Puck Headlines: The myth of ‘charity point' screwing up standings

Here are your Puck Headlines: A glorious collection of news and views collected from the greatest blogosphere in sports and the few, the proud, the mainstream hockey media.

• The "charity point," that pesky reward for losers that the NHL hands out because it wants its standings to read like an algebra quiz, has been much maligned here and elsewhere among puckheads as a way for teams to pad their playoff chances. Well, Edward Fraser of The Hockey News strips the standings of their overtime losses and finds ... well, that they actually don't change much. Unless you're the Pittsburgh Penguins. [THN]

• George James Malik? Not exactly the biggest fan of revisionist history and Gary Bettman's legacy: "shutting the doors for a full season and prematurely ending the careers of a slate of elite players for the sake of an ironclad salary cap which may very well destroy half of the league's teams' talent bases if the PA doesn't step up and demand that some sort of buffer accounts for a full-on recession like we haven't seen in ages." [Snapshots]

• We were just talking to another blogger about this last night: How long before the Vancouver Canucks-as-Stanley Cup champions bandwagon gets cranked up? Aaaaaaaaaand cue Pierre Lebrun of ESPN. [ESPN]

• Craig MacTavish of the Edmonton Oilers appears to be caught in the gravitational pull of the vortex of death: "Unless a dramatic about-face occurs in the next 10 days, however, it is likely to be a future without MacTavish behind the bench." [Globe & Mail]

• Bemidji State making the Frozen Four is compared to Barack Obama winning the White House. Does that make Norte Dame Hillary or McCain? [NHL.com]

• Dan Steinberg with a great story about a homeless man in DC who watches Washington Capitals games on the big screen, on the arena's outer wall at the corner of 7th and G; a man who has actually been up to the owner's box thanks to his unusual dedication to the team. Thought No. 1: When Caps fans inevitably see this gentleman-turned-folk hero outside the arena, please note that he doesn't want your old Ovechkin McFarlane figure; he wants a sandwich. Thought No. 2: This gentleman admits to also being a Lakers and Cowboys fan; so his sudden admiration for this season's Capitals was a foregone conclusion, we suppose. [DC Sports Bog]

• Despite all the happy sunshine over the Ottawa Senators' playoff tease, GM Bryan Murray brings us all back to reality in reminding the world that his team is a collection of coach-killers. [Ottawa Sun]

• Your Central Division nominees for the Masterton Trophy: Martin Havlat of the Chicago Blackhawks, Raffi Torres of the Columbus Blue Jackets, Chris Chelios of the Detroit Red Wings, Steve Sullivan of the Nashville Predators and B.J. Crombeen of the St. Louis Blues. Was Havlat actually nominated for not being injured as much? [Blackhawks]

• Da! The KHL finals are getting underway, as Ak Bars takes on Alexei Yashin and his team, Lokomotiv Yaroslavl. We know where Carol Alt is dropping her rubles on the KHL championship. OK, that sounded vaguely dirty. [Slap Shot]

• Instead of costing them on the ice, Jonas Frogren has now cost the Toronto Maple Leafs a fourth-round pick. [City News]

• How the shootout has become a vital part of analyzing a player's value. Joy. [NHL]

• The Chief declares that it doesn't matter which team his Detroit Red Wings face in the Stanley Cup playoffs, because "if they raise their level of play to what we've seen maybe ten times this year ... they will win the Stanley Cup." Confident swagger from a Red Wings fan? That's unpossible! [A2Y]

• We missed this when it happened, but the great "Brian Burke" Twitter experiment has come to an end. Down Goes Brown, the brilliant creator of that stunt, presents a must-read greatest hits. [Down Goes Brown]

• Middletown, NJ's own James van Riemsdyk makes his professional debut for the Philadelphia Flyers' AHL affiliate. [Broad Street Hockey]

• Mirtle reexamines the causes and effects of the ECHL's economic struggles, that have caused a few teams to fold. [From the Rink]

• Finally, remember that ridiculous chip-shot goal that Sweden's Linus Omark scored in the shootout? Puck Buddy Pär Alexiusson sends over this clip from February that escaped our attention at the time, as Omark tries to score by placing the puck on his stick blade and attempting to bank it off the back of the goalie's mask. Wow:

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