NHLP Playoffs - Semi Finals & Finals Tie-Breakers
Team who has scored most
playoff points in first two (Semi Finals) or three rounds (Finals) picks
first and so forth.
If two teams are tied, the
team that scored the most points the previous round breaks that tie
If teams scored the same
every round, the NHLP season breaking tie-breakers kick in.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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...
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. TheWolverines 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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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
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.
(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.
Updated After Games Completed: Final: Unofficial
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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
Updated After Games Completed: First Round Complete
* - Predicted to win Division
** - Predicted to Go to NHLP Finals
*** - Cup Favorites
--- 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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
2015-16 Divisions Set
They are further down the page.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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!
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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."
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
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
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
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.
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.
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."
For the GM’s 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
vs. Pittsburgh or Anaheim vs. Winnipeg
New Orleans (Shawn)
New York Islanders (Ryan)
St Louis vs. Minnesota or Montreal
- Got Default
Nashville vs. Chicago or Tampa Bay
San Fran (Scott)
- Got Default Pick
vs. Calgary or Washington vs. NY Islanders
Los Angeles (Andrew)
Thanks to those all responding already. Picks will be on the playoff pages
- live Tomorrow.
Reminder - Tie-Breaker Rules
Season Ties to be Broken as Follows:
1) Most Playoff players
of teams tied
Most goals from only
of teams tied
Most overall points on all
three teams of only playoff players
from GM's tied
NHLP Playoffs - Semi Finals & Finals Tie-Breakers
Team who has scored most
playoff points in first two (Semi Finals) or three rounds (Finals) picks
first and so forth.
If two teams are tied, the
team that scored the most points the previous round breaks that tie
If teams scored the same
every round, the NHLP season breaking tie-breakers kick in.
2014 NHLP Champions
San Fran Titan
GM Scott Wins 5th Cup
The 2013-14 NHLP Season ended with GM Scott winning his 5th NHLP
Championship in his 24th season as a GM. No NHLP GM has been on
the run GM Scott has been on, winning his 4th Cup over the past 11 NHLP Seasons,
in a time no other GM has won more than 2. The San Fran Titan
dominated the NHLP playoffs with a record setting 105 points, a team
Scott has already said is his best work yet. "You don't get the
opportunity to have your favorite players all on one team and then go
out and win it all" said the joyous Scott, "It will be hard to ever
duplicate a team this solid." The NHLP Finals were closer than
anyone expected with GM Andrew drawing to within a point in the final
game before the Titan ended up winning 8-4-3 with GM Ryan's bid for his
first Cup falling short after another incredible season. "So many
times I was out" said Scott, "San Jose had the Kings down 3-0, St Louis
and Colorado had Chicago and Minnesota down 2-0" said Scott referring to
the first round when it looked like the Titan could lose all 7 players,
but turned it around and moved on with 7 players. "Game after game
this team was against the wall" Scott explained, "We kept somehow
finding a way, getting a break and eventually come back round after
round to win." They all are memorable, but it won't be any time
soon the 2014 NHLP Champions will be forgotten, going down as one of the
best teams in league history.
How The Titan Formed
The San Fran Titan groundwork for winning the NHLP Championship started
at the Draft. Drafting 35th overall the Titan got their hands on
the previous seasons NHL scoring leader, something GM Scott found hard
to believe at the time. St Louis was just ignored and he and
Iginla in the 1-2 spots, with the seasons they had, really set the
season in motion. The rest of the drafted team was D. Brown,
Wheeler, Berglund, Tlusty and Glencross, nothing that resembled the
finished product. The Titan made Transactions 3, 4 and 5 of the
young season, adding key piece Steen in a Waiver Pickup given the team
St. Louis - Iginla - Steen. "I didn't want to keep any of them but
I knew Iginla and Steen would be hard to replace" said Scott.
After weeks of negotiations, on March 26th, just three days prior to the
NHLP Deadline, the pieces really started to fall into place. In a
major deal with Boston (Ryan) Scott got the guys he wanted for St Louis
and his points, giving Ryan 20 points and brining in Doughty and Keith,
adding them with Steen, Iginla and Doughty. Now at the Deadline GM
Scott made two huge deals, basically Iginla for Toews in a two for two
and then Steen straight up for Kopitar. The Titan then went to the
minors for Voynov and Coyle and the 2014 NHLP Champions were complete.
"I loved Steen, Iginla, Doughty, Doughty and Keith" said GM Scott, "But
how can you pass on Toews and Kopitar", deals that ultimately helped GM
Scott's Titan win their second team Cup.