Tag Archives: caps

Isles play their last game on Long Island

The speedy Islanders led by John Tavares, were one unlucky deflection away from winning last nights game six in regulation.  Even getting to game six against the stacked Penguins surprised the hockey world, and this team will be a force for years to come.

But they were five minutes away from forcing the Pens into game seven.  And if this Paul Martin clapper from the point hadn’t deflected off of Frans Nielsens stick and gone perfectly bar-down, then we’d be seeing one game series tonight.

The Isles have gone from the basement to a legitimate playoff team after showing the entire NHL what they can do this postseason.  And their fans on Long Island are just gonna have to cross the bridge over to Brooklyn to cheer on their team at the Barclay’s Centre.

Here are three things that leaped out at me and force fed me formula.

1.) John Tavares held his own against Sidney Crosby in this series.

We all knew Johnny T was good, but what I never knew was how friggin’ strong this guy is.  The big matchup in this series was him versus Crosby and he didn’t finish second best in any categories.  Crosby did score more points, but Tavares was dominant almost every single shift.

Not only did he have an incredible playoff series, but he was nominated for the Hart Trophy earlier this week.  He is running up against Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin.  And it was only just a few years ago where the thought of anyone other than Ovechkin and Crosby winning the Hart was unbearable.  But this kids for real.

Islanders fan believe so too, because in game four when the Isles shelled former first rounder Marc-Andre Fleury for six goals, Tavares was the man who scored the fifth and eventual game winner.  It was a pretty one too, as he made Brooks Orpik look like a pylon and went shelf on the Flower.

2.) Every team since 04′ that has drafted first overall is a legit team now, except for the Oilers.

Here’s a list:

2004 Washington Capitals Alexander Ovechkin  Russia Forward Dynamo Moscow Russia
2005 Pittsburgh Penguins Sidney Crosby  Canada Forward Rimouski Océanic QMJHL
2006 St. Louis Blues Erik Johnson  USA Defenceman United States NTDP NAHL
2007 Chicago Blackhawks Patrick Kane  USA Forward London Knights OHL
2008 Tampa Bay Lightning Steven Stamkos  Canada Forward Sarnia Sting OHL
2009 New York Islanders John Tavares  Canada Forward London Knights OHL
2010 Edmonton Oilers Taylor Hall  Canada Forward Windsor Spitfires OHL
2011 Edmonton Oilers Ryan Nugent-Hopkins  Canada Forward Red Deer Rebels WHL
2012 Edmonton Oilers Nail Yakupov  Russia Forward Sarnia Sting OHL

Ovechkin has made the Capitals a force year in and year out, Crosby has done the same for the Pens, and that includes a Stanley Cup and Gold at the Olympics.

Erik Johnson never panned out in St. Louis, but they received assets in Chris Stewart and Kevin Shattenkirk.  Stewart led the team in points, and Shattenkirk in points for a defensemen.

Everyone knows what Patrick Kane has done in Chicago with the help of captain Jonathan Toews.

Stamkos has become that guy that can compete against Ovechkin for the Richard, and even helped St. Louis win an Art Ross at the age of 37.

And then there’s Tavares, his point totals have increased every year that he’s been in the NHL, and coincidentally the Islanders have rocketed up the standings as well.

The Oilers have Nugent-Hopkins, Hall and Yakupov and they should be a force soon, but they’ve still got a lot of work to do.

The Avs won the draft lottery, and will probably take Nate Mackinnon, who will make their top three centres Duchene, Mackinnon and Stastny.  Lethal.

3.) The Pens won’t win the Stanley Cup.

I know, it’s a pretty big accusation.

When you think about it, what are they gonna do if they run into a hot goaltender?  Nabokov was alright in the series, but he still let in a lot of questionable goals like the one off of Douglas Murray’s stick.

If the Isles had say, Lundqvist of the Rangers or even Holtby from the Capitals this series probably would have gone the other way.

They’ve got Chris Anderson and the pesky Sens in the second round.  Anderson would have been a shoe-in for the Vezina had he not gotten hurt earlier in the season.  He’s got a 950 save percentage and a 1.8 goals against average.  This was against the number two ranked Habs.  This goaltending combined with the fire power that the Sens have, which could be bolstered if Spezza is cleared, will be a tough task for the Stanley Cup favourites.

And what if they do make it through?  Then they’ve gotta either face Rask, Lundqvist, Holtby or Reimer.  All three are better than the two goalies that the Pens have.  I feel they could take Reimer and the Leafs, but the Capitals have proved they can play tight defensively, Lundqvist is a Vezina finalist and the Rask and the Bruins are just too powerful and stingy.

I do predict that Anderson will shut down the Pens offence and that the Sens will take it in six.  Anyways, everyone loves an underdog right?

A bunch of stuff happened in hockey last night

Watching the Leafs game at Jack Astor’s, I must’ve been the only person there that wasn’t cheering when Reimer made that sick toe save or when Bozak and MacArthur scored breakaway goals.

When you think about it, had Bergeron buried that, the Leafs would probably have lost.  This save put the Bruins on the power-play, where Bozak scored a short-handed breakaway goal.  And if the second period ended 1-0 in favour of the Bruins, who knows what would have happened in the third.

And considering Toronto is not the centre of the universe (I know, shocking), there were three other games last night.  Not that Jack Astor’s cared though, considering I waited patiently for them to put the Caps and Rangers game on.  It never happened so I peaced it.

But here IS what happened last night.

1.) Will we see a repeat?

I’m just gonna throw this out there right now, but we could see our first Stanley Cup repeat since the Detroit Red Wings did it in 98′.  The Kings are just so dominant, and last night took out the St. Louis Blues in six games after the Blues stormed out of the gates with a 2-0 lead.  That may have awoken the beast, because the Kings won four straight after that, and the Blues, many could argue, were the team that could beat Los Angeles.

And if we do see a back-to-back Stanley Cup performance from the Kings, we’ll have to see something a bit like this:

If this does happen, I can guarantee you that I will not be the only person yelling “fuck!” as I chuck my remote at the TV.

2.) Just a little bit of creativity.

If you were watching the Leafs and Bruins game last night, you probably left your couch/bar stool/table with skid marks after Grabovski got a bit creative.

He was behind the net, and must’ve had an ear-piece with Pavel Datsyuk on the other end, because what he did was Datsyukian.  He had the nerve, in an elimination game against the big bad Bruins, to flip the puck up and over Tuukka Rask and try to bat the puck in out of the air.  If that doesn’t give the guy big cahones’ then I don’t know what does.

Him and Datsyuk must have been talking, because not too long after, the magician himself, worked a little magic of his own on the Ducks’ defence.

3.) Ovechkin has been invisible, but that’s okay, cause the Caps are still winning…at home.

After scoring his teams first goal of the series on a power-play in game one, and assisting on a Mike Green overtime winner in game two, Alex Ovechkin is nowhere to be seen.

This years Rocket Richard winner, Ted Lindsay nominee and Hart nominee was on a torrid pace at the end of the season, scoring 22 in 21, but has been a non-factor in this series so far.  Much of this, is thanks to the D-pairing of Ryan Mcdonagh and Daniel Girardi.  They have shut down Ovechkin so far with Mcdonagh’s unbelievable skating ability and Girardi’s stay-at-home style.

Another reason why he’s been dormant throughout the series could be because his fiancee was in Madrid, and is now in Rome playing tennis.  But if the Caps should prevail, hopefully she’ll be in the crowd in the second round.

lucky man

lucky man

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As long as the Capitals are winning at home, Ovechkin probably isn’t too worried, because unless he faces Boston in the next round, he’ll have more space on the ice to score some goals.

And Johnny T and the Isles look to force a game seven in Pittsburgh tonight.  Let’s hope they do.

The push

Two weeks.  That’s how long we’ve got until the most exciting time of the year.  And with that in mind, there are teams making that final push for a spot in the top eight.

Most teams have about six games left, and the race is shaped up like this:

6 Ottawa 41 21 14 6 17 48 101 89 13-3-3 8-11-3 5-5-0 Won 2
7 NY Islanders 42 21 16 5 18 47 119 122 9-11-3 12-5-2 7-1-2 OT 1
8 NY Rangers 41 21 16 4 17 46 100 96 13-6-2 8-10-2 6-3-1 Won 2
9 Winnipeg 42 21 19 2 20 44 109 123 11-9-0 10-10-2 5-5-0 Won 3

Sitting in the ninth spot, the Jets are the only Canadian team in the East looking in from the outside.  With three of their last six games against non-playoff teams, they hold the key to their success.  Not to mention a game against the streaking Caps, who hold the division lead, and one against the Islanders, who are just sitting three points ahead.

And for the first time in forever, the Leafs are headed towards the playoffs, ending the longest playoff drought for all 30 teams.  With a game tonight, the Leafs look to stop Ovechkin and the surging Caps, — who have won seven straight, and Ovi has taken back his goal scoring crown from Stamkos– at the Verzion Centre where they will definitely be in a sea of red.

The biggest surprise right now has to be the fact that the Rangers are holding on for dear life at the eighth seed.  Everyone thought that with the offseason acquisition of Rick Nash that the Nashty fever would put them over the top.  But the shortened season has proved that depth is everything, and with the unloading of Gaborik at the deadline, they’ve seemed to get back on track.  After a 1-0 W against the Isles, the Rangers finish off their season with seven straight games against non-playoff teams, so the playoffs are definitely looking to be in the picture for Tortorella and the boys.

6 Minnesota 42 23 16 3 19 49 109 106 13-6-2 10-10-1 3-6-1 Won 1
7 St. Louis 41 23 16 2 20 48 110 104 9-8-1 14-8-1 6-4-0 Lost 2
8 Detroit 42 20 15 7 18 47 106 107 10-7-4 10-8-3 4-4-2 Won 1
9 Columbus 43 20 16 7 15 47 106 110 13-5-5 7-11-2 7-3-0 Won 4
10 Dallas 42 21 18 3 19 45 118 126 10-9-2 11-9-1 6-4-0 Lost 1

The Yotes were right in the thick of things, but are now sitting with 43 points, which is four behind the eighth place Red Wings, with only six games left.

Speaking of the Wings, they sit on 21 straight years of playoff hockey, and they definitely don’t want that to end just yet.  The schedule doesn’t look too taxing for Wings though, as they close it off with a four game home stand after they visit Vancouver on Saturday.

The two teams that are eyeing up the last spot are Dallas and Columbus, and with Bobrovsky having a Vezina calibre season, the playoffs ain’t out of reach.  It may be tough though, as they only have five more games, four of which are on the road against the Pacific division, which concludes in Dallas.  Although the Jackets do have some luck considering the Stars don’t have the easiest schedule to close off the season.  All six of their games that they’ve got left are against legit teams.  Vancouver, St. Louis, San Jose, LA, Detroit and Columbus are all teams that are in the thick of things in the West.  But if they can take out Detroit and Columbus, and maybe split with the other four, their playoff hopes can become a reality.

Lets just hope the Leafs and Nucks can keep it going tonight against the Caps and Blues.

But for now listen to this beauty to get ya fired up for some puck.