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March 21, 2016
Sunday Night NHL Scores
There were seven games on the NHL schedule on Sunday, giving sports betting fans plenty of opportunity to make some money on NHL sports betting odds. Here are some of the highlights from Sunday’s games. Pittsburgh Penguins 6, Washington Capitals 2 The Penguins improved their chances of making the playoffs with an impressive 6-2 win over the Metropolitan Division leading Capitals. After the Capitals tied the game at 2-2 in the 2nd period, the Penguins scored four unanswered goals to win the game. Tom Kuhnhackl scored a goal and added two assists for the Penguins. Matt Cullen and Trevor Daley added a goal and an assist each, and Sydney Crosby finished the game with two assists. The impressive win over the team with the best record in the NHL should give Pittsburgh a lot of confidence heading into the playoffs. Anaheim Ducks 3, Winnipeg Jets 2 The Ducks are four points behind the Los Angeles Kings in the Pacific Division and a win over the Jets helped them keep pace with the Kings, who have won four straight games. Jakob Silfverberg helped the Ducks get the win by scoring with 58.6 seconds left in overtime. Silfverberg scored on a rebound after Michael Hutchinson stopped him on a breakaway. Anaheim goalie John Gibson stopped 27 shots, while Jamie McGinn and Ryan Kesler each scored a goal for the Ducks. New Jersey Devils 2, Columbus Blue Jackets 1 Scott Wedgewood stopped 27 shots in his debut for the Devils. Reid Boucher scored the first goal for New Jersey and Devante Smith-Pelly helped Wedgewood get his first career win with a goal in the 3rd period of the game. Calgary Flames 4, Montreal Canadiens 1 Sean Monahan was the hero of the day for the Flames after scoring two goals and assisting on another in their impressive win over the Canadiens. Dougie Hamilton also played a big role in the win with three assists for Calgary. Johnny Gaudreau and Joe Colborne also contributed with a goal each. Minnesota Wild 3, Chicago Blackhawks 2 The defending Stanley Cup champions might start their title defense on the road if the team continues playing like this. Chicago was unable to get much going in front of its home crowd before eventually losing in a shootout. Nino Niederreiter and Erik Haula scored for the Wild in regulation and Charlie Coyle ended the game with a shootout goal. Colorado Avalanche 3, Edmonton Oilers 2 The Avalanche kept their slim playoff hopes alive with a win over the second worst team in the NHL. Calvin Pickard played well in goal and stopped 26 shots. Blake Comeau, Gabriel Landeskog and Tyson Barrie each scored for the Avalanche. The win by Colorado also eliminated the Oilers from playoff contention. San Jose Sharks 3, Phoenix Coyotes 0 James Reimer stopped 25 shots to earn his second shutout as a member of the San Jose Sharks. The shutout was the 13th of his career, and it helped San Jose win its fourth game in its last six. With the win, the Sharks find themselves one point behind the Anaheim Ducks for second place in the division, and have a good chance of passing the Ducks before the end of the season. Support WordPress Sponsors: buy cialis professional without prescription, purchase cialis professional online, viagra
April 29, 2015
Stanley Cup Guide by NHL Playoff Schedule 2015
Well, it looks like we are down to only two teams and just maybe by the end of Monday, we could have the final result of how the second round is going to play out. Monday night there will be two exciting matchups, one being a likely stellar game 7, which will showcase the Tampa Bay Lightning against the Detroit Red Wings. The second game of the night we will be seeing the New York Islanders against the Washington Capitals. Join the fun! Get the NHL breakdown with NHL betting odds here to give you the very best insight into the action. Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Detroit Red Wings This series has gone down just like many of us had predicted, we are looking at a game 7 and what a game 7 this one shall be indeed. It has been a classic back-and-forth type of series with both teams alternating every wins every game in the previous five games. At the start, the Red Wings had secured themselves a 2-1 series lead but the Lightning had to strike at some point and they did, evening things right up. The Red Wings however, are second in fewest goals allowed in the contents of the first round. That may not be such a big deal on paper but the team did rank eighth in shot attempts during the regular season. Keep in mind though that no matter what, the Red Wings are playing pretty rocking against a team that is number one in scoring on the season. Good action right here folks, that is for certain. New York Islanders vs. Washington Capitals The Islanders are the very worst in the power play this season because they have absolutely had no ability to convert on the opportunities in which they have going on for them. This particular stat shouldn’t label them by any means however, New York has ranked exactly 21st in regards to the power play and they have also racked up more points than any other team. This has been an undeniable intense series, where three games have been decided by only just one goal. The slightest error could be the simple deciding factor over what team advances and what team makes vacation plans. The Capitals have had a few issues all their own which are starting to show, one of them is their notorious game 7 downfalls. The teams record currently at this stage is 2-4-1, which is counting back from the 2007 season on up. You couldn’t honestly get a better statistic to tell you how things have been going for the team as of late. At some juncture you would have to figure that some of the injuries in which the Islanders have been suffering may be the ultimate dagger that could call it a season for them. These teams both have had an uphill battle to climb and by the way it has been looking, whoever comes out the victor will have one heck of a win. Can’t Get Any Better If you have kept up with the Stanley Cup Guide and have also watched some of the matchups, no doubt you should love how this exciting playoff season is turning out. It has all the fixings that we just love in hockey which basically means that we couldn’t be asking for more.    
October 10, 2014
Betting on the Big Boys The Premiership Transfer Window
The Pre-season Premiership transfer window shut on the 1st September and so now the dust has settled, what do the big signings mean for their teams and the fans…and the punters who bet on the big games. M88 a leading sportsbook betting company feel that this premiership season is going to be more exciting than ever. Let’s look at the top 3 most expensive transfers and see what the future brings. Diego Costa (Atletico Madrid to Chelsea) Diego is 25 and plays for the Spanish International team but was born in Brazil. He is joining Chelsea for reported fee of £32m, on a 5 year deal. Chelsea have been in need of a prolific striker and with Diego they may well have found their man. Let’s hope he can give defenders a tough time and keep Chelsea on top of the Premiership, with 8 goals already this season. He’s already paying off that transfer cost. Cesc Fabregas (Barcelona to Chelsea) Everyone knows or has heard of Cesc, even my mum, and the Spanish born attacking midfielder who left Barcelona to move to Chelsea to cover the hole left by outgoing Frank Lampard. He’s already had some assists and is proving to be a great asset in that midfield for Chelsea. Chelsea could well be unstoppable this season. Calum Chambers (Southampton to Arsenal) Now this boy is a bargain and interclub premiership transfer at its finest, a mere £11m has secured this transfer from Southampton to Arsenal. He’s a solid right back who can also play left if needs be. He’ll be pushing hard for a regular 1st team position and will probably get it. The Premiership is going to be exciting this season, with not only the transfers into the UK from other countries but also the managers and general public appetite to have more than three team in the running.
September 5, 2013
The New Devils for 2013
The Devils Will Be Without Ilya Kovalchuk This Season. With so many changes on the Devils this year, you have to wonder what team you will see. New Jersey will be welcoming a new top scorer, a new owner and even making a transition in goal this year. Ilya Kovalchuk is now in the KHL, replaced by the immortal Jaromir Jagr, and Corey Schneider is now backing up Marty Brodeur who is probably in his last season – but one is not putting any kind of sports bet – William Hill -on that. “I don’t see the challenges of the group,” coach Pete deBoer told the Bergan Record.  “I’m excited about the opportunity to work with them. All I see now is more of the good things I think we’re going to be able to do with this group. I think we’re deep. We’re going to be a four-line team. We’re going to be able to come at you in waves. We’ve got a lot of interchangeable parts. More than the challenges, that’s more of the things I’ve been looking at and am excited about.” Great, this is a transition year for the Devils but don’t count them out. If Schneider can play up to the level he was in Vancouver and split time with Brodeur, they have a chance to be competitive. “Those things sort themselves out. Marty’s back,” deBoer said. “Marty’s our starting goaltender and we’ve got a fantastic 1A in Cory Schneider.” Also the Devils will need Jagr to think it’s 2005 again. The future Hall of Famer will be the primary sniper at the Prudential Center, so he will have to get the scoring touch back. “I see him as a right winger with us,” deBoer said to the Record. “I’m really excited to see him with our power play unit and what he’s going to bring to the table for us in that capacity. And then from there it’s just going to be finding the right combinations with him to complement him on a nightly basis.” And so are New Jersey fans who will be looking forward to the 2013-14 season, even with all the changes.
July 16, 2013
Review of Break Away
Many slot machine games use sports themes in their design. This is a reflection of the widespread following sports have around the world. Online casinos recognize the preferences of their patrons and have worked to provide them with some of the best sports slot machines. For ice hockey fans, one of the best is Break Away. This video slot machine will appeal to any ice hockey fan despite their team preferences. Break Away is a five reel slot machine which forms a total of 243 paylines, an amount rarely found in slot machines at any online casino. While the games don’t feature a progressive jackpot, its abundance of paylines makes up for it. On the reels, players can expect to find symbols from ice hockey. These could include a player, referee and stadium rink. With images from ice hockey, the slot machine also has sound effects and animations which can help players immerse themselves in the game as they would in an ice hockey match. The flaming puck symbol is important in Break Away. When this symbol appears on one of the reels, it will then initiate the free spin feature. With this bonus, players can be awarded up to 25 free spins. The actual amount will depend on how many scatter symbols appear on the reels. Three symbols means 15 free spins while four symbols awards 20 free spins. The largest prize is 25 free spins which are won with five scatter symbols. This could lead to a substantial increase in winnings as during the feature, a multiplier is applied to winnings. The more combinations formed results in more winnings. Break Away appeals to a variety of budgets as the smallest coin size is just .01. Not only is Break Away popular among ice hockey fans but other slot machine fans who want a fun to play game.
July 11, 2013
Kovalchuk Retires… Wait, WHAT???!!!
Ilya Kovalchuk announces his retirement from the NHL. He leaves $77 million on the table and heads back to Russia, where one can only assume he will play in the KHL. No one leaves the NHL to go play in the KHL because the hockey is better, it always comes down to $$.
July 8, 2013
Clarkson Inks 7-Year Deal With Toronto
At one point this weekend I was a little sad for the NHL and then at another point of the weekend I was smiling because all I could imagine was Brian Burke laughing his ass off. I’m not going to argue that David Clarkson isn’t a stand-up guy or that he doesn’t do a lot for the people in his community because he does. He still has a charitable organization in Kitchner where he played his minor league hockey and there are countless organizations he gave his time to while in New Jersey but he’s being paid to play hockey, not run charities. And while he’s a decent hockey player, I do question the amount of money he is now being paid to play hockey. Clarkson is going to get $5.25 million per year for the next 7 years. Nathan Horton also signed a 7-year deal for a cap hit of $5.3 million per but many thought that was too much but then seemed ok with the Clarkson deal. Horton has six seasons with 20 or more goals, a Stanley Cup ring and a  0.84 points-per-game average in the postseason. Clarkson has one 30-goal season, no ring and a 0.32 PPG average in the postseason. I don’t want to take too much away from Clarkson because he does serve some good out on the ice. He’s a tough guy to get off the puck which creates opportunities for him and his teammates, he knows how to forecheck, isn’t afraid to drop the gloves and can deliver a big check from time to time. But at $5.25 million, I would expect to be getting a guy that would stay a top 6 foreward, something he wasn’t always in NJ. He’s also been known to be undisciplined at times and wildly inconsistent with his goal scoring. In 2013, he had one goal in 17 games; in 2012, he had one goal in 10 games; and in 2011, he had one goal in 19 games.  In my opinion, David Clarkson had failed to play up to his potential until Peter DeBoer, who coached him in Kitchner, got to NJ. I also must take into account that Clarkson is coming from a team that has missed the playoffs 2 out of the last 3 years. Yes, NJ made it to the Stanley Cup Final in 2012 but that wasn’t because of the play from David Clarkson. If David Clarkson is such a powerhouse of offensive talent to bring in the kind of contract that Toronto has given him, then why wasn’t he able to carry the Devils to the playoff this year while Ilya Kovalchuk was out of the lineup? In the final month of the season, which was a very critical time for NJ, Clarkson found the net only 3 times (1 of which came after the Devils had been eliminated from the playoff race). The bottom line is that David Clarkson is a good player and can be an asset to many teams but I question the amount of money and the length of the contract.  Hopefully for Toronto’s sake I am wrong and David Clarkson can prove he’s a power forward worthy of such a big pay day.
July 4, 2013
Devils Light Some Fireworks on the Fourth
The New Jersey Devils lit some fireworks of their own on the 4th of July by taking care of a number of in-house free agents. According to ESPN, center Patrik Elias is going to become a lifetime New Jersey Devil after agreeing on a three-year deal worth $16.5 million. With that kind of money, he may just do some college football betting. The 37 year-old is the Devil’s all time franchise leader in goals (375) and assists (555). He is also third in games played with 1090 over his 17 year career. “To [general manager] Lou [Lamoriello], all my teammates and Devils fans, I’m excited to sign a new contract and be back with New Jersey,” Elias said in a statement released through his agent. “This year marks my 17th year with the Devils, and it’s very special to be a member of one organization for my entire career. We’ve shared some great moments together, and I look forward to working with everyone to create new ones. Go Devils!” Elias has won two Stanley cups with the Devils after being drafted in the second round of the 1995 draft. He said at the end of last season, which he scored 14 goals with 22 assists in 48 games, that he wanted to come back to Newark. Also returning to the Rock is veteran forward Dairnius Zubras, who inked a three-year,  $9.3 million contract. A person familiar with the deal revealed the terms to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because the Devils didn’t release those numbers. Zubrus is a 16-year NHL veteran, who has spent the past six seasons with New Jersey. Of course, the Devils may still lose a number of unrestricted free agents. David Clarkson will test the market when it opens on Friday, while forwards, Steve Sullivan, Alexei Ponikarovsky and defenseman Marek Zidlicky are also eligible to become unrestricted free agents. Also not returning to Newark will be goalie Johan Hedberg, who was bought out of the final season of his contact, which was set to count as $1.4 million against the salary cap, according to the Newark Star Ledger. The 40 year-old was expendable after the Devils acquired Cory Schneider from the Vancouver Canucks on draft day. Hedberg spent the last three seasons backing up Marty Brodeur.  
July 1, 2013
What We Learned: Quick Thoughts on the 2013 NHL Entry Draft
Schneider gone, Luongo’s the man for Torts What We Learned will be a weekly Monday Morning feature to cover the things that happened over the weekend in hockey. Of course, with this being the off-season, you might not see a ton of what we learned posts until training camp. The Draft, it was an interesting one. A few unexpected plot twists happened. Here are a few of my thoughts on the things that happened. Chicago – Hey, thanks for putting home that goal that brought us the cup but we think that’s probably the pinnacle of your career so have fun in Toronto. They traded Michael Frolik as well and did so to overpay Bryan Bickell which is kind of a head scratcher. Columbus – Tides are turning in Columbus and I thought Jarmo Kekalainen did very well. It’s about time, really would like to see Columbus turn the corner a bit. I say that while cringing as they move into my division but still, they’ve been horrible for so long. Dallas – I can’t believe Valeri Nichushkin dropped to them. Maybe the biggest shock of the draft for outside of Seth Jones going No. 4. Nashville – THE winner of the day because Seth Jones dropped to #4 and they scooped him up. What a team/organization for Jones to end up on. It’s the equivalent of NFL running backs ending up in Mike Shanahan’s hands. New Jersey – The Cory Schneider deal was incredible and this Santini kid could turn out to be something as well. Devils fans love Marty but finally Lou is realizing he needs to address the future. The Marty drafting Anthony moment was nice moment but it certainly meant more if your last name was Brodeur. New York Rangers – Didn’t have a pick until #65 and they pick Adam Tambellini?? Was John Tortorella in charge of scouting because the Rangers just seemed unprepared to me. Pittsburgh – More signs that Marc-Andre Fluery is on the way out as they drafted a goalie. Vancouver – Traded Schneider to NJ for the 9th pick which they used to pick Bo Horvat so this was basically a Schneider for Horvat trade. Maybe Torts already pissed off Gillis already so Gillis decided to start tanking this team? Awful day for the Canucks. What did you think about yesterday? Any huge surprises on your end?
June 4, 2013
Boston and Chicago Rolling Along
Wow, was I way off base on my predictions for the Conference Finals. At least Game 1 in the West was a close one but the other 3 games, especially both games so far in the Bruins and Penguins series haven’t been close, AT ALL. Take last night for example, Marchand scores :28 in and then I felt this would have more accurately summed up what Boston was shooting at all night. I’m a little shocked by what the Penguins have brought to the ice so far in this series, especially after dominating Ottawa the way they did. After losing the first game to Boston, I would have expected to see the Penguins best game last night but instead we were treated to their worst. I’m not sure where the Penguins entire defensive unit is but clearly they haven’t been anywhere near the Consol Energy Center. For those Penguins fans out there, I hope they know what time their flight to Boston is and how to get to the airport.  I was right about one prediction going into this series, I just didn’t realize it would be greeted with such thunderous applause. If I am a Penguins fan, I am a bit worried that I’ve dropped the first two games and that they haven’t been close. Now, the Bruins get to go home and get the crowd behind them, get last chance, etc. Pittsburgh better figure it out quick. Look, while my predictions on the number of games won’t turn out to be right, I’m not sold that LA and Pittsburgh aren’t going to find a way to come back. Both of these teams are too good to just roll over here and head home for the summer. LA has been great at home so Chicago will have some work to do. Pittsburgh’s situation is a little tougher because now they have to go win on the road. What do you think? Boston and Chicago continue to roll or can LA and Pittsburgh find a way back into this round?  
May 31, 2013
Conference Finals Preview
The battle for Lord Stanley’s cup resumes tomorrow night. It’s kind of amazing that the 4 teams that remain have all won the cup in the last 4 years. If you’re a fan of any of the teams that remain, you’re on a pretty good ride. Boston vs Pittsburgh These are the two teams that most of us were hoping would meet in the Eastern Conference Final. There’s a lot of bad blood between these teams. As a reminder, here are some of the reasons why: Pittsburgh steals Jerome Iginla right from under the Boston Bruins at the trade deadline. We all thought Iginla was headed to Boston, as did Boston management. Boston then made a trade to bring Jaromir Jagr, one of the most hated ex-Penguins, to Boston after the Iginla deal went south. Ulf Samuelson ultimately ended Cam Neely’s career with a knee on knee check Matt Cooke has appeared to have ended Marc Savard’s career with hit to the head. This is a series that will feature a high-octane, up-tempo Pittsburgh squad against a very physical and aggressive Boston squad. On paper, this is going to be a great series. Both are coming off a semi-final series that was pretty much a piece of cake. Don’t expect this one to be. If Pittsburgh is going to win this series, it’s going to be because of their speed and ability to score a lot. Malkin, Crosby, Kunitz, Neal, Iginla, Morrow and Dupuis give the Penguins A LOT of depth. Paul Martin has looked decent in the playoffs and the Kris Letang isn’t a Norris Trophy finalist by accident. Tough team to beat, especially since they are on a roll. If Boston is going to win this series, they will do so because their 4 lines are going to wear down the Penguins. They come at you in many different ways and are relentless on the puck. The one thing we saw in the Rangers/Bruins series is that the Rangers defense NEVER got a rest because the Bruins had all 4 lines working. If they can do that against the Penguins, it could mean problems for the Penguins defense. While Vokoun was solid against the Senators (and the Islanders when he came in) I’m still not sold that the Penguins don’t have a goalie issue. I don’t see this series being anything less than six games and I do think there will be some issues in goal for Pittsburgh (whether they are bad enough to make another change, I can’t predict) but I also believe that Pittsburgh’s quickness with the puck will keep Boston on its heels, much like Toronto did but the difference in this series is that Pittsburgh has a lot more skill than Toronto. I pick Pittsburgh in 6 maybe even 7. Chicago vs Los Angeles The Blackhawks are coming off an emotional 7 game series against the Detroit Red Wings. Down 3-1 in the series, they battled back. The Kings are coming of a 7 game series against the San Jose Sharks but it wasn’t as emotional as the Hawks/Wings series. The Hawks had an impressive regular season and pretty easy first round matchup against a very inexperienced Minnesota team but something is just missing for me when it comes to Chicago. They have a lot of depth but I haven’t felt that a lot of that depth is playing to its potential. Detroit wasn’t a very strong team on the blue line and the Hawks struggled against them. If Chicago is going to win this series, then they are going to do so because they’ve figured out a way to solve Jonathan Quick (something that wasn’t done last year and so far this year.) Chicago has the depth to do it but Toews, Kane, Sharp and Hossa need to play like they did in the regular season. If LA is going to win this series, they’ll do so by being great on the road and continuing to be great at home. Quick is no doubt the best player of the 4 remaining teams and as long as he continues to be that, LA will certainly have an advantage in this series. I’m actually going to say that LA rolls right over the Hawks in this series. They are big, they are mean, they have excellent defense and goaltending and I see no reason why the Kings can’t win in 5 on their way to their second straight Stanley Cup Final.
May 30, 2013
Back From Vacation: Torts Out, Hawks Advance
So yeah, I spent a week in Disney World in the middle of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. I know, WHO DOES THAT RIGHT?? Well, I did but now I am back so let’s catch up on a lot of stuff. I did stay at the All-Star Movies resort and stayed in the Mighty Ducks rooms so I was close to hockey. Plus, I didn’t tune out from the playoffs, just the daily blogging of them. Rangers Fire Tortorella – I completely agree with this move. Tortorella, during his tenure in NY seems to have been a Tortorella first guy and a team second guy. I never liked the way he conducted himself or seem to treat his players. Maybe it was different on the inside but from the outside it certainly appeared that he lost the respect of a player or two. Go back a few years ago and look at Sean Avery’s tenure. The whole league hated his bullshit but the Rangers always seemed to be a better team with him in the lineup because he got the other teams focused on his bullshit but Torts hated him and the room is split on whether or not maligning Sean Avery was the right thing to do. However, other names that you can add to the list that Torts alienated are: Wade Redden, Chris Drury, Scott Gomez, Brandon Dubinsky, Mats Zuccarello, Marion Gaborik,  Brad Richards, and even the untradeable Chris Kreider. It would appear that Henrik Lundqvist’s name may even be on that list. Yes, Torts won a cup once but this shot blocking, rely on defense to grind out wins isn’t the style the New York Rangers play with. You have guys like Richards, Gaborik, Nash, Callahan, etc. and they finished 15th in scoring? In fact, the Rangers have never done better in that a 2.7% in Goals For under Tortorella. That’s not Rangers hockey, not a team that once had Messier, Graves, Leetch, Gretzky, and Duguay in their history. I do believe it was Henrik Lundqvist that put the final nail in the Torts coffin. His exit interview made it sound like he was done with the Rangers and done with Torts. I also believe that if it wasn’t Lundqvist it was the Brad Richards healthy scratch that did him in. Despite his poor play, you don’t bench a former Conn Smythe winner in an elimination game. That does nothing but send the wrong message to your players. The Rangers are FAR from a Stanley Cup contender in my opinion but firing Torts is a step in the right direction. Chicago Blackhawks – That certainly was some series against the Red Wings. A fitting end to the Chicago/Detroit rivalry. Maybe one day we will get a Cup Final with these two but for now, the rivalry is done. I do believe that every cup winner needs a scare in the playoffs and if Chicago proves to be the cup winner, this series will have easily been that scare. It’s hard to believe that both Chicago let the series get to a 3-1 lead in favor of Detroit and Detroit failed to close out a 3-1 series lead but bravo to one great series. Had Chicago lost, I have no doubt in my mind that there would be another coach firing to talk about. Los Angeles Kings – Right now are my favorite to win this…AGAIN. This team is rolling and playing some great hockey behind Jonathan Quick who might just be the best player in the playoffs…AGAIN. I wouldn’t be surprised to watch the Kings just roll over the Hawks on their way to the Finals. Having watched both series in Round 2, the Kings just seem like the better team. That’s it for now. Sorry for the silence for the week but as I said in the beginning of this post, I was in Disney for a week and there wasn’t a lot of time to post about hockey!! I will be posting both the Eastern and Western Conference Final Previews tomorrow.
May 21, 2013
The Red Wings Continue To Surprise Us
I love playoff hockey and right now, the Detroit Red Wings are a prime example as to why I love it so much. When there were only a handful of regular season games remaining, you really couldn’t browse hockey web sites and forums without seeing the discussion about the possibility of the Red Wings playoff streak coming to an end. But then, this team went on a tear, winning their last 4 games of the regular season and outscoring their opponents 15-3 in those 4 games, which secured them a spot in the post-season. Streak still intact and now Detroit looking to turn some heads but no one really gave them a chance, yours truly included. The Wings first round series against the Ducks went the full 7 games but Detroit managed to win Game 7 on the road and secure a spot in the next round. In that series against the Ducks, the Wings were able to keep guys like Corey Perry, Saku Koivu and Bobby Ryan from putting up great numbers and establishing their game and they did so with what everyone has called a sub-par defense. In Game 1 of the Western Conference Semi-Finals against the Blackhawks, the Wings kept the game close until the 3rd period where the wheels seemed to fall off and were handed a 4-1 loss. In Game 2, the Wings bounced back and returned the favor, making the Chicago Blackhawks look like frustrated bunch by handing them a 4-1 loss. After 2 games, this series all of the sudden has the possibilities of something epic. Enter Game 3. At the end of the night, the Hawks still looked like a frustrated bunch, especially when you factor in all the posts they hit. Much like the series against the Ducks, the Wings are doing a fantastic job at keeping the Hawks big names off the score sheet. Of course the Wings had a little help last night from the refs. There was a lot of talk about this specific moment in the hockey game but let’s look at the rulebook. Rule 69 – Interference on the Goalkeeper 69.1 Interference on the Goalkeeper - This rule is based on the premise that an attacking player’s position, whether inside or outside the crease, should not, by itself, determine whether a goal should be allowed or disallowed. In other words, goals scored while attacking players are standing in the crease may, in appropriate circumstances be allowed. Goals should be disallowed only if: (1) an attacking player, either by his positioning or by contact, impairs the goalkeeper’s ability to move freely within his crease or defend his goal; or (2) an attacking player initiates intentional or deliberate contact with a goalkeeper, inside or outside of his goal crease. Incidental contact with a goalkeeper will be permitted, and resulting goals allowed, when such contact is initiated outside of the goal crease, provided the attacking player has made a reasonable effort to avoid such contact. The rule will be enforced exclusively in accordance with the on-ice judgment of the Referee(s), and not by means of video replay or review. Now, let’s look at the play. You make your own decision but I believe that the referee got the call right because Howard wasn’t allowed to move freely in his crease. In the end, it wasn’t that play that decided this game. The Hawks had their chances but weren’t able to find the back of the net. The cause of a lot of the Hawks frustration belongs to one man, Jimmy Howard. He’s been unbelievable and the main reason that Detroit is up 2-1 in this series. The Hawks aren’t dead, far from it. I still expect the Hawks to win this series but I was wrong about this series not being as appetizing as the other Western Conference matchup. There’s a lot of good being played right now and I can’t wait for to go home each night and catch some spectacular hockey.
May 17, 2013
In Case You Didn’t Tune In: Rangers v Bruins – Game 1
  Sometimes when you have kids that have their own sports activities, you don’t get to sit down and watch as many playoff hockey games as you would like but for Game 1 of the Rangers and Bruins, the kids were in bed, the wife was at a friend’s house putting the final touches on a school fair she’s helped organize, so that meant it was me, the TV and some playoff hockey. This is the one series that I am just so unsure about. For this series, I expect low scoring games, huge hitting and grinding it out in the corners. Both the Rangers and Bruins play similar hockey so it should be a very entertaining series and one that expect to go long. Besides, its the Rangers, win or lose they don’t seem to know how to do that very quickly. I can’t help but look at Jagr and get a little sad. He was once a dominate player and now, he just looks old and slow. This isn’t new. I thought the same thing last year in Round 2 against the Devils. He was ineffective and didn’t really add much to the team but he won’t hang them up yet. In the third, he looked to be taking long shifts for some reason which resulted in him getting completely gassed. At one point the camera caught him on the bench and there is Jagr with his grey beard, huffing and puffing and I swear you could hear him saying “I’m just too old for this shit!” Pierre had mentioned at one point he was nothing more than a 15-20 second shift player at the moment. How exactly does 15-20 seconds benefit anyone?    In regulation you could just feel that Marchand was going to do something. He was great with the puck and seemed to be moving his legs all night long. He had failed to find the back of the net in the entire series against Toronto but you could just see it in his eyes that this series was going to be different. He made a nice move against the Rangers D at one point and then tried to do his best Bobby Orr impression. Sadly, the puck wasn’t close to finding twine but an A for effort none the less. (Hey, that one play is more than Brad Richards has done in all of May.) All this and apparently there was a report that he would play in game 1 despite an injury. He’s injured??   While Marchand looks good, Seguin looks worse than Jagr is that’s possible. I’m not really sure what he’s doing out there. On the McDonagh goal, he barely got wood on the puck and fluttered the puck to McDonagh and then seemed to get in the way of the shot. There were many more times throughout the game that I thought Seguin looked awful. Maybe healthy scratch time? Since Bruins won Game 1 I am guessing not but if Boston gets down in the series, I’d consider it.   Del Zotto, good for him for taking a puck to the head and coming back but then you’re going to push a guy into your goaltender while he’s in a vulnerable position? You sure your brain is ok? I think the last thing you want to do is push someone on top of Lundqvist. Then at the end of regulations, after Boychuk rang one off the pipe, you could see Lundqvist had a few words for Del Zotto since he was the guy defending Boychuk’s shot.   At times the Rangers D looks great and then they get caught standing around watching which almost killed them a few times. The Krecji off the crossbar shot comes to mind. The OT goal by Marchand was kind of pathetic. McDonagh got caught way up and Zuccarello didn’t do a good job filling in for him and then Stralman gave a weak attempt at trying to block the pass from Bergeron. So I guess in the end, their D did kill them.   Bruins 4th Line is so crucial in this series. It’s what made NJ successful against NY in the 2012 ECF and could be the difference in this one. I thought they did a decent job out there in this game and don’t think the Rangers 4th line can match. Of course I still think the Bruins can’t afford the Seguin, Bergeron and Marchand line to be as unproductive as they were in Round 1.   We know Lundqvist is the stud in this series but Rask is going to have to match him. At times, he was downright scary with some of his miscues. The Bruins score to make the game 1-0 and what seemed like a minute later Rask is scrambling back to his net after coming out to play the puck. Lucky for Rask, unlucky for the Rangers, New York missed a pretty wide open net.   Lundqvist is going to have to be better. He’s not playing like I would expect. I mean normally don’t expect to see him let pucks slip through but the Chara shot slipped through and even the Krug goal was one he normally stops. He was so lights out vs Washington in Games 6 & 7 so this was a little surprising to see. I’ll give him a pass on the OT goal since he had to go pipe to pipe in order to stop it and Stralman should have done a better job blocking the pass.   I don’t get the Rangers at all. Brad Richards is just down right terrible. 12:57 of ice time in a game that had close to 76 minutes of playing time and he only had 1 shot. He’s making 6.667 million dollars to basically ride the bench? Derek Brassard makes half that and is far more effective on the ice. Unless Richards has a sudden turn around and starts looking like a hockey player, if the Rangers don’t buy him out this summer, Sather will once again get the word stupid written on his forehead in my book. (it was removed when he seem to add what he traded away for Nash at the deadline.) Speaking of Nash, he’s a bust so far. You brought him to NY to win games like this one and he didn’t do much out there.   Bruins offense not really that impressive. Krecji and Marchand were definitely the best ones out there. Even Bergeron had good moments but if you’re going to win 3 more against the Rangers, the offense HAS to do better. Same could be said about the Rangers offense. I’d say that Boyle in the face-off circle was probably the best thing the Rangers had going all night.   Girardi gets the award for gutsiest play of the night by taking Seguin’s clean shot right at the end of the first right to the stomach. Not exactly what they teach in shot blocking class but it got the job done.   Awesome ending to regulation. I think Boychuk’s shot would have counted because I think it was 0.1 on the clock when he rang it off the pipe. Could you imagine if that went in? The amount of chaos that would have taken over the ice would have been comical. I thought NY came out flat in the OT period and never really showed up.   Dating back to last year’s “Henrique….IT’s OVER!!!” goal, the Rangers are now 0-4 in their last 4 playoff OT’s. They just might want to avoid going to OT. On the flipside, Boston has won their last 3 games in these playoffs by going to OT.  
May 15, 2013
Playoff Hockey = Raffi Torres Being an Idiot
Here we go again. Stop me if you heard this one because it’s a familiar story that I am getting tired of reading about. The NHL will be having a disciplinary hearing with Raffi Torres. Seriously?? Again!!! In case you missed it, As LA Kings Forward Jarret Stoll is playing the puck, Torres decides to put a hit on Stoll. That hit, that decision was Torres impacting Stoll in the side of his head and shoulder simultaneously. So is it a dirty hit? Well, if I look back to the last round of the playoffs and the NHL decided that the Eric Gryba hit on Lars Eller was illegal, then this one has to be as well. I’d say 4 or 5 games for Raffi Torres because he’s a repeat offender. I’m just tired of it. What’s this, the third year in a row that Torres is making a questionable hit in the playoffs? Seabrook in 11, Hossa in 12 and now Stoll in 13? At what point do they just tell this clown to go away? Is the hit 100% dirty? No, it isn’t but Stoll was in a vulnerable position and Torres took advantage of it once again and makes contact with the head. He doesn’t learn from his past. He said he had learned when trying to get a reduction in his suspension for the hit on Hossa last year but clearly he doesn’t get it. Jarret Stoll didn’t return for the third period due to “upper body issues” which is a playoff hockey term for “hurt my brain.”

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