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Penguins/Canes, Game One

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I came away from last nights Peguins/Hurricanes game thinking three things:

One, how hard are guys shooting the puck on their backhand nowadays? (If you guessed “as hard as people shot it on their forehands in the 60′s”, you were right)  Malkin’s backhander last night – and Kane’s third of the night against the Canucks - were shot hard and flat.  I used a Sakic curve – that shots not even an option.

A buddy and I developed a theory on curves and the type of players who use them, which was right about 90% of the time. 

- Players using the Modano curve (very mild) were puck handlers, great on the backhand, and made plays – usually didn’t have a great shot though (Crosby is in this category – his custom curve is even straighter than the Modano… gross). 

- Users of the Lidstrom curve can usually bomb the puck.  Truly a shooters wedge, this thing was built to saucer pass pucks and one-time slapshots.  On the downside, trying to shoot the puck on the ice still involves cracking the goalies collar bone.

- Us Sakic-curvers liked to have a bit of both worlds if possible, but tended to take more wrist and snap shots then slappers.  I used to love hooks like the Coffey and Yzerman, but to have a banana like those makes taking passes on the backhand (and shooting on the backhand) harder than admitting Carolina isn’t awful.

I forget where I was going with that, but um, nice goal by Malkin.

***

Next, I took away more of the Sidney Crosby effect.

He gives his teammates endless chances to score.  I’m thinking Guerin will see a couple of those chances in his nightmares.

After the game, SportsCentre was explaining how Carolina kept Crosby to two shots, which was seen as a positive.  But they lost, right?  So if they “shut Sid down”, and still didn’t win, that’s a bad sign, isn’t it?

***

And last, if Carolina has two serious injuries, like it appeared they did, they can start waving the white flag.

This is a team that thrives on hard work and balls; when you take a couple of the main offensive cogs out of a team that doesn’t have many, it’s hopeless.  It won’t be fun for Pitt to play them because Carolina will stay physical, but the Pens will never be in any real danger of losing if Carolina is without Ruutu and Cole.  Now, if somebody can just get Ward to go swimming with cement skates, they could put it in neutral.  God he’s good.

 

Comments

11 Responses to “Penguins/Canes, Game One”
  1. JD says:

    J-Bourne, what is your take on Erik Cole? The guy drives me nuts. First of all, I don’t really like his style on the ice – not his playing style, but just the way he looks out there – (you know how that can just rattle a guy). Secondly, I never appreciated how he handled the Orpik check-from-behind situation, in that he wouldn’t accept Orpik’s apology (a point the broadcasters alluded to last night). Also, I’m not sure if you caught the interview during the intermission after he got the goalie interference penalty, but it was dripping with so much smug sarcasm that I almost threw my glass at the TV. Now I can only imagine what kind of reaction his “woe is me” mindset will be able to produce about the Cooke knee-on-knee (which I though looked kind of incidental). Anyway, just had to get that rant out because I didn’t like Cole before these playoffs and he hasn’t exactly helped his cause this spring.

  2. jtbourne says:

    His hand in the Canes cup run reminded me of Fedetenko’s with the Lightning, where everybody thought “this guy either just broke out, or overachieved to a ridiculous degree”. I thought he overachieved. He plays that Bertuzzi, Penner-style, but doesn’t stay in character well enough for me to buy he believes it.

    You’re bang on about style – that might be a summer THN blog. But by far the most frustrating Erik Cole factor was his unwillingness to accept Orpik’s apology, like he was trying to break his neck. You can’t play tough and rugged all year, then take your ball and go home when you don’t like how the other kids are playing. So yeah, he’s not my fave. An effective NHLer, yes, but not my fave.

    Plus, not sure if you know this, but he plays for the Canes. That’s a tough addition to the “cons” side of evaluating the guy.

  3. Paul says:

    Where’s your analysis of us guys who use the Drury pattern?

  4. T Jones says:

    Your theory on curves seems to have a flaw. The fact that Malkin uses a giant banana hook and yet still has a unreal backhand but I guess that is what large amounts of talent can do for you.

  5. jtbourne says:

    Yeah, it’s a loose, flawed generalization, really. Exceptional talent tends to provide occasional “outliers” in theory’s created over a bottle of Jack in Alaskan dorm.

  6. jtbourne says:

    It’s kind of a utility tool – wedged for flat sauce, curved a bit for shooting, a large flat part of the blade so you can still take a backhand… it’s all great, in theory.

    In reality, I shoot it harder with a Sakic. I sauce it better with a Lidstrom. I handle the puck better with a Modano. But it’s like second place on all the lists. In the end, I basically committed to wanting the better quick shot, which is I can’t do with the Drury.

    So to me, the people who use it kind of made a safe decision, but it’s like… they haven’t defined their niché yet or something. I dunno. On the other hand, the actual Chris Drury’s “niché” seems to be scoring huge goals and winning championships. So… feel free to ignore me.

  7. Paul says:

    I settled on the drury, so your assumption of making the safe decision is correct.

    I just gave up/don’t have time to deal with the good old days of wood blades, a blow torch, and a door jam to make my own curves. The Drury will have to do.

  8. Marie says:

    here’s a semi-random..who are the staal parents rooting for in this series?

  9. jtbourne says:

    No question: Parents love equally, and Eric has a cup. They’re Jordan fans this year.

  10. Matt says:

    Point #3 – dead on. I don’t know how bad Ruutu is, but it certainly didn’t look like a “miss the rest of the game” injury. If Cole is unable to dress we could be in a real mess. He may be a douche and he may have played like one in Edmonton, but the fact is that he’s good in a Canes sweater. They wouldn’t be where they are now if that trade hadn’t happened. All that said, I think with those two back in the lineup we have a good chance. Fleury’s damned good but he’s not perfect….close though. I think if they don’t laze about like the first period and maintain the level of pressure they are capable of then they have a good chance.

    On another “home town” related note…how about those Kelowna Rockets?

  11. P. Deezy F. Baby says:

    JBourne I am proud of your knowledge in curves and their benefits to your shot, stickhandling, etc. It is something I pride myself on knowing, but thats because I am an equipment (nerd) manager. If you remember correctly I helped you decide to get the Vapor XXX Lites your last year and they seemed to work out ok for ya! Rap music and Hockey Equipment, that’s what PD does best!

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