GM Scott Wins 5th Cup
The 2013-14 NHLP Season ended with GM Scott winning his 5th NHLP
Championship in his 24th season as a GM. No NHLP GM has been on
the run GM Scott has been on, winning his 4th Cup over the past 11 NHLP Seasons,
in a time no other GM has won more than 2. The San Fran Titan
dominated the NHLP playoffs with a record setting 105 points, a team
Scott has already said is his best work yet. "You don't get the
opportunity to have your favorite players all on one team and then go
out and win it all" said the joyous Scott, "It will be hard to ever
duplicate a team this solid." The NHLP Finals were closer than
anyone expected with GM Andrew drawing to within a point in the final
game before the Titan ended up winning 8-4-3 with GM Ryan's bid for his
first Cup falling short after another incredible season. "So many
times I was out" said Scott, "San Jose had the Kings down 3-0, St Louis
and Colorado had Chicago and Minnesota down 2-0" said Scott referring to
the first round when it looked like the Titan could lose all 7 players,
but turned it around and moved on with 7 players. "Game after game
this team was against the wall" Scott explained, "We kept somehow
finding a way, getting a break and eventually come back round after
round to win." They all are memorable, but it won't be any time
soon the 2014 NHLP Champions will be forgotten, going down as one of the
best teams in league history.
How The Titan Formed
The San Fran Titan groundwork for winning the NHLP Championship started
at the Draft. Drafting 35th overall the Titan got their hands on
the previous seasons NHL scoring leader, something GM Scott found hard
to believe at the time. St Louis was just ignored and he and
Iginla in the 1-2 spots, with the seasons they had, really set the
season in motion. The rest of the drafted team was D. Brown,
Wheeler, Berglund, Tlusty and Glencross, nothing that resembled the
finished product. The Titan made Transactions 3, 4 and 5 of the
young season, adding key piece Steen in a Waiver Pickup given the team
St. Louis - Iginla - Steen. "I didn't want to keep any of them but
I knew Iginla and Steen would be hard to replace" said Scott.
After weeks of negotiations, on March 26th, just three days prior to the
NHLP Deadline, the pieces really started to fall into place. In a
major deal with Boston (Ryan) Scott got the guys he wanted for St Louis
and his points, giving Ryan 20 points and brining in Doughty and Keith,
adding them with Steen, Iginla and Doughty. Now at the Deadline GM
Scott made two huge deals, basically Iginla for Toews in a two for two
and then Steen straight up for Kopitar. The Titan then went to the
minors for Voynov and Coyle and the 2014 NHLP Champions were complete.
"I loved Steen, Iginla, Doughty, Doughty and Keith" said GM Scott, "But
how can you pass on Toews and Kopitar", deals that ultimately helped GM
Scott's Titan win their second team Cup.
There is no doubt in this world that Kreider did not touch the puck he
was given credit for touching. His phantom assist cost GM Andrew a
point in the NHLP Finals, something GM Scott laughed at, "It's karma is
what it is" said the GM, "Clearly McDonagh never touched the puck on his
first point of the series, so knowing the NHL as we do, they won't take
this point from Kreider even though frame by frame clearly, CLEARLY,
shows he did not touch the puck at all." The Rangers were able to
push the series on but a 6-4 or 6-3 difference is huge if the Rangers
can win next game and keep the series alive. No official points
were recorded in the game and now the teams are back in Los Angeles
Friday night in game 5 where the NHL Kings will hope to win it all on
Place your mouse at 23 seconds and click over and over and watch it a
few times. I slowed it down frame by frame several times and in no
way does Kreider touch it, taking a point from GM Andrew as McDonagh
loses a point. It is extremely sad that they don't get these
correct. It matters big time. Funny but in GM Chad's pool,
it would have broken the tie for first place as well. This is one
of three the NHL has wrong but they are refusing to look at them
anymore, so there is nothing I can do. I'd be calling if I was GM
Andrew, but that is just me.
Titan Get Lone Points
At 6-3-2 you'd definitely think the NHLP Finals is anyone's at this
point, but with the trailing teams only having single players and the
Titan with the tie-breaker in hand, a comeback now seems a daunting
task. Voynov and Kopitar added assists and Doughty missed an empty
net point twice in the final 4 minutes of which he never left the ice.
"You got the sense Doughty was not getting off the ice in his efforts to
get Quick the shutout" said Muddy Capone, "And I highly doubt anyone on
the LA Bench was raising too much of a stink about it either." If
the Rangers likely do not shut the Kings down for 4 straight games the
NHLP Finals will almost certainly end as expected. The Titan are
hoping to end things Wednesday night when GM Scott can officially win
his NHLP 5th Cup with a Kings victory.
No Ranger Breaks
The Los Angeles Kings didn't score a clean goal all night. The
Rangers, just couldn't score on Quick. Deserving a better fate
after outshooting the Kings 32-15 the Rangers just could not find the
back of the net and now have their playoff lives hanging by a thread.
"The thing that is hardest to believe is the Rangers could very easily
be up 3-0 instead of down 3-0" stated Muddy Capone. With two
overtime losses and deserving a win in game three, it would be hard to
argue that the Rangers easily deserve better. Can they come back?
"You are never out of it" Capone believes, "Just win the next game and
now the Kings don't want to lose and have to come back for a game six,
so things can change very quickly." If it was to occur the Rangers
Power Play must be better and Quick is going to have to be average,
which briefly in every series so far he has, but not once in Game 7 if
it every goes that far.
Kopitar Breaks NHLP Tie in NHL OT
Kopitar had a huge point, his first for San Fran (Scott) in the NHLP
Finals, giving the Titan the very slimmest of leads 4-3 (Los Angeles) -
2 (New York Islanders). The Titan found themselves down 3-2 to GM
Andrew's Kings after McDonagh grabbed two quick points. Voynov
tied it and Kopitar added a huge Titan point on the OT winner. San
Fran was expected to run away with the series and now with it possibly
half over GM Scott is a little uneasy. "I keep waiting for one
power play goal Doughty from Kopitar" said GM Scott, "But it now looks
like it is going to be a grind, every assist means so much." With the
Finals being so close the NHLP Tie-Breakers may come into play.
Rangers Win Would Have Kings Ahead
GM Andrews Los Angles Kings are down 4-3 in the NHLP Finals, but if the
Rangers could have won the game in overtime, Andrew would be tied 3-3
with the tie-breaker in hand heading back to New York. McDonagh
was stellar again and his two point game keeps a huge upset still very
much alive. "It is unlikely either the Islanders or Kings now
would fair well with a longer series" said Muddy Capone, "It seems a
couple 2-1 Kings wins with McDonagh grabbing the lone point each time
and maybe GM Andrew could squeak out a 5-4 win in the Finals."
Andrew would surely take an elimination in game 4 and be down a single
point or tied where McDonagh could have a point or two and win the
King Dominated Game
GM Ryan could have easily been tied 3-3-3 in the NHLP Finals if King had
scored on two quality chances late in the third period or one
unbelievable opportunity in overtime. King was as good a player as
their was in the game for the Los Angeles Kings. If King had
scored in overtime, we are down to possible just a two game series were
a single point gain could have been enough. Now the Islanders find
themselves needing King to score at least three more points this series
for any hope to win, a huge difference from the single point had he
ended overtime. Ryan is still now hoping a four game series and
two low scoring games where King can duplicate his play of game two.
"Just getting to an elimination game down 1 or 2 points you have a shot"
said Muddy Capone.
Doughty The Key
GM Scott said he hopes Doughty, McDonagh and King all can at least play
the NHLP Finals with even points. "Doughty is the key to me
winning the Championship" said the GM, "And I only need him to match his
opponents." Doughty did exactly that in game one, scoring the
Kings second goal, but giving GM Scott's San Fran Titan two points and
the lead after game one, 2-1. With the Titan having Doughty twice,
if the three mentioned players did end a point a game, say at 4-4-4, the
Titan would have 8 points and win, clearly making Doughty the critical
player in the NHLP Finals. "There have been injuries over the
years" said Muddy Capone, "And even when things look bleak, there is
always that possibility at any time, that a player goes down."
That thought isn't lost on the Titan GM who says staying close is nerve
racking, "When you have the opportunity heading into the Finals as we
have, you truly can't get excited about winning something that in your
mind was already won. We have nothing left to win and yet
everything to lose. In my mind it is impossible to think I don't
have 5 Cups, so being up 2-1 after game one doesn't exactly have me
thrilled at this point." If San Fran were to lose this NHLP
series, with a 4-1 player advantage, it would be the biggest upset in
The NHLP couldn't get two goals into the NHL Stanley Cup Finals without
already some controversy. The Los Angeles Kings (Andrew) struck
first with an assist from McDonagh in a point that will never be taken
away but likely never did ever touch his stick to start the play.
"It seemed very clear that the puck hopped over his stick" said GM
Scott, "But I certainly would not expect the NHL to not give that point,
but is that right?" GM Scott has been very out spoken towards the
NHL's lack of concern over getting the correct points on all goals.
"it pisses me off they don't take every point seriously and ensure at
all costs each point is correct" said the GM, "Sure this point may not
mean anything, but someday is a call like this going to make the
difference of who wins the Cup?" GM Andrew is happy to take the
point and after an OT goal by the NHL Kings, is only down a point after
the first game of the NHLP Finals.
Although hardly official GM Scott is a heavy favorite now to win his 5th
NHLP Championship. The San Fran Titan will bring Kopitar, Doughty,
Doughty and Voynov, a CTR predicted 15 points to the Finals. GM
Andrew is an 11 point underdog with McDonagh while GM Ryan's lone player
King makes him a 12 point underdog.
GM Scott on the strength of most points scored in the playoffs will make
the first pick. This pick is kept secret until GM Ryan picks.
Ryan's Islanders outscored GM Andrew's Kings 68-64 in the NHLP Playoffs,
meaning Ryan has the important second pick. If their is a two way
tie involving Scott, the Titan pick breaks the tie. If GM's Ryan
and Andrew tie, it is Ryan's pick that breaks the tie. If all
three GM's tie, San Fran wins if they get the tie-breaker correct.
If the Titan had it wrong, GM Ryan's Islanders would then win if they
got the pick correct. If both Scott and Ryan got the tie-breaker
incorrect, GM Andrew's Kings would win.
GM Ryan said how badly he wanted to win his first NHLP Championship in a
"Good luck in advance" email to GM Scott prior to game 7 between the
Blackhawks and Kings. "GM Ryan was classy in our communications
throughout the last round" said GM Scott, "It is bitter-sweet my feeling
today for I know what it is like to lose and I really wanted to see Ryan
win, I guess just not at our expense." The Kings reversed the
tables on the Hawks in game 7, being the team to come back late in the
third period to tie. The Hawks could have won in the final 5
seconds of the game on a play that was very offside, but would have
counted. Overtime ended quickly on "just a shot" at net that
somehow found a way through. Ryan had admitted the prior weeks
were very difficult on him even saying "I could not stand to watch the
final 5 minutes of game six." The pressure felt by Ryan was very
much the same feeling GM Scott was going through and undoubtedly GM
Andrew as well. "I knew it was GM Ryan's Cup to lose if Chicago
won" said Scott, "It came down to a goal, he was that close."
Although it isn't officially over, Ryan's lone player remaining, King,
will have to pull off a miracle that just doesn't seem probable.
Although Ryan cannot see it today, he certainly did have an amazing
season building one of the very best teams in the NHLP in 2014.
Los Angeles Kings Go To Finals Again
GM Andrew has now brought his Los Angeles Kings team to the NHLP Finals
for the third straight season, a feat never before accomplished by any
GM. McDonagh just came off an incredible 10 point round in the
Conference Finals, but the San Fran Titan foursome still hit 21 between
them, meaning for the Kings to win a 6th Cup for Andrew is a very tall
order. The CTR has Andrew's Kings an 11 point underdog. The
game 7 loss was felt just as hard by GM Andrew as it was by GM Ryan.
Andrew would have had Saad joining McDonagh, the team teaming for 19
points this past round. The Kings don't get a tie-breaking pick in
the Finals and with the only New York Ranger, GM Andrew will have to
hope the NHL Kings 21 games played finally catch up with them and they
get hammered very badly in the NHL Finals, likely increasing greatly
Andrew's chances of doing the unthinkable. "If McDonagh plays like
he did last round and the Rangers won four straight, can you imagine the
feeling" said Muddy Capone, "It is never, never, never over and the
unthinkable has happened in sport more than we can truly think."
GM Scott's "Best Ever"
The San Fran Titan got the bounce they needed in advancing to the NHLP
Finals and barring major injuries or a miracle round, the heavily
favored Titan should win their second NHLP Championship. GM Scott
who has 4 Cup wins has been saying for over a month now that if this
team did win it all, it would be known as his greatest team of all time.
"Currently my 2003 San Fran team I feel is my best" said GM Scott, "But
it would be hard not to put this team in that slot." How can't
they be? Kopitar leads the playoffs in scoring and is one of the
best two-way players in the world. He just had three rounds of
10-9 and 4 points. Toews, one of GM Scott's all time favorite
players, joined the 19th overall picked Kopitar for an unstoppable 1-2
punch in the Playoffs. Toews was drafted 5th overall in this years
NHLP draft, giving the Titan two highly regarded players. GM Scott
says "D wins Cups" and he had plenty of that on this team as well.
Two of the very best defensemen in the world complemented Kopitar and
Toews nicely. Or is it three? Doughty, Doughty and Keith,
all playing about 30 minutes a night, team leaders in their own right.
Finishing off the team Voynov, nice second power play player who just
chips in here and there. The Titan's 7th man was none other then
Parise's winger, Coyle who had rounds of 5 and 2. The Titan had a
never accomplished 31 points in the NHLP Conference Finals giving them
97 so far in the playoffs, a new NHLP Record. The record for
points in the finals is 18 and the Titan four remaining have had rounds
of 26-15 and 21, so 18 is possible. "You can't be the best ever
team if you don't complete the job and win it all" said GM Scott, "Don't
think I won't still be watching in slo-motion, my heart is pounding at
the thought already of not scoring." The CTR is 16-5 in the
playoffs, not getting one wrong since round one. We think it is a
safe bet GM Scott will have his "Best Ever" team over the next two
The Chicago Blackhawks have not lost in 12 straight games 5, 6 or 7.
The Los Angeles Kings have not lost in this playoffs 6 straight times
when facing elimination and are 2-0 in game 7's this playoffs after
trouncing San Jose and Anaheim on the road in the biggest games of those
series. "It is clearly do or die now for three NHLP GM's" said
Muddy Capone, "Almost a full year of blood and sweat rides on one game."
For GM Scott it is likely an instant NHLP Championship if the Kings win.
If the Hawks can win, GM Scott is in a very unusual spot where he will
still have a shot at winning, even though not the favorite remaining.
That would go to GM Ryan, maybe a point favorite over Scott and a two to
three point favorite over GM Andrew. It all comes down to this
next game to seemingly be over or set up possibly the greatest NHLP
Finals in league history where every GM has at least 2 players.
San Fran Titan - GM Scott
Loaded with talented high-scoring players, team leaders at both ends, GM
Scott's run to the NHLP Cup Finals has been full of drama, back against
the wall games every series. Setting personal bests with 45 first
round points and likely an unheard of 30 in the Conference Finals,
scoring hasn't been an issue. "My first Cup I scored 2 points in
the Second Round, winning 2-1" said GM Scott, "I have never had a team
this strong, this late." A Kings win Sunday should solidify the
Titan a 5th GM Cup for Scott and second for the organization who won it
all in 2003. A finals of Kopitar, Doughty, Doughty and Voynov have
per round scoring of 26-15-19 versus McDonagh (Andrew) 0-3-10 and King
(Ryan) 1-2-3. It does not look like the Titan will be stopped if
the Kings win Sunday night giving Toews his second Cup with GM Scott
(2011 in Edmonton) and Voynov back to back cups, winning last year with
GM Andrew's Chicago team. "I am not going to lie" said GM Scott,
"The love I have for the NHLP has me excited about the potential Finals
and living through the intensity of those games if the Hawks win but if
that happened and we lost, it could be the most devastating and
disappointing finish we have ever had." Sometimes the thrill of
playing just one more hand out ways the ability to take the money and
New York Islanders - GM Ryan
GM Ryan is going to the NHLP Finals either as Cup favorites or a well
deserving participant of the Main Event. Ryan admittedly said he
cannot take much more of this roller coaster ride. Down in the
third period of each of the last two games including a double overtime
game where a Kings goal was the "sudden death" of any hopes of winning
his first ever NHLP Championship. In his 12th year as a GM Ryan
has never had a team score like this, winning easy rounds of 27-19
(Hamilton), 25-4 (Montreal) and up 12-7 on Quebec. A Blackhawks
win in game 7 leaves Ryan's Isles with Hossa, Seabrook and Shaw who have
per round scoring of 12-14-9. The Titan would have Toews and Keith
14-4-9 while Andrew's Kings Saad and McDonagh weigh in at 4-6-17.
That means GM Scott's Titan would have won Round One 14-12 (Ryan) - 4.
Round Two would have been Ryan's Cup 14-6 (Andrew) - 4. The
current Conference Finals has Andrew winning 17-9-9. Each GM took
one round setting up a crazy finish. GM Ryan is deserving but up
against two other veteran GM's who share 9 Championships between them.
He is currently the Cinderella story, the GM the little guy is
cheering for. If he thinks it is intense now, just have the Hawks
win game 7 and let's see how he sleeps for the next two weeks.
Maybe quite comfortably.
Los Angeles Kings - GM Andrew
The reigning NHLP Champion, winning his 5th GM Cup last season with his
Chicago team can easily go for Cup 6 with a Blackhawks win in game 7.
The 2002 NHLP Champions, Los Angeles Kings was GM Andrew's middle Cup.
Andrew has also set a league record after hammering Portland (Vinnie)
21-9 to go to his third straight Franchise Championship. The Kings
barely got out of Round One when Indianapolis (Matt) put forth a fierce
battle, losing 19-18 before things got easier against St Louis (Tyson)
last round, winning 22-8. Not often do teams have a lower scoring
first round then their next two but on round scoring of 19-22-21 that is
what Andrew has accomplished. With McDonagh unlikely to have a
second straight double digit round in the Finals, GM Andrew knows he
cannot win it all if the Kings win Sunday. He'd be at least a 14-4
point underdog and for a GM who hates losing, those odds aren't his
style. If the Hawks win game 7 the odds greatly increase for Saad
and McDonagh who have averaged 9 points per round, the same as GM
Scott's Titan with Toews and Keith. GM Ryan's Hossa, Seabrook and
Shaw have averaged 11 points per round, even though Seabrook was
suspended three games and Shaw missed two with injuries. GM
Andrew's legendary status just continues to grow and he could easily
pull off a mild upset to win the hard to fathom 6th Championship with a
Hawks win Sunday.
King Issue Put to Bed - No Point
It took a couple days but conclusive video shows King did not get the
deflection of Doughty's shot in game 4. "We stuck with it and are
very happy to know for fact one way or the other" said Muddy Capone.
The goal in question was a shot from the point, just below the crossbar
that dips 2 to 3 feet upon entering the net. TSN camera angles
blew up the shot from behind Doughty, clearly showing the puck clearing
the Chicago defensemen and Williams. TSN blew up the shot from the
front showing what appeared to be the puck hitting King's stick and
dropping a few feet into the back of the net. "This was one of the
best examples of an optical illusion as you can get" stated Capone.
This is the second such goal we have seen in this playoffs that it took
several camera angles put together to determine what happened. The
front blown up angle shows the puck does not hit Williams or the Chicago
Player. The back angle shown by CBC last night clearly shows King
never came within a full foot of the shot. King is raising his
stick as the puck goes by him and by the time it reaches the goalie King
now has his stick where the puck passed. From the front it now
appears to dip because it hit his stick but from the back his stick is
no where near the puck ever. King wasn't close to touching the
puck and it dipped only after hitting the Crawford. The NHLP is
still working with the NHL (awaiting an answer that the play was
reviewed officially and we are either right or wrong) to have
Gallagher's no-point reviewed but as of now GM Ryan is officially up 8-5
on GM Matt and 8-6 if Gallagher is awarded the goal on the Subban shot.
GM Ryan had a huge four point night and more importantly the Blackhawks
are still alive, keeping New York's chances for a first ever NHLP
Championship alive with them. "This is way to intense" stated GM
Ryan after the overtime game. By NHL.com, the official NHLP source
of numbers the Islanders are up 8-5 but the NHLP Yearbook is still
pushing for the correct points to be award by the NHL, possibly making
this series 8-6. Friday is now a huge night, where GM Ryan can be
a game away from heading to the NHLP Finals as favorites or all Cup
dreams can be shattered. "If Chicago can make it, we might have
one of the best Finals ever" said Muddy Capone, "And they are right
there, a few bounces and breaks away from a game 7."
Gallagher Draws Nords Closer
With another game now to play, Gallagher's point has moved GM Matt to a
single point behind in a shocking East Conference Final. With each
team being shafted by the NHL on a point, the official series is likely
4-3 while the NHLP is still holding out hope it is 5-4. What
really can change this series again is if one of the players get the
point added and the other does not. For example if they gave
Gallagher the point and not King, the Nords would be tied and with the
tie-breaker, go to the NHLP Finals, as seemingly unfair as it is.
Gallagher now plays an extra game and GM Ryan will have Tuesday to hope
his three Hawks can do the same. It is an elimination game for
Chicago so GM Matt will be hoping they get shutout, meaning he will have
Brown and Gallagher to outscore what King gets by one point and will
move onto the NHLP Championship just that easy.
McDonagh Now Has 9 Points This Round
The guy is a machine and GM Andrew is loving it. After Portland
(Vinnie) moved within striking distance GM Andrew's Kings opened things
back up in a big way with a 4 point night, two from McDonagh and
Pacioretty. The two players also get a extra game. Andrew
was likely cheering for Montreal to win and have Pacioretty in the
Finals, but now that McDonagh is one of the hottest players in the
league with 9 points this round, it may appear Andrew is best of if the
Rangers are in the Finals. If the Rangers won and Chicago came
back GM Andrew would have McDonagh and Saad versus San Fran's Toews and
Keith. Now if the Nords came back and won their series, they'd
have no one in a Finals of Chicago-New York, likely leaving Andrew's
Kings the favorites. Of course if the Hawks did come back, and GM
Ryan is hoping, Hossa, Seabrook and Shaw would get 3 more games likely
meaning they'd be in the Finals on the Island.
Here We Go, AGAIN
I guess you could say they are even. A night after GM Matt got
screwed out of a goal by Gallagher, his rival GM Ryan has the say fait,
a goal by King awarded to Doughty. "There is simply no doubt in
the world about either of these two goals" said Muddy Capone, "It is so
embarrassing as a league to not get these right. You don't see the
NFL award the running back with a touchdown when the wide receiver
caught the bal. These are pretty simple calls." Capone who
emailed the NHL review department for Matt said he'd do the same
tomorrow afternoon if King doesn't get the point. There is a
ripple effect in the NHLP if King is awarded the point. Portland
(Vinnie) who has came back to within 12-8, would lose a point from
Williams. The NHLP has the series at 5-3, even though the NHL has
it at 4-2, either way the Islanders only have a 2 point lead. Both
NHL series are now in elimination games meaning either Quebec or New
York still have work to do to make the NHLP Finals.
Here They Come, AGAIN
Portland (Vinnie) was down 18-8 after completed game 3's in Round won
and won the series 32-26 against Seattle (Shawn). In Round Two at
the same point was down 13-6 against Alaska (Marcel) and again came
roaring back to win it 22-19. So when they were down 10-4 at the
end of game 3's in the NHLP Conference Finals, should we really be
thinking they are out? A crazy come back to make it 12-8 against
Los Angeles (Andrew) with the Kings Pacioretty and McDonagh possibly
playing their last game with a Rangers win on Tuesday. Portland is
the comeback team of the 2014 playoffs and making the NHLP Finals with
Williams and Muzzin might make them a possible threat to win it all.
In 2010 the Cleveland Fury (Tyson) not only won the NHLP Championship,
they dominated and set an NHLP record for most points ever in the
playoffs with 83, including a league record 18 in the NHLP Finals.
The San Fran Titan (Scott) have now erased that mark, scoring 86 points
after last night and the team is assured at least 3 or more games yet
this playoffs and either at least 8 or 16 player games in the NHLP
Finals, leading now 20-1 this round. It has been one of the more
dominating performances in NHLP history, starting the playoffs with 45
and winning by 23 and 12 points in the first two rounds and leading by
19 so far in the Conference Finals. Keith is just off the top ten
playoff scorers but Kopitar, Toews, Doughty and Doughty are in that
group. It would seem 100 playoff points is certainly possible but
GM Scott admits only one thing matters. "These are awesome things
and do mean something" said the GM, "But my focus right now is on
winning the NHLP Championship and you can win the first 11 rounds on the
scorecard but if you get KO's in the final round, you lost to someone
better, it is that simple." Well, the Titan are clearly up on the
Scorecard as they prepare for the Final round.
Kings Dominate Hawks, AGAIN
Well we had to get the AGAIN in there AGAIN. For the first 5
periods of their Conference Final NHL series the Chicago Blackhawks
looked unbeatable. For the last 7 periods of their NHL series the
Los Angeles Kings have been unstoppable. It boils down to Chicago
now being on the ropes, and for the first time this playoffs will be
facing an elimination game back in Chicago Wednesday. Everything
LA is doing to win, Chicago isn't doing. The Hawks top scorers
aren't scoring, they are getting no secondary scoring and their
goaltending has been horrible. Crawford stole a few games this
playoffs, throwing up a wall against St Louis and Minnesota only to have
totally lost his confidence. He seems to fight every shot right
now and his subtle looks and reactions have clearly shown he is a beat
goaltender. Chicago is a Cup Champion. They were down to
Detroit last year 3-1 before winning and winning the Cup. Can they
do it again? They just may be the only team outside of the Kings,
that believe in themselves enough and have enough leadership to know
they can come back to win. Will they though? That is another
Still Waiting - NHL Fucks Up Another Goal
"This is what I am talking about" said Muddy Capone, "It seems certain
rinks don't want to make changes to their goals and assists once they
make the official call." GM Matt is waiting for the call to be
corrected, making his series officially 4-2 in Quebec with the Islanders
(Ryan). The goal was so obvious that the NHLP Yearbook, in
anticipation of a change that will come after numerous complaints to the
NHL, has already awarded the point to Gallagher. "If the NHL does
not change the goal, ultimately at the end of this round it does not
matter what we know as fact, but rather what the NHL official points
are" stated Capone, "So if we have to take the point from Gallagher,
we'd have no choice." Matt said he is emailing the NHL himself
today. Quebec could have really used a Gallagher point in the
overtime winner and tying the NHL series, making the NHLP series 4-3 and
extra games added. Now things are bleak. Ryan's Islander's
can pull away and end the misery at any time, but as long as it stays
close the NHL will be receiving pressure to change the point and make
the correct call.
Gallagher Keeps Things Close
GM Matt knows the series could even be close than 3 to 1 as Gallagher
missed several opportunities and could easily of had a three point
night. Quebec (Matt) is severe underdogs against New York
Islanders (Ryan) but is hanging around. "What hurts is King is
outscoring Brown" stated Matt, "If that was the other way around, we'd
be right there." The Nords now must hope Chicago has trouble
scoring and losing two low scoring games in LA while Montreal can keep
pushing and somehow get to a seven game series. No one expected
this would be a series but Shaw has yet to return for Ryan and Seabrook
yet to get a point. At this point if Gallagher could have had a
point a game this series would be tied. The tie-breaker is up for
grabs with Ryan choosing Chicago, so Quebec could be as little as two
points from the upset. "If I entered a game seven from Gallagher
needing two or three points to win, I'd take that in this series" stated
Matt, "I just have to take it a game at a time."
Carter Gets Tricky
It didn't look like it was going to happen. The Los Angeles Kings
were struggling all night and the Chicago Blackhawks who were yet to
lose a game on home ice this season were in command 2-0 just about
heading into the third. "The wheels came off in a hurry" said
Muddy Capone, "Suddenly Crawford couldn't stop a beach ball and if
Chicago was a little over-confident, they aren't anymore." Carter
laid a third period hat trick on Chicago and most shots went in after 35
minutes of the game as LA scored six straight and 5 in the third in a
6-2, series tying win. Now the series heads to LA with a different
feel, like it could be a long series. It has been over 20 years
since a team lost the first two, as Montreal has, in the Conference
Finals and came back to win, so clearly it was a huge win for the Kings.
Islanders Take Hit
If this was the NHLP Finals, GM Andrew's Los Angeles Kings would have 8
points on a NHL Finals of Chicago-NY Rangers. GM Scott's Titan
would have 3 points and GM Ryan's Islanders would have 2 points after
game two's. "This isn't the NHLP Finals" said Muddy Capone, "And
neither GM Andrew or Scott would want to face GM Ryan's team of Hossa,
Seabrook and Shaw." With Ryan having his best opportunity ever,
the Blackhawks collapse was a tough hit for "My team" as GM Ryan has
been referring to the Hawks. "Certainly it is his team and
certainly he has the best built Hawks team" Capone added. It also
certainly looked like Ryan's three would be heading to LA in the green,
up 2 games and likely needing a split for the stranglehold on the
series. "The next game now feels like game seven" Capone figures,
"As you don't want to face being down 3-1 in game four." Well,
either team will and for the NY Islanders Gm Ryan knows his only hope at
all is if Chicago wins this round, so there are two big games coming in
Los Angeles Saturday and Monday.
Titan GM - "What Could Have Been"
GM Scott said he was extremely bitter after game one of the
Kings-Blackhawks series, a series where the Titan are best served if the
Kings go to the NHL Finals. After a short turn around and long
travel day Scott said the Kings faired well but that "You can't just
give them one and make excuses in a short seven game series."
Although Scott doesn't think the Kings mailed in the contest, not in the
least, but could have gotten a better deal with what he called a cheap
first penalty of the game, a non call on Toews for goalie interference
and two open nets that should have been goals. "We could have took
game one, now we need to play our best game and nothing less is
acceptable" said the GM. The only series the Kings have lost the
past three seasons is to Chicago in last years Conference Finals and are
appearing in their their straight Conference Finals. Either of
these teams winning are on the verge of a dynasty in the Cap era, the
Kings could go 2 in 3 and the Hawks 3 in 5. Game two is a huge one
for GM Scott's Titan as he hopes LA can head home even instead of down
two where a split will put them in the dreaded win three straight or out
Eye on McDonagh
When you have 5 NHLP Championships under your belt it is never a
surprise when you come up with the surprise of the NHL playoffs.
"GM Andrew has a knack for finding these guys and making them Cup
winners" said Muddy Capone. Los Angeles (Andrew) grabbed McDonagh
up very quickly at the NHLP Trading Deadline, the first transaction of
the day to the minors and the only move the Kings would make at the
meeting. Down went Kesler and Higgins and up came McDonagh and
Stempniac. If that deal sounds familiar, it isn't the first time
it was ever made, well sort of. See the NHL Montreal Canadiens
actually drafted McDonagh with their first pick in 2017, 12th overall.
Before he ever played his first game with the Habs he was traded with
Higgins to the New York Rangers for Gomez. McDonagh had a good
season, a career high 43 points. Now he has 9 points this playoffs
and his 6 points in the Conference Finals may be one round too early for
GM Andrew's Kings. "Right now the Kings could have McDonagh and
Saad in the NHLP Finals" said Capone, "Those points may be needed then
more than this round." If the favorites according to the CTR are
there, that means playing Hossa, Seabrook and Shaw from the Islanders
(Ryan) and the Titan (Scott) dual of Toews and Keith. Obviously if
any player had 6 points in the first two games of the NHLP Final, that
team would likely win it all.
McDonagh Career Game
GM Andrew started the Conference Finals in dream like fashion, getting 4
points from McDonagh and putting GM Vinnie's Portland Winter Hawks in a
hole they may not be able to climb out of. "Portland has been the
comeback team of the playoffs but Williams and Muzzin, even great rounds
and doubling their prediction is only 10 points" said Muddy Capone.
If Chicago wins their NHL series GM Andrew's Kings will have at two
players in the NHLP Finals, possibly enough to win it all. With
games like this in the Finals, even an underdog can put pressure on the
Ryan and Vinnie Pick Chicago
The tie-breakers are in and although the Conference Finals appear
potentially lop-side according to the CTR who was a perfect 6 for 6 in
Round Two, there is always the chance of an injury or upset. GM's
Ryan and Vinnie both chose Chicago while San Fran (Scott) took the New
GM Scott said he is never overly confident but did feel the Los Angeles
Kings were good enough to knock off the Sharks and the Ducks. "The
Kings were up 5-1 entering the third period last night and I say to
myself, this isn't over boys, not to the buzzer sounds" said the GM,
"And I would have had the exact same feeling if they were tied or down a
goal." Scott said the problems he say with both the Sharks and
Ducks was in net. "The Ducks didn't know who to play in net during
the very first game of the NHL playoffs and teams that don't have a
solid number one guy seem to never be around long in the playoffs and
neither of those teams, or Minnesota or Dallas did." What a wasted
season for Anaheim to finish first like that and "Gamble" on who they
play in the playoffs. For GM Scott the Titan have moved themselves
in what appears a Walk-Over into the NHLP Finals. If the Kings
beat out Chicago it would appear the Titan will be huge favorites to win
the NHLP Championship with at worst Kopitar, Doughty, Doughty and Voynov
playing only 2 players, the best any other team can then send through.
It hasn't been an easy journey for GM Scott but how can't it be
memorable. "I am not overly confident" explained Scott, "But I do
feel the Kings are good enough, not better, but good enough, to beat
Chicago and this time of year, often good enough beats better."
Nordiques Play for Miracle
GM Matt is a 9 point underdog in his Quebec series against the very
strong New York Islanders of GM Ryan. Starting off Matt today is
Gallagher, only one of 3 NHLP players still alive in the Rangers-Habs
series. The Kings-Hawks series has 8 Kings and 7 Blackhawks still
alive where Matt also has Brown to defend against Hossa, Seabrook, Shaw
and King. The hope here for Matt is somehow Chicago or LA can
sweep and Montreal and the Rangers can go 7 games where Gallagher could
have a career series, say 7 points. Outside of that it appears
this series may be over early as Hossa can throw up crooked numbers as
fast as any player left in the NHLP Playoffs.
Williams Game 7 King
Passing Wayne Gretzky on the all time game 7 goals list Williams now is
only one behind the all time NHL leader, two time NHLP Champion Glenn
Anderson. Williams has still never lost a Game 7 and wasted no
time in scoring the goal only minutes into the game that GM Vinnie
needed for Portland to go to the Conference Finals. Portland is
in tough against the LA Kings (Andrew) who are hoping to set an NHLP
record for three straight Cup appears, but somehow avoid losing all
three. Pacioretty and McDonagh get this series underway today, a
series the Kings are 8 point favorites to win. Portland will need
a short Montreal-Rangers series and as long a series as possible from
their two Kings. The Kings have played 14 games so far so who
thinks they won't play 7 more this round.
+ Means favorite to win the series by that amount
* Means favorite to win Division
** Means favorite to advance the NHLP Finals
*** Means favorite to win the NHLP Championship According to the CTR predictions
Islanders Still Team to Beat
It was a big hit for GM Ryan, losing his three Penguins, but after
Boston went out it appears that GM Ryan's Islanders still could be the
team to beat. If the Kings move on in the NHL, GM Scott will have
a solid team in San Fran and if Portland does get a point, GM Marcel can
be strong in Alaska. Ryan is now down to simply needing the
Blackhawks to make the NHLP Championship and getting by likely Quebec
(Matt) who will be an underdog next round with if the Kings win and
Brown moves on with the Nordiques. Having Hossa, Seabrook and Shaw
in the finals will be hard to beat. GM Ryan has to be on edge,
being so close to making this first Cup win a reality yet knowing there
is work to be done and it is possible that he gets to the Finals without
any shot at all of winning if the Ducks make the Stanley Cup Finals.
"Doors open and close rather quickly in this cruel league" said Muddy
Capone, "But looking at everything today, we still like the Islanders
chances as good as anyone else's today."
Well that is how the Los Angeles Kings have started the NHL playoffs.
Losing the first three games, winning the next 6 and then losing 3
straight again. By avoiding the 3-6-4, the Kings now can become
the first team in NHL history to ever lose 3 straight games in two
straight playoff rounds and win both series. The San Fran Titan
will be the big winners, keeping GM Scott's 5th Cup hopes alive if the
Kings win game 7 and likely shattering them if they lose. "It
isn't the way I'd of drawn it up" said the GM, "But if it happens it
will be one of the most memorable runs in all my years as a GM."
GM Scott said he hasn't missed a second of the Kings or Hawks games in
the playoffs and that Kopitar and Toews were "Chocolate Bars well spent"
said the GM who used Chocolate to entice GM Matt to trade Toews for
Iginla and GM Chad to trade Kopitar for Steen, deals that appear to have
worked out with those other players lockers already cleared. The
Titan GM said times have changed in the league
were alcohol once was a deciding factor in many trades, "Now it is food"
laughed Scott, "If I'd of only known this 10 years ago I might have
another Championship or two." If the Titan win, certainly expect
to see a few more Titan bars flying around meeting rooms in the meetings
Points Confirmed - Portland Needs One
GM Vinnie needs a single point in game 7 from any of his four players
Perry, Cogliano, Williams or Muzzin, a feat he has accomplished 11 of 13
times those players played so far in the playoffs. The point will
put Portland on through to the West Conference Finals, eliminating what
is likely the best team remaining in the NHLP, GM Marcel's Alaska Attack
who will have 4 players next round if somehow they can hold Vinnie's
four players pointless just one game. GM Andrew is awaiting the
winner with Pacioretty, Saad and McDonagh a team that will be favored
against Portland and an underdog against Alaska. If Portland does
get the point GM Vinnie knows he must have Anaheim win game 7, moving on
his his bigger guns Perry and Cogliano to possibly pull the upset
against Andrew. If it is the Kings that win that game 7, even
winning against Andrew could then mean likely no hope in the NHLP Finals
even with the Kings there with only Williams and Muzzin against Kopitar,
Doughty, Doughty and Voynov of San Fran (Scott). Do or die game 7
and just a point from one of four players and Portland advances Friday
The Montreal Canadiens and New York Rangers will battle to go to the NHL
Stanley cup, not exactly first choices of the NHLP GM's. "I
couldn't give Vanek away for anything" said GM Scott, "No one wanted
Rangers either." Montreal just capitalized on Boston's weakness
and never played into the Bruins game of wanting to be rough and tumble.
Montreal was clearly faster and Chara seemed to finally show his age,
maybe no longer the defensemen other teams feared. Price was
sensational, as expected and Subban is stepping up to be the "D-man"
GM's will want to enter the playoffs with for many years to come.
All in all these teams were not expected to knock of the Bruins and
Penguins but were likely the more deserving of the 4 teams.
Kings "All In" on Bruins & NHLP History
GM Andrew is holding three Bruins and has gone "All In" on Wednesday's
game 7 showdown. If things all go right Wednesday night, Andrew's Kings
may walk into the NHLP Finals with a huge win tomorrow from the Bruins
and Alaska (Marcel) then winning in the NHLP against Portland (Vinnie).
If that happens the Kings will surely be the first team to ever make
three straight NHLP Finals. "Everything good opens up for this team"
said Muddy Capone, "If Boston wins this one game. This is one team that
could even beat GM Ryan's Islanders in a Boston-Chicago finals." GM
Andrew isn't one for quotes in the NHLP playoffs, he seems to hibernate
more than anything this time of year. He is a fierce competitor that
doesn't accept losing. Andrew build this team for that NHL rematch of
Boston and Chicago from last years Stanley Cup and he is very close to
getting that wish. GM Andrew is chasing an unprecedented 6th NHLP
Championship Cup and also the first to win two NHLP Cups with different
teams. Andrew won Chicago's second Championship just last season and
the Kings already have one themselves. The only GM to win back to back
Championships was 20 years ago when GM Norm won in 1993 and again in
1994, both those in St Louis. "Tomorrow night is almost historical
already" said Capone, "I have witnessed every single big game this
league ever has had. For GM Andrew, and every other GM still alive in
the playoffs, game seven between Montreal and Boston is as big as they
Tie-Breaker in Hand
The Portland Winter Hawks (Vinnie) now know they only need to gain two
points on Alaska (Marcel) to win their NHLP West Division Title.
Of course numbers have not been verified, a reminder to check them
yourself, something the NHLP will try and do Wednesday before these
important games. Vinnie is looking good with Perry, Cogliano,
Williams, Muzzin and Soderberg needing that gain against the less
players, Desharnai, Subban and Plekanec of the Attack. The Attack
may seem down but are an even 13-13 points in this player matchup, so if
the Habs can win big in Boston and the Ducks a low score in LA, those
two points may seem very large for Portland. GM Vinnie may
actually be hoping the Habs win by a low score. If the Bruins win,
even winning this series means a match up with GM Andrew's Kings who'd
bring forward Krejci, Lucic, Krug as well as Saad and McDonagh to play
the best Portland could bring Perry, Soderberg and Cogliano.
Pens Blow Series
It must be hard to be a Pittsburgh Penguins fan. Seemingly always
dominating in the regular season and in the last several years a weak
playoff team. It is hard to build a winning team in the cap era
when you pay so much of your salary to a few top players and in the
playoffs everything seems to be about depth and 3rd and 4th line
scoring. They can't blame it as much on their own goaltending then
they can say they were beat by a goal on top of his game.
Lundqvist was truly the difference in the series and now the Rangers
await another Original Six team in Montreal or Boston, another huge
series with NHLP Cup ramifications for almost every GM. Taking the
hardest hit with the Pens out was the New York Islanders (Ryan) who will
advance Hossa, Seabrook and Shaw with King yet playing. With three
Blackhawks GM Ryan now waits to see if he gets Hartford (Andrew) who
could have as little as the injured Galchenyuk and as much as Gaborik,
Smith and Smith. GM Matt is still leading that series in Quebec
and with Shaw injured for Ryan Matt can still hope to have Gallagher and
Brown against Hossa and Seabrook if Shaw doesn't return next round.
If the Islanders can win next round with Chicago going to the Finals
surely GM Ryan will be in his best shape ever to win it all.
No Justice For Quebec
The Chicago Blackhawks won a game in Minnesota they completely had no
business winning and in turn surely ending GM Matt's Cup hopes in
Quebec. The Wild came wave after wave and had not just shots, but
glorious opportunities that were somehow turned back time and time again
by Crawford. In the end it was a bad bounce off the glass that
ultimately ended what appeared to definitely be a series that was going
the distance. Quebec now needs Gallagher and Brown to not only
advance but also keep the 15-13 lead in the series to at least advance
to the Conference Finals. Hartford (Andrew) sends out Gaborik,
Smith and Smith with Galchenyuk still hurt and only needs a gain of two
points if Boston wins which would give Hartford the tie-breaker.
If the Kings don't beat the Ducks Wednesday the NHL's second round is
over, so it is another huge night of hockey.
Titan Down But "Not Out"
GM Scott said it isn't the preferred way to win, coming back games 6 and
7 but he said "I would have been ok knowing if the Kings won at home in
game six a game seven would follow." That is exactly the case and
although the Kings haven't looked the better team there aren't many NHL
teams better when their facing elimination then Los Angeles. On
Tuesday the Titan will hope Chicago actually wins on the road and does
not force a game seven where they could face being knocked out on home
ice. "I'd have to win it all on a Minnesota and New York Rangers
final if that were to happen" said the GM, "There is always a way and
the team that wins it all (in the NHLP) often sees that something they
hoped didn't happen, was a thing that helped them win and turned out to
be the best thing that could have happened when all was said and done."
Portland Go After Breaker
The comeback is almost completed for GM Vinnie's Portland Winter Hawks
and we aren't surprised in the least. Now only down 18-16 with the
tie-breaker in hand with Chicago, Vinnie will look to gain with Kunitz
versus GM Marcel's throwing out Pominville and Nash for the Attack.
Marcel has the upper hand in that matchup at 5-3 this round. A
free man game can occur for GM Marcel if Pominville plays a game 7 where
as GM Vinnie's Winter Hawks can still get two games from Perry, Cogliano,
Williams and Muzzin if the Kings can win game 6 at home. Kunitz
woudl be a big help to Portland next round, especially if Boston loses
game 7 which could severally cripple the Los Angeles Kings (Andrew).
Andrew is loaded with a ton of options and in the Pittsburgh series will
have either McDonagh or Stempniak advance. The Kings have the
decided best Bruins team left with Krejci, Lucic and Krug, three players
who are said to have a quiet series with Montreal but still have 8
points between them.
Islanders Need The Pens
GM Ryan's first Cup opportunity is very much alive. Ryan's
Islanders would advance 6 players and total destruction will follow if
both Pittsburgh and Chicago win Tuesday. Then either of those
teams making the NHL Stanley Cup Final will likely make Ryan odds on
favorites to win his first Championship. It starts with Neal,
Jokinen and Niskanen advancing followed by Hossa, Seabrook and Shawn.
King, kind of low man on the depth chart is still alive as well meaning
a full 7 players in the Conference Finals is still very possible.
Looking at a possible matchup for GM Ryan's Islanders, currently Quebec
(Matt) is looking the likely to advance up 15-13 with the tiebreaker in
his favor if Montreal wins their game 7. The Nords have their Cup
hopes riding on Tuesday's Wild game hoping Parise, Pominville and Suter
can force a game 7 where if they then advance he could battle Ryan's
Islanders for the rights to go to the NHLP Championship. GM Andrew
is still hoping to get an extra game from his top scorer Gaborik who has
7 of his 13 this round. If the wild go quietly Tuesday there will
be an opportunity for Hartford to yet advance next round but in this
series Andrew would certainly need Pittsburgh out if Chicago advances.
Malkin Ready For 7
GM Shawn will have a great opportunity of going to the NHLP Finals but
it is unlikely to happen if Malkin cannot advance in game 7 Tuesday.
New Orleans is set to advance, winning 9-1 and with Malkin and the
current series ending the way they are New Orleans would have Malkin,
Maroon and Kruger, good for about 12 points versus only Toews and Keith
who would be expected to get about 11 in a round. Of course GM
Shawn will be cheering for the Blackhawks to lose out, almost making
this Conference Finals a walk over if Malkin can only advance. The
Pittsburgh - New York game seven is followed by another series that
could go seven, Chicago and Minny. "It is possible that they call
go seven" said Muddy Capone, "Something that can easily happen if the
Wild and Kings win game six on home ice." Malkin is key to likely
any hope the Wolverines have reminaing.
Those were the period shot totals for the Anaheim Ducks who started a
goalie who wasn't even the back up last game and won his first ever NHL
playoff game, with a 2-0 shutout of the Kings. This NHL series is
a huge series for several GM's in the NHLP including GM Scott who has 4
Kings and GM Vinnie who has Perry & Cogliano, but also has Williams and
Muzzin. GM Shawn's New Orleans Wolverines could still advance to
the NHLP Finals and win GM Shawn his first Cup, but it will not likely
happen if the Kings move on. We say likely not, because Malkin can
always light it up for 10 points in any round, but GM Scott's Titan
would be a very heavily favorite. The Road team has won each of
the first 4 games in this crazy series and GM Scott hopes that continues
as the series now shifts back to Anaheim for Game 5.
Nords Wild Sunday
With the dream of an NHLP Championship still alive GM Matt needs a huge
win Sunday from his 3 Wild players. Quebec is up 14-11 over
Hartford (Andrew)and a 4-1 man game advantage in unplayed Game 5's.
A dream night for Matt would be both a Wild and Ranger win for with the
New York Islanders (Ryan) up 20-1, it is a given the winner of Matt and
Andrew will get Ryan's Islanders with 3 Pens and 3 Hawks. Next
round won't matter for Matt if the Wild don't win their NHL series this
round but if they do the incredible dream will be alive and well as even
if the Pens went through for GM Ryan a battle to represent the East
Conference in the NHLP Cup Finals would exist.
Soderberg 3 Big Ones
GM Vinnie's Portland Winter Hawks are now down 17-13 after a three point
game from Soderberg and assured a 10-6 man game advantage the rest of
the Second Round. "Clearly there is 4 more man games just sitting
there" said Muddy Capone referring to if the Kings-Ducks go 7 games.
Portland will need Kunitz to at worst equalize Nash and Pominville, a
tall order Sunday, being outscored so far in the series 5-3. With
Alaska (Marcel) outscoring Portland 12-5 in the Montreal-Boston series,
GM Vinnie is best to hope that series ends next game. Portland can
have as good a team next round as Los Angeles (Andrew) who is assured to
move on up 17-3 over St Louis (Tyson). Vinnie is having a dream
playoffs and can come back and win this round but it won't be easy and
every point is huge. GM Andrew is watching and hoping that Alaska
can keep the series in their favor and have the NHL Bruins move on,
giving Andrew a huge advantage and almost guarantee the LA Kings go back
to the NHLP Finals for an unprecedented third straight season.
Islanders Hope It Ends
Up 17 to 1 the New York Islanders (Ryan) don't want to risk a Rangers
come back in that NHL series and would rather his three Pens, Neal,
Jokinen and Niskanen get plenty of rest before they play Montreal or
Boston. "It is shaping up really well for GM Ryan" said Muddy
Capone, "A number of NHLP teams have a great chance right now, but
likely none have the shot the Islanders may have." Of course Ryan
is also a huge Blackhawks fan, so Friday is a great night of hockey for
the 12 year veteran GM. With GM Marcel winning his only Cup in his
13th season and GM Charlie yet to win a Cup after 14 complete seasons as
a GM, Ryan Trails only Charlie for the longest streak without a Cup.
If Chicago and Pittsburgh go to the NHL Stanley Cup Finals, GM Ryan will
be a gimme NHLP Champion. "It is a long ways to go" said Capone,
"But so far the Islanders are taking care of business." Friday
they can really move much closer to their goal.
Quebec Looks to Take Charge
It seems the Hartford Whalers (Andrew) are against the ropes in a bad
way, though tied 9-9 with the tie-breaker against Quebec (Matt).
With Galchenyuk injured for Hartford, GM Matt's Nords now have a 10-6
man games advantage and send out Parise, Pominville and Suter Friday,
three players averaging this round two points a game for Quebec.
Matt will be on the edge of his seat Friday, hoping the Wild can even
their NHL series, leaving Matt likely his only hope of NHLP glory this
season. The Wild shut the Blackhawks down at home and it would seem very
likely the Wild will play great defense in game 4.
GM Shawn - Alive and Well
The New Orleans Wolverines had a big game from Maroon and his Ducks, now
putting GM Shawn's team up 8-0 in their Second Round series. If
Maroon can come back and join New Orleans next round, with Malkin and
maybe Kruger, GM Shawn would at worse be a couple point favorite to go
to the NHLP Championship and a huge favorite if he meets San Fran
(Scott) with only Coyle to play Malkin and Maroon. "Every game is
huge and GM Shawn is only a single game away from both the Ducks and
Wild tying their series and creating a best of three" said Muddy Capone.
Portland Coming Back
GM Vinnie just won't stay down in this 2014 playoffs. After coming back
from an totally insane 10 back to win in Round One, Portland was down 13-6 at
the end of Game Threes. Now it is only a five point deficit for Vinnie who
does have man games in hand now after the Ducks won versus the Kings.
Portland has 4 players including Perry, Cogliano, Williams and Muzzin in that
series so the longer it goes the more odds Portland can come back. If
Perry and Cogliano move on the Winter Hawks could also have Kunitz and Soderberg
in the Conference Finals. With the best Ducks built team remaining GM
Vinnie still could win his first NHLP Championship if they come back and he can
do the same. Alaska (Marcel) did get extra games from their three Montreal
players, but they completed game 4 now where as Portland's 4 players still have
game 4 of their series on Saturday.
If you watched the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks Series you know
the Kings should never be winning 2-0. But they are. The
reason is great defense. When any puck comes in the Kings zone it
is always the same thing, puck support. "Chicago is good and
Boston a decent second, but no team defends like the Kings" said Muddy
Capone. "It is a thing of beauty" said Capone, "The puck comes in
the Kings zone and just watch the puck leave the zone." Capone
says the system is so great it makes the Kings the best in the NHL
at what they do. "Slo-mo it a hundred straight times and you see a
system." What is the system? "Puck support" says Capone.
1) The first option always is for the first on the puck to take
the puck up ice themselves, to clear the zone. If you don't have
to pass it out, carry it out.
2-3) If they don't carry the puck themselves, options two and
three are equal (50-50). Send the puck around the net to an open
Defensemen or up the boards to the hash marks, to near side winger.
You will notice that is exactly where the players go for outs.
Each and every time you will see the Kings D and Wing positioned in
these locations. If we get this far and a team is defending the
Kings great that means they have a man on the puck carrier, a second
player on the near boards and third a player on the far side D.
That means they have two players left, likely defensemen outside the
4) If the first three outs are gone, if all those aren't possible,
the Kings throw it out front to option 4. Usually a wide open
option play out front of their net, a short 5 to 10 foot pass.
Option 4 is almost always open, as the opposition still plays defense
and at best has 2 players that are not closer than the Kings Blueline,
no further as they'd be leaving themselves too open for 2 on 1's.
5) If none of the above are options, eat the puck. Cause a
scrum and have puck support equal to oppositions players if even
strength. Always under all options stay between you and your net.
This leads to a puck battle and sometimes a loss of puck possession,
where Quick is depended on to make a save.
"I have been watching this in slo-mo for years" says Muddy Capone, "Some
teams have no clue what to do in their own end but tomorrow night tape
the game and watch a Championship team exit their own end, each and
every time. You will see why they are the leagues best at allowing
the fewest goals. It is a thing of beauty to witness and
understand why they are second to none at what they do."
West Conference: Marcel vs. Andrew
While the Attack (Marcel) are only up 8 points and the Kings (Andrew)
seemingly a little more comfortable and up 11 points, the NHLP West
Conferences Finalists will likely be decided on the outcome of the NHL
series between Montreal and Boston. "GM Marcel is much more
invested in this series" stated Muddy Capone, "GM Andrew may have a few
outs but it is all or nothing for GM Marcel." The NHLP Yearbook
hasn't yet done their story on GM Andrew's Los Angles Kings, a team set
to possibly make the NHLP Finals for a third straight season, something
never accomplished by an NHLP team. "We have certainly noticed
this fact and it could go the way of the Buffalo Bills" said Capone, "Or
it could go the way of a 6th NHLP Championship." It appears at
this time that Los Angles is GM Andrew's only remaining hope of winning
in 2014 and will become either back to back wins as a GM or three
straight losses in the NHLP Finals as a Kings Franchise.
Nash Could Be Key
The Alaska Attack (Marcel) stretched out their surprising lead over
Portland (Vinnie) to 13-4. GM Marcel is hoping the New York
Rangers can come back in their NHL series, possibly adding Nash to what
could be next round for the Attack. What could be is a battle
against Los Angeles (Andrew) who are in complete control, up 12-2 versus
St Louis (Tyson). If the Attack can win with Nash, that will be at
least a 4 player Conference Finals and a guaranteed player in the NHLP
Finals if Montreal is battling the Rangers for a spot there in the NHL.
"With how things are unfolding, Nash is a big player" said Muddy Capone,
"That one extra player next round when things are close that could be
the difference of winning an NHLP Cup or not even being there."
Nordiques Alive & Well
At six years as an NHLP GM, next to GM Tyson's five years, GM Matt is
the leagues rookie. "I think I have gotten better every year" said
Matt earlier in the season, "I am a big fan of learning and want to win
it all very badly." One thing the NHLP Yearbook has grown to know
is GM Matt's desire and dedication. Matt's 32 Transactions on the
season were second only to the 35 of GM Andrew. "I believe you
have to make a lot of moves, adding little pieces as you go" said Matt.
Matt's Quebec entry in the NHLP through up 38 first round points in a
dominate performance and after another big night
last night, now have a 9-8 lead on GM Andrew's Hartford team. With
the accompanying win of the Minnesota Wild the Nords could still win and
move 5 players into the East Conference Finals, then being a favorite
against the New York Islanders (Ryan). Many teams are wondering
how the Islanders will be stopped but a Wild win this round could be all
it takes for the Nordiques to possible get to the Cup Finals. "It
is a game by game, point by point journey" said Matt, "It is also Wild."
We think it is all Wild.
Divisions for 2014-15 Set Below The Two Teams that win in the first round of the
playoffs in each Division and the 5th
place team – Stay in that Division, the two first round losers and 6th
place teams – move to the other Division within the same Conference.
2 First Round Winners
San Fran (Scott)
Las Vegas (Vinnie)
2 South's First Round Losers
5th - Cincinnati (Matt)
6th (South) - Miami (Charlie)
2 First Round Winners
New Orleans (Shawn)
2 North's First Round Losers
5th - Buffalo (Joel)
6th (North) - Dallas (Jr & Scottie)
2 First Round Winners
2 East's First Round Losers
5th - Memphis (Jr & Scottie)
6th (East) - NY Rangers (Charlie)
2 First Round Winners
NY Islanders (Ryan)
2 Atlantic's First Round Losers
Atlantic City (Vinnie)
5th - Halifax (Shawn)
6th (Atlantic) - Carolina (Joel)
2 First Round Winners
Los Angeles (Andrew)
St Louis (Tyson)
2 West's First Round Losers
5th - Phoenix (Charlie)
6th (West) - Colorado (Chad)
2 First Round Winners
2 Pacific's First Round Losers
Calgary (Jr. & Scottie)
5th - Edmonton (Scott)
6th (Pacific) - Green Bay (Ryan)
Minny Must Win
GM Matt's three Wild players haven't scored often in the first two games
of their series, leaving Matt's Quebec Nordiques down 8-4 against
Hartford (Andrew). If Minnesota doesn't change this series on home
ice they will be down 3-0 to the Chicago Blackhawks, as deep a team as
their is remaining in the NHL playoffs and certain doom would likely
follow the Wild soon there after. Winning on home ice means the
series could be tied 2-2 and suddenly with the extra man games the
confidence would be back in the Nordiques, a team simply unstoppable in
Round One. The Wild play great defence at home even a split would
be a tall order for a team not known for their offence.
Attack Need Points - Win
GM Marcel's Alaska Attack are in a battle for the West Division crown,
up 8-4 over Portland (Vinnie) who's solid team will be hard to beat by
the end of the series. Marcel needs his Habs to win on home ice
and do some scoring. With Desharnais, Subban and Plekanec getting
a solid 7 points in Boston, Marcel must be confident they can continue
to score. The Attack's opportunity to win the NHLP Cup likely rest
with the Habs making the finals and there isn't likely a harder team
they'd play then Boston. With GM Andrew's Kings winning 10-2 it
will still only be an even match-up if Marcel's three Habs are there and
a potential Walk-over if they are not. "If Alaska can make the
NHLP Finals with Montreal joining them in the NHL, GM Marcel will be as
good as any other team remaining" said Muddy Capone. Clearly GM
Marcel will be glued to games 3 and 4 as Montreal hopes to knock out the
heavily favored Bruins.
Gab, Gab, Gab
"It just isn't going away" said GM Scott about the final NHLP deal of
the season in which the Hartford Whalers (Andrew) Grabbed Gaborik from
Philadelphia (Scott) for Briere. The deal has paid off for
Hartford who would have been knocked out of the NHLP playoffs in Round
One had it not been for Gaborik's extra points and after a 3 point game
one from "Gabby" GM Andrew certainly looks every bit the genius for this
move. "My weakness as a GM is I keep coming back to certain
players I see something in that clearly others find laughable" said GM
Scott, "You question yourself all the time as a GM when you are the
minority, but how often does the majority believe the St Louis Blues are
going to make the NHL Finals this season." GM Andrew seems in good
shape to represent the Atlantic Division in the Conference Finals,
currently up 7-3 and with GM Matt in Quebec not sending out many texts
this round, but with his next round matchup certainly the New York
Islanders (Ryan) the Whaler will go quietly next round unless one of
Chicago or Pittsburgh lose this round. Andrew isn't saying much,
not answering the NHLP Yearbook texts, something the NHLP Yearbook has
come accustomed to over the years. "We beg for quotes but GM
Andrew is like trying to get a good interview out of Kings Coach Sutter"
laughed Muddy Capone, "Isn't he just a waste of minutes on TV."
Gab, Gab, Gab - They Aren't.
Ho33a - with "LOVE"
It was only a week before the NHLP Trading Deadline that GM Ryan made
his big move. "Trading O'Reilly, Marchard and Wingles for us was a
huge deal" stated the GM, "But Hossa, Shaw and Hjalmarsson we thought
was the fairest of returns." Well Hossa just went back to back 3
point games in the Second Round of the NHLP playoffs, the same day the
Hamilton Hitmen (Tyson), who traded Hossa, went golfing for the third
straight day on different golf courses throughout the world. "We'd
be fishing this time of year" stated the GM who admitted he isn't much
on golf, "But fishing is going to have to wait" said the GM with a huge
smile. GM Ryan has 7 players who all could move on and if Chicago
and Pittsburgh meet in the NHL finals this season there isn't a damn
thing the other NHLP GM's can do but crown GM Ryan a winner. "This
means a lot to me" said Ryan, "I've invested 12 years into this goal and
I have had more teams lose in the Finals then I even care to think
about. I've taken my knocks from Muddy Capone and for a change it
would be nice to have him sing my praises for a season or two instead of
looking for more ways to knock my Franchises." Well Ryan, believe
it or not the NHLP Yearbook has been singing your praises:
GM Marcel will have played 8 man games to 2 before GM Vinnie even plays
the first games of four of his players series. Alaska has an early
lead of 4-0 and Marcel's three Habs play an early game Saturday before
GM Vinnie and his Portland Winter Hawks even play their game ones.
"Portland has a lot of scoring potential" said Muddy Capone referring to
Perry, Williams. Cogliano and Muzzin who although down early are a
couple point favorites to advance in the NHLP playoffs.
Islanders Hossa Big Three
Many NHL players end their careers without ever playing in the NHL
Championship let alone getting their name on the Stanley Cup. For
Marian Hossa he has played in 4 of the last 6 Stanley Cup finals, but
yet his name does not appear on the NHLP Championship team. "You
go all out as a GM to grab a player like this, a winner" said Muddy
Capone, "GM Ryan's huge deal may be his name on his first Cup."
The huge deal Capone refers to is a deal with fellow GM Tyson in
Hamilton. Ryan traded O'Reilly, Marchand and Wingles and added
three Blackhawks Hossa, Shaw and Hjalmarsson. Along with Ryan's
three Penguins, these players could be all he needs to win his first
NHLP Cup. Ryan's Islanders got 7 points tonight and are now up 7-0
over Montreal (Marcel). With Niskanens points cancelling out it
seems impossible now for Marcel to move on leaving Ryan a huge Chicago
and Pittsburgh fan. Editors Note: If Chicago makes the
finals Hossa would play in 5 of the last 7 NHL finals - no wonder so
many GM's love this guy.
Remember the Titan
It was a dream season in 2003 for the San Fran Titan, a team that GM
Scott calls his "Best team of all time." Of course he says he
likely had better teams, "But only a team that wins it all can truly be
called your best team of all time" the GM said. The team included
Alfredsson, Hull and Elias in the prime of their careers and three
defensemen Zubov, Morris and Jovanovski. Scott was excited to have
one player from each of the top 6 teams in the league, three per
conference. By the time the finals rolled around first year GM
Vinnie had made the Championship with Sykora who had 59 points during
the regular season, second on the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim to Kariya and
GM Scott had Elias, who's 57 during the season was enough to lead the
Devils, a very defensive minded team. "I recall watching with
Vinnie, game 5 of the Final series, a 6-3 Devils win with Vinnie and I
neck and neck in points" said Scott, "About 15 others there that night
couldn't believe the intensity of my cheering and likely either could
Vin Dog." Scott explains it had been 11 years at that time since
his first and only Cup win, "So I knew how hard it was to win the NHLP
Championship and I can't say GM Vinnie did at that time". Now 11
years later GM Vinnie has yet to win himself and he too now understands
just how hard it is to win. GM Scott says this seasons Titan, led
by true NHL warriors Toews, Keith, Kopitar, Doughty and Doughty would in
fact be his greatest team of all time shall they eventually win.
They all had 7 or more points each in round one and 3 of the 5 lead the
NHL in playoff minutes played. Keith has played more minutes the
last 5 seasons then any other NHL player. "This is my kind of
team, my kind of players" said the GM, "Two-way players, top defensemen
on good teams. The players you want when you go into battle."
The Titan ended up winning their only Cup, 7-5 in the 2003 finals.
A series that wasn't decided until the Devils won game 7. In the
past 11 years GM Scott has had the fortune of adding two more Cups while
it hasn't happened for GM Vinnie who has his best chance since to win
his first Cup and of course, that team is led by none other then another
MIGHTY Duck, Perry. GM Vinnie can easily go to the finals this
season and although down early in his Second Round series, he is use to
that after coming back down 10 points in Round One. "I think
Vinnie gets it now" said Scott about the "Intensity" GM Scott felt back
in 2003 and if all goes well for the two GM's they could easily meet
again in the 2014 Finals where GM Vinnie or Scott could someday look
back at what could become their greatest team ever.
Subban Big Start for Attack
There are three NHLP series predicted to be blowouts of double digits
while the other three are under 5 points predicts the CTR. Alaska
(Marcel) jumped out to a 3-0 lead in a series that likely comes down to
the series lengths of Boston-Montreal and Anaheim-Los Angeles. GM
Marcel is expected to get 11 of his roughly 19 points in the Montreal
series, so going 7 against the Bruins could be enough to overcome the
two point underdogs they are. GM Vinnie's Portland Winter Hawks
would benefit with Soderberg but Marcel has no benefit from a very long
Anaheim-LA series where Vinnie has 4 of his 6 players and 14 of his
expected 23 points. "If someone takes the other out quick Portland
could be doomed" stated Muddy Capone. It appears GM Marcel's best
bet to win a Cup is for Montreal to go to the Finals while GM Vinnie
could be well on an Anaheim final or a matchup of Pittsburgh or Boston
versus either Anaheim or Los Angeles.
Islanders Friday BIG
GM Ryan has 7 players in Round Two, one of actually three teams to
accomplish that this season (San Fran, Scott and Los Angeles, Andrew)
but is the only team remaining with three Blackhawks and three Penguins.
The New York Islanders will be very strong as long as either of those
two teams remain and being almost a 20 point favorite this round it
seems the Islanders will be playing for the Conference Finals. If
that is the case the Chicago series will be very big with GM Matt the
favorite to beat out Hartford (Andrew) with Matt's Quebec team who has
three Wild players, Parise, Pominville and Suter. The CTR
predicted those three would score 12 points in round one but to the
dismay of the Philadelphia Flyer (Scott) they scored 19. "We Come
Atcha" is the Nordiques slogan and GM Scott received 38 texts last
round, something GM Matt sends out each time his team gets a point.
"I thought it was cool" said GM Scott of receiving the texts, "But it
tired after we were losing 7-2 after game ones." Scott said he had
no response for Matt's Wild players something GM Andrew is about to find
out for himself first hand on Friday night when the Wild play game one
2014-15 Divisions Set
You can scroll down this page and see next years Divisions.
Winners of the first round stayed and losing teams were relegated to the
other division. This allows minor changes each year so GM's are
not always in the same divisions as other GM's and it is completely
random and ever changing each year. Of course the NHLP Draft has
teams picking high and low which makes it interesting as well.
Brown Empty Net Goal Sinks Pens
The CTR curse got the best of GM Chad's Penguins. Predicted to win
the NHLP Championship by the Yearbook Pittsburgh lost out on the
tie-breaker in round one, 26-26. GM Marcel needed a late point and
into the empty net he got it from Brown as the Kings sealed the Sharks
fate and GM Marcel sealed Chad's only remaining hope for a championship
in 2014. "We have double checked all those point totals and it
does appear Brown's point was the point to tie the series" stated Muddy
All Tie-Breakers are In
Thanks - good luck everyone
Check YOUR Series
I double checked everything, but only checked last nights games once.
Check for a late change. I will later in the day, but things are
happening fast because there is hockey tonight.
Picks will be in the email, get your picks right back quick. The
site will be updated within hours. Sheets emailed tonight or
CTR Goes 7-5
The biggest shocker was the 5 point favorite Chicago Blackhawks (Andrew)
of the 4 upsets. Andrew's Champion team didn't score near their
predicted 26 points as Thornton and Marchand had 3 points between them
of an expected 10. The Hawks had made a huge Deadline deal trading
Malkin, Steen and Kruger to New Orleans (Shawn) for Thornton, Landeskog
and Bouwmeester, three players that all went out in the first round.
The Wolverines still have Malkin and Kruger who make up a three man unit
with Maroon who will play only St Louis after the Bruins had a
devastating night losing their 4 Sharks.
GM Marcel must feel he can do this. Marcel's Habs are down 26-23,
three points now that one was added to GM Chad's Penguins when it was
realized Shaw has 4 points in the playoffs. To win Marcel will
need to tie, so his players Giroux, Duchene, Couturier, Demers and Brown
to outscore Stepan by just 3 points on the night. Game by game
breakdowns are not as positive as GM Marcel's thinking: 0-1, 1-1,
2-1, 2-0, 2-1 and 4-0. Only last game did Marcel's 5 players
outscore Stepan by the required 3 and Stepan won or tied both games one
and two. Of course the Canadiens did not have Duchene in the
series outside of last game and that is a very scary thought for GM Chad
as Duchene is a monster and easily able to have a 3 point night by
Champs MUST Score
GM Andrew must now score. He has kept waiting for his team to
explode, but with only 3 games left in round one, there is no tomorrow.
Thornton, Landeskog, Richards and King must outscore Moulson, Williams
and Havlat by one point tonight or GM Vinnie will win this series.
The winner will play San Fran (Scott) who will be unstoppable next round
if the Kings complete their comeback, so both GM's need to not only win,
but have San Jose win tonight.
Gamblers Odds Remote
GM Vinnie and Andrew have had a couple classic battles in round one.
Vinnie's Atlantic City Gamblers are only down 21-20, but must have a two
point gain to win. The Gamblers send out Boyle and McDonagh,
hoping for a huge Rangers game, to outscore Pavelski, Gaborik, Voracek
and Burns. "There likely isn't a betting man alive that would bet
on that to happen" stated Muddy Capone, "But the games have to be played
before things are official."
Three Crucial Game 7's
The NHLP has a lot on the line. Definitely several teams who are
do or die on tonight's games. Here is a quick list of who is
cheering hard for who.
San Fran - Kings
Boston - Sharks
Quebec - Wild
Montreal - Flyers
St Louis - Kings
There are many other GM's affected, but these teams are heavily invested
and if thing don't go their way tonight, are likely not strong enough to
win the cup without the players they will lose. Of course many
GM's who are winning aren't affected tonight in a certain game, but will
be in next rounds matchup.
Pavelski Gets OT Assist in Game 3
When I was double checking the numbers, it was noted that Pavelski did
in fact get an assist in game 3 of the San Jose series, making the NHLP
series 20-20 between Hartford (Andrew) and Atlantic City (Vinnie).
With the tie-breaker Andrew now is winning the series with Voracek
playing tonight against McDonagh and Boyle. Vinnie must now gain
tonight or get another game from his two Rangers or he loses this
series. Other series are being checked.
Shaw Game 5 Point Added
GM Chad gets an extra point in Pittsburgh, now leading GM Marcel in
Montreal 26-23. It is a huge point, but Shaw has 4 points, not 3.
Check Your Series
I believe all else is correct heading into Wednesday Game 7s. I
double checked every series within 5 points or that could swing tonight.
Gaborik: "A Hartford Savour"
It never fails that the final NHLP trade of the season gets talked
about, good or bad. "The one before it just doesn't have the same
stigma" said Muddy Capone, "Even though it is equally important."
This season's final deal saw the Philadelphia Flyer (Scott) turn to
desperation knowing Kane and Letang were out until the playoffs and just
heard Duchene was likely out for certain. Feeling the heat the
Flyer went hard after an 8 point deal with Hartford (Andrew) for
Galchenyuk. Andrew's counter wasn't anything Scott wanted, but
when Andrew didn't budge off Galchenyuk who ironically hasn't played and
likely will not play next round for Andrew in this years playoffs,
Scott accepted Briere even though many GM's were
trying to talk him out of such a "Bad" move (Jr trying to
make GM Scott think it through but Scott telling him, 'I got this Jr'.).
Gaborik did come back and outscore Briere and so far in round one, has 4
points compared with Briere's 2. Hartford is losing 20-19 but
would be worse at 20-17 without Gaborik. With this series about to
end and with Hartford with the tie-breaker, they only need a single
point gain from Pavelski, Voracek, Burns and Gaborik who are matched
against McDonagh and Boyle of Atlantic City (Vinnie). With the
four Whalers outscoring the two Gamblers 15-3 so far in Round One, it
would seem a certainly they can gain one more point. Better one
than without Gaborik which would mean gaining 3. Winning GM's make
great deals, always looking to improve their team, even if only with ten
minutes to go in the NHLP Trading Deadline.
"Are You Still Trying to Win?"
It is hard enough to get up by 10 points in the NHLP playoffs when most
First Round winning teams only score into the 20's, some not even that.
So to have a 10+ point lead and lose, we aren't even sure that has
happened. "Without going back over all the past playoffs, I always
thought an eight point comeback was the record" stated Muddy Capone,
"But it will be fun to look into the biggest comebacks of all time."
The favored Portland Winter Hawks (Vinnie) are a CTR favorite to get to
the NHLP Finals, but certainly didn't start the playoffs that way.
After having come roaring back, now winning 25-22 over Seattle (Shawn)
with the Hawks tie-breaker on Pittsburgh, the series still isn't over.
Vinnie sends out Kunitz, Williams and Muzzin tonight, players combining
for 9 playoff points so far versus the Storm's Marleau, Maatta and Matta.
Regardless of what happens tonight GM Shawn is still hoping for two more
games from both Simmons and Hartnell.
"To have come back and fail now reminds me of the
Princess Bride scene" said the movie buff Capone (he really
only knows Bad Santa, Tombstome, Miracle and The Princess Bride).
Editor Note: Don't laugh, anything that has ever happened in the
NHLP you can somehow relate to those four movies.
King for a Year?
The Los Angeles Kings (Andrew) have 7 players advancing if the Rangers
and Penguins can both complete their series, both up 3-2. The
Kings team includes three Bruins, Krejci, Lucic and Krug, not a team any
NHLP team wants to play the rest of the way. The three scored 11
of their predicted 12 First Round points and shouldn't be expected to
get less than double-digits in any further round they play. For GM
Andrew the Kings are an unfolding story, which with Andrew the author,
has him winning his 6th NHLP Championship. A run of domination,
doom and destruction of every team they play the 'rest of the way'.
Of course the story has a little drama early on, as far fetched as it
would seem, but after all, a great writer wants to keep the reader
interested. Wants them to keep reading, for what fun would it
be if the Cup was already engraved. The 'early drama'
revolves around the six-playered Indianapolis Icemen (Matt). A
team always with high hopes, little finish and never truly anything
realistic. A GM who loves building his teams, loves the league,
but just cannot seem to catch a break. Well the Icemen would seem
to have finally caught their break, a dominate LA Kings team that hasn't
scored 20 points in Round One, where they certainly now appear most
vulnerable. Even with these early troubles the Kings are still
leading 19-17, with the tie-breaker already secured. They just now
need that Ranger (McDonagh) and that Penguin (Stempniak) to not lose 3
points to what the Icemen have left. For GM Matt, his best scoring
playoff player Dubinsky and his own Ranger, Brassard. Both the
GM's players will play even up the rest of the way. Dubinsky has
outscored Stempniak 6-2 in the first 5 games, so GM Matt clearly is in
good shape if the Blue Jackets can extend their series. Shall the
Penguins end it tonight GM Matt's Icemen will surely be doomed, as
Brassard has only a single point in the playoffs, even though one more
than McDonagh. So far you can't write this script more exciting.
The CTR predicted the Pittsburgh Penguins (Chad) would win the NHLP
Championship after tough battles in Rounds One & Two. GM Chad is
ready to take that next step, his final move is advancing Stepan who
will be needed next round. GM Marcel's Montreal Canadiens want a
different ending title to this story, one titled "Stepan Stoned".
The Habs are down 25-17, a whopping 8 points, with the tie-breaker so
far going their way having chosen Pittsburgh. The Habs miracle
finish of Round One could yet see them have 7 players in round two if
Philadelphia and Los Angeles could ever come back and yet move on.
Marcel now needs his players, Giroux, Duchene (who might play tonight
but certainly game 7 if it goes the distance), Niskanen, Couturier,
Demars and Brown, at least a 6-1 man game advantage and possibly as many
as 10-1 or 12-2 if the right series for the Habs go 7. It is a
tall order for sure as even a point per game gain means Marcel's team
would need a 9-1 advantage and Pittsburgh winning the tie-breaker.
The winner here will play the New York Islanders (Ryan) who is still
hoping to have a full 7 players himself if Pittsburgh and Los Angeles
advance. Hossa, Seabrook and Shaw already have advanced making the
Islanders a deadly team but still needing his three Pens or next round
will be dicey at best versus Chad or Marcel.
Benn There, Haven't Done That
GM Vinnie has been to the NHLP Championship, almost winning in his
rookie season in a narrow decision to San Fran Titan (Scott).
Vinnie is in three huge series, none separated by more then 3 points
heading into today. Tied 13-13 in Las Vegas with GM Andrew's
reigning Champions the Strip send out Benn for what they hope won't be
the last time. Benn needs to finish big and he has the potential
to do it with a point every game in the playoffs, facing only
Bouwmeester. The Hawks still have plenty of artillery with
Thornton, Landeskog, Richards and King, but that is another night.
Portland (Vinnie) is now up 22-21, after being down a full 10 points
after completed game three's, Vinnie can be up by the end of game fives
if Simmonds and Hartnell don't have points today for GM Shawn in
Seattle. Both these teams have six players left, so the winner
still likely needs 30 points. Finally GM Vinnie is again in a
battle, down 19-16 but with major man games and and players remaining
that he can turn this huge series in his favor. Hartford (Andrew)
could yet have 6 players moving on but only have Voracek to keep his
lead today versus Sharp, Shattenkirk, McDonagh, Seabrook, Roy and Boyle.
The Whalers likely cannot afford a St Louis Blues NHL win today giving
Vinnie full game 7's in that series where he has 10 points without Sharp
having a point. You know that won't continue.
Sunday Crucial Games
Every NHLP series and potential matchups are affected by the outcomes of
the games today. "Many series just have to many permutation and
combinations entering the day" said Muddy Capone, "Cup dreams are
clearly playing out with each shift today." In typical NHLP
fashion there are NHLP teams tied or within a few points and seemingly
are finding it impossible to turn the series and other teams down 5 or
more points who realistically still can pull it out. The day
starts with a big game 5 between Philadelphia and the Rangers before St
Louis then Dallas both face elimination to the Blackhawks and Ducks.
Either of those series could go 7 games and change everything as far as
who wins this round the the matchups next. "There is no pool in
the world where one point in the first round means as much as it does in
the NHLP" said Capone, "A point or a win today can be the event that
changes the outcome when one day we look back and see how the Champion
made it happen."
Comeback or Collapse?
The Portland Winter Hawks (Vinnie), predicted to go to the NHLP
Championship and possibly win it all were being hammered at the end of
game threes, 18-8. "That is usually a little late to start your
comeback" stated Muddy Capone, "But GM Shawn is use to letting teams
come back this season." GM Shawn's Seattle Storm have games at
hand and are still up 22-21, but after a colossal collapse by Halifax to
end the NHLP season, one has to wonder if maybe this just isn't his year
after all. What looked so promising for Shawn's other team in New
Orleans who is firmly up 16-9 isn't looking as great now that Steen,
Schwartz and Pietrangello and maybe even Malkin might not advance with
the team. "It isn't over by a long shot" said Capone, "GM Shawn
has to be thinking of the comeback himself, points, players and series
and turn his biggest collapse in his years as a GM into his greatest
Champs - Now or Never?
GM Andrew's Chicago Blackhawks are in solid position to move on, even
though down 11-10 and now with the tie-breaker versus the Las Vegas
Strip (Vinnie), a team that just won't go away. "Most teams down
this late may be a tad nervous but there is no reason when you have
built this kind of team, you can't get it done tonight" said Muddy
Capone. The positives look very positive as Andrew will need to
gain a point tonight with Thornton, Landeskog, Marchand, Krug, Richards
and King, players all but Landeskog facing elimination games today.
The Strip send out Moulson, Williams, Chara and Havlat, who is yet to
play this playoffs. If all those players are eliminated tonight
who could be, now GM Vinnie's Strip would have Been and Moulson versus
Landeskog and Boumeester, something that suddenly may be considered the
"not so positive" for the reining champions. "The Champs backs are
against the ropes" said Muddy Capone, "But down a mere point, likely
winning the current round tonight could be all it takes for the judges
to have them firmly ahead on the scorecard before this final decision is
What do Oshie, McDonagh and Tarasenko Have in Common With Marchand?
It is painful to watch your player miss a wide open net and just a day
after Marchand missed to completely empty nets, three others missed
opportunities you still cannot believe after watching the replays.
One could argue both Oshie and McDonagh were robbed by great saves,
others could argue they simply choked by not being able to bury game
winners. GM Andrew's Kings find himself down 14-13 and surely
could have used McDonagh's point. If Boston advances very quietly
today the Kings might have a very sick feeling that these chances cost
them a series run at an NHLP Championship. In the Pacific
Division's other series, now led 14-10 by The Blues (Tyson), the Flames
(Jr) surely didn't like the Oshie miss. The Flames have Lucic,
Landeskog and Stempniac to try and come back today versus Richards and
Toffoli who face elimination. Miss opportunities seem to hurt a
whole lot more when you are losing.
Quebec All Wild
GM Matt knows he must have the Minnesota Wild win in their NHL series or
frankly his massive upset win in round one of the NHLP series surely
won't be the same. Matt's Nordiques are up 23-17, a whopping 6
points for a team that was at least a 4 point underdog. With
Parise, MacKinnon, Pominville, Suter and Brown all going tonight there
is reason to believe this team is moving on. With Gallagher
already in round two and Brown still a miracle away, the Nordiques know
they will have Parise, Pomminville and Suter, an unstoppable force next
round, or MacKinnon a great consolation but likely not near enough
scoring to move into the Conference Finals. The good thing for the
Wild is tonight is only game 5 and even if the Wild are shutout, the
Nordiques will still have a lot of life for a series destine to go the
distance. The bad thing is if the Wild do get shutout tonight, GM
Scott surely will have gained with Johansen, Johansen, Letang and
Sheahan still giving all they have for the Flyer. Every Johansen
point closes the gap in a hurry and with the Pens-Jackets series still
looking like a 7 game series the Wild Three don't have to be amazing,
just keep scoring and winning and the Nordiques will continue to have a
GM's Chad and Andrew are in battles in their NHLP series. It must
have been excruciating watching Marchand play Thursday night. Not
only did he miss a wide open net, HE MISSED TWO!!! If you didn't
see these click the link above. The one shown was hysterical
because the Detroit Goalie actually turned and gave up on the play as he
assumed the puck when into the net. After a second or two when he
realized Marchand didn't score, I don't think he even knows what
happened. Chad's Maple Leafs are down 12-8 and those two gimmes
could have completely changed everything for Chad's team that could
still have 7 players moving on. In a battle with New Orleans
(Shawn) where every point is huge, it is almost a certainty these points
matter later when the series ends. GM Andrew's reining Cup winners
in Chicago are tied 10-10, and tied on the pick, so how important were
these misses for his team that has Thornton. These are the ones
you can't shake when you lose by a point and I am certain Marchand did
have a sleepless night.
Blues Hope for Extension
GM Tyson's St Louis Blues now have a 10-8 lead over Calgary (Jr &
Scottie) and with the teams both with 6 players remaining, the Blues
could lose both Richards and Toffolli tonight. The Flames send out
Lucic and Landeskog, a 4-1 point gain so far for the Flames, so this
series should again tighten up after tonight. This series is
turning epic for the GM's who both have two NHLP Championships and would
love nothing more than to knock the other out. Every team in the
Pacific can make a run right out of the Division right now and that
plays into how massive these games are. "You work long before the
draft in September, all season long and now it comes down to 10 to 15
player games and the right teams winning" said Muddy Capone, "If you
aren't wired for puck drop maybe the NHLP just isn't your game."
The Indianapolis Icemen (Matt) are getting a great offensive series for
the seemingly unstoppable Dubinsky, now 6 points in 4 games and at least
2 more games to come. The Icemen are up 13-10, the largest lead of
the series over the Los Angeles Kings (Andrew). Iginla and
Eriksson go tonight against Krejci, Lucic and Krug in what has been a
3-3 saw-off after three games. "Underdogs do best when series end
fast" said Muddy Capone, "So the Icemen have nothing positive coming out
of Detroit extending the NHL series with Boston." With all players
in this NHLP series head to head, a 3 point lead is very massive.
You always hate to cheer for your team to lose but barring a big night
for his players, GM Andrew will likely be hoping Detroit can win a 4-3
game where Andrew picks up a few points his way.
Nords kNOw Fear?
You speak with GM Matt and he has no fear. "I love Minnesota's
chances of coming back and beating Colorado" says Matt over and over.
The GM said he isn't worried about the Flyer either, even after their
big 7 point night cut this series to 19-16. GM Scott said he
believes GM Matt. "He doesn't have a cocky or arrogant approach"
said Scott, "I know he believes in his heart in his team and his
Minnesota players but I also know if they lose tonight that Orange dot
in the rearview mirror will be much closer than it appears." So it
is a huge night. The Nordiques have a free night, all players on
board including Parise, MacKinnon, Pominville, Suter and Brown to
stretch out the lead against only Sheahan. That looks good on
paper, but GM Scott views things a totally different way. "These
are our games at hand, not his" stated the Philly GM pointing out that
Quebec has 4 player games remaining after tonight if the Wild and Kings
don't win, while the Flyer have 9 more for certain without the two
Duchene has that he won't play. So it is a big night and if Matt
gets his wish of points and a Wild win that Orange dot might be back to
where it was.
The only NHLP series where both teams have less then 10 points is the
only NHLP series in history to feature two, two time winning teams.
Las Vegas (Vinnie) is up on the tie-breaker and hopes to play more
defense tonight when Moulson, Williams, Chara and Havlat (likely won't
play) who have a combined one point in the playoffs go up against
Chicago's (Andrew) team of Thornton, Landeskog, Marchand, Krug, Richards
and King who have 8 points in the series. "You keep waiting every
day for the bubble to burst" said Muddy Capone, "And next thing you know
teams are playing elimination games." A sharks win tonight, 1-0,
likely is best case scenario for Vinnie, leaving Andrew only a 4-3
advantage in players. Vinnie did get a huge break last night when
Benn, who has a point every game, is now certain to play at least 2 more
as Dallas is pushing Anaheim.
Nothing Sweeter Than a Repeater
The Chicago Blackhawks (Andrew) are likely loving what they are seeing
in the North Division. Up by the slimmest of margins liking isn't
making the reigning Champ sweat, even though Las Vegas (Vinnie) is truly
only down 8-7. After last nights games, the already shorthanded
Strip lost Gionta and with Havlat not playing, are down 7-4 in men and
at least 11-7 in remaining man games. Vinnie currently does have
St Louis as the tie-breaker, but needs Benn and Moulson to come alive or
face certain destruction. For GM Andrew his powerhouse Blackhawks
are currently facing a walk over from San Fran (Scott) who are up 17-11
without a single player next round. This could send the Hawks
right back to the Conference Finals and with Thornton, Landeskog,
Marchand, Krug and Bowmeester they could have a very solid team the
round after next and even in the NHLP Finals. You have a mere one
point lead, so that close to losing, yet can see how easily you can win
it all. That is the NHLP. Each team seemingly has a path but
who can follow it furthest while there is still light even to take you
to the end.
GM Ryan has to be feeling pretty good in Boston. He placed his
season on four Sharks, Couture, Burns, Boyle and Demers. Now add
in St Louis or Hartnell and Lacavalier for good measure and you do have
one strong NHLP team. Up 18-6 the Bruins are in coast mode and
although the other South Division series isn't in the bag for New
Orleans (Shawn) with the Leafs (Chad) not scoring and down 9-4, it seems
the second round matchup the odds makers would bet on. The
Wolverines have potentially even a better second round scoring team then
the Bruins, which is hard to believe and the two GM's could be in for an
epic battle. Shawn will need the Blues to win this round or will
likely be pounded by Boston next round, giving Ryan lots to yet cheer
about even though his Bruins are safely advancing. Cup hopes and
dreams change nightly but for these teams they have to be feeling good
heading into tonight's games.
Calgary's Shot Very Realistic
GM Jr and his protege GM Scottie built a team with top players of 7
different top teams in the NHL. With 5 of those players currently
set to move on, the Calgary Flames have a very real opportunity.
Currently losing 9-8 to St Louis (Tyson) every night is a battle for
these teams. The Pacific's other series is now 11-10 for
Indianapolis (Matt). The Icemen have 4 players moving on while the
LA Kings (Andrew) currently have 6. Any of these four teams could
be a second round matchup and although the Blues seem the weakest of the
teams that could advance, they could still for certain end any hope
Calgary has by finishing them off in round one. The head to head
matchup in the Blues-Hawks series has favored Tyson who has Keith and
Sobotka outscoring Oshie and Versteeg 4-2. Tyson also has Seguin
and Winnik tonight who have 3 points versus Landeskog and Stempniac for
the Flames who have 4 points. Tyson had picked the Rangers as the
tie-breaker so is technically up two points. The Flames can see
their shot at a run easily take shape, but they have to get out of round
one to have any realistic hope.
Lead Just Too Large
The Alaska Attack (Marcel) had Desharnais, Subban and Plekanec advance,
ending their round one scoring, but with a 22-9 point lead over
Vancouver (Joel) it seems the Attack should easily see second round
action regardless. "Sweeps can be bad if you are in a close
series" Muddy Capone said, stating the obvious, "But eight-plus point
leads aren't leads we ever see overcome in the NHLP Playoffs."
This is a huge 13 point lead and with the Rangers and Avalanche winning
their NHL series, the Attack could yet add MacKinnon and Nash to that
second round team. Barring a miracle comeback from Portland
(Vinnie) it seems Alaska will match up against Seattle (Shawn), leading
18-8 and who currently would send through Marleau, Shattenkirk and
Maatta twice. Shawn will be cheering hard for a Flyers comback,
giving him Simmons and Hartnell as well, while Marcel will then lose
Half the NHLP series are within 3 points including two series in the
Pacific that are both tied. With home ice shifted on the
tie-breakers, both visiting NHLP teams Indianapolis (Matt) and Calgary (Jr
& Scottie) are winners of their series should they end today.
Somehow the Icemen are staying close and tonight this series will either
lose Palat and Pacioretty or keep them playing. Both players have
a point and both were expected to cancel each other out. Every
player in this series is matched up against another player, so neither
GM Andrew or Matt can get too far ahead on player games the rest of the
way, even though Andrew has an extra player. Andrew's Kings are
favorites, but so far things are just tight. Here is a quick
breakdown of the series and why it is so exciting. Andrew's Krejci,
Lucic and Krug have 3 points, same as Matt's Iginla and Eriksson.
So there is the extra player for Andrew. We mentioned Pacioretty
and Palat both have one each. Andrew has Saad who has 4 versus
Bouwmeester who has zero, big advantage Andrew. McDonaugh hasn't
scored while Matt's Brassard has one point. Finally Stempniak got
one for Andrew and Matt has got a big series, huge 4 points from
Dubinsky. You can easily see why this can be close as as players
will play and go out at the same time. The pick could play a part
as well as the man games of the extra player, which would be Krug.
If the Icemen do lose this series, they likely can blame it on only
having 6 playoff players, an NHLP no-no for every GM.
The Montreal Canadiens have the opportunity to become the first NHL team
to get to Round Two of the NHL playoffs by dealing the final blow to the
Tampa Bay Lightning tonight. To many that isn't a huge surprise
and neither is the fact that GM Marcel is most affected if this were to
happen. The series ending early does in
fact officially kill the Florida Panthers (Marcel), already down 13-3 to
GM Ryan's Bruins, and would lose half the team, Pacioretty, Markov and
Johnson. It would also hurt Marcel in Alaska where the Attack lose
of Desharnais, Subban and Plekanen could give life to the Canucks (Joel)
who would lose Filppula, but are down 18-7 and need to stop the bleeding
and creep back into this series. Finally and this may
be the shocker, GM Marcel would get help in his Montreal series.
Marcel is down 14-6 to GM Chad's Pens who would lose Purcell, Killorn
and Gallagher. These lopsided series will be impacted tonight
depending on if Tampa goes quietly into their off-season.
Chicago - Minnesota - Dallas
They are not dead just yet. Three NHL teams all lost the first two
games of their series and all won on home ice. With the Pittsburgh
win, you have all four games last night now 2-1 adding extra man games
everywhere. Two of the winning teams were outshot badly yet the
three games were shutouts. Minnesota had as many shots from Parise,
Suter and Granlund as the Avalanche had in the game and the Wild had 45
on Varlamov. In Chicago the Blackhawks finally got it. "You
have Toews and Kane going no where near the net in games one and two
simply because they can't with their injuries" said Muddy Capone, "So
Chicago electing to play the rough and tumble game, going toe to toe,
power play for power play and giving the refs no option but to let every
cross check and slash go because every single player is doing it.
You are keeping your best players furthest from where they are going to
help you win with this style of play. That goes against what you
want your star players going through. Chicago is soft, that is why
after 82 games they had the 4th least penalty minutes per game at 9
minutes per game. St Louis had 14, so why go to their level,
change your style and game only to get beat up. Make them play
your game and beat them on the score board for you aren't going to win
the war of strength with the Blues. It makes more sense to play a
speed game and stop the bullshit, allowing your star players to get
close to the net, so when they do it to your stars players, it can get
called." In Dallas the Ducks doubled up the shot totals of
the Stars but Lehtonen stopped all 37 shots, six from Maroon to get back
in the series. Any of these teams winning again on home ice
suddenly means a three game series where anything can happen.
Opponents Goal Makes GM Smile
"It sucks" said San Fran Titan GM Scott, "But it is really awesome to
see someone at the NHL office is finally paying attention." GM
Scott has been a big advocate of making sure the correct goals and
assists are called on each and every goal. He has gone as far as
gaining an inside contact at the NHL in the review office. Believe
this or not but the GM goes to great lengths to watch the goals, frame
by frame from the time the puck leaves the players stick until it
officially crosses the goal line. How does he do it? "A puck
at 6 ounces is heavy enough that it will not change direction, up or
down or left to right and it will not change it's motion from the time
it is shot until it hits something" said the GM. "So a puck will
not magically start to flutter in mid air for no reason even if we are
in denial when it relates to our teams and our players" explained the
GM. On the goal in question GM Scott said he instantly knew the
puck that was shot by Maata was not scored by Maatta as the puck first
hit a Columbus players stick and raised upwards. Jokinen was
jumping out of the way of the shot and would have had the puck go under
his skate had it not deflected this first time. How do we know the
puck hit Jokinen when real time replays don't show it? When the
puck hit Jokinen it clearly started to flutter, ever so slightly, even
if so little you would never see it in full speed. Finally it hit
a Blue Jacket in front and careened into the net. Jokinen's goal!
"I didn't think they would change it" Scott says after they first gave
it to Maata, "But the difference is a goal for Jokinen or no point at
all for Jokinen. How can't you make the right call?" In the
past the GM says if it is a players hat trick goal or a top player, like
Crosby, or just in the wrong rink like Boston or Detroit, they won't
change it. The fact they got this right was a clear message to GM
Scott, "If they got this one right, I don't think they will miss another
one. I was actually blown away they changed it and made it right.
Finally the NHL must get it and even though this goal went against us
this time, it finally has put a smile on my face the review room is
using super slow-mo as well."
The Boston Bruins (Ryan) likely didn't expect the San Jose Sharks to be
setting franchise playoff records for goals scored against the LA Kings.
Who knows, maybe he did? After finishing the NHL season with the
least amount of goals allowed in the league, only one of four teams
(Boston, NY Rangers and St Louis) to allow under 200 goals on the
season, the Kings have allowed 13 goals in just two games. GM
Ryan's Bruins have 4 Sharks and are in total control over the Florida
Panthers (Marcel), up now 13-3 and set to have at least 5 or 6 players
next round if the Sharks can beat LA two of the next 5 games. With
games at hand and Florida set to lose half their team if Montreal wins
next game it seems the extra player Bruins can't help but get excited
about a possible long run in this years playoffs. "With four
Sharks, the run will get easier as this team goes" said Muddy Capone,
"If all your eggs had to be in one basket right now, why wouldn't you
want that on the high-flying Sharks right now."
The Pacific Division has 3 teams at 7 points and one at 6. GM
Andrew's LA Kings are finding the going tough against a pesky
short-handed Indianapolis Icemen (Matt) but had a good Sunday in the
tied series, extending Krejci, Lucic, Krug and McDonagh an extra game in
NHL series where the Kings have a 16-11 predicted point advantage.
Those 5 points are this series in a nutshell and although great to be
tied, you still can't see how the Icemen can somehow pull off an upset
here. In the Pacific's 2 versus 3 seeding matchup, the Calgary
Flames (Jr & Scottie) seem in good shape, up 7-6, but now with at least
3 extra man games on the St Louis Blues (Tyson) who have 7 players all
still sitting on teams sweeping or being swept. The Division
really is anyone's at this point as every NHL series is now heading back
to a different city for games 3 and 4.
Hitmen - So Close But Yet...
The NHLP 2012 Champions Hamilton Hitmen (Tyson) are use to first round
battles. In 2012 their series with the NY Rangers (Charlie) was
tied at 21 after game fives were completed. The big difference
between this year and 2012, is after GM Tyson won that series 25-21,
pulling the upset, he was left with only Vrbata and Henrique. As
history played out it was enough to win the next three rounds 7-5, 5-1
and 2-0 in the Finals. This season's team is tied 9-9 with the
other New York team, the Islanders (Ryan) but the Hitmen have a league
best 6 players potentially advancing. "You can be losing by 10
points and see a way you can come back in the series" said Muddy Capone,
"And yet other times, tied 9-9 and can't see how you can win it."
Although that would be a stretch, saying the Hitmen can't win this
series, it seems a lot of things are working against them. The NY
Islanders are without Seabrook for the next three games, the one bright
spot for a Hitmen team that has 7 players all facing potential sweeps, a
man-game killer. The Hitmen likely must have the NHL Blackhawks
extending their series with the Blues. That job is now made harder
without Seabrook. Also if Chicago does come back and win a couple,
Hossa and Shaw certainly would have more opportunity then to score.
With the Islanders having three Pens and that series already extended
and now in Columbus, a Pen's split there adding 6 more man games from
Neal, Jokinen and Niskanen may be the daggar that kills the Hitmen.
So, so close, but yet...
Titan Sponsors See Red
The good news is chocolate sales were up this Easter. The bad news
is although the San Fran Titan (Scott) are winning Round One 10-8, they
are the only NHLP team that are potentially facing being walked over in
Round Two. While other GM's put their eggs into winning baskets
the Titan GM choose the Blackhawks and Kings, teams both facing
elimination if not early exits. "It was extremely difficult
sitting through those two Kings games" stated GM Scott, "I really
believed in that team (the Kings) but I really didn't believe the Sharks
were so big, so fast, so good." Scott admitted he was rooting for
the Sharks to matchup against the Kings in the NHL playoffs First Round,
"Even though I felt the Kings would have an easier series if matched
against the Ducks." The logic there was if you have to go through
both teams to make the Conference Finals, why not take out the team with
the most NHLP players in the first round, devastating other teams
chances when doing so. With additional man games in the bag the
Cleveland Fury (Tyson) are in relative good shape even though down a
deuce and facing a very uncertain second round team themselves, which
could be as little as just two players. The Titan never say die
but if changes don't occur on home ice it will be the death of them
regardless of an NHLP First Round win.
The Alaska Attack (Marcel) and Quebec Nordiques (Matt) are both
destroying in their series, thanks mainly to 7 points from MacKinnon.
Alaska now is up 13-4 and Quebec 14-6, both teams underdogs in their
first round matchups. MacKinnon set a record in his first ever
playoff game, the youngest player in league history to get 3 assists in
one game. Well, he matched his own record in his second career
playoff game, and through in a goal for good measure. MacKinnon
would be beating 17 NHLP teams so far. "We see every year someone
have a huge round" said Muddy Capone, "How high is this guy going to go
in the next NHLP Draft?" It is likely a safe bet he isn't too far
off from Elite status, if he isn't already there. NHLP teams
rarely ever come back from 8 points down in the playoffs. "I
certainly don't feel good about being down 8 points" said GM Scott, "But
some of the best horses in history never lead wire to wire and there is
hope when players dominate that they only play 4 games." Shorter
series may be the only hope for GM's Scott and Joel who are getting
pounded and we haven't even completed game twos.
Seabrook Gone 3
In a crushing blow to the NY Islanders (Ryan) and Atlantic City Gamblers
(Vinnie), Seabrook has in fact been suspended for three games. Off
to a great start to his playoffs with 4 points in two games, it can be
said he got his just desserts. "Every time you leave your feet,
make contact with the head and level a player who ends up hurt, you are
risking exactly this length of playoff suspension" stated a unsurprised
Muddy Capone. The Chicago Blackhawks were easily good enough, even
though undeserving, of winning both the first two games. Now
things just got harder for those who thought the Hawks may run in the
playoffs. You are never in trouble until you lose a home game but
winning without Seabrook will be difficult.
Hitmen Hope Seabrook Suspended
Every NHLP playoffs there is the one unlucky team that scores a lot of
points and still loses. This season it could be the Hamilton
Hitmen (Tyson) or NY Islanders (Ryan), both scoring 9 points already and
would be leading almost every other NHLP series. Seabrook has been
strong for GM Ryan's team, he and Niskanen both having 4 points in two
games, but now could be suspended. Many feel he deserves a game or
two after a monstrous hit on Backes that likely also ultimately cost the
Blackhawks their NHL game. Seabrook is also playing for Atlantic
City (Vinnie) who is in control of his series with Hartford (Andrew)
9-3. A suspension, like an injury, is very huge in the NHLP
playoffs as games are limited and every game missed is surely a big
Pacific Division Slow Starts
Three NHLP teams have scored as many points by themselves, as all 4 NHLP
teams so far from the Pacific Division where their combined score is 8
points. The Indianapolis Icemen (Matt) are down 2-1 to the LA
Kings (Andrew) but have the misfortune of icing a 6 man team that is now
down to 5 players after rumors of a concussion have sidelined Palat,
their top scorer. Also now without their top scorer is Calgary (Jr
& Scottie) who are also down a single point, 3-2 to GM Tyson's St Louis
Blues. Oshie is expected back at some point, but with his NHL team
winning game one, there is never any rush brining back a star until you
are at the worse tied in a series.
It is worth watching the entire thing (first 8 minutes). They
really out did themselves with this one.
Series Gets Ugly After Texts
GM Scott said he is getting tired of games played by Quebec GM Matt.
"Each time those fuckers score I get a text" said the Flyer GM who is
down 8-2 in their series, "It is like it is automated or something."
Scott said he tried to block the text "But I am not very text savy" said
the GM. The Nordiques GM said it was just a promotion the team ran
for all season ticket holders like the "Budweiser red light" stated the
GM. Each time the Nordiques score, the texts all go out with the
teams new slogan, "We Come Atcha!" Matt went on to say he does not
know why GM Scott is getting the text but that "He should get use to
them as he'll be getting another 25 or so more this round." Scott
said starting today during the Blackhawks and Blues game each time the
Flyer get a point GM Matt can expect a text himself,
"It is just a new promotion we started 5 minutes
The first NHLP player to get three points in a game so far in the
playoffs is MacKinnon, helping Alaska (Marcel) jump out to an early 6-1
in what would be a mild NHLP upset. Vancouver (Joel) still has 3
players, Nygquist, Bergeron and Chara yet to play a game, but the early
pressure is surely on. GM Marcel has made Alaska into a perennial
NHLP powerhouse, seemingly winning a few series every year to always
fall short, like last year losing 0-0 in the Conference Finals to Los
Angles on the tie-breaker in a series where they have Neal against Brown
and Stoll. "That left a sour taste in our mouths" said GM Marcel,
"The only way to forget it will be to win it all this time around."
If MacKinnon keeps up his dominating ways the Attack may just get back
to the Conference Finals again in 2014.
Fog Horn Great For Storm
What could be a key series in deciding what teams come out of the NHLP's
West Division, GM Shawn's Storm jumped out to an early 7-3 lead getting
scoring from all but one player and two from Killorn. The series
was predicted to be a one point battle with Tarasenko playing, but
without him Seattle was getting the nod. Shockingly, Tarasenko not
only played game one, but looked outstanding, although only ending in
one point for Portland (Vinnie). Soderberg rounds out the
completed first round of this series, so anything he gets cuts into the
4 point deficit facing the Winter Hawks. The CTR had to do
multiple walk throughs based on this series, as with Tarasenko, Portland
was the odds on favorite to win the NHLP Championship, but without him
would be out in round one. Now that he is back, this should be an
awesome series and so far it is all Storm.
7 Tough Ones
Not often after the first night of the NHLP playoffs would the lead
story be about a team not in the NHLP playoffs, but that is just the
season GM Joel has had. On opening night his Buffalo Sabres could
only watch what could have been, scoring 7 points from Stamkos, Crosby,
Bennett, Johnson and Bonino. The Stamkos-Crosby one-two would have
been exciting to watch play said Muddy Capone, "If they both played 7
first round games, could they reach 20 to 25 points between them, one
would have to think it would be possible." GM Joel took the
"Points are useless, unless in use" NHLP rules to extremes trading over
60 points in deals (in could have been 100). Now the same saying
has a new meaning for the playoffs but changing "Points" for "Players",
a tough pill to swallow for a GM who went for it. "Winners go for
it" said Capone, "And often the result is a great team misses.
This type of GM believes it is better to miss with a great chance then
just get in with little realistic hope." The silver lining to this
story is GM Joel's Canucks, who ironically drafted Stamkos, are CTR
predicted to make it to the NHLP Finals. This undoubtedly could
soften the blow of what could have been in Buffalo but certainly will
not be in 2014.
Living Legend Still "Rolling" His Dominance
GM Andrew has never really stopped getting better. After 4 Cup
wins in his first 8 NHLP Seasons he hit a dry spell, maybe complacency,
where he didn't win a Cup for 8 years. Heading into the 2013
season you could sense the urgency, desperation and clear frustration in
the way Andrew spoke. You simply don't win 4 times in 8 years and
get use to losing, ever. After winning Cup 5, the only GM to
achieve such staggering numbers, the 2014 season had a different feel
with Andrew and his teams. "You clearly sensed early on that he
was back" said Muddy Capone, "The things he did this season were the
moves of legends, building dominating teams you fear playing in any
round." In Round One, Andrew's teams are all favored. One
CTR spin on NHL winners actually had the GM with the final 3 teams,
although officially, we only give him one there, when the finals roll
around. While some GM's are chasing their first Cup win, Andrew
has now won 5 in his first 18 seasons (1 every 3.6 seasons) and he hopes
to make that 6 in 19 this season. "A twelve-sided die doesn't roll
number 1, five times in eighteen rolls" said Muddy Capone, "And I will
lay money it continues to come up higher than average each time it is
rolled as long as GM Andrew is a GM in the NHLP."
Pittsburgh Tops Chicago and Vancouver for Cup?
The NHLP CTR Yearbook predicted an NHLP winner, after factoring in a
very key injury, which changed everything. GM Chad's Pittsburgh
Penguins are the CTR favorite to win the 2014 NHLP Championship, what
would be Chad's third Cup and first for the Pittsburgh Franchise.
The CTR does not take any upsets into this prediction, meaning the NHL
finals of Boston and Anaheim would give Chad the Cup. Chad's Pens
are a 4 point favorite over a first round team of GM Marcel's in
Montreal that will severally miss Duchene. The 5 points lost to
this injury will give Pittsburgh the series. With the favorites
winning round one, Chad's entry led by Getzlaf would be strong enough to
topple a great New York Islanders (Ryan) and another in the Conference
Finals, Hartford (Andrew). The finals would include Chicago
(Andrew) who would have Marchand and Krug remaining versus Getzlaf and
Selanne of Pittsburgh (Chad) and Bergeron and Chara of Vancouver (Joel).
"Picking good NHLP teams isn't nearly as difficult as working a winner
through four completed rounds" said Muddy Capone, "But what fun would it
be to not take our frequently correct stab." Many GM's have
considered it a curse to be chosen a potential winner by the CTR, who
last nailed the winning team when GM Marcel's Panther's won it all in
Portland "Tarasenko Injury Key"
Before the CTR factored in the NHLP injuries, Portland (Vinnie) ended
with the Cup winning team with a final team of Perry, Soderberg and
Cogliano. If Tarasenko had the predicted 4 points in the first
round the CTR is giving him had he played, Portland would have been
favored to beat Seattle (Shawn) by a single point, instead of now
predicted to lose the series by 3 points. If the favorites all won
Round One the Winter Hawks would have 5 players remaining, enough to
knock out Vancouver (Joel) in Round Two before besting Los Angeles
(Andrew). "They can still win the series" stated Muddy Capone,
"But with such parity in the NHLP, missing any player in the first round
usually means you lose." Of the 24 NHLP playoff teams, 22 are
predicted to get 20 or more points, meaning all 24 teams are within 11
first round points of each other. "You may have a player not
expected to have a big round get 4 points" explained Capone, "But if you
don't have that player playing, he will certainly get zero without
question." Other injuries that may change series outcomes include
Duchene and Galchenyuk who are expected to miss round one along with
Tarasenko. Most players are playing but questions marks for game
one still include Oshie, Hedman, Palat, Berglund, and Brassard. In
a short series even one game missed sometimes is the difference when it
is all over.
Pens Hope For Flying Start
GM Chad starts Wednesday night with 5 of his 7 players playing including
stud Getzlaf. Getzlaf won back to back NHLP Champions, his first
with a GM Chad team in Portland in 2007 and again on one of the best
teams in NHLP history, the 2008 Florida Panthers (Marcel). In this
first round NHLP Matchup, those two GM's due battle, this time with
their teams Pittsburgh and Montreal. GM Marcel will have to
overcome a 4 point deficit in the series without big gun Duchene.
If Marcel has any hope, it might rest on short series from Anaheim where
Chad has an 8-2 predicted edge and in the Montreal-Tampa series where
Chad gains another 9 full points. "I think they can both be
sweeps" GM Marcel said in an email to the Yearbook, "There is no better
feeling than beating out the team expected to win it all." GM Chad
is hoping Getzlaf can join NHLP legend Alexei Yashin who is the only
player in the leagues history to have his name on three NHLP
Championship Cups. No other NHLP player winning this season would
result in a third win, although many players can join the Elite Second
The Chicago Blackhawks (Andrew) is favored to make the NHLP Finals, so
would be close off becoming the first team in league history to win
three team Cups. That would also make Chicago only the second team
in league history to win back to back Championships. This
Blackhawks team is also led by Joe Thornton and is likely a better team
than last season Champs. Last year's team of
Tyler Bozak,Slava Voynov,
David Perron ,Patrik Berglund,
Bryan Bickell may not be as good as Thornton, Landeskog, Marchand, Krug,
M. Richards, Bouwmeester and King. If Andrew is to get the elusive
third team Cup, they will have to beat two time Champions Las Vegas
(Vinnie) in round one, a huge historical matchup, the first time two "2
Cup" winning teams have ever battled in a playoff series. The
Strips Champions came under the direction of GM Leo in 1995 and 1998.
Las Vegas are huge 5 point underdogs in Round One, entering the NHLP
Playoffs with a weakened 6 man unit. Finally the St Louis Blues
(Tyson), winners of back to back cups in 1993 and 1994 go for a third
team Cup, and although first round favorites, aren't expected to reach
the NHLP Conference Finals.
Only Four Playoff Teams With 6
Only four of the 24 NHLP playoff teams to make the playoffs do not have
full teams. Many do have injuries but now is the time we see who
is really hurt. Some players have been ruled out of the first
round, notably Duchene, Tarasenko and Galchenyuk. Many other
players that haven't played, now we will see if they are really hurt,
such as Kane, Toews, Oshie, Malkin, McDonagh, Doughty, Filppula and
others. These players may have a huge impact on their series if
they continue to sit out games.
Detroit (7) at Boston (17)
Columbus (3) at Pittsburgh (12)
Montreal (14) at Tampa Bay (10)
Philadelphia (11) at NY Rangers (10)
Dallas (2) at Anaheim (9)
Minnesota (9) at Colorado (7)
Chicago (13) at St Louis (17)
Los Angeles (17) at San Jose (10)
With a shocking finish from both teams, the Halifax Destroyers (Shawn)
fell by a single point to the New York Islanders (Ryan) who had two 8
point nights in the final 4 nights of the regular season to grab the 4th
spot (actually 3rd). Halifax found themselves left with 5 injured
players the final few nights of the season, including 4 St Louis Blues.
"The was one of the best teams GM Shawn ever had" stated Muddy Capone,
"To see the season end in such a shocking way will be a very hard pill
to swallow if the Blues ending up with a huge NHL playoffs."
Either way a good team was set to miss, with Ryan's Islanders having
three Pens and three Hawks, including stars Neal and Hossa. Not
only did Ryan get in, but caught another falling team, Pittsburgh (Chad)
who needed tied with New York, putting the new NHLP Tie-breaking rules
to work for the first time. The first tie-breaker now was not most
goals, but most playoff players, which both teams had 7. The next
tie-breaker rule was previously most points from all your teams, where
as now it was Most Goals from the teams tied from playoff players only.
With both teams having full playoff teams, all goals counted and Ryan
won the tie-breaker 130-125, meaning they end up 3rd to play Hamilton
(Tyson) while Pittsburgh plays Montreal (Marcel) in round one.
7 NHLP Teams - One Playoff Spot
The NHL's Phoenix Coyotes have a game at hand tonight versus Nashville
before playing a Sharks team that should now be resting players Saturday
while Friday night Dallas plays the Blues. Phoenix must gain at
least 1 point in that two games to one advantage, or Sunday's matchup to
end the season between the Stars and Phoenix in the desert will not
matter. When Sunday ends, the Stars have the tie-breaker in
points, so the Yotes must finish ahead of them making their job even
tougher. The NHLP is invested quite heavily in this race as so
many GM's banked on the Coyotes at the NHLP Trading Deadline, leaving 5
teams that will penalty out if the Coyotes miss and two if it is Dallas.
"They comatcha" said GM Scott, likely one too many times. They
could also penaltyoutcha come Sunday or sooner.
Will miss if:
Las Vegas (Vinnie)
Green Bay (Ryan)
Cleveland (Tyson), Chicago (Andrew) and San Fran (Scott) are assured to
be in the playoffs while Las Vegas (Vinnie) or Cincinnati (Matt) will
take the last spot, solely based on which of the two penalties out.
If the Stars miss, so does GM Vinnie while the opposite is true for GM
Matt who goes out with the Coyotes. The North's playoff matchups
will be affected as Vegas could get the 2nd seed if they make it.
GM Joel went all out in Buffalo, trading likely 75 points to acquire his
players, top guns at that. Sitting with Crosby and Stamkos the
Sabres must score in and with just 17 player games remaining and 6
points back of Boston (Ryan) this just won't be easy. The Sabres
likely have a better chance of catching Toronto (Chad) who is riddled
with injuries, but today with the Leafs sitting with the tie-breaker,
this could be an 8 point climb. With a record number of NHL
players sitting out due to this new playoff format it would seem very
improbable Crosby will play a meaningless game Sunday against Ottawa,
while Stamkos could also sit the game with Washington if Tampa cannot
catch Montreal in the NHL standings. GM Joel appears to have cut
himself too thin and the two best NHL players may not qualify for the
The race for 4th is for nothing if Carolina (Joel) cannot get his three
Coyote players into the NHL playoffs. The Canes are a whopping 6
points back of Atlantic City (Vinnie) who appears in very rough shape
with Iginla and McDonagh hurt. The Gamblers easily have the
tie-breaker in this one, so a huge finish by GM Joel's team will be
required. Certainly Joel could also catch Philadelphia (Scott) but
with the tie-breaker and Letang back, this would be a crazy 10 point
gain over the next 18 player games.
Just when it appeared GM Ryan was going to be toast on the Island, he
comes up with a huge 8 point night. Halifax (Shawn) has 6 player
games at hand, all coming Thursday night. They are needed as the
Destroyers are only 2 points in front of the Islanders who are sitting
with the tie-breaker. Ryan has 14 player games left if everyone
plays which may be unlikely with Neal and Hossa hopeful of a night off.
Pittsburgh (Chad) isn't out of the woods only 5 ahead, but with games at
hand it would seem the New York Islanders did too little at the NHLP
Trading Deadline to get this awesome team into a playoff spot.
One of the most interesting races is now in the Pacific where things can
be made easy if the Coyotes penalty out Green Bay (Ryan). If Ryan
doesn't penalty out, he still may miss as from second to fifth is only 4
points. Calgary (Jr) does have the tie-breaker on the other three
teams but clearly with all 4 teams having lots of man games, Thursday's
games may be huge in who is in and who may miss if Phoenix does make it
in a NHL spot. Indianapolis (Matt) who is on the outside looking
in, does have Iginla who may not play until game one of the playoffs,
making his job even more difficult. It seems tonight's big nights
will determine who battles this weekend right until potentially the very
final game on the NHL schedule in if matters Sunday night in Phoenix.
Sitting in 6th place isn't all too bad for Seattle (Shawn) as they are
in as easily as the Phoenix Coyotes go out. Barring that, it would
seem this Marleau led team will not make the NHLP playoffs, leaving
Colorado (Chad) and Edmonton (Scott) to fight it out for the final spot.
GM Chad will be holding his breath the longer this stays close as it is
highly likely both Parise and Suter sit Sunday's meaningless game with
Nashville. GM Scott's Oil do have 6 of their 7 players on teams
that seem to be in races right until the final night, including two
games left from his lone star Vanek. Both Colorado and Edmonton
have two Coyotes, making tonight's Phoenix-Nashville game of great
importance, for player points and a Coyotes win. The Coyotes must
be within at least a point of Dallas on Sunday Morning, or these two
GM's automatically miss.
Here is a Reminder of the NHLP
New Tie-Breaker Rules for 2013/14 Season
Season Ties to be Broken as Follows:
Most Playoff players
of teams tied
2) Most goals from only playoff players
of teams tied
3) Most overall points on all three teams of only playoff
from GM's tied
NHLP Playoffs - Semi Finals & Finals Tie-Breakers Pick
1) Team who has scored most playoff points in first two
(Semi Finals) or three rounds (Finals) picks first and so forth.
2) If two teams are tied, the team that scored the most
points the previous round breaks that tie
3) If teams scored the same every round, the NHLP season
breaking tie-breakers kick in.
Logic - Non playoff players do not carry weight in our league and in the
playoffs, Divisional totals should not be held against a GM who is in a lower
scoring Division and goes for it instead of keeping his points for a future
tie-breaker, which is encouraged not discouraged in our league.
2013 NHLP Champions
GM Andrew became the first GM in league history to win a 5th NHLP
Championship and for that we congratulate him!
--- NHLP Cup Champions