Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Pens Break the Ice and Mid Week Musings

The Pittsburgh Penguins did a 180 degree turn on home ice and brought a much needed victory to their fans on Tuesday night in game three of the Stanley Cup Finals. Sergei Gonchar scored the GWG and Max Talbot added two more as the Pens won 4-2.

It was the most exciting game of the series. It got off to a quick start with both teams trading the lead and scoring two goals in the first period. The Wings came on strong in the second, out shooting the Pens 14-4, but were never able to get the puck in the net.

Sergei Gonchar scored the eventual game winner at the halfway point of the third and Max Talbot got the empty netter at the end as the final exclamation point.

Everything that had been missing for the Pens in the first two games was found at home in Pittsburgh on Tuesday night. Marc-Andre Fleury was much improved in net, Sidney Crosby finally got a point, secondary players provides all the goals, and Malkin continued his good play with three helpers.

Detroit did not play poorly, but they were missing the match-up advantage that they had on home ice. The Wings played well enough to win, but not on Tuesday night. Zetterberg and Franzen each had a goal and an assist to lead the Wings charge.

While the series is closer at 2-1, I'm not ready to change my current projection that the Wings will win the next two games and clinch at home on Saturday night. I'm all for a seven game series, but I don't see that happening.

It was fun seeing the wild Pittsburgh crowd all fired up and supporting their team. It looks to be a great place to see a cup finals game. I'm looking forward to the next one on Thursday night.

In Predator News...

The Forechecker continued his off-season profiles of Preds players with a nice piece on Radek Bonk. It is unclear whether "Bonkie", as Trotz likes to call him, will return next season. He also has a new article today that touches on a wide variety of topics in the Preds and Hockey worlds.

Paul McCann checked in with a few Tuesday thoughts.

Speaking of the Hockey Buzzards, Brandon Felder and Paul with their HockeyBuzzRadio will go remote for a special “Hockey Celebration” tonight at Byrd Dog’s Pizza in Smyrna. Special guest will be Thom Abraham. It all gets started at 6:00 on WNSR 560.

Mark at the ViewFrom111 gives his insight into the sale of the Florida Panthers. He is a expert on financial matters and my go to person when I don't understand those things (as you will see below). Here is a MSM story from Palm Beach about the offer to buy the Florida Panthers for $240 Million. Sports Property Acquisition Group, who boasts Mario Cuomo and Hank Aaron as board members is trying to buy the team, the arena and other properties in the deal.

John Glennon has yet another article on Colin Wilson. So does David Boclair at the City Paper. Is this Colin Wilson day in the Nashville MSM?

You can tell it's the off season at as they have a nice story about Amy Grant who is a regular visitor to the Sommet Center with her hubby, Vince Gill. I played golf with Vince Gill in a tournament a long time ago when he was just some big guy that played on an opposing Olds Scramble team.

When you get trough reading about Amy, Tom Callahan gives his take on the SCF.

"Flat Stanley" gets a new makeover as the Preds have a summer contest for the kids with a "Flat Gnash" to take on your vacation for pictures. Most original gets posted on Gnash's web site. Jackson once sent a Flat Stanley to his cousins in Atlanta and they threw it away. It was another childhood heartbreak for Jackson when Stanley never returned.

News from the Desert...

Several items from Phoenix on Tuesday. Jim Balsillie, with the help of former CFL President, Tom Wright, filed his aplication for relocation as part of the ongoing process with the courts and the NHL. Here is coverage from The Spec, The Star, and The Globe and Mail.

In a short statement from the Globe and Mail, it was revealed that the "U.S. Federal Trade Commission said it would not block his effort to buy the club. Antitrust authorities completed their review of Balsillie's proposal without taking any action to block it, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission said in a notice."

I checked in with Mark from the ViewFrom111 for an explanation of what this means. The way I understand it is that the FTC is basically not taking action on their own at this point, so it remains in the court's hands.

Finally, I have been itching to talk to someone from MakeItSeven to get their take on some questions that I've had about the PHX situation. It probably wasn't the best venue for it, but I did ask three questions at Tuesday afternoon's phone press conference put on by the Balsillie camp. My full story is here. I expect to speak to Bill Walker with Make It Seven again today for more answers.

Around the Hockey world...

The second game in the AHL Calder Cup playoffs was played Tuesday night in Manitoba. Jason Jaffray was all the Moose needed to tie the series 1-1, as he scored all three goals on the way to a 3-1 victory. Game three will be Saturday night in Hershey.

Gary Bettman appeared on the CBC
during the second intermission, discussing several topics including the Phoenix situation. He still feels that the NHL will win. Good example used was that if you buy a Tim Hortons store, it doesn't mean you can close it down and open another one anywhere you choose. Is it me, or do I detect a softening in Bettman's tone when discussing an expansion franchise for the GTA?

In conjunction with Tuesday's game, the leagues GMs met, and were unwilling to come up with a modified "headshot" rule.

The projected top five draft picks in this year's draft were paraded around the Mellon Tuesday and had a fun interview with Don Cherry on CBC (click here for video) that included Matt Duchene telling a story about how his grandfather was saved from dying in a barn collapse because he wouldn't feed the cows until after "Coaches Corner".

Long Island's Seventh Woman, Dee Karl, gives her account of the Long Island Planning meeting on the Lighthouse Project on Tuesday moring. It's a good read despite my not knowning the local areas being discussed.

Jackson sends us to the voting for the Awards. There are a bunch of categories and all you favorite tough guys are ready for your support.

More later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass


Do you think Tony Granato and his staff say this coming? The Avs officially relieved six members of their staff of their duties.

A new addition to the NHL Awards Show will be the NHL Charity Shootout, which will be held at the poker table instead of on the ice. It will be held on Wednesday, June 17 and will be filmed for TV in the US and Canada.

Stay Classy has an interesting suggestion on the salary cap and how to reward teams that develop players in their system and want to hold on to them.

I'm sure we will see a lot of folks putting up draft previews for the next few weeks. Here's one from Japer's Rink that links to each players NHL Prospect Card.

From HB's Aaron Musick, The Avs have hired former Assistant GM Greg Sherman as the new GM.

It wouldn't be the playoffs without something like this from It is the "Don't Touch Sidney" game. Check it out and take it for what it's worth.

A couple of really good, in depth reports on the Preds defense by Forechecker and The Hockey Writers. Dirk is a lot closer to the team and I agree with his analysis on several players over that of THW. Blum is a great prospect but is not ready for top six duty in Nashville which is what it would take for him to stay in the NHL. DeVris is too expensive at $2.5 million and will not return unless a discount is offered. Finally, I would be surprised if the Preds picked up a free agent D-Man for much more than the minimum when funds can be spent on an offensive player.

T'is the awards season and the Hockey Barn has open nominations for the Online Hockey Writers Award in several categories.

I found this tweet from @reporterchris to be quite funny, "Datsyuk says he's been drinking lots of beer lately. Not entirely sure he was kidding."

More info on the Arena situation in Columbus from Eric Smith. He has really good information that lays out the history and situation in great detail. The more I read his stuff, the more I like Eric. He is a real pro.

Rob Zombie is on Twitter @RWZombie - His version of Blitzkrieg Bop is the opening song on POTG Radio.

Here's a positive spin on Versus from Pen's Universe. NBC, Versus, CBC, and TSN each have their good and bad points, but the one commonality to most of my complaints revolve around McGuire and Milbury.

Brian Metzer has today's update from the Pens perspective. He needs to get a regular check from XM204. He's on more than some of their regular staff. I always enjoy listening to him.

It must be Kevin Weeks day at the NHL. He was on NHL Live and Michael DiLorenzo has an interview with him at FromTheBlueSeats. I really became a fan of Kevin after listening to him on Hockey Confidential about a year ago. He is really a character guy.

Here's the Malkin video that's given everyone a laugh today when he talks about Max Talbot.

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