Every player has a game-day routine. Usually a morning skate, followed by a big meal, maybe a nap. Here at GTOG, we warm up by taking the essence of the day's Ron Cook column and producing Ron Cook Poetry.
In their loud rink.
In front of their rabid fans.
So much for home-ice advantage.
I know that.
And no, he wasn't smiling.
It's worth repeating here:
The Penguins will show up, and they won't be afraid.
Are you thinking what I'm thinking?
The Penguins had better win tonight.
See? Now we're ready to play.
- Some Tampa columnist thinks the Lightning might be in Marc-Andre Fleury's head. And we thought Ron Cook asked a lot of rhetorical questions.
- Who is Paul Martin? Is he the top tier defenseman we thought we were getting last summer, or is he merely a rich man's Mark Eaton? He played poorly on Saturday, but who didn't? All rhetorical questions, prompted by a deluge of emails from friends of GTOG who have been insisting all series long that PM is wildly overpaid and should be - and I think they're serious about this
- a healthy scratch in Game 6. Whoa. I think there are two questions that really need to be answered here: 1) Is Paul Martin well suited for his role, i.e. is he a legitimate top 4 defenseman on a contending team?; and 2) Is Paul Martin overpaid at $5 million per year?
|Lost in Existential Thought|
Second, Martin has three obvious comparables in terms of salary vis a vis performance: Sergei Gonchar, Dan Hamhuis, Anton Volchenkov. Those were the other top defenseman on the free agent market in the summer of 2010, and they signed for $5.5 million, $4.5 million, and $4.25 million per year, respectively. Let's not even address Gonchar, because it's too easy. If you'd rather have a clearly over-the-hill minus-machine like Sarge on your payroll for the next couple of years, I don't know why we're even including you in this conversation. Look at the other guys:
GP G A Pts +/- PIMs
Paul Martin 77 3 21 24 9 16
Dan Hamhuis 64 6 17 23 29 34
A. Volchenkov 57 0 8 8 3 36
How's that Volchenkov signing looking? Great defender when he's healthy, but he hasn't played 70 games in 5 years. I don't see him getting more durable going into his thirties. He'll be sitting out games in New Jersey for at least five more years. Hamhuis? Solid player, but we knew that. The plus-minus? If Paul Martin played for the Canucks this year, he might have been a +80. Meaningless stat. Is Paul Martin overpaid? Not compared to these guys. I'm sure you could find players you'd rather have who make less, but I'm guessing you'll come up with homegrown stars who got locked up early in their careers (Kris Letang, Shea Weber). You can't just go out and get those players. Of course, you could try comparing Paul Martin to Tom Gilbert ($5.5 million), Roman Hamrlik ($5.5 million), Sheldon Souray ($5.4 million), or Michael Roszival ($5.0). But maybe it's better if you just stop complaining now and find another target.
- Flyers captain Mike Richards buried Buffalo's Tim Connolly into the boards during Sunday's Game 6. Connolly, who played more minutes than any other Sabres' forward this series, is out for Game 7. No suspension for Captain Leadership.
If Matt Cooke pulled that stunt, the league would have already scheduled a televised beheading for this afternoon. Then again, Mike Richards doesn't have a history of questionable hits. Wait. What's that? He does? Oops.
- Rest assured, Finesse and I will not be watching Game 6 together, and if he tries to contact me today, I'm not available. LGP.
UPDATE: Thoughts on Sunday's two incredible Game 6 games from GTOG contributor Eloquence, after the jump...
The Sabres are the Penguins.
Like the Pens, the Sabres lack finishers outside of Tomas Vanek, but don't look like fun to play against. Quick transition, blocking shots, tough along the boards, etc. The Flyers were on their heels most of the game and then rely on the PP to tie game.
After years of playoff failure, I don't blame Lindy Ruff for calling Bylsma and asking him for a game plan. Jerry Sloan should have called him, too. But apparently Bylsma forgot the part about not taking stupid third period penalties with 10 minutes to go in one-goal games. Flyers tie game, win in OT, and will probably win game 7 in their own building. Reminded me of 10, 20, or 60 Penguin games this season.
The Flyers have a bad habit of coming out strong and coasting until things get close. Look how they finished the regular season. They'll turn it on tomorrow night. However, don't be fooled by this series going to 7. Flyers are tough, Pronger is healing, and Briere is on fire.
Tyler Ennis is legit. 21 years old. Good for him for keeping pace with Aaron Asham in the playoffs (no sarcasm).
Hossa is a beast.
As we've declared here at GTOG, there's no reason to maintain hostility towards Hossa. We won the cup the next year and he did what we all want players to do anyway: turn down more money for a championship. Jokes on him. Move on if you haven't already.
With that said, his assist on the OT winner last night was unreal. Watch it. Guy on his back, a second defender jabbing at the puck, kicks puck from skate to stick, and gets away pass. Not sure if that was all necessary just to get a pass to the point, but fun to watch. Though less exciting for Pens fans since Paul Martin does that four times/game in the defensive zone.