Thursday, April 22, 2010

"Great Moments" in Bell Centre History: A fitting ending to a Centennial Drama

We all know that the Montreal Canadiens were a complete mess during their Centennial Season in 2008-09. Actually if you think about it, the Habs have been celebrating their 100th season since 1993, when Patrick Roy and company led the to their last Stanley Cup victory. I'm sure we'll get into the "Curse of Patrick Roy" but we should with this segment now. First a word from our "sponsor"...

The Date: April 22, 2009. The Scene: Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal against the Boston Bruins, with their heated rivals carrying a 3-0 series lead.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

"A history" lesson in "Great Moments" in Bell Centre History

We all know -- at least in the state of Massachusetts -- that Patriots Day is a tradition every third Monday in April. We also know that school children get that day off -- at the K-12 level the whole week -- while the Red Sox always have a game in the late morning and of course, who can forget about the annual Boston Marathon.

Well, the last few years the Bruins have played on Patriots Day as well. Is it a co-incidence? I won't go into that, but you can make that judgement for yourself.

Back by popular Demand: 2010 Rosie Awards

Back by popular demand, the 2010 Rosie Awards will showcase the best of the hockey world for the third straight year.

Full details will come in a separate preview of the show, but I thought I'd get started with a simple question: What do you want to see in this year's Rosie's? Should I give another lifetime achievement award like I did with Al Strachan last year? Should that anonymous character who posts rumors and innuendos 24/7 be involved somehow? Would you like to see a performance?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

I'm no expert, but I'm just telling it like it is

Before I go on and share my thoughts on Andy Sutton's postgame comments from Game 2 of the Penguins-Senators series, let's review what took place near the end of the first period. I don't know how the  refs missed this call, but there is no place for this type of goonery in hockey, as seen in the Matt Cooke cheap shot on Marc Savard -- in the same building -- nearly a month ago.

Here's another view on the Sutton hit on Pens defenseman Jordan Leopold:

Now Sutton should get suspended for the hit, but because of the consistently inconsistent business known as the National Hockey League, Sutton will probably get a slap on the wrist.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

First Round Playoff Picks: West

After picking the first round for the East, it is now time to pick the first round in the Western Conference. Click here to view my Eastern Conference picks.

San Jose vs. Colorado

This series is a little similar to the 1-8 matchup in the East. One team was expected to be atop the conference, while one team wasn't really supposed to be in the playoffs. The youthful Avs have a bright future under head coach Joe Sacco, but the Sharks will make quick work of them this year.

Prediction: Sharks in Five

First Round Playoff Picks: East

Well, the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs are about four and a half hours away from puck drop as the Ottawa Senators and Pittsburgh Penguins open things up at 7:00. That being said, now is a good time to share my first round picks for the Eastern Conference...

Washington vs. Montreal:

Getting to the playoffs even is an accomplishment for the Canadiens this year after a disastrous Centennial season. That being said, the Capitals are that much better and have more depth up front. Defensively, not so much, but they will advance and end the Habs 101st season.

Prediction: Caps in Four

Rosie's Rebounds: Hall vs. Seguin

With the first pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, the Edmonton Oilers select…

Okay, we won’t know quite yet whom the Oilers will select with the first pick, but we do know that it will either be Taylor Hall (Windsor Spitfires) or Tyler Seguin (Plymouth Whalers) from the Ontario Hockey League. So why can’t the speculation begin now?

This should be the most intriguing choice since 1987 (from a Canadian Hockey perspective) when the Buffalo Sabres took Pierre Turgeon of the Granby Bisons of the QMJHL as the No. 1 overall pick over Brendan Shanahan (London Knights, OHL), who was picked second by the New Jersey Devils.

Both players went on to have a long and successful career. Turgeon scored 515 goals and tallied 1327 points in his 19-year NHL career with the Sabres, Islanders, Canadiens, Blues, Stars and Avalanche, while Shanahan scored 656 goals and gathered 1,354 points in his 21 seasons with the Devils, Blues, Red Wings, Rangers and the old Hartford Whalers.

The major difference between the two, however, is the playoff success. Turgeon never made an appearance in the Stanley Cup during his career and only played in the conference finals once in 2001 with the Blues (he could have played in two conference finals if it wasn’t for Dale Hunter’s cheap shot in 1993 in the Patrick Division Finals, see video below). Meanwhile, Shanahan won three Cups with the Red Wings.