Saturday, April 22, 2006


Round 1 Musings

Even without a rooting interest, I'm enjoying the playoffs and we've been treated to some pretty good games so far (Unless you live in the Raleigh-Durham area). The flow has been pretty good, there haven't been too many soft penalties,

WOOO!!! As I type this, RJ Umberger just got ROCKED by Brian Campbell... Brian Campbell!??!! Wow, talking about David beatin Goliath...oh man that was Scott Stevens meets Shane Willis ...and while I don't wish injury on any player, I'm shedding nary a tear for Judas Umberger.

Don't worry, you'll be seeing this hit on the highlights, YouTube, etc...

It's 2-2 in OT between the Flyers and Sabres and I'm amazed at how the Flyers have been able to control the tempo for a great portion of the game. The Sabres haven't been able to fully utilize their speed as the Flyers have effectively slowed the game down and thrown the puck into the corners, where they can win the battles. Of course, a 4-on-4 in OT could be poison for the Flyers unless it's Gagne/Forsberg.

TSN talking heads whining that it's not classy for the Sabres arena/videoboard to be showing the hit on the Jumbotron. It's the 'unwritten rule'?

Well, if it's not written, then it's not a frickin rule!! If you wanna fire up the crowd, why wouldn't you show the hit? It's their arena, so let them do whatever the hell they want with their Jumbotron, short of dropping it on Peter Forsberg.

  • I can see why my girlfriend (the Flyers fan) calls Robert Esche the "Rebound Machine". As Pierre McGuire has noted many times, the Sabres are shooting low and Esche is allowing a lot of juicy rebounds. Esche has good reflexes and athleticism, but rather poor fundamentals. He's the ultimate ulcer-incuding netminder.

    Rangers/Devils - You might as well consider this series over if Jaromir Jagr is finished. While the Rangers are being silent about his 'upper body injury', the body language and sadness in Jagr's eyes pretty much says he's done like dinner. The Rangers are just too dependent on Jaromir Jagr to beat the Devils without him. While Nylander and Straka put up decent point totals, they were basically Jagr's caddy all season long.

  • While you hear Don Cherry often give kudos to some players for showing little or no emotion after scoring a goal ("Act like you've been there!"), I'd rather see the raw emotion and happiness that Petr Prucha showed after he scored his first ever playoff goal. Why shouldn't a player be happy to score a goal? It's not exactly easy to do and these games mean a hellofalot. When I see a Brett Hull-like "I'm bored" celebration, I would think that is rather insulting to the fans and the opposition.

    (Damn, this Flyers/Sabres game is getting rough. This ought to be a great series. Oh, how much ice time has Donald Brashear had tonight? 45 seconds?)

  • Patrik Elias is a punk, a brat, and somewhat of a slut, but he's also a stone cold playa!! He had 6 points in today's game, and was pretty much toying with the Rangers rather weak defense. You'd never know that he was near death about 15 months ago by the way he's played since his return to the Devils.

  • Count Gary Bettman was in the booth with Doc and JD during the 2nd period and was his usual smarmy, annoying self. He must have had his ass handed to him every day during high school. Every time The Count opens his mouth, he's talking down to you and insulting your intelligence. If Gary's house was on fire, he'd smile with utter glee and tell you that he's stoked because his heating bill would be lower this month.

    In summary, the New NHL is just awesome, they set attendance records, and all is right in the world. It's too bad JD was too chicken to ask Gary about those successful Chicaco Blackhawks. Uh-huh

    Hurricanes/Canadiens - I admit that I didn't watch too much of this game as I was focusing on the Sabres/Flyers, but from what I saw, the Hurricanes were pwned and didn't play with all that much urgency. While the Habs streaked into the playoffs (no, really, they took their clothes off), the Canes kinda waltzed and coasted on the great record they built up earlier in the season. What the hell happened to Doug Weight? Really, he looks like he aged 7 years after he was traded...

    Dallas/Colorado - What a shocker! After Dallas built a 2-1 lead on 4 shots, it seemed like a rout in the making. Theodore looked his usual sucky self, and his team must have realized it. The Avs played their asses off for the rest of the night, limiting the Stars to 18 shots and scoring 5 goals on Turco.

    Wojtek Wolski - This d00d is for real, in case you just realized.

    After 6 points in 9 games for the Avs, Wolski was sent back to the OHL purely for contract reasons (10 games is the trigger for a contract expiring by one year) and then ripped up that league with 128 points in 56 games.

    Poor Wolski has just been constantly disrepected his whole career. Plenty of pundits and scouts and armchair GMs have called him lazy, fat, and other unflattering things. He was left off of Canada's WJC roster because of his supposed weaknesses, and he slipped to the Avs at #21 overall in the 2004 draft, despite the fact that he was seen as an elite talent the whole year before the draft.

    Wolski's got size, skills, smarts, and he's just damn productive. You can't argue with his production, and he just had himself a 3-point night in his first ever NHL playoff game. How many other rookies get plunked into the 2nd line center job straight out of juniors? He's no Sidney Crosby, but he's going to be a fine player.

    Well, 1 OT is over and this game is not short on thrills. Although I picked the Flyers to win the series, I am cheering for the Sabres and now will light a candle in honour of Brian Campbell's monster hit, which may have just knocked Judas out for the playoffs.

  • Comments:
    The guy is leveled, hardly moving, bleeding from the nose. Didn't take much imagination to figure he may well have been seriously injured. I assume you also wouldn't care about 'unwritten rules' regarding sportsmanship if he hadn't moved at all, ever again, and the jumbothon showed the hit over and over again. (Which, by the way, I think was the issue at point -- they didn't show it once, but repeatedly.)
    That hit was shocking and it was disturbing the way it was replayed over and over while he lay there obviously dazed and in pain. I realy felt sorry for him and not just because he is former Buckeye.

    Why do you refer to him as Judas?
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