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koekefix

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Ugh, so far I've had a perfect bracket outside of Anaheim losing to San Jose. I actually had Anaheim going to the finals and losing to the Caps :( And after the first round I told all my buddies that if I picked Anaheim to lose, I would've put Vegas going to the finals and then losing.

 

All in all I'm cheering for Vegas because I want them to win, but I'm also cheering for the Caps for Ovi and because of my bracket...

 

https://bracketchallenge.nhl.com/brackets/520280


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To boot they have a deeper forward group in my mind with Smith, Tuch, Neal and Haula providing dangerous threats to any mistakes that the Caps may make.

 

Alex Tuch from Syracuse, NY!

 

OK, I'm a little biased because I live Upstate where Tuch is from, so I'll be rooting for the Golden Knights. :)


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Well, at this point I'll be all in for Vegas just for Haula because I'm Finn and all that. Originally I was having my fingers crossed and thumbs up for Preds because of Rinne, after that I was hoping for Laine - Ovechkin battle, but that didn't happen, so now Vegas all the way, baby!


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I know it's summer in North America, but what are your early thoughts and feelings for the 2018-2019 NHL season?

 

- Can't wait for games to start!

- Meh, I'm indifferent.

- Fast forward a year from now when the season is over.

 

The biggest free agent signing wasn't a surprise to me.  Wow, Tavares going to Toronto, so what?

 

I'm curious to see if Vegas can keep the magic going.


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I'd love to see Ottawa just blow the team up rather than go the route of post 05 Oilers. Karlsson and Anderson want out. Anderson will be harder but Karlsson not so much so long as you don't include Bobby Ryan and they shouldn't. Get the best you can get in return to fast forward a rebuild.

 

That said there have been a lot of interesting changes and I am looking forward to seeing how a number of them pan out.


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Hey guys, a school friend and I have decided to start a new hockey account on Instagram. The account is called @puck.talk . We talk about everything NHL, and we do the occasional rankings, re-drafts, and we also take an in depth look at each teams top 3 prospects. We just started a few days ago, and I would love it if you guys could give it a follow and like and comment on the posts. I will guarantee you will enjoy some of our content. Please give it a try, if its for you Great; if not at least we tried to make it entertaining for you!  

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I’m surprised there’s not more chatter here as the playoffs are underway, Svechnikov was knocked out by his idol, and Stevie Y is now the Wings GM...loving that last part.

 

Any predictions on who’s going to win the cup?


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My two start of the season picks to meet in the SCF are still in. One of them only just though. Bos and Vegas.

 

Boston's lack of team speed is hurting them in the series.

 

The only series that really surprised me with who won thus far is Cgy and Col. That said Mike Smith was the only real show up for Calgary as the last 3 games just weren't close at all.

 

Granted the Jackets sweeping is a bit of a surprise but I could see them winning the series from the start. Torts teams historically have good success against high caliber skill teams in the playoffs. They typically struggle against teams that are both physical and high skilled. Also the Jackets went into the playoffs hot whereas the Lightning went in cold. Thus if the Leafs go on I would actually give the advantage to the Jackets with the concern that the long layover might hurt the Jackets. Also the Jackets have some offensive firepower that the Bruins just don't have themselves. If the Bruins go on it has the potential to be an ugly series. At the least it will be very physical. I want to see the absolute grind fest that would be Jackets and Bruins personally.

 

The Isles sweeping the Pens didn't surprise me at all and reminds me a lot of the Preds sweep of the Blackhawks a few years ago. The Pens just played a sloppy team game almost all season. The Isles played a strong team game all season with great goaltending. Thus I genuinely predicted the Isles to win the series in 6 and maybe even 5. The Isles, and to a degree the Stars too, remind me of the later Brodeur led Devils. I genuinely picked the Isles and the Bruins to meet in the Eastern finals. I'm just not convinced the Caps have the team makeup to beat the Isles. The Canes are a wildcard. They have an opportunistic offense with a solid team game. However they will only go as far as Mrazek will take them. He is the only reason that the series is tied and the Isles are a more complete team in comparison.

 

Out west I'll be surprised if the Sharks force a 7. Jones has been shaky all season and they have no backup to turn to with confidence. Also the D of the Sharks is, and has been all season, shaky at best in their own end. Getting Karlsson hasn't worked in the way that the team would have liked I think as it as has thrown the team D off balance (part of the reason for Jones shaky season) all season and they have never figured it out. The other two series are absolute fights with teams that are really close.


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He wouldn't right away. At best he would be equal to Haula if he were healthy. KHL players tend to struggle at first in the NA game. If he commits to staying he could be a really good playmaker. I don't see him playing much in the playoffs short of injuries.


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I'm sure many of you know about what transpired in game 7 between the Sharks and the Golden Knights. For those that don't know Cody Eakin cross-checked, in what could be called a rather mundane way, Joe Pavelski right after losing a faceoff to him. Pavelski proceeded to stumble off balance until he fell over Paul Statsny's leg and landed head first on the ice. Pavelski was seriously injured and Cody Eakin was given a 5 minute major and 10-minute game misconduct for cross-checking. While I could link a video I'm not going to because I am sick of seeing it.

 

Was what Eakin did worthy of a 5 and 10? No. Clearly not in today's game. Neither was what Warren Foegele did to T.J. Oshie. I'll get back to that later though. What Eakin did wasn't even worth a 2-minute penalty in today's game. So why was he given a 5 and 10? Were the refs just reacting to the injury? I think again no and here is why. There is a clearly overlooked fact given to referees by the NHL that was given to them to avoid another game like what happened between the Philadelphia Flyers and Ottawa Senators on March 5, 2004. Skipping over what happened in that game and what lead to it the NHL gave referees the ability to toss a player out of the game via a 5 and 10 if they felt it necessary to either keep control of the game or for player safety. This is, in my opinion, exactly what happened and if I am right I fully agree with and support the decision for giving Eakin the 5 and 10. It is also the only reason I can come up with for the 5 and 10. Had Eakin remained in the game in any form there was the risk that the game would have exploded on them with the Sharks trying to take a retaliatory shot on Eakin. The referees completely removed this as a possibility by tossing him from the game. Had I been one of the refs I would have done, or if not at least been encouraging, the refs to do exactly this. The Sharks were then forced to take it out on the Knights in another way. They chose to do so on the scoreboard.

 

That said there is blame to be handed out here however it goes directly to the NHL itself. Both the injuries to Joe Pavelski and T.J. Oshie are fully due to the fault of the NHL and their very lax approach to calling penalties in the game. In this specific instance cross-checking penalties. They just flat out don't call them. The lack of enforcement leads to both of these injuries in what amounts to freak accidents. There is another penalty in the NHL that had the same issue until an infamous moment where Marc Methot more or less had a finger slashed off by Sidney Crosby. Clearly, the penalty I am talking about is slashing. Guess what? The NHL is almost back to square one with that penalty as well. This past season I've seen big two-handed swings of sticks at the stick and hands of the puck carrier with no call whatsoever. However, the lack of calling cross-checking penalties concerns me more. It is clearly more dangerous and is even potentially deadly.

 

There is a particular scenario that plays out almost every game in the NHL that I am only thankful has yet to turn out in the way I fear it eventually will. A player on the attacking team gets in front of the net and attempts to screen the goalie. A defending player then comes from behind and cross-checks the screening player in the back when a shot is taken and the player falls to the ice in front of the shot. While it hasn't happened yet eventually that shot is going to hit that player in the neck or face with the potential to do serious damage and maybe even kill if things go horribly wrong. All because cross-checking goes largely uncalled in the NHL. Is it really going to take another freak accident just like, or heaven forbid worse, than what happened to Joe Pavelski before the NHL starts actually taking player safety serious? I really hope not however I fear it will as T.J. Oshie and Joe Pavelski can unfortunately attest to.


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Yes I agree with what you have said Richard.  The other unsaid thing is it was their Captain, and  they tend to over penalize penalties effecting them.  Sticks are being used to much on players these days.  It can also forces a lot of the more talented teams out early, look at all the 1 seeds falling this year.


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I wasn't a fan of the refs calling a major penalty on that "cross-check" either, but as soon as they saw blood, oh no, gotta make it a double minor or major penalty!

 

This wasn't a deliberate high stick which gouged a player's eye out, this was a freak accident, with the injury coming from Pavelski falling awkwardly and slamming his head on the ice (thank god for helmets, BTW, or else this could have been much worse).

 

I feel bad for Pavelski, but to call a major penalty on an accidental hit and change the outcome of the game, that's wrong.


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If I am right the major wasn't for any action or the result of any action directly. It was to prevent any further action (specifically against Eakin) and keep control of the game. Thus if I am right then the major penalty is the right call to be making. You don't want the game to be falling into a straight up brawl over a freak accident. Thus if I am right they didn't call a major because they saw blood. I genuinely think that is a poor knee jerk reaction to be having that comes from not understanding the rules given to the referees and not understanding the potential volatility of the situation. That said I also admit that I don't know exactly why they gave the major penalty.

 

While the major did lead to changing the outcome of the game Eakin unnecessarily precipitated it via an action that is against the rules in a cross-check. No the penalty itself was not worth the major call, however, the NHL gave the referees the ability to give a major penalty to keep control of the game or for the safety of a player. If that is why they gave a major penalty then it was absolutely the right call to be making no matter the resulting fallout from it. Getting Eakin out of the game was the better move over having him stay in to serve a 4-minute major and then potentially get outright attacked via a Sharks player just reacting to the result. Yes, the result was 4 goals to the Sharks however the impetus is on the Knights to stop the Sharks on the PK and they didn't.

 

This kind of action isn't a new thing. It has happened earlier in this very season and has happened at least once every season pretty much since the refs were given the ability to toss players to keep control of the game. Most of the time it happens fans typically react in a manner commenting that the penalty wasn't worth a major penalty. Even some players do in post-game interviews. Too many people overlook the fact that the NHL gave the refs the option to toss players out of the game to keep control of the game and I think this is one such instance.


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Now that everyone's playoff bracket is a complete bust if they had one let us look at the second round. I'm going to start out west.

 

SJS vs Col. I think this series is going to be decided by Martin Jones. San Jose is a more physical team up and down its lineup than Calgary was and it has more firepower from all over the lineup. Thus the top players on Colorado are really going to have to come up big for the team to come out on top. If Martin Jones can keep them bottled up to a degree by making a few big saves I see San Jose winning in 5 or 6. I also think that is most likely how this series will go.

 

STL vs Dal. STL and Nashville play a rather similar game with one major distinction. St. Louis' strength is up front whereas Nashville's was on the back end. Thus for Dallas it is almost the same challenge all over again however the forwards are going to be what they want to key on with St. Louis. Beyond that, this is going to be a close, defensive battle where the decider in my mind will be on what team takes advantage of the other team's mistakes. Ultimately I think the more consistent and better depth will likely put St. Louis through in 6 or 7 games.

 

NYI vs Car. The Hurricanes surprised me by beating the Caps in 7 games by being opportunistic while playing hard. Against the Islanders those opportunities are going to become more scarce. To boot the Islanders play a more physical game while having a few skill guys that can take advantage of turnovers themselves. The questions for me are all on Carolina's side as they don't have the physicality to match the Islanders nor the skill to pick them apart. I'm just not sure that working hard alone will be enough to beat a physical but patient defensive team. Islanders in 5, maybe 6.

 

Bos vs CBJ. The grind fest that I was hoping for has come to be. This is very likely to be a very physical and very intense series with every inch fought hard for. This series has the potential to be one of the best of the last decade. CBJ has the more explosive first line however it isn't by much. Beyond that your really splitting hairs picking these two teams apart. That said CBJ has 3 defensemen out at the start of the series. That alone could be the difference maker in the series and I think it likely will be. Boston in 6 or 7.

 

My conference finals matchups based upon my predictions: West: SJS vs STL. East: NYI vs Bos. Let us see how wrong I am.


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Let's go Bs!  Bring on Tampa!!  Oh wait...

 

I like those analysis above.  Although we all know how unpredictable the NHL is, and that's the beauty of it all, so we'll see how it all plays out.

 

Regarding the Vegas/San Jose "cross check" - I never thought about the control/player safety aspect and there's most likely a lot of truth to that.  Personally, I hated the call.  I felt it was a 2-minute minor at most and a fluke injury (which you always hate to see).  But, in all sports, sometimes you gotta play the cards you are dealt and overcome tough situations.  Hell, San Jose won game 6 in OT while short handed.  They could have easily sulked, given up a goal and blamed the refs, but they said F that and made the game theirs.  While I hated the call, Vegas certainly cannot blame the refs/penalties for the loss.  Aside from the drama, that was an exciting series... along with Bruins/Leafs, Caps/Canes and Blues/Jets.

 

Looking forward to round 2 and continuing my 3-hours of sleep a night.


*BISCUIT - SEASON 16 - TARNISHED SILVER BISCUIT PLATE CHAMPION*

 

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I'll go

COL STL

NYI BOS

 

My Stars will have chances but Bishop has to be superhuman to get them through

I was not impressed with SJ def maybe it was just LV making them look bad but way to many own zone turnovers


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Well Carolina just threw a wrench in the works and only 1 team remains from my original conference finals picks at the start.

 

If you want a quick summation of this series just watch the 5th goal by Carolina in game 4. That, to me, summed up the series. In key moments the Islanders just let Carolina decide the game. That said the first two games the Islanders should have won based upon play. Carolina didn't really show up until the 3rd period of game 2. However they won the first two because the Islanders let Carolina hang around and Carolina made them pay.

 

That said holy heck what was with the no calls in game 4? Around 7 minutes into the game Martinook outright boarded Mayfield with no call. I'm amazed that this game didn't get really chippy.


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I don't remember a game in recent history where a goalie made that many spectacular saves.  Must have been 6 or 7.

 

Stop it, Bobrovsky!


*BISCUIT - SEASON 16 - TARNISHED SILVER BISCUIT PLATE CHAMPION*

 

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Ok, the Conference Finals are set. Eastern Finals is Boston vs. Carolina and the Western Finals will be San Jose vs. St. Louis.


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I never thought the Canes would make it this far in 2019.  They are well-rested after sweeping the Isles, but are they rusty?

 

Boston, San Jose, and St. Louis are primed with zero downtime, but are they tired from going to game 7's?


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