Fan vs Fan

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Easy Halloween Costumes for NHL Players

Scott Hartnell: Bozo the Inflatable Clown (even bounces back!)

Danny Briere: Leprechaun

Claude Giroux: This guy, only GINGER (which would make him happy)

Ilya Bryzgalov: A bobblehead (He's already showing off
his costume!)

Daniel Sedin (Costume: the guy on the right) and Henrik Sedin (Costume: the guy on the left)

Zac Rinaldo: an insane guy

Wayne Simmonds: Train conductor

Kyle Wellwood, Timmy Thomas, Marty Brodeur group costume (now joined by Dustin Byfuglien): Plates at a buffet table

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Laviolette Line Lottery

Well, it seems that Lavi is at it again, just pulling lines at random and inserting them on to the ice. The thing is, these lines aren't random, in fact, the lines come from a come from a long list of rules that must be adhered to. Luckily, the DGS SuperSpies obtained this list and we're gonna share it.

1. Due to the lack of centers, Couturier, Briere, Schenn, Giroux and Talbot are not allowed to be on a line together.

2. Scott Hartnell falls for linemates, he has to removed from a line after falling to prevent the center from possibly having relations with his wife.

3. Danny Briere will take a stick foul if left with the same linemates for more than 2 consecutive shifts.

4. Paul Holmgren believes that changing Couturier's line fast enough will actually slow down time allowing him to slide Couturier even though he plays in 82 games.

5. After a shift, when Matt Read says, "and I learned that at Bemidji" State," any forward within ear shot has to go to the lockerroom to look up how to spell Bemidji.

6. Sometimes players miss shifts on account of being dazed from Chris Pronger's left elbow.

7. Jake Voracek hasn't quite learned the system of "rely on your talented young center to get you the puck"

8. Due to the smaller ice surface of North America, while sitting on the bench, Jagr actually thinks he's playing the game.

9. Peter Laviolette rotates his forwards on account of not having goalies to rotate anymore.

10. Paul Holmgren accidentally called out line changes from the GM's office...needless to say, like his math skills, his memory of lines leaves much to be desired.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Caption Contest 16

Been a long time since one of these came around...tell us why Carter Ashton looks confused and Sean Couturier (7) is hiding his mouth....

Monday, October 17, 2011

Not So Different, 2011-12 Flyers and 2009 Yankees

Last week, I did the similarities between the Flyers and Maple Leafs, this week, I started noticing some parallels between the current Flyers and the New York Yankees of 2009.

In 2008, a long term core of Yankees disappointed many by flat out missing the playoffs.

In 2011, a long term core of Flyers disappointed many by going down without a fight in the playoffs (round 2)

After this meltdown, fans of both teams wanted the coach/manager to be fired. (I had posts on my facebook wall and tweets regarding Lavi, Yankees ALWAYS want to fire the manager when the team loses)

Both teams blew up several positions in the ensuing offseason that showed a change in team philosophy:

The Yankees: instead of signing big bats and offense, went out and grabbed 2 starting pitchers at insane contracts pushing their young pitchers (Hughes, Chamberlain) back in the rotation/to the bullpen.

The Flyers: traded some top offensive players (Carter and Richards) to free up cap space to sign a starting goaltender (Ilya Bryzgalov) to an insane contract pushing a young up and coming goalie (BOB) to the pine.

Both teams saw a star player who was formerly a top offensive player begin to take a back seat

The Yankees: Alex Rodriguez began to see less time at 3B and more time as a DH while Eric Hinske was acquired to come off the bench and take his place more and more

The Flyers: Scott Hartnell's ice time dropped in favor of the newly acquired Wayne Simmonds.

Both teams acquired a player via trade with a solid classy personality

The Yankees: Put Nick Swisher in RF

The Flyers: Put Wayne Simmonds on the 2nd line

Both teams found a solid rookie who would turn into something that was somewhat overhyped given his actual role.

The Yankees: Francisco Cervelli (Catcher) came up from AAA to his over .300 while filling in for an injured Jorge Posada. He eventually gave the reigns back to Posada but some of his solid hitting helped the 09 Yankees to the World Series.

The Flyers: Matt Read, an undrafted UFA out of Bemidji State University, came out of nowhere during camp to wow everyone with a lot of talent before earning a spot in the Top 9 on opening night. He's seen some top 6 minutes, but will probably see most time on the 3rd line moving forward.

Both teams parted ways with long term high profile players who may or may not have had drug problems and had frequent leg injuries

The Yankees: Jason Giambi, his drug of choice was steroids and HGH, though if you read his actual comments, he only apologized for being a distraction for issues in his personal life, never did he explicitly admit to drug use.

The Flyers: Parted ways with Dry Islanders Jeff Carter and Mike Richards who have been accused of everything from excessive drinking to using cocaine.  

 Giambi and Carter: Both are also known for knee/leg problems, Giambi battled knee problems during his last 3-4 years with the Yankees as well as a foot injury, Carter broke both feet and sprained his MCL in his last 2 years with the Flyers.

Both teams always operate over the Salary "cap" of their respective sport.

The Yankees: Pay a luxury tax

The Flyers: exploit LTIR loopholes.

Both Teams have rabid fanbases, New York and Philadelphia are tough cities to play in.

Both Teams have a GM who is essentially a life time member of the organization.

The Yankees: Brian Cashman started as an intern with the Yankees while he was in college. He stuck with the organization before becoming GM.

The Flyers: Paul Holmgren played for the Cup WInning bullies, he then became an Asst. GM and finally GM in 2006. (yes I know he coached in Hartford too)

Both teams have a player who has a narrative history of being clutch despite the fact that standard mathematical evidence proves a major flaw to their game.

The Yankees: Derek Jeter. Captain Clutch. Mr. November. Also good for ~150-170 strikeouts a season.

The Flyers: Danny Briere. Mr. Playoffs. Also good for 25-30 stupid stick fouls a season.

Both players have a controversial, injury prone superstar who's on the downturn of his career and has a contract with no end in sight.

The Yankees: Alex Rodriguez, 10 years, 275M signed in 2007. UGGH.

The Flyers: Chris Pronger, 4.921 Cap Hit until 2017...35+ clause attached.

Both Teams also have an unsung hero who went unappreciated for his hard work.

The Yankees: Brett Gardner, he doesn't put up power numbers, but his stolen bases and great defense helped the Yankees win.

The Flyers: Matt Carle, the best even strength defenseman in the NHL (his weakness is goal scoring and special teams)

Both teams are known for using UFA's and trades to build up rather than from within.

The Yankees: they buy talent. the sign the best available player all the time. even though the Yankees have a 1B, if the Yankees signed Albert Pujols no one would bat an eyelash.

The Flyers: They trade an insane amount of draft picks for other players (Meszaros, Timonen rights, Hartnell rights, Pronger, Bryzgalov's rights, all had picks in their trade). They sign FA's too: Lilja, Bryzgalov, Timonen, Hartnell, Simmonds, Voracek, Talbot, Matt Read, Blair Betts, Jody Shelley, Bobrovsky all signed as UFA or RFA.

But yet both teams have built superstars from within:

The Yankees: Cano, Jeter, Posada, Gardner, Hughes, Chamberlain, Rivera, Pettitte were all built from within the Yankees system and won in 2009

The Flyers: Giroux, JvR, Read (undrafted UFA puts him in both categories), Bartulis, Gus, Bob (undrafted UFA, see Read)

How about you, what do you think? Did I miss anything?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tales From An Adirondack Nothing 2.0: Week 1

Dear Glove -

Well, here we are again. Back in Glens Falls. For joy. I've already prepared myself to be stuck here the whole year - don't know where else I would go unless they trade me. And if someone wanted me, they could have had me for free on the waiver wire - so I don't think I'm going anywhere.

Saturday was opening night at home. I got the start - Bacashihua backed me up - and Backlund, well, he went to the "press box" - or wherever you go when you're not playing in an AHL game.

Anyway - back to opening night against the Connecticut Whale (sorry folks, no Sean Avery in sight). We wore retro jerseys - they were okay, I guess. Player introductions were nice - I was the last introduced, and got a thunderous applause - no really, I did. They love me. See the video at 30 seconds in.

Of course once the game started, maybe they didn't love me as much. Gave up a goal to Kris Newbury 37 seconds into the game (it was a bad deflection, I swear). He completed the hat trick soon into the second period.

But that was it - no more goals after that. I got it together - team scored goals - six of them in total! I wound up stopping 24 of 27 (okay, and the post stopped two late in the third - thank you post). Not horrible, but I can do better.

Monday the Phantoms hosted some golf thing - every one had to join in with fans. I think I played okay - this guy thought I was a great guy. Again, nice to be appreciated.

Next home game is Friday - we'll see if I get the start.

Until then.

Grateful Eyes and Appreciative Smiles,




It's DGS's birthday. The guy behind the madness.

Everyone wish him a happy birthday and make fun of him for being old!

The End.

(P.S.: Seriously though. Wish him happy birthday because he's awesome.)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Not So Different, Flyers and Leafs

As many of you who follow me on twitter know, I have a huge soft spot for the Toronto Maple Leafs. It's confusing to some since the teams have such a huge rivalry on the ice, but honestly, it's not really hard to explain. The Flyers and Leafs are in fact, very similar. Let's have a look, shall we.

Both teams have a history of great goal tenders: Parent/Hextall in Philly, Belfour/CuJo/Potvin in Toronto. This was contrasted by terrible goaltending post lockout with some hot streak exceptions (Leighton/Boucher/Esche in Philly, Toskala/Raycroft in Toronto.)

Both teams have an insane drought since their last Cup win, 1975, 1967.

Both teams have demanding fans that throw things when displeased (waffles? batteries?)

Both teams hate the Habs and Bruins.

Both teams finally (hopefully) found their goaltender (Bryzgalov and Reimer)

Both teams are currently captained by big body D-men who are known for hard hits and big slapshots (Pronger and Phaneuf)

Both teams have to deal with a division rival who's won cups more recently than them (Boston/MTL for Toronto, Pittsburgh and NJ for Philly)

Both teams get to destroy a weak but once "great" team (NYI for PHL and OTT for TOR)

Both teams have an overpaid goon who occasionally scores. (Colton Orr and Jody  Shelley)

Fans of both teams both hated a sniper for missing the net (Jeff Carter and Phil Kessel)

Both teams have very old school GMs who want physical teams (Homer and Burkie)

Both teams have NMC's driving them crazy (Muskoka 5 anyone?, what Pronger, Timonen and Briere will be in 2-3 years)

Both teams have exciting young defenseman (Gunnarson, Franson, Aulie in TOR, Carle, Gustafsson, Coburn in PHL)

Schenn and Kessel. Kessel and Schenn. Enough said.

Players with heart problems (Gustavsson in Toronto, Hartnell in Philadelphia)

GM's with close friends as coaches (John Stevens in PHL who got fired, Ron Wilson in TOR who almost got fired)

Each team picked up a hot goalie at the right time who gave their team a ton of hope moving forward (Michael Leighton in Dec 2009, James Reimer in Jan 2011)

Both teams traded multiple first round picks for an instant impact player (Pronger to PHL, Kessel to TOR)

Both teams employed a holey goalie (Leighton's 5-hole, Toskala's glove hand)

So, this is why, I always will be friends with fans of the Leafs. I know how they feel, because, Flyerdom, they are us.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Project Mayhem

Our good friend Chemmy from Pension Plan Puppets came up with a great idea for the NHL All Star Game and we need  your help.

Make the Ottawa Senators of old starters for the All Star Game.

But here's my take on it

When you vote for forwards, you want to vote for-Dany Heatley, Marion Hossa, Martin Havlat

On Defence- Zdeno Chara and Chris Campoli

Goalie: Ray Emery.

Side note: Bonus points for getting Zdeno Chara in the Lamborghini, 

We wanted to vote for Wade Redden, but like Rory Fitzpatrick a couple years ago, the NHL would probably quash that. At least this lineup has reasonable choices for an All Star Game.

Just do it. Make Ottawa suffer more than watching Chris Phillips clinch the Cup...for the Ducks in 07.

You're welcome.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A Handy Guide for the NBA fan to the NHL

So it seems the NBA is threatening to cancel regular season games soon. With that, it seems that many NBA fans will soon be making their way to NHL games unsure of what to do. Luckily, we here at Down Goes Spezza would like to put into print (well, digital E-media) a guide to going to hockey games for NBA fans.

First a list of Do's/Do Nots

Do Not- Chant "De-Fence" when the opposing team has a powerplay to motivate your team's penalty killers
Instead-When your team has a power play, yell "SHOOT!!!!!" at whomever is holding the puck.

Do Not- Expect to see players "check in" at the scorer's table before entering on a change
Instead- Expect to see the Boston Bruins botch line changes and get called for Too Many Men penalties.

Do Not- Think that a puck in the mouth that breaks a jaw is a reason for a player  to miss a game.
Instead- Expect to see that player return with a cage on.

Do Not- Expect a half hour press conference to detail one UFA signing.
Instead- Expect a half hour press conference every day telling you everything about Sidney Crosby

Do Not- Expect to hate a player like LeBron James for signing as a UFA with another team
Instead- Expect to hate Eklund for getting your hopes up that a player might sign with your team.

Do Not- Get used to seeing a team in Phoenix.
Instead- Create your own clever relocation rumor

Do Not- Buy your new favorite team's jersey and expect it to stay in date since during the shipping time, they will probably re-design it.
Instead- Just buy a throwback from the 90s.

Do Not- Expect to hear rap music at a game.
Instead- Expect to hear music that was cool in 2004.

Do Not- Assume that goaltending is illegal.
Instead- Assume that you'll see 30 goalies a game when watching a Flyers playoff game or NY Islanders season.

Do Not- Expect to see players ignore defense every night and have it treated as the norm.
Instead- Expect every single person  to blast Dany Heatley and Phil Kessel for never venturing into the defensive zone.

Do Not- Wonder why players like Dustin Byfuglien, Martin Brodeur, Kyle Wellwood and Tim Thomas have jobs despite not looking like athletes.
Instead- Wonder why players like Wade Redden, Matt Walker and Mike Komisarek have jobs.

Also, if you're going to be attending an NHL game for the first, you may want to have "forecasts" of what to expect when you get to the arena. Luckily, we've put together a list of basic expectations for every NBA City that has an NHL team.

NHL team- Maple Leafs
Basic Forecast- If you live in Toronto, you already know who the Maple Leafs are.

City- New York
NHL team- Rangers
Basic Forecast- In terms of big name free agency signings that don't deliver titles, Gaborik and Brad Richards are Chris Bosh and LeBron James...and Henrik Lundqvist is Dwayne Wade.

City- Minneapolis/St Paul
NHL team- Wild
Basic Forecast- By acquiring half the Sharks, the Wild now own many players with distinct choking abilities.

City- Miami
NHL team- The Florida Panthers
Basic Forecast- The Panthers went on a spending spree like the Heat a year ago. Unlike the Heat, the Panthers didn't actually sign good players.

City- Dallas
NHL team- Stars
Basic Forecast- Bankrupt, like the NBA will soon be.

City- Los Angeles
NHL team- Kings, Ducks.
Basic Forecast- Kings: Hipsters and Wil Wheaton make up the fan base. Ducks: No matter how hard you try, no one has George Parros's beard.

City- Bay Area, California
NHL team- Sharks
Basic Forecast- Like LeBron James, Joe Thornton tends to leave important games 12 minutes early.

NHL team- Bruins
Basic Forecast- Like single other team in Boston, the Bruins have won a recent title.

City- Washington DC
NHL team- Capitals
Basic Forecast- This actually might be the easiest city for an NBA fan to get into, as Capitals fans and Wizards fans all have roughly the same amount of hockey knowledge

NHL team- Flyers
Basic Forecast- Muggy with a chance of batteries.

City- Atlanta
NHL team- Thrashers
Basic Forecast- Gone, faster than this NBA season

City- Newark, New Jersey
NHL team- Devils
Basic Forecast- Beware of traps and jars of jelly.

Monday, October 3, 2011

The DGS Flyers 2011-12 Roster

With the preseason done and over with, and real hockey about to begin, we've seen (and studied) a lot here. If I (Matt, which means PhillyGirl and Fezzy may not agree) were building the Flyers roster, these are the decisions that I would be making. Here we go.

Forwards (with Cap Hits)

Line 1: Scott Hartnell (4.2M)-Danny Briere (6.5M)-Jakub Voracek (2.25M) =Total Cap 12.95

Line 2: Jaromir Jagr (3.3M)-Claude Giroux (3.75M)-Matt Read (0.900) =7.575

Line 3: JvR (1.654M)-Sean Couturier (1.375M)-Wayne Simmonds (1.75M) = 4.779

Line 4: Andreas Nodl (0.845)-Blair Betts (0.700)-Max Talbot (1.75M) =3.295

Scratch: Ben Holmstrom (.750)

Total Caphit: 29.349

Explanation: Couturier is obviously going to slide in 9 games in  favor of Brayden Schenn and a couple other moves. Holmstrom is more versatile and Talbot, Simmonds and Hartnell can handle fisticuffs. If JVR's injury keeps him out, put him on IR, use Rinaldo (UGGHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!) instead. Matt Read and Andreas Nodl are both versatile enough that, if injuries happen, they can slide up and down the lineup and provide scoring as needed. I put read with Giroux and Jagr because they worked the puck so well in the preseason, let JvR and Couturier work the puck on the third line and the Flyers have 3 scoring lines that can expose defenses. Also Schenn will eventually fit in, (waive Shelley, Couturier back to the Q, dip into some LTIR, have roughly ~700K for injury callups)


Pair 1: Pronger (4.921M 35+) Carle (3.4375M) =Total Cap (8.3585)

Pair 2: Timonen (6.33M) Coburn (3.2) =(9.53)

Pair 3: Meszaros (4.0M) Kessell (.925) =(4.925)

Scratch: Bartulis (.600)

Defense Total: 23.4135

Defense is self explanatory except for Kessel. For one, Lilja doesn't need to on the NHL roster this season thanks for Travis Hughes/Geoff Detweiler from Broad St Hockey who found this:

Yesterday, I was double-checking to see how much the Flyers would receive in cap relief upon sending a 35-plus contract to the minors. Section 50.2(c)(iv) is the relevant section, discussing what counts against the salary cap:
All Player Salary and Bonuses earned in a League Year by a Player who isin the second or later year of a multi-year SPC which was signed when the Player was age 35 or older (as of June 30 prior to the League Year in which the SPC is to be effective), regardless of whether, or where, the Player is playing, except to the extent the Player is playing under his SPC in the minor leagues, in which case only the Player Salary and Bonuses in excess of $100,000 shall count towards the calculation of Actual Club Salary; plus

That "in the second or later year of a multi-year SPC" is a rather obvious qualifier that I don't know how I missed. Or how nobody corrected me. -Geoff Detweiler 

Well, Geoff is right, and with that, I'd send Lilja down in favor of Blake Kessel. Two reasons for this, for one, Kessel's right handed shot is something the Flyers need on the PP (and Matt Walker has almost 0 offensive talent)and second, Kessel CAN play some forward if need be so having him on the roster provides insurance for injuries at 2 positions. In 08-09 the Flyers used Lasse Kukkonen this way, and Kessel is much better, especially offensively, than Kukkonen.


Bryzgalov: (5.666667)
Bobrovsky: (1.75)

No explanation needed, these guys are arguably the best tandem of goaltending (with Lundqvist/Biron in NY, Quick/Bernier in LA, Thomas/Rask in BOS, LOLongo/Schneider in VAN, Rinne/Lindback in NSH as other candidates) in the NHL. Only question is whether or not the scoring holds up in front of them and whether the Flyers older D-men stay healthy.

Goalie Total: 7.416667

Team Total: 60.179167+1.167 for Ian Laperriere+1.4025 Bonus Overage

62.748667 TOTAL CAP
1.551333 CAP SPACE (Without LTIR and waiving Shelley, or with LTIR it's very close to actual capspace)
0.451333 (With Shelley Suspension and without LTIR)

There you go, my roster. Thoughts?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The DGS 2011-12 Season Preview: What you need to know about all 30 Teams, Eastern Conference Edition

Atlantic Division

New Jersey Devils:
Key Strength: Ilya Kovalchuk will be a Devil for "14" more years giving the Devils stability in the "overpaid enigmatic Russian" department.
Key Weakness: Due to age requirements, their goaltenders will soon become Detroit Red Wings.
What If...: Pete DeBoer was just John MacLean 2.0?

New York Rangers:
Key Strength: Waiver rules mean that overpaid contracts can be buried in the minors away from the salary cap.
Key Weakness: The Rangers lack something known as talent.
What If...: Glen Sather was remotely competent?

New York Islanders:
Key Strength: Don't have to worry about debating tough issues as "how to stand up to goons like Trevor Gillies" as Trevor Gillies plays for their team.
Key Weakness: Team is completely distracted by the odds on "what does Rick DiPietro break this year".
What If...: The Islanders had a home that didn't smell moldy?

Pittsburgh Penguins:
Key Strength: Sidney Crosby will at some point, hold another press conference to tell us absolutely nothing of value.
Key Weakness: Matt Cooke's inevitable hearing with Brendan Shanahan.
What If...: Matt Cooke breaks Chris Simon's record on suspensions?

Philadelphia Flyers:
Key Strength: Roster battles need no longer be fought in camp thanks the Brendan Shanahan's active usage of his ShanHammer.
Key Weakness: Team is confused by the fact that the same guy is always in goal.
What If...: Jaromir Jagr's mullet didn't age a bit?

Northeast Division

Ottawa Senators:
Key Strength: In the most technical sense of the word, the Ottawa Senators are an NHL team.
Key Weakness: In the most literal sense of the word, the Ottawa Senators are an ECHL team.
What If...: the Senators go a year without changing coaches?

Montreal Canadiens:

Key Strength: PK Subban's apt initials for Penalty Kill will make for great pun based jokes from hockey comedians.
Key Weakness: Reaching the overhead bin's on team flights.
What If...: Chris Campoli turns over another puck in a game 7? Would the city of Montreal survive?

Toronto Maple Leafs:
Key Strength: Finally acquired NHL caliber centers.
Key Weakness: Still lack NHL quality depth.
What If...: Brian Burke robs the Flames again, does Calgary finally call the cops?

Boston Bruins:
Key Strength: Are in fact staring down at the rest of the NHL due to Zdeno Chara being so tall
Key Weakness: Donuts, cheeseburgers, Tim Thomas remembering he's 40.
What If...: Tuukka Rask somehow becomes worse than Andrew Raycroft and Phil Kessel is better than Tyler Seguin?

Buffalo Sabres:
Key Strength: Pegula's $$$$.
Key Weakness: No matter how much Pegula spends, you're still playing in Buffalo.
What If...: Ryan Miller actually claims the Flyers committed genocide by knocking the Sabres out of the playoffs?

Southeast Division

Winnipeg Jets:
Key Strength: An ability to win any eating contest vs NHL team
Key Weakness: Inability to be good at something called hockey, the thing these people are paid to do.
What If...: People actually realized that despite the new uniform and change of venue, these are STILL the Atlanta Thrashers?

Washington Capitals:
Key Strength: Alex Ovechkin should score more than 28 goals this season.
Key Weakness: Mike Green is still listed as a defenseman.
What If...: Brooks Laich's tire changing skills actually keep the Capitals from going flat in the playoffs?

Tampa Bay Lightning:
Key Strength: Dwayne Roloson still plays like someone half his age.
Key Weakness: Which unfortunately is still really really really really old.
What If...: Steve Yzerman runs out of Jedi Mind tricks and trades Stamkos for Walker?

Florida Panthers:
Key Strength: Made many great depth signings like Scottie Upshall and depth trades for Kris Versteeg and Brian Campbell
Key Weakness: A lack of something called "a top line"
What If...: the yarmulkes actually get delivered?

Carolina Hurricanes:
Key Strength: Signed backup goalie specialist Brian Boucher in yet another attempt of acquiring former Flyers like Brind'Amour and Michael Leighton.
Key Weakness: Teammates don't understand Jeff Skinner due to the fact he never completes his sentences.
What If...: the Hurricanes become the first southern team to actually win more than 1 Cup?