Congratulations to the Philadelphia Flyers and Detroit Red Wings for reaching their respective conference finals.
-The job that Flyers coach John Stevens has done in the playoffs is nothing short of spectacular. The guy had a team that was supposed to be road kill in round one and navigated it past two teams whose coaches were finalists for the Jack Adams. Since a 39 point turnaround in one season while working 8 or 9 new faces into a team's line-up isn't worth Adams consideration, here's hoping Stevens manages to get his name on a somewhat more significant trophy sometime in Early June.
Perhaps then Rambo will get a slice of credit outside the city of Philadelphia. By the way, happy 42nd coach.
-Evgeni Malkin's slew foot was ignored by the NHL. I'd complain more, but I know full well that star players are graded differently than the rank and file types.
-At one point, I had hoped that Peter Forsberg would return to the Philadelphia Flyers. My only condition was that Forsberg's health needed to be 100%. Well, it wasn't and his ignoring his promise to not return unless his health was certain and to not be a distraction played a big role in the ending of Colorado's season after the Wings' 4 game sweep in round two.
Forsberg needs to put common sense before pride and love of the game. If he can't be more than a sideshow, he isn't helping whatever team he is on. I am not joining the chorus of those calling on him to retire, I am only calling for him to use better judgment-to not play to scratch his own itch, but to be an asset to the team he's on.
-Trolling. It is the bane of all internet discussion forums. I, for one, despise it. I come here to have conversations about the sport that I love, with others of the same mind. Yet for some reason, there seems to be a bumper crop of maladjusted idiots that revel in posting inanities and BS while adding nothing to the conversation at hand.
I would like to see instant bans for those whose only purpose is to disrupt the conversations that follow the blogs by HB's many talented and devoted writers. I have been goaded into replying, but no more. From now on, I am simply going to click the ! button every time I see a troll.
Far too often it's becoming a waste of time coming to a site I get a great deal of enjoyment out of because I have to wade through three pages of name calling. I have no problem with the side conversations that veer from hockey talk. Those are great because this is a social site. However at the same time, hockey is the reason we come here. Let's attempt to be adults, people.
-The Canadiens Carey Price had a rough series against the Flyers, but I think he's got the mental make-up to learn from it, rather than have it destroy his confidence. Price is a big kid, and he uses technique to stop the puck. He needs to improve his glove hand and his rebound control, but the kid's got a bright future, as does his team.
-Watching people talk about Brian Campbell during these playoffs is like watching Bloomberg Business. The constant discussion seems to be exactly how much money the Shark defenseman is costing himself on the open market each time the team loses. GM's know what Soupy brings to the table-he's a great skater, very good offensively and he's weak in his own end. If that is a surprise to anyone, they haven't watched the Eastern Conference playoffs for the past 3 years. Campbell is getting his money.
-Teams thinking of adding Jeff Finger as a FA might want to look at his playoff performance when calculating an offer. He played a solid regular season, but the guy consistently made bone headed plays in the postseason and hurt his team.
-As wonderful as this Flyers run is, in the back of my head, I see somebody tossing a HUGE deal at Jeff Carter. It wouldn't surprise me if he gets a big offer, should he not re-sign before July 1st. The Flyers are almost certain to take RJ Umberger to arbitration, but Carter is being gazed upon like a limping gazelle in the savanah.