Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Los Angeles Kings’

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:

Advertisements

March 7, Wayne Gretzky’s 1,000th goal

March 7, 2011 Leave a comment

Hey guys,

Today I will be paying tribute to the greatest hockey player of all time, Wayne Gretzky. There is no disputing his status in hockey history. He’s the greatest. That’s why they call him the Great One. On this day in 1998, Gretzky netted the 1,000th goal of his career. It was his 878th regular season goal, added to the 122 goals he netted throughout his playoff career. It’s a shame that the Rangers couldn’t have added him to their squad when he was leaps and bounds better than everyone else, but his contributions in New York should not be minimized. It is an even greater shame that my favorite player of all time, Mark Messier, decided to split town in 1997, and join the Vancouver Canucks. By the time he returned to New York in 2000, it was too late. The Great one had already retired, appropriately following the ’99 season.

In tribute to Wayne, here is a nice video of some of his greatest plays. Enjoy!

March 1, This Is Sean Avery

March 1, 2011 1 comment

Hey guys,

Sean Avery on his first team, the Detroit Red Wings fighting Trevor Linden. // IMAGE Ioffer.com

So today I decided I would dedicate my post to the most polarizing man in the NHL, Sean Avery of the New York Rangers. Avery is famous for his antics on the ice, and his salacious comments about ex-girlfriend Elisha Cuthbert, and her then boyfriend Dion Phaneuf.  The comments got Avery suspended from the NHL, forced him to undergo psychiatric evaluation, and ultimately led to his release from the Dallas Stars and signing with the New York Rangers for a second regime.

Avery gives his supporters hoards of ammunition to make them love him, and even more ammunition for his haters to hate him. From his propensity for fashion, to his willingness to throw down with any player, he is a deeply interesting player, who does not fit the mold of a prototypical NHL player. Avery has earned the reputation as the league’s pest, from the very first day that he skated on NHL ice with the Detroit Red Wings. In his earlydays in the NHL, he drew guidance from some of the greatest players of his generation.

 

Sean Avery doing his fashion thing. An aspect of his life that arms his critics with ammunition. IMAGE // http://www.bittenandbound.com

Ansar Khan of MLive.com did a story back in December of ’08, where Chris Chelios and Kris Draper reacted to Avery, and his comments about Cuthbert. The following quotes were lifted from Khan’s story:

Chris Chelios said he had to kick Avery out of his house after living with him for three weeks during the NHL lockout in 2004-05, when they were playing for the UHL’s Motor City Mechanics.

“He turned my house upside down,” Chelios said. “It was funny, but after a while … ”

Chelios said “anything goes on the ice,” but added, “there are certain lines you don’t cross.

“I wouldn’t listen to anything he says, because sometimes it’s funny, sometimes it’s just dumb,” Chelios said. “He was never a problem here. He said dumb things, but we had such a veteran team, guys like Mac (Darren McCarty) and Shanny (Brendan Shanahan) would straighten him out if he stepped out of line.

“Hopefully, he won’t miss too much time and he’ll learn his lesson. He’s not a bad kid, he’s just had bad judgment once in a while.”

Kris Draper trains with Avery for a few weeks every summer in Toronto. He echoed Chelios’ sentiments that Avery is “a good guy” with poor judgment. But Draper questioned whether a comment deserved the same punishment as a dirty on-ice hit.

“The one thing I’ve always said about Aves is, if he would just keep his mouth shut and play the game he’d be a very effective hockey player,” Draper said. “I’ve tried to tell him that. I’m sure I haven’t been the only one.”

Avery squares off with Ed Jovanowski while a member of the LA Kings. IMAGE // UPI.com

I wish I could find the article that I read about Chelios and Avery’s relationship when he was freshly broken into the league, but I found Chelios’ comments to be hilarious. I can’t remember the exact context, but here’s the jist of it. Apparently Chelios had Avery over his house for dinner, or some sort of social gathering, but Chelios eventually had to kick Avery out of his house because he was forcing Chelios’ kids to fight each other…. So Avery.

So now I will make my plea to the Rangers about Sean Avery. In his fifth season with the New York Rangers, it has become clear to me what he has to offer this team. Avery has had a bad rap for taking bad penalties that have cost the Rangers, but from my perspective, Avery is a very underrated and underutilized player. All things aside about his antics, or his reputation, when he is on the ice, he brings energy. Avery hustles for every puck on every play, and plays his heart out. He creates chances, and has an uncanny ability to take star players off their game.

Avery gets into it with Brodeur, further fueling the Hudson River Rivalry. IMAGE // Americalovescountdowns.com

Rangers fans need not look back further than his first stint in New York, when the 6th seeded Rangers took down the 3rd seeded Thrashers with a four games to zero sweep. Avery forced Kovalchuk to essentially go nuts, and completely abandoned his discipline and ability. Avery also brought back a spark that was missing in the Rangers and Devils rivalry when he angered Martin Brodeur past the point of tolerance, to the point that Brodeur refused to shake Avery’s hand following the Rangers 4-1 series win.

So, to get to the YouTube video for Avery today, I will show the video that I saw when I first learned that he would be coming to the New York Rangers. It was a pretty good indication of what he would bring to the team, and I still watch it here or there for a good laugh.

Enjoy.

And, the infamous Brodeur incident.