Archive for the 'Capitals' Category

26
Nov
08

Ovie Vs. Malkin

Wow, that’s all I have to say about what happened tonight, in this rare hockey-filled Wednesday. (Good Ol’ American Thanksgiving, wouldn’t want to show any hockey while the entire US has a day off eh, Bettman?) Anyways! Alexander Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin just keep on rolling, and continue to amaze us.

Alex for his part, pretty much single-handedly beat the Thrashers tonight, rattling off a Hat trick, scoring on 50% of his shots, adding an assist, and his goals counted for two on the PP and his one that wasn’t on the PP just happened to be the Game Winner. I’d say that was successful outing.

Malkin on the other hand, decided that he didn’t feel like losing tonight. After the Pens go down two on a late in the second, (read: normally a momentum boost) he comes out and sets up some Crosby guy to pull within one, then says ‘ef this noise, and scores a natural hat trick, meanwhile registering on 75% of his shots. Take that Ovechkin.

I personally love this rivalry between these two superstars, but one has got to wonder what is going happen come 2010. Rumour has is, that there is no way they could agree to play with one another, so Russia might have to make due with only one of them. Which puts them in one helluva squeeze. First off, which guy do they pick and at the same time, which guy should they completely piss off to the point that he’ll probably never return to ‘Mother Russia’? Or do they just try to persuade them both to share a locker room and hope that their hate for each other doesn’t spread throughout. We all know how well that situation is working out in the Dallas locker room with Avery.

Honestly who knows, but I for one, cannot wait to see what will happen. I just wish that they would have been playing against eachother when they decided to pop off those hatties.

22
Oct
08

Caps at Flames Last Night

I was lucky enough to get tickets to Calgary’s game last, and I was so stoked. My first chance to see the high-flying Capitals live… and what a disappointment! Yes, Ovechkin showed what a talented and dynamic player he is with a couple between the leg dekes, but other than that, I am glad I didn’t have to pay for the tickets!

I have a few points that I want to bring up, and they pretty much all have to do with how disorientated I think Flames’ fans are. After the game, as we’re driving back, we were listening the FAN 960 and their thoughts on the game, and then the phone-in portion of the show. Everyone thought that the Flames played a tremendous game, and that this is the kind of hockey that is going to get them places. But, let’s look at some numbers, shall we?

  1. Flames went one for nine on the power play. 1 FOR 9! They also failed to score on 4 separate 5-on-3s (granted out of those they were only actually up two men for approximately 4 minutes, but still.) Their one power play goal was on a giveaway, as the Caps failed to clear the zone, and Iggy just intercepted it and shot a knuckler past Theodore. They other goal the Flames managed to score, came just seconds after their PP had expired, yet everyone failed to notice that the Flames had just spent 20 seconds running around their own end defending the Capitals PK unit. At no point did the Flames seem to even set up in the opposing zone, because they have no set up, their PP set-up is, pass the puck to Dion and he’ll one-time it.
  2. Did Keenan forget to teach the Flames how to break-out of their own end this year? I don’t think I saw them managed to break out cleanly once last night, and the majority of their passes were off target or getting picked off. This also explained why Langkow almost got his head knocked off when he was trying to pick up that Suicide Pass. Which brings me to my next point…
  3. Why does every big hit have to result in someone getting jumped? I understand that Bourque was protecting his teammate, but how’s this for an idea of protecting your teammate… don’t pass the puck up his ass. Side note: The 9 minute penalty was called correctly, and he deserved it.
  4. Kipper. Oh Kipper. You got first star last night, actually managed to only allow one goal, which brings your GAA to 342.4 and SV% to 0.730. Okay, exaggerations I know, but at the start of the game, its good thing the Capitals shot wide 5 times because you were sliding around like you were in a mud wrestling match. I think you’re overrated, and have only had one solid season, all the others you have ridden a hockey team that should be much better.
  5. Pries and I figured out how it was humanly possible for Bertuzzi to play 25 minutes last night… the Flames play at half speed, therefore allowing Bert to play twice as much because he only expending half the energy. I don’t know whether it was the Caps’ speed or the Flames’ lack thereof, but man, were they ever slow going through the neutral zone. This may also explain the terrible break-out I mentioned on point 2.

So there you have it Flames’ fans… if you want to consider your team a Stanley Cup contender, you better hope that the Flames figure some shit out, because if they keep playing like last night, and that was their best effort, I’d hope for an early spring.

P.S. Calgary was out-shot, even with the 9 PP chances, how does that make sense?

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.

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.
06
Apr
08

Play-off Match-ups Decided & Predictions

Ok, so with my extended absence over, the NHL season is also over and the match-ups have been decided.

Eastern Conference

  • (1) Montreal Canadiens vs. (8) Boston Bruins – Montreal is going to take this without too much effort. Sorry Boston, but I don’t think you have a shot. Montreal in 5.
  • (2) Pittsburgh Penguins vs. (7) Ottawa Senators – First of all, could anyone have imagined that the Sens would be seventh in the conference at the end of the season? Because the Senators are the biggest chokers I’ve seen in the NHL, Penguins in 6.
  • (3) Washington Capitals vs. (6) Philadelphia Flyers – I think this is going the best series in the first round. Ovechkin just won’t be happy enough with just making the post-season, he is going to to carry this team through. Washington in 7.
  • (4) New Jersey Devils vs. (5) New York Rangers – Brodeur is going to single-handedly win these series. Sorry Pries, but the Rangers are ‘effed. Jersey in 6.

Western Conference

  • (1) Detroit Red Wings vs. (8) Nashville Predators – The grizzled and experienced Red Wings continue to be the top team in the league, it is unreal. The Red Wings are gonna waltz through the Predators. Wings sweep.
  • (2) San Jose Sharks vs. (7) Calgary Flames – Sorry Flame fans… But the Sharks are going to take this one. It won’t be easy though, the Flames are one of the grittiest teams in the league. Sharks in 7.
  • (3) Minnesota Wild vs. (6) Colorado Avalanche – This is a tough one… I realistically have no idea who is gonna win this one, so I am just gonna pick the Avs because they are my Dad’s team, and they used to be the Nordiques! Avalanche in 6.
  • (4) Anaheim Ducks vs. (5) Dallas Stars – Just because the Ducks finished 4th, doesn’t mean they can’t repeat. They are a better team than they were last year so they have a legit shot. Ducks win in 5.

There… now I just hope that I am right on half of them, because I could see myself screwing it up.

25
Mar
08

“One Play” Commercial

So I was surfing around randomly just a little ago, and I ran into this commercial. Apparently its the NHL’s newest attempt at promoting the game. I’ll let you have a look at it before I give my two cents.

First off, I effin’ love it. There are so many details to it and it works on so many different levels. It incorporates vintage hockey footage, pond hockey, minor hockey, and today’s hockey. The beginning starts with probably two of the most recognizable faces in hockey, Gretzky and Crosby. It shows almost every team in the league, if not all, shows the stars of the game, the grace and skill needed to play the game and it is shown with great fluidity. The cuts between video clips are great. What ever company produced this commercial did an unreal job in making it seem like it was actually one play.

This commercial is leaps and bounds above the “I Pledge” and “Is This the Year?” commercials. It seems that the NHL may finally have taken a step in the right direction, and just in time for the playoffs. Finally.

DIGG ME 

22
Mar
08

Quick Hits:Lecavalier, MVP, Oil, and Injured Hab

A few quick thoughts before I head to work tonight, and just before HNIC goes on-air.

Lecavalier Out Of World Championships

Vincent Lecavalier is going to find out soon if he will require off-season surgery on an ongoing wrist injury. Although the injury has not kept him from ripping the league up again, and being one of the premiere players, it has been bothering him and he will have it checked out. Even if he does not need to get the surgery, his agent has told the media that it is doubtful that Lecavalier will play for Team Canada. Although there has been talk of if players sit out of the Worlds their chances for making the 2010 Olympic team would be diminished, I doubt that would be the case with this guy. There is no way that he would not be considered for the Olympic team just because he sits out of a tourney 1 and a half years prior.

My Picks For MVP

Yesterday I wrote that I did not think Ovechkin should win the Hart Trophy if the Capitals do not make the post-season. After thinking about overnight (read last 3.5 minutes) I have come into a short-list of candidates. These candidates however are completely dependent on whether their respective team makes the play-offs, and their teams are currently in playoff contention.

  • Joe Thornton –  Could easily earn another one after his 06 Hart.
  • Alexei Kovalev -This kills me, just because his last few seasons have been sub-par, but he is having an excellent season.
  • Roberto Luongo – Let’s face it, without him, the Canucks would be a lot like the Columbus Blue Jackets
  • Martin Brodeur – Has carried the Devils on his back throughout the season. Heck, Weekes got an ovation when he made a save in his 2 minutes of action the other night.
  • Evgeni Malkin – In the absence of some Crosby guy, he has stepped up and led the Penguins into the division lead and in a battle for the conference lead.

Edmonton Oilers Won’t Go Away

After this afternoon’s scoring festival against the Avalanche, the Edmonton Oilers have scraped themselves 3 points outside of 8th place, and if they continue their winning ways, they have a shot. I strongly believe that the Oilers will make play-offs. They are playing better than most teams right now, are actually somewhat consistent, and are only getting better. The other bonus to them winning, is that with every win, they piss of the Ducks. There is no reason for them to try an get into a better draft position, so they literally have nothing to lose.

Mike Komisarek’s Mystery Injury

The playoffs are clearly just around the corner, because Komisarek went down the all too common “Lower Body Injury.” As a fan, I hate that teams do this upper/lower body crap when it comes to injuries in the playoffs. But it does make sense, because when it comes to winning the Cup teams will take any advantage they can get, so if they know that Komisarek has a sprained knee, there is no doubt that that knee would be targeted by opposing teams.