Two More NHL Award's Finalists Annoucned

This week the NHL announced the finalists for two more of its prestigious awards, the Jack Adams Trophy for the best coach in the league, and the Hart Trophy for the league MVP.

Jack Adams Trophy (Best Coach)

Dan Bylsma, Pittsburgh Penguins
Alain Vigneault, Vancouver Canucks
Barry Trotz, Nashville Predators

Ducks2Nucks take: Coaching awards are always hard to call because you can go any way you want with the analysis. Bylsma managed to keep a winning team through an injury plagued season. Vigneault led a powerhouse squad to the President's Trophy for best record in the regular season. Barry Trotz... Barry Trotz has to coach the Predators and that's pretty hard I'd imagine. Evan and I had a hard time picking for this one, but Evan picked Bylsma because of his adaptability, and I'm going with Trotz because the guy doesn't get the recognition he deserves I feel. Vigneault will probably win just because we didn't pick him. Whatever.

Hart Trophy (MVP)

Daniel Sedin, Vancouver Canucks
Martin St.Loius, Tampa Bay Lightning
Corey Perry, Anaheim Ducks

Ducks2Nucks take: This is a close race. All three players had fantastic seasons, but the real question is which player had the most impact to his team's success. St.Loius pumped out really impressive numbers at an age where he should be wrapping up his career, but Tampa also had Stamkos putting up a lot of points and Lecavalier producing another solid season. Sedin scored a lot of goals and was a huge offensive force alone this season, but he also had his brother Henrik and players like Ryan Kesler on the Canucks roster to help lead their season. Corey Perry really stands out to us from these nominees. Perry had a phenomenal season, leading the Ducks in points and goals with 50 goals and 48 assists for a total of 98 points. Perry's play really stood out this season as a stable superstar talent.


2nd Round Match-ups Set: Our Predictions

The first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs have been completed.  In a pair of game 7's last night Tampa shut out the Penguins on Pittsburgh home ice to win the series and Boston advanced thanks to an overtime goal from Nathan Horton:

These games concluded a very exciting first round in hockey.  Tonight begins the Eastern/Western Conference Semi-Finals.  Here is mine and Adam's take.


An Unbelievable Finish; Vancouver Advances

It came down to one final game for the Canucks and Blackhawks.  One game to decide who moves on.  Vancouver won the first three followed by Chicago winning the next three.  Game 7 proved to be no disappointment.

All eyes were on goalie Roberto Luongo as he has proved year after year to be a no-show come playoff.  This year looks to be the same as he had a horrific game 4 and got pulled once again in game 5.  For game 6, Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault turned to backup Cory Schneider.  After losing game 6 as well coach Vigneault went back with Luongo for game 7.  He responded with 31 saves and only 1 goal allowed. 

Some NHL Awards Finalists Announced

In recent weeks, the NHL has announced the nominees for several of the awards given out at the NHL Awards such as best defenseman, best defensive forward, rookie of the year, and best goaltender.

The nominees and our picks, after the jump.


Sharks Bite Kings in OT; Advance

It was do or die for the Los Angeles Kings last night.  Win and they force a game 7, lose and they're done until October.

Sharks 4 vs. Kings 3 (Overtime)

The game was a constant back and forth battle as both teams traded goals until overtime.  Kyle Wellwood, Jason Demers, and Dany Heatley scored for the Sharks while Justin Williams, Ryan Smyth, and Trevor Lewis scored for Los Angeles in regulation.  In overtime, the Sharks looked to their leaders, and Joe Thornton did not disappoint:

The Beauty of Twitter in the NHL, Pt.5

Today's tweet is actually a classic that I had to look back for. All the way back from August 21st, Ducks forward Bobby Ryan tweeted this priceless quote.

Borderline animal abuse. Hilarious.


Round 1 Winding Down: Caps Advance

The Washington Capitals defeated the New York Rangers yesterday by a score of 3-1 and go on to win the series 4 games to 1.  The Caps join the Detroit Red wings as the only other team so far to win their series.  Detroit swept Phoenix 4-0.


Playoff Goal of the Year?

In last night's playoff matchup between the Anaheim Ducks and Nashville Predators, Ducks forward Bobby Ryan would make a nice defensive play which would lead to a spectacular goal.

Here's the move:

Ryan dekes around David Legwand twice and absolutely burns Pekka Rinne to score the go-ahead goal.  Unfortunately for the Ducks, they would lose in overtime.


Andrew Ference Gives Canadiens an All-American Salute

Tonight the much heated Montreal-Boston series continued with an exhilarating 5-4 overtime comeback win for the Bruins. However tomorrow it won't be Michael Ryder's OT goal that the papers will be talking about. Instead it'll be this:

Bad-ass central.

After scoring a huge goal contributing to the comeback, defensive defenseman Andrew Ference simply flipped off the Montreal fanbase. In postgame interviews, Ference, apparently unaware that there are cameras at NHL games, claimed that it wasn't what it looked like and he merely tried to "fist pump"...

Fist pumpin' like a champ?

Right. Ference should expect a fine, but no suspension. I like Ference. He's not a bad guy and he brings a solid defensive game to a team, so its nice to see him score, even if he's such an... impulsive celebrator.


Avoiding the Sweep

There were only two games last night, but neither of them disappointed.  The Canucks were going for the sweep in Chicago, and the Sharks took on the Kings in a thrilling game 3.

Chicago 7 vs. Vancouver 2
(VAN leads series 3-1)

-The Canucks were unable to take game 4 as the Blackhawks proved that they wouldn't go down without a fight.  Chicago got goals from Bryan Bickell, Duncan Keith, Michael Frolik, Brian Campbell, Dave Bolland, and Patrick Sharp in this scrappy game.  


Jake's Take: NHL Playoffs and Predictions

Well folks it’s that time of year. Time for beards to be growing and blood to start flowing. (yes I know it rhymed and I’m damn proud of it.)

Now I know this post is coming a tad bit late, but I plan on giving my insight into the future of the 2010-2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Datysuk Amazes Once Again

Late in the first period, Pavel Datysuk pulled off an amazing deke which led to a Darren Helm goal to give Detroit the 3-0 lead.  Here's the clip:

If you look closely, you will see that Datysuk put the puck between his legs and shot which led to a rebound for Darren Helm.  The Red Wings would go on to win, 4-3.


NHL Playoffs Day 3: Defensive Collapse

Four games were played last night, all of them being game 2's of the series. Last nights games featured much more scoring than seen in the previous nights.

Tampa Bay 5 vs. Pittsburgh 1 (Game 2)

-Tampa came out firing and never looked back.  They scored on their first two shots of the game which proved to be enough.  This was an ugly game for Pittsburgh and Marc-Andre Fleury.  It will be interesting to see how they respond at the St. Pete Times Forum.


NHL Playoffs Day 2: A Reoccurring Trend

Last nights games concluded all of the game ones in the series.  The games featured two shutouts and a thrilling 3-2 overtime victory. Credit goalies Carey Price and Ryan Miller with the shutouts.  Joe Pavelski scored in overtime for the Sharks.

Montreal 2 vs. Boston 0 (Game 1)

-Montreal was simply too much for Boston to handle as they go on to win 2-0.  Habs captain Brian Gionta netted both goals for Montreal and Carey Price was solid in net as he stopped all 31 shots he faced.  The win snaps Price's 8 game playoff losing streak.


Opening Night of the NHL Playoffs: Goalies Stand Tall

Day one of the Stanley Cup Playoffs are in the books.  5 of the 8 series have begun and things are already shaping up to be interesting.  Two goalies, Pittsburgh's Marc-Andre Fleury and Vancouver's Roberto Luongo, recorded shutouts for their teams. One game ended in with a thrilling overtime finish, and one lower seed defeated the higher seed.


NHL Playoff Predictions

With the NHL playoffs upon us, Adam and I would like to take a look at each individual matchup and our predictions. We will start with the West.


               (#1 Seed Canucks)                         (#8 Seed Blackhawks)

Evan's Prediction: Canucks win in 7.
Adam's Prediction: Canucks win in 6.
Our take on the series: Chicago is a huge threat, especially as the #8 seed.  Expect them to give the Canucks a run for their money or even pull out a series win.  Statistically though, Vancouver is just too good. They have to President's trophy, the Sedin twins, and Luongo.


The Beauty of Twitter in the NHL, Pt.4

Heading into the playoffs, the official account of the Blackhawks gives us this.

In light of his inability to grow a proper playoff beard, Patrick Kane offers us the playoff mullet. Classy as always.


Brooks Bratten on the Upcoming Islanders/Pens Rematch

Fans of the Pittsburgh Penguins remember what occurred on February 11th of this year. They remember Matt Martin applying a sucker punch that barely missed the skull of Max Talbot. They remember Trevor Gillies throwing a flying elbow into the face of Eric Tangradi, and then continuing to throw punches on the defenseless winger as he lay on the ice. They remember Michael Haley goading Brent Johnson into his second brawl in nine days, and Eric Godard coming off of the bench to protect his goaltender.

The massacre on Long Island is still fresh in my mind, and I imagine I am not the only fan of the flightless fowl that shares these vivid images. That game was scary to watch. It was frightening to come to the realization that what I was witnessing was not hockey; not the game I love, but a gongshow that has no place in professional sports.

The thing that scares me now is that there is still one more visit to Long Island looming on the calendar. Friday night, the Penguins will faceoff at the Nassau Veterans’ Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York, against the Islanders.


The End of an Era: The Bill McCreary Era

After decade's in the NHL, referee Bill McCreary is finally calling it quits.  The game tonight between the Buffalo Sabres and the Washington Capitals caps off a long and storied career for the veteren referee.

Tonights game marks his 1,737th regular season game; also his final one.

McCreary's post game interview:

Our original article, written by Brooks Bratten, can be found here.