Posted on: October 18, 2011 10:13 pm

TSHQ Boston, Keep Your Trash

There are ways to show your displeasure with the refs or your team and there are ways you don’t.  Tonight in Boston, after what the Bruinsfans and Jack Edwards thought were some bad calls against them, a bottle was thrown onto the ice (Edwards thinks every call against the Bruins is a bad one).  And then another…and another and another.

It didn’t look like the streets of Montreal after they win a quarterfinal series, but it was plenty to cause the ice crew to have to come out onto the ice with their shovels and trashcans and clean up.

I only saw the last penalty, which was a pretty obvious boarding call on Dennis Seidenberg.  Of course Edwards whined and whined about the call, but what the heck do you want the refs to do, not call a penalty on a play like that?

Regardless of how bad the refs called the game (that penalty gave Boston 60 PIMs to Carolina’s 20 for the game), one of the most classless things you can do is to start throwing your garbage onto the ice.  So since you can’t really do anything physical, go ahead and boo.  Boo really loud.  Really, really loud.  There are quite a few niceties you can vocalize at the refs as well.

Get the rest here.
Category: NHL
Posted on: October 14, 2011 6:20 pm

TSHQ Asham Fights, Crowd Cheers, Others Flip Out

If it hasn’t happened already, I’m predicting that the NHL is going to get some coverage on a few ESPN commentary/opinion shows.  And, like always, they’ll say something stupid.

Last night in the Penguins/Capitals game, Jay Beagle roughed up Kris Letang a bit along the boards, so Arron Asham came over to let Beagle know that he wasn’t going to allow that happen.  He challenged him to a fight, and Beagle agreed to throw down.  A few seconds and two Asham punches later, Beagle was out cold on the ice.  The Penguins fans roared and Asham made several gestures while being escorted to the penalty box, including a nighty-night one, as seen below:

I can see it now: I don’t know if anyone even watches it anymore (or even if it’s been cancelled yet), but resident ESPN knuckleheads Mike Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser on PTI will do us all a solid and cover this story like only two people with a combined hockey knowledge that’s less than a shovel’s can.

Wilbon will reference Asham as the “typical hockey goon” and chide the fans in Pittsburgh for being bloodthirsty, violent whatevers and inevitably to throw all hockey fans into that group.  Kornheiser will inevitably follow that up with one of his always clever, never forced one-liners: “I went to a fight and a hockey game broke out.”

And this will lead to my all-time favorite discussion: people who have no idea about anything hockey-related will tell the NHL how to change the game to make it better.  Of course, this will center on fighting and the horribly troglodyte practice that it is.  Without ever bothering to be educated in why fighting not only happens, but is allowed, we’ll hear that the reason why hockey is still less popular in the United States than log throwing (which when the NBA season is officially cancelled, will be the next “sport” that ESPN will tell us is the thing watch) is because the league allows fighting.

Get the rest here.

Category: NHL
Posted on: October 6, 2011 5:55 pm

TSHQ NHL Fun Predictions

Hurray!  Hockey finally makes its return tonight with the Flyers opening the season in Boston against the Bruins.  The B’s will be raising their Stanley Cup banner while also taking the first step in defending their title.  The Flyers, on the other hand, will be doing their best to ruin the night for the Boston players and their fans.  The Bruins are big and mean and the Flyers got a facelift and are quite hungry.  It should be a great game.

I decided to make a few predictions for the season and post them here.  New TSHQ writer AJ also took part and made some of his own predictions.  At the end of the season, we’ll see how we poorly we both did.

Stanley Cup Matchup/Winner
Steve: Tampa over Detroit
AJ: Washington over San Jose

Winner of the Eastern Conference
Steve: Washington
AJ: Washington

Winner of the Western Conference
Steve: Detroit
AJ: Vancouver

Leading Scorer
Steve: Alex Ovechkin
AJ: Alex Ovechkin

Get the rest of the predictions here:
Category: NHL
Posted on: October 5, 2011 8:31 pm

TSHQ Southeast Division Preview

This article will finish the series on previews the Eastern Conference.  Today, we’ll look at the Southeast Division.  Like the previous articles, we’ll go in the opposite order of where I think the teams will place.

As a quick aside, if you haven’t already, make sure you check out AJ’s article on the Pacific Division.

Florida Panthers

Well, the Panthers spent a lot of money this offseason, but not necessarily because they wanted to.  Florida is like J.G. Wentworth: but instead of creepy people singing opera about wanting to get rid of an annuity, the Panthers’ commercial features Stan Bowman singing “I have o’erpaid players and I need cap space now!”

Because of the cap floor, teams like the Panthers usually have to do some spending in the offseason just to stay legal.  And because of that, they overpaid for just about every player they signed and the players they traded for were overpaid already.

If the NHL instituted a rule that eliminated all first lines on each team, the Panthers might end up as one of the elite teams in the league.  For all of the spending that they did, they didn’t really get anyone that would put them over the top, especially at the forward position.  I guess Tomas Fleischmann headlines the group of newcomers, but that’s mostly because he’s the highest paid forward on the team, scheduled to make $18 million over the next four years.  His career high in goals is 23 and seemed like he was given new life when he was traded to Colorado as he put up 21 points in 22 games.  However, he was then diagnosed with a blood clot and had to end his season early.  I wouldn’t expect the same type of production in Florida—he had a whole lot better of a supporting cast with the Avalanche.

Other new forwards include Scottie Upshall ($3.5 million cap hit), Kris Versteeg ($3.083 million), Tomas Kopecky ($3 million), and Sean Bergenheim ($2.75 million).  That’s a lot to pay for a mixed bag of second and third line players.  I’ve been waiting for “franchise” center Stephen Weiss to have a breakout year, but at this point, I don’t think it’s coming.  And that will especially be the case if David Booth never returns to the form that he had before he suffered his severe concussion.  The Panthers will score some goals, but they don’t have anyone (and especially not a line) that can throw the rest of the team on his back for awhile.  But who knows, if you throw enough mud, some is bound to stick to the wall.

Get the rest here.

Or get it here if CBS messes up the link again...


Category: NHL
Posted on: October 2, 2011 10:50 pm

TSHQ Atlantic Division Preview

Up next in the TSHQ NHL previews is the Atlantic Division.

The Atlantic Division is routinely one of the most competitive divisions in hockey.  This will be quite an interesting year as picking how the division will pan is going to be tough.  There’s really only one team that I’m comfortable with placing…

New York Islanders

You have to appreciate where the Islanders are headed.  No, they’re not yet ready to seriously compete in the Atlantic, but they’re well on their way of being a tough team in the East.  That said, they’ll be no pushover this year and teams will have to earn their wins against them.

The Isles are hoping that young franchise player Jonathan Tavares is about ready to take that next step in his development.  In his first two seasons in the NHL, he’s scored 54 and 67 points, which is pretty good for the 21 year without having many big names about him.  He’ll have the help of promising young forwards Matt Moulson and Michael Grabner.  Moulson’s coming off two straight 30+ goal seasons and Grabner burst out of nowhere to score 34 goals last season.  If Grabner can prove that he’s no flash in the pan, the Islanders have three talented young players to build their future around up front.

After those three players, the talent begins to dwindle a bit for the Islanders.  Their top second tier players are PA Parenteau and Kyle Okposo.  Parenteau’s coming off a decent year, but he’s not exactly the type of player you want to lean on for steady offensive production.  Okposo came to the Islanders under much anticipation, but unless he has a big year this season, he might start to wear out his welcome.  Granted he did have a good year two years ago before having his season cut short last season.  You just have to wonder if he’s going to produce like he was cracked up to.

Nino Niederreiter is the next player on Islanders fans’ list to be the rookie who tears it up.  El Nino could be good, but winning the Rookie of the Year award will be tough for the 19 year old.

Also, with Trevor Gilles still on the roster, you have to wonder how seriously the Islanders take themselves.

Get the rest here.
Category: NHL
Posted on: September 27, 2011 6:58 pm

TSHQ Avery's a hypocrite

Wayne Simmonds is fresh off the incident where some idiot at the Flyers/Red Wings game in London, Ontario threw a banana at him during his shootout attempt.

Now, he’s involved in another controversy, but this time, he’s not the “innocent” party.  According to Sean Avery, Simmonds called Avery a homophobic slur.  I’m sure you can give yourself an idea what was said.  And if you need some help, see if you can read Simmonds’ lips.

I’m not going to say what Simmonds said was “morally justifiable.”  Using words like that isn’t the nicest way you can act towards someone.  However, I don’t think I need to tell anyone that there are quite a few nasty things said on the ice during a hockey game.  There’s nasty stuff said during any sporting event on the playing surface.  That doesn’t justify what Simmonds said.  I just think that we’re at the crest of slippery slope of complaining about all sorts of name-calling.  I’m sure the French Canadian players would have some things to report.

Would calling a player a name on the ice (or off the ice) that’s insulting towards women be deemed just as bad?  If you’re going to be upset with what Simmonds said about gays, you should.

Get the rest here.

Category: NHL
Tags: Sean Avery
Posted on: September 26, 2011 11:11 pm

TSHQ Northeast Division Preview

Over the next two weeks up to the start of the NHL season, we’ll be bringing you a division by division preview of the upcoming year in hockey.  Can you believe it?  Hockey’s right around the corner.

Today, we’ll start with the Northeast Division, ranking where I think the teams will finish from lowest to highest.

Ottawa Senators

I don’t see the Senators doing much better than last season’s 74 point campaign, if they even match that point total.  They do have some upside with their defensemen with standout Erik Karlsson hoping to build on his successful 13 goal, 45 point season.  David Rundblad will begin his NHL career with the Sens this year, who along with Karlsson, should provide two talented stalwarts on the back end for Ottawa for quite a few years.  I expect Sergei Gonchar to recover from his tough year last season and produce more like the Gonchar we’ve been used to.  He’s at the tail end of his career, but 27 points just isn’t enough for a player like him, especially considering the money he’s making.

Ottawa looks like they’ve finally found a goalie in Craig Anderson and put up some great numbers last season after being acquired from a struggling Colorado Avalanche.  Along with the defense in front of him, he should be able to provide enough to be able to keep the Senators in games relatively well.

The problem for the Senators is up front with the forwards.  We know about Spezza and Alfredsson, but there’s not much to brag about outside of them.  And Alfredsson’s really not getting any younger and struggled last season, missing a big chunk of the season, and only scoring 31 points.  But really, the bigger issue is Spezza.  Yes, Alfredsson’s old and is coming off back surgery, but he’s consistently been at least a point per game player throughout his career.  Spezza, on the other hand, has been on the decline since he scored 92 points in 2008.  In this 3rd through 5th season, he averaged 1.27 PPG.  Since then, he’s been very pedestrian for a player who’s supposed to the elite talent of the team.

Looking at the rest of the top six forwards, Bobby Butler is the lone bright spot.  He’s got plenty of upside and starting showing that last season.  Nikita Filatov has another crack at making it after being producing nothing but disappointment for the Blue Jackets

Get the rest here.
Category: NHL
Posted on: September 23, 2011 7:28 pm

Shanny Makes Impact as New Disciplinarian TSHQ

It hasn’t taken long for Brendan Shanahan to make his presence felt as the NHL’s new disciplinarian, replacing the much maligned Colin Campbell.  Only a week into the preseason, Shanahan has doled out two suspensions, the first to Calgary’s Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond and the second to Philadelphia’s Jody Shelley, both of which were for boarding violations.  Given the NHL’s new rules and hard-line stance on head shots and boarding, these suspensions were slamdunks for Shanny.

What’s especially nice is that the NHL has created short videos of Shanahan explaining what happened (with video replays), why it’s illegal, the discipline taken on the player, and some of the deciding factors in the decision.  It’s great for the fans to be able to get a condensed and to the point recap of the situation.  And with Shanahan himself in the video, it puts some accountability and ownership on the NHL for the disciplinary decisions that they make…or at least it makes it appear that it does.

Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond’s hit earned him a seat for 5 games, one of which will be a regular season game.  It was a classic boarding penalty: the player he hit had his backed turned towards him the entire time and made no effort to avoid contact.  It was dangerous, stupid, and avoidable, which is exactly the type of hit the NHL wants to eliminate from the game.

Shelley’s hit is about as easy a call as you’re going to get.

Get the rest here.
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