I honestly dont think it matters what happens in the East bracket, the Red Wings are unstoppable!
... even by Tim Thomas and the Big Bad Bruins.
This is not an easy pill to swallow, coming from a guy whos inlaws are from Michigan, and whos wife's cousin married a Michigan State hockey fanatic dubbed simply as "the Angry Guy". Beckster and I go out there ever year for Christmas so I usually talk hockey with Chris "the Angry Guy" as we get drunker. I won a bet from him when I predicted we would sign Briere. As payment for the bet, Chris delivered a case of Dirty Bastard Ale
to me which was almost undrinkable, way tooo heavy and bitter.
When Pavel Datsyuk first broke into the league
, I was friends with Lena, his accountant, of all people!! and she got me a bunch of autographed photos of Pavel with Yzerman, Zetterberg, Lidstrom and Bowman... that I gave to my dad. I barely heard of him back then, and now the guy is touted as the best 2-way player in the league... but thats not why I'm predicting the Wings for another repeat.
The Red Wings must be the most disciplined team in the NHL!
Once again they lead everyone with LEAST Penalty Minutes, just like last playoff season.
In comparison, the Flyers were the most penalized team in round 1 with over 100 PIMS...which is TWICE as many PIMS as even Anaheim Ducks (who are usually 1st or 2nd in PIMs).
The Red Wings are also at a playoff leading 31% PowerPlay
, even outdoing their season league-leading average!! In comparison the Sharks and Flyers
(both league top-5 in reg season) both had a paltry 11% PP. The bottom of the list rounds out with the Devils and Rangers
both at 9% and Carolina's
miniscule 5% PP.
Anyway... so how great is Geno Malkin?
He unquestionably won the series for the Pens. Fleury and Biron had similar numbers, and they both stole 1 game each. The total goals scored were extremely even..a whopping 2 goals more scored by the Pens over 6 games is what i consider neglegible. Most of the other important stats were also even. As expected, the Flyers had more well-rounded team numbers while the Pens were top-heavy with Malkin leading the way.
I've got to hand it to the Pens, they put that puck in the net when it mattered most, whether they kicked it in, baseball-batted it in or just plain out took advantage of Biron's massive rebounds. IMO, games 1 and 2 decided this series. Inconsistant calls aside, it was a Bad move by Flyers to lose home-ice and come out with a weak series start.
The Flyers got SCALR'ed by the salary cap, having to play unknown defencemen for 2 of the final games, and I think this is a valuable cap management lesson to Homer! Lets all hope for a fruitful offseason, I'm confident some key moves will be made. In Homer we trust!
With Ed Snyder
quoted saying there wont be much in regards to team personnel changes, it will be fun to see what actually transpires. I expect 2 new goalies, and 1 or 2 significan changes in the forward and defencive corps as my 'best-case' scenario.
In fantasy land, I'd love to see a trade with Atlanta!
Call me crazy, but I still would love to get my hands on Kovalchuck. If we could do something like Briere + Lupul + ? (+ players, picks or prospects).. for Lehtonen + Kovalchuck, I'd do that one in a heartbeat!! and its almost identical money cap hit. However, I dont think Atlanta will be moving Kovalchuck.
But even if Kovalchuck isnt part of that deal, it could be a defenceman like Valabik, Enstrom or Bogosian
or a foreward like Colby Armstrong
. Regardless of all that, I firmly believe that this team can benefit in bringing in a different goalie tandem with a solid starter like Lehtonen, Josh Harding or Khabbi
and any number of cheap available backups like Conklin, Anderson, or even bringing back Brian Boucher who was scarfed out from under us by the Sharks and had impressive numbers.
Oh, and I almost forgot to say... SCALR AT ME L8R, PEEPS!! YO!
Your comments are welcome.
ps: Jsaqella is a douchebag