Bruins denounce racist comments about Habs’ Subban

A day after the Canadiens’ P.K. Subban scored in double overtime of Game 1 for a 4-3 win over Boston, the Bruins denounced fans who made racist comments via social media about the defenceman.

“The racist, classless views expressed by an ignorant group of individuals following Thursday’s game via digital media are in no way a reflection of anyone associated with the Bruins organization,” Bruins president Cam Neely said in a statement.

Subban’s brother, Malcolm, is a goalie with the Bruins’ farm team in Providence, Rhode Island.

Following the long overtime game Thursday night, the  Canadiens cancelled plans for a practice on Friday. Only the players who didn’t play in Game 1 skated at 1 p.m. at Boston University. Coach Michel Therrien and some members of the team were made available to the media at their Boston hotel at 2 p.m.

Therrien said he only learned about the Subban comments about 30 minutes before meeting the media.

“This is inappropriate,” the coach said. “There’s no one who (deserves) to be treated like this. No matter what, if you’re a professional athlete, no one deserves to be treated like this. And P.K. has all our support.”

Therrien said he planned to talk with his star defenceman about it.

“I didn’t get a chance right now, honestly, because I just found out,” Therrien said. “I’m certainly going to sit down with him and talk to him tonight. But he’s got all our support.

“I’m shocked,” Therrien added. “Honestly, I’m shocked to hear those type of comments. I’m shocked.”

Game 2 is Saturday in Boston (12:30 p.m., CBC, NBC, RDS, TSN Radio 690).

Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher also spoke about the comments about Subban.

“It’s not something that you really want anyone to go through,” Gallagher said. “He’s had to deal with it a couple of times now. He handles it really well. He understands that those are opinions of people that don’t matter. It’s something that he doesn’t  care about. He goes on with his life and doesn’t let it affect him. He’s very strong in handling it that way.”

Thomas Vanek, who was held without a shot and demoted from the first line with David Desharnais and Max Pacioretty in Game 1 while logging only 18:58 of ice time, also met with the media on Friday.

“When things aren’t going well, the coach has to make changes, try to get something started,” said Vanek, who was minus-1. “That probably won’t be the last time (lines are shuffled). You take it as we weren’t good enough, I wasn’t good enough. Today is a new day, we’re happy with the win, but we know we have to be better as a team and myself as well.

“A big part of why we had success as a line is because we played with the puck, not chasing the puck. Even on faceoffs, Patch and I need to help out Davey a little bit – start with the puck instead of chasing it.”

Desharnais had one shot on goal in 22:33 of ice time and was minus-1, while Pacioretty had three shots in 23:33 of ice time and was minus-1.

Said Therrien after Game 1: “When you look at the Bruins’ record throughout the season, you can see that the TD Garden is a place where it’s difficult to win. Every time you pick up a win here, it’s an accomplishment, no matter how you get the job done. Carey Price was outstanding and the power play clicked. We wanted to win the first one. Now, I feel that our team will get more and more involved in the series as it goes on. It’s a big boost of confidence for us.”

(Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

(Videos by The Gazette’s Brenda Branswell in boston)

Racist idiots try to spoil game-winning goal by Subban, montrealgazette.com

Tweeting Bleu, Blanc, Rouge, by The Gazette’s Brendan Kelly

Game 2 preview, NHL.com

Five keys to Game 2, Canadiens.com

Habs fans not complaining about Halak trade now, by The Gazette’s Pat Hickey

Bruins’ Julien says OT penalties were deserved, by Pat Hickey

Subban, Price steal spotlight in Game 1, by Pat Hickey

‘We just gutted it out,’ Price says, by Pat Hickey

Faceoff set up winner, Subban says, by Pat Hickey

Price, Subban help Canadiens steal Game 1, NHL.com

Price like a rock, Canadiens.com

‘Canadien dive team’ makes splash in Beantown, by The Gazette’s Brenda Branswell

Coderre, Boston mayor bet on series, montrealgazette.com

Guy Lafleur picks Habs in six games, montrealgazette.com

Prime Minister Harper backing Habs, montrealgazette.com

Game 1 photo gallery, Canadiens.com

Bruins in good shape despite Game 1 loss, Boston Globe

Subban proves he loves spotlight, Boston Herald

 

723 Comments

  1. Butterface says:

    I have just closed my eyes again
    Climbed aboard the Dream Weaver train
    Driver take away my worries of today
    And leave tomorrow behind

    Dream Weaver, I believe you can get me through the night
    Dream Weaver, I believe we can reach the morning light

    Fly me high through the starry skies
    Or maybe to an astral plane
    Cross the highways of fantasy
    Help me to forget today’s pain

    Dream Weaver, I believe you can get me through the night
    Dream Weaver, I believe we can reach the morning light

    Though the dawn may be coming soon
    There still may be some time
    Fly me away to the bright side of the moon
    And meet me on the other side

    Dream Weaver, I believe you can get me through the night
    Dream Weaver, I believe we can reach the morning light

    ***********************
    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…..
    ***********************

  2. boing007 says:

    Let’s create a 21st Century style HUAC. How about a new and improved Spanish Inquisition? Groovy. Can’t wait.

    Richard R

  3. boing007 says:

    How many of those racist tweets were made by professionals; so-called pillars of the community, i.e., lawyers, judges, cops, you name it? Perhaps a few of them. Yet someone on this blog wants them to be publicly denounced and have their names, faces, etc. known to all, much like child molesters and ex-convicts. That’s a dangerous position to embrace. I suggest that you read 1984. If you already have, then read it again. Be careful what you wish for or you might one day find yourself on a revised list of unmutuals.

    Richard R

  4. Ian Cobb says:

    It is the PK’s Birthday today-two goals last game maybe a HATTIE today.

    I hope the BOOing continues, it is a sign of greatness and respect for a player that you fear!
    And besides, PK loves it, and it motivates him to a high level. So yes Boston, Boo him all you can, we just get more focused.

  5. Strummer says:

    From the Toronto Sun for those of us feeling superior as Canadians about the racist tweets about PK, Kevin Weekes experienced this in Canada after the Joel Ward incident:

    ‘While the public support of Subban has been encouraging, Canadians who claim “that would never happen up here” while pointing an accusing finger at Bostonians — or Americans per se — are simply naive. Just ask Weekes, who has been forced to put up with his own share of racism here in the Great White North

    “Weekes told the Toronto Sun at the time that this was the same type of racist venom that he himself had been targeted with. Only these attacks were coming from north of the border, not from Boston.

    “Let me put it in a Canadian perspective,” Weekes said. “There are some Saturdays when I’m doing Hockey Night or we’re doing our (After Hours) interview segment and I check Twitter to find stuff like that.”

    Do some messages contain the “N-word?”

    “Oh ya,” he replied, “And sometimes they do it indirectly, too.”

    Such as?

    “I’ll get (garabage) like ‘What are you doing covering hockey? You should be covering basketball.’”

    http://www.torontosun.com/2014/05/02/this-isnt-the-first-time-bruins-fans-have-been-racist

    ____________________________________________________
    “You are not T.J. Oshie. Do not shoot pucks at people without a helmet.”.

  6. Ian Cobb says:

    It is PK’s birthday today!
    What a day it is going to be!
    GAME TWO WILL BE OURS.!

    • gumper says:

      I think his b-day is on the 13th Ian. Might be scoring even bigger goals by then.

      The rule is perfect: in all matters of opinion our adversaries are insane.
      Mark Twain

      • Ian Cobb says:

        13th or the 3rd. I should know, he lived here for years and we have shared cake! I must be getting older or something. Are you sure it is the 13th my friend.??

        • gumper says:

          I just googled it Ian, and the consensus is the 13th. I wasn’t checking up on you…my wife asked how old he was, so I went looking;)

          The rule is perfect: in all matters of opinion our adversaries are insane.
          Mark Twain

  7. Danno says:

    Do you think that MAYBE the racist idiots who constantly boo PK whenever he touches the puck will cool it today?

    I don’t think so either.

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

    • RockinRey says:

      I dont think you have to be racist to boo him Danno. No different than when Chara gets booed in rinks.

      ——————————————————————————————————
      ‘This organization going forward must set its sights on competing for the game’s ultimate prize every season — and no lesser standard should be accepted.’
      —Geoff Molson, Canadiens owner and president

      • Danno says:

        I know. But lots of it comes from racist yahoos. It is different. Chara did something horrible we will never forget and that’s why he gets booed. PK just plays hockey and scores so I suspect a lot of people boo him simply because he’s Black.

        ________________________________________

        “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
        Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

        • RockinRey says:

          True enough. But some of the tweets mentioned someone saying he is a scumbag. Scumbag hardly has a racial connotation to it. If fans want to lower themselves to that level… so be it. I would think PK hardly finds that offensive.

          EOTP has a bracket competition to see who the most despicable Bruin is. They alternately use that finalist spot to determine who the biggest “douche ” is. Not my choice of word. I find it kind of low brow.

          If someone thinks PK is a scumbag …big deal. It is when it cross to a racial tone and epithets are thrown around or fans cant keep it classy.

          The garbage and racial stuff is inexcusable. I live and die with the Habs but have never felt inclined to make such vitriolic statements about opposing players…..

          ——————————————————————————————————
          ‘This organization going forward must set its sights on competing for the game’s ultimate prize every season — and no lesser standard should be accepted.’
          —Geoff Molson, Canadiens owner and president

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Kind of awkward to see Patrice Bergeron tie himself into knots about how these things shouldn’t happen, yet belong to an organization that had Claude Julien and Milan Lucic freely admit before the series that they hate the Canadiens, on camera.

      As (I think) Dave Stubbs told us, the rinks in Boston and Philly play videos of fights before games, accompanied by music that the Reverend Lovejoy would agree is definitely “rock and/or roll”. They feed the bloodlust and appeal to base emotions, then shirk their responsibility when they get spattered by the blowback.

      If I own a restaurant and there’s a table of regulars who hold court at a table at lunchtime and make demeaning comments to my wait-staff or other patrons, I tell them to take a hike. I don’t hold up my hands impotently, claiming I can’t control what they say, and that it’s not a reflection on my joint, if I keep seeking their business and accommodating their appetites.

    • Paz says:

      I think there will be less booing. The people who booed for non racist reasons should be embarrassed to boo today. No normal person wants to be misjudged as being racist, it’s a horrible embarrassment to be associated with racism.

      I say less booing today, almost none.

  8. Un Canadien errant says:

    I think a lot of the opposition to ‘advanced stats’ or statistical analysis is due to the subjectivity of the data on which Corsi and Fenwick and similar stats are derived, which is a fair objection. To dismiss the quest for data models that will have predictive value is counter-productive however.

    To answer Brian Burke who said that if there was a team out there that used them, he wanted to play against them in his division, because his team would win, I’d say that I want to play the team that’s not out there trying to find objective markers of success, beyond the usual “he’s a gamer” or “he’s clutch” or “his compete level is sky-high”. If they don’t adapt, always try to find new ways of recruiting and winning, they’ll end up with a Harold Ballard organization. We saw what a change the Canadiens have undergone in two years with the new structure that Marc Bergevin has established compared to the Gainey/Gauthier régime. Bob Gainey seemed to want to run a Sam Pollock-type of team, with a one-man band approach. Marc Bergevin understands the value of the modern management team concept, of a brain trust.

    I think Chris is on the right track when he says that there probably are helpful models out there, but they’re being used by one team that has bought the system from its originator, and they’re keeping it quiet for competitive reasons. Mike Gillis said as much before being let go, that the Canucks would get lots of proposals from different people and organizations, and they were willing to buy, but would delve deeper, apply it for a season, and find that they had little predictive value.

    Anyway, the Moneyball example in Oakland should and probably has been a lesson for everyone. Billy Beane was on to something with his concepts, no bunting-sacrifices, get on base, a focus on slugging rather than batting average, but once the book came out and spilled the beans, he lost that competitive advantage, and fell back into the pack. Meanwhile, the Red Sox embraced that philosophy and won its first World Series in nearly a century.

    Two models that are in the public domain that I’m aware of are really elegant, and simple, and they’re based on objective stats that don’t have the subjectivity that detractors use to attack statistical analysis.

    One of them I’ve covered in a previous post, and it explains that defencemen who don’t score at a half-a-point per game pace in major junior in their draft year are very unlikely to reach the NHL, while those that score at or above that rate are much more viable prospects. There is an elegance, a simplicity in the model that is hard to argue, it’s right there in the graph. It helped me get over my Samuel Morin/Jonathan-Ismaël Diaby issues. The original article is linked below.

    http://thats-offside.blogspot.ca/2013/06/defense-defensemen-and-draft.html

    Another cool one is the Rule of 26-27-60 for selecting college quarterbacks into the NFL. Simply put, the authors have come up with a way of predicting which college quarterbacks have the greatest likelihood of success in the NFL by crunching past data. What they found is that to have success, a QB must have scored higher than a minimum level on three criteria.

    He must have scored greater than 26 on the Wonderlic test, designed to measure basic intelligence, which is crucial in the modern game due to the complex offences and playbooks a QB has to master. He must have had a minimum of 27 starts in college, which will give him the required experience to read defences, check down to lower options on the route tree, stay calm in the pocket in pressure situations, etc. Finally, he must have maintained a minimum of 60% passing accuracy, since that skill is very hard to improve upon when you get to the pros. Lots of quarterbacks are drafted on the strength of their arm, which wows people in workouts, but in game situations, it’s accuracy that counts. A missed throw here and there add up, they lead to interceptions, punts and field goals instead of touchdown drives.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/john_lopez/07/08/qb.rule/index.html

    This model has some detractors, with some saying that the new breed of athletic passers like Cam Newton or Robert Griffin III do fine even if they don’t have the ‘minimum starts’ number or Wonderlic score, but most NFL teams will prefer an Andrew Luck who stays in the pocket more, and avoids the hits that have ruined two seasons now for RGIII and his Washington team.

    These examples only deal with selecting players, but they’re simple and have predictive value. We can bet that there are others out there that are jealously guarded by the teams that stumbled upon them.

    ———————————————————————–
    My sources are unreliable, but their info is fascinating.–Woody Paige

    • Cal says:

      Well argued post. Teams are always looking for an edge. For myself, the off-ice officials are a big problem because there appears to be no standards for the data collecting.

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      Your fatal flaw in the reasoning is that you are comparing different sports. You have to ask yourself, what is data? It is a measurement of an event. In sports such as Football and Baseball, which you reference as your criteria for validity in advanced statistics, are a series of independent events or a combination of far fewer dependant events per play than hockey.

      From a scientific standpoint, the sport of baseball is fairly easy to quantify. In hockey “an event” occurs every time the puck moves 5′ in my opinion. There are thousands of events occurring in every hockey game which are all dependant on the 12 players on the playing surface at any given time, it is almost impossible to quantify everything that occurs in hockey with statistics.

      Imagine asking a scientist to measure the value of a hockey player, what would his first question be? I’d assume it would be “which attributes determine value in a hockey player and what determines success in each attribute?” That alone is very debatable. There are so many things to evaluate including: skating; shooting; passing; improves teammates play; positioning; stamina; teamwork; anticipation; puck battles; and body checking. For each of these attributes it is almost impossible to determine which is more important or the weighted value of each. Then try to create a measurement for each attribute.. How do you measure stamina? Positioning? Anticipation? Then there is measuring a shot, you would have to measure accuracy, velocity, release, shot while skating, shot while stationary, wrist shot, one-timers, slap shot, backhand…

      I could break down each attribute, but you see the mountain that has to be climbed here reaches he stars.

      Perhaps we are apart in what we consider “advanced statistics.” There is nothing advanced in spotting trends in easily recorded statistics such as goals, assists, shots, +\- , PK, PP, Speed. What you mention about success rate of players scoring X amount of points in Junior is quite valid, it is a trend. I see value in spotting trends in Junior players to evaluate risk, absolutely.

      ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      As for money ball and the sox championship, had little to do with it. It was the money they spent on Schilling, Ortiz, and Ramirez ;)

      ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

  9. third generation haber says:

    We all seem to be forgetting something; in game 2, all the pressure is on Boston to win. If we score first, they will go into a panic.

    j.p. murray

  10. boing007 says:

    I hope Prust, Pacioretty and Vanek are feeling their oats today.

    Richard R

  11. Stanley Cup or Bust ! says:

    I said I love you and that’s forever
    And this I promise from the heart
    But I couldn’t love you any better
    I love you just the way you are

    Go Habs Go
    GO Habs GO
    GO HABS GO

  12. RockinRey says:

    Anybody have a link to Michael Farber’s video essay on Habs Bruins rivalry???

    ——————————————————————————————————
    ‘This organization going forward must set its sights on competing for the game’s ultimate prize every season — and no lesser standard should be accepted.’
    —Geoff Molson, Canadiens owner and president

  13. HabinBurlington says:

    So Crosby had a bit of an Ovechkin like game last night. Something seems off with that team, so much talent, past cup winners, yet they just don’t look right.

    • Paz says:

      I think it’s time to give Malkin his own team. Trade Malkin, pick up 4 pieces. Two first rounders, 1 young veteran forward, under 25, who has already produced top 6 numbers, and 1 former first rounder who is close to breaking into the NHL as a potential top 6.

    • Butterface says:

      There is a problem with the weather in Pittsburgh…. -3 with a chance of Fleurys.

      And when Pittsburgh gets snow to cover the net, they can’t shovel enough into the other net.

      ***********************
      If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…..
      ***********************

  14. monmick says:

    There has been several posts on here over the years debating where to find the best poutine. Here is the Wall Street Journal’s take on it…

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303834304579521780148435834

    ~~~> Mathematically eliminated…

    • SPATS says:

      My mouth is watering now… Best curds I’ve had lately are on hiway 37 north of Belleville. Maple dale cheese. Also available fresh daily at the ice cream castle on Bell Blvd @ Sidney just minutes off the 401. aka Reids Dairy

      OOH AAH HABS ON THE WARPATH – Dutchy rules!

    • I knew Poutine was making headway when The Main opened up in Brooklyn, but I had no idea it would be a feature article in the WSJ… and Skouik skouik! to describe the natural sound of the best curds, too funny!

      I’m speechless! 20 years and counting…

  15. Danno says:

    Carey the Desperado

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  16. RockinRey says:

    I am looking for Subban to have a even bigger game today, to keep his game simple and look for opportunities to make a contribution with sound puck distribution on the PP and otherwise. I have been banging this drum for months. Get he puck on the net…quick wrist shot. It does not have to be the big gun all the time.

    Some others on the roster have to step up to including Vanek and Patches. And as much as I have criticized DD in the past I see more ‘compete’ from him.

    Interesting position by Vanek as he is quoted as saying he attributes his lack of production as things not going well. The reason things are not going well is primarily due to a lack of effort. He may be a 50 ft player but in the playoffs he has to find a way to contribute if he is not getting the bounces and offensive chances. That includes back checking and being sound defensively. The effort has to be there. The skilled guys should not get a free pass….Good to see MT send a message to him…..

    Point blank shots have to be minimized . On balance the overall team effort was decent and I think they have another level they can play against the bruins.

    Fearless prediction 4-2 Montreal!!! Price will be big again!!

    ——————————————————————————————————
    ‘This organization going forward must set its sights on competing for the game’s ultimate prize every season — and no lesser standard should be accepted.’
    —Geoff Molson, Canadiens owner and president

  17. Un Canadien errant says:

    I think a lot of the opposition to ‘advanced stats’ or statistical analysis is due to the subjectivity of the data on which Corsi and Fenwick and similar stats are derived, which is a fair objection. To dismiss outright the quest for data models that will have predictive value is counter-productive however.

    To answer Brian Burke who said that if there was a team out there that used them, he wanted to play against them in his division, because his team would win, I’d say that I want to play the team that’s not out there trying to find objective markers of success, beyond the usual “he’s a gamer” or “he’s clutch” or “his compete level is sky-high”. If they don’t adapt, always try to find new ways of recruiting and winning, they’ll end up with a Harold Ballard organization. We saw what a change the Canadiens have undergone in two years with the new structure that Marc Bergevin has established compared to the Gainey/Gauthier régime. Bob Gainey seemed to want to run a Sam Pollock-type of team, with a one-man band approach. Marc Bergevin understands the value of the modern management team concept, of a brain trust.

    I think Chris is on the right track when he says that there probably are helpful models out there, but they’re being used by one team that has bought the system from its originator, and they’re keeping it quiet for competitive reasons. Mike Gillis said as much before being let go, that the Canucks would get lots of proposals from different people and organizations, and they were willing to buy, but would delve deeper, apply it for a season, and find that they had little predictive value.

    Anyway, the Moneyball example in Oakland should and probably has been a lesson for everyone. Billy Beane was on to something with his concepts, no bunting-sacrifices, get on base, a focus on slugging rather than batting average, but once the book came out and spilled the beans, he lost that competitive advantage, and fell back into the pack. Meanwhile, the Red Sox embraced that philosophy and won its first World Series in nearly a century.

    Two models that are in the public domain that I’m aware of are really elegant, and simple, and they’re based on objective stats that don’t have the subjectivity that detractors use to attack statistical analysis.

    One of them I’ve covered in a previous post, and it explains that defencemen who don’t score at a half-a-point per game pace in major junior in their draft year are very unlikely to reach the NHL, while those that score at or above that rate are much more viable prospects. There is an elegance, a simplicity in the model that is hard to argue, it’s right there in the graph. It helped me get over my Samuel Morin/Jonathan-Ismaël Diaby issues. The original article is linked below.

    http://thats-offside.blogspot.ca/2013/06/defense-defensemen-and-draft.html

    Another cool one is the Rule of 26-27-60 for selecting college quarterbacks into the NFL. Simply put, the authors have come up with a way of predicting which college quarterbacks have the greatest likelihood of success in the NFL by crunching past data. What they found is that to have success, a QB must have scored higher than a minimum level on three criteria.

    He must have scored greater than 26 on the Wonderlic test, designed to measure basic intelligence, which is crucial in the modern game due to the complex offences and playbooks a QB has to master. He must have had a minimum of 27 starts in college, which will give him the required experience to read defences, check down to lower options on the route tree, stay calm in the pocket in pressure situations, etc. Finally, he must have maintained a minimum of 60% passing accuracy, since that skill is very hard to improve upon when you get to the pros. Lots of quarterbacks are drafted on the strength of their arm, which wows people in workouts, but in game situations, it’s accuracy that counts. A missed throw here and there add up, they lead to interceptions, punts and field goals instead of touchdown drives.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/john_lopez/07/08/qb.rule/index.html

    This model has some detractors, with some saying that the new breed of athletic passers like Cam Newton or Robert Griffin III do fine even if they don’t have the ‘minimum starts’ number or Wonderlic score, but most NFL teams will prefer an Andrew Luck who stays in the pocket more, and avoids the hits that have ruined two seasons now for RGIII and his Washington team.

    These examples only deal with selecting players, but they’re simple and have predictive value. We can bet that there are others out there that are jealously guarded by the teams that stumbled upon them.

    ———————————————————————–
    My sources are unreliable, but their info is fascinating.–Woody Paige

    • HabinBurlington says:

      My big issue with “Advanced Stats” is when I can watch a game, see the impact a player can have, for example Crankshaft. Then the advanced stat gurus go on and on about how terrible this player is, even though when I watched the game I noticed what an impact he has on the game.

      I suppose my problem is more those who like to ramrod statistical analysis down others throats. Another example was the constant praise for Diaz, that statistically he was a top 4 defenceman. Yet he wasn’t, at least not for Montreal, or Vancouver or New York. BUt you don’t ever see these analytics comment when their statistical heroes are shown to actually not be the player their computers tell them they are.

      What turned around Rene Bourque this year? Was he given a computer? According to MB, Mellanby spent some time with Bourque. I’m guessing they weren’t discussing the corsi/fenwick numbers but talking rather about how he approaches his game and how he was playing.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        I agree that some of the numbers they use don’t have predictive validity, or support what we see on the ice. I think they’re trying to get to the point that baseball reached a decade ago, and how some stats that used to be printed in the papers have now fallen out of favour, and new ones like GWAT or TMBG have now cropped up and used by players, reporters, the league, team scouts, etc. But the hockey guys will have to keep working at it, so far there’s no clear model that’s much better than what we have available.

  18. Cal says:

    And today, Carey Price will ask the question: Pressure? What pressure?

  19. boing007 says:

    Another amusing TSN quote:
    against-the-herd
    9 hours ago

    That was definitely the first 4-2 overtime game I’ve ever seen.

    snowcloud
    10 hours ago

    We had to score TWO OT goals for ONE to count! I thought two refs were supposed to help?

    Richard R

  20. Habshire says:

    At least we don’t have to worry about Chris Lee anymore:

    http://www.nhlofficials.com/es3200/cat244/featured-nhloa-news

  21. 24AW says:

    This series could go either way, but the Bruins are favored.

    • CJ says:

      Heavily favoured. Despite their game one loss, the shot advantage and extended time in the offensive zone have only further engrained this theoretical advantage.

      This is a long way from being over. Montreal needs to be much, much better. There are still far too many recent memories of being ahead in a series only to lose. I hope we put all those to bed this spring. Price winning in overtime is a great first step forward. The boys need to pick up their game today and give Pricer a lift.

      • Cal says:

        The good news is the Habs played their worst game of the playoffs and scored 4 against the highly touted Bruins. The Habs will be better today. I don’t see the Bruins playing any better than they did Thursday.

        • CJ says:

          The Bruins may not play much better, but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before the bounces go their way. They enjoyed a huge territorial advantage and outshot and out chanced Montreal by a 2:1 margin or more. Goaltending and speciality teams were the difference.

          I agree, it’s a great victory, because, as you’ve suggested, we clearly were not at our best.

      • SPATS says:

        Hey CJ, wanna come to Stittsville to watch the game?

        OOH AAH HABS ON THE WARPATH – Dutchy rules!

  22. CJ says:

    Good morning folks.

    Off to a watch a buddy’s son play lacrosse this morning. Looking forward to the distraction before the game starts. Game one is in the books, and of course I’m ecstatic to be ahead 1-0, but we need to be a whole bunch better. Over the course of seven games you can steal a win here or there, but we can not expect to win an entire series playing a bend, but hoping not to break, system. The 3rd and 4th lines generated scoring chances and spent time in the offensive zone, sustaining pressure from the cycle, but our first and second lines quite simply need to be better.

    Sorry to continually pump the guy’s tires, but it’s pretty nice having a guy like Dale Weise in the lineup, who can fit on different lines, in different situations, and gets the job done. I loved how he continually went after Chara. We will need more of that today.

    I’m going to cut it off there. Once again my stomach is in knots, and I’m nervous as all get out. I’m expecting Boston’s best game today, and hoping Montreal can just keep it close and look for a bounce in the third. As we’ve seen in the playoffs so far, 2-0 score leads mean nothing, neither do 1-0 series leads. It’s all about right now, followed by the next shift. We need to be better, because Boston will be loaded for bear and looking for redemption this afternoon. Go Habs!

  23. boing007 says:

    @Habfan10912
    May 3, 2014 at 7:26 am

    ‘I wish the Globe would seek out these people who posted these tweets and publicly name them so their employers, schools, parents and all the community can see who they are. That would be Boston Strong.’

    What you propose as punishment is more extreme than the thoughts of the people who wrote those racist comments. Freedom of Speech is not a negotiable right. Anything else is censorship.

    • Cal says:

      If people are free to spout garbage, they should be free enough to be held accountable for what they say.

    • ooder says:

      They are allowed to say what they want
      But the institutions they are associated with have the right to fire them

    • Loop_Garoo says:

      I don’t think i agree with that. Freedom of speech means that these people have the right to tweet whatever they want, which they do. If you say something of this nature publicly, you don’t have the right to anonymity, and should have the stones to stand up and back up your opinions.

      I understand that there are situations when annonymity is required to due to government prosecution or such, but in a case like this, if you said it, stand by it, or retract publicly.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Wrong. Freedom of speech is a fundamental right, but it’s not absolute, as some seem to think. You can’t shout “Fire!” in a crowded theatre as a prank and cause a stampede, that’s a classic example.

      People have the right to free speech, but it is limited by libel and slander laws, and by laws prohibiting hate speech.

      These limits are not ‘negotiations’ on free speech, they’re clear limits. What they aren’t, contrary to your post, is censorship.

      • Cal says:

        Where did your other post on advanced stats go, UCe?

        • Un Canadien errant says:

          I goofed and tried to add an extra link, and it’s now “Awaiting moderation”. I’ll see if I can re-post.

          Maybe the admins could relax the ‘Maximum three links’ rule, if some of them are from recognized websites like NHL dot com or Sports Illustrated. Just a suggestion.

      • punkster says:

        Well played UCe…well played.

        Release the Subbang!!!

        • Un Canadien errant says:

          Thanks punkster, although I’m not trying to be clever, or take a shot at boing. This is just something that grates at me, a lot of people mistakenly think this. I’ve had to deal with employees terminated because they were rude to a guest, or were verbally insubordinate to a supervisor, and they’d appeal to me that they had a right to free speech. The phrase has become something that people have a faint acquaintance with, haven’t bothered to find out what it means, but spring to it when they get in trouble, or are trying to defend a moron like Donald Sterling.

  24. Mavid says:

    Well as most of you regulars are already aware I am hosting a baby shower today for my son and daughter in law..at 1.00 PM. Honestly of all the rotton luck..but what can you do, family always come first. I have PVR’d it with some extra time for OT..I am going to do my best to not look at my phone or I pad..sooo enjoy the game guys and gals..

    Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

  25. habsfan0 says:

    Because of all the recent garbage re: racism tweets directed at PK, I thought I’d interject a little humour on a Saturday morning. Nothing to do with hockey,but anyways..

    A magician on a cruise ship specialized in sleight-of-hand tricks, but night after night his act was ruined by the ship’s parrot shouting, “It’s up his sleeve!” or “It’s in his pocket!”

    The magician got so fed up with this that he threatened to kill the parrot if it interrupted his act again. But that evening right at the finish of his act, just as the magician was about to disappear in a spectacular puff of smoke, the ship hit an iceberg and sank in a matter of seconds.

    The magician and the parrot were the only survivors of the shipwreck. Lying dazed on a piece of driftwood that was floating on the sea, the magician eventually opened his eyes and saw the parrot staring at him.

    “Okay,” said the parrot. “I give up. What did you do with the ship?”

  26. Mr_MacDougall says:

    @Chris

    Thanks for the reply. I understand what is being attempted by statistical analysis, and honestly, I’d cherish the opportunity to be part of a “think tank” that attempts to quantify a player, and get paid for it. It would be an amazing challenge, and if a statistical Model could ever be created that translates “Junior hockey data” into future performance, well that would be a rewarding feat.

    How do you measure the intangibles that I’ve mentioned below? That is where the interview process of potential draftees comes into play. There is no measuring stick for character, but every person I meet I get a feeling about their values and sincerity. I think that organizations can determine, to a certain degree, if a player is “an asshole” for lack of a better term. Take Gallagher for example, within minutes of hearing him speak it becomes evident that he is a caring and respectful person, this goes a long way in my books. I think it is possible to get a reasonable picture of a players outlook on life.

    Great discussion, thanks!

    ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

  27. Stanley Cup or Bust ! says:

    It’s a new dawn
    It’s a new day
    It’s a new life
    For me
    And I’m feeling good

    Go Habs Go
    Go Habs GO
    GO Habs GO

  28. boing007 says:

    Comment from TSN on the Pens Rangers game:
    snazzyd
    9 hours ago

    You gotta feel bad for Fleury – he got scored on TWICE in overtime …

    Richard R

  29. habsfan0 says:

    Tuukka Rask now 0-9 lifetime vs the Habs at TD Garden.
    0-10 has a nice,round sound to it,doesn’t it?

  30. chesterfiled says:

    Without any informed hockey knowledge, I predict the CH will get first L in game 3 at the Bell. They have too much to prove such as puck possession, top line scoring and tape to tape passing. I would not mind splitting home games if they start with 2 W’s… The overt racist element is ugly, but refuse to get on high horse, it exists everywhere including Montreal. The moral to story I believe it is the ‘little’ racist, not the obvious, that we all have, should be examined. Things like euro or russian players being lazy when it counts and french or franco bias… ‘small’ things that make it hard to speak out when confronted by the real ugly ones when they surface

    • boing007 says:

      If you want to see a good example of overt racism walk down Saint Lawrence, north of Roy, just past La Veille Europe. Just beside it, recessed in a wall, are a series of front page newspaper clippings from Toronto and Montreal proclaiming that Jews and Judaism are the scourge of humanity.

      Richard R

  31. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Good morning, Timo!
    Work prevented me from inquiring Friday morning — but were there a few black feathers peeking out the corner of your mouth at breakfast?!

    I’m thinking of Frankie’s Exocet! The residents of Dunboyne were awoken by two violent cries:

    “Frankieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!”

    “TIMOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!”

    Tasty, no?

  32. Habfan10912 says:

    Interesting piece in today’s Boston Globe. The author notes that no such racist tweets occur after the Celtics, Patriots, or Red Sox lose a game by an opponent of any minority. It poses the question, why the Bruins?

    Some of us believe that the Bruin organization themselves feed AND even the NHL itself feeds into this “He Man” “Neanderthal behavior.

    I wish the Globe would seek out these people who posted these tweets and publicly name them so their employers, schools, parents and all the community can see who they are. That would be Boston Strong.

    http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2014/05/02/real-fans-would-cheer-hockey-progress-diversity/dCns32Pu6cGfVcLpBPuBTN/comments.html

    • aroma says:

      Why? Because we’re talking about a different sport and a different class of fans stateside. Not to cast aspersions on all American hockey fans, but judging by the way the NHL has been marketed to the US since expansion, the game is aimed at a demographic that would rather watch NASCAR than read a book and picks their teeth with their toenails. That’s why the racist braindead fools come out from under their rocks when it comes to NHL hockey as opposed to the major US sports.

  33. Dunboyne Mike says:

    If Montreal loses tonight, they go home with a split.

    If Boston loses, their “no-panic” model from Round 1 is destroyed.

    I like this. Bring the A-Game, guys. (Hell, bring the B game! Would be an upgrade!)

    Great posts, Rhino and JF and jlgib1019.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Carry the team Price steals another one? Oh boy! CHeers Mike!

    • ffenliv says:

      Well – as John Cooper let us all know – Boston did come back from 0-2 down after losing two on home ice against us in 2011 … and went on to win the cup.

      So their round-one model might be busted, but their 3-years-ago model might give them some comfort.

  34. rhino514 says:

    Very very seldom do the Candiens get dominated by another opponent. They were dominated the other night. The Bruins team is scary good; they are probably the best team in hockey right now. We were hearing alot of whispers about how the stats don´t count when we play the bruins.
    To me it all boils down to; how much of that domination could be attributed to the ten day layoff?
    We´ll find out today. Habs were playing even with them in the second overtime, but that´s a very small sample. The scary thing also is, Eller, Bourque, and to a lesser extent, Briere, are playing their A games in the post-season, something we were only dreaming in technicolour, so it´s as if we added 3 good players to the roster and still got drummed.

    Before the series I felt as if the Bruins are a better team (not by a mile, though), and that we would have to get the extra breaks to win the series. The main thing was the overtime. The habs would have to win at least 2 overtimes for every 3….maybe even have to go 2-0, or 3-1.
    The other thing was Price would have to play at least as well as Rask.
    Both of those things happened the other night. But make no mistake, the guys will need to pick up at least one more overtime win.
    The good thing is we are now 2-0 in overtimes and this will give the guys confidence in the extra period.
    But if the difference in quality of play the other night wan´t mostly due to the long layoff, we are going to get killed.

    I also questioned wether Vanek and Max should be split so the Bs could not blanket both of them, which turned out to be the case.
    However, there is simply no time now to develop chemistry between Pleks and Vanek, so it is a risky proposition any way you look at it. I love Pleks, though, he is a smart player, so if anyone can make the adjustment it´s him.

    • JF says:

      I had the same thought. If our poor play was not largely the result of the long layoff, we’re in trouble. Price can’t bail us out every game. But if you think back to the Wings-Bruins series, there were three games in which the Wings played well and could have won. The second and third games were poor, especially the second, when they allowed the Bruins to get them off their speed game. In Game four the difference was a bad penalty by Todd Bertuzzi; the last game was also close.

      I think we’re a better team than the Red Wings, so we should be able to avoid the kind of domination we suffered the other day. But our top line has to start contributing. If Patch and Vanek were sick, they’d better have recovered; if they weren’t sick, they have to get onto the scoresheet.

  35. BJ says:

    Just wondering if the booing will be toned down towards PK after all the racist stuff from the last game. I almost have a feeling he’ll get some applause? Just a guess.

  36. Marc10 says:

    Big game coming up. Habs bring their A-game and Tuukka is going to lose his mind.

    Go Habs Go!
    Stick it to the bastards !

  37. haloracer18 says:

    I assume there are already hundreds of thousands of black professional athletes and middleclass income earners, all of whom can afford hockey gear. There will be more Darnell Nurse, Seth Jones type situations in addition to out-of-the-bluers. There’s no question hockey will become a black dominated sport.

  38. johnnylarue says:

    Anyone else expecting the Habs’ first post-season L tomorrow?

    I’m adding it up: the best matinee game team vs the worst, and a powerful, often dominant opponent looking to bounce back and avenge a disappointing, somewhat unjust loss… Or the fact that Rask, at 0-9 lifetime against the Habs in Boston, is long overdue for a home W?

    It’ll be a miracle to make it out of Boston with two wins. The important thing for the Habs will be managing their emotions, and not allowing specific events in this game to have a psychological impact on the series. Keeping their mojo alive through this (extremely difficult) game could be as important as a victory in determining how this all plays out.

    • JUST ME says:

      I guess the law of averages does point out that way but i see so many reasons for the Habs to be motivated and favorite to win .

      I am torn between being sad to add your name to the crow eating group and to give you a well deserved mulligan…

    • 44har48 says:

      You make a lot of sense but logic and sense go out the window in the playoffs :)

  39. naweed235 says:

    Kane’s 1st backhander goal… What the actual F?

  40. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …it just dawned on Me that 12:30 PM game start is 9:30 AM for Me

    …I know I’m slow, but yikes ! :(

  41. Da Hema says:

    It is satisfying to see so much criticism of the tweeters who made racist comments about PK Subban, but I also find many of them to be slightly smug and perhaps even sanctimonious, especially when the discussion broaches Americans. I am proud that PK plays for the Canadiens, and I think the world of him and his family. However, what was tweeted about PK pales in comparison to the approximately 1000 murdered young First Nation women over the past several decades, most of which were not investigated because local police and the RCMP simply saw them as “Indians” not worth their time. The Canadian federal government refuses to establish an Inquiry into how persistent racism is in Canada’s police forces. While I find the comments about PK to be repugnant, I fear we have a deeper problem in Canada than Canadians are willing to acknowledge.

  42. Dru says:

    Subban got the most public hate, but I haven’t seen anyone mention that all of our goal scorers from the last game are people of colour. Bourque is Cree/Métis, Frankie is half Haitian, and to top it off Price is half Ulkatcho. In a league where whiteness and racism are rampant among fans, commentators and indeed, players, I reckon that should be a point of pride for the Habs and their fans. (Tilting toward a world where it doesn’t matter, of course.)

  43. Burgundy says:

    Anyone know where you can buy a hat like the all-blue one PK has been wearing lately? It’s sweet

  44. Kfourn says:

    Interesting observation: 4 former (1 current) Habs coaches representing the coaching staff for all the teams remaining in the East.

    _______________________________________________________
    “It’s sad when our rookies have no NHL experience before they jump up to the NHL.” – nunacanadien

  45. JohnBellyful says:

    Canadien fans plan to stand behind PK when the series moves to Montreal. They’ve made a T-shirt to show their support.
    [Even Hab fans are smurfs. Go figure.]

  46. Timo says:

    What a backhander by Kane. Unreal.

    • monmick says:

      I’m always amazed at how he reminds me of Denis Savard…

      ~~~> Mathematically eliminated…

    • Chris says:

      That was a ridiculous shot.

      He was a couple of centimetres away from putting himself offside on that rush. :)

    • johnnylarue says:

      That would’ve been impressive as a forehand wrister, but on the backhand it’s totally bonkers. Kind of an easy candidate for the All-
      Time highlight reel, especially considering its significance in a big playoff game.

      These playoffs as a whole have been pretty entertaining so far. Lots of memorable stuff.

  47. Say Ash says:

    Whoa, Kane’s goal was absolutety sick

  48. AceMagnum says:

    …and now for some levity…doesn’t Larry Carriere look like the character on the cover of Warrant’s Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich album?

    …too soon?

  49. db says:

    I wish I could read comments in sequence in this app?

  50. Mr_MacDougall says:

    @Chris

    I checked out this Boucher fellow and his statistical analysis. As a student of advanced financial statistics and physics I just can not award any validly to this man. He puts in a hell of a lot of work, the models might be decent, but he is missing the classic inputs of any statistical analysis model, data recording procedures.

    Think of it from a physics standpoint, your analysis is only worth the accuracy AND relevance of the data collected. In order to evaluate a player completely one would have to evaluate every “event” this player is involved in over an extended period of time, minimum of 40 games I’d assume, to spot any obvious trends. What constitutes an event? That is debatable, but I consider an event to be each and every time a player has to react to the changing environment around him. If you agree with my interpretation of an event, then there would be approx 100 events per shift, 30 shifts per game so that is 3,000 events per player per game. So, in order to get a window into a players “complete value” 120,000 events must be studied, weighted for importance, given a score, and recorded.

    But wait, there’s more. When creating a system such as this, “benchmarks of perfection” must be created. What is the perfect player? I assume you’d have to determine the most valuable players in the game today, build a data base and compare your statistical results to perceived data.

    Also, each play can not be evaluated by just one person, it must be cross referenced with approx. 10 other collectors, this has to be done because it reduces the margin of error quite substantially. We’re talking about tens of millions of statistics to be analyzed just to have your benchmarks in place to analyze future players.

    Even if you were to accomplish all of that, the margin of statistical error is likely to be around 10% … So utter perfection would be 90% accurate…

    Seriously though, in hockey it is an ever changing landscape that evolves with countless decisions unfolding and minor positioning changes with subtle communication among teammates, it is impossible to accurate account for everything with statistics in hockey. It is difficult to create relevant individual statistics beyond goals, which is a misleading statistic in my opinion (See Ovi).

    The most important things about a hockey players skill set is always obvious, what separates equally skilled players is intelligence, determination, personality, drive, ambition and countless other intangible assets, not battle along the board percentages and breakout pass efficiency.

    That is my opinion.

    ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      I’m. It trying to discredit you personally, by all means if this thing interests you and makes the game more enjoyable, dig into it.

      I get enjoyment from watching players act and react and their personalities, I’m not really a puck follower during a game, I watch areas and players.. Of course I follow the puck as well, but sometimes I’ll just watch Price when the Habs are hemmed in..

      Seriously, not being confrontational.. Just can’t view hockey statistics as being overly important compared to other elements.

      ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

    • Chris says:

      Of course he is missing them on his site…he’s trying to sell his work. I attend a ton of junior games, and I’ve certainly had the chance to chat with scouts. I have some idea of what they do (one of my colleagues is a retired statistics professor, and he does some of this type of work for the Guelph Storm), but I won’t claim to know all the details. I’ve never really enjoyed watching the game the way that they do…it takes all the magic out of it when you aren’t cheering for a player but actually watching how a guy turns, what direction he passes when pressured, blah blah blah.

      I don’t know what to tell you…you seem to have your mind pretty firmly made up and that is fair enough. I’ve never once said that there is an algorithm or model that one can just fit data into and out spits a spreadsheet that evaluates the player. That is unrealistic (even though it is exactly what teams are trying to find).

      What I’ve repeatedly said is that advanced statistics and analytics are increasingly being used to complement the data that is coming in from the amateur and professional scouts.

      I’m just having a hard time nailing down what it is you are trying to argue. For example, you said: “The most important things about a hockey players skill set is always obvious, what separates equally skilled players is intelligence, determination, personality, drive, ambition and countless other intangible assets, not battle along the board percentages and breakout pass efficiency.”

      How are those things assessed? How do you evaluate intelligence, personality, determination, drive, ambition, and countless other intangible assets? You will tell me it is by watching the game.

      Here is where I think your argument falls to pieces: the average drafted player gets watched about 2-3 games before they are drafted. That’s it. For guys that are harder to read, they might get up to 4 or 5 games, and the high first rounders obviously get more scrutiny.

      All of your criticisms of the statistical models are fair. I’m not disputing that. What I am arguing is that it is another tool in the toolbox (we physicists do love our toolbox analogy) for a VERY inexact science, evaluating players. Because every single thing you argued above for the statistical models applies equally to scouting.

      We all know that Jonathan Toews or Sidney Crosby or Victor Hedman are great players. Those are no-brainers.

      Where it gets difficult is in assessing players like Benoit Pouliot. Or Jussi Jokinen. Or Bryan Bickell. Or Tom Pyatt. You get the idea…the marginal, borderline NHL’ers or guys that are closer to the average…the guys that make or break an NHL team. Seeing how those guys fit into your system is critical. The Bruins have perfected this art, as did the Jacques Lemaire Devils. They don’t care so much about the talent, but about how that player fits into the system that they play. This is why a guy like Dainius Zubrus can look lost in Montreal and Washington and then look excellent in New Jersey.

      Maybe I’m just not being clear in my stance…I’m not arguing that advanced analytics can replace scouting. But denying that it has ANY usefulness is just being stubborn for the sake of being stubborn.

  51. JohnBellyful says:

    What’s the difference between Plekanec and Subban?
    One likes to backcheck, the other likes to check with his backside.
    ……
    Faster than a Souray slapshot, more powerful than an NRA lobby, able to swoop past entire teams in a single rush … it’s the Man of Skill: Subbanman! Champion of truth, justice and the Canadien way! *

    * Interesting historical note:
    “ In the first screen incarnation of Superman, the Max Fleischer cartoons that ran from 1941 to 1943, each episode’s preamble informs us not only of the origin and powers of this relatively new creation (Krypton, speeding bullet, etc.), but also the kinds of things he fights for. It’s a shorter list than you think. Before World War II, Superman fought “a never-ending battle for truth and justice.” Back then, that was enough.
    By the time the first live-action Superman hit the screen – Kirk Alyn, in a 1948 serial – the lessons of World War II, particularly in the gas chambers of Europe, were obvious. That’s why Pa Kent tells young Clark he must always use his powers “in the interests of truth, tolerance and justice.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/30/opinion/30iht-ederik.2093103.html?_r=0

    • Timo says:

      I was going to say “one likes turtleneck”

      • JohnBellyful says:

        One wears turtlenecks, the other’s a pain in the neck (to other teams)?

        • Timo says:

          That’s why you’re da man, JB.

          • JohnBellyful says:

            Timo, while we’re here at the bar having a drink, opening up to each other, shooting the B’s — figuratively, I hasten to add — what do you really think of MT? 5-0 in the playoffs.
            Any stirrings of a man crush yet (figuratively speaking, it goes without saying)?

          • Timo says:

            Hah… you know all it takes is one loss, right? :) So far, the 5-0 record keeps him under my radar (sort of).

            If Therrien manages to lead this team to the cup I’ll buy him a massage.

          • Captain Pike says:

            …with a happy ending.

  52. Chris says:

    Well, Game 2 of the OHL finals is now in the books, and overtime was needed once again. After Guelph got a quick OT winner in Game 1, the North Bay Centennials (sorry, but I just hate the Battalion name and jersey) evened the series at 1.

    Standouts in the game:

    Robby Fabbri potted 2 more goals to run his total to 11 goals in 12 playoff games. Nice article comparing his playoff run (and what it might do to his draft stock) to Jeff Skinner’s draft year. But it probably won’t go in his scrap book…he buried his two chances, but he was not his best tonight, falling all over the ice and losing the key draw that led to the goal that force the game into overtime.

    Other than that, Guelph played pretty poorly, getting outshot on home ice 41-23. That shot total is normal in the Sleeman Centre, but usually favours the home side.

    For North Bay, their goaltender Jake Smith had a nice game after giving up a brutal goal early in the first period. He settled down and kept North Bay in the game when it looked like Guelph was going to rock them after taking a 2-0 lead.

    North Bay’s defence plays a typical Stan Butler (one of the best junior coaches in the business) game: they are big, mobile and tough. Dylan Blujus (6’3″, 200 pounds), Marcus McIvor (6’1″, 230 pounds), Riley Bruce (6’6″, 193 pounds), Kyle Wood (6’5″, 229 pounds), Marcus Liberati (6’0″, 195 pounds) and Brenden Miller (6’1″, 198 pounds) represent a monstrous defence by junior hockey standards. Guelph’s small forwards, who had a field day against supposedly elite defensive teams in Erie and London (albeit weakened by a couple of key injuries) is being stifled, and their trademark passing in the offensive zone is being completely disrupted by the long reach of the North Bay defencemen.

    As one of my friends put it, the idea of watching North Bay in the Memorial Cup is just nauseating…they play one of the most boring games I’ve seen in junior, which is again typical of Stan Butler.

    The Storm are definitely going to have their hands full, as they must be getting frustrated with their inability to pad their scoring numbers like they have all season, and their weakest link (goaltender Justin Nichols) is finally starting to show some of the expected chinks in their armor.

    Blujus is the gem in terms of being an NHL prospect, a Tampa Bay 2nd round pick from 2012. He is yet another top prospect for the Lightning, who have quietly assembled one of the deepest prospect pools in the NHL.

    North Bay has 3 ranked prospects for this summer’s draft. Michael Amadio (ranked 68 among North American skaters) didn’t really stand out to me. Left wing Zach Bratina is a pest on the ice, but he doesn’t have the offence (yet) of the guy he was sparring with for much of the game, Tyler Bertuzzi. Wood is a work in progress, ending up -2 and losing his coverage quite a bit. But he will go much higher than his 191st ranking would suggest based on his size…the size I listed above does not at all jive with the CSS rankings (6’3.75″, 195 pounds). I would trust North Bay’s website more…he certainly does not look like a 195 pounder, and he was definitely closer to 6’5″.

    One other draft eligible Battalion player that stood out was Swedish import Alex Henriksson. Not sure he will get drafted, but he was involved in the play quite a bit and he has had a decent playoff run (7 goals and 10 points in 15 games). I suspect he is going to have to go the Zack Mitchell route, earning a tryout with an NHL team and hoping to pick up a free agency contract.

    Guelph needs to stop taking penalties (two delay of game penalties is two too many, and both were unnecessary). That being said, the officiating was BRUTAL tonight….again, you don’t appreciate NHL referees enough until you watch the junior guys butcher the game. A blatant head shot on Kosmachuk was missed, and a very strange slashing penalty was assessed to Tyler Bertuzzi as he was trying to get the puck on a flip-in play when the goalie cut in front of him out near the faceoff circle. Not sure that Bertuzzi even knew he was there. Finally, late in the game, a blatant too many men on the ice call that disrupted a possible odd-man rush was ignored by the refs. Not a good night.

  53. frontenac1 says:

    Stoner. Let r Rip!

  54. Psycho29 says:

    CTV news (on now) will have story about on-line comments “crossing the line” last night…


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