Monday, April 25, 2011

Mike Gillies' Stats about Officiating

So, everyone has heard about Mike Gillis' unhappiness about the officiating. He said, the officiating in Games 1 and 2 were even and it has been favouring Chicago, so I went back and looked up boxscore for Games 4, 5 and 6.

I am just looking at the following quote:
“These are facts. They’re undeniable. The first two games everything is relatively equal, last four games they haven’t been. And when people seem to think we don’t have the killer instinct, it’s pretty tough to have the killer instinct when you’re killing penalties most of the time. And when your team is not getting power plays — our power play was No. 1 in the league — theoretically we felt there were six or seven legitimate calls (infractions) that weren’t called for whatever reason. That’s six or seven power-play opportunities for us. It’s going to change the outcome of the game.”

Read more:

Game 4 Scoring Summary

Game 4 Penalty Summary
The penalties are mostly called in the 3rd period, and as can be seen, the score is already 5-1 in favour of Chicago, and you can say the Vancouver is just looking to "send a message" to the Chicago players. In the first two periods the penalties pretty much even out. In the third period the count of penalties called  against is 11 - 7 in favour of Vancouver. I will list out the penalties which were not co-incidental, or were not cancelled out  in the third period below:
  • M. Lapierre's boarding at 2:14
  • T.Glass' roughing at 4:05
  • V.Oreskovich's ten minute misconduct at 7:58
  • A.Edler charging at 13:09
  • M.Lapierre's unsportsmanlike conduct at 19:23
  • N.Hjalmersson roughing at 16:20
  • R.Johnson roughing at 17:56
Keeping the score in mind, as well as that the Vancouver players were running around trying to send a message. As a reader, I will let you decide.
Game 5 Scoring Summary

Game 5 Penalty Summary
Game 5, this game had ONE extra penalty in the first period which was called against Vancouver. From the looks of it, the game was fairly reffed.

Game 6 Scoring Summary

Game 6 Penalty Summary
Game 6 penalties, the count of total penalties against were 6 to 3 in favour of Chicago, the three more penalties are as follows:
  • M.Raymond 2 mins for hooking at 10:07
  • C.Hodgson 2 mins for putting puck over glass at 17:22.
  • K.Bieksa 2 mins for tripping at 2:31, which resulted in the penalty shot. 

The only penalty here you can argue is, the 2 mins hooking call on M.Raymond, that too you can't argue about that penalty until you review the play. As per the new rules, the puck went over the glass and the refs have no choice but to call a penalty on the play. About that tripping call on M.Frolik on the breakaway, can be seen in the Youtube video below.

He clearly had couple of steps on the defenceman, and he clearly had some steps on the closest defenceman. I have heard arguments about M.Frolik slowing down and stepping on the stick to fall down, whatever the case maybe, in my opinion it was a good call.

Now lets talk about the hit on Bryan Bickell on Kevin Bieksa. The video of the hit is below:

That was the best copy I could find of the hit. This hit IS a shoulder to the head, and it clearly is a hit that is banned but as per NHL those hits are allowed behind the night, as all the hits are considered north-south. We found this out when Raffi Torres' hit Brent Seabrook.

So, I will leave it upto you to discuss the merit of Vancouver's GM Mike Gillis' arguments, about MORE penalties being called on Vancouver than on Chicago.

Until next time,


Thanks to Yahoo! Sports from which I got the scoring and penalty summaries.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Playoff Preview.

Here is my unbiased thoughts on ALL teams in this year's playoffs.

Vancouver: They are a GREAT team, but chicago has always been their nemesis. IF (VERY BIG IF) they can beat Chicago, it can go a long way, but if that series goes 7 games, it will be mentally and physically harsh on them. They are a deep team. Luongo has to prove himself too.

Chicago: They arent going anywhere past 2nd round, even if they make it past Vancouver, they dont have the same depth that they had.

Nashville/Phoenix: The team is VERY underrated, either one of them can have their breakout party this year.

Detroit: Red Wings, you can NEVER count these guys out. They are always at the top, we all thought they would screw up, in salary cap era, but they survived.

San Jose: I believe its their year this year, they have been through alot as a team, they have the depth. Now they have the always alluding goalie, who has won it. He makes timely saves, and thats what is needed in the playoffs.

Los Angeles: I don't think they will get past the first round, they are a good young team. They have a lot to prove, without Kopitar. I don't think they are going too far, especially playing San Jose.

Anaheim: This team is a dark horse, they were on a roll to finish off the season, they have the experience and the depth. Remember the top line of Perry/Getzlaf/Ryan had 50 points in 10 games, and they have Koivu/Selanne/Blake line to compliment them, say whatever you want. Selanne is a BOSS, he has scored some big goals for them too.

Eastern Conference:
Washington: Could be their year, as much as I hate them, commitment to defence has really made me start to like them, but like Vancouver/SJ they have a lot to prove. Their young goaltenders, this could be different.

NYR/Buffalo: they are a tough team. Scoring by committee, and goaltending are their strong points. But like Vancouver, they both have a lot to prove. They could have their break out party this year.

Montreal: Montreal never seemed to me like a playoff team. They are small, and can be bullied on the ice too easily. Hence I don't like their chances, but like last year they could really collapse and commit to defence. But yeah thats just my thought.

Boston: Boston along with Philly are a team to watch out for, who I think can go all the way and win the cup. They have good forward group, with defence and good goaltending. It could be interesting of how far can they go.

Philly: Other than goaltending, they are pretty in-depth team, Leighton finished the season strong in the AHL, he has been in the playoff picture and has a bitter taste from last year. Their goaltending is still suspect, but if the goaltending can shut the door, they could go on and win it.

Tampa Bay: They could be the cindrella story of this year, they have potent offence, can be good defensively and with Roloson in net. They look like trouble, but their inexperience of sorts, could be a big problem for them.

Pittsburgh: This team has been to the playoffs, they have won the cup, but without Malkin and Crosby. I don't see them lasting in a 7 game series. This team will go as far as Fleury takes them. Dan Bylsma is a great coach, so he may find a way to work with whatever is given. It's easier to count them out, but let's see.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Playoffs are here, time to predict the series winners.

Its that time of the year again, folks. Playoff Predictions.

If you get games + series winner =  2 points
If you get series winner = 1 point.

Eastern Conference

Western Conference
San Jose/ Los Angeles

My predictions are below:

NYR in 7 - Washington goaltending are unproven
Philly in 6 - I have Philly going all the way to ECF
Boston in 6 - Tim Thomas, 'nuff said.
T-Bay in 7 - Tampa will go the distance, they are the dark horse of the Eastern Conference

Blackhawks in 7 - Chicago is to Vancouver, what Toronto was to Ottawa.
San Jose in 7 - Playoff experience
Phoenix in 7 - Come on, Jimmy Howard? I think Yotes will be looking for revenge this year. (hate the wings)
Anaheim in 7 - Darkhorse coming from the West.

That is that folks. Leave your predictions in comments below.

 You have until Wednesday to put in your predictions.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Look to the future

Matt Frattin and Joe Colburne were put on display by the Toronto Maple Leafs, and they did NOT disappoint. Leafs however were robbed off what seemed to be a critical goal by the refs. This will be discussed in a different topic, maybe during the little break that we will have between the end of regular season and the playoffs.

Anyways, when I started watching the game it was 2-0 Habs, to me it seems like Leafs struggled playing a well structured defensive team. They were however pretty good, when they were playing a transitional and more of an open game. To make a well defensive team to play more of an open game, is to forecheck hard and to score first. Leafs' failed to do that. Habs are pretty well structured team, and they failed to get in Montreal zone, and when they did they were either stymied by Price or by the refs. When the score was 3-1, Leafs appeared to score what seemed like a goal, which was waved off by the on-ice ref. This went to review, and for some reason or the other, not to make the ref's on ice look intelligent or whatever the reason was, war room ruled it saying it was a no goal. They ended up losing the game 4-1.

It is really hard to get up and play game when you have played your heart out for 2-3 months to make the playoffs, but end up not making it. Players are pretty much out of gas, and now out of motivation. Leafs looked to lack energy until they were down by couple, but then it was just too easy for the Habs, to just clear the zone as soon as the puck came in. Leafs really need to improve their special teams, or Leafs will be team which won't be taken too seriously.

So now let's talk about the two kids that made their debut in the Blue and White. Matt Frattin looked like a guy for whom the puck was just following him. He had some GREAT chances, just was not able to capitalize. Joe Colburne looks like someone who needs size, and if he can use it to his advantage will be a GREAT addition to the Leafs. Him-Lupul and Kessel looked great, but to be honest with you after the addition to Lupul to the line of Kessel. They can make even a guy like me, who doesnt know how to skate, look good.

All in all, Leafs go into next season with some positives, and hopefully they are able to carry the positives over to next season, unlike previous seasons, and put wins on the board on consistent basis.

Keep Faith, Leaf fans.

Go Leafs Go.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Final Nail in the Coffin!

Before this game, the only way to avoid the final nail to be nailed in the coffin, Leafs needed to win against Washington in regulation or overtime, no later and Buffalo needed to lose IN regulation. First came the news, Buffalo won against the Tampa Bay, and later on Toronto went into shootout against Washington.

This is not the end Leaf fans, this is just a beginning to something special. Leafs are getting younger, better and hungrier. Following are the bright spots of this season:
  1. Optimus Reim a.k.a. James Reimer, if he wasn't playing, this blog would have been written earlier in January and the bullet points wouldn't have been this long.
  2. Found are one player short of the top 6 (Grabovski, Kulemin, MacArthur, Lupul and Kessel)
  3. Kadri, after the first time around didn't work out. Kadri looks like the real deal.
  4. Tim Brent, the heart and soul
  5. Colby Armstrong and his importance of getting under people's nerves
  6. Phaneuf resurrected, after the Kaberle and Beauch trade. He looks like he has found his game.
  7. Keith Aulie is to Phaneuf what butter is to bread.
These positives are from the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Leaf farm system has many more positives. Joe Colborne, Jake Gardiner to name a few. As mentioned earlier in the blog, Leaf fans, this is not an end, this is just a beginning to something epic!
A more detailed blog will come at the end of regular seasons.

Leaf fans!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Leafs Recap: Leafs 4 Avs 2

As mentioned in my previous entry, if Leafs were to make the playoffs they will need to ride James Reimer to the death. That they did against the Avs, Leafs were down early with a shorthanded goal by Winnick. This goal was of no fault of Reimer, as the puck went off of Phaneuf. Komisarek laid a big hit and a fight to follow it up, which inspired the bunch, and went into the first period intermission with a 2-1 lead. Both goals scored by Kulemin, first one was a rebound off Grabovski's shot, which was overskated by the Avs' defenders. Second one was a weak goal allowed by Avs' goalie Brian Elliot, where the puck was sitting on the net for a while, until MacArthur got it loose, which Kulemin banged off of the goalie. the weird part of that goal for me was how the goalie was facing up the ice and was not covering the post as he should have been.

On to second period, Bozak was sprung free on a partial breakaway, but in a weird way he turned back and passed the puck to Kessel, who was surprised by the pass and couldn't get a proper shot off. Funny part about that was later on in the second, Schenn made a slap pass meant to be for Kessel, but it was tipped in by Bozak. As Bozak had been looking for Kessel all night, and then Bozak himself stole Kessel's goal. Later on in the period, Avs made the game 3-2, when Reimer after stopping a shot and getting interfered by a Colorado player could not locate the rebound. 

Third Period, began with Leafs scoring on a breakdown on the PK by Avs, with Lupul finding Kessel with a pass across for an easy one timer. Matt Duchene made it one goal game again when he wired a wrist shot to the top corner. After which, Reimer shut the shop for the night and was solid with couple of good saves nearing the end of the game.

Key Moments:
Komisarek laid a big hit and a fight to follow it up, which inspired the bunch in the first, after which Leafs responded with two goals.
Lupul got hit really hard early in the second which inspired the Avs' who managed only 3 shots in the first had flurry of shots and found their legs after the hit.

Other Notes: 
Colorado Avalanche goalie filled in for Brian Elliot while he got his skates fixed, he distorted his stats. He played under four minutes, faced only one shot and allowed a goal, his GAA was 15.86 with .000 SV% and gets a loss tagged to his name.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Leafs playoff chances.

This is the most exciting time for a hockey fan, maybe not all hockey fan, but certainly for those who are fighting for a playoff spot, or those who are fighting for home ice advantage. As a Leaf fan, it has been a long time, since Leafs were actually playing for something not called pride or moving out of the lottery draft pick.

This brings me to Leafs' run, well Leafs are winning because of one and only Optimus Reim a.k.a. James Reimer. Reimer with timely saves, and Leaf forwards with their timely goals. Leafs will go as far in this race as Reimer takes them. Coach Wilson needs to ride the hot hand and not rest Reimer until the end of the season, or until we are eliminated from the playoff talks whichever comes first.

Saying that, I hope Leafs make the playoffs, but I don't see them making the playoffs. Leafs will have to have everything going their way to make the playoffs.
- Hurricanes, Sabres need to lose on the day we win, and lose on the day we lose.
- Reimer plays on his head, he is at his best when he sees LOTS of shots.
- Top six scores, if not them, then bottom six scores.
- Our defence core holds up, and don't make any bone head plays.

I would love for Leafs to make the playoffs, once you make the playoffs its a clean slate. So ladies and gentlemen, just strap on your seatbelts and enjoy the bumpy ride.