2013 NHL PLAYOFF FRENZY

April, 2010…The Philadelphia Flyers were playing the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals in Round 2. Boston had the edge at the start of the series. In fact, Boston had home ice advantage and was looking for it’s first Stanley Cup in over 20 years. The Flyers were also trying to erase the demons of years past and winning their first Cup since back to back Cups in 1974-1975.

The stage was set on January 1st, 2010 as the Boston Bruins defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 at the Outdoor Winter Classic. It was an exciting game and the first of its kind. Fast Forward to April 2010. The Bruins, like the Flyers made the playoffs on the final day of the regular season, winning in overtime. The Bruins dispatched of the Buffalo Sabers with relative ease, taking the series 4-2. This set up a second round matchup in which the Bruins were better suited to win.

The stage was set. May, 2010. The Boston Bruins went ahead 3-0 in the series and the series was thought to be all but over. However, then an incredible rarity occurred. The Bruins went to the locker room for overtime, with a chance to sweep the Flyers. However, Simon Gagne destroyed their champagne party by scoring his first goal of the playoffs in his first game since coming back from an injury. The Flyers took the next two games easily which forced a Game 7 and the chance to make history. The Flyers were trying to become only the 3rd Team in Professional Sports to win a playoff series after trailing 3-0.

Well, Boston had everything going for them. They had Home Ice. They had the better goalie, the Flyers were starting Backup Michael Leighton, who was relatively unknown at this point. And then it happened. The Bruins jumped out to a 3-0 First Period Lead and everyone in the Sports world had thought they had dodged a bullet. Not so. The Flyers chipped away and were able to tie the Game at 3 with less than 9 minutes to play. At the six minute mark, Simon Gagne once again capitalized on a neutral zone turnover and buried the game winning goal. The Bruins had collapsed. It was a colossal
Collapse. The Flyers went on to reach the Stanley Cup Finals, only to lose to the Chicago Blackhawks.

Well, 2011 brought redemption as the Bruins swept the Flyers in the Divisional Round and went on to Win the Stanley Cup Championship behind the stellar goaltending of Tim Thomas. Fast Forward to 2013. The Bruins made the playoffs after playing horrible the first month of the season. The Bruins were the Fourth Seed and would face the upstart Toronto Maple Leafs, who were playing in the playoffs for the first time in awhile. Well, Boston jumped out to a 1-0 and 3-1 lead in the series. Don’t look now, the Maple Leafs won the next two games to miraculously tie the series at 3. Even more astounding, was the fact that in game 7, Toronto went up 4-1 with less than 9 minutes to play. BANG! The Bruins scored 3 goals to tie and then scored the overtime winner to stave off another tremendous collapse.

Elsewhere, the 2013 Playoffs have been fun filled and not without drama. We had the huge brawl in Ottawa between the Senators and Montreal Canadiens. Game 3 saw 210 Penalty Minutes in the Third Period alone and 14 Fighting Majors. Wow…insane. Ottawa ultimately won the series knocking out yet another Canadian Heavyweight. In the other two Eastern Series, the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the surprise New York Islanders 4-2 and the New York Rangers beat a feisty Washington Capitals team 4-3 en route to a date with Boston in the second round.

Over in the Western Conference, there has been more consistent play and more domination by one team across the board. The Chicago Blackhawks beat the Minnesota Wild 4-1, the Detroit Red Wings beat the Anaheim Ducks 4-3, the San Jose Sharks swept the Vancouver Canucks, and the Los Angeles Kings beat the Saint Louis Blues 4-2.

This playoff year has been extremely exciting to watch, especially with all of the rivalries. Not to mention…Four of the Original Six Teams have made the Semi-Finals…Chicago, Detroit, New York, and Boston. Boston went up 1-0 in the series with the Rangers with a game one win. Pittsburgh is up 2-0 in their series with the Senators going to Ottawa. The LA Kings are up 2-0 against the upstart Sharks and the Red Wings and Blackhawks are tied at one game a piece.

It has been an absolute frenzy thus far. So many analysts had picked the Flyers to win it all in the beginning if the year. Instead, it’s the Bruins who are playing like the unsung hero once again. They say KARMA can be a bitch. Well, Boston has shared it’s set of tragedies this past season and also sports collapses, but it looks like they may just be the Whitehorse in these 2013 NHL Playoffs. If you are not watching, you are definitely missing out. Tune in tonight…it’s getting interesting!

20130518-190239.jpg

20130518-190251.jpg

20130518-190305.jpg

20130518-190314.jpg

20130518-190324.jpg

20130518-190338.jpg

20130518-190346.jpg

20130518-190354.jpg

20130518-190403.jpg

Advertisements

NHL WEEK #1 SUCCESS

Week Number 1 in the NHL is not even over and it’s already been one hell of a ride. I think to a lot if amazement…fans have been attending these early games in record attendance. This could not have been predicted a few months back when the possibility of having a season was slim to none. This shortened season actually makes Hockey more appealing if that could make sense. There are many games being played every night…teams are being tested early and often. Lets take the Philadelphia Flyers for example. Coming into last weekend, the Flyers were one of those teams that were thought to be helped by the shortened season due to their youth and also that many of their players had played in other leagues during the strike. Well, The Flyers were 0-3 coming out of the gate, playing 3 games in five days. They just won their first game last night 2-1 to the New York Rangers. The Flyers have lost Scott Hartnell for 4-8 weeks which is a huge blow this early in the grind. They did manage to sign veteran Mike Kunuble as insurance to add some depth while they play without Scott. Danny Briere has yet to play a game but should be back shortly. Lets take a quick look back to 1994-1995 and the last lockout that lead to a 48 game season. That season, the Flyers started 0-3 and were 3-7 after ten games. They finished with the best record in the East and went to the Eastern Conference Finals to face the Devils. Of course, everyone argues that was after Bob Clark was able to pull off a huge trade that brought a young John LeClair and Eric Desjardins to the Flyers at the height of their slump. True, that trade was huge and gave the Flyers tons of momentum the remainder of the season. Nonetheless, I would argue thy this Flyers team is more skilled and ready to make a run for the Cup. Claude Giroux could be the best player in the NHL and the youth on this team is amazing. So, please do not count the Flyers out and don’t underestimate Paul Holmgren making another huge trade or more. There is still a lot of hockey to play. The Flyers will be ok…they just need to remain focused and eliminate the sloppy play and turnovers. Plus, having a shortened season will force teams to play harder going down the stretch as every point is golden. This should be an interesting few months.

In other sports, the Philadelphia Phillies signed Delmon Young from the Detroit Tigers. On the surface this Looks like a horrible signing and a poor attempt to help this inconsistent offense. I think fans are making irrational judgements here as well. First of all, the team signed him to a one year contract at less than a million dollars. Yes, Young has been a problem in the past, but he has matured and can surely provide some pop. He most likely will bat in the fifth spot to provide protection for Ryan Howard. Young was the ALCS MVP and is capable of hitting .300 and hitting 25 HR and getting 100RBI while filling the teams void in right field. There is always negativity, but really?? At lest give the guy a month to prove wether he has it.

The Pro Bowl is this Sunday, not that any one cares. The Pro Bowl might be the least important all star game in sports. Nonetheless, there is always some incredible football being played and a chance to see your favorite players. I am still sticking to my prediction that the Baltimore Ravens will win the Superbowl. Speaking of Super Bowl, I guess everyone has heard of the Chicken Wing shortage this season. Yes, you heard it right folks, chicken wing shortage…ughhh.
Finally, after all this gun control debate, a record number of weapons were purchased in a panic and now there is an ammunition shortage. People really use their heads this year. Lets just keep buying more guns. Anyways, stay tuned for more banter regarding this and other topics.

20130125-182626.jpg

NHL (NO HOCKEY LEADERS)

Today the NHL announced that it has now cancelled the season, at least through November! This all but guarantees that the league will not play a full 82 Game Schedule this season. The players and owners would have had to have come to an agreement by next Thursday for that to happen. At this point….who really cares. This league is ruining any credibility that it regained with its fans. It makes me sick to my stomache just thinking about how greedy both sides are being!!! I mean….the players make millions of dollars to play a sport they love….have fun doing it…and lots of them become stars and celebrities. Where is the leadership. These players are so selfish. This league is so second rate. I hope Alex Ovechkin never plays another game in this country. Stick to your Russian Playboy Models Alex. Where is the Jeremy Roenick’s of the League? How about the Ron Hextall’s. Claude Lemieux, Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Hull, Patrick Roy? Bobby Clarke? And the owners are no better. These players and owners are filthy rich. They take for granted what they have. While you and I bust our asses in retail positions, labor jobs, long hours, shitty pay. It’s rediculous. The small time employees (vendors, ticket takers, Zamboni drivers, security, etc….) are the real losers here. Them and the fans. What can this lockout teach all the young children who love hockey…the ones that play and idolize these players. What does the Die Hard Fan say to their sons and daughters who ask why hockey is not playing. These players are such bitches!!!! Seriously….Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, And all the former players as well as current flyers players. You guys suck as leaders. The only thing you are leading is the no hockey left pole. Each day that you players and owners go on with this work stoppage….the more fans you lose forever. Baseball with the World Series going on right now is at the top of its popularity in years. The NFL gets better and better every year! WTF guys….get a grip…stop being greedy and settle already. This is so sickening to myself…a die hard Flyers fan. These guys have no clue…especially the foreign players. They have no idea how they are ruining this sport forever! No Hockey Left…that is what the NHL stands for now. No hope left. I hope you and your families are happy because you have ruined your legacy. You should be ashamed of yourselves. Middle class America busting its ass while you all complain about a few million dollars. Grow up…be men. This league used to be full of players that gave a shit…now it’s just a bunch of Cry Babies! Settle soon or else risk losing the core group of fans. It took so long for the league to get back the last time…imagine how hard this will be if u do not sign the dotted line. Like if you think this league is Greedy and needs to Grow Up!

20121026-213225.jpg