Thursday, May 30, 2013

Round 'Em Up!

Chicago Survivors vs. Lost Angles Can't Shoots

I heard Kelly Hrudey on Marek vs. Wyshynski (May 29th) actually say he thought the Los Angeles Kings could sweep the Chicago Blackhawks. He's probably not alone in that so many in the media seem to have lost the plot. Neither of the two Kings series so far have been (a) worth watching or (b) an indication that the El Lay Kings are actually any good at all. Oh, you enjoyed the way the Kings opened Game 7 at home vs. the San Jose Sharks but pouring all of 3 shots on net in the first and 4 on net in the third. This is a team that's going to sweep Chicago?

The worse thing is the Kings could actually win the Cup again and this time even more so thanks to having an insanely great goalie in Jonathan Quick. Once again, hockey is reduced to nothing more than--find a great goalie, skate and hit hard and score at least two goals a game . . . you too can go deep in the playoffs!

Hey, a little help offensively, please!

Sorry, if I prefer my blue collar hockey more Boston Bruins than LA Kings. I just do. I need actual action around the net not along the boards.

Let's break this Kings hype down. Not only are they scoring at an even slower rate than last year's playoffs through two rounds (2.0 goals per game in 2013 vs. 3.0 in 2012) but for all this "great" hitting they are supposedly doing, it's leading to virtually no offensive chances (24.1 shots per 60 minutes now vs. 28.5 last year) and Quick having to bail them out time and again. This is not your 2012 playoff Kings at all.
They had 30 shots on goal in all of one game out of the 13 they've played even with three of those going into overtime and one lasting over 13 minutes of OT. This is bad hockey period. End of story.

Nearly half of their games they've given up over 30 shots. This is Darryl Sutter hockey. Ride that Kiprusoff/Quick and hit everything in sight so you'll be so tired you can't even be bothered shooting the puck at the net (related philosophy see New York Rangers under Torts and replace hitting with shot blocking). That'll work and get you to the Final and even get you one Cup. Can it get a repeat Cup though when you have now played 13 games vs. just 9 through two rounds last season.

Plus the road warriors of 2012 are long gone. The Kings went 10W 1L on the road back then. This year they are 1W 5L on the road in the playoffs and have to start off in Chicago playing Games 1 and 2 on back-to-back nights this weekend. Good luck with that as this Blackhawk team has had their scare and should be raring to go in round three.  

So, yes, now that Blackhawk fans can breathe again, let's get real. Loads of eventual champions have to overcome being down in series be it 0-2 or 1-3. Do I really need to haul out the list? Unless you're the '70s Habs, you're going to have some tough series along the way to the Cup.

Also, enough with the Jonathan Toews not scoring. You do realize in the 2010 Final, he was the 11th leading scorer with just 3 assists vs. the Philadelphia Flyers? It's about "teams" not individuals otherwise where was Sidney Crosby in 2009? He was the Pittsburgh Penguins' 6th leading scorer with a paltry 3 points vs. the Detroit Red Wings in the Final.

So could we please turn off the panic mode every single playoff year and wake up to the fact, it comes down to matchups and sometimes best vs. best cancel each other out and it means your second, third or fourth best lines have to come through. That's playoff hockey since the days of Jean Beliveau.

Pittsburgh Iggy Want Cup vs. Boston Krugs

Since the Pens got their groove back once their goaltending situation got settled and the B's did the same once they pulled back from the brink in round one, round two was a cakewalk for both teams really.

Now how do these two match up? Well, judging from the two out of three regular season contests where Vokoun was in nets vs. Boston, he played very well with a .944 save percentage. The problem is the B's steamrolled the Pens offensively outshooting them 32-18 and 40-24 in both of those games.

Plus doesn't it seem to you that Boston is starting to look like that 2011 Cup team again? I mean, replace Tim Thomas with Tuukka Rask and Jaromir Jagr is Mark Recchi (maybe not points-wise yet but chance-wise Jagr is 4th on the team so far with 36 shots on goal) and really it's virtually the same team only maybe a bit hungrier to prove they can win it without Timmy.

The B's roll basically three lines who come at you in those swarming waves and their fourth line even won them a game last series vs. the New York Shotblockers. Zdeno Chara is basically a wall back on D. Even the injuries on the back end have not affected their team's D or offense.

What exactly is a Torey Krug anyway? 

Krug: (def'n) Divine Providence

Also, now that Sidney Crosby has been cleared to remove his jaw/chin guard, is he insane enough to do that when he has to play against this Big Bad Bruin now? 

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