Thursday, May 11, 2006



I admit that I didn’t stay up after 2 OT’s were done in the SJ/Edmonton game. There’s no way I’m compromising my precious sleep hours for those two teams. Of course, it’s only fitting that the game gets settled early in the third overtime >:(

At least Edmonton has made it a series, since the others are now 3-0 and are pretty much over.

Edmonton really did appear to outplay the Sharks last night, and the stats would agree. Apart from the 30-18 shots on goal differential, Edmonton actually had 34 missed shots and 18 other shots blocked. They were outhustling SJ for most of the game and showed the ‘never-say-die’ attitude we’re used to with their teams.

Oh, and while mediots are going gaga over how much ice time Chris Pronger got (46:54), how about some acknowledgement that Jaroslav Spacek played 46:30, second most among all skaters in the game?

I never gave much credit to Kevin Lowe before, but getting Spacek for just about nothing was a great move. Spacek is not the type of defenseman that carries a defence corps, but he’s a great support defenseman and has the perfect role in Edmonton. Unlike Dick Tarnstrom, Spacek can actually play defence.

Carolina/New Jersey –

Certain things are becoming quite obvious as this series nears completion.

1. The injuries to Carolina’s forwards weren’t nearly as bad as I thought. Ray Whitney is looking better and more energetic as time goes on, Josef Vasicek has recovered well and is playing solid defensively, and Justin Williams doesn’t seem to be too hurt, either. With a healthy forward corps, Carolina is pretty damn deep up front.
2. New Jersey’s offensive depth is crap, just as I figured. If you stop or contain Elias and Gionta, you are pretty much set. Who did the Devils use as an Extra Attacker last night in the dying seconds? John Madden. ‘Nuff said.
3. Martin Brodeur is Martin Brodeur. He’s not great. He’s not bad. He’s just fairly good. He’s not stealing the series for the Devils and you can’t really expect him to. Brodeur is not that type of goaltender.
4. New Jersey has lousy crowds. I’m not talking just attendance wise, but in terms of ‘enthusiasm’. You might as well call their arena ‘The Graveyard’
5. I’m surprised that the Devils never thought about brining Alexander Mogilny back. With their lack of offence, and the decent numbers AlMo was posting, you’d think they’d want his skill and experience.
6. Carolina’s defence rocks! Aaron Ward is one hell of an underrated defender, and the rest of the D core are giving up their bodies to block shots. The group isn’t very offensively gifted, but they don’t necessarily need to be. Bret "Soccer Dad" Hedican has aged quite well, as you’d expect a swift-skating defenseman to do.


I hate to use the “choke” word, since it’s used far too often and in the wrong situations, but Ottawa just can’t get it done in the postseason. They have the most well-rounded team in the NHL (although Ray Emery has blown up in their faces), and more depth than any other team. Are they too soft this time around? It doesn’t appear so.

Perhaps it’s karma for housing crooked politicians, overpaid bureaucrats, and selfish techno-geeks?

Buffalo blocked 19 shots last night (5 each for Teppo and McKee), compared to 8 for Ottawa. Ottawa also missed the net 22 times, and had 28 actual shots on net. It’s obvious that Ottawa is out-chancing Buffalo this whole series, and are running into either a hot goaltender or a Buffalo team that gets the right breaks. Detroit Red Wings fans must know exactly how Ottawa fans are feeling right about now.

Playoffs Zeroes #2 – Nils Ekman

Nils Ekman really busted out a couple seasons ago, mostly on the strength of his astonishing even-strength scoring capabilities. In the past two seasons, Ekman has put up 112 points and a +50(!) in 159 regular season games.

The playoffs? Just 1 goal and 4 assists and -4 in 24 playoff games. He went 0-3-3 in 16 games in 03/04 and now has a whopping 2 points in 8 games during this year’s playoff run. If San Jose could start getting more scoring from him and Joe Thornton, they’d be pretty damn hard to stop. As it is, Joe Thornton and Nils Ekman are struggling in their playoff careers and that helps Edmonton keeps things close. 1 points approximately every 5 games is not going to cut it, Nils. I know Sweden’s socialist system gives a free ride in life, but the NHL is not Sweden!

Unfortunately, I have to agree with your Jersey-Carolina assesment.

Faceoffs have been huge for Carolina, and the Devils rarely get speed on them so it becomes more physical. 5 of New Jersey's top 6 forwards are small, and they just arent winning puck battles in their zone. Cam Ward hasn't even been tested this series.

In other words, the Devils are getting trapped to death. Ironic.
I couldn't relate to your Ekman-Thornton comment more...

I'm in a pool where the 1st pick is the top 20 point getters, the 2nd pick the 21-40 point getters and so on...

Well, I picked Thornton in the 1st round and Ekman in the 3rd...I'm still in 5th (out of 20), but I scream at the scoresheet everytime I see Marleau's name...
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?