Tuesday, April 29, 2008

karma is a bitch.

Pesty pest Sean Avery was "rushed" to hospital last night after the game three loss to the Penguins with a lacerated spleen. Rushed is in quotations because he apparently took a leisurely limo ride to the hospital, converse to early reports that the forward was in grave danger. Anyway, the "unfortunate" news today is that he is done for the playoffs (which, really, will probably consist of just one more game for the Rangers). Well Sean, no offense, but you're a jerk and this is probably the Hockey Gods telling you something.


Price will sit tonight.

Apparently Guy Carbonneau made his decision last night however he only told the other coaches, GM Bob Gainey and the two goaltenders. It was released at around 5 p.m. EST that Price would sit out for the game. Much was made of the point that Price is very young.

"He's 20 years old, we can't forget that," Carbonneau said. "We're trying to ask this kid to be a saviour for our club. But again, we had a 5-on-3 for two minutes. We had five of our best players on the ice. Maybe we should blame them also.

"I'm 20-years-old," Price told the media. "And i am finding out the hard way that the playoffs aren't easy."

My concern is, can you really really really blame the goaltender in this situation. Sure he's been a bit shaky on some plays and seems a bit "off". But what about the Montreal forwards? They had a ton of chances last game and failed to put it in the net.


Crosby and Clan took a huge 3-0 lead in their series when they visited MSG for game three last night. They're the only undefeated team in the playoffs right now, and by the way last game went they'll probably stay that way after game four against the Rangers. As Dan O'Toole would say, "the only battle the Penguins are losing is the facial hair one."



Brooms?

Since when do the brooms come out in the second round? All series except the Canadiens-Flyers series are currently sitting at three games to none.

Monday, April 28, 2008

owned.

The Canadiens dropped game three in Philadelphia after the Flyers got up 3-0 after the first two periods of the game. Montreal had a ton of chances to get themselves in the game including a five on three powerplay for a full two minutes. The Canadiens attempted to mount a comeback after Derian Hatcher took a five minute boarding penalty, scoring two goals to make it 3-2. But then with four minutes left, one of the referees (either Marc Joannette or Brad Watson) made a call that was whack at best. Too many men on the ice, Canadiens gained possession when the sixth player stepped on the bench. There was a valiant effort to get the tie-up goal but nothing came of it. series is 2-1 Philadelphia.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Doan named Captain Canada.

And what a good choice.
In case you forgot, last year Shane Doan was wrapped up into a Parliamentary debate during the 2007 World Championships in Russia. To sum up the drama quickly, basically it was alleged that during a game in December 2005 Doan uttered anti-french comments. Nothing was ever proven as nothing was caught on mic and Doan was not reprimanded by the NHL. However the Canadian Parliament thought that perhaps this was something they should take into their own hands... two years later.

The Liberal Party, questioned (publicly) whether Shane Doan should be representing Canada as the captain, because of his anti-french sentiments. This despite the fact that nothing has ever been proven. (if you want to see some press from the time click here). I have a couple of thoughts about this whole ordeal.

First of all, Is it really the place of the Canadian federal government to dictate who and who cannot play for Hockey Canada (a completely independent body)? This would be like the government dictating the posting of someone to the Canadian Cancer Society or editor of a newspaper, or a president of a business. Basically think of anything that is ridiculous and that is the situation we've got here. If the federal government has no business in the bedrooms of the nation, then it definitely doesn't have business in who gets to play for Team Canada.

Second, Don Cherry, love the guy, but he has blatantly voiced his opinions on french players... on national television. And not just any national network, the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation), which is publicly-owned television. In other words, tax payers pay Don Cherry. Now i'm not saying Parliament should be debating whether Don Cherry should be on tv, i'm saying the opposite. If Parliament isn't arguing about the merits of Don Cherry's view on the french then why are the talking about Doan?

And lets go back to that whole thing, nothing has been proven. Doesn't perpetuating that he said this stuff even though no one can prove it, go against a fundamental Canadian principle? You know, that little one, "innocent until proven guilty".

Most of all, this happened last year. The alleged "slur" occurred three years ago. I don't understand why this topic is still coming up. It distracted the team last year, and they still won, let's not play with fire here and try it again. Especially when the tournament is on our own soil. Go Canada Go.


And in a fun note, a friend of mine sent me this last night after Johan Franzen scored a hat-trick in the last Detroit Red Wings win. Franzen has been on fire since late February.

Series is tied.

The Philadelphia and Montreal series are now tied 1-1. Anyone who thought this would be an easy series is crazy.

The first period looked a lot like the first period of game one. The Flyers got themselves up to an early 2-0 lead, off of a couple of goals Carey Price would probably like to have back. The first looked like a harmless shot that Price would normally have with no problem except Koivu was putting up a formidable screen for his goaltender and the puck found the top corner, Price didn't even move on the shot so he obviously didn't see it leave R.J. Umberger's stick. The second goal seemed to have eyes. Almost the same kind of play as the first goal, Jeff Carter was skating up the right wing and shot it to the top corner, however there was no screen, it appeared that Price didn't come out to challenge the shot enough as it found enough room over his shoulder.


Saku Koivu got a heart and soul goal on the powerplay at the end of the first, he had the puck behind the net, was knocked down, got back up and put the wrap around in. But then in the second period Daniel Briere, who had been getting booed by the Canadiens fans every time he touched the puck (see: players from Quebec who are Unrestricted Free Agents and choose not to sign with the Canadiens), managed to get the third goal and what seemed like the backbreaker. Andre Markov brought it to within one goal, but a scramble in front of the net late in the third period resulted in another Umberger goal and a 4-2 final.

Things are only going to get uglier from here, Game three is in Philadelphia on Monday night.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Carey Price story

Stumbled across this story that CTV's W-Five did on Carey Price. It aired shortly after the 2007 World Junior Championship in Leksand, Sweden where Carey Price partook in that marathon shootout and won a gold medal. (Have I pointed out that I WAS THERE, right behind the net during that shootout?) Two things from this video: Carey Price is calmer than a jedi, and I want his hat.

Duthie-ism fix for the day.

A few golden ones from Duthie's recent blog:

"I would sooner be Gino Reda’s back-waxer than be an NHL playoff scheduler."

"Seriously, if there was a night to do the chicken dance on the set in pink tights, this is it. (I’m talking about Milbury of course. He usually only does it in rehearsal.)" - on broadcasting Game six of the Philadelphia and Washington series while EVERYONE was watching Habs Bruins game seven.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

overtime heroics.

Philadelphia came out and gave me that feeling I got in Game six of the Boston Montreal series... that "oh dear" type feeling. Well actually the feeling is potentially described with a few more colourful words than "oh dear" but let's keep it civil here.
As I was saying, Philadelphia built up a 2-0 lead after the first period, (this is after Andrei Kostitsyn missed a penalty shot and Brisebois got a goal three seconds after the period ended.

The Canadiens managed to tie it up by the end of the second period with a goal from Andrei Kostitsyn and Alexei Kovalev. Kovalev's goal brought a bit of controversy as it first appeared to have been put in with a high stick. But after some tense examination it was ruled that the stick was at crossbar level when the pick made contact with the stick. Then to start the third, the Flyers greeted the Bell Centre with a power play goal. Kovalev decided to keep it exciting by waiting until just 29 seconds left in the game. And then Killer Kostopoulous decided he didn't want to play overtime and scored 45 seconds into the extra period.

Parkinson's Disease Fundraiser

I was asked by friend of the Passtime, Jodie from The Sidney Crosby Show to post the details for this awesome fundraiser launched by the Maritime division of the Parkinsons Society. They got a lot of great celebrities (hockey players, politicians, actors, singers, comedians, american and canadian) to create a plate design. They're all being auctioned off via ebay. Check out The Sidney Crosby Show for details of the fundraiser and links to all the appropriate places!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

QMJHL PLAYOFFS! Round 3 Game 1 and 2.

Oh ya.... forgot about the Mooseheads. There was probably a subconscious reason for it. The subconscious reason being the Moose lost both games one and two in overtime... at home. And are off to play Gatineau, in Gatineau for the next three games due to the playoffs travel rule (if you have to travel far you play 2-3-2 style instead of 2-2-1-1-1). Needless to say, I think the Moose are pretty much doomed. I was at both games and they did not play very well. They looked tired, had constant give aways in their own end and kept attempting long passes that went into the feet of the forward. The only person exempt from this is Brad Marchand... who did not pass at all.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Montreal vs.

PHILADELPHIA.

After a grueling game seven overtime marathon the Philadelphia Flyers will be moving on and be facing the Canadiens as lowest available seed.

The team that went missing...

Came back. Remember that high-scoring, run and gun, team that made unbelievable passes and had the best powerplay in the NHL? I think they wore red, white and blue and finished first in their conference... but disappeared briefly during the first round of playoffs? Well, they're back. And just in time. The Canadiens found their form in game seven of the first round. Knocking down the Bruins 5-0. The Kostitsyn brothers pitched in three goals and Mark Streit scored one of those goals you dream of in street hockey, sliding past the defenders to deke Thomas through the five-hole.

The Canadiens do not yet have a second round opponent as that will be decided by game seven of Philadelphia and Washington. Their opponent will either be Philadelphia or the New York Rangers.

After the win last night, jubilant Montrealers spilled into the streets. And unlike those playoff runs by Calgary and Edmonton where fans partied loud, but peacefully in the streets until the early hours, Montrealers managed to burn a few police cars and do a bit of recreational looting. First round guys, first round.

As mentioned above, the Capitals and Flyers are destined for a game seven tonight and so is Calgary and San Jose.

And now for the Duthie-ism of the Day:
"It's like Jaws II, when the shark went down in flames." - referring to said game seven.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Annual Playoff Tree


Annual Playoff Tree
Originally uploaded by jennjenn_hfx
This should be easy. I want my playoff tree in a photo album on the sidebar. It's not easy... so for now it's going to be a post while I search The Google for an answer.

Koivu might be back.

Koivu might be back from his broken foot for Game six of the Boston and Montreal series, says TSN.

So much hockey.

So a tournament that has completely slipped under my radar is the World Under 18 tournament being held in Russia. I guess there are just too many distractions, including playoffs in NHL, and CHL, and the World Hockey Championships that will grace the Halifax Metro Centre in just a few weeks.

Anyway, unsurprisingly (is that a word?) Canada is off to the playoff round of the tournament after winning their final round robin game against Slovakia 6-0. Also something I didn't know, Pat Quinn is the head coach for Canada. *insert joke about how much easier this must be than when he coached the Toronto Maple Leafs*

If you are a morning person, are really hardcore about under-18 hockey, or you still haven't gone to bed after your bender on Saturday night you can catch the quarterfinal game on TSN at 6 a.m. (5 a.m. EST).

Thanks Elliot.

CBC's Elliot Friedman's article on Carey Price's game last night.

Price won't unravel after tough loss
Friday, April 18, 2008 | 10:08 AM ET
I was standing next to the Boston Bruins dressing room when Vladimir Sobotka scored that weak fifth goal last night.

The first comment was: "We got him!" Followed by: "He’s rattled!"

We’ll see.
Price wasn’t impressive on the ice in Game 5, but he was extremely impressive off of it. When the thick silver doors to the Canadiens dressing room opened, there he was, waiting. That’s the sign of accountability. He stood up for his mistakes, didn’t duck any questions.

Price accepted responsibility, shrugged off any major concerns and pointed out that he’s entitled to a bad start once in a while. The best goaltenders have short memories. It appears he’s blessed with that gift.

"I won't think about it again after I leave this dressing room," he said.

I may be proven horribly wrong, but I can’t see Price unravelling. Everything on his resume indicates he won’t fall apart like a cheap G.H. Johnson bed. Had a long conversation yesterday with Bob Tory, general manager of the WHL’s Tri-City Americans, who took him seventh overall in the 2002 Bantam Draft.

Most Canadian (or Canadiens) hockey fans are well aware of Price’s successes at the World Juniors and in the American Hockey League. But Tory explained to me that it goes back even further. As a bantam, he led his rural team to great results against those from B.C.’s lower mainland. Apparently, that’s a rare occurrence in Lotusland.

As a 16-year-old WHL rookie, Price beat out Tyler Weiman – who had already been drafted by the Colorado Avalanche – for the team’s top job by the start of the playoffs. The next season, he set a franchise record for best goals against average, recording eight shutouts on a team that was eight games under .500.

(Tory’s pretty good when it comes to goalies. He grabbed Dan Blackburn early in the 1998 draft for Kootenay, and won a league title two years later because of it. He would intentionally downplay comparisons between them because he didn’t want anyone to realize how much he wanted Price in 2002.)

Obviously, Game 6 will be a huge challenge for Don Cherry’s Rookie of the Year. Win or lose, I think Price will be great. This is not a man with a history of failure

Thursday, April 17, 2008

puzzle.

game five. still. Canadiens started playing like a bunch of schoolboys after Kovalev scored. They looked terrible. Game is 4-1, probably should've been worse.


*edit* 2:59 a.m. -- it was worse. it was 5-1. Price will rebound... right?

Kovalev's hair has magical powers.

Game five. And Alexei Kovalev's hair was just exposed to the air caused by a tussle along the boards. Without the helmet Kovalev's hair was able to release it's true powers, powers which enable Kovalev to skate circles around the D and then score a wrister past Thomas. 1-0.

Brooms.

Ottawa is out. Anyone that didn't see that coming let's hear it.... *crickets* .... riiiight. So let's not linger on that one too long.

Okay. Maybe just one more little (big) poke at them. Besides, except for the occasional Ray Emery quote we're really not gonna hear about these guys for a while. Speaking of Ray Emery, he entertained the media today, stating that he cannot be blamed for a playoff sweep that he didn't even play in. I must agree, can you really blame a a guy who hasn't played since late February. So, let's start blaming elsewhere... oh I don't know, the fact that Wade Redden is now the team's fifth best defenseman. No offense to John Muckler, but i'm thinking that Zdeno Chara would've been the better off-season signing. Then let's blame the fact that the once offense-heavy Senators scored only four goals in their four playoff games. On top of it all, Daniel Alfredsson came back four weeks early from and injury which he disclosed in a post-game interview last night, as a torn mcl and he was still the best player on the ice. Are you serious?


I am introducing a new feature today. In honour of the fact that I have a major crush on TSN host James Duthie I am introducing the "Duthie-ism of the Day". This "Duthie-ism" might come from television or directly from his blog "The Good, the Bad, and the Duthie" or the TSN website.

"C'mon, we all do it. It doesn't mean you have to buy their car flag. You just quietly release your inner Angelina Jolie and adopt them for a couple of months."
- J. Duth on Playoff Bandwagon Hockey.

Game five of the Boston and Montreal game is today. And coincidentally, Thursday is Jersey Day at work (a very intense day, I might add, especially for that poor girl who wore that Senators sweater a few weeks back). Anyway, on my short walk to work today no less than eight people stopped, honked and screamed out their car "GO HABS GO!!". A guy driving a giant truck even stopped traffic at an intersection to let me know my jersey was awesome.
I. Love. Playoffs.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Disaster.

Ok, it's one thing for a team to crash and burn. But it almost seems like the Senators organization is helping. Case and point, the giant mural that the organization has posted outside of the visitor's dressing room. The mural depicts the Senators handing the Penguins a playoff exit last season. Talk about inspiring revenge.



Game four is tonight, and we might be seeing something similar to this mural as the Penguins are one win away from moving on to the second round.

E.R.

Scary Carey. Cardiac Canadiens. 1-0 win over the Bruins.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Awesome.

Game four of the Canadiens and Bruins is tied 0-0 in the first intermission, but I had had had to post this video. I cannot believe this has made a comeback. I'm not sure if it is broadcasting nationally on CBC but we have witnessed it a few times since the playoffs started. Watch and be in awesome awe.

Soup Stock.

Montreal Canadiens defensmen Francis Bouillon skated today in the team skate, and reports are that he might return for tonights Game four action against the Bruins.



“We are going to see how he feels and we’ll know more by (tonight),” said Carbonneau, whose team leads the best-of-seven series, 2-1.

“It’s probably not (ready) right now, but we don’t know. If he has a good day (yesterday) and skates again (this) morning and feels good, then we have the option of using him.”

Monday, April 14, 2008

Ouch.

Okay. I must admit. The opening for the game was SO COOL. If you didn't catch game 3 of the Penguins and Senators series, it was the first home game for Ottawa in the playoffs. It opened with a guy dressed up like a Senator (not the Parliamentary kind). And he gave a Gladiator-esque speech. Although in my head I kept thinking he was giving a "Spartan-esque speech" which would also be known as a speech of knowing doom. "Tonight we dine. ON THE GOLF COURSE!!!!"

On top of all of these theatrics, Daniel Alfredson made his return to the lineup. And it seemed — for a short fleeting moment — that the Senators might make a series out of it. And then the Penguins scored. again. again. and again. I am going to be shocked if Ottawa pulls out the win in game four.

In some Habs news, Tomas Plekanec admitted in an interview scrum today that he "played like a little girl" the last two games. Later coach Guy Carbonneau quipped, "well it wasn't like a little girl". Plekanec has one assist in the last two games.

Dave Nonis was fired as Vancouver Canucks General Manger today. I was watching the TSN hockey panel react to this, and I must admit I agree with Bob MacKenzie. Nonis probably should have had another year to prove himself. He is the engineer behind the steal of the century: Todd Bertuzzi and Alex Auld for star goaltender Roberto Luongo (ok maybe it wasn't the trade of the century, but it was huge). And most of the Canucks defense were injured all year. And the Canucks only missed the playoffs by three points.

And of course there was Avery-gate. If you missed the Rangers and Devils play last night, pest Sean Avery stood facing goaltender Martin Brodeur and waved his stick in Brodeur's face, screening the play. I thought it was hilarious, but it obviously had to be nipped going forward. But I think some people took it a bit too seriously.

Montreal Mayor v. Montreal Firefighters

If you haven't been paying attention to this you've been missing out on a hilarious drama. Montreal Firefighters have painted the habs logo and colours on their three garage doors and the Mayor of Montreal (GĂ©rald Tremblay) does not think it's appropriate. He thinks that the painting is "grafitti" and defacing "public property". The firefighters did use their own money to paint the doors and have every intention of repainting the doors. The union has now gotten involved claiming that the mayor is "overreacting".

I must say. I agree. The entire city is swept up in the Habs, i can't see many people agreeing with the mayor.

overtime heroes.

The Bruins and Canadiens played back to back games Saturday and Sunday and both games went to overtime, with each team having a hero steal the win. The teams next face off on Tuesday, the Canadiens lead the series 2-1. Canadiens did not play well in either game, expect Carbonneau to have a fit and the Habs to bounce back. Looks like they might not have taken the Bruins seriously, and who can blame them, they have beaten them 13 straight up until last night.

Another interesting game will be the the Senators and Penguins game that is on tonight (8pm AST). Interesting, because we wonder will the Senators actually show up tonight. There is a possibility that after last game they're so mad they might actually make an appearance tonight and they are playing at home. or not.

Canada wins World Curling Championship


Canada's team Martin won 6-3 over rivals Scotland. The men follow up on the recent win by Canada's women (Team Jennifer Jones) so Canada owns both titles for 2008!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Semifinal: Men's World Curling Championships

Canada vs Norway

First end: Martin looked to be in big trouble with Norway pretty much covering the button with three stones. Martin made an incredible shot that JUST cleared the centre guard to score 2. Score 2-0 Canada.

Second end: Almost a steal. Came down to a measurement and it was so close they did a second take on the measurement. Norway just scored 1. Score: 2-1 Canada.

Third end: Canada scores another 2. Score: 4-1 Canada.

Fourth end: Norway with the hammer, blanks. Score: 4-1 Canada.

Fifth end: Martin completed a beautiful double with his first shot, forcing Norway to rethink and freeze to one of the two Canadian stones in the rings. Ends up in another blank. Score 4-1 Canada.

Sixth end: pretty boring end. Canada playing really good defensive game. another blank. Score: 4-1 Canada.

Seventh end: Canada, lying two with a guard out front forced Norway to draw for one. Canada finally regains the hammer. Score: 4-2 Canada.

Eighth end: this end was very similar to the last end but reversed. Canada was forced into scoring one point. The blank was not there as an option. Score: 5-2 Canada.

Ninth end: couple of big mistakes in this end. Canada ended up lying two for Norway skip's last rock. Not ideal as Norway now needs to steal two just to tie. Score: 5-3 Canada.

Tenth end: Norway steals 1, which is not enough. Score: 5-4 Canada.


Canada moves on to the Finals tomorrow versus Scotland

Self Destruction.



Ottawa Senators are looking like they're going to get shut out yet again. They're down 3-0. Somehow they manage to crawl back to tie the game. With a minute and a half left... Martine Lapointe takes a high sticking penalty. It's over. Self Destruction at it's best. And unlike previous years the team can't blame their goaltending. Gerber stopped 49 of 53 shots!! Poor guy. The team lost their cool, with Jason Spezza firing a puck at the ref and the post game interviews were anything but civil. The Senators are now going back to Scotiabank Place down 2 games to 0. And really I don't expect it to get any better there. Check out this article by Elliotte Freidman who tries to explain the terribleness.

And males across the country could be heard cringing when they saw Patrick Thoresen take a slapshot to the area no man wants to be hit in. Reports from the hospital are saying Thoresen may lose a testicle.

TONIGHT TONIGHT TONIGHT!

Friday, April 11, 2008

1 down, 15 to go.

The Montreal Canadiens opened their playoffs looking like the number one seed. They scored two early goals (one from each Kostitsyn) and held control throughout the game. They also outhit the Boston Bruins, which is something a bit new for the Canadiens, with the exception of Mike Komisarek (who is back from his injury) the team is not known for their checking prowress.

Kovalev who is still wearing the captain's "C" as Saku Koivu is sidelined with injury, didn't get on the scoresheet, but had a great game regardless. Carey Price playing in his first ever NHL playoffs was not very busy, this is one of the more difficult things for a goaltender as it is hard to stay in the game.

Montreal leads the series 1-0

Around the NHL the Ottawa Senators continued their sad demise on Wednesday, getting shut-out in yet another game. The only problem is, this is game one of the playoffs. The Pittsburgh Penguins skated circles around the Senators and it wasn't only the young guys doing it. 42-year-old Gary Roberts scored 2 goals and basically challenged the entire Senators bench at the end of the game. This was only Roberts second game after missing half of a season with a broken leg. The teams face off again on Friday night. Pittsburgh leads the series 1-0

And in a shocker of a game, the Calgary Flames managed to pick off game one against the San Jose Sharks. The Flames scored two early goals and didn't look back. Not bad for a team that was written off by most!


QMJHL PLAYOFFS! Round 2

The battle of Nova Scotia has definitely been entertaining. Game 3 boasted triple overtime with Halifax's Vorachuk playing the hero. The Mooseheads dropped game 4 as the desperate Screaming Eagles held on to their playoff hopes for one more day. Game 5 is in Halifax on Friday night.


Curling

Team Martin aka Team Canada is sitting pretty at 9-1 at the Men's World Championships. Playoffs and Finals are this weekend.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Jenn's Picks.

Montreal (1) — Boston (8)

People might call me biased in this one, but I really don't think Boston stands a chance. They couldn't have finished in a worse position. Boston lost all eight contests against the Canadiens, and none of them were close. Chara will be a force to reckon with. But it does look like shot-blocking specialist Mike Komisarek will be back for the Canadiens playoff run.
Montreal in 4



Pittsburgh (2) — Ottawa (7)

It's widely believed around the league that the Penguins threw their final game of the season so they would play the Senators instead of the Philadelphia Flyers. And I don't blame them. I do believe Pittsburgh can handle the Flyers, but they have a better chance of coming out of a series with the Senators, will all their players (and teeth) in one piece. Let someone else take care of the Flyers and get beat up by the newest edition of the broadstreet bullies in the process.
Now the Senators really shouldn't be underestimated, but the fact that they've had the worst second half of the season (besides some teams vouching for the top draft pick in the lottery earlier today), and that they're missing captain Daniel Alfredsson and playoff performer Mike Fischer. Top it off with the way that Malkin has turned it on this year, and that Crosby has started to get his stride back after his prolonged ankle injury and it doesn't bode well for a second round appearance by the Senators.
Pittsburgh in 5



Washington (3) — Philadelphia (6)

The Washington Capitals, despite just squeaking into the playoffs in their last game managed to get the third place in the seeding because they are the leader of the Atlantic Division (the rest of the division is now golfing). Will face off against the Philadelphia Flyers who also squeaked into the playoffs near the end of the season.
The Flyers are known for their aggressive play and you can be sure they will be running league scoring champion Alexandre Ovechkin every chance they get. If they manage to throw the Russian off his game (or injure him... which is a huge possibility) then I believe the Flyers can pull out a win. But if Ovechkin continues his play the Flyers don't have a chance, but that is the "if". This is Ovechkin's first playoffs and they might not be able to overcome. I think this might be one of those series that goes to seven.
Flyers in 7



New Jersey (4) — New York R. (5)

This will be a scrappy, ridiculous, series. The two teams are natural enemies, being so geographically close. Look to see Sean Avery mixing it up, as per usual. Martin Brodeur will have to continue his big play in big games. Lundqvist is fairly questionable I think.
New Jersey in 6

Monday, April 7, 2008

Giddy like a schoolgirl.

The first thing I did when I got home today was check the NHL.com. Last night the major networks and league officials sat down with some arena schedules and a map of some time zones and after i'm sure what was a frustrating night... out came this:






And with some Habs news, goaltender Carey Price was named first star in the NHL 3 Stars of the Week.

FIRST STAR – CAREY PRICE, G, MONTREAL CANADIENS

Price posted a 3-0-0 record with a 0.67 goals-against average, .977 save percentage and one shutout as the Canadiens (47-25-10, 104 points) finished first overall in the Eastern Conference. He stopped all 32 shots in posting his third shutout of the season, a 3-0 win over the Ottawa Senators Apr. 1. On Apr. 3, he stopped 27 of 28 shots in a 3-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres and closed the week with a 26-save effort in a 3-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs, Apr. 5. Price has posted a record of 24-12-3 with a 2.56 goals-against average, .920 save percentage and three shutouts in 41 appearances this season.





The NHL Draft lottery is also held tonight. You can catch it at 9pm Atlantic Time (8pm EST)

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Canadiens finish first



The Canadiens finished their season in satisfying form, beating the Leafs 3-1. The Canadiens are now set to do battle against familiar playoff foe, the Boston Bruins, in the first round. I have been unable to find the schedule for playoffs, I believe the first game is April 9.

Some other matchups:

Pittsburgh (2) vs. Ottawa (7)
Washington (3) vs. Philadelphia (6)
New Jersey (4) vs. New York Rangers (5)


Detroit (1) vs. Nashville (8)
San Jose (2) vs. Calgary (7)
Minnesota (3) vs. Colorado (6)
Anaheim (4) vs. Dallas (5)


Look forward to my annual NHL ELIMINATION CHART, coming to you online for the first time!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

QMJHL PLAYOFFS! Round 2 Game 2.


It was game 2 of the Battle of Nova Scotia, and it didn't disappoint. The Halifax Mooseheads pulled out the win 5-3 over the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, and the two teams traded goals throughout the game until the Moose finally pulled ahead. The game was fast paced, and as usual a mix of both teams' fans. Unfortunately the officiating played a big part in the game. There was rarely a few moments strung together without a call, and most of the goals came from special teams (in fact, all of the Eagles goals were power play). A particularly brutal series of events occurred near the end of the second period, and I was sitting in the front row on the goal line so this was quite clear to me...

A Mooseheads forward went in on the goaltender on a quasi-breakaway, and was pushed from behind by a Cape Breton forward, as the Mooseheads player went full force into the goaltender he threw the puck behind him to another forward who threw it in the net. Not only did the ref call the goal back. But he also issued a penalty to the Moosehead forward who was pushed in to the goalie. Needless to say, of COURSE Cape Breton tied it up 3-3 with another power play goal.

Overall, I think the Moose played well, but if they're going to go on in the playoffs, they're going to need to play a bit better on the penalty kill and just better defensively overall. The team many times found itself scrambling in their own zone, icing the puck to get out of trouble, defensive zone turnovers and general confusion.


Games 3, 4, and 5 will be held in Sydney Centre 200, but the two teams have 3 DAYS off. I'm sure it's because that 5 hour drive between Halifax and Sydney is outright unbearable.



P.S.HABS beat the Leafs, and to clinch first place overall they need Pittsburgh to lose. An overtime loss would suffice. Tomorrow is the final day of NHL regular season play.

Also Canada (Team Martin of Alberta) got it's first win at the World Men's Curling Championship in Grand Forks, North Dakota against Denmark, winning huge 9-3.

And check out this news release from the Canadiens. It is their logo for the 2009 All-star game, being held in Montreal to commemorate the team's 100th anniversary.

QMJHL Playoffs! Round 2 Game 1

Battle of Nova Scotia. Cape Breton Screaming Eagles take on the Halifax Mooseheads. Last time these two teams met in the playoffs, Mooseheads forward Derrick Kent had his stick curve measured as illegal, turning the series, and Cape Breton ended up moving on.


Halifax won 4-2 tonight. Don't have any details. But i will have a full recap for Game 2 as i will be in attendance.

In.

Ottawa in. Philadelphia in. Boston in. Washington in (as long as they win tomorrow night). Which means that Carolina is out (unless Washington loses.)

Friday, April 4, 2008

Mark Bell hit legal.

Last night Leafs forward Mark Bell rang Daniel Alfredsson's bell. Alfredsson was skating into the slot and was admiring his shot when Mark Bell laid out a giant hit.
There has been much outrage by Ottawa Senators management, claiming that Bell targeted Alfredsson. From what I can tell from the video angles, Bell did not aim at Alfredsson's head, and it was a side-on hit. Also Alfredsson had just released a shot so it is not interference, and was in the slot, what else does he expect? Heads up.

Personally i feel very bad for Alfredsson, I think he's a very good player who is a great leader. I feel even worse for the Senators who are now without their captain, and power forward Mike Fischer who also got injured last night. But, lord thundering, Alfie, tighten up your chin strap. Time and time again we see players get head injuries that could be prevented. What is the point of wearing a helmet if it's not strapped on and is just going to fly off when you need it.
It's probably a pretty safe bet that Alfredsson would not be concussed and out for "weeks" if his helmet stayed on his head.

Haven't seen it? check it out...

saturday Saturday SATURDAY!



IT'S ALL COMING DOWN TO SATURDAY!

I don't even know where to start with this. I cannot think of a season in recent memory that has been so close, with just one or two games remaining.

Let's start with the top. The Penguins and Canadiens are tied atop the Eastern Conference, each respective team has won their division already but who gets the Conference title goes down to who can pull out a win on Saturday.

The Carolina Hurricanes, sit atop the Southeast division, but they sit on top of a shaky deck of cards. If the Hurricanes lose and the Washington Capitals win their last game, (coincidentally they both play their final game against the Florida Panthers) then they would jump from 8th right into 3rd spot because the Capitals would take the Southeast Division title. This would leave Carolina sitting in 8th with the Philadelphia Flyers (who have two games remaining) with just one point to make up.

Currently position 4 and 5 are taken by the New Jersey Devils and the New York Rangers, both have two games remaining and have also clinched a playoff spot. The last two games are for seeding only. What is interesting is that these two teams sitting in fourth and fifth have clinched a playoff position, yet the division leader of the Southeast hasn't clinched one yet. (as per scenario involving Hurricanes, Capitals above).

Down to sixth spot. The Senators. The poor, poor Senators. Remember the glory days. Of course you do... they were 4 months ago. The team was ripping up the NHL. The next Stanley Cup Champions. But they fell apart. They sit in sixth with 94 points. They have one game remaining. Boston, just two points back have two games remaining. Do the math. And although the Capitals have just one game remaining, they stand to move to third position if they win, and we already talked about the scenario with the Hurricanes. What if the game goes to overtime? That would leave the Canes with 93 points. If the Senators lose their last game. They're in 9th. But that's only if everything I talked about goes the way I planned... I mean... predicted.


Now that I've analyzed the Eastern Conference to death, let's do the West....


Oh gawd, I'm so kidding. See you after Friday's games.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Ridiculous Game

Battle of Pennsylvania. They were fighting, hitting each other in the face, cutting each other, running Crosby. Basically the most ridiculous game (in a good way) in a while. Crosby had 2. and one of them was the most ridiculous, between the legs, past the goalie off the post goal ever. what an awesome game. Penguins clinch the Atlantic Division. But still, the bottom of Eastern Conference = gongshow.

Not a great year to be a Senator

I know... I haven't been around the past few days. I've been working all day and then have been dragged off to some local watering hole by friends. It's that time of year in Canada. We're all starting to go a little loopy waiting for winter to end. And gosh darnit, a nice Mojito really hit the spot. So there's lots to talk about. Let's get started.

NHL

Anyway. The Habs pulled out a huge win last night at home... wait, no they weren't at home. It just felt that way. Scotiabank Place was about half full of screaming, noisy, Canadiens fans, who could be heard chorusing "ole, ole, ole!" right from puck drop. To top it off Carey Price got a shutout (3-0) and those fans sang a rendition of "Goodbye" to the Senators in their own rink.

A couple amusing points around this game. Previous to the game Jason Spezza was asked if his team wasn't performing because they were "lazy". Spezza responded with, "That's Bullshit, that's bullshit". Most hockey pundits last night expected the team to come out angry and pull out a win. Perhaps this would be true, if Jason Spezza wasn't too lazy to even commit to being lazy.
Also there are two games left and the once-mighty Senators (who in early November were touted to be the ones to finally bring home the Stanley Cup to Canada) need to win these last two games or risk not making the playoffs.

Conversely, the Canadiens tied up the top spot in the Northeast, are guarenteed at least the top two seeds, and are neck and neck with the Pittsburgh Penguins for the Eastern Conference title.

Curling

Jennifer Jones and Team Canada captured the World Curling Championship in front of the home town crowd in Vernon, British Columbia. The Final grabbed record television ratings and it also marked the first time an Asian team would finish in the medals, with China finishing with a silver.

QMJHL PLAYOFFS! Round 1 Games 5 and 6


The Halifax Mooseheads were back into their old form. Winning game 5 and 6 by healthy margins (7-2, 7-0) to win the series. Next up: Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. aka the Battle of Nova Scotia.