The Stanley Cup Playoffs are in full swing and the next two games feature three great game sevens. That’s right. Three of the four conference semifinals have gone the distance and that is what makes hockey so great. They should all be great, hard fought games and the most-anticipated game is tonight when the Pittsburgh Penguins head back to Washington to face the Capitals.
This one has the making of one of the greatest games in NHL history. This series has been nothing short of phenomenal. I wrote a post a week ago or so saying that for this series to reach its potential, Evgeni Malkin needed to step up and push the Penguins to a game seven. He did more than that as Pittsburgh actually one three straight games and took a 3-2 lead in the series before falling at home in overtime. Now they have to head back to Washington where the crowd will be loud and ready to propel the Caps to victory.
I expect big games from Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin. This is the biggest game of the year so far and this is when stars come out. I’m not sure they can repeat their matching hat tricks from game two, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see each have multi-goal games as beneath winning the series, there is a competition for the best player in hockey. Don’t forgot Malkin either. He’s fighting for best-player-in-the-league honors as well and he could easily swing the game for the Pens. Continue reading “Let’s Play Seven”
As the NHL off-season begins, teams have been quick to jump on marquee free agents, especially the New York Rangers. On the first day of free agency, Glen Sather (GM of the Rangers) signed Scott Gomez and Chris Drury to a seven-year, $51.5 million deal and a five-year, $35.25 million deal respectively. Both are tremendous players with Stanley Cup experience and will make a huge impact immediately. These two terrific acquisitions make the Rangers a favorite for the Stanley Cup next year. Yet, the amount of money and the length of these contracts are astounding. Gomez had 60 points last year, and is entering his prime, but the Rangers are going to be paying for a long time. For over seven million a year, Gomez better have a phenomenal season. The same can be said for Drury who is also making over seven million dollars a year for the next few years. Whether the money is worth it or not, both Gomez and Drury will make huge contributions to the Rangers next year. Though their defense may have its holes, the offense does not as New York now has two of the game’s premiere centers to accompany stars Jaromir Jagr and Brendan Shanahan (if they re-sign him). That has to be considered the best offense in the NHL. With Hendrik Lundqvist in between the posts, this team looks like the top of the league going into the 2007-2008 season. Continue reading “Let the Off Season Begin”
Though I’m not an NHL fan, the Red Sox did not play until late last night and the NBA Finals don’t start until Thursday, so I was left watching Game 4 between the Ottawa Senators and the Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks thoroughly dominated the second period and were leading by a goal with about two minutes remaining. The Senators got a late goal from Dany Heatley and found themselves going into the third period tied. Unfortunately, an idiotic play by Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson gave much of the momentum to the Ducks. With mere seconds left to play in the period, Alfredsson held the puck in the neutral zone with no chance of scoring. Instead of taking a last second shot like most players would, Alfredsson turned toward Ducks captain Scott Niedermayer and drilled the puck directly at him. The puck ricocheted off Niedermayer’s leg. Anaheim players immediately noticed this and started going after the Ottawa captain. My questions is: What in the world would make Alfredsson that? His team had been dominated throughout the period, yet they had managed a late goal to even the score. They had all the momentum. All the Senators had to do was finish the period strong and get off the ice. Alfredsson couldn’t do that. To make matters worse, he is the Senators captain and is the last player anyone would expect to do such a thing. Alfredsson deserves a one game suspension for this ridiculous, unsportsmanlike act. Duck player Chris Pronger was suspended for the game for an elbow to Dean McAmmond in Game 3 and if Pronger’s play deserved a suspension, so does Alfredsson. Enough said. Cheap shots do not belong in sports in any way and I cannot think of a worse time for Alfredssson to pull one.
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