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Playoff Preview and Predictions

By Scott Lowe Eastern Conference 1 Capitals vs. 8 Rangers An angry Capitals team, embarrassed by last season’s early playoff exit and two blowout losses to the Rangers this year, will be too much for New York to handle. Lundqvist may steal a game – or even two – but no more. Washington’s new defense-first style combined with its offensive depth will frustrate the Rangers, who probably hope to get under the Caps’ skin and sit back until opportunities present themselves. The Caps will take lessons learned in last year’s loss against a Montreal team that played a similar style to what the Rangers figure to present and use them to roll to victory in five games. 2 Flyers vs....

First-Round Playoff Preview

It's time for the playoffs! Here's a list of playoff histories involving the teams who are in. EASTERN CONFERENCE QUARTERFINALS ( 1 ) Washington Capitals vs. ( 8 ) New York Rangers This is the sixth playoff series to feature Washington and the Rangers. 1986, Patrick Division Finals: NY Rangers win series 4-2 1990, Patrick Division Finals: Washington wins series 4-1 1991, Patrick Division Semifinals: Washington wins series 4-2 1994, Eastern Conference Semifinals: NY Rangers win series 4-1 2009, Eastern Conference Quarterfinals: Washington wins series 4-3 Washington has won 3 of the 5 series over the Rangers. ( 2 ) Philadelphia Flyers vs. ( 7 ) Buffalo Sabres This is the ninth...

Who won't win the Stanley Cup?

This is the first time I've written a Between the Pipes like column in sometime. I hope to remain writing for the playoffs and the season recap. This short post will be about my favorite stat, goal differential. In the last 20+ years, we have never had a Stanley Cup winner with less than a +25 goal differential in the regular season. The Penguins win over the Red Wings in 2009 was the lowest of the 20 years with a +25. How about the loser? Well for the losers there have been various goal differentials. For the most part they’ve all had a positive goal differential too. There are three exceptions. Carolina in 01-02 lost to Detroit and had a 217/217 GF/GA. In 92-93 Los Angeles lost to Mon...

Goaltender Interference: What is it?

As a Detroit Red Wings fan I have seen this all too often. A battle in front of the net, the goalie falls down and a goal is disallowed. Two examples recently come from the Red Wings. In Saturday's 4-3 overtime win over Nashville, Tomas Holmstrom was standing in front like he usually does and screened Pekka Rinne as Nick Lidstrom blasted in one of his patented slappers. The referee immediately waived the goal off and gave Holmstrom a goaltender interference penalty for bumping Rinne. If you saw the game and the replay, you have to wonder, Red Wings fan or not, why this goal was waived off. Holstrom was outside the crease, stick on the ice and was just standing in front of the goalie....

Thirty Teams, Thirty Thoughts: Part 2 - The West

Last week, I took at each of the teams in the East, and shared my thoughts on each team as they head into the final games of their season. From bold predictions on teams that would miss the playoffs (next year) and the team that would win the cup, or make a Cinderella run to the Eastern finals, that post had it all. Well, except for my thoughts on the West. Western conference fans often complain that we Easterners don't pay enough attention to their teams. And to a degree, it's true. But it's not our fault, you're the weird ones with a zany three hour time difference. 10PM start times? Some of us have to work the next morning! But seriously, the West is great and we should all watch mo...

Blinded by the Light: What Fans Fail to See About Concussions

 photo courtesy of AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Paul Chiasson
On Thursday night, Washington Capital defenseman Mike Green tweeted the following: A week and a half earlier, Montreal Canadien forward Max Pacioretty tweeted this: Both of these players are currently dealing with concussions; Green was injured on Feb. 25 and Pacioretty was injured on March 8.  So what’s the issue here? The issue is that Green’s movie date went unnoticed, while fans were up in arms about Pacioretty taking in a flick.  (As well as heading to the Bell Centre to support his teammates.)  People took to the Internet to question his injury and eventually...

Random Thoughts

Before I get started I want to apologize. I’ve been MIA for quite some time and my posting has been so inconsistent I’ve had to swear to people that I’m not Phil Kessel. But to be fair, I’ve been busier than Bruce Boudreau’s digestive system. Now that I got that out of the way, it’s time to get focused. Lots has happened since the last time I posted, so I’m going to try and quickly sum up some thoughts about it all. *First and foremost, people need to lay off of Rebecca Black. While the song ‘Friday’ contains stupidly obvious lyrics, the song has been of great benefit to people like Marc Savard. *Ron Wilson proved Charlie Sheen wrong. Just because you're an i...

The Hart Memorial Trophy Goes To...

Who really is the Hart Trophy leader this season? The discussion was all but over by January 1st, when Sidney Crosby decided to put up points at a pace not seen since the 90’s. But a few bad luck hits left Crosby out and re-opened the Hart Trophy talk. Currently there are a few guys on the list that do not typically get the recognition that they should. Heading my list is a player that has been great all season, but just recently started to receive notoriety for the trophy. I will be listing the top 5 candidates, my personal opinion of course, in order and why they deserve the trophy. 1. Corey Perry – The right winger of the Anaheim Ducks is the current leader in the NHL for g...

Thirty Teams, Thirty Thoughts: Part 1 - The East

With the NHL playoffs just around the corner, NHL teams are beginning to clinch playoff spots, or fall out of the race completely. When the 2010-11 regular season is finally in the books on April 10th, sixteen teams will look to face off for the top prize in hockey, while the other twelve will take an early look ahead to the 2011-12 season, and hope they can salvage their bad season with a good draft, as well as some trades and free agents. So where do all these teams stand, with only a handful of games left in the regular seasons, and staring right down the eyes of the demon that is the Stanley Cup Playoffs? To try and answer this question, I offer my nearly-post-season version of "Thirt...

Flying Off the Handle: A Brief History of Wacky Objects Hockey Fans Have Thrown on the Ice

view all photos and attributions here Aside from the typical food, debris, and trash that all make their way to the ice, hockey fans have been hurling peculiar objects over the glass for decades.  Whether it's in celebration, protest, or for good luck, fans have utilized these candid demonstrations to let teams and players know their true feelings. The classic toss accompanies the hat trick. There are several origin stories about the hat trick itself, but the history surrounding how fans came to toss their hats to the ice when a player tallied three goals is no mystery. In the 1950's, Guelph, Ontario was home to the Guelph Biltmore Mad Hatters, w...