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  1. Today
  2. I sorta agree with you, Marner has the ability and drive to make TO better. I just wonder if he's the type of person that can hold people accountable, right now I see him as a guy who loves the game and is driven to do his best all the time. I'd hate to see any of what he is negatively affected by captain duties. I'm totally underwhelmed by Matthews and Nylander but I have been impressed by Rielly thru most of these playoffs, normally tho Rielly's inconsistency bothers me, dominant some games invisible the next.
  3. In the last period in one minute I counted 8 panicked giveaways by the Leafs, I was only counting because I'd seen so many before that minute. I thought it was a horrible game for TO and it was a goaltending battle that Rask lost. I would summarize this game as panic by the Leafs but it seems thru most of the games in this series panic is TO's one true constant. I think it's interesting that CBC and others list whatever line Matthews is on as #1 even when Matthews starts the game with TO's 4th liners, it's an obvious and earned demotion for Matthews.
  4. Phantoms didn't fare so good today lost 5-3. Lyon with the loss gives up 4 goals. One short, one PP and a empty net goal. Series tied 1-1. Back to LV for the final 3 games.
  5. I think they're bipolar or something ....lol
  6. Yeah but it seems that when we do get a lead that's when the refs get involved (not in a good way)...
  7. Yesterday
  8. A Cup finals. And the dreaded curse president trophy could be to much weight to bare for such a deep talented team. And the Avs are playing with house money...
  9. “Big game on the road here,” Giroux said after a 4-2 Game 5 win. “Now we’ve just got to figure out how to play at home. When you win (the fans are) the best. We just need to…I don’t know. We’re gonna talk about it. We’re excited to go back home. It’s an advantage for us. It’s gotta be our best game.” “Obviously the crowd plays a big role, especially in playoffs,” Sean Couturier said. “There’s a lot of commotions. When (stuff) hits the fan and things start going not our way, you gotta kinda focus and stick together. Our fans can get frustrated pretty quickly, but gotta stick together and come back the next shift and try to win it and regain that momentum.” “The two games here, they played a little better than we did,” Hakstol told reporters after an optional practice Saturday in Voorhees. “I thought they won a lot of the little areas, a lot of the little battles in five of the six periods. Usually that adds up to winning a hockey game. I don’t know if there’s an explanation for (success on the road in this series). The games have had different looks.” “I wouldn’t say I’m surprised at anything Provy brings to the table,” Hakstol said. “He continues to want a little bit more and continues to earn that. That’s probably, for me, one of the clear things where he’s not just capable of continually adding to his game, but he’s willing to earn those opportunities.” Go Flyers!!!!!! Winning at home this year hasn't been always so good for them but it needs to happen next game.
  10. Agree, that was a playoff effort and they need to carry that effort into Sunday and then game 7 !!!!!! 😎 LET'S GO FLYERS ! ! !!!
  11. Thanks for reading! Be sure to subscribe to BTGL via email, or follow us on Twitter or Facebook for continued off-season coverage of the NHL and other hockey leagues. Visit www.belowthegoalline.com for more information. Thirteen NHL teams are still playing in the playoffs for the right to hoist the Stanley Cup. This means that 18 teams have already moved into their off-season process, which will include the NHL Entry Draft and free agency. Several top story lines have emerged already this "summer" for some of these clubs already in off-season mode. John Tavares Much has been made about the Islanders captain John Tavares as he approaches unrestricted free agency on July 1st of this season. I wrote about Tavares late in the season, but the story keeps growing. The New York Islanders would obviously love to keep their captain and top offensive weapon. Tavares had 37 goals and 47 assists for 84 points this past season. The 27-year-old has 621 points in 669 career NHL games, and is one of the biggest free agents to possibly hit the open market in a long time. A couple of season ago the Tampa Bay Lightning were in a similar position with captain Steven Stamkos, but he ultimately ended up signing a contract with the Lightning before he even hit free agency. That does not likely appear to be the case with John Tavares and the Islanders, and the team missed the postseason again this season. The Islanders, as documented in my previous piece, struggle to play defense. They can score tons of goals, but simply cannot keep the puck out of their own net. If Tavares wants a chance to win a championship, the Islanders don't appear to be the team to be on. Teams like the Montreal Canadiens or San Jose Sharks make sense as teams who are closer to a Stanley Cup. San Jose will likely not bring back superstar Joe Thornton, and Tavares could be a natural replacement. The Sharks are still in the postseason, and have a strong group of young forwards, a good corp of defensemen, and a good goaltending tandem in Martin Jones and Aaron Dell. The Canadiens struggled this season, but the addition of Tavares to that group would give Montreal a bona-fide #1 center they have been craving for a long time. Plus, they have one of the best goaltenders in the world in Carey Price (assuming he returns to his Vezina form). Questions rise when you talk about Montreal's depth and defense, but that team would appear to be closer to the ultimate prize than the Islanders. There have been rumors that the St. Louis Blues could be involved. There is a natural fit with the Blues after they traded Paul Statsny earlier this season. There is plenty of cap space in St. Louis this summer, who should have around $12 million to play with this summer (thanks CapFriendly!) and only depth players in need of new contracts. I find it hard to image Tavares will end up with the Los Angeles Kings. They simply have two solid centers in Anze Kopitar and Jeff Carter. The Kings would be better off trying to persuade a winger like Evander Kane or James van Riemsdyk to join their squad. The fact that Tavares isn't signed to a long-term deal is scary for Islander fans. Losing an elite player like John Tavares would be a significant blow to a woeful team, and it looks like that might happen. Stay tuned for more. Erik Karlsson The Senators' captain Erik Karlsson might be another player on the move. While he is under contract for one more season, the Ottawa Senators don't appear to be anywhere close to competing for a Stanley Cup. After making the Eastern Conference Finals last season, the wheel came off the Senators, who finished with the second worst record in the NHL. While there has been talk of a new coaching regime (see below), Erik Karlsson might not want to be around if the team needs a lengthy rebuilding process. It definitely appears that way after the 2017-18 season. The Senators struggled to score goals and to keep the puck out of their own net. While they have some good pieces like Karlsson, Thomas Chabot, etc., this team doesn't have the strong defensive group to. Their offense is also lacking. I'm still baffled at the idea of trading Kyle Turris for Matt Duchene (I know there was more involved then just those two players). For me, they are very similar players, although Duchene probably has a higher offensive upside. Either way, it seemed like a lot to give up for a guy that isn't much better than they guy you gave away. There's also the question on if this team has enough offensive firepower or a good enough goaltending situation to be a top team in the NHL. My instincts are telling me that Karlsson wants out of this situation. He has been made the fool by management and ownership, and the team is honestly pathetic at times on the ice. If he wants to win a Cup, Erik Karlsson might want to demand to be moved this season, something that might be easier said that done. Head Coaches There are currently four open coaching positions in the NHL, but their could be a few more depending on what happens with the rest of this NHL postseason. Alain Vigneault was fired by the New York Rangers, but might be the front-runner for the Dallas Stars opening. Ken Hitchcock retired after one season back on the Stars bench. Bill Peters just resigned as the Carolina Hurricanes coach, and many have penciled him into the job with the Calgary Flames, where head coach Glen Gulutzan was relieved of his duties a few weeks ago. These all seem like natural fits, but then who would jump on the Hurricanes and Rangers jobs? Right now, the word out of Carolina is that Rod Brind'amour might be the guy to step in and take over, but that isn't certain. No front-runners have emerged in the search by the Rangers. While I don't have answers, coaches like Guy Boucher in Ottawa might be on the way out simply because their teams weren't very good this past season. The coaching carousel is always exciting in the NHL offseason, and I image if there aren't as many coaching changes this year, the excitement will still be there.
  12. Seems like Evander Kane has really given the Sharks a lift They are battle tested at this level and I believe that gives them an edge. I just cannot believe in an expansion team getting to the conference final. I do not believe it and I will pick against them here. But they have defied logic so far. Does anyone know if there are slot machines at the ticket holders seats? I am sure they are in the lobbies.
  13. That's actually hard to say. The two actually had very similar numbers in the regular season. Gibson: 2.43 GAA, .926 SV%, 31-18-7 in 60 GP (.575 points earned %), 4 SO Miller: 2.35 GAA, .928 SV%, 12-6-6 in 28 GP (.535 points earned %), 4 SO If you ask me (and I'm a Sharks fan, so I might not have the most un-biased viewpoint), goaltending was NOT the issue for the Ducks. Throw out Game 3, because the Ducks sucked overall in that game. Beyond that, the Sharks averaged 2.667 goals/game. That is fine goaltending. Not great. Not going to win you a Cup, but fine to get a couple of wins. The offense was the problem. Only four goals in four games? Not good enough. Playoff Duck Jakub Silfverberg didn't show up. Corey Perry only wanted to hit things. The defense struggled (I mean, they traded Sami Vatanen and lost Cam Fowler to injury, so I could have told you that was going to happen). The team needs to improve like the Sharks did a few years ago. They need speed. They need better transition play. I will be posted an article tonight (hopefully) about how the Ducks can get better.
  14. Thanks for reading! Be sure to check out the latest coverage of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs, as well as continued coverage of the CHL, NCAA, AHL, and KHL over at www.belowthegoalline.com! Day 10 of the Stanley Cup Playoff featured three games where each of the series could have ended in Game 5 on Friday night. Check out the entire playoff picture here. Philadelphia Flyers @ Pittsburgh Penguins Facing elimination, the Philadelphia Flyers headed into Pittsburgh with a goalie controversy against the Penguins. Michal Neuvirth would make his first start of the series after Brian Elliot could not get the job done in the first four game of this series. Neuvirth has dealt with injury issues throughout his career, and wasn't even able to back up Elliot in the first few games. But Neuvirth's return to the net tonight gave the Flyers the boast they needed to pick up the Game 5 win, which forces a Game 6 in Philadelphia on Sunday afternoon. Flyers captain Claude Giroux scored in the first period to give the road team the 1-0 lead. Giroux's first of the playoffs was the result of the Penguins not playing to their full potential in this game. They were sloppy and didn't seem very interested in this game. That was until midway through the second period, when the Penguins flipped the switch and dominated the play for much of the middle frame. Bryan Rust and Jake Guentzel scored for Pittsburgh in that second period. The Penguins threw 14 shots on Neuvirth in the period. Neuvirth did hold the Penguins' powerplay off the score sheet in this one. He did not allow a goal in five PP opportunities, including four powerplays in the second period. While you never want to take penalties, this time it paid off. Valtteri Filppula score a late shorthanded goal that really turned the momentum in favor of the Flyers going into the second intermission. The Penguins came out in the third period with the same attitude they had to start the game. They had trouble connecting on passes, and didn't really seem engaged in a game that could have eliminated the rival Flyers from the playoffs. They did pick up their play later in the period, but the difference in the game was the Flyers' Sean Couturier, who grabbed a puck at the blueline of the Penguins zone and banked in a goal off of a Penguins' defender. That goal made the score 3-2 in favor of the Flyers. Matt Read would pick up an empty net goal to reach our final score of 4-2 in this game. With the win, the Flyers force a Game 6 at home. Pittsburgh now lead 3-2 in the series. Minnesota Wild @ Winnipeg Jets Much could have been said about the Winnipeg Jets had they lost this game at home to the Minnesota Wild. Without three of their regular defensemen, as well as impact forwards Nikolaj Ehlers and Mathieu Perreault, everyone probably would have given the Jets a pass for losing this game, especially when they held a 3-1 series lead entering the tilt. But from the drop of the puck, you could tell the Jets didn't want to play in a Game 6. The Jets dominated the first period with their speed and physicality. The Wild, on the other hand, looked like they had just woken up from their pregame naps. If you missed the first period, you really didn't need to tune into this game at all. Along with their hard-hitting play, the Jets racked up four goals on start Devan Dubnyk in the first 12 minutes of the opening period. While I don't particularly blame Dubnyk for the loss in this game, he definitely wasn't his elite playoff goalie self in the first period. Jacob Trouba scored 31 seconds into the period on a wrist shot from the right faceoff circle. That is the goal Dubnyk needs to save for his team, but the puck finds the top left corner of the net. With that goal, the flood gates opened for the Jets. Bryan Little picked up his first of the series at 5:42. Brandon Tanev also scored his first, and Joel Armia knocked Dubnyk out of the game with his first of the series at 11:59 of the first period. Head coach Bruce Boudreau pulled Dubnyk in favor of backup Alex Stalock in hopes that his team would get a jolt from realizing they left their All-Star goaltender down in this game. But the move was too little, too late, as the Wild would not muster a single goal in this game, despite outshooting the Jets 30-26. The Jets won Game 5 5-0, and ended the series 4-1 for their first ever playoff series victory in franchise history. They now await the winner of the Nashville Predators and Colorado Avalanche. Colorado Avalanche @ Nashville Predators Speaking of the Avalanche/Predators series, they also played Friday night in Nashville. With a 3-1 series lead, the defending Western Conference Champions could eliminate Colorado with a win tonight. This was a spectacular goalie battle, however. Andrew Hammond got the start for the Avalanche, who were looking to avoid elimination for the first time in this series. Vezina Trophy finalist Pekka Rinne got the nod once again for Nashville. Andrew Hammond was great in this game. The Predators peppered Hammond with 45 shots in the game, including 19 in the third period, but the 30-year-old stood tall, allowing just one goal on all of those Nashville shots. The Predators goal didn't come until 10:18 of the first period, when Nick Bonino deflected a shot past the Colorado netminder. After a review, Bonino was credited with his first playoff goal as a Predator after it was determined he did not kick the puck into the net. Pekka Rinne was also solid in this game. He stopped all 16 Avalanche shots through the first two period of this one, and looked to take home another playoff victory after the Bonino goal. It wouldn't be that easy for Rinne, however, because the Avalanche pushed back as they tried to avoid elimination. Colorado captain Gabriel Landeskog would tie the game with a little over four minutes left in the game. Nathan MacKinnon skated the puck through the zone and pulled Rinne away from the net. MacKinnon found Landeskog in front, who simply tapped home the pass from MacKinnon to tie the game. Then, the nightmare set in for Rinne and the rest of his Predator teammates. Sven Andrighetto would score with just 1:28 remaining to give the Avalanche the 2-1 lead. Andrighetto was part of a 2-on-1 coming at Pekka Rinne. After a J.T. Compher shot, the rebound came right to Andrighetto for the easy goal. That would be all the scoring we would see in this game. The Avalanche shock Nashville for the 2-1 win, and force a Game 6 on Sunday night. Nashville still leads the series 3-2 as it shifts back to Colorado.
  15. It was nice to see what they _could_ do. Not sure what was the cause... Hak with a job on the line? G with a C on the line? Not sure. We'll see what they can bring Sunday. Bottom line, it was a great game and extended the series... at least we didn't go silently into the night.
  16. Last week
  17. No garbage penalties tonight TK, laughton !!!! Play SMART HOCKEY..... Don't get off our game plan or ..... THAT'S ALL FOLKS.....
  18. Was watching this kid vs Canada yesterday and the Swiss today and wow i like this kid's game... He was the youngest player ever (13) to commit to an NCAA program....headed to Maine...kind of weary of taking college prospects that high...he has some great size already 6-1 205 and will only get bigger.
  19. [Hidden Content] Peters walks from Canes...Calgary bound? Bill Peters is walking away from the Carolina Hurricanes. The 51-year-old head coach had until Friday to exercise an out clause in his contract with the team and did so Friday. He turned down a $1.6 million salary to coach the fifth and final year of his contract in Carolina. TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie reports that Peters, an Alberta native, is the leading candidate for the Calgary Flames head coaching job. He notes, however, that Peters has received interest from multiple clubs. TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger adds that all indications are Peters will be the next head coach of the Flames, but it is not a done deal as of yet. Twitter Ads info and privacy McKenzie said Thursday that Peters' preference would be to coach in his home province and added Rod Brind'Amour already appears to be a name on Carolina Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon's radar for the team's next head coach. McKenzie added Friday that Dundon will also look outside the organization, though, for his team's next head coach. Peters cited the team's vacany at general manager as a reason for exercising his opt-out clause. The team has been without a general manager since Dundon moved Ron Francis from the role to president of hockey operations in March. “I want to thank Tom Dundon, Peter Karmanos and Ron Francis for the trust they put in me to lead the team,” Peters said in a team release. “I feel the incoming general manager should have the ability to hire his own head coach. I also want to thank Don Waddell and the entire front office and PNC Arena staff. This business requires hard work and long hours, and I greatly appreciate the efforts of the many people I have worked alongside during the past four years. “We enjoyed our time in Raleigh, and my family will always feel a connection to North Carolina. I feel like this is a good time to move on, and I am looking forward to my next challenge.” McKenzie shed light on a toxic situation in Carolina on Thursday, reporting that both Dundon and Peters strongly preferred that Peters not return behind the team's bench next season, but were engaged in a game of chicken over the $1.6 million. The Hurricanes owner had not committed to Peters staying on if he elected not to exercise his out clause. Dundon told the News and Observer that he's been flexible in allowing Peters to talk to teams about their head coaching vacancies. “I have a lot of respect for Bill as a person and coach,” Dundon said in a release on Friday. “We thank him for his time with the Hurricanes and wish him success in whatever comes next.” The Hurricanes have missed the playoffs four seasons in a row under Peters, and are coming off a 36-35-11 finish in 2017-18. During his time in Carolina, Peters has a combined record of 137-138-53. Peters will serve as Team Canada’s head coach for the IIHF World Championship next month in Denmark with Mike Yeo of the St. Louis Blues as associate coach and Bob Boughner of the Florida Panthers taking the reigns as an assistant. Peters coached Canada to a gold medal at the tournament in 2016, when Flames general manager Brad Treliving served as co-general manager of the team.
  20. Well, with regards to 'new blood' in the NHL coaching ranks, I agree it is nice to see different faces behind various NHL benches....but then again, that could also be happening out of necessity. Let's face it...even if NHL owners WANTED to stay with the "good ol boy" network, fact is, those guys that have been recycled for years are just plain getting old or ARE old! No doubt some of them were truly great minds but how far do you think your team will go having a guy 70+ years old behind the bench with the mindset of 80's, 90's, or early 2000's hockey? Probably not very far. The NHL has changed the last decade or so with roster make ups and philosophies changing as well....so naturally, new coaches with different outlooks are the way to go...... or rather, the ONLY way to go. Don't be surprised if the current crop of coaches produces a few guys who "get recycled" the next few years as well due to their track records. It's just the nature of pro sports that you try to stick to what you know works well and usually wins. Then, in about another 20 years or so, maybe our current crop gets phased out in favor of a new group of up n coming coaches, and the process begins all over again.
  21. Very nice family and scenery shots @yave1964 , and continue to enjoy that vacation!
  22. Schenn was never a gamechanger of any kind in his time here. He was also very bad defensively. It's more likely we would have an extra couple goals against per game if he had any kind of prominent role in this series. It's also worth noting he cooled off considerably in STL after an admittedly good first half. I expect the Blues came to realize a bit too late what we were saying all along: Brayden Schenn is not a top line player. The fact they set him as their defacto 1C for much of the year is a main reason why they're golfing right now. We're not losing this series because of a lack of Brayden Schenn. We're losing because the Pens are the defending two time champs, and they know exactly what they need to do to win. We're losing due to taking way too many dumb penalties, and our goaltending is not exactly inspiring. Maybe most frustrating, we're losing because our coaching staff is getting out coached on a regular basis. Finally, have you seen Morgan Frost lately?
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