Thursday, May 31, 2007

Chelios Wins Faux-Award

1) First, we want to give Chris all the due respect his Hall of Fame career deserves. He has lasted so long with tremendous hard work and dedication and certainly deserves to be enshrined into the HOF and has been one of the best Americans to lace on the skates.

2) That said, the absolute idiocy of the award can not be overlooked. For one its NOT a real/NHL sanctioned award. Else it would be given at the official NHL Awards gala on June 14th. Where the real awards like the Hart, Calder etc are dispensed. No, this award(The only named for a living player) The Mark Messier leadership Award as they call it is simply just a marketing gimmick by a cold remedy product. Being fronted by a guy who never met a paycheck he didn't cash. (We discussed the award when it first was announced last fall:

3) Me$$ier supposedly had 'input' into the monthly and end of year choices. Oddly, Chelios was NOT among of the 7 monthly winners. Guess he suddenly came on at the end? LOL We still can't believe that papers carried the story of this farce award. Giving it faux credibility, and free advertisement for the sponsor.

4) We're hoping the award is either a one shot deal and dies out, OR the NHL adopts it as part of the year end ceremony, eliminates the silly sponsorship, and assigns a name of a player who's face we aren't subjected to seeing on a nightly basis.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Mad-Mike Leaves the Island

1) Has Mike Milbury has finally left the Islanders? Many fans of the maligned once proud franchise would have sworn that Milbury was still pulling the strings as early as this afternoon. Now, with the apparent departure of the man, dubbed 'Mad Mike' by the media for his crazy wheeling and dealings over the years, the reigns are now in the hands of......... Garth Snow?
2) Well, not entirely, but at least with Mike's leaving the stories and the understandable paranoia surrounding the old GM still running the team can be dispelled. Snow still has much LESS discretionary power than the average GM. He still has to answer to Charles Wang and his round table of hockey advisers, but the specter of Mike is gone....finally!
3) Many around the NHL are still asking how in hell did Mike last so long? Amazingly Mike was in the sales division of the Islanders for the past 18 months. Many found that odd/amusing considering Mike's apparent abrasive nature. Evidently by his long tenure, Mike can kiss ass pretty efficiently as well.
4) Where we found Mike to be at his best was as a hockey analyst. Many might recall before he was hired by the Isles he was with ESPN. He along with Barry Melrose were the in studeo guys back then. Many felt at the time that he was better than Barry. Not holding any punches(or shoes) with his comments. Hopefully Mike will return to this medium where we feel he excelled best. Best of luck Mike!

When the Cup is Won, Will Anyone Know/Care?

1) The article referenced was written by Caps beat writer Tarik El-Bashir. In it he tells of the major cut backs in newspaper hockey coverage in the states. How many cities with NHL teams are actually NOT having a reporter cover the Finals! This can not be good news to Mr. Bettman. If the average person doesn't even know games are happening, how can they expect people to gravitate/look for the games on TV?
2) We predict that the first games on Versus will receive dismal (even for hockey) ratings. Games 4-7 on NBC will probably be slightly higher due to more potential viewers, but even there we expect there to be little interest in hockey when its 80-90 degrees in a vast majority of the country.
3) Now, not having a paper from Houston or Seattle covering a hockey series isn't news BUT when papers in successful hockey towns like New York and Detroit's decide to not cover hockey's most important series, then it doesn't bode well for Gary's hope to 'grow the game'. Just another nail into the coffin of hockey becoming a mainstream sport in the U.S.
4) Coupling that with the inevitable move of 1-2 teams from the sun belt into Canada, many can now see the writing clear. Hockey fans are realizing that under Mr. Bettman it has failed to grow where he had stated it was vital to become a major league sport in the U.S. Some like our friends at Jibblescribbits have postulated this will be the end of Bettman.: Though we'd love to see Bettman gone, we don't see him being abandoned now by the owners. Once he got the salary cap he assured himself a job for life, and misery for the rest of us!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Final Preview/Predictions

1) With the Stanley Cup Finals to (Finally!) get underway this evening we at FAUXRUMORS felt it time for us to weigh in on what we believe will occur over the next 2 weeks. Since almost every other hockey blog has had their say, its time for us to have ours.

2) Firstly a run down by positions of the strengths of each team. As we alluded to earlier, we believe these ARE the best two teams vying for the silver chalice. Lets see how they match up:

  • Goaltending: If the likes of Stan Fischler are to believed the Ducks should win easily. Stan, having called Senators back stop Ray Emery a "mediocre back up', and 'sieve' at different times this playoff year. (Oddly, Stan actually picked the Senators to sweep the Ducks!) However Emery, though not the difference in any of the 3 series wins, was NOT outplayed either by Fleury/Brodeur or Miller. He's shown he belongs, and deserves credit. Having said that Jean-Sebastien Giguere has been the differnce at times for his team. This is Giguere's second trip to the Finals so this is no fluke. Edge: Ducks

  • Defense: The Ducks may have the best top 2 defensemen in Pronger and Niedermayer, but Ottawa's 6 from top to bottom are far superior than the Ducks top 6. Volchenkov and Phillips are their best two-some we've seen in the playoffs. Edge: Senators

  • Forwards: The Senators top line has had an amazing run thus far. The Ducks do not have a top line in the same class as the trio of Heatley, Spezza and Alfredsson to match the Sens. The question will be can they continue to dominate? If not, who will carry the load? Fisher, Comrie, McAmmond,Kelly, etc have been steady defensively, but have not been huge offensive contributors thus far. On the flip side the Ducks lost a key member of their top line with the loss of Kunitz. However, their 2nd line of Penner/Perry and 'the next Cam Neely', Ryan Getzlaf has looked unstoppable as they punish opponents who attempt to slow/stop them. (Detroit could NOT!). We still like Ottawa's overall depth/skill here. Edge: Senators

  • Intangibles: As always there are intangibles that no one can foresee. Of course 'special teams' are huge in any playoff series. We feel that the Ottawa top line gives them an advantage over the Ducks on the PP, and their stifling defense should able them to be successful on the PK. That said, the "Norris twins" of Pronger and Niedermayer can not be over looked to turn the tide on either side of special teams. These are the Finals folks, the time for special players to play to their highest ability. Edge: Even

3) So now after all that verbiage its time to make a pick. We do NOT see this as being an uneven or short series. In fact there may very well be several pivotal OT games to turn the tide. We do get the feeling though that this is Ottawa's year to finally win a Cup and put that 'choker's' label to bed. We are in for a classic/exciting Finals folks. Enjoy! Ottawa in 6

Friday, May 25, 2007

Relocation Ideas

1) With yesterday's news of a possible sale of the Nashville Predators we decided with the Cup Finals break to focus in on this and what other potential moves of other franchises may be forced/needed.

2) First, we are almost certain that Nashville will move. The early exit of the team this past spring was the final nail. Leopold, the team owner believed that a long Cup run this spring would attract more fans/local corporations and make the team profitable. (Explains the Forsberg trade) When that failed to happen (Another 1st round exit) it assured that Leopold would seek a buyer. He claims to have lost 25 million THIS year. (Wasn't the new CBA designed to prevent this??) After all we lost a full year of hockey so that small markets like Nashville could compete economically. Apparently they are still struggling!

3) Jim(Blackberry) Basille's bid to buy the team over other potential (American) buyers clearly signals an almost certain move to the Great White North. Where, is still debatable. Hamilton has been mentioned, as well as Winnipeg. Those, mostly because they have arenas that are NHL-ready now. Of course the Leafs and Sabres wouldn't like a competitor in their midst in Hamilton. While Winnipeg is far from where Basille works/lives. (We DO believe that the good folks in Winnipeg could still get a team, but its unlikely it'll be the Preds)

4) Another locale that we have read/heard about recently is the Kitchener-Waterloo area. They currently lack an NHL venue, but as it's Balsillie’s home base, where he could invest either on his own or most likely with some outside investment, in his own building for his newly purchased NHL franchise, it makes some sense. Of course that would mean a few years in Nashville as a lame duck team. Not a great circumstance unless you're in a position to lose even more $$ than Leopold did this season. What IS certain is that when the NHL approves the sale(you can bet the farm they will!) the Preds are as good as gone

5) That leaves us with what other teams will be next? We find it ironic that in a decade we've gone from teams exiting Canada for the south to now it looking likely that the opposite trend is here. It looks that in the short term (2-3 years) anyway, no other teams are in danger of relocating. The Thrashers/Panthers/Coyotes are three sun belt franchises that come to mind. However none are currently for sale, and Bettman at this time does NOT want to uproot those teams and lose what small foot print the league has in the south.

6) The U.S team that SHOULD have moved is the Devils! They have virtually no fan base to speak of. This despite years of success. However they are moving to a new arena that they will own/operate, so they will probably be pretty financially secure for 10+ more years in beautiful Newark, New Jersey.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

No Sell outs??

1) The article linked to this blog piece was actually written during Detroit's FIRST playoff series with the Flames. At the time it was news worthy that the RedWings didn't sell out a playoff game. After all this is "HockeyTown".

2) Now we read that the RedWings didn't sell out ANY of their playoff games. Folks, that's 11 contests that had tickets available in a city that boasted one of the hardest to find tickets for hockey of any U.S. based market. Though we're sure Bettman will have ready-made excuses for why this is so, we feel this has to be an ominous occurrence. This would have been an unheard of happening a few years ago.

3) We were hard on the New Jersey fans for non support of their team, but at least there the team has almost never had a huge following, despite their on-ice success. Not so in Detroit. The name "HockeyTown" was given due to the loyal nature of their fans. Now, a non sell out for an early first round game is one thing but to not sell out any Conference Final games is inexcusable. For it to happen there means it could conceivably happen anywhere south of the border.

4) For now it seems the game is as strong as ever in Canada. In fact the 6 franchises there supply the league with a whopping 40% of all the revenue generated!! That's an amazing stat, and one that can not make Mr. Bettman very happy. It was after all one of his stated goals to make the NHL a true national sport in the States, and not a niche sport in a few selected markets. Now, even worse not only is the game NOT catching on in non traditional markets but its now becoming difficult to sell to traditionally solid/safe U.S markets.

5) This is why we believe that Jim Balsillie's probable move of the Predators to Hamilton Ontario won't be blocked by the NHL. Sure Bettman will give lip service to the folks in Music City, but in the end it makes financial sense to move the team from a low income to a high income location. It would be one less team in need of assistance.

6) The NHL better hope that the economy in both countries remains as robust as it has the past few years and the exchange rate remains favourable for the Canadian franchises. Else the league, already on thin ice will find itself drowning in red ink!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Then There Were Two....

1) Congratulations to Randy Carlyle and his Ducks for being the other dance partner in the Cup Finals starting this Monday(why wait so long!?!) Anaheim, although they didn't have the best regular season record, did have by all accounts the best team in the West most of the year. In our opinion if not for a series of injuries to almost all their important players they would have been the President's Trophy winner.

2) As we wrote previously, we were quite impressed with the fight the Wings put up. Hasek and Chelios turned back the clock a decade and were very effective despite their advanced ages. Datsyuk may have finally shed his playoff disappearance image, Holmstrom showed he is a true power forward, and Lidstrom showed why he is this years Norris favourite. However, despite their heroics the Wings could not match the Ducks size, tenacity and timely goaltending from Jean-Sebastien Giguere.

3) This sets up an interesting series with the Senators. By the time the Finals commence the boys from Kanata will of had a full 8 days off. Not what Bryan Murray would have preferred. His team was coalescing well and probably would have preferred a 2-3 day rest over this silly week plus that the NHL has concocted to placate their NBC 'partners'. However, what's done is done. Certainly the Sens prefer 8 days off to the 'rest' 28 other teams are now enjoying!

4) Since we now have plenty of time we will do our in-depth Finals Preview/Prediction post sometime this weekend. In the mean time we're told that FAUXRUMORS 2 is preparing their 'interview' with NHL commish, Gary Bettman. We're told it should be enlightening! ; ) As always, keep it here for the latest!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Dumb Rumor of the Year!!

1) We are constantly reminded why we continue to visit "HockeyBuzz", Eklund's free/pay rumor site. Its for the constant laughs each visit guarantees. However, even for him(and that's saying something) his latest Ryan Smyth rumor has to be one of the dumbest(we can't think of a better adjective) rumors to ever emanate from his site. We realize that he has to write something to placate the paying customers, but this is beyond ridiculous

2) He actually wrote that 'sources'(from within his vacuous head no doubt) have told him that its very possible there could be a "sign and trade" of Ryan Smyth by the Islanders. To review for our readers who are not up to speed; Ryan Smyth will be an UNRESTRICTED Free Agent(UFA) as of July 1st. He can sign anywhere he wants! Until July only the Isles can negotiate with him, BUT Smyth has no legal obligation to sign with them, or even talk with them if he so chooses.

3) Why on Earth would he sign with the Islanders only to be immediately dealt to another team? He could skip the trade step and simply sign with the team of HIS choosing. Yes, it would be a very magnanimous gesture by Smyth to help his soon to be former team, but why???? Under the CBA he can't be 'paid off' for this. He's due a huge raise anyway, so it wouldn't be for the money. The answer is, its just another dumb Eklund concocted rumor. Many are silly/inane, but this one certainly takes the award as the dumbest so far this year.

4)By the way, if you talk with Eklund, be sure to ask him where Jason Allison is heading. Last season he had him rumored to about 20 different teams. We're still waiting. LOL Thanks for all the laughs Ek!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Weekend Review

1) We at FAUXRUMORS decided to wait until the weekend games were over before weighing in on the contests. This blog isn't here to necessarily break down individual games. We do that sometimes, but usually we let other blogs who do an excellent job at the 'x's and o's to do that.

2) Others have already commented on the abortion that was the NHL telecast issue this past Saturday, but we feel we must also comment. As long time observers of the imbecile that is Gary Bettman, we should have seen this coming. Here we have a potentially deciding game. Going into OT(the most exciting pro-sports spectacle) and what happens? The games goes off the air for a horse race that occurred 45 MINUTES LATER!!

3) Can you imagine a baseball LCS game being supplanted in extra innings? Of course not. It would NEVER happen. Only moronic things like this happen to the bush league that Gary Bettman has allowed the NHL to become. Another of a series of dark days for the league. We feel this will only give the proponents of OT shootouts more ammo to push for that nonsense. At the very least you can expect the rules committee to make some recommendations toward that outcome. It may not be enacted right away, but within a decade or sooner it will be in there in some form. When that day occurs we will STOP WATCHING THE NHL!

4) As for the games, we aren't surprised with either outcome. Overall both were exciting contests. Normally you give props to the losing team for 'the good fight' but in the case of Buffalo we can't help but feel they choked. However, they are a young team that will be back there next year. They will need to tweak their roster and add some grit/leadership to their group of talented youngsters. We remain dubious of Lindy Ruff's abilities. Is he a bad coach? No, but he is NOT the second coming of Toe Blake either!

5) We continue to be impressed with the RedWings. Yes, they are losing 3-2, but we didn't see them staying this close with the Ducks this far into the series. The geezers, as we affectionately call them, are definitely making this a series. However its likely the end of the line tomorrow when the series reconvines in Disneyland. The Ducks are big, tough and seem to have the intangiable that the sabres lacked. The Finals if it is the Ducks-Senators, should be very exciting. But we won't get too far ahead of ourselves. the Finals preview/prediction post will take place later this week. The only remaining question is will the Cup winning goal be pre-empted?

Thursday, May 17, 2007

May 17th Thoughts

1) Its inevitable. A team goes down 3-0 in the playoffs and sure enough we hear about the 1942 Wings and/or the 1975 Islanders. With the near impossible facing teams, they have little else to use to try to feel they have a chance at a come back. There's a reason that there have been so few miracles like the 2 alluded to. Its simply very difficult to win 4 strait from one team in the playoffs. The Senators just found this out last night. Despite outplaying the Sabres in 3 strait games they inevitably came out a bit flat last night. The Sabres to their credit took advantage of this and less than stellar goaltending of Emery to stave off what we feel is their inevitable defeat.
2) Pronger has been suspended by the league for one game. One has to wonder IF the referees and linesmen had somehow made the correct call to begin with(Penalized Pronger and NOT Neidermayer) if a suspension would even have been handed down. Some have speculated that this was a bit of a mia culpa on the part of the league to get it right, even if its a game late. Certainly the Wings won't mind. Holmstrom will play tonight while the Ducks have to go without one of their best players. Tonight will be a true test of the Ducks mettle. A real Cup team overcomes setbacks of this nature and rises to the occasion. If the Wings win tonight, you can be assured of a Detroit-Ottawa Finals!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Ducks Lay an Egg!

1) With all due respect and credit to the RedWings who played a text book playoff game last night, the Ducks just seemed to never get it into gear. What has to be most distressing to them, their fans and coaching staff was the relatively meek manner in which they lost last night.
2) There was no fire displayed. Now, we're not talking about the nonsense that Calgary pulled against Detroit when they were losing late in a game; Pulling Kiprusoff in order to use McClennan to hack at Red Wing players, but the usually feisty Ducks appeared meek as they went down to defeat. Definitely NOT what we would have expected from the team that led the NHL in fighting majors.
3) The Pronger(NOT Neidermayer) hit from behind on Holmstren not withstanding, the Ducks allowed the RedWings to win last night without having to pay for it. The old Detroit defense came away without having to sustain few, if any bone crunching/jarring hits. Once the game was out of reach in the 3rd we would have expected a much more of a statement than what transpired.
4) Carlyle has to be more than a little concerned, about not only the loss, but as important, HOW they lost. There still is plenty of time to turn the tide, but the Ducks are now in a 'must win' position, and we feel the best way to get back in this is to play the manner in which they succeeded all year; tough in your face/no prisoners hockey with a high degree of intensity. Otherwise the Ducks will go out quietly and we'll get ready for a RedWing-Ottawa Finals.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


1) As everyone knows players still under contract can NOT be contacted by another team until their contract officially expires. For impending free agents that would mean they or their representatives can not be contacted until July 1. However our sources tells FAUXRUMORS 2 that the Islanders are miffed at the Edmonton Oilers and their back door attempts to contact current Islander property, Ryan Smyth.
2) Evidently the Oilers have been making subtle overtures to try to lure back their wayward son. They are doing it with a less than direct approach to try to mend/patch things up in advance of the free agency period. How are they doing/getting away with it? Simple, by using current Oiler players they can circumvent the illegality of it. Ostensibly the players are friends/former mates of Smyth so there isn't anything the league or Islanders can do about it.
3) Our sources in the league office tells FAUXRUMORS2 that: "Unless or until there is direct evidence of a team official(other than a player) making contact with a player under contract with another team there is nothing the NHL can or will do". So as annoyed as the Islanders are they can do nothing. They also don't want to alienate Smyth by making this a huge issue. Since the season ended for the Isles the team has made/is making an all out effort to try to lure and land the coveted leader/forward.
4) The team has used its current players as well as former players such as Hall of Famers Bryan Trottier and Michael Bossy to sell Long Island to the Western Canadian boy. Snow has had several conversations with Smyth's representative/agent, Don Meehan. Team owner Charles Wang, always the activist/involved leader will have Ryan and Don over to his L.I. estate later this month to try to make a final push to get their man signed long before the free agency period commences.
5) The folks who know Ryan best tell FAUXRUMORS 2 that they can NOT see Ryan staying on LI or with any Eastern team for that matter. Ryan has spent his entire career in the West in Edmonton, and if he doesn't return to 'The Oil' another Western Conference team would seem to be the logical destination. Money also will NOT be a huge factor here. Smyth will get a very lucrative long term deal regardless of his choice. Wang, known for his record breaking (head scratching) long term deals will probably try to throw an offer that will be difficult to turn down. A 7 year 50 million deal with assurances of No Yashin and 'The C' for Ryan's sweater.
6) Will that be enough? Unlikely, and if Smyth isn't signed before the draft on June 22nd do NOT expect him to stay on LI. Therefore the Isles window is closing, and the window re-opening for Edmonton? Another question that must be asked: Is Smyth worth it? Yes he is a heralded leader, but are his offensive stats worth 1st line money for a 30+ year old? The answer for many GM's looking to add his intangibles certainly will be ye$!

Put a Fork in 'Em!

1) The Sabres are DONE! Make no mistake, there will be no heroic amazing comeback for this team. The reason? The Sabres are not only a team on the brink of getting swept out of the playoffs, they are a psychologically beaten team. They simply are at a loss (literally) of how to play the Sens. In truth we should have seen this coming. The Sabres haven't played a good 60 minute playoff game all spring. What would make some believe that they could suddenly do what they haven't been able to do in their first 14 playoff games? It aint!
2) There are NO easy excuses that the Sabres can use this time around. They are as healthy as a team can be this time of year. They have received great goaltending all playoff long from Miller, yet they will NOT play for the Cup. Why? Special teams! The Sabres PP hasn't been a strength all season, but in the post season it has vanished. You can NOT expect to win in the playoffs with a PP that goes O for 17! That's an A-Rod post season stat, not a Cup winning stat!
3) The only drama left is there any pride in the Sabres to avoid a sweep? We can't see them winning tomorrow. They are a beaten team in every conceivable fashion. We predict tomorrow will be the most lopsided game of the series, with the Sens scoring early and often to the point where it could get ugly. Here's hoping the other series continues to give us more competition!
Again; Why is Lindy Ruff a Coach of the year finalist???

Monday, May 14, 2007

Niedermayer........ NOT.... Dead!

1) With all due reverence/respect for Animal House and John Blutarsky and his 0.0 grade point average, the Anaheim Ducks' Niedermayer or more correctly Niedermayer(s) are definitely NOT dead! With Scott's dart into the shelf over the Dominators shoulder last night the Ducks avoided having to go home down 2 games. Scott is showing everyone why he is a Norris finalist. He was all over the ice in game 2. Controlling the pace/the game at both ends of the rink.
2) If the Ducks had lost we don't feel they would have been in quite the precarious position the Sabres find themselves right now in the East. Though they would have likewise been down 2 games to love, they are now going home AND they have played the Wings pretty evenly thus far. Meanwhile the Sabres have not looked too good losing 2 home games to the Senators and now must go to Kanata to try to turn the series around/save their promising season.
3) As mentioned in our previous post, we have NO rooting interest in any NHL team. Thus we ultimately don't care who wins , BUT care how a team wins. We want tough, hard fought series, with as much intensity(fighting included!) as is possible. Sweeps/short series seldomly proved much of that. So far the West has not disappointed. here's hoping the men from Buffalo make a series out of things tonight!

Saturday, May 12, 2007


1) The title to this post alludes to a commonly seen poster seen at Buffalo Sabres home games this season. The placard reads "Scary Good", meaning that their team is so amazingly talented/great that its 'scary'. Well after losing the first two games (at home) of the Eastern Conference Final to the Ottawa Senators, AND having struggled against apparent inferior opponents to get this far, one has to ask if the Buffalo Sabres were/are overrated?
2) To be fair, the Sabres did win the Presidents Trophy for being the team with the league's best regular season record, so it makes sense to have high expectations, but thus far in the playoffs we have NOT seen the team that dominated the regular season. Perhaps they are not constructed to be a great playoff team? Maybe they aren't well coached after all?
3) Ottawa's strength seems to be their defensemen who are doing a great job at controlling the Sabres forwards. The same can not be said of the upstate NY rear guards. Lydman/Numminen have been dreadful. Spacek/Tallinder/Campbell/Kalinin have been mediocre at best. Additionally, special teams have been HUGE! The Sabres simply can NOT stop the Senator PP unit. Thus far the boys from Kanata have scored 4 with the extra skater while the men in Blue are a dreadful Zero for 12!!
4) Obviously if these trends continue it will be a VERY short series. After watching the Sabres play 13 playoff games we do NOT believe they possess the ability as a team to change the current situation. While the Senators seem to gain confidence with each passing game, and seem poised to finally get to the next level. While we at FAUXRUMORS do not have a rooting interest in either team we would prefer a competitive series. Therefore we hope the Sabres prove us wrong and come back in Ottawa and make a series out of this after all.
By the way, can someone explain how Lindy Ruff is a Coach of the Year Finalist???

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

The Final Four!

1) We are now down to the NHL's version of the Final Four. With the Red Wings elimination of the Sharks in SJ the Conference Finals are set. We at The FAUXRUMORS Group, LLC, are proud of our playoff predictions thus far. We are a perfect 6 for 6 in the East! What we envisioned a month ago; An Ottawa-Sabres Conference Final will come to fruition.
2) The other conference is another matter. The Sharks have screwed up our perfect record twice now. We originally(correctly) believed that the team lacked the intestinal fortitude to win in the playoffs. They won round one when they beat a team(Nashville) that amazingly had even less fire/desire to do what it takes to win than the Sharks. We give the Wings full credit for using their grit and playoff experience to roll over the whithering, yet more talented Sharks in 6. Setting the stage for what we originally believed would be the West final; The Ducks-vs-The Red Wings.
3) This series should prove to be quite interesting for all who like "thinking man’s hockey." It’s going to be all about investing physically, attention to detail, defensive responsibility, and being prepared to win the little battles. Sure to this point Detroit have not gotten any respect from us, but we do admit they have done a good job in beating two very good teams to get here. They’re going into the series against the Ducks with significant wear-and-tear, and that could be a concern for the 'Geezers' from Mo-Town.
4) Anaheim has lived up to their expectations, beating as expected a very good and admittedly underrated Wild team and then also as expected relatively easily beat the Canucks. They are big, mean, and fast. That’s pretty tough to counteract. They can play a skating or an 'in your face' style. If the series is what we expect it to be, Anaheim has to be the favourite. They are more physical, fairly solid systematically and defensively, and are better equipped for a long series due to their aggressive style, age, and health going in. Detroit will battle, and their combined experience as well as Hasek's heroics will make this a more competitive series for the Ducks, but in the end Anaheim wins. Ducks in 6
5) Ottawa looked like they were supposed to in years past in ousting the Devils, but it must be said that they played against a team that was a bit over rated in our opinions. Marty Brodeur played the worst playoff hockey of his long storied career. As good a GM as Lou Lamoriello is, he simply isn't that good of a coach.(John McClean was the real coach) Ottawa did what they needed to do to win, and their top line of Dany Heatley, Jason Spezza, and Daniel Alfredsson helped carry the well balanced squad. Ray Emery wasn't the negative difference as many expected. He’s made the big save when needed, but hasn’t really been pressured too much in the playoffs, which he almost certainly will be against Buffalo.
6 )For the second straight year it’s Buffalo and Ottawa. This has the potential to be a great series, and as its a round later than last years match up there's a lot more at stake! Buffalo is the Presidents Trophy winner, and Ottawa has looked like a more complete and hungry team for the first time...ever. The Sabres seemed to come together after making some of the same mistakes they did against the Islanders; Taking them too lightly. It seems that every year for the past 6-7 the prognosticators has been picking the Sens as a potential Cup favourite only to 'choke on the way.
7) This is not an easy pick, but after going back and forth a few times we're going to stick with our pre-playoff Cup pick, the Sabres. We like their leadership, they have better depth and with 4 scoring lines are difficult to shut down. If Emery plays ordinary it could be a short series. If he matches Miller save for save it will be a long one. Either way Sabres win, but It won't be easy. Sabres in 7

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

The Cop back on the Beat?

1) The 'Cop' refers to former NHL head coach Pat Burns. He has been more evident the past couple of months. Appearing as a guest during hockey intermissions both on Canadian as well as U.S. television broadcasts giving his expert analysis. Usually when his current employer, the N.J. Devils are playing. His current position is of 'advance scout'. Ostensibly to scout teams the Devils will soon face. He still doesn't travel too much but in the eastern Conference that's usually not much of a problem with the unbalanced schedule. teams usually leaving the eastern time zone only once a season
2) During a recent intermission interview with a Hockey Night in Canada broadcast Burns was directly asked if he planned to return to the coaching ranks. While he didn't give a firm yes, it seemed clear that if given clearance from his oncologists and of course his family, he'd love to return to his true passion, coaching. He side stepped where he'd like to go if given a chance. At There are no vacancies, yet, and very few/no former coaches are going to criticize any of their colleagues who are still in there he wouldn't commit to a destination.
3) We are told that Lamarello is feeling he may have erred in his brash decision to fire (reassign) his head coach only a mere weeks prior to the post season. Lou thought(incorrectly) that Burns would be ready NOW to take over. Pat was forced to decline the offer, not yet having medical/family clearance to undergo the rigors of a Cup run, and Lou was again forced to go behind the bench to try to guide the team to another Cup. This time not successfully. Therefore the job is still Burns' to take. We should know by the draft whether the 'cop' is ready top resume his beat. As one of the 'good guys' of the league all of us at The FAUXRUMORS Group, LLC, are wishing Pat the best!

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Blue Shirt Choke?

1) Well technically it can't be a choke as the Rangers were hardly a favourite going into their series with Buffalo, but how difficult was it last night to be within 8 seconds of attaining a 3-2 series lead AND heading home to possibly close it out?
2) We give Drury and his mates full credit, but the Rangers have to be reeling just a bit no matter what they are saying to the press.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Hot to Trotz?

1) Just a quick note that we are hearing that the Nashville Preds didn't listen to us at The FAUXRUMORS Group to fire head coach Barry Trotz. Evidently they are planning to give the coach with the 4-12 playoff record a contract extension
2) While Barry's regular season record is excellent, its the playoffs that separates the good coaches from the great coaches. We felt it was time for a change of scenery for the Preds. Good news for Barry Trotz, bad news for Nashville fans. Not that there are that many of them anyway.

Killer 'P's Fly Into Final Four!

1) The 'Killer P' reference comes from an inordinate number of Duck players with names starting with that letter: Penner/Perry/ Parros/ Pronger/ Paulsson. Its no surprise to almost anyone who has been following the NHL this season to see the Anaheim Ducks back to this position.
2) They were a preseason favourite of many NHL prognosticators to make it to the Cup Finals. After achieving this much success last season they went out and were fortuitously able to add a player of the calibre of Chris Pronger, didn't lose any significant free agents, and their younger players have stepped up and matured well during the regular season.
3) Their excellent regular season made them a Cup favourite and thus far they haven't slipped up/disappointed their fans. They easily rolled over a good Wild squad. Then, despite a valiant effort from the undermanned Canucks, they took them out in 5 games after last night's OT clincher. The Ducks have earned a rest of at least 5 days. No matter their next opponent,(SJ or Detroit) its likely that team will be well worn from surviving a long series only to have to face the well rested/ready Ducks!
4) By weekend's end we very well may have a pretty decent idea who the rest of the Final 4 will be.
  • The Sens can close out the Devils in New Jersey Saturday
  • The Sabres-Rangers have their pivotal game 5 tonight in Buffalo
  • The Sharks try to rebound against the Wings in their game 5 tomorrow afternoon

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Open Discussion 5-3-07

1) Just when SJ seemed poised to take a strangle hold over the Wings their forwards get greedy and allow an odd man rush with a mere half a minute remaining. The result, Robert Lang, largely invisible before that point in the series, buries the game tieing goal and the Wing carry that momentum into OT where they win evening their series at 2.
2) The game was totally over. The Wings had narely a prayer. Then the Shark forwards smelled blood, or more specifically a chance for an open net goal. They started to hang back in the neutral zone to pick up a loose puck and bury it into the yawning cage. Unfortunately for them, that didn't happen and this lapse of judgement could possibly cost the Sharks the series that now shifts to the Motor City tomorrow.
3) Meanwhile the Senators, long the team that does the choking in the playoffs, are apparently beating the Devils at their own game. Using tight defense, good forchecking, excellent goaltending and opportunistic scoring to carve out a commanding 3-1 series lead. Admittedly Marty was NOT at his best last night. Giving up 2 un-Brodeur like goals. However this Senator team seems to have shed their choking of years past and is playing with a confidence we haven't seen of the Ottawa sextet, well.... ever!
4) NJ has its work cut out for it, but they are NOT out of it yet. Any team that has Brodeur can steal a game and a win in Jersey could change the momentum around again and make the Senators a tad less sure of themselves.
5) Tonight is the pivotal game 5 in Buffalo. If the Sabres have a legit Cup team tonight is the time to display that and come out strong and not play passively as they have for the past 3 games. The Sabres lose tonight and you can kiss their Cup chances nite-nite!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Success of the Video Replay

I was under the impression that the intent of the video review process was to "accurately" assess controversial or unclear goal rulings on the ice... It seems the NHL has blown yet another noble venture... The incorrect outcomes of the reviews in Games 3 and 4 of the Ranger-Sabre series has been utterly embarrassing... Clearly, there was no kicking motion by the NY player on Sunday, and last night, there is no other place that puck could have been, but in the net... In fact, local NY radio talk show host, Steve Sommers (a HUGE Ranger fan), admitted that his beloved team "got a break" - I have also heard from several sources (WFAN radio in NYC) that there were "other" replay angles available to those in Toronto that Versus was shut out from... If the replay judges have to SEE the disk in the net, then what happens in a scenario in which the puck is in the goalie's glove that has obviously broken the plane? It appears to be all guesswork on the part of the NHL...

My solution to this controversy is more cameras in the arena (consistent in ALL arenas) and within the confines of the goal... Try a small camera behind each goal post that gives a clear, unobstructed view of the goal line... This should be no problem for 21st century technology... This would be a nationwide scandal if reviews in the NFL playoffs were being handled as they are in Gary Bettman's league... Getting the calls right is blatantly NOT the aim of video goal replay... It's laughable...

Rush Out There and Buy It!

Non-Hockey Post!
1) OK, apologies to the rest of you, but to all RUSH fans yesterday was a great day! The band's first album with new recorded material in 5 years! Yes, this isn't about hockey, but they're Canadian anyway!!

Is This The Man For The Award?

1) The NHL yesterday published the Finalists for their awards to be announced at their annual lame ceremony in Toronto in late June. We already postulated who we believed deserved the Hart last month. We also did a brief run through on the other awards: With the released Final List available we thought we'd do a follow up and go through all the awards as we see them.

  • CALDER MEMORIAL TROPHY : Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins; Jordan Staal, Pittsburgh Penguins; Paul Stastny, Colorado Avalanche. Winner: Malkin. Had the most points, will win easily. The surprise is the inclusion of Staal over Kopitar. The ladder had 20 more points. The NHL is in love with everything Pittsburgh this year.

  • FRANK J. SELKE TROPHY Rod Brind'Amour, Carolina Hurricanes; Samuel Pahlsson, Anaheim Ducks; Jay Pandolfo, New Jersey Devils. Tough one to call. Brind'amour would be favourite if his team made the playoffs. He by far had the best offensive year of the three. The other two are on excellent teams. Winner: Pandolfo

  • HART MEMORIAL TROPHY Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils; Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins; Roberto Luongo, Vancouver Canucks. We discussed this one to death in the alluded to posts. We'll stick with our original sentiment that this year there will be a split vote. Winner Luongo

  • JACK ADAMS AWARD (outstanding coach): Lindy Ruff, Buffalo Sabres; Michel Therrien, Pittsburgh Penguins; Alain Vigneault, Vancouver Canucks. Hard choice. Ruff's inclusion is a head scratcher. he won last year, and this year's team improved only modestly. The other two coached teams that were not expected to win. Winner Vigneault. Got most of his team to win division

  • JAMES NORRIS MEMORIAL TROPHY (outstanding defenseman): Nicklas Lidstrom, Detroit Red Wings; Scott Niedermayer, Anaheim Ducks; Chris Pronger, Anaheim Ducks. Yet another dominating season for the ageless Swede, Winner: Lidstrom.

    LADY BYNG MEMORIAL TROPHY : Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings; Joe Sakic, Colorado Avalanche; Martin St. Louis, Tampa Bay Lightning. Winner: Sakic Joe had an outstanding year at his advanced age, this is a slam dunk vote.

  • LESTER B. PEARSON AWARD (most outstanding player as voted by fellow members of the NHLPA): Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins; Vincent Lecavalier, Tampa Bay Lightning; Roberto Luongo, Vancouver Canucks. Winner: Crosby In past years the Pearson and Hart are the same winner. Not this year, as we see another 'split' vote.

  • VEZINA TROPHY (outstanding goaltender): Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils; Miikka Kiprusoff, Calgary Flames; Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers; Roberto Luongo, Vancouver Canucks. Winner Brodeur How did Lundqvist get on here?Usually only 3 are in the finals. His overall numbers aren't up there with the other three. If we soly went with the final 3 months, King Hank would win easily. However Brodeur's record setting season has to be recognized

2) Other awards that didn't require voting:

  • Rocket Richard Trophy ( Highest Goalscorer) Vincent Lecavalier
  • Art Ross Trophy ( League Leading scorer) Sidney Crosby

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Rumor Discussion Resumption

1) As most of you know we at FAUXRUMORS got our reputation in large part by breaking many of the important trade/free agent signings/stories here first. For example
  • we were by far the first with the DiPietro story. In fact the day we told our readers that it was a 100% certainty that he would get a very LONG lucrative deal with in days, the rumor whore(Eklund) had a published rumor that DiPietro would be traded to Buffalo for Marty Biron
  • LONG before anyone else; We predicted/were told by reliable sources that Lou Lamarello had handshake deals in place with his UFA's and that a deal was in place to assist him in his cap woes. We even had the team that would help them(SJ) LONG before it was announced!
  • While the first significant trade of the season went down right under his(Eklund's) nose in Philadelphia, we at The FAUXRUMORS Group, LLC were first to announce the Zhitnik deal.

2) While there are several other stunning examples we didn't want to make this a long winded pat on the back. However, we have not since our resumption from the hacking in March, been putting out too many rumor posts. The main reason is/was that there weren't really too many to report. Post trade deadline things quiet down as teams prepare for the playoffs, etc. Any rumors from early March until now we can tell you are totally fictitious! Generated to keep the paying customers happy. Very few GM's were actively talking.

3) Only teams not involved in the playoffs can trade after the season and most teams wait until the playoffs are complete to deal anyway. However, when the second round finishes in about a week, it will leave only 4 teams in the Cup race and 26 to contemplate their rosters/trades, etc. From past experience this is when the rumors really heat up. We still may not get any big deals until draft day or just prior, but the foundation for those deals usually start in mid May. So this post is just been a long winded way for us to tell our readers that we will be back in a big way where we were when we started this blog! Breaking the news before anyone else! Of course we will continue to provide unique commentary, and discussion of the playoffs as they continue. As we say: Keep it here for the latest!

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