Archive for the ‘NHL Playoffs’ Category

Most Embarrassing Goal Celebration Ever

April 26, 2011

joe thornton overtime winner

As award finalists are being announced, an we have confirmation that Zdeno Chara is a Norris Trophy finalist and Tim Thomas is a Vezina Trophy finalist, the annual HGW Awards are taking shape as well.

Joe Thornton and his man-baby act from last night’s win over the L.A. Kings is the clear leader for the most Embarrassing, Cringeworthy Goal Celebration of the Year.

Maybe all time. Just disturbing to watch. It sends the Sharks to the next round and all I have to say to Joe is, hey, brother, act like you’ve been there before.

I mean, you have once or twice, right?

Game One, You Fuckers

April 14, 2011
zdeno chare montreal canadiens max pacioretty

The Size Difference Between the Bruins and Habs is a Key Factor in the Series

I fucking hate the Montreal Canadiens.

I hate the team, I hate the individual players, I hate the coaches and the management and the ownership. Most of all I hate their snobbish, preening, know-nothing fans with their bent towards screeching hysteria and show tunes. If you need any evidence of this fact, please see the following.

Statement Game

The Ultimate Dive

Arrest Max Pacioretty

Goodbye You Lizard Scum

Sand Trap

Montreal Is Not A Hockey Town

Homerism Gone Wild In Montreal

One Punch Knockout

French Taunting

Frontier Justice

I Have Hate In My Heart

As you can see, I’ve jotted down my feelings about the Bleu, Blanc et Rougettes a couple of times. The Diving Princesses are not well liked around these parts. It has everything to do with the way they play the game and the nose-in-the-air nature of their boorish fans. The idiocy of people who call 911 for a hockey check or set cars on fire for a playoff series win. Who boo other countries national anthems. All of the above.

As such, I hope the Bruins crush them tonight. Run them out of the building. Use superior size and physicality and aggression to hammer them into whimpering submission and send them tail between legs into the Boston night, fearing for their lives. Afraid to return to TD Garden on Saturday for yet another vicious beating.

This is the mandate of the Boston Bruins tonight.

Beat them. Badly. Make it happen.

See you on Twitter for the game. @hockeygonewild.

Leighton Or Bust

June 9, 2010

michael leighton

The Philadelphia Flyers, unsurprisingly, will go with Michael Leighton between the pipes in tonight’s game at the Wachovia Center with, of course, the Stanley Cup in attendance available to be handed to the Chicago Blackhawks if they can pull out the road win. Leighton’s numbers in the first five games of the Finals have been a bit suspect but it’s obvious that Peter Laviolette has confidence that his team will play better in front of him at home. It’s also obvious that he doesn’t think Brian Boucher is any sort of answer at this point.

Meanwhile, the hullabaloo over the Chrissy Pronger thing the Chicago Tribune did has officially reached tempest in a teapot proportions. The righteous indignation in Philadelphia is embarrassing and absurd. For a town that takes such pride in it’s team’s toughness, you need to show you can take a joke and stop being such pussies about it. On the other hand, everything the Tribune has done under it’s Commit to the Cup banner has been such yahoo, fanboy hooting that it makes you want to throw up in your mouth. Has the Tribune always been a haven for this sort of blatant homerism and hackwork? I thought it was supposed to be a Newspaper.

Of course, that term doesn’t quite mean what it used to, I guess.

My Kingdom for some respectable sports journalism.

Hawks Gain Edge

June 7, 2010

blackhawks game 5

The Dustin Byfuglien Coming Out Party continued last night as the blossoming power forward of the Chicago Blackhawks scored twice, added two assists and the Windy City boys stormed their way to within one game of bringing the Stanley Cup to town. In fact, it will be on hand Wednesday night in Philadelphia for Game 6, as the Flyers face elimination for the first time in the series. Given their propensity to Die Hard, I still see some great odds for a Game 7 to finish this thing off. Hell, maybe even overtime.

Two things about Byfuglien, now that it appears this guy is a genuine force to be reckoned with here. First, I need to apologize for the Chris Kontos reference. Granted, he needs to show more than 17 goals in the regular season to completely shake the comparison but I’m veering away from fluke flash in the pan descriptions right now. He’s just been too good. Second, and this is a by product of his excellent play and likely a phenomenon happening behind the scenes at hockey blogs all over North America, I can now spell his name and, thus, insert his name into posts without the use of “cut and paste”.

Now that’s some fame for you.

This series has been anything but dull, hasn’t it? Another 11 goals last night and, while the Hawks came out on fire and looked to blast Philly out of their building like crazed juggernauts, the Flyers just stay strong and keep counter punching. Those bastards just do not know the meaning of the word “quit”. They’re like the sports version of the scum bags on Celebrity Rehab. No matter what happens, they can’t give it up. Even in the third, they’re clawing back to withing two to make it interesting. I figured Hawks-Flyers might be a decent series but I never figured it would be this entertaining. Hoped but not expected.

The thing is, last night the Hawks did what the Bruins never could when Philly started chipping away at the lead. Up 3-0 after the first and the Flyers’ Scott Hartnell scores a quick one to make it 3-1, I start having flashbacks to Game 7 in Boston. Chicago, however, returned fire immediately. Got back on their horses and, less than three minutes later, restored that 3 goal lead off the stick of Patrick Kane. In fact, every time Philly scored the Hawks responded in kind. If the Bruins had that sort of confidence and drive, they might still be playing.

That’s why I like the Hawks to bring it all home in the end and say goodbye to 49 years of frustration.

One more time, typing freestyle: Byfuglien.

Damn, I’m good.

Seidenberg & Swamp Thing

June 6, 2010

The Bruins have signed Dennis Seidenberg to 4-year extension worth a reported $13 million total, taking an annual bite of $3.25 million out of the team’s salary cap number. Capgeek.com has them now with an estimated $4.3 million left under the 2010-11 cap and a truckload of RFA’s to sign and Johnny Boychuk still out there headed for unrestricted free agency. Peter Chiarelli has his work cut out for him if he wants to improve this team at forward and, with a certain amount of unmovable dead weight on the books for the upcoming season, both the trade market and potential free agent signings are looking like swampy territory to traverse.

But who knows? Maybe he’ll realize he’s not Alec Holland anymore and find a way to rise up and greet the sun.

A few other Things to consider:

Alright, I know I asked for this but there are times, I admit, I just don’t think things through. Nevertheless, we now have a Three Game Series to decide the Stanley Cup and it begins tonight. I still like the Hawks and not just because I want to piss off Chippy McGuinness. On the contrary, I’d prefer not to have to spend the next two months moving from motel to motel across the country under a neverending variety of assumed names. No, I just still think Chicago is the better team overall and, while Philly has shown they truly do belong in the finals with them, the Hawks will make good use of home ice advantage and pull this thing out.

It’s likely to take seven to do so, though. And watch out tonight, Chicagoans. Laviolette is a smart enough coach to understand the true importance of tonight’s game and have his team lay it all out there in the hopes of stealing this one and giving the Flyers the edge. Hawks need to be prepared to go one level higher.

As my man Gonz is once again AWOL, likely gone walkabout and lost somewhere in the wilds of the Daniel Boone National Forest with a knapsack full of Beefeaters and some Robert Anton Wilson, I’ll have to be the one to chime in on the Blue Jacket’s attempt to make Guy Boucher the youngest coach in the current NHL. Some in Columbus think it’s a big risk hiring a guy with a single year of head coaching experience, that being 2009-10 as head of the Hamilton Bulldogs, the Habs’ AHL affiliate. There’s also the thought that his style might not jive too well with the limitations of the Jacket’s current roster, specifically the lack of puck mobility on defense. Here’s hoping it works out well as the faithful in CBJ land haven’t got much love from their team of late and are due. They screw it up again and all the gin in the world won’t dull the pain.

Apparently the Edmonton Oilers have recently discovered YouTube and hired the kid from Wargames to help them decide between Tyler Seguin and Taylor Hall in the upcoming entry draft. No word on whether Joshua will have any say in the matter or if he just wants another game of tic-tac-toe.

If you need a laugh, and I don’t just mean you, Joel Quenneville, check out the latest from Down Goes Brown, How Do You Pronounce “Byfuglien”? Don’t be sipping a Green Tea while you watch it or you’re going to need to clean off your keyboard.

Just love the tone of this conversation between Bobby Hull and Yvan Cournoyer about their mutual hatred of the Philadelphia Flyers.

“Bobby, I no like ’em since I was born.”

Go get ’em, Chip.

Chris Pronger: Puck Thief

June 2, 2010

chris pronger puck thief

So this thing with Chris Pronger stealing the game pucks at the end of the first two games of the Cup Finals in Chicago has taken on a little bit of a life of it’s own. Is it gamesmanship, with Pronger trying to irritate the Hawks and somehow gain some sort of unidentifiable mental edge? If so, it’s a strange, feeble attempt I think.

Does he need money, as some in Chicago are suggesting? Should we be looking on eBay for a new auction: 2010 Stanley Cup Game Puck. No Reserve. Paypal Only. Listed by Prongie20, feedback rating of 94.4% thanks to a game-used Mighty Ducks jersey that got lost by UPS. Supposedly.

My favorite reaction has to be from the Blackhawks’ Adam Burish.

“I don’t care. I don’t know what he wants pucks for. Maybe he gives them to his kids, I don’t know. Whatever he wants to do with the pucks, I don’t care. I’ll sign him one if he wants.”

I think the guys in Chicago are a little more focused on the goal they currently stand 2 wins away from than to be distracted by something as oddly and obviously juvenile as this. In the end, only Pronger can really tell us why he’s done it and what on Earth it was he was hoping to, but failed to, accomplish.

Still, it would be nice to see an insane NFL style all out pigpile on the ice at the final whistle of tonight’s game as 12 guys at once go diving and scrambling for that puck.

Maybe when the series ends, eh?

Because that one’s going to be worth a crapload.

Time Out

June 1, 2010

Okay, slow down for a minute. We’ve got to make this thing last a bit. Make it interesting. There’s nothing more boring than a Finals sweep, is there? I’m gone for a few days and return to an instant 2-0 series lead for the Hawks and the feeling that this thing is steamrolling toward a quick, decisive resolution. Personally, I’d like to get to see a few more games.

I was away in the Northern Wilds for the holiday weekend for a bit of pastoral relaxation and recreation. I think it was Steven Wright who once said, “There’s a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot.” In which case, I spent an awful lot of time being an idiot over the past four days. I know what you’re thinking. “And just how does that differ from your everyday life, Ken?”

Well, up there, I’m an idiot surrounded by pine trees, fresh water and clean air.

Until all the smoke from the Canadian wild fires drifted south, that is. You’d think the authorities in Montreal would have extinguished all those burning cars by now, wouldn’t you? Jesus, guys. What’s going to happen if you ever do win the Cup again? The smoke clouds are going to make that volcano in Iceland look like a discarded cigar butt.

So, yeah, I’m back in town. Boston is shrouded in a gray, post-apocalyptic haze. The Celtics are in the finals against the Lakers in a case of neverending sports deja vu. The Red Sox are playing a bit better but struggling to gain any sort of ground in what is a brutal AL East Division. The Bruins are sleeping with the fishes I never caught, except for Jack Edwards who is on a one man Haiku tour of Japan.

So, yes, please, I’d like a few more games of decent hockey to watch if you don’t mind. Philadelphia has got to bring this thing back home and make it interesting. There’s no doubt they know how to deal with the underdog role. The only question is whether or not team unity and grit can stand against what is looking like a Blackhawks Express Freight Train speeding straight towards Stanleyville.

I don’t know about you but I’m not quite ready for the Dog Days just yet.

Peter Laviolette’s Hair

May 28, 2010

peter laviolette

I just need an explanation of this one, please. What’s the story? Is it profuse sweating as it seemed in the press conference I was just watching on the NHL Network (now available on my provider in HD, thank you very much). Is it a case of too much hair gel while going for an ill-advised slicked back look? I know I’ve seen pictures where his hair doesn’t look quite as much like he been recently swimming in the Gulf of Mexico.

Help me out, here. It’s not like it’s a balding situation he’s trying to cover up, I don’t think. Looks like he’s got a full head there. Hell, he’s even got the Ray Bourque hairline where you’ve only got about two and a half inches of actual forehead going. Any lower and you’d have trouble seeing where the eyebrows ended.

I’m just asking.

Because no one needs to see that much of another man’s pink scalp, as far as I’m concerned.

Not while you’re just trying to enjoy some decent hockey, anyway.

Then There Were Two

May 24, 2010

chicago blackhawks logo philadelphia flyers logo

Not such a bad final, I guess.

The 2010 Stanley Cup match-up set and it features the Chicago Blackhawks versus the Philadelphia Flyers. The powerhouse favorite of the West versus the team that made the playoffs on the final day of the regular season in the East and was a shoot-out goal away from not being in the post-season at all.

At first glance, it would seem that the Blackhawks are set to be heavy favorites here. They shot into the finals via a breezy four game sweep of the San Jose Sharks who had obviously used up all of their Anti-Choke Juice for the 2010 playoffs. It was fun while it lasted, Joe Thornton, and not as much embarrassment this year as last but the end results are the same, really. You and the rest of the Sharks are going to be politley refusing rides home from Dany Heatley at team golf outings while the Stanley Cup is awarded again.

One has to consider the immense talent of this Hawks team. The scoring depth, led by young stars Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane and veterans like Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp and bolstered by this year’s Chris Kontos, Dustin Byfuglien, is the main strength of the team. The defense, featuring Norris Finalist Duncan Keith and fellow Canadian Olympian Brent Seabrook, is excellent, as well, and goaltender Antti Niemi has proven himself to be a valid number one on a Stanley Cup contending team. All in all, quite the juggernaut team when you look at them and a deserving favorite.

Still, and I speak from experience, Philadelphia cannot be underrated. This team has figured out how to grind out wins and is relentless when it comes to work ethic, energy, desire, etc. Mike Richards leads the way with a nasty, in your face style that opponents just hate but it’s the sort of grit that wins games, you have to admit. The forwards are getting healthy (yes, that was Ian Laperriere on the ice in that cage tonight, his second game back after a freakin’ brain bruise). Gagne and Carter are back and have contributed. Daniel Briere has been an ongoing concern. Scott Hartnell brings more of that edginess that the team is riding. Chris Pronger remains, well, Chris Pronger. The only question I have is, of course, in net where Michael Leighton has been good but is still not the goalie I’d want going into the Cup finals against an offense like the Hawks’.

Intitial thoughts, then, are that Chicago has the upper hand to end their drought and bring the Cup back to the Windy City. It’s going to be a series, though, I think. Philly is not a team that goes down easy.

As we know.

Sand Trap

May 24, 2010

This Sandgate thing is hilarious.

What, did Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello come dancing past the Flyers dressing room before the game? I know those movies are big with Canadiens’ fans.

I have no doubt in my mind that this was intentional. There is a certain desperation in Montreal now as their days of waking up with morning wood every day after dreaming of their Cinderalla Cup run taking them all the way to the finals for a rematch of 1993 are evaporating before their eyes. What does a girl do when she’s desperate in a fight? Start clawing. This sort of pathetic, cheap attempt at sabotage is exactly in character for the Diving Princesses and an organization and fandom that considers itself the entitled royalty of the NHL.

Unfortunately they just made themselves into the Tonya Harding of the NHL.

It’s sort of like taking three diving penalties in a Playoff game. Cheap, obvious, pathetic and ultimately unsuccessful. And it sours a lot of what’s been accomplished so far by this team. Leaves us with the bitter aftertaste of poor sportsmanship instead of the brief memory of a team that put on a heck of a show before it finally returned to it’s true level.

Life’s a beach, isn’t it?