Ryan Lambert

  • Don’t fire Bruce Boudreau, Anaheim (Trending Topics)

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 1 day ago

    Basically the second the Ducks went down 2-0 in Game 7 on Wednesday night, people began speculating whether this was it for Bruce Boudreau behind the bench in Anaheim.

    You can see why they would. The guy loses Game 7 matchups on an alarmingly regular basis, and his teams so often seem to put up little or no fight to their opponents in the process. He's 1-7 in his career in such situations, and has dropped six straight. That kind of thing builds you a reputation in this sport, and it's a reputation you certainly do not want to carry. 

    In fact, in the last four Boudreau-coached seasons, the Ducks have found themselves in 2-0 holes less than 17 minutes into each of the four Games 7 they have played. They also faced a 2-0 deficit in 2010 against Montreal (2-1 loss) and were down 5-0 against Pittsburgh in 2009 before scoring (6-2 loss). Only Game 7 against the Flyers in 2008 (a 3-2 overtime loss) and Game 7 in the opening round against the Rangers in 2009 (a 2-1 win, but they conceded 5:35 into the game) blemish this otherwise ignominious record.

    Again, the reputation grows.

    Over the course of his entire career, Boudreau's teams look like this:

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  • Huge If True: Who survives Blackhawks cap crunch?

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 1 day ago

    [Breaking down the plausibility of the week's biggest rumor.]  

    Well, Chicago lost in the first round and in a lot of ways it could begin to feel like the walls are closing in on a lot of players on that roster.

    This team is quite likely to push a number of people out the door as they continue to attempt another run at a Stanley Cup while it's still a possibility. The list of guys who are probably going to be moving on from the organization is long, depending upon whose insight you believe, but there are a few players who aren't going anywhere.

    First of all, there's basically no chance either Jonathan Toews or Patrick Kane go anywhere, given that they each now cost $10.5 million against the cap, and are extremely valuable. Kane is about to be the reigning MVP, and while Toews didn't really have a good season (and an even worse playoff), he's still only 27 and viewed as an elite center.

    Finally there's Corey Crawford, an excellent goaltender signed at $6 million per season through 2020. He's not going anywhere either.

    The Rumor

    “Cap squeeze” doesn't begin to cover it. So how do you fix the problem?

    Who's Going Where?

    The Implications

  • Penguins, Ken Holland and conspiracy theories (Puck Daddy Countdown)

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 3 days ago

    10. Rob Scuderi-havers 

    Rob Scuderi was traded twice this season. The first team that acquired him got bounced in seven games in the first round. The second team that acquired him got eliminated in five. The team that got rid of him in the first place humiliated its first-round opponent and seems like it probably has the best chance to win the Cup.

    Is that a coincidence? Who's to say, really?

    9. CalgaryNext

    Remember when the parent company for the Calgary Flames, Hitmen, Stampeders, and Roughnecks — a multi-million dollar corporation — went to the City of Calgary and said, “We'd like you to give us $890 million to build a new stadium for the football team and arena for the hockey and lacrosse teams? And remember how that was really gross?

    So now they're going back to the drawing board on the whole thing and the city council seems to at least be willing to listen if the Flames have an actual concrete plan to go with. I wouldn't plan on holding your breath for that.

    8. Possibly feuding with your best player

    And honestly, it's just not good coaching either way.

    7. Ken Holland

    As long as those 6-foot-4 guys are also All-Stars. That helps a lot.

    6. Conspiracy theories

  • Puck Lists: 8 worst NHL Playoff goals that I just remembered right now

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 3 days ago

    (As the NCAA hockey season is done, our own Ryan Lambert needed something on which to opine. Say hello to a special Tuesday series from yer boy RL, PUCK LISTS, in which he arbitrarily lists hockey things.)  

    8. Kevin Bieksa on Antti Niemi, May 24, 2011

    Weird bounces happen in the playoffs. Take, for example, this goal that eliminated the Sharks from the 2011 Western Conference Final, in double overtime.

    Alex Edler attempts a chip in from the blue line, but it goes about five feet down the boards before it hits the stanchion and bounces straight to Kevin Bieksa. No one on the ice but Bieksa seemed to have the faintest idea where the puck was, and San Jose was busy indicating that it must have gone over the glass while Bieksa was knuckle-pucking a shot past Niemi. In fact, it appears that it wasn't until the very last second that Niemi is even aware there was a shot at all.

    Of all the people on the ice, though, Niemi should have been the guy to see it. He doesn't have to watch anything but the puck when it's out at the blue line like that. Yeah, you can lose it sometimes, but you really shouldn't. Have to think fatigue was a factor here.

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  • What We Learned: How do you fix the NY Rangers?

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 5 days ago

    The problems with the New York Rangers were evident, in the last few years, to anyone who paid attention.

    The defense wasn't very good and seemingly worsening every year. The forward depth wasn't being utilized in a particularly helpful way. Money was allocated seemingly at random, or at least based on deeply outmoded thinking. The cupboards were nearly bare from having routinely raided in pursuit of keeping the club competitive. The lineups on any given night were typically suboptimal.

    That was certainly the case Saturday in the 6-3 drubbing at the hands of a significantly superior Pittsburgh Penguins club.

    [Join a Yahoo Daily Fantasy Hockey contest today]

    But now, after Saturday's Game 5 bounce-out at the hands of the rejuvenated Penguins, all those faults are laid bare, if they weren't already. And that means so very difficult and probably costly decisions have to be made.

    What We Learned

    Play of the Weekend

  • Why Joe Thornton is running wild on LA Kings (Trending Topics)

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 8 days ago

    At some point you have to accept that even at his age, Joe Thornton is going to be able to push most teams around. 

    When he's paired with Joe Pavelski, one of the quietly dominant goalscorers in the league (thanks in no small part to his long partnership with Thornton) and Tomas Hertl, an emerging power forward with high-level skill, you can see where he'd become nigh unstoppable.

    [Join a Yahoo Daily Fantasy Hockey contest today]

    Thornton, Pavelski and Hertl have been excellent in this first-round series against Los Angeles, but well beyond the point at which they probably should be operating. They're all running north of 52 percent possession at 5-on-5, and together have outscored their opponents 3-1. This is to say nothing of their power-play prowess (Pavelski with two more goals on the man advantage), but it is incredibly rare that anyone gets one over on the Kings regardless of who they are and against whom they are matched up.

    But here's the crazy part: They've mostly gone head-to-head against Future Norris Winner Drew Doughty.

  • Flyers sore losers, Dan Girardi and Kathryn Tappen (Puck Daddy Countdown)

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 9 days ago

    9. The Flyers

    Obviously.

    This is the kind of thing your mom warned you about when you were a kid, what years of youth sports and family board games were supposed to teach you: How to be a good loser.

    In one respect, the Flyers have been exceptionally good losers, because they're not only down 3-0 in the series, but they've also been outscored 12-2 overall, and 3-2 by John Carlson. Meanwhile, Steve Mason is giving up absolute howlers on an increasingly regular basis.

    But in the other, they've embarrassed themselves because the widdwe babies are wosing and they don't like it one widdwe bit.

    Game 1: Ryan White and Jake Voracek get dinged with roughing minors at 20 minutes of the third period.

    Game 3: Pierre-Edouard Bellemare boards Dmitry Orlov into oblivion, White starts throwing haymakers in the ensuing scrum, and Radko Gudas pulls someone out of the pile to absolutely whale on him for no reason other than he was mad his team was getting demolished at home.

    Know why people make fun of Philly fans throwing stuff on the ice/field/court when it happens? Because it happens a lot.

    8. Stepping on the logo

    7. Dan Girardi

    6. A Wild comeback?

    5. A flexible money situation

    4. Sellouts

  • NCAA Hockey 101: Will Canadian school join Div. 1?

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 10 days ago

    College hockey has grown in the last few years, with Penn State and then Arizona State adding Div. 1 NCAA programs.

    So far, both have been fairly successful at least insofar as establishing their spot in the sport, and seem to be well-supported. And possibly as a result of how well those schools have transitioned from club hockey to the highest level of the college game, others are starting to dream bigger as well.

    Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia, and Minot State University in Minot, North Dakota, are both now reportedly considering a jump to Div. 1 as well.

    As far as bonafides go, it's important to note that Minot State and Simon Fraser are both NCAA Div. 2 participants right now. SFU, despite being located in Canada, was admitted back in 2009 and competes in the Greater Northwest Athletic Conference. Minot has been in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference since 2012 (the same conference as Bemidji State, Minnesota-Duluth, Minnesota State, and St. Cloud).

    It's too bad, but it's reality: Until you have the money, you can talk about it all you want.

    (Photo via SFU Hockey)

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  • What We Learned: Evgeni Malkin and the risk of playing injured

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 12 days ago

    (Hello, this is a feature that will run through the entire season and aims to recap the weekend’s events and boils those events down to one admittedly superficial fact or stupid opinion about each team. Feel free to complain about it.)

    Come playoff time, no one likes to miss games. Which is why you see so many guys playing a level below their normal capabilities.

    Anyone who watched Saturday's 4-2 Rangers’ win over Pittsburgh likely noted the return to the lineup of Evgeni Malkin, out since March 11 with an, ahem , “upper body” injury. And watching him play, you had to think to yourself, “Maybe he should have stayed out of the lineup.”

    Medically, that seems like a correct diagnosis. He was injured early in a game on March 11, and was supposed to miss six to eight weeks. Given that Saturday was April 16, it's fair to say that “not even five weeks” does not equal six-to-eight. You could tell he was playing ahead of schedule, because he didn't look anything like the Malkin fans know and opponents dread.

    Of course, the insistence on playing top players when they're clearly injured is not exclusive to Pittsburgh.

    What We Learned

    Play of the Weekend

    Gold Star Award

    Signoff

  • Henrik Lundqvist doomsday scenario (Trending Topics)

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 15 days ago

    Henrik Lundqvist took a stick in the eye on Wednesday night, stayed in the game, gave up a goal immediately, and left. He was evaluated by an eye specialist and the Rangers called up another goalie the day after.

    This is one of those doomsday scenarios you often hear about in sports but rarely see: The loss of a single player effectively dooming a team to a quick and likely painful death. Because hockey is hockey, and because their opponents are likewise potentially facing more games without their intended starting goalie, the Rangers have the potential to win a game or maybe (maaaaaaaaybe) two, but no one is deluded on this point. The Rangers sans Lundqvist are probably one of the worst teams in the entire NHL, and as such will assuredly be bounced from the playoffs posthaste by a deeper, better division rival.

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