We are now down to the Conference Finals. In the Western Conference, the Phoenix Coyotes dispatched the Nashville Predators in 5 games, while the Los Angeles Kings swept the St Louis Blues. In the Eastern Conference, the New Jersey Devils eliminated the Philadelphia Flyers in 5 games, while the New York Rangers took 7 games to eliminate the Washington Capitals. My record for the 2nd round was 3-1, for a total record of 8-4. Some notes about the playoffs thusfar:
–The Kings are 5-0 on the road heading into the West Finals. The last time this happened was in 1988, when the Edmonton oilers were en route to their 4th Cup in 5 years.
–The Rangers are now 5-0 at home in Game 7’s.
–All 7 games between the Capitals and Rangers were decided by 1 goal. It is the first time in NHL history this has happened.
–Neither the Rangers nor Capitals scored more than 3 goals in any game. Whoever scored first in this series won.
–Mike Smith is 3-0 after a loss in these playoffs to date.
My predictions for the Conference finals are as follows, beginning with the West:
(8) Los Angeles Kings vs (3) Phoenix Coyotes
season series: Kings were 3-1-2 vs Coyotes, Coyuotes were 3-2-1 vs Kings
prediction: Los Angeles
(6) New Jersey Devils vs (1) New York Rangers
season series: Rangers were 3-2-1 vs Devils, Devils were 3-3 vs Rangers
prediction: New York
The quarterfinals of the Stanley Cup playoffs are now over. I went 5-3 in my predictions. The Chicago-Phoenix series saw the first 5 games go overtime, which tied the record set in the 1951 Stanley Cuyp Finals between Montreal and Toronto. Also, the Blackhawks set a new record with 7 straight overtime games, dating back to the last 2 games of the quarterfinals vs Vancouver.
There were also suspensions that were handed out. The biggest and most notable was the one that was handed down to Phoenix forward Raffi Torres. During Game 3 of the series between Phoenix and Chicago in Chicago, he delivered an illegal check to the head of Chicago forward Marian Hossa by leaving his feet. With him having been fined or suspended 5 times for the same type of play, he was issued a 25 game suspension on April 21.
My predictions for the Conference semifinals are as follows, beginning withn the Western Conference.
1. (8) Los Angeles Kings vs (2) St. Louis Blues
season series: Los Angeles went 3-1 vs St. Louis, while St. Louis went 1-2-1 vs Los Angeles.
Prediction: Los Angeles
2. (4) Nashville Predators vs (3) Phoenix Coyotes
season series: Phoenix went 2-1-1 vs Nashville, Nashville went 2-2 vs Phoenix.
1. (7) Washington Capitals vs (1) New York Rangers
season series: tied 2-2
prediction: New York
2. (6) New Jersey Devils vs (5) Philadelphia Flyers
season series: Philadelphia was 3-2-1 vs New Jersey, the Devils were 3-3 vs Philadelphia.
The NHL season is now over, and the playoffs are set to begin. The 16 teams were set going into the final day, but not all the seedings. That wasn’t set until the final game of the NHL season, when San Jose defeated Los Angeles. The final standings can be found here:
Now, the second season begins. What follows are my 1st round predictions. Predictions for the 2nd round will be when the 1st round is over. I’ll begin witrh the Eastern conference.
1. (1) New York Rangers v (8) Ottawa Senators
season series: Ottawa 3-1 (New York was 1-2-1 v Ottawa)
prediction: New York
2. (2) Boston Bruins v (7) Washington Capitals
season series: Washington 3-1 (Boston was 1-2-1 v Washington)
3. (3) Florida Panthers v (6) New Jersey Devils
season series: Florida 2-1-1 (NJ was 2-2 v Florida)
prediction: New Jersey
4. (4) Pittsburgh Penguins v (5) Philadelphia Flyers
season series: Philadelphia 4-2 (Pittsburgh was 2-3-1 v Philadelphia)
1. (1) Vancouver Canucks v (8) Los Angeles Kings
season series: Los Angeles 2-1-1 (Vancouver was 2-2 v Los Angeles)
prediction: Los Angeles
2. (2) St. Louis Blues v (7) San Jose Sharks
season series: St. Louis 4-0
prediction: St. Louis
3. (3) Phoenix Coyotes v (6) Chicago Blackhawks
season series: Phoenix 3-1 (Chicago was 1-2-1 v Phoenix)
4. (4) Nashville Predators v (5) Detroit Red Wings
season series: tied 3-3
The “Sweet 16″ of college hockey begins tonight. The conference tournament champions are Union College (ECAC), Western Michigan (CCHA), North Dakota (WCHA), Boston College (Hockey East), and Air Force (Atlantic Hockey). The top seeds are Union (East), Michigan (Midwest), North Dakota (West) and Boston College (Northeast).
Games today (March 23) in the East regional are (1) Union vs (4) Michigan State and (3) Massachussetts-Lowell vs (4) Miami (Ohio). Games today (March 23) in the Midwest regional are (1) Michigan vs (4) Cornell and (3) Denver vs (2) Ferris St. Regional Finals will be on March 24, where the winners will meet in one semi-final on April 5 in Tampa.
Games on March 24 in the West Regional are (1) North Dakota vs Western Michigan and (3) Boston University vs (2) Minnesota. Games on March 24 in the Northeast Regional are (1) Boston College vs (4) Air Force and (3) Maine vs (2) Minnesota-Duluth. Regional finals will be on March 25, where these winners will meet on April 5 in Tampa. The National Championship will be on April 7. Games can be seen on ESPNU and ESPN3/ESPN3.com. THE 2nd semifinal game and national championship game can be seen on ESPN2.
Regional sites are as follows:
East: Webster Bank Arena, Bridgeport CT (hosts: Yale and Fairfield Universities)
Midwest: Resch Center, Green Bay WI (host: Michigan Tech)
West: XCel energy Center, St Paul MN (host: Minnesota University)
Northeast: DCU Center, Worcester MA (Host: College of the Holy Cross).
The Chicago Blackhawks are at Madison Square Garden tonight to face their Original 6 rivals, the New York Rangers. It is the first of 2 meetings this season between these long time rivals. The Rangers lead the Eastern conference with a record of 37-13-5 for 79 points, and only 1 point behind the Detroit Red Wings for best record in the league. The Blackhawks are 4th in the Central Division (6th overall)with a 29-21-7 record for 65 points.
The Blackhawks have not won in Madison Square garden since a 4-3 win on December 11, 2002. They have not beaten the Rangers since a 2-1 OT win at the United Center on December 9, 2009. Martin Biron starts in goal tonight for the Rangers, who is 10-2-1 with a GAA of 2.02 and a saves pct. of .919. Corey Crawford starts for the Hawks, who is 18-14-5, 2.99, and .898.
The 2 teams meet again at the United Center on March 9.
Back in November, when the Blackhawks visited Edmonton and were drubbed by a 9-2 score, it was suggested that they acquire Sam Gagner because he was the linemate of Patrick Kane in juniors. With his 8 point night against the Hawks in an 8-4 romp over the Hawks on 2/2/12, that talk has been re-ignited. Should the Hawks consider acquiring him?
Consider this: On November 9, 1982, then-GM Bob Pulford made a deal with Calgary to acquire Calgary’s first round pick (#13 overall). He played 41 games for the Blackhawks in 1982-83, scoring 7 goals and 8 assists (15 points), has 2 PIM, and a +/- of + 6. The next season, he split time between the Blackhawks and the Springfield Indians (the Hawks farm club at the time). Playing in 46 games for the parent club, he had 12-13-25, 19 PIM and even at plus-minus. In 87 games over 2 seasons, he had 19 goals, 21 assists for 40 points, 19 PIM and an overall +/- of +6.
Who was this player? Denis Cyr. Like Gagner, he was the linemate of Denis Savard in juniors (Montreal juniors). This move was to help Cyr, but it had no effect. And who did the Blackhawks give up to get Cyr? Center Carey Wilson, who had a stellar career with Calgary, Hartford, and the New York Rangers.
So, should the Blackhawks trade for Sam Gagner to help Patrick Kane? No.
The following is from the newsletter I get at work. I thought I would post this as it is almost Valentine’s Day.
“HOW DO YOU SAY ‘I LOVE YOU’?”
“Everyone needs to feel love in different ways. For some, it’s words; for others, it’s action. There are many ways to let someone know how deeply you care. Here are some ideas:
“1. LEAVE A NOTE IN A LUNCHBOX OR BRIEFCASE. Use the note to say thank you for what you appreciate abouit the person or include a promise of what you might do for him or her (such as make dinner, give a back rub, etc.)
2. SEND AN E-MAIL DURING THE DAY. It doesn’t have to be overly mushy. A simple, “I’m thinking of you” can make people feel they are loved.
3. PITCH IN WITH A TO-DO PROJECT THAT YOUR LOVED ONE HAS WANTED TO START/COMPLETE. it doesn’t matter what it is. It can be painting a room, repairing a leaky faucet, or organizing the home office, for example.
4. SURPRISE YOUR SPECIAL SOMEONE WITH SPONTANEITY. Without letting him or her know ahead of time, plan an evening out or a daytrip. Knowing that you put time and effort into planning something can be as meaningful as the activity itself.”