Tag Archives: NHL

NHL Playoffs – Second Round Preview

The first round is over and as always there was some great, high-tempo, heavy-hitting hockey. Some stray thoughts:

  1. The Boston-Toronto series was, for me, a big disappointment. It was nowhere near as physical as a lot of people (myself included) thought it would be. I was actually hoping the Leafs would pull it off, so that there would be a little more Canadian flavor to the second round, but things ended in predictably disastrous fashion for the Leafs. A highlight for the Leafs, though, was the play of Grabovski, who despite not putting up points, didn’t give up on a single play, getting run over time and time again, but getting right back up.
  2. What Toronto and Boston lacked in craziness, the Canadiens and Senators made up for. I hadn’t seen an actual line brawl in a long time and there it was, happening between two teams that rarely engage in fisticuffs. Montreal’s lack of discipline killed them. Karlsson didn’t play as large a part of the Senators success as I thought he would.
  3. John Tavares gets better and better with age. The team around him is growing up, too. Watch out for them in the next couple of years.
  4. The highlight of the first round was definitely Niklas Kronwall’s beautiful hit on Kyle Palmieri, the crowd’s reaction to the hit and the following “You got Kronwall’d” chant.

 

And now, on to the second round.

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Playoffs – Eastern Conference Preview

nhl eastern conference

After a great Sunday game between the Bruins and the Senators the East is all set for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The final placings didn’t work out how I would have liked them to, but there’s sure to be some great hockey coming up.

Ideally, I would have loved to have seen a Canadiens-Maple Leafs match up. I’m a MontrĂ©al fan and a Leafs hater and watching two of the oldest rivals in pro-sports play each other would have been great (it’s been far too long since they last met in the playoffs). That being said, I’m sure the Bruins-Leafs series will be fun to watch as both teams have a good deal of rough and tumble to them. Also, a team that I’ve come to like a lot over the last half-decade are the Islanders, but unfortunately for them, they drew the Penguins in the first round, which is definitely bad news for them. Anyways, lots to look forward to.

On to the predictions:

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Playoffs – Western Conference Preview

NHL_2013_StanleyCupPlayoffs

It’s spring and that means two things for me: spastic allergic reactions to pollen and the arrival of the NHL playoffs. The latter came a little late this year, but at least they’re here, which is good considering that the lockout came very close to washing out the whole season.

We’ll have to wait until tomorrow to know who exactly will play whom in the East, but the West is all ready to go, so I’ll start with them.

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Suck It, Jack Edwards

I’m writing this post for two reasons. One is to pay tribute to a beautiful hip-check, and the other is to make fun of Boston Bruins play-by-play guy Jack Edwards.

First, the hit by Brian Campbell on Brad Marchand:

Fucking beautiful.

 

And now, Jack Edwards:

Yep, that’s him. Just look at him. That is the face of the worst homer in all of nationally televised pro-sports.

Jack Edwards is big part of why I have come to hate the Bruins. Before last year’s playoffs I had no feelings, positive or negative, about the Bruins. But now I hate them, and it’s really hard for me to put into words just how happy it made me to see Boston get blown out by Florida, to see Campbell lay out Marchand, who is a big douchebag, and to know that an even bigger douchebag probably cried himself to sleep that night — it was a triple-header of happiness.

Due to the Bruins (bunch of twats) winning the Cup last year, we all had to put up with far too much of this jackass. Especially myself, since all of the game feeds I got on my NHL package were from Boston.

If you’re asking yourself, “Why does the Lackey hate this guy so much?”, then please go ahead and type his name into YouTube. In case you’re too lazy to do that, I’ve provided below the wrap-up monologue he gave after game 7 against the Canadiens last year.

And they gave that guy a Stanley Cup ring…

Listening to this guy during a game, and hearing him squealing with joy whenever a Bruin throws a big hit, gets in a fight, goes into a scrum or even just chirps a guy, you just know he’s sitting up there in the broadcast booth with a serious boner.

Just as bad if not worse than his vocal ejaculations is when he yells at (yes, as you can see here, actually yells at) opposing teams’ players.

All of this is coming from a guy who has never even played hockey [According to my Google and Wikipedia research].

I really can’t understand how, out of embarrassment, the employers of this histrionic goofball haven’t let him go yet. And, as it seems unlikely that Edwards will be gone any time soon, all I can do is hope and pray that the Bruins get knocked out of the playoffs early next month, so that I can keep my blood pressure at a manageable level throughout the playoffs.

Canucks/Bruins Game 7

And… Vancouver is burning.

The city of Vancouver once again showed that among its citizenry there can be found a large number of assholes (spoiled white kids and aggressive vagrants).

The Canucks themselves didn’t even bother to show up for game 7. Game 7s are meant to be classics, and this game was anything but. There’s not much more I can write about it other than to say that the right team won (the right goalie, too). The Bruins deserved to win.

Thoughts on the game:

  • CBC colour man Craig Simpson was adamant during the first period that Vigneault should be playing the Sedins as much as possilbe. He couldn’t have been more wrong.
  • The fans booing Bettman when he came on the ice to present the trophies was classless. I don’t understand why every time Bettman speaks in public people boo him. If not for the financial systems he helped to set up within the NHL, Canadians might have one or two less teams to cheer for rather than the seventh one they now have.

Well, that’s the end of that debacle. Hopefully next year will bring better things.

[Note: For some good shots of the aftermath see here]

Canucks/Bruins Game 6

Well, that was a depressing game.

Thoughts:

  • Vigneault again played the Sedins and Kesler too much. I think to have been more successful on the road, he should have rolled 4 lines throughout the games.
  • It’s pretty clear that Malhotra should not have come back. His eye is clearly effecting his play.
  • The hit that hurt Raymond was an awkward accident and nothing more. Regardless, it’s a huge loss for Vancouver. There will be even more pressure on the big guns now.
  • I have always thought, even way back when he played for Canada at the World Juniors in 98 and 99 (two years where Canada didn’t win gold) that Luongo is an overrated goaltender; he’s big and lanky and that’s it. I would have pulled him after the second goal on this night. Even if you look at the previous game where he got a shutout, he really didn’t make any hard saves, he just went down in the butterfly and the pucks hit him.
  • The refereeing continues to be bad.

I have to admit I’m feeling a little bit confused. I want Vancouver to win the Cup, but I’m having a hard time justifying that want, because it’s looking more and more to me that they don’t deserve to win.

Canucks/Bruins Game 5

I don’t like Max Lapierre. He’s sort of the Marchand of Vancouver. That being said, him scoring the only goal of the game, just goes to show that it’s not going to be the Sedins or Borrows or Kesler who do anything for the Canucks the rest of the way; they’re done. They’ve been overplayed, and they’re banged up and exhausted and the Bruins have them completely locked up. It’s the guys I mentioned before like Hansen, and Raymond who are going to get stuff done the rest of the way. Seriously, Vigneault, start playing the second and third line guys more than the first-liners.

Thoughts on the game:

  • Other than a little bit of yapping at the start of the game, led by Thornton of Boston, there was a lot less bullshit in this game. It looked a little more professional.
  • Vancouver fans in the building were embarrassing themselves early in the game just as much as the players had done in the previous two games. For example: cheering loudly when linesman Steve Miller was drilled by a clearing attempt. Big time asshole move there.
  • Again the refereeing was hugely disappointing. The interference call on Kesler was one of the worst calls I’ve ever seen; absolutely mind boggling. The refs were lucky that after that long string of Vancouver-only penalties, McQuaid bailed them out big time with an easy call the other way.
  • Boston must have loved, just loved, the fact that it was Lapierre who scored the winner.