Playoff Quick Shots & Hats Off To Sidney

Crosby’s vs. Ovechkin’s

This is exactly what the league, the networks and the fans were wanting from the Caps vs. Pens, eh? Even though Washington takes a two-OH lead into Pittsburgh, both games have been awesome to watch.

Crosby has scored all of Pittsburgh’s five goals so far…including matching Ovechkin’s hat trick Monday night…and very well could have a pair of three-goalers had it not been for Simeon Varlamov’s incredible save in game-one!

I’ve picked the Capitals in seven games in this matchup…and I’m prayin’ to God it does indeed go the full seven.

74 mph+ Winds vs. Big Bad Bruins

Remember that scene in “Dumb and Dumber” when Llyod, (Jim Carrey) asked Mary, (Lauren Holly), what the chances were of the two of them getting together.

“Not good”, replyed Mary.

“You mean, not good like one out of a hundred”?

“I’d say more like one out of a million”.

Lloyd then pauses to reflect and then says, “So you’re telling me there’s a chance…YEAH”!

Well, I’m telling Canes fans…there’s a chance. Not a big one, mind you…but escaping Bah-ston with a split gives them hope where there would be none had they been facing an OH-two hole. Cam Ward was stellar Sunday night, especially in the third period. They’ll need much more of that from here on.

Oh and Toronto…it was too a goal!

Quackers vs. Big Red Borg

If you could write up a good formula for the Anaheim Ducks to succeed against the Red Wings, it might go something like…”Keep Marian Hossa and Pavel Datsyuk off the scoresheet and continue to enjoy strong goaltending by Jonas Hiller”.

Well, it’s worked so far.

Hossa and Datsyuk have a grand total of one assist between the two and, even with their depth, the Wings will need more from them than that. As for Hossa…remember, he’s playing without a contract next season and a poor showing in the post-season might hurt him in the bank account this summer.

After Hiller allowed a couple of unfortunate goals in the first period of game 2…one off the ankle of his defender…he returned to the same form displayed in the first round against San Jose. He stopped 59 of 62 shots Sunday afternoon, including all 29 he faced in the 41:15 of overtime.

Heading back to the pond, the Ducks have to feel god about gaining the split in Motown.

Windy City vs. Orca’s

This series in tied at one apiece…but easily could be led 2-0 by either team. In game one, Chicago erased a 3-0 third period deficit, only to lose at the end. They then fell behind 2-0 in the first during game two but this time completed the comeback for a 6-3 win.

What this means is that even if the Knuckleheads get off to an early lead from here on out in the series, there could still be a little stick-clutching taking place on their bench. Plus, the Blackhawks have shown they won’t panick if they fall behind.

Robbie-Lu has surrendered eight goals in the two games on 62 shots, (.871 SV%), after giving up only five in four games against the Blues in round one. Yeah…we all saw that coming.

Meanwhile…Back At The Ranch

OK, so since it’s the hockey offseason here in Atlanta…which normally arrives here the day after game number 82… that means the Ilya Nikulin saga is upon us again.

Joy…rapture.

To me…after he put Waddell on the yo-yo last summer…I’m of the frame of mind that if he joins the team this season…great! If not…fine. Time to move on. We’ve pretty much been playing this game since Waddell picked in in 2000 with the 31st overall selection.

Now, that having been said, I actually think there’s a decent chance we’ll see it happen this year. His contract with Ak Bars Kazan is up and the bloom is kinda off the KHL rose right now. Plus, I think Kovy is probably using his time in Switzerland right now having a word or two with him as well.

If he does make it over, his 6′-4″, 210-ish frame could provide the blueline addition that the Thrashers need to solidify that corps.

So…what kind of odds am I giving that Nikulin finally decides to play in Atlanta? Well, let’s just say it’s better than Llyod’s chances with Mary.

Mid-Week Reading Assignments

The Falconer has posted Part One of his interview with Dan Marr in which he reviews the junior prospects.

What if Don Waddell decided to hold a White Sale this summer.

And finally…what’s all that whining I hear? Oh…it’s just that Crosby kid again. And what is it this time that the NHL’s poster child for post-lockout recovery has a problem with?

Well, he seems to have an issue with…of all things…hats.

110 comments Add your comment

GaVaHokie

May 5th, 2009
1:38 pm

Great read Rawhide. :)

Sara

May 5th, 2009
1:50 pm

Perhaps if I hadn’t have typed the great american novel I would have seen the “Ranallo Alert” before I posted. Oh well…Tony C. my answer to your question re: Nikulin is on Rawhide’s last blog. http://blogs.ajc.com/iceman-thrashers-blog/2009/05/03/reasoner-deserves-an-aand-not-just-for-effort/#comment-2816

GaVaHokie

May 5th, 2009
2:09 pm

Sara… “Life would dictate it” would seem like “such is life” in general terms. Sometimes you have to figure out what he’s “trying” to say, more than taking the literal meaning. :)

The CBA wouldn’t allow him to make over $1 million, the Thrashers couldn’t guarantee him an NHL-only contract… “such is life”… he stayed in Russia another year until he could qualify for a higher salary in the NHL. If we can’t give him $2-$3 million to play THIS year, and can’t offer him a one year, NHL-only contract… “such is life” again… he’ll sit out another year and then sign with Pittsburgh or Washington next summer, because it sounds like to me that he wants to play with Ovie or Malkin.

He had two stipulations… NHL only (no AHL), and he wanted only a 1 year contract.

GaVaHokie

May 5th, 2009
2:15 pm

Sara… my next question is, do we get any draft compensation if Nikulin allows his time-frame to expire and then signs with another team?

If that punk sits out another year and then signs with Washington, he’s built up the biggest Boo-barrage in the history of Boo’s! …Bigger than Dany Heatley and bigger than Blake Wheeler stiffing the Coyotes.

LAC

May 5th, 2009
2:17 pm

Why would you throw a $20 hat on the ice only to see it swept up and thrashed ? Just STUPID…

Tony C.

May 5th, 2009
2:46 pm

Sara-No worries, I read it. Thanks for digging.

Jason

May 5th, 2009
3:41 pm

did anyone catch the “unleash the fury” signs that the caps fans were holding last night? I could be wrong, but I thought that was the thrashers phrase from 2 seasons ago. Not that I really care but it was somewhat lame the first time around.

Sara

May 5th, 2009
3:56 pm

Hokie honestly I’m not positive. There are different rules for different situations and it’s all muddled. However if our rights technically expire, I doubt we’re entitled to a blessed thing. I’ve always been under the impression that Nikulin was a defected player because he signed binding contracts with another league. Generally defected players can essentially come back to the NHL as Group IV FAs (RFAs). That of course carries the right of first refusal and draft pick compensation. And while I remember seeing more than one source making the comment last year that we only had one year left to negotiate with Nikulin, I haven’t found anything in either CBA that definitely states when rights just expire.

It’d be nice if the new guy could talk to Larry Simmons – he’s supposed to be the Thrashers’ CBA guru. Maybe he could explain how those rules work in better detail…since I’ve always gotten the gist anyway that the CBA as published really doesn’t have all the rules spelled out.

BTW, I pulled up the old 1995 CBA and the max compensation for a draft pick in 2000 is $1,075,000. In addition, there were no dollar limitations on performance bonuses under the old CBA. So again, the issue is complicated in just trying to figure out which set of rules would even apply to Nikulin.

*shrug* we’ll see how it all plays out I suppose. It was July last year before we even heard a peep about negotiations with Nikulin so I wouldn’t expect to hear anything until after the draft anyway.

Thrashy Thrashy

May 5th, 2009
4:04 pm

LAC,

The lesson?

Always wear/take your dirtiest, dingiest cap with you to a hockey game.

BLitz

May 5th, 2009
4:29 pm

**LAC**,

It is also a little known fact that Cubs fans who sit out in the famous bleachers of Wrigley Field bring an extra ball with them. That way if they catch a homerun from the opposing team, they throw the old used ball back to the cheers of the crowd while keeping the major league souvenier.

Or you can just be a whiner like Sidney and complain about the hats LACrosby.

BLitz

May 5th, 2009
4:31 pm

FWIW Crosby is now the official whiniest athlete in all of sports. To complain to the referee that the home crowd was throwing hats after a player scores 3 goals is just being a b!tch.

Brendan

May 5th, 2009
5:59 pm

I’m in NO WAY defending Sidney Crosby, but just you watch … during the offseason … someone will propose that the hometeam be assessed a “delay of game” penalty if excessive hat throwing occurs during a game. You laugh. I’m laughing. But I wouldn’t put it past these committees that decide such things. Of course, I have no idea how they’d enforce such a rule. Would the refs get out a ’stop watch’ and if the hat tossing doesn’t stop after 40 seconds, then a penalty is assessed? If it’s not that SPECIFIC, then it’d be totally discretionary. I hear the pundits. “By the time you clean up the ice, the game has stopped 3, to 3 and a half minutes, that’s 10 times longer than any ‘timeout.’ It’s delay of game.”

Oy gavult.

N/A

May 5th, 2009
6:58 pm

Yeah, to whoever asked if Unleash the Fury was our phrase a few years ago. And yes the Caps’ media stole it ;D. It seems to working better for them than it did for us. Also…who complains about a tried and true tradition like a hat-trick hat throwing? Honestly….

Rawhide

May 5th, 2009
7:39 pm

N/A“who complains about a tried and true tradition like a hat-trick hat throwing? Honestly…”.

Ummm…a spoiled crybaby who is in the process of watching as the spotlight is shown upon someone else and is looking at an OH-two playoff deficit.

That’s who.

Hockeyfan

May 5th, 2009
8:29 pm

Sid needs to get some Rogaine for his chin

Mr. Heat Miser

May 5th, 2009
9:42 pm

The whole “Unelash the Fury” thing was thought up by the marketing folks from the A$G that went to the Caps the season before last.
Cindy needs to pull his skirt up, shut up and play. You can’t grow a beard until you pass puberty.

LAC

May 5th, 2009
10:49 pm

Gee Whiz… Guess some of you guys have the $ to burn !

Hey Rawhide, is waddell asleep at the controls or what ?

The idiot has acted like the worthless $hit he is and looks like another summer of second & third tier rejects from other teams…

Brendan

May 5th, 2009
11:59 pm

You know what I’d like to see, LAC? Just once. One measely little time, I’d like a modicum of honesty to escape the lips of Bruce Levenson. To what am I referring? I wish the Spirit Clowns would just admit that they’re HALFWAY THROUGH a 4-year building plan.

Would it upset anyone to hear this?? I think fans would be receptive to hearing truth and, having been clued in, would get BEHIND the PLAN. Instead, it’s like the Carnies at the “ring toss.”

“Oooh, just missed. Try again. Oh, almost had it that time. So close. Too bad, sir. Thought you might have had it with that last toss. $1 buys three more tries.” Aye, aye, aye.

I’m sick of the Thrasher fans being hustled, flimflammed, bamboozled and hoodwinked. It’s enough already. If the word ‘playoffs’ escapes Bruce’s lips, or the phrase, “moving in the right direction,” I think each utterance should force half an inch of his tongue to be removed.
Eventually, he’ll either start telling the truth, or he’ll have no tongue left.

Imagine, just for a second, that next season the Thrashers finish with 79-points. And Bruce’s season ending interview reads something like this, “Well, we’re still not quite where we thought we’d be at this point. But, clearly, we’re still moving in the right direction.” Especially if the 2010 Thrashers have a season’s end budget at or just above the FLOOR of the salary cap (!!).

What would your reaction be? Really think about it for a minute, will ya? How many times are you willing to listen to this? See, it’s old. And it’s insulting. TO YOU. The fans. Compare that hypothetical quote to this hypothetical one:

Bruce Levenson: “As I told the fans last Summer, in 2009, we’re engaged in a 4-year commitment to building this team with a real ‘window of opportunity.’ We knew that a ’slow build’ was the only proper way to make our team young, fast, and highly skilled. So, for me, 79-points reflects continued success at developing our prospects while still reloading via the draft, as we enter the LAST and FINAL YEAR of the project. If we’re still below .500 at the conclusion of the 2011 season, then I’ll be very concerned. But for now, I think we’re still on course.”

See, I can live with that far, far better. That has elements of HONESTY about it. But to continue to make statement like, “we’re 1 or 2 pieces away” is just infuriating. To win a Cup, this team needs TWO Tier I blueliners, plus Bogosian, unless Bogosian turns into that Tier I guy. And that’s before we even address the Top 6 forwards. And, given Waddell’s comments, we’ll be making changes in the goal crease, too. Well, are either Lehtonen or Pavelec the kind of proven commodity netminders that will bring home a Stanley Cup? They could be, but certainly aren’t YET. So, how many more ‘pieces away’ are we???? It’s a lot more than two (2). And the goal shouldn’t be to get to the playoffs, only to be woefully and inadequately prepared to play those games.

Since we’re already on this path of ’slow build,’ we might as well finish it, rather than gamble with several high-priced, 30-something years old GREYBEARDS that Waddell thinks can get us to the playoffs. That, to me, is a far bigger failure that continuing to take our lumps and hoping for the best inside the lottery draft, and off waivers, as a bottom feeder.

Andrew

May 6th, 2009
12:20 am

A husband?!?! What was all that one in a million talk?

GaVaHokie

May 6th, 2009
8:07 am

Actually… I think the “Unleash the Fury” montage is a NHL video that’s distributed to venues. I don’t think it’s unique to Phillips.

Same with Kiss Cam and Sport Shorts.

Alan

May 6th, 2009
10:06 am

someone will propose that the hometeam be assessed a “delay of game” penalty if excessive hat throwing occurs during a game.

For the sake of argument, I went ahead and looked it up.

Here’s what the rule reads currently:

63.4 Objects Thrown on the Ice – In the event that objects are thrown on the ice that interfere with the progress of the game, the Referee shall blow the whistle and stop the play and the puck shall be faced-off at a face-off spot in the zone nearest to the spot where play is stopped. When objects are thrown on the ice during a stoppage in play, including after the scoring of a goal, the Referee shall have announced over the public address system that any further occurrences will result in a bench minor penalty being assessed to the home team. Articles thrown onto the ice following a special occasion (i.e. hat trick) will not result in a bench minor penalty being assessed.

While you have a valid point in that the league tries to squash good things that have become tradition (as a Detroiter, their attempt to squash the throwing of an octupus before home playoff games bothers me (please, guys, I love the team spirit and all, but don’t do that in visiting arenas, okay?)), the fact the league went so far in their rulebook as to clarify that hat tricks (”special occasion”) are excluded from the “delay of game” penalty makes me believe that no matter how loudly Sid cries about the hats, he’s going to have to suck it up and play.

I hope Kovalchuk scores one on the Pens next year, and I hope he gets just as much hat-love as his fellow countryman. I don’t have the money to burn, but I’d gladly throw three or four of them just so I can see Sid go cry to Mommy Ref.

Sara

May 6th, 2009
10:09 am

Brendan I wouldn’t laugh either. It’s already come out after the Wings/Ducks OT doozie the other night that the competition committee was apparently one vote shy of going to 4 on 4 play after the first OT *in the playoffs*. http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/blog/puck_daddy/post/Should-NHL-change-playoff-OT-format-to-avoid-mar;_ylt=AqH1_GRvRVJrbCWC6NImSFB_ppJ4?urn=nhl,161249#remaining-content

Are you f’in kidding me?

Alan

May 6th, 2009
10:20 am

Hey LAC, speaking of money to burn… check this out.

Balsillie tables an offer for the Coyotes.

The Research in Motion CEO made his intentions known in a media releason on Tuesday which confirmed that a $212.5 million (US) offer was on the table to purchase the team. One condition of the purchase was that Balsillie would relocate the franchise to an unspecified region in Southern Ontario.

Now that’s what I call money to burn.

Adios

May 6th, 2009
10:31 am

Little mention of Phoenix’s problems, but the Coyotes have filed for bankruptcy and Jim Balsillie, RIM (Blackberry) co-CEO, is once again seeking to buy a franchise and move it to Ontario, after failing in previous attempts to do the same with Pittsburgh and Nashville. Thrashers fans should hope that he is successful this time. His ambition and deep pockets will sustain his efforts until he is successful. If he fails again with Phoenix then the Thrashers will become an obvious target of pursuit. If the Coyotes were losing 30 million a year then the Thrashers have to be in a similar situation. Even assuming that the losses are exagerated the ASG will need to sell the Thrashers to subsidize their basketball fantasies. (btw … did anybody notice that the Hawks-Heat game 7 at Philips did not sell out? I can’t imagine a Thrashers game 7 at home not selling out.)

Alan

May 6th, 2009
10:44 am

Adios, considering the Coyotes also filed for Chapter 11, I find the conjecture about Balsillie targeting the Thrashers ludicrous. Atlanta isn’t bleeding near as much money as Phoenix is, plus Atlanta is also in a better position to make money in the coming years, assuming the young guys we have and our level of performance increases next season.

Sure, ownership cares more about basketball, but also consider that the successes of the Hawks translate to more money for the Thrashers. We need to spend money to keep Kovalchuk. We need to keep Kovalchuk to draw crowds to the arena. Ownership, from the way it sounds, is beginning to realize this. Hopefully, they take action.

In short, though, there are teams out there in worse shape than Atlanta (see: NY Islanders, TB Lightning, Florida Panthers). The hockey landscape will very likely change a considerable amount, given the economic forecast in the US and Canada. However, Atlanta will emerge unscathed. Book it.

Spud Webb

May 6th, 2009
10:45 am

WOW Sara, I’m with you. That is BS how can they do that? 4 on 4? NO WAY.
GO DUCKS, man that Heller is RIDICULOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Of course the early whistle saved them on a Hossa goal, but I don’t feel bad for the wings!!!!!
Here is another tid-bit about the penguins. They are by far the BIGGEST GROUP OF BABIES I’ve ever seen…
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/penguins/s_623801.html

Tharashers27

May 6th, 2009
11:19 am

Hats off to O-V, but not that weiner…I mean whiner, Crosby. The kid is talented, but he’s such a baby. After watching him trying to practice his “speedbag” technique on Valabik this season I have no respect for “The Kid”.

R. Stroz

May 6th, 2009
11:24 am

Here’s an idea that should catch on like wild fire:

Whenever Cindy Crotchby scores a goal, fans should throw pacifiers on the ice.

Watching Cindy whine to the refs would be PRICELESS.

Midfield

May 6th, 2009
11:32 am

Spud, my guess is that Fleury is stocking up excuses to explain away how he got beat by a 20-year old Russian kid.

Smoothie

May 6th, 2009
12:39 pm

Shifting gears a bit to some Thrashers related news, it looks like our beloved Captain has done it again at the Worlds. This time he has scored the GWG against the feisty and talented Belarus team coached by none other than Glen Hanlon (remember that guy?). Congrats to Kovy and his Russian teammates for a return trip to the Semi-Finals versus the winner of Finland and the USA. Here’s the linky:

http://www.iihf.com/channels/iihf-world-championship-oc09/home/news/news-singleview-world-championship-2009/article/russia-bids-belarus-bye-bye.html?tx_ttnews%5BbackPid%5D=2717&cHash=4980dd3ca4

Tony C.

May 6th, 2009
12:57 pm

USA vs. Finland in like an hour; play-by-play supplied by LAK announcers(audio only):

http://www.universalsports.com/mediaPlayer/media.dbml?CLIP_ID=127801&_MODE_=COUNTDOWN&db_oem_id=23000

Apologies if it doesn’t play right off the bat.

Viking

May 6th, 2009
1:48 pm

I have been reading about the upcoming game between USA and Finland and there is one player mentioned more than others: Niko Kapanen! It is weird that he was such a bust for the Thrashers. However, I wonder if he ever did a power play minute while in in Trashers uniform. Check out this excerpt:

Strenghts for Team Finland:

If given the chance to work on the power play, Finland is lethal. They are tied for second with Russia for the most power play goals scored with eleven. The star for Finland on the man advantage is Niko Kapanen. Of Kapanen’s six goals, five have come via the power play. In other words, Kapanen accounts for over 40% of Finland’s power play goal scoring.

Midfield

May 6th, 2009
1:59 pm

Kapanen was way to soft for NHL. His big advantage at the worlds is bigger rinks – more space to skate in to avoid contact.

Hockey Biltong

May 6th, 2009
2:03 pm

I was just reading a link thru CNN/SI about a conversation between the Falconer and the ‘Blue Shirt’ fan e-zine. Talk was about Kovalchuk and the Rangers desire to have a scorer on their team. As an out of towner peering in on this, I definately was reminded about how drawn into a conversation one can become.Myopeia affects all of us at times, distorting the reality of our situation and influencing us in strange and wacky ways.
If I was technically more proficient I would have a link for you all. I found it in the NHL section of CNN/SI. Look at the Teams link towards the bottom and click on Thrash.

Jason(Darkhorse)

May 6th, 2009
2:07 pm

Thanks for the link Tony C. Salmela got on the short end of that fight with Backus in the last US-Fin match up huh?

Brendan

May 6th, 2009
2:08 pm

Sara, that’s a scary thought. I cannot support the notion of a 4-on-4 playoff overtime. If I were NBC, I just wouldn’t schedule some ‘hard and fast’ programming in the hours immediately following. That’s a “Know Before You Go” type of thing. If you can’t have a Hockey game fit nicely into a 1-4PM slot, or 3-6PM, play the game at a different time. I know newsrooms hate hockey most of all. They’re 11PM broadcasts, historically, suffer when an overtime occurs.

I love the multiple overtime games. I remember Keith Primeau’s 5th overtime winner. Great inside/outside move, then a perfect shot just under the bar. Of course, I remember the LaFontaine 4th OT goal, on Easter Sunday, vs. the Islanders. Brett Hull’s tally, in the 1999 Finals, in Game Six, in Buffalo. Anaheim and Dallas, a few years ago. Brendan Morrison’s goal, in Game Six, for Vancouver over Calgary, in 2004. Remember, Vancouver led that game, 4-0, but the Flames came all the way back to force overtime. In fact, they could have won the series, right there. Instead, it went to Game Seven, where again, overtime would be needed. But that overtime lasted less than a minute. Gary Roberts ended it, I believe, on the PP.

If the NHL is willing to go the 4-on-4 route, what’ll stop them from then instituting a shootout, if the 4-on-4 method fails? I don’t like any of these ideas. It’s got to be 5-on-5, at the puck drop of overtime. Playoff overtime … in my opinion … is the greatest single thing … ever … in sports.

Brendan

May 6th, 2009
2:09 pm

At AOL Sports/Hockey, there was a recent video of Kovalchuk advocating that Washington will win the Eastern Conference this year. Did anyone else catch it?

Viking

May 6th, 2009
2:23 pm

Watching the beginning of Finland – USA. It is kind of funny how I hear Anssi Salmela, Niko Kapanen and briefly Bogosian mentioned all the time.

Viking

May 6th, 2009
2:33 pm

I guess the Hockey World is quite “americanized” or whatever I can call it. I just watched three Finnish girl fans doing the “YMCA-dance” in Switzerland!

Viking

May 6th, 2009
2:43 pm

By the way, the link provided by Tony C is not audio only right now. There is video, but it appears that commercial breaks are kind of short. So if you can put up with some seconds delay, enjoy a nearly live game!

Viking

May 6th, 2009
2:47 pm

Salmela is playing good!

Viking

May 6th, 2009
2:50 pm

First period over. 0-0 is a result USA should be happy over.

Viking

May 6th, 2009
2:51 pm

Enter your comments here

Viking

May 6th, 2009
2:55 pm

Shots 20-7 to Finland for the first period.

Viking

May 6th, 2009
3:07 pm

1-0 to Finland. Kapanen power play or just after it expired.

Viking

May 6th, 2009
3:09 pm

We need to keep Salmela!!!

Viking

May 6th, 2009
3:26 pm

1-1! 5 on 3. Brown.

Just a little less than half the game left.

Viking

May 6th, 2009
3:27 pm

Viking

May 6th, 2009
3:34 pm

3-1! USA Ryan Suter. To be honest, not at all reflectve of what has happened on the ice. Finland has owned the play.

Viking

May 6th, 2009
3:41 pm

Viking

May 6th, 2009
3:51 pm

Shots 22-37 Finland after 2 periods.

Smoothie

May 6th, 2009
3:52 pm

Viking, you’re right to the extent Finland was kicking our arses all over the place until the first American goal. After that, USA really carried the play. But Esche did not recover after the puck hit him in the head and Finland pokes in the rebound to make it 3 – 2.

The Americans have a chance to break the 7 game winless streak against the Finns, but it is imperative that they continue to play physical and get the puck deep in the Finnish zone. If the 3rd is a repeat of the 1st period, Finland will likely win going away.

Let’s go USA!!

PS — Salmela has looked very solid. Hainsey, not so much.

Tony C.

May 6th, 2009
3:56 pm

yEaH. I’m pleased that the video is working-sometimes they’re not allowed to stream the vid.

The Oshie goal was pretty, but I’d like to see the US come out and bang away-let’s see some down-low cycling.

P.S.-All these LAK players look great. Johnson especially.

Sara

May 6th, 2009
4:20 pm

I love Oshie – he’s my new youngster crush – behind Bogosian anyway. STL had a great commercial with him this season – it interspersed him standing there talking with highlight footage from games. “I like to hit…I like to score….but most of all, I love to win.” He’s more of what I thought Army would be…’cept Army seemed to have lost his nastiness on some golf course last off-season. More of those this team could definitely use.

Tony C.

May 6th, 2009
4:25 pm

Looks like Wilson had the same idea-US is carrying the play this period

Viking

May 6th, 2009
4:31 pm

Funny, the commentators is repeating the perennial mispronounciation of our goalkeeper. There is a Finnish player called Lehtonen (with an “o”) but they still make the “o” into an “i” like in Jere Lehtinen.

It is weird that it is so deep rooted. Kamal is the only I’ve heard doing it right – unless he gets excited.

By the way, the Finnish pronounciation of “h” is forgiven.

Viking

May 6th, 2009
4:37 pm

3-2 USA in a “mild upset” as the commentators called it!

Smoothie

May 6th, 2009
4:41 pm

Americans hold on to win 3 to 2!! Actually they did a good job of keeping the pressure on and did not sit back on their heels waiting for the Finns to attack. They took Finland out of their rhythm early and they never got into much of a flow. They had a few decent chances but Robert Esche came up big — he had 47 saves!! Wow. Where was that against Sweden??

Viking

May 6th, 2009
4:57 pm

However, they are facing Kovy & Co. next…

Tony C.

May 6th, 2009
4:58 pm

Nice win for Team USA.

Brendan

May 6th, 2009
5:08 pm

U-S-A!! U-S-A!! U-S-A!! So, how many penalties did Ron Hainsey get?

Smoothie

May 6th, 2009
5:52 pm

None for Ron in this game Brendan.

Alan

May 6th, 2009
6:21 pm

If you thought the Balsillie Comedy Hour was fun, check this out…

Alexander Medvedev is looking to buy a team

Currently, no plans exist to relocate any purchased team to Mordovia. However, he laments the fact that Quebec City isn’t represented by the NHL.

BERN, Switzerland – Alexander Medvedev, the billionaire owner of Russia’s Continental Hockey League, is interested in buying an NHL franchise.

“We have considered 10 opportunities, we have short-listed three and we continue to look at these three teams,” Medvedev said Tuesday at the IIHF World Hockey Championship. “We will just make our due diligence.

“It’s a very strange situation when real hockey (cities) like Quebec don’t have an NHL team.”

(continued)

Hockey Biltong

May 6th, 2009
7:17 pm

Bogo did not look so hot in the game.One good hit early and some missed passes. In fact I didn’t see him play much after the first period. Hainsey was sloppy behind the net. Our forwards , however looked great from the second period on.
Salmonella did have a good game.

Brendan

May 6th, 2009
10:08 pm

Thank you, Smoothie.

Hey, the Capitals and Penguins are in Overtime in Game 3. It’s gonna bug me if I don’t say it, but UNFAIR OR NOT, Crosby or Malkin is EXPECTED to SCORE for Pittsburgh. Think about it. They’re superstars. Superstars EARN THEIR LEGACY in these very moments. Imagine if the Penguins lose this game? They’d be down, 3-0.

So?

So, if Crosby and Malkin are the SuperStuds the league says they are, one of them has to step up and win this game for Pittsburgh. And if Ovechkin should score, you know what that means. This series was billed as “Sid, the Kid vs. O.V.” Well, who won? It won’t be “whispers” that circulate around league. They’ll be talking about it.

Brendan

May 6th, 2009
10:12 pm

And no sooner said … then Pittsburgh scores! Series lead is cut in HALF. I believe it was C. Letang who got the winning, on a weird caroming shot that Varlamov managed to get a piece of, but not enough.

Carolina and Boston are in overtime. Our old pal, Mark Recchi, got the tying goal for Boston. It’s 2-2. Overtime is just about to start.

Brendan

May 6th, 2009
10:17 pm

Boston/Carolina overtime is being shown on channel 771, on Center Ice, on Comcast Cable. But it also appears that Versus is carrying the overtime action. Bear in mind, on Versus, you’ll have to suffer through Pierre McGruire’s commentary. Tripp Tracy and the ‘Canes have the Comcast Center Ice coverage. So, pick your poison, there.

Brendan

May 6th, 2009
10:23 pm

Carolina wins it!!! 3-2!!! For a series that Boston is supposed to run away with, they should be very worried. Jussi Jokinen with the goal. Samsonov with the big assist.

So, there are potentially four (4) games left in this series. Boston must now win three (3) of them to advance.

Jokinen was a waiver wire claim off Tampa Bay, wasn’t he? More Lightning brilliance from owners Oren Koules and Len Barrie.

Brendan

May 6th, 2009
10:24 pm

Was Samsonov also a waiver wire acquisition by Carolina?

Midfield

May 6th, 2009
10:25 pm

As expected, horrible officiating in Pittsburgh. The interference call that led to the equalizer had to be the third or the fourth such call, not the first one to be called. Needless to say, Caps got called for everything.

Brendan

May 6th, 2009
10:33 pm

Midfield, I think Bruce Boudreau (Capitals Coach) just amplified your post, in the post game press conference. I like Boudreau. I do hope he gets to experience a deep playoff run. Here’s a guy who coached over 1,000 games in the minors, then was pressed into service in relief of the fired Glen Hanlon. Two division titles later, he’s at least got one playoff series win. That’s a “feel good” story, right there.

Brendan

May 6th, 2009
10:38 pm

In case anyone’s following the case of an early Conn Smythe that isn’t a goalie, Eric Staal scored again for a Carolina. That’s 7 goals for Staal. I think Crosby has 8, as does Ovechkin. How many does Malkin have?

Midfield

May 6th, 2009
10:41 pm

All Caps need to do is to throw more at Fleury. It does not always have to be Ovechkin. Just get the puck through on goal. Varlamov is a much better goalie, and that should be the edge enough.

Brendan

May 6th, 2009
11:07 pm

I think Alexander Semin has also got to step up his game for the Capitals. As you know, I picked Washington to win the East this year. I was extremely nervous about that in the Rangers series. (San Jose was my other Conf. pick. Look how well that turned out?) But since being down, 3-1, the Caps have gone 5-1 in their last six games. To be fair, I’ll add that Washington just missed a GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY to put a strangle hold on this series. While the goal of any series is just to WIN it, in a MARATHON RACE, it doesn’t hurt to have more REST. Up 3-0, hypothetically, the series probably doesn’t go seven games. Up 3-0, the Canadian media probably embarks on a knee-jerk reaction to bury certain members of the Penguins roster. But now, none of that talk will happen. The Penguins are very much alive. Perhaps, we’ve just seen the turning point in the series, and the Pens take the next three games? We don’t know. That’s why we’re watching and waiting. Best time of the year.

Mountain man

May 6th, 2009
11:39 pm

Rawhide- You should pimp your other blog more often. I read this one all the time but somehow always manage to forget about your hockeybuzz blog despite having it bookmarked. Great read on Whitey over there. Lots to think about in that one.

RE the actual blog post, I think these playoffs are actually some of the best theyve been in the post-lockout era. Lots of the games seem to be of the ilk that they really and truly could go either way, and there doesnt seem to be as much trapping (which I personally dont like. Nail the bastard in open ice if you want to, and Id rather ya did, but trapping is something I dont like. I realize its effective, but its not my cup of tea). The only thing to me is that it seems that the games are not as demanding as they have been in the past (I will admit I could well be wrong, but it seems like both teams have all the speed and finesse at the end of the series that they did at the opening of the playoffs) and so its almost as though the playoffs just aint as tough as they should be, but Im sure a few players would debate that point with me, and theyd know better than THIS mountain man from Podunk, western North Carolina.

As regards Crosby, Ive taken to completely ignoring the “man” when hes not actually playing the game. That includes press conferences, off-ice interviews (between periods, feature interviews, etc) and after whistles. Ovechkin can play pretty dirty (he seems to leave his feet a hell of a lot during his hits) but hes by FAR the better option to market. Better personality (IN MY OPINION; I realize this is highly debatable), more overt energy, grittier player and missing teeth. Yeah, he complains about calls to; everyone does. But at least he doesnt look like hes actually crying when he complains about a call. Sid should really go with a tinted visor. Might help that at least a little. Back to Ovy, the mere fact that hes of Russian heritage does not mean that he cannot or should not be the poster boy of the NHL over Crosby.

erock

May 7th, 2009
8:15 am

I don’t want to talk about the referees, too,” Ovechkin said. “They only had two penalties, it’s kind of a joke. It was lucky we tied the game and went to overtime.” TOO MANY TIMES THE REFEREES DECIDE THE OUTCOME OF HOCKEY GAMES…CERTAIN TEAMS GET PREFERENTIAL TREATMENT

Rawhide

May 7th, 2009
8:53 am

Mountain Man – Thank you very much. Ya know, since you mentioned the HockeyBuzz thing, I did find it it ironic that I posted this piece yesterday afternoon regarding possibly changing the way playoff overtimes are handled…then watched as both games played last night went into OT.

Both were awesome games and I believe support my opposition to leaving the current format alone.

Russian

May 7th, 2009
10:06 am

I think we need to talk about game tomorrow. Russia vs. USA.
Kovy vs. Hainsy, Bogus and Stuart. It will be SemiFinal tomorrow.
I have a link to see a game: ATDHE.net. It should works.

Alan

May 7th, 2009
10:30 am

A word of warning about ATDHE. If you are around children or trying to view at work, it might not be wise. Some of the advertisements are not work safe.

DWTOO

May 7th, 2009
10:32 am

International competitions are a bit unusual in that you find yourself cheering against players who are otherwise your favorites(ie Kovy). Know the players have to play all out, but, it would horrendous if Zach B. knocks Ilya K. into next week or if they got tangled up and ended up hurt. It would sure suck, but, that’s the way the puck rolls.

Wonder if they look around in these tournaments and think “I can’t hurt so and so – they’re vital to my name on the Stanley Cup next year’.

Rawhide

May 7th, 2009
10:37 am

DWTOO – I’ll root for the US to win 4-3, with Kovy scoring a hat trick for Russia, Stuart getting two goals and Hainsey & Bogey getting one each with some assists as well.

What could be better? :cool:

Spud Webb

May 7th, 2009
10:47 am

Brendon you are correct, Semin has to step up.
The officiating is/was brutal, but has to be expected for the pens. That said, the caps played HORRIBLE & blew a great opportunity. I did notice a lot of banging on the russian goalie, never an interferance call, surprised me a few times?? Ovy with a down game and nobody else really stepped up. Anyone seen Mike Green in this series?
Canes are better than I expected, giving the “b’s” all they can handle.
I swear though, I enjoy watching Chara more than any other player in the league. He just MAULS guys and not a thing can be done with it. Great D & killing people! I’d love in a perfect world to have him here!!!!

Smoothie

May 7th, 2009
10:57 am

DWTOO, I wouldn’t worry too much about Bogey tangling with Kovy as Ron Wilson has pretty much relegated him to riding the pine. He is the 7th D-man on the bench and will likely only play if someone else gets hurt.

However, I would put money on it that Kovy will make Hainsey look foolish at least once and score one of his patented left-circle wristers through Ronsey’s legs. Esche has a weak glove hand and that open right corner will look quite inviting to Ilya.

Mountain man

May 7th, 2009
10:57 am

Rawhide – Haha that is pretty ironic. And another good post over there. I tend to agree with you, they would suggest the NHL leave well enough alone. Also, see Dallas-SJ last year with the 5 OT thriller. I stayed up the ENTIRE time listening on the online radio feed and it was more than worth every second, and thats on the RADIO.Anyway, your post over at HockBuzz got me to thinking. A lot of the older fans who were fans in the 50s or 60s or 70s who grew up watching hockey (and of whom I am incredibly jealous having only seen my first NHL game, and not the entire game either, when Philly and Detroit were in the finals. It would be years before I was able to follow hockey on a more regular basis) have become disenchanted with the NHL today. Some of their issues are the instigator penalty, what seems to them bogus suspensions (on some of which I must agree), shootouts, NEEDING to settle a tie, giving points for a loss, pansification of the league/game (and thats the edited version, but Im sure everone here has read/heard the same things). All this to say, theres a lot of fans out there that the NHL has alienated on Bettman’s whims, as they would put it (and I wouldnt necessarily disagree)

So my question is this: would you be, in any way, interested in doing a blog post on what the NHL would have to do to A) regain those old diehard fans who watched their first game about the time they got their first teeth, B) drive away those remaining of that ilk of fan, and C) what the NHL would have to do for you to stop watching? Id be interested to hear your thoughts on those subjects.

Hockey Biltong

May 7th, 2009
11:16 am

Brendan,
Samsonov was a waiver wire pick up according to the boys on Versus.

Tony C.

May 7th, 2009
11:30 am

Rawhide

May 7th, 2009
11:35 am

Mountain Man – I can answer those questions right here:

A). Don’t abandon the traditions of the game, and those who hold them dear. Trying to improve the experience is fine…but not at the expense of what made the game great.

B). Well…as I pointed out in the HockeyBuzz piece…do things like force a conclusion to overtime games with the shootout. Catering to the short attention span fringe crowd only works for so long ’til they move on to something new. Why? Because they have a short attention span! (DUH5).

C). For me to stop watching? Well, when I feel like my patronage is being taken for granted…if I ever feel like they believe I’ll be there regardless of what they do. Ruining the game with playoff overtime shootouts and other such stupid rules changes might move to that point. But I love hockey so much, I’ll watch it at other levels if I had to…college, AHL, ECHL….bantam house league.

Tony C.

May 7th, 2009
1:04 pm

Amen. I like the shootout as a regular-season institution; perhaps the 3-point system would the answer to those who (correctly IMO) maintain that a one-on-one skills competition should not decide the outcome of a team game-no matter how exciting it may be (fair it may not be, but show me one fan in the stands who is sitting during the S/O).

But playoff hockey MUST remain 6-v-6 none of this 5-v-5 like the regular season.

To illustrate: Myself and the Prettiest Girl in the World’s mother were watching the 3OT game the other night when it went to overtime-she remarked:

“They don’t do four-on-four? I thought they took a skater away in OT”

I explained it was going to be 5-on-5 skaters until somebody won she said:

“No shootout? What if they don’t score for two OT periods??”
I told her the fans in the stands would get one free game of hockey then she said:

“Wow. the players must be exhausted-and there’s four rounds of playoffs for the winner? Hockey players are insane”

We both agreed that when you look at what it takes to win it, The Stanley Cup is the most impressive trophy in all professional sport.

Take the grind of “keep going til somebody blinks” and you loose the one of the most compelling parts of springtime hockey-you literally see guys leave every bit of energy they have out there, and then they just dig for more-knowing it’s not really there (which is why I’m interested to hear what Gary and the NHLPA decide to do regarding the current policy of no PED-testing during the playoffs)-it becomes a contest of will and a question of “what are prepared to do?”-dramatic stuff & the reason I became a lifelong Hockey fan after watching the 1994 ECF (game 6 may be the best game I’ve ever seen)-you can’t discount the effort, skill & sacrifice of players that just kicked the snot out of each other for like 4 hours.

In that vein, Sir Charles says A-O is a better athelete than LeBron: just look at the stunned faces of the NBA Tonight crew-priceless

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/dcsportsbog/2009/05/charles_barkley_says_ovechkin.html

the first video.

Viking

May 7th, 2009
2:59 pm

Sweden-Czech Rep. 0-0 after 1st Period.

If you are watching, check out the Swedish goal tender Jonas “The Monster” Gustavsson. He played the last season for my “old” home team Färjestad in the Elite League. If I’m not mistaken, my son (who lives in Sweden), told me he started out letting in something like only 4 goals in 8 games with a completely rediculous save percentage!

Many NHL clubs are trying to get his services for next season since he is not drafted.

GaVaHokie

May 7th, 2009
3:00 pm

I knew I liked Charles Barkley. :)

GaVaHokie

May 7th, 2009
3:03 pm

Chris Webber is an idiot… “If Lebron James could skate, with his size, he’d be the best”.

Well, I’m willing to bet that Lebron CAN’T skate, but I’m pretty sure Ovechkin could find a way to shoot a ball into a basket.

Viking

May 7th, 2009
3:06 pm

GaVaHokie

May 7th, 2009
3:14 pm

Is it just me, or is the constant fan “whistling” during International play the most annoying sound on earth?

I can deal with the chanting, but whistling is just obnoxious… so glad that’s a European thing and not an NHL thing.

Viking

May 7th, 2009
3:28 pm

“Whistle” translated: Boo

GaVaHokie

May 7th, 2009
3:29 pm

Yeah, I know… I’d rather here “Boo”.

Viking

May 7th, 2009
3:31 pm

There has been a tremendous amount of penalties, so there is a a lot of displeasure to communicate = BOO = Whistling.

Viking

May 7th, 2009
3:32 pm

Fail to see the difference.

Viking

May 7th, 2009
3:40 pm

Sweden – Czech Rep. 2-0 after 2nd.

GaVaHokie

May 7th, 2009
3:46 pm

I hate the SOUND of it… not WHY they are doing it… it’s painful on the ears.

Bob

May 7th, 2009
4:13 pm

“did anyone catch the “unleash the fury” signs that the caps fans were holding last night? I could be wrong, but I thought that was the thrashers phrase from 2 seasons ago”

the Caps stole the Spirit’s guy who was in charge of videos a couple years ago. That’s why our videos stink now and the Caps are good (the guy won awards for his work for the Spirit).

Two great games last night, just awesome! Was it Nikita trying to claim that Ovechkin was just head and shoulders over Crosby? Take your blinders off and watch this series, you’ve got 1A on the ice (Ovy) 1B (Crosby) and 1C (Malkin). Just magical stuff out of all three of them.

Just loving the Ducks taking it to the Wings, just go Duck! Hawks need to tie that series up tonight, I love this time of year.

Viking

May 7th, 2009
4:33 pm

Russian

May 7th, 2009
4:49 pm

Tomorrow SemiFianls.
Russia – USA. I love this game. It will be interesting to see it.
Canada – Sweden
Any bets? Who is going to Final. I hate to say it, but I think it will be USA and Sweden.

GaVaHokie

May 7th, 2009
4:59 pm

Russian… I think the exact opposite… Russia v Canada

Mountain man

May 7th, 2009
6:43 pm

Rawhide – Well said, sir. I pretty much agree with you on all accounts. I just dont like the shootout at all (and wish shootouts were not used in the sport I grew up playing–soccer, for the same reasons), but I begrudgingly concede its here to stay. I severely dislike giving points for a loss, and I very strongly want to see ties reinstated, but in order to do that and make it worthwhile theyd have to go to a 3-point system, and that would basically rewrite the team record books. Teams would be missing the playoffs with closer to 100 points, and the record could well be in jeopardy. While I wouldnt necessarily disagree with a 3-point system, I would not be too keen on seeing that team that holds the record for most points in a season lose their record. Even if it IS Buffablow or the Maple (very bad name which rhymes with “Leafs” and I shall not put here). As for me to stop watching, similar reasons. Keep up the BS suspensions and non-suspensions. Abandon the hardcore fans even further, make serious efforts to remove ALL fighting from the games (WHY would you want to lose the most attention-drawing aspect of your game?!?) But the problem is, there quite simply IS no hockey around here, so if not NHL Id have to make great efforts to follow the Glads or something like that. Maybe Id move to the Russian Federation and watch the K. I do like Stoli and am learning a wee-tad of Russian, so….

The Red Wings are a team that has deviated greatly from the traditions of the game: they ice a very “soft” team that has better skating, endurance, finesse and just plain overall skill than most teams do, but not many of their players are willing to fight. I realize the Islanders had a season or two where they didnt fight much and won it all, but a lot of that was because NOBODY wanted any of Clark Gillies and not many wanted to take on Bobby Nystrom. The Red Wings dont have that invincible element on their team. Whats your take on this? I mean theres no denying theyre winning, but what Im asking is would you prefer to see the Cup winner be the team that is the grittiest team, more like the Ducks cham-PEENS or do you enjoy the Wings current brand just as much?

Last thing: I live in the mountains of WNC, but I do like to catch a game or two in ‘Lanter. Ive enjoyed reading your blog for these last two or three seasons. Come next season, Id like to buy you a beer for your work here. Are you at every home game? And I dont recall for sure, but I seem to remember reading yall all hang out in Section 119. Again though, my memory has served me falsely in the past.

Thanks for your time Rawhide. ‘Preciate what you do here.

DWTOO

May 7th, 2009
7:56 pm

The difference in soccer (or real football) is that penalty kicks, or shootout, has tradition. Plus, if you’ve been running up and down for 135 minutes with no substitutions you’re probably ready to quit. I don’t like that the “Golden Goal” has gone away.

No matter the sport respect the traditions. Like ties in hockey – part of the game for years.

Viking

May 7th, 2009
8:39 pm

The young Sweden have had too many injuries and late call ups to have any chance against Canada. They have just not played together enough.

While Russia had a hard time with Belarus, they should have no problem with USA.

Russia- Canada.

Brendan

May 7th, 2009
10:29 pm

Russia vs. Canada. I’d prefer a U.S.-Canada final, to at least ATTEMPT to set the stage for “Amazing Awaits” in Vancouver 2010, at the Olympics. Historically, Team USA does better when the Games are held on their home continent.

Brendan

May 7th, 2009
10:52 pm

My thoughts on the 3-point system are this, in a nutshell. (Nutshell? How’d I get trapped in here?) As a hockey fan, I don’t want to have to be a MATH MAJOR, too. If a team is 8 games back, that might mean 24-points, under 3-point system. It’s just too crazy. And it would demolish all the point total records. If anything, I’d prefer to go to “games up, games back” like in Basketball and Baseball. The main reason to do that is to complete the purpose of a shootout. Namely, to determine a winner of a game. Just like they do in basketball and baseball, sports that don’t award “half losses” in the form of a “consolation point.” In the “games up, game back” system, there isn’t a “value” issue, because there are no points, whatsoever. The “value” of a game is … the game itself. Games would be either won or lost. That seems “reasonable” to me. And it would justify why the shootout is needed. Namely, to break the tie.

I never thought ties were “evil, sinister things,” to be avoided at all costs. A tie seemed, to me, like a perfectly viable outcome to a hard fought game. Each team got 1-point. There was no shootout. In the case of overtime wins, I like 2-points for the winner and NOTHING for the loser. There should never be points for losing. Ever. If the game is still tied after 65-minutes, each team gets one-point. And that’s how it ends.

I doubt that’s ever going to be reality again. The shootout is probably here FOREVER. While I agree that a team game shouldn’t be decided by an individual skills competition, it is. That’s just how it is. If my proposal passed, the “points problem” goes away. The shootout determines the winner and loser of the game. It counts as “one win” and “one loss.” And, down the stretch, in the playoff run … we wouldn’t have all these “3-point games.” Fans basically want to know, “what does our team have to do to make the playoffs or clinch the division, etc.?” They don’t want to hear, “We have to win, and hope the teams ahead of us don’t lose any of their games in overtimes or shootouts, because they still get a point that way.” That’s so weak. And unnecessary. The mechanism is already in place. Now, it’s just a matter of having the COURAGE to implement it to its fullest capacity. If the coach fears the shootout, he should alter his strategy, to try to win games in regulation-time or the overtime. The shootout ought to be the very last resort to determining the outcome of the game.

Chicago wins in overtime. Andrew Ladd. Series tied, 2-2.

GaVaHokie

May 8th, 2009
8:59 am

Brendan… not to be anti-America, but I’d love to Russia and Canada in the Olympics too, as a hockey fan. Maybe the Bronze medal game. ;)

Brendan

May 8th, 2009
9:56 am

Hokie, truthfully, I’d “settle” for a Bronze medal for Team USA. I honestly can’t see the Americans as “favorites” in the upcoming Olympics. I think Team USA would do well to be on that medal podium. In 2002, in Salt Lake City, the U.S. lost to Canada, 5-2, in the Gold Medal match. Mike Richter was in net. He was a class act.