Monday, April 2, 2007


As the season winds down, the big question is: who want's the President's Trophy? If you listen to ESPN, they would tell you Detroit and Nashville are the only ones in contention. But if you're not an idiot you know better than to listen to the Worldwide Leader in Shit, who show more funny car and women's basketball highlights than hockey highlights. Right now the standings have Detroit with 108 pts., Nashville 107, and Buffalo 106. The key here is that the Sabres have a game in hand and two more wins than Detroit. But who really cares? There's only one Cup that matters.

Speaking of the President's Trophy, I have a funny story about that (and forgive me if I've blogged this already). After seeing a Beastie Boys concert back in 1995, I was walking down the stairs to get out of MSG, and naturally as the arena empties it gets more crowded and slow as you get closer to the street. So I decided to look for a shortcut through one of the side doors that was ajar. It turned out that I ended up in the New York Rangers offices, and staring back at me from a glass case was the PRESIDENT'S TROPHY that they had won from 1994, among other plaques and assorted awards. I really thought it was interesting that they didn't have this office securely locked during a rap concert, and I'm just sorry that I didn't attempt to take it home with me. Anyway, that was my brush with hardware greatness; it was nice, but it was no Stanley.

Maybe the Devils want that 2nd spot after all. They're waking up at the right time, coinciding with Elias, Madden and Gionta being healthy again--now there's a shocker! Of course, if you believe Sportsline they had a hell of a weekend. Stars back in place, Devils whip Bruins to seize Eastern lead. This headline should be followed by . . . APRIL FOOL'S! Because unless that win was worth 10 points, they're still well behind Eastern Conference leader Buffalo. Maybe they should institute a new point system that increases as you get closer to the playoffs. Yeah, that idea isn't any more asinine than bigger goals or shootouts in the playoffs, both of which would be a monumental disaster.

As for the rest of the Eastern Conference, it should be an interesting fight for those final playoff spots, as Tampa Bay, Montreal, and Toronto (who got stomped by the Rangers last night) claw for position. Carolina is fading fast, and the DiPietro-free Isles are all but out of it. And someone has to upset Ottawa in the first round, so who better than the young resurgent Pittsburgh Penguins?

The 8 teams representing the Western Conference are pretty much decided, and they might all have over 100 points. With the new point calculation system we all know that stat is meaningless, but the playoffs should be interesting as there isn't a bad team in the bunch.

They really should change the NHL playoff seeding rule, where a division winner gets a top seed regardless of their point total. Right now Atlanta has 93 points, but because they are 1st in the Southeast they're seeded ahead of Pitt (101) and Ottawa (102). Poppycock, I say! Just seed them 1 through 8 already! The only playoff seeding system more screwed up is baseball, with the "no division rivals can play each other in the first round", which is utterly stupid.

Listen good, because I'm only going to say this once: Bernie Parent's single-season modern record 47 wins cannot be fairly compared to whatever Martin Brodeur's final tally is this season, because of the fact that THERE ARE NO LONGER TIES IN THE NHL. For every game, someone has to get a win, whether it's in a shootout or OT. In 1973-1974, Bernie Parent played 73 of the Flyers 82 games, winning 47, losing 13, and tying 12. Under the current "somebody's fans go home happy" system he would have definitely had at least 50 wins, and might have won as many as 59! He also had a 1.89 GAA and 12 shutouts (and 3 assists), and 12 wins in the playoffs for the Stanley Cup Champs, so as good as Marty's season has been this year, it won't top that.

Stay tuned for my 2007 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS PREVIEW EXTRAVAGANZA coming next week!

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