differential and PTS per game. Ottawa started at #27, climbed as high as #10, and finished at #15.


#27. Ottawa (last April rank #27): They have won 2 in a row after a 1-5 start, and Jason Spezza is putting up points. That being said, I'd still bet against this team making the playoffs


#25. Ottawa (last rank #27): They're bad, they're good, they're bad, now what? Spezza and Michalek have something going.

#21. Ottawa (last rank #25): As of right now they have squeaked into the 8th seed in the East. Far better than I would have predicted after the first 2 weeks of the season. Karlsson has been their MVP to this point.


#23. Ottawa (last rank #21): Erik Karlsson's 29 PTS in 33 GP would have to earn him their Unsung Hero award, though Milan Michalek's 19 goals have been a surprise. Jason Spezza team MVP. Sens have serious goaltending issues.

#22. Ottawa Senators (last rank #23): This has been one of the worst teams of the year, though they finish 2011 tied for the last playoff spot in the East. Their year has been one steady, consistent improvement. It is great to see Alfredsson back and producing at a strong clip.


#14. Ottawa Senators (last rank #22): What's more ridiculous, that Sens fans voted all those guys into the starting all-star line-up, or that those guys may have deserved those spots? Paul MacLean has leapfrogged Mike Yeo as my favourite to win coach of the year. Craig Anderson is 6-0-1 with a 1.80 GAA so far this month. Is Karlsson having a Norris calibre season? He should be in the discussion.


#22. Ottawa Senators (last rank #14): Currently rated as the worst team holding down a playoff spot. They are on a league high 6 game losing streak, as their fortunes seem to have completely collapsed leading into and following their city hosting all-star weekend.

#10. Ottawa Senators (last rank #22): This has been quite the roller coaster season for Sens fans. Two weeks ago people were starting to write them out of a playoff spot, and since then Erik Karlsson may have clinched the Norris trophy and personally turned the team around. Jason Spezza has experienced a resurrection. Ottawa has been trying to sell Spezza for the last two years and could not find a buyer. They aren't selling anymore.


#11. Ottawa Senators (last rank #10): Ben Bishop might have quietly been one of the best trade deadline acquisitions. Spezza and Alfredsson however, important producers in this offense, have been quiet in March.


goaltending. If Craig Anderson can stand on his head, the Senators might just have a chance.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

2011/12 Boston Bruins R.I.P

Another recent winner of Stanley Cup has been eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs, with the Washington Capitals defeating  the Boston Bruins in game 7 overtime. Ultimately over the course of seven games, rookie Braden Holtby outplayed Vezina/Conn Smythe winner Tim Thomas, the anarchist who loathes Washington. It seems like a twisted fate that he should be knocked out in the first round by Washington after declining a trip with his team visiting the White House to celebrate their Cup victory. Boston had a strong season and will remain in the league's top tier for a few more years at least. It cannot be understated the physical toll that their Cup victory took on the roster in 2011, and how difficult it is to repeat that feat. They have the right building blocks in place, and some young future stars ready to carry the future.

Boston will continue to be a contending team next season, with the biggest question mark being in net. Tuukka Rask is ready to be a #1 goaltender, but is a RFA this summer. Tim Thomas has one more year left on his deal at $5M. Who will play more games for the Bruins next season? Unless he's traded, that will probably be Tim Thomas. Zdeno Chara continues to be among the most dominant defensemen in the league, though at some point age should start to slow the big man down. Generally giants tend to wear down younger than normal sized people, though I expect Zdeno to have another dominant season in 2012/13 (but it is unlikely he'll hold up until the end of his contract in 2018). Boychuck, Seidenberg, McQuaid , Ference will all be back for under $3.3M.

Lucic, Bergeron, Seguin, Marchand, are all coming back at reasonable price tags. David Krejci will get bumped up to $5.25M, which is neither a bargain or too expensive. Chris Kelly, Dan Paille and Gregory Campbell are the UFA priorities for the Bruins to re-sign.  There is no major overhaul required, just simple tinkering. The championship pieces are already in place, hence how they won the big trophy last year. They have a strong chance at winning the trophy again next year. The future is bright in Boston.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Roberto Luongo To The Toronto Maple Leafs?

After a disappointing first round exit from the Stanley Cup playoffs in which Cory Schneider took over the number one goaltender duties, Roberto Luongo has announced that he is willing to waive his no trade clause and leave Vancouver. The probability Lou is traded this offseason has to be at least 85%, and thus far the teams being mentioned the most are the Toronto Maple Leafs and Tampa Bay Lightning. The biggest determining factor in where he ends up is whether he's willing to go anywhere, or if he gives Gillis a restricted list of teams he'll play for. Having the no trade clause does give him a veto (whether or not he chooses to use it), and many in the Vancouver media have speculated that Roberto would want nothing to do with Toronto (where angry fans closed out the season heckling their goaltenders). Roberto needs people to pump his tires. Everyone knows that.

Brian Burke is certainly desperate enough for a #1 goaltender that he will almost certainly make an offer for Luongo. That much you can take to the bank, unless of course he's able to find another goaltender before Lou is moved. Whether or not Roberto goes to the Leafs depends on if he's willing to play in the center of the Universe in front of a frustrated, often hostile fan base. I don't think he is. If I were a gambling man, I'd wager a large sum of money that he ends up in the state of Florida. As a matter of personal preference, Luongo in Toronto would be far more entertaining. Leaf Nation is in a volatile state right now, and if the team doesn't start winning next season, things will deteriorate from ugly to uglier. Lou is more likely to get his tires slashed by Leaf fans than he is to get them pumped. Leaf nation would fall in love with him if he succeeds, and eat him alive if he fails. For that reason, don't expect Toronto to be on his short list.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

2011/12 Chicago Blackhawks R.I.P

Did we over-estimate the Blackhawks or under-estimate the Coyotes? Phoenix will advance to the 2nd round of the playoffs for the first time in a long time after eliminating the 2010 Stanley Cup champions in 6 games. Mike Smith was the MVP of the series, and he has now officially arrived as a top goaltender in the NHL. This was not a case of the Coyotes roster outplaying the Hawks roster, but rather Mike Smith being the best player on the ice for either team. Toews and Kane earned their pay cheques in the playoffs, leading the team in scoring, but not scoring quite enough. The first 5 games in the series went to overtime, so any number of bounces could have easily changed the final outcome.

Rest assured that next season, the Chicago Blackhawks will be just as good, if not a little bit better. They have a solid young core with Stanley Cup rings, and will be a perennial contender for at least a few more years. There is no consideration of blowing up the Chicago roster, as it is young enough and skilled enough that you need only tinker. Hopefully Marian Hossa will be able to return at full strength next season, otherwise it would be best if he retired or stayed hurt allowing the team the space needed to add another major piece. That contract was a major burden from the moment they signed it, over $5M per season until 2021. Patrick Sharp becomes all the more expensive next season from $3.9M to $5.9M, with Toews and Kane each making $6.3M for 3 more seasons. Steve Montador for 3 more seasons at $2.75M certainly looks like a terrible contract in hindsight, even before the head injury.

Corey Crawford might come at a nice price ($2.7M for 2 more years), but he took a step backwards this season. He has the ability to play great games, but he can be beaten. To be fair to Chicago fans, Anti Niemi wasn't dynamite this year either. There is no reason for Chicago fan to despair. They won the Cup 2 years ago and will have a contender in 2013. Have faith. They'll be back. Andrew Shaw looks like a home run. Jimmy Hayes, Bryan Bickell, Marcus Kruger, Viktor Stallberg, and Dan Carcillo are all usefull components costing less than a million dollars. These bargain players will allow the Hawks to have solid depth despite carrying 6 players over $5 million dollars. Not sure Brunette will be back. Leddy needs to improve his defensive play.

Monday, April 23, 2012

2011/12 Vancouver Canucks R.I.P

The LA Kings SLAYED THE DRAGON!!! Sorry, that one was hard to resist after tonight's overtime series victory by LA over the Vancouver Canucks in five games (during which Vancouver scored just 8 goals). The parade for the President's trophy will be held on the May long weekend. Clearly goaltender Jonathon Quick was the 1st star of the series, followed by Dustin Brown and Cory Schneider. Ryan Kesler hasn't scored in the last 17 games (he scored 41 last season), Booth scored 1 point in the playoffs, Higgins had none, and Henrik Sedin scored a point on 63% of Vancouver's goals. At least the Sedins showed up to play in this series, and they would never have fallen behind 0-3 had Daniel been in the line-up from game 1. If there was any Thelma and Louise on the roster, it was Kesler and Booth. Kesler spent most of his time trying to win an academy award.

Driving home this evening, I listened to an hour of Vancouver sportstalk radio, flipping back and forth between CKNW 980 and the Team 1040. They went to the phones, which is always the most entertaining time to listen, immediately after a playoff elimination. There were a number of reoccurring themes; 1) the name Cody Hodgson came up about 45 times, 2) Cory Schneider is the future, 3) frequently harsh criticisms of GM Mike Gillis and coach Alain Vigneault. Zach Kassian was no help to the team at all in the playoffs in the series. The only move of significance they made at the deadline was trading 19 goals for 4 goals. If your window is now, that's a poorly timed step backwards. Kassian might develop into a fine player, but Hodgson gave the team far more offense right now.

There seems to be a general consensus among Canuck fans that Schneider should be the #1 goalie on this team, and I tend to agree. He's younger, better, and less expensive (which will change as he becomes a RFA in the very near future). If you want to sign him to anything beyond a qualifying offer, he can command between $4M to $5M on the open market. Has a team in the salary cap era won a championship while eating up over $10M in cap space in net? Luongo has a no trade clause, so will only be moved to a destination of his choice if he even wants to move at all. The joke on the talk shows is that all the best moves Gillis has made involved locking up Burke/Nonis players to new contracts. Ballard was a huge whiff. David Booth was a miss, though they traded dead weight to acquire him; the dead weight were expiring contracts, Booth has 3 more years left at $4.3M.

At least this year there were no riots. By all accounts, the city was almost eerily quiet. Vancouver at least has some class, they only torch downtown when they get bounced from the Stanley Cup finals. Sorry, that was a far too tempting low blow. I watched the brief overtime in an arena lobby with about 30 Canucks fans, and when the Kings scored there was dead silence. A few seconds later somebody blurted out "so it's over?" The crowd then quickly and obediently dispersed. That might be the best way to summarize their 2011/12 season.

Will they be able to find an approved buyer for Luongo? I'd cut the head off of a live chicken if it guaranteed he'd become a Toronto Maple Leafs. Sorry PETA, but I hate the Maple Leafs that much...

2011/12 Pittsburgh Penguins R.I.P

As fate would have it, the two teams predicted by many to meet in the 2012 Stanley Cup finals have both been bounced in the first round, eliminated on the same day. Pittsburgh was trounced 5-1 by the Philly Flyers, the players sent home for the summer. This forces me to rescind my statement from March declaring the Penguins 2012 Stanley Cup champions (which has become a tradition of sorts on the Slatekeeper blog). This was one of the most entertaining first round match-ups you could ever watch. It would have been nice if they played a best of 15 with the winner going directly to the Conference finals, but sadly the NHL doesn't work that way. Jordan Staal led the Pens in scoring, but without question the story of the series for Pittsburgh was brutal defensive play and surprisingly weak goaltending. Claude Giroux was the best player on either team, and that's why they play the games.

The Pens automatically become one of the favourites to win next year, however they have a glaring weakness on the blueline. It will be hard for them to address this need when they are already burdened with two terrible contracts in Paul Martin ($5M) and Zybnek Michalek ($4M) for 3 more seasons. If they do not add a single forward in the offseason, they'll be fine, but something must be done about the defense. Martin and Michalek have limited no movement clauses, so trading them will be tricky, especially considering it's doubtful any GM would be stupid enough to take either guy. Somehow I doubt that Penguins ownership is willing to eat the contracts and send them to the minors, Wade Redden style.

The Penguins don't have the same dilemma as a San Jose, to blow it up or not to blow it up, because they have a solid young core that puts them in an elite class of team for years to come. There is no reason for Penguins fans to despair, other than being angry about a fluke loss to a hated rival. Chalk up this series to being on the losing side of psychological warfare, learn from the mistakes, and set the sights on being the 2013 Stanley Cup champions. If I had to make a prophecy for next season, I'd say that the Penguins will play more playoff games than the Canucks. Take that to the bank.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

2011/12 San Jose Sharks R.I.P

The second team eliminated from the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs is ironically the team that eliminated Detroit from the 2011 Stanley Cup playoffs, the San Jose Sharks, bounced in five games by the St. Louis Blues. The window is quickly closing shut on the Marleau-Thornton dynasty, and still this franchise has yet to advance beyond the conference finals. The Blues were said to be ripe for an upset, but proved to be too much for the Sharks to handle. Assuming LA can close out the Canucks, we are probably looking at a Nashville/Blues Western finals. San Jose will continue to be a tough team to beat next season, but their chances of winning 16 playoff games seems to be declining rapidly. Either St. Louis is the real deal, or San Jose is a complete fraud. We'll find out more after the next round.

Havlat was the only San Jose player to score more than one goal in the series. Niemi was alright, but made some costly mistakes. Marleau did not score a single point in the entire series, and neither did Pavelski. That's completely unacceptable, though we have seen both shut down for stretches of the playoffs in years gone by, and others where they have been on fire. The Sharks have been picked by just about every pundit at some point over the last 5 years (some multiple times), and yet they have always managed to find a variety of different ways to come up short. Their greatest accomplishment seems to be being Detroit Red Wings kryptonite every few years.

Let's be honest here, Havlat might score a clutch goal every now and then, but there's no way in Hell any team should be paying this guy $5M per year for 3 more years. They have $14M tied up in Thornton and Marleau for the next 2 seasons (with no movement clauses). Couture is their best young player they have, at a good price, but he's the type of kid who needs someone to get him the puck. Dominic Moore ($1M), Torrey Mitchel ($1.4M), Daniel Winnik ($1M) are unrestricted free agents; so the team doesn't have any new money to play with in the offseason. They would have to start clearing salary before taking on any significant salary. The only guys worth keeping are the ones without the no movement clauses.

Brent Burns gets bumped from ($3.6M) to ($5.8M) next year, and is at the very least an above average player. He came at a great price this season, but if a bit pricey next season (with 5 more years at the new price). Brian Boyle is an effective puck mover, even at $6.6M. Vlasic is flawed, and not somebody any team should be relying on for meaningful minutes. Should they blow it up? Thornton, Marleau, Handzus, Boyle, all have no movement clauses and would have to consent. Pavelski, Clowe, Couture are still young enough to be a part of any rebuild. Antti Niemi is a decent goaltender at a reasonable price ($3.8M until 2015) who gets hot every now and then. If they keep this team together as is, they will again contend for a playoff spot and have a decent chance at winning a series. But as currently constructed, this is not a championship team.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

2011/12 Detroit Red Wings R.I.P

The first team eliminated from the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs is the Detroit Red Wings, bounced in five games by the Nashville Predators. They were not exactly outplayed more in the series, but Pekka Rinne was the best player on either team and Detroit made more defensive blunders leading to opposing goals. That was the difference. Zero points for Bertuzzi, Cleary, and Lidstrom; 1 for Franzen. On the other side, Weber and Suter have to be the best 1-2 punch on defense in the playoffs right now. Rinne is unquestionably among the league's top 3 goaltenders. Datsyuk never quite seemed to get his legs back after late season knee surgery, but was still effective.

As a Red Wings fan, I have been saying since February that the team I least wanted Detroit to play in the first round was Nashville (and to a lesser extent, San Jose). I was even openly encouraging the Wings to lose the last game against Chicago to avoid Nashville in the first round. Wings fans have been spoiled with success over the last 15 years, such that it's hard to actually get upset anymore when they lose, but being the first team out is a low blow (next year they should book several events at the Joe in April, bring in Coldplay for a week). The series featured multiple acts of Red Wings pond hockey defense, most evidently when 3 Wings chased Erat into the corner, leaving two Preds all alone in the slot. When David Legwand walked through the whole team and scored 13 seconds into the 3rd period of the last game to break a 1-1 tie, I turned off my television and left the house. That was all that I needed to see.

The series hit a dark cloud at the end of game 1 with Shea Weber slamming Zetterberg's head into the glass with enough force to crack his helmet, and Brendan Shanahan not suspending Weber for the incident (followed by Shanahan going bananas with suspensions across the NHL afterwards). Shea is lucky that Zetterberg has enough Viking blood that he was not more seriously injured, because we have certainly seen many lesser infractions cause far more serious injuries. Had his first swing at the back of Zetterberg's head been half an inch to the right and connected, this could have been a far different story. What happens if 3 weeks from now Zetterberg starts showing post concussion symptoms? Not all head injuries are diagnosable in the early stages. I'd like to call the manufacturer of Henrik's helmet and ask them; based on safety tests how much force is generally required to crack their product? In all likelihood, Shanahan would probably like a mulligan on this one. He certainly made my shit list. Kudos to Bertuzzi for standing up for his teammate.

The offseason will see Hudler ($2.8M), Holmstrom ($1.8M), Lidstrom ($6M), and Stuart ($3.75M) become unrestricted free agents; with Helm ($0.9M), Abdelkader ($0.8M), and Quincy ($3.1M) becoming RFAs. If Lidstrom decides to return he is still a very useful player and the Wings will will him back with open arms, but he is not the player he used to be. He needs to be paired with the right partner, and can't be relied upon for the same number of minutes he's played in the past. Detroit will offer Ryan Suter a king's ransom, but there is a decent chance he stays in Nashville (especially if they go a few rounds in the playoffs, putting extra money in the owner's pockets to pay him market price). Brad Stuart is a good player that I would pay as much as $4.75M, but not more than Kronwall. Brendan Smith should be pencilled into the top 6. Detroit never adequately replaced Rafalski, and need another elite blueliner in order to maintain their status as an elite team.

On forward, Hudler is not worth a penny over $3M, and is more reasonably worth $2.5M. I won't miss him if he leaves. Holmstrom is a $1.5M player if he decides to return. Darren Helm proved his worth to this franchise by his absence, and should be paid in the $2M-$3M range. Abdelkader is a $1.5M player at most. Gustav Nyquist and Cory Emmerton have proven worthy of a 4th line role, and both come at a good price. The only major need is for more depth at the forward position, which was not addressed at the trade deadline. Adding a 2nd liner and a 3rd liner would be advised, especially if Patrick Eaves is unable to return. Valteri Filppula exceeded my expectations in the regular season, and fell short in the playoffs.

Jimmy Howard is a good goaltender at a good price $2.25M. The job is to resign a few players, add a top defenseman, and forward depth. They can easily contend for the Stanley Cup next season, provided they're able to acquire a top D man, which is not always easy to do. Ken Holland is among the league's top general managers, so hopefully he'll be able to reload in the offseason. Detroit has more financial flexibility than most teams.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Canucks And Penguins Battle Back

The odds are still stacked against the Pittsburgh Penguins and Vancouver Canucks winning their respective first round series, but being down 1-3 is less daunting than being down 0-3. A 15% chance is far more appealing than a 5% chance. The Penguins hammered the Flyers 10-3 on Wednesday, and Cory Schneider led the Canucks to a 3-1 victory a few hours later. With Luongo sitting on the bench, Vancouver's future franchise goaltender put on a clinic, including a climactic stop on a crucial penalty shot which could have tied the game. Schneider stopped Dustin Brown, and Vancouver scored their 3rd goal minutes later.

There was a bloodbath in Philadelphia as the Pens dominated and decimated the Flyers. Despite missing 4 regular players due to suspensions/injuries and falling behind early, Pittsburgh settled down and soundly beat the shit out of their opponent. Marc Andre Fleury looked terrible again early, getting beat five hole twice in the first ten minutes. This prompted me to Tweet "To recycle an old Alan Bester joke: Did you hear MA Fleury was hit by a bus? He'll be okay though, it went through his legs." However Pitt settled down, and so did Fleury. The better team was the best team on this night, showing that it was improbable for Philly to have jumped out to a 3-0 series lead.

The TSN expert panel consensus had Pittsburgh Vancouver meeting in the finals. Both fell down 0-3 in the first round, and both won tonight. Stay tuned to find out how this ends.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Vancouver Canucks President's Trophy Parade

Speculation has now begun that the Vancouver Canucks might consider holding a parade through downtown Vancouver to celebrate winning the President's Trophy for winning the NHL's regular season. Team officials have given no indication that they are currently considering it, but perhaps with enough fan pressure, that might change. One could argue that winning the President's Trophy is a more impressive accomplishment than the Stanley Cup. A team only needs to win 16 games to win the Cup, but close to 50 to win the regular season. One trophy requires far more wins than the other. A team's ability to feast on weak opponents should absolutely count when determining the league's #1 team at season's end. For that very season, the Canucks should be considering a celebration of excellence because this is a fan base in dire need of celebrating something. I don't care if it means deploying thousands of riot police, this celebration of excellence must be allowed to happen.

If the team doesn't have the fortitude to make this happen, then perhaps Christy Clark might consider naming her new stat holiday "President's Trophy Day" or "Canucks Day" and hold a provincial parade, with or without the team's blessing. Christy has to be desperate enough right now that she'd be willing to try just about anything. The whole province can get a day off to celebrate the Canucks. That would not be seen as vote pandering at all and is a fabulous idea. Christy Clark might be considering this idea. Thus far she hasn't denied it.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Shea Weber Slams Zetterberg's Head Into The Glass

It would appear that there are two different standards for discipline in the NHL, one for superstar players and one for the less talented majority. At the end of Game 1 against Detroit, Shea Weber grabbed Henrik Zetterberg by the back of the neck and slammed his head into the glass, hard enough to crack his helmet. In this new era of concussion awareness and bring down the hammer on headshots, Shea Weber received no suspension, and a fine roughly equal to one shift worth of salary. Had his name been Byron Bitz, Aaron Rome, or Raffi Torres; he'd have been given 2-4 games. Jeremy Roenick certainly thought this infraction was worthy of supplemental discipline:

As a Red Wings fan myself, I'm quite disappointed that Mike Babcock did not get more upset about this. His team just lost the game, one of his best players just got hit with a wrestling move, and you need to rally your team around this incident. One of the ESPN guys was joking about what we'll see next, perhaps getting a metal folding chair out of the stands and hitting your opponent over the back of the head. When Torres knocked out Seabrook, Chicago turned their series around. When Rome knocked out Horton, the Bruins immediately turned the series around. Why? Because they became angry and channeled their anger into energy.

I'm not suggesting that they send Todd Bertuzzi out for a pound of flesh, but show some emotion man! You'd think having Bertuzzi on the roster would deter others from cheap shots on Red Wing players. Will they unleash the Kraken? That's not going to happen. Perhaps a 4th liner on the Philadelphia Flyers will look at the Weber "punishment" and decide it is worth less than a game's pay to smash Sidney Crosby's head into the glass, or maybe another WWF move like climbing to the top of the glass and doing a flying elbow? Pile-drivers? Sleeper holds? I'm just throwing out ideas Shea...

Thursday, April 12, 2012

NHL 2012 Playoffs: Day 1 Recap

The first night of the 2012 NHL playoffs kicked off last evening; with Philly coming back from a 3-0 deficit to beat Pittsburgh, Nashville beat Detroit, and the LA Kings pulled off a stunning upset of the heavily favoured Vancouver Canucks. The story of the night was the refereeing. Only 4 penalties were called in the "bloodbath" in Pittsburgh, as the referees seemed determined to let them play and put the whistles away. Meanwhile 17 penalties were called in Nashville, with the Predators and Red Wings being two of the least penalized NHL teams during the regular season. 13 penalties were called in the game between LA and Van, though the referee in that game could have easily called 5-10 diving penalties on the Canucks.

Nashville beats Detroit 3-2

Darren Helm made a speedy return to the line-up, which was terrific news for the Wings, though he was rushed to hospital with a new injury part way through the game, so his playoffs are over. Nashville did not dominate this game, but they got good goaltending, good defense, timely scoring, and pulled out a victory. Pekka Rinne made some spectacular saves that proved to be the difference. Next games the refs need to put their whistles away, because of the 17 penalties, maybe 7 were penalty worthy infractions. Gabriel Bourque scored 2 goals, which is unlikely to happen again. Most of the Preds production came from the 3rd and 4th lines, and the Wings had plenty of opportunities and every chance to win. It was a solid effort on Detroit's part, but not enough to get the win.

Philadelphia beats Pittsburgh 4-3

When the Penguins went up 3-0 after the first period, not only did this game look to be over, it was on its way to becoming a massacre. Then the Flyers calmed down, Bryzgalov started stopping hockey pucks, and came back to tie the game and send it to overtime. Two of the biggest contributors were players that they got in return for Carter and Richards, with Brayden Schenn scoring 3 PTS and Jakub Voracek scoring the winning goal in overtime. One of my friends who is a Penguins fans was threatening the "chirping" fans of other teams with acts of physical violence, if you'd like a sample of how hardcore Pens fans reacted to the loss. This was a great game and promises to be a great series. The Penguins should have won game 1 and retain an advantage, but this was a series with a high upset probability before any pucks dropped. At least that's what TSN's "upset meter" said.

Los Angeles beats Vancouver 4-2

In years gone by I have cheered for the Canucks in the playoffs, but this season the circumstances of my hockey pool are such that I would benefit from a Vancouver loss. Plus after the riots last season, I'd like to see Vancouver knocked out early so that we don't have to endure several months of avoiding downtown like the plague. The Kings were outplayed for most of the game, but they kept it close and scored when it mattered. Luongo played a solid game, but after giving up 3 goals, let the great Schneider debate of 2012 continue. Carter and Richards had big nights for LA, which had to be followed up with big nights on Granville street. Vancouver still has the advantage in the series, but the probability of an upset just rose by 10-15%.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

2011/12 Final NHL Power Rankings

With the regular season over, now is time for my final NHL power rankings. Monday I participated in an office playoff pool draft (8 teams), and walked out with Malkin, J.Staal, Kovalchuck, Zetterberg, Parise, Kreijci, Filpulla, Pietrangelo, McDonagh, Doughty, White, and Howard. The only 1/2 seed not represented on my team is the Canucks, but since we work in Greater Vancouver, there was a premium on Canucks players. Henrik Sedin was the first pick overall. I began announcing my #2 pick Evgeni Malkin about 0.5 seconds later. The playoffs start Wednesday, and these are my final regular season rankings.

1. Vancouver Canucks (last rank #4): Coasting into the President's trophy with mediocre play has to be considered at least somewhat of an accomplishment, fleeting though it may be without post-season success. This team needs a healthy Daniel Sedin to have a chance at winning that elusive trophy, and Ryan Kesler needs to start putting the puck in the net. Vancouver should be doing everything it can to pump Luongo's tires.  You can argue that Schneider gives the team a better chance to win, but if he ends up playing that means humpty dumpty fell off the wall again.Will all the King's horses and all the King's men be willing to put humpty together again when there is a fresh, talented, new replacement waiting to sit on that wall?

2. St. Louis Blues (last rank #1): Historically the two seed does very well in the 1st round, but I shied away from Blues players in my playoff pool because San Jose makes me nervous. I did take Pietrangelo in 1 of my 4 defense spots, but that was all that I was willing to invest in the Blues post-season. In fact most people at the draft table stayed away from both St.Louis and San Jose, which is telling.

3. Pittsburgh Penguins (last rank #3): If they had a full season from Crosby and Letang, rest assured this team would have finished the season ranked #1. With those players in the line-up, this is the best team in hockey, and odds on Stanley Cup favourite. They will have a tough road ahead of them to make it out of the east, but they are the favourite in any series. Odds are they'll have to beat Philly, Boston, Rangers to go all the way; but that being said, my first two picks were Penguins. I even Tweeted a joke about having Morgan Freeman narrate my picks.

4. Boston Bruins (last rank #8): After sputtering for much of the 2nd half, the defending champs got their shit together the last few weeks. It is ironic that they should be playing Washington after Tim Thomas White House snub earlier in the season, which created a media storm that has yet to subside. That being said, there was little to no confidence in Washington at our draft table.

5. NY Rangers (last rank #2): The Rangers faded slightly down the stretch, but are still heavy favourites against Ottawa. Ranger players went for a premium in my playoff draft, so I only ended up with Ryan McDonagh; but would have liked to own more. The biggest question mark with this team is whether or not this is a winning defense. I'll believe it when I see it.

6. Philadelphia Flyers (last rank #5): If they can beat Pittsburgh, there is hope, and the team won the season series. This promises to be a great series regardless of who wins, but the injury to Bryzgalov and lack of depth on the blueline decrease their probability of an extended run. Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell will get their points in the 1st round, win or lose.

7. Nashville Predators (last rank #6): Predator players were flying off the draft board early and often in my office playoff pool, which was how I backed in to 3 Red Wings in the late rounds. Getting home ice advantage does make them the favourite, but a 7 game series against Detroit will be no cakewalk. Nashville finished the season with the league's best power play (thanks in no small part to Shea Weber), they have one of the league's best goaltenders, and made the most significant deals leading up to the trade deadline. Can a team with two Kostitsyn brothers make it to the finals? We shall see...

8. Detroit Red Wings (last rank #7): If their play the last two weeks were a true indicator of their possible playoff performance, the outlook is bleak. However Detroit has a tendency to rest players down the stretch and have proven capable of turning it up a gear in the spring. They were less than a minute away from playing the Phoenix Coyotes in the 1st round until Pavel Datsyuk scored a game trying goal. The team seemed very happy to score the goal, where as this Red Wings fan at home cursed at his television. Perhaps the chance at home ice advantage outweighed meeting an inferior opponent in the opening round on the road. Instead, they play the better team, on the road. Funny how that works out.

9. New Jersey Devils (last rank #10): Personally I don't see the Jose Theodore led Florida Panthers beating the Devils, Kovalchuck and Parise have been lighting the league on fire (34 goals in 34 games since the All-star break) and Brodeur has been playing much better. Their likely 2nd round opponent would be New York,  and the Devils match-up very well against the Rangers. TSN's Jamie McLennan thinks this team could sneak into the conference finals.

10. Chicago Blackhawks (last rank #13): With Toews Chicago should have no trouble handling the Coyotes, but without him it won't be easy. Thankfully for the Blackhawks, Corey Crawford started playing good hockey again down the stretch. The Duncan Keith vacation suspension was probably more of a positive than a negative, given the workload he's had to endure the last few seasons. With Toews or without, I'm taking the Blackhawks in round 1.

11. Phoenix Coyotes (last rank #15): Of the 8 goalies chosen in my office pool, Mike Smith was not among them, neither were many of his teammates. This team will have its hands full with Chicago, especially with a healthy Jon Toews. Ray Whitney has been the run away scoring leader on this team since the All-star break, which doesn't exactly translate into post-season success. If Smith can continue his hot streak, they have a chance. He was 20-5-3 since with a 1.91 GAA and .941 SVPCT over his last 29 GP.

12. San Jose Sharks (last rank #19): They got hot at the right time and moved into a playoff spot, now set to face St.Louis in round 1. Blues fans should be nervous, as should Shark fans. This team will lean heavily on Boyle and Burns, and will require Antti Niemi to be at the top of his game. Goals will be difficult to come by against St.Louis, so the Sharks need to keep the puck out of their net to advance.

13. Los Angeles Kings (last rank #14): Anything short of a playoff spot would have been considered a catastrophic failure for a team billed as a contender when the season began. Kopitar was their best player down the stretch, Jeff Carter is going to play, Quick could win the Vezina, Dustin Brown lit it up after trade rumours surfaced; but Vancouver is not an easy team to beat. That being said, this stats geek drafted zero Canucks and Drew Doughty.

14. Washington Capitals (last rank #12): This was a playoff team who deserved to be in the playoffs. It is telling that Ovechkin was not drafted until the 8th round of my playoff pool draft. Backstrom, Semin, and Green all went undrafted. There was not much confidence at the draft table that the Caps could beat the Bruins, nor should there have been. The season was a step backwards, but if you knew before the season that Backstrom and Green would miss half of the schedule, this is probably around where you would have projected them to finish.

15. Ottawa Senators (last rank #11): They managed to fall into the 8th seed in the last two weeks, and will face the Rangers instead of the Bruins. Tough to tell if that's a good thing or a bad thing, but we'll find out soon enough. One thing Ottawa can do better than New York is score; although that advantage is offset by strength of goaltending. If Craig Anderson can stand on his head, the Senators might just have a chance.

16. Buffalo Sabres (last rank #21): The best team to miss the playoffs, the Sabres had an incredible run post  All-star break, thanks in no small part to Ryan Miller and Tyler Ennis. They have a solid core and should remain competitive for years to come; but their success is heavily dependent on Miller's goaltending, and he's no spring chicken at age 32. It remains to be seen if he can sustain this level of play throughout his mid-30s. Miller has a lot in common with Luongo (minus perhaps the bipolar disorder) but the difference between franchises is that one has Cory Schneider, the other does not.

17. Dallas Stars (last rank #9): This team appeared playoff bound, with some pundits predicting them to be a darkhorse, and then suddenly when it mattered most they fell flat on their faces and outside the playoff picture. If you are a Stars fan, there are reasons to be optimistic about a mediocre future that may or may not include the city of Dallas.

18. Florida Panthers (last rank #18): By my estimation the worst team to make the playoffs, which was part of my motivation for drafting Kovalchuck and Parise in my office pool. This franchise has been an abject failure, and they are unlikely to have a long term future in Florida. They'd be far better off in Quebec City. Jose Theodore ain't what he used to be and is unlikely to carry this team very far into the post-season.

19. Calgary Flames (last rank #17):  The Flames have not made the playoffs since acquiring Jay Bouwmeester 3 years ago, but they always win enough games to keep them out of the draft lottery. It is a classic example of not being good enough to make the playoffs, but not bad enough to engage in a legit rebuild. J-Bow has two streaks going, most active career games played without playing in the playoffs, and the active consecutive games played streak. There are zero playoff games in his ironman streak. What does that say?

20. Colorado Avalanche (last rank #16): Nice run at the end of a roller coaster season, and I'm giving Gabriel Landeskog the Calder Trophy. The team has a solid foundation in place, and could have all pieces to push them over the top. Expect this team to get better as it gets older. That being said, this season was a major step backwards for Matt Duchene, and a step forward for the rest of the roster. After returning from injury, Duchene had 4 PTS in 19 GP and needs to rebound next season for this franchise to take the next step. On the bright side, Duchene had this big step backwards right before the expiry of his rookie contract. This GM will be very busy re-signing RFAs (9) in the offseason. They also have 6 UFAs. They're gonna have a lot of salary flexibility to play with.

21. Winnipeg Jets (last rank #20): They overachieved thanks to the home ice advantage provided to them by Winnipeg fans. For the season I give Jets fans an A+, and the Jets team a C-. For a more detailed post-mortem of the Jets, click here.

22. Montreal Canadiens (last rank #24): They have the young pieces in place to be competitive within the next 2 years, it just remains to be seen if they can pull it all together. Can Patrick Roy be glue that binds the loose parts into a finely tuned machine? Stranger things have happened, but this franchise is burdened by the terrible contracts of Andrei Markov and Scott Gomez. Rene Bourque had 5 PTS in 33 GP in Montreal and was a -17 in those games. That is atrocious.

23. Anaheim Mighty Ducks (last rank #23): This season cannot be viewed as anything but a major disappointment and step backwards with significant regressions from Perry, Getzlaf, Ryan, and Fowler. The team was far better in the 2nd half when Jonas Hiller started stopping pucks again, but that wasn't close to enough to make up for the abysmal start.

24. Tampa Bay Lightning (last rank #22): It was what it was. They were a legit #1 goaltender away from being a contender, and it didn't happen. Stamkos and Purcell were great down the stretch, but that was offset by weak production on the blueline. If Steve Yzerman was a candidate for top GM in the league last season, this season has to be considered a black eye for the man steering the ship.

25. Carolina Hurricanes (last rank #25): Eric Staal salvaged an otherwise lost season, but sadly this team had no secondary scoring. It is difficult to predict the immediate future of the franchise; can Jeff Skinner rebound? Can the young players take the next step? If I had to bet right now, the smart money says this team misses the playoffs again next season.

26. Toronto Maple Leafs (last rank #26): Brian Burke issued his now annual public apology to Leaf fans today, which seems to be a speech that I've heard before. Not sure that Burke will be GM of the Leafs in one year's time if next season produces the same result. On the bright side, Toronto has a lottery pick in the upcoming draft, albeit with a shallow pool of talent. Oh well, better luck next year...

27. Edmonton Oilers (last rank #27): Like the Islanders, there are reasons to be optimistic, but the Oilers need a stud defenseman and a franchise goaltender. Devin Dubnyk played shockingly well to close the season, and could very well turn out to be the goalie of the future. I'm not ready to make the proclamation just yet, but it is possible. This season was a giant step backwards for Magnus Paajarvi, who might not be who we thought he could be.

28. Minnesota Wild (last rank #29): Will Dr Jeckyl or Mr Hyde show up next season? A beautiful start followed by a magnificent collapse, has clouded the future of the franchise. Heatley and Setoguchi produced most of their mediocre offense, which is not a recipe for long term success. Lack of production from the blueline is the biggest obstacle this roster must overcome if they are to sustain any momentum going forward.

29. NY Islanders (last rank #28): There are reasons to be optimistic if you are an Islanders fan, minus a franchise goaltender. That Rick DiPietro contract is casting a large dark cloud over the rest of the roster. Next season they will either be a bubble team or fail miserably again. At best, they are a 50/50 team to make the playoffs in 2013, but Tavares is going to be the real deal.

30. Columbus Blue Jackets (last rank #30): Jack Johnson is now the #1 defenseman on this roster, which shouldn't change anytime soon. It is questionable whether Jack can handle the heavy lifting required of him to get this team into the playoffs anytime soon, much less win a series. My outlook on the next 3 years of Blue Jackets hockey is 0 playoff games. I'm calling it now.

NHL 2012 Playoff Scoring Forecast

If you are drafting your office playoff pool in the next two days, here's a list that you can use at your draft. This was the result of nine hours of spreadsheet construction, statistical analysis, and injury/roster research. Top 200 players. PTS per game was based 3/4 on second half scoring, and 1/4 on first half scoring (though I did manually downgrade Pascal Dupuis because his regular season was a statistical aberration compared to the rest of his long career). Expected games played was more about setting a hypothetical over/under number rather than a simple bracket type method. I had Nashville at 13 games and Detroit 11 games, but since they face each other in the 1st round, it is impossible for both to reach the number. It is the mathematical answer for how to proceed if you think the winner of a series with a 55:45 split will advance to the Conference finals. Injuries and the probability of injuries were factored into the equation, but with teams being so cryptic about injury reports this time of year, it is impossible to be certain of anything.

It is also important to note that this is what the formula produced, not necessarily the exact order that you should draft your players. It is especially difficult to predict "market value" in playoff pools, except that most competitors will go off lists of regular season scoring drafting from teams they think will advance beyond the 1st round. You will generally pay a premium for players on teams in the 1/2 seeds. For your own reference, I included regular season PTS on the list below. I hope this helps you win your pool.

Evgeni Malkin F PIT 18 26 74 49 58 107
Sidney Crosby F PIT 14 23 21 7 28 35
James Neal F PIT 18 19 80 40 41 81
Jordan Staal F PIT 18 16 61 25 23 48
Marian Gaborik F NYR 16 15 81 41 35 76
Chris Kunitz F PIT 18 13 81 25 34 59
Brad Richards F NYR 16 13 81 25 41 66
Ilya Kovalchuk F NJ 11 12 76 35 46 81
Henrik Sedin F VAN 13 12 81 13 67 80
Kris Letang D PIT 14 11 50 10 31 41
Martin Erat F NSH 13 11 71 19 39 58
Ryan Callahan F NYR 16 11 75 29 25 54
Patrik Elias F NJ 11 11 80 26 51 77
Alex Pietrangelo D STL 14 10 80 12 38 50
Steve Sullivan F PIT 16 10 79 17 31 48
Mike Fisher F NSH 13 10 72 24 27 51
Pavel Datsyuk F DET 11 10 69 18 48 66
Joe Thornton F SJ 10 10 81 18 59 77
Alexander Radulov F NSH 13 10 8 3 3 6
Carl Hagelin F NYR 16 10 63 14 24 38
Henrik Zetterberg F DET 11 10 81 22 46 68
Zach Parise F NJ 11 9 81 31 37 68
David Krejci F BOS 12 9 78 23 39 62
Matt Cooke F PIT 18 9 81 19 19 38
T.J. Oshie F STL 14 9 79 19 34 53
David Backes F STL 14 9 81 24 30 54
Claude Giroux F PHI 8 9 77 28 65 93
Marian Hossa F CHI 10 9 80 29 48 77
Tyler Kennedy F PIT 18 9 59 11 22 33
Pascal Dupuis F PIT 18 9 81 24 34 58
Andy McDonald F STL 12 9 24 10 12 22
Tyler Seguin F BOS 12 9 80 27 38 65
Valtteri Filppula F DET 11 9 80 23 43 66
Milan Lucic F BOS 12 9 80 26 35 61
David Legwand F NSH 13 9 77 18 34 52
Patrick Sharp F CHI 10 9 73 33 34 67
Jason Spezza F OTT 8 9 79 34 50 84
David Perron F STL 12 9 56 20 21 41
Patrice Bergeron F BOS 12 9 80 22 39 61
Patric Hornqvist F NSH 13 8 75 26 16 42
Alex Burrows F VAN 13 8 79 28 23 51
Erik Karlsson D OTT 8 8 80 19 59 78
Michael Del Zotto D NYR 16 8 76 10 31 41
Logan Couture F SJ 10 8 79 31 32 63
Rich Peverley F BOS 12 8 56 11 30 41
Brad Marchand F BOS 12 8 75 27 27 54
Ray Whitney F PHX 8 8 81 24 52 76
Chris Higgins F VAN 13 8 70 18 25 43
Zdeno Chara D BOS 12 8 78 12 40 52
Anze Kopitar F LA 8 8 81 25 51 76
Sergei Kostitsyn F NSH 13 8 75 17 26 43
Patrick Marleau F SJ 10 8 81 29 34 63
Ryan Suter D NSH 13 8 78 7 39 46
Patrick Kane F CHI 10 7 81 23 42 65
Kevin Shattenkirk D STL 14 7 80 9 33 42
Shea Weber D NSH 13 7 77 19 30 49
Alexander Edler D VAN 13 7 81 11 38 49
Derek Stepan F NYR 12 7 81 17 34 51
Ryan Kesler F VAN 13 7 76 22 26 48
Joe Pavelski F SJ 10 7 81 31 29 60
Kevin Bieksa D VAN 13 7 77 8 35 43
Johan Franzen F DET 11 7 76 28 27 55
Paul Martin D PIT 18 7 72 2 25 27
Jonathan Toews F CHI 8 7 59 29 28 57
Adam Henrique F NJ 11 7 73 16 34 50
Scott Hartnell F PHI 9 7 81 37 30 67
Patrik Berglund F STL 14 7 81 19 19 38
Jiri Hudler F DET 11 7 80 25 25 50
Martin Havlat F SJ 10 7 38 7 18 25
Milan Michalek F OTT 8 7 76 35 25 60
Radim Vrbata F PHX 8 7 76 34 27 61
Alex Ovechkin F WSH 8 7 77 37 27 64
Artem Anisimov F NYR 16 6 78 16 20 36
Alexander Steen F STL 10 6 42 14 13 27
Brandon Dubinsky F NYR 16 6 76 10 23 33
Jason Arnott F STL 14 6 72 17 17 34
Daniel Sedin F VAN 8 6 72 30 37 67
Dan Boyle D SJ 10 6 80 7 39 46
Ryan McDonagh D NYR 16 6 81 7 25 32
Nicklas Backstrom F WSH 6 6 41 13 29 42
Justin Williams F LA 8 6 81 21 36 57
Andrew Shaw F CHI 10 6 36 11 11 22
Todd Bertuzzi F DET 11 6 70 14 24 38
Daniel Alfredsson F OTT 8 6 74 27 32 59
David Booth F VAN 13 6 61 15 14 29
Andrei Kostitsyn F NSH 13 6 71 16 19 35
Dustin Brown F LA 8 6 81 22 32 54
Wayne Simmonds F PHI 9 6 81 28 21 49
Dainius Zubrus F NJ 11 6 81 17 26 43
Jaromir Jagr F PHI 9 6 72 18 35 53
Dan Hamhuis D VAN 13 6 81 4 33 37
Alexander Semin F WSH 8 6 76 21 32 53
Colin Wilson F NSH 13 6 67 15 19 34
Ryane Clowe F SJ 10 6 75 17 28 45
Jakub Voracek F PHI 9 6 77 18 31 49
Petr Sykora F NJ 11 6 81 20 23 43
Dan Girardi D NYR 16 6 81 5 24 29
Tomas Fleischmann F FLA 8 6 81 27 34 61
Brian Boyle F NYR 16 6 81 10 15 25
Gabriel Bourque F NSH 13 6 42 7 11 18
David Clarkson F NJ 9 6 80 30 16 46
Anton Stralman D NYR 16 5 52 2 16 18
Jannik Hansen F VAN 13 5 81 16 22 38
Shane Doan F PHX 8 5 78 22 27 49
Benoit Pouliot F BOS 12 5 73 16 16 32
Matt Read F PHI 9 5 78 24 23 47
Matt Halischuk F NSH 13 5 72 14 12 26
Brent Burns D SJ 10 5 80 11 26 37
Viktor Stalberg F CHI 10 5 78 21 21 42
Chris Kelly F BOS 12 5 81 20 19 39
Stephen Weiss F FLA 8 5 79 19 37 56
Duncan Keith D CHI 10 5 73 4 36 40
Jeff Carter F LA 8 5 55 21 13 34
Kimmo Timonen D PHI 9 5 75 4 39 43
Kris Versteeg F FLA 8 5 70 23 30 53
Chris Stewart F STL 14 5 78 15 14 29
Niklas Kronwall D DET 11 5 81 15 21 36
Travis Zajac F NJ 11 5 14 2 4 6
Brian Campbell D FLA 8 5 81 4 49 53
Alexei Ponikarovsky F NJ 11 5 81 14 18 32
Nicklas Lidstrom D DET 11 5 69 11 23 34
Brent Seabrook D CHI 10 5 77 9 25 34
Mason Raymond F VAN 13 5 55 10 10 20
Ryan Ellis D NSH 13 5 31 3 8 11
Brooks Orpik D PIT 18 5 72 2 16 18
Nick Foligno F OTT 8 5 81 15 31 46
Paul Gaustad F NSH 13 5 69 7 14 21
Craig Smith F NSH 13 5 71 13 20 33
Gustav Nyquist F DET 11 5 17 1 6 7
Nick Leddy D CHI 10 4 81 3 34 37
Marcus Johansson F WSH 8 4 79 14 31 45
Sami Salo D VAN 13 4 68 9 16 25
Richard Park F PIT 18 4 53 7 7 14
Jordin Tootoo F NSH 13 4 76 6 24 30
Brian Rolston F BOS 12 4 70 7 17 24
Mike Richards F LA 8 4 73 17 26 43
Dwight King F LA 8 4 26 5 9 14
Craig Adams F PIT 18 4 81 5 13 18
Mikael Samuelsson F FLA 8 4 53 13 15 28
Dustin Jeffrey F PIT 18 4 26 4 2 6
Martin Hanzal F PHX 8 4 63 8 26 34
Kyle Turris F OTT 8 4 54 12 16 28
Jamie Langenbrunner F STL 14 4 69 6 17 23
Ruslan Fedotenko F NYR 16 4 72 9 11 20
Dennis Wideman D WSH 8 4 81 11 35 46
Kevin Klein D NSH 13 4 65 4 15 19
Marek Zidlicky D NJ 11 4 62 2 20 22
Keith Yandle D PHX 8 4 81 11 32 43
Antoine Vermette F PHX 8 4 81 11 26 37
Ian White D DET 11 4 76 7 25 32
Filip Kuba D OTT 8 4 72 6 26 32
Bryan Bickell F CHI 10 4 70 9 15 24
Matt Carle D PHI 9 4 81 4 34 38
Mathieu Perreault F WSH 8 4 63 15 14 29
Roman Josi D NSH 13 4 51 4 11 15
Drew Doughty D LA 8 4 76 10 26 36
John Mitchell F NYR 16 4 62 5 11 16
Marcus Kruger F CHI 10 4 70 9 16 25
Danny Cleary F DET 9 4 75 12 21 33
Jordan Caron F BOS 12 4 47 7 8 15
Marcel Goc F FLA 8 4 56 10 15 25
Jason Chimera F WSH 8 4 81 20 19 39
Deryk Engelland D PIT 18 4 72 4 13 17
Zbynek Michalek D PIT 18 4 61 2 11 13
Brooks Laich F WSH 8 4 81 16 24 40
Lauri Korpikoski F PHX 8 4 81 17 19 36
Colin Greening F OTT 8 4 81 17 20 37
Sergei Gonchar D OTT 8 4 73 5 32 37
Maxime Talbot F PHI 9 4 80 19 14 33
Vladimir Sobotka F STL 14 4 72 5 15 20
Dave Bolland F CHI 7 4 76 19 18 37
Eric Wellwood F PHI 9 4 23 5 4 9
Matt Niskanen D PIT 16 4 75 4 17 21
Joe Vitale F PIT 18 4 67 4 10 14
Gilbert Brule F PHX 8 4 32 5 9 14
Joe Corvo D BOS 12 3 74 4 21 25
Arron Asham F PIT 18 3 63 5 10 15
Andrew Ference D BOS 12 3 71 6 18 24
Dmitry Kulikov D FLA 8 3 57 4 23 27
Sean Couturier F PHI 9 3 76 13 14 27
Michal Handzus F SJ 10 3 66 7 17 24
Oliver Ekman-Larsson D PHX 8 3 81 13 19 32
Sean Bergenheim F FLA 8 3 61 17 6 23
Carlo Colaiacovo D STL 14 3 64 2 17 19
Jason Garrison D FLA 8 3 76 16 16 32
Ian Cole D STL 14 3 26 1 5 6
Drew Miller F DET 11 3 79 14 11 25
Brad Stuart D DET 11 3 80 6 15 21
Brandon Prust F NYR 16 3 81 5 12 17
Tomas Kopecky F FLA 8 3 79 10 21 31
Maxim Lapierre F VAN 13 3 81 9 10 19
Dominic Moore F SJ 10 3 78 4 21 25
Justin Abdelkader F DET 11 3 80 8 14 22
Nick Spaling F NSH 13 3 76 10 11 21
Keith Aucoin F WSH 8 3 26 3 7 10
Dennis Seidenberg D BOS 12 3 79 5 18 23
Daymond Langkow F PHX 8 3 72 11 19 30
Jimmy Hayes F CHI 10 3 30 5 4 9
Manny Malhotra F VAN 13 3 77 7 11 18
Troy Brouwer F WSH 8 3 81 18 15 33