Archive for April, 2008

23
Apr
08

NHL Play-Offs: Round Two

Alright, so as I’ve found out, doing this, following the post-season, and writing finals all at the same time is harder then I thought, but with one final to go… I should be able to balance it out better. Onto the play-offs!

First Round Review

  • Eastern Conference
    • MON vs. BOS: I chose Montreal in 5, and figured they would walk right through this series… MON took it in 7 and Price had two bad games, which I think are outshined by his two shut-outs.
    • PIT vs. OTT: I called Pittsburgh in 6, claiming that the Sens were the biggest chokers in recent history… well I was right, the Sens are big chokers… bigger then I thought they were. PIT swept.
    • WAS vs. PHI: I picked Washington in 7, and they were one shot away from making that happen, but the Flyers persevered in 7.
    • NJ vs. NYR: I really thought Brodeur would carry the Devils through when I picked them in 6, didn’t really think that NYR would for the most part, manhandle the Devils in 5.
  • Western Conference
    • DET vs. NAS: I underestimated Ellis in this when I picked the Wings to sweep the Preds, but other than one wicked bounce… Ellis was spectacular,  but wasn’t enough to get the Preds through as they lost in 6.
    • SJ vs. CGY: I picked the Sharks in 7, and I feel as though they are lucky to have pulled it out after blowing a 3-0 lead in Game 3. But they did, and won in 7.
    • MIN vs. COL: I picked this one completely by guessing, and was biased because my Dad’s team are the Avs, so I chose them in 6, and low and behold, they won in 6.
    • ANA vs. DAL: I really thought that the experience of the Ducks would make it impossible for the Stars to win when I picked Ducks in 5… turns out Dallas won in 6, and the Ducks never had a chance!

So in the end, I finished with a 5-3 record and I called 2 of the 5 in the correct number of games. Not bad… but not good at the same time, hopefully the second round is better for me.

Second Round Predictions

  • Eastern Conference
    • MON vs. PHI: While Briere hauled ass in the 1st Round, he wasn’t playing against Komisarek, Markov, & Price. I expect his production to stall, and I believe the Habs too much depth and speed for the Flyers to handle. Canadiens in 6.
    • PIT vs. NYR: I was pulling for the Pens vs. Caps, because that would have just been epic, but now this. This is a completely different match-up for the Rangers, and while I under estimated their depth last round, I seriously doubt that they can bring it when they are forced to play defensively. Pittsburgh in 7.
  • Western Conference
    • DET vs. COL: Let’s call this one the “Senior Men’s Cup”. Colorado’s average age is 26.7 while the Wings clock in at 28.2; two of the oldest teams in the league. Still though, I think the wings pull it off and Theodore can’t keep playing like this… can he? Detroit in 6.
    • SJ vs. DAL: The Sharks could be tired after the physical series with the Flames, and the Stars disposed of the Ducks with ease. The Stars showed that they will not be intimidated and that they can apparently handle anything. Dallas in 7.

So there you have it, I am looking for a Montreal/Pittsburgh Eastern Final, and a Detroit/Dallas Western Final. Now I have to go back to studying.

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22
Apr
08

Crazy Hab Fans

First off, let me just say that I have lived in Quebec, and just outside of Montreal. In fact, I was living there in 93 when the Habs last won the cup, and then preceded to riot on St. Catherine’s, breaking into stores and looting, setting fires all over the place, and just being drunken idiots.

Admittedly, I find that there is nothing wrong with going out on the town and celebrating a big Game 7 win, or a series win… but to go out and torch police cars? That’s a little too far. I was just watching the news, and I saw a clip of guys jumping on the cop cars, kicking in the hood, there was even some guy who just walked up to it, kicked the police car, all the while chatting away on his phone. I’m glad he turned and faced the camera too, I hope his parents saw it, and they feel ashamed of him.

Hopefully, the cops find a better way of dealing with the fans post-game then how this was handled… if the Habs make a deep run, and they have a wicked chance of doing so… then I would hate to see Canadien fans trash Montreal, one of the most beautiful and historic cities I’ve ever seen… but I’ve never left North America so that doesn’t say much.

19
Apr
08

Brunnstrom Going To Leafs?

According to Darren Dreger of TSN, Fabian Brunnstrom is leaning towards joining the Maple Leafs after Vancouver GM Dave Nonis was fired. Apparently Brunnstrom, the 23 year-old Swede, is trying to choose between a couple of teams, but has narrowed it down to two; the Red Wings and the Leafs.

Brunnstrom is thinking that the Red Wings are just too deep up front for him to get decent ice time, but with the Leafs appearing to be heading towards a rebuild, the Leafs would be capable of giving Brunnstrom more opportunity to play.

Brunnstrom is an offensively gifted forward with a decent scoring touch. A speedy skater with soft hands and good technical skills. He combines speed and stickhandling in an impressive way. Hockey sense is pretty good and he is also strong physically with a good attitude. (Elite Prospects)

17
Apr
08

________ing Out the Arena

The Flames’ home, the SaddleDome is completely engulfed in red, just like the Capitals’ Verizon Center. The Jets used to White Out their arena, and that tradition has carried over to Phoenix. The Stars the other night, Blacked Out the American Airlines Center.

So what did the players think of the spectacle? Word is… they hated it! Most notably the tenders. Apparently the can’t see the puck. Weird… I always thought that black on black out be just peachy, but evidently it doesn’t, trust me I tried.

Let me be the first to say, I love the look of an arena being coloured out. I remember getting chills when the Coyotes made the play-offs for the first time after they left Winnipeg, and I saw the White Out. It looks unbelievable! Having said that, sorry Stars fans, I don’t know if you guys have the colours to do it, unless you did gold, that might look unreal.

I just saw a highlight of the Dallas/Anaheim game, and it appears as though the AAC is completely blacked out again. I am guessing that nothing is going to change that, but if I was Turco, and I hated it as much as he apparently does, I’d be urging the fans to do something different. At least though, on the bright side (ohh as if there is!) its not like its an advantage for any team. (Wow, I just got an amazing idea!) What if… half the arena (the end that Turco faces) wore white t-shirts, and then between periods, the fans all switch coloured shirts, so that Turco would always be facing white, and the other team’s goalie sees black. That would be unreal!

Credit to www.zimbo.com for the picture.
15
Apr
08

Play-off Beards Starting to Show & Nonis

With just under a week having gone by in the NHL’s post-season, the beards are starting to show. While some guys can grow a decent beard overnight or have had one all season long, others take a little longer to get going. Case in point, Sid the Kid.

It might be a little difficult to see from that picture but I think you get the point. I first noticed his little perv stache when he was being interviewed about Avery’s antics the other night, and now when I go the the TSN website… there it is staring me in the face.

If at all possible, when the Pens line up in Ottawa tomorrow and attempt to sweep the Sens, try to get a good glimpse of his perviness.

Nonis Fired

Admittedly this isn’t big news at all, but the one thing that is continually being left out of this story is Swedish star Fabian Brunnstrom. Reports were coming out that Brunnstrom had given his agent a list of 6 teams that he was willing to play for, and the Canucks were at the very top of that list with Nonis being a huge factor in that decision. Apparently, Brunnstrom liked the direction that Nonis was taking the team into and he wanted to be a part of that… however, now that Nonis is gone, what does thacrt mean for Brunnstrom and the Canucks? I believe that because of the Nonis firing, Brunnstrom won’t be as willing to head to the west coast, and will instead go to Detroit… a team that continually just keeps getting better without losing their core and prospect pool.

14
Apr
08

Sarich Delivers Hit of the Year

Yeah, that is high praise but I have reasoning. First off, take a look at the hit that the whole hockey world is, or at least should be talking about.

Obviously, if you been a hockey fan of any kind, you seen hits like this many of times. Guy skating up the ice, head is down, and a D-man just steps up and lays his shoulder into him. What makes this hit, the hit of the year in my opinion, is the timing.

The Flames were down 3-0 in a pivitol Game Three, had no mojo whatsoever, and the Sea of Red might as well of been sitting in a library they were so quiet. Then it happened. Sarich freaking nails Marleau, which incites a scrum and gets the crowd to their feet. Also, Calgary managed to get a power-play out of the ordeal leading to their first goal.

The Flames came back to win when it all looked so glim, and this win will propel them to win the series… and all because of this huge hit by Sarich. He may have single-handedly changed the Flames entire play-off fortunes.

P.S. Mad, MAD props to Marleau for getting right up and getting in the scrum. That’s leadership baby, and that’s playing the game!

13
Apr
08

Avery Adds to his Douche-bag Resume

I’ve made no secrete of the fact that I hate Sean Avery, and the fact that I think he is a complete douche. He proved it once again tonight, when he was waving his arms and stick in front of Martin Brodeur’s face.

I have to say, that I get what Avery was trying to do. He was trying to distract Brodeur, and get him off his game. It’s just the way he was doing it, Avery wasn’t even paying attention to the play, he had his back turned to it while standing one foot away from Brodeur. Check it out for yourself…

Now, there is no penalty against this, not a concrete penalty at least, but Avery was warned by the referee while he was doing yet he still continued. However, I have to agree with Ron MacLean when he was talking about it. Under the rules of a misconduct penalty, if a player does an action in an attempt to incite the other team into taking a penalty, and continues after being warned from the referee, the player can be called for a 10 minute misconduct. Under this rule, there would be no minor, so the Rangers wouldn’t have been short-handed.

I do believe that the NHL is going to address this issue Monday. While I don’t know what they are going to say or what kind of action they are going to take. The NHL should send out a memo of some kind, either to say that these actions are allowed, or that they cannot be tolerated or something, but they have to do something.

Now before I stop, I should add this kind of disclaimer, I this isn’t a knock on Avery’s abilities. He has 3 goals already this post-season, and the Rangers are without a doubt a better team when he is on the ice. I simply hate these kinds of actions and on-ice shenanigans that Avery always seems to be a part of.