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Posts Tagged ‘Stanley Cup’

Quick Hits – May 31

May 31, 2012 2 comments

 

In other news around the league…

 

  • Career Red Wing defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom retired today at the age of 42. Lidstrom played 20 seasons, helped the Wings win four Stanley Cups and was a seven time winner of the Norris Trophy. Lidstrom is the current record holder for consecutive games played on one team with 1564 games. A four time Olympian, Lidstrom, who hails from Sweden, scored the Gold Medal winning goal for his country’s team in the 2006 games. In his career, he had 264 goals, 1142 points and a plus/minus rating of +450.

 

  • The Phoenix Coyotes (read:cry-babies) will not be disciplined for their post-game shenanigans after they lost in OT to the Kings in the Western Conference Finals. NHL executive VP Colin Campbell made the announcement prior to last nights Game One of the Stanley Cup Finals. Campbell laid out to the press what he said to each of the offending parties on the Coyotes roster and essentially said that, beyond a stern talking to, no discipline would be levied.

So, let’s review as I’m sure this won’t be the first or last time this happens in a playoff series ending game: Shane Doan and Keith Yandle go off, positively bonkers in their postgame commentary invoking conspiracy theories, calling out league ownership of the Coyotes, comparing the referees color scheme to the Kings colors and relating this to why the Kings won and they lost…no discipline. Mike Smith throws his stick to the ice in the direction of a ref…no discipline. Martin Hanzal skating aggresively and threateningly to and getting in the face of a ref to yell and scream (I’m quite certain dinner plans weren’t being discussed)…no discipline.

When this happens again, be it this season or next, we’ll see how the league responds.

 

  • The Calgary Flames have hired Bob Hartley as their new head coach after not renewing the contract of Brent Sutter at the end of this season. The former Colorado and Atlanta coach is 329-226-61 in the regular season and 49-35 in the post season, winning one Stanley Cup while he was with the Avs in 2000-01 season. Harley has not coached in the NHL since being fired by the Thrashers six games into the 2007-08 season.

 

 

Kings Stay Perfect on the Road

May 29, 2012 Leave a comment

It took Overtime to get it done but the Kings continue to do the improbable, winning Game One of the Stanley Cup Finals halfway through the overtime period on a breakaway goal by Anze Kopitar. With the 2-1 OT victory the Kings continue to dominate on the road, winning 9 straight this postseason and 11 dating back to last years’ postseason.

 

This was a surprisingly cleanly played game (6 penalty minutes total between the two teams), however the Kings outworked the Devils in just about every important statistical category. The Kings outshot the Devils 25-18, gave up fewer turnovers 6-11, won more faceoffs 31-25 and killed both penalties assessed against them.

 

In what little scoring there was with two phenomenal goalies in net for tonight’s matchup, the Kings took an early lead halfway through the first on a goal by Colin Fraser, his first career postseason goal. You couldn’t pick a grander stage to nail your first postseason marker, eh, Colin? Late in the second,  Devils’ defenseman Anton Volchenkov tied the game with his first goal of the postseason, fourth overall in his 8 years in the league.

 

There the score remained throughout the remainder of regulation. Midway through the OT period, Kopitar took a pass from Justin Williams, skated in alone, worked the puck to draw veteran goalie Martin Brodeur out and down as Kopitar first faked a backhand then flicked a forehand under Brodeur’s right pad as he was splayed out in the crease. No matter which side of the rink you were rooting for, this Game One of the Stanley Cup Finals was a spectacular nail-biter. Which brings me to a gripe I’ve had that’s grown over the past few days…

 

For those who have riddled blogosphere, talk radio and TV with nonsense about this Stanley Cup featuring two of the worst teams to reach the big stage, a bit of perspective is needed. I understand where they were seeded when the playoffs were locked in. I get that. However, both of these ‘bad’ teams obviously played better than the ‘good’ teams they faced. This is an undeniable fact. They’re here, you’re watching (or not watching) them play for the Stanley Cup.

 

If the Blues or the Flyers, Canucks or the Pens were supposed to be here just because they finished the regular season in a better spot, there’d be no need for a playoff. Hence, the argument is circular, self defeating and you essentially suggest an elimination of playoff hockey by saying bad teams got here and by default, #1 Eastern and #1 Western should ALWAYS play for the cup. No one would watch the sport if that happened. Some of the most exciting hockey you’ll ever see is playoff hockey!

 

In short, quit your whining because your favorite #1 or #2 seed couldn’t put together a proper post season and advance. Your team lost. Your team did not grind out overtime games or slog through six and seven game series’ the way the Devils did. Your team did not find a way to win consistently on the road as the Kings have. In my opinion, the two best teams are currently playing for the right to hoist the cup. They’ve earned their spot on this stage and they’ll play Game Two on Saturday Night at 5pm PDT

Today in NHL History – May 26

May 26, 2012 Leave a comment

 

1988 – The Edmonton Oilers won their fourth NHL Stanley Cup in five seasons. They swept the series 4 games to 0 against the Boston Bruins.

Edmonton Oilers

Edmonton Oilers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Todays history brought to you by http://www.on-this-day.com

Today in NHL History – May 25

May 25, 2012 Leave a comment

 

1989 – The Calgary Flames won their first NHL Stanley Cup by defeating the Montreal Canadiens.

 

1995 – The NHL announced the sale of the Quebec Nordiques to COMSAT, who moved the team to Colorado

 

Todays history brought to you by http://www.on-this-day.com

Last Team Standing

May 22, 2012 2 comments

This past weekend and last night were a bust for L.A. sports team fans in the throes of Playoff Fever. The Clippers were swept out of the second round of the NBA Playoffs by the San Antonio Spurs (Shocker!), the Lakers all but got swept, losing in 5 to take an early exit from the Playoffs courtesy of a wildly talented Oklahoma City Thunder team who, a few short years ago were the lackluster and floundering Seattle Supersonics.

And then, there was one. The L.A. Kings, who also stumbled Sunday on their path to the Stanley Cup Finals finally saw the Phoenix Coyotes team that the Nashville Predators and the Chicago Blackhawks both got acquainted with before taking their skates and going home early in the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs.  We knew they were gritty, we knew they were good, we knew Mike Smith was a surprising goalie having a breakout year. Apparently it took having their collective backs against a wall to play all out hockey. Phoenix fans could breathe a sigh of relief and their team gets another shot at drawing closer to evening the series tonight.

The task is daunting in the face of a Kings team that hasn’t lost on the road in the playoffs since their Vancouver series in the 2010-11 campaign. Ask Coach Tippett or any of the other Coyotes and they’ll probably tell you they’re not focused on that and that they’re just trying to win one game at a time until they get to their first ever appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Kings Defenseman Willie Mitchell was interviewed on ESPN Radio yesterday during the afternoon drive and echoed the sentiment of the locker room that they regretted that they couldn’t close out the series at home and “pop the roof off of Staples [Center].” One way or the other, the Kings are on a mission and will probably wear their loss at home on their sleeves, as a chip on the shoulder and pound the Coyotes into submission as they did in the first three games of the series. They looked flat Sunday and I can almost assure you that Coach Darryl Sutter won’t let that happen again for a second game.

See Also:

http://laforumdemontreal.wordpress.com/2012/05/18/stanley-fit-for-a-king/

http://kingshockeyforwomen.com/2012/05/22/game-preview-kings-vs-coyotes-game-5-errors-corrected/

Today in NHL History – May 19

May 19, 2012 Leave a comment

 

The flying P has been the Flyers' primary logo...

The flying P has been the Flyers’ primary logo since the beginning. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1974 – The Philadelphia Flyers became the first post-’67 expansion team to win the Stanley Cup. The Flyers won the cup the following season as well.

1984 – The Edmonton Oilers won their first Stanley Cup. They defeated the New York Islanders in five games.

 

Todays history brought to you by http://www.on-this-day.com

Today in NHL History – May 10

May 10, 2012 1 comment

 

1970 – Bobby Orr (Boston Bruins) scored a goal to win Game 4, and the Stanley Cup, over the St. Louis Blues. A statue was later created by Harry Weber that depicted Orr flying through the air immediately after scoring the goal.

Bobby Orr flies through the air after scoring ...

Bobby Orr flies through the air after scoring the Stanley Cup winning goal, May 10, 1970. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

2001 – Peter Forsberg (Colorado Avalanche) had his spleen removed in an emergency operation. The operation took place just hours after the Avalanche eliminated the Los Angeles Kings in Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals.

 

 

Todays history brought to you by http://www.on-this-day.com