Well, the San Jose Sharks just took one more step forward in an attempt to shed their "choker" tag that seems to have been affixed to their playoff history. San Jose wrapped up their series last night against Detroit with a 2-1 win. Now, they wait patiently for the winner of the Vancouver/Chicago series. One thing that was hurting the Sharks in this post season run, was the play of their big 3. Heatly, Thornton and Marleau were almost invisible out there and the bulk of the scoring was coming from Joe Pavelski. The last couple of games has shown us otherwise...Thornton, Heatly and Marleau have started to pick up the slack and are starting to click.
Anyone else hear about this?
More than 77,000 fans crowded into the Gerlenskirchen Arena in Germany to watch the German team take on the US Team. The German team, coached by Uwe Krupp, scored the victory winning the game 2-1. That is an attendance record for a hockey game that will probably stand until the Michigan/Michigan State teams renew acquantainces this December.
Okay, I have forgotten about this for some time now, but the Coyotes are back in the news. With the on again off again relationship between the City of Glendale and Jerry Riensdorf, the City of Glendale approached Ice Edge Holdings to purchase the team. Who the fuck knows what is happening there, but from what I understand is that if the city of Glendale doesn't sign on to help cover the operating losses and the NHL cannot find a suitable buyer, the NHL will exercise their right to move the team. Really? Is it that simple? Can the NHL really move a team that easily when it's their money being lost?
Burish is really playing good hockey right now. The grinders on Chicago are making life extremely difficult for the Canucks. Byfuglien routinely camps in front of Luongo, scoring the types of goals that hasn't been seen since Kevin Stevens retired.
Vancouver is in big trouble in this series. They are simply being outworked down low by the bigger bodies of the 'Hawks. In a response, the Canucks are starting to target the likes of Kane and Toews in an effort to regain some momentum. It's not going to work. If Vancouver wants to extend this series, they have to subscribe to the same game plan; put bodies in front of the net and make it hard for Niemi to see the puck. However, one debate is coming out of this series up here in Canada...Is the NHL doing enough to protect its goalies? The NHL has all the rules in place, and the onus is on the refs to call it if the goalie is interfered with. If I was a goalie, and I'm glad that I'm not, all it would take is one missed call by the refs before I would take the matters into my own hands. If the refs are going to allow the players to make the goalies uncomfortable, maybe its time for the goalies to make the players uncomfortable.
Boston needs to try again to close out their series on Monday night back in Boston. This series is a great one to watch, and not just because I'm a Bruins fan. There is great hockey being played at both ends of the ice. Boucher is making the most of Philly's goaltending situation, and is making sure that Philly management is aware that he'll still be available next season. But lets not forget...this wouldn't be the first time that Boucher played his bag off, only to slide into obscurity shortly after. Hopefully Boston can wrap it up and work in practice at developing some new line chemistry. So far in this series, the Bruins have lost Sturm, Krejci, and McQuaid. Time for Brad Marchand to earn his money! One thing that is bothering me in this series is the play of Carcillo. Carcillo is a good hockey player when he plays his game. He does not need to resort to the diving and embellishment of some plays.
Just play the fucking game already! Enough with the sideshow antics!! Here's Don Cherry's take on Carcillo.
With the play of Halak as of late, Montreal is probably considering their long term commitment to Carey Price. Price is a player that is NHL calibre, but hasn't succeeded in the Montreal spotlight. When he did get his chance to play back in the Washington series, Price was anything but consistent and level headed. Price may need to take a step back this season and reevaluate where he sits on the Montreal depth chart. Some critics may say that Montreal didn't do him any favors by bringing him up to the NHL quickly and should have let him play in the AHL a little more. That much could be true, but playing in the AHL and the NHL are grossly different creatures. One big thing that an NHL team needs to consider is the goalie coach. NHL teams take a lot of time ensuring that their goalie coaches have the skills neccessary to teach the fundamentals of the NHL game to their goalies. Each goalie coach has a different philosophy on the game and possibly a different playing style. It is imperative that the NHL and their farm clubs have goalie coaches that subscribe to the same style of play. It can never hurt a goalie to have them play in the AHL a little longer. Just ask Tuuka Rask. However, it could hurt a goalie to be exposed to the NHL game before they are ready. Just ask Justin Pogge.
Halak has been a stud between the pipes for the Habs. Halak played his bag off and made sure that Montreal wasn't going to game 7 to lose against Montreal. Now, he is doing the same thing to the Pens. Crosby has been a no show this series( 3 A in 5 games), and he needs to start producing offensively if Pittsburgh expects to make the Conference Finals. Malkin as well (1 G 2 A in 5 games), needs to start finding the back of the net. Montreal has been playing great hockey defensively, and I thought for sure they were dead in the water after losing Markov. However, the play of Gill and AHL callup PK Subban has been great. During the off season, I was one of the naysayers that believed adding the smaller players such as Gomez, Gionta and Cammalleri wouldn't help them. Cammalleri is ensuring that all of his detractors are eating their words.
As I was talking to Sully earlier this week, I filled him in on something that happened in Montreal. For some reason, the CBC thought it would be perfectly fine to showcase a couple of PK Subban fans in the crowd. Not only did the pan the crowd, but they focused on these two individuals for a few seconds, just to give the viewer enough time to shake their head and ask "what the fuck was that?" If you want to know what I am talking about, just google image search "subbanator". I am not going to post the image on my blog. Some fans in Montreal are just ignorant. Wasn't the Kevin Weekes incident in Montreal? Isn't it Montreal that was constantly booing the US National Anthem in last years playoffs?
Thanks for stopping by everyone, and once again, since the number of fights are on a steady decline, I will leave you with some more "Whale Tail". Enjoy.