Hey friends and neighbors, welcome to the season finale of FHS: Thursday Night Live! It's been a lot of fun "hosting" TNL this year - what started as a fanpost by mjm44 has turned into a something much, much more terrible. And so...here we are.
Big thanks to our small but strangely loyal audience for tuning in each week, and to my wife for surrendering our Thursday "date night" for the last few months so I could indulge in these crazy shenanigans. We'll see how she feels next year...
After the jump: magicians, strippers jumping out of cakes, bearded ladies, base jumping, HORRIBLE clowns, fire breathing, hookers, blow and the ghost of GG Allin himself emerging from the very pits of hell!!! Maybe we'll fit some NHL games in there too, if you're lucky.
The damn games:
Tampa Bay Lightning @ Toronto Maple Leafs
Winnipeg Jets @ New York Islanders
Buffalo Sabres @ Philadelphia Flyers
New York Rangers @ Pittsburgh Penguins
Florida Panthers @ Washington Capitals
Montreal Canadiens @ Carolina Hurricanes
Boston Bruins @ Ottawa Senators
New Jersey Devils @ Detroit Red Wings
Dallas Stars @ Nashville Predators
Chicago Blackhawks @ Minnesota Wild
Columbus Blue Jackets @ Colorado Avalanche
Vancouver Canucks @ Calgary Flames
Anaheim Ducks @ Edmonton Oilers
San Jose Sharks @ Los Angeles Kings
The damn rules:
1. Submit your pick for the winning team for each game (1 point for each correct pick)
2. Based on an over/under of 5.5 goals, submit your pick for over or under for each game. (1 point for each correct pick)
3. Submit your pick for the game winning goal scorer in each game. Shootout winners count as a GWG. (1 point for each correct pick)
I'll be back in about an hour for opening faceoffs in Toronto, Long Island, Philly, Pittsburgh, DC and Carolina, and it's all downhill from there...
Okay, games are underway and Kunitz has scored just over a minute in to put the Pens up 1-0. Letang and some dude named Geno with helpers. Kunitz is having an exceptional year with 25+33=58, plus-12, 45 PIM, 228 SOG and 17 PPP.
Dubinsky replies with only his 10th of the year. I think we all had much higher (and probably unrealistic) hopes for Dubie this year.
Crosby/Malkin/Kunitz are a line as Neal and Sully skip out tonight. This could get very ugly for Biron.
Goals are flying early and quickly. St. Louis and Connolly trade markers in Toronto. Mouson and Okposo have the Isles up 2-0. 36 goals for Eyebrows Moulson this year. That's one less than Scott Hartnell. In which alternate universe are we living?
Toby Enstrom has the Jets back in it with his sixth of the year. He missed a bunch of time but even over 82 games he'd be on pace for "only" 41 points. Good but not great for where he was drafted in most leagues.
Boston/Ottawa and Jersey/Detroit are underway. The Bs are showing supreme confidence in leaky Marty Turco, as Anton Khudobin gets his first start of the year and only his 7th NHL game. At 5' 11" and 176 pounds, Khudobin is a midget by today's goalie standards.
Andrew Ladd has his 26th goal and 4th in four games. He's one off his career high of 29 goals (last year) but 261 SOG is easily a career high. 2-2 in Long Island and Cam Collingwood, congratulations on winning the Montoya Cup.
Benoit Pouliot with his 16th! Alexei Ponikarovsky with his 14th! Um yeah, big fucking whoop. Okay, Pouliot is only 25 and seems to still be improving, but I'm still ignoring calls from his agent.
Blake Geoffrion has his second goal in twelve games for the Canadiens. Lean back, relax, and travel back in time with me to Grandpa Boom-Boom Geoffrion's 1960-62 bottom line of 50+45=95 in 64 games. That was his only 50-goal season, with his next best being 38 goals in 70 games (1954-55)
My mind is wandering. I just missed a bunch of the Rangers game researching Boom-Boom Geoffrion. As the old Mike Keenan saying goes, "get your fucking goddamn SHIT together you little fuckwad.". Ah, Keenan-isms. Timeless.
I also missed no less than THREE Washington goals, and Edanger6 just pissed his pants. (EDIT: Edanger says "that wasn't piss") Ovechkin (37) and Laich (16) have the Caps up 3-0 and they must be playing like they mean it - this time.
Neuvirth is out with a UBI. Holtby comes in. If the Caps hold the lead, Neuvy will get credit for the W. Might be his last one in a while. If the Caps actually make the playoffs and find a way to turn it on a bit, is Holtby ready enough to go on a nice little run?
Okposo has scored on both his shots for number 22 and 23 on the year. Tavares has an assist on the second goal - not sure of they're playing together as Chris Nichols has Okposo starting on a line with Grabner and Nielsen.
Jason Spezza has his 34th goal, tying a career-best set in both 06-07 and 07-08. Not bad for a guy I drafted in the 8th round (76th overall) last summer in an inaugural keeper draft. If that's gloating, I'm gloating.
Orpik knee on knee with Stepan. Orpik tossed, Stepan stays on the bench for now.
Dustin Byfuglien with his 12th and he seems to finally be getting due respect in fantasy circles. Recently I could have traded Kovalchuk for Buff, but backed out. This in a league where I'm strong at F and weak on D too. Probably should have / could have made the move.
Cam has the only Laich GWG, but he went under so no triple. No Grabner, Read or Park GWG picks so after four games, the triple is still tantalizingly out of reach.
Leafs/under/Phaneuf. Still no triples. Deep Blue wins again, suckers.
No less than five Eric Staal GWG picks, but all five took the over, so the triple LAUGHS in our faces once again.
Rick Nash and Alexander Burrows each have their 28th. I tend to lose track of Burrows but he's having a very well-rounded season with 28+23=51, plus-25, 88 PIM and 190 shots. That stat line reminded me immediately of Brad Marchand's 27+27=54, plus-28, 87 PIM and 161 shots. Marchand's played three less games than Burrows so the shots are closer than they appear.
Lucic has his 26th and Khudobin has his fifth career win. I grabbed Khudobin in my keeper pool today as I can stash him on the farm until he's played 200 games, plus I own Thomas and Rask so what the hell. Seems too small for the big leagues, but then again so did Thomas.
Boston/under/Zanon so I don't have to check the spreadsheet for Zanon GWGs. Thank you Greg Zanon.
Man, did Dallas ever draw the schedule short straw to finish up the year. VAN/SJS/SJS/NAS/STL. Madness. As per the Dallas announcers, the Stars have two more wins than last year, but four fewer points. Bad beat city. I had the Stars pegged as a playoff dark horse, but this whole not making the playoffs business is kind of getting in the way of my prediction. Hey reality, fuck off.
Have you ever had that pile of neglected dirty dishes that just keeps getting bigger and bigger? The more dishes, the less you want to do them, and so on and so on? That's the scoreboard for me right now. I consider us estranged.
Radulov should have SHOT that thing 2-on-1 but instead passed to one of the Kostitsyns. Dammit Radulov, you're supposed to be a selfish prick! Holy crap he's fast though. I'm certainly not the first to say this, but Rads will be a playoff gamebreaker.
Jersey/under/Sykora. Are we headed for a triple-free night?
CHI/MIN skills comp. GWG up for grabs. Only three entries (two Sharps, one Hossa) have a chance at the triple as everyone else took the over.
Setoguchi with the skills show winner and this is getting repetitive, but we still have no triples tonight. Minny/under/Gooch
Thornton and Doughty fighting! If you can call it that. Doughty looks doughy.
For all the parity in the league, shit really backfired this year. Playoff teams are already decided, so no final night suspense. And it looks like two of DET, NAS, PHI and PIT will be gone by round two. No fair. Gonna be a killer first round though.
Cammalleri has his 19th of the year and 5th goal in nine games. But his two 80+ point seasons are a distant memory. What have you done for us lately, Dr. Diminutive?
Cam Atkinson has two goals tonight as the BJs continue their meaningless late-season surge. Atkinson is a player to watch next year - he has great tools and the Jackets have fuck all up front so he'll get nice minutes.
Jason Demers just scored on the Sharks' fifth shot of the night. Shots are 18-5 LA with three minutes left in the first. 1-1.
The Ducks score two goals in 26 seconds - Cogliano's 13th and Ryan's 29th. Ducks up 2-1 in the battle of ex-Oiler backups Dubnyk and Deslauriers.
Couture hit from behind by Clifford. Couts looks okay but Clifford gets the major.
zisforzamboni has the only Glencross GWG but he took the over....still a nice double though.
Except Hansen has scored to make it 3-2 and if the score holds, congrats to Mr. Moose! It took nine games and four and a half hours, but we finally have our first triple of the night, as Moose nailed it with Calgary/Under/Cammalleri.
Cam Atkinson has the hat trick and the Jackets win 5-2. How the hell did none of us pick Rick Nash for GWG? I just heard that Nash didn't finish the game but at this point who gives a shit.
I apologize for the lack of scoreboard updates. With this many games, if I start updating, I miss the next hour of watching hockey, which is supposed to be my main goal in the first place. It will get done though, dammit. It will get done.
Jordan Eberle has tied it up with his 34th of the year. What a huge breakout season. 34+42=76 and at only 21 years old, he's top 13 in NHL points. In perusing his profile, I just realized that Eberle and I share the same birthday. He was born on the day I turned 18. Things that make you feel old...
Holy goddamn motherfucker, Ryan Getzlaf has scored a GOAL, ladies and gentlemen. That's two goals in two games! Too bad he only had one in the previous 30. With 11 goals on the year now, Getz rockets up the goal standings into a tie with Joey Crabb and Jim Slater. Okay, Getzlaf has always been more of an assist pig, but he's still hit 19+ goals five years running (and 25 goals twice). This year, not so much. Go forth and buy low.
And with that goal, mjm44 has secured only our second triple of the evening. Please join me in congratulating mjm44 on his unparalleled genius. (I had previously posted that no one picked Getzlaf, but in short order received a text from mjm44 that began "Hey fucker!...". Haha apologies.)
Ryan Clowe with the lovely unassisted breakaway goal, and despite a down year he now has six more goals than Getzlaf. 3-3 with 18 mins to go.
Williams and Marleau trade goals and we're tied at four. Only four entries took the over and only they have one last shot at TNL triple glory this year.
With the assist on the Marleau goal, Joe Thornton completes the unlikely Gordie Howe Hat Trick.
Havlat has the Sharks up 5-4 with seven minutes left. With the assist, Ryan Clowe joins Thornton in the Howe Hat Trick club tonight. No Havlat GWG picks so we need some more action here. Fun game to watch - sorry if your goalie stats are being gutted.
This game is nuts. Seven PP goals including the Williams goal that happened mere seconds after mjm44 texted me that he "needs a Richards Williams Kopitar goal here". So what happens? Williams from Richards and Kopitar and we're knotted at fives in Los Angeles.
Off to overtime as Clowe and Williams clash and Clowe comes close to his third fight of the night. What a game.
Edanger posted the following instant-classic Tortorella quotes in the comments, regarding Orpik's knee-on-knee with Stepan tonight:
"It's a cheap, dirty hit. I wonder what would happen if we did it to their two whining stars over there. I wonder what would happen. So I'm anxious to see what happens with the League over this. Just no respect among players. None. It's sickening."
"It's one of the most arrogant organizations in the league. They whine about this stuff all the time, and look what happens."
"It's ridiculous. But they'll whine about something else over there, won't they, starting with their two (expletive) stars."
Oh boy. 10K fine and possibly then some.
Four Pavelski picks for GWG, but all four took the under, so again, no triples. Congrats to mjm44 and Mr. Moose for securing the only triples of the evening. Some nights they rain down but tonight we had only two out of 196 picks.
I have no idea who's winning the overall comp, but i'll keep updating the scoreboard and announce a winner when it's done.
Just finishing up the scoreboard and in fact we have a third triple, as Dikoi has San Jose/over/Pavelski and congratulations on your godlike genius, Dikoi! Overall final results coming right up.
Congratulations to mjm44 for his convincing win in tonight's comp. He had a hefty six doubles and one of only three triples tonight, for a combined score of 18 points. Next best was 16 points for AnyoneButVancouver. Considering mjm44's Nov. 26 Fanpost was the inspiration for the whole TNL concept, it seems only fitting that he should take home the cup over the summer so he can show it off to his friends and family and drink weird unknown liquids from within its coveted chalice.
Big thanks again to all who tuned in and/or commented this year. Look for an open thread this Saturday to close out the regular season, and information about the FHS Playoff Pool will be posted in the next few days too.
Until next time, stay safe, and may you find love in the strangest places.