Taking Philly And Boston – No Idea In VancouverShareThis
Not-quite-so-new The Hockey News: Why I hated the decision to not start Luongo in game six
As I write this, the Vancouver Canucks are about to take the ice for their morning skate, and according to numerous people on twitter, they are underneath a scoreboard that holds the score from the last time the ‘Nucks played Chicago in that building.
Canucks: 0 Hawks: 5
That’s either a tremendously poor job by the hockey operations folk in Van, or they asked for it to be left there to use it as motivation. Either way, that’s an amusing little nugget right there.
I normally have a hunch on who’s going to win, as you know. Today, however, I’m totally stumped on the Vancouver/Chicago game, which makes it the most compelling contest of the night. There will be huge storylines are coming out of this one tonight, yet a win for either side would surprise no one. Fun stuff.
I’m writing the post-game wrap-up on Philadelphia/Buffalo for Puck Daddy tonight, so feel free to head over that and check it out. I’ve also got an extra little project on the side I’ll be writing throughout the day; I’m excited to fill everyone in that a little later. Ooo, the suspense.
I’m calling Philadelphia and Boston to move on after tonight. Here’s why:
When it comes to Philly, it’s pure odds: Some NHL goaltenders are better than others, but none are outright bad, or they wouldn’t be in the league. Leighton’s leaky goals in the last game, Bobrovsky’s floundering and Boucher’s failings have just totalled too much “bad” for someone not to pull a decent game out, at least once. They are still NHL-level goaltenders, and they wouldn’t be if they couldn’t occasionally mix in some success.
They’re back in Philly with the home crowd energy, with a two-days healthier Pronger and that fantastic offense they’ve always had. I think Buffalo’s a good team that’s played well, but their stop on this bus route has just arrived.
I’m calling Boston for the same reason I’ve picked Boston nine different ways to win this series. I’m simply not impressed with Montreal, and I think Montreal fans are about to be treated to a third straight home loss. Which should go over swimmingly.
Bri and I welcome her parents to town tomorrow, and they’re here through Sunday, which should be fun. Apparently I’m playing Greyhawk with Clark and Darren Veitch, a fairly strong couple of hockey players, but an even better duo of golfers at this point. Clark’s a 1-handicap and Veitch might be better. I will ask for strokes (I’m like a six or so at this point), get none, and they will accept my money. AWESOME!
As well all know, playoffs are a war of attrition, and injuries are going to really start affecting playoff series moving forward. On the upside for the Canucks: Keith Ballard is in tonight, and Dave Bolland didn’t skate. Maybe they’re getting better and the Hawks are getting worse. (Or maybe he’s taking the time off to rest, whatever. Point is, injuries are going to start wreaking havoc on ploffs!)
(UPDATE: Quenneville confirms Bolland is in, Bickell is out)
Check back later tonight for a link to the Philly piece if you’re so inclined!