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Illegal Curve Hockey Show Recap

A recap of all the insight, analysis, opinion, shenanigans and articles mentioned on Saturday’s Illegal Curve Hockey Show aired on TSN Radio 1290

The Illegal Curve Hockey Show Recap – May 12, 2012

Starring: Drew Mindell as Host, Richard Pollock as analyst, Ezra Ginsburg as co-analyst and Michael Remis as operator of the R-Desk.

The Highlights

­-Capitals vs. Rangers game 7 preview

-Drew deleted Ezra off of BBM this week because of his annoying, repetitive messages during the workday.

-Phoenix Coyotes vs. Los Angeles Kings Western Conference

-Interviews with Josh Cooper of the Tennessean, Bruce Dowbiggin of the Globe & Mail and Bobby Holik former NHLer and of

-Shot blocking has become an epidemic in hockey that needs to be stopped

Washington Capitals vs. New York Rangers Game 7 Preview

Required Reading: Roy McGregor of the Globe & Mail: Shot blocking renaissance gives rise to injury fears

Required Reading: Larry Brooks New York Post: Rangers out to score big win

Richard: Tonight’s game 7 matchup should be a dandy if you like shot blocking, if you want to watch real hockey and skill, this game won’t be aesthetically pleasing

Ezzy: These systems aren’t that different than Guy Boucher’s 1-3-1 and the “protest game” that occurred earlier this year between Philadelphia and Tampa Bay.

Ezzy: The fact that the Rangers can’t put away Ottawa or Washington, will not help them beat the Devils if they get into the next round

Richard: If they get into the Stanley Cup Final against LA, who’s played one game over the minimum, who do you think will be fresher in June?

Drew: It will be difficult for a team who’s played two consecutive seven game series to make it to, and win, the Stanley Cup

-The NBA is starting their 2nd round series while the 1st round is still ongoing, should the NHL begin this practice to reduce downtime?

-Fundamentally there is an issue where Ovechkin and Backstrom are playing the same amount of ice as Jay Beagle and Jason Chimera

Richard: John Tortorella has mismanaged the lineup and is going too defense heavy and not letting their scorers play in a scoring role.

Drew: There are a lot of skilled guys in the Rangers top six, it doesn’t make sense why they would play this style of hockey

Richard: On what team did Wayne Gretzky, Pavel Bure, Mark Messier, Eric Lindros play once every four shifts like Ovechkin is in this playoffs.

Drew: If I’m the opponent I want to see Ovechkin on the ice as little as possible, he almost scored from his knees last game!

Ezzy: The Rangers are walking on eggshells and they are trying to play their defense so well that they’ll win. In game 7 against Ottawa they played not to lose, and didn’t have the puck for most of the game.

Carl Hagelin’s points in the first round were a result of leeching off of the more skilled Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik, similar to how Ezzy leeches off of Richard and Drew on this show.

Richard: It will be some bounce off of some shin pad in a 2-1 or 3-2 game that wins it

St. John’s IceCaps game 7

-Robin Short of the St. John’s Telegram writes that Keith McCambridge is catching the eye of NHL head coaches

Required reading: St. John’s Telegram: McCambridge’s stay in St John’s could be brief

-With the organizational depth on defense, the Jets should look to trade some of it for offense this off-season

-Paul Postma has made some impressive defensive strides this season, Jets fans should expect to see him in the NHL next season.

Drew: It would be disappointing year for St. John’s if they lose in seven games after holding a 3-1 lead

Interview with Josh Cooper of the Tennessean

Required reading: Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated – The Russian Question

-Josh says he was not the one who tipped off Predators management that Radulov & Kostitsyn were out late at a Scottsdale bar, but says that sometimes reporters walk a fine line between being a member of the media and developing relationships with players and media.

-The curfew is more of “exercise your best judgment”, than a hard curfew. Kostitsyn and Radulov could have been in their hotel room, but up until 4am

-Josh says sitting them for the second game maybe wasn’t the smartest thing to do. This is the first time where Barry Trotz and David Poille can be second guessed because they were the favorites and had the talent to win the Stanley Cup.

-Doesn’t think that Radulov will go back to Russia, but if he does, we’ll know where his intentions are. From talking to Radulov, Cooper gets the sense that the Russian forward does want to play with the best players in the world. If he would come back, things may need to be smoothed out with him and Barry Trotz who may not see eye to eye.

-Ryan Suter is a pending UFA, Cooper is not sure if they are the favourite to sign him. The way the Radulov and Kostitsyn was handled, and the fact that the Predators were favourites and “choked” against Phoenix, it may alter his thinking (in terms of staying or going). He has earned the right to test the market, and he may check it out.

-David Poille said that Colin Wilson has to be more consistent, that has been the issue with him, he’s shown flashes of being a dominant power forward in the NHL, the issue is can he do that on a night to night basis.

-Ryan Suter and Shea Weber will be difficult to replace if necessary, management will have to step up and show that they want to continue building a winner in Nashville.

Interview with Bruce Dowbiggin of the Globe & Mail

-Ron MacLean sometimes tries too hard, he can appreciate what he was trying to say, but it came off wrong. This was a prepared piece; it’s not just Ron, but everyone at HNIC. It was kind of tasteless. This is the biggest show in the country that is held to the highest standard, which was not met this week.

-Nobody at CBC knows how to tell Bob Cole goodbye. Mark Lee and Kevin Weekes have been the number two team all year, and should be given a shot.

– The NHL is getting national exposure from NBC who uses their multiple channels to make all playoff games available. It has helped ratings, and there is a “coolness” factor of the NHL at the moment.

-The NHL has done well in ratings; the NBA has been average to mediocre at best. There hasn’t been a lot of snap, crackle & pop for the NBA on TV. But to say that the NHL is taking away viewers from that would be hard to say.

-The NHL has consciously staggered game times, taking a page from March Madness, it’s been a positive. Having three weekends in the first round, does stretch it out a bit, but the league wants their weekend ratings.

-The NHL thought about starting the Phoenix/LA series early, but doesn’t think the NHL will start the next round before the previous round ends. The playoffs are tough on the body and teams need their rest.

-TV executives look at advertising revenue and ratings first and foremost, in Canada we scrutinize the play of the game. In the NFL and NBA the stars are able to be stars, in hockey, it’s a bit backwards, people in Canada would rather see Jay Beagle or the unsung hero as the guy in the playoffs. Everyone likes the Cinderella once in a while, but these days’ coaches shut down stars and it’s very hard for an offensive star to do anything in the playoffs.

Required Reading: Eric Duhatschek of the Globe & Mail proposes a three in the key rule

Western Conference Final Preview

Ezzy: After the LA Kings defeated the number one and two seeds quite easily, it’s hard not to pick the LA Kings in at most five games. Richard is taking the Kings in six.

Phoenix has played a dysfunctional Chicago team, and a Nashville team who did not know how to deal with being the favourite, and the Radulov and Kostitsyn incident.

LA is clearly the more talented team in this series, they should be able to take advantage of a players Adrian Aucoin, Derek Morris and Dave Shlemko.

The Kings are big enough and strong enough to take advantage of a young Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Keith Yandle who are not that great defensively.

Richard: “Every time I consider taking Phoenix, I look at their roster…then I vomit.”

Watching the Phoenix game in Winnipeg this season was the equivalent to watch paint drying.

The Coyotes are not Stanley Cup material, in the same way George Costanza is not Penske material.

The New Jersey Devils

-The Devils ability to create offense with their star players is much different than Washington and New York who play their good players the same amount as their lower line players.

-While Marek Zidlicky may not be the greatest defensive defenseman, he is the offensive puck moving defenseman that the team needed.

-Patrik Elias and Zach Parise have been getting time on the penalty kill, which has been the best penalty kill in the league

-It doesn’t make sense not to play your best players in all situations, the idea you have to be a great shot blocker to succeed in this league on the penalty kill is absurd.

-Peter DeBoer and Dale Hunter hate each other going back to junior hockey. (DeBoer was previously with Oshawa)

Required Reading: Devils’ Pete DeBoer and Washington Capitals’ coach Dale Hunter have history

Required Reading: Fire and Ice Deboer has more history with Hunter

Philadelphia Flyers

-Ilya Bryzgalov has a contract that is completely untradeable. The fact that he wasn’t very good, and demonstrated character issues that were present before, makes this contract even worse.

-Paul Holmgren commented that James Van Riemsdyk is never healthy; the boys speculated that he could/should be a trade target for the Jets.

-The Flyers showed that they won both of their offseason trades of Mike Richards and Jeff Carter getting Schenn, Simmonds, Couturier and Voracek. Combined with Claude Giroux, Danny Briere and Scott Hartnell, the future looks very bright in Philadelphia.

St. Louis Blues

-Having a healthy Jaroslav Halak would have made a difference in the series.

-St. Louis was not the same team against LA that they were versus San Jose.

-St. Louis didn’t have the scoring to make a deep playoff run.

-Chris Stewart was a disappointment this season.

-The Blues are pieces a way from a team that can make a deeper run in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Interview with Bobby Holik

-Marty Brodeur has a “tremendous competitiveness” that drives him to continue to play at an elite level. He doesn’t need to be spectacular, but has to make the saves to give the team a chance to win, he has been doing that.

-Larry Robinson is one of the most qualified people in hockey to be a head coach. He’s a difference maker in the Devils organization.

-Part of the reason that the Flyers lost to the Devils was because they didn’t respect them. The Flyers needed to change their attitude and their style of play but they did not make the necessary adjustments.

-A game seven is not “just another game”, there’s a lot of anticipation. As a player all you want to do is get on the ice and make something happen, hit, be hit, make a pass, take a shot, it will get you into “game mode” and make you forget about the pressure and anticipation. It is something that is learned as you go on.

-The ice at MSG has improved after renovations and improvements in technology, it shouldn’t be as much of a factor as people think it is. The Rangers are in a tough spot because nobody in the organization thought they would be in this position playing in two game sevens against lower ranked seeds. The Capitals will be more relaxed as the underdog.

-There are too much tinkering of the rules, the reason it comes down to shot blocking is because there are 30 teams, the talent is diluted and teams have to resort to collapsing around the net.

NHL News & Notes

-The Phoenix ownership situation…call us when the deal is signed

-No problem with Brian Burke asking Rick Dudley to wait until after the draft before he goes to Montreal

Rapid Fire

Deadspin: The drunken adventures of Patrick Kane

This is less surprising after reading these:

Dave Shoalts of the Globe & Mail: An uneasy peace in Chicago

CBC Sports: Elliotte Friedman’s 30 Thoughts