Ryan Lambert

  • Hot takes, Panthers' changes and guarantees (Puck Daddy Countdown)

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 6 hrs ago

    (Ed. Note: The column formerly known as the Puck Daddy Power Rankings. Ryan Lambert takes a look at some of the biggest issues and stories in the NHL, and counts them down.)

    7. Writers of hot takes

    A few weeks ago Deadspin had an article about “The Death of the Hot Sports Take,” which as we know was a hot sports media take in and of itself because the hot sports take is going quite literally nowhere.

    What we're seeing instead is the rise in awareness of the hot sports take, and the rightful excoriation of those who would deploy it. So now, when writers come up with sizzling takes, they couch their scorching takes by saying they really, really don't want to have to write them. Like, really, they know the take is molten but man, someone has to say it and they guess it might as well be them.

    But?

    But right now, I don’t care.

    This is beautiful. 

    6. The hot takes themselves

    Hmm yes.

    5. Vegas

    4. Stamkos suitors

    3. Old School Guys

    2. Guarantee-dismissing

  • The 8 reasons that Russian hockey urination video is very fake (Puck List)

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 1 day 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.)

    This week, a video surfaced apparently showing a Team USA hockey fan jiggling and urinating in the Russian team locker room at the IIHF world championships.

    Here are eight reasons it’s obviously very fake. 

    8. I don't buy dude's accent

    The pee-er himself, Mike, says “Datsyuk” in a very strange way, first of all. It is the only word he says in the video, and it's not a particularly American-sounding accent.

    The person behind the camera has a more believable accent, of course, but it sounds more than a little put on. In addition, the first words out of his mouth are, “You guys, we're at the World Championships in Moscow. In the dressing room of the Russians.”

    (Also Canada, the Europe of North America.)

    Third, listen to the way he says, “Moscow.” The accent breaks there.

    7. It's bleeped

    I ain't buyin' that.

  • What We Learned: NHL free agent blues for Backes, Brouwer

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 2 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.)

    The NHL is getting smarter every year. Despite that, some bad free agent decisions get made every summer. 

    How many times has it happened that a strong playoff performance by an otherwise just-OK player results in too many dollars for entirely too many years?

    Yes, too many. You can be very, very certain that it's going to happen again.

    Two guys who certainly seem to fall into the category of “pending UFAs whose playoff performances are going to get them straight-up paid” are the big goal-scorers for the Blues. David Backes and Troy Brouwer both have seven goals in this postseason, tied with Vladimir Tarasenko and Logan Couture for fourth in the league. The latter two are guys whose career-long performance shows they can contribute at a high level.

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    What We Learned

    Oh my.

  • Being late to the Phil Kessel Party (Trending Topics)

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 4 days ago

    It has always been incredibly difficult to score in the playoffs. Few players can do it reliably. Even fewer can do it in so dominant a fashion as to average a point in every playoff game of their careers. 

    Among all active players, only four have played in at least 30 playoff games and recorded an average of a point per game. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, not surprisingly, are in the lead with 131 and 121, respectively, in 114 postseason games each. Mike Cammalleri brings up the rear with 32 in 32. And nestled right in the middle after Wednesday night's Game 3 performance is Phil Kessel, with 37 in 36.

    And among all active players, Kessel trails only Vladimir Tarasenko in playoff goals per game. He's back by 0.03 a night.

    The book on Kessel, of course, is that he is and always has been a total loser idiot who sucks and never tries, which is why the Bruins traded him to Toronto when they had the chance, and why the Leafs traded him to Pittsburgh last summer as they tried to rebuild their team.

    And he's 25th in primary points per 60 in all situations.

    All stats via War on Ice unless otherwise stated.

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  • Case against the case for trading Alex Ovechkin (Huge If True)

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 5 days ago

    Well it's that time of year again: The Washington Capitals are out of the playoffs and many people have seemingly decided that the best way for them to improve is to trade the guy who has led the league in goal-scoring for each of the last four seasons.

    Much like the blossoming of the cherry trees around Washington, D.C., the nation's capital has fallen in recent years onto an annual tradition of shivving Alex Ovechkin for problems that are not his fault.

    No surprise here, but noted hockey liker Mike Wilbon of ESPN and the Washington Post fired a pre-emptive strike while the Caps were still playing, saying that if the team were to lose Game 5 — of a series they were trailing 3-1 at the time — then Ovechkin had to go . He's never made it to a Cup Final so he has to go. Same old crap from a guy who spent, let's say, three minutes total this season accidentally watching the Caps.

    The Rumor

    Let's go with that as far as we can.

    At first glance, the notion of trading Ovechkin seems absolutely crazy.

    So far I am with you.

    The Implications

  • Steven Stamkos, NHL suspensions and LA Kings' future (Puck Daddy Countdown)

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 6 days ago

    (Ed. Note: The column formerly known as the Puck Daddy Power Rankings. Ryan Lambert takes a look at some of the biggest issues and stories in the NHL, and counts them down.)  

    8. The Department of Player Safety

    Game 1 of Tampa/Pittsburgh was, to put it kindly, a melee.

    Ryan Callahan boarded Kris Letang in a very scary incident, and it only got worse from there. Ondrej Palat hit Brian Dumoulin in a similar if less plainly intended manner. Chris Kunitz went knee-to-knee on Tyler Johnson with another borderline hit.

    And for all we know, the Department of Player Safety never even thought about picking up the phone. Well, probably they thought about it in the same way the average person thinks to themselves, “Maybe I'll have the lobster tonight” and then decides, nah, can't justify that.

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    Which isn't the job description.

    7. Messing with Joe Thornton's beard

    3. The Kings

  • Puck Lists: 9 best parts of the Crying Jeremy Roenick video

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 7 days ago

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

    In 2010, NBC Sports analyst Jeremy Roenick got emotional after his former team defeated his former team for the Stanley Cup.

    The moment happened live on the air with Dan Patrick and Mike Milbury, and lives on forever via YouTube:

    Here are the 9 best parts of the Crying Jeremy Roenick video:

    9. That it exists

    Yo it gets real dusty around me when anyone wins the Stanley Cup or NCAA title. If I watched the Memorial Cup it would probably be the same thing. And it's not just hockey, or sports in general. Sad movies? Happy movies? Forget about it. It is 150 percent totally fine for a man to cry about anything he damn well pleases. It's 2016.

    So like, I get it.

    All of this occurred to me, by the way, because over the weekend Roenick posted a picture of himself and some buddies (including John McEnroe) with Patrick Kane landlord and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who owns the course and seems to be a somewhat frequent JR golf partner.

    7. A helping hand

  • What We Learned: Stop overpraising Blues, Sharks management

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 9 days ago

    A thing you saw a lot this week, in the lead-up to Sunday night's Western Conference Final matchup between the San Jose Sharks and St. Louis Blues, is praise for the teams' respective general managers and fellow Dougs, Wilson and Armstrong.

    They have put together some good teams over the years, to be sure. Both rosters are talent-rich at all positions. Both have a healthy mix of older players who have been through the wars before and still contributing at a high level and younger players who are throwing in their own solid performances. Both are well-coached. Both are getting strong goaltending.

    But was either GM actually “patient” with their rosters?

    Probably not.

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    The San Jose example is the one for which there was obviously no real patience displayed. Back in 2014, when the Sharks blew a 3-0 lead to the Kings, Wilson saw his divisional rivals go on to win the Stanley Cup, and thought, “There but for a lack of Leadership and Grit go I.”

    And certainly you don't deserve adulation for it.

    To ARI:

  • Why Steven Stamkos and Anton Stralman make the Lightning terrifying (Trending Topics)

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 11 days ago

    As the Tampa Bay Lightning pummeled the Detroit Red Wings and New York Islanders in the first two rounds of the playoffs, you had to say it was because they were better in all areas than the two teams they faced.  

    Thanks to their supreme scoring depth, strong blue line and world-class goaltending they won eight games out of 10 and were the third-best postseason possession team to make it past the first round. Their games have often been close, with only three multiple-goal wins out of 10 tries, and it's tough to say that this team “should” keep winning one-goal contests. That's especially true as a date with the juggernaut Penguins looms in the Eastern Conference Final.

    However, they have breezed through the first two rounds of the playoffs more convincingly than any other team. It is therefore very easy to forget that two of the better players in the league are still nursing injuries as the Bolts rampage past two admittedly softer opponents than anyone else has gotten.

    Ryan Lambert is a Puck Daddy columnist. His email is here and his Twitter is here .

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  • Huge if True: New York Islanders and big offseason changes

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 12 days ago

    The very, very, very good news for Garth Snow as he heads into this summer is that Travis Hamonic no longer wants to be traded.

    The reason he wanted to go, it seems, is that a close family member had a bit of a health crisis, but is now perhaps out of the woods . And therefore, Hamonic is more than happy to stay with the Islanders for the duration of his bargain contract.

    That's a big load off Snow's mind, assuredly, and allows him to shift his attention to a number of other issues now facing his club.

    Arguably first and foremost on that list is the fact that Kyle Okposo — who provided 194 points to the Islanders' cause in 210 games over the last three seasons — goes from a $2.8 million AAV player to an unrestricted free agent who may or may not be re-signed. Other key players , like Matt Martin and Frans Nielsen, are also poised to hit the UFA market, and there's the sticky situation in goal to consider as well.

    The Rumor