Hi all…greetings again from poolside in Orlando. Can’t say it’s been sunny the whole time here, but there’s been enough sun to get in some pool time fun.
Sunday afternoon I watched game-four of the Western Conference Finals from the poolside bar and grill. There was a gentleman and his father-in-law there from Michigan enjoying what they saw. I, along with my older tax-exemption, chatted with them as the game played out in front of us. At one point Matt asked the two if they would take Don Waddell back.
That drew a few chuckles from the pair…the older one simply told him that Don must not have taken very good notes while he was with the Wings.
The son-in-law commented that before the trade that sent Hossa to Pittsburgh, the knock on him was that he tended to disappear come the playoffs. ..and that was his only real concern when the Red Wings signed him last summer.
The numbers back up his thoughts…in Ottawa, Hossa had amassed a grand total of 13 goals and 21 assists in 51 playoff games. In Atlanta’s four playoff games, he had all of one assist. That’s 13 goals and 22 assists during 55 post-season games over seven years.
However, during last year’s playoffs alone the winger accounted 12 goals and 14 assists in 20 games to help the Penguins to the Eastern Conference Championship. And while we sat their observing Detroit’s 6-1 beat-down of Chicago… Hossa notched a pair of goals and an assist to help move the Wings to just one victory of their second consecutive Stanley Cup Finals appearance. The showing in Chi-town brought Hossa’s totals to six goals and twelve overall points in 15 playoff games so far this spring.
So, in the past two post-seasons, Hossa has 18 goals and 20 assists in 35 games. That ain’t too shabby.
Now, Hossa’s half-dozen tallies this post-season have been spread out though. His two Sunday were his first since scoring twice in a 6-3 game-four victory against the Ducks during the second round back on May 7. Before that, he scored twice in the 6-5 win that capped off the opening round sweep of Columbus.
Hmmm…two goals in each game-four of the three series so far for Hossa. Well, then I guess he’ll be the player to watch in the fourth game of the Stanley Cup Finals, huh?
Anyway…here are a few other items that have gone down over the Memorial Day Weekend.
Former Atlanta Thrashers Captain Bobby Holik has announced his retirement. In 1990 he began his career with the Hartford Whalers, who had drafted him in 1989 with the 10th overall pick. He spent time also in New Jersey, Atlanta and with the New York Rangers. Most of his time, however, was in a Devils uniform.
He played in 1,314 regular season games scoring 326 goals and 421 assists. He also amassed 1,421 PIM and finished his career a +115 during the regular season. Holik also participated in 141 post-season games where he notched 20 goals and 59 overall points.
In his three seasons in Atlanta, Holik accounted for 41 goals and 55 assists. He also racked up 255 PIM and was a -23. In four playoff games as a Thrasher, he had a single assist.
Cal-GARY Is A Tough Town
After being ousted in six games during the first round by the Chicago Blackhawks, Cal-GARY head coach Mike Keenan fully expected to be back to coach the Flames next season. “I have another year left on my contract,” Keenan said. “My expectation is to be here to fulfill my contract.”
Turns out…no he won’t.
The Flames went 88-60-16 in the two seasons with Keenan ehind the bench, finishing with 94 and 98 points. Both seasons they were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. This year it was the Hawks doing the deed, last year it was at the hands …er, fins… of the San Jose Sharks.
What was also factored in, I’m sure, was how his Flames let a 13-point lead in the division slip away from them…losing out to Vancouver at the end of the season by two points.
Wild To Become More Aggressive And Physical
When Chuck Fletcher was introduced as the new GM in Minn-EE-soh-TAH, he promised to bring with him the aggressive and physical style of play…a style that he helped the Pittsburgh Penguins team acquire during his three seasons as assistant general manager there.
“Why back up and cede the ice to your opponent when you can force the issue up the ice?”, said Fletcher. ”We want to dictate the pace of the play against our opponent”.
Physical and aggressive…hmmm, isn’t that exactly what Thrashers captain Ilya Kovalchuk is indicating that he wants Don Waddell to do for our team?
Isn’t that just what Chuck’s father Cliff said he would have done if he were given the GM job here over a decade ago?
Taking notes, Don?
And Finally…Carolina’s Playoff Run Has Them Seeing Black
Here’s an intersting story I found in Yahoo Sports. It seems as though the Carolina Hurricanes’ recent run deep into the playoffs has helped their bottom line. Fascinating…isn’t it? Spend a little money, ice a competitive team…make the playoffs and see the money come in.
Taking notes, Spirit Boys?