It's Day Two of the playoffs. Playoffs??? We'll be lucky to win a God **** game! Had to get that in there sans Jim Mora. Especially with the Rangers on the golf course which is driving Jazzy Jim batty. Heard he showed at Wachovia for the coup de gras and was fuming. Ahhhh. That made it all better. Nothing like a money hungry, greedy owner who just desired the playoff revenue for a mediocre team so he could justify the ridiculous cost and then raise again at the expense of a too loyal fanbase that bleeds True Blue.
Speaking of which, if you missed New York Times' Ken Belson's piece on what those extra gates meant to Camp Dolanvi$ion, we suggest you check it out and try not to laugh too hard. Our favorite part:
But because all N.B.A. and N.H.L. teams must keep dates open at their arenas in case they make the playoffs, the elimination of the Knicks and the Rangers from the postseason means the Garden would remain empty for many more nights in April and May.
“You can’t fill them with two weeks’ notice,” Scott O’Neil, the president of MSG Sports, the division that runs the Rangers and other sports properties, said at a recent news event. “There are more dates in the building if we’re in the playoffs.”
The loss of playoff revenue would also come as Madison Square Garden spends about $800 million to renovate the 42-year-old arena. Home playoff games would not only generate a few more million dollars to help pay for the work, but would also give the Garden’s salesmen more ammunition to sell season tickets, suites and advertising for next season.
It might not cure your playoff appetite but hey. If Dolan's mad, some salvation. Now, if only some crazed person would slip a little poison in his scotch. ;) Couldn't resist. While we are on the sidelines finding other things to do (I missed most of last night except for 1 period of Wings/Yotes and highlights of all 4), sixteen teams' fans are dealing with anxiety right now. We can just sit back and relax. Don't ponder our team's future too much. It's not advisable. Let's enjoy the great weather and take it all in. Dream of a much different world minus Jazzy Jim and Glen Savior. Find the dimension over the haze between the sun and moon. Birds are chirping. Life is full of possibilities. Live it.
If Day One was any indication, then we're in for an interesting playoffs. Especially with all four underdogs winning. Phoenix included with a great come from behind 3-2 triumph over Detroit before the traditional White Out paying homage to Winnipeg. I've always loved that about the Yotes. It shows class and tradition. Good on Derek Morris scoring the winner on a bomb off a faceoff. He was huge netting the deciding power play goal and two helpers last night. Also noticed Korp got more ice than Pruuuu. And Bryzgalov stood up making 38 saves. Nice to see Gretzky recognize his former goalie via Puck Daddy pertaining to the Hart. Didn't we say that a while ago? Though it's awfully hard to ignore Henrik Sedin, who also was instrumental in aiding us to a second fantasy hockey championship. Safe to say I'll be protecting one-half of Swede genes.
As for the three road teams that prevailed yesterday, they all have something to prove. Brian Boucher (23 saves) has a shot at redemption and seems to recognize the situation. His Flyer 'mates don't want to be known as the team that slipped in due to a skill comp. Yes, Mike Richards' decider came with one extra out but the puck was all the way on the other side and the change wasn't blatant. Probably why it wasn't called. Agreed with Hasan on the Devils, who need to turn up the heat. Offense is their big chance this time. Someone better cue in Lemaire before Friday. ... Ever get the feeling it's just not a player's year? That's what it seems with MA Fleury (5 GA on 26), who again wasn't sharp in the Pens' 5-4 loss to a shorthanded Sens team minus Kovalev and now without Milan Michalek, who's done. Poor kid. I noted in my preview that Colin Wilson was a rookie to watch. Well, the Sens boast two in Erik Karlsson (remember that name) and Peter Regin, who both scored in the upset. The kids are hot and the Sens got contributions from pests Neil and Ruutu while Spezza and Alfie were quiet along with Mr. Carrie Underwood. Brian Elliott (17 saves) was good enough despite 2-1-3 from Geno and 3 helpers from Sid to best Flower, who doesn't inspire much confidence. Would it be nuts to consider Brent Johnson if they somehow fall behind 0-2? We think not. ... Now for the best of the bunch. The upstart Avs upset the Sharks in grand fashion, sending San Jose into full panic mode thanks to Chris Stewart's bankshot off Rob Blake with 50 ticks left. How is he their captain again? It didn't sound like it was Nabby, who made 28 saves and kept his flat team in it. As Scotty Hockey noted in this tweet, why wasn't Jed Ortmeyer dressed? Instead, Todd McLellan went with seven D only giving Jason Demers 6:53. Huh? Why go against logic? Ort's a heart and soul guy that's been part of the Sharks' season. Curious to say the least. It'd also help if Marleau-Thornton-Heatley remembered to show when it counts. No points. Eight shots with five from pass-happy Jumbo Joe and a minus-three won't cut it. Neither will another first round ouster.
So what to expect with three more opening tonight on Day Two? Figure the home teams to take care of business. They'll be more on their toes. Buffalo will be minus Jochen Hecht for a bit due to a bad finger. How'd he do that? Our favorite Tyler Ennis is in. The big goalie match-up in Rask-Miller is on. The Sabres should still have more offense. Especially if Vanek continues his tear. How Connolly performs will be key. For the B's, Miro Satan tries to haunt his ex-teammates. Chara, Bergeron, Krejci and Lucic are Boston keys. If they get anything from Michael Ryder, that's huge. Buffalo has Tyler Myers on D with Rivet and Pominville and Roy along with grit master Patrick Kaleta. Figure it to be tight. ... Les Habitants and Ovie Caps get underway on Versus. Can Halak stone AO, Backstrom, Semin, Green and the rest of the league's most potent offense? It's advisable for the Habs to counter slowing down their high flying opponent that's prone to mistakes. Air tight D led by the series' top defenseman Andrei Markov is pivotal. So too will be old Devil duo Gomer and Gio, who finished well. Cammalleri needs to find the magic touch. Tomas Plekanec has been their MVP. The play of the Kostitsyns and ice cold Benoit Pouliot are crucial. Can Max Lapierre get underneath the skin of Ovechkin? The Caps boast great depth in battle tested Knuble along with Fleischmann, Laich and Eric Fehr. Steckel, Bradley and Chimera are high energy. Jeff Schultz is intrumental defensively and Poti has been a good Cap. So, it should be easy, right? As long as Theodore shuts the door on his former team, for sure. If he's pulled, all bets are off. ... The final match pits the Kings vs Canucks. Hollywood against British Columbia. You have Sedin genius along with key cogs Ryan Kesler, Burrows and Mason Raymond plus Cup savvy Sammy making these Nucks legit. Especially with Demitra, Wellwood and Bernier in reserve. The key will be Louie. Can he get it back? If guys like Ehrhoff and Salo stay healthy, then a blueline that features Edler and Bieksa becomes a real strength with Shane O'Brien providing depth. What if Willie Mitchell (concussion) was available in mid-May/June? First, they have to get there which means winning two rounds. LA isn't a good match-up because they boast the kind of forwards that could give them fits. Kopitar, Smyth and Justin Williams are very potent. Especially with the Cup winner finding his form. Dustin Brown is a human freight train. He'll need support from Frolov and Jarret Stoll. We love Wayne Simmonds and Zeus has bounced back with a big season. Even Modin has fit in. The Kings boast the best defender in the series in Norris candidate Drew Doughty, who's a beast. Offense. Defense. You name it. He does it. Jack Johnson has quietly had a good year. Both along with vets Sean O'Donnell and Rob Scuderi will see a lot of big minutes. Matt Greene provides beef and Randy Jones has been steady. If Jon Quick regains confidence, the Canucks are in trouble. Even if we took them to Lord Stanley, this is a dangerous match-up that promises to be entertaining. Fasten your seatbelts.
Day Two Schedule
Boston @ Buffalo 7 ET
Montreal @ Washington 7 ET Versus
Los Angeles @ Vancouver 10 ET Versus