After last night's game seven turned out to be a major disappointment for all hockey fans except for Pens fans, hopefully, tonight's less heralded games will give us the meat and potatoes action that we crave.
Wednesday nights game between Pittsburgh and Washington could have been a fairly good game and still have been considered as not meeting expectations based on the hype level of the media and the fans. Unfortunately, it was an incredible groaner for anyone other that the most hardened Penguins fan.
Washington never seemed in sinc right from the beginning of the game. We were live blogging at the RLD and Jackson called the impending collapse by the Caps about a minute before the first goal. He didn't call the second one, eight seconds later as two goals have never been scored that quickly in a prior game seven.
After surviving the rest of the period, two quick goals by the Pens at the start of the second period ended any hope that it would be an interesting game. Varlamov's magic was gone, as was he, being replaced by Jose "Theomore". The final 6-2 score was very indicative of the slaughter that occured.
I have to give praise to Sidney Crosby, although I'm still not a fan, as he clearly was the most solid two way player on the ice for the series. Crosby and his rival, Alexander Ovechkin each had eight goals for the series and Ovie actually had more points leading Crosby 14-13. However, Ovechkin, appeared to be lackadaisical on defense and was clearly outplayed in game seven.
We should hear of injuries to Alexander Semin and Mike Green at some point in the next few days as both were no-shows in the series. In fact, Green was pulled for the third period in game seven. Maybe Don Cherry was right about the haircut.
Tonight, we are all hoping for more competitive action. Again, we will be forced to chose as the staggered start times of one hour is completely irresponsible scheduling by the league. In fact, in the US, viewing choices are limited for the Boston-Carolina match as Versus will pick up the game at the conclusion of Anaheim-Detroit. Once again, the NHL will force the public to go to "unauthorized" internet feeds in order to see both games.
In the Anaheim-Detroit game, the big question will be whether the post game fisticuffs from game six awakened the sleeping Pavel Datsyuk from his malaise in this series. My prognostication skills have been poor the last couple of nights, but I still feel Detroit will pull this out, while admitting that the Ducks may, indeed, have the Wings number.
In the Bruins-Hurricanes series, the big question will be whether or not Carolina can recover from the severe thrashings of the last two games to win on the road in Boston. The edge in playoff experience should go to Carolina, but the sheer power shown by the Bruins since their awakening may be what counts.
For complete pre-game breakdowns and computer projections, go to the Red Light District. Ryan gave the impressive figure of his simulated games having an 18-10 record so far in the playoffs. That's better than my 39-27 record in the TwtPool picks.
In Predator News...
The Milwaukee Admirals ended their playoff run in a 5-2 loss to Houston on Wednesday night. The Ads fell behind early on two quick Aero goals in a fashion that was similar to the Pens jumping on the Caps. Ms Conduct and I share the same feeling over the series outcome.
Patric Hornqvist and Mike Santorelli scored for the Ads in the loss. This has to be a major disappointment for a team that was built to go deep into the playoffs and was loaded with players with NHL experience. One bright spot was the fact that defensive prospect, Jonathan Blum was able to get a good taste of the AHL after completing his season with the Vancouver Giants.
It was announced on Wednesday that Colin Wilson will appear for autographs at the Predators Open House on Sunday. What was not announced publicly is that Wilson will also make his first appearance for the local press in conjunction with this visit to Nashville. That should be interesting.
From the Twittersphere - The best reporters anywhere are the roving bands of Twitter users. @racheladdison made this post and picture this morning "the Mad Cows WIN with Ellis skating out and Fiddler in goal. Gotta love C-League hockey games..." This is quality news you won't find in the MSM. Thanks Rachel for sharing!
From Jim Diamond at the Examiner comes an article on Jeff Foss, the Pred's sixth pick in last year's draft. This is a good read about a player that admittedly, I knew nothing about. Thanks to Jim for beating the bushes to did this up.
John Glennon wants his Norris Trophy vote back after watching Mike Green play against Pittsburgh.
Around the league...
The Globe and Mail says that the NHL calls the Balsillie deal "a sham". The Toronto Star gives a similar story.
Here is the prior story about Balsillie's deal with Hamilton to use the Copps Coliseum.
Jim must think the media is not presenting the storethe way he wants it done so here's his statement on the Copps Coliseum option that he has arranged.
In Phoenix, the Save the Coyotes White-Out event is set for Saturday at 10:00 at the Native New Yorker, in Glendale. Here's a poster to distribute. Everyone is encouraged to wear white for the same effect that occurred during the Coyote's past playoff games. If you want to send a special invitation or have thoughts to share with Jim Balsillie, it is reported that you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass
Update to the above Balsillie stuff. Jim's really slinging it now and wants to play hardball per the Toronto Star. Here's a great quote from the story,"I tell you, by complying with the club rules you get 100 per cent denied the very thing you're looking for. There was no other team coming to Canada. It wasn't going to happen. There was no chance. Certainly not Hamilton. Guaranteed." Here's a video of the interview. It's about four minutes and worth a watch.
Here is another Balsillie Press release in response to the Motions filed by the NHL in the Phoenix court.
Gary Bettman is doing NHL Live from the Joe in Detroit.
From @Sully26 - "Going bowling tonight! Celebrities Strike Up a Cure. Hope we can help Eric Yutzy raise a bunch of money for a great cause!"