Angus here, popping in for a moment before I head off to watch some women's curling!

 

Andy Strickland is reporting that Tomas Kaberle IS willing to waive his NTC. Quite a change from even a few weeks ago... However, he wants to stay in the Eastern Conference.

 

I'll have an article out this week covering two fantasy sleeper picks that have gained some attention at the Olympics - Mats Zuccarello Aasen for Norway, and Czech centre Roman Cervenka.

 

Roberto Luongo to start tomorrow, per Puck Daddy.

 

For checking Patric Hornqvist in the head, Joni Pitkanen has been suspended and will not play Wednesday in the quarterfinals. Hornqvist needed help off the ice. This could impact Hornqvist when NHL play resumes.

 

A great thing about Team USA if they win the gold - hockey coverage and interest in the United States will increase. A USA gold combined with an NFL lockout and blammo - the NHL could enjoy the popularity it had in the early to mid 90s

 

The United States have their way paved in gold. To get to the Final, they need to beat Switzerland (unless somehow Belarus beats Swiss), then either Finland/Czech. Meanwhile, Canada - if they get by Germany - will face Russia in the Quarter-Finals. That means that either Canada can win a medal or Russia can win a medal - but NOT both. Pretty amazing, eh? But everything's coming up Millhouse for the US of A.

 

We all love to play the blame game and given that I wanted Luongo to start for Canada I am pretty tempted to do the obvious. But I don't blame the loss on the decision to start Brodeur - how can you get upset over that? But I really did think it was obvious from the Swiss game that Brodeur was not in his zone. At all. Maybe Luongo isn't in his zone either, but we'll never know unless we start him. No, my main blame game is Corey Perry's effort on that puck in his own zone in the final minute. He does realize that it's an important game, right?

 

Team USA is very underrated, I've been saying that since the team was announced - and Ryan Miller, plain and simple, was awesome. He is in that zone that I spoke of above.

 

So Iginla gets a hat trick in the first game playing with Crosby and Nash. Then, for whatever reason, Babcock decides that he doesn't deserve to be there. They try Bergeron, Toews and Richards there - nobody lasts more than two periods there. Iginla goes back on the line and they score late in the game and had tons of other scoring chances.

 

Washington prospect Francois Bouchard has 40 points in his last 49 games and seven in his last seven. Pierre-Marc's little brother, I believe, will make the team in 2011-12.

 

Chris Bourque, despite playing a big chunk of the season for the Pittsburgh Penguins, is 33rd in AHL scoring with 43 points in 29 games. He has the AHL completely figured out - it took him five years. What makes people believe that he should have the NHL figured out any quicker? Small players are 26 before they start making an impact offensively at the NHL level. I'm not saying that Bourque is a lock. I'm saying that if he does produce in the NHL, it won't be for two years. That's why you've been seeing a little bit out of Ryan Shannon over the past year (in spurts), and why you won't see big numbers from Nathan Gerbe next year - even though he should make the Sabres full time.

 

Luca Caputi - two more points yesterday. Further to my observation on him from yesterday morning...

 

After managing just two points in 14 games, Tomas Tatar scored for Grand Rapids yesterday. He has made an excellent transition to North American pro hockey and could be a Red Wing as early as 2011-12 given their cap situation. If he can get close to a point-per-game in the AHL next year, than I think he'll make the jump.


Attention Toronto area fantasy fanatics: re: March 21 Marlies game. My luxury box sold out quickly here - $35 got you in the box with myself, Russ Miller, Brent Lemon and Steve "Notch" Johnson, food included and beer available. Well, they gave me a second box beside this one even though this game is completely SOLD OUT (it will be on CBC - they play Abbottsford). I have eight SEVEN tickets now up for sale to watch hockey in style - and talk fantasy hockey with the experts. Buy it HERE. Also, still with the Marlies - I have sold 36 tickets for the Marlies game on March 27 for charity. That's right - 36 kids via the Children's Aid Society will get to watch Toronto and Rochester thanks to your generosity! For just $15 you can help me reach my goal of 50 kids going to the game. Buy one HERE!

 


Write comment
Comments (27)add comment

Will S. said:

Bomm Bastic
"Canada should have won handily..." That's it in a nutshell. That's where the concern stems from, in my opinion. Not that Canada lost to the US per se, but rather that Canada was expected to win...and didn't. I think everyone would agree that (1)Miller was outstanding; (2)Brodeur was a step behind the flow of the action; (3)this is not the end of the world for Canada, nor (4)should the US proclaim victory over anything at this point. There is indeed a lot of great hockey to be played.

My cause for excitement re the US win is not only are they winning games that they're supposed to win, but that they're also winning games in which they are deemed underdogs. They buried the few chances they were given by the Canadians, plain and simple.

My concern, were I Canadian, would be that we're not winning the games we're "supposed" to be - for whatever reason, and now we have to go through Russia to get to the Gold. The loser of that game will go home medal-less. Pressure? Yeah, you know it's going to be a very, very intense game.

I personally don't believe any team gets by Russia. That said, this being a one-loss-and-out elimination....ANYTHING can happen.

Which is what makes it so damn exciting.


February 23, 2010
Votes: +0

Andrew said:

Canuckk
... Rusty, you can't seriously think that it was Crosby at fault for all of the goals he was on the ice for. Sure, maybe he could have done something to prevent one or two at most, but in every case, he wasn't the one to blame on the goals. Two of them were basically entirely Brodeur's fault, Niedermayer was mostly to blame for one of them (I think) and the empty-netter was Perry's fault and no one else's.

While I agree with you that Crosby didn't exactly step it up and score when it really mattered as hoped (though he did get that late 4-3 goal), he by no means had an awful game, or even a mediocre one. Whenever I noticed him on the ice, he was creating opportunities and was pretty solid positionally. If he is to be Canada's next captain and leader, he has to start being clutch in the most important moments of the game, but he absolutely did not have a poor game compared to the rest of the forwards.

Stats don't tell the whole story, and I really don't think you can blame Crosby on the loss here in any way. Canada had an abundance of A-grade opportunities that, in the face of a weaker goalie, would have easily turned the game into a blowout victory. But it was Miller who kept that from happening. If you're going to blame the loss on anyone, blame it on Miller and Brodeur. Plain and simple.
February 22, 2010
Votes: +0

RustyPickles said:

Rusty Pickles
... Throw +/- out then, but that doesn't change that Crosby was on his stomach and out of position on 4 us goals. Call it what you will.

He also led all Canadian forwards in ice time for those saying he is not playing enough (17:23 vs US). Next closest was Nash (16:31).

How did Richards get dragged into this? I made no statement about him playing a great game or even bringing his name up, must be a salty pens fan that I am saying the Golden Child had a bad game. Crosby can score as many points as he wants and still potentially go home medal-less, will Canada be happy? I think not.
February 22, 2010
Votes: -1

Andrew said:

Canuckk
Overreaction much? WOW, guys - yes, Canada lost to the US. Yes, had they played to their full potential, Canada should have won handily. But really, aside from Brodeur being just plain awful and Miller being nothing short of incredible, Canada owned every aspect of this game the majority of the time. They were in the US zone, on the attack, about twice as much as the opposite, and they generated TONS of legitimate scoring chances. Against a lesser goalie like Jonathan Quick, this game would have been over by the end of the second (no offense to the hard-working American team, but it's true), even if Brodeur let in those awful goals. But Ryan Miller was nothing short of sensational, and HE is the number one reason why Canada lost (number two being Brodeur, of course).

I don't see a huge reason to be concerned here. Some people suddenly seem to think that by losing to the US, Canada is in trouble against Germany. What a ridiculous overreaction. Canada will rally, defeat Germany handily, and head into the Russia game on Wednesday with their heads high, and with Luongo in net. A loss to the US isn't the end of the world by any means, and though there will be intense pressure on Team Canada to beat Russia on Wednesday, we shouldn't be hugely choked if they lost to them. Russia is a great team filled with talent and, like Canada, they are simply not playing to their full potential. That game could easily go either way, depending on which team can get it together better and play with chemistry, grit, determination and heart. A great performance from key guys like Crosby, Luongo and whoever decides to step it up on defense (probably one of Doughty or Keith) would certainly help Canada secure a win against the Russians.

Anyways, let's not get too rattled by losing to a great US team. There were two players who prevented us from winning that game, and should we play them again in the Gold medal game, I wouldn't be too worried - Canada won't be underestimating the US next time (and hopefully there will be a next time, since that would be one of the greatest games to watch, ever).
February 22, 2010
Votes: +1

Babalou said:

Big Ev
RustyPickles... I hate it when people bring up +/- to say whether a player has played well or not.

Crosby isn't going to lead us to Gold if Babcock doesn't play him the most out of all the forwards and if he doesn't put him on the #1 PP unit.

and it's time for Richards to ride pine, he is not a leader at all
February 22, 2010
Votes: +0

RustyPickles said:

Rusty Pickles
... Richards isn't supposed to be carrying that team, Cindy is, genius. Richards was promoted for good play and playing out of position. Crosby played like crap and was on his stomach and out of position on 4 us goals. Fact. Points mean nothing if you don't win the gold for canada, also a fact.

-2 is better then -3 last I checked.

Go Usa.
February 22, 2010
Votes: +0

blammo said:

blammo
It was MillerTime! No disrespect to the US skaters who played a solid team game, but they generated maybe 4-5 quality scoring chances all night. They scored 4 goals on 22 shots and at least two of these goals were the result of a Brodeur miscue, not excellent puck movement/awareness/offensive ability etc. The second and thrid goals were more 'right place, right time' goals than anything. I think crediting anyone other than Miller for the win is absurd.
February 22, 2010
Votes: +1

O. Oglethorpe said:

Isle B.
Some Thoughts Lost in either the afterglow or the postmortem (depending on which side of the border you're on) of USA-Canada is the fact that Sweden thoroughly dominated Finland in what was easily the most lopsided game between any of the "Big Seven".

Five seasons of the trapezoid have turned Martin Brodeur into Rick DiPietro.

The game reminded me an awful lot of the 1996 World Cup. 2010 Team USA is very similar to the '96 squad- no superstars, but speed and grit throughout the lineup.

Not only did Mike Green deserve to be on Team Canada, but I'd say they are really missing him- their power play hasn't done much and he's perhaps the ultimate player you want out there if you're trailing late and need a goal.

If I'm Team Canada, I'd try putting Crosby with the Shark wingers and see if anyone can stop that combination. Also, with the exception of Crosby, I would balance out the minutes up front. If depth is your strength then why does it seem like 5 guys (Crosby, Sharks and Nash) get all the playing time?

I think the magnitude of this upset is being blown way out of proportion. Losing a point to Switzerland is the far more inexcusable reason why Canada is looking at a play-in game and a quarterfinal matchup with Russia.

No matter how difficult the road is now, I'll believe Canada won't be playing for the gold next Sunday when I see it.

February 22, 2010
Votes: +0

Jake said:

smack
@ Rusty Yeah, that's what happens when you put Mike Richards on his line. Richards was AWFUL. How many points does Richards have compared to "golden boy". hahahahahahahahahaha
February 22, 2010
Votes: +0

shane said:

grinder12
... All the players on the canadian team need to find there role, they cannot all be stars. A lot of people did not think Brendan Morrow should have made the team but he has one of the few that played physical and directly contributed to Heatley's goal by grinding it out. If they don't figure it out the German's may even beat them.
February 22, 2010
Votes: +0

RustyPickles said:

Rusty Pickles
... No blame for the -3 golden boy????? (Would've been -4 until he got the meaningless garbage time goal).

Go Usa.
February 22, 2010
Votes: +1

Andrew said:

duducks
... I wont blame the game on Brodeur, yes he played bad, but even the best goalies can have bad games. It is the coaches duty to see that, and to make a change. I would've pulled Broduer after that first goal, because his first game wasn't that solid, he showed he still wasn't that solid, and you have Luongo on the bench. 90% of people would probably so it's too early, I understand that.

But after that goal where he tried to bat the puck out of the air right onto Rafalski's stick, and then let another weak one in, I don't see how Babcock has any excuse to not put the "better goalie in". I'd like someone to point out something that Babcock has done that has impressed them, cause I can't find it.
The Iggy playing/situation time is easily seen as a coaching mistake. The SJ line being the best line, you can't give any credit to Babcock.

100% Luongo gets the next start, but I'd be happier if they'd sit Babcock up in the press box and give the old hated Hitchcock the bench. If that's done, it wouldn't matter to me who starts.

In Summary, my blame goes to the coach.
February 22, 2010
Votes: -1

Chadosaur said:

Chadosaur
A letter to team Canada Dear Team Canada,

Please pull your collective heads out of your rear ends. Have we not learned anything from those who have come before us? Have we not learned that making decisions based past accomplishments (Torino '06)? To be completely clear, it is the vets on the team that are not measuring up.

Neidermayer, you're an awesome dude and have been among the best players in the world. But you are having a sub-par year, and your previously effortless skating is looking a bit more laboured.

Pronger, I hate you because you have never been a Canuck (that's a compliment, btw). But the big nasty d-man does not play the same way in an Olympic tourney as 82 games in the NHL, or a 7-game playoff series.

Brodeur, you will go down as one of the best in the game. But really, you looked uncomfortable against the Swiss, and it was easy to see that you weren't on your game very early against the USA.

But I do not blame you. I blame the coaching.

Babcock, did you watch any of the 2010 World Juniors? Did you not see the USA switch goalies in the gold medal game after allowing only 3 against to that point? Did you see them go with the younger, upcoming goalie to win it all? You are not a dumb guy, and I'm sure you could see the same mistakes that I could, but for whatever reason you did not have the courage to make the call. BOOOOO!

And as for the crazy line juggling, I will only ask one question: who juggles? Clowns, that's who. If circus calliope music starts playing in your head the next time you make a line decision, STOP IT.

To summarize: heads out of asses, don't be clowns. That is all.

Regards,
Hungover Canadian
February 22, 2010
Votes: +1

Will S said:

Bomm Bastic
blammo said? Wrong.

Miller was not the sole reason for the American's win last night. He certainly put on a stellar performance - the final 3 mins gave me palpitations - but he did not score any of the 5 goals posted by his teammates. Hell even the empty-netter wasn't a "gimme".

Rafalski silencing the crowd not once, but with two very clutch goals...effectually stymying any momentum gained by Canada was HUGE. Drury blocking shots.

Had the shots on goal been the same, with America winning 2-1 (in regulation/OT/SO), I would be more apt to agree with the "Miller stole one..." argument. But that clearly wasn't the case this time.
February 22, 2010
Votes: +0

DonCoburleone said:

DonCoburleone
Broduer untoucable to Mainstream Media? Finally somebody criticizes Brodeur's play in last nights game! I watched that NBC broadcast from start to finish then the 2 hours of postgame plus the Finland/Sweden intermission reports and then another hour post-game AND NOT ONCE DID ANYONE SAY BRODEUR HAD A BAD GAME. The closest anyone game was Millbury right after it ended saying that "Brodeur didn't have his best game, but..." Even Roenick kissed the almighty Broduer's hiney and didn't criticize him at all. I mean, that 1st period goal he gave up right after he swatted the thing out of mid air was absolutely inexcusable (who the heII did he think he was on that one anyway, Jason Bay?) Throw that 3rd goal on top of it, where he inexcusably dove after a puck that was waaaaay out of his reach and with bodies all around him, and thats the 2 goal difference in the game right there.
February 22, 2010 | url
Votes: +0

Jake k. said:

Kotentie
@Dobber and blammo Dobber,

Sorry. Yours was the last of about ten articles I read touting Miller/ Raff as the sole heroes of the game. I know you have been touting the US team as a dark horse. I was just making the point that the US really elevated their game in a way that most of us didn't expect.

Blammo
I am by no means, discounting the great performance of Miller. Canada sustained pressure really well and fired a ton of shots on goal. But the Us still manage to win twice as many face-offs, capitalized on scoring chances, and maintained their poise against a team with twice the raw talent. Miller didn't have to bail out any more defensive break downs than Broduer did.

I think over crediting the goalie is a way of saying, our team out played their team. Its just their goalie had a magical night.

Relative to their respective talents the US played a better game than Canada.
February 22, 2010
Votes: +0

Logan said:

EasyL
Perry Perry should be benched for the rest of the tournament. Or at the very least the game against Germany. Not only was he brutal getting back to his own zone and allowing the empty net goal, but he also took one of the stupidest penalties of the game which led to (if I'm not mistaken) the game winning goal.

Seriously, how does he let that empty netter go in? He was the first back to the puck, but it's like he didn't care! Barely skating, didn't show any drive or heart... it made me sick. Let him play a game as the 'depth' skater and give Bergeron a permanent spot with Getzlaf and let's see what happens.
February 22, 2010
Votes: +0

Jason Banks said:

Jason_Banks
... Dobber I'm liking today's rants, mostly cause finally your taking advantage of this olympic break for what it should be used for... PROSPECTS...

So what the NHL'ers are at the Olympics, what they do over there doesn't translate back onto thier NHL teams at all...

This is the time to speak about the AHL, JR's, Euros that may jump across next year and the Upcoming Draft...

Let's talk about how to position your team for the final 1/3 of your season and playoffs... and for those that aren't making the playoffs, we can talk about some names to look at for the couple next years...
February 22, 2010
Votes: -1

Jason Banks said:

Jason_Banks
Re: Pogge from last week Oh how the mighty have fallen...

Pogge plays 3 games 2 agaisnt a bad team and 1 agaisnt a mid level team and he wins Goalie of the week and gets mentioned by Dobber... The next week he gets to prove he's legit... and follows it up with 14 goals against in 7 periods...

You all do know he's 8-0 vs teams not in AHL playoff positions... Right?

And thats he's 2-10 and been pulled twice, one of which didnt count as a loss vs playoff contendable teams...

He does this every year and many people think he's good...

Perfect case of do some research into your prospects...
February 22, 2010
Votes: +0

Will S said:

Bomm Bastic
... The U.S.A took advantage of the opportunities presented...kudos to them. While last night was a definite step in the right direction for the U.S. team, this thing ain't over yet.

The speed, tenacity, and skill with which all these teams play is simply mesmerizing. It's all just great hockey, and damn fun to watch.

Go U.S.A.!!!!
February 22, 2010
Votes: +0

mick said:

hawkdog
Bring on Luongo. Bittersweet. Hard to see Canada lose, but seen it coming, moved up to 12th in the pool!

After the Swiss game- they should have gone with Luongo.
Where is Mike Green?

Big game by Kesler, lots of take aways, looked good with Kane. The Canadians don't seem to have any of these types, no draper/maltby types this year.

Gotta give it the Americans, going with youth and its paying off and will for years.
February 22, 2010
Votes: +0

blammo said:

blammo
@Jake Sorry Jake but the US won for one reason and that was Ryan Miller. Canada outplayed the US for most of the game - I would bet that the puck was in the US end almost twice as much as in the Canadian end and Canada fired almost twice as many shots on goal as the US. US had very little sustained pressure and scored their first 3 goals as a direct result of poor puckhandling by Marty.

W/r/t the goalie situation - I think Babcock has done the right thing with the rotation so far. State that theyre going to split the first two. Give Brodeur the tougher opponent in the Swiss. If he really falters (which he didnt) then go with Luongo against US. If Luongo falters against US, go back to Marty and live and die with him. -OR- start Marty back to back against Swiss/US. If they lose the game against the US and Marty plays poorly - live and die with Luongo. Marty looked shaky against the Swiss and worse last night. Its almost as if he's so keen to play the puck now that there is no trapezoid that he is going out of his way to do it and making very poor decisions in the process. Thanks for everything Marty - but I hope you have played your last game in the Red & White.

February 22, 2010
Votes: +0

Dobber said:

Dobber
Jake k I hope I didn't give you that impression. I try and say every day that US is an underrated team. All I added to that today was that Miller was awesome. And he was. The shot/save stats tell only half the story.
February 22, 2010
Votes: +0

Ryan Lenethen said:

DarthVain
Canada VS Russia OK two things. Most of team Canada during the USA game I could describe as lackadaisical. From Brodeur casually handling the puck, badly (OK we get it, you handle the puck. You might want to play a bit more conservatively) to the rest of Team Canada losing the one on one puck battles. As Dobber put it, did they know this game was "kinda a big deal"? Also I agree 100% with Dobber (though I won't place all the blame, as there was only 1min left and they were down by a goal), but Cory Perry's effort was horrible. There is NO way he should have lost that race. USA showed way more heart, and of course Miller was outstanding. The last 3min Canada really turned it on, but too little too late. I mean when the USA scores in the first 40 seconds of the game, that is showing that they had no focus.

Having said all that. I have a prediction: The Canada VS Russia game will be the best of the tournament. Both have such high expectations, and it is an all or nothing game, lose and your team doesn't even get a medal! Can you imagine the backlash on EITHER team if (when!) that happens? Huge pressure now, and so much on the line. That game will be absolutely nuts.
February 22, 2010
Votes: +0

Jake k. said:

Kotentie
Miller I have to say this somewhere. If I read one more article about Miller stealing the game for team USA blood will shoot from my eyes. Miller had a great game, But the whole team played exceptional hockey. They played with a lot of grit and heart.

Callahan, Dury, Backes, Brown, Both Johnsons and of course Rafalski, had amazing games.

I know its hard for the Canadians to accept but this game wasn't a fluke performance, the game wasn't stolen by Miller, or given away by Brodeur.

The US elevated their game and Canada didn't.
February 22, 2010
Votes: +0

Jake said:

smack
@Dobber You hit the nail on the head with Perry. I went nuts after I saw his effort on that empty netter. What the hell was going through his head? I just don't see the sacrifice in this team that I've seen in other teams. I don't know the blocked shot total but I'm pretty sure USA doubled Canada's. They wanted this game way more.

And yeah, as for Iggy with Crosby, don't get me started. Babcock hasn't done much good with this team so far.
February 22, 2010
Votes: +0

Will S said:

Bomm Bastic
The sound of crickets..... Man it's so quite you can hear a pin drop. It's almost as if Canada lost to the U.S. in hockey game or something.

heh-heh-heh...I kid, really.

A few things I think, I think:

What was up w/Brodeur's first half of the 1st period meltdown???? It was as if his stick was some foreign object in his hand. That and Canada's penalties ultimately lead to their demise. Lord knows they had the "shots on goal" category all wrapped up.

What did it for the U.S.? Glad you asked....in no particular order: Rafalski is playing like a beast. Drury is playing out of his head (pure clutch), and Miller is standing on his.
February 22, 2010
Votes: +0
You must be logged in to post a comment. Please register if you do not have an account yet.

busy