Malkin, Pens Take Care of Canes, 7-4

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Evgeni Malkin possibly heard that Alex Ovechkin had won the Sporting News Player of the Year Award for the 2nd year in a row. Malkin proceeded to own the Carolina Hurricanes with a hat trick and a 4 point performance in Game 2. This is not what I had expected, especially on the Hurricanes behalf. Wide open pond hockey with nary a care for defense. The Pens outshot Carolina 42-28 and in the end they deserved this win, no question about it. I just keep thinking that how could the Canes be lured into Pittsburgh's strength? Their strength is wide open offensive hockey. At least against Carolina, the Pens have that advantage in my eyes. I give Carolina an "A" for answering each of the Pens goals early in the game with one of their own, but this is a recipe for disaster - and that's what it became. Crosby and Malkin... and the Hurricanes are gonna match them with who? Eric Staal? Not quite! Looks to me like we might be heading towards a rematch of last years final, unless the Canes re-group at home in Raleigh (which is not out of the question). They will have the crowd on their side (loudest in the league), but they have to get back to what they do best! Pressure, play good D, and capitalize on mistakes. If the Hurricanes do not rebound, much like the Western Conference Finals - this one will be over quick.

Speaking of the Western Conference playoffs, Detroit won again (yawn), 3-2 in OT. Damn those Red Wings! Just when most of us thought Chicago was going to steal a game in Detroit and tie the series up at one. The Red Wings took advantage of the Blackhawks like playoff experienced teams do. They turned a huge blunder by Brian Campbell into a game winning goal in OT. First off, what in the world was Campbell thinking? Let's see... he had 3 options. 1) Shoot the puck on the net, 2) Dump it in the corner, and 3) Make a pass across the blueline with the Red Wings in the way? We all know what number Campbell chose in this scenario. Detroit is a tough enough team to play as it is... but jeez, don't make it easy for them! That's the game in a nutshell. Coach Joel Quennville has to be horrified by the turnovers in the first 2 games by his defensemen (which in turn led to Detroit goals). My last count is at least 3 goals have been scored by the Wings off of Blackhawk turnovers - including the OT winner. The Blackhawks played much better in Game 2, probably good enough to win. But, you can't, and I repeat you can't make dumb plays like Brian Campbell did against Detroit. If you do, like I said in my previous blog, this series will be over in a blink of an eye. Let's hope not! Over and out!

EDIT: http://greschnersports.com/ is now up. It's the sports Memorabilia website started by my good friend Ron Greschner, as well as Nick Fotiu and Vic Hadfield. If you want authentic autographed memorabilia, this is where to look! Go ahead and spend your money, people!

8 comments:

Jeff said...

Those thrilling semi-finals were hiding something! I'm a bit disappointed so far by the conference finals, I expected more from the Canes and the Hawks. It looks like we could have the rematch of last year quicker than expected. Might be a more interesting final than last year, the game played in Detroit earlier this year was quite entertaining. Let see first what both games 3 will bring though.

Kotsy's Korner said...

Jeff, I think you are exactly right about the semi-finals hiding something.

I have said in my previous blogs that Chicago might be to inexperienced to take on a veteran team like the Wings.

The Carolina story is unbelievable considering who the Canes have knocked off all ready.

I'm hoping for a turn around by both the Hawks and the Canes, but it may just be too much for both teams. We will have to wait and see.

Jason said...

Kotsy,

I have been reading your blog for a quite a while in anonymity and find what you write insightful and informative. Besides, the credibility of having played in the NHL has no substitutes.

The Canes and Hawks have certainly been slightly disappointing. The latter really look like they lack experience. The deer in the headlights appearance is so obvious that I feel almost sorry for them. Once they get back to Chicago, that may dissipate somewhat. I know they can feed off their crowd, but being overly emotional and too aggressive against the Wings will likely be costly.

The Canes look to be a few notches lower in terms of skill and, as you said, in a wide open game that is bound to doom any team sooner or later. If the Canes do not play to their strengths, they will be fortunate not to get swept. Their PP needs some work. Last night's 4-on-3 in the second period looked so eerie similar to the brilliance the Rangers displayed throughout the season, it was a certain feeling of deja vu. A game of hot potato with the puck, lack of movement, no crisp passes, and an endless shuffle between the points with no shots or good lanes. The Pens were playing two man high, but the Canes failed to get the puck to the net quickly enough to take advantage of the extra man. They have been guilty of overpassing on numerous occasions. They simply do not have the talent to pass the puck into the net, and in the playoffs, that approach seldom, if ever, works.

It would be fun to have the Canes duke it out with the Hawks in the finals, but that is highly unlikely to happen.

Kotsy's Korner said...

Jason, Thanks for checking out my blog. What I enjoy the most is the response's I get from the real hockey fans like your self.

I don't claim to know it all, but I will tell you what I think and reading the different points of view from fans who respond is very refreshing.

I have written previously how the Chicago Black Hawks might be the modern day version of the 80's Oilers. To me they are on the edge of becoming a super team.

They are loaded with probably the best young talent in the NHL in my estimation. Can't think of another team?

The Hawks just need to get their noses bloodied a little to get the experience they need to seriously contend for the Cup.

The Canes on the other hand have played way beyond expectations. My hat goes off to them. Maybe reality has set in?

How the Canes got to where they are is simple. They must pressure the opponent, tighten up the defense, and play the waiting game for the opponents mistakes.

Jason, Power Plays have absolutely taken on to much of the European influence in all levels of Hockey.

I say shoot the "Damn" puck when the opening is there. To often PP units try to make the perfect pass for the picture perfect goal.

You had to mention the Rangers PP, Boy is that ugly! and the Hurricanes PP looks like their long lost twin LOL.

As for the next few games , let's hope for the Canes and Hawks to rebound.

Jeff said...

GO HAWKS!!!!

I'm not really an adept of that bandwagon thing during playoffs but if I had to root for another team other than the Rangers in today's NHL, that would probably be the Hawks. I like your comparison with the 80's Oilers Chris, that could be what the NHL needs, I'm not sure the Pens would be a nice successor to the Oilers.

I was too young in the 80's how were the Oilers considered by hockey fans, outside Edmonton, during that span when they dominated? From what I see nowdays outside both fan bases, more fans would be ready to root for Chicago, there's still like a block when it comes to the Pens and Crosby.

Hard hit on Havlat, looked a clean one tho. I was scouting him, I hope he's ok, he could be a nice addition to the Rangers, a bit soft maybe, but very fast and gifted. If Sather can't pull a Gaborik or an Hossa from his hat, I wouldn't mind to see Havlat coming to NY.

Kotsy's Korner said...

Jeff, I think Chicago is potentially the next dynasty. I know that's a bold statement but they are the best young team out there in my eyes.

Trust me the Oilers were like royalty where ever they went. They were one awfully loaded team of talent. It was tough to play against them, so skilled!

Jeff as talented as Hossa is he is not a game breaker type of player. Don't want him.

I like Havlat for the right price, but not superstar money. The Rangers have enough of those getting payed like a superstar.

Now Gaborik is more of a game breaker type player in my estimation. If only he could stay healthy because he does play with an edge and I like that.

Jeff said...

Between Hossa and Gaborik I'd take Gaborik too despite the risk. As long as he doesn't break his two legs getting off the bus I'm all for it, It's worth to take a gamble on him.

Free agency will be interesting this year, especially with the risk to see the cap decrease after next season.

Kotsy's Korner said...

Jeff, Totally agree. I like the broken legs off the bus line, It gave me a chuckle.

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