Friday, May 05, 2006

 

Itchy and Scratchy in the West

Like Mike W over at Covered in Oil, I’ve been growing (my first) a playoff beard. Unlike Mike, mine looks rather atrocious. As a guy who has to normally shave only once every 5-7 days, I make the Sedin twins look like Gimli, son of Gloin. The hair on my face is growing in weird random directions, as if it’s unsure of what it’s actually supposed to be doing.

I don’t know how anyone can put up with having a beard, since it’s rather itchy and I can ‘feel’ the hair on my face. I have quite the urge to scratch myself every 5 minutes and it certainly feels coarse to the touch.

I’m resisting the urge to shave it all off, but I may trim it down and keep the (porn)stache if I lose my will power. Since I’ve last shaved, the New Jersey Devils haven’t lost a playoff game (hmmmm)...

My Western Conference picks will be quick and dirty, since I’m a bit buried and harried.

Sharks over Oilers in 6.

Since I picked the Sharks to win the Cup, this is a pretty obvious choice. The Oilers are living dangerously by relying very heavily on the goaltending of Dwayne Roloson and Chris Pronger v.3O. They can’t expect to win the cup if they are constantly outplayed almost every game. The Sharks are certainly vicious and, unlike the Red Wings, don’t have too many forwards of questionable heart come playoff time (*cough*Datsyuk*cough*)

Pronger leads the Oilers in scoring with 2 goals and 5 assists in 6 games, and has only 2 minor penalties!!! If he can maintain this newfound even keel, and somehow keep Joe Thornton in check, it will make Roloson’s job a hell of a lot easier. Maybe it’s because he doesn’t have to put up with Keith Tkachuk’s lame-ass jokes.

As for Michael Peca, why does the mainstream media still fawn over this guy like he’s a modern day Bob Gainey?

Just look at Blob MacKenzie:
(though not for too long lest ye be turned to stone!)

Heading in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, the San Jose Sharks carry a lot of talent up front in Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Jonathan Cheechoo.
And if the Edmonton Oilers want to control that offence, they have the perfect remedy in centre Michael Peca.


Peca has forged his career as a veteran who can do a number of different things on the ice and it showed in Edmonton's first-round series. He helped set up a winning goal against the No. 1 seeded Red Wings, got in the face of Detroit goaltender Manny Legace, and created chances up front with his crash and bang style.

Peca is a predator on the ice, and with so many talented players on the Sharks roster, it will be a target-rich environment for the two-time Selke Trophy winner. With Thornton and Marleau at the other end, Peca will have every opportunity to create havoc and take those two opposing centres off their game


Many different things on the ice? You mean like pile up a whopping ONE assist in 6 games with a -1? Watching Robert Lang pile up 6 points in 6 games while Roloson was peppered with shots? Where can I buy my own Michael Peca inaction figure? Does it come with a holdout feature?

How about some love for Fernando Pisani (he who actually scored some goals), Shawn Horcoff (one of their best players), and Jarret Stoll? They also get heavy PK time and yet are hardly given nearly as much favourable press as Michael Peca.

Peca has been a severly overpaid player for most of his career and has rarely put up good offensive production. He may well be a good defensive forward, but he doesn’t deserve nearly as much praise as he gets. Why doesn’t Anaheim’s Samuel Pahlsson get some props? I’d take him over Peca every day of the week, including Thursdays.

Avalanche over the Ducks in 7.

I still have a hard time taking the Mighty Ducks seriously, and not just because of their stupid name.

I see a roster with a few good players, a lot of inexperience, and not a lot of great depth. They have two above-average goalies who can’t consistently just kick some ass, yet they somehow managed to make the playoffs and knock off the very strong Calgary Flames. Credit the ‘role players’ like Rob “I love Hungarian Hookers” Niedermayer for not sucking nearly as bad as he used to (he actually turned into a good defensive forward) and Samuel Pahlsson for his Selke-worthy play (according to half-Swede James Mirtle), Todd Marchant for his hustle, and Francois Beauchemin for rocking Jerome Iginla’s world so badly that Iggy was rendered a big blob of goo for games 6 and 7.

Now, the Avalanche has/have (stupid non-plural team names) a very big weakness in goal, albeit with great, yet artificially enhanced, hair. Jose Theodore was quite lucky that he was well protected in the series against the Stars. I’d still be very very nervous if I were an Avalanches fan.

Stopping the ‘offence’ of Calgary is nothing like stopping the offence of the Colorado Avalanche. The Avs did a masterful job tearing apart the strong defensive system of the Dallas Stars, firing shot upon shot against a woeful Marty Turco. The Ducks were lucky that the Flames were just so woeful offensively and Daymond Langkow never found good chemistry with Jerome Iginla. The Avs have more depth and more star power and more support from the defence. I think the Avs are playing very well right now and the Ducks don’t have quite enough to handle them.

Oh, and just how good is this trade turning out for the Ducks?

Anaheim traded centre Sergei Fedorov and a 5th round selection in 2006 to the Columbus Blue Jackets for centre Tyler Wright and defenceman Francois Beauchemin

Dumping a lot of salary and acquiring one fine young defenseman...Burke pwned MacLean. This trade represents everything that is wrong with MacLean’s management. Beauchemin has shown me a lot more this season than Rostislav Klesla has shown me in his entire career. The BJs have a fine young DMan and basically give him away for an overpaid slacker who is not going to be a cornerstone of any franchise building effort.

Comments:
"Since I’ve last shaved, the New Jersey Devils haven’t lost a playoff game (hmmmm)..."

Don't you dare shave that beard!!!! :)

Regarding the west, I got a feeling we'll be seeing a San Jose sweep. Close games, but a sweep nonetheless.
 
I'm gonna go out on a limb and go with the Ducks against the Avs. I am not sure why, but I predicted the Ducks would be different this year back in October. It sucked to watch that last game against Calgary (as the tears rolled down my face) but I think that the Ducks just might be a bit buoyed after beating a cup favorite like the Flames. I think Bryzgalov could be great which means the Avs are going to have to be outstanding with the spokesperson for "The Hair Club for Men" in net. Really, what else is he good for? Having the Flames play against him was one of the things I was waiting for most. Oh well...
 
Don't worry about the itching. It's the same way when you first start growing hair on your ass. It goes away and after awhile you start wondering what life was like without it.
 
Since I’ve last shaved, the New Jersey Devils haven’t lost a playoff game (hmmmm)...

Dude, you look like a hippy. Seriously.

Time to shave.
 
Minor note: it's not me at Covered in Oil with the beard, but in fact it's Chris who's doing his best to look like a hobo. I'm sticking to my 3 day stubble look since it pretty much looks like cat whiskers after that.
 
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