Posts Tagged ‘Antti Niemi’

NHL.com Is Pretty Damn Accurate

May 25th, 2011

It wasn’t pretty, but none of that matters. Kevin Bieksa’s overtime goal on Tuesday night put the Vancouver Canucks into the 2011 Stanley Cup finals. It’s an incredible achievement for the NHL’s top regular season team, although Bieksa was quick to point out the goal was a bit of a “duck.”

For anyone who missed it, the puck took a crazy bounce off a glass partition known as a stanchion. No player on the ice knew where the puck had bounced to, except Bieksa, who took the quickest shot possible to beat San Jose Sharks goalie Antti Niemi. Although the shot beat Niemi, the “duck” comment came from Bieksa in a post-game interview admitting he fanned on the slapshot.

What makes the unique goal even more incredible, however, is the accuracy of NHL.com’s game stats. In fact, I was so blown away how precise the stats were, I had to take a screenshot. Check it out:

(Click here for a hi-res image)

In all seriousness, congrats to the Vancouver Canucks. Boston or Tampa: you have your work cut out for you now.

Stay classy, Vancouver Canucks. Stanley Cup finalists.

NHL’s 2010 Off-Season with Google Maps and Insight

September 1st, 2010

Alright web-savvy readers, I have a question for you. I’m certain the majority of you have heard of Google Maps and Google Insight. But have you heard of Google’s new web tool, “Google Maps with Insight?”

It’s not yet available to the general public but somehow I got an advanced peek the other day. Since I have no life, the first thing I did was Google the NHL’s 2010 off-season.

First impressions? This thing is pretty in depth. The insight was pretty sharp and I found the geo-placements of various NHL personalities bang on too! I managed to take a screenshot of this new tool for you all to see. Check it out:

Stayclassy.net's funny Google Maps image of the NHL's 2010 Off-Season

Pro tip: You may want to click on the image for a larger view! Click here for hi-res, downloadable version of this image.

Stay classy, NHL 2010 off-season.

Thoughts on the recent NHL activity

August 2nd, 2010

I’ve noticed a lot of bloggers apologizing for the lack of updates recently citing “a lack of hockey news” as their primary reason. It’s not that I disagree, I just refuse to apologize. Mostly because I’m a jerk. But a pro tip I’ve come to discover: the less you post, the more there is to talk about. It requires less work and minimizes how much of me you – the good reader – have to put up with! So win-win, right?

OK here’s some actual hockey thoughts from recent NHL activity. Things got pretty interesting today!

Who does arbitration hurt more?

Marty Turco - Chicago Blackhawks | Stayclassy.netWhen talking about arbitration, typically it’s looked at in terms of how much it damages a player’s ego. Many have suggested teams taking their players to arbitration fractures the team-player relationship in the eyes of the player. It basically represents the team saying they don’t believe the player is worth what he think’s he’s worth and that gets ugly fast. If we’ve learned anything from the Antti Niemi fiasco, it’s that it can be the other way around too. Niemi rejecting a multi-year deal prior to arbitration forced Stan Bowman’s hand, made such a process a reality and probably pissed off the Hawks enough to ensure a standing contract was made with Marty Turco prior to Niemi’s hearing even starting.

Price with Niemi

I’m so clever. You don’t actually think I meant dollars did you? Of course not! Obviously I meant Carey Price. Contract talks between he and the Montreal Canadiens don’t seem to be going anywhere. Makes you wonder why Montreal would trade Jaroslav Halak without signing Price first. I don’t think Bob Gainey is still running the show in Montreal anymore…  Anyways, with a better and slightly more proven goalie on the market, one has to wonder if Carey get’s his act together and signs with the Canadiens sooner than later. Although if the Habs can swoop in on Niemi, I’d pay big bucks to hear him say (with Finnish accent and all) “The price is wrong bitch” to Carey Price.

Still on Niemi…

It should be interesting to see where Niemi lands. Like everyone else I’m guessing San Jose. Touche Doug Wilson. That was a pretty sly move signing Niklas Hjalmarsson to a slightly high offer sheet last month. Wilson knew this offer sheet would make resigning Hjalmarsson and Niemi nearly impossible for Bowman and the Hawks. It’s my understanding that the Sharks have wanted Niemi all along. I reserve the right to retract that statement if Niemi ends up somewhere else.

Tim Kennedy on waivers… Huh?

Earlier on Monday, the Buffalo Sabres placed Tim Kennedy on waivers with the intention of buying out his $1 Million arbitrator awarded contract. The confusion comes for two reasons. One: why are the Sabres buying him out if they just signed him to the contract awarded by an arbitrator? That answer can be found here (in short, they have no choice). Two: The Sabres have a problem with paying $1 Million/year for a 24 year old hometown kid who scored 26 points in 78 games last season? I’m thinking someone claims him in the next 24 hours.

Marty Turco’s $1.3 Million salary

Congrats to Turco on landing a gig with the Chicago Blackhawks this coming season. I guess turning down the Flyers a few weeks ago wasn’t such a bad decision after all. But it’s not all roses for Turco – New York Rangers star Derek Boogaard makes $350,000 more than him. For three additional years. Ouch. On the plus side, Turco’s name hasn’t been discussed this much since well, ever. Oh and speaking of which, can the Blackhawks drama finally be over soon? I’m kind of sick of talking about them.

Stay classy, slow NHL news stories.

This is the weirdest Stanley Cup Finals. Ever.

June 9th, 2010

Does this not feel like the strangest Stanley Cup Finals ever? Each of the five games in this series have felt a little off and a little wrong. In fact it barely feels like the Stanley Cup Finals… provided you ignore the patches on the jerseys and CBC/Versus reminding us every few minutes of every broadcast.

And although many of us probably felt Chicago and/or Philadelphia would be playing for the Cup back in October, I think we all secretly assumed they’d be doing so with different goalies miraculously acquired during the season via trade or act of God or something.

Ha Ha! I’m laughing at the thought of this… can you imagine if Washington hadn’t shit the bed and gotten to the Finals to play Chicago??? We’d be seeing scores like 15-14 every game! NHL Marketing could call it the “Baseball Series” or something stupid like that. That would be in theme with the Winter Classic too (It’s also clever because both cities legitimately have baseball teams… Wait. You already knew that… crap!). I’m sure that would go over well with the average American sports fan who hates hockey!

(To all the great American hockey fans who read this, you are exempt from my mockings… for now).

Let’s talk about the Conn Smythe trophy for a second. Could there be a less unanimous Playoff MVP? It reminds me of 2007 when the Anaheim Ducks won the Cup and Scott Niedermayer was named MVP. That one totally felt like a “Ahh, whatever” pick. Allow me to explain with a relatively accurate depiction:

Dudes who pick the Conn Smythe winner: So who should we pick?

NHL: Well the Ducks did win so you should probably pick someone from Anaheim. Also, every Senator player sucked in the Finals so yeah, pick a Duck.

Dudes: How about Niedermayer? He’s old and probably worthy. In a Dave Anderchuk kind of way.

NHL: Sure. Sounds good.

Gary Bettman: Yeah sounds really good guys!!

Dudes/NHL: Shut up Gary!!

In all likeliness I suspect one of Jonathan Toews or Chris Pronger will win the Conn Smythe. Patrick Kane might have an outside shot but I think it all comes down to which team wins the Cup. Speaking of Pronger, what the hell kind of Cup Finals is this when Pronger is the good guy (sort of)?? CBC’s done a great job of selling that one (the experienced and savvy vet who’s enjoying the moment blah, blah, blah…). But what the hell? Aren’t we supposed to hate him? Wasn’t he supposed to get suspended at some point during the Flyers run to the Finals? I’m confused. I guess I’ll continue rooting for Toews.

Want to know why the NHL agrees with me that this year’s Finals are weird? They pulled all those current “What if…” commercials and replaced them with the “Speechless” ones that feature winners from years past (Bret Hull, Mark Messier, etc…). Ha ha, “What if the Stanley Cup Finals didn’t suck…”.

Now let’s end with goaltending. Somehow Hawks goalie Antti Niemi has won three games this round, yet has allowed four or more goals in all but one of those games. Ouch. What’s even more surprising is that he hasn’t been pulled in the series despite allowing 19 goals in five games. And then there’s Michael Leighton – perhaps the worst goalie to ever play in the Stanley Cup Finals. I know that sounds harsh. He legitimately seems like a great team guy (in all sincerity). But it’s like he’s pulled once per series. At least. It’s like that Anchorman line, “60% of the time, he works every time”. Fitting, I know.

Anyways, we’ll see how tonight’s game 6 in Philadelphia goes. Imagine the score is something ridiculous like 8-6 Chicago and we see both goalies pulled on a night where the Stanley Cup is awarded. That would be hilarious and amazing. Enjoy the game!

Stay classy, Stanley Cup Finals. Even if you are the weirdest one ever.

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