Puck Deux

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Catchfire Catchfire's picture

YES YES YES

Fidel
Caissa

You have to love New Jersey's cast-offs.Wink

Fidel

They couldn't afford them anymore. They needed the cap space to build the team they have now. Too bad about Parise. Jersey probably would have made playoffs with a healthy Parise. Gionta and Gomez were on fire in game one. The dishmeister fed the sniper at key times as the Bruins played it pretty tight after the first goal. Bruins don't make many mistakes. They were forced turnovers to the Habs though and not entirely voluntarily stupid ones. Habs will likely breakdown and commit a few themselves at some point.

It's been said that this Bruins team was "built for the playoffs." I guess it's early in the series yet. 

bekayne

Canucks hang on, up 2-0

al-Qa'bong

This is the year of the goalie, so far.  Luongo and Price won the first games of their respective series, and there have been something like five or six shutouts already this round.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

I'm a little worried that the Canucks will crush Chicago in 4 straight. They need a little adversity to overcome.

All that's happened so far is that they lifted their boot off Chicago's neck, briefly, and that's not enough adversity. A split in Chicago would be just right.

Or not.

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

Nucks in 5 would be perfect

 

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

It might also give the Canucks back up goaltender, Cory Schneider, a chance to get his first NHL playoff shutout.

e.g., If Luongo has a really strong game in Game 3 of the series (and the Canucks take at 3-0 series lead) then Schneider could play in Game 4. If Luongo has a really poor game in Game 3 of the series, then Schneider could get the assignment for different reasons.

melovesproles

No way.  Chicago is too dangerous and the series is too physical.  The shorter the better, the Canucks will be able to handle some time off. 

I doubt we'll see Schneider unless Luongo gets hurt or has a complete meltdown.  And even if the Hawks do light him up, I think Vigneault will be really hesitant not to play him again in the next game.  I wouldn't mind seeing Scheider either but the Canucks will do everything they can to keep Luongo's confidence intact.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

This Canucks team is extremely well coached and managed. I would expect that they are looking at all scenarios and taking steps to address many concerns - both immediate and potential or down-the-road. 

I agree about the next game. It's important that Luongo has an opportunity to get another win under his belt after he less than stellar performance in Game 2. But if he plays well - even another "s word" - then the team might just give Schneider a chance.

Look at how the Canucks are playing right now. They are cycling 3.5/4 lines. They have a rotation of 3 paris of defenceman in which matching up is not playing the kind of significant role it did in the past. They are playing like a team that is testing all of their powers to see that everything is in working order, without any glaring weaknesses, and so on.

What's left to test? There's your answer and why I think Schneider will possibly get the call even without a Luongo injury or meltdown.

 

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

N.Beltov  I agree completely and hope they do win the next game and give Schneider a chance.  He has earned it with his play and it will take the pressure off of Luongo, both mentally and physically, over the long haul to the Cup.  Besides having a second goalie with current playoff experience is valuable insurance as the Canucks go deep into the playoffs and every team's goons try to run Luongo. 

melovesproles

I'm not saying it doesn't make sense.  But if Vancouver loses, I'd bet money they come back with Luongo.  If they take a 3-0 lead, then yeah maybe they start Schneider.  That would be a pretty long break for Luo if they do sweep it but it would continue their regular season strategy of sharing the starts.  I liked that strategy and I think it helped their season.  I'm just not convinced they'll continue it in the playoffs.  I think the primary concern becomes Luongo's confidence and they'll be careful not to create a goaltending contraversy unless it becomes absolutely unavoidable but I'd be happy to be wrong on that.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

I thought they introduced an element of friendly competition between the keepers this season and, furthermore, that it may have helped Luongo. Recall that Luongo had a not-so-great start to the season. I'm not convinced that it's controversial at all.

There are also other, more long-term reasons to play both goalies. Think of Chicago this year versus last year. Think salary cap. Think the unthinkable.

Fidel

I think a short first or second series can be a good rest for any cup contenders while their eventual opponents are getting bruised and battered in a seven game series. Many a slip between cup and lip though. I think the Habs beginning with two back to back seven-game series last Spring didn't do much for their effort against Philly.

melovesproles

Yeah, I agree.  Playoff hockey is so physical, injuries rapidly accumulate game by game.  I'm not worried about a lack of adversity for the Canucks.  They're playing the Stanley Cup champions in the first round and they're probably going to have to go through two of Detroit, San Jose, Anaheim and Nashville if they want to get to the final.  Heaps of adversity.

N. Beltov, I agree with you about the positive effects of friendly competition in the regular season, I just think they sold it to Luongo by assuring him the extra games off would make him a more effective goalie in the playoffs.  I'm just guessing based on perceptions of Luongo and Vigneault and what they've said on the subject.  We'll see though, you're right that there are good reasons to give Schneider a start. 

It'll be really interesting to see how the Canucks negotiate the salary cap over the summer.  I don't think the damage is going to be comparable at all to what happened to the Hawks.  The biggest loss will be that they probably won't be able to sign both Bieksa and Erhoff which is significant.  They'll lose a few depth guys but they have a lot of young talent that look like they're ready to step in: Hodgson, Oreshkovich, Tanev etc. and Vancouver has been really good at signing free agents at competitive prices because players want to play for a well-managed winning team with loads of talent and opportunity.  I can't see them being able to move Luongo with that cotract unless he does win the cup and he has a NTC.  I wouldn't move Schneider either with the current market value for goalies so low.  He's too good and his cap hit is very low next year.  Keep him unless they can get a young top six forward in return.

It'll be interesting to see if the goalie market does become more competitve if we get upsets from Buffalo, Montreal and Nashville.

Fidel

melovesproles wrote:
It'll be interesting to see if the goalie market does become more competitve if we get upsets from Buffalo, Montreal and Nashville.

 

If just those teams pulloff upsets, reseeding for the second round would produce these matchups:

Eastern Conference

  - #1 Caps vs #7 Sabres,

  - #4 Pens vs #6 Habs

Western Conference

  - #1 Canucks vs  #5 Preds

  - #2 Sharks   vs  #3 Wings

I think I'll be somewhat "conservative" and go with Caps vs Habs and Philly vs Pens for round two in the East. I also think that the best two-way players and shot-blockers will continue to be sought after for some time to come. Those kinds of players will make a lot of goalies look better in the playoffs.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

I was hoping the Canucks would face some adversity but the Black Hawks seem determined to stick to the bottom of their shoe.

Maybe, maybe, one for Chicago ... otherwise Vancouver will scrape them off in four.

I think I may change my forecast about putting in backup goalie Schneider. Luongo is playing so well that disrupting that pattern would be foolhardy. So, not because Luongo is fragile but because they want to keep him on a roll, the Canucks will leave him in in Game 4.

 

Fidel

[url=http://www.ottawasun.com/sports/hockey/2011/04/12/17962761.html]Study: Canada can support 12 NHL teams[/url]

Quote:
The bulk of the money paid by Canadian television stations for the right to broadcast NHL hockey games goes to subsidize weaker teams south of the border, while the structure of the league is preventing expansion of the game here, a new study found.

Canada could support 12 NHL teams, or double the current number, if artificial barriers were removed and teams were able to move to where demand is greatest, the study by the University of Toronto's Mowat Centre for Policy Innovation found.

The study said the NHL has been following an unsuccessful strategy for the past four decades of trying to expand in the U.S. and generate interest in the sport. Many of the franchises suffer from low fan interest and weak revenue.

 

melovesproles

Are you happy now N. Beltov?  Tongue out

I could have done without that.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

ah well maybe they could have put Schneider in sooner. I'm not sorry that the Canucks faced some adversity. It's good for them. I dont' think they sustained any injuries, did they?

all business next game. count on it.

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

I may  be on the bandwagon but somehow I never expected a sweep.  Nucks in 5.

al-Qa'bong

At the start of the Habs-Bruins game a few moments ago, the CBC opened with an old clip of Danny Gallivan introducing a Bruins-Habs game from 32 years ago.

Yeah, I'm an old guy, but I couldn't help but think, "Now that's what an NHL game should look and sound like."

Have I mentioned I like Bill Hewitt, and that Paul Morris was the greatest PA announcer in the history of the spoken word?

 

Fidel

Well that was a real tight defensive game. Come on, GO HABS GO!

Sven Sven's picture

Northern Shoveler wrote:

I may  be on the bandwagon but somehow I never expected a sweep.  Nucks in 5.

Chicago gave Vancouver a holy ass whuppin' tonight.  The Blackhawks are definitely in Luongo's head (10 goals allowed on 39 shots in two games...seriously??).

Playoff hockey is the best.  Unfortunately, there is almost zero coverage of the sport here.  I listen to ESPN radio in the morning on the way to work and they talk about two sports, in the following order of preference: NFL and NBA.  In a typical hour of sports talk, they will give about 15 seconds of time to hockey (enough time to rattle off the previous night's scores).  Glad I have the Internet...

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

The stupid Vancouver media after the first three games started running "sweep" stories on front pages.  Way to motivate the enemy.  Yup definitely in their heads.  They have proven they can win in Chicago so I hope they get a quick goal and jump start their game.  

al-Qa'bong

Quote:
Way to motivate the enemy.

 

Maybe I've seen too many gangster movies, but does anyone else get the sense that the Chicago boys are keeping Raffi Torres alive, and will make sure  that nothing happens to him until late in the seventh game of the series?

melovesproles

Not happy about being right, but that contract has put Luongo in a 'special treatment' category.  I actually really like him and I hope he pulls this out, but there's no way they shouldn't be starting Schneider in game 6.  If it doesn't work out, give Lu the chance to play for the match point after getting a break to wind down and get back in form.  As much sense as it makes, that isn't going to happen.

al-Qa'bong

 

Does this character remind anyone else of a certain Bruins player...or vice versa?

Fidel

Oh man, Ryder with the all star goalie save and at least one goal post clinker that I saw. Well I must say they've beaten the Habs at their own game, which is kind of the same game the Bruins are notoriously good at. Not much thuggery happening now. Close games. Habs need to figure out how to beat the Bruins neutral zone trap, or it'll be all over except for the crying next week. GO HABS GO!

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Schneider is in for the Canucks. I was a little off in regard to the timing, and the reason, but he's there as I suggested.

 

Tommy_Paine

Others would have suggested Luongo for one more go, and you have still have Schneider for game 7.   This is kinda "all in" for the Canucks in game six. 

I'd agree with you though, in the final analysis Beltov.  This is the game you play Schneider... if you didn't in game 5 for some reason that defies sense....

Fidel

Hawks could use another 5 on 3 about now, or for Vancouver's goalie to vacate the net before passing them the puck. But I'll bet they'd settle for another penalty shot.

I thought I saw the refs heads explode when Leddy shot the puck over the glass. No penalty on the play.

Fidel

dbl bbl

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

I couldn't believe Luongo started on the bench. And as babblers my know, I am not a fan of that choke-artist. It was a good game, but the 'Nucks were a bit unlucky--not just with the calls, but the chances. My boy Higgins's post and Burrows's miss must haunt them right now.

Now they get to show a bit of grit, though. Is you champs or ain't ya?

Fidel

Anyone see the Richards hit on Connolly today? Nice stuff. Apparently Philly is trying to take out a key Sabres player per every game now. They'll be down to just Miller and a few call ups before long.

Sven Sven's picture

Catchfire wrote:

I couldn't believe Luongo started on the bench. And as babblers my know, I am not a fan of that choke-artist. It was a good game, but the 'Nucks were a bit unlucky--not just with the calls, but the chances. My boy Higgins's post and Burrows's miss must haunt them right now.

Now they get to show a bit of grit, though. Is you champs or ain't ya?

In stark contrast to Games 4 and 5, the Cancucks actually showed up to play last night.  But, they just didn't get the bounces.  If they play like that tomorrow, the chances are very good that they will win.  If not, this will probably go down as the biggest choke in NHL history (after the 1942 Stanley Cup Final when the Leafs came back and beat the Red Wings when they were down three games).

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

I agree, Sven. I was on the bus here in Vancouver just before Game 5 (actually, I'm on the bus most days, but you get the point), and I overheard a dude in a 'Nucks sweater saying that he wasn't worried, but he would be worried if they lost that night. I thought, wow: only in Vancouver could the team with by far the best record, offence and defence in the NHL regular season be worried after losing one bad game to a team that barely squeaked into the playoffs, only because Dallas couldn't beat a lousy non-playoff team (sorry Sven-ei.e the Wild). There is simply no way this series should be in seven games. I half expect Vancouver to score on themselves tomorrow night.

That said, I think they'll weather it. Will they be damaged goods in the second round though?

Fidel

The Sedins played 25 minutes or so apiece on Sunday, and the result was close in spite of a Hawks 5 on 3 and penalty shot/gift from the refs. In both games Couver was shellacked, the twins played an average of 16 minutes or so. They've got to play their best players.

melovesproles

There is a constant sense of impending doom amongst the Vancouver fanbase.  The bandwagon fills up but there's always the sense that the other shoe will drop.  I half expect the city to burn to the ground if they lose tomorrow.  I still think they'll pull through although I'm kind of clinging to statistics at this point.

I agree with giving the Sedins lots of minutes but more than anything we need a big game from Luongo and Kesler.

 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

I thought Kesler played really well yesterday. He was givin' 'er.

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

An early first period goal by a twin and a couple of nice glove saves from Luongo and the President's Cup winners will cruise to a win.  

Cool

I couldn't find the rose coloured glasses so I settled for the black.

melovesproles

Yeah I didn't mean it that way but the Canucks need a big game from him.  He'd be my pick for a Canuck that could take over the game a la Keith and Toews.

 

Tommy_Paine

 

Game 7.  Oh my.

al-Qa'bong

Yeah yeah, the Canucks.  Something is always missing on that team. They're poetry on ice, but no ballet and murder there:

 

Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow

Fidel

Refs 1 Habs 0. And no call on Eller's head boarding/near death experience. I think Eller's lights were off for a minute or so.

Habs 2 Head Hunters 1 at the end of the 2nd. And it looks like Spacek's going to live after his near decapitation.

al-Qa'bong

So far the Habs' offence has been compliments of a couple of 5-on-3s.  Fans of the team must be so proud of Jaroslav "Sissy" Spacek right now.

Can Montreal do anything without the refs' assistance?

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Two minutes for instigation, al-Q.

Fidel

Habs win 3 I mean 2 - 1. 

Bring it!

Fidel

al-Qa'bong wrote:

So far the Habs' offence has been compliments of a couple of 5-on-3s.  Fans of the team must be so proud of Jaroslav "Sissy" Spacek right now.

Can Montreal do anything without the refs' assistance?

The refs and Thomas were the only ones in the world who didn't see the puck in play just before Gionta scored the FIRST GOAL OF THE GAME! lol!

If the Bruins wanna play, they gotta pay. Bruins are what now, 0 for 19 on the power play? It's no wonder they feel like taking head shots - at least there's a chance they can knock another Habs player out of the series. Bruins should be renamed to something more appropriate, like The Lumber Co. or even The Bush Leaguers.

BIG BAD CHOKERS!

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