Icebreakers and More...

Friday, May 8, 2009

Well, yours truly was in New York this past Thursday at the NHL Store in Manhattan. I was invited by my good friend and former Rangers teammate, Ron Duguay, as well as Ken Daneyko (Mr. Devil himself) to appear as a guest on their weekly radio show called, "Icebreakers". It was a super night of talking mostly hockey and chatting with the HOF Pat LaFontaine, Zach Parise, and Ryan Bayda of the Carolina Hurricanes. Do yourself a favor, if you get Sirius XM radio or already have it - check out the show on Thursday's from 7-9PM EST. Oh, I almost forgot! I finally got to meet NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, we shook hands before we aired. I wonder if he reads my blog (LOL).

The battle for Lord Stanley's Cup continues. I'll start off with the comeback tie and win in OT for the young Chicago Blackhawks. Martin Havlat saved Chicago's season with a late game tying goal to force OT. In the OT session, the Hawks' Andrew Ladd tipped in a Dave Bolland turn-around shot past Roberto Luongo to send the series back to Vancouver all tied up at 2. Boy, it sure looked like the Canucks had this one wrapped up. Unfortunately for them, a poor clearing attempt gave Chicago the chance to tie the game and they didn't miss. In OT, Nikolai Khabibulin made a game saving stop on Henrik Sedin just before Ladd's game winner. The game of hockey is 60 minutes of regulation and the Canucks failed to play the full 60 and it cost them. Instead of going home up 3-1, they are now face with all the pressure to win - not the Hawks. I can't wait for the next game.

Now, onto Detroit and Anaheim. The Ducks looked to take control of the series up 2-1 with Game 4 being at home. Not a chance! The "Big Red Machine" looked well oiled and it really was a laugher as the Wings clipped the Ducks, 6-3. The only good thing that happened for Anaheim was a TKO in a fight between Francois Beauchemin and Tomas Kopecky. It was a really lopsided scrap, Kopecky got pounded. On this night Detroit was just too fast, strong, skilled and looked like the overall better and more energetic team. The Wings had to like the fact that Marion Hossa finally woke up and netted 2 goals to make himself a factor in this series. The Ducks, on the other hand, were not the same team that we had seen throughout the playoffs. Jonas Hiller had a clunker, but he was not alone. The bus was full in that department. The Ducks had better pick it up or Detroit will make them go away faster than you think! Here's to hoping this one goes the full 7 games.

Over in the Eastern Conference, how about those Carolina Hurricanes? They have taken the hockey world by storm - no pun intended. With a resounding 4-1 victory over the Boston Bruins in Game 4, the Canes are looking mighty fine. Carolina is simply "outspeeding" the Bruins and they have no answer for it. Eric Staal scored 2 goals to lead the way and having Cam Ward in between the pipes certainly doesn't hurt. The atmosphere in Raleigh is crazy and the fans have to be the loudest in the league. I'm pretty shocked. The Bruins are definitely shocked and have that bewildered look about them. Game 5 in Boston will tell it all!

Lastly, the battle of the NHL poster childs is now evened up at 2. The pens won Game 4 by a score of 5-3 in a terribly officiated game for both sides. The Pens finally showed that Simeon Varlamov is, in fact, a human. In Game 4 Varlamov allowed in some soft goals. One of them was by Ruslan Fedotenko and the other was the final goal for the Pens by Maxime Talbot. Marc-Andre Fleury started himself off in a horrible way by letting in what I also felt was a soft goal by Nicklas Backstrom only 36 seconds into the game. Fortunately, his team bailed him out with a PPG by Sergei Gonchar and Billy Guerin's 3rd of the playoffs (along with the earlier goals that were discussed) to give the Pens momentum. Chris Clark narrowed the score to 3-2 heading into the 3rd period, which was probably a little too wide open for both head coaches. Sidney Crosby later gave the Pens a 2 goal cushion, but it was erased on a horrible non-call on Matt Bradley who clearly hammered Brooks Orpik into the Penguins net. As a result, Fleury got distracted and Milan Jurcina blasted a shot toward the goal that found the twine! The last goal of the game was put in by Maxime Talbot (he should of had 2 more in the 3rd period) and that was it!

Now, I want to get to talking about what I think is an intentional knee to knee hit by Alex "The Great". How much longer is the league gonna protect this guy? Yes, he's a star and an exciting player. Yes, he's a pure scorer. But you know what else he is? He's a cheap shot artist. Ovechkin definitely intended to hit Gonchar with his knee, the replays do not lie (lunges to the right into Gonchar's knees). He should of received a 5-minute major for his actions and a game misconduct. What is the league watching if they don't review this one! What say you, Colin Campbell? If Gonchar can't participate in the rest of the playoffs, how does Ovechkin escape this unharmed? Over and out!

4 comments:

Wrath of Sanity said...

I wish I had Sirius radio so I could of listened last night! Oh well.

I would just like to comment on Alexander Ovechkin. While he is the best, 2nd best, or 3rd best (depending on who you are asking) player in the league... he gets away with murder.

Tonight's hit on Gonchar was just another example. Some people have been defending the hit, saying it was caused cause of Gonchar moving out of the way... bullcrap. It's pretty evident to me that Ovechkin moves over to the right to make sure he connects (although it's already turning into a Zapruder film on the hockey forums).

He's such a dirty player. He charges, runs people, leaves his feet, etc.... yet up until tonight all the announcers and analysts lick it all up claiming hes just a "physical player". Give me a break.

Some player needs to grow a pair and throw down with this clown. He can't hide behind his tinted plexi-glass forever, someone will get him... and although I don't wish injury upon players, I hope he "feels" it when it happens.

And as much as I hate to say it. I'd much rather start my team with Sidney Crosby than Ovechkin. "The Great 8" seems to be too much of a 1 or 2 trick pony for my liking - you know, going down the boards, sweeping to the right a bit and firing... or the same thing using the defender as a screen... and also the PP camp-out on the backside. Sidney makes players around him better... Kunitz was almost a PPG when he was put on a line with Crosby.

Anyways, enough ranting... and enough Sidney praising... I feel dirty.

Kotsy's Korner said...

First off I do agree with Ovechkin being one of the best players in the NHL.

However, It's become obvious to me for awhile now as to what a cheap shot artist he's become as well.

While everyone was in love about how good a player he is and it's good for the NHL Blah Blah Blah.... He's a DIRTY player.

What he did last night to Gonchar is proof and if "Fans" want to spin it any other way then they should give up watching the game of Hockey.

Let's see if Colin Campbell has the balls to take down the "Poster Child " of the NHL or do they look the other way as they known to do?

I would take Crosby only because it's much harder to play center in the NHL than it is to be a "Floater" and that's what Ovechkin is. A good one at that

Jeff said...

I guess a lot of fans are starting to feel the same. Are we going to respect more Crosby over Ovechkin now. Wow, I never thought that could happen. Confusion...

Ovechkin is among the top players in the NHL for whom Bettman will never give Campbell the green light to take disciplinary measures. As long as the guy score 50 goals a year, ain't gonna happen. And certainly not now in "the series of the millenium."

Kotsy's Korner said...

Jeff, Finally! Hockey fans been exposed to what Ovechkin is besides being a great player.

I have no doubt in my mind that Ovechkin is as DIRTY a player as there is in the league.

I have watched him for awhile and noticed the things he does and gets away with. This is not something new to me.

His peers are now starting to talk about his dirty play. What does that tell you?

You are dead on though about Bettman not allowing the sort of discipline that should be handed out after the Gonchar hit.

Let me get this right a "Sloppy Seconds" comment deserves a major suspension but taking out a player's knee nothing? What a Joke!

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