Archive for the 'Flyers' Category

25
Oct
08

Big Night In The NHL Tonight

Gotta love Saturday nights. 15 games, 30 teams, all ready for action. Couple things to really look forward to however, and we’ll start in the East.

The team everyone loves to hate, and hates to love gets a big addition tonight. The big off-season signing, Jeff Finger finally makes his Maple Leafs debut tonight. Finger’s signing was a shocker, as Fletcher threw a lot of money at the Free Agent even though he’s really only in his second season, and was a healthy scratch at times during the play-offs last year. Ron Wilson and Fletch still contend that Finger is worth the 3.5 million per year. The Leafs also sent Jiri Tlustly down to the Marlies, which would probably mean that the Leafs will get at least 43 shots tonight, since Blake will be in the line-up.

Philly looks for their second win of the season, but if they want to win they’ll have to allow less goals which shouldn’t be too difficult since they are playing the Devils, but then again, it’ll be tougher to score too. Meanwhile Marty looks to inch closer to Roy’s records.

Personally, I think the match-up to look for in the East has to be the New York Rangers facing the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Rangers are off to an unbelievable start, and the Penguins… well, they’re the Pens. Anytime that you get Crosby, Malkin, J. Staal on the ice facing Gomez, Drury, Zherdev, and Naslund, there’s going to be one helleva game.

In the West, the high flying Red Wings are set to face the young Blackhawks in what should be a great Divisional Match-Up. I am torn on this one, but I gotta say, I hope the Hawks come flying out of the gates, and Toews puts up 4 goals, all of which are assisted by Keith and Campbell. That would get me up in the standings in my pool at work. Regardless, should be a good, high-paced game.

Other than that, another Divisional Match-up in the Northwest as the Kid Line and their Oilers take on the surprising Canucks tonight. Gillis’ weird made up team (honestly, what the hell?) are having a slow start to the season after ripping it up in the pre-season are looking to rebound, meanwhile the Oiler squad look are also looking to rebound after a couple losses. Oilers should take this hands down, but then again, anything can happen…

So one game is already underway, and hopefully the next 14 get off without any starting goalies tripping over rugs… Legace, idiot.

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.

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.

30
Mar
08

My Picks For Coach of the Year

With the season winding down, and more and more teams being eliminated by day, I have decided to make my early picks for winner of the Jack Adams, as coach of the year.

  1. Guy Carbonneau – In September, almost everyone had predicted that the Canadiens wouldn’t even make play-offs. Now in late March, the Habs are on the verge of winning the Northwest Division, and are in a tight battle for the Eastern Conference lead. What he has done with this team this season is amazing if you ask me, and for a young coach, that says even more of the type of coach he is.
  2. Ron Wilson -After reeling off an impressive winning streak down the stretch, the Sharks have clinched the Pacific Division. The reason I think that is such a feat, is the fact that the Pacific also contains some team called the Ducks or something, and apparently they are pretty good. The other reason I think Wilson deserves a solid look, is that the Sharks have been a solid team for a few years now, and I can’t remember the last time they had a high draft pick.
  3. Barry Trotz – The Nashville Predators have easily had the most turbulent season. They’ve went from almost being sold to Balsillie, then they pretty much got rid of all their assets (Kariya, Vokoun, et. all). They were then sold a local group, and had to beg their fans to come to their games even though they were not expected to be contenders. Now almost in the post-season, the Preds have managed to put themselves in position to make the post-season, much of which needs to be attributed to a solid home record, and solid defensive play.
  4. Brent Sutter – Could the Devils be more solid defensively? Apparently they could be, because they are once again one of the best teams when it comes to GA, and yet they are still winning after losing Gomez and Rafalski. Somehow they continue to win without goal-scoring, without big names (minus Brodeur), and without high draft picks. But honestly, did anyone expect anything less of the Devils and Sutter?
  5. Jon Stevens – The Flyers made one of the fastest turns in NHL history. Much of this could be attributed to good management skills, but the leadership of the coaching staff has went a long way in guiding this team into the post-season (as of now). The Flyers have underwent many injuries this season, and many, many suspensions but have managed to keep afloat.

So those are my picks for coach of the year, and in that order too. But as with my picks for MVP, these are completely dependent on these teams making the playoffs, if the Flyers or Predators fall out of contention then these coaches will not deserve to be coach of the year.

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 

16
Mar
08

The NHL Was Bright Today

I say bright, not because they were smart, because let’s face it, that is about as rare as a Wayne Gretzky rookie card. I say that because there was a lot of lighting up done today.

The Penguins, who are still relatively unhealthy, routed the Flyers with a 7-1 win. I don’t know if the Flyers are really intent on making the playoffs, but as of right now, if they don’t get their shiat together, they aren’t going to make it. With 2 losses in a row, things are looking dim as they hit the stretch run.

On the other end of the spectrum, the Florida Panthers are rattling off wins like there is no tomorrow. Maybe because if they don’t… there is no tomorrow. They have now won 7 in a row and sit 2 points behind the Flyers, but have played more games than all of the other teams on the cusp.

Speaking of rattling wins off, the Sharks finally lost! They went down to the Oilers tonight, in a shoot-out (go figure). Before tonight they had won 11 games in a row on their way to the Pacific Division lead, and with two games on hand on the Ducks, they are looking good to lock up 2nd in the West.

Finally, the other bright spot tonight was Joe Corvo, who lit up his former team. Corvo recorded a hat-trick in his first game against the Senators since he was traded just prior to the trade deadline. With Carolina climbing comfortably into the division lead, and playing much better hockey than the Senators, one might think that Corvo is happy with the trade that had him and Patrick Eaves sent to Raleigh for Commodore and Stillman.

Again, with every passing day, the play-off picture is starting to clear up, and I look forward to it. Look for my predictions as soon as the match-ups figure themselves out.

11
Mar
08

Big Hockey Night Tonight (03-11-08)

cup06.jpg

With the post-season looming, every night is going to produce some big games, but to this point of the season, tonight could be the biggest.  With 9 games in total, and 18 teams in action, the standings could change significantly, either making everything tighter, or perhaps some teams fall further out of contention. So I will go game-by-game, and make my best educated guesses at the winners and losers.

Colorado @ Atlanta

The Avs should take this one. With 7 wins in their last 10, and making a serious effort not only for play-offs, but also for the Northwest Division title, they can’t afford to lose. Atlanta on the other hand, winning only 1 of their last 10, appear to be heading for the lottery.

Chicago @ Detroit

I like the Wings at home here. With a wicked 23-8-2 record at home, the Wings shouldn’t fall to an away record of 15-15-5.

New Jersey @ Montreal

This is a massive game, winner takes the Eastern Conference lead. Even though Montreal is at home, I am going with the Devils. Brodeur will shine again, like he’s done all week. This is a complete guess though, it could go either way. Look for it to end 2-1 or 3-2.

Boston @ Ottawa

If the Sens lose again, they are going to be really close to the cut-off, although they still have a size-able lead over 9th place Buffalo. However, I think the tide is just about to turn in Ottawa. They’ve finally named their No. 1 goalie, and put their trust in Gerber. Gerber shouldn’t choke until play-offs. Sens take this one.

NY Islanders @ Tampa Bay

The weather must be beautiful is Tampa Bay these days… so nice that I think the team quit early to go play golf, having lost  5 straight. It just so happens to be raining in Tampa today (I checked the forecast), so they might actually show up. Going with the upset tonight.

Philadelphia @ Toronto

I am going with the Maple Leafs, but only because they are idiots, and they still think they have a shot at getting into play-offs. If they win this one, look for Vesa to play again tomorrow, if they lose, Raycroft should get the nod. I believe however that these two team will split this home-and-home.

San Jose @ Nashville

This is a tough one too, big match-up for both squads. San Jose is 1 point out of the division lead, and Nashville just on the out-skirts of play-offs. The Sharks have however won 9 streak games, who knew? I didn’t until now. I think that streak ends tonight though, Nashville wins to make the West more interesting.

St. Louis @ Oilers

The Oil are probably going to play this game into sleep mode, and bring into the Shoot-out to win again. Oilers in a shoot-out.

Anaheim @ Phoenix

I wish I could say that Bryzgalov will come back to haunt the Ducks tonight, but the Ducks are just so powerful, even with Corey Perry out. Ducks to win this one, but look for some fights, no doubt Carcillo will look to add to his 244 PIM.

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