Articles

The Cup Baby – Day 9

In Hockey Hits on April 24, 2010 by geespotting

4 games were on the sked…including a couple of elimination games, check it:

EAST CONF.

(7)  PHILADELPHIA  3   AT  (2)  NEW JERSEY  0.

– FLYERS WIN SERIES 4-1.

…Ok, not meaning to toot my own horn here, but, I did pick this upset, saying the Flyers would win in 6. Heading into the series, the Flyers were banged up, yes, but everyone was back in the lineup other than their top 2 goalies. That would be one of the keys to this series, Brian Boucher out-playing Marty Brodeur. Another key, maybe less surprising, would be the Flyers pressure from their depth up front, on an inexperienced defence. Yes, the Devils had some firepower up front too, in Parise, Kovalchuk, Langenbrunner, Zajac etc., but, their own defence would cost them. Seriously, their top 4 blue-liners are Martin, White, Salvador and Greene. Sorry, Jacques Lemaire, with that foursome…you are not gonna get it done. Big problem for the Flyers now is that they are minus 2 big guns up front with the losses to Carter and Gagne. Their next series could be just as short as this one. In this clinching game, Boucher was better than Brodeur again, Kovalchuk tried going through the whole Flyers team, ala that kid in pup hockey that could deke everyone but lose the puck on a breakaway, and the Flyers up front pressure. Giroux and Briere were dynamite, and helped put away the Devils.

STARS 1. Claude Giroux, PHA. 2. Brian Boucher, PHA. 3. Daniel Briere, PHA.

SERIES MVP: Claude Giroux

– Even though Boucher was incredible in the pipes for the Flyers, I never thought that he or the Flyers were pressed too much on too many occasions. Giroux had 4 goals, and had a coming out party of sorts. Chris Pronger was also strong in this series.

(5)  OTTAWA  4   AT  (4)  PITTSBURGH  3 (3OT)

– PENGUINS LEAD SERIES 3-2.

…Hats off to the Sens. They battled hard in this game, and pulled away the unlikely overtime win. In more recent games, guys like Spezza and Alfredsson have been playing better, but, it has been the workhorses, the guys in the trenches that have carried this team, and brought them back in the series. That couldn’t have been more illustrated than this game winner from the least likely of heroes, Matt Carkner:

The big contributor to the win, however, was goalie Pascal Leclaire. He had a horrible regular season, with irregular injuries, and the Canadian press on his back for poor play. That wasn’t the case in this one, as he was the better goalie in Quebec tender battle. Should be fun Saturday back in Ottawa as the Sens look to even the series and force the deciding game 7.

STARS 1. Pascal Leclaire, OTT. 2. Marc-Andre Fleury, PIT. 3. Mike Fisher, OTT.

WEST CONF.

(2)  CHICAGO  3  AT (7)  NASHVILLE  O.

– SERIES TIED AT 2.

…In what has been a pretty tough, and even series, it was the Hawks who had the better performance in game 4, and tied up this one at 2. Anti Niemi is proving to be the backstop for this club, and has been played extremly well since that game one goal he allowed, that had everyone talking. Chicago also got some decent showings from some of their big horses up front, as both Patrick Sharp and Jonathon Toews played their best games of the playoffs so far.

STARS 1. Anti Niemi, CHI. 2. Patrick Sharp, CHI. 3. Jonathon Toews, CHI.

(8)  COLORADO  0  AT  (1)  SAN JOSE  5.

– SHARKS LEAD SERIES 3-2.

…Despite being outshot, and outshot badly in this series, the Avs have held in there with the might Sharks. Not the case Thursday, as San Jose was dominant over a tired looking Colorado team. On a number of occasions, Av’s goalie Craig Anderson stumbled or fell, which might be a case of the bad San Jose ice, or the fact that he is just plained wiped out, or maybe a combo of both. The fight that Colorado showed for the first 4 games was virtually gone, and San Jose rolled to the easy win. Marleau and Heatley were better, but, jumbo Joe Thornton still looking rather invisible in this one. Here is a look at the Sharks PP in this game:

Colorado will have to be running on adenaline in order to even this series up Saturday night in the Mile High City.

STARS 1. Logan Couture, S.J. 2. Evgeni Nabokov, S.J. 3. Patrick Marleau, S.J.

– 4 big games on Friday, including the Habs and Sabres trying to stave off elimination, as well as the Canucks and Coyotes trying to take the lead on home ice in theire respective series’.

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