Thursday, April 30, 2009

Stanley Cup Playoffs: Conference Semifinal Predictions

The Conference Quarters, better known as the First Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, are over. I was right on 6 of my 8 picks, missing out on Anaheim surpassing San Jose and the much ballyhooed miss of Chicago surviving against Calgary. If you forgot that I picked Calgary, just ask Heather or listen to my radio show.

#1 Boston def. #8 Montreal in 4 games (I picked Bruins in 6)
#2 Washington def. #7 N.Y. Rangers in 7 games (Yes, Caps in 7...we have a BINGO!)
#6 Carolina def. #3 New Jersey in 7 games (I did not want to be right on this one...I had Carolina in 6)
#4 Pittsburgh def. #5 Philadelphia in 6 games (I thought Crosby & Co. would win in 5)

#8 Anaheim def. #1 San Jose in 6 games (on the one hand, I'm upset I picked wrong, but, on the bright side, the Islanders earn the 26th overall pick (San Jose's pick) in the 2009 Draft in June)
#2 Detroit def. #7 Columbus in 4 games (Columbus, just happy to be here)
#3 Vancouver def. #6 St. Louis in 4 games (St. Louis, ibid.)
#4 Chicago def. #5 Calgary in, gulp, 6 games (I picked the right amount of games, wrong team...Toews looks at me disapprovingly as he helped carry me to the fantasy hockey league title a couple of weeks ago)

Well, now, it's on to the Second Round. Heather and I submitted our picks in a secret ballot. She listed them on her latest blog entry, but here are mine:

#1 Boston vs. #6 Carolina >>> BOSTON IN SIX
The fight for the championship of the old Adams Division and you can hear Brass Bonanza blaring out at the Mall in Hartford. I know the 'Canes have a Cup to their credit, but, for this series, I think I will call them the Whalers, just for old time's sake. Bruins beat Frank Pietrangelo, Kay Whitmore, Kevin Dineen, Geoff Sanderson, Zarley Zalapski, and Kelly Chase in six games. As the refs said in Slap Shot when the Hansons got into a full-scale brawl in the pre-game skate, the Bruins have "too much, too soon" for the Whalers.

#2 Washington vs. #4 Pittsburgh >>> WASHINGTON IN SEVEN
The old Patrick Division will be decided by the two most dynamic players in hockey today: Washington's Alexander Ovechkin and Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby. They each have a great second banana. Pittsburgh has "Geno" (Evgeny Malkin) and Washington has Alexander Semin. I think this will come down to home-ice advantage and Washington's Power Play finally busting out. Let's all hope that Dan Bylsma doesn't take the bait that Tortorella took in Game 5. Keep the water bottles on the bench!

#2 Detroit vs. #8 Anaheim >>> DETROIT IN FIVE
Detroit is the Big Red Machine of hockey and Anaheim will curiously bow out without much of a fight. Not that Anaheim will go soft, just that Detroit does not engage in the fisticuffs. According to, the Wings only have 11 fighting majors all season and five were by Darren McCarty, who was in Grand Rapids at last check. Detroit will skate around Anaheim and Jonas Hiller will not be able to stop the long line of world-class forwards coming his way.

#3 Vancouver vs. #4 Chicago >>> VANCOUVER IN SEVEN
Roberto Luongo put St. Louis away quickly in the First Round, but this round will be where Luongo starts to make a name for himself as an elite playoff goaltender. He needs to win this series and Vancouver can help him be stingy. Vancouver has some good grit in their lineup with Kevin Bieksa, Ryan Kesler, and Alex Burrows and they will have to win the battles in the corners with Chicago's grit of Ben Eager, Adam Burish, and Matt Walker. But, in the end, if the Canucks win, it will come down to goaltending and I think it will. Chicago will have the home fans behind them, so I think it will go the distance.

Listen in to Sports With The StatMan, this Saturday night at 11pm ET, as we talk about the Second Round with Heather Yunger. To tune in, go to the show page at

Saturday, April 25, 2009

PSA Final Round Recap: Hofmann Cup Final


The LBP Final pitted husband against wife, as the Rochester Americans, owned by Greg Jorgensen, trounced the Pittsburgh Pumpkins, owned by Sarah Jorgensen, 408.7 to 268.2, in the third challenge for the Hofmann Cup. Rochester outscored Pittsburgh each week during the 22-day match and pulled away in the second week of competition, 195-112. What was a 32-point lead became a 115-point advantage, which made the final week an easy finish to the Final and the season for Rochester.

Rochester was the highest-ranked team not to make the Goodman Cup Playoffs and laid in wait as #9 Pittsburgh defeated #8 Chicago in the LBP First Round to gain the right to meet Rochester in the Hofmann Cup Final.

Rochester captured its second LBP Championship and first Hofmann Cup. The winner of the LBP Final used to claim the Athletic Cup between 1998 and 2001. The Athletic Cup was renamed the Hofmann Cup in 2007. In 2000, Rochester won the only tight LBP Final ever when the American defeated Cleveland by a single point. This was the second-largest margin of victory in LBP Finals history, trailing only last year's Long Island victory over Rochester (173.8 points). Pittsburgh's LBP Final appearance was its first in franchise history.

#5 Rochester 408.7, #9 Pittsburgh 268.2
Week 1: ROC 112.4, PIT 80.4
Week 2: ROC 195.0, PIT 112.0
Week 3: ROC 101.3, PIT 75.8

F Alex Kovalev - 9-8-17, 6 PPG (57 points)
D Nicklas Lidstrom - 3-6-9 (44.5)
PF David Backes - 7-2-9 (44)
F Jeff Carter - 7-6-13 (49 points)
F Alexander Ovechkin - 6-10-16 (44)
PF Scott Hartnell - 4-3-7, 20 PIM (42.5)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

PSA Final Round Recap: Newman Cup Final


Saint John sped off to a strong start and closed strong to pull away at the end in an upset. The fourth ranked Stompin' Toms defeated #2 Yukon, 455.5 to 359.5. Saint John scored more any other team in the Final Round and more than Goodman Cup Champion Long Island in both rounds, but did not have the good fortune of playing the Sounds in the playoffs. Yukon was the defending Goodman Cup Champion and won its division, but finished fourth among the four playoff teams.

After two weeks, Saint John and Yukon were separated by less than 10 points, but Saint John blitzed Yukon, 170.3-84.7 in the final week to provide a healthy 96-point margin of victory, which was, by far, the largest in the history of the Newman Cup Final. The previous record was in 2007, when Long Island defeated Rochester by 34.4 points.

The win was the second Newman Cup for Saint John, which won the Newman nine years ago with a 0.9-point win over Long Island. To this day, the 0.9-point margin is the closest of any postseason series in PSA history. The Newman Cup Final was the first appearance for Yukon. Saint John's Newman Cup victory increases the Stompin' Toms all-time Goodman Cup Playoffs record to 2-6 while Yukon's loss evened the Sunbathers all-time playoff mark to 4-4.

#4 Saint John 455.5, #2 Yukon 359.5
Week 1: SJN 167.9, YKN 120.1
Week 2: YKN 154.7, SJN 117.3
Week 3: SJN 170.3, YKN 84.7

D Scott Niedermayer - 3-10-13 (67 points)
G Chris Mason - 8-1-1, 2 ShO, 2.09 GAA, .921 SPCT (61.4)
F Martin Havlat - 7-9-16 (53.5)
G Roberto Luongo - 6-3, 3 ShO, 2.07 GAA, .930 SPCT (64 points)
F Henrik Sedin - 7-9-16, +11 (60.5)
F Daniel Sedin - 5-9-14 (50.5)

PSA Final Round Recap: Goodman Cup Final


Congratulations to the Long Island Sounds, who are kings of the Puck & Stick Association for the second time in the closest Final in League history. Long Island held off a furious charge from the New England Slam Chowdah, which was also looking for its second title, in a game that was in doubt until the final whistle. The final margin was 7.7 points, as Long Island prevailed, 371.1 to 363.4.

Long Island jumped out to an early lead after the first week of the aggregate-score match, 136.3-98.3, and increased its lead by one point in Week 2, 135.9-134.9. But, New England had a great last stand, hanging 130.2 points compared to 98.9 for Long Island. But, the goodwill the Sounds built up over the first fortnight was enough to carry the lackluster third act.

Long Island won the 3rd challenge for the Goodman Cup in 2001, defeating Wall Street in the closest Final in history at that time, which was 10.9 points. New England (then Massachusetts) also defeated Wall Street for the Cup the previous season, in 2000, in a lopsided Final. New England is now 1-2 in Finals all-time while Long Island has won Cups both times the Sounds have reached the Goodman Cup Final.

#3 Long Island 371.1, #1 New England 363.4
Week 1: LI 136.3, NE 98.3
Week 2: LI 135.9, NE 134.9
Week 3: NE 130.2, LI 98.9

PF Corey Perry - 9-5-14 (64 points)
D Mike Green - 3-6-9 (40)
F Jonathan Toews - 5-4-9 (37)
PF Ryan Getzlaf - 4-13-17, 22 PIM (63.5 points)
G Niklas Backstrom - 6-3, 2 ShO, 1.89 GAA, .941 SPCT (63.4)
G Tim Thomas - 6-0, 1 ShO, 1.82 GAA, .951 SPCT (56)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

NHL Playoff Predictions

Even though the Stanley Cup Playoffs have already begun, here were my predictions as the Playoffs got underway. As I said in my online radio show on, In the East, Carolina would give the Devils a tough time because the Canes have played well against New Jersey in recent years. The Western Conference has great first-round matchups with San Jose-Anaheim, which is the first time two California teams faced off in the Stanley Cup Playoffs since 1969, when the California Golden Seals played the Los Angeles Kings.

#1 Boston vs. #8 Montreal >>> BRUINS in SIX
Boston is very deep at forward and they are hungry, especially against its biggest rival in Montreal. The Habs have always dominated in their playoff history against the Bruins, so even though Boston has the better team, one team almost never dominates the other.

#2 Washington vs. #7 N.Y. Rangers >>> CAPITALS in SEVEN
The best pure goal-scorer in the world, Alexander Ovechkin, will be the best player on the ice just about every game. Meanwhile, the best player on the Rangers, goalie Henrik Lundqvist, has to be better than Ovechkin just about every game. This will come down to Washington's PP against the Rangers PK.

#3 New Jersey vs. #6 Carolina >>> HURRICANES in SEVEN
Carolina has had the Devils number in the last few seasons, but the Devils have had so much playoff success over the years with Martin Brodeur in net, how can you count the Devils out? The Hurricanes are on the better run and Carolina has done this in a 3-6 matchup before against New Jersey.

#4 Pittsburgh vs. #5 Philadelphia >>> PENGUINS in FIVE
Philadelphia had more 25-goal scorers than anyone (six, Carter, Gagne, Richards, Hartnell, Knuble, and Lupul), but they have had a rough go of it in the last month-and-a-half, going 11-10-1 to close the season. Pittsburgh made the best deadline deal for former Islanders captain Bill Guerin and has playoff-proven firepower in Crosby and Malkin.

#1 San Jose vs. #8 Anaheim >>> SHARKS in SEVEN
The Sharks have been the class of the league for most of the season. Their defense has been the story with Dan Boyle joining an already-impressive crew on the blueline this season. Evgeni Nabokov is an Ironman between the pipes. Anaheim has the playoff pedigree, and they still have Chris Pronger and Scott Niedermayer, but the wild card is the Ducks netminding.

#2 Detroit vs. #7 Columbus >>> RED WINGS in FIVE
The Red Wings are the defending champions and they got better in the offseason when Marian Hossa signed with the winners after losing to them as a Penguin in the Stanley Cup Finals. The Wings eat rookies for breakfast. Enter Columbus. The franchise is a playoff rookie and their star goaltender, Steve Mason, is also a rookie.

#3 Vancouver vs. #6 St. Louis >>> CANUCKS in FIVE
Roberto Luongo is becoming a top playoff performer and could be the hot goalie that carries a team deep into the postseason. St. Louis tries to be the unstoppable force to Luongo's immovable object. The Blues had the best second-half record in the league, but a hot goalie can stop a surging team, especially a young team that was not expected to make the playoffs.

#4 Chicago vs. #5 Calgary >>> FLAMES in SIX
Will the Blackhawks be a team too young to be scared or were they just happy to break their six-year playoff drought? They have young leadership in Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, and Kris Versteeg, but the goaltending is much better in Calgary. The Flames have the second-best deadline deal in acquiring Olli Jokinen from the Coyotes. Their leadership is older and playoff tested (Jarome Iginla, Dion Phaneuf, Miikka Kiprusoff).

Saturday, April 11, 2009

PSA: Final Round Update - 4/11/09

Thursday helped all three leaders get themselves into better position and Friday was the calm before the storm tonight. New England has every player in action on Saturday, while Long Island has all but one (Pekka Rinne) playing on Saturday. Yukon has everyone in the lineup on Saturday except Nik Antropov, while Saint John only has 11 of its 15 players in action on Saturday. Pittsburgh has one more player in action (14 of 15) than Rochester (13 of 15) on Saturday.

It may come down to Sunday, where there are four games on the NHL slate and these are the players who will be in action in the PSA Postseason:

* Detroit-Chicago (2pm ET) (Datsyuk LI, Conklin PIT, Franzen ROC, Kronwall PIT, Lidstrom ROC, Red Wings ST ROC, Zetterberg SJN, Campbell NE, Havlat SJN, Huet YKN, Keith YKN, Toews LI)

* St. Louis-Colorado (5pm ET) (Backes ROC, Mason SJN)

* Boston-NY Islanders (5pm ET) (Chara PIT, Ryder LI, Savard NE, Thomas NE, Wideman PIT)

* NY Rangers-Philadelphia (5pm ET) (Antropov YKN, Drury SJN, Naslund PIT, Carter PIT, Hartnell PIT, Timonen SJN)

For the Thursday-Friday games, here are the latest updates:
Sounds defenseman Mike Green potted a goal and added two assists for 14.5 points to pace either team in the past two days. Long Island received secondary scoring from two of its other defensemen: Sergei Gonchar (6.5 points) and Jay Bouwmeester (4.5 points). Sidney Crosby led New England with a power-play goal and an assist (8 points). Tim Thomas stood strong for New England in getting past the Canadiens on Thursday night, winning in overtime and stopping 35 of 39 shots (6 points).
LI 335.2, NE 309.5 (This Week: NE 76.3, LI 63.0)

NEWMAN CUP FINAL (3rd Place Game)
Saint John has pulled away in the final week of the match, turning a 10-point lead into a much more formidable 76 points, in part by trouncing Yukon, 57.8 to 9 over the last two days. Saint John was rewarded with three players who scored in double figures during that span (Niedermayer 12, Dumont 11.5, Pominville 10) while Yukon only had its star goalie, Roberto Luongo, pitch a 20-save shutout for its only double-figure producer (13 points).
SJN 405.9, YKN 329.9 (This Week: SJN 120.7, YKN 55.1)

HOFMANN CUP FINAL (Loser's Bracket Playoff Championship)
Rochester is a study in domination during this match, as the Amerks all but sewed up the Hofmann Cup after two weeks and now leads by 146.5 points. Rochester has outscored Pittsburgh, 40.9 to 19, over the last two days on the strength of six goals, including four on the power play. Pittsburgh was led by another win for franchise goaltender Martin Brodeur (8 points).
ROC 393.2, PIT 246.7 (This Week: ROC 85.8, PIT 54.3)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

PSA: Final Round Update - 4/9/09

We are shaping up for an historic weekend in the Goodman Cup Final, as the game keeps getting closer and closer before the big finale of the 22-day match on Sunday. This is really too close to call because of the remaining games and addition of Special Teams statistics, which are manually calculated each week after the final games are played.

The following updates are from last night's NHL action (4/8/09):

A goal and power play assist from Brian Campbell (6.5 points) helped New England to an 8.5 to 5 edge on a slow Wednesday night. There were two players in action on either side of the ice.
LI 304.8, NE 299.3 (This Week: NE 66.1, LI 32.6)

Yukon had secondary scoring on Wednesday night, while Saint John was a one-trick pony. Yukon's Duncan Keith (0-2-2) scored 8.5 points and Rick Nash (1-1-2, +1) chipped in 6 points. Saint John only received good production from Jason Pominville (7 points).
SJN 350.1, YKN 320.9 (This Week: SJN 64.9, YKN 46.1)

A true off-day for the Hofmann Cup Final to crown the LBP Champion, as no one played on Wednesday.
ROC 352.3, PIT 227.7 (This Week: ROC 44.9, PIT 35.3)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

PSA: Final Round Update - 4/8/09

Here are the updates in all three postseason series from last night's (April 7th) action:

The Goodman Cup Final just got a lot more interesting, as New England had an impressive 37.4-point output on Tuesday night, compared to 0.8 points for Long Island to pull within 9 points of the lead with four days to play. Nicklas Backstrom won his game and saved 27 out of 28 shots to score 7.4 points. Three different skaters chipped in 6 points (Brian Campbell, Sidney Crosby, Ron Hainsey).
LI 299.8, NE 290.8 (This Week: NE 57.6, LI 27.6)

Saint John keeps pulling away from Yukon, outscoring the Sunbathers by a 42.3-26.2 count. Alexander Edler had a big day for the Johnnies with two assists, one on the Power Play, and a +2 rating for 12.5 points. Roberto Luongo was impressive in net for Yukon, though, scoring 11.2 points on a 46-save win while only allowing one goal.
SJN 341.1, YKN 306.4 (This Week: SJN 55.9, YKN 31.6)

The Loser's Bracket Playoff Final has just about been clinched by Rochester, as both the Americans and Pittsburgh are trading points right now. Rochester used Eric Staal's four-point night, including his fourth hat trick of the season (19 points), to lead the way, while Pittsburgh received another goal and assist from Jeff Carter (9 points). Rochester won the day, 22.4-17.8, and lead by almost 125 points.
ROC 352.3, PIT 227.7 (This Week: ROC 44.9, PIT 35.3)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

PSA: Final Round Update - 4/7/09

Here is an update of the Puck & Stick Association, the official fantasy hockey league of this blog (and, conveniently, the league that I run and the league in which I own a team):

In the final week of the Final Rounds in the Goodman Cup Playoffs, Long Island is adding a few insurance points over New England in the title game, Saint John and Yukon are keeping it close in the fight for third place, and Rochester is continuing to pull away from Pittsburgh in the last game for the best of the rest.

(scores through Monday, April 6th)
#3 Long Island 299.0, #1 New England 253.4 (LI by 45.6 pts)
Week 1: LI 136.3, NE 98.3
Week 2: LI 135.9, NE 134.9
This week: LI 26.8, NE 20.2 (LI by 6.6 pts)

NEWMAN CUP FINAL (3rd place)
#4 Saint John 298.8, #2 Yukon 280.2 (SJN by 18.6 pts)
Week 1: SJN 167.9, YKN 120.1
Week 2: YKN 154.7, SJN 117.3
This week: SJN 13.6, YKN 5.4 (SJN by 8.2 pts)

HOFMANN CUP FINAL (Loser's Bracket Playoffs)
#5 Rochester 329.9, #9 Pittsburgh 209.9 (ROC by 120 pts)
Week 1: ROC 112.4, PIT 80.4
Week 2: ROC 195.0, PIT 112.0
This week: ROC 22.5, PIT 17.5 (ROC by 5 pts)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Launching "Sports With The StatMan" on BlogTalkRadio

A lot of time has passed between my college years and now. It is only 11 years, but it seems much longer. In that time, I have worked in my chosen profession and done pretty well at it, but I have always yearned to get back into my true passion in college: radio.

I was a Sports Director at Lehigh University's campus radio station (WLVR) back in 1997-98 and put in over 2 years at the station, broadcasting games, manning the board for a weekly 2-hour oldies and 80's music show, and in '97-'98, hosting a 30-to-60 minute Sports Reporters-like round-table show with the WLVR sports broadcasters. After finishing college and actually using my major (yes, doing this actually is a novelty -- a Computer Science degree yielding a job in computers!), my radio days appeared farther and farther behind me in my rear-view mirror.

This was a memory best left to be a memory, lest I be one of those hangers-on to college. What if I tried on a professional level and failed? What if I realized this was not for me after all? After a few times visiting the old school and saying hello in the radio booth at a couple of football games, the time had passed and I was on to different -- if not, better -- things. But, I always wondered...until now.

I will admit, the thought of the concept of talking on the phone or through my computer does not strike me as terrestrial radio at its best, and it is not. Think terrestrial radio with unlimited channels, shows, and time slots. If you do, you have My cousin, Wills, told me about it in February, and I immediately registered. The only question was: how can I get started?

I figured out it was as easy as scheduling a show and calling into a conference line with a phone. That's it. You can talk through your computer and it would probably enhance the quality, but before I sink some dough into getting a podcasting microphone or invest in any other equipment or VoIP service, I wanted to get ahead of this and, ahem, start the show.

I wanted to start fresh with the start of the baseball season (you know, hope springs eternal, renewal of spring, every team is 0-0, blah, blah, blah). So, I wanted to launch my show the night before Opening Day, Sunday, April 5th. Up until a few days before last night, I was still unsure whether I would do it. The old jitters started coming back. The old questions started to re-appear.

But, although I may try to make it sound professional, it is a little fireside chat with few people, if anyone. I am not on anyone's payroll and it was free to do this. And, there is only one way to find out if I still have what I think it might take to do this someday.

I scheduled the show at 6pm for an hour. My one guest, Heather Yunger, may not be joining me, so I was thinking of cutting the show to 30 minutes. Nope, let's go for it. I decided to try to fill it myself. Half of me wanted to run out to a dump to see if I could find the old Merv Griffin set and dress up like Kramer. Really.

At 6pm, I was on the air and even the on-air feelings came back. This has to be real, right? It isn't the glorified "imaginary tea party" my guest (who ended up accidentally standing me up) termed it to be. Well, it is an imaginary tea party and my imaginary friends had a good time! I had a hard time stopping at 60 minutes, but I did. I wanted to talk baseball, hockey, fantasy baseball, and fantasy hockey, and I only had time for MLB and NHL talk. I did not even have time for predictions. But, since no one was probably listening, there's always next week.

A difference between WLVR and BlogTalkRadio is that all episodes are archived in MP3 format, so you are immortalized forever. Any mistake can be replayed a hundred times. As a perfectionist, I have already done that, 18 hours after the show. At WLVR, once you made the mistake, it was out there and gone, just like that. That is, except for the occasional comment that sticks in your colleagues' heads, like trying to take time out for a 2-minute warning in college football (oh, yeah, there is no 2-minute warning in college football). Sometimes, learning the hard way is the best way.

I am already looking forward to my next episode next weekend. In time, I hope those imaginary friends make some room for some new friends...and enjoy the tea.

To check out my show, visit my show page at Episode No. 1 can be heard in its entirety right there or you can download it and play it on iTunes. Let me know what you think in Comments.

Hockey Coming To A Close...When You're Non-Playoff Bound

HAPPY OPENING DAY! This is the day a long-suffering Islanders fan has been waiting for all winter. More on the upcoming baseball season in a bit, but first, let me put a wrap on the Islanders talk for the season...well, at least until the Draft comes around...

As much as I would have liked to detail every game -- most of them losses (yeah, we've got a lot of them) -- there are plenty of other news outlets to get your Islanders information (well, a and are my two sources).

Much like Newman's comment that he can barely tell the difference between generic wax beans and the regular kind, I think if I continued that stream of consciousness, we would have officially bottomed out.

During this hockey season, I have watched the Islanders sink into oblivion, but rise with the youngsters on the road to respectability. Of course, it does not mean much unless you can do it when the pressure is on and the pressure will not be on until next fall. It became apparent early that this team was not going to push for a postseason berth. The initial talent level made it tough to begin with, but 550+ man-games lost will also do that to you.

It has been fun watching these Islanders since the All-Star Break. I feel like a hockey dad, watching the young team and feeling proud of them when they score a goal, make a great save, or have a good shift. The Isles have to start with the building blocks of a solid franchise because the franchise itself is being rocked to its foundations.

The really sad part in all of this is the possibility the Islanders may move -- to Kansas City, Saskatoon, Hamilton, or wherever outside of the area. The first preference is to stay at the Coliseum and see the Lighthouse Project come to fruition. If they move to Suffolk County, I might still go to the games if it is not that far out on the Island. Queens would be the best move, both for the team's relevance in the New York sports scene, but also as a "partner" to the Mets and new Citi Field.

I have only one problem with moving to Queens, and it is not alienating the East Enders because, after all, I have made the trip from Northern New Jersey as a season ticket holder since 2002. My issue is that we would be losing part of our identity as a small-town team with a close-knit group of people you recognize at the games, again and again. My fear is that this would become "too corporate" an organization. While it may be a good thing for the level of play and stature among the nine major pro sports teams in this town, the Islanders and the gameday experience would lose its kitsch. But, if you put a beautiful new arena next to Citi Field, what a destination it would be?!

So, the season was tough to take, but hopefully, Islander fans will look back on this season as some formative training for the years -- and successes -- ahead.


The fantasy hockey season has been a big success. Our 8th full season of the Puck & Stick Association (PSA) is culminating in a big Goodman Cup Final between two charter members of the league: the Long Island Sounds (owned by yours truly) and the New England Slam Chowdah (owned by Jon Strauss). We are entering the final week of the three-week final and Long Island leads by 39 points, 272.2-233.2. Here are the rest of the scores for the Goodman Cup Playoffs up to this point:

Game "A": #1 New England (17-5) vs. #4 Saint John (12-10)
Too little, too late for Saint John, getting blitzed in Week 1 of the two-week match by 45 points, as the Stompin' Toms 146.6 points in Week 2 did not make up enough ground.
FINAL: #1 New England (Jon Strauss) 237.0, #4 Saint John (Tim Bresnahan) 223.3

Game "B": #3 Long Island (12-10) vs. #2 Yukon (13-9)
Long Island was lucky to snatch the third seed from Saint John in the final week because the Sounds scored less than New England, but advances to the Final by playing the only team that scored less than Long Island. Long Island was consistent, scoring 110.6 in Week 1 and 110.4 in Week 2.
FINAL: #3 Long Island (George Stathopulos) 221.0, #2 Yukon (Eric Brown) 166.8

#1 New England (18-5) vs. #3 Long Island (13-10)
Consistency has been a boon to Long Island again, fetching 136.3 in Week 1 and 135.9 in Week 2. Long Island has built a 39-point lead after two weeks in this three-week match, but New England is coming on with 134.9 points in Week 2 to only drop one point further behind.
AFTER 2 WEEKS (1 week left): #3 Long Island 272.2, #1 New England 233.2

NEWMAN CUP FINAL (for 3rd place)
In a not-so-rare occurrence, teams from this game outscore both teams in the Goodman Cup Final for the championship. But, both teams are outscoring both teams in the Goodman Cup Final. The game is tight, as Saint John had the upper hand by 47.8 points in Week 1 and Yukon returned the favor, outscoring Saint John by 37.4 points in Week 2. This makes for a contest that will go to the wire.
AFTER 2 WEEKS (1 week left): #4 Saint John 285.2, #2 Yukon 274.8

In the Loser's Bracket Playoffs, #9 Pittsburgh (Sarah Jorgensen) got by #8 Chicago (Pete Yunger), 194.0-186.1, and the Pumpkins are facing rival (and husband) #5 Rochester (Greg Jorgensen). After 2 weeks, Rochester is leading handily by 115 points, 307.4-192.4.

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