Archive for May, 2010

Articles

The Cup Baby – Day 21

In Hockey Hits on May 16, 2010 by geespotting

The latest from a Round Two Tuesday Doublshot of action:

EAST CONF.

(4)  PITTSBURGH  2  AT  (8)  MONTREAL  0.

– PENGUINS LEAD SERIES 2-1.

…Game 3 in Montreal was at it’s best during the pre-game festivities! This was a bore-fest. You might think that it was a defensive minded battle, but, a tight game that never really opened up. The ice was broken when Evgeni Malkin scored early in the third on the PP to essentially win this one. Here is a look at the highlights of game 3:

Is game 4 a must win for the Habs? If they lose, can they actually pull off another 3-1 comeback like they did like the Caps? We’ll see!

STARS 1. Evgeni Malkin, PIT. 2. Marc-Andre Fleury, PIT. 3. Jaroslav Halak, MON.

WEST CONF.

(1)  SAN JOSE  4  AT  (5)  DETROIT  3 (OT).

– RED WINGS LEAD SERIES 3-0.

…A big start for the Wings on home ice, as they jumped out to a 2-0 lead. Through 2, it was still the Wings up by a pair, but, the Sharks battled back to tie the game, and force an overtime…and overtime that the Wings would have to win:

Ah-hah! A Shark ot winner, and not from a player named Pavelski. “Big” Joe Thornton took over the game midway, and set up that beaut from Marleau. If the Sharks are to win the Cup, they will need that contribution from the big boys, and tonight they got it take a commanding 3-0 series lead.

STARS 1. Joe Thornton, S.J. 2. Henrik Zetterberg, DET. 3. Patrick Marleau, S.J.

– On Wednesday, the Canucks look to go up in their series with the Hawks, while the Flyers look to get into their series with Boston.

Articles

The Cup Baby – Day 20

In Hockey Hits on May 16, 2010 by geespotting

2 more games tonight, and now every series shifts to the other city for games 3 and 4.

EAST CONF.

(7)  PHILADELPHIA  2  AT  (6)  BOSTON  3.

– BRUINS LEAD SERIES 2-0.

…Like game one, this was another close back and forth battle, but, in the end it was a Bruin player who has stated that he hasn’t played very well, who found redemption with the game winner. Here is that goal from Milan Lucic, with just under 3 minutes to go:

Flyers will have to counter with a win in game 3, or this one could be over quickly!

STARS 1. Miroslav Satan, BOS. 2. Daniel Briere, PHA. 3. Tuukka Rask, BOS.

WEST CONF.

(3)  VANCOUVER  2  AT  (2)  CHICAGO  4.

– SERIES TIED AT 1-1.

…After their dominating game one win, it looked like the Canucks would take full control of this series with the quick start. Vancouver held their one goal lead until the third period when the Hawks rallied to get the win, and even the series. The combo of Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook were not great in game one, but, the dynamic ‘D’ duo stepped it up in game two, and were keys in the win. Like the game earlier in the day, this one was decided late by Kris Versteeg:

 

90 seconds to go, and the Hawks win the series, when it looked like they could have been in a huge hole.

STARS 1. Brent Seabrook, CHI. 2. Kris Versteeg, CHI. 3. Mason Raymond, VAN.

…2 games tomorrow, as the Pens and Habs meet in Montreal, and it’s must win time for the Wings against the Sharks.

Articles

The Cup Baby – Day 19

In Hockey Hits on May 4, 2010 by geespotting

Alright…Sunday night…and two more series in flight:

EAST CONF.

(8)  MONTREAL  3  AT  (4)  PITTSBURGH  1.

– SERIES TIED AT 1-1.

…Well, looky-looky, the Habs evened the series, and it was another strong effort from Jaroslav Halak to guide the way. Montreal fell behind on a Matt Cooke goal…eventually evened the game…and then rode the back of Halak until an opportunity to win the game came their way, and it did with this highlight reel goal by Mike Cammalleri:

Pittsburgh kept pressing, but, couldn’t beat Halak. While trying to score, the Pens continued to take chances, and of those chances resulted in a Sidney Crosby mistake, and another Cammalleri goal to seal the deal. The Bell Centre will be rockin’ when game 3 goes Tuesday!

STARS 1. Jaroslav Halak, MON. 2. Mike Cammalleri, MON. 3. Matt Cooke, PIT.

WEST CONF.

(5)  DETROIT  3  AT  (1)  SAN JOSE  4.

– SHARKS LEAD SERIES 2-0.

…It was deja vu all over again in the score, as well as the Sharks hero, Joe Pavelski. Once again, Little Joe had 2 goals and an assist to pace San Jose to a game 2 win. Unlike game one, however, the Wings were in this one from the get-go, despite the fact they were penalized 9 times in this one! Jimmy Howard played great to keep Detroit in this one, but, it was Big Joe, who finally scored, and broke the third period deadlock:

Game 3: Has to be or die for Detroit at the Joe, vs. the 2 Joes!

STARS 1. Joe Pavelski, S.J. 2. Pavel Datsyuk, DET. 3. Dany Heatley, S.J.

…On Monday, the Canucks look to steal another in Chi-Town, while Philly tries to even things up in Beantown.

 

Articles

The Cup Baby – Day 18

In Hockey Hits on May 2, 2010 by geespotting

The last 2 series of round two opened up yesterday:

EAST CONF.

(7)  PHILADELPHIA  4  AT  (6)  BOSTON  5 (ot)

– BRUINS LEAD SERIES 1-0.

…This may be the most intriguing series of the second round. Two teams that really no one thought would have a shot of meeting each other…and one of these teams will compete in the final four. It turned out to be a great hockey game. The Bruins had a lot of the early pressure through the first 2 periods, and looked in control of this game, until the Flyers rallied with a pair of goals to even this game and send it into overtime. In the extra frame however, it was all Boston, but, Brian Boucher found ways to make save after save, until a fitting player would come through and end the game:

2 months away from the game because of a horrific concussion, and Marc Savard ended game one in first game back. He played a decent game, but, was quiet for the most part…but, was the hero in game one for Beantown.

STARS 1. Dennis Wideman, BOS. 2. Mike Richards, PHA. 3. Patrice Bergeron, BOS.

WEST CONF.

(3)  VANCOUVER  5  AT  (2)  CHICAGO  1.

– CANUCKS LEAD SERIES 1-0.

…It was a dominating performance by the Canucks in game one. The Hawks had some early pressure, especially with the line of Toews-Kane-Bickell, but, Roberto Luongo withstood the early pressure, and paved the way for a Vancouver win. Chicago actually outshot the Nucks, but, it was a team performance that scored the goals in this lopsided win. The turning point was probably this 2-o goal from Mason Raymond with just seconds remaining in the first period:

Despite the huge win for the Canucks, this game did not feature the animosity that everyone thought would have been a big factor in this series. I am sure that will change in game two, as someone like Eager or Burish, or maybe both will be inserted into the Hawk lineup. A better performance from Chicago goalie Anti Niemi will also be needed…or Vancouver might roll through this one!

STARS 1. Roberto Luongo, VAN. 2. Christian Ehrhoff, VAN. 3. Mason Raymond, VAN.

…2 games on Sunday, as the Wings and Canadiens look to even up their series with the Sharks and Pens on the road.

Articles

The Cup Baby – Day 17

In Hockey Hits on May 2, 2010 by geespotting

Can the Habs upset another superstar laden team? Here is game one:

EAST CONF.

(8)  MONTREAL  3  AT  (4)  PITTSBURGH  6.

– PENGUINS LEAD SERIES 1-0.

…Too much Pen power in game one, as Pittsburgh outscored the Canadiens 2-1 in each period, and rolled to the win. Halak was nowhere near the tender he was in those last 3 games against Washington, but, it was the Pittsburgh PP who stole the show, scoring 4 of the 6 goals. The Habs were even with the Pens in only one category: injuries to major players, where each team lost a key member to their club. For the Canadiens, it was Andrei Markov. He was hit by Matt Cooke (clean hit for a change), but, fell awkwardly into the boards, and likely tore some knee ligaments…meaning he is done for the season. Then it was Pittsburgh’s Jordan Staal colliding harmlessly with the Canadien’s P.K. Subban, and Staal left immediately. It was revealed that Subban’s skate cut Staal on his foot, and tore a tendon. He is not ruled out for the year, but, highly unlikely that he will return in this series. Before his injury, here is one of the 4 PP goals that Pittsburgh scored, and from Staal too:

STARS 1. Kris Letang, PIT. 2. Alex Goligoski, PIT. 3. Bill Guerin, PIT.

– The other 2 series in round two will start on Saturday.

Articles

The Cup Baby – Day 16

In Hockey Hits on May 2, 2010 by geespotting

Ok…two weeks in, and now into round two:

WEST CONF.

(5)  DETROIT  3  AT  (1)  SAN JOSE  4.

– SHARKS LEAD SERIES 1-0.

…After a tough 7 game series with Phoenix, the Wings probably found out early Wednesday morning that they would have to travel West almost immediately for their game one in San Jose the following night. It showed early as the Sharks had the jump and an early lead. Detroit did fight back however, but, it was too little too late, and San Jose takes game one in what should be a long series. We know that the Wings top players will show up, but, it is still questionable for the Sharks and the big trio. Actually, game one featured just a pair as Patrick Marleau was injured, and questionable for game two. Just like in round one, it was Joe who paced the Shark’s attack, ‘little’ Joe that would be. Another 2 goals for Joe Pavelski, and another San Jose victory. Here is yet ANOTHER game winner from Joe:

STARS 1. Joe Pavelski, S.J. 2. Johan Franzen, DET. 3. Dan Boyle, S.J.

– Up next, the first game in the East between the Habs and Pens.

Articles

The Cup Baby – Day 15

In Hockey Hits on May 2, 2010 by geespotting

Here we go, the last game of round one, with the top team facing elimination:

EAST CONF.

(8)  MONTREAL  2  AT  (1)  WASHINGTON  1.

– CANADIENS WIN SERIES 4-3.

…Maybe one of the most stunning upsets in hockey history, and on a number of levels too. First of all, teams rallying from a 3-1 series deficit just doesn’t happen all that often. Secondly, the fact that the team coming back was the 8th seed has never happened in the history of this format. Thirdly, it happened on the number one team in the league. By the way…I called it! I am pretty sure it would never have happened though if not for another unbelievable effort by Hab’s tender Jaroslav Halak. I will send him a thank you card. It seemed that Halak was able to get into the heads of the Cap stars, like OV, Backstrom, Green and Semin. As the game wore on, and so did the Habs lead of 1-o, it seemed that it would be destiny. Dominic Moore cemented that sentiment of fate with this goal:

Brooks Laich broke Halak’s shutout bid with about 90 seconds to go…but, the Caps couldn’t get the equalizer, and the Habs advance in shocking fashion!

STARS 1. Jaroslav Halak, MON. 2. Brooks Laich, WAS. 3. Dominic Moore, MON.

SERIES MVP: Jaroslav Halak & Mike Cammalleri

…I guess most people would say Halak hands down. It was one of the great goaltender performances in quite some time, but, we should remember how he fell apart and allowed the Caps to rally in game two and even the series. As for Cammalleri, he was the best skater in the series…even better than Ovechkin and Backstrom. He put to rest the concerns that he would continue his end of season slump into the playoffs.