Sunday, May 24, 2009

Mickey Mouse NHL

I suppose it doesn't make me a writing genius to simply link to a story, but "Potential Stanley Cup break could be long, very long" from Puck Daddy on Yahoo! Sports tells the story well enough.

Yea, no hockey for 10 days before the Cup Finals... that will be great for bringing in the casual fan. Guess it's important that the NHL do what NBC wants given $0 in right fees paid by the network (it's just an ad revenue-sharing deal).

Here's to hoping the Penguins do sweep, the Red Wings win in 5 and then league looks stupid enough that the owners sack Bettman and bring in as commissioner someone with a hockey background to run the league.

2009 NHL Playoffs: Almost Down to Two

Well, I haven't posted much since the Sharkies got eliminated so now is as good a time as any to look at how the second round series wound up and where we're at with the third round.

Western Conference Round Two

Detroit over Anaheim in 7 games: Now, that was a great series. It doesn't really give San Jose any consolation to know they got beaten by a good team, but the Ducks certainly gave Detroit all they could handle. At the end of the day, the series was a virtual pick-em affair with the Red Wings just happening to get and convert on a good scoring chance with 3 minutes to go in regulation. A great series that could have gone either way.

Chicago over Vancouver in 6 games: Very entertaining hockey... Chicago just a more talented team. Big credit also due to the Hawks for matching every bit of physical play put their way by a tough (and chippy) Canucks team.

Eastern Conference Round Two

Pittsburgh over Washington in 7 games. Another great series in the Detroit vs Anaheim vein. Washington was extremely entertaining to watch and gave the Pens a good run. At the end of the day, Pittsburgh having both Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin simply gave them a 2-1 superstar advantage over the Caps and Alexander Ovechkin.

Carolina over Boston in 7 games. Can't say I watched a lot of this series, but from what I did, it made me view the Bruins season much as I did the Sharks... a really good regular season that got made moot due to playoff disappointment.

Western Conference Finals: Detroit is about to go up three games to one on the Blackhawks. I suppose it's possible for Chicago to mount a comeback starting with game 5, but... I doubt it.

Eastern Conference Finals: Pittsburgh vs Carolina reminds me of Vancouver vs St. Louis in round one. A good team playing fairly well again one that's simply better.

Stanley Cup Finals: Me thinks Detroit would be favored against a Penguins team that replaced their coach during the regular season, but if they can continue getting great goaltending from Marc-Andre Fleury along with Crosby and Malkin-like efforts from Crosby and Malkin... could be a great series.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

NHL League Management

It's a shame to be doing a post like this during the midst of such great second round series (Caps-Pens Game 7, anyone?), but... this is lame. I really wish the league could be better run.

Exhibit A: non-suspension of Carolina Hurricanes forward Scott Walker.

The video of the incident that in the mind of the officials earned an automatic one game is below and a really good commentary piece from Jim Kelly at CNNSI can be found here.

Exhibit B: Game 5 of the Ducks-Red Wings series NOT ON NATIONAL TV.

Very bizarre and for a description of why (well, not really as there is no good reason why, but for the facts), look about halfway down this post from Greg Wyshynski as Puck Daddy on Yahoo! Sports.

I suppose exhibit C could easily be the Coyotes move/no move, NHL running/not running soap opera, but since the facts are yet to come out in court, I'll simply say that they... never should have left Winnipeg.

Hockey... a great sport. The NHL... it's top professional league. Oh well.