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Ha ha ha ha!! Who'da thought? Pittsburgh goes and beats one of the top teams in the league. And I remember those idiots at the Halifax Daily News saying that Washington was a team 'to load up on'. Yeah, load up with what, bullshit? =) The Pittsburgh fans are definitely getting the last laugh here, even after the loss in Game Four when Pens coach Herb Brooks said "Nobody said this was going to be a four-game series.".You'd think I could gloat for paragraph after paragraph, but the fact is that there wasn't nealy enough TV and media coverage of this series for my liking. Here in Canada, the only games I can see are the ones on CBC, CTVSN, SRC, and ABC. Of course, by the time the semis roll around, everything goes to CBC. The thing about CBC, even though they have the best coverage in my opinion, is that their announcers and anchors are seriously biased. Through Pittsburgh's next series against Philly, for instance... they all favor the Flyers in everything they say. And when the Pens take on a Canadian team it's much worse (though I can understand it, and they should be rooting for the Canadian team)... you see stuff like Pittsburgh ahead of Montreal by five goals with five minutes left in the third, and the announcers are like "Montreal just needs five more goals to tie it up... Just five more goals... They don't need to score that many goals... They're not that far behind... Just five goals, that's all... Montreal needs only five more goals to tie it up...". Haha! It's actually quite amusing! =)
Poor Buffalo. Don Cherry was right, they ran out of gas, and Hasek needs a year off. Well, they tried, you can't really take that away from them.
One thing that got me was that nutty goal against Buffalo through the side of the net. Right where the ropey mesh stuff is supposed to be. Now a single goal does not make a series, but that goal should have been called back. I don't much care which replay is accessable by who, it shouldn't have counted, bottom line.Across the room from me, Mike Daniels tells me Buffalo is the most cursed city in sports. It may be true.
Haha! Those guys in Pittsburgh must be geniuses! Getting rid of Barrasso was a great idea, and Tugnutt is a all-around nice guy that really can preform in the playoffs.Actually, I was really rooting for Ottawa in this series, mostly because of Barrasso. The guy's an awesome goaltender and play-maker. And he helped Pittsburgh get two Stanley Cups. I was really pulling for him. Aahh... but Ottawa just didn't have it. Maybe next year. The biggest thing that saddens me still was hearing that Barrasso didn't even stay for the breaking-up party after Game Six. He just climbs into his car and takes off. Well, I suppose he has his own side to that story, so I won't say anything more.
New Jersey's out for it this year. I doubt we'll be seeing Florida make it to the Stanley Cup finals again for a little while. (famous last words - they'll go far, and soon)WESTERN CONFERENCE
One word, wow. The big guns (yet another team sent home in the first round which the Halifax Daily News said to 'load up on') were very nearly silenced in four straight, but San Jose coughed up three games in a row. Ouch. At least they came back for the victory. San Jose is a good all-together team, and the minds of the St. Louis players were already out on the links. Sadly, the Sharks did not do nearly as well in the following round, but look out for them next year!
It's heartbreaking.It seems no matter what the heart-strong Oilers are capable of dishing out, they invariably get shut down by the super-powered Western Conference giant they have to play against. The Oilers are capable of some serious ass-kicking, and hopefully sometime soon they'll get that opportunity. Edmonton fought hard. They deserve everyone's applause for their incredible effort. Songs could be sung about it.
Colorado's out for it this year. They might even beat Dallas.Since I have little else to say about this series, I'd like to talk about the big move south from Québec. Why on earth wouldn't they financially support a championship-grade hockey team? Those poor hockey fans in La Belle Province must have cried when the Avalanche won the Cup the following year. You might remember that they were sent south when they lost a series to the Rangers (a team which will be golf course bound for the spring months until at least 2055). =) Oh well, if my dreams all line up, we may yet see a NHL team east of Montreal. I'm thinking... the Halifax Aeros. Okay, maybe not.
LA may be a championship team some day. But Detroit's a championship-quality team right now. Well, at least they were in the first round. My God, how on earth can you score five goals in a game and lose? =) I would be talking about Game Two, and it was hard on the goaltenders, let me tell you.The Semifinals
Okay, bad series for the Pens. But at least now that they're out of it, I can get some sleep (finally). That quintuple-overtime Game Five was a killer!Don Cherry blames the Pittsburgh loss in Game Four - nay, the loss of the entire series - on Yagr's 'showboating'. That little salute he made to the crowd after scoring the tying goal. Man, that was an awesome game, but Grapes says that his 'showboating' just gave Philly the ammo they needed to win the game and the series. Four straight losses. Yikes. Me, I think Pittsburgh had a stronger case to win the series than Philly until the overtime stretch in Game Five. As the Sabres against the Flyers in the quarterfinals, they ran out of energy (though they didn't flop nearly as badly as the Sabres). Anyway, that's all from the Igloo for another year. As Ron MacLean put it, "No offense to the Pittsburgh fans out there, but if your team is the Penguins and you play in the Melon Arena, isn't that two strikes against you?". Next year they'll make it to the Conference Finals for sure.
I'm dissappointed. I was expecting great things from Toronto this year. I was expecting to see a Stanley Cup Parade up Younge Street. (Younge being the longest street in the world, that might take a while...) But it was not to be.Most of the time, both teams played with a lot of 'respect' to each other - that is to say, they played lackluster hockey. I'd go so far as to say it was a lackluster series, and Toronto didn't give it their all, or they would have gone on to play Philadelphia. Well, at least the Leafs got further than the Canadiens. =) And before I get flamed by a bunch of angry Montreal fans, I will go on to say that if Montreal picked up that last playoff spot, they could have made it to the second round. WESTERN CONFERENCE
I really wanted to see the Sharks eat up everybody, so to speak, but I guess they just couldn't cope with the super-powered Dallas Stars. Well, at least my old acquaintance Cortney Oland must be happy.So now the Stars will go on to be beaten by the mighty Avalanche. (Well, that's the opinion from Mike Daniels, but I personally think it's anybody's series.)
Detroit should learn to be more positive. I mean, look, they go and be all critical of their play after the four-game sweep of Los Angeles, and now they're dead in the water against Colorado.I'm not saying that their self-criticism is the reason they lost... self-criticism in little teensy bits is a good thing, but I personally think they were just putting on a show for the press. I mean, they had two shutouts! Hoping for more is just unrealistic. They should have been happy with their four-game sweep. * * * Well, that's all for hockey for now. If I have time in the coming weeks, I may report on the following two rounds, but for now I'm proud I just got this done. Return to Critic At Large.