Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Mark Lee Cares Not For This Hockey Business of Yours

Quite frankly, neither do I most of the time - but man, that guy could make the birth of your first child seem dull and uninteresting.

Yes it's that time of year again - the event that signals the beginning of spring, lets you know it's time to do your taxes and puts more strain on a marriage than 3-drink lunches at Hooters - it's the NHL Playoffs!

The networks have broken out their cavalcade of stars. All your favorites are here - Mark Osborne, Gary Galley, P.J Stock, Mark Lee, the-goalie-formerly-know-as-Glen-Healy-reconstituted-as-a-human-gasbag, and a monkey named Maggie.

And to celebrate this momentous occasion, I did something I haven't done in a very long time - I watched a hockey game... two of them even, start to finish... plus there was flipping to two other games. And I gotta say it really wasn't all that much fun.

First there was the Ottawa/Pittsburgh game - and to all the Ottawa fans out there, my condolences and better luck next year... your team is finished. That series is going to be over in 5 games maximum. If Shean Donovan, Randy Robataille, and Luke Richardson are playing meaningful minutes for you it's probably not your year. Between the 175,000 penalties called in that game, Pittsburgh managed to score 4 goals to Ottawa's 0.

And everybody who took Sidney Crosby over Evgeni Malkin in their hockey pool is now beginning to see the error of their ways... myself included. Could we be heading toward a day when Pittsburgh decides to keep Malkin over Crosby? Who would have thought that.

The late game tonight was Calgary/San Jose - and while I'm very happy to see Calgary steal Game 1 3-2, they won't get too many more wins with games like that. You don't win many games in the playoffs giving up 40 shots. The first 10 minutes and the last 10 minutes of this game were exciting - and that's about all - except for Jarome Iginla's wrecking-ball rush in the 2nd period. It was also nice to see Dion Phaneuf not folding like a hobo's suit so far in the playoffs.

One of the other two games was New York/New Jersey - the threat of rabid wolverines gnawing on my shins could not make me watch this series. While I love defence in football I hate it in hockey and this series is chalk full of it. The Rangers may very well be the team that comes of the East this year. They have the defence and grit to punish and shut down skilled teams like Montreal and Pittsburgh. Wouldn't a Minnesota/New York Stanley Cup Final be outstanding? It would go 7 games, with each game finishing 1-0 after 13 scoreless overtimes. The Rangers won 4-1 tonight if you weren't scoring at home.

Speaking of Minnesota, other than Nashville, they are the only team in the West I can't see going to the Stanley Cup. Every other team in the West has a legitimate shot but I think Minnesota is a house of cards. They're built to grind out wins in the regular season by boring people to death - but when things get ratcheted up in the playoffs I don't think the Wild can keep up. They lost at home to Colorado tonight by the by.

So that's it for tonight's games - stay tuned tomorrow to find out if Bob Cole is openly cheering for against the Canadiens this year. Honestly, this is a toss-up for me. I find it hard to believe he'd throw his support behind Boston. But you never know about those Leaf fans - they're an odd bunch.

End transmission.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

That flames game made me remember why I like hockey. It was a great game, all three periods. If they can knock off the sharks, they can knock off anyone. That is, if the winner doesn't leave the series in a body bag.

I must say though, that little dipsy-doodle move Craig Conroy did when trying to exit the flames zone with about 30 seconds left caused me to proclaim that he should be fired and removed from the team. If he had dumped it out the game was over. Instead he tries to carry it out around the defenceman, and ends up giving them another couple solid scoring chances. Oh well, the good guys won.

Go Flames (and Jayhawks)...hope your t-shirts come large enough to fit my ever-swelling sports pool ego.

CH

Cooper said...

I had a minor stroke when Conroy coughed up the puck with 30 seconds left. I thought we were screwed for sure.

Luke said...

Conroy should be drawn and quartered for trying those shenannigans.

That being said, it looks like Calgary can play with San Jose. They were doing all those little thing right - winning battles, skating hard... you know, those things Calgary doesn't necessarily always do. If they can somehow play that way every game, they're a legitimate Stanley Cup contender.

Surviving the first 10 minutes of tonight's game is going to be a test though. San Jose is going to come out like 10,000 crazed hyenas.

Also, that's some pretty big talk by CH - the guy who didn't take one Flame in the hockey pool.

Also also, CuJo needs to shave his head or be dismissed from the team.

Luke said...

Also also also, I think my indifference to most of the Calgary/San Jose was mainly due to my level of tiredness. It was probably a better game than I gave it credit for.

Anonymous said...

Hey Luke,
You can't call me out. I may not have picked any flames, but i'm also about the only "flames fan" who didn't pick any sharks - i'm looking at you Mitch, Luke, and Cooper. I refuse to pick against them, which may not bode well for me, but I can't bring myself to profit off of goals scored against the flames. The biggest traitors of all were the two of you who picked nabakov, meaning you're looking for 4 sharks wins. For shame.

CH

Luke said...

That is 100% true about the Nabokov thing - in retrospect, I do wish I would have gone with someone else. However, if there's one thing I've learned it's to bet with your head and not with your heart/gut. But it seems like I'm going to get what I deserve on that one for going against the Flames.

It's just business, not personal.

Cooper said...

See if I would have picked Iginla, Kipper, etc for the draft then the Flames would be assured to be swept in 4 straight shutouts. Now by me taking a boatload of Sharks the Flames are assured a chance to win

Trebor said...

I thought Sidney was hurt....guess I should have done a little checking up on things before hand. I was told that montreal has this great power play so that's why I picked a lot of frogs (looking at the box score i think i picked the wrong ones though) and cant go wrong with the wings either.

I watched some of the game and I can almost get into it..almost.. I watched the pittsburg game and realize that some guy in the hearld wasn't joking when he said the only way for ottawa to win is if the stadium collapsed and crushed Malkin and crosby.

Tonight I'll watch a bit here and there but denver and GS are playing for probably the 8th seed in west. 1 team will win over 50 games and not make the playoffs...should make for a good game.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone notice that last night's flames game was actually very entertaining for the approximately 12 minutes they played 5 on 5? It was great back and forth hockey.

I don't know why they played the last 5 minutes. Maybe the refs were tired and didn't feel like sticking around for overtime. They made sure of it by calling back to back flames penalties. with under 5 left.

And when did a hard hitting series turn into a soccer game. Gotta love Thorntons collapse on that wicked slach yelle gave him - 5 on 3. Thornton could barely stand up after that, yet played the next 5 minute shift afterwards. Or the huselius "hold" that happened right before it.

Bad calls ended up going the other way, i can admit. The end of the second period had a phantom call against the sharks. Don't they realize that this should be the best series of the playoffs? Are they mad at keenan for saying in the press that he would love to see the refs let them play.

All in all, the flames didn't deserve to win without scoring any goals, but perhaps they could have gotten something going if they weren't short handed for the entire second period, or playing 2 goal catch up the entire 3rd period.

Oh well, most didn't expect a split in san jose, so we'll see what happens in Calgary.

CH

Luke said...

I was going to write something about the game last night but I got called for 6 consecutive minor penalties for being untalented. After that, I just didn't have any energy left.

Was it just me or did the Flames have very little sustained pressure last night? The second period was a wash obviously - but it seemed like they were lacking pressure. They had 3 glorious chances that Nabokov somehow stopped but that was really about it. There may have been a few scrambles in front but not many chances.

And how about that pass by David Moss on the Iginla chance? One of the best I've seen in a long, long time.

How many minutes did Conroy play last night? Not many from what I could tell. Punishment for his bone-headed play at the end of game one.

Luke said...

I stand corrected - according to NHL.com, Conroy played just over 18 minutes. Does anyone actually remember him being on the ice?

The Nystrom, Primeau, Moss line needs to get some more icetime over the Lombardi, Huselieus, Conroy line... they've been pretty lackluster.

Anonymous said...

The only bad penelty call was the one on Iginla. The rest should have been called. Flames fans are on par with Leafs fans when it comes to complaining about officiating. Maybe the NHL needs to send the Flames and their fans a copy of the rule book?

Walks

Mitch said...

Are you fisting me? There were a good 4 bad penalty calls in the second on the Flames. When the refs called the Sharks twice on bad calls later, they basically admitted that they f'd up earlier. I don't know what game you were watching, but I guess you sound like the type of guy that would cheer for a southern expansion team. That $2 ticket section really helps guys like you pick a team.

Luke, Conroy played a ton of PK time. Also, I think you were referring to Sarich's chance on Moss' pass. I still like you though.

Despite the penalty calls, I don't think this was that bad of a game for the Flames. Nabokov did some things I didn't think he was capable of. Kipper stood on his head but let in a soft one. I hate Thornton more than anyone else in the world right now. I've been saying all year that Primeau is one the best players on the team, if only he didn't have those stone hands. I'm not certain his hardest shot could make it deep from the centre line.

Luke said...

Mitch don't be troubled by the Oilers fan - he knows not what he speaks of. I think he's confusing the rules of golf with hockey, which as an Oiler fan he is more familiar with.

I think the Primeau line needs to play a ton in game 3 - get Lombardi off the ice. I love the guy but he's been useless. Huselieus has been a ghost too.

Anonymous said...

I love it get your hate on Flames fans!

So lets see Mitch thinks the Flames played a good hockey game??? What game where you watching 40+ shots stupid penalty after stupid penalty. Kipper making save after save to bale out his team.

I would say that Calgary has yet to see close to a well played game from San Jose. So you better hope that Kipper keeps it up because it's the only way the Flames might surrvive.

As for cheering for an expansion team over the Flames. I do so with the greatest of pleasure.

ABC Anyone But Calgary!!!

Walks

Anonymous said...

Wow, after being gone all weekend and catching up with the comments, it is great to wake up monday morning to read the words Walker must now eat:
"...kipper keeps it up because it's the only way the Flames might survive."

Great game last night. Really glad i only watched from the second period on. Those who watched it from the beginning may have bailed on them. That Sarich hit was great. Two periods of the sharks running around with their heads cut off, with every one of their players looking invisible.

Hey walks, was that san jose's best game yet? I don't know if the flames can keep up with a great team that plays so great for 5% of a 60 minute game. If they stand a chance they'll have to score 6 in the first minute next time. Great to see the refs actually let them play a bit, although i'm still not so sure about phaneuf's delay of game with 2 minutes left - shouldn't it have to be an actual controlled shot out of bounds.

I'm sure the Oil will be well read-up on the rules by next fall. Hey maybe they can improve their team by stealing huselius from the flames for 20 million over four years. Maybe they should take a page out of the other worst managed team in hockey, and make roloson the GM next year. He couldn't do a worse job. Face!

CH

Anonymous said...

I'm so dissapointed only one comment after last nights game? Really??? No one else wants to take a shot at me.....?

Ok,

I hate the Flames always have always will.

That being said I'll give credit where it is do. The Sharks were awful for 55 minutes. The Flames looked the best the have in this series for 55 minutes.

Congrats the NHL might as well hand over the Stanley Cup Right now!

9/10 It is Kipper bailing the the Flames D out for their mistakes. Last night he didn't do it so you pull him. Turns out to be a good choice. What do you know Mike Keenan's best coaching move since 1994.

I love it the best shot against the Oilers is a stab at Kevin Lowe. The player he got in that deal lead our team in goals. Wow what a stupid move on his part. Where does he get off trying to improve his team? Who cares if Brian Burke doesn't like what happened. Does Brian Burke like anything??? I'm pretty sure he kills puppys in his spare time.

So keep hating on Kevin Lowe I would to if I was a Flames fan. I mean come on how many cup rings does a guy need any way?

Walks

Anonymous said...

So Walks, if grossly overpaying a mediocre player is your idea of great management, you're a wonderful fan of your team. That 23 goal explosion from Penner was indeed a team high - look out Ovechkin. There really could be some respect left in the game amongst GM's. You probably also think there's nothing wrong with Avery ignoring that there's a hockey game happening behind him and holding his hand in front of brodeur. A classic "stop touching me", "i'm not touching you" scenario. Great hockey there.

So what is everyone doing in Edmonton these days? Those Edmonton Cracker-Cats games can't start soon enough i'm guessing. How many years in a row can both professional edmonton teams not make the playoffs together? Shine your gretzky statue and have fun living in the past.

CH

Anonymous said...

So Walks, if grossly overpaying a mediocre player is your idea of great management, you're a wonderful fan of your team. That 23 goal explosion from Penner was indeed a team high - look out Ovechkin. There really could be some respect left in the game amongst GM's. You probably also think there's nothing wrong with Avery ignoring that there's a hockey game happening behind him and holding his hand in front of brodeur. A classic "stop touching me", "i'm not touching you" scenario. Great hockey there.

So what is everyone doing in Edmonton these days? Those Edmonton Cracker-Cats games can't start soon enough i'm guessing. How many years in a row can both professional edmonton teams not make the playoffs together? Shine your gretzky statue and have fun living in the past.

CH

Anonymous said...

1.) 23 goals is still 23 I doubt he would have led the team if other stayed healthy but still. By the way well done comparing him to Ovechkin. He was our second choice.

2.) I could care less if other GM's respect Kevin Lowe. As long as he is doing everything in his power to build a good team.

3.) Shaun Avery?....He's just a douchebag plain and simple. Although I did laugh my ass off when he started doing that.

4.) What is going on in Edmotnon? I'm not too sure. I havn't lived there for 5 years.

5.) Seeing as I'm a Rider fan I don't really care if the Eskimos make the playoffs or not. Although I do think they will be in the playoffs this year.

6.) Living in the past you say. If I hear another Flames fan tell me how close they were in 2004 I'll be sick. Unless you win it it all it doesn't count. Just like our run which was more recent doesn't matter. But I guess it's different when you have 5 cups.

7.) Am I still invited to wedding my wife is a Flames fan if that helps?

Walks

Luke said...

Oh boy... and here come the pretzels!

The only thing I've got to say about Dustin Penner is that Nik Antropov had more goals than him. And Antropov skates like a waterbuffalo.

Plus Penner was -12 on the year.

4+ million dollars a year is a lot for a guy who's -12 and scores 23 goals.