Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Tuesday night open thread

I'm around, so why not have a rare open thread for the night?

TSN's got on Florida @ Montreal, which means most Canadians have access to a game tonight between two teams I'll admit I haven't seen a lot of so far.

Also on the schedule:

Atlanta @ Philadelphia - Johan Hedberg gets the start for the Thrashers

Calgary @ Colorado - Avalanche have yet to lose at home, outscoring opponents 15-6 in three games

Minnesota @ Los Angeles - The West's best team against its worst, and J-S Aubin is supposed to get the start here against Niklas Backstrom

I'll pick Panthers, Thrashers, Avalanche and Wild as winners.
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84 Comments:

At 7:50 PM, October 16, 2007, Blogger Jeremy said...

Hmm... Hedberg and Biron are looking very solid through the first period. Always a pleasure to watch Briere and Hossa as well, even if the latter's coming off an injury.

 
At 7:52 PM, October 16, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Alex Kovalev opens the scoring for the Habs, their first shot on goal on the power play. Nice little play at the side of the net, flips it over Tomas Vokoun.

It's been a tough start for him so far, and even Jay Bouwmeester is minus-4 on the season for Florida.

 
At 7:55 PM, October 16, 2007, Anonymous cupster33 said...

Habs-philly-avs-wild how can you pick the thashers? lol

 
At 7:57 PM, October 16, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

They're gonna win at some point :)

 
At 7:59 PM, October 16, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Nice little spinorama play by Mikhail Grabovsky, playing in his fifth NHL game (third this season). He's yet to score so far, but had 17 goals and 54 points last season in Hamilton as a rookie there.

Not bad for a fifth-round pick in 2004.

 
At 8:02 PM, October 16, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Interesting tidbit from TSN: Patrice Brisebois has now played in the fifth-most games by a Habs defenceman.

That's pretty impressive, given the history there.

 
At 8:03 PM, October 16, 2007, Blogger Earl Sleek said...

I'll pick Panthers, Thrashers, Avalanche and Wild as winners.

Looking for that Backstrom win to even up the ol' fantasy week?

Damn I hate rooting for the Kings. So rarely pays off.

 
At 8:04 PM, October 16, 2007, Blogger Jeremy said...

Mike Richards bangs one home for the Flyers. He and Jeff Carter are looking a lot better this year. Good news for the Philly legions.

 
At 8:07 PM, October 16, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

So far, Earl, I haven't needed to root much for the Wild goalies.

Richards/Carter are going to have big careers in Philly; I think we'll look back on last season as a bizarre anomaly. Richards, in particular, has looked good playing the point on the power play when I've seen him.

Just noticed that Hedberg was out, before having a goal scored on him — anyone know the story on that?

Lehtonen's save percentage is a monster .500 so far.

 
At 8:09 PM, October 16, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Speaking of Flyers youngsters, Lupul picks up his fifth point in five games.

 
At 8:13 PM, October 16, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Just got this note in my inbox: "For the remaining four games in October, [Sharks netminder Thomas] Greiss will be wearing a specially designed Pink Sharks goalie mask to highlight the Sharks involvement" in a Breast Cancer Awareness Month campaign.

 
At 8:25 PM, October 16, 2007, Blogger Jeremy said...

As far as I'm aware, Hedberg's never left the net, but maybe it's just Lehtonen in disguise.

Whoever it is, he just gave up another pair, one after the next. It's going to be another long night for the Thrash...

 
At 8:27 PM, October 16, 2007, Anonymous cupster33 said...

re:Pink Sharks goalie mask

Very classy move.

 
At 8:27 PM, October 16, 2007, Anonymous Baroque said...

Your Thrashers pick doesn't look very good right now. 3-0 Philly. At least Atlanta is playing a bit better.

 
At 8:29 PM, October 16, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Hedberg actually is still in goal; the online summaries are wrong.

Although, given the score, he may not be for long.

How about those Flyers?

 
At 8:32 PM, October 16, 2007, Anonymous cupster33 said...

Ok OK OK the thrashers have to win sometime (just not tonight) :)

 
At 8:33 PM, October 16, 2007, Blogger Jeremy said...

Kapanen potted that third goal on a loose puck that Hedberg left lying on the doorstep. I love the way Kap plays. A very fast, aggressive guy on the PK with offensive tools to boot.

 
At 8:54 PM, October 16, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Whew, Panthers are boggin' things down in the second period here. Good ol' Jacques Martin.

I'm chatting on email a bit with a fellow I know who works with the Thrashers. He says "Despite what people are saying, it’s not the goaltending. Or at least not just the goaltending."

 
At 8:54 PM, October 16, 2007, Anonymous Dopitz4Prez said...

I had an idea today. With Biron's unquestionable #1 status in Philly, what happens to Niittymaki?

In 4 games in the AHL, Brian Boucher is 4-0, with a 1.50GAA and 0.952SP. Nitty is signed through next year with a cap hit of $1.225mil. In light of potential goal issues, such as the Kings (which you've touched on already)-- do the Flyers trade Nitty if they can get something for him?

I think Nitty is more than capable, but as the case in Philly, they usually run goaltenders out in short order. Any team who wants to roll the dice could get a real bargain as long as his hips hold up. And even if it's a bad bargain, it's not going to be like paying Theodore.

 
At 9:01 PM, October 16, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Yeah, I was thinking about Niittymaki the other day; I bet he's in the mix for the job in LA, depending on what Holmgren wants for him.

I was actually looking through the AHL netminders today, and there are a ton of guys posting good numbers so far. Boucher's got his work cut out for him to get back into the NHL.

 
At 9:04 PM, October 16, 2007, Anonymous Baroque said...

If the Kings are interested (and at least after the year Philly had last year they wouldn't worry as much about breaking him on a bad team), what would Philly want?

LA has a number of young players to build with who they obvioulsy want to keep, and it isn't as though they could pretend they weren't desperate.

Jason Smith looks odd in a Flyers jersey.

 
At 9:07 PM, October 16, 2007, Anonymous cupster33 said...

Speaking of X philly goaltenders:


Goaltender Robert Esche has signed with Ak Bars Kazan of the Russian Super League.

 
At 9:08 PM, October 16, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Whew, 4-0 in Philly as Randy Jones knifes one in.

 
At 9:14 PM, October 16, 2007, Blogger The Forechecker said...

Huet's looking good through two, Panthers/Habs has been pretty good so far.

And James, sorry I didn't respond to that trade proposal sooner. I would have declined anyways...

Now if only Olli & Zednick can get rolling for Florida in the 3rd, I'll be a happy camper.

 
At 9:15 PM, October 16, 2007, Blogger Menzies said...

I can't say I'm a big fan of the colour in the Habs game. Montreal is going to be pissed if they can't hold the lead after that second period.

 
At 9:20 PM, October 16, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Dirk - you must have missed the goal Kovalev had then; 'twas a beaut!

 
At 9:23 PM, October 16, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Phaneuf scores one early as the Calgary/Colorado tilt gets underway.

 
At 9:25 PM, October 16, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Hossa's first game back coming off a groin injury hasn't been an easy one, as he's already played more than 20 minutes a game, tops among Thrashers forwards.

 
At 9:26 PM, October 16, 2007, Anonymous cupster33 said...

2-0 flames ;(

 
At 9:26 PM, October 16, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

David Moss nets his first of the season: 2-0 Flames.

My picks are in trouble tonight, me thinks.

 
At 9:27 PM, October 16, 2007, Blogger The Forechecker said...

James - I just saw that Kovalev goal during the intermission, and had to back it up a few times just to be sure he didn't have that puck on a string... there's no question that Kovy can still put up a highlight or two on occasion.

 
At 9:29 PM, October 16, 2007, Blogger Jeremy said...

That Esche move was rumored on Spector's the other day, and it appears like it's officially gone down:

http://www.uticaod.com/homepage/x1302701645

Either the Kings weren't desperate enough to offer Esche a contract or his demands were too high.

I agree that Niitty could be a good option for the Kings. Even during training camp there seemed to be some whispers that he could be shipped out in favor of Boucher.

Meanwhile, Calgary's out to an early two goal lead against Peter Budaj and the Avalanche.

 
At 9:29 PM, October 16, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Oh, goal credited to Nilson now, in Colorado. Budaj has faced four shots and had two go past him; might be a long night if Theodore comes in.

 
At 9:31 PM, October 16, 2007, Anonymous cupster33 said...

The defenseman got in the way of budaj on the last goal.

 
At 9:32 PM, October 16, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

The open thread: Where news breaks.

 
At 9:36 PM, October 16, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

4-0 is a final now in Philadelphia; what an ugly start for Atlanta.

Dating back to the final game of last season, the Thrashers have lost 11 in a row.

 
At 9:39 PM, October 16, 2007, Blogger Earl Sleek said...

"Despite what people are saying, it’s not the goaltending. Or at least not just the goaltending."

This is what I would say about the Kings as well. I mean, the goaltending for sure should have been dealt with better this summer, but as for the losses they've had, it's much more than just a Cloutier problem of yesteryear. I think there are less "bad" goals getting let in this year than last, by my eye.

The team is getting killed before a goalie gets involved. The Kings probably will have to get a goalie, sure, but the team in front of him has got to play better or it really won't matter.

 
At 9:44 PM, October 16, 2007, Anonymous cupster33 said...

3-0 flames

 
At 9:45 PM, October 16, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Given my pregame picks, I've just jinxed undefeated Minnesota.

 
At 9:47 PM, October 16, 2007, Anonymous cupster33 said...

The open thread: Where news breaks.

 
At 9:50 PM, October 16, 2007, Blogger Adam C said...

Can't blame the goalies in Atlanta unless they're responsible for scoring goals too...

I doubt the Kings are interested in giving up anything for someone who's available because they failed somewhere else. They've already got Cloutier for that. Gerber I could see; Fernandez and Raycroft at least have a history of success. Niitymaki or Esche? The guys they've got are good enough to miss the playoffs; why trade for a guy that you know isn't good enough to make them?

 
At 9:52 PM, October 16, 2007, Anonymous Baroque said...

October 16th, 2007: the debut of the James Mirtle "Kiss of Death."

 
At 10:01 PM, October 16, 2007, Blogger Earl Sleek said...

October 16th, 2007: the debut of the James Mirtle "Kiss of Death."

I dunno; I remember him picking the Wild to win it all last spring. :P

 
At 10:03 PM, October 16, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Panthers keep me alive...

Nathan Horton will have a great year, mark my words.

 
At 10:04 PM, October 16, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

(He ties it with 10 seconds left, for those relying on this thread for boxscores.)

 
At 10:06 PM, October 16, 2007, Anonymous cupster33 said...

4-0 FLAMES

 
At 10:08 PM, October 16, 2007, Anonymous cupster33 said...

4-1 Avs smyth

 
At 10:10 PM, October 16, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

And, as predicted, Theodore's in goal. Here's hoping it's not as ugly as I think it'll be.

 
At 10:11 PM, October 16, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

You'd almost swear Florida is playing for the shootout, if not for their 2-10 record in it last year.

 
At 10:16 PM, October 16, 2007, Anonymous cupster33 said...

I hope your right mirtle iam not a theo fan what so ever.

 
At 10:19 PM, October 16, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Well, tonight's game in Montreal was a perfect representation of what's wrong with the shootout, as Florida comes away with a win despite having just one player show up in any form (Tomas Vokoun, who was terrific).

 
At 10:21 PM, October 16, 2007, Anonymous cupster33 said...

4-2 smyth

 
At 10:23 PM, October 16, 2007, Blogger P said...

Honestly, every time the Habs play a game like that, it takes a year off my life.

I'll be lucky to see 30.

 
At 10:28 PM, October 16, 2007, Anonymous cupster33 said...

4 min PP for the avalanche 4-3 under review.

 
At 10:32 PM, October 16, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

We're underway in Los Angeles, and it's Aubin v. Backstrom in goal.

 
At 10:34 PM, October 16, 2007, Anonymous Baroque said...

Was it Smyth again for Colorado?

 
At 10:35 PM, October 16, 2007, Anonymous cupster33 said...

4-4 AVS!

 
At 10:36 PM, October 16, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Good God, they better put Budaj back in to hold that one. :)

 
At 10:36 PM, October 16, 2007, Anonymous cupster33 said...

No brunette got the other..

 
At 10:37 PM, October 16, 2007, Anonymous cupster33 said...

Good God, they better put Budaj back in to hold that one. :)


LMAO! i hear ya!

 
At 10:39 PM, October 16, 2007, Anonymous baroque said...

Wow.

Did Calgary decide to take a little nap after scoring four goals?

And is steam coming out of Keenan's ears yet?

 
At 10:41 PM, October 16, 2007, Anonymous S said...

Adam C, I think you're wrong. Or haven't you seen a Flyers game in a few years?

Both Nitty and Esche were good enough to get the Flyers into the playoffs; in fact, Esche was in net when the Flyers were one game shy of making the Cup finals in 2004. So your belief that, "he guys they've got are good enough to miss the playoffs; why trade for a guy that you know isn't good enough to make them" might only be true in Esche's case.

Don't forget, Nitty is a silver medal winner (and that as Finland's third string goalie who played because Kipper stayed home and Sieve Lehtonen was injured) as well as a Calder Cup. First and foremost, he's played behind Philly's defense, which really hasn't been great for years until perhaps this season.

I also don't think it's an issue of Nitty necessarily failing at the starter's job, but Biron being available and being perceived as an upgrade. Whether Biron, with no NHL playoff experience, will be the right choice come April could be the real make or break issue for the Flyers.

 
At 10:41 PM, October 16, 2007, Anonymous cupster33 said...

PP avs end of the period so they will start the third on the PP.

 
At 10:43 PM, October 16, 2007, Anonymous cupster33 said...

Wow.

Did Calgary decide to take a little nap after scoring four goals?

And is steam coming out of Keenan's ears yet?


Actually the avs are throwing everything and anything at the net and it's going in via deflections.

 
At 10:48 PM, October 16, 2007, Blogger The Forechecker said...

Shame on Montreal for not using any right-handed shooters against Vokoun, like Ryder or Smolinski. Over the last couple years right-handed shooters score about 11% more often against right-handed catching goalies like Vokoun...

 
At 10:50 PM, October 16, 2007, Anonymous baroque said...

Actually the avs are throwing everything and anything at the net and it's going in via deflections.

Ah, desperate pressure. That makes more sense.

Sounds like the third period of that game is going to be interesting.

 
At 10:51 PM, October 16, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

6:32 into the game, Minnesota doesn't have a shot yet... zzzz

 
At 10:53 PM, October 16, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Spoke too soon - Demitra gets one after Gaborik dipsy-doodles around the entire Kings team. 1-0 Wild.

 
At 10:54 PM, October 16, 2007, Anonymous cupster33 said...

Ah, desperate pressure. That makes more sense.

Sounds like the third period of that game is going to be interesting.


Yep.. but i do like the fact the avs didn't go into a futile wave after wave of trying to cram it into the zone again. (they just threw the puck) and good thing happened.

 
At 10:54 PM, October 16, 2007, Blogger The Forechecker said...

Time for the Wild to hold onto the lead and wind down the clock. Only 51 more minutes to go...

 
At 11:06 PM, October 16, 2007, Anonymous cupster33 said...

PP avs

 
At 11:10 PM, October 16, 2007, Anonymous cupster33 said...

PP flames

 
At 11:12 PM, October 16, 2007, Blogger The Forechecker said...

Dang, Scott Thornton picks a corner on Backstrom and ties it up for L.A.! That was unexpected...

 
At 11:18 PM, October 16, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Fun fact: It took the Flyers until Nov. 15 to get their fourth win last season.

 
At 11:24 PM, October 16, 2007, Blogger Earl Sleek said...

Fun fact: It took the Ducks until Dec. 16 to get their fourth regulation loss last season.

In fact, that 4th Flyer win came against the Ducks (their 2nd L).

 
At 11:26 PM, October 16, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

My fact was funner.

 
At 11:26 PM, October 16, 2007, Anonymous cupster33 said...

Ryan smyth has 11 shots on net tonight thus far.

 
At 11:29 PM, October 16, 2007, Anonymous cupster33 said...

It's official magoo is an idiot.

 
At 11:43 PM, October 16, 2007, Anonymous cupster33 said...

I repeat magoo is a idiot..

 
At 11:49 PM, October 16, 2007, Anonymous cupster33 said...

avs win in shoot out 5-4

 
At 11:51 PM, October 16, 2007, Blogger The Forechecker said...

Interesting to see both Theodore and Vokoun (two of the few right-handed catching goalies) in the shootout tonight.

Against left-handed shooters, Vokoun & Theodore stopped all five shooters.

Against right-handed shooters, Jarome Iginla scored in the only attempt.

 
At 12:33 AM, October 17, 2007, Blogger Adam C said...

S: Allan Bester won a Calder Cup.

The Flyers' past success came with some pretty powerful teams; rightly or wrongly, Philly believed their lack of Cup success came down to goaltending. Niitymaki was not seen as the answer, so they acquired Biron - who you admit is himself relatively unproven, but has started every game so far this year.

I'll admit, he still has potential, but so does Labarbera or Aubin. Adding one more questionable goaltender doesn't help LA. They need someone proven or they might as well not bother.

Think about how many playoff teams last year viewed Biron as a definite upgrade...

 
At 1:04 AM, October 17, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

3-3 and heading to overtime in Los Angeles, although it seems like everyone here's packed up shop.

Thanks to those that came out; will have to do this again sometime.

 
At 4:59 AM, October 17, 2007, Anonymous dirk said...

theodore played well in his time in net for Colorado tonight. He was square to the shooters, he wasn't scrambling like he does when he is woefully off his game, and, even in the 4-1 loss to St. Louis, he still looked capable and, while not the confident Theo of old, he looked a lot more confidant than he has been. Being a contract year, one can only hope he brings at least a fraction of his game back to the table here, and if Colorado could have a forced race between the two netminders, pushing each other, I think that would work wonders.

Of course, colorado's terrible, terrible defensive zone coverage probably makes the point moot.

Ultimately, I just like those roman numerals on theo's mask, those frozen gargoyles. It's like Marty Turco got stuck in a freezer.

 

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