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If anyone still had visions of this group of Sabres skill forwards someday leading their team to a Stanley Cup run, then the events of the past six games should pretty much run the hope tank to empty.
What we witnessed during the Boston Bruins 4-2 series win over the Buffalo Sabres was a colossal vanishing act by Derek Roy, Tim Connolly, and Jason Pominville. Sure, you can point fingers at other players like Paul Gaustad and Drew Stafford, but on a team desperate for big goals it is pretty evident where the biggest holes are in this lineup.
Gritty efforts by players like Mike Grier, Tyler Ennis and Steve Montador were overshadowed by the poor all around performance of the three players in question, who stood out like sore thumbs in every facet of the game. They were the top three leaders in ice time on the power play that went 0 for 19. All three played major roles on the penalty killing units that allowed Boston an ugly 27% conversion rate.
This series was supposed to be money in the bank for Buffalo. They had arguably the top goaltender in the league and were facing an opponent that withstood a ten game home losing streak following the Winter Classic, boasted only one 20-goal scorer and was missing their most dangerous forward and two of their regular defensemen.
After going to last night’s awesome Bruins 2OT victory, I had a friend ask me about the best games I’ve ever been to. I couldn’t sleep, so I decided to take some time to think about it and throw this list together. I’m extremely lucky to have seen some incredible hockey games in my life so far. I am hoping that there are no glaring omissions, but if so, I will update the list!
I wanted to post this somewhere to share it with friends and fellow hockey fans and the KK Member Blog came to mind as the perfect place. Feel free to share your top games attended in the comments!
For some clarification on why certain games are so special to me, I am a senior at Boston University and am a huge BU hockey fan. I have been a big Pittsburgh Penguins fan ever since learning about Mario Lemieux at a young age, and hailing from Charleston, SC, the ECHL’s South Carolina Stingrays are my hometown team.
As the Chicago Blackhawks prepared to honor former centerman and current WGN Radio Hawks color commentator Troy Murray with a Heritage Night on January 14, 2010, at the United Center, they were celebrating a player who embodies, perhaps as much anyone in the Hawks’ eighty-four year history, the spirit of the team.
So how does Murray see their Cup chances this year?
The Herm 2 Hockeytown weekend has finally come and gone and everybody is no doubt left with a ton of great memories and fantastic feelings about what the hockey community has accomplished in committing to this undertaking.
If it’s possible, I want to make sure you feel even better about what, exactly, everybody accompllished, even if they only donated money and didn’t join the get together. Heck, even if you donated money and cheered for the Wild to run over the Red Wings, I want you to know that I can’t thank you enough for what you have done for somebody.
As you no doubt know, the H2H donation drive reached the amount needed to bring Guilherme from Brazil pretty quickly; from there, all donations went to the Childrens Hospital of Michigan. I donated with little more than a nebulous knowledge that what I was doing for a good cause.
This week, I got to learn first-hand just how much of a good cause it is.
This is basically a copy n paste from the website I blog on but I just really wanted to share it with fellow Hawk fans as I feel it is something we should address.
The Chicago Black Hawks thwarted the much ridiculed Edmonton Oilers by a score of 5-2 last night in front of yet another massive crowd at the United Center. The Oilers have been an injury plagued team all season and last night had an extra thin roster via a couple trades earlier in the day.
It really was not much of a match against the Hawks last night. Rookie goaltender Devyn Dubnyk played extremely well keeping the club from the province of tar sands in the game. Hossa, Kane, Toews, Kopecky, Keith and Seabrook were all honored prior to the drop of the puck for their achievements at the Olympic games.
it seems like philly is pretty desperate for a goalie…. I’m wondering what they’d give for Osgood right now?
Seems like a crazy move and the Wings would probably never do it, but the fact is it’s a transitional year anyway and there’s some outstanding talent in the Wings minor system. Daniel Larsson is chomping at the bit. He was the best goalie in the entire Swedish Elite League a few years back and was an AHL All Star last year… with Jimmy Howard as the other goalie on his team! He’s been as good if not consistently better than Howard his whole time with the Griffins. It just happened that it was Howard’s turn… he could no longer be sent down to the minors. It was time to see what he could do in the NHL. And we’ve seen it. Could Larsson be even better?
What’s more, the kid playing behind Larsson in Grand Rapids is Thomas McCollum a 20 year old first round draft pick who is supposed to end up the best of them all!
And what’s more, is the kid wasting away on the Toledo Walleye in the ECHL, waiting to get called back up to Grand Rapids, is Jordan Pearce… the best goalie in all of college hockey last year. Pearce had a 1.68GA and a .931SV% for Notre Dame.
I’m less than one week from finally learning all 87 rules in the NHL Rulebook. With the Olympics imminent and all the trade talk in the air, I’m moving on to the IIHF Rulebook and the business of hockey. On the latter, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at the Kovalchuk trade. And don’t even start me on the elbow that Patrice Cormier put on Mikael Tam.
When you see things like the death of Brian Burke’s son or the loss of Ryan O’Byrne’s mother, it makes things like brain-damaging elbows and outrageous salary/trade demands even uglier. Therefore, I propose my own addition to the current NHL Rulebook. Again, I don’t consider myself an expert just yet, so here is my admittedly amateur take on this whole circus:
1. I don’t know what’s more horrifying, Kovalchuk saying no to $101 million or the reason he did it. What have we come to in this world that anyone in any profession anywhere says no to a nine-figure salary offer AND still stays employed? Even more horrifying:
2. I read somewhere that acquiring Patrice Cormier in the deal was apparently a “must” for Waddell. Let me first say that I love a good clean hit. I love the sound of guys crashing into the glass and I firmly believe that fighting is one of the rules that was meant to be broken. But that hit on Tam was cowardly and unacceptable. If you’re good enough to get drafted into the NHL and be named captain of your World Junior team, you’re good enough to find a more honorable way to win.
3. That being said, I propose my own addition to the NHL Rulebook: Humility. Here it is: 88.1, Humility. Players are responsible at all times for understanding that the world does not revolve around them and that they are fortunate to be in the NHL at all. Players who do not endeavor to appreciate their good fortune and/or who try to pout their way to a higher salary or trade shall be subject to removal from the NHL and permanent reassignment to an ordinary day job in a windowless office with a salary cap of $60,000 a year before taxes.
So with the return of Johan Franzen, barring any other injuries, the Wings are going to have to trim salary to stay under the cap. As was pointed out yesterday in this MLive Article , there are only a few ways out of the financial thicket and it’s starting to seem obvious what Ken Holland is going to do… waive (or trade, but I’m not sure what other GM would want to bale out the Wings) Ville Leino.
Well, I am here to say that I think it would be a mistake. (did I just dare question the greatest GM in professional sports?!). It’s true that his options are very limited. I think it’s clear that Drew Miller and Patrick Eaves are off the table. They have more than earned roster spots on this squad and will both likely be resigned. And if only waiving Brad May were enough, because he is not likely to be picked up and we will not really need him in the playoffs (I realize how controversial this last statement is to the “protect our stars at all costs” crowd. But the thing is, when’s the last time Brad May was on the same line as a star anyway? How do you protect Datsyuk when you aren’t on the ice with him? Staging a fight with the other team’s goon in your 6 minutes of playing time?). Regardless, if he were to clear waivers, we could recall him for the playoffs anyway (or next injury, which we all know is right around the corner). But as most of us are aware by now, waiving Brad May still leaves the Wings around $100k over the cap. Enter Ville Leino…
I know it’s early but I was looking through the Red Wings cap situation next season and I came accross some interesting decisions that Holland and Co. are going to have to make for the 2010-11 season.
Goaltending and Defence are pretty much set on Detroit. Lidas, Raf, Kronner, Stu, Lilja, Rig, and Kindl. If we can sign Janik to another minor-league deal, he’s good insurance. If Liljs doesn’t end up coming back due to health reasons, there are other options out there (Ward, Boynton, etc.).
Up front though, we have some issues:
Zetterberg, Datsyuk, Franzen, Filppula, Cleary, Helm, Draper, and Eaves are all coming back (Helm and Eaves needing to be re-upped). That’s 8. Throw in Homer and that’s 9.
Abby has to make the team next year as does Ritola. Assuming both stick, that’s 11. Ritola can be the 13th forward, so not a big issue. But, what do you do with Abby?
Hello all. This is my first posting here, so here’s a little about me:
I’m a hockey fan from Arizona (pre-Coyotes). Which means I grew up loving hockey, but not really understanding it. For example, I thought a short-handed goal meant it was scored unassisted. Really.
I’m rectifying that by learning all 87 rules in the current 2009-2010 NHL Rulebook. You can see the results here: http://87in107.blogspot.com.
I’m still learning, so I don’t claim to be an expert on trades, stats, or scouting reports. But I can tell you that every rule in the book also applies to life. Here are a few examples of what I’ve learned so far:
—I now understand the expression “that’s hockey.” Almost all of the rules include “in the judgment of the referee” or “at the discretion of the referee.” Translation: It’s not fair and there’s not a lot we can do about it. Which perhaps is why the NHL did not include in the rules “at the discretion of fans who dispute a call by yelling and cursing at referees, who can’t hear them anyway.”
—Not a lot of the rules say you can’t do something. Like laws, they just define the offense and outline the punishment. So, for things like hits to the head - will the NHL ban them or just impose a stronger punishment?
—The goalie’s restricted area where he can play the puck needs to go. A) Most of them are the same size as a Christmas tree: they need room to move. B) For every one rule in the book on players, there are at least two for goaltenders. There are enough restrictions on them - I say give them a break and at least give them some space.
P.S. Thanks for the posting on the top 10 fights - I personally believe that no hockey game is complete without at least one major penalty for a scrap.
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