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Monday, April 23, 2012

5 observations from a hockey-filled weekend

With the NHL playoffs in full bloom, here are five observations from a weekend full of watching hockey:

#1. Claude Giroux is the Best Player in the NHL
Giroux, of the Philadelphia Flyers, outplayed and outperformed the Pittsburgh Penguins highly touted and more recognizable Sidney Crosby, in their 1st round playoff series. Giroux finished the series with 6 goals and 8 assists for 14 points in six games. He leads this years NHL playoffs in points and assists. He is tied for first in goals scored. Giroux's Flyers defeated the Penguins four games to two. In the sixth and final game of this series Giroux leveled Crosby six seconds into the game, then proceeded to score later in the same shift. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYx73ZZg4ag This set the tone for the Flyers who would go on to win 5-1, and finish the Penguins off for good this year.

#2. Braden Holtby Is a  Future Star in this League:
Holtby, the Capital's third string rookie goalie, was pressed into duty for the last week of the regular season, because of injuries to the two goalies ahead of him on the depth chart. All he has done since then, is lead the Capitals to a seventh and deciding game against the heavily favored defending Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins. He is the sole reason the Cap's won games 2, 4, and 5 of this series outplaying Bruins goalie Tim Thomas.The defending Vezina(best goalie) and Conn Smyth(playoff MVP) winner. His stats for the playoffs so far: 3 wins 3 losses a save percentage of 94%, and he is allowing just 2.17 goals per game.

#3. Terrific Goaltending This Weekend
This weekend was filled with terrific net-minding. St. Louis Blues goalie Brian Elliot continued his career year leading the Blues to a 4-1 series win over the more talented San Jose Sharks. Elliot won four games in a row and  allowed just 1.37 goals per game after coming in for an injured Jaroslav Halak in game two against the Sharks. Not to be outdone, Craig Anderson the Ottawa Senators goalie, pitched a 41 save shutout in game five against the number 1 seed NY Rangers on the road at Madison Square Garden. This win puts the Rangers on the brink of elimination. Speaking of elimination, the superb goal-tending of LA Kings net-minder Jonathon Quick allowed his Kings to eliminate the top seeded Vancouver Canucks in just five games. Quick allowed just eight goals to the Canucks, in those five games. Jose Theodore of the Florida Panthers also pitched a shutout this weekend against the NJ Devils. His squad is now within one victory, of advancing to the second round of the playoffs.

#4. Stay Classy Vancouver Canucks Fans
Immediately after losing in overtime to the  LA Kings at home to end their season, Canucks fans began to toss shit at the Kings players and bench. This, after last years riots, upon being eliminated from the Stanley Cup Finals proves the Canucks fans are the worst sports in sports.

#5 Parity May Not Be Good For The NHL
With the Canucks, Red Wings, Penguins, and Sharks already eliminated the NHL desperately needs the Blackhawks, Rangers, and Devils to win their series. All three teams are currently down three games to two. The NHL has had great ratings so far in these playoffs, but the casual fan is going to have a hard time investing in games with no "name" players or teams. The elimination of the four aforementioned teams at the start of this paragraph should make for a great World Championships in May, but will not help the NHL at all. Gary Bettman needs to pull his best David Stern impression, and make sure he does all he can to help the 'Hawks, Rangers, and Devils advance to the second round.

1 comment:

  1. And don't forget the shutout Theodore had for the Panthers.