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  1. Today
  2. Well, a quick résumé would be : "It stinks" Coach Bowness insisted on remaining disciplined and staying out of the box, Stars did the exact opposite. Coach Bowness insisted on capitalizing on opportunities, Stars did the exact opposite. Coach Bowness insisted on limiting individual error as much as possible, Stars did the exact opposite. Coach Bowness insisted on not trailing by 2 or 3, Stars did the exact opposite. Terrible brain cramp of Heiskanen and Lindell on Tampa's two first goals. When your goalie is just ok and you give Tampa's first three goals on a silver plate, that's the result. Then the Stars completely lost focus and it seems that the real Lightning showed up, turning the second period into a slaughter house. The high forecheck really hurt the Stars and even when they won most of the faceoffs, Tampa forced the Stars to a lot of turnovers. Getting 1-1 on the following back-to-back games as the best-case and realistic scenario, Tampa would still be leading 3-2 which send this thing back to the line 1 first statement. On a positive note, Tampa always got a rout game in each of its previous series, going to score like 8-1. This time the Stars managed to keep it at 5-2. Not that bad... We also had terrible game 5 and 6 vs. Colorado with the obvious option of being punched in game 7. We know what happened. Games could be so different.
  3. Yesterday
  4. @Brewin Flames @Podein25 The fight of all fights...after they go to the box skip to the 2:30 mark for the real fireworks... ...a new meaning to the term stick work...
  5. [Hidden Content] Very interesting read about life of the NHL players inside the bubble ....... Well worth the read......
  6. Sept 23: Manitoba Hockey Is Going! It has been a month since my last report so here is a hodge-podge of stories, announcements, and potentially news of significance as it pertains to the return of CW hockey. The recruiting news has slowed to a trickle, which makes sense because school has now started. Normally everybody would have exhibition schedules in progress and rosters for us to comment upon. No such luck this year. Several teams are not bothering to update their websites with official announcements on recruits. I saw no new LOIs registered for men's hockey since my last report. The only CW news, and it is a downer, is that the CW golf championship has been cancelled. It was slated for UBC Okanagan and British California is not allowing disease-infested easterners (out there, this includes the prairies) into the province. Links: ➤ CW: Conference golf championships cancelled due to travel restrictions There are no official, nor unofficial, announcements from the UofM on hockey. However, there are a host of stories on the football team, who are practising hard despite cancellation of their season. If football can practice, hockey can go! I have also posted a story on former Bison coach Barry Trotz, which is worth a look. Maybe one day I'll run a fresh story on former CW coaches who have made it to the NHL. Finally, the best news I have heard in a while is that the MJHL has started their exhibition season! Here's the highlights of the announcement: Links: ➤ Pique: University football teams navigate pandemic hurdles to get back on the field ➤ Free Press: Bisons take to the gridiron ➤ CBC: U Sports football navigates pandemic hurdles to get on field despite fall cancellations ➤ Global: ‘Our players are loving it’: No games is no problem for Manitoba Bisons football team ➤ Winnipeg Sun: Honesty has guided Manitoba's Trotz from Day 1 ➤ MJHL: MJHL announces 2020-21 Regular Season schedule ➤ MJHL: Schedule The Bluegars are raising funds, and seem to be getting ready for January. Remember they did post their recruiting class. Links: ➤ Calgary Sun: Dinos, Cougars remain committed to readying teams for January restart ➤ MRU: Cougars cohort ready to pounce In the Town of Bedrock, their recruiting class was previously announced. I found a podcast featuring Matt Alfaro, and an old photo in Cooperalls. Links: ➤ WHL: WHL Alumni Interview: Matt Alfaro, University of Calgary Dinos ➤ Spotify: WHL Podcast: Episode 4 I had previously posted details on MacEwan's recruits, but they have now issued official releases, available at the links. There are three new recruits, all of whom are transfers: - Riley Brandt (F) from RMC (OUA) via Vernon (BCJHL) - Cameron Trott (D) from Lethbridge Pronghorns (CW) via Vernon (BCJHL) and UAA (NCAA) - Ethan Price (RW) from Stony Plain (ACHW, red shirt) via Brock (OUA) Brandt has only played two games in the last two seasons but in 2017-18 scored 21-12-33 in 28 OUA games. They must be happy with three former USports players in the recruiting class. Price also has a WHL background and Trott played a half-season in the NCAA. Links: ➤ Elite Prospects: Riley Brandt ➤ Elite Prospects: Cameron Trott ➤ Elite Prospects: Ethan Price ➤ MacEwan: Griffins add valuable U SPORTS experience to lineup with Price, Brandt and Trott ➤ MacEwan: Trio of ACAC stars join Griffins as they level up to the Canada West ranks ➤ MacEwan: Pair of new goalies bring welcome competition to Griffins' crease in post-Daigle era There is no news about the Evil Monkeys at all. But if you want to help them purchase more bananas, they have a fundraising link. Links: ➤ UofA: Support the Sport The Banjo-Cats announced their recruits last time. All I found this time was a YouTube video. Links: ➤ YouTube: University of Regina Athletics - 2020 Summer Update The Banjo-Mutts have had no announcements, no LOIs, and nothing on Elite Prospects. But there have been Tweets about recruits. So I used those to do Elite Prospects searches and WOOF! A litter of puppies. - Parker Gavlas (D) from Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL) - Jaxan Kaluski (LW) from Swift Current Broncos (WHL) - Ty Prefontaine (D) from Lethbridge Hurricanes (WHL) - Jared Dmytriw (RW) from Vancouver Giuants (WHL) - Jeff Faith (D) from Kamloops Blazers (WHL) - Declan Hobbs (G) from Loreburn 19ers (SVHL) - Dawson Holt (RW/C) from Regina Pats (WHL) & Vernon Vipers (BCJHL) Also, their arena may be used as a field hospital, in which case they would play at the SaskTel Centre. Links: ➤ Elite Prospects: Parker Gavlas ➤ Elite Prospects: Jaxan Kaluski ➤ Elite Prospects: Ty Prefontaine ➤ Elite Prospects: Jared Dmytriw ➤ Elite Prospects: Jeff Faith ➤ Elite Prospects: Declan Hobbs ➤ Elite Prospects: Dawson Holt ➤ Global: 4 hockey teams move after Saskatoon rink turned into coronavirus field hospital The T-irds have three stories about alumni. Jerret Smith is going to finish his few remaining credits on-line while playing in France. Adam Maglio is a head coach in the Dub. Ray Sakaki was on their 1971 team that earned a berth at the nationals. Links: ➤ UBC: Jerret Smith begins pro career in France ➤ UBC: Former Thunderbird Adam Maglio named Spokane head coach ➤ UBC: Thunderbird Alumni Profile: Roy Sakaki On the college front, it appears that they are following the lead of the CW and waiting for January. If BC holds off on allowing inter-provincial play, perhaps the T-irds and Holy Trinity will join the BCIHL! It is nice that ACAC players won't lose a year of eligibility. Links: ➤ ACAC: ACAC Announces Plans for 2020-21 Season ➤ ACAC: ACAC Suspends Consumption of All Student-Athlete Eligibility During 2020-21 Season ➤ BCIHL: BCIHL delays start of 2020-21 season until January 15
  7. Yeah we dont those Finns, we need those Finns that are now playing in the Stanley Cup Finals. Jokes aside, I do think we should emphasise getting players from Canada and Russia - just for the fact that they have a huge pool of players, meaning exceptional skills are most often found there, not in small hockey countries with a small pool of players.
  8. Last week
  9. PRESEASON OUTLOOK The year before they brought in Trotz and Uncle Lou and after being given up for dead they had a fine year, even surprising the Penguins in a first round sweep. More or less returning the roster people seemed split on if they were for real or if they would become the woeful Islanders again. FINAL RECORD 35-23-10 6th in the rugged Metro, stomped the Panthers in the play in round, stunned the Capitals in six easy games, held off the Flyers in 7 before bowing out to the Bolts in a surprisingly tough six game series. STRANGE STAT OF THE YEAR Matt Martin had only 8 PIMs at home, a regular Bing candidate, but on the road he had 32 or four times the amount. Anders Lee was plus 16 at home and a dreadful minus 8 away. The team scored 112 goals at home and a paltry 77 on the road, in spite of that they were a game over .500 on the road because the goaltenders were actually better away from home. They had only two goalies in net all year one of only a handful of clubs to say so. HIGH POINT OF THE YEAR The playoff run, pure and simple. With a new barn on the way nothing excites a fan base like a nice playoff run. LOW POINT OF THE YEAR After beating the Flyers 5-3 on February 11th they stood at 33-16-6 and fighting for the Division lead then the wheels fell off they lost 4 in a row scoring only 2 goals total (!) in those games, won a couple then lost 7 straight to close out the year and fall from second at the time all the way to 6th. They only made the postseason because of the 24 team covid situation. WHAT WENT RIGHT With apologies to Couturier and Bergeron and all their fans if i needed a two way center today i would hands down take Barzal who plays like a third defenseman and scores 60ish points a year. Pageau IMHO is the most underrated two way forward in the game and has a snarl to boot. Brock Nelson came of age leading the team in goals and was extremely versataille playing all three forward positions and playing them well. The goalie duo of Varly/Greiss were damn good in the regular season and even better in the playoffs. Anders Lee had 20 goals and played physical and tough. Beauivillier had 18 tucks and showed flashes of being a potential 30 goal scorer. Their no name defense of Pelech, Toews, Pullock, Leddy, Mayfield and Boychuk all can move the puck but all are responsible in their own zone and make you pay by playing the body. Cizikas is one of the games top 4C's. Noah Dobson was gradually moved into the defensive rotation and didnt embarrass himself, he has upside at both ends of the ice. Brassard seems to have rediscovered his love of the game. WHAT WENT WRONG two highly touted forwards Del Colle and Bellows were given a shot and ddnt impress, both looked way to raw. Ho Sang has fallen off the radar completely so in short their are no forwards who look that impressive ready to take the leap. Barzal has one glaring weakness, he is among the games worst faceoff men. FREE AGENTS Greiss is almost certainly gone, pushed out of town by phenom goalie prospect Sorokin. Andy Greene came aboard at the deadline, did zero. He wont be missed. Neither will Martin or Kuhnhackl but they will miss Brassard a bit unless one of thekid forwards steps up. OFFSEASON QUESTIONS Where are they gonna find offense? They were 23rd in goals scored and playing with a budget unless a kid or two or three steps up, the offense will continue to be a concern. Can Sorokin step in and be the next great under 25 goalie in this goalie strong Division? Should they go after Taylor Hall? Keep in mind that yeah, they had a great run but if not for Covid they were a non playoff team. A lot went right but they still only snuck in, and the Diision isnt getting easier. I believe a lot of the same questions about their legitimacy from last season still carry over to this.
  10. No more "two way" Finns that play soft and don't use their body.
  11. I can see them keeping their first two picks in the first but i would look to move the 28th pick for some help now...unless they want to tank again...
  12. If this draft is as good as I've been reading...no way do I trade any of my 3 first picks. In 3 years the Sens will be young and dangerous. They already suck to play against as it is. All they have to do is not step on their cranks.
  13. I'm looking at the Senators sitting there with 3 first round picks this year in the draft (13 total to use)....could Chuckles persuade them into something of value to help use up that 39 million in cap space for say for Connor Brown (RFA) and a draft pick??? Just wondering aloud.....
  14. A good eye opening read... No one wants a John Tavares style contract this season [Hidden Content]
  15. The Lightning win 5-4 tonight. They get up 5-2, and withstand a Stars comeback from Dallas in the 3rd.
  16. 2020 Minnesota Wild Draft Preview: Sleepers & Steals I profile some players who I think might be some greater later round selections for the Wild. Enjoy and discuss!
  17. Copy-Paste of Stars' games 1 vs. Colorado and Vegas. Strong push and domination in the first 40 minutes, then the expected strong push by TB, the stupid penalties by Dallas and the Stars' skating back to Yellowknife, NWT. However, the Lightning were not that threatening in the final period, most of the shots came from far and it was for them to enter and take shots from closer spots. Bold prediction for game 2, it will be waaaaay more different.
  18. I bet you wished you hadn't asked for that now....what a shi t feast...blow the Eagles up!!!!!!!
  19. Stars definitely outplayed the Lightning in yesterday's game. Fatigue for the Bolts could have played a part, but that wouldn't account for TB to come on strong in the 3rd period, though at that point, it seemed too little too late. Dallas makes it a habit it seems, to get heavily outshot in the final period, and while it isn't the ideal way to play, their defensive structure along with Khu-Dini's red hot play make it work. I am guessing the Bolts will need to treat Period 1 of Game 2 as if it WERE the 3rd period and throw everything they can at the Stars' net. Maybe get the Stars out of their comfort zone a bit by making them play from behind on the scoreboard. But overall, the Stars looked crisper and more focused in the opening game. Sloppy passing and weak defensive zone coverage by the Lightning made it difficult for them to mount any kind of sustained attack through most of the game. Will the "rest factor" now be evened out for Game 2?
  20. any Eagle fans have a link for todays game?
  21. No, we're pissed we dont have a brain dead elected leader who could mismanage a very managable pandemic to the tune of 200,000 avoidable deaths.
  22. I'm still going with Tampa in 6. Game 1s are weird sometimes. It's a feeling out process. Tampa wasn't hitting the net, and that had a lot to do with this outcome tonight. Tampa was dominant in the 3rd for sure, outshooting Dallas 22-2, but they have to score at some point there. For Dallas, obviously more shots on goal because they brought their physical, body checking game tonight. I think Tampa needs to do a better job of getting screens in front of Khudobin-Roy. He does this three more times, he's the Conn Smythe winner. However, I would still be stunned if he won it.
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  • Our picks

    • Dear all,
      As part of my season ticket holder benefits the Flyers invited me to a 10 year reunion of a handful of the 2010 players on a Zoom type system where we could see and hear all the players but they could not hear or see us (see screenshot at end of recap).  It was hosted by Steve Coates and radio announcer Tim Saunders.  In attendance were JVR, Scott Hartnell, Claude Giroux, Simon Gagne, Danny Briere, Ian laperriere, Kimmo Timonen, and Brian Boucher.  The event lasted an hour and they discussed some of the behind the scenes stuff from the 2010 playoff run.
      Firstly they discussed how they had been picked to go far at the beginning of the season and how they laid an egg early on which got Stevens fired.  Coatsey and Saunders asked if the hiring of Lavvy made a huge difference and they tried to be diplomatic about it but said yes implicitly.  Hartnell said that Stevens was all defense and that nobody likes to play defense and they all felt freed by Lavvy's offensive system to do their thing.  As you can imagine they also highlighted that Stevens was very soft spoken and that Lavvy was very fiery which really inspired them.  They also said the leadership of Pronger was huge.  Harts said just the name gave them more confidence but also his big body and the leadership as well.
      Then they went into a discussion about how the season was ending where they were losing 8 out of 11 down the stretch including one to the Rangers in game 81 of the season.  The most interesting thing we learned about the last game of the season was that Lavvy anticipated that the Rags would play them tight and may even play for a shootout as they had Lundqvist in net and figured if they could get it to a shootout they would beat the Flyers in it (I myself certainly thought so when it got to the SO).  Lavvy wanted them to be prepared for this so at practice he called Gagne, Giroux, Briere, JVR, Richards and Carter over to him and said he wanted them to study film of Lundqvist in the SO and pick a move that they planned to move and practice that move.  They did so and Briere went out and executed is perfectly.  Giroux on the other hand changed his mind in the middle of his attempt and then had nothing to shoot at so he just went 5 hole and was lucky that it went in.  Boucher mentioned that he was so nervous before the game and really felt the pressure that afternoon.  He also note that he couldnt stand Lundqvist's celebration at the end of Ranger wins where he taps his posts and then does a huge fist pump.  Bouch witnessed it from the bench in the previous game and wanted to do it back to him if the Flyers won and when he made that last save his celebration was an attempt to emulate and mock it.  Booch said he actually tripped up when trying to do it as he got up awkwardly from the save but that was the story behind his famous celebration. 
      cont'd on forum post

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    • Okay, after listening to feedback (I do occasionally listen lol) I took a second crack at this stat.... and here's what I came up with: 

      To me, what was missing previously was a way to get defensive scores back UP again through continued playing time, so now it's here. It's like a "counter-balance" to allow defensive scores to rise. 
      With this recent improvement, there was no longer a need to add 100 to try and pretty up the scores. I left them as is and they fluctuate between positive and negative values, just like regular +/-..... but this is NO +/- !!!  This is much closer (I hope) to what people have been looking for. It is quite literally DEFENCE..... just defence and nothing else. 
      Now, I know what people are going to say: "But guys are still being punished for offence..."  (That comment makes me cringe.) No player is ever technically "punished" for offence. They're just not able to boost their DEFENCE rating by scoring points. That's it. If you're the worst defensive player in the league, you can't score 100 goals, boost your stat, and then turn around and claim a Selke trophy. This isn't +/-. Just like you can't erase ERRORS in baseball by hitting more home runs. It doesn't make sense. If you commit 50 errors in baseball, the only way you can get better is to stop making errors... and if you play long enough error-free, you will eventually raise your fielding percentage to a respectable level. But the bottom line is that you can't hit your way out of bad fielding stats.
      Okay, so how does this work now? It starts with the Minus stat (as described previously) but now I take TOI (Time On Ice in minutes) and divide it by 60. That value gets added to the score. So for every game you play without committing a "-", your defence score will go up. Notice that this accomplishes a few things: It sort of considers "quality of opposition" into the stat (because your best players play the most) but it also rewards the players who contribute the most to your team. 
      I still don't know if I have anything viable here, but it gives me a good feeling this time around.   
      • 8 replies
    • Cale Makar's Assault On The Record Book
      OK....some crazy stuff going on in Ave's land! The all time record for a rookie defensemen is 76 by the great Larry Murphy. Even Ray Bourque had under 70...he had 4th best with 65 rookie pts. Makar is on pace for 93. Staggering. 
        The scary part is he is doing this with Rantanen and Landeskog both out with serious injuries. Cales hockey sense is outrageous for a rookie...howitzer of a shot...wicked moves, agile and smart. He reminds me of Bourque as a rookie. He has 100 pt potential...as silly as that sounds in this day and age. 
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      • 13 replies
    • Vladimir Tarasenko Out 5 Months
      The defending Stanley Cup champion St Louis Blues have just received a dose of bad news.  Teresenko, the superstar that helped the Blues hoist their first Cup, is now to be lost for 5 months due to shoulder surgery.  If they can survive without him and still make the playoffs, it would seem he would return for that.  I believe they are deep enough to do it. 
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      • 20 replies
    • It's Demko time!!
      Small deal between the Canucks and the Senators today with possible large implications for both.
      Vancouver gets: Taylor Pyatt, a 13th forward not much of a player. McKenna, an AHL goalie pressed into duty because of injuries to the Ottawa net and a 6th round pick.
      Ottawa gets Anders Nilsson who in two years as a backup in Vancouver went 10-27 and Darren Archibald who has been a meh prospect forever now and who looks like he is just a body to even out the players involved.
       A bunch of hot garbage in other words but it may be a sign of things to come for both.
        First Ottawa seems almost certain to trade Craig Anderson at some point now and ride out the season with Nilsson in net. A contender wanting a veteran goalie will take a shot at him. 
        Vancouver likely will ship McKenna to the AHL and call up top prospect Thatcher Demko to share the net at the least and possibly become the primary starter after two very successful seasons with Utica in the AHL. Demko is a California boy, a big surfer looking dude who Benning has shown surprising patience with as he developed. Moving Nilsson clears the way for him to get his shot probably moving Markstrom to the backup role for the remaining of the season to see what Demko can do.
        So a trade of junk for junk has implication for an aging brittle goalie and for a kid chomping at the bit wanting a shot.
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      • 5 replies
    • Post in Paul Fenton has been fired as GM after just one season.
      It's possible. But I think right now your biggest issue is timing. The Wild fired Fenton at a time is year where the replacement pool is such that if the candidate were any good, he'd already be working. 
      Leipold should get a lot of "credit" for badly bungling this situation (and it's on him if what you describe is accurate, and I think it is up an extent).  His statements indicate this started at exit interviews. 
      First of all, if you did any credible due diligence, you knew this before. But make a decision when you did realize it.  You don't go to the end of July, in hockey's no man's land (we'll call it "Miami," for short) and then make this move. 
      Leipold is nearly single-handedly destroying his own franchise. 
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    • To answer your question, what makes a good NHL GM?
      You noted player personnel wins and losses... But didn't cover anything else. Understandably, I get it, but IMO there's a ton more behind being a good GM.
      Looking at it from a fan perspective player personnel is about the only thing one could care about. But from an operations standpoint, or from an owners standpoint, generating $$ is all they ever put much emphasis on. Business, or rather being a successful business equals follow the money.
      Something I brought up several years ago was the Wild, under Doug Risenbrough, were an economically successful team. The team never spent to the Cap but they had sellout after sellout. Contrary to some the previous ownership claimed they were losing money. Where have we heard that with the Minnesota North Stars? Hence, they left for Dallas and won a Stanley Cup, 2 Conference Titles, 2 Presidents Trophies and 8 Division Titles... They're doing well generating revenue. They were bought for $84 million in 1995 and are now valued at $525 million. The Dallas Stars are a prime example of spending more (wisely) can create residual earnings. Which is something the Minnesota North Stars never figured out.
      Insert the Minnesota Wild. So under Robert Naegele, Jr., and GM Doug Risenbrough, as mentioned they ran a tight ship on spending. Wild fans here viewed them as cheap. The results as some pride themselves as describing, they're a successful team because they've had so many sellouts in a less than desirable "Hockey Market" because everyone here keeps reminding everyone (nationally) that Minnesota isn't a very good hockey market. (That's something I totally disagree with.) Minnesota probably has more hockey pucks and hockey arena's per capita than any other state or Canadian Providence... To match it's 'Land of 10,000 Lakes' boast.
      Granted, it's a bit off-topic talking about Minnesota's hockey market, but in the grand scheme of things no one can match Minnesota's superior high school hockey programs or the number of successful college hockey programs... Fans following them could have gone to more North Stars games, or more Wild games... But why if neither of those teams have anything to show for their efforts except being on the losing end of highlight reels (nationwide)?
      Okay, back on topic now that I've eliminated any just cause that Minnesota can't be a major hockey market.
      Read more ... https://www.hockeyforums.net/topic/71822-what-makes-a-good-nhl-gm/?do=findComment&comment=390931

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    • The more I'm thinking about this the more I'm coming to the conclusion it's not simply the coach but the result of the coach trying to compensate for the goaltending -- which is ultimately on Hextall. 
      The centers ARE a mess. And so is Ghost. Why? Because the centers are not staying low in the offensive zone and--Patrick and Coots in particular--not mucking it up in the slot to cheat back to hedge against being caught. 
      Ghost is doing less going low or pinching much for the same reason.  It's possible they're doing this on their own. Whether deliberate or not, it's a natural response to the knowledge that any mistake, any odd man or often even man rush the other way will end up past the incompetent sieves in our net. 
      It's just as likely that this is per coach directive much for the same reason. 
      The question remains--bluntly--how does a competent GM look at his goaltending this past summer and not move to fix this while leaving $10M in cap space on the table? 
      How does that same competent GM go through the summer knowing he doesn't have a 3C  and not move to correct that in any sober way? Again, with the $10M sitting there. 
      I know he doesn't want a contract that blocks kids and doesn't want to move said kids for it, but that effectively and explicitly tosses this season away. 
      Meanwhile, the tickets are still full price. 
      You see the results in the stands during the game. The last game, the stands had all the energy of a wake.  
      There was apparently zero thought of putting out a quality product this season. And there's no good reason for it. 
      I do like what Hextall has done with draft picks.  But it sucks that the most exciting time of year is the lead up to the draft.  Only to keep saying, "boy, in five years!" 
      I've been uncharacteristically calling for patience the last couple of years. Those who have been around for awhile--especially those from the silly.com days--know how out of character that really it.  But the patience has waned.   At this point, supplement through trade. Move out "leadership" that isn't leading. 
      Do SOMETHING other than punish kids you yourself have damaged only to bring up other soon to be damaged kids.  Wake the hell up and get the lumina out of neutral and go get us some damn halibut! 
      We're starving! 
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    • Why no Canadian NHL team will win the cup
      Gary Bettman who is the commissioner of the National Hockey League (NHL) was brought in 30 years ago with one agenda, and that was to grow the game of hockey in the USA.  In Canada the game of hockey is like a religion, with winters lasting 6 months all there is, is hockey.  Fans are passionate and it's the number one sport.  Football and baseball come second and third.  Unfortunately for fans in Canada, no Canadian NHL team has won the Stanley Cup for 25 years since the Montreal Canadians have won.


      This thesis will explain why no Canadian team will win the Stanley Cup until at least 2050.

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    • Hey It works!
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