The Conference Finals Have Begun!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

In the West, the Blackhawks drew first blood as Antti Niemi was outstanding in a 2-1 Chicago victory over the San Jose Sharks (Who I thought played good enough to win). There was a combined total of 85 shots between Niemi and Nabakov. Niemi turned away 44 of 45 shots, while his counterpart turned back 38 of 40. Both teams, I thought, had their moments. They showed why they are in the Western Conference Finals.

The Blackhawks got a big goal in the third period by Dustin Byfuglien (Can we get him a Ranger uniform please?) with 6:45 remaining. Byfuglien’s goal gave the Hawks a 2-1 lead that they would not relinquish. San Jose put plenty of pressure on Niemi in the closing moments, but it was to no avail. Boy, when you look at what the Blackhawks have done on the road this year in the playoffs… it’s simply amazing! They are now a very dominant, 6-1 on the road. That, my friends, can only spell trouble for the Sharks. Game 2 will be a must win for San Jose or the representative from the West in the chase of Lord Stanley will be the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Conference finals are also underway for the Eastern Conference. The Philadelphia Flyers, who pulled off a magical and historical comeback over the Bruins, totally dismantled and humiliated the Montreal Canadiens in Game 1. The Flyers won by a score of 6-0 in front of a raucous home crowd in the Wachovia Center. The Flyers never gave the Canadiens a chance in this one. The best Montreal could do was attempt one shot and then their offensive attack was done! It sounds familiar… this is how the Habs have played their way to this point!

Jaroslav Halak was not Superman tonight. In fact, he fell back to being a mere mortal. His stat line looks like this: 4 goals allowed on 13 shots. He was then chased and Carey Price ended up finishing the game for the Habs. Michael Leighton, for the Flyers, was steady and solid. His teammates gave him a comfortable lead and they played stingy defense all night long. They played the way that Montreal has almost perfected during this playoff run. I, personally, was surprised by the outcome. Is this the Montreal that many have been waiting to see? It’s possible. I know it’s only one game, but the Flyers were very impressive and really they have been since they were down 3-0 late in the first period in Game 7 in Boston. Since then, the Flyers have scored 10 straight goals and have surrendered nothing! Not even one goal! That, to me, is a tough thing to do. Although after winning the Bruins series, what is considered tough for the Flyers these days? Over and out!


Dan S. said...

Was able to watch both games, Kotsy... Montreal looked completely lost, while Chicago continues to be the "Road Warriors"!

I originally picked the Habs and Sharks. Both of those clubs better get it together and quickly, or they're going to be in some serious trouble!

Kotsy's Korner said...

Dan, I know it's only one game, But the Flyers took Montreal apart like no other team has been able to do so far in the playoffs.

The Sharks were in the game with Chicago. Niemi was the difference. He outplayed Nabakov. The Hawks road record is phenomenal.

Kevin said...

Hey Kotsy. It's Kevin from PuckLife. Really enjoy reading the blog. Just a quick comment on Byfuglien. He looked great in the series against the Canucks and solid so far in the conference finals. However, this is also the same guy that had a grand total of 3 goals since January, which he matched in one game against the Canucks. For some reason he gets up for games against the Canucks. He was on defense in the series with Nashville so even the coaching staff there is perplexed with this guy. When he's playing big he's a dominant force but I think more often then not he doesn't play that way, at least in the regular season. I wouldn't measure him up for a Rangers jersey just yet!

Kotsy's Korner said...

Kevin, Byfuglien was a beast for the Blackhawks last year in the playoffs and he's repeating it again this year.

You're probably right about his consistency, but when he's on there is no one in the game that can stop him. Too big, fast,and physical. Without him the Hawks would have never got past the Canucks, That I'm sure of.

Kevin, Byfuglien should have never been playing on the "D" during the Nashville series. Big mistake by Coach Quenneville. He was not effective at all back there.

By the way Kevin, Have you seen the Rangers lately...We'll take him LOL

Wrath of Sanity said...

Montreal is done... they are being outclassed by Philadelphia and I honestly don't see this series lasting longer than 5 games. Plus I hear that Laperierre and Carter MAY be coming back in the near future (although I doubt it).

San Jose played pretty well in Game 1 but just could not get it done. Tonight, they got slapped around by Chicago. Starting to look like this one is done too.

But I guess that's been the theme of the playoffs... teams look down and out and they come back.

Either way, I'm not too thrilled about the SCF. The Hawks are alright, but by no means do I love them. But whatever... as long as Philly or Montreal don't win then I'll be fine, I guess.

I just hope that these series come a little closer for some general enjoyment... the way they are looking now. I'm not so sure.

Kotsy's Korner said...

Wrath, You sound depressed? That's Hockey for you, Just when you think you got it figured out, You really don't.

Montreal's magic might have finally left them. Playing at home the next 2 will be the true test as to whether they are done or not. Although I think you may be right, Philly looks good.

San Jose is in Big trouble, I don't see them winning this series. Chicago has proved to be a monster that will not be stopped.

Wrath, I know anything can happen going by the trend of this years playoffs, but even those trends have to end sometime.

Kevin said...

Don't get me wrong, I'd love to have Buff on my team but it's probably very frustrating for a coach or player to see what he could be capable of on a more consistent basis. That seems to be a common theme with really skilled big guys. Kind of reminds me of a former and current Canuck in Taylor Pyatt and Steve Bernier. Guys that don't take advantage of their size on a more regular basis.

Leatherneck said...

Hello Chris, I think this will be a very entertaining Stanley Cup Finals with the Hawks winning it in 6. As for the Rangers and the future I hope that they draft Jon Merrill or Derek Forbort this draft and if Riley Sheehan drops to get him in the 2nd round. That will be a great draft. As far as Redden and Roszival, Roszi did us well to be able to trade him or keep him if we have to, but Dredden has to go. He has not been there for this team except to collect a paycheck and his situation is what makes Unions look awful as I am a former Union member. HE SHOULD PAY BACK MONEY back to the Rangers for his results. Now There is a rumor going around that Jack Johnson is available, we should go after him.

My D for next year as is

Girardi and Staal
Potter and Del Zotto
Roszival and McDonough
and Sanguenetti as 7th D

if possible
replace McDonough or Roszival with Jack Johnson

Draft John Merrill for sure or Derek Forbort can't go wrong with either one and hope Sheehan falls into the 2nd round which I think he will... In the latter part of the draft look for a banging bruising D-man..Now a perfect world see's us also getting Bobby Ryan from the Ducks

Gilroy I think will be better as a forward

thoughts on the D? and the possibilities of getting Ryan and Johnson?

Leatherneck said...

Oh and another D-man we can pick is that kid Dylan McIlrath..he is a monster a la Beukeboom was

Kotsy's Korner said...

Leatherneck, Sound's like you been doing your homework on the Rangers LOL. Jack Johnson,Bobby Ryan...They would look good in a Ranger uniform. Not sure it will happen though.

McDonough is a crap shoot. Will he sign with the Rangers or go back to College and become a free agent when he's done with school?

Sanguenetti and Potter must make the jump this year or I'm afraid they will have used up their chances. I'm hoping they do. It might be time to build from within.

Leatherneck, I'm glad you brought up Ranger stuff, I'm getting bored with talking about other teams LMAO.

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