Miscellaneous Rumbles

NHL playoffs!

26

Well, that sucked. I love physical play, I liked the hit on Vatanen(and also did not think Doughty should’ve been suspended) and honestly thought with how game 3 ended, that the Devils would’ve been the team to escalate the physical play.

The aggressive play from the Bolts was the deal breaker and sealed it for them. These are fun playoffs though and even if my Devils ultimately fall, I’m really happy with the direction this team is going.

27

Leafs in trouble, the "Boston Punk" scores yet another goal...

Caps about to even things up short of the Jackets having extraordinarily fruitful final minutes.

28

The Wild failed to show up tonight in Winnipeg...4-0 after 12 minutes...Fat Lady clearing her throat for 1st Intermission.

30

Way to go, Flyers!

– Twangmeisternyc

Well, Philly is making it interesting.

Did Minnesota send their farm team to play tonight?? That was a good ol' country shit-kickin'!!....and I'm lovin' it!! Winnipeg at their finest and Minnesota at their worst. They barely resembled a playoff team. The immense crowd outside the arena reminds me of downtown Nashville last year. Dubnyk kind of stunk the joint out. Winnipeg scores 30 secs in and then just kept coming like a tsunami. Winnipeg is jacked going forward and Minnesota has the worst ride home for a losing team. They can't even hold their heads high for a good effort as their effort was abysmal.

31

Now the Preds and Avs are tied at one... with 2 minutes left...

32

Devils are done...

Not sure either Caps or Jackets will have enough gas to make it any deeper...4th OT game currently in nail biting mode.

33

Devils are done...

Not sure either Caps or Jackets will have enough gas to make it any deeper...4th OT game currently in nail biting mode.

– Twangmeisternyc

Good observation. If Pittsburgh makes it past Philly - I think they will - I predict they'll eat either team alive. Might not be pretty, either.

34

I have said it before, the 1st Round is great! 3 or 4 games a day. The best Teams. Being on the Western part of the Continent makes the watching that much easier.

My wife wonders why so much Hockey? I answer, ... because!

(She like Hockey, too...)

I'll start making Sports Bets once we see who makes it to the next challenge...

35

Well, Pittsburgh did the unbelievable to start today's game. For the first 6 mins or so, they did absolutely everything wrong a team can do, including in effect, scoring in their own net!!

They were playing like a team about to be eliminated in the last 5 minutes of the third period, down 5 goals.....played like they had no hope instead of the team with the lead in the series!

They

  • weren't first to the puck.
  • they didn't have any jump.
  • they wouldn't hit anyone,
  • the defense backed in on their goalie.
  • they had plenty of time to clear the puck from the crease and played Bubba & Skeeter with it and got scored on by Sean Couturier being alert and first to the puck to shove it into the net.

The Flyers could've been up 3 goals and then Sid the Kid said enough of this shit. He won the faceoff with the puck back to the point, and smacked home the rebound. Took the wind out of the Flyers and the entire building! Couple minutes later the Flyers are chasing and watching the man with the puck and the Pens player, other than the goalie, doesn't have a Flyer within 15 ft of him and he scores in a blink.

Bit of a see-saw till the 3rd period when the Pens broke it open, helped by that egregious non-call for tripping the Pens got away with. The fat lady started her aria early for this one. The Flyers had 'em on the mat early but let them get loose and re-group. That did them in.

Another non-exciting final series game with not much effort from the Ave's so the Preds march on, as does the Lightning, being too much for the Devils.

Maple Leafs barely hung on against the Bruins but they're comin' home for game 6 and should be jacked in their own barn. I expect a hell of a game tomorrow.

Maybe the Blue Jackets being at home, can tie it up too.

Some so-called experts proclaim that it's a disadvantage to finish a series early and lose momentum to an opponent who's still playing. There used to be some merit to that line of thinking decades ago, but not for a long time now. Any momentum a team like the Knights and Jets may have lost is far and away made up for these days by the valuable opportunity to rest and let the beaten up bodies have a chance to recover. With the speed of today's game along with the size of the players, the bodies take far more of a pounding than they have in years past. Take Byfuglien for example. He's 6'5" and 265 lbs!....and his speed is in the top 10% of the leagues forwards. Look at the clean but devastating checks he delivered. Those need time to recover from and Winnipeg has several players on the receiving end of Minnesota's checks that can certainly use a couple weeks recovery. That check from Giroux today is another example. The guy on the receiving end needs some time to get over that one so to conclude, rest is far more important than momentum. They might play a little disjointed at first but today's teams can usually shake off any rust in the first period.

Looking at the teams that didn't make the playoffs, the Canucks in particular for me, I firmly believe they'd be lucky to win one game against any team that did make it into the post season. Think about your home team if they didn't make it through and see what you conclude.

Edit: you have to feel sorry for Couturier. He's playing with a very restricting injury affecting his skating; he gets a hat trick but has to go home and book a tee time.

36

My take from yesterday's games was the Officiating...

I fully appreciate that the Officials and the League and the Players don't want the game decided on a marginal Penalty Call. And that everyone expects the game to be hard fought.

But, what's the point of even having officiating if they turn Blind Eyes, or they if negate Goals or allow Goals without a proper Call on the Ice?

Even the Replay Officials are part of the conspiracy!

37

I don't hate the Penguins, but they've won enough.

Someone beat them!

I'm still hoping for a Vegas v Nashville West series, but there is a lot of hockey still to be played.

...so great!

...------

38

The officiating continues to make my point I stated above regarding my pet peeve. Yesterday was another travesty in Nashville.

Round 2 has one series with the potential to be one of the best of the entire playoffs and that's the Jets vs the Preds. If both play to their designed systems, this will be a very fast paced and hard hitting series. On the hitting aspect, the Preds didn't have as physical a series as the Jets and the Preds certainly didn't face the devastation Byfuflien created for the Wild. The Preds won't have an answer for him either, so they'll have to rely on their team speed to try and mitigate his being where the puck is. Make no mistake, the coach's message to the team is, if you have the puck, you better have your head up or you might be waking up in the dressing room!

Now part of Nashville's strategy all season has been their fast defense carrying the puck right to the goal line and dropping the puck to their partner, instead of this style of play being the forward's responsibility, as is the case for basically the rest of the league. If Nashville can force this style of play they'll prevail. If the Jets can prevent this and use their forwards' speed to keep the play in the Pred's end, they'll prevail.

Of course the elephant in the room - or rather on the ice - is team discipline. Other factors notwithstanding - which team can make their style predominant - staying out of the penalty box and ability to kill penalties will greatly affect the series' outcome. For the power play, the Jets are 3rd and the Preds 7th. On the penalty kill, the Preds are 6th and the Jets 9th so I call that basically a saw-off. These stats during this series could make the difference with the team with the most discipline moving on.

The X factor here as always, could be the health of the top players and by that I mean as a result of play. If a top Preds forward gets lined up by Byfuglien, even if he doesn't get injured, 'only' hit (and remember all of Buf's checks have been totally clean), he won't be 100% the rest of the series. That's not my opinion but a fact. Buf is 6'5" and 260 lbs and is moving when he hits. That's the equivalent of being in an auto accident and not wearing your seatbelt! This one's going to be fun!

39

I did not see the Pens/Flyers game, but in another forum, the "play" of the refs was a big topic. The Penguins seem to lots of calls...just ask Nashville.

Also, regarding rest, long ago Brett Hull was asked about finishing a series to quickly, and having to much "rest."

He was a Dallas Star at the time, and said players can never have too much rest. I'd believe him. Wounds, even slight ones, need to heal.

...------

40

Caps took the Blue Jackets as most expected but they gave them a pretty good fight in this series. Can't imagine them having much luck against the Pens as they don't have the depth and not the support for their superstar that the Pens do.

Leafs did it at home as I expected but I wouldn't put any money on them in game 7 in Boston. TMWOT, first they would have to get a big lead and get it fast, and then play a tough fore-checking game to stymy the Bruins breaking out. They'd have to not allow the Bruins a sustain set-up in their zone and of course, all the while staying out of the penalty box. Simple to say but tough to execute!

41

I'm pulling for the Caps here, but logic says the Pens will win. Again.

42

No Hockey tonight...the best 2 weeks of the Season end tomorrow with the Leafs going for it in Boston!

Then we Bet...we have seen who can do what and who isn't all worn out after Round 1.

43

The Leafs and Bruins did the rest of the teams a big favor by taking their series to a 7th game. Everyone else can rest up for the next round! Only the winner of this series won't get extra time to recuperate.

Well, here's my early predictions for the other matchups. I never think in terms of how many games it'll take, just the outcome.

Knights vs Sharks: Knight will move on and I don't think the Sharks will be much tougher an opponent than the Kings were.

Pittsburgh vs Caps: Pittsburgh has too much depth for the Caps to overcome. Again depth should prevail. Sid has support around him but Ovechkin not as much. They have a decent powerplay so the message to the troops will be to remain calm and not take penalties!

Jets vs Preds: This is a real pick-em. There's so many if this, then that's at play we'll just have to watch and enjoy. It has the making of the premier series.

Lightning vs Boston or Leafs: If it's Boston and the Lighting can effectively check that high powered top line, they win, If no, again it could also be a pick-em.

Against the Leafs, the Lightning won this seasons' head-to-head match-up so I believe they'll prevail.

44

Watching the Vegas-San Jose game right now. Biggest difference tonight? The refereeing.

Game One, Karen and I both agreed that the refereeing was very even-handed and both teams seemed to be treated the same. Which is how it should be.

Tonight- not so much. Lots of hacking and whacking on both sides, but for some reason the Sharks seem to be getting away with more than the Knights.

Sigh. Just when I thought the refs had it figured out.

45

The 2nd Round is off to a start that is so mixed I'm not clear what to expect...

I think that is GOOD!

46

Great to see my Bruins prevail in Game 1 against Tampa. Another dominant performance by the first line - Bergeron looks better than he did in the Leafs series. And they got 2 goals from Rick Nash on the second line, which is huge.

And that defensive shift from Jake DeBrusk! Love that kid! What a warrior.

48

These games are so fun to watch, especially when the refs swallow whistles late in the games, and especially in OT.

The Stars being out hurts, but not being invested in any "1" team takes the stress away.

I find I cheer "against" teams in general now. I want a couple teams in the Cup, but I "DON'T" want a couple in for sure.

...------

49

Well, two series down, two to go. Thankfully, officiating hasn't bee the issue of late as it was early on. One disgusting highlight was the latest antics from Marchand. Never seen a truly good hockey player constantly being so dirty and disgusting. At least the league announced that if he - or any other player - does this they'll sit for multiple games, in Marchand's case I'm thinking at least 6.

On to the busy of hockey. The Lightning nicely took care of business today and as I thought, they took care of the Bruin's big line which didn't have a 5 on 5 goal in the series. Tampa has speed & depth & can hit a bit too. This'll make either the Pens or the Caps have to play hard to beat them. Could be a long, pick 'em series.

The Knights, excepting the one loss, played their same game and took the Sharks. They were able to play their game, not the Sharks but it was the stood on his head goalie Fleury that made the biggest difference as it allowed the team to play wide open knowing he had their back.

Washington's putting up more of a fight than I expected thanks to secondary scoring. This one is now a pick 'em. Which ever team can stay out of the penalty box and force their style of play to prevail moves on. I still think the Pens will take it or at least push it to a game 7.

Now for the series that should have been the final two teams, not meeting in round 2. This series has lived up to its billing though, being fast and very punishing. I don't like the Preds chances tomorrow with the game being in 'Winter'-peg. Don't miss the start of this game as it's going to be a rock-em, sock-em affair. Might settle down a tad at the halfway point but that'll depend on the score, and regardless, Byfuglien will stay on the warpath.

50

It's been exhausting just watching!

Now, to knock out the Pens...


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