New Assistant Coach Headed to OKC

 (Photo Courtesy Steven Christy. All Rights Reserved.)

From the moment the Oklahoma City Barons arrived in town in the summer of 2010 we’ve been very lucky and had the same group of outstanding coaching staff to guide this team through four seasons of ups and downs, trials and tribulations, and on the edge of your seat excitement, not to mention four seasons of playoffs. In 2011-12 the Barons captured the West Division Championship and in back-to-back seasons 2011-12 and 2012-13 the team went all the way to the Western Conference Finals. Not bad for a new team! Head Coach Todd Nelson, along with his assistants Rocky Thompson and Gerry Fleming have done a phenomenal job with the development of this young team but there are changes coming to OKC.

An OKC Barons Assistant Coach position has appeared among the Edmonton Oilers job postings (see below) within the last few days and you ask “What does this mean?” and “Who?”  It likely means that one of our current coaching staff is headed elsewhere next season, but the “Who” is much more difficult to ascertain. It could mean that Gerry Fleming or Rocky Thompson have found well-deserved promotions elsewhere, but it could also mean that Head Coach Todd Nelson has finally been recognized for his outstanding years of coaching and has been offered a promotion. (I used the term “likely” above since there is also the issue of Bill Scott’s vacant GM position with the team — if the Oilers keep the position, would one of this group be a possible candidate therefore opening up an assistant coach position?)

Would Fleming and Thompson be eligible candidates to fill Nelson’s position? Yes, Gerry Fleming has eight years of experience as an Assistant AHL coach and also eight years of experience as a Head Coach in the ECHL and he is AHL Head Coach material. Rocky Thompson has less experience, but it has been top notch with four years of Assistant AHL coach experience and also three years of experience as the Assistant Coach of the Edmonton Oil Kings. They have both been groomed well under Nelson’s tutelage these four years in OKC.

As for Todd Nelson there have been many rumors surrounding his possible movement the past two years and justifiably so. Jonathan Willis wrote an excellent series on Nelson (linked below) that delves into his habits, techniques and rapport with his teams, as well as his past history with Barry Trotz. Don’t forget that Trotz was just hired as the new Head Coach of the Washington Capitals and Nelson also has past history with the Capitals organization. Personally, I’d love to see Nelson head back to the NHL and what better team than the Washington Capitals with Trotz. Yes, it would be difficult for Barons fans, but just like these young prospects that come through OKC, the coaches are also honing their skills and craft in the AHL waiting to be called up to the NHL. 

Jonathan Willis’s Six Part series based on a long interview with Todd Nelson, the coach of the Edmonton Oilers’ AHL affiliate Oklahoma City Barons.

 __________

The Edmonton Oilers Job Announcement:

“Assistant Coach – Oklahoma City Barons (Oklahoma City, OK)

The Oklahoma City Barons (West Division of the AHL) are a top affiliate team of the Edmonton Oilers (NHL) who play their home games in Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City.

Summary:
• Reports directly to the Assistant GM, Edmonton Oilers
• The Assistant Coach is responsible for all practice sessions, motivating and instructing the athletes in game strategies and technique

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
• Responsible for assisting the preparation and execution of all practices.
• Assist with pre-game preparations
• Assist with the operations of the team during the game
• Assist in the formation of the game plan (i.e. Offensive, Defensive, Power Play etc.)
• Video analysis and breakdown of opponent teams and systems
• Individual and player evaluations.
• Pre Scouts on opposing teams systems and player personal.
• Presentation of video analysis for daily team meetings

Ideal Qualifications:
• Passionate about the sports and entertainment industry
• 8-10 years in hockey (playing, coaching, hockey schools and evaluating) with a minimum of 5 years in a professional coaching capacity
• Strong interest and commitments to athlete development
• Ability to communicate effectively on and off-ice with players and at times parents

Education and Experience:
• Preference to those who are NCCP Certified

Certificates, Licenses, Registrations:
• Valid Driver’s License

Other Requirements:
• This position requires access to a vehicle”

 

Tend The Farm Calder Cup Picks: Conference Finals (via the writing team & guest)

Your trusty Tend the Farm experts + guest attempt to pick the winners once again! As in the past we will go with a bit of heart, a smidge of instinct, a quick perusal of the stats and perhaps even a flip of a coin or 2. We are not terribly successful, but it’s not all bad. 

The results are in for Round 2 with Eric and Neal in a tie:

2nd Round Eric* Patricia Neal* Bob
TEX vs GR – TX in 6 TEX in 7 GR in 7 TEX in 7 GR in 7
TOR vs CHI – TOR in 4 CHI in 6 CHI in 6 TOR in 6 CHI 7
STJ vs NOR – STJ in 6 STJ in 6* STJ in 6* STJ in 6* NOR in 6
WBS vs PRO – WBS in 7 WBS in 5 PRO in 7 PRO in 7 PRO in 6

_________

(The Small Tiny Print: TTF and its writers are not responsible for any harm that might come to your bank account if you take our picks to heart. We do, however, believe that the first moon walk took place on a soundstage in Hollywood, and that eating Pop Rocks with soda will cause your head to explode. Thus proving…we are experts!)

Eric Rodgers Picks:
[bra_border_divider top=’10’ bottom=’10’]

– Eastern Conference Finals (Best of 7):
St. John’s IceCaps vs. Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins – STJ in 6.

– Western Conference Finals (Best of 7):
Texas Stars vs. Toronto Marlies – TX in 6.

Patricia Teter’s Picks:
[bra_border_divider top=’10’ bottom=’10’]

– Eastern Conference Finals (Best of 7):
St. John’s IceCaps vs. Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins – STJ in 7. 
I’m just going with a coin-flip and some heart on this series.

– Western Conference Finals (Best of 7):
Texas Stars vs. Toronto Marlies – TX in 7.
I bet against the Stars in the Griffins series and oh, man, was that ever WRONG!

Neal Livingston’s Picks:
[bra_border_divider top=’10’ bottom=’10’]

– Eastern Conference Finals (Best of 7):
St. John’s IceCaps vs. Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins – WBS in 6.
I really like this team when I really shouldn’t, so that always prompts me to head their direction.

– Western Conference Finals (Best of 7):
Texas Stars vs. Toronto Marlies – TX in 7.
Going with the chest muscle on this one, and picking the Stars. They are just a highly skilled, defensively sound team, and I think this is their season.

Bob Gianettino’s Picks:
[bra_border_divider top=’10’ bottom=’10’]

– Eastern Conference Finals (Best of 7):
St. John’s IceCaps vs. Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins – STJ in 7.

– Western Conference Finals (Best of 7):
Texas Stars vs. Toronto Marlies – TOR in 7.

Toni Rajala signs with HC Ugra (KHL)

(Photo courtesy of Steven Christy. All rights reserved.)

Today it was announced that HC Ugra Khanty-Mansiysk (KHL) has signed former OKC Barons and Oilers forward Toni Rajala to a 3-year contract. This isn’t a huge surprise considering yesterday Lokomotiv Yaroslavl traded Toni Rajala’s rights to Ugra in return for a 1st-round pick in the 2015 draft. Lokomotiv had drafted Rajala in the 2009 KHL draft.

Last summer, in a rather odd move as we tried to explain last August, Rajala was released from the Edmonton Oilers organization via a “Mutual Termination of Contract” on August 25. Rajala later joined the Swedish team HK71 in mid October 2013, where he played 37 games with 30 points.

This signing is great news for Toni. Ugra needs a player like Rajala and with his skill he will be a top player for the team. Ugra will certainly be a team to watch next season!  Our good friend Patrick () will be keeping tabs on the team and Rajala next season so give him a follow. 

TEND THE FARM STANLEY CUP PICKS: Third ROUND EDITION (VIA THE WRITING TEAM)

Your Tend the Farm experts have spoken once again and the results are in for Round THREE of the Stanley Cup Playoffs! Let us know your picks and how many games … this is where things get far more serious, folks.

For Round 2 your Tend the Farm crew did … meh. Eric named 3 correct teams (Rangers, Blackhawks and Kings) but only picked 1 with the correct number of games — his favorite, the Chicago Blackhawks. Yeah, he’s a Hawks fan. I picked 1 spot-on win — Rangers in 7, but the rest were picks that went south in the dustbin by picking with heart rather than the inevitable. Neal had 2 correct teams (Rangers and Blackhawks) but no correct game numbers.

Round Three is where this become very interesting and we begin to separate from the herd entirely. As you see Eric stands alone with his two picks for the Canadiens and the Blackhawks. Neal and I go with the Rangers and Kings, which is frankly the way it should be and we expect to cheer loudly as Eric’s teams are defeated rather gruesomely.  Disclaimer — we did not discuss our picks with each other!

(TTF and its writers are not responsible for any harm that might come to your bank account if you take our picks to heart. We do, however, believe that the first moon walk took place on a soundstage in Hollywood, and that eating Pop Rocks with soda will cause your head to explode. Thus proving…we are experts)

Eric Rodgers Picks:
[bra_border_divider top=’10’ bottom=’10’]

New York Rangers vs Montréal Canadiens – Canadiens in 7.
Lundqvist will give the Rangers a lot in this series, but I don’t know that the guys up front can keep it going against Price (EDIT: Which sounds stupid now after Game 1). Montreal gets in the Rangers heads and they’re able to pull it out in Game 7.

Los Angeles Kings vs Chicago Blackhawks – Blackhawks in 6.
Fan answer: Hawks forever and always. Blogger answer: Quick is good, but he’s shown his weaknesses this offseason. Crawford has been and remains to be extremely under-rated and he will be a huge piece to help the Blackhawks to the Finals for the second year in a row.

Patricia Teter’s Picks:
[bra_border_divider top=’10’ bottom=’10’]

New York Rangers vs Montréal Canadiens – Rangers in 7.
This will be a goaltending series of Lundqvist vs Price, but in the end I think Vigneault, Lundqvist and the Rangers will move on to the Stanley Cup Finals. P.K. Subban will be a standout, along with Price, but they will just miss it.

Los Angeles Kings vs Chicago Blackhawks – Kings in 7.
Out of my desire to cheer for yet another “underdog” I’m going with the Kings here. Chicago has 5 Cups already, and their most recent was last season. Enough already! The Kings and Quick will move on to face the Rangers.

 

Neal Livingston Picks:
[bra_border_divider top=’10’ bottom=’10’]

New York Rangers vs Montréal Canadiens – Rangers in 7.
I still like the Rangers and their world beater mentality, but this one comes down to the wire. The Habs have surprised everyone including this non-believer. 

Los Angeles Kings vs Chicago Blackhawks – Kings in 6.
LA is playing Cup winning hockey these days, and are getting legit goaltending from Quick. Despite the Blackhawks playing really well, I still think this one goes to the surprising left coasters.

Anton Lander Signs One-Year Contract Extension, Roman Horak To Vityaz Moscow Oblast

Photo by Steven Christy

When Anton Lander wins, we all win really. The captain of the recent incarnation of the Oklahoma City Barons has signed a one-year, one-way contract extension with the Edmonton Oilers. With nearly 40+ games still away from the waiver wire, Lander will have some wiggle room to start the season, but ultimately will need to prove he’s a valuable asset to “stick” with the club.

After a stellar minor league season where he had 52 points in 46 games, Lander remains lost in the “tweener” zone despite amassing nearly 100 NHL games. But the good news is that he’s the swiss army knife the Edmonton Oilers need in the bottom of their lineup. He kills penalties, plays the power play, gives you some offensive upside near the bottom – he’s a good catch. He played the Todd Nelson / Dallas Eakins system very well over the 13-14 games played, and perhaps that bodes well for his future.

If you’re Anton you don’t want to cost the NHL club too many moments or else. Thus he has a one-year knife sharpening period to again catch the eye of the powers that be in Edmonton (similar to the centerman path that Chris VandeVelde travelled; BUT Lander > VandeVelde).

In other “asset” news, Roman Horak has apparently signed a one-year contract with Vityaz Moscow Oblast for the upcoming season (h/t to Patrick C.). The fine prospect, originally with the confines of the Calgary Flames camp, was a bit of revelation for the Oilers / Barons when he moved to wing out of pure necessity. At 22, and coming off his best minor league season to date, the kid has earned what probably becomes a big paycheck to play outside of N. America. I’d assume that the Oilers will retain his rights for a rainy day that never comes, and that is probably the right thing to do (Although SEE Hartikainen).

Horak was a huge part of the Barons humble success down the stretch. Anxious to see him lace it up elsewhere, and in another league. I think he is one overseas prospect worth keeping an eye on.

More summertime news to come, stay on the line.

Olivier Roy vs. Laurent Brossoit – Kismet? Fate?

The Edmonton Oiler’s ECHL affiliate Bakersfield Condors will advance to their Western Conference Finals this week following their elimination of the former Oilers ECHL affiliate the Stockton Thunder. And if that isn’t odd enough for you, how about this weird bit of serendipity – former Oilers prospect goaltender Olivier Roy will now face current Oiler prospect goaltender Laurent Brossoit when the Condors face the Calgary Flames ECHL affiliate the Alaska Aces.

Some of you may recall that on November 8, 2013 the Edmonton Oilers traded Ladislav Smid and prospect goaltender Olivier Roy to the Calgary Flames in return for prospects forward Roman Horak and goaltender Laurent Brossoit. Who would have imagined the two would be pitted against one another in their Western Conference Finals in the same season! I don’t know about you, but I’m going to have a hard time with this series since I’m still missing Roy, but also equally appreciate Brossoit now that we’ve seen him in OKC!

Join us in cheering for the Condors (and also Roy!) in their 3rd round series.

Alaska – Olivier Roy
Olivier Roy’s team the Alaska Aces has been alternating goalies in their 9 playoff games, and Roy has played in 4 of those games with a 4-0-0-0 win record.

1st Round: Alaska eliminated Las Vegas in 4 games in a best of 7 series

2nd Vegas game – W
4th Vegas game – W

2nd Round: Alaska eliminated Idaho 4-1 in a best of 7 series

2nd Idaho game – W
4th Idaho game – W

Bakersfield – Laurent Brossoit
Broissoit has played all 10 of Bakersfields playoff games with an 8-2-0-0 record in the first two rounds.

1st Round: Bakersfield eliminated Utah 4-1 in a best of 7 series

Brossoit: 5 Games
1st Utah – W
2nd Utah – L
3rd Utah – W OT
4th Utah – W OT
5th Utah – W

2nd Round: Bakersfield eliminated Stockton 4-1 in a best of 7 series

Brossoit: 5 Games
1st Stockton – W
2nd Stockton – W
3rd Stockton – L
4th Stockton – W
4th Stockton – W

Bakersfield vs Alaska Round 3 Schedule:

1 – Fri, May 16, 2014 7:15 pm AKDT Bakersfield at Alaska
2 – Sat, May 17, 2014 7:15 pm AKDT Bakersfield at Alaska
3 – Fri, May 23, 2014 7:00 pm PDT Alaska at Bakersfield
4 – Sat, May 24, 2014 7:00 pm PDT Alaska at Bakersfield
5* – Sun, May 25, 2014 TBD PDT Alaska at Bakersfield
6* – Tue, May 27, 2014 7:15 pm AKDT Bakersfield at Alaska
7* – Wed, May 28, 2014 7:15 pm AKDT Bakersfield at Alaska

Edmonton Oilers Sign Bogdan Yakimov

This past season was the year of players with the same last name for the Oklahoma City Barons. We saw Hamiltons, Millers, and plenty of Jones, but next season is shaping up to be the season of similarly named players within the Edmonton Oilers organization. News broke yesterday that the Oilers have signed 2013 third round draft pick, Bogdan Yakimov, adding to the center depth for next season.

Yakimov joins the Oilers after splitting last season between Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk of the KHL and Reaktor Nizhnekamsk of the second-tier MHL in Russia. Drafted 83rd overall in last year’s draft, Yakimov adds a very big body to the lineup with his 6’4″ and 220 pound frame.

In 35 games with Neftekhimik this season, Yakimov scored 13 points, seven goals and six assists. His faceoff numbers last season compared to the NHL, his 57.1 win percentage would put him in the Top 15 as he won 28 of his 49 faceoffs taken. This all comes as Yakimov averaged about 13-14 shifts per game, and averaging nearly 10 minutes of ice time per game. In seven games with Reaktor (five regular season, two postseason), he had a point per game, scoring four goals and three assists.

As an assistant captain for the Russian WJC team last season, Yakimov scored a goal and an assist in seven games for the squad.

The center depth chart is certainly shaping up to be pretty interesting next season as the Oilers have Mark Arcobello, Jujhar Khaira, Will Acton, and Travis Ewanyk all signed, plus the possibility of re-signing one Anton Lander. Should Lander come back, I have to imagine he and Arcobello battle for an NHL spot, but that remains to be seen.

One thing to watch for as well, the Oilers seem to like signing Russians in pairs. I have to wonder if there isn’t another signing waiting in the wings to join the organization next year as well.

Todd Nelson & The Juicy Red Apple

The film, ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ the first full length feature film released by Walt Disney, is a remarkable feat. Tapping out at just over eighty minutes, it was a film that was ground-breaking for its time, and remains the springboard feature that propelled Sir Disney and his animation company into the status of legendary creator. And for all its historical significance, it is an animated piece of art with depth, with heart, and with pretty solid storytelling.

Snow, the fairest of them all, toils away for her wicked queen step-mother. She cleans floors, hangs out with woodland creatures, and constantly wears tattered clothing and wooden shoes. Such a poor life. As the evil queen turns her gaze towards the mirror on the wall, as she presumably does every day, she’s spurned by face that tells her that Snow White is indeed the fairest of them all.

The Huntsman, hired to kill the lovely princess, has a change of heart, drops his dagger, encourages her to run for her life. She does, finds the cottage of the seven dwarfs, and the story takes a funny then dramatic turn towards the end.

You have probably seen the film, and if you haven’t go watch it again. The animation is groundbreaking (30 pages of hand-drawn work for each second), the production is trailblazing (the depth to those wood scenes, wow), and the music is memorable. Yet the story is what gives it legs. A story, ripped from Grimm’s Fairy Tales is equally joyous as it is pompous, fun, and tragic. Eighty minutes in 1937, that is all it took, for Walt to capture the essence of a fable that was as ancient as they come. The story, to this day, remains the groundwork for all Disney animated features. We have that juicy apple to thank.

The story line is simple, yet complex in its delivery. It is a film supposedly about fear, but is rather more about the choices one makes in life (yes, including the choice to be afraid). Does she serve the evil queen? Yes. Does she trust the Huntsman when he says, “Run!”? Yes. Does she go into that creepy cottage where it’s dirty, dank, and dusty? Yes. And then there’s the penultimate choice where a haggard old lady convinces her that the red, sweet apple is a wishing apple, and that it gives you more power to make better choices. She bites, literally, and dies. Her choice is now gone. She is now at the mercy of the one little wrinkle in the spell – love’s first kiss.

The choices were important, yet they were ill-advised for much of Snow White’s life (or at least the portion we see). She made enough bad / crazy / weird decisions that eventually it led to her demise. Lucky for us (and her) that strapping prince finds her in the woods, under a glass coffin nonetheless (morbid Walt, just morbid).

Todd Nelson, the captain of the fair maiden known as the Oklahoma City Barons that has entertained the rough sea voyage of the AHL for nearly four years. He’s been wildly successful despite the plots twists and turns. Yet I fear that his juicy red apple moment is rapidly approaching.

Unlike Snow White, Todd Nelson has made really good choices up until now. Both in his playing career and his coaching career. He has worked as a UHL head coach, an AHL assistant, an AHL head coach, and a NHL assistant, and thus the career arc would suggest that this guy is a candidate for an NHL head coaching job. He’s earned it, much like his major league Oilers counter-part, Dallas Eakins, has earned it. But there is a huge haggard old lady peering through the window, and the next big decision could cost him. Is it worth the risk?

What choices are there to make?

First, he could remain the coach of the Oklahoma City Barons. This is good for the Oilers business, and good for the local fan base. As long as he is between the Red River and Dodge City, we all can rejoice. He probably has a contract on the farm for as long as he keeps winning, and that doesn’t seem to be an issue moving forward. I’d argue that this might be a more potent option than B (which is forthcoming). So this is option A.

Second, he could take a hypothetical job as an assistant with the Edmonton Oilers. Seemingly past over for Dallas Eakins last summer, Nelson felt the burn ever so slightly (at least in public, the scorn might run deeper in private) when October rolled around. Nonetheless, he toppled great hurdles to get a sideways prospect team into the postseason. If he were to take a job with Edmonton there are some things to consider. Why take the job when you’ve already had a similar one? That’s a good point. He’s been an NHL assistant before, the draw to go back feels perhaps like a step backwards. Unless…he sees this as an opportunity to take hold of the steering wheel just enough to take full driver’s seat privileges if Eakins gets ejected for bad play. That’s entirely possible, but also incredibly risky. Eakins gets at least another year, right? What if he wins 60% of his games through December 2014? The NHL assistant job probably doesn’t garner any more attention from suitors than being an AHL head coach, right? Maybe. This is option B.

Third, he could take a hypothetical job with an NHL team (Nashville, wait, Carolina might be good). This would be a huge opportunity for Nelson, and I think this is where he would like to travel if the GPS gets him there. But keep in mind, as good buddy and fellow writer Sean Shapiro pointed out, there are a whole buncha coaches in the same boat as Nelson. Successful, good, smart, RECENTLY successful, good, and smart. Guys like Willie Desjardin in Texas or Jeff Blashill in Grand Rapids are wonderful options for head coaches in the NHL. It just seems that Nelson gets the leg-up because his farm squad happens to feed in to one of the worst NHL teams over the last five years, a team that keeps most of its high draft picks in the NHL from the rope drop. That’s saying something, for sure. This is option C.

Fourth, and this is a wild one, he can form a hybrid of Option B and Option C, and join Barry Trotz’s mythological next stop as an assistant coach with his mentor. Trotz is a huge part of Todd Nelson’s shape and form. Written several weeks ago by Jonathan Willis, this recent article highlights Nelson’s affections for Barry as a coach, a mentor, and a soothsayer of hockey knowledge. Trotz was ousted in Nashville after sixteen seasons. Nelson is a highly watched coaching prospect. If the hockey world needed a duo to form an alliance of greatness, this might be a good option. An option, we will call D, that Todd Nelson likely couldn’t pass up.

So the juicy red apple is hanging from the cold finger of that yucky old lady. Nelson, who has made intelligent decisions unlike our wounded heroin Snow White, but the next decision might be the most important. Keep in mind, Nelson has an “out clause” that is NHL specific meaning that if an NHL team comes knocking on his door, he can entertain whomever is patiently waiting. That’s huge, and was probably something Todd fought for at the last contract discussion.

It’s red. It’s juicy. Go ahead, take a bite. But beware there is an NHL “Sleeping Death”, and you won’t have seven dwarfs to hold vigil over you in the woods. Beware. Beware.

Tend The Farm Calder Cup Picks: Second Round Edition (via the writing team & guest)

Your trusty Tend the Farm experts + guest have spoken yet again! The Calder Cup first round has finished and Eric and I were … okay. Not brilliant by any means! We both went with OKC in 5 (duh!), but as you all know by now, Texas won it in 3-sweep. We both picked Chicago and Toronto to win, and split on the Griffins vs. Heat — Eric picked the Heat (who lost) and I chose the Griffins who are now moving on to face our division rival the pesky Texas Stars.

As for the East, Eric and I both were losers on the Monarchs vs Admirals and Falcons vs. Bruins rounds (ouch!), but we came out winners with our Wilkes-Barre Scranton and St. John’s Ice Caps picks (whew!). Now on to Round TWO!

(The Small Tiny Print: TTF and its writers are not responsible for any harm that might come to your bank account if you take our picks to heart. We do, however, believe that the first moon walk took place on a soundstage in Hollywood, and that eating Pop Rocks with soda will cause your head to explode. Thus proving…we are experts!)

Eric Rodgers Picks:
[bra_border_divider top=’10’ bottom=’10’]

— Western Conference: 2nd Round (Best of 7)

Texas Stars vs. Grand Rapids Griffins — Stars in 7

Toronto Marlies vs. Chicago Wolves — Wolves in 6

— Eastern Conference: 2nd Round (Best of 7)

St. John’s IceCaps vs. Norfolk Admirals — IceCaps in 6

Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins vs. Providence Bruins — Penguins in 5

Patricia Teter’s Picks:
[bra_border_divider top=’10’ bottom=’10’]

— Western Conference: 2nd Round (Best of 7)

Texas Stars vs. Grand Rapids Griffins – Griffins in 7

Toronto Marlies vs. Chicago Wolves — Wolves in 6

— Eastern Conference: 2nd Round (Best of 7)

St. John’s IceCaps vs. Norfolk Admirals — IceCaps in 6

Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins vs. Providence Bruins — Bruins in 7

Neal Livingston’s Picks:
[bra_border_divider top=’10’ bottom=’10’]

— Western Conference: 2nd Round (Best of 7)

Texas Stars vs. Grand Rapids Griffins – Stars in 7

Toronto Marlies vs. Chicago Wolves – Marlies in 6

— Eastern Conference: 2nd Round (Best of 7)

St. John’s IceCaps vs. Norfolk Admirals – IceCaps in 6

Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins vs. Providence Bruins – Bruins in 7

Bob Gianettino’s Picks:
[bra_border_divider top=’10’ bottom=’10’]

— Western Conference: 2nd Round (Best of 7)

Texas Stars vs. Grand Rapids Griffins – Griffins in 6

Toronto Marlies vs. Chicago Wolves – Wolves in 7

— Eastern Conference: 2nd Round (Best of 7)

St. John’s IceCaps vs. Norfolk Admirals – Admirals in 6

Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins vs. Providence Bruins – Bruins in 6

TEND THE FARM STANLEY CUP PICKS: SECOND ROUND EDITION (VIA THE WRITING TEAM)

Your Tend the Farm experts have spoken once again and the results are in for Round 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals! Let us know your picks and how many games … this is where things get far more serious, folks.

Eric won TTF’s first round with 4 exact picks and while he also picked Anaheim with the win, he was off by 1 game. Had we combined all of our picks we would be 6 out of 8. I was the only one to pick the Minnesota Wild for the win in 7 — sorry Boys! All of us picked (crazily it seems!) Tampa Bay and (like the rest of the hockey world!) the San Jose Sharks. CHOMP. Ouch.

(TTF and its writers are not responsible for any harm that might come to your bank account if you take our picks to heart. We do, however, believe that the first moon walk took place on a soundstage in Hollywood, and that eating Pop Rocks with soda will cause your head to explode. Thus proving…we are experts)

Eric Rodgers Picks:
[bra_border_divider top=’10’ bottom=’10’]

Boston Bruins vs. Montreal Canadiens – Bruins in 7.
Fun to watch series will go the distance, Boston eeks one out.

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. New York Rangers – Rangers in 6.
I expected both teams to be a bit better looking in their respective series’, but I think New York finds the crack in Fleury’s armor and exploits it all series long.

Chicago Blackhawks vs. Minnesota Wild – Blackhawks in 6.
I’d like to say sweep, but I expect Minny to get one win.

Anaheim Ducks vs. Los Angeles Kings – Kings in 6.
Momentum, momentum, momentum.

Patricia Teter’s Picks:
[bra_border_divider top=’10’ bottom=’10’]

Boston Bruins vs. Montreal Canadiens – Bruins in 7.
Every time I bet against the Bruins I get burned, so if I bet FOR the Bruins they lose right?

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. New York Rangers – Rangers in 7.
Vigneault. Lundqvist. Vigneault. Lundqvist. Vigneault. And Lundqvist.

Chicago Blackhawks vs. Minnesota Wild – Wild in 7.
I tried to write “Blackhawks in 6” — I tried, but I couldn’t. So, Wild in 7 it will be.

Anaheim Ducks vs. Los Angeles Kings – Ducks in 7.
I will be cheering for the Ducks but the Kings could well outlast them, but I hope not!

Neal Livingston Picks:
[bra_border_divider top=’10’ bottom=’10’]

Boston Bruins vs. Montreal Canadiens – Bruins in 6.
I really like Boston, more so than I did in the first round. A Habs vs. Bruins second rounder is going to be intense, but I like Bean Town in 6.

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. New York Rangers – Rangers in 5.
I picked CBJ to emerge out of the first round, I was wrong, but not entirely incorrect in my thinking. I think New York is a team of “density” so I’ll go blue in 5.

Chicago Blackhawks vs. Minnesota Wild – Blackhawks in 5.
I was wrong. The Hawks are again legit, and against Minnesota the talent and skill emerge even more. Hawks in 5.

Anaheim Ducks vs. Los Angeles Kings – Ducks in 7.
A second round, another Cali matchup. My Stars succumbed to the punishing blow the Ducks dealt, and I think LA is in trouble. Quack in an ungodly 7.