NHLP2  ANDREW CHAD CHARLIE JOEL
JR MARCEL MATT RYAN
SCOTT SHAWN TYSON VINNIE
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NHLP2.com   Andrew Chad Charlie Joel
  GM Page Jr Marcel Matt Mike & Ray
  Ryan Scott Shawn Tyson

CONGRATULATIONS:  GM TYSON'S HAMILTON HITMEN, THE NHLP 2012 NHLP CHAMPIONS........GM TYSON'S HAMILTON HITMEN, THE NHLP 2012 NHLP CHAMPIONS........GM TYSON'S HAMILTON HITMEN, THE NHLP 2012 NHLP CHAMPIONS........GM TYSON'S HAMILTON HITMEN, THE NHLP 2012 NHLP CHAMPIONS........GM TYSON'S HAMILTON HITMEN, THE NHLP 2012 NHLP CHAMPIONS........GM TYSON'S HAMILTON HITMEN, THE NHLP 2012 NHLP CHAMPIONS........GM TYSON'S HAMILTON HITMEN, THE NHLP 2012 NHLP CHAMPIONS........GM TYSON'S HAMILTON HITMEN, THE NHLP 2012 NHLP CHAMPIONS........GM TYSON'S HAMILTON HITMEN, THE NHLP 2012 NHLP CHAMPIONS........GM TYSON'S HAMILTON HITMEN, THE NHLP 2012 NHLP CHAMPIONS........GM TYSON'S HAMILTON HITMEN, THE NHLP 2012 NHLP CHAMPIONS.........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

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Highlights for 2011/12

 

2011/12 Season Highlights
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2012 NHLP Champions - Hamilton Hitmen

2012 NHLP Champions
Hamilton Hitmen
GM Tyson

Adam Henrique
Radim Vrbata
Tyler Kennedy
Pascal Dupuis
Jannik Hansen
Kyle Turris
Stephan Weiss

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Final, June 11th
NHLP Championship At a Glance...(Click for Playoff Page)
Score Team Seed
Central Conference Representative
0 Florida Panthers (Marcel)
#4
1
West Conference Representative
0 Los Angeles Kings (Andrew)
#14
5
East Conference Representative
2 Hamilton Hitmen (Tyson)
#13
3
*The color would show the NHLP Champion (This Team)
Underscored
is CTR favorite to win series
* - Officially has won the Tie-Breaker
Blue Numbers = Done Scoring/Can't gain in Round


After Games Friday, May 25th - Final Conference Finals
Conference Finals At a Glance...(Click for Playoff Page)
Seed Team Score Score Team Seed
Central Conference
3 Dallas Stars (Jr)
#1
0 5* Florida Panthers (Marcel)
#4
1
East Conference
8 Philadelphia Flyer (Scott)
#9
1 5* Hamilton Hitmen (Tyson)
#13
3
West Conference
8 Edmonton Oil (Scott)
#3
5* 6 Los Angeles Kings (Andrew)
#14
5
*The colors would show the three teams in the Finals.  (This seed vs. this seed vs. this seed)
Underscored
is CTR favorite to win series
* - Officially has won the Tie-Breaker
Blue Numbers = Done Scoring/Can't gain in Round


After Games Saturday, May 12 - Final Round Two
Second Round At a Glance...(Click for Playoff Page)
Seed Team Score Score Team Seed
Central Conference
7 Ottawa Senators (Mike & Ray)
#22
6 10* Florida Panthers (Marcel)
#4
1
4 Cleveland Fury (Tyson)
#6
2* 4 Dallas Stars (Jr)
#1
3
East Conference
8 Philadelphia Flyer (Scott)
#9
5* 5 Hartford Whalers (Andrew)
#5
2
4 Memphis Machine (Jr)
#23
5* 7 Hamilton Hitmen (Tyson)
#13
3
West Conference
8 Edmonton Oil (Scott)
#3
19 7* St Louis Blues (Tyson)
#10
2
6 Vancouver Canucks (Joel)
#15
4* 15 Los Angeles Kings (Andrew)
#14
5

*The colors would show the Conference Final matchups.  (This seed vs. this seed)
Underscored is CTR favorite to win series
* - Officially has won the Tie-Breaker
Blue Numbers = Done Scoring/Can't gain in Round


After Games Thursday, April 26th - Final Round One
First Round At a Glance...(Click for Playoff Page)
Seed Team Score Score Team Seed
Central Conference
8 Toronto Maple Leafs (Chad)
 #17
25 31* Florida Panthers (Marcel)
#4
1
7 Ottawa Senators (Mike & Ray)
#22
20* 16 Boston Bruins (Ryan)
#11
2
6 San Fran Titan (Scott)
#12
15 20* Dallas Stars (Jr)
#1
3
5 Chicago Blackhawks (Andrew)
#20
17* 24 Cleveland Fury (Tyson)
#6
4
East Conference
8 Philadelphia Flyer (Scott)
#9
13* 11 Montreal Canadiens (Marcel)
#19
1
7 Carolina Hurricanes (Joel)
#21
17 29* Hartford Whalers (Andrew)
#5
2
6 New York Rangers (Charlie)
 #2
21* 25 Hamilton Hitmen (Tyson)
#13
3
5 Halifax Destroyers (Shawn)
#18
13* 18 Memphis Machine (Jr)
#23
4
West Conference
8 Edmonton Oil (Scott)
#3
23 21* Alaska Attack (Marcel)
#7
1
7 Calgary Flames (Jr)
 #24
8 27* St Louis Blues (Tyson)
#10
2
6 Vancouver Canucks (Joel)
#15
22 16* Green Bay Knights (Ryan)
#16
3
5 Los Angeles Kings (Andrew)
#14
17* 13 Winnipeg Jets (Mike & Ray)
#8
4

*The colors would show Round Two matchups.  (This seed vs. this seed)
Underscored is CTR favorite to win series
* - Officially has won the Tie-Breaker
Blue Numbers = Done Scoring/Can't gain in Round

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His Last Shift

Years from now the story will be told around the campfires how Henrique won GM Tyson the NHLP Championship on his last shift of the series.  "Reminds me of the 1980 Olympics when USA beat Russia" said Muddy Capone, "Every bit the miracle finish tonight, but the USA still had another game to play to win it all."  Nobody remembers what came next in 1980 and the same will be true for the 2012 NHLP Champion Hamilton Hitmen.  If it wasn't Henrique's last shift, it was as close as it could have been to his final shift, maybe truly his next to last shift of the game, or series, if LA scored.  Henrique did it the way he did it all playoffs for GM Tyson, not a cheap second assist, but a huge game winning goal, that may allow Tyson to win the series by a different score, larger than 1-0, but it will be this goal that will live forever in NHLP history and this series will always be 1-0 in the minds of those who witnessed it, regardless of what comes next.  It was a classic finish to a classic series, finishing off a 2012 NHLP season that always seems better and more exciting than the previous season.  Congrats to Tyson, GM Marcel, Andrew and all the NHLP GM's who continue to make this the best league in the entire world.

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Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad

"You've been cold to me so long, I'm crying icicles instead of tears"...Maybe GM Tyson knows, likely he does, just how close he came to never being able to live this one down.  "It would have been a tough loss, that is for sure" Tyson said after the game, "I would have lost sleep over that one."  Tyson was quick to be congratulating the other GM's, all class in congratulating GM's Marcel on a devastating loss and GM Andrew for his fine season, but it is Tyson who deserves to be congratulated.  Winning two NHLP Championships in his first two season, stuff legends are made of.  "GM Norm lost the last 8 years he was a GM" stated Muddy Capone, "But he is a legend in the NHLP for winning two Cups in his first two years."  Tyson isn't far off!  Winning two out of three, any three years, is an amazing feat.  It doesn't matter how you do it, you did what no one else was able to, but trying just as hard to accomplish.  "I had a lot go my way" said Tyson, almost beat down so much from almost losing, he hasn't fully grasp yet he actually pulled it off, "Two years ago it was Leino and Hjalmarson, and this year Henrique and Vrbata.  It took a lot of luck and a few upsets but I will take it."  Tyson is the 4th NHLP GM to win two Cups in Three years, something GM Andrew has accomplished twice.  Joining Andrew on the list is GM Norm, who actually won back to back, the only GM to ever do so, and GM Scott who also won 2 out of three years.  Two out of Three, a truly amazing NHLP feat.!

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Crushing Defeat

As tough a loss as GM Tyson was about to take, GM Marcel actually took.  Not expected to be any competition for the Hitmen, the Florida Panthers were actually within a goal, a few minutes, overtime, away from pulling an unbelievable upset of historical magnitude.  "GM Marcel can't see it tonight" said Muddy Capone, "But his run had captured this entire league and had everyone on the edge of their seats, the way it is suppose to be in the end."  GM Marcel has been in the NHLP for 17 season, winning a Championship in 2008 in Florida, with a team many consider the best in league history, and making the finals too many times, for only having a single Cup win.  Tonight there was no tougher loss for any GM in the NHLP's 23 year history.  Marcel could just have as easily won the Championship as Tyson did tonight, it came down to the final 5 minutes, one shot, one perfect shot.  "GM Chad lost the Cup last season by one third period goal and the same happened to GM Marcel this year" said Capone, "The NHLP can be very cruel, but you shake it off, realize you did a hell of a job, stand tall and let it make you stronger.  It is a credit to Marcel for being so close and more GM's share in the agony of his defeat then he likely realizes at this moment."  Well, everyone always cheers for the David's to beat Goliaths' (except Goliath's family and odds makers of course).

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NHLP FINALS TIE-BREAKERS

Florida (Marcel) will make a pick

Los Angeles (Andrew) will make a pick

Hamilton (Tyson) does not pick

In true sportsmanship, Marcel will not tell Andrew his pick and Marcel's pick will not be disclosed by us until Andrew makes his pick.

If Henrique gets a point, GM Tyson wins the NHLP Championship.

If Henrique fails to record a single point.

Did Marcel get the tie-breaker correct?  If yes, he wins the NHLP Championship.

If no, did Andrew get the tie-breaker correct?  If yes, he wins the NHLP Championship.

If not, GM Tyson wins the NHLP Championship.

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0-0 Finals

Although historians always believe there was a 0-0 NHLP Championship, that has never been the case.  Back in the 1992-93 season, the Wales Conference Semi-Final, St John's (Leo) and New Jersey (Norm) both played with no players, Leo winning the pick and going to the Championship.  "That is where the memory also gets us in trouble" stated Muddy Capone, "For GM's Leo and Norm played playerless, but that wasn't in the Finals."  Actually, although the two GM's met again in the Finals, GM Norm winning in St Louis, the NHLP Championship that season was 4-0.  So not only has the NHLP never had a playerless final, there has never been a 0-0 final either, won on the tie-breaker.  On the verge of history, only GM Tyson can get a point to ensure that this does not happen.  "We have never had a Championship won on the pick" states NHLP historian Capone.  The only way GM Marcel can win is on a 0-0 Finals, winning the pick and the same can be said for GM Tyson, the only way he can lose is that 0-0 Final and lose the pick.  Will we see NHLP history in the form of a 0-0 Finals?  Well, so far, GM Marcel has got through the series, but the closest he can be to winning so far, is half way.

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Game 4 is Game 7

 

It isn't officially game 7, but it might as well be.  GM's Marcel and Tyson have pushed each other into a deciding game, and barring a Devils win Wednesday, the NHLP Champion will be crown at the buzzer, or maybe before.  Hamilton (Tyson) is a lone point from Henrique away from his second Cup in just three seasons in the NHLP, but that point is seemingly a little harder to record than anyone would have thought possible at the start of this series.  "Realistically, Marcel could likely play 10 straight series between these two teams and may win once" said Muddy Capone, "And I'd of guessed that would be because Henrique got hurt."  Florida (Marcel) actually has a shot, a great opportunity, that will become greater as Wednesday's game goes if the Kings are leading.  Not wanting more hockey than the bare minimum, a four game sweep is best case scenario for Marcel.  Marcel has preached shutouts from before the series started and knows that if the Kings don't allow a goal, just one more shutout Wednesday night, the NHLP Championship is officially his.  So, if it isn't game 7, as far as the NHLP Cup is concerned, it might as well be.  One game, one point.  One game that goes GM Marcel's way, the 2012 Championship is his.  One point, no matter the outcome of the game, that goes to Henrique, the 2012 NHLP Championship is GM Tyson's.  Game 4, is Game 7!

 

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The Rebound That Wasn't

The rebound that Henrique got on his own shot might just sum up this entire NHLP Championship for GM Tyson.  "This series is making me age" GM Tyson said immediately after the game Monday, somewhat in disbelief at what is transpiring.  If Hamilton was awarded a tenth of a point for each opportunity Henrique had to end this series, it might be 2-0 right now.  Tonight when Henrique had that bottom of the circle shot and the rebound came straight back towards him time stood still.  "I paused the first shot" said Muddy Capone, "And in slow motion, frame by frame actually, saw the rebound come right back on his stick with Quick seemingly down and out.  I figured, this is it."  Well, it wasn't!  GM Tyson has to be feeling the pressure, something his fellow GM Ryan said was very evident just last evening, "I was with Tyson last night and clearly the pressure was mounting then" said Ryan, then adding, "It is a horrible way to lose if it happens.  I know I wouldn't sleep right for the next year."  It seems each time Henrique touches the puck he creates an opportunity for a teammate to score.  When he had his first great chance tonight, a puck that came into the slot on a power play, again it appear it might be over, but he was high-sticked and sent to the dressing room, while on the ice he'd miss a 5 on 3 for a full minute.  "If anyone else on the Devils got high-sticked, he'd of been out there" said Capone about the Hitmen's misfortunes and tough luck.  Well, it isn't over just yet and it will only take just one shot on Wednesday and GM Tyson will win his second Cup in just three years as a GM.  Just one shot!

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The Improbable

GM Marcel, written off just six days ago, is now incredibly a shutout away from his second NHLP Championship.  Entering game 4 on Wednesday night, if the series ends without Henrique getting a point in the game, GM Marcel will have pulled off one of the biggest upsets in league history.  "Being this is the NHLP Championship" said Muddy Capone, "It may go down as the biggest upset ever."  Florida, winners of the Cup just four seasons ago, will try to make it two Championships in five seasons.  "Just one more shutout" said Marcel after Monday's game.  Prior to the series starting Marcel said his only hope was a low scoring Los Angeles sweep.  Well, through the first three games, the Kings have allowed just 2 goals, likely lower than Marcel would have realistically hoped for.  No one thought it was possible the Panthers could pull this off, but now, as hard to say it, the way this series has gone, GM Marcel might actually be the favorite to win the NHLP Championship.

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Chance After Chance

Henrique had so many great chances to win GM Tyson the Cup Saturday, Muddy Capone says he simply lost track.  "I was counting the opportunities" Capone stated, "But it was just so many, and the puck just stayed out, I think I lost track at 7 to 10."  If Henrique had all these chances, he wasn't the one shooting the puck, ending the game over 20 minutes on the ice, but only one of two Devils in the game, to not record a shot on goal.  Hamilton now must be feeling the pressure as the series shifts back to Los Angeles where the Kings certainly will be thinking sweep.  That is only two more games, maybe 50 more shifts for Henrique if it ends out West.  Florida (Marcel) must be so happy to still be in the series, getting both OT goals in New Jersey for their tie-breaker and now, if they didn't before, must truly believe an upset could occur.  "Back to back shutouts would be incredible" Marcel said, still pitching the shutout angle.  One of these GM's will be winning their second NHLP Championship, and all along that GM seemed like GM Tyson, but if Tyson isn't doubting himself, we for the first time, just may be.  Seems anyone's Cup if the series ends in only two games from now.

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Henrique Has Two Great Chances

As easy as it seems that Henrique will get a point, he didn't in game one and the Stanley Cup Finals could be down to just three games remaining.  Henrique had chances, a chance to score on a wrap around and a glorious chance after winning the draw for an assist in overtime.  Florida (Marcel) is now leading with his tie-breaking pick on the strength of the Kings win, further adding to the pressure for Hamilton (Tyson).  The way the teams are playing in the NHL, it would surprise no one if they average about 2 goals a game, 8 over the first four games each.  "Clearly there is almost every reason to believe things will be low scoring" stated Muddy Capone, "So with each passing shift, each passing period and each passing game, things can get very intense if Henrique doesn't end it sooner than later."  Last season the NHLP Finals was one against non and after Edler went game one without a point GM Scott said he felt the pressure, "I was certain he'd get a point at some point, but starting game two I was in full slow-mo mode, the game was just too intense to watch it at regular speed."  Edler got two points in game two and as it turned out, those would be all he scored, albeit enough.  Pressure mounts in the NHLP for both GM's as the NHLP Championship is still on the line heading into game two.

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Shift By Shift

For the second straight NHLP Finals it is one player versus no one.  After Edler scored last season in game two to clinch it, Henrique is center stage for Hamilton (Tyson), who can now only lose on a 0-0 series, losing the tie-breaker to Florida (Marcel).  Marcel choose Los Angeles, Los Angeles (Andrew) choose the same, leaving them both wrong if New Jersey wins the Stanley Cup, giving it to Tyson if that occurs.  "I just need to take it shift by shift" said GM Marcel, "I have seen players go 4 straight games without a point many times, so that is our only hope."  Marcel will be hoping for a Kings shut down series, something seemingly more possible then holding Henrique pointless, since he has been red hot and plays top power play minutes.  "As long as you haven't lost yet, the other guy hasn't won" said Muddy Capone, "And with the famous spleen injury still in the minds of NHLP GM's, injuries always can factor in when you only have one player left."  As far as GM Tyson goes, he understands his position, "I haven't won anything yet, and that will remain my approach so I don't set myself up."  Well, he hasn't won yet, but a single point by Henrique and the cake design begins.

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2009 NHLP Champion Retires

GM Jr will remain the only GM to be associated with legendary defensemen Nicklas Lidstrom and his lone NHLP Championship.  "It is great to see such a legend retire with his name on our Cup" stated Muddy Capone, "He was always sought after each and ever year."  Not surprisingly his last NHLP team, was not only rated CTR #1 this season, but also the team Lidstrom won his Championship on, GM Jr's Dallas Stars.  In 2009, Jr's second Cup, Lidstrom had 16 playoff points including 3 in the finals of the Stars 4 point win that year.  Lidstrom ended his NHL career with 7 Norris Trophy's and ends his NHLP career as a legend, forever being engraved in NHLP history.  We wish you the best Nick.

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Could Blunder Cost Cup?

GM Marcel and Andrew both made their tie-breaking picks and both chose Los Angeles to win it all.  That means the NHLP Championship is down to just two teams, either Florida (Marcel) or Hamilton (Tyson).  "I just don't know what GM Andrew would have been thinking" stated Muddy Capone, "Surely he must have known Marcel's best hope to win, barring a Henrique injury would have been a low-scoring 4 game Los Angeles sweep."  So logic was, if you gave it some thought and figured Marcel would think that way, you had to pick New Jersey.  "At least picking New Jersey Andrew would have had a chance if they win and Henrique doesn't score a point or he get injured" Capone explained, now it is impossible for Andrew to win.  If Henrique gets a point Tyson wins.  If he does not, if LA wins, it is GM Marcel's Championship.  If Henrique fails to get a point and New Jersey wins, both Marcel and Andrew would fail at their tie-breaking pick, making GM Tyson the winner.  "Least logic was telling us Henrique had to get a point for Tyson to win it all, now as long as Los Angeles doesn't win the Stanley Cup, he still wins."

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Finals Set

For the third straight NHLP season a team off the CTR radar is looking like NHLP Champions.  Following CTR #13 Cleveland (Tyson) and CTR #12 Edmonton (Scott) to the NHLP Championship, favored to win, is CTR #13 Hamilton (Tyson).  GM Tyson only needs a single point from unlikely hero Henrique to make the memorable run complete.  "It was no easy task getting here" stated Muddy Capone of the Hitmen run, "They went through Crosby's team, GM Charlie's NY Rangers team, that was a heavy favorite and rated CTR #2, in the first round."  That series ended 25-21 and it also appeared to be near the end for the Hitmen who were left with a second round team of just two players, Vrbata and Henrique for the rest of the Cup run.  Knocking out #18 Memphis (Jr) 7-5 in the Second Round before #9 Philadelphia (Scott) went down in the Conference Finals 5-1, Tyson could not have had a more favorable matchup right through the playoffs after that win over Charlie.  After the first round of the NHLP Playoffs Hamilton only have met two players as opposition, Briere from Memphis and Whitney from Philadelphia.  Unbelievably, for the second straight NHLP season, a team consisting of just two players starting the Second Round, something last season called an "anomaly", seemingly will be the Champions.  Everything just completely fell into place for the Hitmen and now, entering the finals against two playerless teams from Florida (Marcel) and Los Angeles (Andrew), GM Tyson is just a simple Henrique point away from the 2012 NHLP Championship.

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NHLP FINALS TIE-BREAKERS

Florida (Marcel) will make a pick

Los Angeles (Andrew) will make a pick

Hamilton (Tyson) does not pick

In true sportsmanship, Marcel will not tell Andrew his pick and Marcel's pick will not be disclosed by us until Andrew makes his pick.

If Henrique gets a point, GM Tyson wins the NHLP Championship.

If Henrique fails to record a single point.

Did Marcel get the tie-breaker correct?  If yes, he wins the NHLP Championship.

If no, did Andrew get the tie-breaker correct?  If yes, he wins the NHLP Championship.

If not, GM Tyson wins the NHLP Championship.

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Henrique the Unlikely Star

On a team that made only 5 transactions all season, but yet never had a drafted player remaining, seemingly was just average entering the NHLP playoffs.  Lacking a NHL big named player Henrique entered the playoffs as the second longest tenured Hitmen, only behind injury pickup Kennedy.  Henrique came in a deal to the minors, only hotly contested at the time by Edmonton (Scott), when Henrique was the focus, as the GM's battled for the young rookie.  GM Tyson's unknowingly now famous line, "He's still down there once you know", sending a message for GM Scott to back off.  Edmonton did back off, but grabbed the other Henrique 5 transactions later, only the Oil were not savvy enough to keep the rookie while the Hitmen clearly were.  In the same Minor deal to bring in Henrique, Turris was also picked up.  After a deal with Hartford (Andrew) to set up his Waiver, Hamilton added three keepers including Vrbata, Dupuis and Hansen, players who's names almost are assured on the NHLP Championship, but not names that were head turners at the time they were picked up.  In the Hitmen final deal of the season, Weiss was added from Ray and Mike for Hudler at the Trading Deadline, becoming the final member of the 2012 Hitmen.
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Final CTR

Hitmen hit high, a CTR season high to end things on the season.  A nice, well rounded team that draws a horrible first round match up.  You know someone has to get to play the good teams early and someone had to meet the NY Rangers (Charlie) in round one.  Hamilton is a big underdog, with a big opportunity to make something memorable happen.  Will likely be banking on Pittsburgh if something great does happens, just not in round one, where Charlie's pens, Crosby and Kunitz, have a 16-9 point advantage, everything that Hamilton is expected to lose by right there.  So four straight Pens games in round one is what Tyson may cheer for and who knows what the Hitmen could do after that!

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Florida - "So Close"

GM Marcel had a sensational year and his #4 CTR Florida Panthers came so close.  Heart-wrenching losses in games 5 and 6 by the New York Rangers, right after getting the injured Dubinsky back to accompany Richards, clearly the Panther's could have won it all had the Rangers somehow got by the Devils in the NHL Eastern Conference Finals.  A strong draft to start the season set up a team that only made 3 moves all season, keeping four players drafted (Bergeron, Spezza, Voracek and Neal), then adding Richards and Dubinsky in a trade with GM Matt and finally getting 10 positions in the second round in a coming draft from San Fran (Scott) in the Radulov deal.  A high scoring first round battle with #17 Toronto (Marcel) went Florida's way 31-25, leaving Marcel a strong team of 4 moving onto the Second Round matchup with #22 Ottawa (Mike and Ray) where, although closer then expected, the Panthers won 10-6.  a 5-0 win over the top rated CTR team Dallas (Jr) in the Central Final put Marcel in the NHLP Finals, but without a player remaining, leaving only hope on a pick.  Overall it was a great run and a great season for Marcel.
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Final CTR

The season ends with a great team and a good shot at a second Cup in Florida.  Not the best matchups in the first round, but with 6 Eastern Conference guys on 5 different teams, it would have been impossible to have no one match up.  Outside of the Rangers making the Finals, Marcel will have to have Nashville there, to have 2 players playing if he makes it that far.  Too many East may work against him in all likelihood but is strong enough and could easily go to the finals.

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Los Angeles - Busy Season

GM Andrew was the busiest of the GM's to get their teams in the NHLP Finals, making 10 transactions and not keeping a single drafted player when it was all said and done.  A team ranked #14 by the CTR scored only 17 first round points, the second lowest scoring team in the first round, but yet moved on with 6 players after knocking off #8 Winnipeg (Mike and Ray) by 4 points.  The Second Round was a thumping of #15 Vancouver (Joel) 15-4 before completing the Western Canada sweep by taking out favored #4 Edmonton (Scott) 6-5 in a nail biter that started a playoff winning streak for Andrew, one he hopes to keep going against Scott in the future.  The Kings lacked a super star as well in the playoffs and, like the Hitmen, have Vrbata, further increasing the odds of his name getting on the Cup.  A extremely long shot to win it all now, Andrew must hope Henrique doesn't get a single point in the NHL playoffs, Marcel to fumble the pick and Andrew to nail it on an unforeseen tie-breaker.  Chasing the elusive 5th Cup has been a daunting task for Andrew, who had won 4 in his first 9 NHLP seasons, and not one in his last 7, if this one fails to materialize.
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Final CTR

Middle of the pack all season and with three Coyotes and three Preds, things end along with those NHL teams.  Is a favorite in round one by the slimmest of margins and with 6 players on 2 teams, man games will factor in.  Likely not going to happen, winning it all that is, if Nashville doesn't go to the finals, but aren't half the predictions saying it is the Preds year anyhow? 

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Cup Within Reach

GM Tyson is just a win away from almost certainly winning his second NHLP Champion, the first ever for the Hamilton Hitmen NHLP Franchise.  If the Devils win either of the next two games, The Hitmen will have Henrique in the NHLP Finals where a single point would assure the win.  "This is a team" said Muddy Capone, "Not a superstar to be found on it."  The CTR had the team ranked 13th, GM Tyson's favorite number, as just two seasons ago he won his first Cup with the 13th ranked Cleveland Fury.  "I have to look at it as I have nothing yet" stated the GM, "Because I don't.  Losing the next two games will prove that."  Might be nothing to Tyson yet but the NHLP Championship, one more Devils win this season, is truly within his reach.

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Bit of Luck

GM Marcel stated "We could all use a bit of luck to win it all."  Luck was not on GM Marcel's side Wednesday night, for the perfect 1-0 Rangers win did not happen, but Marcel is confident that the Rangers can win, "The Rangers won games 6 and 7 against Ottawa, so I know they can do it again."  If it fails to materialize, Marcel's Cup opportunity will go with it, but after the return of Dubinsky, just a little luck could be all that is needed to pull this out.  "Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity" added the veteran GM.  Well, undoubted, those two have now met.

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2

If GM Tyson's magic number is one, GM Scott must be thinking his is two.  Edmonton got points from Callahan and Gaborik, finishing the night at 2 points behind GM Andrew's Los Angeles Kings.  Scott's hopes of a Championship will rest with Callahan, Gaborik and Hagelin getting two more points and the Rangers winning two more games this season.  "Heading into last nights game I was real with myself and I figured there would almost be no way to get to the finals without a seven game series, so the Rangers losing one of the next two" said Scott, "So instead of winning games 5 and 7, I will now need the Rangers to win 6 and 7, to me anyhow, it is the same thing."  Getting a 7th game will mean a Rangers win in game six, surely meaning another point for GM Scott, if he can't get two, making for an extra intense game 7.  "I know now it is Tyson's to lose and ours (Marcel and I) to win" Scott said, "There is no reason to believe, in any way, that the Rangers can't pull this out."

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BIG GAME Nears

GM Tyson has stated he does not want to see the series go 7 games, "I thought the Rangers would win for sure when they tied it up last game" the GM has stated, "I don't want this to go seven games, that is for sure."  The pressure mounts and although the Cup cannot be officially won tonight, it can all but surely be won for Tyson with a Devils win.  GM's Marcel and Scott's hopes of winning would be dashed without a Rangers win tonight.  Marcel is still hoping for a 1-0 Ranger's win, "Well maybe 2-0" stated Marcel with a tension-filled smile.  Scott believes the Rangers can do it, "Callahan could not say much but I do believe he will carry this team on his back tonight to victory" Scott said, adding, "There would be no more memorable way to win it all if we win back to back games, get the points needed to be in the finals and win in the finals after three straight game sevens."  Even a Ranger's victory won't put Scott into the finals yet, unless he records two points in the game tonight.  If a game 7 is played, it is Sunday and it would be for all the marbles in the NHLP.  Things are tense as the big game nears...BIG GAME BOYS....BIG GAME.

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Hamilton There - Now Henrique

GM Tyson is going back to the dance just two season's after winning the NHLP Championship in his first season as an NHLP GM.  Hamilton will undoubtedly win again this season if the Devils make the NHL finals, it is almost a sure thing.  Henrique would battle no players from the Central and West if the Devils go, so the rest of the Devils - Rangers series would appear a do or die for the Cup.  "It is right there" GM Tyson told the NHLP Yearbook, "It may come to a game seven again for the Cup."  Only GM Norm will have won as many Cups as quickly if it goes the Hitmen way, something certainly to leave GM Tyson heading towards legendary status.  "It is just so hard" Tyson explained, "You get this close and can lose all hope in the next 48 hours."  No GM now is cheering harder for the Devils.
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"I Kicked Myself"

GM Andrew admitted he really believed the Kings would do well in the playoffs, "I just could not bank on a team that might miss" said Andrew, "I really kicked myself yesterday for not going for it."  It was a risk to take them, even if you believed in them, but that risk was likely for someone like Ray and Mike in Ottawa.  "You already have Kopitar" said Muddy Capone, "So you can't get much more invested than that, so why not go for it?"  Hind-sight is exactly that and always will be perfect, but there is a growing belief that that having players from the 6th through 8th seeds, playing playoff hockey down the stretch may actually be a valuable chance to take.  The Kings have proven again the 8th place seeds can do it.

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4

Is it a big number or little number?  That depends on where you sit and who you ask.  Los Angeles (Andrew) pulled off a big two point night but officially lost all players.  Now leading 6-2, Andrew can only watch over the next 6 to 9 player games to see if Edmonton (Scott) comes back or not.  "I'd want the lead always" stated Andrew today, "I do believe he may catch me, but always take the points."  Four points is what Edmonton (Scott) officially needs to advance to the NHLP Championship.  GM Scott has always said he'd take the man-games and we understand that depends on how many and how many points you are back.  So does he like where he sits or Andrew's position?  "I think looking at this situation I'd rather be in my position than GM Andrew's" stated Scott when asked by Muddy Capone, "Too me I'd always rather play to win it over watch to keep it."  With each passing period with the score the same, GM Andrew's position will become much stronger, but once Scott gets two points, knowing just one goal with the proper assist can end it, things could get very tense.  "Make no mistake I am not comfortable" Scott added, "Andrew has me in a really tough spot and I may need a full seven games and even an empty net to pull this out.  There would be no better way to win it all though, than coming back and earning it."  So Andrew can't win if Richards or Dubinsky get one point in the finals for GM Marcel and can't win if Henrique gets a single point in the finals if it is him there for GM Tyson.  So it appears Andrew is playing for pride, but with your competitor so close to winning it all as well, and it being who it is, GM Scott trying to beat you to a fifth NHLP Championship, can't win is likely already erased from the memory.  "Andrew will be glued" stated Muddy Capone, "It is just the type of GM he is."  Its a battle with lots on the line for many GM's.

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Florida - Two Wins Away?

GM Marcel still has an awful lot to cheer for.  Sure he knows he is going to the finals, but he also knows he can't win if he doesn't have his Rangers players Richards and Dubinsky.  So that means he is heavily invested in the Rangers winning, opening the door for a potential second NHLP Championship.  Potential?   Well, the Rangers losing will guarantee Marcel isn't winning the Cup, but them winning is no guarantee he wins it either, as competition still could come from Edmonton (Scott).  Richards and Dubinsky versus Garorik, Callahan and Hagelin will be a very tough battle if Dubinsky is healthy and just a battle it not.  So Marcel not must only cheer for the Rangers, but Scott's three to not get 4 more points in their series win.  "Marcel will take the battle, against Scott, over the Devils winning and no chance" said Muddy Capone, "But the Rangers versus Tyson and Andrew, means a Cup victory parade on the reserve."  GM Marcel is hosting the Draft this year, so that would be a fitting party for the 17 year veteran GM.

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Who's Following?

Anybody have anything to add?

Go Marcel!!!

Go Tyson!!!

Go Scott!!!

Go Andrew!!!

It is allowed to cheer.
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Points or Players?  What Would You Take?

GM Andrew said always take the points and the lead and all things considered likes his chances this series.  "It is a very interesting question" says Muddy Capone, "Andrew's are a sure thing and he can only win if Scott  does not score, but he cannot counter if Scott does."  GM Scott said, "If it was one game and a chance for two, I like his spot, but with the three guys I have and two games for certain and maybe three, I'd definitely take the players and if they get it, the automatic win."  This series could come down to a 7th game empty net, it is that close.  So who's seat would you rather be in when watching the game to win just this series?

Andrew 4 Point Lead (Allows 3 or less he wins) - No players to counter

Scott (Scores 4 he wins) - Gaborik, Callahan and Hagelin, at least two and maybe three games, needing 4 points to win.

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Ends At 8?

GM Andrew in Los Angeles is looking secure with a 4-2 lead over Edmonton (Scott), possibly ending a horrible head to head playoff streak.  The last 8 times the two GM's have met in the playoffs, GM Scott has came out on top, including several upsets.  "This would be payback in the sweetest of ways" said Muddy Capone, "Take the Cup dreams away when they are right there, always feels good."  For the first time in the series GM Scott said he now feels the pressure, "I just assumed we'd score, but my confidence is honestly starting to crack" said the Oil GM, "We had 11 shots on goal in the game last night, Gaborik led the game with 5 shots, and still nothing."  Scott went on to say he has an extra game, at least at the moment, and can easily "Get both points needed to win on just one goal" with the Gaborik - Hagelin possibility, "And that was there on a goal post last night, the post being the difference."  GM Scott knows how important it is to have the LA kings knock out the Coyotes tonight and hold Andrew to 4 points, but he also knows nothing is easy.  "It is nothing for Andrew to grab a point or two tonight, and we'd be down maybe 4" Scott Said, "And rebounding from that would be a miracle itself."  Well, although Andrew's Cups hope rest on a Phoenix win tonight, stretching the series, a very small consolation must exist that finally ending this streak once and for all would feel damn fine in itself.

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Cup Dreaming

It seems to change nightly in the NHLP, who is the favorite now to win the Cup.  Lately it appears down to three GM's, Tyson, Marcel or Scott with Andrew not officially eliminated yet, but seemingly finished as far as Cup hopes go.  After last nights Devils win, GM's Marcel and Tyson would seem the favorites, both winning their series and Marcel the winner if the Rangers win the best of three left in that series or Tyson if the Devils win.  Still both GM's could have no players moving on, so a pick next round could factor in.  GM Scott seemingly a dark horse, is still only a couple points from being back in this, but failing a come back versus GM Andrew or a Rangers win, those Cup dreams are vanished.  "Right now you have three guys really thinking they can win it so easily" said Muddy Capone, "And one will, which is very painful for the others, coming so close only to fail now."  Tonight is a big game for all three GM's.  Marcel will be cheering for GM Andrew to get more points while GM Tyson will hope Whitney stays off the scoresheet.  GM Scott needs a shutdown night, a Kings shutout would be best.  Dreams remain.  Huge night.

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Henrique's Big Point

You watch the game and know your guy got the point and yet they announce another guy.  "The NHL can't even get them right in two minutes after the goal" says Muddy Capone, "Something that obvious, it is embarrassing."  Well Zubrus was never in the running for the point, even if GM Scott had to take two looks at the replay.  Henrique's assist puts Hamilton (Tyson) up 2-1 and seemingly back in charge.  "This is the only pool in the world where one point means so much" said GM Tyson, "I was glad it went our way tonight."  Tyson can pull this out, winning this round and then the finals if the Devils can win two of the next three but GM Scott won't roll over.  "Whitney can score again tonight, why not, it is only one point" said Scott, "Then back to back Shutouts by the Rangers and at least we take Hamilton's shot away.  Tyson is correct, no other pool in this world does one point mean so much.  For Philadelphia, that point must come from Whitney tonight!

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Rangers 1-0, "Works For Me"

GM Marcel has become the NHLP Cup favorite after Edmonton (Scott) fell down 4-2 in his series.  "Right now Marcel has the only players in the finals" said Muddy Capone, "So Marcel is cheering for another Rangers shutout without Edmonton getting any points.  "A 1-0 final works for me" said GM Marcel.  Florida must be wired and Monday night is a huge game, even though the Panthers are already securely in the NHLP Championship.

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Wizard Has Flyer in Lead

You do nothing all series and get one assist, and suddenly you lead the series.  that is how it unfolded for Philadelphia (Scott), who seemed completely out of the running for the Cup of course, but this series.  "No one has done anything here" said Muddy Capone, "Now the pressure is on Hamilton, they will need Henrique and Vrbata better."  Tied 1-1, Henrique will try and break the tie Monday, and lacking a point, GM Tyson's Devils could at least tie up the tie-breaker, heading back to New York for game 5. 

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King Me

Doan doubles up in points and Los Angeles (Andrew) now has new life, and a big 4-2 series lead.  "Andrew decided he wasn't going to let Scott beat him Sunday" said Muddy Capone, "And what a huge statement in such a low scoring series."  The Oil now clearly are under pressure and must answer Monday night with Gaborik, Callahan and Hagelin.  "Gaborik has to pick us up" said GM Scott, "A painful Sunday can be erased by a great Monday, but now isn't the time mediocrity, we need nothing less than greatness."  If the Rangers win Monday, both GM's will be at even games and all players would face elimination each game from here out.  If the Devils win, GM Scott still has 3 extra man games.

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Hitmen on Verge

Leading only by a mere point, GM Tyson has seemed to be securely in control of his NHLP series all along, as Philadelphia (Scott) has not been able to must anything at all in the way of points.  If Whitney does not gain a point on Vrbata today, and the Coyotes are eliminated, so will be the Flyer.  "It is never over until it is over" said GM Scott, still confident Whitney can do it, "After all, that is why we call him the Wizard."  Well, pulling this series out at this point, might be one of GM Scott's best tricks ever.

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Kings Must Score

The Los Angeles Kings (Andrew) are now facing elimination from the NHLP playoffs if they don't get at least a point today and the Coyotes lose.  Callahan finally got Edmonton (Scott) a point, ending with two on the day, the second into the empty net, tying the series at 2-2, with Scott having the LA Kings as his NHL tie-breaker.  Andrew sends out his team Sunday, Vrbata, Doan and Yandle where he knows now that the Coyotes must win 4 straight or it is all but over, the hope of winning a 5th Championship anyhow.  Edmonton still has at least two games remaining, six player games after Sunday, so with the Oil having the tie-breaker, likely at least two or more points today will be needed if the Coyotes lose out.  Time is running out for the Kings and Sunday must be memorable.

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Finals Bound

Congratulations to GM Marcel's Florida Panthers, the first of eventually three teams to make the NHLP Finals.  Richards got the point to make it official and now Marcel shifts to match-up mode, hoping to get Richards and Dubinsky to the finals by the Rangers knocking out the Devils and still meeting no one as opposition.  "If Andrew comes out of the West as is, he'd be playerless and so would Tyson from the East if the Rangers moved on" said Muddy Capone, "Giving GM Marcel a walk over for the Championship."  Things are not easy for Florida, as the Rangers are no guarantees and losing that series alone will likely mean game over with Henrique then moving on for Hamilton (Tyson).  If the Rangers do get through, Marcel still has to hope Edmonton (Scott) is gone, or Marcel will still be the underdog in the finals.  So far, so good though as Florida is going back to the Championship.  Congrats!

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Still Confident

GM Scott stated it isn't about lacking confidence that his players can score enough to win their Conference Finals matchup, "It is about the pressure in achieving the expected results."  Now down 2-0 to Los Angeles (Andrew), neither GM is really happen about how things have unfolded.  Andrew is losing his entire team, so won't be winning the Cup this season and Scott could either lose this series or win without any players himself.  "We had no business winning last season" Scott Said, "It was my Cinderella story, but not how I want to win.  It was fun, maybe as much fun as any Cups, and memorable, but it feels like you cheated someone who worked harder and did better and deserved it more."  Scott said this Oil team is different, it is expected to win.  "If the CTR didn't have Alaska beating out this team on the pick in the first round, the three Rangers would have made this team the CTR favorite to win it all" stated Muddy Capone.  "We have high expectations" Scott continued, "So losing this would be harder to except than losing last year, where I could have said to myself, good run, we didn't deserve it anyhow.  This year, no so.  We do deserve to be there, as rightfully so as anyone."  Saturday will have to be better.  Guys are going to have to start scoring and the Rangers must win.  If those things start happening, this Oil team can still, and likely will, win it all.  GM Scott, well he's still confident.

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Hitmen Weapon Henrique

The Minors pickup looms large in GM Tyson's aspirations of a second NHLP Championship.  In only Hamilton's second transaction of the year, GM Tyson went hard after Henrique but he was getting stiff competition from who; Edmonton (Scott).  "He is still there once" Tyson said to Scott at the time, not liking GM Scott's aggressiveness.  Scott then sarcastically replied, "I know.  You can go after him again after this deal goes through."  Hamilton didn't back down, topping the Oil and making a three for three, dropping J. Carter, Simon Gagne and Ray Whitney, while adding Henrique, Hodgson and Turris.  When it was all said and done, Henrique was the second longing lasting Hitmen on the team.  Just 5 transactions later at the Winter Meeting, GM Scott did get Henrique from the Minors in a 3-3 dropping Stafford, Fleischmann and PM Bouchard for Selanne, McDonald and Henrique.  Now it is Henrique that will win the NHLP Championship for Hamilton if the Devils can knock out the Rangers while everything the NHLP stays as it is today.  Saturday is a big day, not so much for Henrique getting another point, but that Devils win, taking the grasp on being the 2012 Cup favorite.

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 Hamilton Strikes First

It was expected all along, it just took longer then expected.  Hamilton (Tyson) is now up 1-0 on Henrique's first point in the series, and with the Devils win, the Hitmen now also sit with home ice for the tie-breaker.  "This is crucial to Tyson chances" said Muddy Capone, "Philadelphia, who has basically no hope of winning is trying to take Hamilton's realistic shot of a Championship from them."  Only up 1-0 isn't a great feeling, but with Whitney and Vrbata seemingly useless in this series, that was a huge point.  "That Devils win gives us a new life" Tyson stated.  Tyson will be hoping for a saw off again tonight, just hoping Vrbata can at the least cancel Whitney.  If the Kings win tonight that series could end Sunday.

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Oil Scoreless

"Gaborik got robbed by one of the best saves in the entire playoffs" stated GM Scott, "And as painful as it is, the Rangers losing did create what could be a needed extra game."  Edmonton just cannot score, nothing in 6 man games this round and the only thing keeping them in this series is Los Angeles (Andrew) is having every bit the difficulty getting points.  The Kings are up 1-0, but don't have the tie-breaker and must come out as a new team tonight or Andrew could find himself playerless after Sunday's game.  "The way this series is going, a 3-0 lead might just kill any hope the Oil have of coming back, so every point is so important tonight and what is remaining in this series" Muddy Capone explained.  Scott however is confident that his biggest fear isn't Andrew scoring tonight, but the Rangers loss last night.  "It means nothing if the Rangers cannot win along with us" said the Oil GM, "But maybe that extra game could be a blessing if the Coyotes go in 4 straight games."  Well, he says his biggest fear is the Rangers, but a few points tonight and a Coyotes win, Scott might be hoping the Rangers-Devils go 7 games then.
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Finals Bound

Congratulations to GM Marcel's Florida Panthers, the first of eventually three teams to make the NHLP Finals.  Richards got the point to make it official and now Marcel shifts to match-up mode, hoping to get Richards and Dubinsky to the finals by the Rangers knocking out the Devils and still meeting no one as opposition.  "If Andrew comes out of the West as is, he'd be playerless and so would Tyson from the East if the Rangers moved on" said Muddy Capone, "Giving GM Marcel a walk over for the Championship."  Things are not easy for Florida, as the Rangers are no guarantees and losing that series alone will likely mean game over with Henrique then moving on for Hamilton (Tyson).  If the Rangers do get through, Marcel still has to hope Edmonton (Scott) is gone, or Marcel will still be the underdog in the finals.  So far, so good though as Florida is going back to the Championship.  Congrats!

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Flyer to Play Defence

Leading on the pick, a Devils win tonight and home ice advantage shifting in their favor, would now put this series in GM Tyson's hands in Hamilton, even if Henrique does not get a point.  "We need to play defence again" stated GM Scott, "We have to think winning this on the pick, maybe 2-2 now is our goal."  Henrique had several chances and could have easily had more than a point in game one, so Scott will be hoping Lundqvist can shut out the Devils again, extending the tie-breaker and shortening the series.  As things stand Philadelphia (Scott) cannot win the NHLP unless they win and Phoenix comes back, very, very unlikely.  "What is more likely here is pulling an upset and ensuring Hamilton isn't in the finals" said Muddy Capone about the Flyer goal in the series.  The goal tonight is more defence.

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Slip, Slide and Away

GM Andrew's changes of a 5th NHLP Championship are slipping away with each Kings-Coyotes game in the NHL Semi-Finals.  Only able to muster a single point in 6 man games and with all his players facing elimination, Andrew knows his opportunity for the cup is almost gone.  Even winning his series versus Edmonton (Scott) means nothing if Florida (Marcel) gets through with the New York Rangers, or the Devils win and Hamilton (Tyson) gets through.  "Of the five GM's left, GM's Jr and Andrew are not looking like they can win" said Muddy Capone, "But a Devils shutout tonight will have us rethinking that statement."  A perfect night tonight for Andrew will be a Devils win tonight with Gaborik, Callahan, Hagelin and Henrique all kept off the score sheet.

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Working Out, Not Skating

That is the status of Dubinsky who played the entire 7 games versus Ottawa and has missed everything since for the New York Rangers.  GM Marcel will clearly need Dubinsky back if he finds himself in a battle in the NHLP Finals, something very much in the air at this point.  Florida (Marcel) could still have Richards against no one as things sit today, with neither the NHLP East or West Conferences currently bringing a player to the Finals to challenge these Panther's for the Championship.  If GM Scott gets a point in Edmonton tonight and wins his series with his three Rangers or Los Angeles (Andrew) comes back with the Coyotes, Dubinsky in the Finals for Florida will be crucial in crowning the NHLP Championship team in 2012.  As far as the immediate future, a point by Richards tonight guarantees that spot for Marcel, however, with the tie-breaker securely in hand with Los Angeles, it is hard to imagine Phoenix coming back and winning that series anyhow, the only way Marcel can be beat if Richards fails to get even a point.

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Doan-ut

Doan has the only point in the 3 on 3 battle between GM's Andrew and Scott after Edmonton was kept off the board Monday night.  "I'd like a bigger lead" said Andrew, "But I am happy be be ahead."  Both GM's moved a game closer to the end of their series, but it will be the GM who can extend this series who will likely represent the NHLP West Conference in the Finals.  Los Angeles is back at it, sending out Vrbata, Doan and Yandle and although another point would be nice, Andrew is thinking much more.  "We need Phoenix to win this one, not down 2-0 heading on the road" said Andrew, "Those teams seldom come back."  GM Scott said he will be happy to be down 2-0, with the tie-breaker starting his game 2, "If LA shuts them down again tonight, I have to think a point amongst three guys is a win for us, just like last night was a win for Andrew."  The GM said he was close last night on 3 occasions where he felt he should have had a point, "So we need to stay as close as possible, for next game one of those are going in."

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Flyer Lead on Pick

The Philadelphia Flyer (Scott) haven't been able to score all season long, and still can't in the NHLP Conference Finals, but are ahead on the strength of the tie-breaking pick.  "We are far, far too lucky" said GM Scott, "And luck doesn't give me confidence that we can win."  Scott felt Henrique was everywhere except on the scoreboard in game one, but with the series and scoring so tight, just a point by Whitney tonight, can keep the Flyer ahead.  GM Tyson has to be thinking Vrbata and Whitney only need to cancel before Henrique takes over and he did have his chances for Hamilton in game one.  "We aren't looking to blow the Flyer out" said Tyson, "Just win and get Henrique through."  The Devils easily should have faired better, meaning likely a longer series there when they do break a few passed Lundqvist, something that will be needed to win a Championship, "Not scoring was not as painful as the Devils loss itself" Tyson added, knowing the importance of game two's going his way.

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Perfect Night

Your first thought would be GM Jr had the perfect night in Dallas, holding Richards off the board and extending the series, but the exact opposite is true.  "Marcel had the perfect night in Florida" said Muddy Capone, "He is guaranteed to win the pick unless Phoenix comes back and with Edmonton not scoring any, is the only NHLP team at the moment with players moving on to the Finals."  Getting a point from Richards only matters if Phoenix wins their NHL series, otherwise it is the Rangers winning with Los Angeles (Andrew) getting through without players that will win Marcel his second cup.  Tonight Marcel will be cheering for both Kings teams and Andrew's players to have a big night as well, extending their lead and leaving Florida in the NHLP drivers seat through game twos.

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Oil Pressure

Los Angeles (Andrew) could only muster a single point, while losing the tie-breaker, setting the stage for the Edmonton Oil (Scott) to take the series lead tonight in the completion of game ones.  With Doan getting the only point and Phoenix not truly in the game all night, the message is clear Andrew's three will struggle to score against Quick in the series.  The unknown now is what kind of series is New Jersey and New York going to turn out to be, as defensive or a tad more offensive.  Scott only needs a point tonight from Gaborik, Callahan and Hagelin to take the early lead in this series, and a Rangers win to boot will increase the Oil pressure on the rest of the NHLP.  "It was a perfect start for GM Scott and his Oil" stated Muddy Capone, "If they Rangers mop up the Devils and Andrew doesn't show more offence, this Oil team will likely dominate the rest of the NHLP playoffs."  Things just seem to be falling perfectly into place for the Oil, but can that continue tonight with a Rangers win?

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Florida in Finals?

Well, GM Marcel only needs a single point from Richards tonight and the Florida Panthers are back in the NHLP Finals.  "Marcel is deserving of a place in the finals" stated Muddy Capone, "This is the CTR 4th best team that will knock out the CTR #1, so they are clearly not under the radar."  Marcel had a dominating season, finishing first in all three Conferences, something totally unheard of, finishing with the 4th, 7th and 19th best CTR rated teams.  Not having won a playoff series until this year, since his 2008 domination, when he won his first ever NHLP Championship, also here in Florida, Marcel can win it all again in 2012, with or without the Oil there.  If the series is Richards and Dubinsky against Gaborik, Callahan and Hagelin, Marcel will be the underdog with a healthy Dubinsky, but will be in really tough 3 on 1, but not at all impossible.  What Marcel is clearly hoping for is Los Angeles (Andrew) can knock Edmonton out with LA going to the NHL Finals, leaving the East and West with no players if the Rangers are there, giving Marcel the Cup.  Well, first things first.  Richards is a point away from getting Florida there.

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Doors Open For Hitmen

GM Tyson got the feeling points from Vrbata will be hard to come by in the NHL Phoenix and Los Angeles series.  That is OK, as Philadelphia (Scott) only has Whitney, so Tyson can win this series on Henrique by himself.  "I have to hope it is totally the Rangers" says GM Scott, "I likely can't win if it isn't a 3-3 kind of series where I win on the pick."  Hamilton isn't just thinking about a point tonight but Devils domination, where the Hitmen can not only be in the NHLP Finals, but win it outright on the Los Angeles - New Jersey finals.  "This is clearly a huge night in the NHLP for Tyson" said Muddy Capone, "Winning two Cups in three years in the league would instantly make him a legend forever more in the league."  The way the Coyotes played last night, if the Devils don't shine, that dream is going to take a hard knock in a hurry.  This seemingly is the round Hamilton wins or loses the Cup and it would appear it is Devils or nothing at this point.

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Tie-Breakers

Need to be in by Game time of start of round.  May pick either series:

New Jersey vs. New York Rangers
or
Los Angeles vs. Phoenix

Default is the New York Rangers if you don't pick

NHLP Teams to pick:
Florida (Marcel) - Picked Los Angeles
Hamilton (Tyson) - Picked Devils
Los Angeles (Andrew) - Picked Phoenix

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Whitney vs. Vrbata Sunday

With the NHLP down to just six teams left, Hamilton (Tyson) and Philadelphia (Scott) start Sunday head to head for a spot in the NHLP Finals.  The CTR has the 13th ranked Hitmen beating the 9th ranked Flyer by a 9-6 outcome.  "Whitney may be able to outscore Vrbata" said Muddy Capone, "But Hamilton also has Henrique who should be able to overcome any difference and then some."  Hamilton is so close to the finals but must get it done, not letting this slip away when all they really have to do is win this series and have New Jersey face Los Angeles and would have the only player left in the NHLP Final, so likely a walk-over Cup win.  Every point will be crucial in what is anticipated to be a low scoring series between Phoenix and Los Angeles.  GM Scott thinks he can pull the upset, "Whitney will have to be great along with a short 4 game series between the Rangers and Devils, and I think I can win this series" said Scott.

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Underdog Kings Look For Quick Start

The Los Angeles Kings (Andrew) and the Edmonton Oil (Scott) are in a serious 3 on 3 battle for a position in the NHLP Championship, knowing they likely win it all if they get their players to the finals.  "If it is Scott with his Rangers or Andrew with his Coyotes, they likely win it all" said Muddy Capone, "So once again they must go through each other to make it happen."  The Kings start with Vrbata, Doan and Yandle Sunday.  According to the CTR, GM Scott's Oil is a 14-12 favorite if both series were to play 6 games.  Andrew's three would have beat Scott's 9-8 in round one but lost 10-9 last round, so the teams are even even.  Clearly series lengths will factor in with a sweep in the East or West likely dooming the GM who's players only get 4 or 5 games.  Both GM's will want this series very badly, knowing they prevent the other from winning that 5th NHLP Championship that both GM's are hungry for.  With GM Scott upsetting GM Andrew in round two in the Philadelphia - Hartford series, Scott has now won 8 straight playoff series the two GM's have been part of.  "Winning this series and having Phoenix go to the NHL Finals, that stat will be long forgotten" said Capone, "But if the opposite happens, Scott wins with his Rangers, GM Andrew will have to wait a long time to end this nasty drought."

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Los Angeles Kings - GM Andrew

Two more perfect outcomes and the NHLP Championship would be his.  "GM Andrew isn't as desperate for the right outcome Saturday as some of the other GM's" said Muddy Capone, "For he will stand a chance to win it all no matter Saturday's outcome."  Andrew has his Kings in a good position and is facing either a battle with Edmonton (Scott) or a walk-over to the NHL Finals.  If Washington wins game 7, Andrew would only need the Phoenix Coyotes to then go to the NHL Finals, and almost surely the Cup would be Andrew's, even though he still could face a NHLP Finals of Doan & Yandle versus Henrique for the Cup.  If the NY Rangers win Saturday, Andrew will still need the Coyotes, but will have to battle next round in a three on three, a series that would likely come down to the team that plays the extra NHL game, NY Rangers or Phoenix.  Andrew isn't all or nothing on Saturday, but a 5th NHLP Championship is very possible this season and one game seven is going to play a huge part in whether the Kings are raising another banner for the 2012 NHLP season.

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Edmonton Oil - GM Scott

The Edmonton Oil has another 'All or nothing' game on Saturday where their only Cup hopes rest in the balance.  One year ago, entering the third period of game 7, tied 0-0, GM Scott had to have the Bruins knock out Tampa Bay, or the NHLP Championship would belong to GM Chad.  Well, that one went GM Scott's way.  The same scenario, to a degree, is on the line in this game 7 and if the NY Rangers win, GM Scott will have a chance for his 5th Cup, back to back in Edmonton, as well as becoming the first NHLP team to win three Championships.  A lot on the line, for this GM, another huge opportunity for greatness, "They are all big" said GM Scott, "They can also all be very crushing, and I know that feeling as well."  Scott said he would like nothing better than to play Andrew 3 on 3, "For our other option doesn't appear as promising" stated the GM with as much of a smile as he can crack, ahead of a game that could be one of his most memorable, or one of the most depressing.  Scott has shared his personal story about learning his lesson that altered his approach to every season, and every single game, and uses the learning experience all the time.  "They are all big" he constantly reminds us all.  Well, Saturday, on this Saturday, nothing for GM Scott and the Oil could be more true. 

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Florida Panthers - GM Marcel

Winning his second NHLP Championship if the Rangers lose Saturday, isn't totally impossible, but it is very, very, improbable.  Facing having Richards and Dubinsky in the Semi-Finals, facing no one in Dallas (Jr), is quite a bit more attractive, than no one, facing no one, and having to win the final two series, including the Championship, on the picks.  A Rangers win in game seven and again over New Jersey next round, as well as having Edmonton (Scott) lose out to Los Angeles (Andrew) next round, with Los Angeles going to the NHL Finals, is likely all GM Marcel will need to win a second team Cup here in Florida.  It really isn't as much as it first sounds.  However, losing his Rangers on Saturday could be even just as easier route to go, depending on what you believe to be easier?  Without any players GM Marcel would have a tie-breaking pick to make against Dallas (Jr) and could take either NHL series to choose from.  Getting the pick right, would put Florida in the Championship, where they'd pick first again, with the tie-breaker in the NHLP Championship.  If Los Angeles goes to the NHL Finals, Los Angeles (Andrew) in the NHLP would have no players and if Hamilton (Tyson) lost to Philadelphia (Scott) or Washington also went to the NHL Finals, Tyson would not have any players left either.  That means, back to back correct picks and the Cup would be GM Marcel's in Florida if everything fell perfectly into place.  We are almost certain Marcel will be cheering on Richards and the Rangers Saturday with his Cup hopes likely on the line if the Rangers lose.

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Hamilton Hitmen - GM Tyson

 In as good a shape as anyone to win the NHLP Championship, GM Tyson's second in just three short seasons as a GM, Saturday can go either way and nothing really changes for the Hitmen, as far as their clearest lane to victory.  All Hamilton has to do, regardless who wins Saturday, is have Vrbata and Henrique outscore Whitney next round and Los Angeles and New Jersey in the NHL Finals, meaning Henrique will play no one from the West or Central.  If the Rangers do win game 7, as long as Edmonton (Scott) knocked out Los Angeles (Andrew), then even Phoenix going to the finals be play New Jersey would work.  What will take Tyson's opportunity away will be the Rangers going to the finals with either Edmonton (Scott) or Florida (Marcel) there or Los Angeles (Andrew) going to the NHLP finals with Phoenix there.  It appears GM Tyson will stand a great chance if he can get there with the Devils.

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Philadelphia Flyer - GM Scott

There is no possible way for the Flyer to win the NHLP Championship if the New York Rangers lose game 7 on Saturday.  However, if the New York Rangers pull off the victory, a very long shot scenario opens up for GM Scott.  First, Whitney would have to over come his underdog roll of outscoring both Vrbata and Henrique, something that won't be easy but according to GM Scott can happen.  "I've spleen it all over the years" said Scott, "Enough said."  So if Whitney did put the Flyer into the NHLP Championship, if the New Jersey Devils faced Phoenix in the NHL Finals but Edmonton (Scott) knocked off Los Angeles (Andrew), the Central and West would be out of players, leaving Whitney a point away in the Finals from a miracle Flyer victory, their second team Cup and GM Scott's fifth Championship.  It can't happen if Washington wins Saturday.
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Dallas Stars - GM Jr

As crazy as it sounds, it ain't really to crazy.  The Dallas Stars, out of players, could still win the NHLP Championship, their third team Cup, an NHLP first, and GM Jr's third.  Washington has to win game 7 to set this in motion.  If that occurred, Florida (Marcel) would have the pick against Jr next round.  If Marcel got it wrong, that would put Dallas in the NHLP Finals and due to their 358 points on the NHLP season, get the tie-breaking pick in the NHLP Finals.  Of course Dallas would need the East and West to be playerless, something that automatically occurs if Washington plays Los Angeles.  Phoenix going to the NHL Finals kills this plan as Los Angeles (Andrew) and either winner in the East would automatically have players.  New Jersey could go to the NHL Finals to play Los Angeles, as long as Philadelphia (Scott) knocked off Hamilton (Tyson) next round, still leaving Jr the pick in Dallas and no NHLP players from the East or West.  Ya it is crazy, but it is also GM Jr's only hope left.  GO WASHINGTON!
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Ottawa Senators (Mike & Ray)

We certainly hope GM's Mike & Ray have been agonizing with each close Johansson possible point.  Game six, on the ice during the powerplay goal, with two assist given and not getting a point, and then missing the wide open tap in, with the puck a full foot off the ice, on a play Ichiro would have had trouble connecting on, must have been so frustrating, and so exhilarating at the same time.  They could be two or even just a point down in their series, but heading into game 7, still trail Florida (Marcel) by 3 points.  Crazy things happen and a Washington blowout, the classic 5-0 game seven is needed.  Carolina did it to Montreal, pounding them 8-0 in a game 7 where it just all went wrong (or right depending on your angle).  If Washington wins and somehow, someway, Johansson outscores Richards and Dubinsky (who won't likely play), by 3 points, Ottawa would be through to the NHLP Championship, completely out of no where.  The co-owners could then ride Kopitar to a Championship, leaving their worst Finals matchup as Kopitar versus Henrique, or a best of, Kopitar and Johansson versus no one. Just three points and the greatest "Out of nowhere" in league history will undoubtedly occur.  Just three points!  GO JOHANSSON!

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Richards - Rangers - Needed

It is never an easy feeling when you are only leading by 3 points in your playoff series and the players are down to one each remaining, because the other player is in a walking boot, but GM Marcel has to feel confident knowing his player is Brad Richards and Ottawa (Mike & Ray) are relying in Johansson.  If Johansson cannot outscore Richards by 3 or 4, depending on if Washington wins or losses the tie-breaker for the Sens, than Marcel is through to the Central Conference Finals to play the playerless Dallas Stars (Jr).  "The Dallas Stars can still win the NHLP Championship" stated Muddy Capone, "As hard as it is to imagine a team out of players after two rounds, but this year, it can happen."  This is why Florida will need to have the Rangers win their series with Washington, ensuring a walk-over for Marcel.  If Washington wins tonight and in game 7, Marcel would have to rely on the pick to get him through to the finals (Washington - New Jersey) and the NHLP home teams are 7-10 so far, far from home ice advantage.  Dallas could win on the pick and go to the NHLP Championship where they would pick on the strength on season points, where the finals could be playerless this season as well.  So if the Rangers win tonight, Florida will surely represent the Central in the NHLP Championship.

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Is It, Or Isn't It?

That is the question in the West Conference where the Los Angeles Kings (Andrew) are waiting to play the Edmonton Oil (Scott).  The Kings are sitting with 3 players next round, all Phoenix Coyotes, Vrbata, Doan and Yandle.  That much we know.  What is unknown yet is the team, if any that Edmonton will bring through into that series.  It can range from a Kings walk-over to an all out battle between Andrew's three and Gaborik, Callahan and Hagelin.  That series would see Andrew cheering hard for his three to score against the LA Kings Quick while GM Scott would have to have his guys get past the legendary Brodeur.  The series lengths would certainly factor in and if the winner carried on with their players, surely a NHLP Championship Cup would follow.  The other NHLP Conferences would only need to winner of that NHLP series, to have their player's team not carry on, and the West would be represented without a player.  So the question is, is it, or isn't it going to be a battle for the West Championship.  A Rangers win this round says it will be.

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Philadelphia vs. Hamilton

We know the matchup and the players for the NHLP's East Conference Championship, to represent the East in the NHLP Finals.  GM Tyson seems like a heavy favorite in Hamilton where both Vrbata and Henrique have played very well and will only need to outscore Whitney from Philadelphia and Hamilton will make their first ever NHLP Championship appearance.  Depending on the teams, NHLP and NHL, moving forward, Tyson could have the only players in the finals, have no players, or be out gunned totally from the West Conference.  Right now, things are looking fine for Tyson to win a second Championship in only three years, but before that, he will have to hope another miracle series isn't in store for GM Scott who has been known, to sometimes, have a little luck on his side.

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22 Seconds That Changed Everything

A miracle finish will be the way GM's Marcel in Florida or GM Scott in Edmonton, look back at it if either of them win the NHLP Championship.  "Hagelin took one for the team" stated GM Scott about the events that unfolded, "Watching that put go in in slow motion, frame by frame, was one of the more crazy shots I have witnessed over the years."  With the New York Rangers goalie out of the next and time winding down to a Washington win and a 3-2 series lead heading back to Washington, Hagelin was high-sticked in the face, drawing blood and a double-minor penalty with just 22 seconds on the clock.  After a while scramble in front of the next, likely the final shot of the game if it failed with 7 seconds left, Richards swatted the puck as Holtby was putting his glove on it to cover it.  Richards was a little quicker and the puck, two feet off the ground headed towards the far side of the net.  A Capitals player now had fallen behind the goalie on the goal line and somehow this magical puck missed that player, catching by one inch the inside of the far goal post.  "If the puck hit the post or missed the net, or hit the Washington player, or was covered first by the goalie, the Capitals have the Rangers on life support" said Muddy Capone, "And this only sent the game to overtime."  Of course that only wiped out the first two minutes of the double minor and the Rangers started the overtime on the powerplay, ending it 1:35 in to take the 3-2 series lead.  With Florida having such a great opportunity and Edmonton loaded with Rangers, if either GM does win the Championship, certainly that goal will be the 22 second miracle on Broadway that changed everything.

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Richards Saves Florida

It was a wild few seconds but Richards turn things around in Florida (Marcel) with a huge point and bigger NHL Rangers win that could give GM Marcel players next round where suddenly it was looking bleak.  Without Richards and Dubinsky, currently Marcel would have moved to the next round without any players.  Without that point, Florida would have only been up just two points on Ottawa (Mike and Ray) who would have also then had the tie-breaker.  Both Rangers came to Florida from Quebec (Matt) in an early season deal that saw the Nordiques get Getzlaf and PM Bouchard.  "It had occurred prior to the Winter Meeting and didn't get a lot of press at the time, even though it was clearly a big deal" stated Muddy Capone, "But it was overshadowed by the Nords flurry of activity, including another trade and than a 6 player Waiver drop, all back to back."

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Blues Face Elimination

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Fury Need Read and Philly

The Cleveland Fury (Tyson) will advance to the Central Conference Finals with just a single point from Read.  With the tie-breaker in hand, down two points to Dallas (Jr), but with Read twice, as the only remaining players in the series, it depends who you ask what position you'd rather sit in.  "I'd always rather have the points already" stated GM Charlie many times over the years, while other GM's such as GM Scott like the games at hand.  Read has had a point in 4 of 10 games, so almost half the games in this years playoffs.  Of course if Philadelphia wins tonight, Read would get another game.  Unless Philadelphia wins, neither winning team would have a player next round anyhow when they likely will play Florida (Marcel).

Giroux was suppose to carry the team, not watch them finish in the press-box.  That is what will happen tonight for St Louis (Tyson) without a Flyers win.  Down 15-7* to Edmonton (Scott) Simmons and Timonen will have to score some points without the teams leader and hope to extend the series.  "It is bleak without Giroux" stated Muddy Capone, "These three could get 6 points quite easy in one game, but that is realistically cut in half without Giroux."  A goal will likely be to cut it to 5 points with a Flyers win tonight, hold the Oil to nothing and a Rangers win, leaving a possible two games to gain 5 points with all three players, something that could then happen.  The winner here is set to face Los Angeles (Andrew) who now knows once his series is official, he has three players, Vrbata, Doan and Yandle who await taking the Kings to the NHLP Championship in an all or nothing battle in the West Conference Finals where Andrew will need Phoenix to beat Los Angeles in their NHL series.

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Winner Gets Whitney

Hamilton (Tyson) and Memphis (Jr) are locked in a battle, currently 5-4 Hitmen, but with the Machine leading the tie-breaker with New Jersey.  Both teams are down to a single player and know the winner will face Whitney Next round as Philadelphia (Scott) became the first official NHLP team to close out the second round of the playoffs, advancing to the East Conference Final.  GM Tyson will need Henrique to stay even with Briere tonight if their NHL series ends.  "This is a huge series the way things are shaping up" stated Muddy Capone, "A Devils win without Briere gaining a point on Henrique, will likely put Hamilton in the NHLP Finals where it will be possible to win everything with the Devils or Coyotes there depending on how things unfold elsewhere."  Memphis will need the Flyers coming back if GM Jr wins the series, otherwise Memphis would give the Flyer a walk-over to the NHLP Finals with just a single point next round from Whitney.  "So you have three GM's very invested in the outcome tonight" says Capone, "The way the NHLP playoffs i meant to be."

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Ending Drought With 5 Cups

Although not known yet, when it is all said and done years from now, GM Andrew could go down as the best NHLP GM in history of the league.  Bursting into the league with four Championships in his first 9 NHLP seasons as a GM, his legendary status was already etched in stone before his tenth season as a GM.  "His sheer domination of the league I think made many current GM's much better" stated Muddy Capone, "They didn't really have a choice to improve, they were being embarrassed."  No other NHLP GM has more Championships and no GM has won on as many different teams, as all Andrew's Cups are on different teams (97' Hartford, 99' Chicago, 02' Los Angeles and 04' Washington).  Entering this season you could say Andrew was on a serious drought, having gone 6 complete years without a Cup, and not winning this season would be a very long and now very tough seventh.  "He can taste it this year, that fifth Cup" says Capone, "And although GM Scott has made it aware to everyone he is running out of trophy shelf space, Andrew is seemingly oblivious to the situation."  The Yearbook can't get anything out of Andrew and his peers only hear things like, "Oh ya, I guess I'd have five Cups" from the GM who seemingly wants to talk hockey all day long, as long as, it isn't about his own success as a GM.  "Well, if he won't say it, Scott and I will" says Capone who has been writing for the NHLP since it began, "Reaching five Championships will be legendary."  Well, for GM Andrew, legendary was already etched in stone!

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Cup Hopes Take Hit

GM Jr was in a foul mood Sunday night as Briere failed to stay even with Henrique, allowing Hamilton (Tyson) to take a 5-4 lead in their series with Memphis.  Tonight the Hitmen send out Vrbata for what could be his last game this round, so not getting points would leave the series wide open with Briere and Henrique having to settle it by themselves.  Hamilton could move through in a great position, up two players to play the Flyer (Scott) with one player, or Hartford (Andrew) who would have none if Nashville can't win three straight.  "Hamilton has an opportunity" said Muddy Capone, "But everything must go perfect."  Vrbata having a big night would be perfectly what Hamilton needs tonight.

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Flyer Look to Advance

It seems almost a certainly now, that GM Scott will win his 8th straight series over GM Andrew.  "It looked like this would be the series to end this nasty streak for Andrew" said Muddy Capone, "But it surely only looks to continue."  With the series tied 4-4 and Philadelphia having the tie-breaker, Andrew must have S. Kostitsyn outscore both Whitney and Legwand the rest of the Phoenix-Nashville series which could very well end tonight.  An ugly losing streak that GM Andrew is sick of hearing about is hard for the Yearbook to ignore talking about.  "You have two GM's who are very competitive and both trying to win the Cup that one ups the other" says Capone, "And you have this streak now taking center stage."  It does appear that Andrew may get another chance next round, maybe when it matters most, as it looks like Edmonton and Los Angeles could match up, but it is also looking like the streak will be at 8 if that matchup occurs.

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Sens Seemingly in Series

The Yearbook had wrote off Ray and Mike a week ago in Ottawa and find it hard to even think a miracle upset can still be pulled off, but they are only down by 2 points with the tie-breaker clearly in the air.  "A Phoenix win and a Washington shutout and at nights end this could be tied" stated Muddy Capone about their seemingly impossible chance turning real.  Ottawa is only left with Johansson, not a point this round, after three in round one, against all four of Florida's players, even though Dubinsky is still in a walking boot.  Radulov could be gone tonight and Richards would be taken care of with a Washington shutout, leaving anything Johansson can get tonight and maybe in two more games to pull of something truly stunning.  Marcel will be watching a little closer tonight and try and put Ottawa away once and for all.

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Deal a Steal?

The Hartford Whalers (Andrew) acquired J. Staal and Perron the night before the NHLP Trading deadline from Indianapolis (Matt) and a deal many GM's scratched there head about.  Matt had acquired J. Carter and D. Zubrus and give points when already out of the playoffs.  "Los Angeles only made the playoffs the final weekend of the NHL season" said Muddy Capone, "So giving a St Louis Blue and a Pittsburgh Penguin, was surprising for sure."  Staal didn't disappoint with 9 first round points and Perron is now also out of the playoffs, ending with 6.  Hartford is down to only S. Kostitsyn where as Zubrus (6 points) and Carter (5) are still playing and both could be in the third round of the NHL playoffs.  "I just gave up on the Kings" stated Andrew, "I believed in them."  It is looking like Hartford's season could end this week but sometimes it is the deal you don't make that turns out to be the one that wins you a Cup.

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Read-Bound

Only down by two points with the tie-breaker firmly in hand, Cleveland (Tyson) only needs a single point from Read on Sunday and the series could be back in his favor.  Tyson is on the fence in the NHL series, having the only New Jersey Devil in the NHLP but yet having his best scorers playing for Philadelphia.  Other players in this series, Arnott who sat last game for Tyson and Pietrangelo who is back for GM Jr, are both facing elimination tomorrow.  With Arnott being outscored 2-0 in the series by Pietrangelo, GM Tyson just might be hoping that series ends Sunday in the early game.

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Lose the Tie-Breaker

If GM Jr had his way, he'd intentionally give the tie-breaker to GM Tyson in Hamilton.  Jr's Memphis Machine are tied at 4-4 with Hamilton, but with only Briere, if Memphis wins the tie-breaker, that would mean Briere will be out and Memphis would have no players left.  The only way to avoid that is hope that Tyson has the tie-breaker when it is all over, so a Flyers NHL win Sunday would help, and hoping Briere can win the series outright, which is looking very possible at this point.  Hamilton on the other hand will hope Henrique holds Briere off and New Jersey wins.

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Where Did Everyone Go?

Well, GM Andrew knows he will have half his team, three players in the NHLP's Semi-Finals in Los Angeles.  The other 5 NHLP series winners could all be at zero players if series end the way they are now and Washington wins.  "Even that would not guarantee Los Angeles the Championship" stated Muddy Capone, "He'd still need Phoenix to go to the NHL finals or he will not have the first pick at the tie-breaker to win it all as every team in the Central has more points, so one will pick ahead in the finals."  With no teams officially out yet, every game, including both Sunday, will factor in to who does win the NHLP Championship in 2012.

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Blue Whale

Tied 4-4 with McDonald and Perron facing elimination Sunday, GM Andrew must have a St Louis Blues victory or a huge night from the pair or likely be knocked out of the NHLP playoffs.  "The two don't go hand in hand" stated Muddy Capone, "If the Blues don't win, the two likely don't have a big night."  Although that might be true, a big night in a 4-4 series could be just a single point.  If Hartford loses the two Blues, they are left with only S. Kostitsyn versus GM Scott's Legwand and Whitney, who will then have the tie-breaker (Los Angeles) but also be facing elimination with his two players in their next game.

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Send Him to Alaska

GM Marcel has been none to happy with Radulov and he told the Yearbook that he'd not only suspend him, but send him back to Russia to which Muddy Capone replied, "Worse still, send him to Alaska."  Things aren't too bad however in Florida where Richards is leading the way with 4 points in the Panthers 8-4 series lead over Ottawa (Mike & Ray) that could have made it 8-5 had Kopitar not missed a 24 square foot empty net at the conclusion of last nights game.  Marcel will hope Radulov is in tonight and Nashville can tie the series at 2-2, or will he?  "It seems to me that GM Marcel's best chances of winning the NHLP Championship may not included the Preds" Capone stated.  Capone's angle was if the NY Rangers and Coyotes win this round, with Memphis (Jr) beating GM Tyson, the Cup would be Marcel's if Los Angeles than went to the NHL finals versus the Rangers with GM Andrew's Kings coming out of the West.  "It really isn't hoping for anything that today doesn't look very probable to occur" said Capone.

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4-4 & 4-4

The East Conference has decided they are going to battle it out to the final game this second round.  Both series knotted at 4's and all four GM's have their sights still firmly set on winning the NHLP Championship.  Philadelphia (Scott) sends out their two man team tonight, Legwand and Whitney to grab the outright lead from Hartford (Andrew) who response with S. Kostitsyn.  With Philadelphia seemingly assured the tie-breaker, having the LA Kings, Scott will advance with either Whitney or Legwand if he can hold the Whalers off.  The Hamilton Hitmen (Tyson) look better on paper than anyone in the Conference with both Vrbata and Henrique currently leading their NHL series but is lacking the crucial tie-breaker against Memphis (Jr) after Briere had his second 2 point game in just three games.  Without Briere advancing the Machine will be playerless even with a win this round.  Vrbata will need to be strong against tonight, scoring three of Tyson's four points so far in this series.

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Third Cups

With the Dallas Stars (Jr) not currently having a player advancing and St Louis (Tyson) down by seven, 11-4, GM Scott's Edmonton Oil are looking like the best odds of any team winning a third NHLP Championship this year.  "I have thought about it since the day we won last year" said GM Scott, "And honestly, we have an opportunity at this point of the NHLP Playoffs to make it happen."  Scott has said his best chances appear to be Nashville winning this round along with New York, making him a huge favorite next round against Los Angeles (Andrew) while if the Coyotes win this round, Andrew will be the favored to go to the finals.  "This can go so many ways still" explains Scott, "And we are certain Tyson has a late charge in him at only down 7 points, but how you win Championships is for everything to go your way, and a Predators victory over Phoenix with the Rangers win.  Really what more could we ask for?"

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Sitting For Awhile?

OK, so we now know that Predators Coach Trotz said he will not break up a winning formula and will sit out Kostitsyn and Radulov again in game 4.  So now the question is that certainly if Nashville wins tonight and ties the series 2-2 heading back to Phoenix, you definitely won't change it then.  You'd look stupid to change it and then lose and be down 3-2.  So these two have basically drank themselves out of the lineup until a loss or injury.  So if Nashville won the next three games and won the series, does the pair sit game one of the Semi-Finals, potentially costing GM's Andrew and Jr shots at winning this and next round.  All bets are off it the Preds lose a game, but if they don't, how long will the pair actually sit?

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Radulov Center Stage

The story lines continue to grow with Radulov this NHLP season.  A key part of the NHLP Trading Deadline and being involved in some of the biggest deals that day, traded to the number one CTR rated team in Dallas (Jr) and the number four Florida (Marcel), big things were expected from Radulov.  Now the issue is will he play next game and in all likelihood that answer will be no.  Dallas is currently leading 3-2 heading into tonight and with Read, Read and Arnott versus Pietrangelo, if he plays, GM Jr could easily be losing this series and need Radulov to advance.  Nashville seemed a different team last night and if they come back Dallas has the best Nashville built team in the NHLP, but losing out only opens doors for the others to capitalize on their loss.  Radulov had to know better.  He isn't playing for the Gararin Cup over here and half the actual NHL players don't even know what Cup that is and they don't give a hoot about the KHL.  So when he decides he is going to step in-between North American's dreams of getting their names on Lord Stanley, he is going to be called out for it.  I am certain if you take a pool of the dressing room, they say sit him out.  What will management do?  Odds are he sits until they lose a game at this point and that likely means when he plays again, Dallas' season may be over as well.

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Blues Must Win Regardless

GM Andrew must feel things slipping away in Hartford.  Another Blues loss and his season will be on the verge of collapse.  Down 4-3 without the tie-breaker at the moment, McDonald and Perron could easily take back the lead tonight, but the Blues can't afford to go down 3-0, where either man games or no players next round won't help the Whalers win a Cup this season.  If the Blues come back, with the best Blues team in the NHLP, things here could be totally different.  A big night for GM Andrew and his Whalers.

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Key Game 3

The Hamilton Hitmen (Tyson) had to be very pleased Henrique outscored Briere in game two.  Doing it again will help the Hitmen pull away from an already huge 4-2 point lead over Memphis (Jr).  "It has been a rough few days" GM Jr noted, "The hockey Gods must be smiling down on me."  Briere has three games and maybe five left in this series, but not hitting 8 to 10 points and a Flyers win, things won't mean a thing for the Machine.  It is a key game tonight and if the series stays within two, it can go either way at any time for either GM.

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Falling Into Place

GM Scott said last night was a perfect night for his Edmonton Oil, "Things are falling into place."  A Rangers and Preds win last night, moving to a 11-3 lead, GM Scott is very happy in his series with GM Tyson's Blues.  Tyson must have a big night and chip into this lead before it is out of control, so with Giroux, Simmons and Timonen versus McDonald tonight, a 5 point gain is very possible, if not required.  A Kings win also moves McDonald to within a game, meaning there is still hope for a long Devils- Flyers series of seven games where Tyson can yet come back, but chipping into the lead is essential and he must keep it closer than double digits or an extra game won't mean a thing.

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Radulov and Kostitsyn May Sit Game 4 as Well?

"With our situation, tonight, if you get it done I would expect I would probably go back with the same group," coach Barry Trotz said. The Nashville bench boss also said that Radulov and Kostitsyn wouldn't have played in Game 2 had the club known they violated team rules prior to the contest. The team found out what had happened afterward, so no discipline was issued for that match. Radulov is the team's leading scorer with six points in seven postseason games, while Kostitsyn is right behind him with three goals and one assist.  (Editors Note:  You can imagine the players themselves got into it after the embarrassing loss in Phoenix.  You have a lot of leaders and they likely put a few players in place.)

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It Makes Sense Now

Muddy Capone thinks the media should lay off Radulov for his bad game in Game 2, "He was out to 4 AM the morning of the game" stated Capone, "No wonder he was pissed off at the coaches for expecting more from him late in game two.  He probably told the coach his head was pounding and to stop yelling his name, he just wanted to rest."  Radulov has been suspended and no one will feel that worse than Dallas (Jr) who are leading 3-2 over Cleveland who grabbed a single point from Read, but more importantly an extra game with the New Jersey win.  Also suspended was A. Kostitsyn and no one should be surprised or shocked with that, just look at his history of off ice issues he had in Montreal.  If Nashville wins Wednesday, it will be interesting to see the roll Radulov plays in Game 4, where it was already questionable if he'd be lost to the team after being pissed at the coaching staff for his benching and now, officially outted and suspended by the team.  "If nothing else, the writing is now officially on the wall if the Predators lose this series" said Capone, "Radulov will not be back in Nashville next season." 
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Herb Brooks

It was Herb Brooks who stated he didn't believe in curfews, because it was always the best players getting caught in them.

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Wizard Carrying Flyer

A short handed Philadelphia Flyer (Scott) are through two games with the lead over Hartford (Andrew), thanks mainly to the play of Whitney.  The Wizard, as his teammates call him, have 3 points in the first two games of the series, helping the Flyer to their 3-2 series lead heading into Wednesday night where GM Scott noted his man games will be in jeopardy of running out if Nashville doesn't get a win.  "I think GM Andrew and I are both concerned about the same thing at this point" said Scott, "If Nashville doesn't win a game, I doubt we can win."  Hartford has the same concerns Scott said about his two Blues players McDonald and Perron, "He knows if the Blues loss four straight and I get a longer series from Nashville, it won't bode well for his chance."

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Crude

GM Scott said his Edmonton Oil players cannot afford to keep losing their NHL series, "It is always a crappy feeling when you are winning your series but losing all your players."  Faced with this same situation many times over the years, Scott knows it isn't all lost just yet.  "We need the Rangers first and foremost" the OIL GM stated about his three Rangers, Gaborik, Callahan and Hagelin, "After that either the Blues or the Preds need to come back."  Edmonton, leading 7-3 over St Louis (Tyson), feels confident they can win their NHLP series because of the 6-3 player advantage, but Scott said if that happens Andrew is waiting in the weeds with three players next round, "Tyson or I would need to bring through a competitive team and we can both do it, but tonight, at this moment, GM Andrew must be thinking his chances are looking very good in the West."

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Culling the Herd

The Florida Panthers (Marcel) are hoping the NY Rangers can rebound tonight, putting Richards and Dubinsky ahead in their NHL series.  "As each NHLP series sits and if New Jersey and Washington won their NHL series" Muddy Capone said, "No team in the Central would have any players next round."  Capone notes that the Central is not alone, "If Los Angeles and Washington then went to the NHL finals, no NHLP teams would have any players in the finals either."  Marcel will be hoping to change that trend and with the Rangers winning tonight, least he'd have two players winning their NHL series.  The Panthers will also hope Nashville wins, even without their star Radulov in the lineup.

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Fury Down 3-0

The 2010 NHLP Champions find themselves with an opportunity to go to the NHLP Finals this season, but Read and Read must carry the team.  The Fury drafted 5 Winnipeg Jets players and early in the season, Transaction #23 dropped all 5 in a Waiver, adding Read twice.  "That Waiver seemed to change the team" said Muddy Capone, "What was something GM's laughed at, suddenly was a team to watch out for."  Down 3-0 to GM Jr's CTR #1 rated Dallas Stars, Read is only a single point from making it 3-2 or two points from a 4-3 lead after even games in this series.  With Florida (Marcel) having 3 players that could be out, leaving only Voracek, a Fury win here could easily put Cleveland back in the Championship.

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Briere - 2 More?

Looking like his scoring will be matched by the suddenly hot Vrbata, Briere will need another 2 points for GM Jr's Machine to have the outright lead over Hamilton (Tyson), if Henrique is kept off the score sheet.  Currently 3-2 Hitmen, Briere is doing all he can to give Memphis the chance, knowing right now a Semi-Final matchup could exist with Andrew without a player or GM Scott with a single player, this series is big for both these GM's who could then easily still be in the NHLP Finals.  "Everyone is cheering for themselves and for the perfect matchup next round" said Muddy Capone, "And all four teams in the East can yet win it, and have that matchup they are hoping for."

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Huge Hole

The St Louis Blues (Tyson) find themselves down 7-2 with the pressure to score clearly on tonight in only Game two.  "If that 5 points turns to 10, teams just don't over come deficits like that in the playoffs" explained Muddy Capone, "And at just 5 points, this team can overcome that tonight."  Clearly a potential scoring machine with Giroux, Simmons and Timonen all number one power play the chances have been there for the 3 point goal, so Tyson can move in a hurry, but clearly the pressure is on to stay close tonight.

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Kings Look Deadly

GM Andrew's Kings had an 8 point game and leading 12-1 over Vancouver (Joel), everyone concedes this series is over.  That leaves Andrew looking ahead here to not only the next round, but the NHLP Finals.  Andrew will have 3 players, right now his high scoring Coyotes next round and could face Edmonton (Scott) who could have teams from zero to a full 6 players.  If the matchup is against St Louis (Tyson) it is clearly his three Flyers or no one.  "This is where you cheer for Tyson to win, but also the NHL Devils" stated Muddy Capone, "Automatically sending your team to the NHLP Finals."  Although not many expected the Coyotes to be so strong right now, GM Andrew could not have asked for three better than Vrbata, Doan and Yandle, all team leaders.  "Clearly Andrew is strong next round, but his best option is Phoenix" says Capone, "These guys have the potential to put up the bigger numbers of the two sets of three Andrew has."

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Stars Need to Regroup

Well GM Jr can at least be happy with his 3-0 NHLP Second Round lead over Cleveland (Tyson).  It has been a tough round so far on Dallas, his two Preds are down 2-0 in their series, Pietrangelo not only lost his game but is a game time decision with a face injury and now Radulov melts down.  "The door appears open for the Fury" stated Muddy Capone, "Radulov needs to get on track, back with the team instead of against them."  Radulov had a rough game, although he grabbed a point in it, but was minus 3, stared down the coaching staff and finally was sat out the last two minutes with the net empty.  Radulov seems to have that attitude we see in certain star players that expect the playing time, but don't necessarily think it has to be earned.  Earlier this year Radulov lost it in Russian, intentionally hitting the coach with his stick, so clearly he is a hot head.  The Fury send up Arnott tonight to creep back into this series but will Jr have an answer tonight or not in Pietrangelo?

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Andy Needed for Andrew

The Hartford Whalers (Andrew) know they need Andy McDonald to be better if they are to win their second round series.  Currently down 3-1 to Philadelphia (Scott), the Whalers have both McDonald and Perron tonight to not only get two points to tie the series, but a Blues win and an extra game for later.  "The Blues cannot afford to lose tonight or they will certainly be out" said Muddy Capone, "Down 2-0 and going on the road where a split leaves you in the classic must win three in a roll position, and to often that fails in the end."  If Andrew is to win the Cup here it is certainly on the strength of his two Blues, the only NHLP with two, for Kostitsyn will certainly be outnumbered with all the other Preds on so many teams.

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Oil Hope to Heat Up

Edmonton (Scott) are up 4-2 and send four players, Gaborik, Callahan, Hagelin and McDonald out tonight to add to that lead.  "We must score many more" said GM Scott, "Our Rangers aren't the big scorers they need to be and keeping St Louis around will burn us if we don't get a 6 or 8 point lead."  The three Rangers got a lone point in game one and with a win tonight, that series will still be on track for four games, something that is required due to sheer numbers if GM Tyson's St Louis Blues are to win this series.

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Briere Shoulders Load

GM Jr is a big fan of Daniel Briere.  Jr's Memphis Machine will need big things from Briere, trailing 1-0 to Hamilton (Tyson) leading into Sunday.  Briere goes head to head with Henrique, who scored two goals last game.  Vrbata will start off the second games in the later game where Tyson is hoping to keep GM Jr playing catch up each game.  The winner of this series could be against one player or no players next round for a birth in the NHLP Championship, so everyone has to step up and shoulder the load, something GM Jr is clearly hoping Briere can do Sunday.

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Giroux Gets Turn

Did they save the best for last?  The Philadelphia Flyers and New Jersey Devils will be the final team to play an NHL game in round two, so GM Tyson had the luxury of waiting to see what GM Scott's Oil could score with their 6 players before sending out Giroux, Simmonds and Timonen Sunday.  Edmonton leads 2-0, something GM Tyson's Blues might consider a win.  "We will have to score at a higher rate" said GM Scott, "Or Giroux could beat us by his self."  It was only last season Giroux had 9 first round points while playing for Chicago (Andrew) who met Edmonton in the second round, a team of Boyle and Edler versus Giroux, Carter and Ryder.  Although Chicago was a 13-8 favorite to win the series, Andrew lost out 11-5 when Giroux could only get 3 points in round two.  Clearly that won't cut it this series for Tyson, but the question is can the Flyers score seemingly at will against New Jersey as they could Pittsburgh in round one?  With Giroux getting 10 points, the CTR still has Tyson's Blues losing by 7 points this series, so Giroux will, at the very least, have to be at his very best.

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Reads Point Will Lead

The Cleveland Fury (Tyson) send out their Reads on Sunday, knowing a single point will give them the lead in their series at even games.  "It is one of the great things about having a guy twice in the NHLP playoffs" stated Muddy Capone, "A single point is really two."  Of course the good comes with the bad, where the opposition just has to worry about holding down one guy, something GM Jr will hope his Stars can accomplish, leaving him a 1-0 lead at the end of one.  Dallas counters in the late game with Radulov and Weber.  In the first battle of this series two Blues players, Jr's Pietrangelo, although leaving the game due to injury, had scored a point prior and beat Arnott 1-0 in a key matchup.

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Nasty Texting

GM Andrew said he fully expected it to occur, and it did.  "We received texts from GM Scott complaining about Perron not getting a stick on the goal" stated GM Andrew, "Is it any wonder why we've lost seven times in a row to him."  Hartford (Andrew) is down 2-1 early to Philadelphia (Scott), but Andrew feels you don't have to just beat Scott, but also his connections at the NHL Statistics Office.  "He will be up late tonight sending emails I am certain" Andrew stated.  Scott said he was upset at first but now thinks they may have got the goal correct on this call.  "I did watch it 10 times, at least that many times" said Scott, "And I kept thinking the puck clears Perron but I finally have noticed the puck veering to the left as it passes Perron, meaning he had to have touched it."  One thing we know for certain is GM Scott has his and his opponents players covered.  The series starts game two's where Hartford will send S. Kostitsyn up against Legwand, both players throwing up zeros in game one.

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Central Conference

The Conference's second round battle appears to be between Dallas #1 (Jr) and Cleveland #6 (Tyson), two of the last three NHLP Cup winners, both with three players and Dallas only an one point CTR favorite.  Both GM's can win the series, likely with the NHL Flyers and Predators series lengths playing into deciding the winner, who will probably get Florida #4 (Marcel) in the Conference Finals.  Florida is a heavy 15-8, with four players to two for GM's Mike and Ray in Ottawa #22.  One of these four NHLP GM's will be in the NHLP final with Marcel cheering this round for the Rangers, Jr Nashville and Tyson Philadelphia.  Jr gets going here tonight with Radulov and Weber.

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East Conference

With depleted teams, only 8 players remain in the East with Hartford #19 (Andrew) leading the way with 3 players.  GM Andrew is a slim 2 point favorite over Philadelphia #9 (Scott) who has beat Andrew the last 7 times the two GM's have appeared against one another in the NHLP playoffs.  Andrew certainly is sick of hearing that statistic and can certainly end that this round, but it won't be as easy as the 3 player to 2 advantage make it appear, with the Flyer carrying through their teams two leading scorers.  Hartford has the leagues best St Louis Blues built team remaining, being the only team with 2 Blues left which could play a huge part in winning the Championship if he gets there with his Blues players.  Hamilton #23 (Tyson) has two players to one over Memphis #18 (Jr) and is a 9-5 advantage according to the CTR who only went 6-6 in their first round predictions.  With Briere having outscored Tyson's two players 8-4 by himself in round one, the CTR might be backwards in their prediction.  Either GM winning will likely want to see St Louis out if they play Hartford next round or they will certainly be underdogs against Andrew.

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West Conference

The West teams are loaded with 17 players remaining with GM Andrew a decisive favorite in Los Angeles #8.  With Vancouver #14 (Joel) outnumbered in players 6 to 2 and considering a outmanned team by this number has never won in 23 years, the CTR likely will be right in the 23-9 advantage for Andrew.  Andrew knows already he will have 3 players remaining next round if he wins, either his 3 Preds or 3 Coyotes.  The CTR has Andrew playing GM Scott's Oil #3, who are favorites by only 7, even though a 6 to 3 player advantage over St Louis #7 (Tyson).  Tyson is expected to get around 10 points from Giroux who has not been stopped during the regular season or in the first round of the NHLP playoffs.  If Tyson can get double digit points from Girous again, we could see a huge upset here, accompanied with a Flyers win that could send GM Tyson clear through to the NHLP Finals.  Clearly NHL advancing teams will factor in here and while that isn't an issue for Andrew, guaranteed three next round, Tyson will be cheering for the Flyers to advance and GM Scott the NY Rangers, giving those GM's at least 3 players next round as well.

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Cups Galore

Of the 12 remaining NHLP teams, 9 have previously won Cups, while only Ottawa (Mike & Ray), Memphis (Jr) and Hamilton (Tyson) don't have banners on their teams GM pages.  Dallas (Jr), St Louis (Tyson) and Edmonton (Scott) are all two time winning NHLP teams, with GM Norm having GM'd the Blues back in the early 90's to their two Cups.  All three are vying to become the first team to win a third team Cup.  In the Central the 2010 Fury (Tyson), 2009 Stars (Jr) and 2008 Panthers (Marcel) won three of the last four Championships and certainly it appears one of those teams will be in the final three this season.  Edmonton (Scott) is the reigning NHLP Champions and have a realistic shot at returning to the finals and evening becoming the second team and GM to win back to back Cups.  GM's Andrew and Scott have a shot at a 5th Cup win, taking over the lead all by themselves while GM Jr has a shot to pull to within one of the Cup leaders by winning his third Championship.  GM's Tyson and Marcel are going after their second Cups, while Tyson's would be in only his third NHLP season.  The lone remaining GM's to not have Championships, Joel and Mike & Ray are both underdogs in the Second Round, meaning a non-cup winner is unlikely this season, while the other 5 GM's have 12 Cups between them.

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NHL Second Round/NHLP Tie-Breakers

Florida (Marcel), Hartford (Andrew), St Louis (Tyson)
Picks tie-breaker from either:
Los Angeles at St Louis
or
Washington at NY Rangers


Dallas (Jr), Hamilton (Tyson), Los Angeles (Andrew)
Picks tie-breaker from either:
Nashville at Phoenix
or
New Jersey at Philadelphia

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After Games Thursday, April 26th - Unofficial Final
First Round At a Glance...(Click for Playoff Page)
Seed Team Score Score Team Seed
Central Conference
8 Toronto Maple Leafs (Chad)
 #17
25 31* Florida Panthers (Marcel)
#4
1
7 Ottawa Senators (Mike & Ray)
#22
20* 16 Boston Bruins (Ryan)
#11
2
6 San Fran Titan (Scott)
#12
15 20* Dallas Stars (Jr)
#1
3
5 Chicago Blackhawks (Andrew)
#20
17* 24 Cleveland Fury (Tyson)
#6
4
East Conference
8 Philadelphia Flyer (Scott)
#9
13* 11 Montreal Canadiens (Marcel)
#19
1
7 Carolina Hurricanes (Joel)
#21
17 29* Hartford Whalers (Andrew)
#5
2
6 New York Rangers (Charlie)
 #2
21* 25 Hamilton Hitmen (Tyson)
#13
3
5 Halifax Destroyers (Shawn)
#18
13* 18 Memphis Machine (Jr)
#23
4
West Conference
8 Edmonton Oil (Scott)
#3
23 21* Alaska Attack (Marcel)
#7
1
7 Calgary Flames (Jr)
 #24
8 27* St Louis Blues (Tyson)
#10
2
6 Vancouver Canucks (Joel)
#15
22 16* Green Bay Knights (Ryan)
#16
3
5 Los Angeles Kings (Andrew)
#14
17* 13 Winnipeg Jets (Mike & Ray)
#8
4

*The colors would show Round Two matchups.  (This seed vs. this seed and this seed vs. this seed)
Underscored is CTR favorite to win series
* - Officially has won the Tie-Breaker
Blue Numbers = Done Scoring/Can't gain in Round

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Bruins Opportunity - 6 Points

The tie-breaker was big last night, as it was like Ottawa (Mike and Ray) got a point, even though a crushing lose of both Peverley's.  Down 20*-15, Boston (Ryan) has a shot, albeit long, but a realistic shot to come up with 6 points tonight.  "Game sevens are known to extra goals once a game gets out of hand" said Muddy Capone, "It is a rare game when benches will go to just two lines and teams down 3 will pull their goalie with a power play with 6 minutes to go, you pull out all stops in this type of game."  Ryan will need 6 points from 4 decent players, Karlsson, Alfredsson, Parise and Hagelin, guys easily capable of a point each on the night, so that puts it close.  A win by the NHLP Ottawa entry leaves them against Florida (Marcel) where the co-owners will be underdogs no matter the outcomes of tonight's games, however, the Bruins would get Dallas (Jr) would be a very slight favorite if both Ottawa and New Jersey win game seven tonight.  We don't often see 6 point comebacks on the last night of the round, but if anyone can do it, it is these 4 tonight.

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Second Round on the Line Tonight

Memphis (Jr) and Hamilton (Tyson) know, in all likelihood, they will be playing next round, so tonight's games set up that matchup, in either GM's favor depending on tonight.  If Memphis adds Fleischmann twice, the Machine will be very slight favorites and really give them hope.  If those Panther's fail to beat the Devils, the Machine are down to only Briere and will be a slightly bigger underdog against Vrbata, Henrique and maybe Turris. 
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Tyson - More Reason For Ottawa

Although GM Tyson appears to have won all three of his first round series, the matchups for the second round are anything but clear in terms of players he will be against.  The Oil (Scott) won their series outright last night, but have a meaningful night tonight as the team is average with McDonald, Legwand and Suter, but becomes a powerhouse if the Oil add in Gaborik, Callahan and Hagelin.  St Louis (Tyson) has a great looking set of three, Giroux, maybe the best player in the world in the playoffs right now, Simmons and Timonen, strong enough to even beat 6 players, but that would really be asking a lot.  Tyson needs a Sens win tonight, helping here and on his Hamilton team while GM Scott will be thinking back to back NHLP Cups in Edmonton if the Rangers go through tonight.

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 Michalek - 3 Points?

The Chicago Blackhawks (Andrew) are down 8 points tonight, but have 4 players versus just Garrison of Cleveland (Tyson).  With GM Andrew having Michalek twice, if he could pull out a three point night, that would be 6 of the 8 gained right there, leaving only a two point gain over Garrison from Henrique and Kuba.  "Michalek would need to have a game where everything goes in, just a point a period" Muddy Capone states, "And maybe we could see a miracle on Broadway tonight."  At this point, Andrew would likely be happy with an Ottawa win, but you know this GM never packs it in until it is all over.

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Whalers Go Green

The Hartford Whalers (Andrew) will try to strengthen their teams Cup hopes with a NHL Senators victory tonight, add Karlsson and Greening to an already strong three of McDonald, Perron and S. Kostitsyn.  The later will play Whitney and Legwand of Philadelphia (Scott) next round unless Alfredsson scores 4 points tonight for Montreal (Marcel).  With that not likely, GM Andrew will love to get stronger, making others weaker in the process.  With GM Scott's string of good fortune against Andrew's teams, removing doubt with the extra two players will be a sigh of relief next round, one Hartford will be a favorite in by a slight margin to a large margin depending on what occurs in the NHL tonight.  For the Whalers, good things would come from an Ottawa win.

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Rich and Richard

For the second straight NHLP season the Peverley twins are a story in the NHLP.  Ottawa (Mike and Ray) have a chance to get through to the second round and will certainly be a stronger team with both Peverley's.  The two along with Johansson could use some additional points to ease some of the pressure if this series that still could go GM Ryan's way in Boston if it remains 20-15 after tonight.  Tonight's game is also for the tie-breaker, with GM Ryan having pick the Bruins in the NHL.  If the series stays at 5 tonight, a very interesting Thursday will occur where Ryan would only need 5 or 6 points from Karlsson, Parise, Alfredsson and Hagelin, something very possible.  Mike and Ray will play Florida (Marcel) and not have any hope without the two Peverley's while if Boston can come back here, Ryan woudl get GM Jr's Stars, so certainly Ryan will need New Jersey and Ottawa moving on.Ovechkin Needs to Shine

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Unlucky Matchup

When Spezza finishes his game seven, GM Chad's NHLP season will officially be over, but it isn't for lack of scoring.  "We would have won every other series" said Chad.  Of 24 playoff teams, Toronto's 25 points would have beat 21 teams, so the match up was clearly a bad one for Chad.  "Chad scored more than the entire Philadelphia - Montreal series, which have only combined for 23 points" Muddy Capone pointed out.  Losing with a high score was exactly what the CTR did predict, having the final of the series 31-25 and the series is currently at 30-25.  The CTR had projected GM Marcel's Panthers to be the second highest scoring NHLP first round team, after the NY Rangers (Charlie) who only reached 21 of their projected 33 in their first round loss.  As far as the Philly- Montreal series, the CTR got that one right as well, as it was projected to be the second lowest first round scoring series, however the 23 was quite shy of the 40 expected.  By their standards, the CTR had a bad first round, only hitting 6 of the current winners, while a couple series are still up in the air, so they could yet hit 8 of 12.  "Hitting 50% is embarrassing" said Capone, "So maybe this is the year of the upset in the NHLP as well."

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Montreal (Marcel) had the first overall NHLP pick this past season and chose Ovechkin.  So far so good.  Of the top 9 drafted players in order, Ovechkin is the only one still in the NHLP playoffs.  Drafted after in order were H. Sedin, D. Sedin, Crosby, Datsyuk, Perry, Stamkos, Malkin, Thornton while GM Andrew drafted Backstrom 10th.  If Washington losses tonight, GM's Mike and Ray officially have the 11th pick, Kopitar in round two.  So although Ovechkin didn't put up his Ovechkin like numbers, with 5 playoff points he is doing as expected and still leading the Capitals in scoring.  Tonight Marcel needs Ovechkin in a big way, needing 4 points from Ovie and Alfredsson's game sevens to advance to the next round to play GM Jr in Memphis where the Machine could be down to as little as only Briere next round, so this could be very big.  "GM Marcel has an opportunity to take GM Scott completely out of the NHLP playoffs" says Muddy Capone, "At the same time set himself up for a few nice playoff runs."  Ovechkin needs to prove himself and likely needs minimum a point, as asking Alfie to get 4 in game seven against Lundqvist is outrageous and three is likely pushing it, but two is very possible and even likely.

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Bergeron Key Piece for Panthers

When you win the Cup, as GM Marcel did in 2008, it is often about getting through with numbers that makes a big difference.  "With Bergeron this team is a lot stronger next round" said Muddy Capone, "Boston is good enough to go all the way, so he can be the difference maker in the end, but at least make the next rounds easier if he moves on."  The Panthers are moving on and currently have Radulov and Voracek that will be joined with either Spezza or Richards and Dubinsky, so Marcel is strong no matter what, but add in Bergeron and the team is a threat to go all the way again.  Richards was a big part of the first NHLP Championship for Marcel and only twice in league history has the same player got on different Cups with the same GM.  Of course GM Norm did it in St Louis with Doug Gilmour winning back to back Cups and the NHLP's only three time Cup winner, Alexia Yashin won in 1999 with GM Andrew in Chicago and again with Andrew in 2004 with Washington.  Richards has won two Cups already, 2004 with Washington and in 2008 with the Panthers, so could win a third this year here if the Panther's can go all the way.  It is guys like Bergeron advancing tonight that makes the difference later in that happening or not.  (Note: If Briere wins in Memphis he will have his name on two cups, but for a third time and if Green Bay completes their miracle comeback, Elias could still win a third Cup.  If Florida did win Neal would be the first player ever to have his name on the Cup with a last name starting with N)

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Cup Hopes Rest On Tonight

GM Marcel has a great opportunity before him, but it won't be easy.  The Alaska Attack have tonight to score at least 2 points from Seguin, Krejci and Marchand, or they are out.  With a Boston win and a big night, GM Marcel would have one of only two NHLP teams to advance to round two of the playoffs with a full team.  "This is clearly one of the very best teams the NHLP has" said Muddy Capone, "We knew that all along and with all these upsets having a full team of seven players is an incredible job by Marcel."  Twice in the series have these three Attack players scored 2 or more in one game, which is required tonight or he is out.  Winning the series, even without his three Bruins players, GM Marcel is set to be favored next round against Vancouver (Joel), but it will turn into a Walk Over if the Attack have all 7 players versus only Hartnell.  If Marcel gets only two tonight, he can only advance if Edmonton (Scott) don't get any in their game seven Wednesday, plus will need a NY Rangers NHL win over Ottawa in game 7, giving Marcel the tie-breaker.  Anything over two will mean Scott must at least match, or beat, depending on the breaker with Gaborik, Callahan and Hagelin on Thursday.  The Oil's three Rangers have combined for 0 points in 3 of the 6 games in the series, one of those while Hagelin was suspended and two while he played.  "The Callahan deal has came full circle" said GM Marcel, "Scott telling me I could win the Cup in Alaska and me telling him if he gets Callahan he could win the Cup."  The trade and that conversation is already looming large with Callahan already out scoring Marleau 3-0 in the first round, meaning Alaska would already be winning 20-19.  GM Scott said the two GM's have spoken since about that very conversation and even laughed about it a few times, "I don't think the loser here will be in any mood to laugh for a while" Scott said, "I will be taking Marcel's best chance for a Cup away from him or he will crush our only remaining hope."  This is a big night for these two NHLP '2012 Cup hopeful' GM's.

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A Single

Weiss or Henrique need a single point tonight, or game 7 if there is one there, or it will be left to Turris.  Although, seemingly a lot of chances, they go by quicker than you realize.  Hamilton (Tyson) is tied with New York (Charlie) and if they get the point they will get either Memphis (Jr) or Hartford (Andrew) in round two.  Weiss has been outscoring Henrique, so Tyson might like to see the Panthers move on, especially with Garrison in Cleveland.

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Fleischmann's Huge

Memphis (Jr) is advancing to round two, but with Fleischmann and Fleischmann he will have a much stronger team than just Briere and Rolston (if Boston moves on).  So tonight is a big game to seal those two rats up for next round.

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Green Bay Last Chance

It is never officially over until it is official over, but 8 points is just a mountain to come back with only 3 players and needed the right team to win to force game seven and your opponent still has a guy.  That is what GM Ryan faces, needing a New Jersey win tonight and in game 7 and Weiss, Elias and Zubrus to outscore Semin by 8 points.  "Four tonight and four in game seven, can be done" says Muddy Capone, "But we don't see comebacks like this very frequent and the odds this occurs, like 20 to 1."  So what Capone is saying is he thinks they have a chance!

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Big Weekend in Alaska

GM Marcel was down 10 points on Friday and ended the weekend with a clear opportunity to get out of the first round, only down 22-10 to Edmonton (Scott).  Alaska must hold off the Oil tonight to set up their game 7 with Seguin, Krejci and Marchand.  Those three will need at least 2 points, plus whatever Gaborik, Callahan, Hagelin and Bolland get tonight, and anything they get in a game 7 if they play one.  The best thing for Marcel will be 4 zeros accompanied with Ottawa and Phoenix wins, and then only 3 points would be needed, as Edmonton would then have the tie-Breaker.  If Edmonton wins they play St Louis (Tyson), and if Alaska comes back they will almost surely play Vancouver (Joel).  It was a big weekend, but was it just too late to complete the comeback?

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Comebacks Aren't Easy

GM Marcel has to be feeling very good about his chances of a comeback in Montreal, down 12-10 to Philadelphia (Scott).  With Alfredsson playing tonight, Marcel must have Alfie (in maybe 2 games) and Ovechkin in game 7, outscore Whitney by 3 points.  "That is why comebacks are so hard" stated Muddy Capone, "It is hard enough to get a point in a game, any game, but if Whitney gets one, now they need 4, 2 and now 5, it is so hard to come back in a final game."  Marcel will need a Phoenix win, without Whitney, so GM Scott doesn't get a full game 7 out of his supposed leading scorer.  Tonight is a big night and with Ottawa playing early, a big Alfredsson night could really put the heat on the Flyer knowing Ovechkin has a game Wednesday.  If Marcel comes back, Alaska will surely get Memphis (Jr), while the Flyer have a 'not so exciting now' date with Hartford (Andrew).

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It's About Players

With just one point, Hamilton (Tyson) completes the first round upset of GM Charlie's player-less NY Rangers.  With Vrbata, Turris, Weiss and Henrique to go, that isn't going to be the problem at this point.  "It's about having players next round" said Tyson, knowing now that is his biggest concern.  With the most likely opponent set to be Memphis (Jr), Tyson may want to see Henrique get through, leaving Jr without his two Fleischmann's, which would not be a favorable matchup with Weiss.  Memphis will have Briere and maybe Rolston, so Vrbata and Turris, maybe both may be required for the Hitmen.  It is going to be a battle ahead, but with so many NHLP teams depleted, a three player team this year in round two, is likely going to be better than the average.

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Requiring Seven Games

The Boston Bruins (Ryan) have some good players still playing, Karlsson, Alfredsson, Hagelin and Parise, but are down a full 6 points to Ottawa (Ray and Mike) who still have Peverley's and Johansson for game 7.  Ryan must get a game seven from likely all his players and a big night, say three tonight and one tomorrow, and suddenly he could pull this off, even though it looks bleak.  "You'd like Karlsson and Alfredsson to get two or three each tonight, possible yes, but needing a Rangers win to extend the series, that isn't likely going to happen if they have the big night" explained Muddy Capone about the dilemma teams always face late in series, "But tomorrow night a 6-0 Devils win would suit Parise just fine."  A NHL Sens win tonight should be all the NHLP Sens need to move on to play Florida (Marcel) in a series they appear to have almost no hope of winning without both Peverley's.

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Blackhawks Believe

This is going to be one insane comeback if it happens, and with a potential 9-4 man game advantage, things are perfectly set in GM Andrew's favor for a shocker to occur.  Chicago (Andrew) is trailing Cleveland (Tyson) 23*-15.  With the tie-breaker in hand, Andrew sends out Michalek, Michalek and Kuba tonight hoping one of two things occur.  "Andrew wants his Ottawa players each getting a point and a game seven, but if it ends tonight for Ottawa, he wants 4 or 5 points tonight from those three players, so two just from Michalek can make it very close" analyzed Muddy Capone.  If Andrew can get a point a game and additional games from Michalek, Michalek, Kuba, and Henrique, with Backstrom's game seven, that is 9 points.  Cleveland would then need two points from Marchand, Pouliot and Garrison or they'd lose the series.  "I know over the years GM's have cheered for the team they need to win, to lose, and create a game seven, and then their team loses that game seven" says Capone, "But it is different from Andrew here, they are out if they don't score enough, so they likely need the game seven and take your chances then, in a one game playoff."
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Point a Game Required

GM Scott will be the first to tell us about his first round of this years playoffs.  "I lost my Canucks players and could lose the Rangers, the two teams I banked on the hardest, and Hossa is gone long term, leaving Phoenix a more attractive team for me than my beloved Hawks" said the GM.  "Half of the NHL series are all over and I could yet win all three series, or just as likely, lose them all.  I maybe be a Cup favorite if the Rangers come back and I win, or I may be stuck with the teams everyone else wishes they could play" he said with a head shake.  With fellow GM, Jr's Dallas team, taking a dismantling in round one, down to no one left playing, San Fran knows they need six points, with the tie-breaker (Florida), or seven points if they lose the tie-breaker, to get out of the round.  Tonight Sharp and Whitney play, with Campbell playing Tuesday.  "If they all get a point each and Chicago and New Jersey send the series to seven games, the possibility will exist for the Titan to win in games seven" Muddy Capone feels.  San Fran would be heading into the game 7's of Whitney, Sharp, Campbell and Rolston, needing just 3 and a Panther's win or 4 points to win the series outright by one.  "I think GM Jr and I both lost last night with the Canucks going out" said GM Scott, "But I had the same feeling last year, sick to my stomach in disbelief, when the Blackhawks lost game seven in overtime to Vancouver, not knowing at the time it was a blessing, not a curse, and Edler would eventually win me the Cup."  As is often the case in the NHLP, sometimes what you can't see today as something positive, turns out to be the most important thing to have happened by the very end.

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"I'm Your Huckleberry"

GM Scott, not anywhere close to even winning round one in Philly, up only 12-9 over Montreal (Marcel) with Alfredsson's return looming, says that he isn't afraid of Hartford (Andrew) next round if the Flyer make it that far and "They need to fear the Flyer."  "Sure, on paper things look good today for GM Andrew, but on paper I should not have knocked him out the last 8 times we met in the playoffs either, but we did" the Flyer GM said.  "When the Canucks come back 4 straight, just 3 more games, we get to go to battle with Hartford and I look forward to it" the GM said in a challenging tone.  There are rumors circulating around the league that a pre-playoff bet has Scott fuming and wanting to knock Andrew's teams out.  It is said, it was proposed between GM's Jr, Andrew and Scott, where each GM choose a team of theirs to win it all, with some unknown additional prize for the winner, paid by the two losing GM's, in the event that team won it all.  Rumor is Andrew would not back his own team, so Jr and Scott went head to head, without Andrew's involvement.  This has led to resentment from GM Scott, about GM Andrew's Hartford team, supposedly the team GM Scott told Andrew he should back for they could easily win it all.  Well, if Vancouver goes out Sunday, even if Philly brings what they have left, Hartford will destroy them, but Andrew has to be thinking in the back of his mind, that if the Canucks do come back, maybe just maybe, he made a smart move afterall!

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Pi = 3.14

Pietrangelo has a huge two Point night, giving him 3 in the series, ending his first round, for the #1 rated Stars who now have a 4 point lead:  Pi = 3.14!  "There is no end to the playoff madness" says Muddy Capone, "And you can spend your entire day working the math, but it is anyone's game, anyone's Cup this point."  GM Jr's Stars are up 17-13 over San Fran and although they only have two players left, both their names are Sedin.  If Vancouver can come back, the dream is so very alive, for a team that was 'mostly dead' just yesterday, will be the 'most deadly' at the end of round one.  "It just gets crazier by the game" explained Capone, "Whereas after Jr lost four players last night, you are thinking it is over for Dallas and now, it might be just beginning."  The Sedins will play against Salo, to extend the 4 point lead, knowing that a zero night and a Canucks loss, leaves GM Scott plenty of time to come back and still take the series.  NHLP = Pi.

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It's Called Domination

Of the currently 21 playoff players on GM Andrew's three teams, 17 are currently advancing to the second round of the playoffs after Saturday's games.  Although Chicago doesn't look like they will advance, certainly Andrew's other two teams are looking like round two worthy, Hartford up 28-10 and Los Angeles 16-9.  If those two teams have Pittsburgh and Boston come back in the NHL and move on, both teams will have 7 players next round and surely dominate their opponents, giving Andrew two teams in the NHLP semi-finals.  "That is why he has 4 Championships" says Muddy Capone, "And you can't call it luck, well unless you are willing to concede we have 6 of the most unlucky GM's in this world running teams in this league."  Andrew is constantly doing it better than others, so, that is why we call it, domination!
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Staying Power

Mike and Ray have some big games today in their Ottawa series, leading 16-13.  Of course all games are elimination games, so the rest of the 'Family' could play their last game's Sunday.  If things end, the Sens will want as many points as possible, but truly are best served to see Boston go 7 games and both Peverley's around next round, a round that could still pit them against Dallas (Jr) where with Richard, Rich and Kopitar could fair pretty well.  GM Ryan will likely want things to end today for the Sens, but maybe catch a game 7 from Letang, who along with Hamuis will need to at worst case, not fall further back today.  Boston could still have a strong 4 man second round, even with a Canucks loss tonight, leaving them very strong next round.  Who stays and who goes here today, will likely mean who stays and who goes to the NHLP second round.

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Charlie's Dream...

GM Charlie goes to sleep Saturday night thinking, "What if Pittsburgh comes back and I have Crosby and Kunitz next round?"  You aren't dreaming, this is a reality right now.  The NY Rangers (Charlie) are tied 21-21 with Hamilton (Tyson) and the Blue Shirts remaining two play Sunday at noon, needing a win and points.  Dupuis and Kennedy will be around in this series the entire way if Charlie comes back, and Tyson hasn't lost a player yet, still with a full 7.  OK, where were we.  Oh ya, none of Tyson's players are Sid, and if Sid did carry this team, currently the Memphis Machine (Jr) would be the next rounds matchup.  Well, Pittsburgh coming back would give Jr at best 2 players, and neither is named Crosby, meaning Charlie could win and win and be in the finals and win again, carried the whole way by Sidney.  "Right now in the East, the 3,5,6, and 8 NHL seeds are winning and could be the 5,6,7,8, and in the West, LA is the 8th seed" says Muddy Capone, "There won't be many strong teams around after this round or in the finals, so can Sid win?"  If Crosby dominates Sunday, this may not be a dream afterall.

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Power Shift

Suddenly GM Chad has the power.  Toronto (Chad) trails by one, 24-23 to Florida (Marcel) in their Central Conference tilt, but with Williams and Doughty only needing a point to give GM Chad the lead at the end of game 5's, Chad will be in great shape as long as they (LA loses another game) extend the series.  Chad also sends Dupuis and Cooke, 10 points in round one between them, against GM Marcel's Sunday players Neal, Bergeron and Voracek, some 12 first round points.  If Chad wins (and the Central is too tough to officially call) GM Chad could face Dallas (Jr) next round, meaning it could all be up to the Los Angeles - Vancouver series, giving Chad a full 7 players in Toronto against 3 for Jr's Stars if things unfolded Chad's way.  "Suddenly Toronto, yes Toronto, makes our radar" says Muddy Capone, "How intense are these coming games, they have to go your way or your dream is over, just like that."  The same story can be written about the Panther's, but that has to wait until Monday now.

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5 Could Be Gone

Down 17-11, still with the tie-breaker, GM Shawn knows today could be the end of his Cup dreams for another long season.  Halifax sends all they have today, but stand a risk of losing 5 players in the Blues - Sharks series if it ends today, liking being the blow that knocks them out.  GM Jr's Machine will be no push over today with Fleischmann twice and Rolston, but also has the luxury of knowing those players, as will Briere, all have another game after today, so a Sharks win is surely the only hope for Shawn today, in hopes of extending the series.
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Sens Shot

Back and forth they go, and where they end, nobody knows.  Ottawa (Mike and Ray) and Boston (Ryan) have both been leading twice each at the end of even games and the leader at the end of game 5 will have a much shorter series to hang onto the lead.  With so many close series, no one knows who they will play next round, meaning either of these teams could win and have a favorable matchup, or be a clear underdog.  The Sens have one extra man game so far in the series, with 9 remaining for sure.  They send out their top four today, all they have left, with Kopitar, Peverley's and Johansson to take on the short handled Bruins with Karlsson and Parise, who will try and keep it at least tied.  That tie-breaker will be decided today as well, the Bruins picking their NHL counterparts.  Ryan has been without Hagelin and Alfredsson, having no one to blame but himself, but rumors are both could be back on Monday in Ottawa, not news Mike and Ray want to hear, meaning points today may be more critical then ever for the leagues youngest GMs.
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Down Goes Fraser!!!

Has anyone else been waiting to hear the Los Angeles announcer make that call after a big hit on Fraser.  Been thinking about that all season.

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Leif - Numbers Game Costly

Like Leif found out on Survivor this week, it is all about the numbers.  Sad to see the little guy go, we were starting to like that guy.  Another Leaf, that is Toronto Maple Leaf's, GM Chad, has fallen on the wrong side of the numbers game as well, down 10 to 8 remaining man games to Florida (Marcel) in their back and forth battle, now sitting 22-20 Panthers.  Chad needs points from Williams, Doughty, Oshie and Morrison as well as a hold of Marcel's players.  Marcel's Dubinsky has moved to the top line with Gaborik for tonight's contest and NHLP/NHL teammate Richards is going to the second line, in a move to create a more even offence.  Florida also has Bergeron going tonight in what is a very crucial series to matchups in the NHL Central.  "This is the one and eight seeds, so either the highest seed of those left is going to get Chad next round or the lowest seed Marcel, really changing the look of who is in the semi-finals and finals from the Central" stated Muddy Capone.

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Crushing Blow

That is how GM Jr described Detroit's loss last evening to his Dallas Stars.  "I had such a nice looking team" the GM Stated, "I just could ill afford that loss."  The Stars are leading 15-12 but lost 4 players, leaving the Sedin's and Pietrangelo to maintain the lead from the barely moving Titan.  "Neither of these teams have put up the numbers expected of them" stated Muddy Capone.  With the Sedins playing tomorrow, the Stars have one player today versus Whitney, Sharp, Campbell, Steen and Rolston, leaving the Titan capable of retaking the lead heading into Sunday, where the Sedin's will end the game 5's.  You'd think GM Scott was the GM to lose all his player's last evening, "There isn't anything that we are happy about in San Fran" the GM shockingly stated, even on the verge of taking out rival Dallas, "Not saying Hossa may cost us this series, Jr had as big of injury, but we were huge Chicago fans, this was my Chicago built team and we were hoping to run with Chicago with a perfect matchup with Phoenix.  Sadly, I see nothing here outside a spoiler role and I am struggling to get up for that."  Things change on a daily basis, that is the NHLP, and although both GM's are seeing the darker side, that could very quickly change to seeing the potential side, say of another Championship, with just the light of a new 'NHLP style' day!

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Hamilton To Retake Lead

Not having led since the completion of game two's, it would appear things are set for Hamilton (Tyson) to retake the lead on the New York Rangers (Charlie), with the series currently 21-20.  The Rangers lost all but Crosby and Kunitz and although those two alone can be great and score a lot, the numbers game severely is in the Hitmen's favor here.  Vrbata, Weiss, Henrique and Turris will try and put some space between them and what Crosby could do next time out, giving Tyson another great opportunity for a longer playoff run.  "It shouldn't come as a surprise this team can go deep" says Muddy Capone, "It is the CTR's #13 seed, which has been lucky the last few years."
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Under Two Minutes

It can't be a good feeling for GM Marcel that Ovechkin is all over the sporting world's news for his third period last game.  "All the guy does is as the coach asks and he makes the headlines after the team wins" said Muddy Capone, "Leave him alone."  All the coach asked Ovechkin to do was sit on the bench for the third period, "I didn't want him blocking shots in a close game" was Hunter's official response for riding Ovechkin on the bench.  So if it is a one goal lead in the third, Ovechkin sits, is Hunter's plan.  GM Marcel needs offense, down 12-9 against Philadelphia (Scott) and with Ovie and Shattenkirk versus Whitney the series action for Saturday, Ovie is required to play big minutes and score big points, that is what the NHLP first overall pick in this years draft was suppose to do all along, not block shots and not sit third periods of one goal leads.

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No Point Change

GM Scott said he was extremely disappointed the NHL did not give Legwand an assist in last game, leaving the series between Philadelphia (Scott) and Montreal (Marcel) 10-9 in the Flyer favor heading into tonight.  "I must be fucking blind" said GM Scott, "Is anyone else watching these same NHL playoffs?  I have two goals, PVR'd in super slow motion that I have watched 5 times each and the points are not right, and not changed afterward by the NHL."  The GM said the Legwand assist is not one of them, but the NHL has to wake up and get the points on all goals correct.  "I wasn't wasting anyone's time with the Legwand review, for he did clearly chip 'at the puck' and the puck moved in an opposite direction along the boards" said the GM, "From years of experience pucks don't magically change direction or move from a stopped motion.  Anyone watching that same game, in Detroit of course and we are talking Nashville goals, noted that they didn't give Fisher the second assist until after the game on Klien's goal.  Yet the puck moved from a stopped position below the circle in the Nashville zone, to the top of the circle where Erat picked up the puck.  The circle is 30 feet in diameter.  How did the puck magically move 30 feet?  Fisher clearly kicked it with his right foot is how.  So if I can rewind the game live, from my ONLY angle, watch the play in slow motion if that is what it takes, and watch this clearly happen, without doubt, how can the NHL take two hours to get the assist correct with the use of every camera angle?"  The GM is adamant the NHL is not doing their job correctly, home bias plays a part for it is usually only visiting teams points not correctly awarded, and that with aggressiveness you can make the NHL review goals.  If I had a clear angle that showed it 100% and they got it wrong, I'd not stop until it was correctly changed.

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12 in 11

GM Joel has maximized his point production in the NHLP playoffs.  Vancouver (Joel) leads 15-12 over Green Bay (Ryan) with Joel only playing with 5 players.  Neal, even with only playing 3 games, has 5 points, Kennedy 4 and Hartnell 3, 12 points in 11 man games from the Pittsburgh-Philadelphia series.  Although a potential push over next round, series are not over and at the least GM Joel can knock out potentially a much stronger second round team in GM Ryan's Knights.  "Even when you can't win, the spoiler is a nice consolation" said Muddy Capone, "And it pays the bills getting the extra round."  The Knights will counter tonight with Simmons who has been good with 4 points and Hornqvist who has chipped in, albeit just a single.  The pick, like this series is anyone's at this later point of round one.
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Leafs Not Going Away

Now 19-19, the 1 and 8 seeded series in the Central Conference is a all out war.  Tonight, Florida (Marcel) welcomes back Neal who will join Radulov and Voracek for the favored Panthers who will try and finally put space between themselves and these pesky Leafs.  Toronto (Chad) counters with the series leading scorer, Dupuis who has 6 and Cooke who hasn't been to shabby, getting 3 of his own.  Marcel was suppose to be a 6 point favorite and the tie-breaker of the New York Rangers looked solid at the time.  Now both the pick and Florida's cup aspirations are fading with little time to right the ship.  Things must start going right tonight, for comebacks are getting harder with each passing game of the first round.  Marcel does have an advantage of 9 to 6 in man-games remaining, so grabbing a couple point lead tonight may be enough to finally get these Leafs raked in.

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Only Hope

GM Charlie entered the 2012 NHLP Playoffs with high expectations, personally and through the NHLP's CTR, the leagues Power Rankings of the top teams.  Ending at CTR #2, on the strength of acquiring Sidney Crosby in the 40+ point deal, the second biggest deal in NHLP history, for points in a trade.  There was little doubt Charlie's Rangers could score, and they have, and there wasn't much doubt people thought highly of Pittsburgh going a long ways in these NHL playoffs.  "Just look at every other NHLP Playoff pool, no teams players were drafted close to that of Pittsburgh" stated Muddy Capone.  So although one could argue he was in a all or nothing position, 2 Pens and 4 Wings, it seemed that as long as either of those two teams did a run to the Cup, Charlie would be along for the ride.  Now entering game 5 for all 6 of his playoff players, only leading 20-18 over Hamilton (Tyson), it appears Charlie's dream of a Cup will have to wait for a 13th season.  For even winning this series, unless Pittsburgh or Detroit come back and win three straight and advance, the Rangers will have no players left to compete next round, in baseball referred to a Walk-Off, in the NHLP a Walk-Over.  With games scores of 3-5-6-6, Charlie's team should be in for a good scoring night, but the dream does end if the Pens and Wings seasons end tonight.

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The Deal Factors In

It was only three years ago, with 30 games in the regular season, GM's Jr and Scott hooked up with what they knew at the time was a huge deal.  Jr had claimed it could give him a cup in Dallas and Scott claimed the Flyer were better, but recognized the deal could beat him in the end if "Franzen has a big finals".  Well, the two GM's did met in the finals and Dallas won their second Cup, on the strength of Franzen's 4 points in the finals, beating Philadelphia 10-6.  "I have made so many bad deals over the years and many haunt me" said GM Scott, "But honestly, that has never been one that bothered me."  Jumping ahead three season the GM's hooked up at the NHLP Trading Deadline on this time a one for one, but both GM's knew how big that deal was as it was being made.  Dallas, when they felt they would not be cutting themselves too thin, traded 24 points to San Fran for Radulov, what Jr clearly thought would be the final piece to his star studded lineup.  San Fran had other intentions, using those points now to make a one for one and acquire the injured Steen, knowing the extra points would give Scott enough to make the playoffs even if Steen didn't play until the playoffs.  Now the two teams have met in the NHLP first round and those two players, Radulov and Steen both have 3 points.  Dallas was predicted to win the NHLP Cup, if they could get by San Fran on a series expected to come down as close as the pick.  So far, the pick is deciding the 12-12 series and Radulov and Steen are still playing a part of the outcome.  Tonight Dallas sends out Radulov, Weber, Zetterberg and Lidstrom in an attempt to take control of the series, but must likely avoid a Detroit loss tonight, which would end the four players first rounds and possibly the chance that Radulov becomes another deal that haunts GM Scott for years to come.

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NHLP Legend Remembered

Falling ill in January and passing, on this day, April 20th 2002, GM Raymond will always be remembered in the NHLP.  An original member of the league and the first NHLP Cup winner in Vancouver in 1990, there may never have been a more vocal and outspoken member, who was seemingly always involved in a controversy.  "It seems that if he wasn't causing a stir in some way, he had to create one" said his son, GM Scott, "And he did."  Raymond was involved in the drafting of Michel Mongeau, the Muller-Miller incident, the Thomas Steen affair and the trading of Mark Recchi, all etched-in-stone, historical events in the leagues history.  He often would mispronounce players names to the amusement of all GM's and could not even pronounce his very own Yahoo name "Spreer" and no one else could either.  He was very much his own GM who did things his way, uninfluenced by anyone.  He was very set in his ways and you certainly were not going to tell him how to run his teams.  "In his very own nice way" said Scott with a huge smile, "He told more GM's to go fuck themselves than any GM in league's history, including me on many occasions."  A GM who loved first place, often finishing the season with a ton of unused points, ironically had the NHLP famous quote, "Points are useless, unless in use."  He'd use them, just never in a way many other GM's could understand, making him clearly a very unique individual, even if never considered a top GM by any stretch of the imagination.  "He loved that Cup" Scott recalls, "He was the only GM to hang a Cup-Winning banner from the ceiling for the day of the draft so he could remind everyone who won."  A clear passion for sports, GM Raymond is likely living his dream up in Heaven, with his self proclaimed "Pool Tycoon" label, only playing with some different competitors, while he waits for the league to get back together.  "I can only imagine all the controversy he has already caused in the top league up there" Scott says, "Playing in the Lord's hockey pool."  Surely, in his very own big-hearted way, none of his new fellow GM's have been spared, "Likely on several occasions already, he has told the new Board of Governors to go to hell."  That certainly would be his style, one forever missed in the NHLP.

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Resurgence

The Alaska Attack (Marcel) are just running out of time.  Down 17-7 to Edmonton (Scott) Marcel needs to break the string of zeros put up by Seguin, Krejci, Marchand and Perron, zero points in 12 man games to start the series.  "There is no reason to think that group alone can't get 6 points in a night, easily could happen" stated Muddy Capone, "But could happen and will happen are always different things."  Time is working against Marcel as after tonight, every series is over half over, even if they go seven.  Man games won't help now either as Edmonton will get Hagelin back, not next game, but Ottawa and the Rangers are now going at least 6 games.  Marcel also throws out Berglund, who has been great this series but will need to hold down McDonald and Bolland, 8 points between them in just 6 man games.  If it is going to happen, it won't be easy, but it is clear, it must be NOW!
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All Hands on Deck

The Halifax Destroyers (Shawn) put all seven players in action tonight, down 16-10 to Memphis (Jr), where the Machine counter with bullets.  Fleischmann, Fleischmann and Rolston have a line score of 1 1 1 each through three games, 9 in 9 games.  "Those guys won't stop scoring" said a frustrated GM Shawn, "What do I have to do to win in this league?"  Only down a true 6, with the tie-breaker (Philly) currently going their way, GM Shawn does know he isn't out of this series by any stretch, and getting through this with St Louis winning, could be that thing he has to do to win in this league.  "You might not want to face this team in a round or two" said Muddy Capone, "So although many might focus on Briere on Jr's side, Shawn has three Blues that cannot be over-looked."  The winner of this is facing New York (Charlie) with no players yet next round, so it adds to the tension, although GM Tyson in Hamilton will have some say in this all before the night is over as well. 
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Hamilton Feels Heat?

Down 20-17 without the tie-breaker, GM Tyson needs a big night to stay close in his series with New York (Charlie) who have an off-night.  Vrbata, Weiss and Henrique have been quiet for Tyson, just 3 points in 9 player games, for three of the top four teams scorers, but that could all change tonight says Tyson, "I wanted to stay close and win late on the man-games and that is still the plan, just still need to play longer than Detroit."  With GM Charlie having four Wings, he is clearly needing a Friday night win or Tyson will likely get his wish and catch Charlie late.  So to stay close, tonight is a big night for the Hitmen.

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Habs Need Ovie

GM Marcel has lead at the end of even games played, but will likely need Ovechkin to have a big night if Montreal is to keep that going , down now 9-8 to the Flyer (Scott).  Montreal also has Shattenkirk while GM Scott's team counters with their top scorer, Whitney, who had 10 shots on goal and his first point of the series last game out.  Marcel is in a pickle this series, cringing every Canucks game with Philadelphia having 4 Canucks, yet hoping they could win because Marcel himself has Edler and Booth.  If Marcel wins here he could play the NY Rangers (Charlie) who still have no players next round.  GM Scott on the other hand likely staved off his own elimination last night by getting more hockey from Kesler, Bieska, Bieska and Booth, because if Philly wins here the Matchup will be against Hartford (Andrew) who is up 21-8 in their series, "So I need my Canucks next round."  For Scott it is likely win-lose or lose-win depending on if the Canucks come back.  "If the Canucks to out I think I can win in San Fran and lose here, but if the Canucks come all the way back, although San Fran will likely then be out, we could win the Cup on this team as well will likely win this series with a decent shot next round against Hartford" said Scott

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Knights Big Night

Elias, Weiss and Zubrus, down 14-12 versus Semin, so the Green Bay Knights (Ryan) have an opportunity to take back over the lead, something they had at the end of games 1 & 2, but lost by the end of games 3 to Vancouver (Joel).  The focus of this series is always on your opponent, but in ONLY NHLP style, looking ahead is important.  The winner of this series must have Chicago knock out Phoenix is the current West matchups stay in place for neither team can beat Los Angeles (Andrew) with 7 players.  If Chicago comes back, both GM's at least have an opportunity, barring that it will likely take Winnipeg (Mike and Ray) some unforeseeable way to win that series.

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Sedin's Extend Stars Hope

The Sedin's were who we thought they were.  Dominate together as line mates and teammates and the feel of the entire game changed.  "It just felt like the series was going to go much longer" said GM Scott after watching the game, "I think Los Angeles is in real trouble now."  If GM Scott thinks Los Angeles is in trouble, that means he thinks Vancouver can come back and go 7 games or win the series, 3 more games.  That means Daniel and Henrik Sedin will play those games and reek havoc in his NHLP series with San Fran, the remainder of it without their star player Hossa, and he thinks it is Los Angeles who is in real trouble?  "I guess we had better have a big night then" said Scott.  It is expected San Fran, trailing 12-11 to Dallas will have the series lead tonight after Whitney, Sharp, Campbell, Steen and Rolston get done with Pietrangelo and with the Florida tie-breaker, that will be square or a bigger advantage for the Titan.  This series is going the distance and that tie-breaker is a huge part of it, as will be series lengths and players health.  The Stars will hope to keep the series close tonight ahead of Friday's big Detroit and Nashville game 5 where 4 players in Dallas are all in.

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Parity

Half of the 12 NHLP series are within 3 points while 3 are 10+ point differences.  "Things are very close" stated Muddy Capone, "And after tonight every first round NHL team will have played 4 and only 4 games, so things will be clearly still."  The CTR predicted 5 series would be within 3 points and is currently picking 8 of the 12 series correctly.
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Self Destruction

It is one thing to take out your opponent, but you know you truly don't have luck in the NHLP when one of your players take out the other and they are both gone because of it.  That is what Boston (Ryan) has been dealing with since Hagelin elbowed Alfredsson.  Alfredsson left the game and Hagelin was kicked out.  Alfredsson has not returned to the game or series and Hagelin was suspended for 3 games.  With Hagelin out one more game, Boston and Ottawa (Mike and Ray) are now tied at 10-10 heading into tonight with a slight advantage for the Senators to take the lead in the series.  Ottawa has Peverley, Peverley and Johansson, players who have combined for 3 playoff points so far against the two from Parise of the Bruins.  You can't call who will play who next round with two other series only separated by a single point but it seems clear that if Ryan losses this series he can look back at Hagelin's elbow as the likely cause.

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Down and Out

GM Marcel is in a battle in the Central, currently up 15-12 over GM Chad in their Florida-Toronto series.  Marcel will not have Neal in the lineup tonight who is out, while his Penguins will try and avoid being knocked out, down 3-0 in their NHL series.  Ten players in this NHLP series play tonight and with elimination games starting to factor in, this is a big night for both GM's to take control over who is going to win this series. 

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Canucks Lose Neal - Series?

With Vancouver (Joel) leading 11-10 over Green Bay (Ryan), three Canucks players could all play there last game tonight, even though Neal's will be recorded as watching from the press box.  With only 5 players losing Hartnell, Neal and Kennedy in the same night would leave this series down to Semin against Elias, Weiss, Hornqvist, Zubrus and maybe Salo.  With 5 points in 3 games, Neal's suspension may be the most hurtful in the NHLP.  Clearly Joel needs a Pens win or things appear over here in Vancouver.

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Kings Perfect

The LA Kings (Andrew) have all 7 players currently moving onto the second round, the only NHLP team currently in that position.  With a 12-7 lead in their series with Winnipeg (Mike and Ray) and Nashville currently set to play Phoenix in the NHL round two, the Kings would have to have at least 3 players in the Conference Finals.  With no players playing tonight, the Kings can only watch to see how many the co-owners come back with Burrows, Higgins and Stepan trying to get the Jets to within striking distance.  The winner of this series currently is looking like they will get the winner of Vancouver (Joel) - Green Bay (Ryan) where neither GM is projected to be strong based on current results.  "This 5 point lead, 6 with the tie-breaker, could be cut in half tonight" says Muddy Capone. 

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Don't Wanna Hear It

Don't tell GM Scott that his Flyer, losing 6-5 to Montreal (Marcel) could not even beat Calgary (Jr), who only has 3 players in the NHLP playoffs, "I don't wanna talk about that" the GM Said, "We can still come back and win the Cup, I believe that."  Scott said the Kings aren't better than the Canucks, they are just playing better.  "We need Daniel back for Henrik is lost without him and if we get him back, all the lines fall into place" says Scott, "And then it is one game, tonight, is all that matters."  Set to lose his four Canucks, clearly tonight is all that matters to GM Scott in this series.  This series easily goes either way at this point and a Canucks win or two may mean still a potential run for the Flyer.  "Teams are so weak moving forward we could win on the strength of Whitney and Legwand next round" the GM figures, "So we must come back, win this series and see if two players can carry us, as I know they can."  If Montreal wins, GM Marcel could have Shattenkirk against no one from the Rangers (Charlie) next round, as as crazy as this sounds, automatically be in the Conference Finals.

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Who's Being Destroyed?

Memphis (Jr) has a surprising 15-10 point lead to Halifax (Shawn) but is down in man games, players and doesn't have the tie-breaker.  The Machine gunner has been Briere, the only player playing tonight in the series and along with teammate Franzen is facing elimination.  Halifax has at least 14 man games remaining, while the Machine only a guaranteed 8.  "This is the kind of series man games plays a big part of" says Muddy Capone, "Where as Fleischmann's getting 7 could make it for Jr, Shawn has 5 players still in one series where he can have plenty of time to come back and easily win if Memphis starts losing players."  Making things a little more tense, is the winner here could match up against New York (Charlie) who currently is at a team full of zero's next round, giving the winner a free pass if that matchup occurs.  If that happens, a Briere in the NHLP Semi Finals or three Blues as GM Shawn has, those are potential NHLP teams that could win it all at that point.  Will the real Destroyers please stand up?
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Guess What?

These are the free shirts all Flyers fans get at the game tonight, inspired by Sid himself.


Here is How it Works

GM Scott said he has sent out emails to the NHL Statistics Department for the second straight day.  "My record is 2 and 4" said GM Scott, who claims he has emailed his contact at the NHL Statistical Department on 6 occasions with the results being changed twice.  Although not taking credit solely for McDonald's 4th point, he has the email responses for Stumpel's point change several years ago.  "I email the NHL all the time, but only use Steve when I think I have a strong case, so I don't overuse my source" said Scott.  So GM Scott wanted the NHLP boys to take notice of his latest attempt to get Legwand a second point Tuesday night.  "At this moment, Legwand is not credited with an assist on the first Nashville goal on Tuesday night" Scott said, "But I do think he deserves one."  Can he get the play reviewed?  Will an assist be added?  Here goes...

Actual Email:

Steve,

Could you please take a look at a goal for us?  We heard in a number of emails here that Legwand appears to chip the puck to Radulov on the first Nashville goal Tuesday night, in Game 3, at 1:55 of the Third Period. The current goal reads:

 

3rd Period 01:55 - NSH

Gabriel Bourque (3) Snap - ASST: A. Radulov (3)


After reviewing the angles we have here, it appears they might have a case for an added assist.  I know you are the man to get these changes handled, when they are deserved, and we all know how crazy the poolies get this time of year.

Thanks in Advance,

Scott

 

Awaiting Response:

 

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Do Unto Others...

It is nasty!  Sedin gets crunched, GM Scott silently cheers.  Hossa gets crunched, GM Jr silently cheers.  It is hockey in the playoffs and each point can make the difference of your team being forever immortalized or first round casualties.  "I absolutely love seeing my opponents get hurt" said GM Scott, "And any GM that tells you different is lying."  San Fran (Scott) took a 11-10 series lead over Dallas (Jr), but while the Stars may be getting good news if Sedin returns, the Titan may be getting horrible news if Hossa is out long term.  "If Jr was here right now I think I'd just give him a sucker punch" said GM Scott, clearly upset at Jr's teams tactics and cheap shots.  When asked if he thought that would be a wise move on his part, GM Scott did not back down, "I can run faster than he can again, so ya, I'd sucker him.  I mean, after all, their players hit ours when it isn't expected."  Due to man games and players facing elimination, San Fran is still in control of this series, and now adding the tie-breaker with Florida.  The Stars cannot afford to have Vancouver out tonight, for it would be the end of Henrik and Daniel's scoring in the series, with another 4 more players of Jr's already facing elimination on Friday.  Scott's only counter is Salo tonight, so even without Daniel, Dallas should be back in the lead by nights end.  Really?  Sucker punches?

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Oil Slick

A huge 3 night by McDonald has given Edmonton (Scott) a 11-7 lead over the favored Alaska Attack (Marcel).  "Both teams are looking like they will have 7 players going through" says Muddy Capone, "But none of the top four Attack players have yet to record a single point."  With Hagelin suspended, Monday night appeared set for Alaska to take charge in the series but Seguin, Krejci, Perron and Marchand, to the disbelief of everyone just can't get a point, 0 for 12 man games.  The series shirts to the Nashville portion of it tonight, where the Attack have been gaining points, Weber and S. Kostitsyn have outscored Legwand and Suter 3-1 so far.  The Oil offer up the last man game of the game three's tonight with Bolland, so whatever he scores builds on the 4 point lead at the end of even games.  "It was a great night for us" said GM Scott, "But we need to be much better.  You don't keep down top scorers forever, so Marcel has some big potential left in the tank." Unlike Alaska, the Oil already have a second round opponent in St Louis (Tyson), up 13-4 on Calgary (Jr) and pulling away.  A Chicago win tonight would potentially give Edmonton and St Louis 13 players (currently winning their series) in next rounds series if they meet, with the extra player going to the Oil.
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7 of 12 Within 3 - CTR 6-6

As game three's close out tonight, the NHLP is very close most everywhere.  Of the current 12 series, 7 are separated but 3 or less points, while the CTR is currently 6-6, with 6 favorites winning their series.  "The Cup is wide open" says Muddy Capone, "Unless Pittsburgh or Vancouver come back, the top two player filled teams are out and most series next round are in the 3 player or less range, giving everyone a chance."  While Detroit will try and even their series tonight, home teams Chicago and New Jersey hope to take the lead over the visiting teams who are arguably the underdogs in both series.
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Lost It

How else can you explain Backstrom's actions but momentary insanity?  "He lost it" said a very disappointed GM Andrew, fully knowing a suspension must occur or the NHL will have zero credibility moving forward.  "I guess Ovechkin lays the cross check across a players jaw and the NHL does not react" says Muddy Capone, "So Backstrom must have thought he is every bit the star?"  Thought wrong!  Already getting clubbed 15-8, now clearly without Backstrom, GM Andrews Hawks will need to reach deep in a series they are simply being outclassed by a hot Fury.  "I need Ottawa to rebound in a big way for it is bleak" Andrew stated.  Backstrom's crosscheck might just have sealed any hopes for a comeback for Chicago.

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Hitmen in Charge

Another NHLP team that is losing their series, beating a top ranked CTR team, is in charge of their series by way of man games.  Hamilton (Tyson), down 14-12, but only needs two points from Vrbata, Weiss and Henrique tonight to tie up the NY Rangers (Charlie) after game threes.  Charlie has his four Wings playing tonight, so he needs a Wings win and a big night from Datsyuk, Filppula, Cleary and Kronwall, or is going to be losing again at the end of game fours when the games even out again.  A Wings loss could mean it is over anyhow for GM Charlie, as winning the series with zero players next round would only give someone a free pass.  Detroit can't go down 3-1 and expect to win the series, but 2-2 and making it a three game series, leaves GM Charlie in great shape maybe after all with Cup aspirations still clearly within reach.  "We see meaningful games nightly in the NHLP playoffs" states Muddy Capone, "And this game is massive on many fronts in many ways, but maybe none more than the NHLP's top two rated teams, Dallas and New York."

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Stars Need to be Stars Tonight

In the closest NHLP series, 9-8, the Dallas Stars are in bad shape heading into tonight's action in the series.  The Stars send out Zetterberg, Lidstrom, Weber and Radulov, nothing bad about that, but if Nashville wins, all four of these players and both Sedins would be facing elimination next games on.  GM Scott isn't in that boat just let tonight, with his top four players a full game behind and playing game three's, not fours tonight, as is the case for GM Jr.  The Titan, favorites to win the series now that Daniel hasn't played sent out their top four tonight, Hossa, Sharp, Whitney and Campbell.  "Only down one point with those four having an extra game at hand, leaves us in great shape" said GM Scott.  Dallas will have to have their star Daniel Sedin back Wednesday, and as was the case when he practiced a week ago with the team, it is looking good.  "Is it a play on the Canucks part to cause a distraction for the Kings" Muddy Capone wonders, "Or are we really going to see him play his first game with the Stars on Wednesday?"  With the Titan seemingly in control of the series, the Stars need to start aligning of the dreams of winning round one will be over shortly.

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Knights Try and Take Control

The Green Bay Knights (Ryan) send out Elias, Weiss and Zubrus tonight to try and take back the series lead against the Canucks (Joel).  Down 11-9, with the tie-breaker deadlocked and the Knights having the Devils, it would appear tonight could set up the blow to end this series shortly after Wednesday.  The Canucks will counter with Neal, Hartnell and Kennedy, with those players facing elimination from the playoffs, so things are looking bleak for GM Joels Nucks and even worse if they are trailing in points heading into tomorrow.  Green Bay is a three point favorite in the series.

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Email Gets Heard - McDonald Gets 4th Point

"That is why I have 15 different email addresses" stated GM Scott, "Just use different ones each time."  Scott said he was not sure McDonald touched the puck on the first goal Monday night, "I was pretty sure he may have.  It was within an eyelash and maybe a different camera angle would show the play better and I know they have angles I can't see on certain plays."  GM Scott said he would have let it go had the second assist been to Steen (San Fran), "But once it didn't hurt me I had to have them take a look at it."  So of course, emails went out and low and behold, the change was made by the NHL today, McDonald had a 4th point added for the night.  "Hockey is a big business and hockey pools are even offered by the NHL, and all their TV networks, so I always tell them it is very important each point is correct, I could yet win that car."  The 4th point by McDonald means the Edmonton Oil are now up 12-7.  "Best thing I ever had was a direct email to the NHL Head Office Statistics Department, this is their job to review the goals and get the points right" stated GM Scott upon hearing the news of the point change, "This is the playoffs, you have to be the most aggressive GM."  The 4th point was taken from Arnott, of the Cleveland Fury (Tyson), meaning Arnott had one, not two points last night.  Of course McDonald is also playing in Hartford (Andrew) giving them a 16-7 point lead now.  Scott says after the round is over, he can share a point his opponent should have right now, but won't say the goal or the opponent, but said he is not going to bring it up until things are all over, "That is up to my opponents to go after, not me."

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Alfredsson Out!

Well I guess if your guy is going to get suspended, the least you can do is knock out your opponents guy at the same time.  GM Marcel received the news that Alfredsson is out Tuesday with what Ottawa team doctors are saying could be anywhere from one day to a full year.  GM Scott said he feels bad for Alfredsson, but not GM Marcel, "Hey, Alfie won a cup with us and I love the guy, but GM Marcel had this coming for a while" said GM Scott, "Ever since he drafted that weasel Ovechkin."  Bad blood is beginning to boil over in this series where the Flyer have clearly been frustrated with their lack of scoring, down 4-3 to an already short handed Habs squad.  Ovie and Shattenkirk will try and expand the lead tonight before GM Scott puts out his 4 Canucks for what could be the final time in the series on Wednesday. 

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He'ssssss Back!!!!!!

It appears Daniel Sedin is back.  This can only mean great news for Vancouver, in their attempt to come back from 3-0, and GM Jr in Dallas, in his attempt to keep his 9-5 series lead over San Fran.  Daniel has not played a single game for the Stars since he was picked up at the Trading deadline.  Dallas is ranked #1 by the CTR and expected to make the NHLP finals and win by the same CTR, with Daniel in the lineup.  Without Daniel, the Stars likely still won't get out of the first round.  "This is very huge" stated Muddy Capone, "This might be the thing that sparks the Canucks to a comeback in this very low scoring series."  The Titan GM said he doesn't care who was coming back for the Stars, "Our top players have to be better and must have a huge finish to this series, which I do see happening."  Scott has said all along, his top three will outscore GM Jr's top three, but so far it is 4-1 Stars even with Sedin missing the first three games.  Time may be running out on the Titan, but Sedin may be just in time for the Stars.

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Read it and Weep

Down 13-7 to Cleveland (Tyson), GM Andrew is happy Malkin, Read and Read could be down to one game left.  "They are killing us" said Chicago GM Andrew of the 10 points the three have in just three games, "I need the same from Michalek and Michalek."  Cleveland has looked solid and with a solid team shaping up for next round, currently facing Dallas (Jr), who could be without both the Sedins, Tyson has his sights set high.  "We could get out of the Central, the toughest NHLP Conference" said Tyson, 'And two Cups here in just three years, has been the goal since the draft."  It was Malkin who was looked upon to carry this team this playoffs, just as it was Ovechkin two years ago.  Of course Ovechkin went out in round one, and the Fury never looked back after that in winning their first Cup.  "It does have the same feel" said Tyson, "I'll take two Reads over one Malkin."  It was a strong Waiver at the time and it is paying off in a big way as the Fury continue to look strong early on. 
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Why Me?

There are 11 NHLP GM's who are losing their series who are asking themselves, why me?  Well that is because you have two teams that are losing their series with double digits and every losing NHLP team has at least 3 points, while there are the Montreal Canadiens (Marcel), leading their series with only 4 points.  "That is a real classic battle of high scoring teams" said Muddy Capone mockingly, "GM Scott predicted 28 first round points for his Flyer, I think they still can get 8."  With 7 points in the series, 19 fewer than the Rangers (Charlie) - Hitmen (Tyson) series, it is easy to shake your head as a GM with your unfortunate fate of first round match ups.  "Nothing new here at all" says Capone, "It is a classic example of the right matchup and every single season we see a top team go out in the NHLP first round that has no business going out, other than just plain old fashion bad luck."
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Neal Suspended Next?

Be interesting to see if Neal is suspended for his actions twice on Sunday.  GM's Marcel in Florida, up 13-11 and Joel in Vancouver, down 9-7, both stand to lose a key player, likely just for one game.  The NHL has likely had to look at more videos this past weekend than any in years.  There is all kinds of pressure for each non-suspension is setting a precedence this year for what happens next game or next round.  Odds are Neal is gone, just one, but gone in very key NHLP series.

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 Hagelin Gets Three Big Games

What is bad news for GM's Ryan and Scott is clearly good news for GM's Marcel and Mike & Ray.  Hagelin received a whopping three games for his nasty elbow to Alfredsson's head, something that leaves GM Scott scratching his head.  "It was a bone-head play, really dumb" said Scott, "Hagelin deserves at least three games, maybe more in my estimation."  So why is the GM scratching his head?  "I just don't get the consistency of the suspensions" Scott explained, "There have been a number of guys not suspended, like Ovechkin and Weber, who both should have got a game at least.  You sucker a guy twice to the face while standing and 5 more blows to his head while he falls and attempts covers up and only get a game?  I guess Hagelin needs to talk with his fist and not his elbows."  Sour grapes or good point?  Scott asks, "If it was the same cross check to Ovechkin's chin, is there a suspension?"  Hard to say, but what is clear is, this is a huge suspension and Edmonton (Scott) and Boston (Ryan) who could pay dearly for it by the time their series end.  In an ironic twist, although the injury helped Marcel in Alaska against Scott, because of the suspension, it could hurt him in Montreal, against Scott, if Alfredsson is lost tonight.

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Machine Firing on all Cylinders

Let's be honest.  You enter the playoffs with 5 players, against 7 and arguable your top player may be hurt, Briere.  That isn't a combination that usually spells victory, but do not tell that to the Memphis Machine (Jr).  A great start has GM Jr's team up 12-7 and while Halifax (Shawn) has 4 man games at hand, GM Shawn must be at least a little discouraged.  "This is a big series, Halifax could have three Blues next round" Muddy Capone explains, "This is the best Blues team and to go out, when favored would be a tough one if the Blues did go all the way."  It is a battle and both GM's want it badly.  Briere is playing awesome, second in playoff scoring with 5 points for the Machine.  As things sit now, Memphis could match up with Hartford (Andrew) who may only have 2 or 3 players next round if they can win, so the opportunity here is very huge with Cup aspirations on the line.  "Any first round winning team right now has a great shot" Capone feels, "With Pittsburgh and Vancouver players gone, if that occurs, things are so very wide open."  Things are starting to become clearer and as they do, one can see this is a big series, as to who will eventually win the East.

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Attack Time

GM Marcel knows the door is now open for Alaska, in what could so easily be a Cup run for Marcel with three Bruins,  two Preds and two Blues.  "We could have 7 guys in round two" Marcel said in a text, "And now with Hagelin out we need our Bruins to score to win."  Marcel is right, his Bruins have done nothing, zero points in 6 man games, "Even two points and we are winning there" Marcel said.  Where this series had looked like it would be determined by the series length of either the Rangers (Scott has three) and the Bruins (Marcel has three), neither series has an edge and either series can go at most 5 more games, so it doesn't matter how many you play if your guys never score.  GM Scott knows how big this is.  "The Oil could easily have seven players next round as well" Scott says, "And we know if we win, we will play Tyson in St Louis, that is already fact, and Tyson looks down to 6 players or less.  This is our Cup, I feel we can go all the way, but with this suspension, points now are magnified."  The mood is very tense and the games intense, as the PVR's work overtime so key games can be watched.  Right now it is every game and every point is the difference between winning it all and being out.  Both these GM's understand how big their team going through, could be for both.  As everything continues shaping up, these teams are so strong, either could march through and win it all.  Not many NHLP teams are set to have 7 players next round, and both Alaska and Edmonton are among them, so you know things are only starting to get ramped up, with each game bigger than the previous one and each point one necessary step closer to the Cup.
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Phil - Pit Leading Way

A quick look at the NHL playoff statistics and you can see one thing that glares out at you:  Dustin Brown does not belong.  Of the top 14 NHL playoff scorers, only one is not from Philadelphia or Pittsburgh, and that of course is Brown with 5 points.  Leading the way is Giroux with 8 points in just three games while 13 players in that series have at least 4 points in 3 games.  "If you loaded up on these players, you are praying for 7 games" says Muddy Capone, "Every player on both teams will be in the top 30 by then."
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Sedin Rocked But Rock

If you caught the hit, you know what we are talking about already, but if you missed it here it is.  Henrik Sedin was absolutely killed.  "When I saw he had no legs left, I knew he was gone for sure" said GM Scott, "But he came back and played a two and a half minute long shift shortly thereafter."  Scott admitted he was shocked that Sedin was that tough, that strong, when most any player in the league would have been out of the game.  GM Jr sighed a huge relief but clearly knows Vancouver must be better, "I expected the Kings to shut the door, but not completely" said Jr who is as surprised as everyone, except GM Matt of course, who told everyone who would listen that Los Angeles was going to surprise everyone in the playoffs.  "Matt knew it" said GM Scott, "The only problem is, in his own playoff pool, he didn't take one King but loaded up on Canucks."  We guess he only knew it at the NHLP Trading Deadline.

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Double the Loss

The Boston Bruins (Ryan) might be facing injury and suspension problems over the next couple games.  Hagelin gave a clear elbow, ton in this case, his teammate, Alfredsson who did not return and may be concussed.  "17 other players on the ice and he takes out our own guy" said a clearly unhappy Ryan.  Up a point with Parise to put game two's to bed, the door could swing open for GM's Mike and Ray in Ottawa if both their opponents miss the next game.  The Bruins will try and stop Kopitar tonight while they await their own players fate in the next 24 hours.

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Leave Him Pulled

Maybe Chicago should just leave their goalie on the bench.  Back to back games, with the goalie on the bench, Chicago scored last second goals, sending both games into overtime and leaving Phoenix with a 1-1 series split.  With NJ-Florida yet to have an outcome for game two, all other series are 1-1 except Pittsburgh and Vancouver, two favorites, who must win today or face having to win 4 straight.  "Those two teams going out changes a lot of things in the NHLP" states Muddy Capone, "Those are core teams from the West and East that GM's built around."  Capone feels things will be completely wide open without those two top seeded teams, making Sunday a crucial day for all GM's.

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Hitmen Extend and Hold

A big day in the Hamilton (Tyson) and NY Rangers (Charlie) series.  Hamilton up 9-8 with two games at hand today from Weiss and Henrique, plus the tie-breaker with Chicago heading home tied at one.  GM Charlie puts his entire team back on the ice, knowing his dreams of a first Cup will take a shit-kicking if Crosby and Kunitz are down to a potential single man game each after tonight.  The Hitmen have scored point for point from Dupuis and Kennedy, so are in one of those tough cheering spots today.  "Both GM's need Pittsburgh here, but Tyson has the best Philadelphia built team in the NHLP in St Louis, so it is easy to know who he is actually cheering for here" explained Muddy Capone, knowing that if Pittsburgh goes out so many other teams in the NHLP take serious hits, Tyson gets a double bonus of sorts in this series.

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A Titanic Hurt

GM Jr has had enough with GM Scott running his mouth, "RPM, RPM, it gets tiring after a while" said the GM.  If Vancouver can't come back and win tonight, Henrik's season will be about as close to being over as Daniels, and the iceberg break apart for the Titan in this series.  The Stars come hard Sunday with their top 6 players, already up 6-4.  While the Titan GM sometimes doesn't know when to shut up, his position was helped Saturday with just 5 seconds left in the Chicago game.  Sharp scores, or Chicago is down 2-0, giving Sharp the first point from the proclaimed RPM, but also giving the entire line an extra man game each, when the Hawks won in OT.  With Campbell having a game at hand, the series is as close in score as was likely expected by the CTR, but with Sedin's injury and not playing, San Fran should actually be a 5 point favorite but are losing by 2.  "Things are nasty here in a hurry" said Muddy Capone, "Apparently the GM's aren't talking, rumors of one actually going as far as blocking the others emails."  "I don't know how an email from the same person can go to junk mail 16 straight times" said GM Scott but Jr insists he knows why it keeps doing that, "It is a G-mail issue."  Someone here is going to get the Titanic type hurt and that is a very sinking type feeling.

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Great Shape Toknight

GM Ryan is in great shape in Green bay heading into Sunday.  Down 6-5 with the tie-breaker, the team that traded Crosby for Elias and Weiss, has those players looking to not only play today, but get more playoff play then Crosby might end up with.  Joining the two are Zubrus to round out game two's, so Ryan is looking like he is in the lead here.  Vancouver (Joel) sends out his game three's Neal, Kennedy and Hartnell, but a Flyers win and Joel might be down to life support, already only having just 5 guys in this series.  The winner of this currently would get Los Angeles (Andrew) who right now could have a dreadful team yet next round, so it is a big day in a big series.  The Knights could yet have a nice second round team, maybe 5 players if things unfold his way and that might be enough to go right to the Conference finals.  "It is the beauty of how important everything right now is" said Muddy Capone, "One game you think you are out of it and the next game you have hope."  Well, two GM's looking for their first Championships are hoping today goes their way.

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Flame Thrower

Giroux had an amazing night that would have helped any NHLP team take over their series, but it was GM Tyson in St Louis that went from a 1-1 battle with Calgary (Jr) to a commanding 8-1 lead.  With only 3 players, Calgary hung on about as long as most would expect, game ones, but is now extinguished.  The Blues have to be completely jacked.  With four current players moving on, their current round two opponent wouldn't have enough to beat them, maybe putting this team in the semis or finals on a Flyers run.  You have to be excited.  With some of the pressure of this series now gone, Tyson can watch his opponents more closely and his other two NHLP series where the heat is a little more tense.

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Vrbata Questionable

After taking a big hit and holding his shoulder as he left the ice, Vrbata is listed as questionable for tonight's match, not news GM Tyson was hoping to hear in Hamilton.  Tied 8-8 in a battle with the New York Rangers (Charlie), with Charlie completed game two's, This series should go the Hitmen's way by the end of Game two's, with Vrbata, Turris, Weiss and Henrique a game behind.  Charlie was able to get a huge Red Wings win, giving him a full 4 more player games for games five but has no players yet leading their series.  Hamilton isn't sitting pretty, with only 2 players set to move on and the one is Vrbata.  That could be two more players than Hartford (Andrew) his current second round opponent.

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Down 5-2 and Feeling Good!

Although down by the second biggest deficit in the NHLP, a total of 3 points, GM Scott says the San Fran Titan are feeling good about themselves.  "We'll be throwing seven different kinds of smoke at them today" said GM Scott, "And fully expect to have the series lead when the smoke clears tonight."  The RPM line never revved above 000 but Scott says that is about to change.  "Smith gets 40+ his way game in and game out, 43 in game one, he can't and won't stop our attack forever" is the GM's logic, "We'll be at least at 210 tonight."  If that is the case it leaves Steen, Rolston and Campbell to outscore Pietrangelo by one for the lead.  It is never good to be losing, but to also feel good about it?

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Official Hurricane

These things do change in a hurry.  We all know that.  Yesterday a Tropical Storm and today a Category 1.  "No one is running for cover just yet" said Muddy Capone, "But we see it taking shape and we are watching it closely."  Carolina (Joel) is down 5-4, but with a big day ahead, 3 man games at hand and potentially 6 players moving on against no one in round two, the Hurricanes could be destructive in the near future.  Joel will need the Sharks to keep going today, another shocking first round team that could be up 2-0 and set to capitalize going home.  That will be followed Sunday with the Devils who will try and do that same, sweep on the road.  "There may not be any players in this years NHLP Finals" says Muddy Capone, "And if this keeps up, the Semis will be one on ones."  Well, easy now Muddy!  Who says every team will have at least one left by then?

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Tough Spots For Top NHL Seeds

You go and lose two at home and you expect to win the series?  Are you kidding me?  If you don't sweep in the road, you are out or down 3-1 heading home to game 5.  The number of teams that come back from 3-1 heading home, I could count on one hand.  Long-shot, at the very best.  So Vancouver and Pittsburgh, the best of the West and second best in the East and really going to change the hockey pools this year.

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Flames Flicker But Burn Brighter

GM Tyson has thrown out his first 7 players for a game and came away with a single point in St Louis.  GM Jr has played Kelly and the score is tied 1-1.  The lone problem for the Flames is they don't have 6 man games at hand, they have two.  With Kovalchuk and Jovanovski to play game one tonight, Calgary should be ahead in the series after even games, even though an 18 point underdog in the series.  "You just can't overcome being such a huge underdog in one game" said Muddy Capone, "But certainly staying close with each passing game suddenly can make for something memorable."  A big 3 points from Kovie tonight and suddenly this series will have our attention, but three players to outscore seven in a complete round, is something that has never happened in the NHLP.  The one time David did beat Goliath, GM Glen had three players (Marleau, Whitney (pit) and Kronwall) scored 12 points in San Diego in 2008 to knock out Los Angeles (Andrew) with 6 players (Alfredsson, Spezza, Selanne, Michalek, Kunitz and S. Niedermayer) by a 12-9 final.  In history, two 2 man teams have beaten 4 player teams, but never less than 50% of your opponents players, so this is new territory in terms of all-time NHLP upsets.  Calgary is only an 18 point underdog, not quite the 23 (33-10) that the Griffins overcame.   The CTR is planning a whole statistical look it's history, an entire page of stats and figures, but to Muddy Capone's knowledge, 10 point underdogs may only have 2 or 3 wins, ever.  Calgary has a long ways to go, but looks good to be in the lead after game ones.

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Kings Ready for Round Two

GM Andrew's Kings are looking strong for Round Two of the playoffs with all seven players on winning teams in round one.  One problem, they are losing 3-1 early.  The Kings are two point favorites so the panic isn't setting in just yet, but as the previous article showed us, these same Kings had the biggest choke in NHLP history.  Hardly fair to bring up just one series for a team that does have an NHLP Champions (2002) and managed by a GM of which no other has more Cups.  "I am a firm believer of how hard it is to win" said Andrew, "I don't think too many guys truly understand what it takes."  There is little doubt absolutely everything, things we don't really even think about or will notice, have to go perfect for the winning team.  That is one reason, in a long list, that makes this the best hockey pool in the world.  For this years Kings, with three Nashville players, just winning round one might be the most important of them all if Nashville ended up going to the NHL finals.
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Zetterberg "Headaches"

The Dallas Stars (Jr) are doing all they can to blow their first round series against San Fran (Scott), including hurting each other.  It is bad enough Daniel is ruled out of game two after a setback, but Weber clubbed NHLP teammate Zetterberg at the conclusion of game one and Zetterberg has had headaches since.  "He passed the baseline testing, so it isn't a full concussion" said Muddy Capone.  GM Scott didn't take the hit of his competitor's player lightly, "I sent emails from all my 15 fake accounts, complaining to the NHL about the cheap shot and demanding a Weber suspension."  Weber only received a fine, but the NHL did auto respond with a thank you for contacting the league and the email will be forwarded to the appropriate department.  "I thought my newest email, Shan14ever would at least get a real response" said the GM.  "Shanny never did have the balls, even when he played in the NHLP" stated GM Scott, "And that LA Cup he has his name on, was actually won by Sean Hill."  Dallas is going to have to try and not kill each other, and avoid another video in front of Shanahan, the rest of the way, if they are to make it through the first round without their second best player Daniel Sedin.

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Briere's Back Strong

The Memphis Machine (Jr) had put themselves in a very unlike GM Jr type hole, down 5 players to 7 to start the playoffs.  With Fleischmann going twice tonight and Briere back strong with a strong back, the Machine are clear favorites to lead at the end of game ones.  Not a huge upset here points wise, down a predicted 4 points with Briere playing, a big 2 or 3 from Fleischmann tonight and the Destoryers will be asking who sunk their battleship!
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Canadian Teams Winning 7 of 8

NHLP Canadian based teams are up in 7 of the 8 first round series, with only Ottawa (Mike and Ray) losing so far in the first round.  When the Edmonton Oil (Scott) won last year it ended an 18 year drought for Canadian teams winning in the NHLP and made Edmonton the back to back winner of Canadian cups, just 18 years apart.  The lone other two Canadian based NHLP teams to win Cups were Cups one and two, Vancouver (Raymond) and Montreal (Edward). 

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Tropical Storm Update

Carolina (Joel), a 9 point underdog has the lead after game ones and still has 30 goal scorer Clarkson and Sykora yet to play.  Although we aren't call for a perfect storm any time soon, the Whalers (Andrew) are looking like they are in for a battle after all.  With every other team in the East showing so much red, the Canes could match up with any of them in round two and likely go straight through in a cake walk, after game ones anyhow.  Then again, we though this would also be a cakewalk!  We'll leave this as a Tropical Storm for now.
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Apologize?  Go Fuck Yourself

In the world of hockey in the past week.  Milbury:  "I was out of line."  LA Kings Tweet:  "Our Franchise is sorry for upsetting the people of Vancouver."  Schneider:  "Sorry to Edmonton."  Fuck that shit.  This is the beauty of the NHLP, we never apologize to anyone for anything.  "GM's have been dumping on teams, players and other GM's for years" said Muddy Capone, "And the Yearbook and CTR just tells it like it is."  When did everyone become so sensitive?  "I don't know but the emails from GM Jr have dried up" stated GM Scott, "So it must be playoff hockey, NHLP style, a little tense in Dallas."  Always trying to start something, GM Scott said no one is ever sorry in the NHLP, making the league a wonderful sports experience.  Scott said "You don't get congratulations when you win, for the losing GM is to pissed off to say anything for a month, unless of course you beat GM Charlie, then you get the text, 'GO FUCK YOURSELF'"  Apologize?  For what, this is the NHLP!

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No Pressure, Yet, For GM Tyson

 
The 2010 NHLP Champion, in his rookie season as a GM, is feeling no pressure to go out and win again.  "I think I have gotten better each year as a GM" explained Tyson, "Building better teams with better chances each time."  The CTR supports this claim of Tyson's, as he has been the only GM in the league to have a better year, than his previous, over the past three seasons, ranking him 6th overall amongst his peers.  This season his three teams all ranked in the top 13, being the second GM to hear his name three times when read from the top.  "He has made some teams that you cannot argue have legitimate shots are winning" says Muddy Capone, "And GM Andrew has told us a hundred times over, what more can you ask for but a shot at winning it all?"  Out of the gates, leading in Hamilton (over CTR #2, Rangers), and tied in Cleveland and St. Louis in the early going of the NHLP playoffs, Tyson might yet get three teams in the final 12 and for any GM that is a wicked accomplishment.  But, there's no pressure just yet!

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Toronto Strong Start

GM Chad was please last night to see LA's win and his 4-1 lead over Florida (Marcel).  "Playing from the lead is so important" Chad noted, "Especially when you are the underdog."  A six point underdog, Toronto will try to keep the lead tonight when Florida counters with Richards, Bergeron and Dubinsky against the Leafs Oshie and Morrison.  Toronto lost in last years NHLP finals.

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"I'm Extremely Happy"

GM Scott said he was extremely happy to "Just hold serve" in San Fran on night one of the playoffs.  Down 2-0 to Dallas (Jr) with a 6-1 man game advantage would be considered a Titan win on the night of missed opportunities for GM Jr.  "Sedin out, Zetterberg gets robbed, it wasn't Jr's night to start" said Muddy Capone.  The two GM's have been keeping in touch after each game, a different feeling said Scott, "Just kind of dissecting what is happening as things go with Jr and Andrew, but things will get very tense, we all know that."  San Fran will try and intensify things tonight with their RPM Line of Whitney, Sharp and Hossa, a line that can only last one round together, but an important round for San Fran says their GM, "If the Hawks did make a run to the NHL finals, it means nothing if we are cheering for another NHLP GM, because all hope was lost in round one."

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Ovie and Alfie

GM Marcel said the CTR had it all wrong with his Habs, "Ovechkin and Alfredsson will score 16 first round points between them and how can Philadelphia score like that?"  Marcel just might be right.  The Flyer will likely struggle to score but with Horton's crushing injury the Canadiens don't have many options for scoring of their own, outside of Ovie and Alfie.  "If they don't score, and both guys can, this may be a nail biter" said Muddy Capone, "But if Marcel is calling them to get 16, he will win if they achieve those numbers."  Alfredsson and Ottawa are expected to ramp up the offense and try and get the Rangers into a scoring series over a defensive battle and so far this season that is what has happened when these teams have met.  Tonight many will be watching to see if this is a real potential NHL upset or if Ottawa is just going to do what is expected, roll over in 5, maybe ending Alfredsson's career at the same time.  "I think we can surprise some people" said Marcel.

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Weiss or Henrique?

It started out as a good battle, 3-3 after the first night of the NHLP playoffs, but either GM's Tyson or Charlie can be happy with the NHL outcomes.  "After tonight, all 11 players to have played could be in the red" said Muddy Capone, referring to the fact that the players in this series will be playing on teams currently losing their series, thus not being around in round two for the winning team, crucial to actually winning the NHLP Championship in the end.  We do know that must change on Friday for Hamilton (Tyson) for players Weiss and Henrique are matched up, so one of those teams have to win that game, putting that player in a position to move on (the green).  As far as GM Charlie goes in New York, winning would be nice, but losing all 6 players kind of defeats that purpose altogether.  "He isn't sitting off in the corner by himself" Capone suggests, "A few GM's are already feeling the heat with the Flyers and Kings winning last night, so he isn't alone."  With Vrbata and Turris playing tonight, Hamilton will try and reverse the colors and also take the lead in this series.

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Top Tens Set to Battle in "Defining Moment?"

In the only NHLP series featuring two CTR top ten rated teams, Alaska #7 (Marcel) and NHLP defending champions, Edmonton #3 (Scott) are really set to kick off their series tonight.  Knotted at 0-0 this is a series of two teams, the Bruins (Seguin, Krejci and Marchand) for the Attack and the Rangers (Gaborik, Callahan and Hagelin) for the Oil.  The long and short of them, may just be the long and short of this series, when it is all over.  Both NHLP and NHL teams have outstanding opportunities to win and run deep into the playoffs, even winning it all.  "Last year cannot be a defining moment for myself" said GM Scott of the importance of this teams success, "Sure we won and it was special, but it wasn't domination."  The Oil GM feels this team is one he can truly be proud of and can accomplish so many things at one time, with one more Championship.  "Winning a 5th Championship and being the first to win three team cups, on back to back years, on a team with players we targeted, on teams we wanted players from" explained Scott, "This can be our defining moment in the NHLP, as a team, as a GM."  Those were goals all season, as per the teams slogan, "Thirst for First."  The Oil GM said he targeted 5 players on this team and the other two, guys he wanted very badly, just presented themselves.  Being called a drunk for making the Gaborik trade and having GM's look and laugh when he grabbed a concussed McDonald, are little things that make winning sweeter for Scott, "This is what feeds my soul."  Scott said he wanted Hagelin so badly he intentionally passed on Perron and J. Staal, players that were his in place of Hagelin had he wanted, and he had his eyes on Legwand and Suter long before grabbing them both off the Waiver wire.  "I just could not believe others kept leaving them there" said Scott, "And Gabby, I believe he was the biggest missed opportunity in this league and you can never over-pay, even when completely drunk out of your skull, for a player that can lead you right to the very thing we have all set out to win."  Adding Bolland and Callahan at the Trading Deadline, even though it cut things so close Edmonton only made the playoffs by 4 points, just put the Oil over the top the GM is convinced, "Dave Bolland is a great playoff performer, he is my Claude Lemieux, a player that I know I can count on for 4 first round points, maybe 6, but also the type of player Championship teams must have, that someday might actually have his jersey retired in the rafters in Edmonton along side Mario Lemieux."  Winning this season in Edmonton might guarantee Bolland that spot and will clearly be GM Scott's most defining moment in the NHLP.

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Dallas - Sedin Not In Lineup

Maybe it is a curse to have the CTR #1 team or predicted to go to the finals and win it all.  GM Jr got the news today he will have to win, least right now, without Daniel Sedin.  It has been reported he is out of Game one of Jr's series with San Fran (Scott).  Jr starts with 5 players tonight versus only Salo so the Stars will be taking the lead in the series regardless tonight.
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Briere is a Machine

The Memphis Machine (Jr), a 4 point first round underdog with Briere in the lineup are happy to hear he is playing tonight.  "This changes the outlook here quite a bit" said Muddy Capone, "Least now it is very possible Memphis wins this series."  Halifax (Shawn) sits idle and watches tonight as the Machine start off the series with Franzen and Briere.

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Jets to Start Hard

GM's Mike and Ray have built some solid teams over their first three seasons, learning the NHLP as they went.  Underdogs to start this years playoffs in Winnipeg, the co-owners start with 6 players tonight and look to take a big lead on GM Andrew's Kings.  The Kings start with their three Preds, Erat, A. Kostitsyn and A. Kostitsyn in a series Andrew is barely the favorite and won't be if Phoenix only gets 4 games.  A quick start is vital in short NHLP playoff series.

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CTR Best All-In Wednesday

The CTR #1 and #2 teams have 12 of their 13 players starting Wednesday, looking for quick starts to bury their opponent.  GM Jr was talking about his Big Playoff Night today, in the 2010 playoffs, getting 17 points in one night, burying GM Joel as quick as it started.  That was Jr's CTR #7 ranked New Jersey Devils, so what might he do tomorrow with the 1st rank Stars?  The CTR #2 Rangers (Charlie) have all 6 of their players playing to start the playoffs, looking to break the lucky 13 string Muddy Capone stated, "The CTR #13 team has won and lost in the NHLP finals the last two seasons and this year GM Tyson has that number in Hamilton, the Rangers underdog opponents in round one."  As a general rule of thumb, you can take the teams CTR Predicted point total (say the Rangers at 33) and divide it by 6 to give you what each team should score per round to hit their CTR prediction, so the Rangers at 33/6 = 5.5.  If Charlie gets 5 or 6 points tomorrow he is about on pace to hit 33, which would be a bad thing for Tyson who is expected to get 27/6 = 4.5 points per game.  "It is an easy way to know how your opponent and you are doing" says Muddy Capone, "So tomorrow night there is an actual number for you to cheer for if you are playing these teams, other than zero of course!"

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GM Jr Wins Third NHLP Championship?

If you are not GM Jr, you likely aren't too thrilled with the CTR prediction of Dallas winning the Championship on the strength of the two Sedins.  "All NHLP teams are in the same boat" Muddy Capone figures, "They all need everything to go perfectly their way, only the CTR #1 team usually doesn't need any upsets for that to happen."  GM Jr has the top team and as good a shot as any.  The Stars are built around all Western players, something that has seldom ever worked in the NHLP, kind of like the CTR predicting the eventual winner.  "We can only go on the statistics" said Capone, "Otherwise we'd be guessing."  Well, as always, your guess might be as good as ours, but least we are basing ours on something, other then a flat out guess.  If it happens, it will be congratulations GM Jr on his third NHLP Championship and the first team in league history (Dallas) to win a third team Cup.

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GM Marcel Goes - If Alaska Wins Round One?

It is just never easy.  Another team expected to make the NHLP finals, that is only winning round one on a pick.  If Alaska does win round one, GM Marcel is expected to win the next two rounds, 28-15 versus Los Angeles (Andrew) and in the Semis versus Green Bay (Ryan) 7-2.  Ryan will have got there beating out arch rival GM Tyson's Blues 19-13 before running out of players, down to only Salo for the semi matchup.  Alaska, just as GM Andrew in the East, with a Rangers and Canucks final, would be at zero players left, so if the CTR is right, Marcel will need St Louis to beat Vancouver in the NHL semi-finals to change history, even if only allowing Andrew to then win in Hartford instead of Jr in Dallas.

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Hartford Represents East in Finals?

GM Andrew's seven straight losses to GM Scott in the NHLP playoffs will end this year in the second round of the East conference playoffs where the Whalers will beat Scott's Flyer 23-17 in a 5 on 5 battle.  GM Charlie will give Andrew a go in the Conference Finals, losing 20 to 16 after knocking out Halifax 16-13 in round two of the NHLP playoffs.  Hartford will be in the finals but will be out of players based on the NHL Rangers and Canucks making the NHL finals.

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Dallas Wins Central?

GM Jr's Dallas Stars are predicted to make the NHLP finals in a very close semi-finals against Florida (Marcel) 15-14.  "If Florida beats them out in the semi-finals, they will win the Cup" predicted the CTR.  Florida is expected to knock out Cleveland (Tyson) in round two, 22 -18 before matching up with Jr's Stars in the Central's finals with Richards, Dubinsky and Neal.  Dallas will have to get through a couple tough rounds, namely round one where their predicted Cup could be taken from them at the hands of the San Fran Titan, were Dallas is only expected to win on the pick.  This would match Dallas up against Boston (Ryan) and in a 22-15 battle, Dallas goes to the semi's, beating Marcel and onto the finals, where they will eventually win the NHLP Championship with the two Sedins.

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NHL First Round Matchups

Eastern Conference
Ottawa @ NY Rangers
Washington @ Boston
New Jersey @ Florida
Philadelphia @ Pittsburgh


Western Conference
Los Angeles @ Vancouver
San Jose @ St Louis
Chicago @ Phoenix
Detroit @ Nashville


NHLP Tie-Breakers
Florida (Marcel), Montreal (Marcel) and Alaska (Marcel) - Choice of the 1 and 8 NHL Seeds
Ottawa @ NY Rangers or Los Angeles @
Vancouver

Boston (Ryan),
Hartford (Andrew) and St Louis (Tyson) - Choice of the 2 and 7 NHL Seeds Washington @ Boston or San Jose @ St Louis

Dallas (Jr), Hamilton (Tyson) and Green Bay (Ryan) - Choice of the 3 and 6 NHL Seeds
New Jersey @ Florida or Chicago @
Phoenix

Cleveland (Tyson),
Memphis (Jr) and Winnipeg (Mike & Ray) - Choice of the 4 and 5 NHL Seeds
Philadelphia @ Pittsburgh or Detroit @
Nashville

*These teams tie-breaking picks must come from the teams listed.  As the home team in their NHLP series, they have the option to pick from either of the two series posted.  The pick acts as the tie-breaker should their NHLP series be tied at the end of the first round.  Failing to make a pick means they get the default pick (listed in green) which is the highest point getting team in that group.  Picks must be in before 2 hours before the first playoff game, so no lost emails can occur and there is time for picks to be posted.

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CTR #1 - Dallas

GM Jr has the top playoff team, Dallas, and the bottom playoff team, Calgary.  It only takes one team to win it all and the Stars are going to be extremely hard to beat.  Who else does the CTR think is strong?  Check it out, the 2012 Final CTR.

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CTR Predictions:  9 of 12 Within 6

The CTR has not completed their playoff analyzes but has predicted the potential scores of all playoff matches (on the playoff page), and 9 of the 12 first round battles are within 6 points.  "It will make for some good battles" says Muddy Capone.  Even with only 6 players, the New York Rangers (Charlie) are expected to be the highest scoring first round team at 33, one of 5 teams expected to reach 30+ points, with both the San Fran Titan (Scott) and Dallas Stars (Jr), head to head in round one, and both predicted to hit 30.  That series along with the Rangers and Hamilton (Tyson) are both expected to hit 60 points, for the rounds top scoring series.  St Louis (Tyson) is expected to lay a beating on Calgary (Jr) by 18 points in the only series the CTR has at 10+ points difference.  The Yearbook is doing research on years gone by, that will be posted here later in the playoffs, on how accurate the CTR playoff points are compared to winners and final scores of the NHLP teams.  The CTR has ran about 80% success rate over the past 4 seasons, so of the 24 first round series a good over/under bet would be the CTR is in the ball park on about 19 series, leaving room for at least 5 surprises.

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Quotes

The CTR loves to hear for you this time of year.  If you have anything, nice, not so nice or just down right mean to say about your opponent, hell, even your own team, send it in.  The Yearbook will be completing the playoff predictor and series write-ups for all series....and if you say nothing, don't be shocked if you are not heard.  It is much more enjoyable to hear from you.  Who do you think will win?  Who will come out of the Central, East, West?  What team is going to be upset in the first round?  Where is the CTR wrong?  What you think your opponent has done in building his team?  Trash talk?  Send it in...

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Season 2011/12

Playoffs 2010/11

Season 2010/11

Playoffs 2009/10

Season 2009/10

Season 2008/09