Sunday, April 20, 2008

WARNING: Long Ass Post Ahead. Mostly Detroit/Preds Game and Rumors.

Preds fans were loud and proud at the start of the game. I wish I was able to be there to cheer them on. I am thinking about maybe taking a trip next season to Nashville. I don’t know if I would go when they play the Coyotes or not.

After watching Detroit four times this year against the Coyotes and the games in this series I have come to the realization I really don’t like Detroit. They get away with so much more than most teams because of who plays there and probably because of their history. Just because you’re an original six team or you are a “superstar” doesn’t mean you should get to play dirty. It reminds me of the Chris Simon/Chris Pronger and the disparity there. Also, the comments from Bettman about Chris Simon and then what he said about Tocchet were very hypocritical. Anyway, I am just sick of refs and the NHL favoring certain teams and certain players. I can’t wait for Bettman to be done. Can the NBA take him back please?

Ok, now that I am done with that rant, I will focus on the games.

Colorado won last night. Thank god. I watched the game and was surprised that Minnesota didn’t start playing dirty in the third. They usually do when they are losing. Every game I’ve seen, if they are losing, they will start to play dirty in the third so they can win. Looking at the other teams in the playoffs in the west, I wouldn’t mind Colorado advancing. I wouldn’t mind Colorado, Calgary or Dallas going all the way. I will in no way cheer for the Ducks, Sharks, or Detroit.

Looks like the Stars game will be on tonight instead of Sharks. My original program listing showed Sharks; now it shows Dallas. I am not sure if I will watch this game or not. I guess it depends how I feel at 6 and if the game holds my interest. I am a little tired of the Ducks and Stars. I’ve already had to endure them eight times this season (thank god for the schedule change!). It’s looking like I may not be watching this whole game. I need to make dinner and get a work out in yet today.

Ok, so the first period of the Preds game was great. The Preds really seemed to control most of the first period. They had a lot of really good shots on goals. Arnott is still out but Legwand was back in and he was getting a lot of good chances. Ryan Suter was getting a little bit feisty. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him fight. I saw a clip on youtube once of him trying to fight (in defense of Ellis) and it wasn’t that good. Suter, leave the fighting to Hordichuk and Tootoo. But keep up the big hits!

In the second period, Detroit got a lucky bounce off a dump in (what it looked like to me). There was no way Ellis could have known which way the puck would bounce. It should not have been a goal. Preds seemed to be falling apart a bit in the second. They were getting sloppy. They had almost a full minute of 5-on-3 yet couldn’t do much with it.

Start of the third and the fans were still going strong. Detroit was still up to their tricks, diving and making it look good. Legwand had a good chance shorthanded; too bad he couldn’t get it past Osgood. Not too soon afterwards, Detroit scored to make it 2-0. Detroit also scored on the empty netter. Preds are out and Detroit moves on to round two.

I am still proud of the Preds. They played well and forced Detroit to play six games. At the start of the season, it didn’t look like they would even make the playoffs. But Ellis emerged as a great goalie and they were able to fight their way to the playoffs. Since the Coyotes couldn’t make that 8th spot, I’m glad it was the Preds. I think the games would have gone different had Arnott and Legwand played Friday night and Arnott played tonight. They were missing a big presence without them.

During the season, I tried to do quote of the day. Towards the end of the season, I kind of tapered off but I will try to do that again with the start of the season. For now, I am going to start trying to post some daily rumors and my opinions on them. Most will be from Spectors, Forecaster or Eklund (Hockey Buzz) So here we go (I had to play catch up, so there is a quite a few):

Ryan Miller has one year left on his contract in Buffalo. I just read on Forecasters that Detroit is interested. Now this could just be because Miller is from Michigan. But then again, Hasek is getting up there in age and as he showed during the first few playoff games, he’s not as good as he once was (don’t get me wrong, he is still great, but you can tell he’s not the goalie he once was). Detroit has Osgood now. I don’t know what his contract is but I would imagine they keep him around as he has done well for them. I am not sure what Detroit has in their farm system but they are known for developing players no one else thought would be great into amazing players.

There are a lot of rumors surrounding Minnesota so soon after losing in the first round. Gaborik (1 year left on his contract) may be part of a trade and head coach Lemaire may not be back. He said he needs time to think. One of Brian Rolston and Pavol Demitra probably won’t be back next season (both are UFAs). According to our own Jim G, Rolston may be a guy the Coyotes target this summer. A lot of people have the opinion that Minnesota will resign him but according to Spectors there will be many changes with Minnesota this summer. Maybe Maloney will pursue Rolston.

Big news in Ottawa: they will most likely buy out Ray Emery’s contract if they can’t trade him by June 1. Also, Wade Redden will probably be UFA this summer. I doubt we will see either of these two in Phoenix. Our goalie situation is set (and I doubt our owners/coaches would want the drama here). Our d is pretty much set. I can only see us signing another dman if we trade one of Boynton, Jovo or Morris. I don’t see a trade for any of them except maybe Boynton. Morris was outstanding this year and well, Jovo is just too difficult to trade (no movement clause and a huge salary). Plus, if we don’t get any offense players, we could always move Jovo to forward!

Penguins may have trouble keeping both Malone and Hossa, even if they spend to the cap. I know, I know, this is nothing new but I just thought I’d throw it out there. Malone has been thrown around as a possible signing for Phoenix. I would prefer him over Hossa. Hossa we would have to pay out the butt to get and I’d rather not tie up all our money on him when we have some great young guys coming up who will eventually require more money. Plus I think they would have to sign Hossa to a much longer contract then Malone, JMO. I feel that Malone would fit in better with the young team too. I know we have the other Hossa, but I don’t think that’s going to be the driving force that gets him signed. He hasn’t really expressed much interest in playing with his brother and for Phoenix. I’ve read more about him wanting to play with Chara.

I found a good article on HF about our rookies:
The part on my fav rookie Daniel Carcillo:

You can never blame Daniel Carcillo for not trying. That is, trying everyone’s nerves. While he’s shown to be an irritating middleweight, much of Carcillo’s full potential has been locked away as his mouth and muscles have kept him of the ice. If he wanted to show everyone that he could lead the league in penalty minutes well, he won. Racking up a whopping 324 minutes in 57 games - including a league-leading four game misconducts - it’s astonishing that Carcillo wasn’t able to muster up a match penalty with all his antics. Regardless, when he wanted to play some effective two-way hockey, he was able to play at a high level. He was able to display this when he scored five goals in the last two games of the season – which even left Gretzky laughing at the anomaly – even though the Coyotes were out of postseason contention. He finished with 24 points (13 goals, 11 assists) and was a plus-1.No one discredits Carcillo for being loyal to the franchise and defending his teammates. However, as it was seen during the season, Carcillo really lacked a sense of when and where it was acceptable to flex his muscles and his jaw. It didn’t help that the Coyotes had one of the weaker penalty-kill units in the league. It even got to the point in the season where the Coyotes had to send him a stern message by shipping him out to San Antonio to play in the AHL for a brief stint.Come next year, Carcillo needs to really balance out his game. Seeing how he has the tools, great drive, and some good upside, he shouldn’t look to covet the league’s pest award.

I believe that after his stint in San Antonio, Carcillo got the message. He received a lot of phantom calls after that and then showed he does have skill with that last stretch of games, especially the last two games.

Also included were Peter Mueller, Martin Hanzal, Daniel Winnik, Enver Lisin, and Keith Yandle. It’s a good read. I recommend it to any Phoenix Coyotes fan or anyone interested in a good up-and-coming core of young guys.

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