NHL 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs: Conn Smythe Favorites

Were only in the Conference Finals of the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, but who should be the Conn Smythe favorite at this point?

Sidney Crosby has won the Conn Smythe trophy for the last two seasons. For the last two years, Crosby was declared the most valuable player in the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. This year won’t have a chance at a three-peat.

So who takes it in 2018? Could it be either Alex Ovechkin or Steven Stamkos?


Alex Ovechkin | Washington Capitals

With 17 points in 13 playoff games, Alex Ovechkin has finally led his team to the conference finals. Something that he hasn’t be able to do in his NHL career. He was also the primary reason the Capitals were finally able to get past the Pittsburgh Penguins. If you’re looking for narrative and right of passage, he deserves the Playoff MVP Award.

Steven Stamkos | Tampa Bay Lightning

Stamkos is a huge reason the Tampa Bay Lightning were able to shake off that crushing game one defeat to the Boston Bruins in the second round. With four points in the final three games of the series, Stamkos pushed his team to four straight wins over the Bruins and book the Lightning’s third trip to the conference finals in four years. Without him, the Lightning might be on the golf course rather than fighting for a Stanley Cup.


NHL Sign, Trade, Waive: The Swedish, Russian, Free Agents

If you had to sign, trade, or waive one of three NHL players, who would you pick and why?

On this week’s show we tried out a new feature called Sign, Trade, Waive. Where we ask each other, and you, what NHL player you’d sign, which one you’d trade away, and which one you’d waive? It sounds easy, but when you’re confronted with the question and three really good NHL players it’s anything but.

This week we all had a trio of players and all had a theme:

mitchMitch – Unrestricted Free Agents

James van Riemsdyk | Toronto Maple Leafs
Evander Kane | San Jose Sharks
David Perron | Vegas Golden Knights

All three have similar output, are of similar age, and are at similar crossroads in their NHL careers. Which one do you keep? And which one is worthless?

harperHarper – Swedish Defensemen

Oliver Ekman-Larsson | Arizona Coyotes
Victor Hedman | Tampa Bay Lightning
Erik Karlsson | Ottawa Senators

If you had to pick a number one Swedish defenseman who would take from the three? Even if you waive OEL, you still have to make a decision between Karlsson and Hedman. Which do you value more?

darcynewDarcy – Russian Big Name Forwards

Nikita Kucherov | Tampa Bay Lightning
Evgeni Malkin | Pittsburgh Penguins
Alex Ovechkin | Washington Capitals

Kucherov has the youth. But Ovie has the cannon of a shot and the body of a beast. And Malkin is just good at everything. Literally everything. So which one do you waive?

2009 NHL Entry Draft Redo

If you could redraft the 2009 NHL Draft. Who would be your top five picks? Would John Tavares stay at number one, or does Victor Hedman jump up?

We decided we’d re-draft the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. Why? Because some of these guys are out of contract and headed to unrestricted free agent territory. So are they worth what they will ultimately be graded on; their draft status?

Watch our video below for our top five picks in the 2009 NHL Draft:

Don’t believe me that draft status matters? Why do you think the Edmonton Oilers paid a first round and a second round pick for Griffin Reinhart to the New York Islanders? Because they untested defenseman was a fourth overall pick.

There’s also the notion that Edmonton GM Peter Chiarelli isn’t the greatest at his job. But the argument stands, draft status matters. So how would we redraft the top five.

Who falls out isn’t’ as important as who jumps up into the mix.







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NHL Pre 2018 Draft Trade Preview

The NHL 2018 NHL Draft is almost upon us. With all the focus on who’s going to pick first we lost track of what we all love about the draft; Trades! Here’s three that could, and maybe should happen this June.

There’s nothing we all love more than trades. We’re all looking forward to the moment that NHL commissioner steps up, gets booed, and announces the first trade at the NHL 2018 Draft.

It’s must see TV. All 31 GMs, scouts, and owners are crammed into a rink and forced to acknowledge each other. It’s the perfect breading ground for trades.

We thought we’d try to put forward a trade idea of our own that could happen at the draft. There were two aspects of the trade that needed to be respected:

(1) It had to be blockbuster worthy. No draft picks for draft picks nonsense. Were talking about good quality NHL players swappin’ jerseys.

(2) It had to happen at the draft. No days before, not during the second round of drafts.

Here’s what we came up with:

mitch MITCH – Tampa Bay Lightning and Edmonton Oilers

Mitch Trade
The Edmonton Oilers clearly need defense and the Tampa Bay Lightning have some in spades. With Victor Hedman and Mikhail Sergachev they already have a championship calibre no.1 and no.2. Making Ryan McDonagh potentially expendable.

My New York Islanders could use McDonagh, but as a former Ranger he won’t be going back to New York. Edmonton, to play with Connor McDavid, and be a number one defender again would be incredibly appealing.

Losing Kailer Yamamoto might not be great, but you got to give to get in the NHL.

harper HARPER – Montreal Canadiens and Arizona Coyotes

Harper Trade

Harper wants his Habs to land John Tavares so bad that he’s willing to part ways with 60 goals as Max Pacioretty and Brendan Gallagher are out for Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Max Domi.

It’s one heck of a risk to take in order to grab John Tavares. But if it plays out and the Montreal Canadiens have a healthy Shea Weber and Carey Price and Oliver Ekman-Larsson, John Tavares has to look at Montreal having some serious immediate Stanley Cup potential should he join up.

darcynew DARCY – Ottawa Senators and New York Islanders

Darcy Trade
What if John Tavares didn’t have to leave Long Island to get a top level Swedish defenseman to play with? What if that Swedish defenseman came to him? What if Erik Karlsson came to New York?

It’s the stuff of Mitch’s dreams, but if Erik Karlsson could join the New York Islanders they could immediately change the culture around one of the most dysfunctional clubs in the NHL. It’s just going to take an equally dysfunctional club to sort itself out.

Darcy proposed that Ottawa keep 25% of Ryan’s deal, making the cap burden smaller for the Islanders. But even with that smaller hit, it’s hard to see how it all fits and John Tavares’ extension all fit under the cap.

2018 NHL Stanley Cup Brackets Worth Following

Our 2018 NHL Stanley Cup brackets are worth following, either to bet on or to simply laugh at when it’s all said and done.

Official Ridin’ Pine Show Commissioner Ray Walden created our little 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Bracket Challenge group on NHL.com. And we all submitted our picks. None are outrageous, but some of us made some surprising selections.

mitch MITCH

He’s our “expert” but after looking at his picks his credentials need to be checked. First, he took the Washington Capitals to win the entire thing. Since when has that happened? Never. The answer is never. Mitch said in our most recent show that “…they got to win eventually.” Do they Mitch?

Hot Take: Golden Knights over Kings, eh? Wow.

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harper HARPER

Harper put his money where his mouth is on his “The Cup Is Comming To Canada” claim. The man with the clan put the Winnipeg Jets to take the Cup. It’s not a bad pick. They had an outstanding season. But to get past literally the best team in the league in the Nashville Predators is going to be tough.

Hot Take: Harper has Washington taking out Pittsburgh. Mitch isn’t the only one with faith in the Caps.

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Leave it to the Agent to go as chalk as possible. Wait! He picked the Golden Knights to get bounced in the first round. Not looking good for him so far. But everything else is pure chalk. He even followed the “Washington can’t beat Pittsburgh” narrative.

Hot Take: How? It’s pure chalk!

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