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”

Daily Sports Roundup 1/1/08

It has been a pretty big day in sports so let’s get to the stories:

Penguins Win Winter Classic: The Pittsburgh Penguins won the first ever NHL Winter Classic 2-1 in shootout over the Buffalo Sabres. The game was held outdoors in the Buffalo Bills football stadium. This was the first ever pro hockey game held outdoors in the United States and the weather did not agree. A mix of snow, sleet, and rain covered the ice for almost the entire game and forced Zambonis to redo the ice during the middle of each period. The puck moved slower and players had to battle the wind, yet the event was a huge success. Sidney Crosby scored in the shootout to give the Penguins’ the win and jumped towards his bench in celebration when the puck hit the back of the net. 71,217 people braved the elements to see the NHL’s first ever Ice Bowl. Fans loved the game and created an energetic atmosphere that players loved. Watching it on TV, the ice looked small in the huge stadium, but it was a great game and I could feel the energy in the air.

Non-BCS Bowl Games: New Years has brought plenty of great bowl games today including the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl. First, though, was the Capital One Bowl where Michigan defeated Florida 42-35. It is a sweet ending for Michigan who lost to Appalachian State earlier this year, erasing any hopes for a National Championship. The Wolverines came out on top in Lloyd Carr’s final game and will hopefully move back into the Top 25 after beating number 12 Florida. In the Cotton Bowl, number 6 Missouri destroyed Arkansas in what could have been Darren McFadden’s final collegiate game. McFadden ran for 105 yards and a touchdown, but was not happy with the result. “We had a bad game. You don’t want to lose a bowl game. You only have fun when you win a bowl game” McFadden said. He has not stated whether he is going pro or not, but most scouts expect McFadden to forgo his senior year and enter the NFL Draft. Also today, number 16 Tennessee faced off against number 18 Wisconsin in the Outback Bowl. Tennessee finished the year at 10-4, the Vollunteer’s first 10 win season since 2004. Led by Quarterback Erik Ainge, Tennessee had 365 yards passing with Josh Briscoe receiving 7 of those passes for 101 yards and a touchdown. Continue reading “Daily Sports Roundup 1/1/08”