Thursday, May 14, 2009
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
I think it was a sucker punch. I do think Walker should have been suspended for it. But, at this point, that's neither here nor there. The question is, will this altercation affect Game 6? Will this whole affair drive the Bruins to crave a win even more? Or will they be so focused on retaliation that they forget about actually winning the game?
I think it will be very interesting to see how tonight's game plays out. Puck drops at seven.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Obviously, there's Crosby-Malkin-Ovechkin in the East and the battle of the last two Stanley Cup winners in Detroit and Anaheim out West. There's even the revitalized Chicago Blackhawks to look at.
One budding back story to keep an eye on, though, is the group of former rejects that are scoring huge goals for the Carolina Hurricanes.
Sure, the Canes are powered largely by the superlative play of Eric Staal and Cam Ward (two prized prospects). There's no question that those two players are still the crowned jewels of the former Hartford Whalers.
That being said, the Canes would be sitting on their couch instead of holding a 2-1 lead over the best team in the Eastern Conference if not for the work of a trio of players who are on their second or third (or more) NHL teams.
Tuomo Ruutu was supposed to be the next great power forward for the Chicago Blackhawks. Instead, he turned into the next Eric Daze. After years of injuries and disappointment, Ruutu was finally traded to Carolina for Andrew Ladd. Yet it seems that Ruutu may have found a home in Carolina, posting career highs in goals (26), assists (28) and points (54) while playing nearly all season.
Sergei Samsonov seemed like a star of the future in his early years in Boston, but the hockey world quickly learned that he was the first beneficiary of the Joe Thornton effect. He bounced around the NHL, going from Montreal to Edmonton to Chicago and then finally landing in Carolina. While his 3 points in 9 games won't change the world, he figured in some pretty big moments.
While Ruutu and Samsonov figured into some big moments, the biggest surprise is Jussi Jokinen.
Jokinen came into the NHL and was known for doing very little beyond scoring some spectacular shootout goals. After frustrating the Dallas Stars, he was shipped to Tampa Bay, where he floundered amid a circus atmosphere of hockey.
But in this year's playoffs, Jokinen has a stunning 5 goals and 2 assists in 7 games. Most importantly, though, Jokinen tied Game 7 of the New Jersey Devils series, scored tonight's overtime GWG and scored one other game-winner. Just a stunning run for a guy who was scooped off the waiver wire from the Lightning.
Who know if the Canes can keep their magical run going again, but Jokinen might be the best Cinderella story of the 2008-09 playoffs.
Saturday, May 2, 2009
Thomas leaves net, bruins keep cycling and shooting:
This kid's sign says
"Kill the Canes
Go Savvy and
Kill the Canes"
Sick playoff beard, too:
Ah yes, the famous "game" goal. They really do switch them out between warmups and practice. I think it's because the warmup goals don't have water bottle holders on it:
Some more warmups:
Ryder skating by:
Savard clearing out the pucks behind the net:
The Bruins lining up for a shooting drill:
And there it goes again:
Some Pre-game pump-up awesomeness:
This kid made an awesome sign:
Here's the best part:
Friday, May 1, 2009
I was trying to think of a way to start out this post when that excellent opening lyric came to mind. But now, having found the perfect opening line, I'm getting stuck on the actual "content" part of the post. But who needs intelligent content, anyway?
Can you believe it's the second round of the playoffs already? I can't. Jeez, it was only Tuesday that the Canes were still playing in the first round. For Boston it's, what, nine days? I wonder if the layoff will have any affect on the game. Will Boston come out flat? Will the Canes come out exhausted? Will it be an offensive shootout? Will it be a one-goal, defensive game (please, no, that's why we eliminated Jersey...)
Who knows, right? All I know is that I hope that the Canes/Bruins series is like the Bob Barker beatdown of Happy Gilmore. COMPLETELY AWESOME!
EDIT: Ugh, now I realize that the video is far too wide for the post size, but I couldn't find a good quality one on YouTube, so I hope nobody minds. If you do... well, that's kind of too bad because the clip is so awesome I can't possibly take it down now. It would be offended.
I'm not going to write a big long preview here since I didn't last time and that worked out ok. But I will link to a bunch of fine folks that already did that, and then my own crappy preview. Or maybe mine first. Depends on how Jack Edwards I'm feeling.
So get out your grills. It's time to tailgate for the series. We've got some May Hockey!
- Hockey Blog Adventure (Cornelius): "Oh and don't forget about Ray Whitney. Or Chad "Who?" LaRose. They are the top line for Carolina. With 7 points a peice, they're a point per game team against New Jersey, who I thought might be one of the toughest teams in the playoffs. I was wrong."
- Ghosts of the Garden: "Rydermania is ready to run wild again!!!!!"
- Here Come the Bruins!: "Gameday in Raleigh is unique. They tailgate college-football style at the arena. They play Ric Flair clips on the Jumbotron. Their mascot is a pig. And it's loud as hell in the arena. Given some time to become more sophisticated about the sport, the Hurricanes fanbase will become the Sun Belt equivalent to Calgary's Sea of Red."
- Here Come the Bruins! pt. 2: "Prior to this season, the Hurricanes were the last team Boston had defeated in a playoff series. In 1999."
- Stanley Cup of Chowder: "Will the Hurricanes make the Bruins sit through another painstakingly long ceremony to honor a mediocre player who is dressed in full pads?"
- WickedBruinsFan: Media Breakdown.
- Joe Haggerty: "I think it’s one of those things where sometimes you brush off how good somebody is when you don’t see the best of what they have to offer,” said Ward. “I’ve seen the best of what those guys can do. I’ve seen Eric Staal take over games with his playmaking and scoring. I’ve seen how creative Ray Whitney is with the puck and what he can do. I’ve seen Cam Ward in Conn-Smythe form, and he looks like he’s right there again this season."
- NHL.com: Why the Bruins can win.
- Oh, and BostonBruinsTV gives us these highlights that don't matter:
- The Life and Times of a Caniac (Ashley): "as long as the Canes play as well as they did in the Jersey series (excluding poor showings in Games 1, 3, and everything except the two minutes of 7) they should have a chance of winning games. Winning four? Well, that'll be difficult considering the opponent. But it's definitely possible."
- Study of Sports: "I asked Noah Small, writer for the Boston Bruins on Study of Sports, his opinion about the series as a whole, the Hurricanes and most importantly, his mighty Bruins. He then returned the favor asking me some questions about my Hurricanes." Good discussion.
- Canes Country: "Chuck Kobasew, then property of the Calgary Flames, was linemates with Eric Staal in Lowell. The duo combined for 64 goals and 152 points for the Lock Monsters, who served as the AHL affiliate for both the Canes and Flames. Chad LaRose, Ryan Bayda and Cam Ward also played on that team. Lowell's coach? Hurricanes assistant Tom Rowe."
- NHL.com: Why the Canes can win
- Down Goes Brown: "Boston Bruins: Strengths: Will be feeding off the energy of an entire state full of douchey, bandwagon-jumping sports fans who haven't had a championship to celebrate in like ten whole months"
- For Pucks Sake: "since the Bruins last saw the Canes, they went 17-5-2 into the playoffs, beating out New York and Montreal for the sixth seed."
- Puck Prospectus: "Alas, Carolina doesn’t have the depth to match all of Boston’s lines. Boston’s second and third lines will outscore Carolina’s. The Bruins can throw a checking line at Staal if they choose and they will certainly pair Zdeno Chara against him. If the Hurricanes can catch the Bruins napping in Game 1, the series may even stretch out to 7 games."
- The 2 Man Advantage: "Cam Ward might be able to steal a game, but Eric Staal is going to face Zdeno Chara every freaking game, so who knows how much Carolina will be able to score."
- Puck Daddy: Pop Quiz!