NHLP2  ANDREW CHAD CHARLIE JOEL
JR MARCEL MATT RYAN
SCOTT SHAWN TYSON BRYCE
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Playoff Highlights for 2017/18 - 2017/18 Season Highlights

 




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NHLP Sides Updated

Everything is updated as for the regular season, so until #15.  All +/- to their are completed.  The sides under are completed, just not the GM +/- until the end.  As far as the potential "Hit or Miss" of the Cup winner that could still go to the Host.  Erin will win it all if Vegas wins the Cup.  In the East there are still Brendan and Tyson hoping Pittsburgh three-peats, Joel and Shawn hoping Lightning strikes while Jr has been a Caps fan all season long.  In the West, besides Vegas GM Scott is still playing for something if the Preds go all the way.  The GM is also hoping if they don't, the Jets win the Cup and Charlie will have lost the annual Leafs-Jets side before it truly got exciting.
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 Oshie Stars - Machine a Game Away

It isn't that GM Jr hasn't already won the NHLP Championship in 2018.  It just hasn't been made official for the season is still on.  With the Washington Capitals a game away from their first ever NHL Stanley Cup, GM Jr is even a more sure thing for his Memphis Machine to win their first ever NHLP Cup, up 13-2 over the Seattle Storm (Shawn) who come close but fall just short again.  Oshie has been dominate in the finals with 6 points in four games.  For Oshie it will be his first NHLP Cup win, joiining first time winners Carlson, Subban and Jarnkrok on a team with three players winner their second Cups, Ovechkin, Smith and Backes.  For Jr this is his 3rd Cup in 22 seasons as an NHLP GM.  Jr won Cups 12 and 19 in Dallas and now 28 in Memphis.
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Updated After Games Completed:  Final  (CTR:  1-0 to 16-6  73%)
First Round At a Glance...(Click for Playoff Page)
Seed Team Score
Central Conference Champs
1* #1 - Chicago Blackhawks (Andrew)
0
 
East Conference Champs
2** #4 - Memphis Machine (Jr)
+16
15
 
West Conference Champs
4* #3 - Seattle Storm (Shawn)
-10
3

 

* - Predicted to win Division (*Beside Scoring - Tiebreaker Guaranteed)
Scoring Underlined - Series Official
** - Predicted to Go to NHLP Finals
*** - Cup Favorites


Updated After Games Completed:  Wednesday  (CTR:  2-1 to 15-6  71%)
First Round At a Glance...(Click for Playoff Page)
Seed Team Score Score Team Seed
Central Conference Finals
3 #13 - New Orleans Wolverines (Shawn)
0 10 #1 - Chicago Blackhawks (Andrew)
+14
1*
 
East Conference Finals
1 #7 - Pittsburgh Penguins (Chad)
11 19 #4 - Memphis Machine (Jr)
+1
2**
 
West Conference Finals
4* #3 - Seattle Storm (Shawn)
8 3 #2 - Vancouver Canucks (Joel)
+1
1**

 

* - Predicted to win Division (*Beside Scoring - Tiebreaker Guaranteed)
Scoring Underlined - Series Official
** - Predicted to Go to NHLP Finals
*** - Cup Favorites

Updated After Games Completed:  Thursday  (CTR:  6-0 to 13-5  72%) - Unofficial Results
First Round At a Glance...(Click for Playoff Page)
Seed Team Score Score Team Seed
Central Conference - North Division
3 #13 - New Orleans Wolverines (Shawn)
+7
16 7 #23 - Toronto Maple Leafs (Chad)
1
Central Conference - South Division
2 #21 - Boston Bruins (Ryan)
2 43 #1 - Chicago Blackhawks (Andrew)
+22
1*
 
East Conference - Atlantic Division
2 #8 - Hartford Whalers (Andrew)
13 21 #7 - Pittsburgh Penguins (Chad)
+8
1
East Conference - East Division
2** #4 - Memphis Machine (Jr)
+9
21 18 #16 - Montreal Canadiens (Marcel)
1
 
West Conference - Pacific Division
4* #3 - Seattle Storm (Shawn)
+18
18 2 #22 - Colorado Avalanche (Chad)
 
2
West Conference - West Division
2 #15 - Los Angeles Kings (Andrew)
2 31 #2 - Vancouver Canucks (Joel)
+23
1**

 

* - Predicted to win Division (*Beside Scoring - Tiebreaker Guaranteed)
Scoring Underlined - Series Official
** - Predicted to Go to NHLP Finals
*** - Cup Favorites

Updated After Games Completed:  Wednesday - official (CTR Record:  7-5 60%)
First Round At a Glance...(Click for Playoff Page)
Seed Team Score Score Team Seed
Central Conference - North Division
4*** #5 - Cleveland Fury (Tyson)
+6
24 29* #23 - Toronto Maple Leafs (Chad)
1
3 #13 - New Orleans Wolverines (Shawn)
32 25* #10 - Buffalo Sabres (Joel)
+3
2
Central Conference - South Division
4 #12 - Cincinnati Rage (Matt)
19 25* #1 - Chicago Blackhawks (Andrew)
+10
1*
3 #11 - Las Vegas Strip (Vinnie)
+8
18 21* #21 - Boston Bruins (Ryan)
2
 
East Conference - Atlantic Division
4* #6 - Philadelphia Flyer (Scott)
+2
17* 28 #7 - Pittsburgh Penguins (Chad)
1
3 #17 - New York Islanders (Ryan)
 
20 22* #8 - Hartford Whalers (Andrew)
+2
2
East Conference - East Division
4 #24 - Quebec Nordiques (Matt)
24 24* #16 - Montreal Canadiens (Marcel)
+3
1
3 #18 - NY Rangers (Charlie)
19 31* #4 - Memphis Machine (Jr)
+1
2**
 
West Conference - Pacific Division
4* #3 - Seattle Storm (Shawn)
+2
20* 19 #9 - Alaska Attack (Marcel)
1
3 #19 - Phoenix Coyotes (Charlie)
+3
9 23* #22 - Colorado Avalanche (Chad)
 
2
West Conference - West Division
4 #20 - St Louis Blues (Tyson)
10 34* #2 - Vancouver Canucks (Joel)
+7
1**
3 #14 - Green Bay Knights (Ryan)
20 24* #15 - Los Angeles Kings (Andrew)
PICK
2


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Machine Days Away From Cup

GM Jr extended his lead to 5-1 after game two.  The Machine are just too strong with three top players remaining in the NHLP Finals, a feat seldom done.  Memphis is set to finish the finals with over 80 playoff points, a feat seldom done in the NHLP.  For comparison sakes the last three winners had 43 (Cleveland), 68 (Toronto) and 70 (Hartford) points.  Only a handful of teams in NHLP history have reached 80+ points in the playoffs.  It would appear there is no stopping GM Jr and it is no only a matter of the games ending before we can official say the Memphis Machine at the 2018 NHLP Champions.
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Oshie's Pass Gives Memphis Huge 4-1 Lead

 The Memphis Machine (Jr) jumped out to a huge 4-1 lead in the NHLP Finals.  Oshie made one of the best passes of the playoffs, a no look, behind the back, pass to Carlson.  When Carlson looked up he had 24 square feet of open net and he made good.  Fleury over-played a few pucks during the night, including in the final minute when he was absolutely no where near the front of the net, but the Washington player fanned on the shot with the goalie at the other end on the bench.  While Oshie was good, Ovechkin really wasn't, a scary though for GM Shawn, who is almost out of the series after a game that Ovie didn't really show up in.  Jr's players Oshie took a high hit to the face and scored the opening point of the series seconds later.  Ovechkin took a puck to the face, while Shawn's Marchassault missed time after a huge blindside hit that was so crushing, it is hard to believe he stayed in the game.  Technically Marchassault was forced to go to the quiet room for a spell, but returned.  Although the Oshie assist to Carlson was a crippler for Shawn, he has to look at the outcome as a small win.  Shawn got the tie-breaker and Marchassault was awesome.  A more low scoring game will likely occur in game #2, and if Seattle can make it a 4-2 series and still have the tie-breaker, things will be interesting for game 3.  For Jr he just needs another night like this and an 8-2 lead will leave no chance at being upset in a low scoring series, which game one was anything but.   Memphis is one step closer to their first ever Cup.  Jr is right there.  The long awaited for third Cup is now almost officially his.  He just needs to let the games play out and should be hoisting that Cup in another 10 days.
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  #1 - Chicago Blackhawks (Andrew)


GM Andrew is making his 5th NHLP Cup Finals appearance in the last 7 seasons, but the all-time Cup leader will not be getting his 7th NHLP Championship in his 22nd season.  The CTR #1 team, looked like almost a lock before Vegas upset Winnipeg and Andrew was left playerless.  The Hawks do have the first tie-breaker pick, but can only win the Cup if they get that pick right and all four other players in the finals fail to register a single point, something we know will not happen.  As a general rule the most deserving GM to win the Cup is usually the GM who had the most playoff points on his team.  Currently Andrew enters the finals with 78 points, but ends there, and will fittingly be passed by the Memphis Machine who enter the Cup Finals with 70 points to date in the playoffs.  Year after year, GM's just cannot compete with Andrew, who always brings his "A" game.  This Chicago team was powerful.  The Hawks were almost unfair competition.  We know though, that just because something looks to good to be true, converting that into a Championship is a whole other story.  But as any GM who has won it all knows, it is very difficult to be the winner.  Absolutely everything must go your way to the very end, and for Andrew, Vegas beating the Jets wasn't part of his plan.  While Andrew will remain the most feared and best GM in our game, he moves aside in 2018 to GM Jr, another feared GM in his own right.
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 #4 - Memphis Machine (Jr)
+16

Like GM Andrew, GM Jr is also in his 22nd year as a GM.  The GM won in his 7th and 14th season and is a 16-6-0 CTR Cup Favorites to win his third team Cup in his 22nd season.  This would rank Jr third all-time, along with GM's Chad and Tyson, who also have three Cups apiece.  From Jr's first pick this season in Memphis the Machine never waivered from the Washington Capitals.  With the 8th overall pick Jr selected Ovechkin who is now in the NHLP Cup Finals looking his his second NHLP Championship, a first for Memphis.  Ovie is joined by Carlson and Oshie.  The GM picks a tie-breaker that will be used if he ends in a tie with Seattle in the Finals.  The Machine will surely get 8 points in the Finals, allowing them to surpass Chicago's 78 points, which would make Jr the undisputed Champion.  The team was solid, ranking 4th in the Power Rankings of 36 teams and was predicted to go to the NHLP Finals, the lone team of the three remaining that the CTR had still around.  Jr knows it isn't over.  We know that as well.  However, we cannot fathom any possible way we will not be staring at the Memphis Machine logo in the borders of the NHLP site for the coming year and their team colors splashed over our site for the next season after a job well done.  Congrats Jr. 
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 #3 - Seattle Storm (Shawn)
-10
  
GM Shawn will likely remain Cupless when things are all over this season, a tough pill to swallow for the GM.  For the second time in just four years, the GM had the Cup in hand and only needed a win in game 6 on the road, or game 7 at home, losing both of those games in 2015 and again in 2018.  Any one of those four games goes Shawn's way, he either wins the 2015 or 2018 Championship.  It is another cruel finish for the GM who isn't officially dead just yet.  Marchessault would have to at least tie Ovechkin, Carlson and Oshie and GM Jr get the pick wrong for Seattle to pull off the most stunning upset in the NHLP Finals ever.  It is very unlikely to occur, leaving a long summer of what could have been had Tampa Bay just been able to win the closing game of their series.  Congratulations to the Storm for getting to the Finals.  It is game by game now to stay close and make it a series.  Although all likely seems lost today, the GM still has a player, a hope, which is more than 10 other GM's have remaining on the season.
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ONE GAME!

For the loser, it will be a crushing defeat like no GM ever wants to suffer.  For the winner, a life long memory about the 2018 season when everything went perfect in every way.  The Memphis Machine (Jr) and the Seattle Storm (Shawn) will settle this seasons Championship on Wednesday night, one game, for the Cup.  It hasn't been easy sailing for either team with Seattle needing a game 7 in round one and Memphis not leading once after even games in Round two versus Montreal (Marcel) until the end of game six.  For GM Shawn he was in this exact same position just three seasons ago.  The New Orleans Wolverines had a game 7 in the Conference Finals in 2015 whereas Shawn was winning the NHLP Championship if Anaheim beat Chicago.  The Hawks won a home ice game 6, forcing a game 7, just as the Capitals did last night.  In game 7, knowing it was his Cup if Anaheim won on home ice, the Hawks won 5-3 and would go on to crush Tampa Bay in the NHL Finals.  The Wolverines would have moved on 5 players to the Finals and been a 17-8 point favorite to beat Hartford (Andrew) who won a 8-2-0 Cup over Shawn and Vancouver (Joel) in that season's Cup Finals.  So, Shawn has in fact been in this exact sport.  He did have two cracks at the Cup and failed to win game 6, or 7 on home ice.  He gets another shot at it on Wednesday.  Both GM's are already going to the NHLP Finals where GM Andrew's Chicago team sits with an empty roster.  Seattle having a Tampa Bay win, doesn't increase who they bring, as they are already there with Marchassault.  However, Marchassault would need just one point in the Finals with a Bolts win Wednesday, as Memphis would be playerless without his three Caps.  If Washington pulls it out, Jr will have Ovechkin, Carlson and Oshie versus Marchassault and be a 15-5 point favorite to win it all, his third Cup as a GM, tying Chad & Tyson for third on the all-time list.  Last nights game was incredibly tight for the first half the game.  Washington hit Tampa hard, playing a more physical game.  Both goalies shone bright.  The amount of work, time and effort both these GM's put into their teams makes them instantly deserving of a Championship.  It is all down to just one game, to unofficially, cap the end to the 2018 NHLP Season.
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It's GM Shawn or Jr

The NHLP Finals are set, barring an unforeseen comeback by GM Chad.  The CTR #1 Chicago Blackhawks (Andrew), #3 Seattle Storm (Shawn) and #4 Memphis Machine (Jr) will be in the NHLP Finals, but it is down to just GM's Shawn or Jr for the win.  For GM Shawn he can basically win his first ever Cup tonight, as a Tampa Bay win would mean he is in the finals facing a double Walk Over, only needing a single point from Marchassault to win his first ever Championship.  Seattle's playoffs started with the Storm coming back in game 7, on a night when DeBrusk scored twice, knocking out GM Marcel in Alaska 20-19.  Seattle was the lowest scoring winner in the first round.  Colorado (Chad) didn't put up any fight in the second round, losing 18-2 as Chad's Avalanche built team, a desperation team to make the playoffs, left Chad easy pickings in round two.  If Shawn can't get that one win, Jr will surely take down his third Cup should Washington close out the Conference Finals with back to back wins, leaving him a huge 15-5 point favorite to win it all.  Shawn has been close before, coming within a game 7 going his way of likely already having a Cup, but he never has been this close, having two cracks at just one win.  The 13 year veteran has been touted a long time by fellow GM's as a GM who is deserving, but just could never have the perfect finish required to a great season.  Just ten days ago the snap shot of who would win the Cup, didn't have Shawn too high on the list.  He required pulling the upset versus Vancouver (Joel) and having both Vegas and Tampa advance to the Cup, with Jr winning in Memphis.  That is exactly what could happen.  It all has happened but the Tampa Bay win, but that can happen tonight.  If Washington forces a game 7, the NHLP season will be down to one game, winner take all for the Championship on Wednesday night.  It has been an awesome season and with the remaining teams being the very best teams in the entire league, it will be a deserved Cup for either GM to win.  Good luck tonight to both GM's.
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Knight After Knight

Firstly, the Jets won't go easy.  Winnipeg knows if they win at home this afternoon, they are then one away win from a game 7 at home.  Seen it, been there.  It is hard to close out a series.  For Andrew, his official Cup hopes could be all over today.  The CTR #1 team in Chicago, that truly was unfair competition for the rest of the leagues teams, could walk into a room with no way out.  For Andrew, the season isn't over.  The Jets still have to lose again and surely they aren't going to let that happen against Vegas?  For the Golden Knights it is the same thing.  We said in November, December, January, well, you get it.  Things haven't changed.  We didn't call it luck then, and we don't know.  Sure, no one believed, but that is one them.  Vegas was fast then.  They are fast now.  Great passers then, and now.  The list goes on.  We knew they were deep on defence, having a strong 4th, 5th and 6th, as solid as anyone.  Great goaltending.  The way they pass the puck from side to side across the goal for open one-timers.  Wow.  Better than any NHL team at that, all season.  That was taught, by whom I don't know, but it has worked.  Guys pass up bottom of the circle shots more on Vegas than any team all season.  The statistics must say pass, for they do, and it works.  They have 4 solid lines and row them all.  They can score.  They play disciplined hockey.  They aren't looking to outhit you, that just isn't there game.  They just out work you and beat you.  They have one of the leagues top enforcers and he has bought in.  He isn't playing stupid, but rather extremely smart hockey.  They have the perfect coach.  He himself said he doesn't hold his players accountable.  What?  Listen to all the other coaches, they hold their players accountable.  Gallant said he doesn't hold his players responsible.  "I don't want them scared to make mistakes" Gallant stated in an awesome interview last game.  Then we have the chip.  Oh, trust me, it is real.  You can't see it, but it is sitting on every players shoulder.  How gratifying is it already?  How gratifying can it be to move another step forward, whiles others are only advancing to the next tees boxes.  NHLP GM's didn't believe in any team from the Pacific Division.  Nobody had any San Jose, Anaheim, Los Angeles players.  GM's didn't build Vegas teams.  The ones that did keep their Knights are still all alive.  Based on Player Tracking it was clearly Nashville or Winnipeg and no team from the Pacific had any hope.  Vegas never got respect.  Ever!  Everything they did warranted it, but it never came.  Vegas will never get the respect they rightly deserve if they don't win it all.  That is the only way, and even then, they won't be a good team.  Not in the eyes of the people who know hockey.  Just one who had a great run on their way to winning the 2018 Stanley Cup!
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Jr or Shawn?

GM Jr knows the importance of game 5 in the Washington versus Tampa Bay series.  For Jr, tonight might seem like his Cup on the line.  If the Caps win, Jr's three Memphis Machine are just a win from being huge Cup favorites, almost a Walk Over.  If it is the Caps versus the Golden Knights in the NHL Finals, a finals few ever would have saw coming, Memphis would be a 15-5 favorite to beat Seattle (Shawn) in the NHLP Finals.  However, GM Shawn would have an official Walk over, needing one single point from Marchassault in the finals should Tampa move on and the NHLP series all stay as they are.  Of course GM Chad now has seriously moved into the mix.  Chad now wants Tampa Bay to win, and shut Washington out.  Chad's Pens are just down 12-9, three points if Tampa comes back and wins the series.  Pittsburgh would then have Karlsson and Johnson in the Finals versus Marchassault, an 8-5 favorite (even though losing this round 7-6 in that matchup).  What an irony it would be for Seattle and Pittsburgh to play in the NHLP Finals.  Late in the NHLP Trading Deadline, Seattle made one last move on the season.  This move was set up by the first move of the Deadline when Seattle battled, dropping almost 20 points to the Minors to get Carter, and throw in Parise.  In the last hour of the NHLP Deadline, GM's Shawn in Seattle and Chad in Pittsburgh made one final move, the seasons last for the Storm.  The Storm traded Hall, Johnson and Parise to the Penguins for Marchassault, Little and Ellis.  The final deal Shawn makes are his final two players left in the season.  If Pittsburgh doesn't make this move, they have Karlsson, Marchassault, Byfuglien, Little and Burakovsky remaining and a Cup all but in had with Vegas going to the Finals.  Chad must have a perfect night tonight and he can still win the Cup.  Shawn just needs a Tampa Bay win and he jumps out to almost a sure thing, while Jr will be that sure thing if Washington wins just two more games this round.
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  Emotions High - GM Shawn Wins Night

Neither GM Shawn, nor his opponent, had a player playing in last nights game, but it was Shawn who was the biggest winner on the night.  With the Tampa Bay win, Memphis (Jr) stretched their lead to 12-7, seemingly well in control with extra player games added ahead.  For Jr however, the outcome of the game was costly.  Instead of his three Capitals, his only hope of winning a Cup this season, being one game away from that almost certainly happening, they are now only two games away, from it surely not.  The emotions are high.  You can feel it in every text.  You come all this way.  There is no greater feeling than winning it all.  Teams come close and lose out every year.  There is only one winner and it might feel good coming close, although we can't imagine how that feels good.  Winning it is the only thing that matters.  Last night, the nights clear winner was Shawn.  The GM inched a game closer to a double Walk-Over in the NHLP Finals.  The Seattle GM has had his share of ups and downs.  We don't know what was ever broken, but his heart, in some very close calls the GM has had.  Going into tonight's game, Shawn is experiencing a high like he has never felt.  The pressure of another Golden Knights win.  Shawn knows he can't win if Winnipeg advances.  Who ever thought they would not?  With only two teams, in the history of the game, coming back from 3-1 down this late in the playoffs, Winnipeg and GM Andrew are on the ropes tonight.  If Jr felt it slip a little last night, Andrew might feel it ripped from his grasp tonight.  All this about a week after almost looking like a lock for Cup 7.  No one ever said this game is fair.  What is fair anyways?  Four GM's will make a case why they are the deserving winner.  One will be; The winner, and deserving!
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Vegas Has Pressure On GM's

Marchessault has been on fire for Seattle (Shawn) with 6 points in the first three games of the Conference Finals.  Seattle is now up 6-2 over Vancouver (Joel) and heading for the NHLP Finals.  For the Canucks, the fact Vegas is winning, and the Canucks have the best Vegas built team remaining, must be a tough pill for GM Joel.  It seems unlikely Vancouver can come back as with Perron out, Karlsson would have to gain at least 4 on Marchessault and Little.  The Vegas win has GM Shawn thinking this is his first Cup.  If Tampa Bay comes back, the GM would face two Walk-Overs for his first ever Cup.  "This fairy tale run by the Golden Knights has been incredible" said Muddy Capone, "They appear the better team, just relying on clean, fast hockey to win."  As good as GM Shawn is feeling GM Andrew must be in total disbelief.  With four more points from Scheifele and Wheeler, now 9 in three games, Andrew is two more Vegas wins away from moving on playerless.  Andrew did not see this coming.  The GM would be the first to admit, it is the end of the line for Vegas.  Well, maybe Vegas is the end of the line for Chicago.  For GM Jr, with everything happening around him, all he needs is another Capitals win.  With Vegas winning, Jr's Memphis team is looking stronger still.  There was clear fear of Scheifele and Wheeler, but Marchessault by himself would mean a third team Cup for Jr.  Tonight is huge for Jr.  Right now, today's snapshot, he is two Capitals wins from likely the Cup, a first for Memphis.  It is right there and he has to be tasting it.  All Washington has to do is win and Vegas can be the icing on the cake.  If Jr is hammering a remote with each Caps win, we can't imagine the left over remotes with three more Caps losses.  The Cup is anyone's, even GM Chad's at this point.  He needs the biggest of miracles, but a 1-0 Washington win tonight wouldn't hurt him one bit.  Is it Jr?  Is it Shawn?  Is it Andrew?  Is it Chad?  Cup 28 awaits, and will be one of theirs in 22 days, or sooner.
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Did Pens Really Win Night?

On the scoreboard GM Chad must of felt pretty good last night in Pittsburgh.  Johnson and Burakovsky tied GM Jr's Ovechkin, Carlson and Oshie.  Memphis now leads the series 10-6, and with the Washington tie-breaker.  Tonight the series is going to tighten up as Karlsson and Byfuglien have 27 points in 26 playoff games between them, so about one each a game.  If that occurs, the Penguins will be down 10-8, after even game threes.  The issue for Chad is Jr's three Capitals players are outscoring Chad's Johnson and Burakovsky 10-2 in three games this round.  With the Tampa Bay win last night, which GM Chad could of used to start the series, is actually giving the Memphis players 3 more man games per win.  They have 45 points in 47 man games compared to 7 points in 18 man games for Chad's two players.  So although a Tampa Bay win likely appeared good, that extra game for Jr will likely mean a 3-0.5 advantage on the NHLP scoreboard by the end of that game.  Chad can't win with a longer Washington series, but can win if Washington goes to the NHL Finals if he beat out Jr.  The odds of that happening, didn't improve with the night Chad appeared to have won, they truly got worse for the odds of him winning again in that matchup isn't good.  For Chad, a Vegas-Washington Stanley Cup Finals would mean no response from Chicago (Andrew) and maybe an 8-6 underdog versus Seattle (Shawn) who is up 4-2 in the critical West Conference Finals.  Chad has a shot to win the NHLP Cup, but Tampa coming back and playing three more games to win the series means Jr outscores him 9-1.5 in those games and likely pulls away with the East Conference Finals, even if then a Walk-Over in the NHLP Finals.
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Seattle Right There in Cup Chase

It is basically the exact scenario GM Shawn needed to win his first NHLP Championship.  Seattle are now up 4-2 in their West Conference Finals series with Vancouver (Joel).  Both these teams are well deserving to be here, the CTR's #2 and #3 in the entire 36 team league.  For Shawn to win, the stars had to align just perfectly.  The Storm needed to beat the Canucks, that is a check mark so far.  They needed Vegas to beat Winnipeg, eliminating anything from Chicago (Andrew) in the NHLP Finals.  So far, so good, as Vegas has home ice in a 5 game series remaining.  Then it was, best case scenario, Memphis (Jr) winning and Tampa Bay going to the Finals.  This box isn't checked.  If the three check boxes occurred, the fourth would be the best of all, a Walk Over to Shawn's first ever NHLP Championship.  "Seattle is right there" said Muddy Capone, "They have what it takes to beat Washington and they easily are powerful enough to come back."  If they don't come back, all is not lost for Seattle if Pittsburgh (Chad) down 9-5, can rebound and knock Memphis out.   This would leave Marchessault to beat out Karlsson and Burakovsky.  On paper Chad would be a 6-5 favorite but the Storm are up 4-2 this series in that matchup.  If Winnipeg wins their NHL series, the Storm cannot win.  Vegas has shown they can win, and just likely might.  The pressure is all on Winnipeg to split in Vegas.  If the Golden Knights sweep both home games, teams down three one in the Conference Finals (or Finals) have won only twice in the history of the game.  The 1942 Leafs did it in the Finals versus Detroit and the 2000 Devils did it in the Semi-Finals versus Philadelphia, then won the Cup versus Dallas.  That was the Millennial year when Modano and Claude Lemieux made GM Chadwick a first time winner.  This could be the year Marchassault makes GM Shawn a first time winner by Vegas going to the Cup Finals.
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Chad Hopes For Sweep

GM Chad isn't going to beat GM Jr without a short series from Washington and Tampa Bay.  So far, so good.  Chad is being outscored 9-1 in that matchup and heading into tonight is down 9-4 with Karlsson and Byfuglien set to play their game two's.  If Chad can stay within 5 and get seven games from both Karlsson and Byfuglien a comeback certainly can happen.  Elsewhere GM Andrew is looking deadly as Scheifele and Wheeler can't stop scoring.  In game one the duo got 5 more points for.  This is only game one of the half way point and the two have 36 points between them.  It isn't likely anyone outside of GM Jr can at all stop Andrew if Winnipeg goes through to the Cup Finals.  They will try and go up 2-0 tonight versus Vegas.
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CTR At It Again

The CTR hit 4 of the 6 Conference Finalists and still has a chance at hitting two out of the three teams they predicted to go to the Cup Finals if the favorites win this round.  The Chicago Blackhawks (Andrew) have the rounds lone Walk Over, heading to the finals where the rounds three favorites are "All of nothing" this round on their only hope.  For Andrew he is all Jets or the Hawks cannot win a third team Cup, about the only record GM Andrew doesn't hold, yet anyhow.  Even if Chicago is there, they may not be the favorites if GM Jr is there with his three Washington Capitals players.  Memphis is outmanned this series and a one point CTR favorite over the lone team left with four players, GM Chad in Pittsburgh.  The Pens should have won a Cup last season and are on a mission to win Cup one, Chad's fourth.  This series is already exciting.  Jr's Cups hopes rest on this round while Chad, the genius he is, has one player off each of the four remaining NHL teams.  Chad is the only GM guaranteed to have two players in the NHLP Finals, but he has to get there first. The combinations don't favor Chad well in the Fianls, but a Vegas and Tampa Bay finals versus Andrew and Seattle (Shawn) should easily give Chadwick Cup 4.  Vancouver (Joel) can easily win the NHLP Championship if Vegas moves on but would be an underdog in the finals versus Jr if the Caps move on.  Joel's Canucks would be slight favorites over Chad on any other combinations if his Golden Knights move on versus Chad.  Seattle (Shawn) isn't out just yet.  The Storm are only a point underdog and must have Vegas in the NHL Finals to have any chance.  For Seattle, getting Vegas to the Finals and beating Joel this round, means a Walk Over exists if Tampa Bay is the opponent and Jr knocks out Chad.  In this very likely scenario, Chicago and Memphis would be playerless as neither have a VGK or Bolt.  Those teams are favorites in the NHLP, so could easily advance.  For GM Shawn he just cannot win if the Jets advance as Little isn't going to outscore Scheifele and Wheeler in the Finals.  Five GM's all have a hope of winning the Cup.  Today, it is wide open.  Cup winner is crowned in less then a month.  We know who it won't be, but can't call this exciting finish.
Memphis Comes Out Hammering
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GM Jr is taking this shit seriously.  The Memphis Machine hammered Pittsburgh (Chad) 5-1 on opening night of the Conference Finals, crushing yet another remote control in the process.  Jr showed just what lays in store for fellow GM's the next two rounds.  If Washington keeps winning, this three man team in the NHLP Finals will be tough to beat, with only seven remotes to go.  Ovechkin led game one with two points for the Machine.  For Ovechkin it has been 8 seasons since GM Tyson in Cleveland first got Ovie's name on the most prestigious prize in sport.  "Right now there is a great opportunity for Ovechkin to join an elite group of two time winners" said Muddy Capone, "No player in league history has ever had his name on our trophy 8 seasons apart."   The Machine have a veteran group of players with three Cup winners on the current roster.  David Backes won just last season in Cleveland (Tyson) and is trying to become the 9th player ever to win two years in a row.  Craig Smith won two seasons ago on Chad's Toronto Maples Leafs.  While both Backes and Smith won't have a part in this years win the final two rounds they are rooting on Ovechkin to carry the Machine the rest of the way.  With the career Ovechkin has had he is a very deserving player for an NHL Stanley Cup.  He is the games purest goal scorer of the past decade and has always fell short of winning it all.  Jr is now just three more Capital wins away from being the favorite in the NHLP finals, winning his last Cup the year prior to Ovie's first.  "One remote at a time" said Jr yesterday explaining to Muddy Capone this playoffs tradition.  The Jr has been buying used remotes online and crushing one with a hammer every Capitals win.  "They break easier this way" the GM added, while tweeting a picture to the NHLP Yearbook of the last rounds mess.  We wonder if he will spurge on a new one to crush that final night if he wins the NHLP Cup this season, he'll certainly be able to afford it. 
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CTR's Remaining Six

New Orleans (Shawn) had another good run, but are out on a Walk Over and won't be heading to the Cup Finals.  The NHLP's Finals will be made up of three of the top seven teams to end the season.  At the start of the season the CTR announced changes to the CTR and the new formulae appears to have paid off.  "This was the first major change to the CTR in a decade" said Muddy Capone.  The issue was the CTR use to rank NHL teams based on position.  So the first place team carried more weight then the second, third and so fourth to eight.  It is still done that way, but no longer based on seeds, but rather a teams points.  So this year, with Tampa Bay beating Boston by a single point, virtually those teams are essentially the same rated and now the further points you are ahead of the team behind you becomes the score the CTR uses for calculations.  So if the top five teams are all close, they are all closes calculated in the CTR.  "It has worked well" said Capone.  The new CTR reflects the leagues standings, and not per conference, which was another flaw prior.  The playoff scoring is essentially the same, but outside of the CTR usually on an average higher number, than what teams get, with the average team likely hitting 75% of the CTR.  Teams still pass the CTR number if they have a good round, so was left unchanged.  Your playoff CTR remains a tough target, likely the way we want to keep it.  Congrats to the top dogs.  Well deserved.

#1 - Chicago Blackhawks (Andrew)

    #2 - Vancouver Canucks (Joel)

#3 - Seattle Storm (Shawn)

#4 - Memphis Machine (Jr)

#7 - Pittsburgh Penguins (Chad)

#13 - New Orleans Wolverines (Shawn)

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Updated After Games Completed:  Thursday  (CTR:  6-0 to 13-5  72%) - Unofficial Results
First Round At a Glance...(Click for Playoff Page)
Seed Team Score Score Team Seed
Central Conference - North Division
3 #13 - New Orleans Wolverines (Shawn)
+7
16 7 #23 - Toronto Maple Leafs (Chad)
1
Central Conference - South Division
2 #21 - Boston Bruins (Ryan)
2 43 #1 - Chicago Blackhawks (Andrew)
+22
1*
 
East Conference - Atlantic Division
2 #8 - Hartford Whalers (Andrew)
13 21 #7 - Pittsburgh Penguins (Chad)
+8
1
East Conference - East Division
2** #4 - Memphis Machine (Jr)
+9
21 18 #16 - Montreal Canadiens (Marcel)
1
 
West Conference - Pacific Division
4* #3 - Seattle Storm (Shawn)
+18
18 2 #22 - Colorado Avalanche (Chad)
 
2
West Conference - West Division
2 #15 - Los Angeles Kings (Andrew)
2 31 #2 - Vancouver Canucks (Joel)
+23
1**

 

* - Predicted to win Division (*Beside Scoring - Tiebreaker Guaranteed)
Scoring Underlined - Series Official
** - Predicted to Go to NHLP Finals
*** - Cup Favorites

Updated After Games Completed:  Wednesday - official (CTR Record:  7-5 60%)
First Round At a Glance...(Click for Playoff Page)
Seed Team Score Score Team Seed
Central Conference - North Division
4*** #5 - Cleveland Fury (Tyson)
+6
24 29* #23 - Toronto Maple Leafs (Chad)
1
3 #13 - New Orleans Wolverines (Shawn)
32 25* #10 - Buffalo Sabres (Joel)
+3
2
Central Conference - South Division
4 #12 - Cincinnati Rage (Matt)
19 25* #1 - Chicago Blackhawks (Andrew)
+10
1*
3 #11 - Las Vegas Strip (Vinnie)
+8
18 21* #21 - Boston Bruins (Ryan)
2
 
East Conference - Atlantic Division
4* #6 - Philadelphia Flyer (Scott)
+2
17* 28 #7 - Pittsburgh Penguins (Chad)
1
3 #17 - New York Islanders (Ryan)
 
20 22* #8 - Hartford Whalers (Andrew)
+2
2
East Conference - East Division
4 #24 - Quebec Nordiques (Matt)
24 24* #16 - Montreal Canadiens (Marcel)
+3
1
3 #18 - NY Rangers (Charlie)
19 31* #4 - Memphis Machine (Jr)
+1
2**
 
West Conference - Pacific Division
4* #3 - Seattle Storm (Shawn)
+2
20* 19 #9 - Alaska Attack (Marcel)
1
3 #19 - Phoenix Coyotes (Charlie)
+3
9 23* #22 - Colorado Avalanche (Chad)
 
2
West Conference - West Division
4 #20 - St Louis Blues (Tyson)
10 34* #2 - Vancouver Canucks (Joel)
+7
1**
3 #14 - Green Bay Knights (Ryan)
20 24* #15 - Los Angeles Kings (Andrew)
PICK
2

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CTR At It Again

The CTR hit 4 of the 6 Conference Finalists and still has a chance at hitting two out of the three teams they predicted to go to the Cup Finals if the favorites win this round.  The Chicago Blackhawks (Andrew) have the rounds lone Walk Over, heading to the finals where the rounds three favorites are "All of nothing" this round on their only hope.  For Andrew he is all Jets or the Hawks cannot win a third team Cup, about the only record GM Andrew doesn't hold, yet anyhow.  Even if Chicago is there, they may not be the favorites if GM Jr is there with his three Washington Capitals players.  Memphis is outmanned this series and a one point CTR favorite over the lone team left with four players, GM Chad in Pittsburgh.  The Pens should have won a Cup last season and are on a mission to win Cup one, Chad's fourth.  This series is already exciting.  Jr's Cups hopes rest on this round while Chad, the genius he is, has one player off each of the four remaining NHL teams.  Chad is the only GM guaranteed to have two players in the NHLP Finals, but he has to get there first. The combinations don't favor Chad well in the Fianls, but a Vegas and Tampa Bay finals versus Andrew and Seattle (Shawn) should easily give Chadwick Cup 4.  Vancouver (Joel) can easily win the NHLP Championship if Vegas moves on but would be an underdog in the finals versus Jr if the Caps move on.  Joel's Canucks would be slight favorites over Chad on any other combinations if his Golden Knights move on versus Chad.  Seattle (Shawn) isn't out just yet.  The Storm are only a point underdog and must have Vegas in the NHL Finals to have any chance.  For Seattle, getting Vegas to the Finals and beating Joel this round, means a Walk Over exists if Tampa Bay is the opponent and Jr knocks out Chad.  In this very likely scenario, Chicago and Memphis would be playerless as neither have a VGK or Bolt.  Those teams are favorites in the NHLP, so could easily advance.  For GM Shawn he just cannot win if the Jets advance as Little isn't going to outscore Scheifele and Wheeler in the Finals.  Five GM's all have a hope of winning the Cup.  Today, it is wide open.  Cup winner is crowned in less then a month.  We know who it won't be, but can't call this exciting finish.
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Cup Hopes Down to Game 7

It isn't like GM Chad hasn't had these games before.  The Pittsburgh Penguins (Chad) and Memphis Machine (Jr) will play in the East Conference Finals with one team going to the NHLP Finals.  That series appears to come down to the NHL's game 7 between Nashville and Winnipeg on Thursday.  For GM Jr, his CTR #4, Cup Predicted Finalists are going about business as usual.  A tight series versus Montreal (Marcel) finally went the way of the favorites, but Jr didn't take his first lead in the series until after even games 6.  The Machine have Ovechkin, Carlsson and Oshie through to the next round, a combination that doesn't need help to win the round or the NHLP Cup Championship, but Jr isn't going to lie, he'll take some help.  Unlike "other GMs" Jr knows who he is cheering for Thursday.  The help can come in a 6 player Conference Finals which would leave the GM open to making NHLP history, a 6 man NHLP Final team, something that has never happened.  If Jr does not add his Preds, suddenly getting to the Finals will very much be in doubt.  The Machine will lose their Preds while Chad's Pens will gain Byfuglien.  Chad also is bringing through for sure three players for the Memphis tilt, but Karlsson, Johnson and Burakovsky have better hopes of playing in the NHLP Finals with Byfuglien's support next round.  With Big Buff the Pens would have lost the first round 22-10 and won the second round 18-13 in the 7 player matchup that would be if the Jets win game 7.  Without Buff Jr's wins 28-5 and 20-10 in blowouts.  Chad may not win with Byfuglien in the lineup, but surely won't win without him.  The winner of that series can win the Cup.  Memphis of course would dominate with 6 players in a Washington - Nashville final, while either or, can still give Jr his third Cup.  Chad's Pens won't have an as easy time winning the Cup, but he can be there with two players and compete.  Thursday's game 7 winner should likely give that winning team enough to get through to the the NHLP Finals.
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Most to Lose?

GM Andrew has said he "Doesn't know who to cheer for" between Winnipeg and Nashville.  We call Bullshit!  In round one the Hawks duo of Scheifele and Wheeler outscored his three Preds players Subban, Josi and Turris 9-6 and in round two, 18-9.  That is a playoff combined difference of 27-15.  In fact this round the Jets top two players 18 points is almost more than Andrews three Preds (9), Memphis (Jr) three Subban, Smith and Jarnkrok (7) and Vancouver 's (Joel) two Ellis and Fiala (4).  Andrew's two Jets versus 8 Preds that could be in the NHLP Finals only has Andrew down 20-18, just two points this round.  That is against all 8 as a team!  So the CTR #1 Chicago team, who have a Walk Over to the NHLP Cup Finals, can't possibly think they have a better chance with Nashville over Winnipeg?  Chicago is chasing a third team Cup and some NHLP prestigious history that comes with this feat.  If either Winnipeg or Nashville is there, it will not be in the bag, but the bag should be open and the hand holding the Cup over the top just ready to drop it in.  On Thursday if the Preds win, Andrews Preds, who will have outscored Jr and Joel's Preds 9-7-4 this round, will be looking good.  Of course that same scoring will be 18-0-0 if the Jets win.  Andrew is in tough on Thursday, for he just doesn't know who to cheer for.
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Canucks - Vegas Strong

The NHLP Playoffs is like a maze with a bunch of rooms.  "It is like you are in a room with a bunch of open and closed doors and you seldom don't have four open doors" said Muddy Capone, "Each time you step through a door, the next room has less doors open."  While some teams end up in a room with four closed doors, for Vancouver GM Joel, he is in a room with a door wide open and another door he could walk through, but likely won't like where it ends.  The Canucks could have a Nashville win Thursday and advance four players, assured two doors open to the NHLP Finals.  The Canucks could have Karlsson and Perron or Ellis and Fiala if they win next round and are in the NHLP Finals.  The issue with the Preds winning is it helps Joel next round where he would be a 15-7 point favorite versus Seattle (Shawn).  However, Joel's Preds have round totals of 5-4 while Andrew's have 6-9 and Jr's 6-7, so taking that door to the Finals isn't the end of the world, but it can be better.  That Nahville would be an awesome finals (if Washington didn't make it with Jr's three), but Vancouver is likely the least favorite of the three on a all Preds Final.  So the Preds winning Thursday isn't the end, but making it past Vegas next round might not be the best for Vancouver.  Karlsson and Perron have 14 points this round, after a 3 spot in round one.  If the Preds lose Thursday the Seattle matchup is a good one, versus Marchessault and Little.  It might cut things to close next round where the CTR has Joel maybe a 9-8 series favorite.  So Joel could best use a Preds win Thursday and a Vegas win next round.  If Vegas plays Tampa for the Cup and Joel is there he could Walk Over both Jr and Andrew for the Cup who would be sitting in empty rooms with no way to win.  Even a Vegas and Washington Finals would be a close series with the Canucks a 5 point underdog, but not without a door.  Joel's best shot this season for his first ever Cup goes through the Vegas door. 
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 Pens Marching to June?

It was GM Chad who once said for all others to hear, "Can you believe I have more Cups than Jr and I have been in the league less years."  He said it and he does.  Back then the GM just won the Millennial Cup in Colorado and held a 1-0 lead in Cup wins on GM Jr for about 8 months.  Jr won his first Cup the following year.  When Chad won his second to become 00-7, Jr won again with only a Cup won in between.  So now Chad won his third "00-7 Sweet 16" and if things follow history, it will be GM Jr winning his third this year with 1-9-18 seemingly a nice ring.  The two are destine for a showdown next round, whereas, if things stay as the are in the NHL series, Chad's four players next round have 17 points this round to Jr's three Caps 12.  In round one of the playoffs Jr's three won this matchup 22-10 and are up 34-27 in the playoffs.  It could be an epic battle between the two GM's.  Of course Jr still has to win this round and after today surely will be behind again in his series with Montreal (Marcel).  For Chad his is confident he can go all the way.  The Pens likely should already have their first NHLP Championship, Chad's fourth, with a win last year.  If the grass stays green, while GM's like Andrew and Joel will be all or nothing on a Winnipeg-Vegas battle next round, GM Chad will say give me either Karlsson or Byfuglien in the finals.  Karlsson has 7 this round and Big Buff has 8.  Chad's Pens will also have support.  Either Johnson who has 2 or Burakovsky who hasn't played the round, but should be dressed by then.  So if the Pens beat Memphis, or Montreal next round, as is will have at least 2 players in the finals and would only battle Andrew's two or be one on one with Joel after the Karlsson's cancel out.  Chad could be playing in his third straight Finals.  This coming Draft we might actually hear Chad say, "Can you believe I have twice as many Cups as Jr and I have been in the league less years."
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  One Trick Ponies

As the NHL second round winds down the NHLP matchups and Finals becomes a little more clear.  What is obvious is the league is full of one trick ponies from the top teams.  GM Andrew with CTR #1 Chicago appears now to be all or nothing with his two Jets players Scheifele and Wheeler.  People with 'knowledge' of the game will tell you Andrew is the pros pick as Winnipeg's next opponent is Vegas, if they both convert on their 3-2 leads, and Vegas stands no chance of ever knocking off the Jets they say.  You put Andrew's two in the Finals and the 18 points they have in 5 games this round, things are looking good for the GM who'd then have more Cups than 9 other GM's combined.  Vegas having no hope isn't looking good for CTR #2 Vancouver (Joel) who has 12 points from his two Knights Karlsson and Perron, and would not have to compete against Andrew's Jets players if Sin City was hosting games in the NHL Finals.  GM Jr with the CTR #4 Memphis Machine is looking like an all or nothing with his three Capitals players who have 12 points this round.  The Machine are up 18-17 in a now fierce battle with GM Marcel in Montreal.  Three NHLP teams that Yearbook did in fact predict would be in the NHLP Finals on the final Sunday morning of the season, assuming Boston would get one point against Florida in their final game.  The Bruins failure to get that point then caused the CTR to change to Cleveland (Tyson) to play Memphis and Vancouver for the Cup.  We aren't halfway through the playoffs just yet, but for the favorites after this round, they could all be down to one team left.  Just one hope to win the Cup. 
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 NHL  - Magically It Didn't Happen

It is funny.  Go to any sports hockey site right now and see what the first story is.  Hell, it is making the news sites today!  You likely don't have to, to know it is weasel himself.  Firstly, how can Marchand stoop so low?  To any other person who plays hockey, or the games true fans, the guy is a total dick.  After kissing multiply people he licks Callahan straight in the face with a wet sloppy one.  It is a chump move.  But most fans already know the guy is a total chump anyhow.  But what might be just as bad is the NHL acts like it never happens.  You can not find this in the NHL.com site and it is not mentioned in the games story by NHL Staff.  Anything at all negative, ever, the NHL does not speak about in their website.  It is always positive.  Never anything, that is actually occurring in their sport, in their work environment, that is negative.  Just like big companies and business cover up things like sexual harassment in the workplace, the NHL basically plays this off like it didn't occur last night and no one seen it.  Fuck, wake up.  Even CNN has a story.  Anytime CNN puts anything in front on a Trump story, IT IS BIG!  We always knew the NHL is weak in the player safety and player punishment departments.  It is their track record.  Yet they are suppose to lead.  They are suppose to set the bar above.  They are suppose to show the rest of our hockey youth in this country what is acceptable and what is not.  Marchand crossed the line.  The fact the NHL doesn't report it doesn't mean it didn't occur.  It isn't the first time for Marchand.  Not even for about the 10th time, just likely to his lowest point.  Where in any workplace in our country would that be acceptable?  Where in any sport (always with the exception of soccer of course) are we allowing this?  The chump doesn't deserve a scolding.  That is weak on the part of the NHL.  A fine?  More of a joke.  The NHL should suspend him immediately and if I worked in that office, indefinitely while we investigate.  You may disagree.  That is ok.  I don't think he should play again versus the Tampa Bay Lightning.  Although tough hockey players each of them, they should have to be humiliated in their place of work.  Again, the NHL hides this, look at their site today.  No headline about it.  They are also weak leaders in the hockey world, proven over and over by past player suspensions.  So, a fine will likely be given.  I guess the NHL players need to start a #MeAlso page for the players who have been affected by Marchand and nothing was done about it, because as stated earlier, magically it didn't happen.
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Machine Down Huge Four

With Montreal (Marcel) having a 17-14 lead and the tie-breaker, the Memphis Machine (Jr) are down four points in the second round NHLP series.  No other NHLP series is currently remotely undecided as second round blowouts are everywhere.  In Memphis GM Jr sends out his troops again, outscoring Backstrom just 14 to 5 collectively through four completed games in the series, about 3.5 points to 1.  Even a four point to one gain by Memphis today, would still leave them losing the series on the pick.  After today, all NHL series will be facing an elimination game and suddenly in this series, players games will start to disappear.  This has been a great series.  Four points doesn't seem like much and the Machine can easily over come that amount no problem, but it is a huge four points because player games are disappearing and if you don't do it tonight, you may only have one more night to do it.  The winner here gets Chad in Pittsburgh and who knows the Krug injury, even though Boston might now be out.  If the Bruins don't win three in a row, season over.  The current 14 Bruins in the NHLP playoffs are all going to be out.  Things can get wide open.  It is anyone Cup and that includes both Marcel and Jr.  Memphis could easily be the favorites with a huge day and wins by Nashville and Washington.  Jr could also be a complete Walk Over for Chad's Pens if the opposite results occur.  This is a big Saturday in the NHLP playoffs.
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Boston's Turn

Teams don't go on to win NHLP Champions by not moving forward a competitive team.  For several NHLP powerhouse teams remaining last nights games could not have went any better.  Heading into game five of every NHL series, the series will be tied at 2-2 if Boston can win tonight.  The Bruins have an NHLP high of 14 players playing in round two of which 11 are on teams currently advancing to the Conference Finals.  The Bruins will determine help determine the NHLP winner, whether they are in or out.  Vancouver (Joel) has by far the best Bruins team by themselves, but on matchups like Winnipeg or Nashville, the team is no longer a shoo-in to win it all come the finals.  Boston can find themselves in a bad spot tonight, forced to win three in a row, which they can do versus an equally as tough Tampa Bay team.
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Walk-Over Potential For Storm

Although every NHL series still stands a chance to be tied two-two after the hump game, there certainly is a lot of red on NHLP teams heading into the game fours of the second round.  For Seattle (Shawn) with the winners staying in front and San Jose knocking out Vegas, the Storm shockingly would walk to the NHLP Finals, as the mighty Canucks (Joel) would have no players left off their current fully-stocked roster.  The key for Seattle to have any hope is Pittsburgh coming back where Malkin would live on.  With Malkin playing, Seattle will always have the potential for a double-digit round, even if by himself.  Malkin has just proven he is one of those players that can truly accomplish that feat in any round.  Malkin hasn't been 100%, having missed four in a row, but he is needed for Shawn and the NHL Pens.  Tonight those Pens could go down 3-1 to Washington.  Now, this is Washington, a team that no matter what lead they have versus Pittsburgh won't feel good without a fourth win, but a 3-1 lead might finally be the end of the Penguin March.  Now if Seattle gets that Walk-Over next round without Malkin, there is still one combination that could see the NHLP Finals without a player.  The only issue with that is Seattle would have the third seed (based off playoff points scored so far) and not pick in the Finals.  Seattle could then only win it all if Chicago (Andrew) and Memphis (Jr) both missed the pick in the Finals, on an NHL Finals of Tampa Bay and Vegas or San Jose.  Getting to the NHLP Finals is an awesome feat, but if you can't win once there, then the entire season ended on the soon-forgotten side with 11 other GMs. 
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     Memphis in Good Spot

GM Jr may be down 15-12 but the Memphis Machine still have a 12-10 player game advantage, even if Jarnkrok doesn't dress the rest of the round.  Montreal (Marcel) has the pick with Tampa Bay, but are outmanned tonight 6 players to 1, being outscored this round 12-4 in that matchup, about 4 points to 1 per game.  That would leave the series tied at 16 after tonight.  This series is either GM's at this point but the Machine can move forward Ovechkin, Carlson and Oshie, a Cup winning potential trio if the Caps can keep winning.  For GM Jr that is just 6 more wins and the Caps are in the NHL Cup Finals where Memphis would be the NHLP Cup favorites.  The Machine were Washington fans all season, drafting Ovechkin 8th overall in the Draft and even picking the Capitals to win the NHL Stanley Cup in the GM's pre-season NHLP Cup prediction side.  Jr doesn't need them to win, just get there and the potential 16 points in the finals from the trio will be enough to likely carry Memphis no matter who else makes it.  Jr has never won a Cup, on a team outside his two in Hockey Town, with the Stars his last Championship in 2009, nine Cups ago.  Memphis isn't a one-trick pony, with still a legit shot with the Preds, having Subban, Smith and Jarnkrok, although Nashville without his Caps in the finals won't make Jr the favorite.  These are huge NHL games every night.  If the Caps win tonight, with this series versus Montreal so close, Jr might even need a Pens win to just extend the series.  It is a battle.  This can happen.  Hide the remotes everyone.  GM Jr is back in the battle for another NHLP Championship! 
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Montreal Opportunity For Real

After last nights huge four point game by Point, GM Marcel just might be in for the long haul.  The only person outside of Marcel to be this happy with this series is likely Muddy Capone.  "We get one series to write about" laughed Capone, referring to the NHLP blowouts in round two.  The Habs went up 11-6, which is likely just enough to be the first team in the series to hold the lead for back to back nights.  The series has went GM Jr with the lead, Marcel took it back, Jr with the lead and Marcel again took it back last night.  Jr's Memphis can easily retake the series lead with 6 players including Ovechkin, Carlson and Subban all playing tonight.  Backstrom is strong enough that he can help hold the Habs lead.  While all the Cup threat talk has been on other GM's, Marcel's Habs have quietly went about their business of positioning themselves for a Cup win.  That is right.  Not a Cup run, a Cup win.  There won't be anything easy for Montreal, but if Tampa Bay wins this round and knocks out the Bruins, Marcel could easily put himself in a position to battle Pittsburgh (Chad) and go to the Cup Finals.  If Tampa Bay is there in the NHL Finals, the worst Montreal could do is face Chicago (Andrew) with either Winnipeg or Nashville as the opponent or Vancouver (Joel) with Vegas in the finals.  Outside of the Jets the rest of the matchups Marcel could face are almost coin flips with Point and Sergachev.  If Tampa Bay and San Jose make the NHL Finals if would be a Walk-Over for Marcel against Chicago or Vancouver anyhow.  Every matchup will be a hard fought win if Marcel can pull it off.  As much as the NHLP Yearbook gives love to Vancouver to win another Championship, everything can be said the same about Montreal, winners of the NHLP's second Championship won by GM Edward back in 1991.
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Still NO Believers

It has been a great run.  Once Vegas finally loses out, everyone in the hockey world can finally all agree, Vegas had a great run.  See, nobody gives them a chance.  They didn't have a chance to make the playoffs.  They didn't have a chance to finish first.  They didn't have a chance to actually win a playoff series.  They don't have a chance to go to the Conference Finals.  They stand no chance at all, ZERO of going to the Cup Finals.  Ask anyone.  Lets be real.  Even if they dispose of San Jose.  Winnipeg.  Ya ok, they won two out of three against Winnipeg and outscored them 12-11.  But this is Playoffs.  Nashville.  Ya ok, they hammered Nashville two games to one this year and outscored them 7-4.  But this is Playoffs.  OK - say they get by those teams who they have owned and go to the finals.  Washington.  Ya ok, they went 2-0 this year against Washington and outscored them, 7-3.  But this is Playoffs.  Tampa Bay.  Ya ok, they went 2-0 versus Tampa Bay this season and outscored them 8-4.  But this is Playoffs.  Pittsburgh.  Ya ok, they split with the Pens a game apiece and knotted them at 6 for and 6 against.  But this is Playoffs.  Boston.  Ya ok, the Bruins played them tough even though the teams split their matchups and Vegas outscored them 4-3 in two games.  But this is Playoffs.  Ask anyone who knows hockey.  Sure Vegas has a best overall record collectively versus all the remaining teams in the playoffs.  But get real.  THIS IS PLAYOFFS!  It has been a a good run.  Nothing more, nothing less.  They can't win it all, but Vegas sure did have a good run.
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Habs Should Retake Lead

When you are a big underdog, the longer you can keep the series close the better it bolds for a huge potential upset.  In the NHLP, they don't get any bigger than 9 point underdogs and 90% of the time NHLP teams don't over-come those odds (and it is likely higher than 90%).  GM Marcel will likely be happy to be in front of the series at the end of even game twos.  The Habs have Point (who should play), Sergachev, Rick Nash and Kane (back from suspension) versus only Backes playing Monday.  That advantage is a two point gain for the Habs, meaning they should reclaim the series lead, only currently down 6-5 to Memphis (Jr).  The biggest issue for the Habs is they are down 21-15 in player games remaining.  If the Bolts can win on home ice tonight, instead of Monday ending with the Machine up 20-11 in player games, it could end 21-14, keeping Marcel's team close.  Although GM Jr's team didn't light the scoreboard Sunday, and who can complain with 4 points, Jr did add 6 more player games to his teams total with Washington and Nashville both tying their series at 1-1.  For Montreal to truly have a shot, they really needed one of those series to sweep.  So while Montreal may look and think they are in this series, and they have shortened it, the player games should ultimately be their downfall.  You can't score when you can only watch the game, you have to have a guy playing in it.
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More Hockey - More Injuries

Chicago (Andrew) is up 17-0.  Vancouver (Joel) is up 16-0.  The NHL playoffs is a grueling game and the NHLP playoffs can often be a cruel game.  While these GM's don't need scoring this round, their star players are still going to play the games.  Each game is important for they need their key players to advance and each team could use certain matchups to maximize their teams chances of winning it all in the end.  But there is always the potential for injury.  Last season the Pittsburgh Penguins (Chad) looked like NHLP winners if Nashville makes the Cup.  This was in game 4 of the Conference Finals, when the series was in the bag for GM Chad's team.  That is when Johansen broke his leg, leaving the NHLP Finals matchup now Crosby versus Forsberg and Subban, instead of versus Johansen, Forsberg and Subban.  Johansen had 13 points in 14 playoff games when he got hurt.  Cleveland (Tyson) would win the NHLP Championship 7-3, but you wonder what might have been had Chad had Johansen and his effect he had on Forsberg's production dipping after the injury.  Hey, injuries are all part of the game.  They can cost the best teams their chance to win it all.  It is never in the bag and it is never quite lost.  You just never know when someone might get hit with a motor bike.
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Machine Needs Caps Winning

The two points GM Jr's seven players scored in game one was a playoff low.  The Machine had been average five points a game in round one.  After a somewhat expected result Saturday the Machine find themselves down 4-2 heading into Sunday where an average output from round one will likely have them up 7-5 by days end.  The issue for the Memphis team isn't likely scoring this round, it is the Capitals and Nashville, either or really, moving onto the next round.  Jr has by far the best Capitals team in the NHLP, 3 of the 5 players remaining and versus Backstrom who could be out this round.  That would only leave Burakovsky who just happens to be on the next rounds potential opponent.  As the results sit right now GM Chad's Penguins would not have any trouble beating Memphis next round and bringing his fourth team in the last three seasons to the NHLP Championship round.  To stand out, Jr really needs the Capitals to get to the NHL Finals.  That would mean beating their arch nemesis in Pittsburgh, a team that has just owned the Capitals.  After that Washington would have Tampa or Boston, so everyone looks at Washington as the longest shot of the four teams.  All would not be lost if only Nashville advanced, or the Preds and the Bruins, if Pittsburgh then beat the Bruins next round.  A Preds - Bruins finals would likely mean GM Joel runs away with the Cup in Vancouver.  So the odds of Memphis winning it all is going to depend more on the NHL outcomes then likely his teams NHLP scoring this round, as both the Capitals and Predators going out means Memphis will not be winning a first team Cup, the GM's third.  Memphis just needs the Caps getting to the Finals and the Cup could be theirs.
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26 Cups Between Cups

If the Vancouver Canucks (Joel) can win the NHLP Championship this season, it will set a few NHLP records.  Currently Edmonton (Scott) had 17 other Cup winners between their Cup wins in 1992 and 2011 while GM Andrew's Hartford team had 16 Cups won between the Whalers wins in 1997 and 2015.  For GM Joel that number will be about 2.5 times longer then the 11 years he has been a GM, a total of 26 Cups won by other teams since the 1990 Canucks (Raymond) won the first ever NHLP Championship.  The Canucks would also now have two team Championships, a first for Joel, and be the only team in league history to have two team Cups won by different GM's.  For Joel he has brought four teams to the Finals in his first 10 years as a GM, a remarkable feat for any GM.  The 2018 Vancouver Canucks team don't appear they will be stopped before the Finals if the Bruins keep winning.  The team has already scored 46 playoff points and we haven't completed game two of the second round.  The Canucks are crazy strong with the Bruins alone and shine bright with the combinations of Nashville or Vegas in the mix.  Without the Bruins the team will be beatable, but even with the Bruins in the Finals, as hard as it is to believe, the team would be 20-16 (CTR) underdogs versus Chicago (Andrew).  In 2015 when Vancouver last went to the Cup Finals Joel beat out Los Angeles (Andrew), who they are beating 12-0 this round and Seattle (Shawn) who will be their opponents next round before ironically enough losing the GM Andrew in the Finals.  Things won't be easy this season.  The Storm are going to pose a threat next round and the combinations of the Matchups don't all work for the Canucks.  Joel just needs the Bruins to keep winning and the rest might all fall into place.  We would love to see Joel win a first team Cup, and sentimentally their is never a better team to win then the Vancouver Canucks who will always be the very first team ever to hoist that banner, just as GM Raymond actually did at the 1991 Draft.  
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Storm - Lots of Lightning

If Tampa Bay can win today, you look at the Seattle Storm (Shawn) and the snap shot of them going to and even winning the NHLP Championship looks pretty good.  Seattle isn't a slouch team.  They came in at the CTR #3 and they have already had the story book series, where they could have been knocked out, that all winning teams seem to have.  The Storm who were down and out had an improbable game 7 first round series, three needed points from DeBrusk and Riley Nash.  Those same two players that helped them in round one, can help them advance to the NHLP Finals, this time by being out next round.  The Storm duo are a nice six points in a round according to the CTR.  That is a huge Conference Finals number for any GM from two players.  In fact, in round one, the pair ended with eight points.  Those are sweet numbers, well, until you look at Vancouver (Joel) team, the Storm's opponent next round.  Marchand had 9 by himself in round one.  Then there was Krug who also had 9.  Either of those players outscored the Storm's two by themselves.  Don't forget about the 8 more by Krejci, still enough by himself to win on a tie-breaker.  The Storm in this Bruins matchup were outscored 26-8 in round one.  That is the matchup next round if the Bruins knock out the Bolts.  So Seattle might be the CTR #3, but Vancouver is the CTR #2 for a reason.  They're Good!  But if you remove the Bruins, as series are right now, Seattle would be a 13-8 point favorite next round and a Walk-Over if San Jose came back and knocked out Vegas (all things staying the same).  If you then place those Penguins in the NHL Finals, the likely worst GM Shawn could do then is a Chicago (Andrew) matchup versus Scheifele and Wheeler against his Malkin and Little, a respectable 12-9 underdog.  With Malkin hurt in round one, scoring between these players, only won it for the Hawks 9-7.  On a Pittsburgh - Vegas NHL Finals, the NHLP GM's would just be sending in their congratulations to GM Shawn prior to puck drop of game one.  Everything is going the way of the Storm, including the 'Story Book' round one close call, the prelude it seems to any team winning it all.  With the Bruins losing out this round, the rest of the way could be clear sailing.  For Seattle, there is nothing as clear as sailing into the Eye-of-the-Storm.
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   The Point Is - Long Series Needed

GM Marcel gets the Point.  His only way to pull off a huge upset and have any way of winning the NHLP Championship this season is a long, likely 7 game series from Tampa and Boston, with the eventual Bolts win.  Down just 2-0 to Memphis (Jr) the door is actually wide open today to tie up the Division Finals series.  For Marcel's Montreal Canadiens they have Point, Sergachev and Rick Nash versus the lone Machine's gunner today of Backes, just in the early 3 PM game.  This matchup favors Marcel 9-3 over the series, about 1.5 points per game to 0.5 based on a 6 game series.   The Habs also have Kane going today, basically averaging a point a game in the playoffs, so you would think Marcel should be up or tied at days end.  Montreal likely just can't play tied, unless Jr gets the unfortunate four and out from either Washington or Nashville, with both highly unlikely.  For Marcel, either one going 'just' four could be the beginning of the upset.  Marcel will need every man game he can get, then some, to overcome the CTR 9 point disadvantage they are in.  Point needs to be big.  Points need to be plentiful and a long series by Point's Bolts, and maybe there is a chance.  Today Marcel must feel good and GM Jr just a little uneasy.  That won't be the case if Marcel doesn't get some Points today.
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Chicago Chases NHLP First - Third Team Cup

 The CTR has them at #1.  Not a bad finish for a team that started out of the 36th and final Draft position this season.  That pick is the only player who survived the season for the Blackhawks, a season full of mastery like only GM Andrew can pull off.  Wheeler was Andrew's Elite player in Chicago, later adding Scheifele for an unstoppable Jets two-some.  With only Byfuglien and Little sitting on non-Andrew owned teams remaining, it seems Andrew will have the Jets side locked up shall they go all the way.  If the Jets fail to win this round, the GM will move on Subban, Josi and Turris, likely the best Nashville team, with Memphis, Jr, having Subban, Smith and Jarnkrok.  Either way the worst Chicago can do next round is have their two Jets or three Preds versus Heinen and Guentzel.  If the expected happens and Andrew meets Shawn's New Orleans Wolverines next round, if Heinen plays than Chicago will still have Rick Nash and the Bergeron's will cancel out for the round.  There truly appears no way Andrew isn't heading to the NHLP Cup Finals in Chicago.  For the Hawks, winners of the 1999 and 2013 Championships, they are chasing a third team Cup, something no team has ever accomplished.  There is a very realistic shot of that happening and along with it, Andrew also winning an unprecedented 7th Cup as a GM.  The CTR put the Hawks at almost 2500 points, a ranking Muddy Capone marvels at.  "It is almost impossible to get much higher, let alone finish the season with that number, after all the teams potential is taken away" said Capone.  What might be even more shocking is the CTR #2 in Vancouver (Joel) wasn't far behind.  If you look at the Drafted team and the final product, you scratch your head and ask how is it possible to do that.
Drafted Turned Into Transaction
Wheeler    
Pacioretty Scheifele Chicago (Andrew) Trades Ehlers and 2018/19 2nd Round Pick #57  to Edmonton (Scott) for Scheifele and Pick #66.  There is a Conditional Pick that if Chicago makes the NHLP Finals this year Edmonton also receives a 2020/21 2nd Round Pick #48 for #64
Stone Bergeron Chicago (Andrew) Trades Palat to Carolina (Joel) for Bergeron
E. Staal Subban Chicago (Andrew) Trades Marner, February 24th Waiver, 2019/20 1st Rounder #19 and 3rd #91 to Calgary (Jr) for Subban and Picks #23 and #95
E. Kane Josi Chicago (Andrew) Trades Krug to Pittsburgh (Chad) for Josi
E. Lindholm Turris Chicago (Andrew) Trades Aho, Pacioretty and November 18th Waiver to Edmonton (Scott) for Ehlers, Turris and February 24th Waiver, which comes with the conditions of a December 21st Waiver.
Fabbri Rick Nash Chicago (Andrew) Trades Doughty, 2018/19 2nd Rounder #68, 2019/20 3rd #95 and 2020/21 2nd #71 to Cincinnati (Matt) for Nash and Picks #57, #108 and #48
If is shocking to see the moves.  Edmonton (Scott) gave Ehlers and Turris for essential nothing but the earlier Waiver and then gave Schiefele to get Ehlers back.  The Krug deal was made with 5 seconds left in the NHLP Trading Deadline Meeting.  It caused a huge discussion about last second deals that go on to affect the outcome.  Nothing negative - just an exciting discussion.  It still might affect the Cup.  If Nashville goes out and Boston goes to the Cup, or the other way around, that very last deal could be the difference this season.  You see the drafted team.  Nothing at all outside of Wheeler and the deals Andrew makes, one by one is truly amazing.  Will the team complete the job?  We have three more rounds to determine that question, but so far Chicago seems to be a shoo-in to make the NHLP Finals and Andrew has himself to thank if that happens.  A job well, well done.
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2018-19 Draft Updated With Divisions

You may view the 2018-19 Draft and see where you draft in your Division.  The last Division to make a pick in the first round is the North Division at 12th overall.  GM Vinnie has the first pick for the second straight year.  The actual Divisions are shown now more clearly at the bottom of this page.
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Updated After Games Completed:  Wednesday - official (CTR Record:  7-5 60%)
First Round At a Glance...(Click for Playoff Page)
Seed Team Score Score Team Seed
Central Conference - North Division
4*** #5 - Cleveland Fury (Tyson)
+6
24 29* #23 - Toronto Maple Leafs (Chad)
1
3 #13 - New Orleans Wolverines (Shawn)
32 25* #10 - Buffalo Sabres (Joel)
+3
2
Central Conference - South Division
4 #12 - Cincinnati Rage (Matt)
19 25* #1 - Chicago Blackhawks (Andrew)
+10
1*
3 #11 - Las Vegas Strip (Vinnie)
+8
18 21* #21 - Boston Bruins (Ryan)
2
 
East Conference - Atlantic Division
4* #6 - Philadelphia Flyer (Scott)
+2
17* 28 #7 - Pittsburgh Penguins (Chad)
1
3 #17 - New York Islanders (Ryan)
 
20 22* #8 - Hartford Whalers (Andrew)
+2
2
East Conference - East Division
4 #24 - Quebec Nordiques (Matt)
24 24* #16 - Montreal Canadiens (Marcel)
+3
1
3 #18 - NY Rangers (Charlie)
19 31* #4 - Memphis Machine (Jr)
+1
2**
 
West Conference - Pacific Division
4* #3 - Seattle Storm (Shawn)
+2
20* 19 #9 - Alaska Attack (Marcel)
1
3 #19 - Phoenix Coyotes (Charlie)
+3
9 23* #22 - Colorado Avalanche (Chad)
 
2
West Conference - West Division
4 #20 - St Louis Blues (Tyson)
10 34* #2 - Vancouver Canucks (Joel)
+7
1**
3 #14 - Green Bay Knights (Ryan)
20 24* #15 - Los Angeles Kings (Andrew)
PICK
2

 

 

* - Predicted to win Division (*Beside Scoring - Tiebreaker Guaranteed)
Scoring Underlined - Series Official
** - Predicted to Go to NHLP Finals
*** - Cup Favorites
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NHLP Division Final Tie-Breakers

Get your picks in as there is hockey tonight.

Chicago (Andrew) - Winnipeg
Montreal (Marcel) - Tampa Bay
Vancouver (Joel) - Nashville
Has Choice of Either:
Winnipeg @ Nashville
Boston @ Tampa Bay


Toronto (Chad) - Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh (Chad) - Pittsburgh
Colorado (Chad) - Pittsburgh
Has Choice of Either:
Pittsburgh @ Washington
San Jose @ Vegas
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Bruins Survive - Literally

The Boston Bruins are true survivors.  According to Player Tracking all 14 Bruins on NHLP teams advanced to round two.  It is hard to believe not one Bruins players was on any of the NHLP 12 losing teams in the first round.  Of the Advancing teams Nashville lost 10 players and Vegas lost 8.  As far as NHLP players still alive per series:

Boston (14) @ Tampa Bay (5)
Winnipeg (6) @ Nashville (12)
Pittsburgh (4) @ Washington (5)
San Jose (1) @ Vegas (4)

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NHLP 2018-19 Divisions

The official Divisions for next year are further down the homepage.
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2018/19 NHLP Divisions

First Round Winners and 5th Place Teams Stay

North Division
Toronto (Chad) - Stays in North
New Orleans (Shawn) - Stays in North
Florida (Marcel) - Stays in North
Las Vegas (Vinnie) - Goes to North
Cincinnati (Matt) - Goes to North
Miami (Charlie) - Goes to North

South Division
Chicago (Andrew) - Stays in South
Boston (Ryan) - Stays in South
Dallas (Jr) - Stays in South
Buffalo (Joel) - Goes to South
Cleveland (Tyson) - Goes to South
San Fran (Scott) - Goes to South

Atlantic Division
Pittsburgh (Chad) - Stays in Atlantic
Hartford (Andrew) - Stays in Atlantic
Hamilton (Tyson) - Stays in Atlantic
NY Rangers (Charlie) - Goes to Atlantic
Quebec (Matt) - Goes to Atlantic
Halifax (Shawn) - Goes to Atlantic

East Division
Montreal (Marcel) - Stays in East
Memphis (Jr) - Stays in East
Carolina (Joel) - Stays in East
NY Islanders (Ryan) - Goes to East
Philadelphia (Scott) - Goes to East
Atlantic City (Vinnie) - Goes to East

Pacific Division
Colorado (Chad) - Stays in Pacific
Seattle (Shawn) - Stays in Pacific
Calgary (Jr) - Stays in Pacific
Green Bay (Ryan) - Goes to Pacific
St Louis (Tyson) - Goes to Pacific
Portland (Vinnie) - Goes to Pacific

West Division
Vancouver (Joel) - Stays in West
Los Angeles (Andrew) - Stays in West
Indianapolis (Matt) - Stays in West
Alaska (Marcel) - Goes to West
Phoenix (Charlie) - Goes to West
Edmonton (Scott) - Goes to West
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  Repeat of 2016 - Nords Collapse in Game 7

Deja vu!  It was just two seasons ago Quebec (Matt) had their famous game 7 collapse versus New Orleans (Shawn) where they allowed 4 points in game 7 to end their season.  Last night Montreal (Marcel) had the 3 point night to come back and tie the Nords, winning the series on the tie-breaker.  It was the only game in the 7 games Marleau and Rick Nash played where they combined for three points.  Quebec had a great round, only one of three teams to go over their CTR by at least 5 points, but it wasn't enough.  What was essentially a five man team just could not hold off a Habs team that also went over their CTR mark.  For Marcel he will play Memphis (Jr) for a right to go to the Conference Finals.  The CTR has the Machine who have a full team remaining, a 27-19 point favorite.  The players actually scored 31 to 19 in first round points, favoring Memphis, so Marcel is facing an uphill task to win that series. 
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GM's Andrew and Chad - 6 of Final 12

GM's Andrew and Chad have 6 of the final 12 NHLP teams, joining Shawn as the only GM with more than a team left.  Other GM's still in the running for the 2018 NHLP Championship include Jr, Joel, Marcel and Ryan.  The CTR struggled in the first round, hitting 7 of 12 series and will not have the NHLP Champion go their way as Cleveland (Tyson) was upset in the first round.  The second round series are not predicted to be close with the closest predicted series a whopping 7 point spread.  Chicago (Andrew) the CTR #1 team is surely heading to the NHLP Finals, a 22 point favorite this round and with at least two players through to the Conference Finals, just won't be stopped before the NHLP Finals, if at all.  It appears Memphis (Jr) and Pittsburgh (Chad) will play for the right to represent the East Conference in the Finals.  If Nashville goes out against the Jets, GM Chad will either be favorites or at least in a great battle while GM Jr will be on his way tot he Cup Finals if both Nashville and Washington win.  Seattle (Shawn) and Vancouver (Joel) could be in for a great Conference Finals for the Storm will be relying on Malkin with GM Joel doing well with Boston, Vegas and Nashville wins this round.  Unless there is a huge upset this round, and we do mean huge, it appears the NHLP Championship will be won by either GM's Andrew, Jr, Shawn, Chad or Joel.
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 Round One - Just One Game

There is a lot to be decided in just one game.  After game 2's of the NHL playoffs, not a person we know would have bet even money Toronto would win 4 of the last 5 and knock the Bruins out.  Not a person that isn't looking you in the eye and bull-shitting you anyhow.  But that is where we have ended the first round of the playoffs.  The outcome of next game will alter the NHLP playoffs.  You either have 14 Bruins still alive and moving on to play next round, or 7 Maple Leafs, based on a few NHLP series that could go either way.  One game.  Toronto or Boston. 

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Perfect So Far

The Hartford Whalers (Andrew) are a single point away from knocking off the NY Islanders (Ryan).  Now, keep in mind.  The NHLP has not done the Discount Double Check, so basically Matthews, Kadri and Krejci could all go next game without getting a point, sending the Islanders to round two where they would be the favorites if Toronto wins game 7, yet none of that may matter and GM Ryan may in fact already be out.  "If you aren't checking your own players and your opponents, well you deserve that pain when it happens" said Muddy Capone who just asks each GM to double check their own things, something of course he knows for many that is asking way to much.  What is worse is the GM who knows we have a number wrong, but it in his favor and stays quiet.  Like we aren't going to catch it or something?  The NHLP Yearbook does check all series, at the end, but it would be nice to know right now if we had something wrong, which is quite easy to do.  Any point change after the fact, we simply miss until the end as there is too much to do to be checking series as well, as we go.  The winner here gets the Pittsburgh Penguins (Chad) who will likely be cheering for Krug to advance, at least this round.  As for Andrew, he has got at least a point from his three players in each of the first 6 games where they total 9 points in 15 player games.  It seems so very unlikely they will all go pointless in a game 7, where often the score gets away from one team.
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   East - Looking Sharp

When you look at the East Division, all you see is Green.  The GM's, even GM Charlie's NY Rangers who will are out, could be moving on an all green team, albeit a player short with a 6 man team.  Only three red players are on the four teams and for GM Marcel, he has a very challenging task in game 7.  The Habs have Marleau and Rick Nash and will need three points to move on to face Memphis (Jr).  In the first 6 games the duo have scored two points once, one point twice and zero three times.  The odds are stacked, piled very high in fact, against Montreal getting the points he needs. 

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Attack Defence Needs to Shine

While GM Marcel is hoping for offence on his Montreal team, in Alaska he is cheering for defence to prevail in game 7.  The Attack are done, up 19-17 on Seattle (Shawn) who only need two points to advance.  Either team advancing here will be winning the Division and going to the Conference Finals.  For GM Shawn he will need the two points to come from DeBrusk and the pointless Riley Nash.  DeBrusk has been on fire scoring in 5 of the 6 games, but all singles.  Odds are this series is coming down to Shawn needing just a single point by the final buzzer.

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14-8

If Toronto wins game 7, the NHLP's West Division second round series between Vancouver (Joel) and Los Angeles (Andrew) would suddenly be an interesting one.  The Kings players remaining will have outscored the Canucks 14-8 in the first round, thanks mostly to Kucherov's 10.  The NHLP Yearbook had nobody even on the radar all round other than Vancouver who suddenly must be feeling a little pressure.  The stars all seem to be aligning everywhere for GM Andrew.  Can anyone be shocked?  When you have proven you are the best, over and over again, it isn't luck you find yourself in good spots.  Andrew puts himself in good spots, for the maximum chance at success.  Least he has proven to do it consistency more often than others.  As far as GM Andrew built teams go, the Kings are a crappy one, but they have a chance to take out a team that could be trouble for Chicago (Andrew) later.  Trust us.  The outcome of the NHL game 7 may be as important as the teams advancing in the NHLP as to what team goes all the way in 2018.
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Kings Very Much Alive?

After a crazy Sunday may very well come a crazier Monday.  You have an NHL Coach that has guaranteed a win, a game six in Toronto that could set up a repeat of the 4-1 game and then you have GM Andrew in LA who reminded us, "Sometimes things change hurry."  What the hell is he talking about?  Since the playoffs started the NHLP Yearbook has been giving the West Division to the Vancouver Canucks (Joel).  The team is entirely moving on 7 players, the opponents next round are one man teams.  If game 6 tonight is won by Toronto, suddenly things really do change in a hurry.  The Maple Leafs were written off.  After those first two games, how can they win 4 of 5 games?  If it did happen, Vancouver would have a four man team next round who scored 8 pointed between them in round one.  For Andrew, Kucherov got 10 by himself, and he would also be bringing four more scored from Gardiner and Hyman.  Scoring wise, Andrew would be favorites based on round one, but the CTR would have the series a 15-15 pick'em series.  No one saw this coming.  The first CTR Cup Prediction even had Vancouver winning the Cup.  For Andrew, and more then just in Los Angeles, tonight is a huge night in the NHLP.
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Whale of a Night?

The Hartford Whalers (Andrew) need a three point game to win their first round series.  tonight the team has Matthews, Kadri and Krejci, so with no response from the NY Islanders (Ryan) remaining, a 7 game series certainly should move the Whalers on.  For Andrew his Cup hopes rest on a Toronto comeback to go along with his own.  With the Maple Leafs advancing the Whalers would be about a 17-16 underdog in what is basically a coin flip versus Pittsburgh (Chad) for the Atlantic Division title.  No GM is likely more invested in the Maple Leafs.  Andrew who had been relatively quiet, which isn't uncommon, has recently said he can see the Leafs forcing a game 7.  They are just a game away from doing so.  The young team is playing better every game and gaining experience.  The fact they just won in Boston, if they go back, knowing the support they have in Toronto and the fact they were written off, their young legs might just win that game 7 running away.  For Andrew, he needs Toronto.  We are in for a Whale of a night.
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Staying Green?

The big three NHLP teams, Chicago (Andrew), Vancouver (Joel) and Memphis (Jr), who are all currently advancing unstoppable forces, a full 7 players, could see that change today if Nashville can't win in Colorado.  All three GM's have Preds, a total of 8 between them.  For other NHLP GM's, considering these guys all have this round in the bag, your changes could go up if Nashville can go out.  The odds aren't good.  But certainly better chances than every team that is already planning their summer vacations.  Colorado is in and game 7's are some of the most dramatic games the NHLP ever sees.  It isn't the only series that might go 7, but it will be the least expected one.  If these teams stay Green, they stay favorites to play in their Conference Finals.  If they can't keep the full 7, they still might be there, but their Cup dreams will have taken a huge punch up-side the head.

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The Whether Man?

You read it right.  The "Weather" man Malkin will totally change the outlook of the Seattle (Shawn) - Alaska (Marcel) series today.  It all depends on "Whether" or not Malkin plays today.  It is uncertain as of this writing if he will be on the radar today.  Malkin injured his leg in game 5 and Questionable Sunday.  The Storm have the tie-breaker and trail by just three points, 18-15.  Expect the barometer to go through the roof if Malkin plays, lining up with Ellis versus Forsberg and Konecny.  The Storm still can counter after today with DeBrusk and Riley Nash, but the other four players today could be done.  If Pittsburgh plays again, Malkin is outscoring Konecny 5-1, favoring Shawn but if just Nashville get an extra game, Marcel has that matchup of Forsberg 5 - Ellis 2.  The winner here is a HUGE favorite next round versus Colorado (Chad) who has a projected 5 points in the Division Finals.  Lets not forget what happened last year.  No one expected Nashville, the 16 playoff seed to go to the finals.  Well, if Colorado wins today at home versus Nashville, they will force a game 7.  If they can pull this upset, GM Chad will be bringing 13 more points to next round with his three big Avs.  It can be done.  It just was done last season.  Today it about the Whether for Seattle, Alaska and Colorado.
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Chad Dominates Again

In the last seven NHLP Championships GM's Chad and Andrew both have been to the Finals a league high four times each.  GM Chad, easily could have won the last two Championships and could be going for number three in a row.  It could have went that way.  "The guy has brought his game to a different level" said Muddy Capone, "He moves are very calculated and he is a danger every year now to win it all."  Chad was the first GM this plays to his his CTR mark.  He did that in Colorado, then again in Toronto and will likely do it also in Pittsburgh if Krug gets a point next round.  "That mark, doesn't matter what it is, it is harder to hit then not to hit" says Capone who said the CTR playoff mark is really hard to hit with most teams hitting about 75% of that mark.  If your team hits that mark, your players truly had a good round.  To have all three teams hit the mark, shows how good Chad's playoffs have been.  The GM can easily win all three series, two are in the bag and he is a favorite for Toronto to advance at this moment with a 5-3 player advantage and the tie-breaker.  That would be a huge upset over GM Tyson in Cleveland.  It is not much of a surprise that the final 12 NHLP teams could include all 6 of Chad's and Andrews teams, although they are both in ties that can yet go either way.  For Chad's chances of a Cup this season, it would seem his CTR #7 team in Pittsburgh is his only real hope.  For that to happen all Chad might need is Vegas, Winnipeg and Pittsburgh (or Columbus) advancing next round where Chad should go to his 5th NHLP Finals in the last 8 seasons.  At that point he would have an awesome chance to win it all.  That wouldn't surprise us at all.  Chad's game is just the best it has ever been.

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True Road Warriors

The New Orleans Wolverines (Shawn) are the only NHLP road team winning their first round series, and that will likely change today.  "I can say for certain that has never happened in the history of our league" stated Muddy Capone who has witnessed every playoffs the past 28 years in the league.  "Usually the road teams are the strongest NHLP teams" added Capone, "I think history has shown third and fourth place teams fair equally as well in the NHLP then number one and twos."  The Wolverines have just a one point lead, but have Guentzel who has 7 points, outscoring all three Buffalo Sabres (Jeol) players Giroux, Voracek and Hartman.  Joel's three were expected to win this battle 16-4, so will would not lay money that Shawn will lead by days end.  In the other North Division series today GM Chad will be hard pressed to keep his series lead in Toronto, where Cleveland (Tyson) have Arvidsson and Fiala to gain a point versus Konecny.  The series is tied and the Leafs have the tie-breaker in their pocket.  The Leafs need Philadelphia or Columbus to come back to have any hope next round while all three other teams can easily be heavy favorites depending on the matchup they get next round.
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New Orleans  - Bergeron In or Out?

The North Division is something else.  Depending on the outcomes of both the NHLP and NHL series, each of the four teams can still be favorites next round.  New Orleans (Shawn) is up by one, 20-19 over Buffalo (Joel) who only needs to tie to win.  Today Bergeron, Jones, Hischier, Heinen and Wennberg, or some combination there of, are to be playing for GM Shawn's team.  Bergeron and Wennberg are both listed as Questionable.  Buffalo will counter with Marner and Rielly.  These teams can be favorites next round if either play Toronto (Chad) who is beating Cleveland (Tyson) on the official tie-breaker.  The Leafs will try and hold the lead with Pastrnak, Hischier, Werenski and Wennberg against Carlson, Gourde and Killorn.  GM Chad also has the health issues of Wennberg to worry about.  For Shawn and Joel, both would be likely advance against Chad's Leafs and be out versus the Fury based on current teams in the green.  "The North has been fascinating" said Muddy Capone, "The previous two NHLP Champions doing battle and two very long-overdue Cupless GMs."  All four stand chance to be favorites and with the NHL matchups next round, who knows then how things will unfold.  First things first.  Win this round.  This weekend, every point will be crucial to these four GM's hopes.
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      Going Green

The Memphis Machine (Jr) are going for it.  With a Capitals win this afternoon, the Machine will have all players set to advance to the second round, one of three NHLP teams (Chicago, Andrew and Vancouver, Joel).  "You have the CTR #1, 2 and 4 ranked teams in that group" said Muddy Capone, "All still very high hopes of winning it all."  Of the three, the Hawks have about 11, the Machine 9 and the Canucks 7 points each invested in Nashville players, the NHL's number one team.  While Winnipeg awaits for official word of the Nashville matchup, Colorado is saying hold up.  A game 6 win at home on Sunday and a game 7, in the place the Avs just won, would play out for the rights to play the Jets.  While all three NHLP teams appear quite safe advancing in the NHLP playoffs, GM Jr stands the most yet to lose.  A Preds and Caps loss this round would cripple the team, while GM's Andrew and Joel would still be ok.  With the favorites moving on, the Machine would likely find themselves in the Conference Finals later.  As for the Machines opponent next round, either Montreal (Marcel) or Quebec (Matt), both could yet be favorites against Jr's Memphis team if Nashville or Washington are packing their bags in another 7 days.  The Habs - Nordiques has been one of the very best NHLP series.  Both GM's have lead once after even games and the series has been tied twice.  Everything is pointing to the favorites in Montreal to pull ahead today, trailing 18-17 but with Backstrom, Point, Marleau, Sergachev and Rick Nash versus Johnson and Atkinson on Saturday where Marcel is up 13-7 in this grouping.  The Habs would be favorites against Jr's Machine without Washington and even bigger favorites with Washington and without Nashville.  "There is so much riding on every NHL game" said Capone, "Cup opportunities just don't come around every year."
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New Orleans  - Bergeron In or Out?

The North Division is something else.  Depending on the outcomes of both the NHLP and NHL series, each of the four teams can still be favorites next round.  New Orleans (Shawn) is up by one, 20-19 over Buffalo (Joel) who only needs to tie to win.  Today Bergeron, Jones, Hischier, Heinen and Wennberg, or some combination there of, are to be playing for GM Shawn's team.  Bergeron and Wennberg are both listed as Questionable.  Buffalo will counter with Marner and Rielly.  These teams can be favorites next round if either play Toronto (Chad) who is beating Cleveland (Tyson) on the official tie-breaker.  The Leafs will try and hold the lead with Pastrnak, Hischier, Werenski and Wennberg against Carlson, Gourde and Killorn.  GM Chad also has the health issues of Wennberg to worry about.  For Shawn and Joel, both would be likely advance against Chad's Leafs and be out versus the Fury based on current teams in the green.  "The North has been fascinating" said Muddy Capone, "The previous two NHLP Champions doing battle and two very long-overdue Cupless GMs."  All four stand chance to be favorites and with the NHL matchups next round, who knows then how things will unfold.  First things first.  Win this round.  This weekend, every point will be crucial to these four GM's hopes.
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    Three Teams & Pastrnak

The NHLP has a life of its own.  Like in the NHL, the Knights hammered the Kings.  In the NHLP it is the Kings besting the Knights.  One player however could have changed that series, and in fact, three series.  Five weeks before the Trading Deadline, Green Bay GM Ryan made a huge move on a Waiver night.  Out was his 34th overall Draft pick Pastrnak, sending him to Cincinnati (Matt) for MacKinnon.  The Knights dropped four players, including MacKinnon and added three current roster players Rakell, Henrique and Silfverberg.  Those three players first round total was one-third what Pastrnak scored...by game two of the playoffs.  While the Knights three watch, having combined for just 3 total points in round one in 12 player games, Pastrnak will be entering his 6th player game with 11 points.  Who knew just Pastrnak alone could have changed a series.  Just six days prior to the NHLP Trading Deadline, it was now Cincinnati's turn to have their first round series lost by not keeping Pastrnak.  That trade was with Toronto (Chad) in a huge deal, straight up for Marner.  Pastrnak finished with 80 points to Marner's 69, dropping the Rage to 4th and a first round matchup with the CTR #1 overall team.  Marner has been good, hitting his expected 5.  The Rage battled and are only down 17-15, but are way down, 6-3 in player games remaining and all hope appears realistically gone on pulling the rounds biggest upset.  If Matt had kept Pastrnak, he wouldn't have played Chicago, but he would have easily been beating whoever he did play with a Division high of 21 points to this point.  That brings us to Chad in Toronto, down 21-20 with the tie-breaker already secured against none other than the one team the CTR predicted to win the NHLP Championship (lie, we actually picked two, but only one officially).  Pastrnak has been the lone bright spot for the Leafs.  Scoring 11 of the teams current 20.  He has single-handedly kept this series alive for Chad, and two other North Division GM's who won't be stopping the Fury next round if Chad doesn't do it now.  The Cleveland (Tyson)-Toronto series has at least 15 player games remaining, with Chad an extra one and at least one more from this years leading scorer in the playoffs.  Last year it was Cleveland winning this kind of battle before going on to beat Chad in the Finals to win the Cup.  Are we going to have that same outcome again or is Chad going to seek some revenge and stop a team that very likely could do it all again?  If you are moving on elsewhere, you should be invested in watching closely how this one unfolds.  It may all come down to Pastrnak and can he change the outcome of three NHLP series and maybe even the Cup?
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Tomorrow, The Flyer Live?

The battle of Pennsylvania hasn't been much of a battle.  GM Scott has got the boots taken to him in a bad way, well bad for him.  The GM who seriously won't say die, says his team has hope, even though down 23-15.  "We moved the tie-breaker back in our favor last night, a huge victory" said the GM.  For GM Chad, his Pens must find it annoying.  They keep hammering the Flyer every night and the Flyer keep thinking they stand a chance.  With a Jets win tonight, Chad can do it again and knock out the five-time NHLP Champion, stealing away any dreams the GM had of tying GM Andrew in Cups.  "It is killing me inside" said GM Scott, "Not cause we are losing.  I look around the room and say we are a better team than this.  Why can't we have a night, just one big night.  We have six players playing tonight, so a six point night and a Minnesota win and we have life.  I don't want to go quietly.  I don't want to go at all.  I told my guys.  Karlsson is gone.  Parise is gone.  Burakovsky likely won't play again.  Chad is handing us the fucking series.  Saying take it.  Come get it.  You guys are a full fucking seven players.  You are not any seven players. Not fucking any players at all.  You don't fucking play in Miami.  You are Flyer players.  We don't roll over.  Give up.  We fight to the death.  It is killing me inside.  Not cause we are losing.  Because we haven't fought like we are fighting for our fucking lives.  This is our death.  Tonight.  Without that fight.  Tonight without that kind of fight, we all die.  We all die together.  Tonight is different.  Tonight we do fight and we fucking fight for our lives with every single fucking ounce of energy in our bodies.  You do it for each other.  If we fight like that tonight.  Tomorrow.  Tomorrow, the Flyer live."
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    Storm Needs Leafs Win

The NHLP picture is becoming very clear.  In the West Conference planes are being booked that only pass over their opponents city as there is no sense really stopping and wasting fuel.  We know Vancouver (Joel) the CTR #2 will represent the West Division in the West Conference Finals.  What we don't know is if either Seattle (Shawn) or Alaska (Marcel) will be the opponent.  Seattle must have something tonight from DeBrusk and Riley Nash, the last of the game fours in the series.  Whatever they get will cut into the 16-12 deficit.  The Storm only need to tie the series and they will win.  The Storm would currently put through 6 of 7 players.  If Shawn has real hopes of winning the NHLP Cup, it is not through the Bruins playing in that series with Joel, if he gets there, as that would be disastrous.  Shawn doesn't need scoring from his two Bruins next round, where they might get 6 between them, but in the Conference Finals, they would be outscored about 14-6 in that matchup and 10-5 more if Vegas gets there as well.  These are NHLP scenarios when you actually need to cheer agaisnt your players moving on.  Shawn would outscore Joel 8-0 if Malkin was there and another 3-0 with Little.  So Seattle could likely use the Leafs coming all the way back and beating the Bruins in 7, where DeBrusk and Nash could slowly overcome the 4 points and move Seattle on.  Every player GM Marcel has in Alaska is playing their elimination games next, so things are tense.  Seattle might have a weak path at this point, but it is a path.  Many teams don't have even have that.  In Seattle, the Leafs game tonight could be the start of a wonderful stroll or the Storm just might totally dissipate.
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Leaf Loving Habs

You got to do, what you got to do.  Don't count out the Montreal Canadiens (Marcel).  It has been a long time since the team won their NHLP Championship, back in 1991, but GM Marcel thinks he can put his own mark on this Franchise this season.  Can it really happen?  The Habs are only down 18-16 to Quebec (Matt) and have the tie-breaker with the NHL Bolts, so basically just down two.  They have the upper hand to end game fours with Backstrom, Marleau and Rick Nash, who have 8 this round to Atkinson's 4.  Seems Montreal will tie or take the lead here tonight.  The Habs don't mind Washington coming back for Backstrom is their top scorer and could use his points to win this round.  The winner here is getting Memphis (Jr) who is very beatable at a projected 12 next round without the Caps coming back in the NHL or 25 with the Caps.  Marcel would be 14-12 favorites without Backstrom and a respectable 25-19 underdog with the Caps.  That series would be almost a pick'em if Toronto comes back and beats Boston this round, as Marcel would gain Marleau and Jr would lose Backes.  The Conference Finals appears to be against Pittsburgh (Chad) or the winner or the Islanders (Ryan) versus Hartford (Andrew), which would clearly swing into Andrew's favor if the Leafs can come back.  If that happens, Tampa and San Jose running could easily give Marcel the Cup if he can get through all the craziness that would have to occur before hand.  It is surely possible.  If you don't like these odds, try being a Philadelphia Flyer fan.
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 Good Knight

The Los Angeles Kings wreak havoc across the NHLP, scoring just 3 goals in a four game sweep.  The newest team in the NHL is also the first team in the second round of the NHL playoffs.  GM's like Charlie in Phoenix built their team around the Kings players.  In the end, for the Coyotes it has killed their season.  Kopitar, Carter and Toffoli ended with 2 of a projected 13, on a CTR of only 23.  This has opened the door for the Colorado Avalanche (Chad) to surely move on, up 12-7 and still two more games from their big three Avs players Rantanen, Barrie and Barrie.  If Colorado beats Nashville tonight, suddenly a team that looks buried next round might show some life.  Chad's opponent next round will be a tough one barring the Avs players involvement.  The Alaska Attack (Marcel) are up 13-10 and risk losing high scoring Couture tonight.  Seattle (Shawn) picked up the official tie-breaker, but lost Machessault, against Marcel.  With Malkin, the Storm still believe they can come back.  All they have to do is tie things, but the job won't be easy.  It appears the winner of Alaska and Seattle will shoot straight into the West Conference Championship against Vancouver (Joel) who will have no problem with either opponent next round who right now would only have one player.
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Machine Retools

The Memphis Machine (Jr) blew a huge lead only to have a perfect Knight, taking a 17-15 lead with extended player games the rest of the way.  GM Charlie's New York Rangers took a hit, first a Capitals win in Overtime to give Jr's big three Caps 3 more man games, then the dreaded Golden Knights sweep, losing Perron and Miller.  The Machine are now up 14-6 in man games remaining in the round and Jr hopes that continues to change.  With the Capitals win they can tie the series next game, coming back and still giving Memphis a 7 player second round team.  With things colored as they are, Memphis will be underdogs against either opponent next round without his Caps.  That other series in the East Division is anyone's, currently with Quebec (Matt) up 17-16 versus Montreal (Marcel) which has been an awesome series.  After complete games the teams have not been further than a point in separation.  The Nords could bring 16 points next round while the Habs are sitting at 14, both numbers better than the Machine's 11.  In the other Eastern Conference series, GM Chad is in control in Pittsburgh, up on Philadelphia (Scott) who's Jets just aren't firing, down 21-15.  That series will be over unless the Flyer can have Minnesota beat the Jets to extend that NHL series next game where the Flyer are invested 5 players in that series.  Although the Islanders (Ryan) are up 14-10 over Hartford (Andrew), player games are not in New York's favor after losing Doughty and Toffoli.  With Hornqvist ruled out tonight, the Whalers opportunity appears good to get back in this series.  Either team will be underdogs against Pittsburgh if the NHL series stay as they are.  For Chad's Pens, they have go to think if they can complete the upset this round, and it is right there, a long run awaits the team that should have won it all just last year.  What a great story this could be that certainly looks like a good possibility as round one winds down.
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 Central Conference Coin Flips

Eight teams.  Four Series.  Two Points.  That is the difference between the entire Central Conference playoff race.  "How can't you love the NHLP playoffs" said Muddy Capone, "I am so excited, everyone of these guys truly have a path, even if some are more uphill or less traveled, it is a path."  If you have the slightest belief in the CTR, you have to be so invested in these NHLP matchups, because teams that will stand in the way of your teams playoff dreams, could lose out and a door that otherwise was truly closed, can open.  The CTR #1 ranked team, a huge ten point favorite in Chicago (Andrew) is in a battle for their playoff lives.  The Hawks are up 14-13 with the tie-breaker.  In the South Division's other series, Las Vegas (Vinnie) is down 12-11 in another run-away predicted series, that is anything but.  Things even get more fun in the North Division.  CTR favorites to win it all in Cleveland (Tyson) who's GM is slowly running out of fingers for Cup rings is sweating things just a little mid-way through the round.  The Fury are actually losing the series on the tie-breaker.  Buffalo (Joel) has his tie-breaker in the 16-16 tie he is in but could lose two players to one tonight if the VGK sweep the Kings.  That might be the best tradeoff for Joel's team as Tuch and Theordore, although outscoring Kopitar 4-2 in the series were collectively a 5-4 disadvantage in what was expected a two point series.  For Shawn his Wolverines do have two more man games from Jones and Wennberg, who likely won't play, to break the tie.  Jones has 3 points in the first two games.  The favorites could all win.  The underdogs could all win.  One series, unbeknown now, could be the difference in the end for the winner later.  We saw it last year when Cleveland was out.  They flat-lined.  Then they weren't actually dead after all.  The DDC heartbeat.  Next you know, the Cup was theirs.  That is how slim a margin there can be to winning this round and then winning it all later.   Buckle up.  We are only at the rounds half-way mark.
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GM Chad - Injuries Mount

All three of GM Chad's teams were struck with an injury today.  Chad has big leads in both Pittsburgh and Colorado where Parise seems likely gone for the rest of this round.  In Toronto where things are 18-18, Courturier is now a question mark.  The Nordiques (Matt) who already were down to just 5 players, are now down to four with Hornqvist being out at least game 4.  The Nords are up 16-15 without the tie-breaker to Montreal.  Things are getting very tense now as teams can end their series, or go up 3-1.  The first series that could end is tonight if the Kings, quite shockingly at that, can't win a game.  Last night, just as shockingly, Toronto totally looked like the team they were at the end of the season.  If they can win again at home, the series is likely going 7 games again.  This is huge news for teams with Toronto and Boston players.  Even Colorado last night let some doubt creep into the minds of the Preds.  When things are a three game series, it doesn't matter how good you think you are, suddenly, anyone can win.
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Storm Warning - Downgraded

The NHLP West Conference has these two monster teams.  In the West Division, CTR #2 Vancouver (Joel) is not only getting it done, but will face no competition next round as there is with a sea of red from either opponent.  The CTR figured as much with their projections, setting up a Conference Finals with CTR #3 Seattle (Shawn).  The issue with the Pacific Division is Alaska (Marcel) is playing like the tough opponent they are so far in round one.  For the most part, never team is scoring, deadlocked 8-8 through two and a half.  Seattle has the tie-breaker with Vegas up 3-0, but a sweep means Marchessault and Carter, a potential 9 in the round would be lost versus Neal's 4, a huge hit for Seattle.  So far Neal has played the two Storm players 2-2.  With the Storm a mere two point favorites, that shift has given Alaska hope.  The Storm are only currently set to lose one player, where they had to lose one in the Vegas-Kings matchup.  So the team would likely be a huge favorite next round where the right teams moving on from there, like the Pens and Malkin, can mean being a favorite versus Vancouver when that time comes.  Alaska comes hard tonight with Forsberg, Couture, Palmieri and Sergachev, four players who are also facing potential four game sweeps by their teams, which in each case would help the Storm.  For Shawn he counters Marcel's lineup tonight with Ellis and DeBrusk, if Riley Nash's ear boo-boo isn't better (the guy did take a full slap-shot to the head and could have been concussed, or killed, so we might be a little harsh on him).  A Bruins sweep won't help Seattle's chances.  It would appear the Attack will have the lead after tonight.  That would put everything on Malkin's shoulders as he appears the only guy who can put up a legit three point game for Seattle.  Malkin might be the seven game savor the Storm desperately need.  This series could be a crushing blow for the Storm to lose out when all indications are they could go all the way.  Today, it certainly looks like the Storm warnings are no longer in effect, but we have been wrong in our forecasts before.
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 24 At It Again

What is up with these CTR #24 teams?  They are giving us a complex.  The CTR #24 ranked team has won the first round series for three straight years, even going to the Finals last season.  "Maybe the teams don't understand what we are telling them by ranking them so low" said Muddy Capone, who's NHLP Yearbook oversees the NHLP Power Rankings.  "If we had access to a Monkey we'd certainly put him to work" Capone added.  This year it is Quebec (Matt) who has the glorious distinction of kicking ass from the last seed.  The Nords are up 16-11 with what is a five man team.  The Montreal (Marcel) team wasn't a lot better on paper, only a three point favorite to beat that 5 man team and all things considered the Habs have performed well.  The Canadiens are half way to the CTR predicted 22, but Quebec has 16 of their 19 already.  If Matt can keep things as they are, a matchup with Memphis (Jr), the CTR's #4 is looking good for Quebec.  The Machine have 10 points in 6 player games from their three Washington players, who are down 2-0 after their home games.  Even a split in Columbus leaves them in the deadly 3-1 down spot, one rarely overcome in this NHL.  So best case is Memphis would bring on about 10 points next round, where Quebec is sitting with 16 currently in the green.  The Nords could be the second #24 in a row to go to the Cup as the Conference Finals, a ways off yet, but surely could be a favorable matchup for them if Tampa and Pittsburgh are squaring off.  If all the NHLP first round scores end as they are, it is very possible Johnson is the only Tampa Bay player left in the NHLP Finals if Quebec got that far.  With a snap shot of things today, don't lose sight of this years Cinderella team in Quebec, as the door seems to be opening for them to take a longer walk then we certainly anticipated.
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Leafs Fans Feeling Good - All things Considered

If you speak to any Toronto Maple Leafs fan, they all say the same thing.  "This is only year two (or three) of the rebuild" they say.  They all say it.  They have this belief that anything they did last season and this season, is pure gravy.  The teams management has done a great job at setting no expectations.  Very low expectation.  So right now, the Leafs fans are ecstatic with the teams season.  So happy with the teams success.  If Trump was the GM he'd sum it up as "Were happy.  Were so, so happy.  Very happy.  So happy with the teams success.  We have the happiest fans.  They are all happy.  This is only year two of the rebuild and look how happy everyone is."  Sure Boston is killing them.  It is ugly to watch.  It is so ugly that the only time Boston allows Toronto to do anything, is when they decide to not run up the score.  The second half of game two was played that way.  Boston didn't even attempt to advance the puck, just move it out of their end, and regroup to play defence.  That is all they did, and they still played even with Toronto.  What Leaf fans won't tell you is when is this rebuild thing over?  When is there any sort of expectation put on the team?  When does this group start failing to meet those expectations?  Take a look at those Bruins.  Bergeron, Marchand and Pastrnak, a combined 82 years old.  All signed long term.  They each make under $7 million a year, about $19 a season for the next five years.  Pastrnak is just a kid at 21.  So when are the Leafs kids at 21 expected to win?  Matthews, Nylander and Marner, have 61 years of combined age.  That is 7 years playing together before they are the Boston's three players combined age.  Good for the Leafs, you'd think, right?  The Leafs already have the highest NHL salary Cap.  Do you think Matthews in two year isn't going to want McDavid numbers?  You think Marner in two years isn't going to want top dollars?  You think Nylander is signing a team friendly deal?  To be good as a team, you have to be on the same team.  You also have to have a good goalie like Rask, top defensemen like Krug, McAvoy, Chara and McQuiad.  You need more forwards like Krejci, Backes and Nash.  In 7 years, just 7 years, the Leafs of today will be the Bruins of this year?  Do you think the Leafs Matthews, Marner and Nylander will have a combined Cap of $19 million a season then?  So sure, they are young and the Leafs fans are feeling pretty good about their team.  They'll have a great off season thinking about the future.  Sure the team currently looks weak now.  They have zero team defense.  They aren't playing any physical brand of hockey.  They can't stake with the older guys.  OK, Pastrnak, the guy with 9 points in two games, is their same age, it is just the veterans play they can't keep up with.  Leaf fans will tell you all the Leafs lack is the experience.  It is all good.  This is only year two, or three, of the rebuild.  Give them some time.  Yes, sure Winnipeg doesn't use the term rebuild.  Sure Winnipeg is a full year younger than the Leafs as a team.  Sure Winnipeg is going for the Cup this season.  It is what no Leafs fan says that I wonder about.  What no one seems to know, or won't say, is exactly when do you stop hiding behind the term rebuild and admit reality.  Things haven't improved and the team doesn't look awesome.  I guarantee you will hear Leaf fans say next year, "This is only year three (or four) of the rebuild."  The Jets might be playing for a second Cup by then.
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Leafs Stunning Performance (A Whole Different Leafs Team)

 According to the CTR, the NHLP Toronto Maple Leafs team of GM Chad's should be just as bad as the real NHL Maple Leafs.  There is one huge difference.  In the NHLP, Pastrnak, that 21 year old star, plays for the Toronto Maple Leafs.  Pastrnak scored 6 points Saturday, shockingly moving the expected sad-sacks in Toronto to a 15-13 lead over Cleveland (Tyson).  You beat Cleveland, keep those sheets.  The Cleveland team is the NHLP Cup favorites and this Toronto team, the second worse team in the NHLP playoffs.  For Chad he has a lot of fans.  We know two of their first names, Shawn and Joel (among others).  Any team that can beat out Cleveland is a fan of most GM's.  Let's face it, the Fury win almost every year.  The Fury might not be stopped after round one this season if Cindy can't do it.  For Chad he might need Pastrnak to keep scoring, like another 9 points in the next two games would help.  That would likely help Toronto secure this upset, but anything less and we think it likely still won't happen.  Cleveland comes at you, like in a fury.  The team scores at will.  I mean, not the will NHL team's score against the those Leafs.  Not that will.  But Cleveland is a long way from being counted out and the NHLP Leafs, as crazy as 15 points in 10 player games is, they are just two points ahead of a team surely destine to run to the Cup Finals.  If only there was a way.  You know what I mean.  If only there was some possible way for Pastrnak to play more than just two more man games this round.  If that dream ever became a reality, we'd start to believe there would be hope for Toronto to pull off this upset.  But, we have to be real with ourselves.  Like a true Toronto fan, we have to set our expectations low.  They made it fun.  They made it interesting.  They kept it exciting for a bit.  What more can any true Leafs fan ask for?  (Editors Note:  A guy like Pastrnak would be a good start)
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Every Year - Canucks Streak Now at 11

Come NHLP Playoffs time, every single year, we find ourselves talking about the Vancouver Canucks.  The GM Joel ran franchise holds the longest streak in the NHLP, making the playoffs each of the past 11 straight seasons.  In fact, the last time Vancouver missed the NHLP playoffs, GM Joel wasn't even a GM in the league.  Their dominance continued Saturday with a series crushing ten more points, moving them to a 16-4 lead over the helpless St Louis Blues (Tyson) team.  No team was predicted to score more in the first round this season for the CTR #2 favorites who are the CTR's choice to represent the West Conference in the Finals.  Depending on the weak opponent who gets through in the other West Division series the Canucks would be a 31-14 or better second round favorite.  How tough has this team been to play?  The teams three Bruins were given about 14 points in first round love by the CTR, in a longer tough series with Toronto where the three might combine for those 14 points in 19.5 player games.  In just 6 player games, the trio of Marchand, Krug and Krejci already have the 14 points.  If it wasn't for Ellis and Karlsson, combining for 0 of their expected 9, the Nucks might be on their way to a 40 point first round.  This team has 7 players moving on and looks very much who we thought they were.  All season the team was 'made to run' and they haven't disappointed.  Many GM's regard GM Joel as one of the best NHLP GM's to have not taken the big prize home yet.  The team is on a quest and so far there hasn't been so much as an ice shaving not go their way.  They have dominated.  They appear set to go far, crushing whomever gets in their path.  Is there a team that can stop them this playoffs?  If there is, it won't be someone in Round One.  This series is over.   
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 Islanders Feeling Good About Upset

The NY Islanders (Ryan) took home ice advantage away from Hartford (Andrew) with the Flyers win Friday.  This NHLP series is deadlocked at 5 apiece, but it was New York who became the first to extend their player games with both Hornqvist and Brassard now playing at least 3 more games.  The Whalers are in trouble after Kadri was suspended for 3 games.  Andrew's team was a two point favorite to win and with Kadri out and Perreault hurt, and now the extra man games for Ryan, surely make the Isles the favorites now.  To make matters worse for Hartford they could lose 3 players if the Jets sweep and 3 more if Boston sweeps.  No one thought Boston would sweep the Leafs, and likely still don't, but Kadri is a 30 goal scorer and Boston looks strong.  With Ryan also having Doughty and Toffoli, many think of all the teams to head home down 2-0 in their series, the Kings might be the betting mans wager for a team that can over-come that deficit.  A kings win would make the Islanders round two favorites over Pittsburgh (Chad) who is up 10-9 in his series.  If the shorter series all happen elsewhere and the Kings-Golden Knights go 7 games, things would surely look like the CTR #17 on the Island will be dispatching of their CTR #8 ranked neighbors to the north in Hartford.
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The Player Game Dilemma

NHLP Champion GM's, and Andrew we are talking to you, seem to understand the issue with over building a playoff team better than anyone.  "Andrew seems to have mastered the proper mix of players" said Muddy Capone about the GM who has won 6 NHLP Cups.   For the CTR #1 team in Chicago, one of only two teams currently all green, GM Andrew is just starting to feel the player-game heat, just a little.  A massive, and we do mean massive, ten point favorite to win round one, the Blackhawks find themselves in a 4-4 battle with the CTR #12 in Cincinnati (Matt) who are not given any chance in this series.  The Hawks top three players Wheeler, Scheifele and Bergeron are almost predicted to get more than Ohio's "other" team.  GM's who over build their NHLP teams and take an entire roster of players off top teams, sometimes are out early when players off those teams get 4 and 5 first round games.  Then their are GM's who often win in the first round with high scoring players off the lower seeded teams, who have big rounds, but the NHLP team has no distance players and in the end never wins.  That middle area, often the middle CTR rated teams, likely have that mix of first round scoring and distance players.  For Andrew he likely feels like his players are going to all play four games in round one.  Wheeler and Scheifele's Jets are up 2-0 and don't give indications they are coming home tied at 2-2 heading into a game five.  Nashville took a period to wake up in game one, but can the Avs truly make a series of it, where the Hawks don't want Subban, Turris and Josi (both teams have Josi) out 4 straight.  Chicago is expected to outscore Cincinnati 24-7 in those two series, yet sit 3-3 with both series potentially half over Saturday.  For Andrew he isn't alone.  Many NHLP GM's are already worried about their top players going in four games will leaving them out in round one.  The player-game dilemma has cost many of great NHLP teams, and in 2018, it might just add a few more to the list of great teams unable to have their great players play enough first round games to win the hardest round of them all.
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Unleash The Goons

The New York Islanders (Ryan) are feeling a little better this morning.  After a day when the news was announced Doughty was suspended for a game, GM Ryan got better news after Thursday's games.  In a 4-4 battle with GM Andrew in Hartford, now it appears it is a Whaler's player facing suspension.  "Once the league gave Doughty a game" said Muddy Capone, "Kadri must at least get that, likely two games for his hit had a little more intent."  For the Whale this isn't good news as Perreault is already a game time decision, and most likely won't go Friday in game two.  Between Kadri and Perreault the Whale should get about a point a game.  This series is only a close 2 points prediction, so now it just got tighter.  With Doughty out tonight and the Kings losing game one, they will really be tested.  With Ryan having 4 first game winners, the team looks solid advancing 13 points where he'd match up with Chad's Pens who are up early 8-6.  Ryan could have 6 players going through if the first game winners advanced and Los Angeles come back, but tonight won't be easy.  It appeared the Kings had trouble slowing down the Golden Knights in game one, and now you are taking 30 minutes off the ice and replacing it by anyone who isn't named Doughty.  That can't bold well for the Kings tying the NHL series at 1-1 tonight.  With these two GM's 'big fans' of each other we would not be shocked to see more suspensions the rest of this series.
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Champs Put Up 8

The Cleveland Fury (Tyson) just might be the NHLP's model franchise.  Since GM Tyson took over the team, Cleveland has won two NHLP Championships in their first 8 years.  The CTR predicted them to be the first team in league history to win a third Championship.  The way the team looked in game one, we see why.  The Fury laid a thumping on the Leafs (Chad) who thanks to Pastrnak's 3 points, the series is not totally out of control at only 8-4.  For the Fury they got three from Carlsson and two more from Gourde.  The team is already moving on potentially 5 players and 23 points to round two.  Tyson has already tied GM Andrew with 3 Cup wins in his first 8 years as a GM.  That is pretty amazing.  Other NHLP GM's to win three times weren't as spry as Tyson, with GM Scott taking 16 years to win his third and GM Chad his first 18 seasons.  The NHLP is incredibly hard to win and many guys have never done it once, even in 18 years.  Then you have this find of Tyson, who is seemingly in the mix every season.  At 6 point favorites to win in round one, it is truly hard to see how Cleveland won't win this series.  The lone way it might not happen is four game sweeps by both Tampa Bay and Nashville, where Cleveland is expected to get 16 points in a total of 22 man games from those four players.  If the Fury only got 16 man games, the lost is about 6 points, making this a Push series.  Chad's Leafs would surely need 7 games from his two Flyers and just as many from Pastrnak.  This is a huge series.  The Fury are expected to go all the way, so all eyes are on this team looking to do a whole lot of things never done in league history.
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Battle of Quebec

This isn't a matchup the NHLP has seen since GM Matt has joined the NHLP.  "If Washington goes out I think we can roll through our Division" said Matt about getting no love from the CTR.  The team could not rank any lower, coming in at #24.  "I like the CTR" Matt stated, "But they don't get everything right and we have one of the strongest Pittsburgh teams remaining."  The Nords jumped out to a 3-0 lead versus Montreal (Marcel) who has yet to dress a player.  Both teams are short stacked, starting with 6, while Suter's injury has only 5 on the roster for Quebec.  Matt feels he can have 4 players next round if he can beat Marcel, about 16 points from his two Pens Hornqvist and Letang, Johnson and Atkinson.  If that happens, playing Memphis (Jr) would have Matt a 16-11 favorite to advance to the Conference Finals where his two Pens strengthen.  "You can't count out any team and not us there" said Matt who knows he got the first round matchup he needed to make a run.  Quebec is the only team predicted to not reach 20 points in round one, but their opponents are only a three point favorite.  Every point will be huge here and Quebec has a great start.  Montreal has Backstrom and Point among the 6 players they play tonight while Quebec does answer with Johnson and Atkinson.  This should be a good series, potentially low scoring for these two Francophones.
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Guentzel Shines For Wolverines

It is like GM Shawn had it planned all along.  The NHLP's first Transaction of the season came during the Draft, when Quebec (Matt) traded his first and second round picks to New Orleans (Shawn).  GM Matt made the move specifically to move up in the draft and grab Guentzel.  Why not?  The Pittsburgh star just scored 21 points in 25 playoff games,  Two picks later, Shawn selected Giroux.  Two months later, the same two teams would swap those two same first round picks Elite players, with more picks going GM Shawn's way.  Once the Wolverines got a hold of Guentzel, Shawn didn't let him go.  "The kid scores in the playoffs" said Shawn last evening.  Guentzel had 6 in the first round last season and is surely on his way to hitting or bettering that mark again this year.  The four in last nights game matches his CTR prediction for the entire round.  "It is hard to hit that mark" said Muddy Capone, "On average, teams only hit about 75% of their CTR prediction, so it is harder to score in the playoffs and guys hitting that mark had great rounds."  Of course the connections to this trade tree haven't ended just yet.  At the Winter Meeting, Quebec would drop Giroux who ended with 102 points.  What was that drop?  Giroux, Hall, Saad and Niedermayer down for Gaudreau, Rantenan, Jones and Parise.  Of course those players are long gone for Matt.  Well, he did keep Gaudreau.  He is just long gone in a different way.  We are not done.  In January, Buffalo (Joel) would pick up Giroux in a Waiver pick, along with other current Sabres Voracek, Theodore and Tuch.  As fait turns out, Buffalo is New Orleans first round opponent and is down 4-1 thanks to Guentzel.  The Wolverines aren't favorites to win but don't tell that to Shawn.  "With Crosby and Kessel already out of the playoffs, he is the biggest star after Malkin" said Shawn.  Of course, Shawn has Malkin in Seattle, but that is a whole other article.
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Injuries Already Playing Key Roles

Three NHLP GM's heard bad news, but it might get worse.  Perron has been noted as a player who won't suit up in Game 1 of the playoffs.  With GM Charlie's Rangers already down a man, this is terrible news.  The CTR #18 Rangers are expected to battle close in a lower scoring series versus the highly ranked #4 Memphis Machine of GM Jr's.  The Machine have Jarnkrok who was given on by the CTR, but he may not play round one.  The CTR #3 Seattle Storm (Shawn) are in one of two NHLP series featuring CTR top ten matchups.  Seattle will start with Riley Nash, only a two point favorite to get by the tough #9 ranked Alaska Attack of GM Marcel.  The series just got closer and the puck hasn't dropped.
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Cup Threats With Winnipeg - All In tonight

While no NHLP team has everyone going tonight, GM Scott's Philadelphia Flyer have 6 of 7, if his three injured players are in the Lineup.  The team is the only NHLP team with three Jets, Laine, Connor and Ehlers, while it will be injured question marks that will determine if Philadelphia is in this series with Pittsburgh (Chad).  The Flyer have Brassard, Spurgeon and Spurgeon, all expected to play, but close enough to go either way, and none playing for weeks.  The Pens should be the reigning NHLP Champions in Pittsburgh, so Chad will have something to prove.  This years Pens have a nice mix, led by Hall, but certainly don't have three Preds.  We all must remember, Chad's CTR #24 rank team last year, the lowest you can get, had four Bruins and three Preds, who were the 16th overall team in the playoffs.  So although Hall doesn't appear destine to a run, the series are likely quite wide open.  The Flyer are a mere two point favorite, expected to win the Division before being without their three Jets in the Conference Finals where Nashville is predicted to knock them out a round earlier.  For NHLP GM's, they may hope that is the case, as the further the Jets do go, the Flyer become harder to beat.  The nice thing about tonight, is there are 24 NHLP playoff teams and each one can see a path if everything goes right.  In the end, for that one winner, everything will have gone right.  In Cleveland's (Tyson) case last year, it was an added point in the first round to Crosby in the now famous Discount Double Check that without had the team knocked out.  Later an injury to Johansen, killing Chad's unstoppable trio with Subban and Forsberg, a trio this year that would be one of the best teams of all time with the Preds having the first overall seed in the NHL and expected to go far by everyone.  This years NHL 16th seed, Colorado has those Preds in round one and no one gives them a chance, just like the Preds last year who started in Chicago with back to back shutouts.  Who knows what is going to happen next, but we do know it is going to start to happen tonight!
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Nashville's 22 Tops Playoffs Roster

Player Tracking, in case you haven't been looking, shows all the NHLP players still currently alive and in their first round matchup.  The Preds are the most liked team by NHLP GM's, with 22 players on playoff teams.  Only two NHLP series combined have more then 22 players playing in a series.  Boston with 14 and Toronto with 12 is going to be a crushing blow for GM's ending on the wrong side of that outcome.  Minnesota has 12 players while Winnipeg has 11.  The least loved team is Colorado with only 4 players alive, while the San Jose Sharks and Anaheim rosters only have 5 each, 10 in a series where one team must move on.  Maybe the biggest shock of them all is Washington, a team that won a Division, only has 7 players in the NHLP playoffs and 3 are on Memphis (Jr) who will do well with a Washington run.
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Cup Holders Meet in First Round

GM Chad still has a bad taste in his mouth over how things ended last year for his Pittsburgh Penguins.  Chad had three Nashville players and was favorites to win the NHLP Championship, which would have been back to back Cups for the GM, having won in 2016 in Toronto.  Yet as the story went, that was not meant to be and GM Tyson's Cleveland Fury on the strength on Crosby's domination, helped Cleveland win the 2017 Cup,  For GM Tyson, the leagues youngest member at 9 years, that made three Cups in 8 years.  The CTR #5 Cleveland team starts their NHLP title defence against CTR #23 Toronto, making the last two Cup winners and Cup winning teams set to battle in the first round.  All indications is the favorites in Cleveland should easily move on, a CTR 28-22 favorite.  "This is Chad's chance for redemption" said Muddy Capone, "Cleveland is the favorites to go on and win it all and Chad has the chance to destroy that dream."  It might not be said by either, but this is a grudge match.  Both GM's want this series and want it badly.  For Chad's Leafs, they could over-come the 6 points in the Tampa Bay - New Jersey series, where the Fury's Gourde and Killorn are expected to get 9 compared to Hischier's 3.  That is 6 points, so a short 4 game sweep in that series could tighten this series by any number not +6 to Cleveland.  Another quick series that would go Chad's way is if Nashville did short work of the Avs (or the other way around of course), where Tyson is expected to get 7 from Arvidsson and Fiala in a 5.5 game series, about 11 man-games.  Over half of Chad's scoring is coming from Pastrnak, Courturier and Konecny where Tyson has no response.  It will be ultra difficult to have any better than the 14 points in 19.5 games those three are set to get according to the CTR, but if one could stretch that number and move it above 14 between the trio, this works well for Chad.  A number much lower then 14 likely causes a blowout in this series.  Surely Chad will need a full 7 games from those three, and combined with some short series luck, GM Chad may be able to slowly start to feel better about losing the 2017 NHLP Championship to Tyson. 
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  New Playoff Seeding Rule Implemented

The NHLP Board of Governors have 85 GM years of experience when it comes to the NHLP rules.  Seldom does a suggested rule change so quickly have the BOG in unanimous agreement.  That was the case recently when GM Joel suggested a new rule.  It was discussed and passed, set to become a new rule for the start of next season.  "Anything that makes sense will usually be implemented, and the BOG is always open to hearing new things, even if most never make it into a rule" said Muddy Capone, "Sometimes what they discuss today becomes a variation of a rule three years from now."  Current NHLP rules stipulate teams must have at least a six player playoff team, based on a seven man roster, otherwise are penalized 100% of the points of each additional non playoff player.  This has been a great rule, eliminating the 4 and 5 man playoff teams that would get crushed in the first round.  There is so much distaste for the 6-man team, a few GM's want to say you have to have a full roster of playoff players to qualify, something the BOG is not totally in agreement on and that rule isn't up for discussion at this point.  However, the new rule does effect the 6-man teams. 

Rule 10 - Penalty Players - Playoff Seeding - Once the final playoff teams have been determined in each Division, teams will then be reseeded based on their teams playoff points, from highest in first to lowest in fourth place.  This new point total will determine the matchups first versus fourth and second versus third in the first round, and the higher seeded team the home team in the second round, and also used as a tie-breaker for the picks in the Conference Finals and Finals if the tie-breaker pick gets to the season points.

For a simple example of how this rule works we can look to the playoff page in the North Division.  Toronto (Chad) finished first place, but has a 6 player team while all other three GM's have a 7 player team.  Chad's Leafs should not be, and will not be rewarded with the tie-breaking pick as his team will fall to fourth place and the other three teams would move up a seed in this example.  Chad's second highest scoring player, Benn who had 79 points helped him get to 406 points, but the other GM's should be rewarded for going out and doing more to build a 7 man playoff team.  So Toronto's 406 season points is minus'd Benn's total for the new Playoff Seeding, 406-79 = 327.  The 327 would be the new seeding number for the playoffs for Toronto.  This would drop them to fourth, give Buffalo (Joel) the first seed and the pick and now New Orleans (Shawn) who would move to second would get the pick versus Cleveland (Tyson) who would move to third.  So while Toronto would still make the NHLP playoffs, this rule is clearly another deterrent for GM's who fail to make a full 7 player playoff roster.  "As far as rules go, this is one of the better ones, likely since GM Chad suggested the current 'you either have them or you don't rule' the NHLP currently uses as the penalty rule" said GM Scott, "If you have a solid suggestion like this, bring it up, for this is a great new rule."  Any current NHLP GM knows the feeling of losing a playoff spot to a 6-man team when they are sitting with something better, a full 7.  This won't change that.  However, what this will do is further penalize GM's for not making every effort all season long to build the absolutely strongest possible team, which is clearly the only thing that matters in the World's Best Hockey Pool.
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 CTR Predicts Again - Cleveland Repeats

When the CTR does their playoff predictions, we walk a very thin line.  We advance the top seeds all the way through to the finals.  Yesterday, we thought Boston would get it done in the final game of the season, winning the top seed in the East and going to the Cup to play Nashville.  Under this scenario Vancouver (Joel) was the predicted Cup winner, beating Chicago (Andrew) and Memphis (Jr).  If you replace Boston in the finals and now Tampa Bay plays Nashville, the winner isn't even one of those three NHLP teams, but it is the Cleveland Fury (Tyson) who would be the first repeat NHLP winner since GM Norman did it in St Louis, winning in the 1993 and 1994 Cup seasons.  The CTR still has Memphis and Vancouver getting to the Cup in both scenarios, but both are weaker teams in the end.  Cleveland would meet Chicago (Andrew) in the Conference Finals where the team would have potentially a 20 point round with still 5 players alive.  GM Andrew who would lose Bergeron and Rick Nash, would not be strong enough now to stop the Fury.  In the Finals of Tampa and Nashville, Cleveland would have Gourde, KIllorn, Arvidsson and Fiala and that 16 points would be better than the Memphis (10) or Vancouver (7).  One thing changed, and everything for us changes along with it.  For you, Tampa or Boston can still make the NHL Stanley Cup Finals, but lets not rule out Toronto, Washington, Pittsburgh.  Then again, they may not make the second round.  All we do know, is we are now, officially, putting our Cup Winning Prediction behind the CTR #5, Cleveland Fury.  Vancouver (Joel) just likely breathed a sigh of relief.
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Six Man Teams To Go 0-5?

Lets face it, nobody likes a 6 man team.  The NHLP first round of the playoffs has a whopping 9 of them this season.  In fairness, the NHLP deadline was two full weeks earlier than normal and the standings were as tight as ever.  Of those 9 short stacked teams, four of them are facing against each other with Montreal (Marcel) predicted to beat Quebec (Matt) 22-19 and Phoenix (Charlie) a 23-20 favorite over Colorado (Chad).  The other 5 are all expected to lose, ending their seasons in round one.  Should this be surprising?  We looked back over the past 10 season to see just how well 6 man teams did against 7 player teams in the first round (teams that were a player short).  To our surprise the short-handed team did better than we expected, winning 8 of 20 series.  That is still only 40%, which means the more man power is winning 60% of the time.  The 7 man team scored 20 or less in 9 of those 20 series, 45% of the time, while the 6 man team scored less then 20 points 12 in 20 times, 60% of the time.  The 7 man team scored 389 points, or 19.45 a series while the 6 man team scored 16 less points, about one a series for 373 or 18.65.  Carrying through for the winning 6 man teams, only one made the NHLP Finals, GM Marcel in Montreal but he lost 8-1 to Toronto (Chad) in the Finals.  As far as anomalies, the highest scoring team in those 20 series was Quebec (Matt) who scored 38 points with a 6 man playoff team in the first round in 2014, getting 10 point rounds from both Parise and MacKinnon.  That team lost in the Semi-Finals.  So with the CTR having the short stacks all losing in round one, we are more than likely statistically to go 3-2 with those predictions, as 40% of them just might pull it out.  Don't worry if you are a six man team hater, non of them will win the NHLP Championship, least statistically speaking.  It hasn't happened and isn't going to happen this season.  Maybe this will be the year one runs.  Very likely not, as every single point in the playoffs is critical to a teams success.  We all know the difference of one point.  So next year, why waste your entire season on building a team that won't win it all and at best, wins round one 40% of the time?
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The Official Tie-Breakers are listed below.  Please email or text in your pick so they may be added to any printed sheets.

 
 Tie-Breaker Picks

Chicago (Andrew)
Montreal (Marcel)
Vancouver (Joel)
Choice of either:
New Jersey @ Tampa Bay
Colorado @ Nashville

Toronto (Chad)
Pittsburgh (Chad)
Alaska (Marcel)
Choice of either:
Los Angeles @ Vegas
Columbus @ Washington

Buffalo (Joel)
Memphis (Jr)
Los Angeles (Andrew)
Choice of either:
Toronto @ Boston
Minnesota @ Winnipeg

Boston (Ryan)
Hartford (Andrew)
Colorado (Chad)
Choice of either:
San Jose @ Anaheim
Philadelphia @ Pittsburgh

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NHL Playoff Matchups
East
Tampa Gets New Jersey
Boston Gets Toronto

Washington Gets Columbus
Pittsburgh Gets Philadelphia

West
Nashville Gets Colorado
Winnipeg versus Minnesota

Vegas Gets Los Angeles
Anaheim Gets San Jose
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 CTR Predicts Cup Favorites

We know the season isn't over, but the CTR has a new ranking of the top 24 playoff teams, as today's game will not change that.  The Chicago Blackhawks team of GM Andrew barely beat out Vancouver (Joel).  The two teams are neck and neck.  "These are the cream of the crop, hands down" said Muddy Capone.  The CTR spent the day crunching the playoff teams and the first round predictions.  The final CTR ranking is at the bottom of the homepage.  The NHLP matchups were set, except who finished first in the North Division, either Toronto (Chad) if Pastrnak gets a point today, or Buffalo (Joel) if he does not.  The CTR could not wait for the final game, basing everything on Boston winning today and playing New Jersey in round one.  If that occurs, the CTR predicts the NHL Finals will be Boston and Nashville.  If Boston fails to win today, we will redo it all on Monday.  The CTR basis their Cup Predictions on the favorites winning each round, meaning a final of Boston and Nashville, who would beat Washington and Vegas in the semi-finals.  Many NHLP GM's would say don't forget about Pittsburgh and with Los Angeles meeting Vegas in the first round, truly how can Vegas make it through in the playoffs?  That don't matter, as the CTR doesn't use logic, just the NHL Final Standings. How will the NHLP Playoffs unfold and who will win?  Top Rated CTR Teams Battle for Cup.  The CTR has three of the top four rated teams in the NHLP Finals and a high scoring finals if things go as predicted.  Vancouver #2 (Joel) would win his first NHLP Championship, beating Chicago #1 (Andrew) and Memphis #4 (Jr) in what could be a very high scoring finals.  For the Canucks, Marchand, Krug, Krejci, Ellis and Fiala could get 21 points in the Finals, about three more than Andrew's Hawks team of Bergeron, Subban, Josi, Turris and Rick Nash.  The Machine team of Jr's would complete Subban, Smith, Backes and Jarnkrok, but 14 points would only be good for third place.  Chicago is a 10 point favorite in round one, the highest of any teams, while Vancouver and Las Vegas (Vinnie) are at +7 point favorites.  The CTR usually hits 8 of 12 teams right in round one and any one upset changes everything.  GM Jr in Memphis is only a point favorite, and the CTR gave one point to Jarnkrok if he plays late first round.  The first round will be close as always with 8 of the 12 series expected to be within 3 points or less.  Only one NHLP series is a "Pick'em series", where Andrew is in a battle in Los Angles with Green Bay (Ryan).  The CTR predicts Cleveland (Tyson) will win the North, Philadelphia (Scott) the Atlantic and Seattle (Shawn) the Pacific before the three will each lose the Conference Finals to the three finalists.  Many think it is a curse to be chosen the winner by the CTR.  Vancouver will hope to change that perception and if they don't, well it just might be you as the 2018 NHLP Champions.
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Boston Must Win

First overall in the East Conference is on the line today.  The Toronto Maple Leafs are holding off booking their flights, but with a win today the Bruins will play New Jersey and the Leafs get the Bolts.  If the Bruins can't get it done today they will host the Leafs.  All other NHL matchups are set.

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NHLP Tie-Breaking Procedure

8a)      Regular season ties When two GMs are tied at the end of the regular season the tie is broke as follows:

1) Most Playoff players of teams tied

2) Most Points from only playoff players of teams tied      

3) Most Goals from only playoff players of teams tied

4) Most Overall points on all a GMs teams of only playoff players from GMs tied


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NHLP Playoff Rules

We were asked if we would put up the penalty rule.  Here it is.  Basically you must have 6 playoff players on your final playoff team, or 100% of the points of non-playoff players are deducted off your total with the highest non-playoff players points not included in this deduction.  This is at the end of the regular season, so you may not know if you face a penalty until the final game of the regular season has been played.

10-Penalty Players

Rule Deductions for Non-Playoff Players 

At the conclusion of the regular NHLP season and to determine NHLP playoff seeding in each division, conference and the league, NHLP teams will be penalized for points of non-playoff players.  The new rule is you either have them or you dont.  If you have 6 playoff players, you face no penalty.  If your team does not, 100% of all your non playoff players points are deducted from your teams point totals, with the exception of the highest scoring non playoff player.  This is your teams point total. 

 

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1990 - Petr Klima
1991 - Bob Probert, Kevin Hatcher
1992 - James Patrick, Ulf Dahlen
1993 - Glen Wesley
1994 - Oleg Petrov
1995 - Sylvain Cote
1996 - Robert Svehla, Vladimir Konstantinov
1997 - Darren McCarty, Martin Lapointe
1998 - Dave Manson, Jason Woolley
1999 - Dave Reid
2000 - Lubos Bartecko, Rob Zamuner
2001 - Martin Gelinas?
2002 - Sean Hill
2003 - Derek Morris
2004 - Curtis Brown
2006 - Matthieu Schneider?
2007 - Trent Hunter
2008 - Brian Gionta?  Wow!
2009 - Brian Rolston?
2010 - Niklas Hjalmarsson
2011 - Andrej Sekera
2012 - Tyler Kennedy, Jannik Hansen
2013 - Bryan Bickell?
2014 - Charlie Coyle?
2015 - Jiri Sekac
2016 - Craig Smith?

2017 - Andrew Cogliano?

2018 - ?

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2017/18 Season Highlights

2016/17 Playoff Highlights

2016/17 Season Highlights

2015/16 Playoff Highlights

2015/16 Season Highlights

2014/15 Playoff Highlights

2014/15 Season Highlights

2013/14 Playoff Highlights

2013/14 Season Highlights

2012/13 Playoff Highlights

2012/13 Season Highlights

2011/12 Playoff Highlights

2011/12 Season Highlights

 

Season 2011/12

Playoffs 2010/11

Season 2010/11

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Season 2008/09