Monday, April 30, 2007

Open Discussion 4-30-07

1) Here, for are our readers an open thread to discuss yesterdays games or anything else that may come to mind. Just try to keep it related to hockey. ; )

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Devils Attendance Woes Continue

1) As we alluded to in our post last month when we discussed attendance issues in the NHL, the team with The worst fan support is the New Jersey Devils.
2) Despite being at or near the top in their division/conference for the past decade+, having 3 Stanley Cups, perennially in the post season; they still played before an amazingly atrocious 73.8% capacity during the regular season!! That's 'good' for 27th. At least the 3 teams below them have an excuse; they haven't even sniffed the playoffs in the last 3 years. The Devils have NO excuse.
3) These problems are now magnified even more. The Devils are handing out tickets(distributing) thousands in the playoffs(unheard of in most other NHL cities) and STILL they are NOT coming close to selling out the Meadowlands arena. For their first game against the Senators Thursday night 15,000 or so was the announced 'crowd'. Three thousand short of a sell out. Pathetic! These are the conference semifinals folks, not a regular season game! We understand tickets aren't cheap, but if your fan base doesn't include 18,000 people who can afford to see a playoff game then you may want to think about moving the team to a new location where they can
4) Today the absurdity got even more intense when the Devils had a good reason for the bad attendance: The building is too big! They said that Continental Arena, with the ninth-largest seating capacity in the N.H.L., had always been too roomy for the team’s fan base... The Devils are short-term tenants in a building “That’s why we’re moving,” Jeffrey Vanderbeek, the team’s principal owner, said Tuesday. Vanderbeek is convinced the situation will improve once the Devils get to the Prudential Center. Besides, he pointed out, the Devils averaged 16,941 for the three games against the Lightning, which would be close to a full house in the new arena.
Got an attendance problem? Want to go from 75% to 80% attendance with a snap of the fingers? Want to get close to a full house in the playoffs overnight? Easy. Shrink the arena.
5) Of course there are more than enough folks who could afford the ticket prices. The Devils problems is lack of interest. That's what is most alarming. This is a good team. The arena is relatively easy to get to. The area population is huge. There is ZERO reason to have any problems. If they weren't building a brand new arena we'd say the Devils days in the Garden State could be numbered. What remains to be seen is when they build it, will they come? If the past is any indicator, the answer is NO, but no one will care.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Speed Kills!

1) Its not a new concept by any means. Especially in the New NHL era, it seems the team with the best skaters seems to prevail/do the best. No longer can you win with a group of plodders/muckers, in today's NHL you need a majority of your players to be swift.
2) There has been stark evidence of this the first 4 games of the NHL Conference semi finals. It seems the team that possess the better/larger number of good skaters have won each game thus far. Ofcourse its still early, and we respect the opinion of some of our regular readers(notably Vlad the Implaler) who maintains that the team with the best goalie almost always come out on top.
3) We can't argue that point, as its true quite often, but we believe that unless there is a decided edge in goal for one team, the next most important factor is team speed. Roberto Luongo couldn't carry the Canucks in game 1. Folding under the constant swarm of Ducks. Brodeur was less than average under the relentless Senator attack last night. Hasek may have played decently, but the RedWings seemed a step behind the Sharks. Lundqvist was no match for the Sabres barrage. It can be said that the better goalies ALL lost!
4) It is way early to determine if our 4 predicted winners will continue, but in the first game the winners were the better skating team, which was to a large degree why we picked them to come out on top in the first place. (Sorry Vlad)

Thursday, April 26, 2007

No Brainer?

1) The story goes like this: Apparently when the Predators negotiated their current lease with the City of Nashville they included a clause if they didn't attract a certain number of fans over the season (14,000) the team could choose to force the city to buy the tickets to make up the difference. The city can decline, but that would allow the Predators to break/buy-out their lease and move elsewhere if they chose. Quoting: If average paid attendance is below 14,000 next season, the Predators could ask Nashville to buy enough tickets to boost the team to that level. If Nashville chose not to buy the tickets, the Predators could pay the city an exit fee of about $18 million and leave Nashville.
2) The question that needs to be asked is: WHY wouldn't the Predators NOT ask for that?? Its a No-Brainer! They win either way. If Nashville decides to buy the tickets, the team gets additional revenue. If they decline The Preditors can start the relocation process in earnest and you can bet your bippy that KC will again step up to say "We want you", like they did for the Penguins. If we were a Nashville resident we'd be pissed that this clause was placed in the lease. It also shows how weak of an NHL city Nashville must be. Despite their playoff problems, the have been one of the best regular season teams in the NHL. If they can't draw well now, when?
3) Perhaps a move would be a good idea, but NOT to KC!! We believe that the sensible thing would be to move the team to Canada. Canada's franchises already generate more revenue/team than any U.S based counter part. They would be one less team that would need 'revenue sharing' to stay afloat. Any team moving there would sell out ALL their games and increase the over league revenue significantly. Another, No-Brainer!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Second Round Predictions-West

1) Firstly we want to congratulate all the first round winners. As we mentioned in our first round West Predictions post, it would be unfortunate that a good team or two would be eliminated in the tightly contested/superior Western Conference. FAUXRUMORS got 3 of the 4 series dead on! Only on the SJ/Nashville series did we err.(Credit to our blog contributor, Antzmarching for getting ALL the series correct) We didn't anticipate the no show of Forsberg/Kariya. Like the Wadell watch in Atlanta, the 'Trotz watch' is on! Its time to go Barry. Going 4-12 in the playoffs isn't gonna cut it!

2) Now on to the Final 4 West team match ups:

  • DETROIT vs SAN JOSE- The Sharks ate the Red Wings' for breakfast during the regular season, but that means nothing now. Their nasty series with the Preds aside, they did win early giving them a decent, earned rest. SJ really impressed us at FAUXRUMORS. Marleau has become a clutch playoff performer. Though that can't be said yet of Thornton, he did have a decent first round. The Sharks will need Big Joe to step it up even more to beat the Wings. As for the Red Wings who had to go 6 hard fought(literally at times) games before dousing the Flames, they were the team that could have used the extended rest between rounds. Our original prediction had the Wings going to the conference Finals. However, that was predicated on playing Nashville in the second round. We don't like this match up for Detroit. The Sharks can and will skate with the Wings, and probably have more overall offensive depth than Team-Geriatric. Nabokov seemed up to the task in the first round. Though we're still not big fans or sold on him as a clutch playoff goalie. Hasek played well but was NOT the difference in the Flames series. Should be an exciting/entertaining good skating series. Sharks in 6

  • ANAHEIM vs VANCOUVER- Battle of the Brian Burke assembled teams! His prints are all over both squads as he was the GM for the Canucks before taking the same position with the Ducks. He is largely responsible for quite a few of the players on the Canucks, especially his draft day coup of obtaining BOTH Sedin twins. His impact on the Ducks was almost immediate. Turning around a floundering cartoon-like franchise and transforming them into a tough as nails Cup contender. Building depth with energetic young players and complimenting them well with additions like Pronger and Niedermeyer. As predicted here the Ducks easily dispatched the Wild and are well rested/relatively healthy You have to think the Canucks will be worn to the bone after being pushed to a Game 7 before finally winning. Luongo finally got his chance to shine, and shine he did for the Canucks. Making Nonis look good/Keenan look bad for trading Roberto. Anaheim surpisingly is using a goalie rotaion so far. We feel ultimately they want to go with Giguere who has more experience in the playoffs. Both he and Bryzgalov are quite capable, but not in Luongo's class. Despite having a slight edge in goal with Luongo we see this series as being a bit of a mismatch. Ducks in 5

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Available Free Agents

1) Below are a a pretty comprehensive list of most of the potential unrestricted free agents that may be available July 1st. Of course that not every player on our list will be available. Some could be re-signed by their current clubs long before the July 1st Free agency period commences.

2) Defence: Chris Chelios (Detroit), Greg DeVries (Atlanta), Roman Hamrlik (Calgary), Scott Hannan (San Jose), Aaron Miller (Los Angeles), Teppo Numminen (Buffalo), Chris Phillips (Ottawa), Tom Poti (New York Islanders), Craig Rivet (San Jose), Cory Sarich (Tampa Bay), Brent Sopel (Vancouver), Sheldon Souray (Montreal), Mathieu Schneider (Detroit), Brad Stuart (Calgary), Andy Sutton (Atlanta), Darryl Sydor (Dallas), Kimmo Timonen (Nashville).Brian Rafalski (New Jersey), Andrei Markov (Montreal), Sami Salo (Vancouver).

3) Goaltenders: Curtis Joseph (Phoenix),Ed Belfour (Florida), Martin Biron (Philadelphia), Jean-Sébastien Giguère (Anaheim), Niklas Backstrom (Minnesota).

4) Forwards: Jason Blake (NY Islanders), Daniel Brière (Buffalo), Jan Bulis (Vancouver), Kyle Calder (Detroit), Pavel Datsyuk (Detroit), Chris Drury (Buffalo), Peter Forsberg (Nashville), Scott Gomez (New Jersey), Bill Guerin (San Jose), Michal Handzus (Chicago), Scott Hartnell (Nashville), Paul Kariya (Nashville),Ray Whitney (Carolina), Viktor Kozlov (Islanders),Todd Bertuzzi (Detroit), Slava Kozlov (Atlanta), Robert Lang (Detroit), Michael Nylander (New York Rangers), Jeff O'Neill (Toronto), Yanic Perreault (Toronto), Joe Sakic (Colorado), Teemu Selanne (Anaheim), Brendan Shanahan (Rangers), Bryan Smolinski (Vancouver), Ryan Smyth (Islanders), Mats Sundin (Toronto), Petr Sykora (Edmonton), Keith Tkachuk (Atlanta), Scott Walker (Carolina), Dainius Zubrus (Buffalo)Michael Peca (Toronto) .

5) As one can see this year’s market is pretty decent as far as having an ample number of star forwards, and a few quality blueliners, however there are NO 'big name' star defensemen available, like last season when there were at least 3-4 top defenders on the market. Ala Chara/McCabe. Also the quality of available goaltenders is marginal at best.

Second Round Predictions-East

1) Now that we have the results of the final match up in the West, we figured this would be a good opportunity to start our evaluation of the second round. The match ups have been set. Firstly we have to pat ourselves on the backs for getting all 4 series in the East dead-on! Even our number of games predicted was pretty dam close on most. We hope to continue this trend into this second round.

  • Buffalo- vs- Rangers-Regular season series: Sabres win 4-0. The Sabres may have won their first round against the Isles in a mere 5 games, but don't let that number fool ya. All but the first game could have gone either way. The good news though is that the Sabres come into this series still generally healthy. The Rangers got an unexpected 'bye' in their first round. The Thrashers appeared to be happy just to have made the playoffs, then played pre-season-like hockey in their first post season. We are still waiting for Waddell to be fired. The Rangers have coalesced nicely around stellar goaltending by Henrik Lundqvist, scoring from their top Jagr line and intimidation from NHL super-pest, Sean Avery. However, the Sabres unlike the Thrashers will NOT be happy to just 'be there'. They are hungry, and have 4 good skating lines that'll be tough for the Rangers to keep up with. If the Sabres play up to their potential it'll be a short series. Lundqvist may be able to steal one, but no more. Sabres in 5

  • Ottawa-vs- New Jersey- Regular season series: NJ wins 3-1. The regular season series mean nothing! We feel that Ottawa is NOT the same team it was in the fall when Jersey won 2 of those games. The Sens beat an up and coming, albeit immature, Penguins team to advance. While the Devils eliminated the SE divisions chances of a 3rd strait Cup by eliminating the Lightning in 6. As we predicted the Lightning matched up well against the Devils and gave the swamp denizens fits, but in the end Marty's goaltending was the difference. We still give the goaltending/coaching edge to Jersey, but feel the overall team depth of the Senators will squeak them by NJ. It should be a VERY entertaining series, but take its toll on the eventual winner. Senators in 7

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Message Sent.....Message Recieved?

1) When the N.Y. Islanders Sean Hill's suspension was announced just prior to Game 5 against Buffalo many believed that this was a very bad stroke of luck for the Islanders. Losing one of their top 4 defenders on the eve of trying to stave off elimination would be a tall order. Especially for a team already under manned and (including FAUXRUMORS) written off before the series.
2) We decided to dig deeper(as we at the FAUXRUMORS Group, LLC) usually do to uncover items that the mainstream press ignores/hides/or just doesn't try to discover. What we found shocked us. Apparently the powers of the NHL decided it was time to teach the Islander organization a lesson. For the past month or so the Islanders have been involved in several close call goal reviews. All of which went against the Islanders. Add to that the fact that the Islanders have the worst PP/PK ratio(The largest disparity of disadvantages to power plays in the NHL) Also the Simon suspension/ and Witt's public tiff with NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell.
3) The team initially was mute with regard to the man advantage issue, and not too vocal with regard to the video reviews UNTIL the Buffalo series when 2 calls helped decide games in their opponents favor. Following the second Garth Snow, the Isle's GM was unusually VERY vocal in his assessment of the NHL's job of officiating. Several other Islander officials including coach Ted Nolan were quoted in the press questioning the league's job in getting the calls correct.
4) The NHL had just enough and although the drug test was done weeks prior and the results and the following inquiry/appeals could have lasted months, the league decided it was time to send a message directly to the Islanders, and other potential/future complainers; tread at your own risk!
5) The Hill test and results were significantly accelerated and the suspension quickly handed down prior to the next Isles-sabres game. As one league official who didn't wish to be identified (BUT wanted to be heard) told FAUXRUMORS that Colin Campbell and Gary Bettman had heard more than they have wanted from the Islanders. "Colin couldn't wait to announce the Hill suspension. I hadn't seen him so giddy since he has been here". It still has not been announced what exactly Hill tested positive for, but you can bet that other players who may be using similar 'enhancers' will urge their teams to stay quiet with respect to league policy/officiating. The message has been sent!

Friday, April 20, 2007

MacClean Fired.....Finally!

1) Yes, the news out of Columbus yesterday is that the Columbus Blue Jackets ownership group finally have fired their only GM since entering the NHL in the 2000-01 season. MacClean was given ample opportunity over his 6 seasons running the team to show improvement towards finally getting into the playoffs.
2) In all, during his tenure of error the good people of Columbus saw the team win just 172 games over six seasons (or 492 games), a .350 win percentage. That is by far the worst in the league over that stretch. While other teams that came into the NHL at or about that time(Minnesota/Nashville) have made the playoffs on more than one occasion, the Jackets were no closer this year to the post season than they were in their inaugural season when they racked up a pretty impressive(for an expansion team) 71 points.
3) Those of us who have been following this team can say to this news is; " What took so long!" The signs were there for quite a while that MacClean was in over his head with this position. Sure he did a good job coaching an expansion team(Florida), but GM'ing is far different. His coaching choices, personnel decisions and drafting abilities have all been questionable since the outset.
4) The fact that the folks in the Buckeye state have been so patient; filling that building despite the losing, probably gave MacClean a bit more time. However folks were beginning to get fed up with the losing, and with the NHL entry draft to be held in Columbus in June, the owners wanted to give the team and its fans a sense of a new beginning. We at the FAUXRUMORS group, LC. want to wish the team well! Their loyal fans deserve no less!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

First Week Over View

1) With one week of the Stanley Cup playoffs in the books we will go through what we feel are the early surprises/disappointments as well as summarize each series as we see it.

  • OTTAWA vs PITTSBURGH- No huge surprise here. Pitt is talented, but is far too young to compete yet at this level. Additionally Fleury is NOT yet a #1 goalie(If he ever will be) and shouldn't have been thrust into this position prematurely. Original prediction was Sens in 6. We will stay with that.

  • BUFFALO vs NY ISLANDERS- With the unexpected return of DiPietro the Isles are at least keeping the games competitive. They are still way out matched. Kudos to Nolan for not allowing this team to quit! Our original prediction was Sabres in 4. 5 is likely.

  • NEW JERSEY vs TAMPA BAY- Thus far is going as planned/predicted. We saw this as a tougher series than many expected. However the Devils would prevail. Original prediction Devils in 6. This one could go 7, but we stay with the Devils as the eventual winners

  • ATLANTA vs RANGERS- We knew the rangers would win BUT we didn't see them as being the team in the East with a first round bye. The Thrasher organization should feel very embarrassed with their no show performance. Waddell/Hartley should be gone. Original prediction Rangers in 5. We didn't anticipate their total choke job!

  • NASHVILLE vs SAN JOSE- This is probably the only series we misjudged. Nashville has AGAIN under performed and NOT playing hard/well. Trotz is a goner for sure. Being 4-11 in the playoffs is NOT good, despite his stellar regular season record. Forsberg should retire. Original prediction Preds in 6. If the Preds can stretch this series to 6 games it'll be surprising. SJ is looking like they have their number and will advance.

  • DETROIT vs CALGARY- This one is going along as planned. Calgary needs to win tonight to have any chance. They may, but we still believe that the Wings overall depth/experience will prevail. Original prediction: Wings in 6. We'll stick with that.

  • VANCOUVER vs DALLAS- As predicted here, has been a tough hard fought, close series. By virtue of winning both OT games the Canucks have a stranglehold on the series. Unlikely the Stars can come back, but it won't be easy to put them away. Original prediction 'Nucks in 7. Could happen, but will probably end sooner.

  • ANAHEIM vs MINNESOTA- We believed that the Ducks would win relatively easily against the Wild. We stick to that idea despite the Ducks set back in game 4. We see this series as over. Original prediction: Ducks in 5. We will stay with that.

2) The playoffs is what separates the greats from the floaters. It makes or breaks player and coaches careers. As alluded to, we may see several coaches lose their jobs over poor performances.(Hartley/Trotz) Some players also make a name for themselves. Both positively(Thornton) and negatively(Hossa). We look forward to the next few weeks as the competition gets even more intense and the true stars come out! As always, keep it here!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Calling Out Slovaks!!!

Message to all Slovakian hockey players in the NHL: "When are you guys going to make ANY positive impact for your team in ANY playoff series..." In watching the Rangers-Thrashers these three pitiful games, it has occurred to me that Slovaks tend to tuck their tails between their legs and cower in the corners during the months of April and May... Marian Hossa, a truly gifted player, is a -4 or -5 in this series with maybe 4 shots on goal... His annual disappearing act is alive and well - and, isn't this the main reason Ottawa dealt him? This BAD Hossa got me thinking... I actually could not think of ANY natural born Slovak who has ever distinguished himself during the playoffs... Zdeno Chara also comes to mind... He was laughable last year versus Buffalo, after having a Norris Trophy caliber season... Palffy, Gaborik, Demitra? Maybe I am overlooking someone, and if I am, could one of you viewers bring it to my attention?

Monday, April 16, 2007

OT Nonsense!

1) If it weren't for recent NHL history of bending/changing the game to try to placate a vocal minority we at FAUXRUMORS would have found the recent flap concerning PLAYOFF over time humorous. The reason for the discussion even starting was a recent Vancouver-Dallas epic 4 OT game that lasted into the wee hours in the a.m.( 4 a.m. eastern time) Some in the media afterwards complained that games of this length should NOT be allowed. That some sort of set format should be instituted to end games at a 'reasonable' hour, and at a known time frame.
2) Former players, now hockey media idiots like Ray Ferraro were first to jump on board. Ferraro claiming of the 4 OT game: "I was bored". Well Ray, if OT playoff hockey bores you, go home to your ugly wife Cammi and see if she can somehow get a rise out of ya!!
Next in line in the former player idiocy awards go to the line up of the talking brain dead on the NHL's excuse for a hockey network in the U.S., Versus. Both Keith Jones and Brian Engblom came out n favor of some sort of format that could end playoff games with a shoot out!
3) We at FAUXRUMORS were NOT in favor of regular season shoot outs for many reasons, but this was the Biggest reason! Once the idea of a shoot out was in fans' minds, the powers(assholes) that run the NHL would eventually bring it into the playoffs. While the commish even recently said that there would be no shootouts in the playoffs, the initial discussions have apparently started. Probably they would at first use the guise that it was going to shorten games that have gone on to long and have little entertainment value anyway. From there it will be a slippery slope until playoff OT like we current know and love it now will cease to exist!
4) A fellow Blogger at an Islander blog said it well, if not a bit more bluntly than we would: "Message to the members of the media who want to see the shootout in the playoffs:If you don't like staying up until 3AM, here's a clue: go home, you whining douchebag, and shut up. Leave my hockey alone, you fucking twat. It's bad enough they changed everything else to make the less manly men amongst the media happy. If they end playoff games with a shootout, I'm done. I'm not enough of a pussy to enjoy that, sorry. How come no one bitches about baseball games that last until 4 AM? Now THAT is fucking-assed boring. Nine innings of baseball is tedious enough, without seven more- oh, but that's our "National Pastime", whatever the fuck that means. Hockey, though, fuck hockey, only a few people care about that, so let's change it to something people WHO DON'T FUCKING LIKE IT THINK IS A GOOD IDEA. Brilliant!!!!!!
5) Well said! Sadly we believe that OT shootouts are inevitable. The folks in charge will simply use the occasional/rare long OT games as an excuse to weasel them into our consciousness. It will be a VERY sad day when the first NHL playoff game is decided by a silly skills competition and NOT by one of the most exciting things in pro team sports, an NHL playoff OT game winning goal!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Gretzky Cleans House!

1) Not surprisingly, the Phoenix Coyotes cleaned out their front office yesterday. By firing GM Mike Barnett, director of hockey operations Cliff Fletcher, and assistant GM Laurence Gilman. This after the franchise's worst season since it moved from Winnipeg in 1996. However, Wayne Gretzky, who owns a minority share of the team and is its managing partner, will for some reason return for a third season as head coach next fall.
2) The Coyotes finished last in the Western Conference for the first time since the franchise came to Arizona, and their 67 points were the team's fewest since that move. Phoenix amazingly hasn't made the playoffs since 2002.
3) Barnett, Wayne Gretzky's close friend and his agent for 21 years, had just signed a four-year contract extension before this past season. He had been GM since 2001, when Gretzky joined the organization as the managing partner. Said The Great One:"This is probably one of the harder days of my life," "Mike Barnett's meant more to me than probably anybody other than my father."
4) Many have suggested that Wayne will step aside from coaching and assume the GM position himself. However, it is also possible TGO will assume both titles. We feel this is VERY unlikely. Even one with such an inflated ego like Gretzky, knows that having so many duties and doing them well is simply not possible in this day and age
5) If Wayne and the Phoenix organization were smart (They appear to not be!) He would:
  • Step aside from ALL but his 'managing partner' duties.
  • Hire a full time GM
  • Bring in a head coach like former Habs/Leafs/Devils head coach Pat Burns to kick some butt

6) This will NOT happen because Wayne, as mentioned, has a huge ego, and if he steps aside/down it would admit defeat/he couldn't cut it. We feel despite his success in the Olympics in 2002 (Canada should have won in 2006!) He is NOT a good coach nor has the ability to be a GM. He should take Mario Lemieux's lead and be a well paid figure head. Enjoy retirement Wayne, and let the REAL hockey executives make the decisions!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Playoff Predictions!-West

1) Now for the difficult part. How to figure out this mess. There are several very good hockey teams here that won't win a round. Unfair, but that's the way the NHL works. Years ago it was the other way around; with the East much more powerful from top to bottom and the West seemingly only having 2-3 teams worth watching. Like our East predictions we will go through each series and come up with our picked eventual winner. This time we will take it the next step and pick the Cup winner as well.

  • (1) Detroit (50-19-13, 113 pts)-vs.- (8) Calgary (43-29-10, 96 pts). REGULAR SEASON SERIES: Tied 2-2. This seems to be the series that many pundants like to pick the upset. If this were 3 years ago we might agree, but we believe that this Detroit team with Hasek at 100% will be far too much for Calgary to handle. It will NOT be a cake walk, but in the end the old geezers should prevail. RedWings in 6
  • (2) Anaheim (48-20-14, 110 pts)-vs-(7) Minnesota (48-26-8, 104 pts). REGULAR SEASON SERIES: Tied 2-2. The Ducks will fly into the land of lakes and easily dispose of the Wild. Well, maybe not easy, but of all the series we feel this one will be over the fastest and with the least amount of difficulty. Ducks in 5
  • (3) Vancouver (49-26-7, 105 pts)-vs-(6) Dallas (50-25-7, 107 pts). REGULAR SEASON SERIES: Tied 2-2 As we alluded to in our season recap, Dallas surprised us in the regular season, even more than the Canucks. However we will fall back on our old stand by; the team with the best goalie wins. Turco has yet to impress us in the clutch. While this is Luongo real first playoffs, we feel he should be up to the challenge. Even with that it will be a tough hard fought close series. Canucks in 7
  • (4) Nashville (51-23-8, 110 pts)-vs-(5) San Jose (51-26-5, 107 pts). REGULAR SEASON SERIES: Predators win 3-1 The Sharks are a favourite among many playoff prognosticators this year. We are NOT among them. We feel this team lacks enough depth/character to excell in the post season. Nashville isn't deep on character either, but we feel that Trotz will finally get this team into the next round(Else he's out of a job)Predators in 6

2) On to the next round, and it continues to get interesting. matchups are VERY important for the playoffs. As such we feel that will weigh heavily on who we pick here.

  • Detroit-vs-Nashville. Season Series: Wings win 6-2. The RedWings certainly have the Preds number. Despite having an average age of 68 the Red Wings will again gain entry to the NHL's Final 4 with a win over Nashville. If Detroit played ANY of the other 2 teams and we do NOT pick them to win.(Matchups/goaltending are everything now!) Red Wings in 5
  • Anaheim-vs-Vancouver. Season Series: Ducks win 3-1. This will be a hard fought tightly checked series. We feel that the Canucks just won't be able to match up with the Ducks depth but it won't be a cake walk by any means. Ducks in 6

3) The Conference Finals will be: Anaheim-vs-Detroit. season series tied 2-2. This will be a VERY entertaining hockey series. On paper both are evenly matched, with a slight goaltending edge to the Wings(If Hasek is still healthy) For that matter after 3 rounds injuries could be key. Certainly the Redwings advanced ages will play a part in determining the outcome. The fountain of youth will finally run dry for the Wings. Ducks in 6

4) What this sets up is a potential classic Finals. The Anaheim Ducks-VS-Buffalo Sabres. These teams did not face each other during the regular season. Most of the season both were at or near the top in their respective conferences. Injuries to the Ducks hurt their Presidents cup chances, but now largely healthy. Will that be true come late May? As always with the Stanley Cup playoffs, its a war of attrition. Both teams have considerable depth at forward and defense. We also like the prospect of a physical series with a few scraps(Anaheim seldom disappoints there!). We feel that Buffalo having essentially a first round bye and a relatively easy second round as well will be the fresher of the two. The final key will be home ice. That's why we are picking the Sabres to be the 2007 Stanley Cup Champions! Sabres in 7

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Playoff Predictions! East

1) Welcome to the NHL's second(real) season. We would argue that there is NO better all around tournament in all of pro sports. Let the games begin! We will go through each series; dissect what the most important factors are, and come up with who will win in how many games. We hope to do even better than our regular season predictions. First we will do the unpredictable East. Followed by the power house West. Enjoy.

  • (1) Buffalo(53-22-7, 113 pts)-Vs- (8) NY Islanders (40-30-12, 92 pts) REGULAR SEASON SERIES:Sabres won 3-1. On first glance this appears to be slaughter sides. On second/deeper look they are TOTALLY slaughter sides! If Buffalo lets the Isles win one game Ruff should be concerned. Main goal for Sabres will be to stay healthy through this playoff warm up. Best case scenario for Isles is to steal one game in Nassau before losing to Sabres in Buffalo. Sabres in 4
  • (2) New Jersey(49-24-9, 107 pts)-VS- (7) Tampa Bay (44-33-5, 93 pts). REGULAR SEASON SERIES: Lightning win 3-1. NJ appears to be confident going into the playoffs and they should be. A healthy Marty Brodeur is money in the bank. While TB has to rely on less reliable goaltending. However, this is NOT the best match up for NJ. TB seems to adapt to their style and can exploit their defense with their many offensive weapons. So they could make the Devils work for this series. That said, TB does NOT win low scoring games. That's NOT a good stat in the playoffs. Devils in 6
  • (3) Atlanta(43-28-11, 97 pts) -VS-(6) NY Rangers (42-30-10, 94 pts) REGULAR SEASON SERIES: Thrashers win 3-1. The bottom teams battled hard to try to get the SE division winner, believing it was a better alternative to playing the top 2 teams. While we agree, the Thrashers will NOT be a push over here. However this is their franchise's first trip to the post season, and their goaltending is NOT consistent. Many might view this as an upset, but it is not! Rangers in 5
  • (4) Ottawa(48-25-9, 105 pts) -VS-(5) Pittsburgh (47-24-11, 105 pts) REGULAR SEASON SERIES: Penguins win 3-1. This is the marquis match up in the East. The one that will get the most attention with all the All stars, etc. However like all games it will come down to the better goalie. Despite his problems last spring, we believe that Emory is far better than Fluery, and is ready to step up and carry the Sens. Also, Ottawa is rolling. Pitt will give them a hell of a fight, but we don't see the teenagers advancing this year. Senators in 6

2) On to Round 2. Here we predict the match ups/out comes to be:

  • Buffalo-vs-Rangers. Regular season series: Sabres win 4-0. The speed and depth of the Buffalo forwards will be MORE than the porous Ranger defense can handle. Even a valiant effort from Lundqvist will not be enough to slow the Sabre juggernaut. Buffalo in 5
  • New Jersey-vs-Ottawa. Regular season series: NJ wins 3-1. Despite the apparent Devil dominance in the regular season, we feel that Ottawa is NOT the same team it was in the fall when jersey won 2 of those games. We still give the goaltending/coaching edge to jersey, but feel the overall team depth of the Senators will squeak them by NJ. Senators in 7

3) Eastern Conference Final matchup: Buffalo-vs-Ottawa. Season series: Sens win 5-3. Despite the Sens having the edge in the regular season we feel the Sabres, now at full strength, are the team to beat in the East. It should be quite an entertaining and rugged series. We look forward to peters and McGratten getting acquainted a few times. In the end we feel the sabres home ice advantage, as well as their relative ease in getting this far and Ottawa's tiring 2 long series will be the difference in a hard fought, long series. Sabres in 7

Monday, April 9, 2007

Another Pro Fighting Poll!

1) Recently the NHLFA ( 28,000 members strong) conducted an online poll of its members. Among the questions asked were specific questions about fighting in the game. At the time of reading the questions FAUXRUMORS was not happy with the wording of the questions. We felt it was an attempt to get an anti-fighting result that seemed to be desired by the authors.
2) However, even with that, the OVERWHELMING majority of respondents in this poll desired to keep fighting in the game and NOT increase penalties for this most exciting of NHL activities.
3 Look below for a complete look at the poll, and we encourage all our readers to join the NHLFA. Even if they are not pro-fighting they are making an effort on behalf of the fans to try to improve the game we all love. It will also allow you to vote in any future polls.

The Results are IN!

1) The 2006-2007 NHL regular season has finally ended with a few surprises. The playoff match ups are set as well. Our next post,(by FAUXRUMORS2) will be our final NHL Power Rankings. We will make our Playoff Predictions following this post. Probably Wednesday morning. Here we will compare our preseason predictions with the actual out comes and see how we did.
2) Overall we are proud of how accurately we predicted the Western Conference.

  • We got 7 of the 8 playoff teams correct.
  • We thought Colorado would get the 8th seed(almost!)
  • Our biggest miss were the Dallas Stars. We didn't see them as being a contender this year, but they surprised us with a 50 win season.
  • Other milder surprises in the West were the Canucks. We thought they would be a playoff team, but didn't see the Luongo MVP type season propelling them into a divisional title.
  • Also Detroit, despite an average age of 50 continued their West dominance(At least in the regular season)

3) The Eastern Conference was another story. We weren't terrible, but some of our biggest misses were here. We only got 5 of the 8 playoff teams picked correctly.

  • Embarrassingly we picked Philly to be 2nd overall! Who knew that they would implode early and often and finish DEAD LAST! We don't recall one published prediction that had them that far out of it.
  • We also believed that Carolina would return to the playoffs and not suffer a Cup hangover. Wrong! To our credit we DID predict correctly the emergence of the Thrashers as the SE champs
  • Our second worst prediction were the Bruins! They were at least in the thick of things until they disappeared down the stretch. In our opinion that should cost Dave Lewis his job as head coach
  • We thought that the Penguins would be better didn't see Pittsburgh's amazing improvement coming so soon. The addition of Staal and Malkin, an MVP season in Crosby, and maturing of their role players spurned them to an improbable 47 win season
  • We looked at the Devils roster and could NOT see them as a playoff team. However, as is always the case, goaltending is 90% or more responsible for a teams success/failure. Along with Vancouver, no where else is this more evident than Jersey. Marty should be a Hart finalist to help propel this group not only into the playoffs, but another division title

3) The prediction game is never easy these days in the NHL. With so much player turnover, etc. However we are generally proud of our effort this past season, and vow to improve next season. We will start with hoping to improve with our playoff predictions THIS year. Stay tuned for this to be published before the puck drops Wednesday night. Until then, as always, keep it here for all the latest!

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Happy Easter!

1) To all our Christian readers may you and your families have a wonderful and blessed Easter!!
2) Reminder to everyone that late today or early tomorrow the end of the season recaps and playoff predictions will be published. Its definitely something you don't want to miss!

Friday, April 6, 2007

Canada On Top Again!

1) After several seasons where it seemed that Europeans seemed to be stealing a great deal of the spot light from hockey's traditional power, Canada The great White North appears to have made a nice come back this season.
2) A look at player stats shows that a European is no where to be found in the top 5 scorers. A big change from recent seasons where European players seemed to be dominant, or at least had a big percentage compared to their total numbers represented in the NHL(25%)
3) With the exception of the Calder where we believe Malkin will win hands down, and possibly the Norris where (deservedly) Lidstrom will take home yet another award as the league's best defender, every other major NHL trophy will go to a Canadian

  • Hart- Our 3 finalsist would be: Crosby/Luongo/Brodeur.
  • Ross- Crosby
  • Vezina- Luongo or Brodeur
  • Richard- Vincent Lecavalier has this all but locked up
  • Norris- Probably Lidstrom, but Niedermeyer will get a good number of votes
  • Calder- Malkin

4) Our readers north of the border should be proud of their country's strong showing this year and bodes well for them to once again thrive in the 2010 Olympics.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Keep it Here!

1) Just a quickie note to remind our loyal readers to keep it here next week for our final installment of Power Rankings as well as FAUXRUMOR'S playoff predictions.
2) Things are still very much in flux as far as positioning is concerned in the West, and who will get in in the East is still up in the air. By Sunday evening, when the dust has cleared, we will publish our Power rankings. We're told that FAUXRUMORS AND Antzmarching BOTH will publish their respective playoff outlooks/predictions early next week once the match ups are set.
3) Perhaps we will also take a look back at our Preseason predictions and see where we were dead on, and where we were dead wrong! Always fun to do!
As always, keep it here for the latest!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

How The Mighty Have Fallen!

1) With only 2 games remaining it appears that the reigning Stanley Cup Champion Carolina Hurricanes are out of the playoffs! We thought up until last night that they would find a way to eke out at least an 8th placement. Going as far as believing they were resurging a few weeks ago: Believing that a true champion always finds a way to win. We apparently were wrong. Laviolette's squad lost too many of the pieces that got them to the promised land last year and perhaps the remaining players suffered through the dreaded 'playoff hangover'.
2) With their elimination they join a very select group of teams that fail to gain access to the Cup playoffs following a championship season. The most recent the the 1995-96 N.J. Devils. What makes this time around even more unique is the fact that NEITHER conference champion qualified for the post season. Edmonton imploded at the trade deadline and has won once since, making our infamous list a few days ago:
3) Will this be an isolated occurrence or will this be the new trend in Gary Bettman's new 'capped NHL? With extremely liberal free agency coupled with a hard salary cap player turn over is at a pace never before seen. Competitive teams can be assembled MUCH faster than ever before. However the flip side is that they can be dismantled as fast as ever as well(See the 1997/2003 Florida Marlins)
4) The next question that needs to be addressed is this good for the league? In some ways it makes fans of the poorer teams more hopeful for a quicker turn around. However we at FAUXRUMORS believe that having dynasties is a good thing for the league. At the very least its NOT good to have teams disassembled to such degrees each year. Eliminating much in the way of continuity for the fans. What do you think?

Monday, April 2, 2007

Julien Fired!

1) OK, if this were any other team we would assume this was a panic move. With the move being made by one of the most respected hockey execs in the game, Lou Lamarello we have to assume there is a real reason behind this bold/unexpected move.
2) Lou has of course done this before. Firing a coach, Robbie Ftorek and replacing him with Larry Robinson before the playoffs and going on to win a Cup. For a team with so much success the past 12-15 years they seem to have quite the turn over in coaches. Perhaps this IS a panic move by Lou. perhaps he didn't like the trend the team was taking the past month. Figuring that he can't change his roster at this late date, but can change the man behind the bench.
3) We figure that, like the last time Lamarello took over as coach, John McClean will be the de-facto coach of the team with Lou being the "Figure head" (literally) standing behind the players. McClean will be making the on ice moves with Lou of course getting the final word. If things go as before, Lou will largely remain silent during games, with occasional input between periods.
4) If the Devils fail to go far into the playoffs this move will be second guessed. However, Lou has bought more than his share of goodwill with his vast resume of great decisions, so he has nothing to worry about as far as job security is concerned. We at FAUXRUMORS were surprised when Julien was hired in the first place. We felt McLean had earned the spot and would be elevated after last season. If NJ succeeds this time around its JM's job to lose. Then again Lou is NEVER predictable.

The 'Race' For Last!

1) With all the understandable attention given to all the playoff races in each conference we decided to look upon another race that has fallen a little under the radar; The Race to finish last. Of course the Flyers have clinched that distinction long ago, but with the lottery used to determine draft order that doesn't guarantee them the best pick. The worse you finish though the more of a chance a team has to get that # 1 overall. It almost appears that the (Non-Flyer) bottom 5-6 teams want to finish second to last and have been playing like it!
2) With that in mind here are the records in reverse order of their last 10 games of the teams 'fighting' for that coveted 2nd to worst spot:

  • Phoenix Coyotes: (63 points) 2-6-2. Started dreadfully, but seemed to have turned it around after the holidays to the point that they actually felt that they were in the playoff hunt. However the past month they seem content to be door mats of the west. TGO/Phoenix management can't be pleased with this showing. Mike Barnett will probably be the fall guy. If Gretzky weren't an owner he'd of been fired long ago
  • Washington Crapitals: (66 points) 2-6-2. Almost looked respectable the first 3 months of the season. Since the New year they have resumed sucking. The past month have been worst team in the league. Its reached a point where star wing Alex Ovechkin recently had a locker room melt down smashing sticks, etc. At least he seems to care about the losing. Is management as concerned? We'll find out this summer.
  • Los Angeles Kings: (66 points) 4-5-1 Of the bottom feeder teams have played the best. A decent group of youngsters that coach Mark Crawford has playing better the second half
  • Chicago Blackhawks: (67 points) 3-7-0 Another dreadful year in Shy-town. Even Denis Savard couldn't change their losing ways. Its 46 years and counting! No end in sight.
  • Edmonton Oilers: (69 points) 1-8-1 The defending West champs? Until the trade deadline had a legit shot to make playoffs. Since Smyth trade have tanked BIG TIME! McTavish looked as coach of the year candidate during the first half, now may be in jeopardy of losing his position
  • Columbus Blue Jackets: (71 points) 5-5 Have actually played better recently, but another year of no playoffs in Ohio's biggest city should mean their GM McLean should lose his job. Ken Hitchcock though has earned another season behind the bench.

3) The lone East team, the Caps have an 'advantage' the others don't; they don't play the other 'competing' teams, where points have to be awarded to someone. So they are our 'favourite to come in second to last.

4) With all this losing the NHL should take the advice of us at FAUXRUMORS and do away entirely the notion that losing should be rewarded with a high draft choice. As we noted in our post the draft should totally be determined with a lottery for ALL TEAMS regardless of placement in the standings. This would for once and for all eliminate teams 'tanking it' or the appearance of tanking it down the stretch.

Contact the Media