Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Plus to Being A Sharks Fan

Let me start off by saying I by no means in any way like the Sharks, and that hatred for the San Jose Sharks grew just alittle more when they eliminated my beloved Kings from the playoffs just a week ago. However, the concoction that the fan below made up did get a good laugh out of me.
The thought that went into this had to be extensive. An added plus to it is that at first glance he comes across as a Red Wings fan but then you look again and realize, woah that's awesome! I applaud him and his opponent devouring costume. He has added the lone point to the pros of being a Sharks fan, being able to look at that instead of the team choking in front of them will be a nice asset when the time comes.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Eastern Confrence Semifinals

It took a little bit longer to figure out who would be playing in the Eastern Conference Semifinals due to the fact three of the four series went to seven games, and two of those into overtime. None the less the teams that made it out fought hard and long to make it here and those teams are The Washington Captials, Boston Bruins, Philadelphia Flyers, and Tampa Bay Lightning.
Washington, the east’s number one seed is coming out of a series where they beat the New York Rangers in five games, while the Lightning are coming out of a seven game series against the Pitsburgh Penguins. The fact that the Capitals have not played since April 23rd and will not be playing till the 29th plays into the rust or rest theory, does the long break benefit them with rest or will they be slow on their return.  Washington does not blow teams out like they have in the past, they play a more mature and defensively committed game now. Just look at Ovechkins numbers through the regular season. However, with Alexander Ovechkin, Nikolas Backstrom, and Alexander Semin in the lineup they can score in bunches when they need to. Along with the offensive game they are anchored defensively by Michal Neuvirth in net. The Lightning are also strong in net with a seasoned Dwayne Roloson between the pipes, who is 6-0 in elimination games. The Lightning have offensive weapons as well in Martin St.Louis, Steven Stamkos, and Vincent Lecavalier. Look for the Capitals’ offensive powers to rip through the somewhat mediocre defense of the Lightning and for Neuvrith to bail the Capitals out of a tight spot or two. The Caps take the series in 5 games.
Both Boston and Philadephia are coming out of game seven overtime wins where they beat the Montreal Canadiens and the Buffalo Sabres. It was a year ago were the Flyers came back from being down 3-0 in a series against Boston, to eliminate the Bruins in seven games, there is no lack of a story line here.  This will be a hard hitting series with Carcillo of the Flyers and Lucic of the Bruins sure to be throwing around their bodies every chance they get.  The Flyer are lead by Daniel Briere who seems to be chalk full of playoff magic every season, scoring six goals in the first round on a very tough Ryan Miller. Anchored by a strong defensive core in Brayden Coburn and Chris Pronger, who is only getting healthier as the playoffs progress the Flyers are a big man team and very strong in front of the net. The only question mark presented for the Flyers is in net.  They started three different goalies in the first round and became the first team to advance in the playoffs when doing so. However, it looks like Brian Boucher found his grove through the last game and a half against the Sabres, but look for Boston to test him early.  Boston’s success in the series will depend on whether or not Tim Thomas’ flail around like a fish type of goaltending is spot on when they need it to be. Boston did not score once while on the power play in the first round that will definitely have to change if they want to have a shot at winning this series. The Flyers will get past the Bruins riding Danny Briere and his dirty Frenchman playoff stache. Flyers in 6.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Embrace the Beard

I spent most of last season's playoffs cringing every time I was unfortunate enough to see Jonothan Toews gross mutton chops. This season has been quite different due to the fact Toews has been eliminated before that monstrosity could make an unwelcome return and there is something new gracing the playoffs this year. That is Shea Weber's beard! That thing is ridiculous, and we are barely out of the first round. If the Predators make any type of a push into the finals (and I hope they do) that beard will just get manlier and manlier. We need less dirty french man like Danny Briere and more beards like that of Shea Weber's in the playoffs.

Western Confrence Semifinals

After the dust settled from what was the first round of the Western Conference Quarterfinals the four teams that are left standing are the Vancouver Canucks, San Jose Sharks, Detroit Red Wings, and Nashville Predators the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 5th seed respectively.

Through the first round there was only one team to sweep and show complete dominance over their opponents and that was the Detroit Red Wings over the Phoenix Coyotes. With leadership like Nikolas Lidstrom, grit in Tomas Holmstrom, and jaw dropping skill in Pavel Datsyuk that is a reasonable task. Oh did I mention they did it without Henrik Zetterburg who will be another offensive weapon when he returns to the lineup. They meet up with the San Jose Sharks who had a tough time eliminating the Los Angele Kings in six games, and could have easily been eliminated had the Kings buried a few overtime chances during their series. With offensive skill in Devon Setoguchi, Patrick Marleau, and young emerging talent Logan Couture the Sharks have the guns to give the Red Wings a run for their money. However, where the Sharks fall short and where the series will be decided is in net, a big question mark for the Sharks through the first round, but a strong point for the Red Wings where Jimmy Howard handed the Coyotes with ease. Look for Datsyuk and the heavily offensive Red Wings to chase a Shark goaltender or two out of the net throughout the course of the series. Detroit easily harpoons the Sharks in 5 games.

 
The second match up puts the Vancouver Canucks against the Nashville Predators. Vancouver coming out of a near tragic first round meltdown where they escaped in OT of game 7 after holding a 3-0 series lead against the Chicago Blackhawks. Nashville on the other hand is coming out of a first round series where they eliminated Corry Perry and the Anaheim Ducks in a series full of thrills. This series will be a chess match with little scoring due to great goaltending in Roberto Luongo and the Predators tight defense. With leadership like Shea Webber (and perhaps the best playoff beard ever), and Barry Trotz behind the bench the Predators can very easily make something out of nothing. Their opposition Vancouver will have very little time to refocus after their series with Chicago. When checked tightly the Sedins are very ineffective, just ask Dave Bolland. Look for Jordin TooToo to hit the Sedin twins hard and often to keep them at bay. With all the pressure of being so dominant during the regular season and near first round upset watch for the weight to be too much for the Canucks and come crashing down on top of them, resulting in the Canucks doing what they do best during the playoffs, choke. The Predators will ride the momentum from their first birth into the second round of the playoffs in franchise history past the Canuck and into the Conference finals, Predators in 6.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Joe Thornton, Worst Playoff Goal Celebration Ever

Last night the San Jose Sharks eliminated the Los Angeles Kings in game six of the Stanley Cup Conference Quarterfinals.
After three periods of hockey the teams found themselves locked at a 3-3 tie and going into overtime. After killing off the remainder of a major penalty to Jamie McGinn for charging Brad Richardson in the third, the Sharks came down the ice and Joe Thornton got away from Willie Mitchell in the slot and buried a gift wrapped rebound goal to propel the Sharks to the second round of the playoffs.
What ensued after the goal was perhaps the worst playoff goal celebration in the history of the Stanley Cup, take a look.
Possibly trying to take a page out of Maxim Afinogenov's book of celebrations when Afinogenov scored in overtime for the Sabres in game five against the Rangers back in the '06-'07 playoffs. Thornton however sprints to the blue line and then falls into what seems like a fetal position type of slide on his back. WHAT!?!? You just scored perhaps your biggest goal since becoming a Shark, to get them to the second round of the playoffs and you drop into the fetal position!
In the NHL nowadays celebrations are almost looked at as much as the goal itself, you have the fist pump, the drop to a knee, the jump into the glass, etc. and Thornton falls to his ass like he is bowling into the corwd of his celebrating teammates. San Jose's very own Devon Setoguchi posted on his Twitter after the win,
"@seto1661
Great series, kings were a tough opponent great year for them! Jumbo joe with the snipe and "
If your own team is calling you out on the celly I would definitely go back to the drawing board before the second round "Jumbo Joe".