Welcome. Welcome post.
I'm Restaurant you.
How are you doing? Well, Russell, as we are alive and living color this evening.
Doing a little different version here.
Doing a full press coverage version.
We way have Michael Jello.
Mike, How are you? I'm doing well.
I'm anxious to see the Stanley Cup final and, Hey, the Yankees have won nine in a row.
Nobody cares about the Yankees.
How are you? You got my money? Good. Yeah.
And undying London E.
And how are you? I'm doing pretty well in the Red Sox have won a world Siri's twice since the Yankees did.
So you boys could settle that later.
Let's talk a little bit of Stanley Cup.
I was on the call the other day and they had, you know, they did their Stanley Cup media day coverage, and it was good.
I mean, even the players like Tyler second said, Hey, it's better when we have the crowd around you.
And you guys were doing it? Sure, but the end of the day it was good.
And there are a lot of interesting things that were revealed.
I think my favorite revealed that you maybe forget and I'll go to aunt first on this one.
It is could open like I forgot he was a 2011 black case for Boston and, you know, and he was the third goalie and he got a lot of experience doing that.
And like we forget that we and it's interesting again.
The comment from Tyler second about, you know, he kind of reminds me a little bit of Tim Thomas.
It was a little bit kind of truck because I knew Padova was what was was in Boston's organization at that point.
I wasn't sure if he was backing up Thomas, because my memory was a little foggy on that.
But, um, yeah, I mean, it's e mean, what can you say about Tonka? Dove in, You know, uh, just e think we've all bet against him throughout this postseason, and he just keeps throwing it right back in everybody's face.
And I he had and I thought he had just a really amazing conference final.
Andi, it's just and Dallas is just again an amazing story.
Um, just you know, I think they're kind of almost the poster child.
The poster Children for this postseason in terms of the unpredictability off this, the way this tournament was was set up.
Um, and again, it's gonna be really it's gonna be really fascinating to see how they how Tampa handles them starting tonight.
Hey, Gray Mike, We've talked a lot about Kudo in this year, and I've said it before like hey, in his draft year, he was the number one ranked European goalie, but he was far behind other goalies.
But that maybe, you know, intrigued at the time.
And I've kept an eye on him and I didn't think he would ever get to these.
You know, this far and do this well and again.
I feel like anybody who is telling us that they picked the Dallas Stars early in the year, you know, they picked them with Jim Montgomery is the coach.
You picked them with Ben Bishop and goal.
You didn't pick him with Rick Bonus and Anton Khudobin, you just didn't write and yeah, I mean, I mean, I know that I I picked against Dallas for the last two Siri's against Colorado and against Vegas because I didn't think they could win with Cadogan as the goaltender and you know he's a really good backup was a one B, but he's not a guy, you know.
I thought they needed Ben Bishop playing the way Ben Bishop did in the plan.
Faster them Well, I mean, I'm sorely mistaken because if you look first with great ah, great blue line, you know, mostly high skin Klingberg and Essel. Adele.
You know, sometimes sometimes Oleksiak this makes me like it makes my head spin because he's sometimes so bad.
But you know, the A solid defense with three really good defenseman and getting contributions not only from their top line, which they didn't against Calgary, but they did in the last two Siri's, but against.
But with guys like Corey Perry and Gurion Off and Blake Komo, you know these role players who have just performed at the right time and the right place to keep Deronta getting the hat trick in Game seven against Colorado.
You know those things you can't quantify.
You can't calculate, but they found a way to win.
Now the question is, are they going to be able to win against a juggernaut even though it's an injured C? Yes.
Okay, So, Murray, what's your thoughts about that? Well, I actually had Calgary over Dallas as well, so I go back another Siri's.
So, uh, that is the case.
But Dallas, you know they deserve.
They deserve to be where they are most definitely they obviously with a job in the defense, as Mike said, is probably I'm going to say second best to maybe even better than Tampa.
But Tampa has obviously Victor Hedman, which is He made me the best player in the playoffs to date, so there's a difference there, but they just deserve to be there.
They've had timely goals on duh.
They're probably kill and their power players actually being probably one of the best, if not, you know, in the playoff matchups.
So they deserve to be where they are.
You know, they've beaten very good teams I actually had and I was at the Sporting News and when the season started, Unfortunately, um, cir***stances led to layoffs and Covidien etcetera.
But at the Sporting News actually had Tampa and Vegas as my Stanley Cup finalists.
I just double checked and went back again and I had.
But in this case I think Tampa is the superior team But again, we'll see what happens.
Uh, Ian, back in 2011.
Was there enough Chuka hate that you wanted Anton could open to be the backup? Uh, no, no, I am.
I am firmly in the pro.
I was very apologetic for him after that three. Nothing.
Siri's, uh, let down against the Flyers in 2010.
I actually put a lot of that on the injury to David Krejci, and I try to let took off the hook.
Look, I'm gonna give myself a little bit of credit here, and I wish I was on some sort of program talking about it back then.
But I was a big fan of Anton Khudobin.
Um, I think what the Bruins didn't like and I don't necessarily think this is a bad thing, is just his style.
So, you know, we look at took a and took a is a very in control, very fluid goaltender.
Very opposite Tim Thomas.
Um, same with Jaroslav Halak.
A lot of the same qualities you replace the two of those and two of them a net, like we saw, you know, stay dia list IQ wise.
You know, you're not getting too much of a difference.
I think they like to job in.
But he was a little erratic at times.
And if I recall when we, uh we did a show, um, right before the start of the playoffs, we were talking about goaltending, and I kinda likened Khudobin and Marasek Thio Sergei Bobrovsky where sometimes, you know, they, their movements get a little bit ahead of themselves and and stuff.
I mean, obviously that has not happened to Dobbin, and he's used that to his advantage this round.
So eso I liked him with Boston.
I understood why they moved on.
And I'm definitely a pro Tuka so I'm not, You know, I'm not lamenting anything in that sense.
Um, but it does make me want to root for Dallas here, just to see, you know, obviously him win and obviously Tyler, say again, started his career with I don't understand that.
And look, nobody's gonna argue that Vasilevskiy is not the better goalie, so we're not gonna try and argue about it here, But there wasn't There was a lot of talk on that call.
The most questions were about Victor Hedman and Mural.
And and so now I'm gonna have us all answer the difficult question right now, Right this moment going into this, Siri's, who would you rather have? And I'll start.
I'm going to say mirror hey, skinning Onley Because I do think have been still a little banged up, although he's playing great.
Um, and I'll tell you, hes gonna send something on the call, which was fascinating to me.
Uh, you know, he is only 21 who'd open, actually said he's the best defense when he'd seen the last 10 years, which was interesting, that he just kind of threw that out there.
But what he did say was when he's out on the ice, he read the play and then he makes the decision, like because everybody's trying toe get the offensive formula out of him and he goes, Honestly, I can't tell you.
He goes, I have to be out there and sort of this patient and then see what happens.
But and you know, it's a tough call here, and you're gonna make that tough call.
Now, I'm gonna make the tough call here and again if we're talking about in the current in the moment.
Right now, Victor Hedman is, I think, eyes an absolutely just He's an incredible specimen.
If you're going to talk about the defense when that comes directly out of modern day Central casting, it's Victor Hedman that the only thing that kind again, that holds him back in the cir***stances he does get banged up.
He is, you know he does. He does get hurt.
That being said he what I think he provides, he provides such a I think impact wise have been.
Probably in some ways is even more important to Tampa's defense, and I mean high skin and is as well.
But there's something about the effect of had been on that blue line, like I almost in some ways, I don't want to say that we're talking.
Certainly the cir***stance you have.
Thio e don't think Tampa's defense is anywhere near is quite e.
It's got good death, but it's on a whole nother level rise.
I think Dallas has some other elements of the blue line there.
Klingberg, I think in kinda candle, a little bit of the load, their, uh in the event that high school is out.
But if we're drafting again in this cir***stance.
I remember his draft year, high skin and thinking about, you know, now, at this point, Philadelphia, they could have had him.
Yeah, they could have had him.
They chose Nolan Patrick.
And at the time, that was I don't really hold anything against Philadelphia making the Patrick because he was a little bit of number two.
But for now, it's heaven.
It's heaven, but bye bye Bye bye.
Very close market.
Okay, Mike, in the here and now, I would say had been because of the experience.
But, I mean, you have to factor in the fact that high Skins got another year on his entry level deal making $900,000 plus bonuses and and he hasn't had the big payday and Hedman's making almost eight million.
But, I mean, Hedman's the more experienced guy.
He's got the he's got the he's got the awards.
We know that high school and is gonna be in the mix for the Norris, probably for the next decade.
And, um, he was unbelievable in the in the first two rounds.
Didn't score a lot last round against Vegas.
I don't know if it's an injury or what, But he didn't e think he had 21 points going into that series.
And I think he's got 22 now.
So and Hedman's got eight goals, so I mean, they're both great.
I don't think any team would say No, I don't want either one of them So But I'd say in terms of the Stanley Cup final, in terms of his impact on the team and his experience going in, I would take had been over high school.
And Murray Yeah, the same thing as of this second, obviously, like I said, had been had been maybe the constant trophy candidate.
If if Tampa wins, um, hi Skin is very valuable to his team.
Obviously, he's He's the quarterback out there.
Him and Klingberg and what he's done through it throughout the playoffs is to be commended.
And his Mike said he's definitely gonna be a North Trophy candidate for years to come, and he has slowed down a little bit as the playoffs.
You know, for wear and tear.
He's probably hasn't played that long.
Uh, obviously there was a break for a few months, but he obviously hasn't played as much in a playoff round, so he might be getting banged up a little bit physically as well.
And Hedman has well as he can be a bit injury prone.
But you've seen him out there, especially the last few games, just the pure power.
I mean, he's getting the puck, he's going to the net.
And when he gets in the in the bill in the slot, he's unstoppable right now.
And he's using his power and strength and his durability is, well, he's gonna be able to be out there 30 minutes a game in these Finals.
And that's something that you know is a bonus for Tampa.
So I'm looking at heaven as being at this point in time as valuable in the playoffs, Ondas Anthony said, as well, if you take had been out of that lineup, that defense is probably no average Thio.
Yeah, exactly badly in one game.
So and with that in mind, I had been obviously for the here and now, as Mike said as well is more valuable.
Yeah, I mean, Murray kind of took the words right out of my mouth.
If if you're gonna vote on Con Smyth winners right now, when it comes to Tampa, I would go Hedman and look, I'm still having nightmares of watching him against the Bruins because any time you had the puck, uh, at the blue line, you just there was a chance that the puck was going in, whether off off his stick or someone in the front.
So for me, it's got to be Hedman right now.
I mean, you just look at the impact he has, um, every single time he's on the ice.
And when it comes to his value for the Lightning versus Excuse me Hi skins value for the stars Like you guys said, if he goes down, I mean, the lightning are in big trouble, and Hedman can really carry that load.
It's just, you know, a matter of whether or not he stays healthy enough toe to do that for the Siri's So right.
That's why I want a skin in.
All right, so now we go with coaches.
Now, the interesting thing about the coaches is, you know, Rick bonus had a nice 45 year career here waiting to win a cup.
Uh, and he was the lightning assistant.
He was there in 2015.
As a matter of fact, uh, was it before game six? Uh, John Cooper sat next to the Dallas Stars because there were all the bubble and they were getting coffee, and and both of them were talking.
And Cooper, you know, wished him congratulations and, you know, and bonus couldn't say anything yet because Tampa had an advanced yet.
And so now you've got these two matching up, and so I'm gonna have to ask who is the better coach right now.
And, you know, I'm gonna go bonus, because only because I I feel like when he first got hired, I probably undervalued him.
I knew he was there as an assistant, and it was really good.
But then I was there for the Winter classic, and then I saw some more.
Now, uh, you do There is that thing out there for Cooper now, Like it started to be for guys like Joe Torry, like, Hey, you know how many times you gonna show up and and not win? I don't know if that's fair, but I just say, you know, I'm starting to see it and you know, right now, but look at Mike.
I mean I could I could bring up other guys to like Marv Levy.
If you really want me Thio anyhow, a 10 e point.
I'm gonna give bonus the edge here just a little bit as being the older guy.
And he wasn't the teacher because they took different paths.
But, you know, I do kind of wonder if his little bit of defensive knowledge that he has will cause Tampa problems.
Here's the comparison.
I think I'll make in many ways with, um, with Rick Bone.
It's It's kind of like almost different individuals, different personalities.
But this is kind of like watching Roger Neilson in some way, you know, in terms of getting a deep Yeah, a guy who has become kind of pretty well, you know, a long time hockey life or has been able to win, you know, and thank you.
Puts up with the props, but in many ways, um, that's kind of there's the motivation factor.
I think for a lot of the Dallas Star players as well as you know, they know, you know, they're well aware of, obviously Ricks history in this cir***stance.
But in many ways, and in many ways they think he mirrors their run, you know, completely underestimated.
Underappreciated, Um, and as every single Siri's has going on a Z, they played.
They only able to adapt their game to the opponent that they're planning and be extremely successful.
And that's really a a a feather in his cap.
For lack of a better word.
To be ableto have his team be able to change styles to fit whatever it is that they have.
And they do have they do have some pretty good talent out there.
It's just we all wonder whether or not Dallas could get it all toe work together and it's worked amazingly well.
But at the same time again, I have to go back with Cooper and the fact that he has knocked on the door quite a few times and last year was absolutely, hugely devastating to Tampa.
It's tough to get.
It was they lapped the field in the regular season and got swept out of the playoffs and I think you know, while they had a window that was dead, it was a devastating blow and for me, for Cooper to be able to get this team, you know but it took a little while during the season.
Remember it? A little bit of a slow start, I believe, for Tampa, but beginning on to be able to get them rolling and then to get them back in after several months and for them to once again at the faced it.
It's the Columbus Blue Jackets again.
It wasn't the same team, but then they get into the massive first over that first overtime game, which, uh, and we know things were kind of, you know, could have been in the balance for them.
And ever since they were able to take out, take out Columbus, there was, ah, a weight that seemed to have taken off their back.
And I think a lot of that also goes, you know, the Cooper was very cool under fire through all that, and they have had an impressive run since then for me, I think you know just well well, you can play the studies.
They could be Justus.
Adaptable is Dallas could be, but I think they've got and again depends on the injury situation.
But I do think Cooper, I'm gonna give Cooper a bit of an edge here over over bonus going into the final right.
I think it's pretty much an even match up.
I mean, one of the things that can't be underestimated, his bonuses, knowledge of Tampa Bay being an assistant coach there for five years, I know that I heard a new interview with him on the 31 thoughts podcast.
We're basically, he related, the fact that almost it's almost like Victor Hedman is his adopted son that he you know that they work together closely in Tampa and on Hedman is extremely appreciative of bonuses, ability to draw the talent that that Hedman has, and he's really effective in his in developing them to the point that that he's a dominant player right now.
And the one thing I would say about bonuses that he seems to take a very relaxed approach to a stroke.
It, uh, has been a team that in a number of instances, you know, they just a couple of games where they lost the Colorado really badly or just didn't show up in Games five and six.
I think any other coach would have lost his crap Bond.
Peel the paint in the locker room and he just seemed like just go about his business and, you know, take care of what we could take care of and let's adjust that can't be understated because we know a lot of there that would be like tearing their hair out at some of the stuff that the Stars have done during the playoffs.
And he hasn't Cooper, on the other hand, you could sense the relief, like especially that Game three against the Islanders, when he did the Bulow and and and, you know, was pumping his fist because he know he knew his his team was being out played and they won a game that they shouldn't have one.
I think you know, he's done a good job. He's a very good coach.
But I think, Ah, lot of credits got to be given to Brisebois in terms of getting Coleman getting Boudreau getting exact Bogosian improving, you know, adding Shattenkirk, adding Met Patrick Maroon.
Those players have all made differences in this playoffs and I think Cooper has just done a good job of implementing them.
Those extra pieces that they didn't have last year and I think have made them a team that's, you know potentially gonna win the Stanley Cup.
Okay, Murray and Mike stole my thunder.
I was gonna mention Yeah, exactly.
The additions at the trade deadline of Coleman and also the obviously the players of Shattenkirk guys that have come in and he's on Cooper's taking the reins, and it was able to blend the team and get them playing the way they're playing.
Um, it's a very big difference between the two, obviously, Cooper's, X's and O's and he's all business.
And also without lost in Columbus last season.
The players air coming in here and they're all business and you can you can see that they wanna win.
And the way uh, bonuses, obviously a little different.
He came in the under different cir***stances.
Unfortunately, as you know with Jim Montgomery, uh, had to leave the team and he was an assistant coach.
So basically, the the assistant coach, the role of assistant coaches being at Rob Raw guy and he's you know he's involved.
He's close to the players.
So you see that out there and you see his emotion on the bench and you see the players and they wanna win for Rick.
Do you see that out there.
And you, obviously with the length of time he's been in the league.
Obviously, I'm in Ottawa here, so I've seen it firsthand.
1990 to 1993 6 wins.
He stuck through it and with a smile on his face.
And this is why people people love Rick, bonus and and the bonus family.
But as far as the coaching goes, I think it's the advantage is to Cooper, and he's more like I said, He's more of the tactician and he just they're they're more of a business like team and maybe that's that's, you know, my my opinion on that.
And, um, I the only guy here that's gonna go with Rick bonus is it just me, you know I wanna on and it pains me to say, and I like a lot of things that he does.
And I do think you make a great point that his inside knowledge could serve as an advantage, especially the fact that, like you guys mentioned to start this conversation, you know, it's starting to add up that he hasn't got the job done.
Um, you know, add in the fact that this lightning team is.
I think a lot of people assume the Windows really small for this team to win a cup.
This could be very much the last year that they have this opportunity, Um, that that's a lot on a team and a coat shoulder.
So, through all that, despite the 4.
5 month layoff, here they are, you know, four wins away from a cup.
I got to give him the nod, but look, there's like you said The inside knowledge can certainly closed the gap.
And I think that's the biggest thing we're going to see play out, especially in this first game.
So you you know what? Who plays what Art's first and we'll see what happens from there.
I mean, did you give Mike Sullivan the nod when he was brewing coach? Because I remember interviewing Andrew Ray.
I interviewed Raycroft once and he had played like 15 games in a row and he legitimately told me and