NHL 2012-2013: Tentative deal early Sunday January 6

Umm.. skates in the paint = in his crease. The Leafs knew what they were doing to Price, sure (everyone knows the guy can be baited), but the Habs D were reckless with clearing guys in front of the net. They need to know that if you shove opponents around your goaltender, they'll fall on him. You're not going to convince me that that is anything new in the NHL.

Looks like incidental contact, to me. Shouldn't have been a penalty. I believe it to be along the same lines as the Steckel/Crosby hit.

I didn't watch the game so I can't speak on any other aspect of it.

What really bothers me, and I'm sure everyone else on these forums, is the inconsistencies in officiating. The problem is, no one knows if something will be called a penalty from game to game or period to period.

The crease is purely an aesthetic thing these days, no toe-in-the-crease rule and you can't (well, shouldn't be) allowed to contact the goalie when he's attempting or has attempted to make a save. Gionta's contact was clearly a penalty for me. That said, if I had my way they would go back to the 2005-06 standard of calling everything in addition to actually enforcing the charging and boarding rules the way they are written (which would do more to take hitting out of the game than the headshot suspensions).

Habs continue to get killed by the percentages. They've had 1 horrible game (Pittsburgh), 1 bad game (opener vs Toronto), and 1 mediocre game (Calgary). They've been the better team at carrying the game in the others including dominating (and losing) against Colorado, Buffalo, and now Florida. We (in the observer and not the "my team" sense) really should be seeing some serious regression but I fear a run of miserable luck like New Jersey had last year. The injuries certainly aren't helping.

Dysplastic wrote:

As a habs fan, it was infuriating. Seeing Gionta get called for goalie interference when Reimer was well out of his crease, only to have the Leafs run Price over and over again with no consequence, forcing Price into a slashing penalty, drove me crazy. I'm at the point now where I think the Habs need to blow up the team because the way the game is called these days I don't think a fast, skilled team can be a contender - you really need an aggressive, physical team that constantly pushes the boundaries of the rulebook.

If you think it's tough now, wait 'til you get deep into the post season.

4xis.black wrote:
Dysplastic wrote:

As a habs fan, it was infuriating. Seeing Gionta get called for goalie interference when Reimer was well out of his crease, only to have the Leafs run Price over and over again with no consequence, forcing Price into a slashing penalty, drove me crazy. I'm at the point now where I think the Habs need to blow up the team because the way the game is called these days I don't think a fast, skilled team can be a contender - you really need an aggressive, physical team that constantly pushes the boundaries of the rulebook.

If you think it's tough now, wait 'til you get deep into the post season.

Oh, I know, the 2010 ECF against Philadelphia was a good example. That being said, I'm at the point of blaming Gauthier/Martin more than anyone else. They see how the game is called and how its won on a day in/day out basis and should know that you need to ice a lot more grit and play with a lot more edge than the Habs are doing right now to win. Over the past few years they've consistently been baited by what they (rightly or wrongly) perceive to be non-calls instead of trying to exploit them themselves. Giving tons of Ice Time to "heart and soul" guys like Darche and Desharnais doesn't cut it when those guys don't have the skills to bury the puck and don't place with any edge to their game, no matter how much you think Desharnais is the second coming of Martin St. Louis (Newsflash - he's not). Eric Cole was a step in the right direction, but he's getting what, 13 minutes a game?

Anyways, that's it for this Habs rant. I think I'll be focusing a lot more on the Oilers this year, who are actually playing some half-decent defensive hockey and are off to a pretty good start (which should actually be even better as they've been burnt by some very unlucky last-second goals).

Ugh, the Canes are seriously Jekyll-and-Hyde this year. At least when we had a 14-game losing streak a while back, it's because we sucked.

I have seen some of the best defensive play out of the Canes in years this season... And I've also seen them just basically not try for a good 35 minutes of a game for no apparent reason. So frustrating.

I'm glad we stole a point from the Sens last night, but oh man did we steal it. We came out with a good first period, and then just blew until the last 5 minutes of the 3rd or so.

I was in attendance at the Canucks vs. Blues game last night... Suffice to say, I regret purchasing that ticket. Failure I can accept, but to not even try is rather insulting given how much they charge for admission.

I read that as "Brian Gionta collides with Jeremy Renner" and I was immediately stunned at the breadth of work the man gets.

First Bruins - Habs game of the year. Best rivalry in sports.

SwampYankee wrote:

First Bruins - Habs game of the year. Best rivalry in sports.

f*ck you.

SwampYankee wrote:

First Bruins - Habs game of the year. Best rivalry in sports.

I'd be fine with the Habs never playing the Bruins again. Felt that way since Chara's explanation on the Pacioretty hit and Dr. Recchi's diagnosis.

Roke wrote:
SwampYankee wrote:

First Bruins - Habs game of the year. Best rivalry in sports.

I'd be fine with the Habs never playing the Bruins again. Felt that way since Chara's explanation on the Pacioretty hit and Dr. Recchi's diagnosis.

Jesus, let it go. Blame the asshole who decided unpadded wall edges were a good idea. If you think that at the speed of that play there was intent to injure on Chara's part I submit that you are thinking with emotion and not logic.

@ Greenie: ** Smooch ** You win. See you Saturday baby.

9 to 8? Three little letters: WTF.

Did anyone watch the Jets Phili game? My god! What the hell was that!

I figured at 5-1 we were safe, we being the Jets. I felt the same way at 6-2! All of a sudden it's 7-6 for Phili and I am freaking out! Total disbelief, but somehow we managed to pull it off! I was glad to see a few more scoreless players find the back of the net, but bloody hell you need to defend too! Some really horrible turnovers as well.

Still I am super happy the Jets came away with a win. Loosing that game, at the start of a long road trip, would have been devastating.

SwampYankee wrote:
Roke wrote:
SwampYankee wrote:

First Bruins - Habs game of the year. Best rivalry in sports.

I'd be fine with the Habs never playing the Bruins again. Felt that way since Chara's explanation on the Pacioretty hit and Dr. Recchi's diagnosis.

Jesus, let it go. Blame the asshole who decided unpadded wall edges were a good idea. If you think that at the speed of that play there was intent to injure on Chara's part I submit that you are thinking with emotion and not logic.

My problem is more with the reaction than the hit itself, which had an unfortunate result because of the speed of the play and dreadful rink construction. That said, it's something I should have left unsaid. Sorry SwampYankee.

I kind of wish i had watched the Jets game. Wow. Old-timey hockey right there. Were the goaltenders wearing 1980s pads?

Nine different Jets goal scorers tonight. Nine.

And the Leafs win in a kind of strange one in New York. A couple of soft goals past Lundqvist, was pretty silent the whole night in Madison Square, despite it being the Rangers home opener.

Don't apologize to me, just jawing back and forth with you! One last thing - The Recchi statement out of context was boorish to be sure but in context he was trying to take some heat off a teammate by becoming a target for all of the hate going Chara's way.

So you know No one in Boston - maybe a few wackos but no respectable fan - took any pleasure in that injury. It was brutal and almost universally Bruins fans wished Pacioretty a speedy recovery.

Ranger Rick wrote:

9 to 8? Three little letters: WTF.

Out of two fantasy teams, I only managed to get one goal and two assists out of that mess.

Via the puck daddy blog:
IMAGE(http://l.yimg.com/a/p/sp/editorial_image/d7/d71f06e7efc6f6750f1ce0401a210fff/hockey_hugs_dion_loves_phil_happy_blues_and_holy_getzlaf.jpg)

Awesome pic!

Man the Jets go from a 9-8 Win, to a 1-0 loss, to a 4-3 shoot out win! They just can't do anything the easy way!

The sports sections of Toronto newspapers right now are covered in articles asking whether or not this Leafs team is for real. I'm conflicted about it. There's no question this is a better team than Toronto has had in years, but there are some real problems.

The Leafs D is still soft - I was entirely ready to blame Gustavsson for losing games, but really for the most part he's been solid and his D has left him out to dry. I just don't get how Gunnarsson is our most reliable D-man (after Phaneuf, who is playing great), and why Schenn has joined Komisarek in repeatedly losing his man in key situations. Actually, Komisarek played a decent game last night, but still.. it's not good. Franson has been in the press box recently, but I think he'll be back in the place of Schenn. On the upside, the Leafs have 7 players who NHL quality D, the downside is that 3 of those players look lost on a given night right now. Wilson is leaning heavily on Phaneuf.

Special teams are crap. The PP is doing a bit better but the PK is giving up goals every night. Under 70% kill rate simply is not acceptable. And this is with mostly new PK personnel from last year. It's going to cost the Leafs wins - it was the reason stupid Ottawa beat the Leafs.

I'm still nervous about goaltending. Gustavsson will need to steal a few games before I trust him - he seems to give up at least one soft goal a night. While I'm really pulling for Reimer to have a great year, he's very much an unproven commodity.

On the upside, Kessel is playing great - he looks confident and determined (I wonder how he'll respond when he doesn't have a 23.8 shooting percentage though). Lupul is feeding off it and Connolly has contributed. The Grabovski line has got it going again and are able to consistently produce scoring opportunities by just quite simply outworking the other team. Kulemin outmuscles opponents and Grabo outhustles. Love that line. And Phaneuf has been playing like the team's leader. He sets the tone for the whole team and has been living up to the C on his jersey.

The Leafs need to make the playoffs this year. Need to.

Rinne re-signed by Nashville 7 years, $7 million/year. Nashville actually makes a big-money commitment to a player and it's a goaltender. A top-5 goaltender mind you, but still a goaltender. Dumb move - goaltending isn't all that scarce (heck, the Leafs got league-average goaltending last season.

--

Nihilo, you're a bit right to be skeptical of the Leafs being "for real" but there are promising signs.

The Leafs have had a tonne of good luck with the percentages so far this season (11.6% team shooting percentage at even-strength) but they have been better than last year outside the crease. Your intuition about Kessel's shooting percentage is well-founded and a reasonable expectation would be for him to accumulate goals and points going forward at about half the rate he has so far this season. The team in general should see a less dramatic drop in scoring, but a drop nonetheless.

The penalty kill is a bit concerning but it isn't as bad as the percentages show. In terms of shot-rates the Leafs are smack dab in the middle of the league at preventing shots on the penalty kill. Their bad luck on the penalty kill should turn around going forward.

All that said, Toronto should be in the playoff hunt if they can keep up their decent possession game they've had so far (They've had 50% of shot attempts in games when the score is tied). Playing in the East they should be in the playoff picture if they can get average/above-average goaltending and avoid major injuries to Kessel, Grabovski, or Phaneuf. At this point I would slot them in at 7th or 8th.

--

Self-indulgent crap to follow:

I know I went way overboard with the hockey stat nerdery last season and i'm trying to take a step back (except when prognosticating). At the end of last month there was an article about a really simple, yet useful concept when analyzing how individuals or teams are doing: http://www.arcticicehockey.com/2011/...

PDO at the team level regresses toward 1000 though you would expect minor variations mainly due to the small differences in goaltending. My rule of thumb is that anything between 995 and 1005 is close enough. Anything below 995 and the team has had some bad luck, anything above 1005 and they've been blessed with good luck. Going forward you would except that luck to not continue.

For example, at even-strength with non-empty nets so far this season:

Toronto's PDO: 1039 - Driven by shooting percentage, any rational person expecting the Leafs to continue to do top-3 in the standings well is insane.
Montreal's PDO: 1003 - At even-strength they've been right where you would expect them to be.
Boston's PDO: 979 - Anytime you read or hear "Stanley Cup Hangover" you should think the writer/analyst doesn't know anything - it's been abysmal luck. The puck hasn't been going in for them, but there's no reason to panic - In terms of shot rates/possession the Bruins have actually been better than they were last year.

I love this.

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/5c4Jk.jpg)

Edmonton seems unbeatable right now. It's pretty funny as watching them play, they look very, very scrambly out there, especially on D. But opposing teams' defense just seems mesmerized by their offense at times, letting them have their way. If Khabibulin can keep his game up, I see them in the playoffs for sure, which is great.

Montreal - still too soon to tell. They looked much more composed in the past 3 games, and while they're still at the bottom of the standings, they have games in hand. Very curious to see what November brings.

Leafs - agree with Roke. Top of the league is likely quite overshooting it, but I definitely see them in the playoffs.
I'm really hoping for a MTL-Toronto round this year, I'm a little sick of Boston.

nihilo wrote:

I love this.

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/5c4Jk.jpg)

I'm fairly happy with that picture also.

I'm not surprised w/ that picture, at least in regards to the Avalanche but I *am* happy that the Wings are below us

PAR

So this is what it feels like? Boy, I've been spoiled in my hockey watching career.

As an Oilers fan, even after moving to Vancouver, I keep pinching myself to see if I'm dreaming. The team is still young and I am not expecting them to sustain this early season performance but it is exciting hockey to watch. I keep hoping we see in Edmonton the same turnaround we saw in Pittsburg and Chicago.