Archive for the 'Sharks' Category

24
Nov
08

Front Offices Somewhat Busy This Monday

Ok, so of course the news of the Maple Leafs making the Steen & Colaiacovo trade for Lee Stempniak trumps all the other activity today. As a Leafs fan I have some mixed feelings about this trade.

First of all, I don’t think Steen was ever given a fair chance to play up to his potential. Being stuck on the 3rd and 4th line for the better part of your career is not going to give you the chance to put up a lot of points. Case in point, look at how well Stajan is responding to the increased ice-time. I just fear that Steen is going to be the next Brad Boyes. I don’t think Steen will ever reach the level that Boyes could reach, but I think he’s going to make an impact for sure. Colaiacovo for his part, well I loved the guy’s style, but that style isn’t going to help when his sitting in the booth because his style is realistically his undoing. If you can’t be healthy well then you aren’t much use, just don’t go pull a Wellwood and suddenly become healthy and one of the biggest surprises in the league! (Who can honestly say they saw Wellwood coming on like that? Vancouver didn’t, because he didn’t even make the team!)

Lee Stempniak, for his part, well I don’t know much about him. I do know he’s relatively young at 25, decent size at just over 200 lbs and is having an excellent, yet quiet season. Granted that season was in St. Louis and no the media-meca that is Toronto. He does have this though, which is quite fitting actually. Hopefully we can make that term a little more popular.

In my opinion, I think the Silver Fox could have gotten a little more, even if it was just a late pick. I think just a 4th or 5th rounder would have been better than two players for one. Truely, I think that the Buds are doing too good for Fletcher’s liking. If there is two things the Leafs brass want more than anything in the world right now, its Brian Burke, and Jon Tavares. If the Leafs keep playing like they are, they’ll go one for two, because mediocracy doesn’t bring high picks, and we know that all to well.

Oh yeah, before I forget, the other BIG news. The San Jose Sharks have agreed to a try-out contract with Claude Lemieux. HAHAHAHAHAHA. Good luck with that. I get that he’s been clutch in play-offs and whatnot, but he also hasn’t played in the NHL for FIVE years, and he’s no Chelios. At 43 years of age, I am pretty sure Lemieux’s playing days should be over!

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.

09
Apr
08

Night One Of ’08 Playoffs

Oh yes, the day that many of us have been waiting for has essentially come to an end (essentially because the Flames/Sharks is still in play). So here is the wrap-up of the festivities.

Penguins vs. Ottawa

I say versus Ottawa, but what I really mean is nobody. Ottawa never really showed up for this one and the Penguins were all over the Sens. Gary Roberts potted two goals, and continued his dominance over the Sens during playoffs. Marc-Andre Fleury may have shushed some of his critics for a little while, by shutting out the high-powered Senators (can we still call them that?) Volchekov, staying true to his style of play, was blocking shots like an offensive lineman, until he took a shot in the face. He tripped over the foot of a Penguins in front of the net and was smoked in the face with a hard Malkin shot. The game ended with some fiestiness as Roberts was kicked out after a questionable hit, and he then appeared as though he challenged every Senator on the ice to a fight… I bet those Sens are still really wishing they had this guy last year. Penguins win 4-0 and lead the series 1-0.

New Jersey vs. New York Rangers

I believe this game was a lot closer than the score indicates. I didn’t catch the majority of this game as I was watching the Pens/Sens, but I did see the two goalies putting up a duel in the first part of the game. There should be much more of that to come as this series carries on though, so we should expect no less. Gomez stuck it to his former team, and fans as they booed him every time he touched the puck. There was also some intensity to this game, and the fans sounded like they really into it until the Rangers took over. I might have to start watching this series unless the Senators actually show up. Rangers win 4-1 and lead series 1-0.

Minnesota vs. Colorado

Again, I didn’t watch this game, at all really because I was half-assed working on a paper and half-assed watching the Flames/Sharks game. Of the highlights that I saw though, it appeared as though it was a physical game, with a goal disallowed due to a kick, and that was a kick, so good call. The game went into overtime and Mr. Clutch Joe Sakic scores his record 8th career playoff overtime goal. Avs win 3-2 and lead series 1-0.

San Jose vs. Calgary

So the newly mohawked Flames, trying to be less uptight this year than last came into the Shark Tank and did not waste any time. They came out flying and scored a quick one that had to be reviewed. Yelle’s stick was well under the cross bar and it counted and they never really looked back from there. Yelle’s second goal also had to be reviewed because the net came off the pegs just after he slid it across the goal line. San Jose did make it interesting though, scoring a last minute goal with their goalie pulled, and then they were buzzing all around the Flames end while Kipper flipped around like a shark out of water (see what I did there? Genius!) Flames win 3-2 and lead series 1-0.

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 

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.