Thursday, April 26, 2007

Goalies in the Offseason.

Rangers Fail to wrangle Buffalo

Sean Avery: take a look at this picture. You will be seeing this all night, every night for the next 4 games of your infamous NHL career. That is if you survive that long before someone throws your agitating ass under a locomotive. That aside, the Sabres showed up and gently reminded the Rangers that they really had it easy in the first round. I'd love to comment more on this game but I have decided it's going to be a clean sweep of the Rangers and there is no need to watch.

Round 2: FIGHT

It was a tough night for luongo. He spent 5 occasions in a position similar to this with the puck staring back at him menacingly. The pucks they use in the NHL are a nasty breed. Look at the fear in his eyes! That being said the night started well for the Canucks with the offensive juggernaut Jeff Cowan notching his 7th goal of the year. He's totally dominating the ice and my office hockey pool. Sadly, annoyingly and somewhat unacceptably the Ducks turned things around. Teamoo Salivanuts scored. Then some kid from McDonalds or somesuch. I have to be honestly, saying anything positive about the Ducks ranks up there with that burning sensation I feel when I pee. I can't respect a team that was inspired by a disney movie. I can't respect Chris Pronger. Yeah yeah, he can beat me up but he's in Anaheim and I'm not. ScottyN is cool though, what's he doing with those freaks! Getzlaf should be ashamed of himself too. Anyhow, hatred for the Ducks aside, the Nucks better buckle down and score some goals.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Round 2

San Jose in 6
Anaheim in 5
Buffalo in 6
Ottawa in 7

Monday, April 23, 2007

Vancouver, you're our only hope. . .

This man had a message for the offensively offense-less Vancouver Canucks; "Step up or I will send you to 3-a-days in Siberia." Actually, I just made that up but it rings true. In what was the hardest weekend this season for us here at GSN central, our hopes of a western-Canadian team moving to round two rest squarely on the shoulders of Luongo, the Sedin sisters, and Jeff Cowan. I can't offer any prognostication for the final contest of round 1. In fact, our spirits could be broken for good by the end of the evening. I'm tired of Drew Remenda and company pointing to the stat of ShotsOnGoal (SOG) and claiming that 'Pucks on Net' make 'good things happen'. A better stat is scoring chances. How many offensive zone scoring chances did each team have? Anyhow, Canucks better win this one. Please.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Game 6 Mini Post DET vs CGY

The GSN war-room is currently located at Rob's place. In Game Coverage, sorta live.*

Um. Officially, this sucks. Noodles should have slashed you harder Franzen. Much Much harder.

10:12: Going by SOG, this game should be over.

9:53: A 4 minute PK. This doesn't look good for the Flames. Drew Remenda needs to find a new job.

9:45: Flames PP. Drew Remenda thinks it's a bad call. Drew Remenda is an idiot.

9:27: OT Suckas.

9:25: wtf. GSN Central is alternating between Rage, Excitement, and Anxiety.

9:12: Drew Remenda: "It creates a 3 on 1 when Dion Phaneuf jumps in the back door" Jesus Drew, you really need to tape yourself and listen to it.

9:11: Calgary is clearly playing for the overtime point. I think Colorado is losing, so this is clearly a good strategy. *disgust*

8:42: Anxiety is the name of the second intermission. A tie dammit.

8:29: Tony Amonte, aka CRAZY LEGS. Please do NOT touch the puck. Because when you do, Detroit scores.

8:25: Can noise damage concrete? Gotta loves those Flames Fans.

8:22: The boys look good this period, Drew Remenda needs to change his shorts after commentating on Mika's amazing flexibility and goal tending.


*Game 5 will be discussed Monday.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Friday, April 20, 2007

Dropping like Flies

Buffalo in 5. It looks like every analyst in the world was right. Too bad that doesn't include me, I didn't think the NYI would win a game.

Ducks in 5. Zzzzz. I have to admit this team is a juggernaut, especially on the backend with Pronger and Neidermayer. They would be a tough 2nd round match up for the Flames if they were fortunate enough.

Rangers sweep. I thought Atlanta would make a much stronger showing. Ouch. Are the Rangers for reals?

Dallas eeks out a game 5 win in OT. One thing Andrew and I can agree on - the Canucks fans are annoying. Louuuuu. You know, I still think Dallas could pull this one out. Hold serve at home and anything can happen in Game 7. Turco truly deserves better; he has redeemed himself this year.

NJ up 3-2 on TB. Since a 7 seed always upsets a 2, I picked TB since I didn't think Wild could handle the Ducks. TB has scored a lot of fluky goals. I doubt they can pull another 2004 SCF.

Watching Sharks/Preds right now. 2-2 in the third. Preds with their 3rd 5 min major/game misconduct of the series. They have to be the dirtiest team in hockey.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

I realize everyone is posting this, and I stole it from Hockeygirl, but this is too good to pass up. My American co-worker wants to know why there are people with cowboy hats, buffaloes, and hockey. Why would cowboys care about hockey?

Phaneuf hit on Datsyuk

Some of us are at GSN are bitter about Phaneuf's greatness. We post videos where he looks like a goof. Meanwhile, some of us think Phaneuf is the 2nd coming of Chuck Norris. We have crazy man-crushes on Dion.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

72 Days Until July 1 When the Oilers Become More Awesome Than Your Life

Best Game of the Playoffs - Game 4

Unlike most Cowtown fans I didn't think the Flames were playing that great in Game 3. I mean, it was orders of magnitude better than in Detroit, but that isn't saying anything. They weren't feeding off the crowd. When they scored and the crowd went into a frenzy, they played without emotion. They weren't hitting everything that moved, save the one gorgeous Phaneuf hit.

Tonight was a thing of beauty. For some reason, I just hadn't been feeling the normal playoff butterflies-in-your-stomach, edge of your seat, punching the couch excitement. Most of that was probably due to a couple of embarassing games in Hockey Town, and the Predators being more dirty than physical.

But tonight was just raw excitement. IMHO, the crowd was way better tonight. Even right after Detroit would score, "GO FLAMES GO" chants rang out loud and clear. The constant chants of Hassssekkkkkk were fantastic. The last 5 mins were so intense I was squeezing my pillow like a woman in labour. During the checking line shift with 3 mins to go, I was standing up clapping like an idiot despite watching it alone. Time-shifted. On my PVR.

The first period was crazy. I loved Iginla getting into Hasek's head and seeing him flop like a fish out of water. Hasek got up pretty quickly when he realized Babbcock was going to eat him alive. So he thinks to himself, how can I get Iginla back? He does a partial Bertuzzi/Simon and attempts to swing that paddle. Too bad he thought better of that too - if he connected with any gusto he'd be gone for the playoffs. You gotta love the contrast between Kipper and Hasek. I enjoyed Remenda's anecdote of Kipper asking the two refs "Maybe you guys should switch positions?" and how after a 51 shot game 2 Kipper lamented "Yeah, I was sort of busy but it's fine".

A wasted 5 on 3 by Calgary, but on the 5 on 4 Detroit left Langkow wide open in the slot and he buried it. Unfortunately the Flames again failed to feed off the crowd. Booing Bertuzzi seemed to wake him up. Sloppy play behind the net leads to a Bertuzzi goal. Conroy comes down with a bit of a fluke goal, but give him credit for shooting with a couple of Wings screening Hasek. Again, the Flames aren't capitalizing on the momentum shift and pretty soon Bertuzzi gives Franzen a nice pass. That line was trouble all night.

The other guy who was dangerous all night, and all series... Kris Draper. How good is he? He's so good that when Sutter broke up the Grind Line by taking D-Mac, Detroit doesn't miss a beat. This guy goes balls-to-the-wall all night. I love him. Like Grier on SJ. I'd kill to have him on the Flames. Not an amazing talent but just great grit, determination, hockey sense, leadership. Exactly what the Flames need these days. But I digress...

Lidstrom with his 2nd rare mistake of the serious, holding up Iginla, who was a horse all night. Again, the Flames make them pay on the 5-3. What a beautiful pass by Tanguay. The guy really makes all his teammates better. And with him starting to hit, he could become 0.75 of a Joe Thornton.

Flames finally harnessed energy in the 3rd. Great PKs. Amazing shot blocking. Keep their feet moving all night.

Guys/Things I noticed tonight:

Stephan Yelle - Sandbox is 0.75 of a Kris Draper. Great energy. When it seemed like nobody on the Flames could clear the zone, Yelle found a way.

Marcus Nilson - Wow! It seemed like he was fading this year, but turned it on late. He reminds me of '04 now. Great chance alone on Hasek. A few great PK shifts and a strong forecheck all night.

Jarome Iginla - Playing with a fire in his belly. No goals but making Lidstrom clutch, and a few great chances down low.

Daymond Langkow - What can you say. 2 times alone in the slot, 0 mistakes. He really stepped up.

Miikka Kiprusoff - I want your babies. Nuff said. Actually, it's not enough said. Even in the final 5 mins when Flames couldn't clear, Kipper was air tight. Did you see how fast he was moving on that CBC replay with the 3 save series? Just brilliant. No way would I take Hasek over this guy.

Craig Conroy - Only for the first period though. Good PK, good goal. The rest of the game he disappeared, and was terrible on the faceoff dot.

Brad Stuart - Very solid game. Great shot blocking.

Roman Hamrlik -
Best defenceman tonight. Goal saving play after Giordano made an awful play at the blueline. And a huge hit behind the net on... Draper I think.

Kris Draper - You rock.

Dom Hasek -
You are a spaz.

Don Whitman - Could you make an action packed, edge-of-your-seat game sound any less exciting? It's time to put Cole, Neale and Whitman out to pasture. The future is Jim Hughson, and Chris Cuthbert. Maybe Gord Miller for bronze.

Flames PK - Dynamite all night. Clearing it again and again. Extremely impressive. The Versus guys love to talk about the Detroit PP. Hopefully they don't look at the numbers.

Flames entering the zone - What a fantastic job! Crossing the blue line with speed, with numbers. Calgary barely had any offsides all night.

2 Minute Minors for Hooking - I think there were 9 of them in the game! Argh! Don't be calling that crap in the third. Even that one on Lebda hooking Lombardi in the third was BS. One thing I'll give the refs credit for - they were consistent. I didn't feel much hate for them since they seemed impartial.

Fantastic game. I'm tired of all these series ending in 5 games. This one has some passion now.

A New Hope

Even without the mighty Chewbacca (Robyn Regs); Han Solo (Tangs), Obi Wan Kenobi (Amonte), Luke Skywalker (Matts Lombo) will be up to the task of defeating the evil Galactic Empire. Count on special guest appearances from Lando Calrissian (Iggy) and Princess Leia (Warrener). Comedic relief will be provided by Stu-ey, Zueyi and Gio as they plaster the ugly mug of Dan Cleary into a plexiglass oblivion. Lord Vader (Bertuzzi) will likely be owned in a 'Who's your Daddy?' fashion and the old and busted Emperor (Hasek) will again be busy getting peppered by a revitalized Flames.

Potential Line up for the Flames:
Huselius - Langkow - Iginla
Tanguay - Conroy - Moss
Primeau - Lombardi - Amonte <--- Crazy Legs? Still?
Friesen - Yelle - Nilson
Scratches: Godard, Ritchie, McCarty
Hamrlik - Phaneuf
Stuart - Warrener
Giordano - Zyuzin <---- WHAT THE EFF?

Frankly, Playfair kills me. What the lines should be:
O Groups:
freisen-yelle-nilson (the only line I agree with)
D pairs:
Hammer - Warrener
Gio - Phaneuf
Stu - Zyu

I hope he reads this. It's his only hope.

Pens vs Sens Pregame Report: UFC Stanley Cup Edition.

A prophetic stat: The Senators are 4-0 when holding a 3 games to 1 in the post season. I am sure Bettman will be sad but I feel it in my bones, the Penguins are going home defeated tonight. Let's discuss what everyone really wants to talk about, Ray Emery and Sid Crosby. It's clear that the Pens have a standing order to uh, get in Emery's personal space. I question the wisdom of crashing a goalie that boxes in the offseason and thinks Wesley Snipes should play him in a movie. Even Sid got in on the 'Let's crash Emery party' last game and the noted 'tough' goalie had some words for the young NHL superstar. Sadly, when asked, Emery played coy and said he didn't remember the exact words but there were likely some expletives. I bet it sounded like, "I will F**king f**k you the f**k up." Ray Emery's tough guy image is well deserved. Sidney? Well he needs to take lessons from Jarome Iginla. Anyhow, should be a fun night. I suspect the Pens are done after this game. Remember when this series started and Brian Murray said his boys were the underdogs?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Crackers and Canucks

Brent Sopel has had a rough week. With what may be the worlds most dangerous cracker now safely in the confines of an ebay bidding war, Sopel can heal up. Perhaps he can aid his team against the Stars by visiting Turco with a box of Saltines? All kidding aside, the Nucks have been handling the Stars well. Very well in fact with Modano not even registering a shot on goal in last evenings game. Even Ribiero was held off the board, I suspect he may unveil his special move, the electric fish, in the next game.

What can we expect to see in the next game? I think Vancouver will get 'er done. Turco and company will be send home for the 3rd season. Momentum is on the side of Bongo and Sedin Sister. I may go as far to say Cowan scores the winner. Cowan is an offensive juggernaut.

A Play-By-Play of the Flamers Game by Me

8:00pm: Some dude blows his horn throughout the Canadian anthem. Yeah, you're cool.

8:05pm: Game starts. I want to kill Drew Remenda already.

8:15pm: Calgary looks like they're actually gonna try and win this game.

8:40ishpm: First period done, nothing happened.

9:15pm: Lombardi scores. Meh whatever.

9:16pm: Looks like the Saddledome circus show is in full effect tonight. Be sure to colour coordinate your fans, include crowd participation, and synchronize some highly irritating horn blowing! Oh, and don't forget to use your thundersticks.

This is the most appalling thing I've seen in a long time. I want to vomit.

9:20pm: Draper scores. Yay.

940ishpm: Second period done.

10:05pm: Phaneuf gets drilled, throws his head into the boards, wakes up dazed, allows Draper to score, and then stumbles around while Detroit celebrates. It's like a dream come true.

10:06pm: Phaneuf goes to the dressing room. Horror!

10:10pm: Giordano the Goblin scores on the billionth powerplay in a row. But he took Phanuef's spot on the blueline there. The irony!

10:11pm: I walk around my apartment trying to figure out where a high-pitched noise is coming from. Wait, that's from my TV and the fire alarm at the Saddledome is going off. Perhaps it's because the building almost catches fire everytime there's a goal.

10:15pm: Phaneuf comes back to the bench. I am filled with disappointment.

10:17pm: The senile old man used as a goal judge decides to turn the light on and start the goal horn when the puck is 4 FEET FROM THE DETRIOT GOAL LINE. Good eye there, captain.

10:20pm: Iggy scores.

10:40ishpm: Calgary wins. They play Ring of Fire. Oh how clever.

10:41pm: That was gay.

11:00pm: The jocks outside my building yell and honk their horns.

Some of that stuff maybe out of order, but whatever.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Flames Beat Detroit. Finally.

I return from the Red Sea a changed man. Prior to the start of Game 3 in the Detroit-Calgary series Calgary Flames fans had many questions, where were their beloved, gritty, pain delivering Flames? Why couldn't Jim Playfair outfox Mike Babcock? Did the Flames even want to play in the post season? Hushed whispers regarding the return of Big D to the Calgary pine could be heard in the darkest of alleys. Rumor has it, some fans spoke of miracles (did they not see the first two games? the miracle has happened, it's called Kipper).
Rushing to perch in seats (procured at the last moment by the worlds greatest fiancee) at the highest point possible in the Calgary Saddledome, I gamely inflated my thundersticks, assembled the paper helmet and gritted my teeth waiting for the puck to drop. Calgary fans brought their A game. Outside of the venue, I am sure it was a dull roar, inside it was another world. Detroit, welcome back to Calgary it's been too long.

Period One:
The first period, mixed with raucous cheering, brought out the best in the Flames. They appeared settled, strong defensively and even had moments of offensive consistency. Despite an early 4 minute minor assessed to Wayne Primeau, the officials seemed content to let the boys play. Detroit, ever dangerous, showed signs of their classic blitzkrieg style but Flames defenders responded well and Kipper was ice cold and determined. A scary moment when Warrener took a Zetterberg shot to the face and dropped to the ice writhing in pain. Rhett returned in the second, thankfully. The first period closed with a curious stat, the Flames outshot the Wings.

Period 2
Tangs and Lombo connected to open scoring at 9:20 in the second. In a gritty give-n-go that beat Hasek and drove him into his net. This was a nice gritty hardworking goal and a much deserved tally for Matt Lombardi. Kris Draper, answered back for the Wings converting a goofy rebound into redemption. Notably, Datsyuk and Lidstrom were oddly quiet. In his first NHL playoff experience, Giordano blasted one past Hasek on a Flames power play. Sadly, this lead was short lived as Kris Draper struck again, leveling Dion Phaneuf and capitalizing on the momentary man advantage. Personally, I felt play should have been halted and a penalty assessed for elbowing but I think the Wings have an exemption from the NHL. This period closed early as a pane of glass shattered behind Mika.

Period 3
Early into the fire alarm did indeed go off. Calgary Fans are a tough bunch, a mere blaze won't keep them away from a tie game. Instead, chants of, 'The Roof! The Roof! The Roof is on Fire!" were reverberating through the Dome. This period looked evenly matched until the Captain himself out stepped a pesky Lidstrom to wire one past Hasek. Hasek looked old and busted on that play to be sure. The rest of the period was a nail biter for Calgary fans as Kipper, as always, made sure the lead was protected.

I think this was a good game for the Flames. Juice appeared composed with the puck, Tangs was back to his self and Iggy finally got on the board. With excellent efforts from secondary lines and secondary scoring I think the Flames can drag this series out if they continue to play hard. You can't underestimate the Wings, they are a great team with immense depth. I don't think JimmyP has everything dialed in yet but let's hope he can learn. And quickly. Till this game, Babcock was owning him.

I like Mike Grier

It was a strange game last night at the Shark Tank. First, they gave us white pom poms. White? Why not teal!? Sea of Teal man! It makes it look like we are waving the white flag.

Wilson sends Clowe out for the opening faceoff, even though it isn't his line. Why? So he can start a bloodbath. But instead, no fights. In the whole game!! Where is the revenge for the dirty ass hits! (PS: Props to Bernier for being back out there for Game 2 after that vicious hit to the head). In fact, SJ only took 2 minor (BS) penalties the whole game.

Then, for 2 periods, the Sharks were doing their best Flames impression. They could not handle a pass to save their life. Passes were jumping over sticks, the guys looked nervous. And that's weird, because of the ~10 games Sharks game I've gone to this year, approximately 9 of them have featured total domination. Normally the Sharks make the other team look like AHLers.

The only guy who was going all out balls-deep was Mike Grier. Hitting anything that moved, diving for pucks, taking it deep on the PK. He was the only Sharks giving it his all. Thornton and Marleau were pretty much invisible. Rivet had giveaway after giveaway.

It wasn't quite an accurate Flames impression though, because they were outshooting the Preds by a 2-1 ratio. However, every time Nashville gained the zone, their chances were dangerous. Another oddity - Nashville kept sending players off the ice for a few minutes at a time. It was like a revolving door. I think I saw Hamhuis, Erat, Kariya, and Forsberg all go off for 2-3 mins each. Strange.

Preds take a 1-0 lead in the first on a nifty passing play, picking apart the defence and Nabakov fully committing to a shot that was passed. In the 2nd, the Sharks finally take a shot from the point with traffic, and Vokoun probably never even realized they were shooting. Michalek tips it, 1-1.

The game winner was my favourite. You couldn't see this on TV, but at the game it was crystal clear. Kariya leaves the penalty box with the Sharks applying pressure. Instead of racing in to help his short-handed team out, like any good player would do, especially in the playoff, Kariya hangs out at the red line, cherry picking for a good 20 seconds. You see, Kariya felt that 4 Preds could take on the league's #2 ranked PP without him. He's just skating around, waiting for the Hail Mary. Next thing you know, Clowe puts it in the net. I hate Kariya. He's my least favourite Olympic Canadian. Well, after Bertuzzi I guess.

The third was more what I'm used to. SJ settled down and dominated. The passes start bouncing over the Predator's sticks. Marleau with a beautiful tip to ice it with 3ish minutes to go.

The icing on the cake? 1st star for Grier, with no goals. Just an all out gutsy playoff effort. Nice to see him get rewarded. What an awesome team player.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

An Update or Something

Detroit vs Calgary
You can't imagine how satisfying this is for me.

Anaheim vs Minnesota
Don't care.

Vancouver vs Dallas
Thank god they're in Dallas now. Now I don't have to listen to the idiot fans yell LOOOUUUUUUU, which happened 97 times the last two games. Oh look, Luongo took a drink of water...LOOOOOUUUUUUU. Anyways, Dallas is looking good.

Nashville vs San Jose
This series is great. Because of all the hate and killing.

Buffalo vs NY Islanders
How did the Islanders win a game wtf.

New Jersey vs Tampa
Don't really care too much either.

Atlanta vs NY Rangers
Didn't see this coming.

Ottawa vs Pittsburgh
Colby Armstrong rocks. Pittsburgh has no chance if Fleury keeps sucking so hard, and that's considering Emery is on the other side.

Mmmm.... Humble Pie.

Looks like I am chowing down on some tasty humble pie. Pavel Datsyuk is owning the Flames, breaking out in step with my other break out predictions. The Flames got demolished out there today. 97-35 for shots in the two games combined. If that's not embarrassing I don't know what is. Regehr is badly missed out there. Lidstrom is absolutely smothering Iginla. If Calgary can't cash on the intensity of the fans at the Dome, this series is going to be over in 4. Even the freaking Islanders beat Buffalo!

Turco looks good. The Stars are scary.

Did anyone watch the NBC feed of Pens vs Sens game 2? All they could talk about was Crosby, for 3 hours. Come on now. He's good, but that's a good series. And then of course, he gets the game winner in a comeback win. It smells like it was almost orchestrated by the NHL. I'm looking forward to Game 3 today.

I also can't wait for Game 3 in the SJ/Nashville series. I'll be in the crowd. Radulov is a dirty SOB. That hit was ugly. I am looking forward to McLaren laying out some Predator scum and Tootoo getting his ugly face crushed in by Clowe.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Friday Night Fights

Sharks and Preds
'We came to play Hockey they turned it into a street fight' commented Coach Trotz. Coach Wilson had much less to say in the post game conference. I guess someone should tell Twitchy face Trotz that if one of your boys knocks out the opposing team's star you shouldn't expect any flowers. Either way, this game was bloody and the Sharks were seriously knocked off their game when the preds scored two men down. That's right folks. Oh, this series just got real.

The canucks played Flames hockey and realized that it sucks. Turco backstopped the Stars to a 2-0 win. Bongo kept this game respectable but let's hope the Sedins and the rest of Van shows up next game, otherwise this will be a short lived series.

Wild Ducks
I still despise both of these teams. Ducks lead the series 2-0.

Photo Credit: Getty Images via TSN

Friday, April 13, 2007

Predict-o-Tron 2000

photo credit: PB

Vancouver and Dallas are set for another epic showdown this evening. GSN's predictOTron was cranked up and here were the results.

Flames Doused in Detroit

The Detroit Red Wings have fired a devastating opening salvo against the Flames. The final tally for shots on goal, 46 for Detroit and a mere 20 for Calgary. With the final score merely 4-1 in favour of the motor city, the flames can say this: Kipper is on fire. Too bad the rest of them are not. Playfair did not set his lines up all that well, and the majority of the flames players looked much like they have all season on the road, disinterested. For a scathing read check here. For their part Detroit looked strong and confident with Datsyuk finally scoring and Zetterberg playing. Hasek was largely untested in the game but a late game collision with Kipper may bring the fire out in the Flames on Sunday. One can hope.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

What could go wrong?

Artwork Credit: Calgary Puck's octothrop


It's spring time. Time for renewal. Time for redemption.

This year, I made some of my playoff pool picks based on the belief that some individual players who are notorious for playoff underperforming are going to break out.

Joe Thornton. This guy has a reputation for disappearing come April, but I think he's going to break out this year. Getting out of the pressure cooker of an original-6 team, and moving to the warm Norcal sun has made a world of difference. A couple of 90-assist seasons later, Thornton is ready to break out postseason style. Last night, he looked good. No, great. A couple of hail-mary tape-to-tape passes to Grier's stick. 2 assists. So far so good. Look for the Thornton and the Sharks to upstage proven playoff performer Forsberg.

Marty Turco. How can one of the perennial top goalies in the regular season go on a vacation come playoff time? Turco is just too good to keep failing. The way he moves the puck makes a huge difference. He deserved a better fate last night after the Stars pounded away on Luongo all night but couldn't break it open. I took the Stars but there's a good chance Luongo can outplay him.

Daniel Alfredsson. It's time for the Sens to put it together. They've been near the top of the East for years, but can never pull it together in the playoffs. In fact, a non-North-American-captained team hasn't won the cup in ages. But the pieces are here for the Sens this year. They have grit and skill in both Heatley and Spezza. Alfredsson has a chip on his shoulder. The Pens are incredibly young and inexperienced. Fleury looked iffy last night. I think the Sens will take care of the Pens.

Pavel Datsyuk. I lied. I didn't pick all the vanishing artists to win. Both my heart and my gut say Flames. After tying or winning the President's trophy 4 of the last 5 years, there is huge pressure on the Wings to make an extended playoff run. And on nobody more than Datsyuk. This guy hasn't scored in the Playoffs in 2002. Yikes! As the Flames and Wings found last year, 1st round pressure is hard to handle. Far better to be the underdog who nobody thinks can win. I'm thinking the Wings can't handle the pounding the Flames will dish out. Datsyuk will enter the witness protection program. Flames will run the crease and send Dom into a total frenzy, then use that to get inside his head. Flames in 7.

AskGSN: My team didn't make the playoffs, Who do I cheer for?

It's a question we get a fair bit from our readers, my team is currently not in the playoffs, who should I cheer for? This is not an easy dilemma. No one wants to be accused of 'Jumping on the Bandwagon' and no one wants to be like those emo-hipster kids whose favourite band changes every week. Hockey is about loyalty and honour dammit! But the playoffs are hard to enjoy when your team is hitting the links while your arch nemesis is vying to drink champagne out of the cup. I speak from the heart as I watched the Oilers steam to the 7th game of the finals while the flames enjoyed a round 1 exit. So, GSN went to great lengths to construct an algorithm to pick a team to cheer for. Unfortunately, at first, the algorithm was a bit off . . . but we've fixed that glitch and may I present to you the team to cheer for in round 1 of the NHL playoffs if your team is out: The New York Islanders.
Why: Doobie Doobie DO

Another Satisfied Customer
Picture Credit: MrWilloby

Duhhhh Phaneuf Smash!

Day 1 of 2007 Playoffs

Ok, if any of you survived the Van-Dallas Marathon and made it to work on time this morning, I salute you. Personally, I was like the guy in the video, I couldn't make it to the end. But I have a new hydration strategy: Beer. And lots of it.

Quick Recap of the evening:

Pens and Sens
Sid the Kid and his band of Newbies were neutralized by the ice cold precision of the Spezza Commandos. The Pens brutal beat down was eclipsed only by Chris Neil's break away goal. If the Sens can maintain this brilliant strategy of not allowing many shots on Ray Emery(faced 23 shots, 3 went in), they will be contenders. I call the Sens in 6.

Sharks are Predators too
Well. I'm rooting for the Preds in this one. The Sharks were dealt a blow with CheeChoo getting kneed earlier in the game. Then with one minute remaining the Preds tied it up with a blast from the point. TSN mucked up the feed and I had to endure Marty McSorely commentating for 3 minutes. Thanks to that I got confused which side Thorton and Forsberg actually play for. This is going to game seven, and likely 4 OTs.

Speaking of 4 OTs
Dear Dallas and Vancouver. You have cost corporate American 1 Billion dollars due to your game going into 4 OTs! Anyhow, Luongo deserves the Ironman of the night with 72 saves for the win. Yes folks, 72 saves. I call that a pelting. As usual, the Sedin Sisters emerged from the mothership to score the winning goal. I predict the 'Nucks in 6 but only because of Bongo's mad skill and the Sedin's reliance on Scientology.

Wild Duck
I hate Minnie. I hate the Ducks. Don't expect a great deal of useful comments. Minnie played for the tie and that seems like a great strategy getting knocked out of the playoffs. I can't watch this series without vomiting so no predictions.