I could not for the life of me think of a way to introduce today's links. Then, for some reason, the phrase bed, Bourque, and beyond came into my mind and I thought it was funny. It doesn't make sense, but we do have some Rene Bourque news this afternoon, so I thought I'd run with it. It's not good, but it's something. Lucky for you, there are much better writers producing much better stuff out there on the internet. Here are some links to their fine work:
Habs News and Analysis
- Today is a good news, bad news sort of day from a roster perspective. Good news: Rene Bourque has indeed made legitimate progress with his concussion. He skated with the team on Wednesday and is traveling with the Habs to Long Island tonight. Although we shouldn't expect him to play against the Islanders, a return against the Sabres on Saturday is a possibility.
- Bad news: we're approaching the one month "anniversary" of Raphael Diaz's concussion, he hasn't played since February 25th, and he has still not been cleared to resume skating.
- I know it was discussed yesterday, but here is Brenda Branswell's article on Francis Bouillon's one-year, $1.5 million contract extension. It includes reaction from both Frankie and Michel Therrien.
- Jordan Garretson of the Associated Press has a preview of tonight's game up on CBC Sports. He notes that the Islanders have won six of the last eight matchups against the Habs.
Know Your Enemy: New York Islanders Edition
- The Islanders have a lot of activity on the roster front. Michael Grabner will be in the lineup tonight after being activated off the injured reserve. Matt Carkner, who has been out with a lower body injury since early February, will also draw in. Kevin Poulin, who hasn't started since February 24th, will start in goal.
- Here's a brief preview of tonight's action, courtesy of Lighthouse Hockey.
- Speaking of Lighthouse Hockey, they always dig up the best scoops! According to PGI,the NHL GMs had a rip-roaring Magic the Gathering Tournament last night at the GM meetings in Toronto. It's amazing how their real world strategies come into play within the context of the game. Check it out, especially if you're a fan of card related humor!
General NHL News and Analysis
- Filed under the category of schadenfreude, Mike Komisarek has been waived by the Maple Leafs and will be joining the AHL's Toronto Marlies. It's important to remember that under the new CBA, the majority of a buried contract's hit counts against the cap. Thus, Komisarek's deal still eats up $4,154,545 of Toronto's cap space this season. The move is being done to free up a roster spot and get Komisarek some ice time.
- Mandatory visors, reducing the length a goaltender's pads "rise", coaches challenges, the rule against fighting while wearing a face shield, and a system to monitor embellishment have all been discussed at the NHL GM meetings in Toronto. Mandatory visors seem to gaining more traction than expected, according to Dhiren Mahiban of the New York Times. Mathieu Schneider, the former player and current N.H.L.P.A executive, is in favour of making them mandatory.
- David Johnson, noted quality of competition (QoC) skeptic and editor of HockeyAnalysis.com, compares various QoC measures. He looks at things like Opposition GF%, CorsiRel QoC, and his own hockey analysis player rankings to try and find the stat that best represents the strength of a player's personal opponents. He feels that since CorsiRel QoC does not facilitate comparisons across teams, it should not be the preferred QoC measure.
- Scott Reynolds over at Copper 'n' Blue is in the midst of running his annual Not-So-Sweet-Sixteen tournament. The tournament is a community venture where Scott creates head-to-head matchups of terrible hockey "things" (like bad contracts and GMs) and gets people to vote on the worst of the worst. This year he is focusing on the worst regular (200+ NHL games played) goaltenders since 1979-1980. We're still in the round of sixteen with the Rick Dipietro/Garth Snow tandem and Tim Cheveldae advancing to the elite eight.
- CBC's Investigative Correspondent Diana Swain reflects on her time as a hockey mom, as her son gets set to "retire" from community club play as he graduates high school. There's a fondness for "the rink" in Swain's writing that makes for a compelling read.
- Dinamo Riga has won the KHL's inaugural Cup of Hope, the consolation tournament for non-playoff teams. Riga wins a trophy, a cash prize, and a first round pick in the 2013 KHL draft. Chunklets over at The Road to Khabarovsk calls the tournament a qualified success, citing decent crowds for the finals and full lineups from the participating teams. I kind of like the idea of non-playoff teams competing for a bonus draft pick.
- Daniel Wagner over at Backhand Shelf predicts that the 2013 trade deadline will suck more than the average trade deadline. His main rationale is with the clustering in the standings (the last place team in the West is just 6 points out of a playoff spot), player supply will be low.
- Kent Wilson has built a handy guide for the Calgary Flames as they move into the trade deadline and off-season. Wilson notes the universal truth of hockey management: the key to success is to find good players and keep them for as long as they generate value. Throwing out fairly priced veterans for the sake of "the complete rebuild" should not be pursued.
Archive Material and EOTP News
- In case you missed it, we have some new writers joining the fold here at EOTP. Matt Drake, the artist formerly known as drakemt and Ian Murray, EOTP's own india6, will be contributing history articles and game previews respectively. Thanks to all the people who sent in writing samples and congratulations to the fellas!