Posts Tagged ‘Zdeno Chara’

Warning: This is part three of a three part “story”, so if you haven’t read part one & part two, do yourself a favor and read them.

To refresh your memories, the three remaining players are: Boll, Carcillo & Konopka.

RD: We’ve got three guys left in the ring, and a fourth is coming to join them, by the name of Jordan Tootoo.

Rob: He was your pick, wasn’t he RD?

RD: Yes, he was, and he drew a favorable Rumble position.

Joey: He’s mixing it up with Carcillo right now.

Rob: I still can’t believe that Carcillo is in this match.

RD: This has been a great match so far, and we still have five more entrants to come!

Joey: In fact, I think it’s time for #26.

RD: Yes, and a matter of fact, it’s Dallas Star Steve Ott.

Rob: Carcillo sees Ott and seems to have a second wind.  These two are just trading shots!

Joey: Boll and Tootoo are trying to double team Konopka, but Konopka just banged their heads together.

RD: We’re now down to the nitty gritty with #27 George “the Animal” Parros entering the ring.

Joey: What’s the first thing Parros does? Goes right to an empty turnbuckle and bites it.

Rob: He just ripped that thing off with his teeth! And is eating it!

Joey: I haven’t seen such a display since the late 80s!

RD: He just threw the turnbuckle stuffing into the face of Tootoo!

Rob: Tootoo is blinded and walked right into a Boll Slam!

Joey: Tootoo might be out, but Boll can’t get him eliminated with Konopka beating on his back.

RD: Here we go, #28 is none other than fan favorite Paul “BizNasty” Bissonnette! (more…)

Advertisements

After the regular season, we took it upon ourselves to vote for five major NHL awards (Hart, Vezina, Norris, Calder and Adams).  With the awards show tomorrow night, let’s take a quick look back on how we did voting wise and who the frontrunner for those awards are.

Hart Memorial Trophy
This year, the three finalists are: Anaheim’s Corey Perry, Vancouver’s Daniel Sedin and Tampa Bay’s Martin St. Louis. Our voting had Perry, Sedin and Tim Thomas. With no disrespect to St. Louis, this is a two horse race. Corey Perry had 50 goals and dominated down the stretch. Sedin scored a career-high 41 goals, and 104 points, winning the Art Ross. Both guys are deserving but there can only be one winner. This season Perry’s been the most valuable to his team and should pick up the Hart. However, Sedin should win the Ted Lindsay (Most Outstanding Player) award.

Vezina Trophy
The Canucks’ Roberto Luongo, Predators’ Pekka Rinne and Bruins’ Tim Thomas are the finalists for the Vezina trophy. All three made were our finalists also. Thomas should dominate the voting and easily pick up the hardware this year, which would be his second Vezina (2009).

James Norris Trophy
Zdeno Chara, Nicklas Lidstrom and Shea Weber are the 2010-11 finalists. Our voting was close, with those three defenseman along with Lubomir Visnovsky finishing as our top vote getters. (Yes, I know that is four, but we had a 3-way tie for 2nd). Even though he’s not as well known as his co-finalists, Weber had a fantastic season and should win his first NHL trophy.

Calder Memorial Trophy
This year, the Sharks’ Logan Couture, Islanders’ Michael Grabner and Hurricanes’ Jeff Skinner are the NHL’s finalists. Once again, our top 3 voted finalists match the NHL’s. All three topped 30 goals and 50 points. Couture and Skinner will likely go 1-2 (in some order) but Couture is the pick here.

Jack Adams Award
The NHL’s finalist for the Adams Award are: Pittsburgh’s Dan Bylsma, Nashville’s Barry Trotz and Vancouver’s Alain Vigneault. Unfortunately, of those three only Bylsma made our finalists. The other two were Tampa’s Guy Boucher and New Jersey’s Jacques Lemaire. The frontrunner should be Bylsma, who almost won the Atlantic Division, despite his two best players (Crosby and Malkin) being injured.

Our voting produced 12 of the 15 NHL’s finalists. So who will win some of the other awards?

Ryan Kesler seems like the heavy favorite to unseat 3-time defending winner Pavel Datsyuk (a co-finalist) for the Selke Trophy. Datsyuk isn’t even going to Las Vegas for the awards show, and could be a sign of a new winner. The Blackhawks’ Jonathan Toews is the other candidate.

The Lady Byng was another Datsyuk specialty, winning four times since the lockout. However, he was in a fight this season which prompted the internet to joke that he “blew his Byng chances.” Last year’s winner Martin St. Louis is in the running once again, along with Lidstrom and Dallas’ Loui Eriksson. St. Louis will probably win the award again this year.

The Masterton trophy is given to a player that shows perseverance and this year’s field has gone through a lot. Ray Emery (degenerative hip condition), Daymond Langkow (neck injury) and Ian Laperriere (brain injury) all are deserving, but this year’s winner has to be Emery. Thought to possibly have trouble walking in the future (let alone playing hockey), Emery rehabbed most of this season, and signed with the Ducks in February, playing in 16 games (including playoffs) for Anaheim.

One other award up for grabs is the Messier Leadership award. Chara, Lidstrom and Phoenix’s Shane Doan are this year’s finalists. The Coyotes battled relocation rumors all season and still managed to finish fifth. Doan’s been Phoenix’s captain since 2003. He was also Canada’s captain in the 2007 World Championships. He should be recognized for his leadership.

Vancouver took a huge step towards its’ first Stanley Cup victory on Friday, beating Boston 1-0 on the strength of a Maxim Lapierre goal.  However, for the fourth time in the series, the Sedin twins were held off the scoresheet.

Daniel totaled 41 goals and 104 points in the regular season, and carried that over to the playoffs where he’s tallied 9 goals and 18 points.  In the regular season, Henrik posted 19 goals and 94 points, and coming into the Stanley Cup Final, led in playoff points with 21 points.

In the Stanley Cup Final, the two have combined for two points (1 goal, 1 assist) through the first five games, and both were in game 2 by Daniel.  Daniel’s taken 20 shots in the series, but Henrik has only four, and didn’t register a shot until game 4.

In the Western Conference Finals against the Sharks, the duo combined for a mind boggling 18 points (3 goals, 15 assists) in the five game series.  In game 4 alone, they racked up 7 points in the Canucks 4-3 win.  They tallied 12 points in the first round series against the Blackhawks.  Their second round opponent, Nashville, “slowed” them down for 7 points in 6 games.

The twins haven’t had to carry the load in the Final, which is a good thing for Vancouver.  Guys like Raffi Torres, Alex Burrows, Jannik Hansen and Maxim Lapierre (regular season total of 55 goals between the four players) have all scored in the series and the team is leading in the series.  But it’s also a bad thing, as the Canucks’ top scorers are not producing.  The biggest problem seems to be on the power play, where the Canucks have gone 1 for 26 in the series, after leading the league with a 24.3% power play.

Have the Bruins shutdown the twins? The Bruins seem to match Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg against the Canucks’ top line every time they touch the ice, neutralizing them.  Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault has given Boston a lot of credit, saying “We’re playing against a real strong opponent right now and we’ve got a lot of respect for how the Bruins play.”  Teammate Kevin Bieksa agreed, “They’re [the Sedins] great players. We rely on them a lot. But they are playing against two pretty good defensemen (Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg).”

If the Sedins can get on the scoreboard in tomorrow night’s game 6, it will increase Vancouver’s chances of winning their first Stanley Cup in franchise history.

After last night’s game four, I’m convinced that anyone outside of Boston and Vancouver can’t stand both teams.

In game three, Aaron Rome knocked out Nathan Horton. Rome was ejected and suspended and you thought it would just end there. That was far from the truth. With the Bruins leading, the game degenerated into scrumfest. Daniel Sedin, Andrew Ference (twice), Shawn Thornton, Alex Burrows, Ryan Kesler, Milan Lucic, Kevin Bieska and Dennis Seidenberg were all given ten minute major misconducts in the third period. Kesler and Seidenberg even dropped the gloves.

Throughout the series the two teams have traded alleged bites, taunts, slashes, elbows, sucker punches, anything you can think of. Point is both teams have made this a dirty, dirty series. Some have defended it, calling it “Old Time Hockey.” No, no, incorrect. Old timers would be embarrassed that this is the Stanley Cup Final.  Think Bobby Orr would approve of finger taunting? No way.

Last night the bad blood kept going late in the third period.

It all started (restarted?) when Brad Marchand and Christian Ehrhoff were racing for a puck in the Canucks’ zone. Marchand tried to go around Ehrhoff and with his free hand, semi-clotheslined the defenseman.  Daniel Sedin skated in and Marchand ducked under him and dumped him.  The only positive thing Keith Ballard did all night was grab Marchand.  (Sidenote: Wow, was Ballard brutal last night.)  That put the Nucks on the powerplay.  Of course, it didn’t last long, as Alex Burrows slashed Tim Thomas’ stick out of his hands, resulting in a Thomas chop across Burrows’ calves.  Burrows had enough and round two began.  Kesler and Zdeno Chara picked up misconducts, and their nights were done.

Rooting for a team in this series is almost like picking the lesser of two evils.  One can root for a team because they hate one team more, but feel dirty for doing so.

Last year’s Cup Finalists, the Blackhawks and Flyers, are pretty well unliked throughout the league, and they didn’t even garner this much negative attention.

My plea for both teams for the remaining games is play for the Stanley Cup.  The trophy that’s awarded to the best team in hockey.  Not the team who can dive or scrum best.  Play hockey, guys.

After tonight’s Vancouver’s Game 1 victory, thanks to Raffi Torres’ late goal, there are a few things we learned during the course of the game.

1. Daniel & Henrik are brothers

Over the course of the whole game, Doc Emrick may have mentioned that the Sedins were brothers about 479 times.  I can understand mentioning it a couple times, because there are new viewers, tuning into the playoffs for the first time.  But it seemed like everytime the two were on the ice together, or passing to each other, it was mentioned.  Reminded me of the old Slapshot quote from Ned Bradon to the Hansons, “are you guys brothers or something?”

2. Zdeno Chara is in the wrong spot on the Bruins PP

Not that I’m an NHL coach or anything, but one would have to think Chara would be more effective on the powerplay at the point with his booming shot.  Yeah, Chara can out-muscle and outreach any other player on the ice for a loose puck in front of the net, but wouldn’t you want a 106 MPH cannon on the blueline?  Just ask Ryan Callahan how that feels.

2a. Speaking of the Bruins PP….

The Bruins’ powerplay woes were well known coming into the series, going 5 for 61 (8.2%) heading into tonight, including an awful 1 for 26 (3.8%) on the road.  Their woes continued tonight, as the team went 0 for 6, making their overall playoff percentage 7.5. Yikes. The Bruins failed to score on an early four minute powerplay and a 1:32 two man advantage, and it cost them in the end.

3. The referees’ whistles work

Through the first two periods, the refs called 13 penalties for 28 minutes.  Thankfully they put the penalty whistles away in the third period.  Unfortunately they still had to blow them for offsides and icing, which seemed to happen every couple minutes during the game.  Hopefully Game 2’s flow is a bit better.

4. Patrice Bergeron tastes like chicken

At the end of first period, there was a scrum, in which Patrice Bergeron got mixed up with Alex Burrows.  Bergeron picked up a minor for roughing; Burrows a double minor for roughing and a quick snack.  Video appears to show Burrows biting Bergeron.  Burrows should probably be suspended, but do the importance of the Stanley Cup Finals cancel that?  I’d bet no, but regardless, Brendan Shanahan has his new job cut out for him.

5. Thomas & Luongo are good; really, really good

Everyone knew these two guys were two of the best goalies in the league, as shown by their Vezina nominations.  But their play in Game 1 was stellar.  People talked about nerves, as these guys are playing in their first Stanley Cup.  If either one is nervous, neither is showing it.  Both goaltenders made “wow” saves throughout the game to keep their team alive.  When Pierre McGuire said, “the goaltending has been magnificent”, he actually wasn’t exaggerating for once.  The two were the clearcut first and second stars of the game, combining for 69 saves on 70 shots.  If these guys keep playing this well, we might have a bunch of 1-0 games in our future.

As the NHL season comes to a close, we are going to vote on the NHL Awards, and four of us will pick one candidate each to “campaign” for. At the bottom, you will see balloting and the final results.

Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings by Gabbi

While there are several worthy candidates for the Norris trophy, there’s no doughty about who this year’s recipient should be. All puns aside, the top defenseman in the National Hockey League this season is Drew Doughty of the LA Kings. For a young guy playing only his third season in the NHL he’s playing as though he’s been in the league for 20 years. (While looking at his numbers I saw NHL Seasons: 3 and said, “No. There’s no way!”) Coming of a sophomore campaign where he was nominated for the Norris, he had 40 points and helped anchor the defense of the young Kings team. With that, young Drew Doughty has earned this year’s Norris trophy.

Lubomir Visnovsky, Anaheim Ducks by Realdeal

Visnovsky has to be the Norris favorite after leading all NHL Defensemen in points (62), and finishing second in goals (18).  He’s played over 24 minutes per game for the Ducks, being a rock on their blueline when the team needed it the most.  His 116 blocked shots are ahead of the likes of other Norris candidates such as Weber, Letang and Chara.  His +18 is pretty respectable and his 5 Power Play goals and 31 Power Play points are part of the reason the Ducks finished second with the man advantage.

Shea Weber, Nashville Predators by Cujo

For the Norris trophy a man you should consider is Shea Weber. He might not have as many points as some, but he has been a real workhorse for the Nashville Predators. He is averaging 25:19 in ice time and 29 shifts per game. 2nd on the team in blocks and 1st in hits, he knows what it takes to get the job done on the ice.

Keith Yandle, Phoenix Coyotes by Joey

I’m sorry say that again…Yandle is 24? Hard to believe that this year’s most consistent defenseman in all facets of the blueline game is young buck Keith Yandle of the Coyotes.  Handling top minutes and opposing teams’ best forwards night in and night out in lieu of Zybnek Michalek’s departure to Pittsburgh could easily have been a sign of tough times for Yandle this year. Except not only has he filled in admirably but he has only improved in stats and intangibles for the third consecutive season. Considering the typical development of an NHL ready defenseman, we may be looking at the next big thing on the blueline for a long long time. This is no flash in the pan; this is a Norris candidate for years to come. 

Final Voting (more…)