Saturday, March 31, 2012

Week 25 picks

1) The second to last weekend of the 2011-2012 NHL season brings us a a full slate of 12 games to pick. We attempt to salvage our season as we bring a 159-124, or a .562 winning % into the day.

Boston at NY Islanders: Bruins

Ottawa at Philadelphia: Flyers

Buffalo at Toronto: Maple Leafs

Montreal at Washington: Capitals

New Jersey at Carolina: Devils

Winnipeg at Tampa Bay: Lightning

Columbus at St. Louis: Blues (Lock of The Week)

Chicago at Nashville: Blackhawks

Los Angeles at Minnesota: Wild

Anaheim at Phoenix: Coyotes

Calgary at Vancouver: Canucks

Dallas at San Jose : Sharks

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Habs Can Gauthier!

1) In a move that is a surprise to no one (except the timing) The Montreal Canadiens today fired their GM Pierre Gauthier. Its a move that in my opinion was LONG over due! His moves the past few years have been questionable at best. Gauthier, who took over as GM in 2010, has been the subject of constant criticism this season. It started with his decision to fire assistant coach Perry Pearn just hours before a game started. AS if a lowly assistant could be blamed for his own ineptitude!

2) However, that was nothing compared to the backlash that came when he hired hiring Randy Cunneyworth after firing Jacques Martin. Now, we were never big Martin supporters, but certainly the teams issues this season were NOT his doing. And Cunneyworth's inability to speak French was criticized, mocked and ridiculed in Montreal, and his 16-22-7 record since taking over isn't doing anything to help those tensions. Of course as we wrote at the time its DUMB that his language is an issue, but Gauther of all people should have known that he was setting Cunneyworth up to fail from the get go
His on-ice personnel moves have been just as head-scratching, like overpaying for an Andrei Markov contract extension, only to see Markov play in just 15 games since the beginning of last season.

3) So what next? As expected the Patrick Roy rumours are going to fly. The current owner, GM, and coach of the Quebec Ramparts is the media/fan favourite to take over the "Rouge Blanc and Bleu". However all our sources within Quebec and elsewhere with knowledge of the situation tell us uniformly that Roy would like to be considered but ultimately will decline the offer. Why? Patrick knows all too well the microscope and pressure he'd be under in Montreal. That any initial good will would quickly evaporate if the team gets off to a slow start. Instead he wants to be the head honcho and run things once a team is brought back to Quebec City.(Probably in 3 years) So who would be the logical choice? Almost everyone we talk to tells us that Serge Savard (who will be the man to make the choice), is very high on Black hawks asst GM Marc Bergevin. We're told he is well respected and highly thought of around the league and that even if the Habs pass on him, he'll likely find work at that level before long in another city.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Week 24 Results

1) Another week completed. On the day/night we went a pedestrian 6-5 to bring the season total to 159-124, or a .562 winning %. The continued bright spot on the season are our "Locks" We got another correct to bring that season long stat to 20-4, or a .833 winning clip!

2) We will continue to relay any interesting stories as they occur. We may have one on the Preds recent (re)acquisition of Alex Radulov. As always, keep it here for all the latest!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Week 24 Picks

1) With a mere 3 weeks remaining in the NHL regular season we go into week 24 and try to get as many games correct today/night where 11 games are up for grabs. We bring our season long record of 153-119 or a .562 winning % into the day.

Calgary at Dallas: Stars

Minnesota at Buffalo: Wild

NY Rangers at Toronto: Rangers

Pittsburgh at Ottawa: Penguins

Montreal at Philadelphia: Flyers

NY Islanders at Tampa Bay: Islanders

Carolina at Detroit: Red Wings

Winnipeg at Nashville: Predators (Lock of The Week)

Boston at Los Angeles: Kings

Vancouver at Colorado: Avalanche

Phoenix at San Jose: Sharks

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Futlity On The Island!?!

1) What else can describe what has beset the NY Islander franchise the past 10 years or so? The problems go back further, but we will concentrate more on the most recent decade. Especially the past 7 or so seasons have been ones to forget. There is an interminable "rebuild" that has been on going since before even Garth Snow took over (Bizarrely) on July 18, 2006. Since the lock out almost a full 7 seasons have passed. The Isles made the playoffs (as an 8th seed) in 06-07 and were quickly dispatched by the Sabres. Since then they haven't had a sniff at a playoff spot.

2) They have gone though 5 coaches during this time. Steve Stirling fired during the 2006 season. Followed by Brad Shaw, fired after 2006. Then Ted Nolan fired in 2008 (he guided them to their only post lock out playoff berth). Followed by Scott Gordan, fired in 2010. Now Jack Capuano is guiding the team towards oblivion apparently. It appears they are headed for yet another 'Lottery' season. What do they have to show for this futility? John Tavares. Yes, they have a few other decent young players, but no other potential game breakers.

3) By contrast after a slightly shorter a period of rebuild the Penguins, Black Hawks and even capitals had reformed their roster so as to be Cup contenders/winners. meanwhile the Isles are no closer to a Cup (or even the post season) than they were 5 years ago. They are wasting the prime years of Taveres as well as admittedly great FA pick ups in Moulson and PA Parenteau. Snow has effectively improved their forwards but their defense remains old and slow. Also why retain Evgeny Nabokov who at 36 is NOT going to be a long term answer in goal, when they at the very least could have received a 2nd round pick for him?

4) We constantly hear the refrain that they can't attract free agents because of the aging arena, etc. Sorry, that's a load of bull spit! If they had a top flight team/management free agents would flock to the island. Its still a decent place to live (if you have money). The main reason players are reluctant to come is the chaos that seems to permeate the Wang-run franchise. Not all his moves are bad/wrong, but by and large the perception around the league is that he runs the team (with Snow as his figure head) and is clueless. If the money is the same why play in an empty arena with no chance to win for a crazy owner? Also before Isles fans start to write complaining of unfair treatment we point to several positive Isles posts through the years such as:


5) What needs to change? Sadly a change in ownership is a must. Yes Wang has bled $$ from day 1(in hopes of hitting the lotto with a real estate deal) Now that this looks much less hopeful it appears that Wang will play out the string and give Nassau County the finger and move elsewhere in the NY metro area in 3 years. Once he moves we believe he will attempt to unload part or all his stake in the franchise. Until then it will be more of the same. Snow drafting top 10 players. Bringing them in too early and having them underachieve. Sprinkle in a few over achieving picks/free agent pick ups and we'll continue to have some believe the "rebuild" is going well. Sorry Isles fans we don't see the team contending for a Cup any time soon. Even the playoffs appear to be a distant dream at the moment and eve then mainly as a bottom seed to be swiftly disposed of in the first round(again) Followed by a new "rebuild". Yes, its Ground Hog day on Long Island!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A Thousand and Counting.......

1) Yes, it crept on us and we were so busy writing that we overlooked that we breached a major milestone here at Fauxrumors. We have now written MORE than 1000 individual posts here on the blog that spans back to the summer of 2006. (WE did have a hiatus in early-mid 2010) Other than that and our well publicized blog theft in early 2007, we have been writing regularly commentary about the game we all love, NHL hockey!

2) We fully intend to continue to write another 1000 entries! As long as it stays fun we will be right here and you there reading and commenting on our posts. We thank each of you for your support through out these many yeas!! You are why we write!!!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Next Hart Trophy Winner Not Best Player On His Own team?

1) As crazy as it sounds that's exactly what we could be looking at with respect to Evgeny Malkin and Sidney Crosby. It could easily be argued that Geno is the odds on favourite to win this years league MVP(Hart). Given his season totals and his teams' success we could hardly argue with that choice. Among the other candidates Stamkos' team appears to not be headed for the playoffs. Giroux missed a bunch of games and trails Malkin in point totals. Henrik Lundqvist, our favourite a month ago, has fallen a tad (as has his team recently). Leaving Malkin as our current choice to carry home the hardware this June.

2) Amazingly, Evgeny, while being the best player in the NHL this season is NOT the Penguins best player! With the return of Sid The Kid the Penguins now can boast the best 1-2 punch down the middle among any of the other 29 teams. If he played 82 games we would have little doubt that Crosby's talent would propel him to be league MVP/leading scorer. Obviously he can not do that this season, but his immense talent remains and the Penguins, already a Cup candidate without him, are now the Fauxrumors odds on favourite to win it all this year!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Week 23 Results

1) Week 23 is over. We went a respectable 7-4 on the day/night to bring our season-long totals to 153-119 or a .562 winning %. We picked another 'Lock" correctly top elevate that stat to 19-4(our bright spot this season) Overall we have a decent record, but nothing where we would like to be at this point in the season. We get another crack at it again next week when another 11 games will be decided as the season winds down.

2) Also look this week for a couple of posts. One concerning the Hart Trophy, and another one possibly dealing with a team that has been near or on the bottom for so long we can't recall when they were last a threat.
As always, keep it here for all the latest!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Week 23 Picks

1) We're getting down to the wire, or is it the early summer weather making us feel that the playoffs are just around the corner? Either way, we have a full schedule today/night of 11 games on St. Patty's Day! We take our 22 week totals of 146-115 or .559 winning % and try to improve our record.

Philadelphia at Boston: Flyers

Pittsburgh at New Jersey: Penguins

Carolina at Minnesota: Wild

NY Islanders at Montreal: Islanders

Toronto at Ottawa: Maple Leafs

Colorado at NY Rangers: Avalanche

St. Louis at Tampa Bay: Blues

Buffalo at Florida: Sabres

Columbus at Vancouver: Canucks (Lock of The Week)

Nashville at Los Angeles: Predators

Detroit at San Jose: Sharks

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


1) That's the word that's been talked about VERY quietly among many around the NHL with respect to the soon to be returning Sidney Crosby. Several of our valued sources have told us (on the QT ofcourse) that they and many others feel that the word is out from the top levels of the NHL that "Sidney Crosby is NOT to be touched". In other words beware of trying to line up the superstar Pens center for anything but a mild to moderate body check and be certain you stay far from his noggin! From what we can discern any player that appears to intentionally target Sid with a hit that is even on the edge of legal could face one of the stiffer fines/suspensions this side of Don Murdoch/Chris-Simon- . A 40+ gamer wouldn't shock anyone if it appears Crosby's career is threatened by such an incident. Even if the player is a first time offender.

2) So what might this mean for the league and Crosby? Well firstly for #87 we fully expect a return to form! He already is the best/most talented all around player in the NHL. With added room to maneuver he will be down right deadly. Multi point games will probably be the norm and if he avoids any new injuries and plays the remaining 12 or so and playoffs we would expect Crosby to help propel the Pens towards the Cup Finals. (It won't hurt that the pens already have the odds on favourite to win the Hart in Malkin) As for the rest of the league, coaches will have to decide how to try to stop Crosby. Our source added that even stick fouls would likely be called very closely with regard to Crosby who already has a league-wide rep for dives. So how long will these 'unwritten/stated rules' apply? Minimally through the remainder of the regular season. It'll be tough for the league to do this in the post season when money is on the line?? Opposing GM's might stay mute about the special treatment that Crosby will be getting during the regular campaign, but you can bet you bottom dollar that the volume will be turned up quite a bit if a team sees any preferential treatment going to the Penguin's during a playoff series!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Week 22 Results

1) Yet another week is complete. As has been our pattern this season another rather disappointing night where we went 6-5 to bring our record to 146-115 for a .559 winning %. We did get another Lock of The week correct to improve that stat to 18-4. We will be back again for week 23 next Saturday when 11 games will be played on St. Patty's Day.

2) Also look for a couple of posts this week. One discussing Crosby's (possible) return and one discussing the state of officiating. As always keep it here for all the latest!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Week 22 Picks

1) We're going down to the wire in the 2011-2012 NHL season. Only acouple more chances to improve on my season long winning percentage. Today/night there is a full slate of 11 games. We bring our record of 140-110 or a .560 winning % and try to improve it

Washington at Boston: Bruins

Edmonton at Colorado: Avalanche

Philadelphia at Toronto: Flyers

Buffalo at Ottawa: Senators

New Jersey at NY Islanders: Islanders

Carolina at Tampa Bay: Lightning

Columbus at St. Louis: Blues (Lock of The Week)

Detroit at Nashville: Predators

Anaheim at Dallas: Stars

San Jose at Phoenix: Coyotes

Montreal at Vancouver: Canucks

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Stop Rewarding Losing!!

1) As we first opined nearly 5 years ago(see link beow), we Hate, with a capital H to rewarding of losing. Whether it be the 'loser point' or with respect to the NHL entry draft positioning. The former may in fact propel teams into the playoffs and eliminate some. New Jersey for instance in the current format is safely (8 pts) in the playoffs. However if there were no post Over time gimmicks (shootouts) deciding games they'd have a mere 70 pts or tied for 8th with several teams right behind them. For the record we feel there should ONLY be winner points. Two for regulation/OT/So wins. ZERO for ALL losses. Period. Of course the 'loser point' keeps the standings closer than they otherwise would be allowing Gary Bettman/NHL to stay they have good competition (parity).

2) Our real hate for rewarding losing though has to do with draft positioning. Each year we'd see teams clearly out of the playoffs suddenly go into a prolonged tail spin/losing streaks solidifying their positioning into the Bottom 5. Many thought the "lottery" would curtail the situation we saw in 1984 when Pittsburgh and NJ "competed" to be worst and get a chance at drafting Mario Lemieux. Pittsburgh won that "race, and NJ had to settle for Kirk Muller at #2. The current format does not guarantee that teams' will get a particular pick, but it doesn't disincentivize teams from tanking. The bottom finisher still has a 49% chance of winning the lottery while the 2nd worst record has a mere 19% chance.

3) In a perfect world we'd see NO reward for finishing dead last. What should be done, and would make, in our opinion. for good TV is what we saw prior to the 2004 draft(Crosby draft) There was no season (Thank you Mr. Bettman) and no way to position teams so the only way was to have ALL 30 teams in an even lottery for position. By doing so teams would not simply give up and play their best all the way through. We understand this simply won't happen especially in the current political climate where people want things for free from folks who achieve/work for it. Anyway recently we did hear another/new proposal that makes sense to us at Fauxrumors. Its not quite as good as our idea, but in the face of things its a good back plan and does reduce the chance of tanking teams every season.

4) In this plan teams would "win" points towards the top pick by winning games AFTER they have been eliminated from playoff contention. Yes, teams that got eliminated first would probably still get a top choice, but instead of watching the Edmonton Oilers, etc (again) go on a 6-10 game losing streak every March, we'd see the same Oilers putting forth a top effort to attain a better draft spot. It would also prevent teams striving for the post season to get an easy game. Those "bottom feeders" would put out as strong an effort in late March as they did in late October. Its a no brainer to implement this scenario as soon as possible. While it still rewards the lesser teams with better draft position it prevents the obvious annual collapse of the bottom 2-3 teams

Monday, March 5, 2012

Isosceles Triangle in Coaching Carrosel

1) In yet another bizzaro move in the realm of coaching changes, the Toronto Maple Leafs relived Ron Wilson of his coaching duties this past Friday. Now for the record we agree with the move. In our opinion (and we have stated it many times before) we don't think Wilson is a particularly effective head coach. He has a tendency to alienate his players and while he is usually prepared, he doesn't seem to get every thing out of his teams(s). This is what we wrote about Wilson last summer'" Has had 4 extended stops as an NHL head coach. Amassing an impressive regular season win totals that ranks him 7th all-time. However he is the epitome of an underachieving coach. His teams have missed the playoffs 9 times in 17 seasons behind the bench. In his 8 post season appearances he made it past the 2nd round once; making the Finals with the Capitals in 98'. As one scout told us, " No one knows there X's and O's better, but he's hard to like. WE have to say that despite his W's, we don't either." This issue we have here is the timing. The 56-year-old Wilson signed a contract extension in December and will be paid through the end of next season. Wilson had a 130-135-45 record with the Maple Leafs. In 1,401 career games with Anaheim, Washington, San Jose and Toronto, he has a 648-561-91 record with 101 ties.

2) The next interesting twist is whom was Wilson's replacement. None other than Randy Carlyle taking over with 18 games left in the season. Burke and Carlyle were in charge of Anaheim when the Ducks won the Stanley Cup in 2007. Carlyle will be tasked with getting the Leafs into the postseason for the first time since 2004. For those keeping score at home (and you know you are) the Isosceles Triangle of coaching changes started in Washington on November 28th 2011 when Bruce Boudreau was canned by the Capitals. Two days later Randy Carlyle was fired by the Anaheim Ducks and promptly replaced by recently fired Caps bench boss Bruce Boudreau. Fast forward to Friday and Ron Wilson was fired and replaced by the former Duck coach Randy Carlyle. Keeping in mind that Wilson has coached BOTH the Anaheim Ducks (their first head coach) as well as the Washington Capitals coach who brought them to the only Finals appearance in 1998, thus completing our coaching isosceles triangle. (Or is it a rhombus)?

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Week 21-Results

1) Week 21 is over. The results produced an OMG to Fauxrumors. Eight of nine road teams won last night!! You read that correctly, the road team won all but one contest yesterday. We can't recall that happening on a busy Saturday anytime recently. No excuses, but comeon'!! For the day/night understandably we didn't fare well, going 2-7! We even F'ed our Lock of the Week. Our overall record is now 140-110 or a .560 winning %. Our locks record falls to 17-4. We will be back next Saturday for week 22 when 11 games are up for grabs as we attempt to get back on winning ways!

2) Look for a couple of upcoming posts this week. One concerns the recent firing of Ron Wilson and the curious circular(or other shape?) movement of coaches this season. Additionally loo for another post where we will have another take on one of our pet-peeves, the rewarding of losing!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Week 21 Picks

1) Its lucky week 21 in the NHL today. There are 9 games on the slate today/night where we take our season-long record of 138-103 or a .573 winning %, hoping to improve over last weeks showing

NY Islanders at Boston: Bruins

Toronto at Montreal: Habitants

Tampa Bay at Carolina: Hurricanes (Lock of the Week)

Nashville at Florida: Predators

Columbus at Phoenix: Coyotes

Pittsburgh at Colorado: Avalanche

Buffalo at Vancouver: Canucks

Anaheim at Los Angeles: Kings

St. Louis at San Jose: Sharks
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