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Showing posts from May, 2009

Chris Osgood, Hall of Famer?

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Yesterday, a good friend of Nitzy’s Hockey Den, Joe Pelletier brought up an interesting point on his terrific blog, greatesthockeylegends.com . In his mind, Chris Osgood will be very difficult to keep out of the Hockey Hall of Fame. I’ll take it one step further and say that Osgood is a guaranteed lock for the Hall. At first thought, one might think that’s going a bit far, the argument has always been that his team, The Red Wings were a championship squad with or without him. However, if his numbers are looked at closely the Hall of Fame is an easy call.

As of the end of 2008/09 his career record is 389-204-89 a .636 winning percentage, good for fourth all-time. His 389 wins place him tenth on the all-time list. All men above him are in the Hall of Fame save for Brodeur, Belfour and Joseph who will be eventually. Even his 49 career shutouts place him 23rd overall. He is currently working on his fourth Stanley Cup, (third as the number one goalie) and his playoff record stands at 73 win…

Red Wings vs Penguins...first re-match in 25 years.

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Detroit vs Pittsburgh. Re-match of last year’s six game final series. This of course is the first re-match of a previous year’s Cup final since the 1983 & 1984 finals between the New York Islanders and the Edmonton Oilers. There are many similarities between this year’s final and the re-match from 25 years ago. In each matchup the defending champs are searching for their fifth Stanley Cup in recent years, the Wings would be their fifth in twelve seasons and of course the Isles were going for their fifth consecutive. The challengers in each series each had the marquee player in the game in Gretzky and Crosby. The Islanders in 1984 had won a collective 58 Stanley Cups to the Oilers zero and the Wings have 30 collective Cups and the Penguins 3 (one each for Guerin, Kunitz, Sykora and Adams).

If one compares the rosters, we can pretty much match up player-to-player the rosters of the Islanders to the Wings and the Oilers to the Pens. Listed below are each Islander and Red Wing with GP-…

Most Playoff games without scoring

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Currently still playing in this season's playoffs are three players who have gone over 40 playoff games without scoring their first goal. Firstly Penguins Hal Gill sits at 72 games and Detroit's Brett Lebda has played (as of May23) a total of 51 scoreless playoff contests. Also, Pittsburgh's Brooks Orpik has gone 41 games of his own.
As well Wings, Anders Eriksson has now played 36 career scoreless games. In fairness, these four are more "shut-down" type defenders and not known for their scoring. Plus, all of them have literally years to go to catch all-time scoreless leader, Craig Muni.

Muni won 3 Stanley Cups with the Oilers and played a total of 113 career playoff games without even an empty net tally to speak of. Craig Muni is one of the many that my Leafs let slip away for next to nothing. After being a 25th overall pick out of Windsor in 1980, he toiled for four full seasons in the AHL with St.Catherines. During this time he would be deemed good enough to onl…

Tom Edur and the untapped careers

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Tom Edur, Todd Bergen, Fred Arthur and Robin Sadler. Who are they? More specifically, what do they have in common? Firstly, they were all once upon a time, future NHL stars. What they have in common is that each and everyone of them walked away from the game for personal reasons leaving an NHL career untapped.

Tom Edur had the most successful and longest NHL career of the four. At 17 he won the Memorial Cup with the Toronto Marlboros in 1973 alongside the likes of Mike Palmateer, Mark and Marty Howe and Bruce Boudreau. He was offered $250,000 to sign for three years with the Cleveland Crusaders of the WHA and promptly notched 38 points in his rookie season. Having been drafted by the Boston Bruins in 1974, he opted to stay in the WHA for the bigger dollars. After his third year, and another 35 point season he opted to join his former Cleveland coach Johnny Wilson and the Colorado Rockies of the NHL. As a 22 year old first year defenseman, he tallied 32 points and a fantastic +14 for th…

Ciccarelli, DiDomenico....Friends of the fractured femur.

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The Voltigeurs of Drummondville pulled off a slight upset by beating the Windsor Spitfires in overtime 3-2 on Saturday night. The winner was tallied by Maxime Frenette who spent most of the playoffs as the 13th forward on the Volts, that is until Drummondville’s star Chris DiDomenico was injured. DiDomenico suffered a broken femur in the Quebec League final against Shawinigan and was at benchside sitting in a wheelchair for Frenette’s dramatic winner. Frenette had only played the last four games of the final and scored one goal after tallying 19 points in 52 regular season games.

Back to DiDomenico, even with his unfortunate injury (on an icing chase for the puck) he led the league with 31 playoff assists in 15 games. The Maple Leaf 6th round pick in 2007 had recently signed a three year entry level contract with the big club. As well, he had a terrific run with team Canada winning a World Junior gold medal while playing on a line with John Tavares. The Leafs had big future plans for D…

The Playoff Woes of San Jose

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Well, the San Jose Sharks have once again struck out big in the playoffs. This year could be their most disappointing early exit, but those involved with the franchise are no strangers to earlier than expected playoff exits. Since 2000/01, the Sharks have finished first or second in their division in seven of the eight seasons and have only once gotten as far as the semi-finals. This was in 2004 when they lost in six games to the Calgary Flames. However, the worst Sharks playoff team ever was in 1995, a squad that may very well be the worst NHL team in history that actually won a playoff series.

In 1994/95 the Sharks finished the lockout shortened season with a 19-25-4 record and a .438 winning percentage. They would match up against the Flames in the first round and managed to surrender an NHL record (for a 7 game series) 35 goals. The Sharks won the first two games of the series each by 5-4 scores and then lost the next three by a combined score of 21 to 6. San Jose won game six by 5…

NHL in Hamilton?

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I may begin to start posting some of my homemade hockey logos and T-Shirts on my blog, just to mix it up from time to time. In the spirit of another attmpet to bring an unsuccessful U.S. franchise north of the border, I present my logo for the Coyotes next season...
I feel the logo offers both the gepgraphical and societal representation of the great burg of Hamilton, Ontario. As well, I figured the city deserved a most hideous colour combo for their team. I'll be forwarding a copy to Mr. Balsille and awaiting his response with bated breath.

(Ifany Hamiltonians are offended, I apologize. I have relatives there and it really is not a bad town.)

Worst Playoff Plus/Minus

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Plus/Minus in the playoffs, not a stat we often think about, but still it’s still a fairly revealing number when looked at in depth. This year the worst rating is from Mike Commodore of Columbus with a -7 in 4 games. The single season worst playoff rating is -15 by Mike Rathje of San Jose in 1995, in fact the Sharks of that season produced five of the six worst single season +/- ratings in playoff history. That will be for another blog entry.


Luc Robitaille’s -13 in 1993 is quite strange seeing as the Kings went to the final that year and throughout the playoffs outscored their opponents 93-90. He was more than double his next worst team-mate Gary Shuchuk at -6 and only four other Kings ended up in the minus. That is a very hard-earned -13 for Lucky Luc.

The Winnipeg Jets are well represented with Tomas Steen’s -13 in 1985, Troy Murray’s
-10 in 1992 and Lucien DeBlois rating an amazing -10 in the three game sweep to the Oilers in 1984 in which Edmonton outscored the Jets 18-7 in the seri…

Goals per Game in Playoffs

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Crosby and Ovechkin hat-tricks in the same game, impressive. Sure it was only the fourth time in playoff history that two guys have done it in the same game. The fact I find additionally impressive is that Crosby now has 8 goals in 8 playoff games this year, and Ovechkin is not far behind with 7 in his last 6 games and 9 games in total. How rare is it to average a goal per game in the NHL playoffs? It has not been done since 1992, and only by sixteen players since 1919. It was only done three times in the high flying 1980’s and never by Gretzky. Seeing as Crosby is up to 8 goals, I set that as the minimum number to be included in the chart below.Mario Lemieux most likely would have broken the record of 19 playoff goals if he hadn’t missed five games in 1992 due to injury. Jean Beliveau has the highest GPG (minimum 10 games) in modern history at 1.20. Only four players have averaged a goal per game while playing in more than twelve playoff games, Lemieux, Jari Kurri in 1985, Mark Messi…

Dennis O'Brien, Dave McLlwain...4 teams one season

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Watching Coach’s Corner the other day Don Cherry mentioned that Shane O’Brien of the Canucks is the nephew of one of his ex-players, Dennis O’Brien. Grapes stated that Dennis O’Brien held the record for playing on four NHL teams in one season. I decided to verify this seeing as what the source was. Indeed, during the 1977/78 season O’Brien did play for Minnesota, Colorado, Cleveland and Boston. He was claimed on waivers on Dec. 2 by the Rockies, traded to the Barons for Mike Christie on Jan. 12, and subsequently claimed by the Bruins on waivers once again on March 10 (see the card from that year above with the full airbrush job on his uniform). He would play 16 games for the B’s notching 5 points and 14 of the 15 playoff games as Boston lost the Final to Montreal. So, Grapes was correct, but was this a record? Four teams in one season is certainly the record, but O’Brien does not hold it solely.
In 1991/92 Dave McLlwain turned the trick as well. His trifecta of transactions was not qu…