The Flying Fools

1 06 2010

Dan Carcillo

So, did anyone else find it absolutely hilarious when Dan Carcillo steam rolled over teammate Jeff Carter last night? I bet Flyers’ fans weren’t laughing too hard, but, who cares.  They’re cheering for the Flyers.  How can you take them seriously anyways?

Honestly, that hit might have been Carcillo’s best of the series, no, wait, the playoffs, and he used it up on his own player.  Smooth, bud.  What made this situation all the better was when Carcillo got into the face of Tomas Kopecky.  I guess whatever Kopecky said really made Carcillo feel like a useless fool.  Wait, I don’t think he needed Kopecky for that.  Anyways, then the Flyers’ goon started yapping at Ben Eager on the bench.  Who the hell does this guy think he is?

Look, I’m all for chirping.  It’s part of the game.  But, what has Carcillo even done this round?  Nothing!  Well, that’s a lie.  He did lay that thundering hit against… Jeff Carter.  So, yeah.  Nothing.  At least Kopecky and Eager can back their chirping up because they both are responsible for netting game winning goals in the series (Kopecky in game one, Eager in game two)

Sometimes I find it quite difficult to wrap my head around how this guy still plays in the NHL.  What a useless tool.

A word of wisdom to young Daniel Carcillo:  Keep your dirty, ugly, molester looking mug out of the Blackhawks’ faces.  I can assure you, if you keep it up, you will get the rest of your 10 remaining teeth smashed out.

Chris Pronger

Is the Flyers’ big man that hard up for a game puck that he has to steal the Blackhawks’?  This is actually quite a pathetic story to be honest, but let’s rewind it a bit to get some of the backstory.

When the horn sounded in the United Center to end game one of the Stanley Cup finals, the Blackhawks celebrated their hard earned victory.  Flyers’ defenceman Chris Pronger decided that he would take the game puck home with him.  Sore loser much?  This is some elementary grade, school-yard shenanigans “Since I’m not winning, I’m taking my ball home, screw you guys!”

Okay, so last night, Pronger again decided to steal the game puck while the Blackhawks were celebrating their game two win.  Fortunately, the refs noticed Pronger lurking around after his teammates were already heading to the dressing room.  One of the zebras noticed Pronger had the game puck and basically had to pry it from Pronger’s hands.  Yeah, he refused to give the ‘Hawks THEIR game puck.  Ben Eager noticed the altercation going down, so he decided he would investigate and give Mr. Pronger a few cheery words.  Eventually he let go of the puck and like the baby that he is, started shooting the red towels that fans threw onto the ice at Eager who was skating off.  Oh no!  Not the towel!  Rumor is that Eager is listed as a game-time decision with a towel injury.

So, Pronger is supposed to be the great role model for the kids?  Wow.  What a joke.

So, when he visits summer camps across North America he’s going to sit them all down and say:

“Okay, kids, today I’m going to teach you how to steal the game puck, and get away with it.  Never give it up no matter who comes up to you and demand you give them the puck.  If you do, you’re a wuss!  I don’t care if it’s your own mother.  Let them pry it from your dead hands!”  He should be embarrassed.

NHL 2010 Stanley Cup Final Pick

29 05 2010

No. 7 Philadelphia Flyers (East) vs. No. 2 Chicago Blackhawks (West)

Chris Pronger is old, and his age will be exposed by the speed of the Blackhawks’ young guns.  Toews and Kane will light the lamp like it’s going out of style, and Flyers’ goon Dan Carcillo will have his ugly mug smashed in by “Big Buff” Dustin Byfuglien.

Flyers’ fans, don’t count on Michael Leighton.  Sure, he stole the series against the Montreal Canadiens, but this guy is a discount bin backup goaltender.  He’s for sure no Antti Niemi.

I think the only bright spots for the Flyers in the final will be Claude Giroux and Ville Leino.  These guys are definitely going to be pests for the Blackhawks’ blue-liners, and could challenge Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook.  If Giroux uses his talented hands and big frame, he can easily out power the defence and make of mess of Niemi.  Same goes for Leino.  He’s the Flyers’ version of Dustin Byfuglien- he parks himself by the net and creates plays.  He has that “never quit” attitude.

However, in the end, Hossa will finally get his cup, Niemi and Toews will battle for the Conn Smythe trophy, and the Blackhawks will end their 49 year Stanley Cup drought and bring one home for the Windy City.

Blackhawks in 5

NHL 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs Eastern Conference Final Pick

16 05 2010

No. 7 Philadelphia Flyers vs.  No. 8 Montreal Canadiens

Jaroslav Halak + Brian Gionta and Scott Gomez ‘s experience and leadership +Speedy skaters + zero pressure being the eighth seed= Habs series win.

Montreal Canadiens in 6

NHL 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs Western Conference Final Pick

14 05 2010

Western Conference

No.1 San Jose Sharks vs.  No. 2 Chicago Blackhawks

It seems like this could be one of the most intriguing match-ups of the playoffs.  Consider this:  Neither team has lost back-to-back games in the playoffs, both teams have potent offences averaging in and around 3 goals a game, and both teams have been seeing major production outside of just their top line.

However, Chicago enters the Western Conference finals with three wins under their belts against the Sharks, including a 7-2 thrashing on the road at the H.P Pavilion on November 25, 2009.  Yep, Nabokov was in net for that game, and all of the current hot streak players on the Blackhawks team all tallied points in that one game.  Oh, yeah, even big Dustin Byfuglien netted a goal.

I have to say that the Sharks shut a lot of the naysayers up over the past couple of rounds, especially when they handled the Red Wings with ease to get to the conference finals.  However, I don’t think Sharks’ goalie Evgeni Nabokov has it in the tank to fend off the young guns of Chicago.

If the Hawks don’t get you with Kane, Toews, Sharp or even Hossa, then they have so many other weapons in their arsenal like their snipers on the blue line in Keith, Seabrook and Sopel- all who have been having a fruitful playoff run.  If those weapons get shut down, then, the Hawks just throw their beast on the ice in Dustin Byfuglien who has proven to be a force in front of the net that creates big plays and can also score big goals, too.

The Sharks are a very well rounded team, and Joe Pavelski, Ryan Clowe and even now, Joe Thornton have been really clicking, but I can’t see them keeping pace with the young, speedy talent on this Chicago team.

I have a feeling this is the end of the line for big Joe Thornton and Evgeni Nabokov in San Jose.

Chicago Blackhawks in 6

NHL 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs Second Round Picks

29 04 2010

Eastern Conference

No. 4 Pittsburgh Penguins vs.  No. 8 Montreal Canadiens

Okay so Montreal pulled out that magical come from behind series win against the Capitals, and now they go up against the defending Stanley Cup champions, Pittsburgh Penguins.

Interesting enough, I’ve seen quite a bit of “Penguins in 4” and/or “Penguins in 5.”  Umm… I bet these are the same people who picked “Capitals in 4” and/or “Capitals in 5” and probably had the Capitals winning the cup.  Am I right?

Seriously now.  How do you get away with such a lack of respect to a team that just won a series down 3-1 to the top team in the league?  Also, are y’all blind?  Did you not see how Halak played?  Give me a break.

Next to Nashville, Montreal was the most defensive team in the playoffs, and they proved that by shutting down the Great 8, and only allowed Ovechkin to get four shots off in the last two games.  Mike Green, Alexander Semin, where were you guys all series?  Oh, right.  Putting up DONUTS on the scoresheet.

Please, don’t insult people’s intelligence.  Sure, the Penguins have Canada’s golden boy, Sidney Crosby and the freak “Gino” Malkin, but they just don’t have the grit that the Montreal Canadiens bring.  Fleury isn’t as hot as he was last year, and I feel that Montreal could use the same tactics they used against Washington- Shut down the star of the team, and the rest will fall.

Gomez and Gionta were brought in for this one reason- hard, rough, classic style hockey.  I feel like David just beat Goliath, and now David must go up against Goliath’s wimpy, younger (yet still oversized) brother.

By no means will this be a walk in the park, but it will be a great series to watch.

Hip- Hip, HALAK!

Montreal Canadiens in 6

No.  6 Boston Bruins vs.  No. 7 Philadelphia Flyers

This might be one of the most brutal, hard-hitting, nasty, street-fight on ice series the NHL will ever see.  I really hope Chara goes toe-to-toe with Carcillo.  This could be one fine tilt that will spark the series in a big way.

Welcome back, Mark Savard.  I don’t know how well you’ll do in the first couple games, but I have a sneaky feeling that you’ll light it up in game 5 and 6.  Got you in my pool, bud.  Make me proud.

I’m just going to come out and say this.  These two teams are going to beat the living hell out of each other, and chances are, each game is going to be low scoring, and tight.  No blowouts here, ladies and gentlemen.  Whoever emerges from this war on ice as the winner will lose in the conference final.  So, yes, I’m saying the Habs hit the cup final this year.  Technically.

Boston Bruins in 7

Western Conference

No. 2  Chicago Blackhawks vs.  No. 3 Vancouver Canucks

Give me a break already.  I Just saw how Vancouver fans think it’s going to be a complete ‘Nucks shutdown of the Blackhawks in this round.  Sorry.  Not happening.  Not once. Not never.

Hey, Vancouver fans, I love what Luongo is doing out there right now.  Yeah, you know what I’m talking about.  Marquee goalie getting PUMPED every game for two or more goals.  Well, technically, he’s allowing 3 goals a game, but who’s counting, right?

I like the fact that Luongo is getting all this praise after a “big” series win over Los Angeles, and a gold medal at the Olympics.  Eventually the guy will crack, and it’s going to happen sooner than later.

Interesting stat here.  Blackhawks killed 26 of 27 Predators’ powerplays in the first round.  Defence.  Defence.  Defence.

Again, it was interesting to see a lot of Canucks votes here.  Hey, I’m not knocking anyone’s picks.  I’m just saying this-  Toews has Bobby Lu’s number.  Remember that hat trick he netted in game six last year?  No?  Well, I do.  In the end, I think Nashville was a tougher opponent than Los Angeles, and thus, Chicago has the edge here.  The Hawks are fine tuned right now.

Chicago Blackhawks in 6

No. 1 San Jose Sharks vs.  No. 5 Detroit Red Wings

Not the biggest fan of this series because I really can’t stand either team.  However, everyone talks about experience, and thus gives the edge to Detroit.  Well, okay, I get it.  The majority of this team have a cup ring, and are still looking to avenge the cup loss from last year.  Whatever.  The one thing that stands out most is hunger.  Who wants this more?  The team who’s been there over and over, and are looking for revenge, or, the team that hasn’t been there, and have been the but-end of every “choke” joke around the NHL and sports world for the past couple years?

I’ll give it to the Sharks (as long as Dan Boyle doesn’t start scoring on his own net again.  Idiot.  Hey, do I get a point in my pool for that?)

San Jose Sharks in 7

Good-Bye Jersey Shore

22 04 2010

It’s tough to see the New Jersey Devils get ousted early in the NHL playoffs yet again.  Here I thought Martin Brodeur was going to prove that the Olympics were just a bump in the road and he would eventually get over it and back on track, but I guess I was wrong.  Very, very wrong.

One of the biggest problems I saw for the Devils was the lack of a solid defence.  New Jersey had no one that really stepped up in front of Marty, and I partially blame Lou Lamoriello for that.

I really thought the best move for the Devils at the trade deadline was to lock up a big ticket blueliner like Tomas Kaberle, Dion Phaneuf, or even Pavol Kubina and Shane O’Brien.  New Jersey lacked a tough presence on the ice to help steal momentum from their opponents, and that was ultimately their downfall.

There was no grit, no physicality, no … intensity driven players on that team.  This has been such a problem since the departure of Scott Stevens and Ken Daneyko.  New Jersey never filled the void of these two heavy hitters and instead decided to just stack up on goal scorers rather than play shakers.  Without guys who can change games with big hits, and down-right dirty play, a team like New Jersey will always be ripe for the picking.

It should be interesting to see what the Devils do in the offseason after this debacle in the 2010 playoffs.  What will become of Kovalchuk?  Personally, I put part of the blame on him for the Devils failure in the post-season.  He was brought in pump goals in the net, but instead the guy was too busy pumping his fists against the boards and whatever equipment was around him out of frustration.  Honestly, get rid of the guy, Lou.  Kovalchuk came in, he was a bust, now drop him.  Go out, get yourself some big name defencemen and give it another shot next year.  Oh, and while you’re at it, you might want to lock Zach Parise up, too.  If Parise isn’t re-signed and enters the free-agent market, then I can see him heading to somewhat familiar territory here in Toronto with team USA GM Brian Burke and Parise’s former team USA olympic teammate Phil Kessel.

Nope. Not Interested. Period.

19 04 2010

I’m sitting here watching this Montreal- Washington series, and as much as it pains me to say this, I really want to see Montreal win this.  Yes, I picked Washington to go deep in the playoffs, and yes, I have Backstrom, Ovechkin and Green in my pools, but, I really don’t want to see the NHL’s idea of a “Dream Series” between the Capitals and Penguins.  Yawn.

I get it.  Sidney Crosby is Canada’s golden boy, and (mostly) everyone is pulling for him and the Penguins again this year.  On the other hand, the “Great Eight”, or as others call him, “Alexander the Great”, or as I call him… Alexander Ovechkin.  Yeah, he’s nothing special to me.  I like him as much as I like Crosby.  Let me put it to you all this way.  I like Crobsy and Ovechkin as much as I like A-Roid and Albert “the Robot” Pujols.

I’ve seen Ovechkin vs. Crosby during the World Juniors.  I’ve seen Ovechkin vs. Crosby during the Olympics.  Hell, I’ve seen Ovechkin vs. Crosby four times this season (Ovie and the Caps took all four).  Please, give this whole thing a break.

These two are just spotlight mongers.  NHL’s answer to NBA’s LeBron and Kobe.  I don’t buy in.  I’m tired of their fist pumps (leave those to Tiger… or the cast of Jersey Shore) I’m tired of them jumping against/ punching the boards after a goal.  I’m tired of announcers talking about a Crosby vs. Ovechkin matchup during Flyers/ Devils games.  I’m just tired of their marketability.

It’s disgustingly obvious in the Montreal series that the officials are doing what they can to ensure Ovie and Sid the Kid meet in the playoffs.

This is more whack than what went down in Italy Serie A a few years back with Juventus.  The fix is in.  I have no interest in a series of Pittsburgh vs. Washington, but I know that some people will be happy to see Crosby vs. Ovechkin again.  Yeah, I’m looking at you, Gary Bettman.  Give me a break, you crook.

Just Some NHL Playoff Thoughts for Sunday

18 04 2010

Dan Carcillo

Mr. Carcillo, you are one ugly dude, who scored one ugly goal. I still can’t believe this guy played under seven minutes in game two, and managed to cause so much havoc.  I bet Flyers coach Peter Laviolette pulled Carcillo to the side at the end of the first period and flipped his lid on him over THIS fraudulent act. I like to call this the “ghost high-stick” call.  Unbelievable.  Carcillo is a total goon!  I guess guys will try anything to get the edge in a playoff game.

Chicago Blackhawks

Thanks for showing up, boys.

Patrick Kane and Antti Niemi helped power the Hawks to a 2-0 win over the Predators on Sunday night.  Kane had a decent night (1G-1A) and definitely channeled his power from that stylish mullet of his.

It was nice to see the Hawks stuck to the game plan after a brutal start to the game all thanks to the zebras refs.  Someone call the cops because Dave Bolland was robbed of the opening goal thanks to a premature whistle from the officials.  That puck was NOT in the possession of Pekka Rinne, so what’s with the stoppage?  It’s all good though because Bolland got his redemption in the second period.  If you haven’t witnessed this beauty, then please youtube it (I can’t find a link right now) or you can catch it here with the complete game highlights.

Amazing game!  Congratulations to Antti Niemi on the first playoff shutout by a Blackhawks goalie since Ed Belfour did it in 1996 against the Calgary Flames.

I’m Pretty jacked for game three on Tuesday.

Oh, yeah.  LOST is on Tuesday, too.  Scheduling conflict much?  I’ll arrange something.

Craig Anderson

I’ll admit when I’m wrong.  A good friend of mine and former roommate from Algonquin College came to me last week and said to ride Craig Anderson of the Colorado Avalanche.  Yeah, I laughed at the idea, too.  Well, I’m pretty sure he’s the one doing all the laughing.  Laughing all the way to the top of the playoff pool.

Who would have thought (other than you, Scotty) that a former backup goalie from the Florida Panthers who landed a starting gig in Colorado would be shutting down the league’s most potent offences in the playoffs?

Anderson is unbelievable.  The saves this guy is making in game two should get their own highlight reel.  If the Avs win this series, I hope TSN hooks the Colorado netminder up with his own Top 10.  Anderson is definitely the future of this club.  I can’t wait to see how this series plays out.

Keeping it short today, but tomorrow will be a pretty busy day here.  MLB Power Rankings, Daily Picks, Top 5 (Jays, I’m coming for you tomorrow) and whatever else falls in my lap throughout the day.

Wild Night on the Ice

17 04 2010

Ummm… San Jose, you guys are a number one seed in the West, yet, when you win a game against the number eight seed, it’s like you’ve just won the Stanley Cup.  Pandemonium at the HP Pavilion on Friday night after a wild west shoot ’em up against the Colorado Avalanche.

Joe Pavelski really got the party started with this gobbled up rebound to tie the game late that sent fans in the shark tank bananas.

Just as it seemed that it couldn’t get any more crazier in San Jose, cue this frosty tip via Devin Setoguchi. Whoa, Shark fans, I hate to be the one to break this to you, but it’s just game two of the opening round.  Oh, wait.  I guess this is a huge win for y’all.  Playoff wins have been hard to come by in the past six years.  Sorry about that.  Party it up because who knows if they’ll be another.

Oh, and how about THIS beauty via Ottawa Senators goon, Andy Sutton.  “So… Are you an expert?”  Wow, Andy Sutton is one serious dude you shouldn’t piss off.  I mean, c’mon, he just smoked Jordan Leopold, laid him out, and had no remorse or care for what he did.

If the NHL intends to crack down on hits to the head then they really need to step in here.  Sutton’s hit was pretty dangerous.  No, Mr. Sutton, I am NOT an expert, but, you really don’t need an expert to tell whether a hit was a blatant shot to the head or not, and THAT hit, sir, was clearly a dirty play.

Lastly, put this short handed beauty by New Jersey Devils’ Zach Parise in the “Plays of the 2010 NHL Playoffs” pool.  Huge feed from Elias to split the D, and pop it in.  Hey, Lou, lock him up QUICK.  Forget Kovalchuk, Parise is the man.  Great win by the Devils last night.

Stanley Cup Playoffs 2010 Predictions

14 04 2010

A few days ago I posted my first round picks here:

NHL First Round Picks

However, I think I’m going to do one better and give      my predictions for the whole 2010 NHL Playoffs.

Conference Quarter-Finals

Washington Capitals vs.  Montreal Canadiens:  Washington

New Jersey Devils vs. Philadelphia Flyers:  New Jersey

Buffalo Sabres vs. Boston Bruins:  Buffalo

Ottawa Senators vs.  Pittsburgh Penguins:  Pittsburgh

San Jose Sharks vs. Colorado Avalanche:  San Jose

Chicago Blackhawks vs.  Nashville Predators:  Chicago

Vancouver Canucks vs.  Los Angeles Kings:  Vancouver

Detroit Red Wings vs. Phoenix Coyotes:  Detroit

Conference Semi-Finals

Washington Capitals vs.  Pittsburgh Penguins:  Pittsburgh

New Jersey Devils vs.  Buffalo Sabres:  New Jersey

San Jose Sharks vs. Detroit Red Wings:  San Jose

Chicago Blackhawks vs. Vancouver Canucks:  Chicago

Conference Finals

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. New Jersey Devils:  New Jersey

San Jose Sharks vs.  Chicago Blackhawks:  Chicago

Stanley Cup Finals

Chicago Blackhawks vs. New Jersey Devils:  New Jersey Devils

Yes, this will the year San Jose breaks their playoff curse, but will fall to the young gunners from the Chi.  I also don’t think Detroit has it in the tank to return to the Cup finals for a third straight year with their dance partners in Pittsburgh.

The high-powered offence in Washington will carry them out of the Montreal series, but, I feel that they might tire themselves out too early, and be ripe for the picking vs. Pittsburgh in round two.

I love what’s going on in Jersey.  I think Brodeur wants to show the world that the Olympics were just a minor hiccup in 2009-2010, and that he is capable of being a true leader.  Parise, Langenbrunner, Elias and newest addition Kovalchuk are enough firepower to help aid Brodeur and the rest of the Devils to a Cup win this year.