Tag Archives: crosby

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?

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Second Canadian team eliminated, first one advances

In a series that saw a whole lotta drama, the pesky Sens have prevailed, and are off to the Eastern Conference Semis, chucking the Montreal Canadiens onto the golf courses.

Who will they meet? Probably the Pens, but for now Paul MacLean is just happy that he beat his moms favourite team.

The Sens can relish on the fact that they took out the number two seeded Canadiens, and that nobody even expected their injury depleted lineup to make the playoffs.

If not for injuries, Anderson would have ran away with the Vezina, Karlsson would have pushed a point-per-game giving him Norris talk, and Spezza would have had a shot at the Art Ross.  But nonetheless, the bingo boys from Binghamton and the core of veterans led this team to the playoffs, with a little help from Robin Lehner and Ben Bishop on the way.

It’s been a full team effort from this squad to advance, and they know it.

And pesky gets a lot more sexy in the second round.

But enough of this Senators talk, my top three from last night.

1.) Two more eliminations

Not only were P.K. Subban and the Montreal Canadiens shoved aside last night, but the Minnesota Wild and their $196 million signings were as well.

After losing Nick Backstrom before the series even started, they went to backup Josh Harding for the first four games.  But then he too was hurt, and young Darcy Kuemper was forced to start the final game of the series.  You really gotta feel for the Wild, because not only did they lose their starting and backup tendy’s, but they were stuck with the friggin’ Chicago Blackhawks.

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Both the Habs and the Wild should be back in the playoff hunt next year, and hey, at least they lasted longer than the Canucks.

2.) Sidney Crosby scores a sick goal.

If you haven’t seen it, watch this first.

I couldn’t find it on YouTube but it’s there, John Tavares does almost exact same move as what Crosby did just one minute later.  Only difference is that if Fleury was in net instead of Vokoun he would have scored, and if he had scored, it would have been a 2-1 game.  But since he didn’t, that allowed this to happen:

Hmm, remind you of someone?

Funny how Malkin does it one year earlier, and then Crosby just has to one-up his Russian counterpart by doing it in the playoffs.

3.) Teams on the brink

The goal above sealed last nights victory for the Pens, making the series 3-2 as it heads back to the Nassau Coliseum for quite possibly the last game on Long Island.  Princess Crosby chants will be a plenty.  

just a nice drawing I mucked up off the interwebs.

just a nice drawing I mucked up off the interwebs.

The Leafs look to win tonight so they can bring game six back to Toronto, which will be no small task at TD Garden.  Maple Leaf Square will be rocking tonight though, that’s for sure.

St. Louis, after taking the first two games at home, have lost three straight to the Kings, and need to win or else it’s two years in a row that they’ve been steam-rolled by Los Angeles.  If the Kings advance, they could very well replicate what they did last Spring.

Detroit looks to hunt down some Ducks tonight in the Motor City.  They have not lost back-to-back first rounds in their 22 year playoff streak, and are at risk of that happening tonight.  They’d also like to force a game seven in Cali.  

If the Leafs can make a comeback they will give Canada a 25 % chance in winning the cup, and if both Cali teams win tonight, then all three teams from Arnold’s state will still be alive.

Penguin dominance

These awkward looking birds make every player who finds themselves in Pittsburgh better.  Just look at the three additions on forward, and their point totals in a Pens uniform and you’ll realize that this team is actually so good.

Jarome Iginla:

2012-2013 FLAMES GP 31 G 9 A 13 P 22 +/- -7
2012-2013 PENGUINS GP 13 G 5 A 6 P 11 +/- 2

Iggy, who everyone thought was headed to Boston, has seen his season go from nine goals and 22 points in 31 games playing in Calgary to five goals, 11 points in 13 games in Pittsburgh.  To you mathematicians, that’s half the points in 18 games less.  But wait up, he’s not the only one that saw his point production rise.

Jussi Jokinen:

2012-2013 HURRICANES GP 33 G 6 A 5 P 11 +/- -8
2012-2013 PENGUINS GP 10 G 7 A 4 P 11 +/- 3

Huh? Thats almost unheard of, score just as many points in one-third the amount of games.  Not to mention going from a pretty brutal -8 to a respectable +3.   Jussi finished the season off with a pair of goals against his former team, as the Pens routed the Canes 8-3.

But wait, there’s more.

Brenden Morrow:

When Ray Shero wen out and got Morrow and Douglas Murray before the deadline, nobody was expecting to see Iggy in a Penguins uniform.  But now three and a half weeks later, Iginla and Morrow are wearing a penguin on the chest, and have both benefited from the Pens dynamic style of play.

2012-2013 STARS GP 29 G 6 A 5 P 11 +/- -8
2012-2013 PENGUINS GP 15 G 6 A 8 P 14 +/- 5

Half the games, that’s all it took for Morrow to score just as many goals as he did in Dallas.  Not to mention three extra points.

Imagine what it would have been like if Crosby were in the lineup this entire time?  Sure all three of these guys wouldn’t be on the same line as Crosby, but with Crosby in the lineup everyone seems to produce at a retardedly high pace.