Tag Archives: ovechkin

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.

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The East

It’s playoff time baby so stop what you’re doing and grab a snickers.

But seriously, if you have a job you should probably quit it.

The East:

#1 Pittsburgh Penguins VS. #8 New York Islanders

First off nobody cares about how the teams matched up in the regular season.

What’s up: I can only imagine how pissed off Islanders fans were last night when they realized that the Bruins losing to the Sens meant a date with the Penguins.  The Pens are an absolute juggernaut, and if Crosby comes back to the lineup early on, I don’t see the Isles winning even one game.  With Sid in as the first line centre that drops Jokinen into a third line role, and Brandon Sutter into a fourth line.  When you look at the Isles up front– Taveres, Nielsen, Aucoin and Cizikas– it doesn’t even compare to what the Pens have to offer.

Matchup: Sidney Crosby VS. John Taveres – Both of these guys are getting serious attention for the Hart, and rightfully so.  It took Marty St. Louis 25 days to pass Crosby’s point total, and Crosby is still tied for third in the league in points.  Crosby’s 1.56 points-per-game is the highest of his career, and if he comes back and produces at that same pace, I don’t know how any team can stop the Pens.  But Taveres on the other hand, if you take him out of the lineup, you take the entire Islanders team out of the dance.  He was their leader all season, and in a regular 82 game season he would have tallied 50 goals.

Gamebreakers: For the Penguins it has to be Iggy.  This is his first real shot on a

where is his Flames uni?

where is his Flames uni?

contender(The Flames cup run doesn’t count) and Iginla, who is already a clutch performer will most likely be paired up on a line with Crosby and either Kunitz or Dupuis.  Basically just a recipe for success.  Let’s not forget the extremely potent power-play combination of Crosby, Malkin, Neal, Iginla and Letang

And for the Islanders; Michael Grabner.  This guy can fly, he won the fastest skater competition when he was a rookie.  He can score some goals too.  He’s one of those streaky bastards where you never know if he’s gonna produce or become invisible.  But with the heavy artillery primarily focused on Taveres and Moulson it may give Grabner some room to soar.

Prediction: The Isles are headed up, but it’s the luck of the draw this year.  The Pens are just too good, and will take the Islanders in four.  Let’s just hope I’m wrong.

#2 Montreal Canadiens VS. #7 Ottawa Senators

What’s up: Unlike the Islanders, the Habs and Sens were both pretty happy last night with what happened in Boston.  The Habs won the division, which ensures them home-ice in the first two rounds, and the Sens avoided Pittsburgh.  Both teams are coming off of over-achieving seasons  so this series could go either way.  It’s gonna come down to a coaches duel, as both Maclean and Therrien should be put into consideration for the Jack Adams.  The biggest hurdle that these two teams will have to overcome is the intense travel schedule.  I wonder if they’re just gonna take Mega Bus?

Matchup: P.K. Subban VS. Erik Karlsson – These guys are young, they’re good and they can both quarterback a power-play.  Subban led all defenseman in points with 38 and came second in power-play goals for a defenseman with seven.  The only guy with more was Andrei Markov.  Subban had a Norris calibre season.  The winner of the Norris last season was Karlsson, who if he hadn’t severed 70% of his achilles in February probably would have ran head-to-head with Subban.  Game one will be his fourth game back and the Sens are gonna have him logging lots of minutes if they wanna get through to the second round.

Gamebreakers: Montreal has two bright stars for their organization, their names are Alex

the two little munchkins and coach

the two little munchkins and coach

Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher.  Galchenyuk had a hot start to the season but cooled off near the end, and if he can lead the secondary scoring the Habs will be a threat.  Gallagher just needs to continue to do what he does best.  And that is to piss off the opposing team and score some goals.

The return of Jason Spezza is like going out and getting a superstar at the trade-deadline.  He is good.  If he can come back healthy at some point in this series, it’s gonna give the Senators an added boost.  They’ve made it this far with an AHL lineup and having Spezza back would be huge.

Prediction: The series is gonna go long and I am predicting an upset.  The Sens will take the Habs in seven.  Book it.  Craig Anderson will outplay Carey Price and Spezza will make a return that will bolster the offence.

#3 Washington Capitals VS. #6 New York Rangers

What’s up: For the fourth time in five years, the Caps and Rangers will see each-other in the post-season.  If the playoffs started a month ago, both of these squads would not be in this position, as they both popped the clutch and chucked it into sixth gear for the final month of the regular season.  The revival of Ovechkin, Backstrom and Green may become the achilles heel of the Rangers’ season.  But the same can be said of King Hank who looks to be en-route to his second Vezina in two years.

Matchup: Alex Ovechkin VS. Rick Nash – Ovi and Nash are both known to put their teams on their backs and run the ball, errrrr puck.  If Maria Kirilenko continues to show up at the Verizon centre, I think it’s pretty safe to say that Ovechkin will continue this ridiculous pace that saw him score 23 goals in his last 23 games to secure the Rocket Richard.  And this is Nash’s first ever playoff appearance on a real team, so he won’t have to put too much stress on his back this year, but he’s got to be that offensive force that goes toe-to-toe with Ovechkin.  If Nash can’t match him, then I don’t know if the Rangers will get through to the second round.

Gamebreakers: In the Nation’s Capital, the Caps are gonna be relying heavily on Mike Green to continue to quarterback this top-ranked power-play.  At just over 26%, the Capitals power-play will be a huge part in them beating Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers.  With Greens grown maturity and hipster lifestyle, let’s just hope that he can play a little bit of defence as well.

Watch as Green picks the shit out of that corner and goes top-cheese.

At Madison Square Garden, Derek Stepan is that quiet threat that can rip holes through the Capitals defence.  If he can continue being that secondary scoring threat, and I think he will in this series, then the Rangers will have a chance.  That is, if Nash can mirror Ovechkin, which is no small task.

Prediction: Both teams are looking to keep up the solid play, but Ovechkin and company will prove to powerful for the Rangers.  Especially if the blue-shirts find themselves getting into a little bit of penalty trouble.  Capitals in six.

#4 Boston Bruins VS. #5 Toronto Maple Leafs

What’s up: I don’t even know if people blogged the last time that the Leafs were in the playoffs, but that doesn’t matter anymore, because they’re in.  And it’s not like they just barely squeaked by, the Leafs had a legitimate season, and that’s why they have a pretty good chance against the Bruins.  Sure, Boston has generally beaten up on the Leafs in the past, and sure a Leafs-Habs first round would have been one for the ages, but the Bruins are the fate, and Leafer fans are gonna have to live with it.  These two teams play a very similar type of hockey, and the big guns in Toronto are gonna make it or break it for the Leafs. This is the time for Kessel to step up and score his first goal against his former team.  He’s also gonna have to outplay Seguin and Hamilton so that the Leafs advance and the comments about how bad of a trade Burke made in acquiring Kessel was, are silenced.

Matchup: Zdeno Chara VS. Leafs Offence – Chara is big, and Kessel is pretty small.  With that being said, Kessel is gonna need some help from the likes of Kadri, Lupul and Bozak.  The Leafs have quite a bit of fire-power up front and a generally weak defensive corps, so if they want to win this series, their big-guns will have to be firing on all cylinders.  They’ve got to take more shots than they give up.  The Leafs are gonna have to stop being out shot by a country mile, because in the playoffs that’s not gonna fly, especially against a team that is so defensively sound in Boston.  When you look at the fact that it would be Chara versus the Leafs offence in Boston and Subban versus the Leafs offence in Montreal then you start to realize how much better the Leafs would have matched up against the Habs.

Gamebreakers: Dressed in black and yellow, the guy who all Leafs fans will hate by the end of

not the nose Dion, fuck

not the nose Dion, fuck

the series is Brad Marchand.  He did it when the Bruins won the Stanley Cup against the Canucks, and he’s gonna do it again in the first round against the Leafs.  He is an agitator, and the Leafs cannot start taking penalties because of this huge-nosed prick, or else they can kiss the season good-bye.

The Leafs have their own little pest that draws tons of penalties, too.  Nazem “The Dream” Kadri will look to relish his first opportunity at playoff hockey by getting under the skin of the Bruins and provide some lethal secondary scoring.  The big matchup, after the Chara versus the world one, will be Kadri and Marchand.  We saw it with Gallagher and we’ll see it again with Marchand.  The two little weasels will be at each-others throats like Homer on Bart.


Ouch.

Prediction: This series is going to be brutal and whoever comes out of it is will be battered and bruised.  Chara and the Bruins will end up being too tough for the Leafs, and the B’s will take it in seven.

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.

Mr. Universe and his orange gatorade

In the Philly-Washington game after Ovechkin, who scored his eighth goal in his last eight games scored on the powerplay to make it 4-2, Mr. Universe decided to chuck his water bottle at the Caps as they celly’d.

It doesn’t say in this video, but when watching the game, the announcers say that he likes orange gatorade.  ORANGE!? That is the worst gatorade that you can buy!

But I guess it probably makes Hartsy and Giroux pretty happy.

hartnell hulk hogan flyers girouxbryzgalov bobblehead

The French squirm

With 39 seconds left, Mike Green, the vespa riding defensemen for the Caps tied the game up at three, forcing the game against the Sabres into OT.

As she went to the shootout, the paralyzer (Matt Hendricks) paralyzed Jonas Enroth leaving the  ‘W’ in the hands of the red hot Ovechkin.  Sasha comes in and goes five-hole, but the real high-light is Mathieu Perrault’s expression.