Archive for the 'Wild' Category

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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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.

27
Mar
08

More Quick Updates (03-27-08)

Luongo Has Left The Building

Much to the dismay of Vancouver fans… very selfish Vancouver fans, Luongo has skipped town to go be with his wife. It is uncertain if he will be ready to return in time to play Minnesota, but most fans are hopeful. Luongo’s wife has been stuck in a wheel-chair for the last couple of months due to complications, she left Vancouver in order to be with her family in case something happened while Luongo was on the road. My best wishes to Roberto and his wife.

Big Names Return To Lineup

Sid the Kid will return to the Penguins roster tonight to face the New York Islanders. Crosby has been sidelined since his ankle did not respond well to playing after he initially returned from a high ankle sprain. Crosby should add a huge boost to the Penguins, however their stats have been better without him, regardless, the Penguins and their fans should be glad to have him back heading into play-offs.

It may be too little too late for the Maple Leafs (read: its too late), but Sundin has returned to the lineup to face the Bruins. With a victory tonight, the Bruins could knock the Leafs completely out of the playoffs, and perhaps the Leafs could finally start to lose in hopes of landing in the lottery. They are currently sitting in 23rd in the league, and could easily find themselves into the bottom 4-5 teams and have a shot at a decent franchise player.

Marc Savard Breaks His Back

Seriously, the guy has a broken back but it is unknown how long he will miss. The Bruins’ leading scorer suffered the injury when he was cross-checked on the weekend. Apparently it isn’t that bad of an injury, because he hopes to only miss tonight’s game in addition with the game he missed on Tuesday. He was not missed that much however, as the Bruins manhandled the Leafs that night.

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 

24
Mar
08

Flames Refuse To Help Out Fellow Albertans

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Tonight marked the first time in a long time that Oiler fans were cheering for the Flames, and that Flame fans were cheering for the Oil. One of my buddies (an Oiler fan) sent me a text earlier today which displayed this cheering for a team that he hates.

“I never thought I would say that I want the Flamers to who tonight.”

Ok maybe not the best quote, because apparently T9 Word didn’t know he meant to say win, but I knew. The Oilers did their part in helping the Flames out, by beating the Wild giving the Flames a shot at reclaiming the Northwest division lead. The Flames however, didn’t really sound like they showed up to play tonight. (I listened to the game on the Fan 960.)

It sounded like a boring game, but that could have been because of the endless mistakes the announcers were making… I can’t even recall how many they made. They even claimed that Ottawa had beat the Wild tonight, right after they announced that Ottawa had just lost to Montreal. (First off, the Oil/Wild game was still very much in progress, and second… well you see the error.)

Anyways! So the West is packed right up again now, as 6 points are the difference between being in sixth place, and being in eleventh place. Which brings me to my next thought. I saw this wicked great site today called Sports Club Stats, which does an unbelievable job at calculated the chances that a team has at making the playoffs. Check it out, and look at your favourite team and their chances, and even where they will probably end up in the standings. A great way to look ahead to the draft if you are out of it.

20
Mar
08

More Evidence For No-Touch Icing

As if we needed more evidence, it seems that there has been just as many, if not more, injuries from touch icing than there have been from hitting to the head. Here is Kurtis Foster getting drilled while chasing down the puck to touch up for icing.

Kurtis Foster broke his leg on the play, and Mitchell is not going to be suspended for his part in the incident. Its a tough call whether it was dirty or not. Foster was not protecting himself at all, and put himself into a vulnerable situation, but on the same token, Mitchell did ram him hard from behind, much like Randy Jones did to Patrice Bergeron. I believe a one game suspension would have been sufficient. I realize that Foster is out for the season, but I highly doubt that Mitchell intended on injuring Foster like he did.

There are talks about Foster’s career being hindered because of this. I will say now, that I am no doctor, nor am I studying to be one, or will ever think I am, but Foster had a rod implanted into his leg. I don’t know how that would affect someone long term, but I just can’t imagine that it wouldn’t. Hopefully Foster can return from this, as he has been playing great and had established himself as a top 5 defenseman.

DIGG ME

26
Feb
08

NHL Trade Deadline – Live Update

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I will be running a continuous live update of the NHL Trade Deadline Today (All times are Mountain Time). Trade posts will be headlined with asterisks and bolded, so if you just want to see the trades, look for those by the times. So here goes!!

  • 12:07 AM >> Okay, so honestly I am right about to go to bed, but I thought I would kick start it with the few little things that have happened thus far today.
    • F Vaclav Prospal traded to PHI for D Alexandre Picard, and a conditional pick. (Condition is that, if the Flyers make the post-season, it is their 2nd round pick, if not, the pick is CGY’s 3rd pick.)
    • F Mike Comrie has signed an extension with NYI, essentially taking his name off of the trade list.
    • D Dan Boyle has also re-signed a big extension with TB, which to me opens the door for a F Brad Richards deal.
    • D Barret Jackman has extended his deal with STL, so he shouldn’t have to pack his bags tonight.
  • 8:01 AM >> Bob McKenzie just said the it is known that F Marian Hossa will not be taking the game-day skate with ATL, instead he is going to wait and hear until a trade falls. Apparently the team told him to stay at the hotel.
  • **8:32 AM** >> FIRST TRADE OF THE DAY:
    • D Bryce Salvador goes to NJ while F Cam Janssen goes the other way to STL.
  • **9:15 AM** >> MAPLE LEAFS MAKE TRADE:
    • F Wade Belak has been shipped to FLO for a 5th rounder. Nothing major, but realistically Belak isn’t going to really matter to the Leafs, so I think this is a start.
  • **9:26 AM** >> Another Breaking Trade, this is a BIGGIE:
    • D Brian Campbell and a 7th round pick has been traded to SJ, BUF gets F Steve Bernier and a 1st round pick.
  • **9:36 AM** >> DAL and TB have agreed to a deal, they just need the go ahead from Richards. This is a huge:
    • F Brad Richards, G Johan Holmqvist are gone to DAL, in return TB gets G Mike Smith, F Jussi Jokinen, and F Jeff Halpern.
  • **9:49 AM** >> The Trade out of MON just happened, and its a shocker:
    • G Cristobal Huet has been traded to WAS, for a 2nd round pick in 2009. WOW! G Carey Price has just been thrown into the spotlight!
  • ** 10:15 AM** >> Trade just came out of FLO:
    • FLO D Ruslan Salei is traded to COL for D Karlis Skrastins and a 3rd rounder. Keith Jones joked that this deal would have been done hours ago, but both guys took forever to get off the ice because they skate so slow. Truth hurts!
  • **10:21 AM** >> CHI and CAR make deal:
    • CAR F Andrew Ladd has been traded to CHI for F Tuomo Ruutu. Ladd was supposed to be a key player in the NHL, but hasn’t quite developed the way he was expected. Ruutu has just had a lot of injury issues, which slowed his development too.
  • **10:36 AM** >> OTT makes trade:
    • CHI F Martin Lapointe has been acquired by OTT for a 6th round pick. The panel loves this trade for the Sens, figures he will be a leader in the dressing room. Dutchie makes a crack about Lapointe talking to Emery and shaping him up.
  • **10 :59 AM** >> Deal for CBJ Done:
    • CBJ D Adam Foote has been traded to COL. The return is a conditional 1st round pick, if the Avs make the post-season, it will be an 08 pick, if they don’t, its their 09 pick. Als, there is another conditional draft pick if Foote re-signs with the Avs.
  • **11:12 AM** >> CBJ Makes another deal:
    • CBJ F Sergei Federov has been sent off to WSH for D Ted Ruth. Are the Caps making a push for the post-season? It appears like they are!
  • **11:36 AM** >> VAN is alive!:
    • VAN F Matt Cooke has been dealt to WAS for F Matt Pettinger. Washington is making a serious push, they are not kidding around folks.
  • **11:46 AM** >> Small Trade that happened awhile ago:
    • Rob Davison has been traded to NYI while a 7th round pick goes back to SJ. Whoopie…
  • **12:52 PM** >> Leafs Make Another and Blues Deal too:
    • TOR D Hal Gill sent to PIT for a 2nd and 5th round pick. That’s good, decent return for an older, slower defenseman.
    • STL D Christian Backman has been traded to the NYR for a 4th round pick. Finally the Rangers make a move, this is a positive for the Blue Shirts.
  • **12:58** >> Hossa Finally Traded:
    • ATL unloads F Marian Hossa and F Pascal Dupius to PIT for F Erik Christensen, F Colby Armstrong, F Angelo Esposito, and a 1st rounder. Pierre McGuire is upset about this deal, he thinks the Pens gave up way, way too much for Hossa. He figures there is no way they can afford this guy at the end of the season.
  • **1:10 PM** >> Wild make some late noise:
    • MIN sends a 6th round pick to NYI for F Chris Simon. Wild now have Simon, Fedoruk, and Boogard, I don’t know what they are trying to prove.
  • **1:15 PM** >> LA unloads Defense:
    • LA has sent D Brad Stuart to DET for an 08 2nd and an 09 4th round pick. Wings will look solid when D Lidstrom, D Chelios, and D Rafalski come back.
  • ** 1:18 PM** >> TOR and PHO make some late deals:
    • TOR F Chad Kilger has been sent to FLO for a 3rd round pick.
    • PHO get G Al Montoya, and F Marcel Hossa from NYR for F Fredrick Sjostrom, G David Leveneau and F Josh Gratton.
  • ** 1:21 PM** >> ANA does a little tinker:
    • ANA has acquired D Marc-Andre Bergeron from NYI for a 3rd round pick.
  • **1:29 PM** >> ANA doing more tinkering:
    • ANA picked up G J.S. Aubin from LA for a 7th round pick.
  • **1:34 PM** >>One Last Trade?:
    • WSH F Joe Motzko has been dealt to ATL for F Alexandre Giroux.
  • **1:49 PM** >> Another Late One:
    • TB deals F Yan Hlavak to NAS for a 7th round pick.
  • **2:35 PM** >> ANA pulls one last move:
    • ANA F Brandon Bochenski has been dealt to NAS I believe it was