NHLP2  ANDREW CHAD CHARLIE JOEL
JR MARCEL MATT RYAN
SCOTT SHAWN TYSON BRYCE
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Playoff Highlights for 2014/15

 

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1997 & 2015

Hartford Whalers
GM Andrew #6

Victor Hedman
Alex Killorn
Rick Nash
Derek Stepan
Alexander Steen
Kevin Shattenkirk
Jiri Sekac

 

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Updated After Games Completed:  Finals Official
NHLP Finals At a Glance...(Click for Playoff Page)
Central Conference Champs
2 New Orleans Wolverines (Shawn)
 
East Conference Champs
6 Hartford Whalers (Andrew)
+2
 
West Conference Champs
0 Vancouver Canucks (Joel)

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NHLP Playoffs - Semi Finals & Finals Tie-Breakers Pick Order

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.

 

 

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The "N" Word

After this NHLP Finals ends 143 players (124 different players) will have their name on the NHLP Championship Cup.  If Hartford wins, that means finally a player with a last name starting with an N will win.  Nash would have his name engraved into history, with 6 other first timers.  Hedman, Killorn, Stepan, Steen, Shattenkirk and Sekac all have never won.  When you read those names, that is an NHL roster that could win the Stanley Cup with any other 11 players.  Of course no player has won the NHLP Championship more than Yashin who won in 1998, 1999 and 2004, the last two times on GM Andrew winning teams.  Hartford may easily have the best team GM Andrew has ever won with taking six big names and making them first time winners of our legendary trophy.
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Hedman Too Strong Again

You'd think Johnson would be leading the players involved in the NHLP Finals in scoring, but once again it is a minute-eating, puck-moving defensemen.  "He is the exact player that has been winning Cups for years" said Muddy Capone, "Playing 30 minutes every night in the playoffs is a huge advantage for any player."  Hedman plays, plays and plays some more.  He was highly sought.  He just came off his best season ever and although he started slow this season, all indications were he'd be this kind of beast if Tampa were to run, and they have and he is.  Adding 2 more points, Hartford (Andrew) has opened up a huge 5-2 point lead, one that must change quickly for GM Shawn to have any hope in New Orleans.  The Wolverines clearly know they must win a game.  They must come out gaining a point and if Tampa Wins game 4, the elimination games begin and it will likely be over.  Shawn has to hope for a big game from Johnson, as little as any gain.  Heading into an elimination game where he is two down, Johnson could score a point into an empty net or overtime after gaining just a single in regulation, something that can happen.  It is looking like it is all Hartford.  Johnson has to step up now or never.

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All But Not Over

GM Shawn is facing the dreaded elimination game in the NHLP season.  On paper it appears all but over.  In reality, it just isn't over yet.  New Orleans must come up with two more games, likely a two point gain in each with Tampa winning them both.  "It wouldn't seem likely, but in fact it is back to back 2-0 games with Johnson in on all the final four goals, it isn't as far fetched as it may appear" said Muddy Capone, ever hoping for close NHLP Finals.  For GM Andrew in Hartford, clearly with the best NHLP team, all he needs is a simple Chicago win without Tampa scoring 5 goals and it is over.  Andrew is chasing Cup number 6, something he hasn't had to chase very hard, or maybe it is the opposite of that.  "I don't think anyone realizes just how hard Andrew works at winning" said Capone, "He makes it appear easy, but behind the scenes, what you don't see day to day is the time, work, effort and knowledge only those who dominate annually have and put in."  For Andrew it is deserving.  For Shawn it is just two games going decisively his way.

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Over-Kill Costing New Orleans?

New Orleans (Shawn) has now fallen to a 6-2 deficit with at most three NHL games left in the Stanley Cup Finals.  Johnson hasn't had the series GM Shawn had hoped, but having a second player in the NHLP Finals would be huge for New Orleans.  This is where the argument comes in and did the Wolverines build a team with too many players on one NHL team?  "If you look at the yearly NHLP Finals, having two players seems to be what you need to win" stated Muddy Capone, "Some teams build with four or five players off one team, but is this best approach?"  Shawn was likely strong enough to win the NHLP Championship on a Ducks run, with just Perry and Kesler.  So if that is the case, maybe turning Fowler and Fleischman into a second Bolt, or luck into them both being Hawks would have changed everything.  With Johnson being such a huge star, a second Bolt's player seemed very logical, instead of four Ducks.  "It is extremely difficult not to over build" said GM Andrew on the topic, "My strategies are to spread your team over the top teams and it has worked well for me."  Andrew also stated this is potentially a huge win for himself but is taking nothing for granted until it is over.  "Every year it is so hard to win and it doesn't happened often that things go your way" said GM Andrew who is on the verge of his sixth NHLP Championship, "It really makes you feel good to build a strong team capable of winning it all."  When you look at Hartford, from top to bottom, the team is arguably one of Andrew's best works.  The team really had no weaknesses with even it's seventh player, Sekac, strategically on the top seeded team in the West.  The Whalers also had two Rangers and two Blues.  They were likely to hit two players in the Finals and could have had easily three or four.  The more you look at it, the more GM Andrew flexed his skill and once again showed other GM's they need to pay more attention to the guy who wins the most.

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Hedman - Back to Back

Did Hedman have any value to the NHLP GM's?  At the Winter Meeting GM Scott traded 24 points and Johansen to GM Tyson for Hedman.  The very next deal at the meeting, Hartford (Andrew) acquired Hedman and McDonagh for Subban and Krug.  That is how GM Andrew got Hedman and his two point Game Two of the NHLP Finals, certainly makes the deal look worth it.  Oh ya, who did Andrew get Hedman in that deal from?  Yup, GM Shawn.  New Orleans is now down 3-1 in the NHLP Finals thanks to those two Hedman points.  Johnson scored his first point in the Finals to make the series briefly 2-1.  Hedman wasn't initially given an assist on the first Tampa Bay goal, even though that came as a shock said Muddy Capone.  "We thought maybe Hartford would be robbed of a point they clearly deserved" said Capone, "But they often don't get the points correct when they are announced at the games."  With the Tampa win GM Shawn still has hope, technically only down two points if the Bolts can come back and win the series.  What is the hardest for GM Shawn is watching chance after chance by Killorn and Hedman, who are often in on the same shots, but none of those shots have crippled the Wolverines just yet.  Once again the Hedman deal shows how deserving GM Andrew is of winning the 2015 NHLP Cup.

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Killorn Move Twice - Last

The Hartford Whalers (Andrew) struck first in the 1015 NHLP Finals, thanks to their final move of the NHLP season, Killorn.  Ironically Killorn was moved in the final Transaction of the NHLP season, traded to GM Marcel from GM Shawn.  In the third to last Transaction of the season, GM Scott traded Killorn to Hartford for Zuccarello, a move paying off big for Hartford.  With Chicago winning the game, Andrew has now taken the pick and has put Johnson down two points needed for New Orleans (Shawn) to win.  All players had their chances but it was the late rally by the Hawks that may have cost GM Shawn the biggest in game one.  Another few minutes and Johnson could have been on the ice with an empty net, at the Rangers end, not his own.  The series is close and with game 2 Saturday a simply point by Johnson could be enough to tie the series.  Points will likely be hard to come by the entire series, so every point will be huge.  So far it is looking like Andrew's final move of the NHLP season might have been his best.

 

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Wolverines Pick Tampa To Win It All

The 2015 NHLP Championship comes down to Johnson for the New Orleans Wolverines (Shawn) versus Hedman and Killorn for the Hartford Whalers (Andrew).  Hartford enters the Finals with Hedman and Killorn outscoring Johnson in two of the three rounds so far in the playoffs, 27-22 on paper with the third round tied.  The Wolverines have the tie-breaker and chose Tampa Bay to win the Stanley Cup, something that surprise Muddy Capone.  "We felt New Orleans best chance would correspond to the least amount of goals Tampa Bay scored, like a Chicago sweep in four" stated Capone, "But I guess Tampa could also sweep them in four as well."  What we now know is GM Joel cannot win the Cup, not that we thought Johnson, Hedman and Killorn could go the entire series without a point, but if they did in fact do so, GM Andrew picked Chicago as Hartford's tie-breaker, effectively eliminating Vancouver.  Hartford is a two point CTR favorite to win the NHLP Championship.
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Record Setting Appearance

GM Andrew continues his dominance.  With Hartford in the NHLP Finals GM Andrew has now participated in each of the last 4 NHLP Finals, breaking his own record.  "It just never ends" said Muddy Capone, "As if just being called legendary isn't enough, he continues to rub it in other GM's faces year in and year out by going out and proving it."  Hartford will try for their second team Cup, by no means a given, in what would become a record setting 6th NHLP Championship for Andrew who won in 1997, 1999, 2002, 2004 and 2013.  Andrew's first two Cups were 'two in three years' as were his 3rd and 4th.  A win in 2015 would make it a third set of 'two in three year' wins.  Andrew will be entering year 20 next season, so Hartford would make it officially 6 wins in 19 seasons, about a Cup every three years.  "Hell if we include how many times Andrew was in the Finals, we are now down to every second season" stated Capone.  These are huge games and this could be a battle but all indications are it will end up in the hands of the legend.

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That Lost Feeling

It is very difficult to not think that New Orleans (Shawn) lost the NHLP Championship.  Fact is, the deciding games haven't been played yet.  "If any player can do it, it is Johnson" said Muddy Capone, "It isn't the ideal situation, but it is just one series, one game at a time and Johnson already tied these two one round."  The shorter the series, the better chances things could end 5-5, or 6-6 where New Orleans could win on the pick, which would be Tampa Bay beating Chicago.  The more goals scored, the more points between the players, the more likelihood that Hedman and Killorn are ahead at the end.  This is GM Shawn's 10th season as a GM, without a Cup, but being the sentimental favorites will give his fans something to cheer for.  New Orleans has been dominate all season, wire to wire and it is very possible, not probable but very possible they can pull out a win.  Johnson plays late minutes, so has a chance at empty net points.  The goal that will hurt is the Killorn from Hedman goal.  New Orleans can likely not survive more than one such goal in the Finals.  Starting strong, getting a few point cushion and suddenly a close series coming into games three or four, and anything can happen.  This should be fun.  The longer it stays close, the more fun this will be to watch and enjoy.  As for Shawn, although a loss will be tough to swallow, he can take pride in having his best NHLP season including the only GM with two teams still alive last round.  "He might actually have money to play cards with this season" said GM Scott about the fact the GM turned a profit in 2015, maybe his first season doing so.  You just don't get closer than this and Cup One is one series away.

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Hats Off to GM Joel

Still licking the wounds, or that salt from the tequila shots, GM Joel's season was a great one.  Vancouver won't be 1-25 but we were pulling for them.  Joel was close and if the Rangers had won game seven instead of Tampa Bay, would have been the favorites to win the Cup.  In 8 seasons as an NHLP GM Joel has been there too many times to not have a Championship.  It shows how hard it is to win, but also drives you to come back stronger than ever to prove you can do it.  Joel is known as a tough GM without question, an asset the NHLP absolutely cannot do without.  Just another close call, another long run that ended just shy of hoisting the Championship banner.  Congrats on the run, you made it fun for us to report.  Now, start working on that draft list.

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Updated After Games Completed:  Official
Round Two At a Glance...(Click for Playoff Page)
Seed Team Score Score Team Seed
Central Conference Finals
1 Toronto Maple Leafs (Chad)
10 21 New Orleans Wolverines (Shawn)
+13
1***
 
East Conference Finals
4* Halifax Destroyers (Shawn)
10 22 Hartford Whalers (Andrew)
+9
2**
 
West Conference Finals
3** Edmonton Oil (Scott)
+1
9 15 Vancouver Canucks (Joel)
3

 

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Shawn or Andrew Cup Favorites?

GM Andrew has the best odds of winning the NHLP Championship, as GM Shawn will now need Anaheim in the NHL Finals to change that.  Hartford moved closer to a second team Cup Friday by booking a spot for Hedman and Killorn in the Finals.  GM Andrew would prefer Sekac to not join the duel, giving Hartford a slim advatnage over New Orleans (Shawn) in the NHLP Finals.  The Wolverines have Johnson moving forward, who has been outscored this playoffs 26-21 through three rounds by Hedman and Killorn, about 1.5 points a round.  New Orleans will have the tie-breaking pick, but hopes the Cup will be much more in their favor according to the CTR which gives them a 14-8 advantage to beat Hartford should the Ducks advance, giving Perry, Kesler, Fowler and Fleischman versus Sekac to make up that 1.5 points deficit Johnson by himself finds himself in.  Tonight is likely when the NHLP Cup is decided with it most likely going to Shawn with a Ducks win or Andrew if the Hawks pull it out.  Stay glued, it should be a great one.

Best of luck to both deserving GMs

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Hereford & Hops or Ernie's Pub?

We can likely assume GM Joel drowned his sorrows in one of Escanaba, Michigan's most finest establishments.  After an incredible run the Vancouver Canucks hopes of winning the 2015 NHLP Championship came to a crushing end on Friday.  Joel who has tasted defeat in the NHLP Finals on numerous occasions had hopes of being the favorite this time around, but those hopes were dashed again.  The GM spent the night in a relatively small Michigan town of 11,000 people, mostly fans of Tampa Bay and their leader Stevie Yzerman.  "Not many people are familiar with the NHLP around here" the GM stated in a text to Muddy Capone, "I think we banked and built on the right team, it just wasn't meant to be" said the shattered GM about carrying Brassard and Yandle, who turned out to be two of the hottest players in the NHL playoffs.  For Vancouver this officially ended the magical run and hopes of the 1-25.  "I already had plans of driving the I-25 next season" the GM said about what might have been, "All the way into Vancouver, what a trip that would have been."  Well maybe next year GM Joel can make plans for a drive from Kingsport, Tennessee to Charleston, South Carolina, the I-26. 

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Weekend From Hell

By the time Sunday rolls around either GM Shawn, GM Andrew or GM Joel will be favorites to win the NHLP Championship.  By Sunday both GM Shawn if Anaheim and Tampa Bay lose or GM Joel if the Rangers lose, will stand zero chance of winning it all.  "Someone may go from the actual favorite to having no chance at all" said Muddy Capone, "This is a huge weekend for these three GM's.  Something we started 10 months ago comes down to these two games, and even if it goes totally in your favor, you still haven't won the Cup by any means."  The only sure thing is GM Andrew will have some shot, but could be as heavy as a 19-10 point underdog if both the Bolts and Ducks win in game 7, basically a long shot at best.

Good Luck!!!

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Final's Teams Set

We know the NHLP Championship in 2015 will be won by Hartford (Andrew), New Orleans (Shawn) or Vancouver (Joel).  What we don't know is what those teams will look like in the NHLP Finals.  Depending on the outcomes of both the East and West NHL Conference Finals, all three GM's could have what looks like a favorite team in the NHLP Finals...
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New Orleans Wolverines - GM Shawn


The game was a mirror image, a huge blown lead, but the overtime results this time finally went in GM Shawn's favor.  Anaheim now leads 3-2 and looks to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals which on paper will give the Wolverines the best team in the NHLP Finals with Perry, Kesler, Fowler and Fleischmann.  The four have had a total of 39 points in the first three rounds, an average of 13 per round and growing.  New Orleans could also still bring in Johnson to help seal the deal, fresh off another 8 point round where he could still reach double digit points with 2 more in game 7.  So right now, Shawn can be sitting with 5 players and a CTR about 19 points in the NHLP Finals with a game 7 win by Tampa and Anaheim avoiding a game 7 tonight.  If it all goes bad, the Wolverines could have no players in the NHLP Finals, which could be set up starting tonight with a Hawks win, forcing GM Shawn to get through two game 7s before he knows his chances of winning a first NHLP Championship.
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Vancouver Canucks - GM Joel


The logo may not be as updated and sexy as the Barrie Island Half Chance Stumblers, but it is etched in NHLP history as the first ever Champions some 25 seasons ago.  A sentimental favorite for Vancouver who could become winners of Cups 1 and 25, a first for GM Joel in his 8th season at the helm.  With the two hottest players, combining for 15 points so far this round, Brassard and Yandle will be hard pressed to beat New Orleans (Shawn) in the NHLP Finals if the Wolverines have their Ducks in a row.  Not that it can't happen, it just likely will be a lot tougher than if Chicago can come back and knock out Anaheim in seven games.  Before that game seven Joel would have to win his own, as the Canucks are a walk-over in the NHLP Finals unless the NY Rangers are playing for the Stanley Cup.  A Tampa win in game seven assures the Canucks will not win Cup 25.  With Brassard and Yandle, who are both on fire, playing Nash and Stepan (Andrew) for the NHLP Championship, Vancouver could be the favorite.  So far in the playoffs Brassard and Yandle combined for 28 points, 2 more than the 26 of Nash and Stepan.  This total seems to go back and forth on a game by game basis, so this would be a very exciting finals.  With a Rangers - Ducks Stanley Cup Finals, now New Orleans would bring in their 39 points from Perry, Kesler, Fowler and Fleichmann, add Sekac to Hartford's two making for one of the most exciting finals in season 25 that the NHLP has ever seen. 

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Hartford Whalers - GM Andrew


By the time the 1997 NHLP Championship got under way, GM Andrew was already a guaranteed winner.  For the first time in league history a GM faced themselves in the Finals and Hartford beat Los Angeles 5-1 in GM Andrew's second NHLP season, winning his first of 5 Championships to date.  Hartford has since not repeated and is going after Cup two and placing Andrew again in sole possession of the most Championships by one GM in league history, Cup 6.  The Finals will look good for Hartford but maybe not great.  Andrew's best chances will likely occur if Sekac ends the NHL playoffs without a point as the Blackhawks in the NHL Finals means at worse Hartford will have an even player matchup in the Finals and a Ducks Finals could mean a 5-3 or 4-3 disadvantage in players compared with New Orleans (Shawn).  If the Rangers make the Finals Nash and Stepan are coming off an 11 point round and counting heading into game 7 while a Tampa Bay Finals means Hedman and Killorn and their 10 points.  As good as Hedman and Killorn's 10 sound, Johnson for New Orleans has 8 by himself.  Any hope GM Andrew truly has likely rests in the Ducks dropping their next two games.  If the Rangers faced the Ducks, Hartford would only be a couple point underdogs where the Wolverines would have 4 Ducks versus Nash, Stepan and Sekac who suddenly could play the most unexpected roll of any NHLP player in history.  No player has ever recorded their first playoff point in the NHLP Finals for a team in the NHLP Finals.  Would that not be a story if he saved his first point for the Championship clincher.  At this point it is very possible.

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Bolts Win Away From Finals

It was worst case scenario for GM Joel.  Having a Bolts win means his Cup dreams end even if his Vancouver Canucks go to the NHLP Finals.  It is bitter, not bitter sweet.  For a GM never tasting winning it all, being close isn't something that comforts you.  The Rangers will have to win 2 straight, certainly meaning Brassard and Yandle will then keep the 8-6 lead and give Vancouver a shot at their second team Cup.  For Edmonton (Scott) Johnson's open net miss in the tying seconds would have been a huge point, but the GM said he is confident he can still win the series.  "In the elimination game you have the opportunity for two empty net goals, even if the losing team is down 2 or 3 goals, they will still go for it" said the GM, "To shut the Rangers out and have a 3 or 4 goal victory gives me reason to believe Johnson can easily have a two point night."  This series goes back to Tampa where the Bolts hope to win and go to the NHL Finals.  

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37 Crazy Seconds

It is basically the life of an NHLP GM.  One moment you can see that pathway, everything clears up and there is hope.  The next moment it is all but gone.  With the series 2-1 Ducks and GM Shawn desperately needing an Anaheim Ducks series win, two crushing goals in the third period by Chicago, the second of which came with just over 12 minutes to play, would certainly have deflated the GM.  Why not?  Chicago hasn't blown a third period lead in almost their last 40 times leading in the third.  In fact, and not to bring up bad memories for GM Ryan, but the last blown third period lead was the NHL West Conference Finals last season when the Kings came back and beat the Hawks in game 7 OT, after trailing in the third, and taking the NHLP Cup right out of GM Ryan's hands.  That is the last time it happened so with 12 minutes to go, a 3-1 lead in the third, it is over.  GM Shawn will have to hope his Ducks can win 2 of the next three games, as that is more likely now then coming back with two goals to tie and a third goal to take the lead in this game.  Suddenly there was hope with 11:18 to play when Kesler scored, making it 3-2.  Hope that New Orleans can still make the finals with 5 players.  Before Shawn was even done celebrating, just 23 seconds later Beleskey tied the game at 3-3.  Chicago fans were stunned.  The arena was silent and Chicago called a time-out.  What the hell just happened there?  The fans looked like they just lost the Stanley Cup.  At this moment, the game was still only tied, but it felt like they just lost the game.  Right when they finally got their minds right from the timeout, "hey, we aren't losing, it just tied boys", they were losing.  Just 14 seconds after the tying goal, Anaheim's Perry scored again, three goals in 37 seconds.  Anaheim had the lead and GM Shawn had all the hope in the world again, this 2015 NHLP Championship could easily be his again.  In just 37 seconds you go from feeling it gone, out of it, to the favorite again.  Well, the favorite thing last 3 minutes before Chicago tied it and then won it in overtime to make it a 3 game series.  Monday night Shawn can become that favorite again.

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Pick Your Poison

The NHLP Finals pick is very much up for grabs.  The team who scored the most points in the playoffs for the first three rounds picks the first tie-breaker in the NHLP Finals.  Heading into the Conference Finals we didn't think Harford (Andrew) could actually gain 11 full points on New Orleans (Shawn), so we just didn't make a story about it.  Well Hartford has 17 points to 9 this round for the Wolverines, meaning if the Whalers gain 3 more points by the end of this round, they would have the first pick on the tie-breaker in the NHLP Finals.  With the Finals potentially very close points this round still mean everything.

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Nuck's Night

Vancouver (Joel) has turned even game deficits of 4-1 and 6-4 into a 8-6 lead with a maximum three games to go in the West Conference Finals.  For GM Joel his Cup hopes are very much alive with Brassard and Yandle scoring 8 points this round, which would be more points than any of the combinations Joel could face in the finals if his Rangers are there.  "I knew I was an underdog but Johnson gave me a lot of hope" said GM Scott, "So although we can still win this, I am extremely happy for what Joel is doing.  I have a lot of respect for his game and his building skills during the season."  Joel is undoubtedly a busy GM year in and year out, just one of three GM's behind GM Matt and Scott whom made over 30 Transactions this season.  Joel has been close before and will have a very real shot at the NHLP Championship, his first, if he can yet hold off Edmonton and get his Rangers to the Finals.  Neither of those things may be easy, with the tie-breaker in this series up for grabs.  Johnson can yet score, so the Oil are clearly still in it.  For the West to hoist the NHLP Championship, GM Joel seems the best chance, but the Rangers must accompany his win or he will be zero in the NHLP Finals.  The dream was looking like it might not happen, but Cups 1 and 25 are still very much in the Canucks grasp.

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Duck Dynasty

GM Shawn is watching the Hartford Whalers (Andrew) and realizing there is likely only one way to win the NHLP Championship, move on in New Orleans with the four Ducks.  Perry, Kesler and Fowler have been slow, only 2 points in 2 games while Fleischmann has sat and watched of all people, Sekac.  For GM Andrew he has all kinds of confidence right now.  His two Rangers, Stepan and Nash would be leading Shawn's four Ducks if this was the Finals by a 4-2 score.  If it was Andrew's Hedman and Killorn, they'd be up 9-8, so either way Andrew would be ahead if this were the Finals.  Sekac has looked solid, but a lose could mean Fleischmann gets back in.  Either way these two GM's are heading for the Finals, both well in control.  It is a huge night for GM Shawn because without his Ducks the entire season dream may come to a swift end in the Finals.

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Blackout

After two games completed for all NHLP players, all players are in series tied at one game each.  GM Shawn had a late night cheering on his Ducks, only to end with a crushing triple overtime lose.  For Shawn he is still in the driver seat in his NHLP series at 6-1 but it is still possible to have no players next round, something that is gut wrenching after coming this far.  Tonight Shawn hopes Tampa Bay can win which will give him a good shot at the Cup even if the Ducks don't make it.  There is a lot of hockey yet to play, but so far nothing is looking anywhere close to being decided.

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Empty Feeling

GM Joel can hardly believe his luck.  Three straight shots at the empty net all in which Brassard would have had a goal or an assist, including a post hit.  Joel's Canucks are tied 1-1 but ahead of the pick of the Rangers.  Edmonton (Scott) needs a few Tampa wins and hope maybe the Rangers bring back Zuccarello, but understands with each Rangers win their is no rush to bring the speedster back.  All players in the series are in play Monday in what is expected to be a battle the entire series with each team having a big gun in Brassard and Johnson.

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Sekac In

GM Andrew was the big winner of the first games getting a very small break that might lead to a big thing later.  Sekac finally played his first game of the NHLP playoffs, at the expense of Fleischmann of New Orleans (Shawn) in what could be a head to head matchup in the finals.  If Sekac is in and Fleischmann out, the finals would be a 3 on 3 between the two GM's if Anaheim is in the NHL Finals.  Andrew's Whalers went up 2-0 over Halifax (Shawn).  Shawn needs to have a big night from Kucherov to get back into the series Monday.

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One Down - Three to Go

GM Shawn inched closer to the goal of having his 4 Ducks in the NHLP Finals.  It was a struggle to score points but Shawn's New Orleans squad is still up 1-0 with a game from Johnson Monday that can open this series up at any time.  For Chad he needs a Chicago dominated series, but that certainly wasn't how this started as the Ducks continue to show they are every big the team they have shown the league they were all season.  For Shawn he just needs the Ducks there to be a heavy favorite in the NHLP Championship.

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Foghorn No More

GM Andrew once referred to Killorn as Fog-Horn, something GM Scott said stood out to him.  "Whenever Andrew down plays a player, I move him up a notch in my rankings" said Scott, "I know Andrew is the master of downplaying all the guys he wants so they are easier to acquire."  Foghorn has become Goal-Horn, adding three more points and now has the Whalers up 7-3, well in control of their East Conference Championship series with Halifax (Shawn).  The Whalers are hoping for an NHL Finals of Chicago and the Rangers, leaving Andrew with Nash and Stepan versus Zuccarello as things stand.  If the Bolts make it Killorn will play a huge part with Hedman to outscore Johnson and Johnson who on a Blackhawks finals would be all either GM Shawn or Scott would have left.  So far Andrew would be up 5-4.  Of course the Blackhawks didn't look like a team going to the NHL Finals last game, but game 2 tonight may be the start of Hartford's groundwork for a 6th NHLP Champion for the GM.

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Johnson Tricks Canucks

While Johnson exploded for a three point night for the Edmonton Oil (Scott) the results could have both better and worse for GM Joel's Canucks.  Joel was originally given a point for Brassard, but had it taken away because St Louis touched the puck, the second such point St Louis took from Brassard on the night.  It wasn't like Brassard never had chances, he did several, but the two Rangers goals ended with Brassard the third assist.  Things could have been worse for Joel then just the three point night Johnson had as he missed a empty night, several scoring chances and had his own third assist.  "Johnson could have easily had the five point night" said Muddy Capone.  The series now shifts to Tampa where Scott will need the Bolts to continue to score as goals against the Rangers are more often then not hard to get.  The longer the series goes there is a slim chance Zuccarello may return for the Oil, meaning Joel needs to stay close early or the series may be out of reach later.

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A Pick Away?

All too often the things that go unnoticed go forgotten.  For GM Charlie it is hard to think about what could have been.  "We were just the tie-breaker away from what could be the Cup" said Charlie.  The Phoenix Coyotes could be sitting strong in the Conference Finals, yet instead are watching because of a pick, one that the GM himself made and lost on.  Charlie chose to pick St Louis to beat Minnesota in round one and now is watching after what would have been a round two win against GM Joel and a matchup of Stamkos, Stralman, Richards and Seabrook against the two players Johnson and Zuccarello of the Oil (Scott).  Clearly Charlie would likely have the Cup in the bag on a Blackhawks and Bolts finals and be favorites on a Blackhawks and Rangers final.  It literally came down to a point either way or getting the pick right.  "It isn't the first time a GM has been so close and won nothing" said Muddy Capone, "We just see Charlie in a long line of a point here or point there changes everything.  The NHLP history just keeps repeating itself and for Charlie what could have been is all that's left of his 2015 season."  A simple pick.

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Drafting a Winner

There are a lot of ways to build a winning team but one can likely agree it starts with a good draft.  For New Orleans (Shawn) it is very understandable how come he can go wire to wire to win the NHLP Championship.  "Shawn had an incredible draft" said Muddy Capone, "There wasn't much he could do with the team all season, the top 3 or 4 on the roster were always set."  Drafting 6th overall the Wolverines went Perry, Kesler, Nash, Fowler and Johnson with their first five picks, ending with Burrows and Bonino.  It didn't take long to move Nash, only the seasons 10th transaction saw New Orleans move Nash and Burrows to Quebec (Matt) for Backes and Lucic.  Of course Perry, Kesler, Fowler and Johnson are four of the teams five remaining players along with Fleischmann.  "How can you have a better draft" Capone wondered, "Johnson, Perry, Nash and Kesler on the same team, seems undraftable."  Well it wasn't.  It is just part of the domination shown all year by New Orleans.  If you look at all the other 5 NHLP teams remaining, only Brassard was drafted by Vancouver (Joel) while every single remaining player on the teams remaining, none came in the draft.  The Wolverines could yet make the NHLP Finals without a player on an NHL finals of Chicago and New York, so there is a lot yet to do if this yet becomes real.  If New Orleans can in fact get it done, this 2015 Champion will be as close to drafting a winner as one will likely ever see in this age of Waivers, trades, meetings and Minors, where 4 drafted players seldom end the season on one team, let alone one winning it all.

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Pages Updated - Get in Picks

GM's Shawn in New Orleans, Andrew in Hartford and Joel in Vancouver have the tie-breakers.  You may pick the winner of either remaining series and no pick by the first game of round three on Saturday means you get the Rangers as the default pick.  If you notice any discrepancies please let me know.

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CTR Hits 4 of 6 Division Winners

The CTR went 5 for 6 picking the winners of the second round of the playoffs.  Although Halifax (Shawn) was predicted to win their Division, they ended up being underdogs in round two.  No problem there as the Destroyers came away with a lopsided 14-7 win.  It was the second round in a row that GM Joel had a team grossly underperform.  In round one Buffalo got 7 of a predicted 23 points.  The CTR picked 4 of the 6 Division winners with Chad in Toronto and Joel in Vancouver not expected to win the first two rounds.  The CTR had chosen New Orleans (Shawn) to win the NHLP Championship, beating out Hartford (Andrew) and Edmonton (Scott).  With those three teams all favorites to win the Conference Finals, the NHLP Yearbook might just have the trifecta.  Edmonton is an 8-7 favorite, but that is with an expected 2 points for Zuccarello who is still not skating, making Edmonton a possible 7-6 underdog if Johnson is needed to outscore both Brassard and Yandle by himself.

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Portland Run Ends

Game 7 could have came down to an overtime point by Carlson to move on the Portland Winter Hawks (Vinnie) but the run ended with the Rangers scoring in overtime, giving the series to GM Scott in Edmonton.  Equally exciting but just missing the drama was the Leafs (Chad) win over the NHLP Defending Champs in San Fran.  Scott needed two points from Stepan, who scored the OT winner, but without one in regulation the series was already wrapped up for GM Chad.

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Hartford Stamps Ticket to Finals

GM Andrew got the break he may have needed to aid in his run to an unprecedented 6th NHLP Championship.  With the Rangers win Andrew's Whalers are a 9 point favorite and are assured at least either Nash and Stepan or Hedman and Killorn in the NHLP Finals if he makes it.  New Orleans (Shawn) are also big favorites to move into the NHLP Finals but things will not be easy.  If Anaheim makes the NHL Finals Shawn will at worst have a 4-3 player advantage over Andrew while best case would be 5-3 if Tampa played Anaheim for the Cup.  If Anaheim doesn't make the finals, the best Shawn can have is Johnson to face Hedman and Killorn.  The Vancouver Canucks (Joel) and Edmonton Oil (Scott) have what appears the closest battle to advance to the NHLP Championship where a win by GM Scott would ensure he has a player, either Johnson or Zuccarello.  For GM Joel he will need the Chicago Blackhawks playing the NY Rangers for his best (only) hope, giving Joel a chance to win the NHLP Championship with Brassard and Yandle versus just Nash and Stepan of Andrews.  Of course GM Chad has Hossa and Saad and Shawn Kucherov and Stralman, but without unbelievable upsets, those teams are long shots to say the very least.  Isn't the unpredictability of sports half the fun? 

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1 Game - 1 Point - 1 Tie-Breaker
(The series points were verified today.)

It all comes down to tonight's game 7 to determine who will advance to play the Vancouver Canucks (Joel) in the West Conference Finals.  Portland (Vinnie) has likely the lone player in the game in Carlson.  Edmonton (Scott) has Zuccarello who isn't likely to play and leading 5-4 in the series.  The tie-breaker which was selected by the Oil is the New York Rangers.  So if Washington wins the game, Carlson only needs one point and Portland moves on.  If the Rangers win, Carlson will need two points.  "It is going to be a nail bitter" said GM Scott, "I was really hoping the Capitals won the series, but if they win tonight odds are I lose, so I will be hoping for the Rangers now for sure."  For Joel it is a big night as well.  Joel will have Brassard and Yandle or Green and Brouwer next round to play either GM Scott's Oil, Johnson and maybe Zuccarello who may be a go by then or Portland Vatanen and Carlson with a Washington win and the required points to get through.  All three of these teams will have a shot at going to the NHLP Cup Finals so tonight is a huge night in the West Conference where three GM's still have long-shot Cup dreams in the balance. 
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Battle or Blowout

The Hartford Whalers (Andrew) are heavily invested tonight in game 7 of the Rangers- Capitals series.  For Andrew it is a matter or having Nash and Stepan next round versus Halifax (Shawn) who will be the competition with Kucherov and Stralman, coming off a 10 point round.  If Andrew only has Hedman, Killorn and press-box star Sekac, this next round for the East Conference Championship will be a huge battle, with Andrew's three getting only 8 points this round but all 5 sitting at 15 points and counting.  A Rangers win tonight also means that Hartford will guarantee a two-man NHLP Finals if there, whereas a Rangers loss tonight means they may not get to the NHLP Finals or may get there without a player on a Washington-Blackhawks NHL Finals.  For Shawn the real hope for the Destroyers, even yet winning the NHLP Championship on a Tampa-Chicago NHL Finals is very much resting on tonight's game.  "All along we have been talking about New Orleans winning the NHLP Championship" said Muddy Capone, "But a Washington win tonight, the Destroyers could be every bit the best Cup chance for Shawn if Anaheim goes out against the Blackhawks."  So tonight is a HUGE game to determine the matchup's next round and who ultimately represents the East Conference in the NHLP Finals.  The Cup might well rest with tonight's game for one of these GM's.

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Open Invitation
(The series points were verified today.)

For GM Chad, last nights Montreal defeat likely felt like his Cup dreams ended.  In all likelihood that was exactly what happened as now Chad's Leafs can only move forward with Hossa and Saad against Johnson, Perry, Kesler, Fowler and Fleischmann for the still NHLP Cup favorites in New Orleans (Shawn).  Chad's chances of winning may end even a little sooner after Toronto left the door open tonight for San Fran (Scott) to come in and take the series.  "It isn't something I will take much joy in" said GM Scott, "But at this point it comes down to the extra gate and we'd gladly have it all things considered."  The Titan will move on tonight if Stepan gets two points.  While there seems no hope for either GM beating the Wolverines, game by game it is more likely Chad could wage a little battle with Hossa and Saad more than capable of a 4 point game between them where as with Scott only able to move on Stepan, there is no realistic hope of an miracle.  So tonight Chad will try and move on while Scott hopes to steal the series pay check, rubbing salt a little deeper in Chad's fresh wounds from last night.

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Updated After Games Completed:  Final:  Unofficial
Round Two At a Glance...(Click for Playoff Page)
Seed Team Score Score Team Seed
Central Conference - North Division
2 San Fran Titan (Scott)
7 8 Toronto Maple Leafs (Chad)
+4
1
Central Conference - South Division
2 Dallas Stars (Jr & Scottie)
7 26 New Orleans Wolverines (Shawn)
+22
1***
 
East Conference - Atlantic Division
4 Pittsburgh Penguins (Chad)
8 16 Hartford Whalers (Andrew)
+6
2**
East Conference - East Division
4* Halifax Destroyers (Shawn)
14 7 Carolina Hurricanes (Joel)
+1
2
 
West Conference - Pacific Division
4 Seattle Storm (Shawn)
3 8 Vancouver Canucks (Joel)
+2
3
West Conference - West Division
4 Portland Winter Hawks (Vinnie)
4 5 Edmonton Oil (Scott)
Pick
3**



 

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Canucks 1 and 25 - Very Real

The Hockey Gods find ways to make everything turn out just right.  So of course what better story could they write than to see the Vancouver Canucks (Joel) win the NHLP Championship on the leagues 25th anniversary of their first win?  "It seemed destiny from early on" said Muddy Capone who was with the league and recalls their first win 25 years ago.  "It was very exciting as this was all so new to us" recalls Capone, "Who'd of thought we'd be here 25 years later, let alone with such a great story to talk about."  The 1990 Championship was GM'd by league legend GM Raymond, who won his only Cup and Vancouver's lone Cup since.  GM Joel has been running the team now for 8 seasons and has yet to win his first Championship, something that can happen this season.  With the Canucks leading 7-3 over Seattle (Shawn) and Callahan the only hope for the Storm, it appears the Canucks will represent the West Conference in a series to go to the NHLP Championship, either against Edmonton (Scott) or Portland (Vinnie).  Either matchup suits GM Joel, but a Rangers game 7 win leaves Joel's Nucks with Brassard and Yandle with Weise yet even possible.  The Rangers winning would leave the NHLP Canucks favorites to go to the NHLP Finals where a Rangers-Blackhawks finals likely means Vancouver and Hartford (Andrew) would battle it out in a 2 on 2.  So far Andrew's two are a mere point ahead of Joel's two in playoff scoring.  The Canucks can pull this off when all the attention seems to make GM's Shawn and Andrew the favorites.  The Hockey Gods help create these stories, we just don't know yet how they plan to play out the leagues 25th anniversary. 

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Vinnie's Season In Balance

A Calgary goal in overtime may have done the Portland Winter Hawks (Vinnie) good, but now they are left in a one on one that isn't favorable.  Vatanen ended the second round with 2 points and Carlson will have to add to the 2 he has for GM Vinnie to have any hope of moving on.  Currently the Edmonton Oil (Scott) are up 5-4, with the tie-breaker with the Oil, if the Rangers win game 7 at home.  If that occurs, Carlson would have to outscore Johnson by two points for Vinnie to win.  Should Washington win game 7 GM Vindog would only need a single point gain.  The key to this is "outscore Johnson by" as Johnson plays his game 6 next and could even get a game 7.  Vinnie must have a complete shutdown of Johnson, as the odds Carlson gets multiple points in one game, something he has yet to do in any of the first 13 playoff games this year, is really pushing the "we have a shot at it button."  If Johnson even gets another point, it would seem unlikely Portland can continue their hopes of winning the NHLP Championship, something that looks hopeful if the Captains in the NHL Finals are named Toews and Ovechkin.

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Capital Punishment

The Hartford Whalers (Andrew) are suddenly looking like they may have 5 players next round after the New York Rangers forced a seventh game with Washington on Wednesday night.  A snap shot today gives GM Andrew as good a shot at winning the 2015 NHLP Championship as anyone not named Shawn.  Certainly if the Rangers win and Tampa finishes off Montreal, the 5 remaining Whalers should easily roll over Halifax (Shawn) in the East Conference Finals.  Halifax looks like a lock now, up 10-7 with more hockey from Kucherov, Subban and Stralman before GM Joel gets one last chance from Carlson and Glencross who now need a minimum 3 in game 7 and that could grow easily to 5 or 6 even without the Destroyer players getting a game 7.  The Hockey Gods do play cruel tricks, and although today Hartford looks like a lock, if Washington won game 7 and Montreal comes back and does the same Hartford would be left with Sekac against Subban from Halifax, which would surely give GM Shawn the birth in the NHLP Finals from the East Conference.  Who ultimately gets punished only the Hockey Gods know.

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Perry Scary

The New Orleans Wolverines (Shawn) took one step forward and avoided what could have been a crushing blow to their NHLP Cup hopes.  Perry looked like he may be out a while, missing almost a full period after a crushing hit.  Perry did return and even scored the series clinching goal for Anaheim, giving GM Shawn at least 5 players in the NHLP Central Conference Finals.  Without Perry this team is good enough to still win it all but that isn't something Shawn would prefer to have to see happen.  New Orleans, CTR Cup favorites, seem all but assured to make the NHLP Finals unless Montreal can come back to beat out Tampa Bay, at which GM Chad could put up some resistance next round in what would become a 6 on 5 player showdown.  If Shawn can get through next round with Anaheim knocking out Chicago in the NHL West Conference Finals, GM Shawn would almost certainly be the NHLP 2015 Champions, a first Cup for GM Shawn in his 10th season as a GM.  The NHLP is never what it seems and GM's who seem to have it in their hands, as GM Ryan last season and GM Chad just before that, both a simple goal or save away from Cup glory get crushed.  Shawn is seemingly already as close to a Cup as you can get, yet so far away from winning nothing at all.

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"Winnings Harder"

GM Chad had his big night in Toronto, leaving the Titan (Scott) in the dust and now up 8-5 in what should all but be official likely after tonight.  For GM Scott he said it is never easy losing out in a series but he insists he has learned something over the years.  "I use to think losing was hard" said the GM, "I'd be upset the day after going out of the playoffs, but I am not really upset anymore because I realized losing isn't hard at all.  Winning is much harder."  The GM said everyone loses.  "Only three percent of the players in the league get their name on the Stanley Cup any given year, and only three percent of the GM's, or of the coaches.  Not even that high of percentage in the NHLP with 36 teams and only one winning where 2.7% of the teams win in the end.  Everyone loses.  Losing is easy to do.  Show up, do nothing all year and you lose.  Losing isn't hard and you shouldn't complain when you lose.  What is hard is winning.  Work hard and not winning, now that is much harder.  That is what is truly tough to do."  The GM said GM Chad has done the hard work and put in the time and effort and it is good to see that rewarded in this series.  For Chad all that hard work can take a big hit if the Habs can't win tonight and come back in their NHL series.  If they can, things can really pay off in a big way for Toronto.  If the Habs lose, likely Chad will now follow suit in the Conference Finals.  Things can be very memorable in this run if the Habs can themselves find a way and not join the 97% of the players in the NHL that won't win anything this season.

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Lone Underdogs - End or Extend?

GM Shawn's Halifax Destroyers are the lone underdog to be winning round two and will either be done tonight or carry one with 3 more man games.  "It is always tough to decide what you really want to happen" said Muddy Capone, "You think maybe a game six will be better, but be careful what you wish for because suddenly you lose your players."  Up 8-5 with Washington as the breaker, all would not be lost if the Habs come back, as the Destroyers than would likely walk to the NHLP Finals as they could have Subban against just Sekac for Hartford (Andrew).  If Tampa and Washington yet win their NHL series and the Destroyers hang on, Hedman, Killorn and Sekac from the Whalers would be a point favorties over Kucherov and Stralman, without the 1 we'd give to Sekac who has yet to dress for a playoff game.  Sekac has only been a healthy scratch and to our knowledge is not listed as injured.  Lacking more hockey for Halifax, they may need to score tonight as leaving the lead at only 3 points means Carlson, Glencross and Russel could slowly chip away where if the Rangers win next game, suddenly not even the tie-breaker would be in the Destroyers favor. 

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One Man Show

Johnson has 12 of the 24 points the Edmonton Oil (Scott) has scored in the playoffs so far and the GM figures more is yet needed if the Oil have any hope at all of winning another NHLP Championship.  Is that even possible?  "There is always a way and this year it seems very clear how things could yet unfold" said GM Scott, "We may have the longest shot of them all, but I still like our odds" the GM added.  First things first is getting by Portland (Vinnie) who is to date the surprise of the NHLP playoffs.  The undermanned Winter Hawks knocked out Alaska (Marcel) 22-21 and are down 5-3 versus only Johnson, the lone player playing tonight in the series.  After tonight, the Oil could be done, leaving at least one more game from both Carlson and Vatanen to come back and win the series.  GM Scott sees his way to the finals, and winning the Cup as having Tampa Bay and the Capitals winning this round, leaving Johnson to have to outscore Green and Brouwer of the Canucks (Joel), something he did 7-4 in round one and is doing 5-1 in round two.  That would put Edmonton in the NHLP Finals were Scott says if things go right and Chicago beats out Anaheim next round GM's Scott and Shawn would have the Johnson's in the finals versus either Hedman and Killorn of Hartford (Andrew) or Kucherov and Stralman of the Destroyers (Shawn) and if Johnson can outscore those guys for just one round, Edmonton could win the Cup on the pick.  So far Johnson's 12 playoff points is one behind what Andrew's two have totaled and one ahead what Shawn's two have, so it is very possible.  First things first, the one man show needs more points tonight for the Oil.

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Leafs Done Tonight?

GM Chad can barely believe what is happening to his Toronto Maple Leafs.  With five solid players, a huge potential matchup with GM Shawn for the Central Conference Championship seemed destiny in what could have been a 6 on 5 player battle for Cup supremacy.  Now, if Chad doesn't gain a point on Granlund and Granlund tonight and the Blackhawks and Bolts win, this series is over and the San Fran Titan advance again the the NHLP Semi-Finals.  The Titan still don't have a player and would be a walk over with either a Wild or Rangers comeback, but they will have stolen a great chance from Chad of winning his third Cup.  GM Scott insists this is still a huge series for his Titan.  "If there is on team down that can come back, even from 3-1, it is certainly the Rangers" said the GM, "I'd be more shocked to see a Capitals win at MSG to win in 5 than I would be to see this go 7."  What does it matter?  Well if the Titan did win with Stepan there is hope his matches up 1 on 1 next round with just Johnson from New Orleans (Shawn).  Although it isn't likely, it is hope, especially if the Flames win Friday night and force a three game series with the Ducks.  In this same scenario, GM Chad would be a huge favorite with Hossa and Saad against just Johnson, so a point tonight by any of Chad's 5 players may be all it takes to have that matchup still possible.  A Granlund point means Chad would need three points, so the pressure of defending is as important as the pressure of scoring.  The Leafs could be done tonight!

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Man-Games Needed?

For GM Shawn it is a question of is his 4-2 lead with the tie-breaker enough to carry him to the East Conference Championship.  Without further points tonight from Kucherov, Subban, Stralman and Stewart, Bolts and Hawks wins mean no further man-games from the Halifax Destroyers.  Stewart is a question mark to even play while Carolina (Joel) hope Pominville can have a big night, even extending that series in his comeback bid.  With the tie-breaker in Washington likely meaning Halifax has a true 3 point lead, going pointless tonight without further man games likely means the Canes will win the series.  "It isn't a position we feel comfortable in" said GM Shawn, "So we need more points."  With the Caps having to finish things in New York to end their series, it is very possible Carlson and Glencross get two more games and Russell has at least that many left.  For Joel it is heart-wrenching.  With no one expecting Washington to knock off the powerful NY Rangers, having two Capitals leaves only Carlson in Portland (Vinnie) with the lone Capital in the NHLP that Joel doesn't own.  Unless the Canes come back it will seem a wasted victory having them here in Carolina.  With a likely matchup of Hedman, Killorn and Sekac next round in Hartford (Andrew) there is hopes of going to and even winning the NHLP Championship in what would be a crazy Capitals run.  The Destroyers need points tonight and without any of those, man-games will likely decide this series.
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Canucks Gain Point Without Playing

It isn't easy to do, but GM Joel's Canucks went from 1-0 to 2-0 without playing a man game after a point was added to Brouwer for his second assist on the lone Washington goal in game three.  "I need every point I can get" said GM Joel who made the NHLP Yearbook aware of the missed point.  With Hudler not scoring but adding another game the point could loom large by the end of the series.  Joel has all 5 his players playing tonight, making a 4 versus Callahan night after the Weise and Weise cross off.  The Canucks are in good shape, really up three with the Tampa tie-breaker.  If Shawn in Seattle can tie up the night, that would likely be a huge win.  Shawn is likely now hoping Washington can win, meaning GM Joel could have four players, his entire gainable team, facing elimination games next game.
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Whalers Look to Open Lead

GM Andrew can smell his 6th NHLP Championship, even though "toothed whales" have no sense of smell at all.  He has added the right players, so those senses were smack on, and his two Rangers and two Bolts go tonight in hopes of adding some space between him and those charging Penguins.  Andrew is hoping his Rangers can get a win, otherwise things will be dicey almost certainly next round with whoever wins between the battle raging in the other series in the Conference.  For GM Chad he needs Gallagher to somehow just tie things up tonight, maybe a two point game if in any way possible, but a Habs win doesn't help either as Andrew then gets more games and opportunity from Hedman and Killorn, already up 4-0 on Gallagher in the first two games.  With Chad's Chicago players Sharp and Seabrook down to a possible one and done, already losing 6-4 without the tiebreaker seems like a miracle comeback.  Replace David with a Penguin and Goliath with a Whale and you totally get how big this comeback would be (sounds like a good Children's book - The Penguin and the Whale).  If the Rangers and Bolts both win, almost for certain Hartford will be headed to the NHLP Championship where they can be series favorites, depending on what two NHL teams are playing in the end for Lord Stanley.

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3-3 & 3-3

GM Scott is all knotted at 3's in both his series, winning and losing one on the pick.  In San Fran the totally red Titan have Stepan versus Plekanec, Desharnais and Galchenyuk, shockingly a matchup 1-0 in Stepan's favor.  GM Chad must have a Habs win if he plans on going all out in a battle with New Orleans (Shawn) for the Conference Championship, although a Calgary win last night could make things more interesting if they head back to Anaheim tied at two in that NHL series.  Chad still needs some points and another Montreal loss leaves his entire 5 players with maybe just a game each remaining.  Chad's Leafs are a 15-11 favorite, so you'd expect scoring at some point, but time is seriously running out if he falls behind a point, meaning needing two then to win if he must overcome the tie-breaker.  GM Scott is losing in Edmonton but there is hope tonight that Johnson can break the tie.  The Oil suffered a blow when Vatanen got an additional game in the series for GM Vinnie.  "When a player is kicking your ass, you learn how to spell his name correctly much quicker" said GM Scott after continuously wanted to place an 'e' somewhere close to the middle of Vatanen's name.  For Vinnie Carlson goes tonight in a series if tied at two would put the tie-breaker back in the hands of the Oil, with 2 of the possible 3 final games played at MSG.
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Russel Point Large in Series

GM Joel is keeping it close at 4-2 but must be frustrated knowing that Carolina is suppose to be the favorites to advance.  The series isn't over yet although Halifax (Shawn) hopes to put more distance between the two GM's who are up against each other twice this round, with GM Joel besting Shawn in the Canucks-Storm series 2-0.  For Joel in Carolina, his Cup hopes now likely rest with Washington and Calgary where Russel added a point and an extra game last night, but hopes are resting moreso the former two-Caps players.  A comeback here won't be easy with big guns like Kucherov, Subban and Stralman in the Destroyers lineup.  What could work well for Joel, opening this up in his favor, is another low scoring Bolts win and a four games and out for the Bolts in the series, while Carlson and Glencross and the aforementioned Russel playing more hockey.  Just long enough to pull this baby out and keep the NHLP Cup dream alive for the Canes.  This will get fun if Calgary wins again, for the heavily favored New Orleans Wolverines (Shawn) will suddenly face adversity for the first time in the playoffs with a potential game 7 only another Flames win away.  There is little doubt GM Shawn has lots of NHLP Cup chances this year, but also little doubt GM Joel is going to do all he can to ensure that don't turn into a reality for Shawn.

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Do Or Dead?

The Anaheim Ducks and Chicago Blackhawks look to go up 3-0, certainly enough to put away their seemingly weaker opponents.  "It is almost impossible to win four straight" said Muddy Capone, "It happens, but only 4 times in the history of the game says how seldom it occurs."  GM Shawn certainly wants the Ducks moving on but will likely be happy to get a win or two from Calgary, so Hudler can rebound and help Seattle knock out the Vancouver team of GM Joels, currently ahead 1-0.  With the tie-breaker seemingly a safe bet for the Canucks, Hudler would need a full two points tonight to shift the lead to Seattle's, being the lone player playing tonight of the 8 in the series.  Portland (Vinnie) is also hoping Calgary isn't 4 and gone as Vatenen would only need a single point to put Portland ahead of Edmonton (Scott).  GM's Chad and Scott are heavily invested in the Chicago-Minny series where Chad has both Hossa and Saad and all Chad's Leafs three points playing Granlund and Granlund of San Fran.  This series is 3-3 and player games will help Toronto, so the Wild stealing a game shouldn't hurt Chad too much.  Chad's bigger issue is his three Habs need to rebound or New Orleans (Shawn) will have an easy go of it next round with 5 players currently advancing versus just Hossa and Saad.

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Sharp and Seabrook & Down 3

GM Chad is down 6-3 and without the tie-breaker in Pittsburgh to the mighty Hartford Whalers (Andrew).  Sharp and Seabrook are looking to make this a series tonight, maybe even a 4-3 Wild win where Chad gains two or three and more man-games.  The Whale counter with Sekac, yet to play in 6 playoff games.  A Chicago win, going up 3-0 makes Sharp and Seabrook facing elimination games here on out where this series would certainly follow.  For Chad he has a great opportunity to win it all in Pittsburgh, but it cannot be done without Chicago winning.  If Chad can somehow find a long 7 game series from his Hawks it would be possible to win this round and move on with Sharp and Seabrook against maybe Kucherov and Stralman next round or Carlson and Glencross, both series likely making Chad as much as a point favorite.  Having two Hawks in the Finals could put Chad at best against himself in Toronto or equal teams of Rangers, Tampa or Habs players, facing two at the most.  If this upset is going to happen, a big night and likely a lose by the Hawks is the best thing that can happen for Chad's Pens tonight.

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Canucks Lead 1-0 - Cup Dreams Still Alive

GM Joel isn't favored to win by a lot, just 14-12, but when you have 5 players to the other teams 3, you think you should be blowing them out.  With 4 players in the lone NHL series to actually be assured a 5 game, GM Joel is in really good shape, even if only up a single point.  The issue is if Montreal loses, winning will mean only having two players in the Conference Finals.  Two Rangers Brassard and Yandle or two Capitals Green and Brouwer, around 7 or 5 points a round with his Rangers a tad better point producers.  Both GM's Scott and Vinnie only have two players left each, so at best can bring two players next round to the Conference Finals.  Currently Edmonton (Scott) is winning 3-2, basically playing with only Johnson as Zuccarello is concussed.  If Zuccarello returned next round, it can be argued the Oil would be a favorite versus either team the Canucks will have left while the same could be said for GM Vinnie in Portland if both Carlson and Vatenen make it through.  Portland would likely win the Cup on a Finals of Washington and Chicago, as if the favorites all win no other NHLP team would have even one player from Chicago or Washington the way things currently are.  That bolds well for Vancouver (Joel) as well who has Green and Brouwer.  The Oil know they'd have battles every round, but a Chicago and Tampa Bay finals in the NHL could still give them a shot at the Championship.  "Our last Cup was a two man team from the second round on" said GM Scott about Boyle and Edler's run in 2011, "It is very possible we do it again, but every point, every series, every injury, all must go perfectly our way.  I think it can."

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Leafs Struggling to Score

It was thought maybe GM Chad's Toronto Maple Leafs would be some competition for the New Orleans Wolverines (Shawn) who seem unstoppable at this point.  The problem is that not only is Chad losing three Habs, he also isn't even winning his second round series against an outmanned Titan (Scott) team.  With San Fran holding the pick the Titan are winning the series on the tie-breaker.  Neither North Division team is looking like a difficult matchup in the Conference Finals with the Wolverines finally taking a slight hit to Pacioretty and Plekanec, but still 5 strong next round, nothing either GM's Chad or Scott could seriously compete against yet.  Each passing game this New Orleans team is looking stronger and may be an unstoppable force if the Ducks just keep winning.  Without the Ducks in the NHL Finals, the team could be down to no one if the Habs or Bolts aren't there.  Shawn is heavily invested in the Ducks, but so far it seems like destiny in what could be a wire to wire season for New Orleans.
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Hartford Continues to Dominate

 GM Andrew is thinking about his 6th NHLP Championship, and why wouldn't he be?  The Hartford Whalers are leading 6-3 after games two and with the luxury of added games Andrew is looking very strong.  The key to this series will be having Nash and Stepan advance to the next round.  Currently Halifax (Shawn) is leading 4-1 over Carolina (Joel) and if the Rangers go out and all else stays the same the Whalers would have Hedman and Killorn with the yet to dress a game Sekac to face the Destroyers for a birth in the NHLP Finals, with having to get through Kucherov and Stralman in what would be a toss up series without Sekac.  Andrew can still win the NHLP Championship on runs from either the Rangers or Bolts, and both winning this round assure he'd have two players in the NHLP Finals if he is along for the ride.  He likely wouldn't be strong enough to beat New Orleans (Shawn), but all that changes if the Ducks lose out, say next round very Chicago.  Either series here in the East Conference is over, but so far both Hartford and Halifax are thinking Cup.

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Canucks Start Slow - Earn Extra Games

GM Joel knows that his Vancouver Canucks can at worse case scenario be in a 2 on 2 battle for the Conference Championship.  With both Brassard and Yandle and Green and Brouwer, even if Weise isn't around next round Joel's Canucks will be in good shape, guaranteed to not be outmanned.  With the Rangers win Saturday, those four players get at least 3 more man-games each as the Canucks look to move into the Conference Finals, already up 1-0 and with the tie-breaker after a Tampa win on the road.  For Joel he has all Eastern Conference players and if he goes to the Finals, only a Tampa Bay Finals can leave him without a player while both Washington or the Rangers will give him a shot at his first Cup.  Seattle (Shawn) suffered a crucial injury to Hudler and without playing a game two from Hudler or Callahan, GM Shawn knows he will have to be healthy moving on and hoping to win this series, having one of only two Calgary players left in the NHLP playoffs.

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GM Shawn - Three Teams in Finals?

It isn't out of the realm of possibilities that GM Shawn is playing himself and himself again in the NHLP Finals.  New Orleans is looking like a lock if Anaheim wins this round to be there and Seattle can make it through if everything goes perfect here on out.  In Halifax Shawn is up 2-1 with a 4-2 player advantage to close out games two.  With Washington winning on the road, Shawn even sites with the tie-breaker although now not the extra man games with Carlson and Glencross now the lone players here so far guaranteed a 5th NHL game.  For Halifax the glory will likely come with Tampa Bay or a combination of the Bolts or Habs and Minny making the finals.  This round is going to be very tough as GM Joel is a point favorite in Carolina.  Every game is huge for this Cup-less GM's who are hungry and this year both very deserving of the NHLP Championship after both having great seasons.  GM Andrew did play himself in the NHLP finals, but no NHLP GM has had three teams make it to the end.  It isn't likely to happen but GM Shawn has a very realistic shot this year of accomplishing this feat.

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Updated After Games Completed:  First Round Complete
First Round At a Glance...(Click for Playoff Page)
Seed Team Score Score Team Seed
Central Conference - North Division
4* Florida Panthers (Marcel)
+1
17 21 Toronto Maple Leafs (Chad)
1
3 Cincinnati Rage (Matt)
21 23 San Fran Titan (Scott)
+5
2
Central Conference - South Division
4 Boston Bruins (Ryan)
17 27 New Orleans Wolverines (Shawn)
+1
1***
3 Buffalo Sabres (Joel)
7 27 Dallas Stars (Jr & Scottie)
+3
2
 
East Conference - Atlantic Division
4 Pittsburgh Penguins (Chad)
+1
25 16 Memphis Machine (Jr & Scottie)
1
3 Quebec Nordiques (Matt)
23 26 Hartford Whalers (Andrew)
+4
2**
East Conference - East Division
4* Halifax Destroyers (Shawn)
+1
21 20 New York Islanders (Ryan)
 
1
3 Montreal Canadiens (Marcel)

17 21 Carolina Hurricanes (Joel)
+2
2
 
West Conference - Pacific Division
4 Seattle Storm (Shawn)
21 21 Phoenix Coyotes (Charlie)
Pick
1*
3 Vancouver Canucks (Joel)
+1
18 10 Los Angeles Kings (Andrew)
2
West Conference - West Division
4 Portland Winter Hawks (Vinnie)
22 21 Alaska Attack (Marcel)
+8
1
3** Edmonton Oil (Scott)
+4
19 14 Indianapolis Icemen (Matt)
2

 

* - Predicted to win Division
** - Predicted to Go to NHLP Finals
*** - Cup Favorites
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Divisions for 2015-16
Here are the New Divisions for 2015-16.
First round winners stay with the 5th place team and are joined by the two first round losers and the 6th place team of other Division within Conference.
 
North Division
Toronto (Chad) - Stays in North
San Fran (Scott) - Stays in North
Cincinnati (Matt) - Moves to South
Florida (Marcel) - Moves to South
Las Vegas (Vinnie) - Stays in North
Miami (Charlie) - Moves to South

South Division
New Orleans (Shawn) - Stays in South
Dallas (Jr & Scottie) - Stays in South
Buffalo (Joel) - Moves to North
Boston (Ryan) - Moves to North
Chicago (Andrew) - Stays in South
Cleveland (Tyson) - Moves to North

Atlantic Division
Memphis (Jr & Scottie) - Moves to East
Hartford (Andrew) - Stays in Atlantic
Quebec (Matt) - Moves to East
Pittsburgh (Chad) - Stays in Atlantic
Hamilton (Tyson) - Stays in Atlantic
NY Rangers (Charlie) - Moves to East

East Division
NY Islanders (Ryan) - Moves to Atlantic
Carolina (Joel) - Stays in East
Montreal (Marcel) - Moves to Atlantic
Halifax (Shawn) - Stays in East
Philadelphia (Scott) - Stays in East
Atlantic City (Vinnie) - Moves to Atlantic

Pacific Division
Phoenix (Charlie) - Moves to West
Los Angeles (Andrew) - Moves to West
Vancouver (Joel) - Stays in Pacific
Seattle (Shawn) - Stays in Pacific
Colorado (Chad) - Stays in Pacific
St Louis (Tyson) - Moves to West

West Division
Alaska (Marcel) - Moves to Pacific
Indianapolis (Matt) - Moves to Pacific
Edmonton (Scott) - Stays in West
Portland (Vinnie) - Stays in West
Green Bay (Ryan) - Stays in West
Calgary (Jr. & Scottie) - Moves to Pacific

 

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Storm - Chasers of Cup Still

It was a crazy night for GM Shawn, who in one series needed a point from Kucherov or Stralman to move on, while in Seattle he needed Callahan to play even with Stamkos, Abdelkader and Stralman.  In a turn of events almost too hard to believe, GM Shawn went from cheering against Stralman, to cheering for him within the same game.  "The emotions from the game were unbearable" said the GM.  After Callahan got an assist on a puck dumped in by Stamkos but barely touched by Killorn, the Storm went one up on Phoenix (Charlie).  Charlie now needed two points and in the final minutes with the goalie now pulled for the Red Wings, both Stamkos and Stralman were on the ice.  Shawn needed Stralman to get a point, without Stamkos and that is exactly what happened on a goal into the empty cage.  The Storm won the series on the pick, one called by the CTR to come down to the pick, only at 28-28, not 21-21.  Seattle now moves on and is a two point underdog, as well as outmanned 5-3, against Vancouver (Joel) who meets Shawn twice in the second round. 

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Empty Feeling

It came down to the final minute and an empty net goal before the Halifax Destroyers (Shawn) won their first round series with the NY Islanders (Ryan).  Shawn needed a single point, not two as first reported by the NHLP.  The lone players were Kucherov and Stralman.  At one point Stralman scored, only to have it waved off on coincidental penalties.  Finally, in a long weird shot from his own end, Stralman was able to put the series away, giving GM Shawn 3 of the remaining 12 NHLP teams, the lone GM with three advancing teams.  Halifax is now a one point underdog against GM Joel's Carolina team in a 4 on 4 series which can go either way.  Halifax can be a cup favorite on a Tampa Bay run and maybe even get some help from the Wild or a Wild and Habs Finals. 

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2015-16 Divisions Set

They are further down the page.
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CTR Goes 9-2-1 in Round One

Once again the CTR was bang on in their NHLP Predictions.  "We have it down to a science" said Muddy Capone, "Most teams won't make their number but we usually do pick the winners."  The CTR nailed 9 winners and the one series they picked as a tie, ended as a tie, being decided on a pick.  The two that the CTR got wrong were both GM Marcel teams.  Florida was expected to squeak past Toronto (Chad) but lost by 4 and Alaska was the blowout of the round, but shocking were upset 22-21 by Portland (Vinnie) who turned an 8 point underdog into the shocker of the round.  We don't see a shocker in round two from New Orleans (Shawn) who is a 22 point favorite, but although all 6 home teams are favorites, 4 of the 6 series are as close as 4 points with Edmonton (Scott) and Portland (Vinnie) a pick'em series.  In that series GM Scott has Zuccarello an unknown, currently out indefinitely after blocking a shot with his noggin. 

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Playoffs Page Updated For Round Two

The picks have been sent in emails.  Get them in as soon as possible.  Picks not in by game time to start round two get the defaults.

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No One Sent Any Emails

We can assume the numbers we are reporting are correct?  We will check close series after the fact, but just because we say you have won or lost, have you really?  Do your part and double check your own series for if I find a mistake I will know you are just lazy fucks. 

-
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Winter Dogs!!!

GM Vin Dog pulled it out.  A seemingly improbable chance of winning according to the CTR, the out-manned 5 man team scored again late, taking the series 22-21 over the Alaska Attack (Marcel).  Tatar still has a lot to play for and if represented next round there will be no doubt Portland will win the West Division.  The Winter Hawks were 27-18 underdogs, but scored better than anticipated including 7 from Tarasenko and 5 from Vatenen, both two over the CTR number.  While 22 was only 3 better then they were thought to get, Alaska only got 21 of their predicted 27 thanks mainly to a zero from Glencross and two from Vanek, about 5 under their totals, while the rest of the Attack nailed the CTR expected number right on.  This is only the third time in NHLP history a team outmanned by two players has won a series, so it isn't very often that it happens.  For GM Marcel it stings.  Knowing he was walking through the Division only to have it ripped out from under him is a heartbreaking end to a decent season in Alaska.  For Vinnie the fun may not have peaked just yet.  With Zuccarello out an extended period of time the lone hope for Edmonton (Scott) is Johnson, who won't matter without a game 7 win.  If Vinnie has Tatar, the Oil won't have Johnson, so game 7 in that series is huge for both GMs.  If Portland gets through and has a Detroit - Anaheim NHL Conference Finals, maybe there could be a place in the NHLP Finals for this true underDOG.

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Desert Drought Ends With Storm?

GM Charlie has the better opportunity heading into game 7.  The Phoenix Coyotes  could move on a five man team but must gain one point in game 7.  For Charlie it is looking pretty damn likely that Stamkos, Abdelkader and Stralman can gain one point on Callahan, the last chance of the Seattle Storm.  In the first 6 games of the series GM Charlie's three players gained a point in 4 of the games, tied one and lost one.  So that would mean a 67% chance GM Charlie can do it.  With a Bolts win the Coyotes would play 5 on 5 with Vancouver (Joel) for the Pacific Division title, where Charlie would be a couple point favorite.  If the Red Wings win the Canucks would be favored by as many as 3.  If the Storm hang on, they will definitely need Tampa to come along or be a heavy underdog and outgunned 5-2 in personnel. 
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Odds Against Destroyers

You get to a position where all you need is Kucherov and Stralman to get 2 points between them in game 7 and you win the series.  It is that simple.  It seems easy, until you realize only one time in the first 6 games did the two players get the needed two points, just last game with Kucherov's three points.  There are positives here.  Not only can it be done, Kucherov is still able to stand and seemingly function properly after being ran over by Kronwall in what during the season would land an in-person hearing for Kronwall hands down.  This is the playoffs, so likely not even a game suspension which just isn't right at all.  No back bone within the league office and if you can't give him a game, as he doesn't deserve to play in it, how can you suspend anyone for anything.  Grow some fucking balls and do the right thing.  Kronwall launched himself into Kucherov's head.  If GM Shawn gets through with Tampa, it is game on with Carolina (Joel) next round in what will be a battle.  Of course GM Marcel is hoping he can gain 5 points from Filppula, Killorn and Sheahan and get a Detroit win to yet beat out Carolina but the three players combined have at best hit 3 points in any game through the first 6, leaving little hope and even less reality this happens.

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CHECK YOUR SERIES

If your series is within 5 points, double check the numbers.  I have simply missed points in the past, usually in my favor of course.  Mistakes are easy when you don't have any time to double check things.  They can also change, adding and subtracting assits and points.  Take one here and add one there, the reported series may be totally different.  I will in the end, after all series, check all within 3 points.  In the meantime, it sure would be nice to have the correct scores, so please advice of your and your opponents series scores if you notice something inccorrect.
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North Division
Leafs & Titan  Set to Battle

The Toronto Maple Leafs (Chad) are all set, winning 21-17 versus the favorites in Florida (Marcel).  The Panthers were never able to gain once down in the four on four series.  For GM Chad he has 5 players going through and will be in a battle for the Division title, likely against the Defending NHLP Champions, the San Fran Titan (Scott).  Scott could possibly still lose out tonight in a big way.  If Kuznetsov who had a 3 point game five outscored Tavares tonight by 3 points and Cincinnati (Matt) also get the tie-breaker in Detroit, Matt's Rage would move on.  We don't anticipate that.  For the likely winner, San Fran, having Tavares next round makes it a battle with GM Chad's 5 players.  In fact the Titan 4 outscored the Leafs 5 by 19-14 in Round One with Tavares playing tonight.  For the Titan their worry won't be Kuznetsov as much as it will be an Islander's win and still hopes alive of a back to back Cup run.

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South Division
Wolverines Chomping Up

With little competition coming from the Dallas Stars (Jr & Scottie) the New Orleans Wolverines (Shawn) are likely already looking ahead to playing the winner of the North Division, likely Toronto (Chad) or San Fran (Scott).  For the Wolverines they can still bring through Johnson, a full 7 players in what has been a dominating season wire to wire.  New Orleans and Dallas hooked up at the NHLP Trading Deadline at the end, sending the Wolverines Pacioretty and Fleischmann for Kucherov and Nelson, likely a move GM Shawn is happy with.  Of course that was all part of the immediate move the Wolverines may right after with Vancouver (Joel) for Plekanec for Backes, a move that definitely has paid off.  Shawn can now win on runs of either the Habs or Ducks.  We know the Ducks get the Flames and GM Shawn may be well on his way to his first NHLP Championship, being the favorite and still easily the favorite after we have seen what we have so far.  It is New Orleans to lose.
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Atlantic Division
Nords Miracle Finish?

It seems like a million to one odds, for Kuznetsov to outscore Hedman & Killorn by a single point, giving the Quebec Nordiques (Matt) an amazing upset over the mighty Hartford Whalers (Andrew).  The mighty Whalers won't be so mighty regardless of not losing if they don't have their two Bolts players next round where a all but official winner awaits in GM Chad in Pittsburgh.  Chad's Pens are up 22-16 and are moving on 5 or 6 players.  Just the 5 have outscored the Whaler's three players by 14-6 score and Boychuk would only up that total.  If somehow the Nords got through.  That would be as simple as a Detroit shutout guarantees no points for GM Andrew and one point from Kuznetsov would then be enough.  Even without a Washington win, GM Matt would be in the series next round against Chad, but a Washington win would leave his players moving outscoring the Pens 19-14 in round one.  Tonight is clearly a huge night in the Division and for GM Matt one of the biggest in his NHLP career.  Is it a miracle finish for the Nords?

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East Division
No Winners Yet

For GM Ryan it seems he is always in a nail biting battle.  Year after year it comes down to one of his teams, one win here or there and things are different.  On the surface that is what we have again heading into tonight where GM Ryan could be a favorite next round to win the Division title, or simply be knocked out cold by the end of round one.  Ryan's Islanders never gave in and are up by 4 points, 20-17 but with the tiebreaker already won.  For Halifax (Shawn) there is hope and he would need Kucherov, Stralman and Lee to outscore Nielsen by the four needed to win.  Lee didn't play last game and the Islanders won, so that hurts the Destroyers chances.  If the NHL Islanders win, next round could be a battle but a loss would leave GM Joel looking like potential East Division winners in Carolina.  The Hurricanes are up 20-15 but Montreal (Marcel) could have the tie-breaker in Detroit yet but likely will need his three remaining players to play a full 7 games.  The Habs would need Filppula, Killorn and Sheahan to outscore whatever the Hurricanes get tonight from Okposo, Carlson and the unlikely to even dress Glencross.  This is very unlikely, but if Joel can't score tonight and it is a three point difference with all GM Marcel's having a game 7, we might think now that can happen.  If Marcel got through he would have 3 or 4 players next round and likely be right in the mix of things for the Division title.
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Pacific Division
Storm Chasers

For GM Joel in Vancouver, he is through and simply watching to see if he gets 4 or 5 players in the Pacific Division Championship as the 1st and 25th NHLP Cups to Vancouver is still an exciting dream.  GM Charlie picked the tie-breaker wrong and so is losing 19-19 on the pick in Phoenix against Seattle (Shawn).  There is a lot happening in that series.  The Coyotes need to gain a point with Stamkos, Abdelkader, Johansson and Stralman against Callahan, Bailey and Nielsen.  Both teams need to lineup a roster that can win against Vancouver next round, so more is on steak here clearly than just a victory tonight.  After a recount, maybe this isn't even tied, as Charlie found out early one when the NHLP Yearbook shorted him.  He said at the time, "Maybe he won the Cup before and didn't even know it."  Well then, his own fault for not double checking the scores.  Any of the three GM's can represent the Division and yet move on to play for the biggest reward.  HUGE, huge night in the Pacific.
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West Division
North to Alaska

So close but yet so far.  The Portland Winter Hawks (Vinnie), the five man team we began to root for appear down to a fourth and goal from the three for the win in the last play of the game.  Are their odds that good or is this from the ten yard line?  Alaska (Marcel) is up 21-19 and the tie-breaker in hand.  Portland would need to gain 3 points from Tatar, Carlson and Nelson against Backstrom's lone game tonight.  So if GM Vinnie had a single point game and Tatar played 7, Vinnie would only need a point tonight and a point in the final game 7 from Tatar.  That makes this possible, even if improbable.  With the winner here getting a weak Edmonton (Scott) team who's eggs went crashing from his basket with the Preds, it looks like easy pickings to win the Division.  GM Marcel could easily go on and win it all with this team on a Habs run, so this is a huge game tonight.  Portland would love nothing better than the upset and even winning the Conference after being written off by the NHLP Yearbook.  Just another one of many exciting finishes across the entire NHLP. 

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Pens Can't Shake Machine

GM Chad is giving everything he has to put distance in front of the Memphis Machine, but GM's Jr & Scottie keep bringing the needed response.  In another huge night in the Atlantic, Chad will try again with Forsberg, Tatar, Sharp, Kronwall, Boychuk and Seabrook to gain on Nyguist and Green.  Chadwick's Pens are winning the tie-breaker with the Wild, but only up 16-15 and with 4 of the 6 players playing today possible facing their final first round games.  The Machine answer back hard on Sunday with Stone, Stone, Turris, Pietrangelo and De La Rose versus Gallagher, so GM Chad must lay a big night or face the wrath to follow.  Chad is also cheering for Detroit to come back, making pretty much a landslide meeting against Hartford (Andrew) who could be down to 3 players versus the 5 of Chad.  Hartford has their work cut out for them Saturday with Hedman and Killorn against a feisty Quebec (Matt) team that just won't go away and throws out Kuznetsov and Bickell, down by 3 points and still with the tie-breaker.

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Canucks Look for Opponent

The Vancouver Canucks (Joel) have almost sealed the deal, up 17-10 on Los Angeles (Andrew) who is all but officially dead.  The Canucks are paying close attention to if they will play Phoenix (Charlie), leading 17-15 or the Seattle Storm (Shawn) who are only down two by way of holding Minnesota as the tie-breaker.  GM Charlie sends out his entire team versus just 4 Storm players and looks to tack on.  Charlie is hoping the NHL Canucks can keep coming back and want Stamkos around next round, likely making the Coyotes the favorite.  The NHLP Canucks would likely be happier with their two Caps, but do well with Okposo, but clearly want Backes to be alive, so a lot yet to cheer for in that series.

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Kuznet3ov

With both Nash's cancelling, GM Matt's Nordiques only need a two point gain to knock out the heavily favored Hartford Whalers (Andrew) and have a 6-5 player advantage in the process.  Kuznetsov had a huge 3 point game which turned into the nights gain, leaving the Nordiques trailing 19-17 and holding Calgary as the tie-breaker.  GM Andrew can come in waves and even with just 5 players, who can all score, GM Andrew likely isn't too overly concerned.  Well, not that he admits anyhow.  At first glance you would think Pittsburgh needs to extend their NHL series or the Nords would lose both Perron and Winnik and the Whalers only Stepan (Both teams have Nash so he means nothing).  Moving forward Matt can win without Pittsbugh, as he would have a useful Nash next round.  Perron and Winnik were suppose too outscore Stepan 5-4 in the series, but they have so far been outscored 2-1.  In the Minny-St Louis series Parise and Pominville were expected to tie up Steen and Shattenkirk at 9-9, but the latter two of Andrew's have a 10-8 advantage already thanks to 7 points for Shattenkirk.  For Matt he needs his Wild players, so he needs shutouts.  Blues scoring is killing Quebec's chances so far.  What is left is Hedman and Killorn for GM Andrew who still have 4 player games to two of Kuznetsov and Bickell.  Matt's two have outscored Andrew's two 5-4, but giving Hedman and Killorn extra man games is playing with fire.  The winner here gets Pittsburgh (Chad) up 15-12 thanks to Forsberg's big night, but Memphis (Jr & Scottie) answer tonight when they hope Ottawa can keep coming back, one game at a time.  The Atlantic can go any way still and some GM's can be very strong or very weak yet next round.  Tonight and this weekend are huge in if Matt and Jr & Scottie can come back and cause havoc or fade quietly leaving the monsters to battle next round.

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East Division Battles Galore

To win this Division you have to get through a Hurricane, survive the Destroyers, be able to get off the Island alive or speak French.  All equally as tough in their own right.  GM Shawn is down 17-14 in Halifax to GM Ryan's New York Islanders who likely will have the pick in hand with the Rangers.  Shawn can score four, but it is holding Ryan that might be hard tonight.  Karlsson, Karlsson, Turis, Kreider and Hayes, all face their final games tonight or could live to score again.  The Destroyers have 4 players including Tarasenko who at least gets two more playing tonight.  As for the Hurricanes (Joel) only Pomiville plays tonight up 17-12 which isn't much against Crosby, Pacioretty and Lehtera for GM Marcel's Habs.  The Habs have a 10-7 man game advantage left so GM Marcel can still come back, even with Detroit as a tie-breaker.  This is clearly another Division where we cannot pick any winners yet and matchups yet to be determined, going many different ways.  It is fun to watch.  Likely much more tense for this very series GM's to be involved with.  Big games tonight.  They are all BIG!

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Blues Brothers

The Toronto Maple Leafs (Chad) have a very safe and conformable lead in the North Division, up 19-15 on Florida (Marcel).  With this series playing out 4 on 4, it is extremely hard to gain any points.  The Leafs look to put this thing to bed tonight with Plekanec, Galchenyuk and Berglund against  lowly Perron for GM Marcel.  Although Schwartz has had a meaningless series for Chad, his value next round can't be over stated.  For Chad he can still have a full team of 7 players next round.  Kind of like a blowing on his knuckles and rubbing them on his shirt moment.  "He has just dominated this season" said Muddy Capone, "Chad had a great season, doing the things winners do."  The two-time Cup winning GM will be in great shape next round if the Habs and Hawks get through, leaving him about 19 points next round.  That could make things tight if Cincinnati (Matt) somehow came back in their series or GM Scott's defending Champs in San Fran got through with Tavares, Stepan, Granlund and Granlund.  However, a full 7 players would thrust these leafs into the Conference Finals faster than Crawford allows 4 goals.  That is fast.  I seen it.  Few times.  Might see it again next game if he starts.  Sorry, off off track, something that GM Chad hasn't done all season.  There was a plan.  He executed it and it is about to pay off with 7 players in Round two of the NHLP playoffs.  The Conference Finals could be New Orleans (Shawn), not a team the Maple Leafs would fear with Plekanec, Desharnais, Galchenyuk and either the Hossa-Saad or Schwartz-Berglund rounding out the 5 chad could still have alive then.  The Maple Leaf Blue(s) look like a wonderful color to GM Chad, brother.

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Zero From Stammer - Don't Matter

We were looking forward to the headlines "McDavid Outscores Entire Phoenix Roster".  Well McDavid got a hat trick and on any other night that would have been plenty to outscore a GM Charlie team, but not this team, not last night.  The Coyotes played 7 players, and got a zero from Stamkos, but every other player got at least one in an 8 point night, giving the Coyotes the lead 17-15 versus the shocked Seattle Storm (Shawn).  "The clouds parted and the Storm completely disappeared" said Muddy Capone, "Everything that could go right for GM Charlie, did."  Chicago players Richards and Seabrook combined for 3 points and an extra game.  Stamkos and Stralman added an extra game each, at least two more now in what was a shocking comeback in Detroit.  Daniel Sedin is alive and well.  Washington took over the lead in their series and a Charlie faithful, Johansson who the GM has had every single year since High School, brought in two big points.  Even Abdelkader added one in the needed loss.  If things all stay the same and Tampa gets through, a matchup with Vancouver (Joel) would go about 20-18 against Charlie or 18-16 for Charlie's Coyotes depending on if Joel's Canucks had Backes next round or not.  The price of admission to see McDavid was worth every dollar and NHLP fans are getting their money worth watching the Pacific Division unfold.

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New Orleans Inches Closer to Dream

GM Shawn had a huge night, moving in front of Boston (Ryan) 20-12 and inching closer to the dream.  The Wolverines got 5 points from Perry, Kesler, Fowler and Fleischmann, the team of Ducks that now will be hard to beat if Orleans can survive this round.  For any other NHLP GM this could still be the difference of them winning or not as a Ducks run to the Cup now would likely mean no one can beat GM Shawn.  The concern is holding on against Ryan's Bruins.  Basically up 9 points, and still against Johnson who has at least two more games and Pacioretty and Plekanec who live to see potential of more points, it would be nothing to assume Shawn will get 4 more from those players, meaning Ryan needs 13 to win.  Is it possible?  Boston has at least 12 more man games left.  They have scored 12 point in their first 26 man games, so 12 in 12 seems unlikely.  If Washington and goes seven, that is 3 more man games, now 12 in 15 man games.  Ovechkin could get 4 of those in 3 games, now down to 8 points from the remaining 6 players.  Could Saad and Shaw get 2 between them?  Now down to 6 points from 4 players.  If Washington and the Islanders went 7 games could Strome and Laich combine for 3 points in 3 games, leaving needing only 3 points from Filppula and Zidlicky and they have at least 2 games left.  It can be done.  That was giving New Orleans 4 more points from Johnson, Pacioretty and Plekanec, so anything less than 4 makes this an even more possible comeback for Boston.  For all other GM's, this might be the only way GM Shawn now gets stopped outside of the Ducks not making the NHL Finals.

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Where Are You Stammer?

GM Charlie still has hope for his Phoenix Coyotes but his big guns need to awaken soon.  While Charlie is buying scalped tickets to watch McDavid play tonight his players will be trying to chip into a 14-9 deficit against Seattle (Shawn).  Charlie's entire roster players, including Stamkos, Daniel Sedin and the now healthier Abdelkader.  Charlie can score, he just hasn't been doing it.  The Storm send 4 players of their own including their own top guns Hudler, Callahan and Bailey.  working against GM Shawn is the fact Weber is hurt and Stafford is finished.  GM Shawn is still trying to have 3 teams advance to the next round but it is still very possible, he has none.  For Charlie it only takes one team to win.  If things don't go Charlie's way tonight, the good news is their is always another chance to see McDavid on Friday night.

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Man Games Favor Attack

GM Marcel is down 17-15, but with the tie-breaker only needs to gain two points and has an 11-8 man-game advantage left in the series.  Alaska was an 8 point CTR favorite, which is like 25 to one odds at least.  Portland (Vinnie) is an inch away from winning this series and an inch and a half away from winning the Division.  He might even be closer to losing them both.  He is hanging on by a thread.  Tonight GM Marcel tries to gain with Backstrom, Ribeiro and Glencross who have 9 in the playoffs against Tatar, Carlson and Nelsen who have only 6.  The winner of this series likely does win the Division and for GM Marcel with two Habs and a Blue, maybe his cup hopes rest with this series.  It is always so exciting to see the heavy favorites upset, so GM Marcel knows he isn't getting sympathy from the fans enjoying this one.

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Pens Choking

GM Chad is feeling his NHLP Cup chances in Pittsburgh slipping out of his hands.  GM Jr & Scottie (Memphis) got a much needed Ottawa win, even though no points, they live to score another day.  For Chad Forsberg, Sharp and Seabrook could all be finished tonight.  Chad could be up as little as a single point here if St Louis wins the tie breaker for Memphis.  Tonight for the Machine it is only Nyguist and Green versus Chad's entire team but Gallager who also gets an extra game now.  With Hartford (Andrew) looking like taking on the winner, he certainly must be cheering hard for Jr & Scottie, a team in Memphis that can be easy to beat whereas Chad might be the favorite.  Everyone here yet has hope, but Chad seems to be playing the choker role quite well in Pittsburgh.

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Stones Throw Away

For GM Chad the hard work can begin to pay off.  For GM Jr & Scottie a realization that they were simply out-GM'd will likely occur.  Down 12-10 without the tie-breaker Memphis must have an Ottawa win tonight to extend the series of Stone, Stone and Turris, otherwise Chad's Penguins will all but seal the deal in this series.  With the currently players moving on Pittsburgh would be tough next round, likely hammering GM Andrew in Hartford who is currently winning or battling Quebec (Matt) in what would be a toss up.  Chad had an outstanding season and it shows in his teams, high scoring distance players.  This series has been a battle and an Ottawa win would keep it in the air, but clearly failing that the better GM will take the series, much deserved at that.  Elimination games start tonight.

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Halifax Needs Sweep

GM Shawn has all he can handle and a little more in Halifax where his slightly favored Destroyers are down 15-11 to GM Ryan's Islanders.  Ryan will lose Karlsson, Karlsson and Turris if the Sens go out tonight.  The three have about what is expected by the CTR to this point scoring 9 of the 12 they were figured on in a shorter, likely 5 games versus Montreal.  The issue is they weren't suppose to get swept and that will pose a problem for Ryan who will likely lose the series late.  The East Division is entirely open with neither Carolina (Joel) or Montreal (Marcel) looking dominating next round, so there is hope for both Halifax and the Islanders if the rest of the round goes their way.  This is a huge night.  Ryan needs to keep his players and his hopes alive and Halifax needs the clean sweep, opening the door for a late series win.

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Series Could End Ugly

GM's Scott and Matt have combined for a series low 19 points in their West Division matchup, currently 10-9 for Edmonton (Scott).  How bad is it?  GM Jr and Scottie have already scored 20 points in Dallas by themselves.  For Matt this ugly first round series can end badly for him tonight if he loses 4 of his 6 players with a Winnipeg lose to Anaheim.  One Jets win might be all it takes with GM Scott having 4 of his players facing elimination and two of his players, Weber and Burrows likely not set to return this round.  This for an Oil team expected to win the Conference, something that clearly won't be happening with a Predators comeback.  "I have had them before" said GM Scott, "One goal last night in triple overtime and the outlook is slightly different." 

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Backstrom Carries Attack

With 6 of the teams 14 first round points, GM Marcel can be thankful Backstrom is a mainstay of his.  "He is one of the more under-rated players and always ends up with GM Marcel" said Muddy Capone.  With Alaska up a single point a Washington win last night means two more games from Backstrom which can be the difference in winning this round and maybe a run in the NHLP playoffs for Alaska.  Tonight Subban and Eller face elimination for the Attack while GM Vinnie's Winter Hawk's player Vatanen is in the same boat.  This is a battle and both GM's have great potential if they can win this round of going straight to the Conference Finals because neither Edmonton (Scott) or Indianapolis (Matt) have much moving forward.  This wasn't expected to be close and Alaska losing would qualify as the upset of the first round, by far.  Each time we look at it we just can't see how Alaska can lose, but Vanek, Pietrangelo, Glencross and Eller have 2 points in 13 man-games while all 5 of Vinnie's players have at least scored 2 points.  We love upsets and underdogs so it is hard not to cheer for Portland even though from a pure NHLP GM'ing standpoint, GM Marcel clearly deserves to win this series.

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West Division - Up For Grabs

The CTR had GM Scott's Oil representing the Division, but only up 10-8 there is no guarantees the Oil will even win round one.  The Oil face a must win tonight for Forsberg, Josi and the may not play again Weber, the teams hopes of a long run.  For their opponents Indianapolis (Matt) things are in bad shape.  Maybe the series score is close, but the teams hopes the Jets were actually good enough to beat Anaheim appears to be nothing close to reality.  Maybe the Jets have choked, because if they couldn't beat the Ducklings.  Wow.  Lets be honest.  The Ducks aren't that good.  They gave up more goals then Boston, Florida, New Jersey, Carolina, Los Angeles, Colorado and almost San Jose and Philadelphia.  Those were just the non playoff Draft Lottery teams.  So once they play a defensive team that holds them, their defense couldn't stop Charlie's high school team.  But, they've been just bad enough to beat the Jets and stop Matt's four Jets.  Doesn't say much as it was a desperation put-together by Matt.  Alaska (Marcel) is doing all they can to lose, up 12-11 over shorthanded Portland (Vinnie) who hope Tatar can score tonight rounding out game threes tied or even ahead.  Seldom do rosters this size perform well, but with Nashville and Winnipeg soon to be first round casualties, if Portland can win they can walk next round.  Well, if they have any players left.  They are guaranteed one.  Alaska is the most resemblance of something that can make the West proud but at the same time, the most resemblance of the choke of the year if they don't get it done against the weak Winter Hawks.  Clearly the West has yet to be won.

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Seattle - Calgary - Toronto - Buffalo

The GM's running the teams were all different in 1989-1990, the first NHLP seasons, but those are the teams Vancouver (Raymond) went through on his way to the first ever NHLP Cup Championship.  Back then it was 5 player teams so the first round victory over Seattle (Brett) 31-26 truly was a high scoring battle as teams still struggle to reach 30+ all these years later.  Round two Calgary (Glen) lost 21-2 before a pair of GM Clark teams in Toronto and Buffalo lost 18-8 and 15-0.  It remains to this day the only team to have five winning players all from one NHL team.  The stacked team had Kurri, Messier, Anderson, Tikkenanen and Klima, 5 Oilers.  The 25th Anniversary version of the team doesn't appear as stacked, but every bit a strong team.  Okposo has been solid with a point per game in the playoffs and looks like a second round player going head to head with teammates Brassard and Yandle, which would give this Canucks team at least one three round player.  Brassard and Yandle have 5 points in three playoff games, so they two can score.  Weise is looking strong and moving on shortly.  Backes is Elite, although down 2-1 and scoreless, that can change.  If Okposo isn't around next round GM Joel could have more players, Green and Brouwer to face the Rangers and be stronger still.  All this looking like a round two matchup against none other than Seattle (Shawn) who are up 12-6 against the perennial weak links in Phoenix (Charlie).  So far GM Joel has done his part in making this run the most memorable ever.

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Nords Gapping Net Miss Costs Two Points

The Quebec Nordiques (Matt) haven't officially cut into what was a 7 point lead by Hartford (Andrew) but at the end of game three's this series will be 14-11 if Matt can hold Hedman and Killorn to nothing tonight.  Parise and Pominville had two point nights, but it should have been three as Granlund missed a wide open net that would have gave them a point apiece.  It wasn't like Granland had to do anything at all except carry the puck into a wide open gapping 24 square foot hole, a goal even most squirt players would have easily converted.  Andrew can be thankful for that miss but must also be feeling a little warmth under the collar.  With Sekac sitting the series this series is coming down to the very end.  Matt does have the pick with Calgary, so that could shave a huge needed point.  Quebec has two players who start game four's tonight, both with nothing but zeros but both playing in Kuznetsov and Bickell.  This is a massive series with Hartford expected to go right to the NHLP Cup finals and for Matt, a possible damn near walk over next round if Memphis (Jr) ends up through with just De La Rose.  Cup runs die quickly and for both these GM's things are tensing up.

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Breaking Ribs News

The San Fran Titan (Scott) and Edmonton Oil (Scott) lost Burrows with a broken rib.  "With Weber already out, we are in bad shape" said GM Scott, "I am already preparing my 'you still have 23 good ribs' speech" added the GM.  The Titan are up by 8 points while the Oil only 2.  It would appear Burrows is out for the playoffs as unless it is just one of those micro-fractures I don't think you can play with a broken rib.

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Huge Night For Florida

Only three CTR predicted first round winners are currently losing.  The three teams, Phoenix (Pick, Charlie), Halifax (+1, Shawn) and Florida (+1) of GM Marcel's are all not only expected to win the first round, but go to the Conference Finals representing their Division.   Things are not good for Florida, as this series is a 4 on 4, but if Marcel can make use of his man games tonight and chip into the 15-11 deficit, if Montreal sweeps Ottawa on Wednesday, things can still further turn into a positive for the Panthers as their opponents, GM Chad's Leafs would lose Plekanec, Desharnais and Galchenyuk, while Marcel only loses Desharnais.  Tonight Marcel has Vrbata, Versteeg and Vermette against Saad, an 11-4 predicted advantage over the series which is only 2-1 in Marcel's favor so far.  Marcel must gain tonight and having Vancouver and Nashville maybe extend the series giving all three at least two more man games will further help the cause.  The winner looks like they are getting the defending NHLP Champions who are easily handling Cincinnati (Matt) 13-5 in that series. 

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McDavid

Twice today I was "congratulated' about winning the draft lottery and the anticipation of what that means and will mean in Edmonton.  Firstly, I had no clue that a person was talking to me when they said, "You guys got McDavid".  The guy was looking right at me and I was obviously in a bit of a daze for it didn't clue in right away he was talking to me.  "Yes", I said.  "Four first overall picks in six years" was my response to which he replied, "Ya but MacTavish sucks."  So when it happened again and a guy said to me, "You're future is bright now", I knew unfortunately he was making a reference to McDavid.  After my same response this guy followed it up with only a response that could come from a Leaf fan.  "Do you think he will sign there" the guy asked?  Seriously.  Did McDavid come across that disappointed in his interview immediately after Edmonton won, like he was disappointed to not be going to Buffalo?  Maybe his 'close to home' options where in his heart as one and two, but "Do you think he will sign" must be a Leaf comment.  He isn't Lindros.  Now when I am out about I can feel like a winner wearing my Oil Championship hat.  It is easier to just play along that I am somehow this huge Edmonton Oilers fan than to explain otherwise.  What fun would that be as I will likely own McDavid in Edmonton anyhow with the first overall pick in the coming NHLP Draft. 

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Glen Weighs In

GM Glen took the time to weigh in on the NHLP playoffs, going as far as saying he is thinking of a return to the NHLP at some point in the future.  Glen who was one of the original founding members has 11 years under his belt, the first 6 and 5 more after 8 years on the sidelines.  His last season was the 2008-09 season where he cited his busy family life with having to step aside.  After a recent health scare the GM said he is  feeling 100% again and now has some free time.  "I spent a lot of time with Marcel this season" said Glen, "I am up on the current rules and like the new playoff rule" the Cupless GM stated referring to the 'have them or your don't' rule in its third season.  Glen is as witty as ever and his one-liners can still bring the most experienced drinker to spit out his beer as was the case in our recent phone call.  The door is always open for NHLP legends to step back in and the league is always better with quality GM's such as Glen.

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Habs Looking Good to Come Back

GM Marcel will have Crosby, Lehtera and Palmieri versus Ladd and Pominville tonight in hopes of gaining ground in his East Division first round matchup.  Marcel's Habs are down 11-8 but have the tie-breaker and after today more man games from Filppula, Killorn and Sheahan.  GM Joel can still battle in Carolina, with no players facing their elimination games just yet, so this can be the high scoring battle the CTR predicted, 29-27 for the Canes.  The winner here will likely get Halifax (Shawn) but the Islanders (Ryan) are still praying for a miracle comeback based on Ottawa winning a game or two in their NHL series.  Marcel is looking good here now that Pittsburgh won a game.  If they can keep winning, Crosby will likely be the difference here.  He can easily top his predicted 6 points with a 6 or 7 game series.  These are good teams even if Halifax is the class of the Division.

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Halifax Has Islanders in Sights

The first place New York Islanders (Ryan) look doomed.  A team that did little this NHLP season, limping into the NHLP Trading Deadline with but one realistic hope of making the NHLP playoffs.  That was to load up on a fringe team and hope for the best.  They grabbed Karlsson, Karlsson and Turris, NHL players that no NHLP GM's really wanted, outside of those teams desperate to grab a spot by taking a Hail Mary on a hamburger with Swiss cheese.  It did pay off in a playoff spot, so for that GM Ryan can be commended, but not much else.  Halifax (Shawn) is now in the drivers seat in the series which is momentarily tied at 11's.  Tarasenko, Comeau and Stewart will battle for the series lead tonight against the Isle's Kreider, Hayes and Silfverberg.  This will still leave the Destroyers with man games from Kucherov and Stralman in Game 3s.  The Islanders are on their death bed with the three big Ottawa players down to a single game left.  No surprise really.  Ottawa only made the playoffs on the final day of the season and it isn't a shock they are down 3-0 to a much superior Montreal team.  Halifax built a team that can win it all with strong players on top teams.  The Islanders did the best they could do, built a team that can grab a playoff spot.  The end results shouldn't come as a shock. 

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Winter Hawks Looking Great in West

What was suppose to be a lopsided first round blowout is now looking like a monstrous upset that may really happen.  Heading into Monday's action GM Vinnie's Portland Winter Hawks are trailing by a single point and currently holding the tie-breaker (Pittsburgh) based on home ice advantage.  Predicted to get hammered with the lone 5 player team and down two players in the series with Alaska (Marcel), Vinnie's team has played strong.  Tarasenko and Vatenen will try and get the series even versus Vanek and Pietrangelo, leaving Vinnie still one man game from the Game 3s, Tatar.  While Vinnie can still lose Vatenen to a four game sweep, GM Marcel can lose both Subban and Eller.  While everyone in Portland has scored, Glencross nor Pietrangelo have been heard from for the Attack.  What makes everything even more crazy is the other West Division series, led by Edmonton (Scott) 10-6 is full of red players on the losing end of their NHL series and only Gaudreau of Indianapolis (Matt) is currently on the winning side.  So if Vinnie can get through, as of the snapshot today his Vatenen and Nelson could carry him to the Conference Championship series.  Alaska still has good players and a strong team, but this is one upset that is looking more likely to happen then not at this point.

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Leafs Lose and They didn't Even Play

That is right, for about 15 seconds their was hope.  Hell, I can't stand the Leafs but I had a moment of weakness hoping to see gold.  Then I thought, ok, give him to Buffalo.  Edmonton wins the first overall Draft Pick, the fourth time in just six years.  How is that working for you?  Look at Anaheim, Perry and Getzlaf.  Pittsburgh, Cosby and Malkin.  Chicago, you know their names.  These teams changed things around with two good players.  Edmonton should be the best team the NHL has seen since, since, Edmonton.  They should be driving for 5 Cups in a row, not for just making the playoffs for the first time in 5.  I think the Oilers need a few trades before the Draft, but they always screw those up it seems.  Maybe McDavid changes this. Maybe finally they will be good again.  But for a brief moment I thought, give it to Toronto.

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Tarasenko Very Elite

How high will this guy get drafted next season is anyone's guess, but he will be an NHLP Elite player for years to come.  Tarasenko was in the exclusive 35-35 club this year, 35 goals and 35 assists joining only Tavares, Seguin and Benn.  GM Shawn is living well in Halifax thanks to Tarasenko playoff leading four points, but the battle is still anyone's at 11-9.  GM Ryan comes out swinging today with Karlsson, Karlsson, Turris and Nielsen, but will likely need an Ottawa win at some point even if Subban gets an extra game then as well.  This is another good team of Shawn's, who had a great season and does have a legitimate shot at the Cup.  To make that happen this has to be a team effort, the Blues, Bolts and Habs all must chip in.  GM Shawn is in a weird place, needing a Montreal sweep here and a Ottawa win in New Orleans.  He can likely have a long series and be find here even if Ryan gets all the extra man games, as Tarasenko may have 10 points this round by the time it is over. 

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Crosby Lifts Habs

Most everyone counted the Pens out of the NHL playoffs.  Don't lie, we have seen your playoff hockey pool selections and rosters are not full of Pittsburgh players, or near as full as years gone by.  It is likely a sign of the times and many think the Pens days are over, as the Blackhawks will likely start as soon as next year.  When you are paying 20+ million of a 70 million cap to just two players, it is hard to fill out a winning roster.  If you take off the contracts of Hornqvist and Kunitz, the entire Pens other 10 forwards only make as much as Crosby and Malkin's $21.5 million this year.  So how is Chicago going to pay Kane and Toews $27.6 million next year?  Reality is when these guys were making less, they were surrounded by more other stars, carrying more of the load and focusing the attention less on the Stars.  When their contracts have made it so the team can not longer put out other quality players, other teams need only stop fewer players to win.  Crosby had two points, good for GM Marcel who is in an 8-8 battle with Carolina (Joel).  It was a huge win by Pittsburgh and Marcel will reap the rewards when Crosby at least plays a 5th game.  It appears his playoff games are limited, least hockey fans believe so and the less games he plays the less chance GM Marcel has winning in Montreal.

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Bruins Sign Extensions

GM Ryan is liking his chances after his entire Boston Bruins roster has extended there series, adding at least 6 additional man games over powerhouse New Orleans (Shawn) who may suffer the "just too good" NHLP problem.  Up 11-7 GM Shawn may need either Ottawa or Winnipeg to win something as having 6 players all go four and out will leave the Wolverines at the mercy of extra man-games where Boston will slowly pick the Wolverines apart.  "It is a classic issue with strong NHLP teams" said Muddy Capone, "The stronger they are the more vulnerable they seem in the first round where the NHLP teams having players off the teams expected to sweep in the NHL, are often in turn swept right out of the NHLP playoffs.."  New Orleans becomes more unstoppable the longer they ride their four Ducks, but if the Ducks fans are holding brooms when it is over, a slim 4 point lead will be little match for players like Ovechkin going the distance.  Ryan has to be feeling good Shawn has to be sweating.  Another Montreal win Sunday is another nail handed to Ryan that may eventually seal the Wolverines coffin for good.

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Gem Stone

There was never any doubt that Stone wanted to play.  The real question was, was there any realistic chance he could?  "We are talking about a GM Jr player here" said Muddy Capone, "His inspirational talk to Stone likely revolved around Jr telling Stone he still has one good hand."  We think we know how that might have went down in the dressing room.  Stone not only played with heart, but scored two crucial points, leaving the Memphis Machine the opportunity to still win their first round NHLP series versus GM Chad's Pens, only down 7-6 heading into Saturday.  The Machine will try to gain on the Pens, sending out Nyqvist and Pietrangelo versus two of Chad's players Tatar and Kronwall, a matchup of players favoring Chad by a point over the course of the series.
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Throw-Away Game Up in Rochester

It is only an hour's drive up the I-90 from Buffalo, actually 1 hour and 11 Minutes, that is a whole lot of ones for a team with a whole lot of zeros.  Ironically enough, we doubt even a Miracle can save the Buffalo Sabres (Joel) at this point, down 12-0 to Hockeytown.  While Hockeytown is coming back, Buffalo's best hope today might be in the NHL's Draft Lottery.  If the two teams have the same luck it will be just another loss for the fans who suffered through 51 regular season losses, even if cheering for the last 30 or so.  Joel has some good players playing today, Malkin, Hornqvist and St Louis to name just three, but a huge day is a must, likely at least 6 points or this Buffalo team might as well start planning their own draft, the NHLP 2015-16 season's draft.  We know the host should be well prepared.

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Killer Whalers

All 7 Hartford Whalers (Andrew) play today, if Sekac makes the lineup he hardly appears to fit into, well on this NHLP anyways.  A fully stock and fully stacked lineup, but a team  in an early battle with the Quebec Nordiques (Matt) who are famous for starting strong and fading fast in round one of the playoffs.  With the tie-breaker in hand and the series at 5's, all players in this battle play today, minus two of Matt's.  Nash cancels as he is on both teams and Andrew's players versus Matt's today have a 23-14 predicted advantage in the long haul.  The Nords are only a two point underdog if Sekac sits the series.  Neither team can get away from the other in player games as everything seems matching up outside Sekac versus Kuznetsov and Bickell.  So far so good for Quebec but these Killer Whales are any game away from opening this series up with one gulp. 

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Four on Four Hockey

You think you are looking in the mirror when you look at the rosters of Toronto (Chad) and Florida (Marcel).  They'd not make good partners for trading their hockey card collections, "Got'em, Got'em, Got'em".  That is right, both teams have three of the same players, an NHLP historical first.  Schwartz, Hossa and Desharnais are strictly playing to play on and will make no impact on the final results of this series.  With Chad's Leafs up 10-6, that is like a 50 point lead knowing you can only gain with four players if you are GM Marcel.  Today the series has Chad playing Berglund against Marcel's Perron.  Making matters even worse for Marcel is Vermette, a player Chicago paid a prospect and a first round pick, ya, a first round pick, to acquire at the NHL Trade Deadline, has been a 'Coaches Decision" for two straight.  With just a four point lead, this series already appears over and a blowout unless Marcel can play better four on four the rest of the way.

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Crawford Seeks Number From Fleury

After 8 goals on 40 shots in two games, we can only assume Crawford was looking to text Fleury for a little help.  Everyone knows after allowing so many playoff goals the Pittsburgh Penguins asked Fleury to see a Shrink.  Well, they call him a Sports Psychologist.  Does Crawford have issues, maybe some games head games playing, heading back to Chicago?  He will clearly play, start game three.  How can't you start him?  The other option is Darling who already won game 7 of his own personal Stanley Cup and has no where to go but down.  Well, unless he is visiting his former billets, then he might find himself in any one of 9 different cities he played in.  The guy has played in more cities than the Rolling Stones (by the way a great title for an upcoming article for the Memphis Machine:  Rolling Stones).  Anyhow, talk about pressure on Crawford.  There shouldn't be.  He is amazing and singlehanded won the Hawks games during their runs.  But what have you stopped for us lately is all any hockey fan asks of their teams goalie and for Crawford that isn't amounting to much.  Anaheim, San Jose, Philadelphia, all are teams that got ate up because of their goalie situations and the media pressure, just creating shit, during the playoffs.  Hell, Anaheim was 5 goalies deep last year in round two.  You can't win the Cup if you don't have the one guy who bounces back after a bad game and keeps everyone from not concentrating solely on the fact the ship is sinking.  So if Crawford can put this out of his head and win a game back in Chicago, wow, good on him.  If not, he can always text Fluery and get an appointment because he will have plenty of time after round one to see a shrink.  Well, they call him a Sports Psychologist.

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Sabre-tooth-less

Down 6-0 early GM Joel can't be happy in any way with the playoff start of his Buffalo Sabres.  Already an underdog without Cole, the Sabres are looking to become a disappointment after a season filled with hope and promise.  Malkin and Horqvist don't seem as feared with the Pens on life-support.  St Louis is still St Louis, just a much older, slower version, as does the Elite player status no longer apply to former NHLP heavyweight and two-time NHLP Champion Richards.  Teams falling down 6 usually don't come back.  We won't say never, but it is so seldom that we will say we may never see it again.  It is just that hard and happens that infrequent that when you fall back this far, early or late, you are instantly on life-support just waiting for the plug to officially be pulled.  Just happens two GM's, Jr & Scottie get to yank at this cord for a little extra tug on what was mostly considered a miserable season for the pair.

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Perry, Perry, Perry, Perry Nice Night

If GM Ryan can take anything out of Game Ones and losing his first round series in Boston, is that he is only down 5-2.  Perry had a huge 4 point night for the Cup-favorites in New Orleans (Shawn), but it wasn't all good.  Pacioretty is still day to day and why play him after a win.  Fleischmann was a healthy scratch.  So until those two play, they can't get their CTR predicted 7 points, meaning New Orleans goes from a favorite by 1 to an underdog by 6.  The Bruins have Ovechkin who can snap out at any time, so every point is needed and GM Ryan won't be happy to be down, but he must think Perry can't do that again, or Ovie can do it as well.  This is a huge NHLP series as the Wolverines become unstoppable as they progress with the Ducks, but losing in round one is most likely the way to make a Ducks run meaningless within the NHLP, so all eyes are watching this one.

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Season in Jeopardy

Although Stone said he was willing to do anything or take any shots he could to help him play, reality is that isn't going to happen in all likelihood.  Stone has a micro-fracture in his right wrist.  The issue is he simply can't move it, so how can he shoot even if they can make it painless?  So without Stone and Stone, their two top scorers, GM's Jr & Scottie simply cannot pull this upset and their NHLP season is in jeopardy.  The Penguins (Chad) were already a single point favorite and without the Stones, that moves to 9 points to overcome for Memphis, simply too much.  The Ottawa Senators coach laid it on the line that either Subban is suspended or "Our player shouldn't be if one of their stars gets two-handed."  Good point.  I'd do it.  Sadly for Jr & Scottie, that won't help their situation and their hopes of a McD's Drive to the Cup, just dropped like a Stone.

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Winter Hawks Early Surprise

Out-gunned 7 players to 5 GM Vinnie must be very happy, if not even a little shocked, to be up 6-3 after game ones.  In the CTR anticipated blowout of round one, a series Alaska (Marcel) could win by close to double digits, the pressure is on immediately heading into game two's.  "Anytime you lead after even games, you have an immense advantage" said Muddy Capone, "Some series can be half over after game two."  Vatanen supplied 3 points for Portland.  With Carlson and Nelson against Backstrom, Ribeiro, Subban, Glencross and Eller, the Winter Hawks will be in tough to maintain their early lead on Friday night.

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At Odds Early

GM Charlie said he is use to it.  The NHLP Yearbook trying to do everything in its power to ensure his teams never win.  The Phoenix GM notified the league head office this morning with a very simple question:  "If our guys score do we get awarded a point?"  In what the league called an oversight, Johansson was not awarded the point he scored and this have been updated.  "We really don't have anything against GM Charlie or his teams and we'd be happy to see him finally do well in the playoffs after season, after season, after season, of managing his teams completely into the ground" said a league source who then added, "But we will in fact continue to do our job to scrutinize, each and every point scored in the playoffs, likely something Charlie needs not worry about come round two."

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Stoned Early

Already the underdog by a point, GM's Jr & Scottie cannot afford to lose their top point producer Stone & Stone who took a serious slash to the wrist in game one of their playoff series.  The twin Stone's are expected to get 8 points and maybe that would be the difference if Memphis is in or out of the NHLP playoffs after round one.  Pittsburgh (Chad) is up 2-1 after night one and GM Chad admitted injuries are part of the game.  "Simply got Stone in a bad spot, but other than that a minor penalty at best" said Chad in a text to the head office, "Wouldn't hurt my feelings if Stone broke his arm because there is nothing I like better than beating Jr."  GM Chad once stated that the only thing he cares about is winning more Cups than Jr so we can imagine the behind the scenes drama occurring already in this series.

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Halifax Looks to Counter

GM Shawn knew that GM Ryan's Ottawa built team was likely to do some scoring in the first round, but he wasn't expecting to be down 6-3 before half the teams have played game one.  Ryan's Islanders came out hard with Karlsson, Karlsson and Turris getting 5 and Nielson adding the sixth point.  Halifax now counters with Tarasenko and Kucherov, expected to be the two leading scorers in this series and about 10 between them.  The only thing not going right for Ryan was having an Ottawa win in game one.  "You hope they split on the road, that is how you win a series" said Ryan, "So all is not lost yet."  He will get the chance for his Ottawa players to get that split on Friday Night.

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New Orleans Heads Towards First Championship

The CTR has chosen GM Shawn to win his first Cup, the 25th overall Championship in the NHLP.  GM Shawn is a mere single point favorite in Round One versus Boston (Ryan), but as his Four Anaheim Ducks move on the rounds get easier.  In the NHLP Finals New Orleans would face GM Andrew's loaded Hartford team that may have Nash, Stepan and Sekac still alive in the finals on a Ducks Rangers Stanley Cup Finals.  Edmonton (Scott) who is predicted to clear the West Conference would be left with only Zuccarello, not enough to win a third team Cup for the Oil. 
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Lacking GM Tyson

The 2015 NHLP Playoffs are represented by every GM with the exception of two-time winner GM Tyson.  GM's Marcel, Matt, Shawn and Joel made it in everywhere while GM's Charlie and Vinnie got only one team in.  Still chasing Cup number one are 6 GM's including Matt, Ryan, Shawn, Joel, Charlie and Vinnie.  Marcel is going to try and tie Chad, Jr and Tyson with Cup two.  GM's Andrew and Scott, both CTR favorites to make the Finals this season are in their own personal race to one up the other, both having won 5 Cups, Scott over 24 seasons and Andrew over just 18 seasons heading into this years playoffs.  For Charlie it will be 15 seasons without a Cup if his lone entry in Phoenix can't pull out the Championship and if he does win it all, GM Ryan will enter next season with the longest winless drought at 13.

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First Round Battles Everywhere

The NHLP First Round is always full of close series and the 2015 version on the playoffs should live up to that billing with 8 of 12 series expected to be as close as 3 points.  GM's Shawn and Charlie might have the highest scoring series, expected to be 28-28 between Seattle and Phoenix, the only series predicted to go to the Pick while 5 other series are only a CTR predicted single point difference.  The first round blowout should go to Alaska (Marcel) who should hammer the 5 player team in Portland (Vinnie).  No team has ever won the NHLP Championship while entering the playoffs without a full team, leaving no hope for other 6 man teams Cincinnati (Matt), Edmonton (Scott) and Indianapolis (Matt).  The Edmonton and Indy series is the only 6 on 6 matchup, so clearly one of those teams will move on to the Division Finals and GM Scott's Oil is still expected to win the West Conference even though starting with 6.  While Portland is only expected to get 19 points, no first round team is predicted to hit 30, leaving 23 playoff teams somewhere in the 20 to 29 point range.
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Canucks Sentimental Favorites

It was GM Raymond winning in Vancouver in the NHLP's first ever Championship some 25 long years ago.  GM Joel now carries the torch in Vancouver and is predicted by a point to win Round One which will surely be something the Yearbook will be cheering for, the Canucks run and Championship Cups 1 and 25 in Vancouver.  Edmonton (Scott), Dallas (Jr & Scottie) and San Fran (Scott) will all be vying for a third team Championship, the first NHLP team to accomplish the feat, while joining Vancouver in a race for a second win are Florida (Marcel), Hartford (Andrew), Montreal (Marcel), Los Angeles (Andrew), and Portland (Vinnie).  Montreal's first team Cup was with GM Edward in charge and Portland's won by GM Chad.  "There is no better feeling than winning a Cup" said GM Scott, "I sincerely wish every GM can experience that feeling.  Cherish the run for they don't happen every year.  Good luck to everyone." 

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For the GMs who pick below, you can pick from either series listed.  If you do not pick by first game time you get the BOLD team as default.

Hi-lighted teams will get defaults if no picks come by first game of playoffs

 

NY Rangers vs. Pittsburgh or Anaheim vs. Winnipeg

New Orleans (Shawn) (Picked)

New York Islanders (Ryan) (Picked)

Alaska (Marcel) (Picked)

 

St Louis vs. Minnesota or Montreal vs. Ottawa

Toronto (Chad) - Got Default Pick

Memphis (Jr) (Picked)

Phoenix (Charlie) (Picked)

 

Nashville vs. Chicago or Tampa Bay vs. Detroit

San Fran (Scott) (Picked)

Carolina (Joel) - Got Default Pick

Indianapolis (Matt) (Picked)

 

Vancouver vs. Calgary or Washington vs. NY Islanders

Dallas (Jr) (Picked)

Hartford (Andrew) (Picked)

Los Angeles (Andrew) (Picked)


Thanks to those all responding already.  Picks will be on the playoff pages - live Tomorrow.

 

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Reminder - Tie-Breaker Rules

Season Ties to be Broken as Follows:

1)      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 players from GM's tied

NHLP Playoffs - Semi Finals & Finals Tie-Breakers Pick Order

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.

 

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2014 NHLP Champions
San Fran Titan
GM Scott

Anze Kopitar
Jonathan Toews
Drew Doughty
Drew Doughty
Duncan Keith
Slava Voynov
Charlie Coyle

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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.

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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.

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The 24 NHLP Cup Champions

GM Andrew (5) - '97, '99, '02, '04, '13 (8th, 10th, 13th, 15th & 23rd Cups)

GM Scott (5) - '92, '03, '06, '11, '14 (3rd, 14th, 16th, 21st & 24th Cups)

GM Norman (2) - '93, '94 (4th & 5th Cups)

GM Leo (2) - '95, '98 (6th & 9th Cups)

GM Chadwick (2) - '00, '07 (11th & 17th Cups)

GM Jr (2) - '01, '09 (12th & 19th Cups)

GM Tyson (2) - '10, '12 (20th & 22nd Cups)

GM Raymond (1) - '90 (1st Cup)

GM Edward (1) - '91 (2nd Cup)

GM Lee (1) - '96 (7th Cup)

GM Marcel (1) - '08 (18th Cup)

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New Tie-Breaker Rules for 2013/14 Season

Season Ties to be Broken as Follows:

1)      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 players from GM's tied

NHLP Playoffs - Semi Finals & Finals Tie-Breakers Pick Order

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.

 

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Season 2014/15

Playoffs 2013/14

Season 2013/14

Playoffs 2012/13

Season 2012/13

Playoffs 2011/12

Season 2011/12

Playoffs 2010/11

Season 2010/11

Playoffs 2009/10

Season 2009/10

Season 2008/09