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Posts Tagged ‘Chicago Blackhawks’

April 27, A Good Night for Vancouver

April 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Last night the Canucks played the seventh game of their series with the Blackhawks, and it turned out to be a classic.

Vancouver struck early in the first period on a goal by Alex Burrows from Ryan Kessler and Mason Raymond. After Burrows broke the ice the game went by without any goals until the final two minutes of the third period when Jonathan Toews put a shorthanded second chance opportunity behind Luongo. The play was all the work of Toews by carrying the puck into the zone and creating the opportunity. It really looked like Chicago was destined to pull off the comeback after winning three straight games to force the game seven, then forcing overtime late in the third.

The fans and players in Vancouver looked pretty miserable after that one.

Five minutes into overtime, Chris Campoli missed on a pass from Chicago’s zone, and when the puck came back to him just seconds later he tried to clear it. Burrows stepped in front and batted the puck down to his stick. With no one to beat but Corey Crawford, Burrows carried the puck to the front of the net, and ripped a slap shot from just outside the hash marks to beat Crawford over his right shoulder.

Once and for all the Canucks took care of business against the Blackhawks. They had been knocked out by Chicago the previous two seasons.

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April 26, Stanley Cup Playoffs

April 26, 2011 Leave a comment

Hey guys,

As you may remember, I made my predictions for the Stanley Cup playoffs a few weeks ago, and the strength of my picks ride on two teams that are both alive, but both are trending in opposite directions.

Tampa Bay was my representative from the Eastern Conference in the Stanley Cup finals, and after falling behind 3-1 in the series, their chances seemed bleak. After winning game five 8-2, and game six 4-2, they are still alive. The fate of that series will be in the hands of a game seven in Pittsburgh on Wednesday night.

In the Western Conference, my Stanley Cup finals representative is the downward trending Vancouver Canucks. After jumping out to a 3-0 series lead, the Canucks surrendered the next three games, and they find themselves with their backs against the wall in a do or die game seven. The series will be settled tonight as the Canucks look to fend off one of the worst playoff collapses in NHL history. It should be a great game to watch.

With my two finalists in jeopardy, both facing do or die game sevens, take a look at what happened in each game six to make these seven game series’ possible.

Dan Smith’s Game Winner in OT of Game Six

Dominic Moore’s Amazing Pass to set up a Bergenheim goal

April 12, The 2011 NHL Playoff Predictions

April 12, 2011 Leave a comment

Western Conference

First Round

1. Vancouver Canucks VS 8. Chicago Blackhawks

Prediction: Canucks in 5. The Canucks are just the better all around team. They are more well rounded, and also have arguably the best goalie in the league in Roberto Luongo. The Blackhawks just can’t match up in any facet of the game. Canucks will go on to the next round.

The Sedins sure are a scary sight for opposing goalies. IMAGE // niteshonsports.org

2. San Jose Sharks VS 7. Los Angeles Kings

Prediction: San Jose in 6. The Sharks, who have been choke artists in the playoffs in recent history, will get the job done in this first round match up. Losing Kopitar for the season was a major blow to the Kings chances this season. Maybe next year.

3. Detroit Red Wings VS 6. Phoenix Coyotes

Prediction: Red Wings in 4. The Wings are, and have been the class of the NHL for quite some time now. Despite their shaky situation in net, with Jimmy Howard battling through late season injuries, the Wings have too much goal scoring power to be denied.

4. Anaheim Ducks VS 5. Nashville Predators

Predictions: Ducks in 6. Ok, so I picked all favorites in the first round. Well that is for a good reason. The Ducks are one of the hottest teams in the NHL, with one of the hottest players in Corey Perry. Pekka Rinne is one of the most underrated goalies in the league, and he will keep Nashville in it, but ultimately the Ducks will prevail.

Second Round

1. Vancouver Canucks VS 4. Anaheim Ducks

Prediction: Canucks in 7. This potential match up has the making of a classic. The two teams feature upper echelon goalies, and goal scorers. On any given night these offenses are capable of scoring six goals, while their goalies are capable of blanking opponents just as easily. In the end, I see the Canucks surviving this battle.

2. San Jose Sharks VS 3. Detroit Red Wings

 Prediction: Red Wings in 4. I don’t buy into San Jose’s method. I think this season will be another disappointing one for the Sharks, making a playoff exit in their San Jose way, by means of a sweep.

Western Conference Finals

1. Vancouver Canucks VS 3. Detroit Red Wings

Predictions: Canucks in 6. When you think of offensive scoring power, you think of the Sedins, Kessler, Zetterberg, and Datsyuk. I don’t think this series will disappoint those who love to see goals. In the end, it will come down to one goalie stepping up, and that goalie is Luongo. The Canucks will be making a much awaited return to the Stanley Cup.

Eastern Conference

First Round

1. Washington Capitals VS 8. New York Rangers

Prediction: Rangers in 6. The Rangers are not a team anyone wanted to see make the playoffs. To be fair, I don’t think anyone wanted to face the Hurricanes either. The Capitals have finished the regular season atop the East, but not in the most convincing of ways. The Flyers really free fell from the ranks to give up the one seed. The Capitals have the clearcut super star on the ice in Alex Ovechkin, but his presence has not meant much for them historically in the playoffs. That coupled with the fact that I couldn’t tell you who their number one starter is in net leads me to believe that there will be more heartache in Washington this season. Lundqvist will stand tall in this series.

2. Philadelphia Flyers VS 7. Buffalo Sabres

Martin St. Louis had a renaissance in Tampa Bay this season. In my eyes, it was him and not Stamkos that was Tampa's MVP this season. IMAGE // Hockeyjunkies.blogspot.com

 

 

Prediction: Flyers in 7. The Flyers have been in free fall mode over the last two weeks of the season. Will they be able to get it together? I think so, but I’m really not sure. It would be easy for me to pick Buffalo simply because they have a reliable goalie in Ryan Miller, and the Flyers have a goalie-by-committee system going. I don’t have a lot of faith in Philadelphia, but if Chris Pronger returns to the team like I expect him to, they should be able to advance to the second round.

3. Boston Bruins VS 6. Montreal Canadiens

Prediction: Canadiens in 6. The Montreal Canadiens feature one of the fastest teams in the league, and in this Original Six match up, I see the Canadiens taking care of the rival Boston Bruins. Both teams boast strong goaltending, but I think the Canadiens will be stronger. Call it a hunch. This pick is one that I don’t carry great confidence in.

4. Pittsburgh Penguins VS 5. Tampa Bay Lightning

Prediction: Tampa Bay in 5. No Sidney Crosby and no Geno Malkin makes this pick a bit easier. Despite the fact that the Penguins have impressively managed to win without these two stars, I don’t think they can sustain their winning in a seven game series with one of the most impressive scoring teams in the league. The Lighting move on.

Second Round

2. Philadelphia Flyers VS 8. New York Rangers

Prediction: Rangers in 5. The difference in this series stands out to me. Goaltending. Henrik Lundqvist will simply be too much for the Flyers when it’s all said and done. I don’t know how much I like the Flyers to even make it this far, so for me this is a pretty easy decision.

5. Tampa Bay Lightning VS 6. Montreal Canadiens

Prediction: Lightning in 5. I like the Lightning this season. They combine strong offensive output and speed with leadership. This is a team that has no shortage of seasoned guys who have been there and done that. The high flying play of their offense combined with the strong goaltending of Dwayne Roloson. I expect to see Tampa Bay in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Eastern Conference Finals

5. Tampa Bay Lightning VS 8. New York Rangers

Prediction: Lightning in 7. As much as it hurts to say, I think the Lightning have what it takes to represent the East in the Stanley Cup. The Rangers just don’t have enough to answers to what Tampa will be throwing at them. John Tortorella led the Lightning to the Stanley Cup in 03-04, and this season he could very well watch his former team make their way back for the first time since he was there.

Stanley Cup Finals

1. Vancouver Canucks VS 5. Tampa Bay Lightning

Prediction: Canucks in 6. For all the reasons I mentioned earlier, the Canucks will be the Stanley Cup Champions, redeeming their 1994 loss in seven games to the New York Rangers.

Conn Smythe Winner: Daniel Sedin

Check out some highlights of the last time these two teams were in the Stanley Cup:

Check out…

March 10, 2011 Leave a comment

… This sweet goal by Rick Nash…

… and this sweet shootout goal by Martin St. Louis