Tag: polls

Stars Red Wings Hockey

Poll: When will Detroit’s home winning streak end?


For the most part, retired athletes tend to be pretty civil when an active player eclipses their records. The friendliest ones might even travel to see it happen, while others at least go through the motions.

Of course, there’s also the arguably-more-honest-reactions, like those old Miami Dolphins cracking open champagne bottles once the last undefeated NFL team finally loses so their perfect season won’t be matched.

With that reaction in mind, the Red Wings might want to fatten that streak of 21 home games so they don’t have to go through that awkward process.

(The motivation increases when people poke holes in their streak, including Mike Milbury. Milbury believes that the 1929-30 Boston Bruins really won 22 games in a row because of scheduling issues that actually forced two should-be road games to Boston.)

The Red Wings will play four of five and six of their next eight games at home, so they can cast aside doubters in little time. Here’s a list of their remaining home games:

Feb. 17: Nashville
Feb. 19: San Jose
Feb. 23: Vancouver
Feb. 25: Colorado
March 2: Minnesota
March 4: Chicago
March 9: Los Angeles
March 19: Washington
March 24: Carolina
March 26: Columbus
March 30: Nashville
April 1: Florida
April 5: New Jersey
April 7: Chicago

The next three games all have a strong chance to end the streak and there’s plenty of landmines in those 14 remaining regular season home contests. I cannot help but ask, then: when do you think the Red Wings’ run at Joe Louis Arena will come to an end?

(Note: Detroit’s overall home record is 24-2-1* this season, in case you were wondering.)

* – The Red Wings’ two home regulation losses came against San Jose (4-2 on Oct. 28) and Calgary (4-1 on Nov. 3) while their lone shootout loss came to the Minnesota Wild on Nov. 1. In other words, they were beatable at Joe Louis Arena for one three-game span this season.

Poll: Team Alfredsson vs. Team Chara

Daniel Alfredsson, Zdeno Chara, Daniel Paille

PHT got to the most important bit of the 2012 Fantasy Draft already (i.e. showering attention on Logan Couture’s humiliation), but you might want to know how the full draft went. Consider this post your guide to how it all went down.

Starting things off, the captains and their alternates/assistants:

Team Alfredsson

Daniel Alfredsson (captain)
Henrik Lundqvist (alternate)

Team Chara

Zdeno Chara (captain)
Joffrey Lupul (alternate)

Team Chara won the coin toss and received the first selection, so here’s the pick-by-pick rundown. (Thanks to NHL.com for saving me some typing.)


Team Chara: Pavel Datsyuk, C, Detroit
Team Alfredsson: Erik Karlsson, D, Ottawa


Team Chara: Tim Thomas, G, Boston
Team Alfredsson: Jason Spezza, C, Ottawa


Team Chara: Evgeni Malkin, C, Pittsburgh
Team Alfredsson: Jonathan Quick, G, Los Angeles


Team Chara: Marian Hossa, RW, Chicago
Team Alfredsson: Claude Giroux, C, Philadelphia


Team Chara: Kimmo Timonen, D, Philadelphia
Team Alfredsson: Kris Letang, D, Pittsburgh


Team Chara: Corey Perry, RW, Anaheim
Team Alfredsson: Steven Stamkos, C, Tampa Bay


Team Chara:Carey Price, G, Montreal
Team Alfredsson: Brian Elliott, G, St. Louis


Team Chara: Phil Kessel, RW, Toronto
Team Alfredsson: Shea Weber, D, Nashville


Team Chara: Ryan Suter, D, Nashville
Team Alfredsson: Daniel Sedin, LW, Vancouver


Team Chara: Jimmy Howard, G, Detroit
Team Alfredsson: Dan Girardi, D, NY Rangers


Team Chara: Brian Campbell, D, Florida
Team Alfredsson: Keith Yandle, D, Phoenix


Team Chara: Patrick Kane, RW, Chicago
Team Alfredsson: Milan Michalek, LW, Ottawa


Team Chara: Dion Phaneuf, D, Toronto
Team Alfredsson: Henrik Sedin, C, Vancouver


Team Chara: Jarome Iginla, RW, Calgary
Team Alfredsson: James Neal, LW, Pittsburgh


Team Chara: Dennis Wideman, D, Washington
Team Alfredsson: Alexander Edler, D, Vancouver


Team Chara: Marian Gaborik, RW, NY Rangers
Team Alfredsson: John Tavares, C, NY Islanders


Team Chara: Jordan Eberle, RW, Edmonton
Team Alfredsson: Scott Hartnell, LW, Philadelphia


Team Chara: Tyler Seguin, C, Boston
Team Alfredsson: Jason Pominville, RW, Buffalo


Team Chara: Jamie Benn, LW, Dallas
Team Alfredsson: Logan Couture, C, San Jose


Team Chara received these rookies:

Luke Adam, C, Buffalo
Raphael Diaz, D, Montreal
Colin Greening, LW, Ottawa
Cody Hodgson, C, Vancouver
Ryan Johansen, C, Columbus
Gabriel Landeskog, LW, Colorado

Team Alfredsson drew these first-year players:

Sean Couturier, C, Philadelphia
Justin Faulk, D, Carolina
Carl Hagelin, LW, NY Rangers
Nick Johnson, RW, Minnesota
Matt Read, RW, Philadelphia
Craig Smith, C, Nashville

(Please note that the aforementioned rookies will participate in the skills competition only.)

With that in mind, let’s have fun with two polls:

First, which roster is best equipped to win the skills competition?

Lastly, which team should win the 2012 NHL All-Star Game?

To make it easier, here are the two rosters (in order of selection):

Team Alf

Forwards: Alfredsson, Spezza, Giroux, Stamkos, the Sedin twins, Neal, Tavares, Hartnell, Pominville and Couture.
Defensemen: Karlsson, Letang, Weber, Girardi, Yanle and Edler.
Goalies: Lundqvist, Quick, Elliott

Team Chara

Forwards: Lupul, Datsyuk, Malkin, Hossa, Perry, Kessel, Kane, Iginla, Gaborik, Eberle, Seguin, and Benn.
Defensemen: Chara, Timmonen, Suter, Campbell, Phaneuf and Wideman.
Goalies: Thomas, Price and Howard.

Logan Couture: Mr. Relatively Irrelevant


To some, All-Star Fantasy Drafts end in publicized cruelty. Instead of soaking in the joy of being named one of the best players in the league, one player – Phil Kessel in 2011, Logan Couture tonight – likely regrets being there. (A free car might soothe them, although it’s likely that a professional hockey player has that base covered already.)

That being said, there’s almost a karmic balancing act going on here. I would guess that Couture and Kessel have never been picked last in a P.E. class or random game between friends. For fans watching who drew the shortest straw physically speaking, there might be a sense of sadistic glee.

Still, Couture isn’t quite the lightning rod of criticism that Kessel’s been in his career. Both provided cringe-worthy displays of discomfort at the situation, but at least Kessel has been seasoned in the harshness of the hockey world’s ways. (See: his draft stock plummeting because of “character issues” and all the fallout from being traded to Toronto.)

It’s silly to call the last pick of the Fantasy Draft Mr. Irrelevant because Couture will go on to have a fine NHL career and could very well make more All-Star teams.

Instead, it’s probably most appropriate to call him “Mr. Relatively Irrelevant,” since that is how he stacks up to his peers. (Of course, this situation carries the huge caveat that goalies had to go by Round 10 and defensemen by Round 15.)

This begs the question: who deserved to go last? Keeping in mind that forwards are the only ones who can be picked last and excluding the team captains, select your choice in the poll below.

Breaking down the Michael Cammalleri-Rene Bourque deal


It’s official, the Montreal Canadiens shipped Michael Cammalleri to the Calgary Flames for a package that includes Rene Bourque. Here are the exact details, straight from NHL.com:

Flames receive:

Goalie Karri Ramo
2012 fifth-round pick

Canadiens receive:

Forward Patrick Holland
2013 second-round pick

The on-ice impact

I’d venture to say that Holland and Ramo are a wash in the grand scheme of things. You cannot totally ignore a nice upgrade in draft picks, but ultimately this trade will most likely be viewed as Bourque for Cammalleri.

Cammalleri has two 30+ goal seasons and two more 20+ goal seasons as he’s in the middle of his ninth NHL season (seven of which could be considered “full”). He’s a point-per-game playoff performer (32 in 32 games), with his heroics in the 2010 playoff run providing the most compelling evidence. Cammalleri also has familiarity with the Flames franchise; he produced a career-best 82 points in 2008-09, his lone campaign in Calgary.

Bourque has produced at least 21 goals in his last three seasons including two consecutive 27-goal outputs. He hasn’t shown the same total points ceiling, however; Cammalleri has two 80+ point seasons while Bourque peaked at 58 in 2009-10.

Contract considerations

Cammalleri carries a $6 million cap hit through the 2013-14 season. His salary matches his cap hit this season while he’ll be paid $7 million in the following two seasons. Cammalleri is 29 years old.

Bourque’s $3.33 million cap hit expires after the 2015-16 campaign (check out his salary breakdown at CapGeek.com). Bourque turned 30 in December.

PHT’s take

The Flames acquired a more talented player and likely extinguished any thought that they might go into a rebuilding mode soon. Cammalleri has shown that he can be an elite sniper and Calgary will pay accordingly.

Bourque makes the Canadiens a bigger team and represents a significant price cut for a roster soaking with bad decisions. From a hockey standpoint, this seems like another shaky move, but at least this one holds the rare distinguishing point of saving them some money. (Unlike, say, trading for Scott Gomez.)

The corporate spin

Habs GM Pierre Gauthier shrugged off the idea that Cammalleri’s comments were a catalyst for the trade, instead emphasizing that the team needs to score “harder goals” rather than fancy ones. Gauthier explained that part of the reason the trade was made tonight was because Bourque is closer to concluding his recent suspension. There might be some fact to both general managers’ claims that the trade has been discussed, but you’d have to be naive to assume that Cammy’s critiques had nothing to do with this.

Flames GM Jay Feaster provided this press release:

“Mike Cammalleri is a dynamic player who enjoyed great success playing in Calgary,” stated Flames General Manager Jay Feaster. “We believe Cammalleri will help our offensive production, solidify a second scoring line, bolster our power play, and bring another strong veteran voice to our room. We are confident that a return to Calgary will be good for Mike and good for our continued pursuit of a playoff berth.”


OK, so it looks like a win for Calgary in a vacuum, but a big risk at the bank. What do you think, though? I acknowledge the urge to say that both teams lost – to some extent, that’s true – but if you had to choose a winner, which GM made out better?

What’s next for the Pronger-less Flyers?

Matt Read, Chris Pronger, Kimmo Timonen, Maxime Talbot

As you probably know, the Philadelphia Flyers confirmed fears that Chris Pronger would miss the rest of the season (and the playoffs, for that matter). The natural question is: what’s next for Philly? Let’s take a look at it from multiple angles.

Previous experience

It’s not like playing without Pronger is a foreign idea to the Flyers. After playing in every contest in 2008-09 and 09-10, Pronger missed 32 regular season games and eight playoff matches last season.

While few would argue that they are better without the bruising defenseman, the Flyers are 8-3-2 with him and 12-4-1 when Pronger is out of the lineup, including a 4-3 win against the Montreal Canadiens tonight.

Pressure for Kimmo Timonen

Before Pronger came along, Timonen was the Flyers’ biggest name on defense. Pronger’s absence won’t weigh on Timonen alone – the impact trickles down to other blueliners – but make no doubt that the offensively adept Finn will carry the greatest burden. Ultimately, Timonen will be the “leader” of the Flyers defense now.

Speaking of leadership …

Taking Pronger’s injury and the Mike Richards trade into account, the Flyers have lost two captains since June 23. If you’re a big believer in the importance of having a strong symbolic leader, then Philly could face a serious void.

Considering all the rookies and new faces, there aren’t a ton of obvious options. Will it be Daniel Briere, Timonen or maybe even a first-year veteran like Jaromir Jagr who speaks in those crucial moments?

(Yes, some of those names are on the list for sheer fun.)

source: APBefore making moves, Flyers must gauge Giroux

At least one person made a Ryan Suter trade joke when the Pronger news surfaced. Considering how aggressive Philly is with splashy moves, a trade isn’t out of the question, although acquiring Suter probably is.

Still, before you start concocting hypothetical trades, it’s probably important to note that the Flyers are still waiting on Claude Giroux concussion updates. Why would Philly part ways with picks and prospects if they’re missing their best forward and defenseman?

The future for Pronger

Many believed that Pronger’s 35+ contract would be a big risk and it’s certainly looking that way right now. The Flyers can get some relief from his $4.92 million cap hit via a trip to the long-term injured reserve, but they cannot bury his deal in the minors and would be on the hook for that cap hit if he retires.

There’s been discussion of a scenario in which the Flyers trade Pronger to low-budget team so he can retire and help that team cheat it’s way to the cap floor, but it’s hard to imagine the NHL accepting that trade. Hopefully it doesn’t come to that anyway.

Lowered expectations?

OK, we’ve discussed the long-term implications, but let’s finish off with a little discussion of the short-term. The Flyers have been successful so far without Pronger, but what about the time when his value increases considerably: the playoffs?

Can they be a legitimate contender without him? Let us know in the comments and this poll.