Saturday, May 8, 2010

In Detroit We Trust

If any team can come back from 0-3, it is the Red Wings. If any team can blow a 3-0 lead it is the San Jose Sharks. Detroit should of won Game Three, and was leading Game two going into the third period. Take nothing away from San Jose, as they have played brilliantly in this series. However, maybe Jimmy Howard is due to steal a game, maybe Franzen will score another 4 goals, who knows maybe Bertuzzi will step up. Detroit will do what it takes to take this series back to the Joe.

The Pick: Detroit + 125

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wednesday Wrap Up

Some thoughts from Tuesday's action:

The Montreal Canadiens are giving the Pittsburgh Penguins all they can handle. Last night it was the Canadiens turn to find out what happens when you run into a hot goalie. The second half of the first period found Montreal all over the Penguins. They did everything right except score. As the game went on, Marc-Andre Fluery made terrific save after terrific save and deserves most of the credit in Pittsburgh's victory. For Montreal, PK Subban looks like the real thing on defense. He moves the puck, plays well defensively and could be the 6th defensemen they have been looking for. This series is far from over.

The San Jose Sharks take a commanding 3-0 lead on the 2 time Western Conference Champion Detroit Red Wings. The achilles heal of the Red Wings for years has been their goaltending. Usually, they are good enough despite the goaltending and veteran Chris Osgood always made the saves he was supposed to make. Last night, Rookie (I hate calling him that, he is 25) Jimmy Howard gave San Jose a gift when Logan Couture scored on a terrible angle to tie the game up at 3 in the later stages of the third period. Give San Jose full marks for coming from behind to tie that game up. Patrick Marleau scored the game winner in overtime when the Sharks took advantage of a bad read by the Red Wings off a player change. Marleau has gotten beat up each offseason when the Sharks have had early exits, and has also lost his captaincy.
Good for Marleau and the Sharks as they appear to be on the door of the Western Conference Finals.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Tuesday Timeout

Just another day to discuss topics such as:

The biting incident: Too bite or not too bite? During Game two of the Boston-Philly series, Daniel Carcillo accused Marc Savard of biting his finger. Carcillo had this to say about the incident. "The last time I was bit was in grade school. "It's not a good feeling and it was pretty cowardly" Savard responded by saying "I guess that's biting when a guy tries to pull your front teeth out like he did" Perhaps Carcillo, who has no front teeth, wanted Savard to look like him and was trying to do him a favor for his appearance. Funny stuff that only happens in hockey!

Sid the Cry Baby: I have to admit, I defend Crosby to most of my fellow hockey followers who can't stand the guy, but his actions during Game Two was indefensible. After Jarosalv Halak made one of his many saves in a Game Two win, Crosby throw his stick in the direction of Halak and was visibly upset. I'm sorry Sidney, you're not the only player Halak has stoned this postseason. Don't come across as a spoiled baby. Ask Ovechkin and the Capitals how it feels.

The Up's and Down's of Antti Niemi: After allowing 5 goals in a game one loss to Vancouver, Ron MacLean of Hockey Night in Canada suggested that the Hawks may go to Huet in Game two. However, if you look at Niemi this season after a bad game, he usually responds with a solid performance, as he did last night. Vancouver scored two early goals, one on a five on three, and Niemi shut the door after that. Even if he gives up 8 goals he still probably has more confidence than Huet at this point. He is the guy for the Blackhawks, as I'm sure Chicago fans have developed a love-hate relationship with him this season.

When Mike Babcock speaks, I Listen: His team is in an 0-2 hole to San Jose after taking several penalties in the third period of game two, yet he did not blast the officiating and still appears confident heading back to Detroit. I don't think there is a coach in the league, as prepared, respected, and not afraid to make a tough decision(ex.pulling Brodeur in the Olympics). Reading his quotes this morning makes me appear confident that the Wings will win tonight.

TV ratings up in US: This seasons epic playoffs have produced the highest cable ratings in ten years in the US. We have had our frustrations with Versus on this blog at times, but overall this is good news for hockey fans and the NHL. I think NBC is another issue as I could do without Pierre Mcguire, and the ridiculous early start times here on the West Coast, but if people are watching than I can deal with it.

For what's it worth, We'll take the two Stanley Cup Finalist from a year ago to win tonight.

Detroit -165
Pittsburgh -170

Monday, May 3, 2010

Monday Minutes

Another exciting round of playoffs is underway as we rank the top five performers in the post season thus far.

1) Jaroslav Halak - How can anyone forget his 53 save performance in Game Six against Washington? He is simply the only reason why the Canadiens pulled off the biggest first round upset in years. Not a bad performance yesterday in Game Two against Pittsburgh as he is officially in the head of Sidney Crosby.

2) Joe Pavelski - He leads the NHL playoffs in scoring with 9 goals and has taken over as the Sharks go to guy this postseason. Forming a dynamic line with Ryan Clowe and Devin Setoguchi, that is providing the Sharks the added scoring they have lacked in years past. As Joe Thornton put it "I wish I was on the planet that he is on right now"

3) Mikael Samuelsson - The leading scorer for the Vancouver Canucks has scored 7 goals in seven games. He has not only scored this postseason, but also is one of the teams best defenders and has a plus 9 rating to show for it. May be playing on the leagues most explosive line with the Sedin twins, that dominated the series against LA.

4) Sidney Crosby - The first round series against Ottawa was simply brilliant for Crosby, scoring five goals and nine assists. He leads the NHL playoff scoring in points with 16 and has to be on this list. We'll see what he can muster against Halak as he was visually frustrated after Game Two.

5) Mark Recchi - I could put Brian Boucher, Jonathan Toews, or Pavel Datsuyk on this list as well, but the 42 year old Recchi has been amazing for the Bruins this post season. He scored a huge goal in Game two vs. Buffalo and has registered six points in seven games for the surprising Bruins. Recchi is also very valuable for his leadership and his ability to make the players around him better. Dude is playing like he is 22 not 42.