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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Biggest Pens Villain - Dubinsky Bracket Quarterfinals

The Dubinsky Bracket

The Opening Round of the Dubinsky Bracket said goodbye to a host of potential Pens villains, ranging from former Pens Director of Player Development Tom Fitzgerald to Jim Balsillie, the Blackberry CEO who infamously tried buying the Penguins so he could move them to Hamilton, Ontario. Also falling in the Opening Round were Ken Wregget, Jeremy Jacobs, Nick Lidstrom, and Eric Tangradi. The winners move on to the next round of voting, but they'll face some stiff competition as Brandon Dubinsky and Pierre McGuire enter the bracket after receiving Opening Round byes.

Brandon Dubinsky vs Colin Campbell

Brandon Dubinsky - Bye

Colin Campbell (63%) over Tom Fitzgerald (37%)

Colin Campbell is a large reason why the NHL's disciplinary mechanisms are as screwed up as they are today. As discipline czar Campbell routinely showed little or no interest in suspending players despite their on-ice actions, and he displayed a remarkable amount of nepotism concerning his son, Gregory Campbell, and the Boston Bruins. He'll go up against someone who has benefited greatly from the NHL's spineless response to one-ice attacks. Brandon Dubinsky has made himself a hated man in Pittsburgh for his repeated targeting of Sidney Crosby, and through it all he's only faced a 1 game suspension when he cross-checked the Pens captain in the neck, then cross-checked again him with enough force to break his stick as he laid prone on the ice.

Claude Giroux vs Ed Rendell

Claude Giroux (87%) over Jim Balsillie (13%)

Ed Rendell (77%) vs Ken Wregget (23%)

Ken Wregget lost in the Opening Round despite his work in eliminating the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 1989 playoffs as a member of the Philadelphia Flyers, but the hatred for Philadelphia was split as he was up against the former mayor of the city who was accused of favoring Philadelphia as Governor of Pennsylvania. The Flyer hatred will be split again as he goes up against Claude Giroux in the quarterfinals. The Flyers captain has long been the recipient of Pens fans ire, and it certainly didn't help matters when a Philadelphia writer suggested that Sidney Crosby had passed Giroux the baton of best player in the league following the Flyers elimination of the Pens in 2012.

Craig Adams vs Adam Graves

Craig Adams (52%) over Jeremy Jacobs (48%)

Adam Graves (71%) over Nick Lidstrom (29%)

Craig Adams had a tough match-up in the Opening Round, but the hatred that Pens fans felt for their whipping boy outweighed that for an owner who was one of the largest driving forces behind the last two lockouts. It's questionable whether those recent hard feelings will be able to overcome a decades old outrage. Graves is infamous in Pittsburgh for his slash on Mario Lemieux in the 1992 playoffs as the Pens were defending their 1st Stanley Cup win. Lemieux missed the next several games over two series with the injury, and Graves was only suspended 4 games for his actions.

Kerry Fraser vs Pierre McGuire

Kerry Fraser (64%) over Eric Tangradi (36%)

Pierre McGuire - Bye

Kerry Fraser topped the Big Dog Eric Tangradi in the 1st round as time hasn't healed all wounds with respect to his feud with Penguins legend Mario Lemieux. Things got so bad that during a game in 1994, Lemieux tried attacking Fraser on the ice after the referee instigated a confrontation and ejected him. He'll face tough competition in his next match-up as Pierre McGuire makes his debut after an Opening Round bye. McGuire is the obnoxious NBC broadcaster who nearly became the Penguins GM during the 2014 offseason before being unable to come to terms on the length of his contract.

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