Wake Up With Paul Postma On Your Mind

Typically when you think of guys like Erik Karlsson, Brent Burns, Kris Letang, and Zdeno Chara you think Norris Trophy, correct?

Well in 365 days you’ll be adding a new name to that illustrious list. Paul Edward Postma. Boston signed the former Winnipeg Jet to a one year contract yesterday and I couldn’t have been less shocked to hear it. In all honesty who would you rather have? You can keep Karl Alzner and Kevin Shattenkirk. I’m a-okay with Pauly.

I mean who wouldn’t salivate over a guy with concussion history?

B+ shot selection. Double F- on the celebration.

Still not impressed? Keep scrolling…

Joining the rush. Handcuffed by the pass, jukes to his forehand and launches a wicked wrister! Is that Bobby Orr? Paul Coffee? Hard to differentiate.

Also, that last video is from the preseason, it was harder than anticipated to find highlights of this guy.

82-0 season. Still lose in the first round. Postma wins the Norris, the world is upside down and backwards. So maybe the Habs will actually win a Stanley Cup in my lifetime. Probably not though.

Bye-Bye Jimmy

I’ll be the first to admit that there was a period of time in my life where I was blaming all the bad things I had going for me on Jimmy Hayes. Which in retrospect was just a poor way of distributing my problems on a third party.

So when it was announced at noon today that the Bruins cut Jimmy from their full time payroll I had an unfortunate epiphany. Now I have to take full responsibility for my actions, which to be frank seems a little unfair.

In all seriousness Jimmy Hayes was actually the bane of the Bruins existence from the moment he threw the sweater on for his first game. Standing a 6 feet 6 inches you’d think the former Boston College standout would just stand in front of the net as Chara and company pelted him with slap shots to make a living. However, this was not the case and as we’ve seen in the past when hometown kids come to play in Boston it doesn’t always workout.

Initially Hayes was brought along to bare the physical load left behind when Milan Lucic was traded to Los Angeles. With his size and frame most assumed it was a match made in heaven. Unfortunately for Hayes, when the dust settled on 2016-17 all we were left with was an uninspiring 2 goals, 3 assists and a -3 in 58 games of work. It can be argued that 8 minutes and 55 seconds of average ice time per game isn’t enough to make an impact on a game. You just can’t force what you can’t feel and apparently Bruce Cassidy/Don Sweeney would agree.

All in all the Bruins save 1.7 million dollars this season which will no doubt come in handy as free agency officially opens up tomorrow.

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Take this how you will.

Also Ryan Spooner is Jimmy Hayes’ immediate replacement for “player I’ll blame all my life’s problems on” from here on out.

Patrice Bergeron- Hockey’s Equivalent Of Jesus Christ

With all do respect to Ryan Kesler and Mikko Koivu whom were nominated for the NHL’s top defensive forward in 2016-17. Patrice Bergeron was far and away the best in that category all season long. Winning his fourth Selke Trophy in six attempts makes him the most responsible two way forward in nearly 40 years. Tying hockey hall of famer Bob Gainey, formally of the Montreal Canadiens as the only two players to ever win the trophy four times.

The 31 year old played 79 games for the Bruins this past season racking up 21 goals and 53 points. Attempting 1812 faceoffs and winning 744, that equates to a 60.1 winning percentage. Not to mention his corsi rating of 61.8, basically what that means is that whenever Bergeron was on the ice his team was in control of the puck 61.8% of the time. Kesler sported a corsi rating of 50.9%, Koivu’s was 50.1%.

Both Marchand (39) and Pastrnak (34) who regularly flanked Bergeron enjoyed career years in goals scored. That is no coincidence. Boston also qualified for the post season this year for the first time since 2014. Once the season had officially concluded Bergeron announced he had played the entire season with a sports hernia. Which would explain his sluggish start. But also underline the impressiveness of obtaining the honor.

Basically when the dust settles Patrice Bergeron is Jesus Christ reincarnated. Enjoy it while it lasts, you just witnessed history.

 

Goodbye Mr. Hockey

Gordie Howe was a handsome man, also one tough son of a bitch. There’s a reason they call it a “Gordie Howe hat trick” if you score, earn an assist and of course, fight someone in a single game. Unfortunately after a long battle with dementia and suffering a stroke last year, Howe succumbed to his ailments.

He was 88 years old.

Nobody truly did it as well as Howe. Four times a Cup Champion, 801 goals in 1,767 career games. Annually bringing the grit and sheer determination that only he possessed. On top of that he helped pave the way for the WHA. Joining the league in the mid 70’s to experience playing professional hockey with his two sons. Yes, Gordie played professional hockey with his two sons. In fact he didn’t retire until the conclusion of the 1979-80 season at the age of 51.

Which begins to paint the picture of how important this man was for the sport. In the 1950’s Howe was the most influential personas in the world of hockey, he was the only hockey player to be featured on Sports Illustrated’s front cover. Despite the demeanor by which he carried himself on the ice, he was as gentle a giant as a man could be off it. Taking hours after every game to sign autographs for fans, especially the children who patiently waited to get a glimpse at a legend on two legs.

Officially retiring in 1980 after playing in that years all star game which was held at the new Joe Louis Arena, the current home of the Red Wings. A ceremonious hat tip to the most colorful Redwing ever.

In the years following his retirement Howe has remained a prominent figure in the world of hockey. The agency which set up and maintained his public appearances fell through, only saved by one of his sons who threw down money to keep it afloat. In 2009 Howe lost his wife Colleen to Pick’s disease. Despite the adversity Howe remained, as always the public figure that hockey needed. Making frequent appearances to junior events and the NHL awards.

Howe is ranked 3rd all time in the history of hockey players via The Hockey News top 100 list. Only Gretzky and Orr are ranked ahead of Howe. Two of the most polarizing figures in yesterdays NHL, firmly believed Howe was an all around better hockey player than they were.

Gordie was hospitalized in 2015 with a stroke, which wasn’t tough enough to keep a man like himself away from the life he wished to live.

With a heavy heart we say goodbye to the man that put hockey on the map. Its hard to imagine the game without him. Detroit will never forget the man who not only put the Wings in the center of the hockey universe but made it a reputable sport in America. I can say with confidence he will no doubt be patrolling the chain linked corners of the ice rink upstairs, daring anyone to mix it up with him down low.

RIP to the original GOAT.

Magic Man turned Mystery Man

Hockey’s most sought after ‘magic man’ may have just pulled off the biggest “now you see me, now you don’t” of his career.

Pavel Datsyuk has been dodging the rumors of a potential departure from Detroit all season, until recently. The 37 year old 2x Stanley Cup Champion is on the verge of signing a two year deal with the SKA of the KHL.

In late April he confirmed to Red Wings management he intended on leaving for good once the Red Wings were eliminated from the playoffs.

The average onlooker might have trouble fathoming the notion that Pavel would even consider leaving. Detroit has never missed the playoffs during his tenure. He’s been crowned a Cup champion twice and has never had any issues with management.

On the surface it seems to be a personal, potentially family related issue with Mr. Datsyuk. Typically Russian born players return back to “the mother land” when they deem their time in the NHL has reached its climax.

Ilya Kovalchuk, Alexander Radulov, Ruslan Fedotenko, Sergei Kotstitsyn and Viacheslav Fetisov are all atop the list of preliminary Russian born players who for one reason or another returned to Russia. Fetisov, was in an opposite position. In the heat of the Soviet Union’s strangle hold on the hockey universe, he wished to leave for the greener pastures of the NHL.

Picture it like this, in the MLB players run to Japan when they have fallen from grace. With the hopes of finding themselves back in the spot light of a major league team and obviously collect a pay check.

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Pavel captained team Russia at this years World Championship of Hockey, which potentially served as foreshadowing of what was to come

Okay, so now that I’ve handed you some background on the situation its time to chip away at what’s really the causes of this rash decision.

Pavel is leaving Detroit at seemingly the worst possible time for a player of his caliber to leave. Detroit isn’t exactly ready for life without this guy just yet.

Granted they have begun to reloaded their pool of talent with players such as Tomas Jurco and Tatar, Dylan Larkin and Gustav Nyquist. Which is all fine and good but the torch hasn’t been completely passed off from Henrik Zeterberg, Niklas Kronwall, Johan Franzen and obviously the now dubbed ‘mystery man’ Pavel Datsyuk.

Detroit is a far cry from what they were in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Jam packed with talent and groomed for another run at Lord Stanley every single year.

2008 was the last time they were crowned champions. Pittsburg took their chances at a repeat away in 2009. Seven years have passed and a couple of first round exits, a loss to Chicago in 2013 after leading the series 3 games to 1, recently a Luongo/Lack esque goaltending situation has formulated, and the departure of beloved coach Mike Babcock have sent this team into a sustained, but gradual tailspin.

Unorthodox, that’s how I would describe this one. It doesn’t taste right, or sound correct when you say it out loud “Pavel Datsyuk is leaving Detroit”. But if I were a betting man, I’d speculate there’s a KHL deal on the table already . Now its just a waiting game, nauseating feeling for Detroit, just waiting for the phone to ring.

Regardless, if he does decide to leave don’t expect thousands to line the runway waving handkerchiefs as your plane lifts off. Never been, but I don’t expect that’s Detroit’s style.

Something tells me you’ll see the number 40 hung in the rafters of the new Joe, or whatever the hell they’re going to desecrate one of hockey’s most synonymous cathedrals as, before the number 13. Sad but true.

To quote Lance Armstrong in Dodgeball “Good luck Pavel, I’m sure this decision won’t haunt you forever”.

Audios Magic Man, the highlight reels will take a harder beating than you for this.

 

Oh how the mighty have fallen, maybe

With opening night in the NHL hours away theres still question marks surrounding various teams. Especially highlighting the once powerhouse Boston Bruins. A deluge of moves highlighted the offseason with a noticeable amount of uncertainty as we inched closer to October. Early in the preseason Chara sustained an ‘upper body injury’ with a magnitude unknown to the public. As camp continued on, seemingly the number one story wasn’t ‘who’s going to make the team’ but ‘hows Chara’s injury doing?’ For more information click here.

Hours before puck drop on the opening season its been released that Chara wont even suit up for tonight’s game. With the absence of his long time partner Seidenberg, Bruins fans will get a good look at the pool of talent that’s been developing in the minor league. Perhaps for the best when you consider that both Chara and Seidenberg are on the wrong side of 30 and fading from their ‘elite’ status quickly. However, its not all doom and gloom when you look at the Bruins. New faces in new places offers up the potential for previously unknown chemistry. Perhaps there is the next Torey Krug suiting up for the Bruins tonight or the newest Brad Marchand. Time will tell…

Speaking of time this Bruins team is going to need plenty of it. I’m predicting a relatively sluggish start but by US thanksgiving this team will be firing on all cylinders. On top of that you better get use to trade rumors because you’ll be hearing them all year. To me there’s an X factor that comes with this team, for me it’ll be the third line of Hayes, Spooner, Connolly. That line has all the makings of becoming a shutdown line that can also score, with Hayes’ size and reach he could be a force in front of the net. I expect Spooner to return to his form last season. He makes perfect sense in the 3rd line center position. Finally we have Connolly who was shipped out of Tampa Bay last season for close to nothing, which came as a surprise to some hockey gurus. Connolly was a former first round pick who, if he can recapture his rhythm can make the Bruins 3rd line the best in the league.

Unlike in years past the Bruins will be leaning heavily on offense as a pose to defense. It’ll be interesting to see how the transition goes and if head coach Julien can command the focus, and game plan to make it all come together in away that allows foe the most success. This Bruins squad for all intensive purposes isn’t the most offensively talented.

It all begins tonight for the Bruins and by this time tomorrow I think well have a much better understanding of what’s appropriate to expect from this team.

The Bold The Bad, And The Stupid predictions on this upcoming NHL season

As we draw closer and closer to the season opener of the upcoming NHL season there’s plenty of things to dwell on and highlight. First and foremost we’ll begin at the teams who made the playoffs last year who won’t this season. Lets start in the Western Conference. The St. Louis Blues took a risk when they traded Olympic hero T.J Oshie to the Washington Capitals. For one, they lost a presence on the wing that wont be easily filled, his offensive upside will be missed, along with his fiancé at home games. Seriously look her up. To me St. Louis lost more than they retained this off season, besides the signing of Troy Brower they haven’t made much of a splash. Couple that with the revolving door they have in net and its a recipe for disaster.

My next victim is the Vancouver Canucks, the aging core of the Sedin brother and Radim Vrbata who are all turning 35 this season I’m skeptical to say the least. The loss of long time leader Kevin Bieksa will be felt on and off the ice. Similarly to St. Louis the revolving door in Vancouver between Ryan Miller and Jacob Markstrom is too awkward to ignore and will inevitably hinder Vancouver’s chances at the post season.

East of the Mississippi we have, in my opinion the only team that wont return will be the Ottawa Senators. Patrick Roy said “you have to be good to be lucky and lucky to be good”. That’s all well and good but in Andrew Hammond’s case were still not sure if he’s even ‘good’. Ottawa was the team to watch last year, and Hammond was the orchestrator posing a mouth dropping record of 20-1, with a goals against average of 1.79 and three shutouts. When he was handed the reigns for the playoffs he was visibly uncomfortable against Montreal and eventually lost his job to Craig Anderson. If Mark Stone can avoid the dreaded sophomore slump offensively he’ll lead the team. With Erik Karlsson solidifying the backend they’ll be in the thick of things until the wheels undoubtedly fall off.

Finally, we have my predictions for the Stanley Cup. Right now it would be impossible to pick all 16 teams that will make the run for the Cup and who will be there when it matters. So I’ll throw a hail marry instead. The four teams, in my opinion, that will be in their conference finals are as follows. Los Angeles will face off against Nashville  in a series that will go seven hard games with Los Angeles taking it, on the road. As for the eastern conference, the Washington Capitals will finally break through and make it to the conference finals. They will battle the Tampa Bay Lightening, Alex Ovechkin will have a huge game 6 as he leads his team to victory against the stacked Lightening. I have the Capitals beating the Kings in a heavy seven game series filled with huge hits and a deluge of goals.

 

The Most Dangerous Enforcer In The League Isn’t Even A Player

Finally and I really mean finally the NHL is making strides to combat concussions. Previously the procedure was when the trainers on the bench would determine if in fact that the injured player was concussed. From there the player would be taken off the bench and would have to sit in a pitch black room for 15 total minutes from there he would be looked at again and if it was deemed he did in fact suffer a concussion he would not be allowed to participate in the rest of the game. It came to the leagues attention that various teams weren’t following the procedures to the leagues established mandates, so in response they followed in the foot steeps of the most powerful league in the world. Yes, the NFL for all the confusion and allegations of ‘deflategate’ the NFL is without a doubt the most powerful league in the world and they have concussion protocol down pat. A while back the NFL instituted ‘concussion spotters’ hired by the league. They were trained to identify if a player was in fact concussed and intervene a game when necessary. Today the NHL has smartened up and bulked up to take on the biggest goon currently in the game concussions themselves. Spotters will be attending all NHL games for the upcoming season with one idea in mind preventing misdiagnosed concussions. However unlike the NFL where spotters were hired by the league and would travel from game to game in the NHL spotters are hired by team and will be in the crowd hidden from coaches and players. Basically spotters become team spotters who learn a players history and treat players accordingly. Being Hidden in plain sight allows spotters to keep a close eye on the game without distraction from players or coaches intentionally trying to keep a player who may be concussed in the game. Interestingly enough http://nhl.nbcsports.com/2015/09/14/nhl-to-implement-concussion-spotters-at-games/ had an unbiased standpoint on the subject, check it out.