Tag: poll results

Alex Burrows; Patrice Bergeron;

NHL won’t fine or suspend Alex Burrows for his bite on Patrice Bergeron

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In his first decision as the interim head disciplinarian in Colin Campbell’s place (though by no means his first decision overall*), Mike Murphy decided not to fine or suspend Alex Burrows for biting Patrice Bergeron. This comes on the heels of what seemed like strong video evidence that the Vancouver Canucks power forward bit the Boston Bruins center’s hand, although Burrows somewhat comically claimed that he didn’t actually chomp down on Bergeron’s digits.

* Murphy ruled in situations that involved Campbell’s son Gregory Campbell’s team and teams he played against in the past.

While my initial reaction was that Burrows might face a one-game suspension for the infraction, later reports indicated that a suspension or fine would be unlikely. Murphy confirmed that speculation, whether he did so because he thought the evidence was unclear or the crime was punished properly enough in the form of Burrows’ double-minor for roughing. Murphy went with the former argument in his on-the-record statement regarding the matter, at least.

“After reviewing the incident, including speaking with the on-ice officials, I can find no conclusive evidence that Alex Burrows intentionally bit the finger of Patrice Bergeron.”

There might be some Bruins fans who will be indignant over this ruling, especially if Burrows echoes Nathan Horton’s post-water bottle throwing achievements by scoring a game-winner in Game 2. That being said, more than 42 percent of PHT voters concluded that a fine or suspension wouldn’t be necessary in this poll from earlier today.

(click to enlarge)

While I thought Burrows might receive a suspension, I’m fine with the lack of supplementary discipline. It wasn’t a particularly damaging moment; Bergeron’s play didn’t seem to suffer because of the bite. More than anything else, it made the Canucks forward look awfully silly, especially since he put the Bruins on a power play to start the second period.

It wouldn’t be surprising if word surfaces a bit later that the NHL decided to hand out a light fine to Burrows. After all, we didn’t find out that the league fined Horton for his water bottle-throwing incident until a day after Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals concluded.

In other words, the general rule about the league’s supplementary discipline applies here: you just never know what the NHL will do … only that it might not make much sense. Again, I’m fine with the decision, but it still makes you wonder if the league will ever be truly consistent with its punishments. Feel free to share your thoughts on the decision in the comments.

Here’s one last look at that Burrows bite:

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Comparing PHT editor and reader predictions to conference finals results

Tampa Bay Lightning v Boston Bruins - Game Seven

Almost every playoff year, there have been some big upsets in the Stanley Cup playoffs. That trend has been especially true since the lockout ended and the salary cap era spread parity like a wildfire. The 2011 playoffs didn’t feature an eight seed making a deep playoff run (the lowest seeds to advance to the second round were fifth seeds Tampa Bay and Nashville), but there were still a couple upsets in hockey’s most prominent tournament.

The unpredictable nature of the playoffs is part of what makes it fun, but that unruly nature makes it tough to make accurate predictions. We’ve already taken a look at how PHT staff predictions and reader predictions compared to first and second round results, so let’s study how everyone did in the conference finals, shall we?

Eastern Conference finals

3. Boston Bruins vs. 5. Tampa Bay Lightning

Actual result: Bruins win series 4-3.
PHT readers pick: Bruins win series 4-2. (37.9 percent)
Joe’s pick: Bruins win series 4-3.
James’ pick: Bruins win series 4-2.

Western Conference finals

1. Vancouver Canucks vs. 2. San Jose Sharks

Actual result: Canucks win series 4-1.
PHT readers pick: Sharks win series 4-2. (29.7 percent)
Joe’s pick: Canucks win series 4-2.
James’ pick: Canucks win series 4-3.

First round records:

PHT readers: 5-3 (with two exactly correct)
Joe: 6-2 (with three exactly correct)
James: 8-0 (with two exactly correct)

Second round records

PHT readers: 1-3 (with one exactly correct)
Joe: 1-3 (with one exactly correct)
James: 2-2 (with none exactly correct)

Third round records

PHT readers: 1-1 (zero exactly correct)
Joe: 2-0 (with one exactly correct)
James: 2-0 (with none exactly correct)

Overall record

PHT readers: 7-7 (with three exactly correct)
Joe: 9-5 (with five exactly correct)
James: 12-2 (with two exactly correct)

Your Tampa Bay Lightning-Boston Bruins Game 7 primer

Ryan Malone, Zdeno Chara

With the NBA finals matchup determined last night, much of the sports world will get the chance to witness some of the finest competition possible in sports in tonight’s hockey game. The Tampa Bay Lightning and Boston Bruins traveled bumpy roads to get to this point, but whoever wins tonight’s Game 7 gets to face the Vancouver Canucks juggernaut in the 2011 Stanley Cup finals.

Tampa Bay @ Boston (Versus) – 8 p.m. ET; Series tied at 3-3

The Lightning carried the play for much of this series and would not be denied during Game 6 at home. The Bruins have been surprisingly lax defensively during much of this series, often appearing flat-footed against a faster Tampa Bay team. The often superlative play of goalie Tim Thomas has been the ace up their sleeve during their three wins (and occasionally in defeat), though. He gives the Bruins an advantage over a suddenly shaky Dwayne Roloson, although Roloson’s 7-0 record in elimination games cannot be denied.

We’re hard-pressed to pick a favorite going into this one and so were PHT readers, as you can see from the Game 7 poll results.

The Bruins go into Game 7 as light favorites among readers, but they obviously didn’t run away with the poll results.

Do you want more material as you wait to find out which team will represent the Eastern Conference in the Stanley Cup finals? Here are all the game recaps:

Game 1
Game 2
Game 3
Game 4
Game 5
Game 6

If you want a little more depth, though, here are some of PHT’s best stories going into Game 7.

PHT readers think Nashville will go to Eastern Conference if Thrashers relocate

Canucks Predators Hockey
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There’s so much buzz in the air about the Atlanta Thrashers and the possibility of whether or not they’ll move to Winnipeg and become part of the Western Conference. With that possibility in the air we asked you guys about who you’d like to see come to the Eastern Conference to replace them.

With the choices being between the Columbus Blue Jackets, Detroit Red Wings, and Nashville Predators it was between the two eastern most teams in the Western Conference and a team that would blend in perfectly in the Southeast Division given their location in Tennessee. If nothing else, PHT readers are uniform in their approval of having things look appropriate when it comes to the divisional layout.

In an overwhelming vote with over 2,000 responses, 49% of you voted to have the Nashville Predators move to the Eastern Conference and fill the hole left by the Thrashers in the Southeast Division. There they’d form natural new rivalries with Carolina, Tampa Bay, and Florida as well as give the Washington Capitals fits six times a season.

One of the stranger twists is how the next most voted on team was Columbus. Either we’re not read by many Detroit fans or a lot of Red Wings fans are actually happier with their team being in the Western Conference. Our case for Columbus to go east was that it would give them a new lease on life as well as helping them generate loads of new rivalries with teams relatively nearby like Pittsburgh, Buffalo, and Toronto.

Whether or not we’ll actually see any of this happen at all is still in the air. Atlanta Spirit Group and True North are still negotiating a potential sale agreement and there’s talk that if the team does move to Winnipeg they may play a lame duck year in the Southeast Division anyway because they might not be able to realign in time for next season. We’re sure everyone in the division would be really excited about making three long trips to Winnipeg next season. There’s still a lot to get figured out yet, but if realignment does happen this offseason, we’ll be very curious to see how it goes.

Comparing PHT editor and reader predictions to second round results

Sean Bergenheim
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It’s not easy to make forecasts for many things in life. If it was, Las Vegas probably wouldn’t allow people to gamble on sporting events and lotteries probably wouldn’t exist anymore.

Some people are frightened by the randomness of the world while others are delighted by the unpredictable nature of many events.

Either way, part of the fun of predicting the outcomes of games comes when we find out if our wild guesses picks are accurate. Last time, we took a look at how our results (along with reader results) compared to the first round realities. Let’s see how PHT editors and readers did in the second round.

Eastern Conference semifinals

1. Washington Capitals vs. 5. Tampa Bay Lightning

Actual result:Lightning beat Capitals 4-0
PHT readers pick: Capitals win series 4-2. (44.54 percent)
Joe’s pick: Capitals win series 4-2.
James’ pick: Capitals win series 4-1.

2. Philadelphia Flyers vs. 3. Boston Bruins

Actual result: Bruins win series 4-0.
PHT readers pick: Flyers win series 4-2. (41.1 percent)
Joe’s pick: Flyers win series 4-3.
James’ pick: Flyers win series 4-2.

Western Conference semifinals

1. Vancouver Canucks vs. 5. Nashville Predators

Actual result: Canucks win series 4-2.
PHT readers pick: Canucks win series 4-2. (32.13 percent)
Joe’s pick: Canucks win series 4-2.
James’ pick: Canucks win series 4-1.

2. San Jose Sharks vs. 3. Detroit Red Wings

Actual result: Sharks win series 4-3.
PHT readers pick: Red Wings win series 4-2. (46.3 percent)
Joe’s pick: Red Wings win series 4-3.
James’ pick: Sharks win series 4-2.

First round records:

PHT readers: 5-3 (with two exactly correct)
Joe: 6-2 (with three exactly correct)
James: 8-0 (with two exactly correct)

Second round records

PHT readers: 1-3 (with one exactly correct)
Joe: 1-3 (with one exactly correct)
James: 2-2 (with none exactly correct)

Overall record

PHT readers: 6-6 (with three exactly correct)
Joe: 7-5 (with four exactly correct)
James: 10-2 (with two exactly correct)