Mike Brophy of the @cbc said it the best.
Thank goodness he did, and thank goodness it holds truth.
The only thing he did not say was hopefully it will continue.
Please bring more and more of this wild and crazy offence. Hopefully it continues as we are 3-4 days away from knowing who will compete for Lord Stanley’s Holy Grail.
Nothing makes me cringe more than hearing all of this nonsense about defence winning championships. It is true, but it is boring.
Don’t care about defence anymore, just want to see offence. Also want to see one of these games keep the nation up until 4 in the morning to find out who wins it. Haven’t had anything like that in a long time. Loved the scores the past two nights though, 7-4 including an empty-net goal, and 5-4 last night in double overtime.
It was the oldest guy on the ice, Michal Handzus. Handzus has been all over Chicago’s lines all season long as the Blackhawks searched for a second-line centre behind captain Jonathan Toews. His biggest value right now is on the penalty kill, but it was his offence that kept alive Chicago’s title defence.
This is what fans pay money to see. Nobody wants to see those 1-0, 2-0 or 2-1 final scores. This isn’t soccer, this is hockey, the real sport. The sport where real men pretend to not be hurt, rather than crybabies pretending they are hurt (in pretty much every other sport but mostly in soccer.
David Shaw of the Blackhawks took a nasty hit late in last night’s game, yet he picked himself up within a couple of minutes and actually skated away from his trainer. Who is this kid? I want him on my team.
Game 6 goes Friday night in Los Angeles.
Montreal and New York combined for 11 goals Tuesday night with theCanadiens staying alive with a 7-4 victory. The trend continued in the first period of Game 5 of the Los Angeles Kings-Chicago Blackhawks series with a five-goal opening period.
The host Blackhawks took a quick 2-0 lead, but the never-say-die Kings came back and made it a game.
After a sluggish performance through the first four games of the Western Conference final, Patrick Kane of the Blackhawks set up three goals in the first period and then assisted on the game-winning goal. Kane had his best game of the third round and will be one to keep an eye on in Game 6.
He finished with four assists.
The other night in Montreal, Rene Bourque broke out with a hat trick performance against New York.
I don’t know how anyone can explain getting outshot in two straight games by more than double but the Toronto Marlies hockey team did it, and it cost them their first loss of the American Hockey League playoffs.
They were close to their first playoff loss on May 14 when they had to go into overtime to beat the Chicago Wolves.
I don’t know if it’s a good thing that they (finally) lost a game, they have been tearing it up like crazy over the past two rounds of AHL playoffs, they swept both the Milwaukee Admirals and Chicago Wolves. I haven’t seen the shots record for either team in either series, but the locals won eight straight games. Now they find themselves in the Conference finals where they have to get past the Texas Stars.
The last time I saw a sports event featuring Toronto vs Texas, I was watching MLB, this will take some getting used to. I didn’t even know Texas had an AHL franchise until this season.
I thought about it a bit before I went to bed last night, about all of those nights when the Toronto Maple Leafs were embarrassed because of the amount of SOG they allowed (almost every friggin’ night), yet they actually won a lot of them.
I don’t recall too many that were this bad though. Apparently Texas outshot them 102-49 or something like that over the opening two games of their AHL semi final series.
The Marlies obviously have a stacked team, there was hope not too long ago that their then-coach Dallas Eakins might be promoted to take over with the Maple Leafs after Ron Wilson was told to go find another job; the Marlies haven’t had any problem scoring goals and cannot rely on Jerry D’Amigo is just racking up points out there. He’s now up to 5 goals and 13 points in nine games.
The Marlies playoff “lead or tie” streak lasted 512:05, ending with the first Glennie goal. It was their first time trailing since Josh Leivo tied the April 19th game against Rochester at 5:32 into the third period.
Game 3 Marlies vs Stars Wednesday, May 28 7pm $5 beer night
Game 4 Marlies vs Stars Thursday, May 29 7pm $5 beer night
AHL PLAYOFF UNBEATEN STREAKS
-Toronto is the ninth team in AHL history to begin a playoff run with eight straight wins. This is something you do not see much in the NHL these days.
-This year, the Marlies went 8-0 before losing 6-3 in Texas
-Last year the Syracuse Crunch went 8-0 before losing in the Finals.
-In 2006 the Hershey Bears went 10-0 and won the Calder Cup (in Hamilton of all places).
-In 1996, the Rochester Americans went 9-0 and won the Calder Cup.
Why is that?
It’s because falling behind 3-1 in the best-of-seven series to the Los Angeles Kings would be like committing suicide.
It’s also because LA apparently is known throughout the league for its defense. That can’t be good news if you are from Chicago.
Three days after LA evened the series by scoring six unanswered goals in Game 2, the LA Kings are officially on fire. While Marian Hossa, Patrick Sharp and Pat Kane have been held pointless in this series, I think every single one of the Kings is on fire, especially Jeff Carter who has about 10 points in the last 5-6 games.
For parts of tonight’s game, Chicago didn’t seem to want to play. Despite tallying with 10 seconds left in the game, where the hell was that energy 10 minutes earlier.
Neither team played conservatively despite the stakes, instead trading tantalizing scoring chances for the first two periods. The Kings kept pushing for goals even while leading in the third, recording 18 shots and keeping the talented Blackhawks stuck in their own end for long stretches.
I think falling behind to this Kings team 3 games to 1 would be disastrous.
On the Eastern side of the NHL playoffs, Montreal hopes to even their series with the NY Rangers. Both teams will be fighting somewhat shorthanded before the game even starts.
NY will be without superpest Dan Carcillo and centreman Derek Stepan. Carcillo due to suspension (for being an idiot) and Stepan due to surgery to a broken jaw he suffered during Game 3.
Montreal will be without Brandon Prust who was suspended for 2 games because on an illegal hit.
Once again the biggest story of this game is can the Canadiens with without Carey Price again? They did it on Friday in overtime. You have to think that if Montreal wins the game and evens the series, it could increase the chances of Price returning to the net sooner rather than later. Coach Michel Therrien still hasn’t said the exact injury, especially when it was first announced, which makes me think he is fucking with the Rangers, or trying to.
Game 4 goes tomorrow night at 8pm from the MSG in New York City. I wish I was going.
OFF THE ICE
In off the ice news that some people will probably find funny, a couple of idiots from the Rangers coaching staff (Ulf Samuelsson and Dan Lacroix) were spotted in the stands during Montreal’s on-ice time. Montreal’s goalie coach notified the head coach, who basically told the two to get the fuck out of there. One can only assume that the two assistants were there to piss someone off. At this point in the NHL postseason coaches and assistants are going to do everything they possibly think of to get under the other team’s collective skin. Can you imagine the shenanigans should the Maple Leafs ever get this far?
That could be awesome.
Instead we have all of the teams that did not do a damn thing in Russia in February. Namely the Olympic hosts, team Russia, loaded with all of the talent that they are loaded with, Ovechkin, newly joined Malkin, Kulemin and a whole whack of others. This same team that could not beat France in the Olympics is now 2 wins away from the WHC gold.
What else do we have here?
There is no USA here anymore. They just lost. The same day that Team Canada couldn’t get by Finland for crying out loud. Now all of us Leaf fans (and even some of the haters) can’t blame this on James Reimer even if we tried. Why? Because he wasn’t in net for the last game. Despite having completely re-done rosters as compared to the teams that played in the Olympics, this(our) nation is still at least expected to get by the Fins. I think that Canada was pretty much playing from behind all tournament long. Need we remind everyone that it did not get off to the greatest start either, losing to France?!?
So now the bracket for the World Hockey Championships looks pretty much opposite of what it looked like in the Olympics. The semi finals which are set for tomorrow look like this: Sweden vs Russis, and Finland vs Czech Republic.
On top of that, Russia is playing the way everyone knew they could play. Most analysts say they haven’t even reached their peak yet. I heard that they are the only team with a perfect 7-0 record. And Sergei Bobrovsky is the kind of goalie you can have some success with. Or who knows? Maybe it is simply the coaching…
The only thing different here that I can see from last year is the last two teams. St Louis and Arizona are the new teams on the preseason schedule this year. Denver played Seattle and SF last year.
Sept 7 vs Indianapolis: lost Manning’s return there last year. Why not open this season with a possible huge bang. Manning has to win this one though.
Sept. 14 vs Kansas City: won both games last year, spoiled their perfect record too.
*Sept 21 @ Seattle: If Seattle can win this one too, and keep in mind that they absolutely destroyed Denver in both of their games last year, then maybe there is something wrong with this team, this game should be interesting b/c they did not play last year in the regular season, once in the preseason and again in the super bowl.
Sept. 28 BYE last year Broncos’ bye week was smack dab in the middle of the season, not sure if there is an advantage either way. Football players only do their thing once, maybe twice, per week!
*Oct. 5 Arizona: will be among the new faces on the schedule, not sure what Arizona has going for them. They do have at least one top WR in Michael Floyd
*Oct. 12 @New York Jets: second straight game against an opponent not on last year’s schedule, first game against Decker on his new team, I wonder who will come out on top in this one
*Oct. 19 San Francisco: Manning vs Kaepernick better be good, they played in 2013’s preseason and it was boring
Oct. 22 (Thursday) San Diego: with Philip Rivers getting up there just like Manning (age), this could be one of the last games between the two QBs. Manning in no doubt the better player, but Rivers always puts him to the test. Big time. Last year’s AFC division game??? As well this will also be a matchup we didn’t see in last year’s regular season,
Nov. 2 @New England: put Tom Brady right up there with Rivers on the list of QBs that challenge Peyton Manning to the utmost. These games usually wind up being better than the Super Bowl (last year for damn sure).
Nov. 9 @Oakland: the Oakland Raiders played Denver twice last year. Denver won both games. This year I don’t see things getting any better for the Raiders, having basically swapped a QB who can play in Terrelle Pryor for someone who hasn’t yet, in Matt Schaub.
*Nov. 16 @St. Louis: another new matchup on the schedule, I don’t think there is much to be worried about here, St. Louis was the Super Bowl champion about 12 years ago, that seems like it will be it for them for awhile
*Nov. 23 Miami: After what happened with the Dolphins in the middle of last season is probably still going to find some way of affecting the way the team plays for this year, I see nothing good here
Nov. 30 @Kansas City:
*Dec. 7 Buffalo: The Bills were one of the few teams that have actually helped themselves lately. They have a good QB in EJ Manual, and they helped themselves a little more when they took WR Sammy Watkins out of Clemson. I think this kid will test whoever happens to be playing Safety or Cornerback for Denver that day.
Dec. 14 @San Diego: Another matchup against Rivers and the Chargers. I take my previous statements regarding Rivers vs Manning and stick them right here!
*Dec. 22 @Cincinnati: Cincy is on the rise too, they just haven’t done much more than earn a playoff spot, yet. They played strong enough all of last season, will definitely challenge Pittsburgh for the AFC North, at some point we may be considering Cleveland in there too if the team doesn’t destroy Johnny Manziel before someone else’s defense does. Let’s wait and see.
Dec. 22 Oakland: Denver wins. I say by at least 20.
Key omissions from last year’s schedule. I know each and every season the NFL tries to change up the schedule for most of its teams, but here is who was on last year and is off the Bronco schedule this year: Ravens, Giants, Eagles, Cowboys, Jaguars, Redskins and the Texans.