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Boyle “Scores”, Ovy’s Awake, and Red Wings/Coyotes Talk

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Hockey!

Don’t you hate that I don’t often blog on the weekends?  So much happened.  Let discuss….

Dan Boyle shoots the puck into the net in overtime, only… it was his own.

"Let me just rim this around the...ohhhhcrapitsinournet, isn't it?"

Dan Boyle shot the puck into the net in overtime, only, it was his own.  Not sure if you heard about that.

This is one of those f**k-ups that’s so exceptionally f**ked-up that it doesn’t even affect you as a player, if that makes any sense.  If you’re playing a game, and your best isn’t as good as your opponents best, it can get to you.  You start to doubt yourself, you start trying other things, and you get worse.  But this play was so ridiculous I wouldn’t even be that rattled. 

For the record, I don’t think O’Reilly tipped it.  It’s just one of those plays where you go, crap, no way that just happened.  I’m gonna go change, go home, and prepare for the next game.

What it does mean, for a Sharks team who needs extra hurdles like Ben Roethlisberger needs another accuser, is that they’re down 2-1 to a team they’re better than.  It also means they gave life and hope to a young squad who needed exactly that.  San Jose played great last night – absolutely dominated and looked they were on the powerplay most of the night.  Only Craig Anderson was so phenomenal they should have credited him with the game winner.

Even if San Jose does win this series, it’s going to be longer and more stressful than they’d hoped.  Which is too bad, cause it’d be fun to see them advance (in full health) to a round where they got to play another top seeded team.  Maybe they just need to get away from pesky underdogs to show their true colours. (teal!)

Every series was knotted up at 1-1.

Which is pretty cool, if you’re into watching exciting hockey.  As I mentioned before, any desperate, defensive NHL squad could beat the best teams one time out of seven (even Edmonton!).  I was appalled by the amount of people that were jumping on underdog bandwagons, like we were gonna see the eight lower seeds advance.

Love Chicago, but find this series the least interesting to date.

The Sens aren’t gonna beat the Penguins.  The Habs aren’t gonna beat the Capitals.  And the Islanders aren’t playing hockey in late April.  Some things you just know to be true.

The most realistic upset scenario is Philadelphia giving the boots to New Jersey, provided Boucher avoids getting the yips for the remainder of the series (Example of the goalie yips: Detroit’s first goal of playoffs, where Bryzgalov caught a case of the yips instead of the puck on Holmstrom’s shot.  A random body twitch that prevents you from doing something easy. A bit of a Philadelphia-goaltending-epidemic).  All year I thought NJ was higher up the standings than the quality of their team, and Philly was sitting lower than their potential.  It’s a pretty even match-up, so I like the Flyers odds, being up 2-1 and all (plus, Carcillo’s goal is proof that good things happen to good people.  What a guy).

Random sidenote – I could totally see Buffalo in the Eastern conference finals.  They’re one of those teams that doesn’t get much TV love, and not a team I ever chose to watch with other options on.  After seeing them play a few times, I’m muchos impressed.  Moreso than I am with Jersey/Philly/Boston, who are the teams they’d have to beat to get there.

Alex Ovechkin had four points in game two.

LOVE that he celly's linemate's goals with the exact same enthusiasm.

His no shots in game one prompted “what’s wrong with Ovechkin” talk from folks all over. 

I feel like the hockey community is dying to chuck this guy under the next passing bus some reason, like he’s ever done anything wrong aside from some excessive celebrating (which I love).   It’s like we can’t wait to give Crosby the reins as the games best player.  I dunno if anyone else feels that, it’s just sort of a vibe I get.

Hate to break it to y’all, but barring injury, the games best goal scorer is gonna be co-holder of those reins for a long, long time.  He’ll streak and slump like everyone else.

Coyotes/Red Wings became the most exciting series in playoffs.

And plenty of 'em!

Most exciting by an absolute landslide (shout out to LA/Van, Boston/Buffalo).

Ilya Bryzgalov (by the way, I call my fiancee “Breeze” or “Breezer”, which has evolved to Ilya Breezegalov) was an absolute stud in the third period of the last game, and Jimmy Howard wasn’t.

I really felt like this would be one of those series that no one would ever score in.  Two well coached teams doing the right thing, y’know?

But it’s been thrilling.  Scads of goals, lead changes, and a fast, young Coyote team that’s giving the supposed Cup contending Wings all they can handle.  Can Detroit beat Phoenix three of the next four games and pull it out?  I dunno, man.  I just don’t know.

I was at the first two games here in Phoenix, and feel the need to say props to the Coyotes fans.  It’s been a lot of fun. 

Until you see some of these guy’s play in person, it’s tough to know why some guys score while others don’t.  Pretty easy to see once you see Datsyuk’s wizardry in person.

*****

Sorry about the late post – I was putting the finishing touches on a column that should be up today or tomorrow on USA Today’s website - I’ll put the link up when it posts.

In the meantime, I’m on the computer all day, so if you’d like to discuss any other playoff topics, fire away.  I’ll be here to respond.

Monday, wweeeee!

Comments

17 Responses to “Boyle “Scores”, Ovy’s Awake, and Red Wings/Coyotes Talk”
  1. KForbes says:

    This might be tired ground by this point, but thoughts on Sutton’s hit on Leopold and then Sutton vs. the Pittsburgh newspaper guy?

    It didn’t look pretty, but it did look clean (minus some talk about charging).
    Meanwhile, I’m trying to figure out what exactly the Pittsburgh media guy was looking for Sutton to say. Especially after Sportsnet’s Ian Mendes came out and said that Sutton already addressed the hit: http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/2010/04/17/sutton_mendes/

  2. tomo says:

    usually i don’t follow that much of eastern conference hockey, but ottawa and pittsburgh are playing great hockey. crosby is playing like he’s possesed by demon and Regin is showing incredible skills. sutton’s hit was clean, Leopold guy had his head down and Andy is like giant refrigerator on skates. i’m not expert though. just saw it on tv, not expert.

  3. jtbourne says:

    Yeah, great topic.

    Well, for one, Leopold did have his head down while skating forward. That’s not an opinion, he simply wasn’t looking forward, as he was distracted by pressure coming from the side, sooo…. when you get blown up by a guy in front of you, that part of the hit is clean. As for the “elbow” part, Sutton is ALL of 6’6″ – it’d be near impossible to lower his shoulder down far enough to avoid the elbow part of his arm – and since it wasn’t “up” persay, then I’ve got no problem with that part either. I guess I just don’t like seeing guys concussed. Sutton is one of those ruthless mofo’s that takes pleasure from using his size for mayhem. The hit was clean.

    As for the interview, that was PRICELESS-level funny, wasn’t it? Sutton wasn’t listening at all after the first “are you an expert”. I’m not even sure what he was asking him if he was an expert on. Elbows? But your point is so true… what was the reporters point? To have Sutton go, “yeah, I’m a dick, but I just couldn’t resist pinpointing his temple with my elbow”? I need someone to mix AI’s “practice” with Sutton’s “expert” bit.

  4. mikeB says:

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/2010/04/17/sutton_mendes/

    This is one of the regular Ottawa reporters take on what happened. It kind of built up to it.

    Also Ottawa isn’t going to win. I’ll admit that. I’m pulling for a win tomorrow so that we can have some Saturday night hockey in the nations capital.

  5. St. Cloud Gopher says:

    With ya on the Ovy/Cindy thing.
    Why does there always have to be a “best” player in sports? Sometimes it works, eg: Jordan, Michael.
    But more often than not, there are circumstances that allow (or disallow) 2 (or more) players to be able to lay claim to being the “best.”
    Ovy is, without a doubt, the most electric player in the league. He rubs some (most?) the wrong way with his on-the-edge physical play and almost-over-the-top celebrations. He’s a mid-90s Brett Favre.
    Cindy is like Peyton Manning. Calm, but with a pout-factor that annoys Ovy fans. But he just does so many things right, love him or hate him, the ability is too great to ignore.
    If I’m the NHL, these guys are front and center in my PR campaigns. I’d even go so far as to play up what their styles are and play them against each other.
    I’d love to see a commercial where Cindy is sleeping in the La-Z-Boy when he is rudely awakened by Ovy going nuts over the perfect piece of toast. Just seems like it could work…

  6. jtbourne says:

    Yeah, “bests” are tough to do. But, um, ….the NHL may have beat you to making them the focal point of their PR campaigns….

  7. love chickn says:

    @St. Cloud Gopher

    What a hilarious idea for a commercial!

    I just find myself asking, why does this have to be a Good vs. Evil debate? Ovi is NOT A VILLAIN, and I wish the media would stop trying to make him one. Both are great in their own rights, so let them do what they need to do for their own teams. Crosby right now does not have the cast of characters that Ovi has, so of course everything is going to look skewed.

  8. jtbourne says:

    If Ovy’s not a villain, then why does he talk with a Russian accent? Hmm? See. Total villain.

  9. KForbes says:

    PuckDaddy did a bunch of coverage on the portrayal of Crosby vs. the portrayal of Ovechkin in the leadup to the Olympics. A lot of it was focused on a CTV special done on Crosby/Ovechkin pumping the intended “dream matchup” of Canada vs. Russia for Olympic gold.
    The special featured Crosby with his parents, and scenes were people say what a good boy he is and so mature. It stopped short of showing him help little old ladies across the street, but that was definitely implied. Then Ovechkin was shown with supermodels and race cars, blaring rock music as he drives way too fast.
    It’s like caricatures.
    I don’t get why there’s the unwritten rule that you have to be on either Team Ovie or Team Cros.

  10. ms.conduct says:

    I’m a slobbering fool for these playoffs. This is the best it’s been in a while right? I know I didn’t pay much attention last year due to the Aeros being in it and working my can off on that, but shit. This is amazing.

    All those sports fans who blow hockey off are really getting what they deserve….

  11. jtbourne says:

    Ms. C – it has been great! But last year’s was definitely this good too. Even non-hockey fans love NHL playoffs.

  12. Beaton says:

    No comment on Carcillo’s attempt to draw a high stick penalty? Kinda throws the whole idea of karma out the window when a guy like that scores the winner. Too bad he’s such a douche cause I think he could still be a solid player if he stuck to playing his normal physical style of hockey.

  13. ms.conduct says:

    Fine. I’m still gonna pretend it’s the best playoffs ever. ;)

  14. Liviu says:

    Craig Anderson’s performance last night has to go down as one of the best I’ve ever seen from a goaltender in hockey or in my sport of choice, soccer. I don’t know about any others, but when I’m looking for inspiration for my next game that I’m having trouble getting up for, Anderson’s performance last night will be on my mind. Great stuff.

  15. Erasmus says:

    @Liviu – Being an Avs fan for some time, I’ve watched a pretty good goalie for awhile, I think his name was Wa or something like that :P

    Anderson’s performance last night was epic and ranks right up there in a one game sense, not saying that he’s in the same class as Roy. Here’s a clip of his announcement as the games first star, it’s a worthwhile watch. i love how he doesn’t try to fake indifference, you can see the genuine joy and appreciation on his face.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-06bXkPaQE&feature=player_embedded

    Interesting side note, he set an NHL playoff record by making 50 saves in regulation without allowing a goal. Take that one to the bank, you’re in the record books!

    Another funny tidbit from HFBoards. Someone asks “How come Dany Heatley didn’t play?”

    The Response: He’s day to day with hurt feelings! ROFLMAO :)

  16. Erasmus says:

    @JB – Love the pic of Doan and the caption. I remember watching him after that goal and thinking, Dammnnn, he”s really excited, lol!

  17. Richie says:

    I’m always disappointed that Bettman & the NHL marketing dept have decided that the league of some 700+ players boils down to just Crosby & Ovie. There are other players!

    I also don’t enjoy listening to the gushing, OMG CROSBY’S THE GREATEST/A WHINER (delete as appropriate). There have been better players before him and there will be after him, NBC just hasnt told the vapid fanboys who they are…Seriously though just thinking of one, go watch old Kariya videos and you’ll see a skilled set-up guy to rival if not exceed Crosby supplying a pure goal-scorer in Selanne (similar to Ovechkin).

    Sorry had to get that off my chest…

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