Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Game(s) Two Notebook

Like with Game(s) One version, this will be pretty much like the same. It was an interesting trend as all of the Sunday games has series tied up at one, whereas the games Monday, all teams went up two games, which could spell doom for certain teams.

-I have to say, the Avalanche are a whole lot better than I thought they would have been. They got out to a 3-0 lead, then lost that lead, but never game up and won 5-4 in OT on Monday. It could be the fact Joel Quenville behind the bench, or the fact they have to play harder in front of Jose Theodore, but they are getting the job done.

-The Roman Turek award for best regular season performance resulting in a choke-job in the playoffs has to be Marty Turco thus far. Turco was supposed to be the man in Dallas that would get them ahead to another Stanley Cup. Apparently, Turco didn't get that memo and has been playing like he did when he hit that slump after he signed his big deal. I wonder if Johan "The Moose" Hedberg could see some time.

-I wonder how many bilingual chants of "Overrated" will be yelled out at the Bell Centre for Game Three. The Hurricanes aren't playing like they should be second in the East. What's scarier is that Cam Ward played a whole lot better than Martin Gerber in Game Two. What the Canes need now is Erik Cole, but I'm not sure we'll see him for a while.

-Whoever lit a fire under Alex Kovalev, my playoff pool thanks you. Kovalev has played like his old self in the past two game. Three goals and two assists in his two games so far and he seems like he could score from anywhere.

-The Senators need their star guys to get on the scoresheet more often. Daniel Alfredsson has been invisible while Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza have been barely visable. Peter Schaefer and Mike Fisher have been the best players on the Sens this series. Conversely, Marty St. Louis has played exceptionally well for the Bolts. St. Louis is returning to his MVP form and could be a deciding factor in a possible #8 over #1 upset.

-The power play will be the death of either the Predators or the Sharks. All the goals by the winning team in that series have been on the power play. It has created for exciting hockey, but will somehow end up with a team being up in arms about the calls being made.

-The Flyers should receive a "warm" welcome from their fans when they play on Wednesday night. After keeping it close in Game One, the Flyers....well they phoned it in on Monday night. As passionate about sports the Philly fans are, I'm sure that Robert Esche is not the most wanted man in Philly....dead or.....well dead.

-Some people didn't expect the Flames/Ducks series to be as exciting as it is. First, a 3-0 Ducks lead, including an amazing play by Scott Niedermayer short-handed. Then the Flames re-upped it to 3-2, but a defensive break down made it 4-2. Dion Phaneuf got a power play goal let to get within one, but time ran out. After an exciting overtime game in Game One and a back and forth in Game Two, the rest of this series should be very, very interesting. Remember, Miikka Kiprusoff was 6-0 after giving up 4 or more goals in the '04 playoffs, plus that was the first time Kipper gave up more than three goals since January 7th against Vancouver.

-Unless Martin Brodeur loses a limb, I don't see how the Devils will lose their series against the Rangers. If it's not Patrik Elias, Brian Gionta, or Scotty Gomez, it has to be John Madden. BOOM!! The gritty forward had a hat trick in Game Two and showed that the Devils have more depth than they give them credit for.

-Plus, much props to the Rangers defense, for how not to do things. They allowed two short-handed goals in the same guy, but the same guy. Without Jaromir Jagr, Darius Kasparaitis, and Henrik Lundqvist-- it looked like the Rangers were lost out on the ice. It could be curtains for the Rangers, especially if they are without their stars.

-Finally, could the Wings be back on their heels?? The Oilers have played great hockey against the Wings and Chris Pronger is showing his Norris Trophy form. However, the Red Wings are the best road team in the NHL and heading into Rexall Place hoping that they don't slip and fall on their own self-confidence. For one reason or another, the first and grind lines for the Wings have been bringing in the goals and have been playing the best hockey out there. The rest of the Wings don't seem to make a big impact on the game, one way or another.

The Game Three festival begins on Tuesday Night with most of the West and one game out East going on. They should be as exciting as the previous games, but you'll just have to watch to find out if that's true or not.

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