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April 24, 2008

Comments

While I can see how Jagr's comments could be taken out of context and used as bulletin board fodder, even a perusal of the article clearly shows the kind of respect he's giving these two players. Not to mention, he also praises Malkin to no end, even going as far as to basically say Malkin is better than he himself was. And finally, the way I interpreted his comments was NOT that Crosby or Malkin are not as good as Maio was. He clearly goes onto point out that the game has changed in the sense that all of the players are now so much better than they were, it's impossible for one person to dominate the way Mario did. To me, that's pretty clearly his point.

Not to mention Sykora came out and said he didn't understand why Jagr would be booed.

I don't know, I'm just not seeing the fodder there. I'm seeing the Rangers continuing to try to inflate the egos of their opponents. I'd have to think that the Penguins battle level will not be as high as the Rangers' in game one mostly because they haven't been pushed enough yet in the postseason where the Rangers have. The Rangers should be looking to steal game one before Pitts' higher battle level -and they'll have one - is drawn out of them.

If the Penguins need any need any bulletin board material to get themselves ready for the series, then it will be over before it started.

pghas and Anthony M.,

Well said---Couldn't have put it any better.

Hey Dubi, I just wanted to make you aware that those idiots over at the Pensblog (thepensblog.blogspot.com) have posted the your email response to their inquiry regarding crosslinking sites for the series. They have the whole thing blatantly posted on their front page, and they basically are trashing you at every turn.

Just thought you should know.

You have no idea how badly I want to beat these bastards.

Yes, Jeff, I know -- let them be judged by their own actions and words and please don't give them the satisfaction of a response, which is all they want and which is what I refused to give them for reasons which are well explained in the private message they made public. To repeat what I wrote in an earlier thread:

Folks, I would ask that you take a cue from the way the Rangers have comported themselves during the playoffs and not get into a war of words with the opposition. Just say nice things about them and let them hang themselves going crazy over anything they think you said or did.

I'm talking of course about a Pittsburgh blog that would love nothing more than to get into a flame war with us, especially after I declined to deal with them due to the disrespect they showed John Dellapina. Please, just say nice things about their "sense of humor" and move on to more important things, like winning a playoff series. Thanks!

I agree pghas,

I believe that Jagr was saying that the way the game was played back then it allowed for a player like Mario was to be dominant to the point where he won games by himself ... Afterall Mario would have multi 5-6 points games nearly every other night ... Crosby so far has had one 6+ point game in his 3 year career .... Jagr was talking about the game was back then vs now ... imo he praised them and what are they going to put in their bulletin board? That they believe that they ARE better or just as good as Mario Lemieux was in his prime? The fact is that they aren't there yet and being that Lemieux is their owner I doubt they will make that bulletin board material since Jags does nothing but praise Lemieux and Crosby/Malkin right along with him ...

rangers in 6. Im picking the pens to win game two and 5 and thats it. Rangers dominate the rest with better defense, grit and patience

I think the two players we need to contain are Malkin and Gonchar. With respect to Cindi, just be at his side EVERY time he goes over to the refs.

Good read about the Vezina from CNNSI:

http://www.fannation.com/blogs/post/181935

Dubi, don't worry, I wouldn't give them the satisfaction. Sad, sad people they are, though. They must really have a lot of time on their hands.

I think Jagr knows what he is doing. He is a saavy veteran who's been in the Playoffs many times. He knows every word he says is going to be seen by them. I think he is doing this on purpose. You have these comments today, you have his comments that Malkin is the better player, and you have his comments that he doesn't like being booooed. Almost all of that could be considered bulletin board material. Head games....that's what is going on. We worked the Devils into a tizzy mentally. Jagr may had have a subpar season, but he can take over this series just as much as Sid or Gino can.

And I love how all these articles say that the Pens will definitely not allow Avery to effect their game. Oh yea, just ignore him. If it was that easy, everyone would just ignore him. What are they gonna do? Go after him?...he wants them to. Go out of their way to hit him?... he wants them to. Rough him up after the whistle?... he wants them to. Ignore him?... great, he'll score. We all already know Gary Roberts cannot ignore him and he's there for veteran leadership. And we already know MA Fleury is a headcase.


They have not faced any adversity yet. These kids folded pretty quickly last year when they did start losing.

And to Oleo and Mitch... I am not discounting or overlooking anyone or anything that the Pens bring to the table. To me, I do not think this series will be a walk in the park for either team. I too think this series will go 6 or 7 games. But I'm just not scared of them. In much the same way I was not scared of Buffalo last season either when everyone else kept trying to say we had no chance. Renney and Co. had a game plan last year... they'll have one for the Pens as well.

They do have lots of time on their hands. There are a lot of cut and pastes over there. After all, remember back before the lockout. There were only 6000 fans in the Igloo. The rest of them attending now are bandwagon jumpers, groupies or hockey know-nothings.

the way i see it if the Rangers can stay out of the box, play low scoring games and limit the bad goals they will have the upperhand this series but unlike the Devils, the Pens wont hit posts and miss open nets...

i had the misfortune to be in miami after that '96 rangers-penguins series staying at the fountainbleu, the same hotel the penguins were residing in during the conference final against the panthers

i bumped into bryan trottier and ron francis in the lobby (along with some other guy who had a stanley cup tattoo on his leg emblazoned with the penguins logo and 1991 1992 on either side of it, i think he worked for the team)...i was probably the only person in south florida to recognize them, and they were shocked

when i told them i was from new york the tattoo guy asked if i was a ranger fan

i told him yes, and he laughed

to this day, thinking of him makes my blood boil

i have bad, bad memories of that, and the blood lust in pittsburgh for graves after the slash (anyone else remember jiggs mcdonald and stan fischler screaming for a lengthy suspension on sportschannel?)

i also remember, after the '96 series, somebody in the pittsburgh media claiming the rangers' loss proved their cup in '94 wasn't earned because they never had to play the penguins

to say i'd love to see a sweep here is an understatement

We are 0 for 3 in the playoffs against them, having been tormented by Mario every time. Given the lack of playoff series' against them and the few times we have played them, I maintain a very healthy hate for them and their fair-weather fandom. Their current situation is a replay of the former......tank entire seasons, stockpile high picks and become good again. My dislike of the Pens approaches that of the Flyers, and we have a lot more history with them over the years. Of course, neither of those approach my loathing for the Devils and Islanders, but the Penguins are surely in tier 2. After this series, they might move up. I expect them to have twice the power plays than we have, so the keys will be special teams and goaltending. Hank outplayed Martha, and he will need to out play Fleury.

i'll bet if the rangers score more than the ice chikins, they'll win. cripes!! let's get thing going all ready.

Seems like everybody is predicting a Pens win in six or seven. That's cool, we're the underdog. I think in a weird way that's the best position to be in. This teams seems to have a spiteful side, where if you tell them they can't, they'll do it twice just to prove you wrong. We have been able to get up for tough games,, whereas we have mailed in lackluster efforts against lesser foes. There is no mistaking the Pens for easy prey, so I like to think we have them right where we want them

thisyearsmodel

no matter what the Penguins will have more PP then we will so that has to be expected but the key is to not let them get any 5-3 oppurtunities. They are too good for that.

i'd like to know if anyone could get statistics on how many times the Penguins had more powerplays than the opponent this season

To the end of fair-weather fans, I'd have to agree with Gio. It's a phenomenon that happens with all successful teams. When teams are losing, an atmosphere of pointlessness consumes a lot of a city. That said, it is not a situation unique to any one team or any one city. Yes, I am a Pens fan, and have been for the better part of two decades. I know many people who can say the same. Not once in that 20-some years have I wavered in my support of my chosen team. I say chosen because I, unlike many sports fans, decided that this was my favorite team not by geographic convenience, but rather by choice. I have never once stepped foot in Pittsburgh, coming the closest to the city bypassing it on my way back west from a trip to Philly. I live a couple thousand miles away from the Burgh, but any time the Pens are on the west coast, I find time to go to a game. One year, going so far as to follow them on a San Jose -> Anaheim -> LA -> Phoenix swing.

That said, I revert to my original point. When a city is geographically dedicated to a team, such as Pittsburgh is to the Pens or NY is to the Rangers, all fan-bases falter when confronted with the adversity of losing. To say otherwise would be ill-advised, and bordering on showing mental impairment.

The Jagr article was kind, and as far as I have read on The Pensblog or otherwise, no visceral anger has boiled up from it. It was a good read, and quite complimentary.

To refuse The Pensblog's invite for a cross-site discourse shows that perhaps you have internalized the feud a little more than is necessary. Based on the comments here, one would think that any of the posters has some significant impact on the outcome of the games. Quotes like "Please, just say nice things about their "sense of humor" and move on to more important things, like winning a playoff series. Thanks!" tend to imply that you and yours can have an effect on winning. I'm sorry to point out that unless you are paid on gameday to head onto the ice, you're probably only living a vicarious dream through your idols out there. The invite, I believe, was all in good fun (Something like Fiveforsmiting (Ottawa) and Pensburgh (Pitt) did last round in providing postmortems after the game), though I can't say for sure, as I'm obviously not on the staff, nor have any interaction with them beyond the comments section of the site. I found the Fiveforsmiting/Pensburgh recaps to be quite interesting, but, obviously this site's administrator took exception with a previously posted photo which was meant as a rib at a member of the NY media. I find it unfortunate that because of that, fan interaction should be reduced to a "smile and nod" type deal. The great thing about hockey is the passion of its fans. But alas, we shall do without.

That said, enjoy the series.

Gio -- We have a standard here at Blueshirt Bulletin that when we disagree with what someone says, we tell everyone why we disagree with them, and in the process we don't call them ridiculous or lame or any other name. Since I don't have time to edit every post that is made, I delete those that do not adhere to this standard, regardless of who made it. I have no problem with what you wrote about fair-weather fans -- I even agree with much of it. So feel free to re-post it without the personal remarks and it will stand.

You should also leave out the reference to the blog that violated my privacy by publishing a personal E-mail message -- not that I mind under the circumstances since my reply to them compared to their reaction says all that needs to be said about the site. The "sense of humor" excuse is not one that flies with me, not when they send people over to disrupt a reporter's web site and interefere with him doing this job.

This is not a joke, this is not just a game, this is a business -- for the teams, the reporters, and this web site and magazine. Have fun over at your site, get your laughs however you want, and we'll leave you to it. How's that?

Cody -- There is no feud between me and the other blog. They asked to do some cross-promotion, and I told them that, being a friend of the reporter they dissed, that my answer was no (if it was just a humorous photo on their blog, that's one thing -- but they sent their readers over to the reporter's blog to disrupt it, and that's going too far when a man's livelihood in part of the equation).

Anyway, that was the end of it as far as I was concerned. They went ahead and posted my private E-mail and made fun of it -- to which my reaction here was to ask my readers to please not respond and start a flame war. We remain committed to business as usual here -- if Pens fans want to come over and discuss the series with us, we welcome that. But if they violate the standard of respect that we've worked hard to establish here, then their comments will be deleted without warning or explanation -- that's the same standard we apply to Ranger fans who post inappropriately, and that will include any comments by Ranger fans in response to Pens fans that are inappropriate.

UPDATE: The Rangers have signed Wolf Pack goal Miika Wiikman to an NHL contract.

good for Wiikman, he deserved it...

oleosmirf:
Since we Pens fans have so much time on our hands, I decided to run the numbers for you. What the raw stats show me is that the claim of a league-wide conspiracy benefiting Crosby is a bit unfounded. Here's the result:

Pittsburgh :
Total Powerplay Opportunities: 378 (4th in the NHL for raw # of PP opportunities)
Total Times Shorthanded: 357 (13th in the NHL)
Powerplay to Shorthanded difference: +21

NYR:
Total Powerplay Opportunities: 370 (7th in the NHL for raw # of PP opportunities)
Total Times Shorthanded: 343 (19th in the NHL)
Powerplay to Shorthanded difference: +27

Giving NYR a total edge of +6 opportunities over Pittsburgh on the season.

Take from that what you will, but do at least take from it that the league isn't calling a penalty every time Sid breathes.

Cody

interesting info but that was not my question. My question was in how many games did the penguins have more powerplays than their opponent.

I havent really watched too many penguin games to say anything regarding Crosby diving but from what i have seen he does get the benefit of the doubt but defiantely not as bad as Brodeur...

It's unlikely there will be any backlash in Pittsburgh over Jagr's comments. It's simply indisputable that the talent gulf between Mario and, say, Jim Paek makes the large difference between Crosby/Malkin and Adam Hall look small by comparison.

Regarding Dellapina's article from a few weeks ago: it was poorly researched, unprofessional and, since it was item #1 on Pittsburgh radio on that particular day, his website would have been swamped with outraged comments whether a certain website linked it or not. Since his column could be summed up as one which accuses another organization of poor sportsmanship in comparison to a club that employs a player who has twice been accused of using racial slurs on ice (by different players of different ethnicities on different teams at different times), it also reeked of hypocrisy.

Does that stat take into account that Sidney Crosby missed 29 games ?

Quite frankly I do not care anyway ... I think is fine for us fans to debate about power plays and such but again, just like with the Devils the Rangers can't control that ... sure they can be as discipline as possible so as not to take stupid penalties ... but they need to focus on what they can control and that certainly isn't the refs ...

Steve

Dellapina didn't use any racial slurs. A Ranger ALLEGEDLY did. How can Dellapina be a hypocrite for that? He wasn't defending it and he didn't do it, he didn't even mention it. Look up the word.

oleosmirf:
I realize your initial question was a bit more in-depth than my answer, but I don't really have time right now to do a game-by-game analysis of the powerplays. Perhaps tonight when I get home I'll dig through game logs to see. I just figured some analysis of the raw total stats would be better than none.

Matty:
Obviously, as it's a season total, the answer is no. I also agree with your assessment of the control we have over powerplays, which is to say, none. I'd venture to guess that as a team, NY is quite disciplined, as is evidenced by Avery's ability to draw penalties without taking them himself. I'd also say, given Pittsburgh's style of play, they tend to have fewer calls against them because they rarely play an overly physical game, so really, the two styles, while offensively similar, have different implications on the defensive end. Refs will be refs, no side will agree with all of the calls they make, that's why we're fans and not analysts.

Dellapina functions as part of team Ranger. If Avery would make a personal remark about Rangers' ownership, he would be out of a job. If Dellapina were to write personal remark about a Ranger board member, his press pass would be revoked, ultimately leaving him out of a job as well. In that capacity, he accused another team of bad sportsmanship, ignoring the larger closet (full of more and larger skeletons) of the team he praised in the aforementioned column for not showing the poor sportsmanship he so disliked in the other organization. Hence, hypocrisy.

Dellapina as part of team Ranger? Nice try. John has repeatedly criticized the Rangers, from Glen Sather to some of the pathetic coaches he hired in the past, to underachieveing players. But then, the News is not sold in Pittsburgh, so you would not know that. One of the most ardent criticisms he leveled at management was their handling of Brian Leetch. Of course, the past 2 years things have improved, and less criticism was warranted. Pittsburgh writers might have to bow at the throne of Mario, but that is most definitely not the case in NY. Also, you might want to research the word "allegedly." Sidney "allegedly" faked a high stick a couple weeks ago, and "allegedly" found black tape marks on his mouthpiece to prove he wasn't acting. Of course, this would not have happened had not everyone in the building and watching on TV thought he was acting. Was he? Allegedly. We'll never know.

Oleo here are totals (if I wrote the conditional formula in excel correctly):

# of games where Pit had PP opps > PK opps 39
during those games they averaged 5.69 PP vs. 3.25 PK

# of games where Pit had PP opps = PK opps 14
during those games they averaged 4.28 PP/PK

# of games where Pit had PP opps < PK opps 29
during those games they averaged 3.31 PP vs. 5.82 PK

And this one:
Running the same formula for NY, what's the spread for them?

Steve

You seem like a reasonable guy. Why not discuss the Rangers/Pens and not this blog, a sports writer or the weather? The poor taste of that picture reflects poorly on the blog, not the Pens. You may not be aware that we have had truly coarse people posting here, saying all sorts of very nasty things about the Rangers and those who post here, and they were Rangers fans! They have been wiped out, so stay on subject and civil and we all can have a good debate. Maybe, after the searies is over, unlike the Devils, we can shake hands.

Steve -- The research behind Dellapina's article came from talking to Jaromir Jagr, which is exactly what a reporter is supposed to do. Jagr said Lemieux got preferential treatment, Crosby gets it too -- and that's OK, that the league should protect its starts. Dellapina asked why Jagr doesn't get the same treatment and Jagr said that was because he prefers to continue trying to make a play than trying to draw penalties. What Jagr said jives 100% with the visual evidence of how Crosby plays the game vs. how Jagr plays the game.

Dellapina works independently of the Rangers. He works for one of the top newspapers in the country. The relationship between his paper and the team may best be exemplified by how Frank Isola covers the Knicks and how the Knicks have dealt with that -- no matter what the Knicks tried to do to Isola, he kept right on them all the way. Dellapina's record speaks for itself -- he has been as objective a reporter as you can find, and he also happens to be one of the best, staying long after others have gone upstairs to write their stories to get as much as he can for his stories.

Nevertheless, whether you agree with him or not -- and he'd be the first to grant you your right to disagree -- there is a way to do it, and way to not do it. The way to do it is what you're doing here now -- present the numbers, present the facts, present the argument. The way to NOT do it to photoshop someone pissing on his likeness and tell your readers to go over and disrupt his blog with profanity and disrespect. There is no defense for what was done -- not "sense of humor", and certainly not "two wrongs make it right" just because you think what Dellapina wrote is wrong (which is clearly an arguable point).

Rangers:

PP>PK: 39 (5.33 PP vs 3 PK)
PP = PK: 14 (4.14 PP/PK)
PP

vs. the Pens
total PP: 42
total PK: 35
games where NYR had more PP: 6

didn't post correctly, games where NYR had more PK than PP = 29, erased the spreadsheet I worked that out in, but they were similar numbers to the Pens.

Here are some number to chew on: The Rangers had 42 power plays in the eight games vs. the Pens, while the Pens had only 35. But wait -- during those games, the Rangers outshot the Pens every single time, by a total of 260-182. If you consider shots to be a reflection of an edge in play -- and in this case, the shot totals accurately reflect who scored more goals and who won more games -- the penalties should be in the same ballpark. Well, the Rangers did have the edge, but they had only a 20% edge in PPs while building a 43% edge in shots.

But here's the kicker -- the PP stats are skewed by one game, one single game, where the Rangers got six to the Pens' getting one. In the other seven games, the Rangers outshot the Pens by 46% (234-160), outscored them by 30% (17-13), but only got 36 power plays to 34 for Pitt, nearly even.

And here's one more interesting stat -- in the one game Crosby missed (yes, that's right folks, he only missed one game out of the eight), there were only three power plays handed out in total (2-1 Rangers). In the seven games he played, there were at least seven and as many as 13. Probably doesn't mean anything though -- just a coincidence.

Where is a Montreal-Philadelphia game?
Versus broadcasting Red wings.
Any chance to see first game on TV

Dubi,

I agree, the number of PP/PK doesn't really tell the whole story. First, it doesn't account for partial PP. Secondly, as you put it, the Rangers had a large edge in shots during the season series and if we manage to keep out of the box then it is a somewhat telling sign as to who controls the play 5 on 5 and 4 on 4.

There was a game though where we got more PP and actually lost, it was a game that Malkin scored a hat-trick. I think a lot of people were up in arms about the calls that weren't made, which despite my predilection for empirical matters, is highly subjective and nearly impossible to quantify.

Check out the video preview of the second round series that I did with ReelSportsFan.com.

Kogan,

It's being streamed on channelsurfing.net if you're interested in watching online.

You're right, Lifetime -- it's impossible to quantify non-calls. If we recall just the last two games in the season series, the home-and-home, which is really where all the controversy stemmed from, Sidney and the Pens got all the calls, including some dives, and it helped them win. The next game, the refs didn't give him the calls, at least not early on -- and he was pissed! The Rangers won that game.

The game you're talking about is an even better example of why the numbers can be misleading -- the Rangers did indeed get more PPs, 7-5, but part of the difference was a minor called against Ruutu at 19:58 of the third period. In fact, the Pens had four power plays before the Rangers got their first and were already up 3-0 (two of them PP goals) before the refs did their thing trying to help the team that's down get back into the game on their behalf.

Whoa, Flyers up 2-0 on Montreal in the 1st. Still early, though. Especially in Montreal.

Detroit is all over Colorado so far in their 1st period in Detroit. However, the 'lanche get the first power play.

2-0 Flyers after the 1st period. Phily withstood the first 10 minutes of the period when Montreal was buzzing. Montreal hit 2 goal posts. Then Brisbois deflected a crossice pass into his own net giving Phily 1-0 lead. This woke the Flyers up and they outplayed Montreal over the final 9 minutes taking a 2-0 lead. Montreal thought they scored at the very end of the 1st, but the period had already ended.

Thank you Cody.
But it is no feeds to Montreal-Philadelphia game

Lisa,

even if the Habs come back and beat the Flyers in this game, which is very possible as Flyers and 2 goal leads aren't the best of friends lately, the thing that amuses me is that Montreal fans were already singing their "Ole Ole Ole" ditty about 5 minutes into the first when the Habs had like two good scoring chances ...

1-1 in the Det/Col game right now ...

You know I was little surprised but the NHL Network's show "On The Fly" had a feature on Martin Biron(Flyers goalie) a couple of days ago and it showed a hilarious moment with Biron on the ice, the Flyers were facing the Penguins and Biron had the mic and something had happened I think between him and Crosby and Crosby was yelling at him(you couldn't hear with Sidney was saying) and Biron yelled back

"I don't whine and I don't dive!" or maybe he said "Cry" instead of "Dive" but I did hear the first one about Whine ... lol ... it was just funny ... Sidney just skated away ...

well it appears the Rangers and Penguins had pretty much equal amounts of powerplay oppurtunities but we'll have to wait till tommorow to see how it fairs in the playoffs.

kogan

both games are being streamed on channelsurfing.net but if you have a slow computer then you're out of luck...

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