Brooms are out in San Jose

The Canucks competed like bastards tonight, but ultimately came up short, and have been bounced out of the playoffs in four straight games by the San Jose Sharks.

At least Alex Burrows listened, as he scored the tying goal and assisted on the one that put them ahead 3-2.

But, of course, the Canucks couldn’t hold a late third period lead as Kevin Bieksa –who ripped apart Jumbo Joe and captain of the All Ugly Team, Logan Couture– took a questionable cross-checking penalty that saw who else but Joe fuckin’ Pavelski tie it up.

Just listen to the whole thing.

But wait, it doesn’t end here, as Daniel Sedin decided to make his first career hit in overtime, but was awarded with a boarding penalty that eventually ended up in a Patrick Marleau series-ending goal.

Another questionable call indeed, but thats not what lost the series for the Canucks, they just couldn’t put the damn puck in the net.

Luongo didn’t look too rattled in the post-game handshakes, though.

Here’s just a short list of what the fuck happened in this series:

Canucks play like shit in first game.

Luongo plays well in games one, two and relief of Schneider in game three.

Jannick Hansen does not bury an empty netter in game two that leads to a Henrik Sedin giveaway and a Patrick Marleau goal.

Sharks scored first in all four games.

Only six different Canucks scored goals in this series.

Only three were forwards; Burrows (2), Kesler (2), and Raymond (1).

Raffi Torres scored one of them.

Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture both had eight points.

That’s as many points as the Canucks had goals.

Garrison was still yet to be found on the first unit power play.

Coincidently, they only scored two goals on said power play.

And coincidently to that, Vigneault’s ass will be fired, along with the rest of his coaching staff.

Bieksa loves to stir the pot.

And he was right about the reffing, but the Canucks ultimately lost this series because half the team decided to hit up Dany Heatley’s beach house in Aruba a bit early this season.

And last but not least, the Sharks scored six power play goals in the last two games

The big question in Vancouver now is, who the fuck do they keep in net for next season?

Do they trade Schneider and get a better return than they would with Luongo?  Or do they let Luongo go and hope that Schneids works on his rebound control over the summer?

I pick A, because Luongo is and always will be the better goalie.

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White and blue day spoiled by the big bad Bruins

Leafs fans flocked to Maple Leaf Square last night to watch their team get pummeled by the Bruins.  People were anticipating a well-fought close game but were greeted with a 5-2 loss in the first home game in Toronto in nine years.

that's a whole lot of white and blue

that’s a whole lot of white and blue

The site of all these Leafs fans reminds me of a similar day in June of 2011, when the Canucks got embarrassed in game seven by the exact same team.

And that led to this…

But let’s just hope that doesn’t happen in Toronto if they happen to lose again on Wednesday.

But any who, my top three:

1.) The Rangers scored some goals

After going through the first two games 0-2 with one goal, which happened to bounce in off of John Erskine’s skate, the Blue-shirts potted four at Madison Square Gardens.

Brian Boyle broke the 124 minute scoreless streak, while Derek Brassard led the way with a gino and three apples as the Rangers took the Caps 4-3.

And a notable addition to the lineup was Marc Staal, who played just his first game since this:

Just watching it makes my vision blur.

Game four is tomorrow at MSG.

2.) James Reimer has seen 118 shots in three games

That’s a whole lotta’ rubber.

Reims has been solid throughout the series, but they really have to limit the amount of shots he faces if they want to win this series.  He has faced 19 more than Tuukka Rask in the other end, who faced almost half of his 99 shots last night as he made 45 stops on 47 shots.

He and the Leafs look to even er’ up at two tomorrow night at the ACC.

3.) Duck hunting in the ghetto

Pavel Datsyuk and the Red Wings evened the series up at two last night in Detroit.

The magician tied it up with a snipe on Jonas Hiller late in the third period, and the Wings are headed back to Anaheim for some duck hunting in the state of California.

The Red Wings have been blown out in both of their losses but have managed to come back and win close games the night after.

Let’s just hope for the sake of my hockey pool that Datsyuk can snipe some ducks in SoCal.

And on tonights resume:

The Canucks try to back up Bieksa’s stupid diving comments, more bloodbath in Ottawa, and the Isles/Wild look to tie it up against the Pens and Hawks.

Sunday funday in the NHL

Leafs fans couldn’t be happier from what transpired last night.  First, the Habs got pummelled by the Sens both on the scoresheet and with fists, then the Canucks got hosed by the Sharks, and are now on the brink of elimination.

But here ya go, the top three from last night.

1.) Sens and Habs really don’t like eachother.

Other than the line brawl, we got to see a Subban ground and pound on Kyle Turris, a Josh Jorges intentional slap-shot at Turris and not only is Paul MacLean a bug-eyed fat walrus, but he is now a “classless” bug-eyed fat walrus.

In last night’s game, Michelle Therrien called Paul MacLean classless after he used a timeout with 17 seconds left in a 6-1 schlacking.   But if you ask me, if your team is gonna instigate fights, shoot pucks at my players and basically just throw the game away, why wouldn’t I try and score more goals?  Although, MacLean probably just didn’t want anyone to get hurt, scoring more goals is always fun.

2.) AV’s noose has tightened and the window has slammed shut.

The Canucks are down 3-0 for the second year in a row.  After being up 3-2 in the Stanley Cup Finals two years ago, the Canucks have mustered up one win in the playoffs.  That’s a beautiful record of 1-9.

As a Canucks fan, you’ve gotta think that Vigneault’s tenure in Vancouver is screeching to a halt.  Sure he took them to the cup finals, and sure he is the most winningest coach in team history, but he has just not gotten the job done.  He makes questionable decisions in assembling his troops and plays favourites.  Edler and Raymond ring a bell? What about the swift skating Keith Ballard being stapled to the press-box?  Or what about last night, when he decided to slot in a cold Cory Schneider over Roberto Luongo? You think Canucks fans will now realize that Lu isn’t the problem? So many questions, only one answer.  Vigneault has to go.

Sitting from the sidelines, my biggest beef with AV has got to be the fact that a young budding power forward named Zack Kassian hasn’t been riding shot gun with the Sedins.  I mean, did he not score a bunch of goals at the beginning of the season with them? Does he not create space by hitting hard and driving (sometimes) to the net?

Oh, and one more, Jason Garrison isn’t on the first power play unit?  Hmm kinda just a little bit goofy.  What are they paying him for anyways? Yes, he is a reliable defensemen, but his clap-bomb is the money maker for that guy.  My guess is that he just wants Elder to look good because he is so brutal defensively.

Just read the comments, I’m not the only one.

The window is shut, and it really stings for Canucks fans.

where'd all of the "fans" go?

where’d all of the “fans” go?

3.) The Islanders are actually really entertaining.

Anyone remember last year when the Penguins lost to the Flyers in the first round? The Bryzgalov vs. Fleury saga has now become Nabokov vs. Fleury.

Other than the 5-0 win in game one, the Flower has given up eight goals, and Nabokov has a 4.77 goals against average in the first three.

But the thing is that nobody, I mean nobody gave the Islanders a chance in this series.  And when you have goaltending that is suspect, anything can happen.

Especially when you’ve got players like Kyle Okposo who steps his game up in the playoffs.

After scoring the game winner in OT in game two, he scored the goal that sparked the comeback yesterday for the Isles.

It’s nice to know that when you’re losing, you have a chance to come back and make it a hockey game, and the Isles have just that.  If only there were a team on the West Coast that could use some of that magic?

Lets just hope that the Islanders ice girls make their way over to Brooklyn.

Vancouver could use some of these

Vancouver could use some of these

At least if they don’t, the Isles will have Alyonka Larionov.

Annnnnd tonight: Leafs play first playoff home game in nine years, Capitals look to make it 3-0 on the Rangers, the battle of the titans in LA and the Red Wings look to go duck hunting at home.

Zero wins in Canada

With the second night of playoff hockey in the books, the Canucks and Leafs were outscored by a combined 7-2.  Both teams opened the scoring in their respective series’, but some undisciplined play on each end sparked a string of unanswered goals.

For the Leafs, the hype of the nine year absence was short-lived, as after the first five minutes of the game the B’s took it to the Leafs offensively, peppering James Reimer with 40 shots.  If not for Reims the score could have been worse than 4-1.  The Leafs may have gotten away with being outshot in the regular season but in the playoffs it’s just not gonna work.  Especially when you’re up against a team like the Bruins.

The Canucks-Sharks game was close up until the third period.  It’s like they followed the regular season script to a tee; play a close game for two periods and let the foot off the gas just in time for the third.  Some notable absences in the Canucks lineup were Mason Raymond, Zack Kassian and the Sedins, who will all need to pick it up in game three.  It would be nice to see Kassian drive the net and for Raymond to just sit a whole game.

Luongo made a sick save on Havlat though.

But here we go, the top three stories from last night.

1.) Pens are too good

Where do we start? A five-nothing schlacking in game one of the Stanley Cup Playoffs without the best player in the world, and having a 40 goal scorer in James Neal limp off the ice halfway through.  I’m hoping it’s just playoff jitters for the Isles because if it keeps going this way, the series will be done in four, and that will give them time to rest some injured troops.

But after last nights performance from the Pens, I wouldn’t be surprised if they rest Jussi Jokinen (who took a knee-on-knee) and Neal for the rest of the series.

Same with Crosby, I mean, if the series begins to go sour for the Pens then they’ll bring Sid in, but until that happens he’s better off sitting in the press-box.

2.) Brad Marchand and James Van Riemsdyk do not like each-other. 

Being a Canucks fan, I feel a little bit bad for Leafs fans after they got pummelled last night by the Bruins.  Watching the game, it looked a lot like how the Cup Finals did whenever the Canucks were playing in Boston.  Just a bunch of big bastards running around smashing the Leafs and scoring goals.  And then you have damn Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron out there who are both stupidly good defensively.

The worst thing though, is the fact that they’ve got to put up with Brad Marchand.  He is the ultimate pest, and has already gotten under the skin of the Leafs, particularly JVR.

Spear to the nuts, swing and a miss.

This should be awesome if this series goes long, it just would’ve been better if JVR was swapped with Kadri.

3.) Logan Couture and his jibs

This guy is ugly.  Real ugly.

Yup, pretty much hit the nail right on the head with those two.

Not only is he ugly though, but he draws a lot of penalties and scores some goals for the Sharks.  Just four minutes after the Canucks opened the scoring, err Raffi Torres opened the scoring, Couture and his jibs drew a pretty soft call off of Kassian.  And to make matters worse, who else but friggin’ Couture to score the goal.

At least Raffi is still a Canuck, but they’re definitely gonna need to convert Couture over too.

And if I see another ‘Luongo sucks’ tweet I’m gonna lose it.  Could have been 3-0 Sharks after the first period.

Luuuuuuu

Roberto Luongo was the first guy off the ice at the morning skate.  This adds to the drama of Kesler being a no-show.

I mean, if Kesler was just at home getting locked into beast mode by re-watching his second round dominance of the Nashville Predators in 2011, then that’s okay.   But not skating on day one of the playoffs?  Hmm…  He better strap Mason Raymond on his back and supercharge this offence or else there will be critics.

Other than Kesler, it would be unbelievable if Lu could steal a win at home tonight.  That would really put some pressure on AV.  Does he go back to Schneids or does he stick with the hot hand?

Either way, this game could define where Luongo goes in the summer.  If he can come back after getting embarrassed by his team on the last day of the regular season, and stand on his head, then it’s gonna show how dedicated this guy really is.

 

And what do you know, as soon as I start writing this, AV confirms that Kes has been locked up.

Game one is on tonight on TSN at 10:30 ET and 7:30 PT boys and girls.

The playoffs are actually the best time of the year

“Holy jumpin'” were the two words that came out of Pangers mouth when Alex Steen took the puck right off of last-years Conn Smythe winners stick, and ended it in the first frame of OT.

and just like that Alex Steen leads the playoffs in ginos

and just like that Alex Steen leads the playoffs in ginos

You gotta feel bad for the guy, but he did make 40 friggin’ saves, and was the only reason that the Kings were still in the game.  The Blues took the body A LOT in this game, completely replicating what the Kings did last year.  If they keep this up then the Kings could be packing their bags early.

This bad boy should be the top story-line of last nights games, but here are my other three.  One from each game.

1.) Josh Harding and Ryan Suter

Buddy wasn’t even supposed to play last night, but after Nicklas Backstrom went down in warmups, he was in between the pipes.  Imagine how hard is heart must’ve been racing.

“Hey Josh, Nicky is hurt, wanna get peppered by the best team in the league?”

But he did well, only allowing two goals on 37, both of which he didn’t really have much of a chance on.

And Ryan Suter.  Holy shit does this guy have stamina.  He played over half the game, as he had logged over 41 minutes when the game ended with five minutes left in OT.

The windy city WILL need a refill on all water towers that are near the Mad House.  St. Paul will need to do the same when the series goes to Minny.

2.)  The CPR line

St. Louis has put together a line that is being referred to as the CPR line.  Adam Cracknell, — six-foot-two, 210– Chris Porter, — six-foot-one, 206– and Ryan Reaves –six-foot-one, 224 — led the way on the forecheck for the Blues.  Reaves had a grand-total of nine hits, Cracknell had five and Porter had four.  Jesus.

If all three of these six-foot tall giants continue to lay the body, then the Kings and whomever else get’s in the way of the Blues will be in for a world of hurt.

3.) Teemu is the man

At forty-two years of age, Teemu Selanne scored the game-winning goal in last nights W over the Red Wings.

The man who once scored 76 goals in his rookie season does not look like he is gonna stop producing any time soon.

If the Ducks take the Wings and go deep into the playoffs, then I hope he scores a huge goal and does the infamous machine-gun cely.

Fuck that’s cool.

The West

With the schedule out and about, and my Eastern preview completed it’s time for the wild wild west.

The West:

#1 Chicago Blackhawks VS. #8 Minnesota Wild

Whats up: Hey, do you think the Wild have a chance in this series?  Yeah that’s the sound of crickets.  Okay Minny has improved a lot, and will be a contender in a few years, but to think that the Wild even have a remote chance in taking this series is ridiculous.  If there was a real season this year, then the Blackhawks would have pushed 60 wins and 130 points.  That is unheard of.  The Hawks are the team to beat in the West and the Wild squeaked into the playoffs on the last day.  The only pain that will be inflicted on the Blackhawks is the fact that no female reporters will want to step foot inside the dressing room for the fear of being bashed by Duncan Keith.

Watch Ron Macleans reaction to Don as he says that woman should not be allowed in the dressing rooms.

Matchup: Toews, Hossa, Kane Train VS. $196 million – Jonny Toews, Patty Kane and Marian Hossa will all be on absolute missions to hoist their second Stanley.  Toews and Kane could both be mentioned in the same sentence as Hart, and when you have two players on the same team that could be league MVP’s you can’t really go wrong.  Marian Hossa has proved that his two-way style of play can be a menace in the playoffs.  He’s been to the final dance three times –with Detroit (loss), Pittsburgh (loss), and Chicago (win)– and is looking to make it four.  The two-headed monster in Minnesota is that of the two big free-agent signings in Ryan Suter and Zach Parise.  Suter is most-likely going to play  the entire game, with a few water breaks (TV time-outs), and Parise is gonna be heavily relied on to score goals.

Gambreakers: Chicago won’t really need to rely on secondary scoring, but Brandon Saad who’s name is up in the air for the Calder, could help put the series away with some added scoring.

Minnesota isn’t your average offensive powerhouse, so they are gonna have to heavily lean on Nicklas Backstrom to help steal them some games.  If he can do that, then maybe the series won’t be done in four, but in five or six.

Prediction: Nicklas Backstrom will steal a grand total of one game for his team, and the Hawks will take it in five on home ice.

just a little of what we're gonna see after the first round

just a little of what we’re gonna see after the first round

#2 Anaheim Ducks VS. #7 Detroit Red Wings

What’s up: If there’s an upset in the first round of the playoffs, this will be the series where it may take place.  The Ducks went on a torrid start to the season and found themselves with the Pacific division locked up pretty early.  Then from there they were an average team, and are facing a new-look Red Wings team that will be playing meaningful hockey for the 23rd straight year.  This series looks like it could be a pretty high-scoring affair, and it’s gonna come down to goaltending.  Can Fasth out play Howard or will the goalie with two first names and his brand new contract help surge the Wings through to meet the Blackhawks in the second round?

Matchup: Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry VS. Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg – These big guns up front are gonna lead the charge offensively for their respective clubs.  After sub-par seasons last year, Getzlaf and Perry led the Ducks to the top of the Pacific division.  The two big forwards are the staples up front if the Ducks want to continue their season throughout May and June.  On the other bench is Datsyuk and Zetterberg, and with the departure of Lidstrom these two have carried their younger Red Wings team to the playoffs.  They just have to hope that their backs don’t give up on them as the magician had eight points in his last three games and the Swede tallied ten in the last four, bringing their team into the playoffs snagging that spot from Bobrovsky and the Blue Jackets.


Just a little bit of what you’re going to see from Datsyuk and Zetterberg.

Gamebreakers: The man that never stops, Teemu Selanne at 42 years of age is still in incredibly good shape.  He is fast and can score, and if the big guns are shut down offensively then Teemu will be called upon to put some ginos up on the board for the Ducks.

In Detroit the man that can complete the upset will be Jimmy Howard.  He’s coming off his best season yet, as he posted a 2.13 GAA and .923 save percentage.  He played 42 of the Red Wings 48 games and only allowed four goals in the final five games of the season to lock up a spot for his squad in the playoffs.

Prediction: Like I predicted in the East, the number seven team will upset the number two.  Jimmy Howard is going to stand on his head and Datsyuk and Zetterberg will lead the way offensively as the Wings take the Ducks in six.

#3 Vancouver Canucks VS. San Jose Sharks

What’s up: In a rematch of the 2011 Conference Final, the Sharks are looking to have a different fate this year.  With both coaches most likely coaching for their jobs in this series, it’s going to be a pretty hard fought battle.  The Canucks are going to have to shut down Jumbo Joe and the Sharks will have to do the same with the Sedins.  It’s Schneiders time to prove that he is an elite goalie, and the Canucks are going to need some secondary scoring from Kesler’s line and same with Roy’s.  The Sharks got rid of Ryan Clowe and Douglas Murray which makes them a bit smaller, but the addition of Raffi Torres may prove to be lethal.  Raffi hits to hurt, and let’s just hope he doesn’t do the same thing to any of the Canucks as he did to Joe Thornton in that showdown in 2011.

At about .35 you get to see Torres destroy Thornton.  The hit actually dislocated Joe’s shoulder, but he played the final game of the series.  Hockey players are tough eh? Take note Cristiano Ronaldo.

Matchup: Alain Vigneault VS. Todd McLellan – I think it’s pretty safe to say that whoever comes out of this series alive, literally comes out alive.  If the Canucks take it, McLellan will be packing his things and looking for a new job, and the same thing goes for AV.  These two teams have been juggernauts in the West for the past few years, and save from the Canucks Stanley Cup Final run in 2011 there have been no results.  With the windows closing for both teams and the star players not getting any younger, they’ve got their asses on the line for sure.

Gamebreakers: If Vancouver doesn’t make it to at least the Conference Finals then fans will be considering this season a write off.  And the man that could make that playoff run happen is Ryan Kesler.  Everyone remembers when he went superhuman on the Nashville Predators on the way to the Cup Finals, and he really hasn’t been the same player since.  If he can regain his form and play that power-forward style of hockey that we know he can then the Canucks have a legitimate chance in going all the way.

In the Bay Area we’ve got Logan Couture and Joe Pavelski.  These two have been the thorn in the side for the Canucks the last couple seasons, and will be counted on to provide some punch and win face-offs.  The trio of Couture, Thornton and Pavelski as the top three centres is as good as any other in the league, and they’ll need to play big if they want to take out the Canucks.

Prediction: Both goalies will play well, and all six games will be low-scoring affairs, but when Tanev makes his way into the lineup, the Canucks defence will go back to normal and will shut down the Sharks offence.  Canucks in six.

My side note: The green men will piss off anyone who finds their way into the sin bin and let’s hope we get to see another pair of ta-ta’s.

Unfortunately I couldn’t find a clear video of the boobs but above is what we’ll get to see come Wednesday.

#4 St Louis Blues VS #5 Los Angeles Kings

What’s up: Los Angeles is coming off of a championship last year, and much like last season have left themselves without home ice advantage for the post season.  They are matched up against a St Louis team that wants a different fate than the four-nothing sweep that the Kings handed to them in the Conference Semis last year.  And luckily for every other team in the West, one of these two teams will be eliminated, and the other will be extremely sore.  This is the clash of the titans.  The Blues and Kings play an identical style of play; both have goalies that can steal games, have a steady defensive corps and a number of big forwards that will wear down the opposition.  This series will go long, it will be low scoring and the team that wins will be lucky to come out alive.

get laid out, bitch

get laid out, bitch

Matchup: Dustin Brown VS. David Backes – Goliath versus Goliath.  The two guys that will be leading their teams to war are Brown and Backes.  The two captains are huge power-forwards that deliver thunderous hits and can help out offensively.  Brown is known to draw penalties and get in on the forecheck.  The only thing with him is that, if you decide that you want to get him off his game, you can’t.  You hit him hard, then what? He just get’s back up laughing and hits you back twice as hard.  Backes is the exact same player and that’s what is going to make this series so good.  By the end of the series, they will hate each-other and only one will be left standing.

Gamebreakers: We all know that this will be a low-scoring series so I’m gonna leave the obvious choices of Quick and Elliot out of here.

In St. Louis we’ve got Jay Bouwmeester.  This is his first ever playoff series.  Hard to believe considering he’s been one of the top defenseman in the league over the last decade, but this iron-man leading guy has never played a single playoff game in his career.  He will be the ultimate shutdown guy, much like how Willie Mitchell was last season.  If he can keep the likes of Kopitar, Carter and Richards at bay, then the Blues have a good chance in wiping out the defending champs.

And just like that, the man in black that may help charge this team to back-to-back championships is Drew Doughty.  Doughty had an off season last year, but when the playoffs rolled around he was lights out.  The Kings are hoping for the same sort of performance from Doughty in this years playoffs.  If he can take charge of the blue line and help shut down the Blues scorers like Oshie and Stewart, then the Kings should be well on their way to advancing through.

Prediction: The winner of this series plays Vancouver in the second round.  And that team will be St Louis.  The additions of Leopold and Bouwmeester to an already steady defence will put them over the edge in this series as they take out the defending champs in seven.