Archive for April, 2010

Ritter’s Rant: NHL News And Notes

April 27th, 2010 No Comments

He may have only played just over ten minutes, but given his game six performance I think it’s safe to say the P.K. Subban era has commenced in Montreal. There are not too many defensemen that can play in all zones, Subban looks to be that kind of player. Keeping with the Montreal Canadiens, hands up all three of you that predicted the Canadiens would be forcing a game seven in their round one series against the mighty Washington Capitals. The Canadiens have kept Alexander Ovechkin off the scoreboard in two of the six games and they have done a marvelous job extinguishing the Capitals ultra-tough power play which stands at an astonishing 3.3 percent success rate. For the record, the Caps came into the series with the top ranked power play in the regular season, chiming in at a

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Price vs. Halak: Still Plenty Of Questions For Montreal Canadiens

April 24th, 2010 No Comments

The Montreal Canadiens went into to this years playoffs with little to no hope of knocking off their first round opponent, the Washington Capitals. In fact, many prognosticators picked the Caps to do away with the Habs in as little a four games, very few were picking the Habs to win the series. Somehow, in the face of adversity, the Habs have fought back from a three games to one deficit to win game five by a final score of 2-1 and, in the process, making a series of it. Outside of a few key injuries to forward Mike Cammalleri and defenseman Andrei Markov this season the Canadiens success or lack-thereof has hinged on the success of their masked men, goaltenders Carey Price and Jaroslav Halak. In game one of the series Halak played what many feel was his best

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Philadelphia Flyers “Fist” New Jersey Devils, Move On To Second Round

April 23rd, 2010 No Comments

When you look back on the 2009/’10 NHL regular season no team had to face as much adversity as the Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers were handicapped by a schedule that saw the Flyers play five games in nine days to start the season only to see them have to endure a five day stretch without playing another game (October 10th-15th) until October 16th. Then, after playing against the Florida Panthers on the 16th (a 4-2 loss) the Flyers were put back on the shelf for another five days before playing their next match against the Boston Bruins on October 22nd. Needless to say, the Orange and Black struggled to find any chemistry early on…and then came the injuries, which were numerous and devastating all at the same time. During the regular season the Flyers lost the services of Simon Gagne,

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NHL Playoffs: Top Five Performers Thus Far

April 22nd, 2010 No Comments

The NHL playoffs have just begun but there are already numerous players that are establishing themselves as the cream of the crop. A top playoff performer can transform their teams from also-rans to top flight teams capable of making a long run towards winning Lord Stanley’s Cup. Let’s take a look at the best players of this years playoffs and why they are amongst the NHL’s best thus far…. Nicklas Backstrom: Forward, Washington Capitals— The fact that Backstrom makes the list is hardly a surprise. Through 82 regular season games Backstrom lit up opposing goaltenders, scoring 33 times and registering 101 points. Through four playoff games Backstrom has been a difference maker, scoring four goals and notching four assists. His three goal four point effort in game number two versus the Montreal Canadiens was one for the ages and qualifies

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Toronto Maple Leafs Sign Finnish Goaltender Jussi Rynnas

April 22nd, 2010 No Comments

Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke is at it again, as he is rumored to be very close to signing Jussi Rynnas (one of the premier Finnish goaltenders) to a contract. The addition of Rynnas will only strengthen an already crowed collection of goaltenders within the Leafs organization which includes Jonas “The Monster” Gustavsson and J.S. Giguere. Rynnas, was/is a highly sought free agent goaltender who played with Finnish club Assat Porti last season. It is believed he was being pursued by several NHL teams including the Dallas Stars, Montreal Canadiens and Philadelphia Flyers, amongst others. The Rynnas signing is yet another example of Burke’s ability to A) identify talent and B) to do a “sales job” on some of the games most talented undervalued players, convincing them that their best opportunity for success is with the 29th place

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Stanley Cup Playoffs: Flyers Up Two Games, Down Two Players

April 21st, 2010 No Comments

Before game one of the series between the Philadelphia Flyers and New Jersey Devils went down I came out and said that the Flyers were going to get “fisted”. Well, through the first four games of the series it has been the Flyers that have been doing the fisting to the tune of a three to one lead. Games one through three were pretty close on the scoreboard, but outside of parts of game one and game two, the Devils have been dominated on the scoreboard and in the trenches. Devils forward Ilya Kovalchuk has been ineffective and, in some cases, seems to have his teammates confused. Kovalchuk’s inability to grasp the Devils system seems to have put his line mates in an awkward position of trying to adjust to Kovalchuk’s crafty play instead of the other way around. On

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