Friday, April 30, 2010

San Jose Wins 4-3

The San Jose Sharks scored three goals in the first 10 minutes of game one against the Detroit Red Wings to take an early 3-0 lead. The final score of Thursday's game was 4-3.

Detroit looked tired in the first period. Maybe it was the game seven. It looked like only half the team was ready at puck drop. So, the first couple shifts were OK. But after a few minutes it started to show. Before they knew it they were chasing the Sharks all over the ice, eventually taking dumb penalties and letting the Sharks have their way on offense. It was 3-0 in a blink.

Overall, the Red Wings played a decent game. If it weren't for those first 10 minutes, Detroit may have been able to win this game 3-1.

I wouldn't worry about this if you're a Wings fan. They gave San Jose a good battle. They didn't collapse after the three early goals they gave up on the road. The Wings showed a lot of poise and determination.

This series will be interesting.

I hate to single out certain players in a close game like this. However, Valtteri Filppula had one of the worst games I have seen him have in a while. It shows how valuable this guy is to the team. If he isn't on his game, the Red Wings are much worse. He is the bread and butter for this offense. He's a two-way force. He has the puck a lot, and when he doesn't he's usually right there to steal it. He played below his game Thursday. He was giving up the puck in the neutral zone. He took a couple out-of-character penalties. I'm not saying he was the reason they lost, but he definitely didn't help much.

Like I said, this just shows how vital Filppula is to this line up. I expect he'll come out flying on Sunday. The team can't afford to have him off his game.

Jimmy Howard played a great game, again. The Red Wings defense will have to adjust to this high-powered Sharks lineup. Quite frankly, I think they did a good job of adjusting as the game went on. I mean, San Jose only scored one time after the first period three-goal rally.

Howard won't be able to stop the cross-crease passes and behind the net feeds. Those are difficult stops for any goalie. The defense is responsible for anything coming from behind the net or the corner. The first three San Jose goals were exactly that - passes from behind the goal or from the corner.

I repeat, overall I thought this was a solid effort from Detroit. No one wants to get down 3-0 early on the road. However, you won't see a team do a much better job than Detroit did to weather the storm and give themselves a chance to win.

This game could have been a statement for San Jose. They could have put a big hurting on the Wings. But the Wings stopped it. Made it a game.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Here We Go: Game 1 SJ vs. Detroit

The Detroit Red Wings are about to face off against the San Jose Sharks in round two of the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Here are my quick thoughts before the game starts:

The Red Wings will definitely be more comfortable playing a team which focuses on the same style of play. This similarity between the teams, in my opinion, gives a slight advantage to Detroit. Why? Because Detroit has found a way to make this puck possession style of hockey successful in the post season. San Jose is still looking for proof.

However, the levee has to break at some point. San Jose has been on the brink of playoff success for way too long now. Something has got to give.

For game one, I believe goaltending will be the difference. Both teams will come out firing. A few big saves could mean victory.

Round two is under way.

Red Wings Fined For Breaking SJ Curfew

The Detroit Red Wings are being fined for breaking San Jose curfew after spending a night at the airport.

The full story is here.

This is pretty humorous. But, kind of a non-story. One of those funny things which seem to happen during the heat of competition, just to make the fans go crazy.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Habs Win Game 7

The Montreal Canadiens rallied to win three straight games in order to defeat the Washington Capitals in round one, 4-3.

This was the first time in history an eight-seeded team overcame a 3-1 deficit to beat a one-seeded team in seven games.

It's impressive.

I like it. I understand having Ovechkin's crew out of the playoffs may hurt TV ratings, but who the hell cares? I don't. If you care about ratings, watch the NBA or NFL, or whatever. Hockey isn't about ratings. I'm getting really sick of all the people who have been brainwashed by corporate America so much that now they only care about watching sports with good ratings. It's absurd. You lead a sad life. Go watch American Idol and listen to Justin Bieber while you're at it. Anything popular should please you.

The NHL is the punk rock of sports, as it should be.

Go Habs, well done.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Detroit Ends Phoenix in Game 7, 6-1

Do I need to say anything?

I will. I'm too happy and, quite honestly, a little stunned to say it all right now.

Next post.

But for now, the Detroit Red Wings look ahead to round two against the San Jose Sharks. 'Sprung from purgatory'

They have so much fun over at with Miroslav Satan's name.

This was their latest headline for a story about his return:

"Sprung from purgatory: Miroslav Satan dreamed about nights like Game 6 as he waited to make an NHL comeback. "

Does this never get old?

'History Will Be Made'

Of course history will be made. Could the NHL pick a more obvious slogan for these playoffs?

"Hockey will be played."

I've included a large chunk of some interesting statistics from below. I guess none of it really matters, but these are good for driving yourself insane.

"Detroit isn't accustomed to playing seventh games on the road and hasn't won one since 1964. Phoenix is looking for its first playoff series win -- the last time the franchise advanced to the second round was when Winnipeg accomplished the feat in 1987. Something has to give.

Stat pack: The Red Wings are 4-4 overall in Game 7s since 1991, most recently losing to the Penguins in the Stanley Cup Final last June. … The Coyotes are 0-4 all-time in Game 7 and Doan is the only player remaining from their most recent seventh game, against St. Louis in 1999.

Puck drop:
Home ice hasn't meant very much in this series, but Game 7 can be a different beast. Teams scratch and claw for every last point during the regular season in the hopes of gaining that one extra game in their building to decide who wins and who loses. Since 1939, home teams are 80-49 in Game 7, a .620 winning percentage."

Monday, April 26, 2010

Boston and Chicago Move On

Two original six franchises move on: Boston and Chicago are in the second round. Hopefully Detroit and Montreal can join them and we'll have an old-school look at the NHL playoffs.

Here is a look at the latest series outcomes and standings. Just two first-round games remaining:

Habs/Halak Tribute Video

The song is hilarious - kind of awful with that Journey sample. However, it showcases the passion Montreal has for this team. And, the recognition for Jaroslav Halak being their man.

Halak Wall, Habs Beat Caps 4-1

Jaroslav Halak made 53 saves to lead Montreal to a game six victory over the Washington Capitals.

Halak is reaching legendary status in Montreal due to his unbelievable performance Monday.

Ovechkin and friends were denied, and denied again, and again. Alexander the Great is the one shaking his head now.

The Canadiens netted timely goals to win 4-1 and keep the "Drive for 25" alive for this once proud Montreal franchise.

Game seven - anything can happen. The Canadiens must win on the road. They have the momentum and have succeeded in stopping the high-octane Capitals offense.

How will the Capitals break through Halak wall? Has he stolen this series?

Phoenix Forces Game 7 With Detroit

The Phoenix Coyotes won game 6 of their opening round series with the Detroit Red Wings 5-2 Sunday in Detroit.

The Red Wings dominated the game early. The Wings had the Coyotes on their heels killing penalties. They even had a short two-man advantage. The first period was all Detroit. Everything seemed alright. The Joe Louis crowd was loving it. Except one thing: Detroit couldn't score.

The Red Wings could not capitalize on opportunities. Phoenix was allowed to stick around. When scoring chances arose for the Coyotes, they pounced on them. Before anyone in Joe Louis could digest it, the score was 4-1 in favor of Phoenix. The game was over.

Hockey comes down to one very important statistic among a ton of pointless ones: Goals. The team with the most goals wins the game. Scoring in hockey can be accomplished in many ways within the set rules. Teams often try to gain possession of the puck - the little black round thing - in order generate offense, which can lead to scoring chances, which can lead to goals, which can lead to wins. On professional levels - like the NHL - hockey games last for 60 minutes.

The Detroit Red Wings played a 20-minute game Saturday. They generated scoring chances but for some reason choked when it came to actually scoring.

No excuse really.

They got the calls from the officials. They had a five on three. They had all the momentum at home. Nothing to show for it.

Now, all that is bad enough right? It would be, but apparently the Red Wings defense decided to get really wasted before the game. They were so awful. Brad Stuart and Niklas Kronwall were the worst. These two must have been completely high or something. Give aways - blatant. It was abysmal. Stuart actually gave Phoenix a goal. He made some horrendous plays. He may want to avoid watching film of this game. If he does, he will probably want to quit hockey.

And this is how a team goes about losing a series-clinching game: Blown scoring chances and give aways.

Unbelievably bad. Now, who knows what can happen in game 7. Anything.

I've been calm up until this point. It is unnerving to watch a team dominate and not score. It's time to panic.

But honestly, what do I feel will happen in game 7?

I feel the Red Wings will lose if they play even remotely close to the way they did Sunday after the first ten minutes. They will need to score, and score early. Phoenix may make the mistake of trying to open this game up a bit through the neutral zone. Let's hope this happens. If it does, the game is over because Detroit will put up at least five goals. If they keep it tight and don't let their excitement affect their game, Detroit will struggle to get out of their own zone and across center ice.

Yep, there is a way for Phoenix to win. I'm pretty much talking about the trap. They can trap the Wings, create neutral zone turnovers and capitalize on "fast breaks." There is no way for Detroit to stop this other than taking control of the game early, or by playing relentless puck control hockey and not turning it over. Let's see if either team executes.

Can experience be a factor in this series once again? One would think so. But one would have thought experience could play a factor in game 6. So what does one know?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

LA Eliminated by Vancouver

The Los Angeles Kings lost 4-2 to the Vancouver Canucks in game 6 Sunday. LA is done, losing the series 4-2.

The Canucks will now try to actually accomplish something decent in the post season.

I will have plenty to say about the Kings once the playoffs are finished.

Overall, it was a solid season for LA with an OK showing in the playoffs.

Vancouver Could End This - Game 6 in LA

The Vancouver Canucks will be looking to move past the Los Angeles Kings Sunday in LA.

After the thorough beating Vancouver gave LA in game 5, in Vancouver, I would expect LA to come out pissed off and ready to rebound.

However, the Canucks have unleashed their deadly offense and I highly doubt they will stop filling the net now. LA just doesn't have the defense to keep this team off the score sheet. I'm talking about the LA team as a whole, not the defensemen alone.

This is an opportunity for the Canucks to gain some respect in the post season. In my opinion, Vancouver has no reason to lose to the Kings. It would be a disgrace.

I think this little graphic to the left from Sports Ecyclopedia does a decent job of illustrating the frustrating shortcomings of the Canucks franchise.

The most startling statistic is Vancouver's steady consistency of mediocrity. All these division championships and playoff appearances, yet nothing to show for it but a couple failed finals appearances.

Detroit Loses

There will be a lot to say about the Detroit Red Wings' loss to Phoenix Sunday at Joe Louis Arena.

Most of it will be crap.

I can guarantee everything I post here will be sincere and accurate.

I will focus on everything which went wrong for Detroit - so it will take some effort to sort through it all.

For now, I'm going to turn away from NBC and hockey for a bit.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Pittsburgh is Moving On

The Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Ottawa Senators 4-3 Saturday to clinch the series 4-2.

It is a shame to see Ottawa give this one away. The Senators were ahead 3-0 early in the game. They blew it. The Penguins climbed back in. The game went to overtime. Pittsburgh wasn't about to lose another game in extra periods.

Oh well, I guess Ottawa never really had too much a of a chance after falling 3-1 in the series. Pittsburgh proved again how vital playoff experience is.

Now, time to see if Colorado can prolong their series with San Jose.

While Googling This Blog

Yeah, I keep tabs on Dear Red Wings. I have come across this link below a few times after searching "Dear Red Wings."

This is amusing:

I can understand the feeling hockey fans have. Detroit just won't go away - even after a year of relative mediocrity.

Wings Win Game 5, 4-1, Other NHL Happenings

The Detroit Red Wings won game 5 in their opening round series with the Phoenix Coyotes Friday in Glendale, Ariz. The Wings won by a commanding margin of 4-1.

I basically said all I needed to in the previous post.

The Red Wings did what I expected they would. They played a patient, tight 60-minute game.

Phoenix's lack of playoff experience really showed in this game. Detroit was in control - regardless of what the analysts on Versus claim. I didn't feel Phoenix ever had the upper hand in this one. I don't know how Keith Jones felt "Phoenix dominated most of the game." What game was he watching? Phoenix couldn't even score on the power play.

The shots were 31-29 in favor of Phoenix. However, by no means did the Coyotes "out-play" Detroit. Review the game summary. The Red Wings were on the penalty kill more than the Coyotes in the second period. This allowed for Phoenix to get more offense going. However, Detroit displayed some really solid defense - allowing Jimmy Howard to make the first save on most of the shots. The Wings cleared or blocked second shot opportunities.

The Red Wings continued their solid play well through the third - pouncing on scoring chances. Executing.

Don't listen to Jones. He's clearly insane.

Around the League

It looked like a couple series would end Friday. However, Montreal and Buffalo decided they weren't finished yet. Both series will be going to a game six.

Philadelphia is in the second round. They're hot. As it stands now, I pick Philly to go to at least the conference finals - no matter who they pull in this next round.

The LA Kings are now tied with Vancouver. The Canucks owned the Kings 7-2 in Vancouver. The series is now 3-2 in favor of the Canucks. Game 5 showed how scary Vancouver can be offensively. They have a couple lines which can tear defenses apart. I'm not saying they are out of this series just yet, however, it is safe to say the Kings are cowering after such a beating. This is the experience factor at work, once again.

There's really just one appalling thing I would like to comment on: Martin Brodeur shaved his beard before game 5 against Philadelphia. Apparently he was claiming it would change New Jersey's luck and hopefully swing the series back NJ's way. I don't know if he has done this in the past and whether it had succeeded or not, but in my opinion it is clear Brodeur is officially and completely out of his mind. 2010 has not been his year.

Ok, I checked - apparently Brodeur never before grew a beard for the payoffs. Still, shaving it is just wrong. You keep that thing until it's over. No matter what. Idiot.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Phoenix, Detroit, Game 5

Statistically - other than wins - the Detroit Red Wings are winning this series. They have more goals, a better power play percentage, a better penalty kill percentage, a better goals against average and even a slightly better face-off percentage.

The series is tied at two games a piece - the only statistic which matters.

I was telling a friend how unfazed I am by the way this series is unfolding. Honestly, it is the calmest I have been all season. Nothing is surprising me.
I've watched this story before: The Red Wings pull an "upstart" - to quote a friend - team in the first round. This team steals some early games. The Red Wings maintain composure and tie the series up 2-2. What usually comes next is a Detroit victory in six. Now, the difference this year is the home ice advantage.

But seriously, this all seems very familiar. I'm not trying to take credit away from the Phoenix Coyotes. They are in this to win. They can still do it. However, Phoenix must realize the path they are going down with this experienced Detroit team. None of this is new for the Wings. They will not be shaken. They are a refined machine in situations like this - there is no denying it.

For the Coyotes, now comes the real test. Do they really understand what it takes to win a playoff series? I'm not talking about winning a couple playoff games. I am talking about winning a series. Huge difference.

Tonight, I expect to see a game similar to game 4. It will be close. Both teams will be giving a solid 60-minute effort. The goalies will be human walls. Overtime will not be surprising.

Ottawa Wins in OT

The Ottawa Senators live to see another game against Pittsburgh. The Sens finally capped a well-fought game in the third overtime period Thursday at Melon Arena.

All bias aside - which is probably completely impossible - I must say Pittsburgh is quite a team full of hacks. The Penguins got away with a lot of cheap stuff behind the play - especially as the game went on. This being said, Ottawa is not a team full of saints either. Plus, I kind of appreciate the old-time hockey grit. But, the NHL claims to be trying to rid the game of cheap shots behind the play. Regardless, Pittsburgh seems to use this game style effectively.

Ottawa thinks they have a chance now. Why not? They go home for game 6, and anything can happen in game 7.

Overall, I'm happy to see Ottawa turn this back into a series. The Senators have some talent. It would be a shame to see them fall in five games to the Penguins.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Vancouver Comeback in LA

The Vancouver Canucks hung around for three periods, matching the Los Angeles Kings offense when they had to. Each time LA looked like they might pull away with a couple goals, the Canucks answered. They kept in the game, and it paid off. Vancouver won 6-4 Wednesday night at the Staples Center.

Playing a 60-minute game is what it's all about in these playoffs. It doesn't seem to matter what kind of run a team gets on. If they can't stay solid for 60 minutes, they can forget about it, because chances are the other team will stick with it and pull out a win.

The series is now even as they head back to British Columbia for game 5.

The Kings

I said I wanted them to win in order to keep the maximum amount of hockey available on my TV. However, I found myself continually rooting against them. There is something about the LA fans which makes me shy away from being a part of. Overall, the Kings played well Wednesday.

The Canucks

It was Vancouver's turn to show how playoff experience can help as the series gets deeper. The Canucks got down early in LA and stayed a goal behind for the majority of the game. However, it never seemed to rattle them off their game. They continued to be physical. They continued to get pucks at Jonathan Quick. They earned a tough on-the-road, come-from-behind win. It was a veteran maneuver.

This series is starting to get ugly. There was some rough stuff at the end of the game which is sure to roll over into game 5.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Rooting For the Kings

I am officially pulling for the Los Angeles Kings to get out of the first round.


For purely selfish reasons. I realize if they lose in the first round it means less hockey available on my TV. For example: Right now I have a choice between Versus and Fox Sports Kings. It is between overtime periods right now in the Buffalo vs. Boston game. So, I switched to the Kings game. It's nice to be able to do this.

Also, I have to admit LA is playing some great hockey. These boys are inspiring. Plus, the Staples Center is really showing some support. Where did all these fans come from?

Anyway, go Kings I guess.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Detroit Beats Phoenix 3-0, Howard Earns SO

The Detroit Red Wings blanked the Phoenix Coyotes in game 4 Tuesday. Jimmy Howard earned his first career playoff shutout.

I did not see much of the game. In fact, the only actual footage I saw was either streamed or replays. I was listening on the radio and trying to catch as much as I could on the Internet.

From what I saw and heard, the Wings played a tight, 60-minute game. Howard showed up and proved he can bounce back from mediocrity. It was a real win which one can feel quite confident about.

Henrik Zetterberg scored two goals - giving him five in the series. When Z is on his game, the team seems to follow. He is the cornerstone of this franchise, for sure. Pavel Datsyuk had a highlight reel goal in the third. It was timely. Mike Babcock has to be pleased with his team's effort throughout the lineup. Most of all, he has to be thrilled his best players were, well, his best players. Always helps.

I mentioned I wanted to see Detroit make Phoenix earn their goals. I did not expect them to be this stingy about it. As a fan, I couldn't ask for anything better than a shutout. I love wins like this. I'd rather see tight, defense-oriented wins where goals are grinded out or earned on a spectacular play. This is probably why I call myself a hockey purist.

Regardless, this is what experience is all about - knowing how to bring a series back down to fundamentals. Just when it looked like Phoenix was getting their way, Detroit stayed level-headed and persistent. They stuck to what worked before - defense and puck control. Great goaltending was the "icing on the cake" - as Howard himself described his shutout in a post-game interview.

Next game is back in Phoenix. Hopefully the Red Wings don't go retroactive. I have a feeling they won't be looking back now.

Turnovers, High Expectations, Game 4

I will miss most of game 4 today, due to the largeness of this great nation which spans so many time zones.

After Sunday's loss, I can't say I feel confident the Detroit Red Wings will bounce back. Like I mentioned in my previous post, I would like to think Detroit's experience in tough playoff situations would start to show.

I am not calling for a blowout. Clearly, Phoenix is no slouch at putting pucks in the net. I believe if the Red Wings clean up the sloppy play in the neutral zone, the series is theirs. How many times can I say "less turnovers in the neutral zone will be the difference" before this team is out of contention? Turnovers have been plaguing Detroit all season. This is not basketball. But it sure feels like it sometimes.

An ideal win for the Wings would include a defensive shutdown and careful, smart play between the blue lines. Detroit must find a way to persuade Phoenix away from this opportunistic style of hockey. The Coyotes must be forced to work harder for goals. I would love to see the Wings hold them to one goal - two at the most.

Phoenix scored four goals in games two and three. This is unacceptable if Detroit wants to win, ever. Friday's game is a huge lie. Detroit is not Washington. They don't have a lineup of 30 or 40-goal scorers. They can't expect to win any game in which they allow the other team to score four goals. It won't happen.

Monday, April 19, 2010

LA Chases Luongo, Win 5-3

The Los Angeles Kings played their first playoff game at the Staples Center since 2002 Monday. The Kings pleased the loud home crowd with a 5-3 victory over the Vancouver Canucks.

LA looked great. I mean, this team is the real deal right now.

The Canucks looked awful. Just awful. I don't know what happened to this team. Can they ever play well in the post season? Awful.

There are couple things I'd like to comment on:

1. Toronto overturned a goal by Daniel Sedin early in the third period. The official called it a goal, but Toronto overruled saying Sedin kicked the puck in. It was an atrocious call which magnified Toronto's inconsistency on this rule. It is quite unnerving to know this type of stuff can happen. Thankfully, Vancouver was able to put one in not long after the huge goal review delay. Karma.

2. Vancouver pulled Roberto Luongo after four goals. Backup Andrew Raycroft let one in off Ryan Smyth's stick in the third period. Now, it was a weird goal. However, Luongo is the type of goalie who could have saved it - he has that ridiculous save factor with his wicked glove hand. I do not think it was a good idea for Vancouver to pull their world-class, gold-medal Olympian goaltender in game three. That's just my opinion of course. However, the Canucks better have Luongo on the ice next game, or this franchise really is f***ed three ways.

Anyway, the Detroit Red Wings play game three Tuesday. Maybe the "experience factor" - as a friend of mine called it - starts to kick in for Detroit.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Red Wings Lose 4-2

The Detroit Red Wings lost game three 4-2 in the first-round series with Phoenix Sunday.


The Phoenix Coyotes capitalized on their chances. The Red Wings did not. Detroit turned the puck over too much in the neutral zone. They played to their full potential for only about half the game.

This will not do them any good.

The Red Wings must win game four in order to avoid going back to Phoenix and facing elimination.

A win will require execution of scoring chances and intelligent play between the blue lines.

Wings and Phoenix Game 3

The Detroit Red Wings and Phoenix Coyotes meet for game three Sunday in Detroit.

Friday night's game blew open. Detroit slipped six goals past Ilya Bryzgalov.

Henrik Zetterberg got the hats on the ice with three goals of his own. Zetterberg was the difference for Detroit.

Coach Mike Babcock managed to make the move of the series thus far by calling up Justin Abdelkader from Grand Rapids. Abdelkader scored a crucial goal in the third period Friday. He is definitely gaining quite the reputation as Detroit's clutch playoff scorer.

Now, time to head back to Detroit with momentum.

Around the league Saturday

The Los Angeles Kings escaped falling two games behind Vancouver by taking game 2 in overtime. The series heads to LA - but not like anyone here gives a damn, the NBA playoffs start this weekend.

Montreal blew a three-goal lead against Washington in the third, and let the Capitals win 6-5 in overtime. Niklas Backstrom scored a sick goal in the first minute of OT. The series is even again. Now, time for Montreal to get back to their crazy fans.

My thoughts

In my opinion, the last thing Phoenix wanted to do is get into a shoot-out style of hockey with Detroit. The Wings have too much scoring depth. A lot of it is still untapped. I don't think Phoenix realizes the amount of talent throughout the Red Wings lineup. Everyone can score. Phoenix can't compete with it. I think it would have been a better idea for the Coyote to play more conservative hockey. If they want to stay in this series, I suggest a much less run-and-gun style of play. Otherwise, Detroit will have no problem netting five or six goals a game.

Montreal is done. Washington woke up. The Capitals are scary as hell when they get going like they did Saturday. As long as they show up to play in Montreal, this series is over.

The Kings have something here. They controlled the majority of Saturday's game in Vancouver. They were patient with the puck. They were smart. Vancouver was running all over the place. LA was not about to change their game - even after getting down by two early. It was an impressive come-from-behind, on-the-road win for the Kings. I am pulling for the Canucks, but I think the Kings are earning it more right now.

More to come after tomorrow's games.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Montreal Canadiens Beat Washington

I watched the Montreal Canadiens take down the big bad Washington Capitals in overtime Thursday.

Hockey fans have to love the parody going on in the playoffs this year. Sure, we are only one game into the conference quarterfinals. It is quite likely some of these series will turn around for the higher seeds and go only five games. However, having the potential of longer series makes for a more enjoyable playoff season.

But back to Montreal.

Montreal was the perennial NHL (If not sports in general) franchise. They didn't just win the Stanley Cup, they stole it away from the rest of the league, for years at a time - as many as five years in a row, more than once. But that was then. Now, it has been 17 years since the Canadiens made a trip to the finals.

Can this storied Canadian franchise take down America's capital city franchise? Probably not. But they can make a series out of it. They show heart - fueled by the best hockey fans in the world. Sorry Detroit, but refer to the NHL attendance report I posted a day ago. Montreal wins.

Honestly, I just hope they can turn it around. I see Montreal's current 17-year drought as a lesson to franchises like Detroit. Being on top means falling hard, and all that, etc. But the fans have never given up on the team - which is the only reason this franchise is still around, still trying to contend for Lord Stanley's Cup. Don't take anything for granted.

Detroit at Phoenix, Game 2

I should start by saying this: Ilya Bryzgalov will collapse tonight.

Bold statement? Yes. Yet, sometimes I have to go with my gut feeling. My "gut," or whatever bodily organ sends these messages to my psyche, says the Detroit Red Wings will put up some goals in Phoenix tonight. Wishful thinking can go a long way.

I should end by saying this: I am not a wishful thinker. My gut is.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

NHL Attendance Report 2010

This has been brought to my attention a couple times in recent weeks.

Study it. Make what you will of it.

Personally, I want to see the market populations. Also, I need a list of each team's arena capacity.

Then, I would be able to make a better argument for why I think some of these markets should go away.

Keep in mind, Phoenix is dead last in attendance, after finishing with a franchise record (Post Winnipeg) 107 points. Who wants them to go deep in the playoffs? 14,487 people who show up to the games? If they did go far in the playoffs, would it help grow the fan base? Probably for a season. Then they would forget again.

I don't believe hockey is the type of sport which can be pushed on a market like Phoenix. It's not the easiest sport to market anyway. It shouldn't be. There is nothing wrong with catering to the loyal fans in smaller markets, in my opinion. But then again, I'm not a millionaire businessman.

Cities which want a team can't have one. Cities which could care less, have one. This is nothing new. How does this help the NHL? I can't think of a way it does. It's been happening in the NHL since the 1970s. But it's clearly a big problem for the fan base.

Just by looking at this season's attendance, I would suggest cutting the league down to 24 teams. I would move a couple teams to better markets. But, what do I know?

By the way, here's the attendance report for 2001:

AND, interestingly enough, take a look at this season's AHL attendance report. These are for home games.

Hershey had, on average, about 2,000 less attendees for their minor league team than the fourth place Phoenix Coyotes - an NHL, Stanley Cup contending team.

Make what you will of it.

San Jose, New Jersey, Pittsburgh Lose

Three of the four series which started Wednesday began with the lower seeded team winning. New Jersey fell to Philadelphia. San Jose gave the first game to Colorado. And of course, Pittsburgh lost to Ottawa.

In the case of the Detroit Red Wings, they may have the lower seed, but they definitely don't play the role of underdog.

Is this more evidence to support my theory?

I think so.

Can Ottawa Take Down the Champs?

The Ottawa Senators beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-4 Wednesday in Pittsburgh.

Is Ottawa for real?

Sure, it's just one game. Most likely Pittsburgh will bounce back and tie the series before heading to Ottawa for game three. However, from what I saw, Pittsburgh may have more trouble with this Senators team rolling four lines.

Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to watch many Ottawa games this season. I really don't know much about this team. They finished with 94 points. They gave up more goals than they scored. They had a deadly home record with just 11 losses. Basically, they play unbelievably well in Ottawa, and not quite so well everywhere else. This makes the game one win in Pitt even more interesting.

Do I see Ottawa winning four games in this series? No.

I hate to be this guy, but I have to think back to what history has taught me. So many teams have stolen the first game in a series purely due to emotions and energy. They can roll four lines, try to throw the more experienced team off their game and squeak one out. However, the energy runs out. The next game usually has the more experienced, more talented team sticking to what they know - how to win, how to battle back - and the team which was running on pure emotion and energy, well, now running around, trying to figure out why they can't fool the other guys twice.

It's smoke and mirrors. I might be wrong, and trust me, I hope I am. I hope Ottawa figures out a game plan to beat Pittsburgh in this series. But I haven't seen it yet. They willed a win in the first game. But that could be the last time they can win like that.

That being said, I haven't seen a solid game plan from Phoenix either. Similar stories here - and this makes me hope I'm right about everything I just typed out above.

I guess I'm telling the fans of Pittsburgh and Detroit to relax, have faith in their teams. It takes four.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Detroit Loses to Phoenix 3-2 in Game 1

The Detroit Red Wings succumbed to the Phoenix Coyotes 3-2 in game one of the Western Conference quarterfinals.

The Coyotes scored all three goals on the power play. Phoenix deserves credit for taking advantage of opportunities. Arena was loud and obnoxious. They came out with energy and "physicality" - I swear, if I hear one more hockey commentator use this word I will lose hope in the English-speaking world. It's correct, and it works. But it sounds so awkward and pompous during a hockey game.

Anyway, it's a seven-game series. The majority of the series will be played even strength. If Phoenix wants to win said series, they will have to do more than take advantage of opportunities - they will have to create them. The penalties they drew were not necessarily earned. As the series continues, I will not be surprised when the boys in stripes pocket the whistles a bit more.

On the flip side, Detroit did not play awful hockey. The Red Wings looked solid for the majority of the even-strength play. However, it is clear they have some work to do on special teams - on both sides. By the way, the term "special teams" seems to have embedded itself in hockey commentary. I am not sure when this happened. I do not remember anyone ever using such a term around the rink. I need to start muting the TV again.

I digress.

The Wings fell victim to a team hungry for a playoff victory. Bottom line - from where I was sitting at least - this game clearly meant more to the Coyotes. They needed to give their fans (all four of them) a reason to return to Arena Friday. However, they really didn't control the game, at all. If they want to win four games against Detroit, they will definitely need to take control of the flow of the game and not rely on

Alright, I am not going to worry about this. Detroit has a few areas to improve in. This loss may actually work in their favor. They can learn from the mistakes. Hopefully Phoenix doesn't realize how lucky they are to be up 1-0.

Note: Arena - the true example of idiotic corporate America. Sickening name for a hockey rink. It happens.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


The anticipation for the 2010 playoffs is enough to drive me up the wall - an expression often used, yet seldom achieved. However, I am becoming more confident I will accomplish this figure of speech in the most literal sense possible.

One thing I am concerned about: Goal tending. I have enough confidence for Jimmy Howard. He has something to prove. He has no choice. If he blows it, oh well. Honestly, I do not think he will.

No, it's not Howard. The goal tending I am worried about is the man on the other team - Ilya Bryzgalov. Bryzgalov has the potential to put a wall between the pipes - again, with the wall. I'm aware of this developing theme.

Bryzgalov won a Cup with Anaheim a few years back. Yeah, I know, Anaheim won a Stanley Cup. Sometimes even I forget. Regardless, he won three playoff games for the Ducks that year. Overall, Bryzgalov is 9-5 in NHL playoffs with a stunning GAA of 1.68, and a save percentage of .937% - damn, not bad. Hence; me worried.

Detroit has a history with goalies knocking them out. Many examples from the past 20 years come to mind.

Some say goal tending wins championships. I say it ruins chances for others. Why? Because usually a goalie can steal a series or two. In order to win a Cup, the team needs to support at some point. Recent examples: A.) Edmonton Oilers 2006 Cup run. Dwayne Roloson stole as much as he could. B.) J.S. Giguere - 2003 Conn Smythe to prove it. It wasn't until Anaheim could put a team in front of him in 2007 that he could achieve Lord Stanley's Cup - and oh, Bryzgalov was there to help him. Basically, luck runs out. Goal tending goes so far. Walls eventually crumble. Need I go on?

I will have more to say. But just know: Ilya is suspect. He may prove to be a wall. He may prove to be a thief. He is innocent until proven guilty, but suspect nonetheless.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Detroit vs. Phoenix in Round 1

The Detroit Red Wings will face the Phoenix Coyotes in the opening round of the 2010 playoffs.

The first game is at 7 p.m. EST Wednesday in Phoenix.

Phoenix finished the season with 50 wins for 107 points. The Red Wings finished with 44 wins and 102 points. The teams are seeded fourth and fifth, respectively.

The Wings defeated the Chicago Blackhawks Sunday to secure the fifth spot in the West. Their one-point advantage over the Los Angeles Kings spares the Red Wings from a first-round meeting with the Vancouver Canucks.

The Phoenix Coyotes

The Coyotes went 5-3-2 in their last 10 games. Phoenix was hot in the first couple months of the season. They slowed down a bit in the latter half, but were able to put some streaks together in order to stay among the top teams in the West.

The franchise is bankrupt. Their future in Phoenix is yet to be determined for certain. However, the team ignored all the negative hype around the organization and just played hockey. Clearly, they stunned the league by notching the most points in franchise history. The Coyotes really put together quite a story this season. At this point, anything could happen. They are a bag of surprises.

Detroit will have its hands full with a team of youngsters and journeyman. The Red Wings will want to intimidate the Coyotes in the first couple games in Phoenix. This will not be easy to do.

Personally, I'm thinking this series will go to six games. The Wings may drop a couple games in Phoenix. The Coyotes have been playing without fear or respect for anyone all season. I can't see why this should change now.

Already, the gurus are putting Detroit as far as the finals. The Coyotes will surely be sold short by the media and so-called hockey analysts. This is exactly what the "Dogs" have been hearing all season. They feed off this.

Detroit will need to take this team seriously. Yes, they should feel better about facing Phoenix instead of Vancouver, but only due to traveling reasons and Roberto Luongo.

Like I said, anything can happen with a team which has already beaten so many odds and quieted so many naysayers.

Let's go. The 2010 NHL playoffs are among us.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Vancouver Buries the Flames 7-3

Henrik Sedin had a four-point night against the Calgary Flames Saturday. Sedin's Vancouver Canucks routed the Flames 7-3.

Sedin is now three points ahead of Alexander Ovechkin for the NHL's overall points leader. Ovechkin has a game left to try to catch him.

Sedin set up his twin brother Daniel a few times Saturday. The duo's last combo in Saturday's meeting with the Flames was definitely the prettiest.

Check this out. These guys are fun to watch. Really fun to watch. If Vancouver has dreams of a franchise-first Stanley Cup, the Sedin brothers will have to do a lot of this:

Nashville Wins, Passes Detroit

The Detroit Red Wings are now in sixth place again after the Nashville Predators defeated the St. Louis Blues Saturday. Nashville and Detroit are tied in points with 100 each. However, Nashville has more wins, so the Predators move ahead in the standings.

I sort of overlooked the Nashville thing while I was getting caught up in Los Angeles' chance to pass Detroit.

The good news is, Los Angeles lost to Edmonton Saturday. However, the Kings still picked up a point.

Things are close. I guess it doesn't matter too much. Regardless, the Wings have a lot to play for against Chicago Sunday, if not just for pride.

New York Islanders 1980 Stanley Cup Champions

Below is a cool video of the 1980 New York Islander's Stanley Cup championship. This was the first of four Cups in a row for the Islanders.

The 1979-1980 season was a little screwed up. The NHL added four teams from the collapsed World Hockey Association: Quebec Nordiques, Hartford Whalers, Edmonton Oilers and Winnipeg Jets. Apparently the league could not organize a season schedule based on conference and divisions quick enough. They sort of dropped the ball. Consequently, the playoff seeds were not based on conference. This is why two teams from the same conference met in the finals.

Here is a look at the top five teams in each conference at the end of the season. See how the Islanders and Flyers finished one and two in the Campbell Conference. Weird.

The Flyers set an NHL undefeated streak with 35 wins over a span of three months. This record set up a great chance for the Flyers to choke. It was a classic Philly choke job.

Kings Make Playoffs, On Detroit's Heels

This will be the first time the Los Angeles Kings make it to the post season since 2002. The Kings lost in seven games in the opening round against Colorado in 2002. They were seeded seventh.

This season, they will have the opportunity to finish as a fifth or sixth seed - the best they've finished since 1999-2000 when they ended up in fifth.

Kings' playoff outlook

The Phoenix Coyotes have locked up the fourth spot in the West. LA will most likely finish sixth behind Detroit. So, they will probably be facing the Vancouver Canucks who are going to finish in third place.

However, if they can pass Detroit, they will have the opportunity to do themselves a huge favor and avoid Vancouver in the opening round. Detroit needs to beat Chicago tomorrow to make things a bit more difficult on LA. The Kings have two games remaining. If they win both, and Detroit wins their last, the teams will tie with 102 points. LA will take the tie breaker because they will have more wins.

For LA's sake, if they want to do anything in this post season, they need not to face the Vancouver Canucks in the first round. The Canucks will beat them in seven games. The Phoenix Coyotes are a better match for the young Kings.

If LA can survive the first round, they will have accomplished something.

Detroit will be taking it to Chicago tomorrow. Without a doubt, they understand the significance of the extra two points. Anyone with any sense would rather face Phoenix before Vancouver.

Bruins Score 3 Shorthanded in 1:04

The Boston Bruins scored three shorthanded goals against the Carolina Hurricanes Saturday. The goals were all scored within a 1:04. This has to be an NHL record - maybe even an organized hockey record. It is unheard of.

Boston is looking to make the playoffs for the third season in a row. They need two points against Carolina Saturday to clinch a spot. The Bruins were up 3-0 in the second period.

Carolina has battled back to make the score 3-2. The game is in the second intermission. I hope Carolina finds a way to win. I would laugh.

Check out this ridiculously bias Bobby Orr tribute video.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Smith vs. Neil

This is good to see: A goalie fighting. I am certain a goalie throwing down is one of the most exciting things which can happen in this sport.

I don't like how the Tampa Bay guy runs in there and grabs Neil's face. This is cheap. Let Smith handle it. No need to step in there and fight for him. Plus, he kind of ruined any potential of an epic goalie fight. I am disappointed.

Red Wings Earn 100 Points

The Detroit Red Wings earned 100 points for the tenth season in a row - could have been 11 if the NHL was in session during 2004-2005. Regardless, this is a record. The Wings now sit in fifth place.

They had to beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 1-0 in a shootout to get the record Friday. Todd Bertuzzi sealed the game with his patented slow approach to the net, followed by some shifty moves and a backhand. The puck squeaked through the human wall called Chris Mason - this guy is ridiculous.

One game remaining: Chicago.

Columbus notes

Listening to the Columbus Blue Jackets TV commentators made me realize how low the franchise expectations are. They quoted Columbus head coach Claude Noel a few times.

"He (Noel) said he was happy with the team's performance, and that he was glad to see the boys having fun, everyone was having fun," said one the TV voices. I swear to God, they actually said this. The comments got worse. This franchise really is abysmal. Plus, after their first playoff appearance last season, this season was really a step backwards for the team.

OK, enough posts about the Columbus Blue Jackets.

New York Rangers

The Rangers beat Philadelphia 4-3 Friday. New York is still alive. The teams meet again this weekend. Rangers need to win, again.

Not Much to Say

I'm at a slight stand still. I guess we all are. The playoffs are right there - I can feel them.

The only interesting thing happening is the fate of the New York Rangers this weekend. I can not claim to care too much about it.

Anyway, I welcome another Stanley Cup playoff - something I can count on every year. I remember 2005 - not fun.

Pictured above is the original Stanley Cup - donated by Lord Stanley of Preston in 1893. Lord Stanley had this to say when he first thought about donating the Cup:

"I have for some time been thinking that it would be a good thing if there were a challenge cup which should be held from year to year by the champion hockey team in the Dominion (of Canada). There does not appear to be any such outward sign of a championship at present, and considering the general interest which matches now elicit, and the importance of having the game played fairly and under rules generally recognized, I am willing to give a cup which shall be held from year to year by the winning team. I am not quite certain that the present regulations governing the arrangement of matches give entire satisfaction, and it would be worth considering whether they could not be arranged so that each team would play once at home and once at the place where their opponents hail from."

This was in a letter he sent to Ottawa in 1892.

That's all for now.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Detroit Finished Sixth in 1991

The last time the Detroit Red Wings finished outside of the top five teams in their conference was back in 1991. The Red Wings finished sixth place in the Clarence Campbell Conference that year. They jumped to a 3-1 series lead over the St. Louis Blues during the opening round of the post season. However, St. Louis came back to win in seven games.

This season, the Wings will enter the playoffs seated out of the top five for the first time since 1991. Hopefully they won't bow out so soon, or in such a fashion as the previous time.

Whatever happens, the Wings are still better off than St. Louis.


Pictured above is former Detroit defenseman Steve Chiasson. Chiasson was on the 1991 team. He had 4 points in 5 games during the first-round meltdown against the Blues. In 1999, Chiasson died in a car accident. He was 32.

New York kills Toronto 5-1, Stays Alive

The New York Rangers did what they had to. They won the first of three games, beating the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-1.

The Rangers have the real test ahead: A home-and-home with Philadelphia.

This is when it gets interesting.

I had to follow up on this after the prodigious post yesterday. I would really like to see the Rangers pull off this incredible feat. I would be impressed. I definitely don't think they can do it.

Prove me wrong.

Detroit Beats Columbus 4-3, Move to Six Spot

The Detroit Red Wings beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3.

There was a flurry of goals scored in the third period. I think there were some records set - at least in Columbus franchise history.

Now, Detroit sits in sixth place in the West. The Vancouver Canucks are sure to end the season in third place. I really don't know if this match up is a good thing. I do know this: Vancouver would probably rather not see Detroit in the first round.

Things can still change.

Real 'Slap Shot' Chiefs to Leave Johnstown

The Johnstown Chiefs is the team which inspired the movie "Slap Shot." The Chiefs are done in Johnstown - a city suffering from economic turmoil. Basically, the real Chiefs are experiencing a similar fate as the movie Chiefs.

Here is the full story. It is a depressing one. Oh well, the movie is legendary and will never be forgotten. It will never move to another town.

Keith Tkachuk Retires

St. Louis Blues forward Keith Tkachuk announced his retirement Wednesday.

I never liked Tkachuk - dating way back to his days with the Winnipeg Jets. It saddens me to know he will go down as one of the best American players.

However, he was gritty. He hustled and earned every single one of his 538 goals. I have to give him credit for sticking around as long as he did. He played on some really mediocre teams. He never got a cup. Now he never will - as a player.

Goodbye Keith, I am sure some people will miss you more than I will.

This is Random - Yzerman and Chuck Daly

I was looking for a different Steve Yzerman commercial - the new "What if Stevie Y didn't inspire Hockeytown?" one - when I stumbled upon this:

Ridiculous. Anyway, I never found the commercial I was looking for. However, finding this made my search somewhat worth it.

My Favorite Wing - Currently

A friend recently texted me: "Who is your favorite Wing?"

Of course, I responded with: "Of all time? Or current?"


Well, it struck me: I am not 100% certain.

I texted back: "Datsyuk, probably." An assertive response, indeed.

I like Pavel Datsyuk's two-way play. He is the total package. But so is Henrik Zetterberg. Even Valtteria Filppula crossed my mind. So it was difficult to give a knee-jerk response to this epic question.

My conclusion to stick with Datsyuk was decided by one thing: He is freaking hilarious. He has a comical personality which shows during interviews and even on the ice.

Datsyuk is my favorite player on Detroit's current roster. My favorite Red Wing of all is, of course, Sergei Fedorov. Maybe this will change.

Detroit vs. Columbus

The Detroit Red Wings face the Columbus Blue Jackets at Joe Louis Arena Wednesday - today.

I defiled the Columbus Blue Jackets in a post last week titled "Red Wings Rule All."

I will hold off from any extra torture.

Here is what matters for Detroit above all else: Playing a 60-minute game. The Red Wings need to pretend like it is already the playoffs. Columbus will have to pretend like they matter - oops, I could not resist.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Rangers Control Own Destiny

The New York Rangers are in ninth place with 82 points. They have three games remaining. The last two of those games are against the Philadelphia Flyers. Those two are also Philly's last two games. The Flyers are in seventh place with 86 points.

The Boston Bruins are in eighth place with 85 points. Boston has three games remaining. The Bruins could end the season with 91 points. The Flyers could end the season with 90 points. The Rangers could end the season with 88 points and potentially finish in sixth place at best - even if Boston wins one.

This means the Rangers must win all three games. Consequently, the Flyers would have to lose both games to the Rangers and end the season with their current 86 points. Boston will only need to win one game to stay in the playoff picture.

Got all that? There are a couple more scenarios. Those are the ones which will most likely happen. By the way, Montreal has 87 points and two games left.

Basically, New York needs to win out. The Flyers need to win out or bank on Boston losing their last three games. Boston needs to win one or bank on New York losing all three games. If New York wins one and ties one (forces OT) while Boston loses all three, the two teams will tie with 85 points and New York will move on because they will have more wins.

My head hurts.

This is insane. I don't know who I would rather see miss the playoffs. This is just a hockey fan's dream. I love these late-season races to the finish.

What about Atlanta? Well, they lost Tuesday and are now eliminated from the post season.

In the West

Anaheim blew a three-goal lead over Los Angeles Tuesday. The Kings prevailed 5-4 in overtime. Ridiculous. I was really counting on Anaheim to throw Detroit a bone.

Detroit sits in seventh now, right behind LA.

The eight teams in the West are now set due to Colorado's shootout win in Vancouver Tuesday - knocking Calgary out of the race. Calgary could have held on, but lost to San Jose.

All the action is in the East to end the season.

Scuderi Hit on Chimera

This was a while ago, as the video will state.

I've been meaning to share this. I do not understand why no one kicked the crap out of Rob Scuderi. I did an entire post on this: The Scuderi Hit.

I didn't have access to the video at the time. I just remembered the incident this weekend.

Washington Beats Pittsburgh, LA Faces Anaheim

I am happy to see the Washington Capitals handle the Pittsburgh Penguins. I would love to see the Caps go to the finals. They need to go into the playoffs sprinting.

LA at Anaheim

Los Angeles is in Anaheim tonight. I will have the game on TV - watching more or less. I am hoping Anaheim helps Detroit with a win at home tonight.

But really, does it matter? Should I want Detroit in sixth or seventh place? I guess what it comes down to for me is I would hate to see LA finish the season ahead of Detroit.

A Must See

If you are a true hockey fan, then you've probably seen this by now.

Personally, I think this is amazing.

"It was the wrong call by the referee. I disagreed with it," Playfair said after the game.

Really? He disagreed with it?

Scratch That

If the playoffs started today, the Detroit Red Wings would face Vancouver. In my previous post, I said Detroit would face Chicago - wrong. However, if Detroit loses and Los Angeles wins then there will be a change in the standings, which would leave Detroit in seventh and LA in sixth.

Los Angeles meets Anaheim today. Detroit is host to Columbus Wednesday.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Detroit Is In the Playoffs

The weekend wasn't exactly ideal for the Detroit Red Wings. The Wings lost in OT to Nashville Saturday and then fell in regulation to Philadelphia Sunday. However, Detroit did clinch a playoff spot.

The Red Wings haven't missed the playoffs since 1991. This season was as close as they have come to missing the post season in the past 19 seasons.

If the playoffs started today, Detroit would face the Chicago Blackhawks. The question is, does it really matter which team Detroit meets in the first round?

In my opinion, the team they face doesn't matter as much as the distance they travel. I think it may help Detroit if they face someone closer to home like Chicago in the opening round. No need to tire the team out in the first round. I would hate to see them have to travel all the way to Vancouver. However, it probably doesn't matter. It is just how I feel.

We shall see.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Focusing On a Positive

Here is something positive for Detroit from Sunday's game against Philadelphia:

Passing Clinic:

I Am Attacking the Networks

It is clear hockey does not belong on network TV. I find myself disagreeing with NHL commentators more and more. I recently had a bit to say about NBC's Pierre McGuire. Check it out.

Detroit Red Wings Fall To Flyers 4-3

The Detroit Red Wings played an awful game against the Philadelphia Flyers Sunday, losing 4-3 in Philadelphia.

The Flyers got off to a quick 2-0 lead. Detroit battled back with a couple of their own. Detroit never had the lead.

The Flyers persuaded the Wings to play their gritty style of hockey. This, of course, did not fair well for Detroit. The Red Wings turned the puck over a lot in their own zone - which led to almost every goal Philly scored.

Chris Osgood was no help. He could have saved at least two of the Flyers goals.

I was not impressed.

The Red Wings are now on a two-game losing streak. The Los Angeles Kings are one point behind. Detroit will soon be in seventh place in the West.

Pierre McGuire: Piece of Shit

Pierre McGuire does hockey commentary for NBC. He does intermission analysis. Also, he is the annoying idiot between the benches during the games. Overall, he is by far the worst sports commentator on television.

I really don't know where to begin, so I will just dive right in.

McGuire knows nothing about the sport. His lack of hockey knowledge is completely obvious to even the casual hockey audience. I am appalled by this. Apparently he was a college coach and even an NHL coach at some point. He was a scout for Pittsburgh, and an assistant coach for a few teams. How? He must have been hated and run out of the locker room.

The best way I can describe McGuire is by comparing him to a typical popinjay. A popinjay is a vain and talkative person - 90 percent of humans on TV. McGuire is all about hearing the sound of his own voice - no matter how idiotic he may sound.

Ernest Hemingway may have put it best in "Death in the Afternoon" with his description of a popinjay:

"A writer who appreciates the seriousness of writing so little that he is anxious to make people see he is formally educated, cultured or well-bred is merely a popinjay."

In his case, McGuire does not appreciate hockey. He only appreciates his own involvement in the sport. However, he has limited knowledge and experience within the game. He often likes to make himself sound like some sort of NHL legend. He talks about his own experiences in the game as if we the audience are supposed to remember McGuire's illustrious career as an assistant coach, as a player in Europe or as a second-rate NHL scout. Of course, none of it is worth mentioning. He has a distorted image of himself.

The average NHL fan will most likely have sounder arguments than McGuire. I have often heard him make off-the-cuff comments about penalties and fighting. He will contradict himself every game. I have heard him argue for toughness and grit, while arguing against fighting. He jumps on whatever the hot topic is for the week. He seems so out of touch with the game in front of him. It is frightening to know he is NBC's voice of hockey.

I could go on, but really I would rather not waste much more time on this guy. I only wish to advise people not to listen to a word he says - especially the casual hockey fans tuning in randomly on Sunday to accidentally catch a game on NBC. He could potentially ruin the purity of the sport.

He adds to my distrust of network TV.

Detroit Loses to Nashville 4-3 OT, Faces Flyers

The Nashville Predators snapped Detroit's seven-game winning streak Saturday. I didn't see it.

I am currently watching Detroit play Philadelphia. The Red Wings are losing 3-2. Chris Osgood is in goal. He let in a couple goals which Jimmy Howard probably would have saved.

Detroit is getting pushed around by Philly right now. The Red Wings need to wake up and stop turning the puck over.

Philadelphia is in a desperate position in the East. They are clinging to eighth place. Both teams need points. Maybe Philly could be called he more desperate team in this game. However, I don't think it matters. Detroit is just as hungry for the points.

My conclusion to this point: I hate NBC. I hate Pierre McGuire.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Roberto Luongo Gives Up 8 in LA

I just watched Roberto Luongo play one of the worst games in his career. The Vancouver Canucks just fell to the Los Angeles Kings 8-3 in LA. Luongo was in goal for all eight goals. He looked awful. Completely off his game from the beginning.

What does this mean for LA? Honestly, it doesn't mean much more than two points and a W. The Kings had a great game. However, Luongo and friends had a really off night. I wouldn't give the Kings too much credit. I have not seen the Canucks play this bad all season.

Knowing Luongo, due to this game he will now become a human wall.

The NHL Western Conference

The NHL's Western Conference has been on steroids for the past four weeks. The top ten, or even eleven, teams have been slugging it out. Teams like Nashville and Detroit got hot and consequently screwed a few other teams like Calgary, Los Angeles and Colorado. Even the St. Louis Blues have been clinging to playoff hopes (But they can soon forget the post season - they lost to Nashville Thursday). It has really been quite an enjoyable ride - yes, mostly because Detroit is on fire.

Now, how high can Detroit and Nashville push this? Can they keep winning and end up fourth and fifth in the West? It seems nothing can stop these teams but each other. If this is the case, we could soon be seeing Detroit against Nashville in the first round - which would be intense. The Phoenix Coyotes better watch their tails - they could soon be sitting in sixth.

I look forward to seeing how the last couple of weeks unfold.

Quick comment on Chicago:

They painted some sort of mural in Chicago depicting Jonathan Toews with the Stanley Cup in the background. They're done. This is just too far. First they sign Marian Hossa - A.K.A. Mr. Anti-Championship . Now they paint a mural of a current Blackhawk with the Cup. This is blatant poor judgement. The franchise is assuming they can overcome a lot of ancient hockey superstitions. I feel bad for the fans.

Detroit Red Wings Beat Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2

I did not see most of the game. I returned home from work during the second intermission.

First: I saw the replay of the Pavel Datsyuk goal - that was sick. Well done Pavel. This is what happens when he takes it to the net and shoots. Sometimes he tries to go for the extra pass - which can be frustrating to watch when you know he can snipe.

Anyway, I don't have much to comment. It was one of those games which could have been 5-1 Detroit. The Red Wings missed some opportunities to put the game away. Luckily, the Todd Bertuzzi "no-goal" was overturned in Toronto. It proved to be the difference.

Detroit is now on a seven-game winning streak. What more can you ask? Well, I would ask them to keep winning. Right now, I don't see them losing. I really don't. I said it a couple days ago: They won't lose when they play with this type of intensity. They have so much depth. When the entire lineup is clicking like it is now, the Detroit Red Wings are unstoppable.