Archive for April, 2010

NHL 2010 Playoffs Bracket: Eastern Conference Matchups

April 30th, 2010 No Comments

The first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs are in the books and, thus far, you gotta love what we’ve already witnessed. The Montreal Canadiens’ upset win over Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals was one for the ages, as was Sidney Crosby’s first round magic. The Boston Bruins’ solid performance against the Buffalo Sabres was inspiring as was the Philadelphia Flyers’ upset win against Martin Brodeur and the New Jersey Devils. The table has been set for round two: The Montreal Canadiens will face the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Boston Bruins will take on the Philadelphia Flyers. Let’s take a look at where to watch the games, which players to watch, and how I see these series panning out. Pittsburgh Penguins (4) vs. Montreal Canadiens (8): Pittsburgh Penguins Where To Watch The Series: Fri Apr 30, 2010 Canadiens vs.

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Alexander Ovechkin Needs to “Tweak” His Game

April 30th, 2010 No Comments

When I spoke to Alexander Ovechkin earlier this year I asked him which championship was more important to him, the Stanley Cup or an Olympic Gold medal. Without hesitation Ovechkin answered “first I will win the Gold medal, then the Stanley Cup, both”. Well, several months later Ovechkin will be heading back to Russia empty handed, shutout of both the Olympic medals and now ousted from the Stanley Cup finals at the hands of the eighth seeded Montreal Canadiens. When you look over Ovechkin’s statistics it’s easy to say that he had another great season. Ovechkin finished third overall in scoring with 50 goals, sixth overall in assists with 59, tied for second overall in points with 109, and registered a very impressive plus/minus rating of +/- 45—second best in the league. Ovechkin led the Washington Capitals to one of

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Stanley Cup Playoff Bracket: Western Conference Predictions

April 30th, 2010 No Comments

Vancouver Canucks (3)—103 points vs. Chicago Blackhawks (2)—112 points. Where to Watch the Series: (All times EDT) Saturday, May 1 at Chicago, 8:00 p.m. CBC, VERSUS Monday, May 3 at Chicago, 9:00 p.m. CBC, VERSUS Wednesday, May 5 at Vancouver, 9:30 p.m. CBC, VERSUS Friday, May 7 at Vancouver, 9:30 p.m. CBC, VERSUS *Sunday, May 9 at Chicago, 8:00 p.m. CBC, VERSUS *Tuesday, May 11 at Vancouver, 9:30 p.m. CBC, VERSUS *Thursday, May 13 at Chicago, 8:00 p.m. CBC, VERSUS * If necessary Season Series: Tied 2-2 Oct. 21 – VAN 3 @ CHI 2 Nov. 22 – CHI 1 @ VAN 0 Jan. 23 – CHI 1 @ VAN 5 Mar. 05 – VAN 3 @ CHI 6 Regular Season Rankings: Chicago Blackhawks: Record: 52-22-8 (112 points) Goals for per game: 3.20 (third overall) Goals against per game: 2.48

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Stanley Cup Playoffs: Best Performances Of The Western Conference, Thus Far

April 29th, 2010 No Comments

With round one of the Stanley Cup playoffs in the books for the Western Conference it’s time to pick the best playoff performers thus far. The likes of Colorado Avalanche’s goaltender Craig Anderson and Los Angeles Kings defensemen certainly were making a case for themselves, that is until both of their teams were ousted from the playoffs. Suffice to say there are plenty of other candidates out there, here are my top five. Evgeni Nabokov: Goaltender, San Jose Sharks— With all the pressure to perform in the playoffs squarely on Nabokov’s shoulders very few of us would have been surprised to see him falter. Fortunately for the Sharks Nabokov was rock solid for the Sharks in the final four games of their series against the Av’s, posting a 3-1 record, with his only loss coming in a game in which

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Flyers Await Round Two Opponent, Laperriere Out Indefinitely

April 28th, 2010 No Comments

Let’s face it folks, with all the turmoil and player injuries surrounding this club, the Philadelphia Flyers should not be in the position they are right now, awaiting their second round opponent for the Eastern Conference semi-finals. Throughout the season the Flyers were decimated by long term injuries to the likes of Jeff Carter, Ray Emery, Michael Leighton, Simon Gagne, Daniel Briere and others. Now, fresh off their round one series victory over the heavily favored New Jersey Devils, the Flyers will once again have to face some adversity as not only Carter and Gagne are expected to be out for the series, so to is Ian Laperriere, who has been diagnosed with a mild concussion as a result of taking a puck to the face in game five of round one. Laperriere was a difference maker in round one,

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Russian Hockey: Dead or Alive?

April 28th, 2010 1 Comment

Russian Hockey: Dead or Alive?  Anyone who knows anything about hockey knows about Russian superstars Alex Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, Andrei Markov, Alexander Semin, Sergei Gonchar, Ilya Kovalchuk, Evgeni Nabokov, Ilya Bryzgalov, and Pavol Datsyuk. That said, outside of those nine elite level players, just how solid is the Russian bear? The NHL currently boasts a total of 28 Russian forwards and defensemen. Of those 28, only seven were “plus” players. Of those same 28, only eight scored 50 or more points and only 13 scored 30 or more points. Only three Russians registered a short handed goal (Malkin, Semin and Nikolai Kulemin), only 16 Russian players scored a game winning goal—of which, just 12 had more than one. A total of ten Russians registered 38 or more penalty minutes (which can be viewed as good or bad) and a total

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