We wish we could give out an award for Stupidest Artice on the Internet every week,
but usually anything [Steve Lepore] writes would win. HOOOOOOOOOO.
We've used that line twice this week.
Anyway, it can't work in the regular season because we aren't reading everything we possibly can.
But in the playoffs, we're reading everything we can get our hands on.
PUCK DADDY's daily repository of links always comes up big-time.
On Tuesday, he released the hounds on what could be the dumbest thing put on the Internet since Perez Hilton.
The tease to go to the article was that the author was saying
there isn't an elite goaltender left in the playoffs.
We took the bait.
Always fun to see what neutral observers are saying about MAF.
Little did we know that we were about to become dumber by reading it.
THE PUCK STOPS HERE has been around since February 2005.
February 2005 — When the NHL officially canceled the '04-'05 season.
It's actually the reason he made his first post.
So he's always harbored a grudge against Commisioner Gary Bettman.
And it's come out again, but we'll get to that later.
Read some of these quotes from his recent article about elite goaltending in the playoffs:

The fact there are no elite goaltenders left in the 2009 playoffs is clear from statistics.  The goalies with the top three playoff saves percentages (Jonas Hiller, Tim Thomas and Martin Brodeur) have all been eliminated from the playoffs.

Jonas Hiller and Tim Thomas are elite goaltenders?  Stanley Cup rings: zero.
Meanwhile, Cam Ward, Chris Osgood, and Khabibulin have a combined 5 Stanley Cup rings between them.
Marc-Andre Fleury has already led his team to the Stanley Cup Finals.  He's 24 years old.
Just imagine if Varlamov took the Caps to the Conference Final.
The writer would probably be wanking off right now.
I would pick Marc-Andre Fleury as the third best goalie left in the playoffs.   (*behind Ward and Khabibulin). As the first pick in the 2003 draft he has faced big expectations that he has never lived up to.  He is an NHL goalie but has never been a great one.  He has never been a Vezina candidate.  He has never played in an all star game.  His biggest success to date is being the goalie of the 2008 Stanley Cup finalists.  The Penguins are an offensively strong team that rarely depends on goaltending and Fleury is that goalie.
We can't even put our thoughts together to analyze the level of fail in this paragraph alone.
What are the expectations Fleury hasn't lived up to?  Being in the running for a Vezina?
Saying that a 24-year-old goaltender hasn't lived up to expectations is unbelievable.
Did the Penguins expect to get to the Finals last season?  No.  Fleury is exceeding expectations thus far.
The Penguins drafted MAF first overall 'cause he was there, he was solid, and they wanted a franchise goalie.
The "expectations" are media-driven.  Next.
This next paragraph is where the author's hard-on for Bettman hatred starts seeping into the article.
This paragraph was at the bottom of his article.
So if you hadn't stabbed your eyes by then, you were able to read this one:

A team can be the best without elite goaltending.  That has not been the case historically.  Nearly any team that won the Stanley Cup did so with an elite goaltender in net.  This isn’t so true anymore.  Part of that is a function of expansion.  More teams in the NHL mean more goaltenders in the NHL and more teams without elite goaltenders.  If the NHL was a six team league, none of the four remaining playoff goaltenders would be starters in the league.  That alone would guarantee better goaltending from the teams with playoff success.  Another cause is the salary cap.  Teams are artificially limited in how much they can pay players.  This has kept some of these teams from acquiring better goaltending.  I have no doubt that absent a salary cap the Detroit Red Wings would have a better goalie than Chris Osgood.

Does this guy want the NHL to be a six-team league again so he can see elite goaltending?
Does this guy realize the only reason he's even watching hockey right now is because of the salary cap?

As I have written in the past parity is a problem come Stanley Cup playoff time.  The playoffs are supposed to be epic battles between elite teams.  If none of the remaining teams have elite goaltenders then none of the remaining teams are elite teams.  Detroit may come the closest to elite status, but they fail with Chris Osgood in net.  The fan is cheated.  Fans don’t get to see epic playoff battles between elite teams anymore because the NHL structure prevents the formation of elite teams.

The teams remaining don't have elite goalies (according to the author), therefore they aren't elite teams.
And hockey fans are being cheated out of seeing epic playoff battles apparently.
"If none of the remaining teams have elite goaltenders then none of the remaining teams are elite teams."
Had to put this sentence on here again.  We can't even contemplate it.
Without knowing, the author has made a case for there not being enough elite scorers in the league.
If there were enough elite scorers, elite goalies such as Brodeur would have some offensive help.
Instead, what you're seeing in these last few playoff years is the shift to offense, not defense.
Hey, isn't that what the NHL was aiming for?
The teams with elite goal-scoring talent are making it this far.
And, yes, Eric Staal is elite.

Oh, wow.  The Canes only have one elite goal scorer.
What else could be a reason why the Canes made it to the Conference Finals?
Ah, yes, an elite goaltender who has never lost a playoff series.
Fans of the NHL have been simply blessed with an unbelievable postseason.
A couple of the jobber teams got weeded out with sweeps, but the rest have been superb series.
But still there are "fans" of the game like this author who feel the game owes them something.
If anyone owes anything, it's this author owing Paul Kukla a decent article.
Get off your high horse and enjoy these great playoffs like the rest of us.
So bizarre.
There wasn't a Nascar press conference yesterday, so Hurricane Bloggers had stuff to say.
:: From our favorite whiner CANES COUNTRY:
In a chat he held with some guy named Chip who covers the Canes beat, a question was asked about the refs:
Chip Alexander:  Some interesting refereeing, for sure. I'm constantly amazed (in my first year covering the team) at how inconsistent the calls are. The Canes are a lot madder about the calls last night than they'll ever say publicly.
CANES COUNTRY: These quotes seem to validate a lot of what has been said on this blog.  The team is not happy with the officiating from last night or the hits which took out two of their best players.  What will they do about it?  We will see Thursday.
Next up…
:: An actual good friend of ours who we forgot to mention in the preview,
Dave from CAROLINA ON ICE is a solid read.
And he is one of the few bloggers that can actually joke around.
well played.
Some more shit….
:: This guy is all pissed off. [HURRICANES INSIDER].
You'd be pissed off too if your template was as old as some dudes sac.

Cole on the other hand was the victim of a dirty hit, by a dirty player.  Matt Cooke had the option to take the body on Cole and instead threw the leg out there, which caused a knee on knee hit that Cole obviously took the worst of.  Sadly this is not the first incident of Cooke leading with the knee as he did in an incident with Zach Bogosian of the Atlanta Thrashers earlier this year.

Yes, it was a dirty hit, and we hope Erik Cole's knee burns in hell.

Hawks are done.

No news is good news at this point.
Been meaning to get to this for awhile.
[MONDESI'S HOUSE] has a great post about big-time Pens fan Steve Mazefsky.
Steve has emailed us like 3,000 pics that we never got around to posting.
He also has a pretty nice tat.
Steve and his family also have all kinds of altered hockey shirts.
Def worth the read.
[THEBIGLEAD] had perhaps the best post of 2009 thus far.
Top five wrestler entrances of all time.
We just want to post this as our favorite.
No reason not to walk into work like this today.
There was more coming in this post, but then we saw this:
What hasn't been put in front of "burgh" at this point. Let it go already. Jesus.
Stixburgh doesn't even make sense.
If you buy that shirt, we hope you get hit by a car.
Go Pens.