Archive for March, 2014

Panthers-Islanders Preview (The Associated Press)

By at 31 March, 2014, 9:58 pm

After ending a six-year playoff drought last season, the New York Islanders hoped to take another step forward in 2013-14. Although it’s far too late, the Islanders look to continue their strong play Tuesday night when they host another non-playoff tea…

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NHL roundup: Avs lose top scorer Duchene until May (The SportsXchange)

By at 31 March, 2014, 7:31 pm

The Colorado Avalanche won Saturday to lock up a playoff spot but lost top scorer Matt Duchene for at least four weeks with a knee injury.

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Factbox: National Hockey League playoff race (Reuters)

By at 31 March, 2014, 12:57 pm

(Reuters) – State of play in the National Hockey League playoff race before the regular season ends on April 13. The top three teams from each division earn automatic berths while the next two highest-placed finishers in each conference, regardless of …

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Should the Islanders change their name to Brooklyn after move, new owners? (Puck Daddy)

By at 31 March, 2014, 11:08 am

The New York Islanders are going to have a new home by 2015, and likely a new owner with it. Charles Wang is seeking to sell the team, and the NY Post reports that lawyer Andrew Barroway, who was once in line to buy the New Jersey Devils, is the leading candidate.
And why not? Barclays Center, the future Brooklyn home for the Islanders, has reportedly guaranteed at least $50 million in annual revenue for the regular season to ownership. That’s a nice carrot for anyone seeking to buy the team but who is wary about losing money, despite the relocation from Nassau County.
Of course, Brooklyn affords several revenue options that Nassau never could, and that includes rebranding. The team has hired Gameplan Creative, a Chicago based firm that helped turn the Chicago Blackhawks into a massive success locally during the last eight years. They connected young star players with young fans with disposable income, and made Blackhawks hockey cool.
You know, things that have to happen for the Islanders to succeed in Brooklyn.
How far will the rebranding go? Not as far as a name change, according to Sports Business Journal:

The Islanders plan to maintain their current name, logo and primary colors of orange, white and blue. There are, however, plans down the line for a third jersey for the team that could draw from the Nets’ signature black-and-white look.

Here’s the thing: Wouldn’t the Brooklyn Islanders sell better than the New York Islanders?
We know, we know … tradition, dynasty, four Cups, Mike Bossy, all of it. A move to another part of Long Island shouldn’t mean a move away from the franchise’s identity. And as SBJ noted, they’re going to need a chunk of those 8,000 season-ticket holders from Nassau to attend the 15,000-seat Barclays Center for this thing to work, and renaming the team could very well alienate them.
But … that’s a lot of revenue left on the table if they remain the “New York Islanders.”
According to The Brooklyn Game , the New Jersey Nets actually ranked 31st out of 30 NBA teams prior to their move to Brooklyn. (Yes, they actually ranked behind the Seattle Supersonics, who no longer exist.) They went all the way to fourth in the NBA in merch sales in their first year in Brooklyn.
The Islanders moving to Brooklyn is a new lease on franchise life for a team that seemed teetering on the brink of leaving the area altogether in the last decade. They’ll have a new owner. They’ll likely have different management under that owner. They’ll have a collection of players ready to win, and hopefully some new faces attracted to the Brooklyn vibe.
They’re still the Islanders. They’ll still have that connection to tradition, be it in the name or the colors. But why not revitalize the brand, broaden the fan base and sell a metric ton of new gear with a new geographic moniker?
Or does that risk alienating the Nassau fans?

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Report: Ex-Devils suitor Barroway in talks to buy Isles (NBC Sports)

By at 31 March, 2014, 9:47 am

Charles Wang (reportedly) ready to sell for a (reported) $225 million.

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Sabres name Nolan full-time coach (The SportsXchange)

By at 31 March, 2014, 9:41 am

The Buffalo Sabres lifted the interim tag from Ted Nolan by naming him full-time coach on Monday. Nolan took over on Nov. 13, replacing the fired Ron Rolston. “We are very happy to get this deal done and have Ted Nolan as our permanent head coach goi…

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NHL Playoff Death Watch: Red Wings solidify wild card; Capitals in trouble (Puck Daddy)

By at 31 March, 2014, 12:49 am

Since we’re down to the final moments of postseason life for teams in contention, Puck Daddy solemnly begins a daily countdown to annihilation.
The Detroit Red Wings’ win over the Tampa Bay Lightning increased their playoff chances by 11.2 percent, up to 80.9 percent. And in the process, Mike Babcock passed Scotty Bowman in career wins as Red Wings coach.
“Scotty is the greatest coach of all time in our business. Scotty should be in a class by himself. It’s not like I want to pass Scotty Bowman,” said Babcock, weirdly.
The victory moved the Red Wings to 84 points with seven games left, three points ahead of the Washington Capitals, who fell to the Nashville Predators in a shootout.
According to CSN’s Chuck Gormley , the Caps will need to go 5-1-1 to reach that magic 92-point mark for a playoff spot. Also: “Alex Ovechkin was on the ice for two more even-strength goals, dropping him to an NHL-worst minus-34. He has not scored an even-strength goal in 15 games, the longest stretch of his career.”
Good times.
All playoff percentages are from Sports Club Stats ; tragic numbers and other figures via the NHL. A team is eliminated from play-offs when their “Tragic Number” hits 0.
Here’s the Eastern Conference picture:

Team

Place/ Pts./ROW (Games Remaining)

Tragic #

% Chance 1 st Wild Card

% Chance of 2 nd Wild Card B

Detroit Red Wings

WILD CARD 1/84/30 (3H/4A)

47

33

Columbus Blue Jackets

WILD CARD 2/82/33 (4H/4A)

31

29

Washington Capitals

9th/81/25 (3H/4A)

13

5

14

Toronto Maple Leafs

10th/80/27 (3H/3A)

10

1

4

New Jersey Devils

11th/77/31 (5H/3A)

11

3

10

Ottawa Senators

12th/76/27 (6H/3A)

10

0

2

Carolina Hurricanes

13th/74/31 (4H/5A)

8

0

1

New York Islanders

14th/68/22(3H/5A)

2

0

The Rangers’ win and the Flyers’ shootout loss leaves New York (88) two points ahead of Philly (86), although the Flyers have two games in-hand.
The Lightning’s loss keeps them two points (93-91) in back of the Canadiens for home ice in the first round, although they still have a game in-hand.
Meanwhile in the Western Conference:

Team

Place/Record/Pts. (Games Remaining)

Tragic #

% Chance Wild Card A

% Chance of Wild Card B

Minnesota Wild

WILD CARD 1/87/31 (4H/3A)

51

32

Phoenix Coyotes

WILD CARD 2/84/30 (4H/3A)

20

32

Dallas Stars

9th/83/33 (3H/5A)

15

28

35

Vancouver Canucks

10th/79/29 (5H/1A)

7

0

0

Nashville Predators

11th/77/31 (3H/5A)

5

0

0

Winnipeg Jets

12th/75/27 (3H/4A)

5

0

0

No movement on the bubble on Sunday, but the Wild are at the LA Kings on Monday in a key game.
The Ducks (104 points) host the Jets with a chance to increase their division lead over San Jose (103) and close to within a point of idle St. Louis for the conference lead.

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NHL Playoff Death Watch: Wild make statement; Leafs’ bubble bursting (Puck Daddy)

By at 30 March, 2014, 10:33 am

Since we’re down to the final moments of postseason life for teams in contention, Puck Daddy solemnly begins a daily countdown to annihilation.
The Minnesota Wild’s rally to defeat the Phoenix Coyotes increased their chances of snagging the first of two wild cards to over 50 percent, which would mean not only a playoff berth but avoiding St. Louis in the first round.
From Mike Russo:

One week after coach Mike Yeo said the Wild was a “different team” and not in the midst of another late-season collapse, the Wild wasn’t giving anybody reason to believe otherwise. The Stars walked into St. Louis two nights after the Wild was pummeled there and won 4-2 tonight.
So if the Coyotes hung on to beat the Wild, the Wild would have fallen one point behind Phoenix with Dallas only a point behind the Wild. Instead, the proverbial four-point game. The Wild got two third-period goals from Zach Parise and a winning goal by Jared Spurgeon to pull three up on Phoenix in the race for the top wildcard spot and stay four up on Dallas.

Exciting times. In the Eastern Conference, too…
All playoff percentages are from Sports Club Stats ; tragic numbers and other figures via the NHL. A team is eliminated from play-offs when their “Tragic Number” hits 0.
Here’s the Eastern Conference picture:

Team

Place/ Pts./ROW (Games Remaining)

Tragic #

% Chance 1 st Wild Card

% Chance of 2 nd Wild Card B

Columbus Blue Jackets

WILD CARD 1/82/33 (4H/4A)

34

24

Detroit Red Wings

WILD CARD 2/82/29 (4H/4A)

37

32

Washington Capitals

9th/80/25 (3H/5A)

14

7

16

Toronto Maple Leafs

10th/80/27 (3H/3A)

10

1

5

New Jersey Devils

11th/77/31 (5H/3A)

11

4

12

Ottawa Senators

12th/74/26 (6H/3A)

12

0

2

Carolina Hurricanes

13th/74/31 (4H/5A)

11

0

1

New York Islanders

14th/68/22(3H/5A)

4

0

Wins by the Blue Jackets and Red Wings put them two up over the Capitals and the floundering Leafs, who now have just a 6.5 percent chance of making the playoffs.
Detroit hosts Tampa Bay tonight, while the Capitals are in Nashville.
The Rangers are in Edmonton today while the Flyers host the Bruins. The Rangers are one point up on Philly for home ice, while the Flyers have two games in hand.
Meanwhile in the Western Conference:

Team

Place/Record/Pts. (Games Remaining)

Tragic #

% Chance Wild Card A

% Chance of Wild Card B

Minnesota Wild

WILD CARD 1/87/31 (4H/3A)

51

32

Phoenix Coyotes

WILD CARD 2/84/30 (4H/3A)

20

32

Dallas Stars

9th/83/33 (3H/5A)

15

28

35

Vancouver Canucks

10th/79/29 (5H/1A)

7

0

1

Nashville Predators

11th/75/31 (3H/5A)

5

0

0

Winnipeg Jets

12th/75/27 (3H/4A)

5

0

0

Calgary Flames

13th/69/25 (2H/6A)

1

The Stars’ huge win over the Blues put them in position to make the dance. They have a 63.2 percent chance of doing so …
The Ducks are atop of the Pacific with 104 points, one more than San Jose and with two games in-hand. So … Sharks and Kings in the first round. Which, incidentally, would be the No. 3 vs. No. 6 series if we ranking them 1-8.

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NHL-Highlights of Saturday’s NHL games (Reuters)

By at 29 March, 2014, 11:30 pm

(Adds later games) March 29 (The Sports Xchange) – Highlights of Saturday’s National Hockey League games: – – Bruins 4, Capitals 2 Jarome Iginla scored twice while backup goaltender Chad Johnson saved 31-of-33 shots to give the Boston Bruins a 4-2 …

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NHL Three Stars: Helm tricks hapless Leafs; Habs’ win streak at five (Puck Daddy)

By at 29 March, 2014, 11:09 pm

Let’s talk about how terrifying Thomas Greiss’s mask is.
No. 1 Star: Darren Helm, Detroit Red Wings
Helm registered a hat trick in the Red Wings’ 4-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs — a win that pushed Toronto’s winless streak to 8 games. Helm …

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