The Greener Grass Watch - Part 2

Pat Steinberg
May 17 2010 08:42AM

Montreal Canadiens Win NHL Eastern Conference Semi Finals in Pittsburgh

 

I did this back in the first round of the NHL postseason, as there were quite a few former members of the Calgary Flames making some sort of impact on their playoff team.  Well, now, as the Western and Eastern Conference Finals are underway, I thought I'd go back and track how some of these former members were doing.

I've tracked players who suited up for the Calgary Flames post-lockout, and in this post, I'm looking at players from teams that played in the second round.  It's nowhere near as many, as Phoenix seemingly eliminated an entire team of former Flames.

Todd Bertuzzi, Detroit Red Wings - Big Bert was inconsistent in his play with the Red Wings in their 12 playoff games, and the team could have probably used him more during their five game series loss to the San Jose Sharks.  His numbers don't look bad, actually, putting up 11 points in those 12 games...but it's pertinent to point out that five of those points came in Detroit's 7-1 win over the Sharks in game four.  So, that's six points in the other 11 games.  Sometimes he was pretty damn good, sometimes he was invisible, and sometimes he hurt Detroit.  But is anyone surprised after seeing him pull the exact same act here?

Brad Stuart, Detroit Red Wings - The former Flames and Hitmen defenceman played in all 12 of Detroit's playoff games, putting up 6 points.  Since joining the Red Wings, he's been a pretty important part of their blueline, fitting in nicely as their number four defenceman.  He was hurt in game four of Detroit's series with San Jose, but returned to play game five.  Taking his short tenure in the fourth game out of the equation, Stuart averaged just under 24 minutes per game...he was +6 in the postseason.

Mike Cammalleri, Montreal Canadiens - Well, we don't really need my opinion on the top goal scorer of the postseason, as I've opined already.  From a strictly numbers perspective, it's pretty good...12 goals and 18 points in 15 playoff games.  He was one of about 20 players who seemed to be a little listless in the first game of the Eastern Conference Final, being part of a 6-0 loss.

Roman Hamrlik, Montreal Canadiens - Did anyone happen to hear that phone call on Montreal's postgame opinion show?  It was a rather angry, and articulate, call that emulated a few pretty good ones we got on Overtime this season regarding the Flames.  Hamrlik was one of the main topics, following his gaffe late in the second period of game four against Washington.  The miscue lead to a Mike Knuble goal and seemed to spark a Capitals third period outburst.  He's been okay during Montreal's run, playing solid minutes sometimes and sweaty palms minutes other times.  He's been able to contribute six points, all assists, thus far, including assists in both game six and seven of the Pittsburgh series.  In analyzing scoring chances, Hamrilk seemed to get better as that second round went along.

Jordan Leopold, Pittsburgh Penguins - The two-time Flames defenceman missed five games for the Penguins during the postseason, but by all accounts, most observers were fairly happy with this contribution to Pittsburgh's unsuccessful bid to defend their Stanley Cup championship.  After being injured in game two of the Ottawa series, Leopold returned for game two of the Montreal series...he went pointless during the playoffs.  Defensively, he was steady throughout, even though a -2 rating won't necessarily flesh that out.  He was rarely out of position and did a nice job starting the rush for Pittsburgh.  I know reading a few opinions from Penguins faithful and media that re-signing the pending UFA defenceman would be met with approval for the most part.

Andrew Ference, Boston Bruins - It was a rough postseason for Ference, and not because he played overly poor on the ice.  He was hampered by what was believed to a groin injury for most of the playoffs.  But, back there with whoever he was paired with, Ference played all 13 games for the Bruins, putting up one point.  You could tell he was hampered by that injury, especially as that collapse played out in Boston's second round series with Philly, and as such, his minutes were scaled back in games six and seven of that series.  Never playing more than 20 minutes in a game, Ference was fine in his role at times, but could have been much more effective if playing at full strength.

Brian Boucher, Philadelphia Flyers - Boucher is now on the shelf for the Flyers as they lead Montreal 1-0 in their Eastern Conference Final series, following a 6-0 shutout in game one.  But Boucher did have a hand in getting the Flyers to where they are now, especially in their first round upset over the New Jersey Devils.  Boucher punctuated that series with a shutout in game five to close things out, and was drawing rave reviews for his play up to that point.  He wasn't as good in Philly's second round series against Boston, letting in a few questionable goals, but he did help pitch a shutout with Michael Leighton in game five.  Leighton was in net to complete the epic comeback in round two for the Flyers, but Boucher was a story for a reason.

Now it's only two, as Boucher sits on the sidelines, only Cammalleri and Hamrlik remain as active players in the postseason.

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Pat Steinberg can be heard daily on the Fan960 in Calgary at can be read at the FAN 960. Born and raised in Calgary, Steinberg considers himself a huge fan of all sports including the CFL, MMA and 13 round bare knuckle boxing matches. Follow Steinberg on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Fan960Steinberg.
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#1 John F
May 17 2010, 09:45AM
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Kind of off topic a bit but hearing how other teams are faring with their cap room and long term signings I came across a few interesting tidbits which make the Falmes plight not look quite as bleak as many would have us believe.

1)Flames are one of 16 teams who did not incur a cap hit for paying contract buyouts for players no longer playing for the team. 15 teams were paying cap $ for players no longer playing with highest being NYI at 3.635 million for the Yashin fiasco. 2) The Leafs where Brian Burke is a folk hero paid out 1.733 million and also have no 1st round draft pick for 2 years ( amuch higher pick than the Flames). 3) The Oilers while they have some great young players coming in are destined to pay Horcoff $6.5 million andd Souray at $4.5 for the next 2 years. They also will see Gagner, Cogliano, Pouliot, and Brule become RFA's next year.

There are numerous other examples of other teams being challenged for those who don't want to dwell exclusively on what they perceive as only the Flames having challenges.

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#2 Grant F
May 17 2010, 12:44PM
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Hamrlik has indeed be OK but at 5.5 million is OK good enough? Probably not.

Flames fans pine over ex-players as much as any group - but there's probably a good reason why many people don't regret letting Hamrlik walk. That contract with Montreal is UGLY.

He was a solid enough player here for the Flames...but he's just not a 5.5 blueliner.

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#3 GoShamesGo
May 17 2010, 07:31PM
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What about Blair Betts? LOL!

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