Let’s Play Seven

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”

Capitals vs. Penguins Can Get Better

APTOPIX Penguins Capitals HockeyWhat’s better than Alexander Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby  facing off in a playoff series? How about both of them scoring hat tricks in the same game?

Yes, that happened last night and it really is an extraordinary event. Hat tricks aren’t that uncommon. They occur maybe a couple times a month in the regular season and every once in a while in the post-season. But two in the same game by arguably the two best players in hockey? That is something special.

The Capitals took the game 4-3 and lead the series 2-0, but now Washington most leave their home town and head out to Pittsburgh, where the Penguins’ fans will surely be ready. If this series heads back to the capital tied at two games a piece, get ready to start talking about the greatest series ever.

For that to happen though, Evgeni Malkin must step up. Crosby and him are the soul of this team. Without one, the Pens don’t stand a chance against the Capitals. Malkin must make his presence known, both physically and on the scoreboard. The other two stars in this series have four goals each. Malkin? Zero.

Hockey fans are so excited for this series, because of what it can become. A heavy-weight showdown between the league’s best. But that isn’t guaranteed to happen. The Capitals could easily enter Pittsburgh, win a game, and head home and lock the series up. That would be such a disappointing end to a series with such possibilities. Continue reading “Capitals vs. Penguins Can Get Better”

Brashear’s Cheap Shot Unacceptable

Watch the above clip and tell me that Donald Brashear should be allowed to play in the NHL this year. He’s a big, hard-nosed player, who occasionally takes liberty with hits, but this was too far. Way too far. Brashear viciously elbowed an unaware Blair Betts in Game 6 between the Washington Capitals and New York Rangers. Betts had played the puck a few seconds earlier and even if the hit hadn’t been an elbow to the head, it was late. It was a dangerous cheap shot and Brashear shouldn’t be allowed to play in the rest of the playoffs or next year.

Give him a year suspension.

That kind of play has no place in sports so if that is how Brashear is going to play, then he has no place in sports. Betts was knocked unconscious and needed significant help just getting off the ice. It was an elbow right to the head. Forgetting about the game and Betts’s career for a moment, Brashear’s antics could have paralyzed Betts. An elbow that hard right to the head could certainly change a man’s life forever. Continue reading “Brashear’s Cheap Shot Unacceptable”