6.14.2007

The FFTI Awards!

Due to the NHL Awards being given out later today, here are the official FFTI Awards for the 2006-07 NHL season. Some award names may be changed due to the fact that my brain started working better.



FFTI Teemu Selanne Award (Previously the FFTI Rookie of The Year Award, nominees still the same)- Out of Evgeni Malkin (85 points, 78 games), Paul Stastny (78 points, 82 games), Jordan Staal (42 points, 81 games), Matthew Carle (42 points, 77 games), Anze Kopitar (61 points, 72 games), Mike Green (12 points, 70 games), the Brain (mine, by the way) has decided that Paul Stastny of the Colorado Avalanche deserves the Teemu Selanne Award for best first year performance. He may have less points than Malkin, who is almost certain to win the NHL's official Calder Trophy as rookie of the year, but, if you haven't heard this from everyone else, listen up. Malkin scored 7 goals in his first 6 games, but then only 26 over the next 72. Stastny, on the other hand, had no such famous streak until down the stretch, when he had a 20-game point streak. He performed consistently all year, and wasn't highly touted for this year, unlike Malkin. Therefore, the award is his, and, believe me, if I had any was to contact him, I would tell him.





FFTI Ken Dryden Award- From the nominees of Mike Smith (23 games, 12 wins), Jaroslav Halak (16 games, 10 wins), and Josh Harding (7 games, 3 wins), I have decided that Mike Smith will grab this award. While the others had great performances, it was Smith who impressed me most, because he was there all year, but the others were injury call-ups.





FFTI Key Player Award- Basically the Hart trophy, the nominees were Sidney Crosby (120 points, 79 games), Roberto Luongo (76 games, 47 wins), Olli Jokinen (91 points, 82 games), Alex Ovechkin (92 points, 82 games), Nicklas Lidstrom (62 points, 80 games). All of these players were certainly key, but, after the playoffs (only Luongo, Crosby, and Lidstrom made it), I believe the trophy should go to Luongo. He had a stellar regular season, tying Bernie Parent's previous record for wins in one season (Martin Broduer raised it to 48 this year), and then kept the 'Nucks alive in the playoffs until they faced the eventual Stanley Cup champion, the Ducks, in round 2.



FFTI Bobby Orr Award- Pretty much the Norris, the nominees for this trophy were Nicklas Lidstrom (Duh, 62 points, 80 games), Scott Niedermayer (Why not? 69 points, 79 games, Conn Smythe sounds good to me.), Sergei Gonchar (67 points, 82 games, really young team), Kevin Bieska (sorry, messed up the name before, 42 points, 81 games), Kimmo Timonen (55 points, 80 games), Phillipe Boucher (51 points, 76 games, I'm a Stars fan). Out of these players, I believe that this trophy should go to (gasp) Sergei Gonchar. He was on a really young team, and hardly got noticed due to the fact that his team as a whole wasn't very responsible defensively. He still managed to have a great season. Congratulations Gonchar, enjoy it because you won't get the Norris.



FFTI Pavel Kubina Award- To the best defensive defenseman, if you can't tell by the nominees. By the way, they were Anton Volchenkov (78 games, 273 blocked shots, nuf said), Jason Smith (82 games, 228 blocked shots, horrible defensive team ravaged by injuries), Andy Sutton (55 games, 162 blocked shots), Karlis Skrastins (68 games, 190 blocked shots, blocking shots not reason for end of games-played streak), Zybnek Michalek (82 games, 167 blocked shots, another weak team). Of course, after watching him keep up that kind of play through the playoffs, I need to give this to Anton Volchenkov. The guy was amazing. Yes, in Game 5 he messed up a few times, but, unlike some of his teammates, he didn't just give up. HE kept trying. He was great.



FFTI Bob Probert Award- Lots of fights, lots of points, lots of toughness. Nominees were Sean Avery, Chris Neil, Kevin Bieska, and Keith Tkachuk. I couldn't bring up the stats, but, I think everyone would agree that Sean Avery gets this award. The man scored 48 points in 84 games, and still had the occasional outburst.



FFTI Jacques Plante Award- Basically the Vezina, doesn't have to be on a weak team. Nominees were, Martin Broduer, Roberto Luongo, Marc-Andre Fleury (sorry, another mistake on the name, 40 wins, 67 games), Niklas Backstrom (23 wins, 41 games). Now, because I didn't even use two of the NHL's nominees, it makes it all that much easier to pick Roberto Luongo for this award. If you don't know why I picked him, look at the reason provided in the Key Player award.



FFTI Roberto Luongo Award- I know I picked a goalie for my Key Player Award, but this is like the goalie's Hart Trophy. Nominees were Luongo (he won't win yet), Marc-Andre Fluery, Henrik Lundqvist (37 wins, 70 games), Cam Ward (30 wins, 60 games), Rick DiPietro (32 wins, 62 games). Well, it's kind of hard to pick this, since each goalie was key to the team's success, but this award will go to Henrik Lundqvist. He had a great regular season, despite starting shaky, and ended up doing well in the post-season too.



FFTI Scotty Bowman Award- It's just like the Jack Adams, but I used a different great coach. The nominees were Ted Nolan (coached 40 wins out of 82 games, made playoffs), Michel Therrien (coached 47 wins out of 82 games, made playoffs), Andy Murray (team had 34 wins in 82 games, nearly .500, he was the reason for it). Out of these nominees, I would have to say that Michel Therrien deserves this award, due to the fact that he was given a team that struggled last season, and improved it's poor defense, peiced together a great compliment to Crosby on offense, and turned Marc-Andre Fleury from soft-goal-loser to all-star-winner.



FFTI GM of the Year- This will go to either Garth Snow, Brian Burke, Darcy Regier, or Ray Shero, and, you know, I'll just go with the best. Brian Burke has to win this award. The Ducks had high expectations all year, and he kept the Ducks up there. Way to go.



FFTI Unknown Player of the Year- You may have heard their names, but you've likely never heard how much they mean to their team's. I nominated Petteri Numelin (20 points, 51 games, killer shootout accuracy), Jason Pominville (68 points, 82 games, and you still here more about the Bruins goaltending than you do him), Andrew Brunette (83 points, 82 games, and most people still think he's a journeyman), Alexander Semin (73 points, 77 games, but, he plays on the same team as Ovechkin), David Vyborny (64 points, 82 games, but did you know he does that consistently?). I say this award goes to David Vyborny, because he sets up Rick Nash so much, that everyone just thinks he's a machine that isn't actually a great player. But he is actually really good. Just watch him.



FFTI Bill Masterton- According to the NHL, this award goes to, "is given to the National Hockey League player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey. The winner is selected in a poll of all chapters of the PHWA at the end of the regular season." So my nominees, Teemu Selanne (won it last year), Mark Streit (can't play his natural position, but does well anyways), Stu Barnes (you'd think he scores more with how hard he plays), and Wayne Primeau (Another selfless player) all fit right in. In honor of his Stanley Cup win, and his ability to score 40 goals a season when some thought he would be retired by now, Temmu Selanne gets my Masterton award.



FFTI Alexei Yashin Award- Despite Yashin's good play this year, he is still known for being an underacheiver. Nominees Sergei Samsonov (consistently scored 20 goals, but dropped to 26 points), Jeff Carter (42 rookie year points, and 23 rookie goals, just 37 points, and 14 goals this year), and Fredrik Sjostrom (WHL sniper still firing NHL blanks, 9 goals and 18 points through 78 games makes a career high in goals) unfortunatley all fit that category. Samsonov will get the award this year, due to not only his poor play, but his poor attitude as well. I hope that I don't have to give out this award very often, because it stinks to downplay these guys even more.



FFTI Goon Award- To the player who's fighting style I like most. Nominees were Colton Orr, Derek Boogard, Ben Eager, Brian McGrattan, and Andrew Peters. I should have nominated Ray Emery for his smile-while-trying-to-KO-a-guy style, but since he's not in there, I'll go with Ben Eager. The youngster may not realize it, but he provided a bright spot to the Flyers' disastrous season by fighting.



Thanks for your time to read my awards. Tomorrow, after the real NHL awards have been given out, I'll compare my similar awards to the ones given out by the NHL. See ya later!

6.11.2007

Not posting for a while

Due to moving from one city to another, my internet will be down and I will not post for some time. This is being written from a library. I will write as soon as the internet is back for me.

6.07.2007

ANAHEIM WINS STANLEY CUP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well, it was such a great moment, at the end, to see Teemu Selanne with tears streaming down his face, and for young guys such as Chris Kunitz, Francois Beauchemin, and even Joe Motzko and Ryan Carter lift up the Cup with joy. Hey, why listen to my description? I'm posting a ton of videos about it. Anaheim won 6-2 by the way. After the videos, I will post some of my thoughts on the winning game.



This is a video of the post game celebration, although since someone got this from their TV, their sound is delayed until the announcer starts talking again. Still, you can feel the excitement. I love the handshake line. Every guy, even the ones blamed for being classless (Alfredsson, Neil, Pronger) are shaking hands with the guys who blamed them (except for McAmmond, who was concussed).



Wanna know how the fans felt? Listen to the screaming fans who were actually at the game live when the final buzzer sounded.



The actual presentation of the Cup, and Scott Neidermayer, Rob Niedermayer, Chris Pronger, and Teemu Selanne skating with it. Great moment.

Well, I actually couldn't find many highlight videos of the game itself so, you'll have to go the www.nhl.com to watch the highlights there.

Goodbye Selanne?- Teemu gave no firm reply that he would not retire after this win, and even told a few sources that he would like to go out a champion, which would be nice for him. The happiness seen in him when he lifted the Cup made me smile, even though I was leaning towards Ottawa rather than Anaheim.

I thought they were checking players- Samuel Pahlsson, Travis Moen, and Rob Niedermayer were all key offensive players throughout the final series. In Game 5, Niedermayer scored an awesome backhander, and Moen had two goals. Pahlsson scored the only goal in game two, and had plenty of defensive plays as well. By the way, who knew that Todd Marchant played goalie? Mid-game, Marchant prevented an Ottawa goal from going in, and gave Anaheim even more confidence.

Good timing- Andy McDonald, normally a playmaker, picked a good time to let his goal-scoring skills explode. He led the Ducks with 10 goals, including 5 in the Finals.

No nastiness- Maybe it was a premonition thing, but nobody on either team truly showed any nastiness. Not even Brad May or Chris Neil. Christoph Schubert took a useless elbowing penalty on Beauchemin, but it didn't appear to be an attempt to injure. There were still the usual big hits, but not as many.

Bad Day for shot blockers- Ottawa's best defensive defensemen, Chris Phillips and Anton Volchenkov each had a rough game. Phillips accidentally slipped the puck between Ray Emery's skates, which knocked it into their own net, and Volchenkov was either beat or deflected off of on several goals.

THE FOLLOWING PLAYERS, LISTED IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER, WILL GET THEIR NAME ENGRAVED ON THE STANLEY CUP, BECAUSE THEY EITHER PLAYED 40+ REGULAR SEASON GAMES, OR PLAYED A GAME IN THE FINALS.

Francois Beauchemin, D
Joe DiPenta, D
Ryan Getzlaf, C
Jean-Sebastien Giguere, G
Kent Huskins, D
Ric Jackman, D
Chris Kunitz, LW
Todd Marchant, C
Brad May, LW
Andy McDonald, C
Travis Moen, LW
Scott Niedermayer, D, Conn Smythe Winner
Rob Niedermayer, C
Sean O'Donnell, D
Samuel Pahlsson, C
Dustin Penner, LW
Corey Perry, RW
Chris Pronger, D
Teemu Selanne, RW
Ryan Shannon, RW
Shawn Thornton, LW

All of those players and possibly more will also recieve a Stanley Cup ring. Teams can petition the NHL to put other names on the Cup as well. I expect that Anaheim will request Ilya Bryzgalov, the back-up goalie, and George Parros, and enforcer who played 34 games and 5 playoffs games not in the finals, to go on the Cup as well.



In other, very irrelevant news, the New York Islanders have bought out the final 4 years of Alexei Yashin's 10 year contract.

6.05.2007

Game 4 Review

Anaheim shut the door on Ottawa's chances of winning during Game 4. Despite Ray Emery playing well, and the top line finally stepping up, it appears that the Ducks have the Cup all but in their hands.

Still undisciplined- Despite winning, the Ducks could still be caught taking the bad penalty. Corey Perry's crosscheck to the head of Chris Neil was unnecessary, but this time, it happened to Ottawa too. Francois Beauchemin was called for whacking Neil, but everyone could tell that Neil had faked getting hurt. Ray Emery purposely fell when Ryan Getzlaf nudged him by accident, and that drew a penalty. Neil was called for crosschecking, when he dumped Travis Moen, and Daniel Alfredsson took a shot (like with the puck) at Scott Niedermayer at the end of the period. That kind of play is likely to dig the Sens a big hole.

Why couldn't you do this before?- The Sens top players finally decided to show up in Game 4, as Daniel Alfredsson and Dany Heatley scored the only Senator goals. Jason Spezza also had some nice play, but the Sens needed this from Game 1, not when they are down 3-1 in games. Congratualtions to Patrick Eaves (the real one, not just a jersey on Spezza's back) to sparking Heatley into scoring, and a good job by Alfredsson to pile in the first goal up close.

"Took a shot at" goes a whole new level- It used to mean you just went after a guy. But Daniel Alfredsson literally shot the puck at Scott Nidermayer in the dying seconds of the second period. It caused another 10-man brawl, similar to the one at the end of the first. This action has caused major controversey, and (just a guess) has Senators fans screaming "accident" and Ducks fans screaming "suspension". I truly couldn't tell what happened, but I think Alfredsson did that on purpose. How classless from a guy who was a Conn Smythe candidate. Send it to Mike Fisher instead.

Third member of kid line has his moment- Dustin Penner sat back quietly in Games 1-3, and watched his line mates Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry got all the attention. He wasn't worried. In Game 4, Penner broke in with Teemu Selanne and ended up scoring the winning goal. Nice time to show up.

Here. I found some highlights of Game 4 for you.



From HockeyPacific again, these guys are pretty good. Hits are abound in this video, too. It shows Alfredsson's incident, and I noticed that he actually punches out a guy too, in the scrum. I can't believe that only Mike Fisher and Samuel Pahlsson got called.
Posting Thursday for sure, possibly tomorrow.

6.04.2007

Game 3 Review

Sorry that this is late, but yesterday I was away from my computer all day.



Well, Game 3 was a great game to see for a hockey fan looking for every aspect of the game. There were plenty of goals, big hits galore (see Chris Neil), great saves, and even a knock-out blow, although I don't particularly find that something I want to watch. The score turned out 5-3 in favor of Ottawa, and, if the Senators win Game 4 at home as well, then it will prove nothing is better than a home ice advantage. The Anaheim Ducks won the first 2 games back at the Honda Center.

Take a look at these notes from the 2 periods I saw (I had played a hockey game earlier, was really tired, and knew I had to wake up early the next day), and some thoughts on the third from seeing the opinions of others.



Chris Neil's transformation- I originally saw Adam Proteau write on this. I hope everyone has seen how Chris Neil is no longer a goon (I certainly have changed my mind). In Game 3 he scored a nice goal on a tip-in, and also was the biggest presence (hitting-wise) on the ice.

McAmmond/Pronger- I didn't see this happen live, but got to see it on video, and, I really am surprised that a penalty was not called. That was a really dangerous elbow to the head, and, if it weren't the Stanley Cup Finals, I would want Pronger suspended longer. For McAmmond himself, if he saw a replay, he must have been scared at how many times he could have been seriously injured. The elbow was bad enough, seeing as it knocked him unconscious. Then, he nearly gave himself another concussion by hitting his head on the ice awfully hard. Then, he collided with the boards nearly head on, which means, one small change in angle, one big change in injury.

So undisciplined- You got it, I'm talking Anaheim here. Whether it's Ryan Getzlaf's crosschecking show, Ric Jackman's close-line, or Pronger bashing the side of McAmmond's head (there was no penalty called, but 99% of normal people think there should have been), the Ducks' penalties have to go way down.

Emery is a hero- It doesn't matter how many shaky goals he lets in, he normally follows up with a 1995-Cujo-glove-hand save. Now, he isn't exactly Conn Smythe material. No, that would undoubtedly go to his captain, Daniel Alfredsson. But he has kept the Sens from losing 5-2 in every game.

Unofficial record?- Jason Spezza likely set an unofficial record for only player having to wear a teammates jersey in the Stanley Cup Finals. After battling with Samuel Pahlsson, Spezza's jersey was torn almost in half, and, when for some reason a new jersey couldn't be found, he came out with Patrick Eaves' #44 on his back. Fortunately, the announcers for NBC were sharp enough to point that out, and watching fans weren't confused.

I couldn't find anything but amateur video for game 3, which is nice, but none of them truly had highlights for the whole game. Check out youtube for anything you want to see, like Spezza's jersey thing, or Pronger hitting McAmmond. Posting tomorrow after game 4.