This series, my teams seem to do much better when I do NOT watch! =P We went out for dinner at 7pm to celebrate a family friend's birthday, so I didn't get home until around 9pm--I caught most of the third period. And the Leafs won 3-1!! Last game, I was studying so I only watched from the end of the second, and they won 4-1. Not just that, but they scored 6/7 of the goals in both games while I wasn't watching!! Maybe this is a sign I shouldn't watch the first two periods? ^_~
Oh, and how could I forget? I didn't watch the Avs game at all on Wednesday, and THAT'S when they finally won! =P On the other hand, I tuned in for a bit of the second period of the Habs' game last night--just in time to watch the Lightning score their two goals! ^^;; Guess I'm a jinx!!
Anyway, I was glad to see Mogilny still energetic and body checking--even though he got a boarding penalty because he was a bit too eager to play the body. Oh, and even Kaberle was attempting to get physical! My favourite piece of commentary from the third period: "Give Tomas Kaberle some credit, he was trying to take out Brashear. That's like trying to take out a mountain." ^_______^ Yay Kaberle! Along with being more physical, he also got an assist!!! Woohoo!!!
That actually brings me to something new I've decided to try out. I've been inspired by last year's "Seventh (wo)Man" from St. Louis (I think). She gave a certain amount of money for goals and for assists scored by the Blues (at least I think it was the team, and not just a single player) to charity. Plus I think she gave extra when players had multiple point nights and stuff like that. Of course, I'm still a student who needs to save up for school, so I can't be quite as generous, but I do like the idea, so I'm going to set aside money for charity for Kaberle's goals/assists. I'm going to try $10/assist and $20/goal for the regular season, and double that ($20/assist, $40/goal) for the playoffs! ^_^ That means I've got $20 to set aside for Kaberle's efforts tonight! ^_^ Once I've collected a decent amount (somewhere in the hundreds), I'll make the donation to the Go Kids Go! Leafs Fund. It's a really exciting idea for me, and I hope it works out!!
Turning to a more selfish matter, I got my 12-inch Avs Patrick Roy figure today!!!! I won it on eBay a little while ago, and luckily Steph was home to answer the door when it was delivered today! VERY EXCITING!!! With shipping, and the Canadian dollar taking a most poorly timed dive, I ended up paying around $80 CDN for it, which is almost double the original price ($45 incl tax), but considering that I've commonly seen this thing going for $60-$70 US before shipping on eBay, I'd have to save I'm quite satisfied with the deal I got.
I also got a box of Upper Deck Ice cards today!!! My bro bought it for me for my birthday! Well, actually, I bought it, and he's going to give me money for it some time. =P I just couldn't wait for him to come with me to get it! It was very exciting! I got my first Blake jersey card! Plus I got a Shanahan jersey card! In total I ended up with three jersey cards and three rookies, which is excellent considering that an average box is only supposed to have two jerseys and two rookies! ^_^
What else? Ah, my "River City Sports Jersey Fund" will soon be up from $150 to $190 (as soon as I make the deposit) since I got paid for a month's worth of tutoring! ^_^ I'm also about halfway done on my loonie and toonie rolls, so once those're complete, I'll have $265/$353!! I think I should be able to afford the jerseys by the end of May/beginning of June!! I know there won't be any hockey on at that point, but it's still exciting!
Woohoo! I'm so happy right now! Let's just hope the Avs win tomorrow and the next game, and the next! =P San Jose's an excellent team, but if the Avs really put everything they've got into it, I'm sure they can stage an amazing comeback! Go Avs go!!! Oh, and of course I expect the Leafs to win Sunday's game in Philly too!
Pete Cugno (of "The Ottawa Song" and "Every Shot You Take" fame) has struck again with a new song about--you guessed it!--the Philadelphia Flyers! It's called "Bye-Bye Flyers, and it's sung to the tune of--right again!--Don Mclean's classic "American Pie"! ^_^ The biggest difference between the songs is that I would actually want to karaoke to "Bye-Bye", but I would never ever attempt it for "American Pie"!
Have you ever heard people trying to karaoke to "American Pie" when they only know the chorus? PURE TORTURE!!! It's supposed to be something like the longest vocal song made (~7min, I believe), and at least half of it is the verses, so you end up listening to people horribly mangling the song for about 3.5min!! *shudders*
Anyway, as usual, you can download the song from Pete Cugno's webpage http://www.sayuncleproductions.com! So definitely check it out! ^_^ I've added it to my personal playlist of Leaf songs!
Also as usual, I've added the lyrics to my left nav bar, along with the lyrics to his other pro-Leafs songs! All the lyrics will remain up as long as the Leafs continue their playoff run!
In other news!! The first thing I heard this morning on the radio when I woke up, was guess what? Avs win 1-0 in OT on Joe Sakic's goal!!! Apparently it wasn't all that pretty of a goal (more of a Shark bad than Sakic good) but hey, as long as they win, it doesn't matter how they do it!!! Go AVS!!! Now let's just hope they can keep up the winning ways and comeback! If they do, I'll definitely rethink my opinion of them as lacking character! So prove me wrong Avs!! Win the series!!!
[Edit: Oh yeah, the Habs lost!!! There go my dreams of a Toronto-Montreal conference final! =*( Down with Tampa!!]
And I mean that both literally and figuratively! Literally because I'm going downtown early tomorrow with my parents so I can hang out at the library and do some crazy last minute studying for my exam. ^^;; It's from 2-5pm, so hopefully I'll have from around 8am-1pm to really study and one hour before the exam to freak out. =P So yeah, I need to sleep early so that means I can't watch all of the Avs' game. Figuratively I can't watch because I couldn't bear to see them get swept! Yes, it shows how little faith I have, I suppose, but remember, I've got that exam tomorrow, so if I watch them lose, it'd totally screw me up for the exam! No way I'm risking that! Besides, I try not to be superstitious, but since I watched them lose all the other times, I'm hoping if I don't watch them today they'll actually win!
It kind of worked with the Leafs. I mean, I didn't start watching until the last minute of the second period (studying ^^;;) and they were up 3-1 then, so.... *crosses fingers*
That was a good game to watch, even just the last period. It was nice to see even Mogilny upping his level of physical play! I mean, I can't even remember seeing him throw body checks like that before! Too bad Kaberle didn't get an assist...He had some good chances in the third, although the penalty was kind of silly. =P Anyway, the Leafs are still alive, so hopefully this bodes well for the Avs? (Superstition again.)
Anyway, time to try to get a good night's sleep so I'll be ready, at least physically, for the exam tomorrow! (I just have to keep reminding myself that I only need 19.25% on the exam to pass).
I say a big thumbs down for the current proposal for a new shortened (72 game) schedule. That is to say, I don't like the schedule as it's been proposed, although I agree in principle that the regular season should be shorter. This is what's been proposed, according to TSN.ca:
Under this proposal, which has tremendous support amongst most NHL owners, each team would; play its four division rivals eight times for a total of 32 divisional games; play its 10 remaining conference rivals four times each for a total of 40 conference games and a grand total of 72 games.
Apart from the fact that I'd have to fly west just to watch my Avs play, the biggest problem, as Steph pointed out, is that this new system would be highly punitive for the Northeast and Northwest divisions. I mean, they are the tightest two divisions in the league! Just look at the point spread:
Up until the last week or so of the regular season, every team in both divisions either had clinched a playoff berth, or had a decent shot at making the playoffs (okay, maybe not Minnesota, but they weren't that far off). Then you look at all the other divisions, especially the Southeast and you realize that while the Northeast and Northwest divisions would be killing each other, teams like Tampa and Detroit would get to face, respectively, Carolina-Florida-Washington and Columbus-Chicago EIGHT TIMES and you can see why the new plan is completely retarded.
Just so you can see the actual points for yourself, here're the Southeast and Central division final standings:
Tampa Bay 106
St. Louis 91
St. Louis and Nashville were second and third in their division, but in the Northeast they'd be fifth and sixth (if there was such a thing), and even in the Northwest they'd only be fourth and fifth! So basically Detroit would be guaranteed a division title, if not the President's Trophy every year, and Tampa would likely be pretty much a lock for their division title too!
DON'T YOU LEARN?!?!? Almost every single bloody goal in this series from San Jose has happened with one Shark in front of the net and not an Avs defenceman in sight! ARGH! Why is my team so retarded?!?! There'd better be some serious butt kicking going on in the Avs' dressing room tonight, because they're going to get swept by the Sharks if they don't improve their game like 200%. All the clichés apply: team commitment to defense, paying the price and going to the net, winning the puck battles, playing patient and forcing turnovers, not taking stupid penalties. The Avs had better shape up!
I feel like I'm getting paid back in spades for my glee over the ways Ottawa and Dallas lost. *sigh* Now the Leafs are getting beaten by (the Flyers') goaltending and (their own) bad luck, while the Avs are defeating themselves much like the Stars did. =*( It's been a pretty depressing weekend, starting from Thursday.
Canada didn't even manage to beat Austria in the World Championship today! They only tied!
ARGH!!!!!!!!! At least Kaberle didn't let in a goal because of a lack of physicality. And he had two good chances again, although I think only one of them registered as a shot. But dang it! I'm so dead for the playoff pool! I had Detroit, and Colorado, Montreal and Toronto meeting in the conference finals! So far the only team that looks like it has a chance of going through it Detroit! And in the Kia pool I switched Zhamnov with Nieuwendyk, and Lidstrom with Schneider, neither of which is working out!! I'm cursed this round, it seems!
Dang it! This had better be the series of comebacks!!!!
Where the heck was the D on the Sharks' second goal?! Why the bloody hell was Marleau left all alone right in front of Aebischer?!?!?! There's going to be hell to pay in the Avs dressing room this intermission! They let up plain and simple. And the way they've been playing the last half of the second, they're not going to be able to come back, even from a one goal deficit. Damn their sloppy play!
[Edit: It really sucks being right!! ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The worst thing is that the Avs had SO MANY great chances early in the third to even things up! So yes, while part of their loss was poor defensive play, another part was just plain bad luck. I mean, how the heck did Nabokov manage to catch the puck (on Sakic's shot) with his JERSEY?!?! Blake missed twice and there was one really frustrating post! Dang it!! I was so confident the Avs would be able to win this series, but now I really don't know. Like I've been saying, they don't really have the character to come back from deficits and the way they've been playing, it's not changing my opinion of their ability to bounce back any. Dang it! Dang it! Dang it!!]
Many thanks to Lisa for remembering my birthday and for sending me this lovely gift!
It's such an appropriate picture! LOL. Too bad it didn't exactly match my feelings yesterday thanks to the way the Leafs and Avs played on the 22nd. ^^;; And the Habs got trounced last night too, which wasn't what I was hoping either. But anyway, I'm sure the Avs will play a game today that will make me feel like the people in the picture. ^_^
Anyway, in random news, this is NOT how I wanted Kaberle to make the front page of the (Toronto) Star:
@_@ It's a bit frustrating though, how everyone is so willing to jump all over him when he makes a mistake (or a couple ^^;;) but he barely gets any media coverage when he plays well--like when he potted the OT winner against Buffalo for that crazy Leaf comeback. And why is everyone making such a huge deal over his "regression" this year? I'd swear McCabe didn't get put down nearly as much when he had a bad season last year. Is it because Kaberle's not a "good Canadian kid" like McCabe? ARGH. Yes, Kaberle made some mistakes in the first and third that unfortunately resulted in goals for the Flyers, but he wasn't the only one off his game that night--he's just the scapegoat. At least he put in a solid effort in the second period to try to make up for his first mistake.
GRRRRRRRRRRRRR....Okay, now I'm getting peeved again, so I'm going to stop here so I can start watching the Avs' game with a positive mindset. They WILL win, and hopefully Aebby will let in only one goal or less just to show everyone what he's really made of.
That's it. I am never ever ever watching a hockey game on April 22nd ever again. I don't care if they do something incredibly funky with the schedule so it ends up that game seven of the Final is on April 22nd, nothing good has ever come out of watching games on this day for me. Flashback, April 22nd, 2003: Leafs get knocked out in game seven of the first round by the Flyers. April 22nd/23rd, 2003: Avs lose in OT to the Minnesota Wild, also getting knocked out in the first round. No good comes from watching hockey on this night.
And as painful as last year was with the Avs, this year is a lot worse in many ways. I've never hesitated to say before that I think the Avs lack character, but I don't think I've ever had to say that they lack class as well. In the last two minutes of play they were assessed something like 50 penalty minutes. And for what? The score was 5-2, it did nothing. Stupid malicious plays. They're still my team, but I've never had less respect for them.
Even putting that aside, their play the entire game was horrible. They weren't even trying. Well, maybe Svatos was trying, but that's about it. Things got pretty shaky when it was 2-0, but as soon as it was 3-0, I knew it was over. The Avs just don't have enough heart or character to overcome any sort of large deficit, even one so early in the game (theoretically meaning they had plenty of time to catch up). The Calgary Flames they are not. It's a sad reality with this team, and it's something that's got to change if they want to do anything in the playoffs. Too much "skill" and not enough hard work and passion. They deserved the whipping they got, quite frankly.
*takes a deep breath* Nonetheless, I am confident that Aebby will bounce back and have an amazing game on Saturday. The Avs will get their act together and start playing like a team that wants to win. And Granato will most definitely NOT make a change to put Worrell into the lineup, contrary to what McGuire and Miller were suggesting (I don't think I've ever heard either or them suggest something so idiotic before ever).
Now, because I'm a masochist, I'm going to move onto the Leafs. Okay, to be honest I really wasn't all that suprised by the way that game turned out. We all knew going into the series that the Flyers weren't going to be as easy to keep clear from the net as the Sens. And considering that the Leafs didn't manage to put together a single good game in an entire seven game series, I was really expecting them to do so tonight either. Hoping yes, but not expecting.
Despite my lack of expectations, however, it was really disappointing mostly because of Kaberle's play. He had a big part in the Flyer's first goal, and Cherry rightfully called him out on it during Coach's Corner. But then Kaberle turned things around and played really well in the second. He got a bunch of shots on goal (and was in fact tied for the most SOGs on the Leafs with McCabe for much of the game with his three) and was generally creating a lot of good scoring chances. Defensively he was quite sound too. Then came the third period, and once again, he had a helping hand in the Flyers' goal. I mean, really, where the heck was he looking right before Gagne scored? *shakes head* Just like in essays, it's the intro and conclusions that people remember, so unfortunately his solid second period effort was majorly overshadowed by his costly gaffes in the first and third.
Man, the tone of this entire post makes me think about my small group's Bible study last night when we were discussing the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30). Basically what happens is a master gives each of three servants a significant sum of money and then goes away. When he comes back, he asks the servants to give an accounting for the money. The first two servants each had put their money to good use and earned more from it, but the third just buried the money. When the master hears how they've used his money, he rewards the first two and punishes the last. One point in our study was that the master uses some very strong words when he addresses the third servant: "You wicked and lazy servant" (Matt. 25:26). John Ortberg comments that: "His strong language does not run counter to the notion of grace. In fact, his words are the result of love. Jesus doesn't want you to get to the end of your life and know the profound regret of missing the chance of a lifetime" ("Giving: Unlocking the Heart of Good Stewardship", p. 106).
So why am I mentioning all of this? Well, I guess I want people to understand that I'm being so critical of the Avs and Leafs because I love them and want them to succeed. I hate it that they're not playing anywhere near as well as they can, but for better or worse, they're still "my teams". And I did pick both of them to go to the Final in one of my hockey pools, so I do have ultimate faith that they'll be able to perform and win. *sigh* I just wish they would do it sooner rather than later and stop spoiling the 23rd for me.
WOOHOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Go LEAFS GO!! Belfour shone for them, of course! A nice early birthday gift for Belfour, eh? So yeah, they've still got a lot of work to do, but their game was a lot more decent than anything else they've put together this series. =P
And good for the Sens. They didn't let up right to the end. It just came down to goaltending, and I'd say there isn't any shame in that. So thanks for a great game, and series!
Aw! That's so cute! Domi nabbed Nieuwendyk for his interview, to say thanks to him and Belfour for their leadership with their Cup experience!! That's just great. ^_^
Man! I wish I was downtown right now! I'd probably run onto the street and start cheering!!
Both my teams are in the second round!!! I couldn't be happier!
6:19 1st: You guessed it, it's in-game commentary time again! Kilger just scored the first goal! ^_^ Assisted by Domi!! It was great! Domi's forechecking was amazing! I just love seeing hard work rewarded! ^_^ Go LEAFS! Now, they better make sure they don't hold back and sit on that lead! I mean yeah, they've got to be smart and play solid defense, but I'm thinking the Sens are going to be opening up a bit, so the Leafs need to get another one! Soon!
7:41 1st: YEAH!!!!! Speak of the devil! I just pressed "Post & Publish" and turned around, saw Nieuwendyk get some space and...SCORE!!!! Go LEAFS GO! Don't let the Sens back into the game! You CAN WIN!
8:19 1st: Good work, Stajan! It would've been better if he got a chance to score, but drawing a penalty is good enough, I suppose!
Dang it! What the heck are the Leafs doing on this powerplay? They've iced the puck twice already! Che!!! What a waste of a chance to really put the Sens down! GRRRRRRRR!
12:00 1st: Well, I'd say the best thing about the game so far is that the shots are even!! This is something everyone's been talking about the entire series, and now that they've started shooting, you can see the dividends! ^_^ This is pretty good Leaf play for once. That's what I really want from the Leafs. A solid 60 minute effort!
13:03 1st: Four-on-four! SCARY!!! C'mon Leafs! Play smart!!!
Kaberle broke his stick!! SCARY!!!!!!! He still made a nice move to clear the rebound with his skate, but dang! That was some scary stuff! Give the Sens some room and they're really scary!1 ^^;; I don't know if I can handle this pressure!
16:21 1st: Woohoo! Leafs power play looking quite a bit better this time. Whoops. Spoke too soon! The Leafs just lost the puck twice! Dang!!!! So many chances with that rebound! How did they miss?!? And now they're offside! BOOO!!!! C'mon Leafs!!!!
18:30 1st: Egad! Kaberle gloved the puck down right to a Sens player!!!! I almost had a heart attack!!!
19:39 1st: Nieuwendyk strikes again!!! And it was a bad one for Lalime too!!! How did it get in? It was an awful angle!!! Just couldn't keep his legs shut, I guess. Just goes to show that throwing pucks on the net is ALWAYS a good idea!! ^_^
1st Intermission: But yes, if the Leafs do win (and even with the score as it is right now, I'm NOT counting the Sens out), I'm going to be a good fan and not rub it in. It's okay when it's game 3, or 4, or even 5 or 6, but in game 7? Nuh uh. That's too cruel, especially when the opposing team has worked hard to force the series to game 7.
0:22 2nd: DANG IT!!!! NO!!!! Couldn't handle the rebound! This is NOT good. The Leafs need to assert themselves now. They can't let the Sens back in. CAN NOT!!! (Prusek started the period.)
Dang it!!! And a penalty too? C'mon Leafs!!! Absolutely MUST kill this one off sucessfully!
1:49 2nd: I LOVE Fitzgerald! He cleared an extremely dangerous rebound! Klee I think broke his stick, so it was pretty dangerous in the Leafs' end. But yeah, Fitzgerald is excellent in the PK. It's something I've noticed all series, but I don't think I ever remembered to comment on it.
4:10 2nd: Once again Domi works hard to catch up to the Sen player on the forecheck and creates a pretty good scoring chance. Y'know, I never really liked Domi before this series, but man, he works SO hard! I think he's the only Leaf who really makes an effort to forecheck! It's really admirable, the way Domi's been putting his heart into the games! Now if only everyone else would step up as much!
9:06 2nd: Another penalty?!? C'mon Leafs, get it out of the zone!! Good, good--so far.
A very sucessful PK. *PHEW* That was a HUGE sigh of relief!! Dang it! I don't want the Leafs to make it dramatic!! Score some more! Shut them down!!
14:11 2nd: STOP TAKING PENALTIES DARN YOU!!!! When they're not in the penalty box they're playing pretty good hockey, but dang it! They're playing with fire by giving the Sens so much time with the extra man! I swear, my heart can't take it!
2nd Intermission: *PHEW* They got through the second period relatively unscathed. Now's the hard part. The Sens are going to be pressing them like mad. The Leafs have GOT to show their character and smarts here. Intelligent plays, no dumb penalties, and a litte luck for the Leafs should see them through. Prusek's giving up huge rebounds, so hopefully the Leafs'll be able to capitalize on them!
2:50 3rd: The Leafs are sitting back on their heels right now, and I don't like it at all! Whenever they're in the zone they seem to back off right away as soon as a Sen player gets anywhere near the puck! They're asking for trouble if they keep this up!
4:08 3rd: Good save by Belfour!!! He had to be sharp! And another one! @_@ I'm telling you, the Leafs need to be a bit more aggressive on the offense! I don't trust them to be able to maintain under sustained Sen pressure. I have too much respect for the Sens to be able to think that giving them so much time in the (Leafs') zone can turn out anyway but badly.
6:34 3rd: Belfour makes two excellent stops on Hossa. The chances are coming fast and furious for the Sens here! And they're good ones too! I'm VERY stressed! C'mon LEAFS!!
7:59 3rd: The Leafs are up by 3 goals again!!!! Yes!! I LOVE it when it's right off the draw!! And McCabe too! EXCELLENT! This will help in the pool!
OH MY GOODNESS!! Belfour just made like three consecutive saves from close range!! All very dangerous chances!!
10:00 3rd: Holy cow!!! There was a goalpost! A REALLY FREAKY GOALPOST!!! I almost died when I saw that!
13:00 3rd: Belfour went WAY out to check the Sens player! @_@ That was crazy! If he had missed....Or he might've injured himself sliding into the boards that way! INSANE! But anyway, the Leafs are really turning things up now! Thank goodness! They're not just sitting back and holding onto the lead, they're still pressing the Sens! AWESOME! This is a much better game from the Leafs than anything I've seen since Buffalo (the second last game of the regular season).
14:08 3rd: The Leafs look a lot worse in this powerplay than they did on even strength! @_@ What ARE they doing? Whoops...Kaberle got it into the netting on the shoot in. Darn. Looked like they might have a decent chance in the offensive zone too!
DANG! I really wanted Ponikarovsky to score so Kaberle would get the assist! =P He went REALLY far into the offensive zone. Very Canucks like. ^_~
16:31 3rd: Now the Sens are on the powerplay, but I think the Leafs are still pretty okay. They're doing a good job on the PK, even if Ottawa IS managing to keep it in, they're not really getting any shots. ^_^
18:22 3rd: Hmm...McCabe's stick to the chest of Havlat was pretty dumb. But that's okay, the game is done anyway! ^_^ GO LEAFS GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
19:44 3rd: Geh. I hate it when people start getting into little altercations when there's so little time left! But anyway, it still feels good! The Leafs have delivered! I really think they can go to the Finals this year!
Well, except for the Philly-Jersey series, all the predictions I made for my playoff pool so far have been correct! Yeah, I know I said here that I thought Vancouver would win, but I changed my mind and picked Calgary for the pool. Sorry Lisa, Emma, and Ivy, I know it must be heartbreaking for you. =( Especially since Cooke got that tying goal so late in the game. Like Morrison said, it must've felt like it was meant to be after that goal.
It's really too bad the Flames and Canucks had to face each other. They're both such deserving and skilled teams. I don't think any of the series will match the kind of quality of play we saw from the Flames and Canucks. Still, I've got to admit, I wanted to see the Flames win. Partially because I think they really deserve it, the way they've battled through everything this year, and partially because I didn't want the Avs to have to face Detroit just yet. Yeah, I do think Detroit's going to end up beating Calgary, simply because they're so strong and have so much depth. You never know though, I'd love it if the Flames could surprise me.
But even though I rather hoped the Flames would win, I wouldn't wish that feeling of losing game seven at home in OT on anyone. I cried when it happened to the Avs last year, so yeah, I know what you guys must be going through.
Anyway, I've got some exciting news! I might be on the news tonight! =P After my exam I went out for lunch with my parents and Alan. While I was waiting outside for Alan (in my Kaberle jersey, of course), some guys--I think they were from the New VR--came up and asked if they could ask me some questions! =D So yeah, they asked how I was going to prepare for the game tonight, what's the best part about game seven, and who I thought would win, and how. My answers, in order: I'm going to plop in front of the tv and turn off all phones; home ice advantage, and hopefully hearing the fans boo Alfredsson every time he touches the puck; and Leafs 2-0, the way they've won all the other games! ^_^ So yeah, if you happen to be watching the news from 6-7pm on VR, keep a lookout for a Chinese girl with short-hair, glasses, and a Kaberle jersey! [Edit: Well, no tv debut for me! Looks like I got beaten out by a Hooter's serving Leafs-themed food! And I'm sure the food was the main attraction too! ^_~ Anyway, it was a fun experience! Go Leafs GO!)][Edit 2: I was wrong, I did get my 5 seconds of fame! =P It was near the end of the news, in the sports section, which only makes sense, I suppose. I'm such a nerd, I taped it! And my mom taped it upstairs too! ^_^ Go Leafs Go!]
Oh, and just a reminder for all you guys and gals in the KIA playoff pool, the deadline for the second round of picks is Thursday, April 22nd, 7pm EST. ^_^ Good luck!
Geh, how could I almost forget? Go Theodore with his first career playoff shut out! Couldn't have come at a better time!!! Go Habs!
Dang it Leafs! Would it kill you to play one game when you're not being horribly outshot and dominated by the Sens?! Just one?! ARGH!!! We had SO many posts, it was frustrating! Grr...Of course, I'm not as frustrated as I probably would be if I had actually been paying attention for the entire game. See, I was trying to study for my Japanese exam while watching the game.
The result: Leafs lost and I'm going to fail my exam! @_@ At least I'm pretty much guaranteed to pass the course, but dang! I hate going into an exam with nothing more than vague recollections and a prayer!
Anyway, thank goodness game seven isn't until Tuesday. I will have finished my second exam by then, and will be very deserving of a break! ^^;; Too bad I'm probably going to fail that one too since one day isn't enough to catch up with all the readings I skipped during the year.
*sigh* Anyway, at least I've got the knowledge that the Avs are in the second round to cheer me up. ^_^ Nothing can take that away!
Woohoo!!! I knew the Avs could do it!!! Too bad I couldn't WATCH the game though (stupid TSN!). At least I got to listen to most of it through NHL radio, though. But I had to leave for a sandwich run (giving out bagged meals to street people) downtown, after the second period, so I didn't get to hear the third period.
I asked my friend Alan to call me to give me the final score, and I got his message just when we got on the subway to go downtown. He was kind of mean/tricky with his message, though! He said something like: "What did you say the score was when you left? Well, the final score was Dallas one..." But since he paused, I interpreted it as "Dallas won" so I was like "dang!"--out loud. Then he continued on "Colorado five". Then I had to stop and think about it for a second, and finally said (not yelled as I wanted to, since I was in a public place) "YES!"
Alright Avs!!! Even without Tanguay they managed to win, and win convincingly! ^__^ The best part is I think almost every line scored! They got a goal from Hendrickson, Konowalchuk, Forsberg, Sakic, and Hejduk!! Awesome! I'm so excited! I wonder who they'll play next? Detroit or San Jose, I think, depending on whether the Flames win or lose. Either way, I have faith in my team! Go Avs GO!
Oh, and in seemingly perfect timing, my dad finally got around to framing my autographed Sakic 2001 Stanley Cup photo! So I thought I'd show you guys a picture of my "Avs wall"! Hover your mouse for a description, and click for a closer picture to pop up! (There are 21 different close up pictures available, and they're all hockey-related.)
If the picture doesn't show up at first, try right-clicking and "Show Picture". ^_^
Oh, I'm also happy that the Habs managed to keep themselves alive!! Go Habs go! I want them to beat Boston! Too bad New Jersey lost...Not that I like either them or Philly, but I picked Brodeur in the KIA pool, so now that makes my Eastern conference goalie a complete bust. XP I should've gone with my heart and picked Raycroft. Detroit knocked out Nashville, which is unfortunate, if expected.
Dang! What happened to the Canucks? It was 4-0 halfway through the second period and now it's in the second OT period? Wow. Go Flames. (Sorry Lisa, and all you other BC'ers. ^^;;)
Go Kaberle! I think he was +2 on the night as well, which is great!! ^_______^ Heh, I was in the car, listening to the radio when Nieuwendyk scored, so all I really heard was "...Kaberle...Chara...three on one...Nieuwendyk scores!!!!" So I was like "Kaberle? Did Kaberle get the assist?!" I was, of course, ecstatic when his assist was confirmed! That's my Kaberle! Let's hope he continues to get better and better as the playoffs go on!
I was also really happy about Domi's goal. Nevermind that it was actually an Ottawa defenceman Smolinski's goal, I'm always amused when Domi scores. =P And besides, like Jello said, he deserved the goal, fluky or not. He's been working hard the entire series, so definitely, good on him! ^_^
Most of the game I was only able to listen to on the radio, but it sounded like the Leafs were playing a lot better. I mean, they weren't horribly outshot this time, and it actually sounded like they had decent puck possession in the offensive zone during the game, which hasn't really been the case since probably the first ten minutes of game two. So if it's true that they're playing better, I'm glad. If not, well, I might've said it earlier, but I'd rather my team be lucky and win than play well and lose.
Anyway, I really hope the Leafs close out the Sens on Sunday! They need all the extra time they can get to heal/recover! I also hope, for the sake of my marks, that the Avs finish off the Stars tomorrow! I've got two exams coming up on Monday and Tuesday, so if I've got the Leafs AND Avs games to watch on Sunday, I'm going to end up failing both of them. This time my parents would be able to blame my bad marks on hockey. ^^;;
Speaking of finishing off series, hooray for Tampa finishing off the Islanders!! ^_^ I'm still upset that the Islanders made the playoffs and Buffalo didn't, so I'm very happy that the Isles got knocked out. Same thing with St. Louis. I was upset that they got a playoff spot and neither Edmonton nor Los Angeles made it because of that, so I was pleased as punch when the Sharks finished them off. I'm funny that way. =P
Heh, I just realized a nice side benefit to my new haircut: my hair doesn't obscure the names on my jerseys anymore!!! ^_^ Now I don't have to pull my hair forward over my shoulders to show off Kaberle and Sakic! Isn't that great? =D
What else? Oh, I completed my collection of Avalanche Mini-lunch boxes (with bubblegum)! They're really cute! The set includes Sakic, Forsberg, Roy, Hejduk, Blake, and one of the Avs' logo. Poor Steph, though, there aren't any Canucks mini-lunch boxes, which is quite silly considering how popular they've become.
But no matter, Steph's quite happy right now with her Trevor Linden McFarlane figures! They're really nice! His nose is right on! And she got the variant as well, with Linden in the blue stick jersey! Very nice. *sigh* I still wish I had gotten that Forsberg Nordiques variant. Ah well.
Oh yeah, on a totally random note, I found a website that's still selling 2001-2002 Between the Pipes boxes! They're expensive though! $99US!! @_@ Last year's series is only $48. *sigh* I guess it's because 01-02 was the first year for the set... Another item to add to my wish list. ^^;;
Dang Canadian broadcast regions!!!! Just because I live in the Ontario/East region, I can only watch the stupid Detroit-Nashville game, and not the Dallas-Colorado game! ARGHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That's so unfair!! I want to see the Avs eliminate Dallas!! GRRRRRRRRRRRR....................... Stupid TSN!!!
Since people have been asking for the lyrics to the Ottawa Song, I have added a special section for song lyrics to the left sidebar. The links will remain up for the duration of the playoffs, or, more specifically, for the duration of the Leafs' playoff run. Oh, and the links will open in a new window, just so you know.
Speaking of new things, I have a new hairdo! I've been wanting to chop off my hair to donate to make wigs for cancer patients for a while, and I finally got around to it! So why am I posting about it here? Well, it's because I've already posted links to pictures with me in them here, so I don't feel weird posting my "before haircut" and "after haircut" pictures here! I'm weird, I know. So yeah, here're my before and after pics (the second one isn't such a great angle, though):
YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! After being badly outshot almost all game (they did manage to outshoot the Stars 4-3 in the second period), the Avs finally managed to get their act together to win in the second OT!!!
Go Svatos!!! His first career playoff goal couldn't have come at a better time! He really deserved it too! All series he's just been working so hard, creating so many scoring chances, you just knew he was going to be rewarded sometime!!
It was an excellent turn of luck for the Avs. I mean, the game-tying goal was just bad luck for the Avs--bouncing off Boughner's foot, Aebby didn't stand a chance. It seemed kind of like the type of bad luck that was plaguing the Stars in the first two games (deflections off Stars' players to beat Turco) was starting to hound the Avs, but then once OT started, the Avs got really lucky in keeping the puck out.
I mean, I think it was Guerin who had this amazing chance through lots of traffic, but the puck ended up between the skates of Foote and Arnott and stayed out of the net. The truly amazing thing was that the puck might've bounced off Foote's skate into the Avs' net if Arnott's skate hadn't been there! Phew!!
So now the Avs have a chance to close the series on Saturday. I'm actually pretty worried about that, though. I mean, last year against Minnesota they just couldn't close and ended up getting knocked out in game seven of the first round. If the Avs aren't careful, it could happen again. Especially if they don't start getting some shots on goal! You cannot expect good things to happen when you're outshot 43-20!
Just look at the Leafs. I've been saying all along that they've been winning on luck rather than skill, and tonight their luck finally ran out. *shakes head* I don't want to think about that game though. Kaberle did NOT play well. He was -2, and the first goal for the Sens came because he wasn't doing his job. ARGH. He's still my guy, but man, he's really got to play better.
But back to my Avs. You know, I think if the Avs win the Cup this year while continuing to play the way they have been, Nikolishin could well deserve the Conn Smythe Trophy. I mean, the had very little puck possession the entire game. It seemed like they were forever in their own zone, and for sure they had a lot of defensive zone face-offs. That's where Nikolishin comes in. His defensive zone faceoff percentage was a whopping 71%!!! And a lot of the draws he didn't win, he still managed to come up with the puck. I mean, for one Dallas powerplay, the Stars didn't get possession until 30 seconds were left in the PP all because Nikolishin managed to win the initial draw to get the Avs' possession right off the bat. He's been huge for the Avs this series, especially in these last two games when the Stars have been putting a lot of pressure on Colorado, maintaining possession, and keeping them in the defensive zone.
So yes, the Avs have a lot of room for improvement, but I definitely think they can finish the Stars off if they set their minds on it. And Svatos is amazing! Can you believe he was drafted two hundred something-th? The Avs seem to have a lot more success with their later picks (think Tanguay and Aebischer) than they do their earlier ones! =P But that's another story. Hooray for Svatos! What a dream come back this must be after going through three shoulder surgeries!! A well deserved goal!
Oh, and go Tampa! St. Louis' shorthanded goal was SWEET! He totally undressed the Islanders' player, whoever it was! ^_^ And can you believe they've won all three games 3-0? Did anyone actually pick Bhulin for a pool? Dang, whodda thunk?
Heheh...I love the Toronto Star! Even their game recaps can be amusing:
Leafs captain Mats Sundin had a spectacular chance at 12:12 of the second period with Patrick Lalime out of position, but hit Ottawa defenceman Zdeno Chara square in the butt with his wrist shot.
Bwa ha ha!!! It was frustrating to see at the time, but now thinking about it, it's pretty funny! I mean, Chara's butt really isn't that big! =P
Speaking of clever, I just found out that Pete Cugno, of "The Ottawa Song" fame, has another pro-Leaf parody song:
Every Shot You Take (to the tune of Every Breath You Take)
By Pete Cugno
Every shot you take
Every pass you fake
Every change you make, every stick you break
We'll be watching you
Every game you play
At home or away
All we have to say, is just get through May
We'll be watching you
Oh, Maple Leafs
We're down on our knees
Don't make no dumb mistakes
The Stanley Cup awaits
Every tie you break
And every bruise you take
So much is at stake, win one for our sake
We'll be watching you
Since you won your last Cup so much time has passed
You spend most of your playoffs cutting grass
I think it's time that you all get off your ass
And bring Toronto a Stanley Cup at last
Just keep trying Maple, Maple Leafs
(We just wanna win the Cup)
Every goal you save
Every power play
As Bob and Doug would say, win the Cup okay-ay
We'll be watching you
We'll be watching you
(Every shot you take
Every pass you make
Every change you make
Every stick you break)
We'll be watching you
(Every game you play
At home or away
All we have to say
Is just get through May)
We'll be watching you
(Every tie you break
Every bruise you take...)
You can download this song at Say Uncle Productions, as well as "The Ottawa Song." ^_^ Pete Cugno, you rock!!!!
Go Leafs Go!
[Edit: I actually heard "Every Shot You Take" on Mix 99.9 on my way home from small group! It was great! I turned up the volume and sang along!]
Another 2-0 win for the Leafs even though the Sens were outworking the Leafs in just about every way!!! The critical difference: Ed Belfour!!!!! I still stand by my stance that the Leafs are going to have to put together a solid 60 minute effort if they want to go far in the playoffs, but of course, I'll take a win from a poor effort over a solid effort and a loss any day. =P Poor Sens, it must be hard on the morale to be losing when the level of your play would suggest that you should be winning. Mwa ha ha ha ha!!! On a completely random note, it was nice to see Spezza back in the lineup!
The downside of tonight was that the Avs blew a 3-1 lead and allowed the Stars to come back for a 4-3 OT win. =( The tying goal was pretty bad too. Aebby really needs to learn that he can't be distracted by anything--especially minor things like getting his skate kicked a bit by an opposing player--during the playoffs. But that's okay. I have faith that my Avs can win the next game in Dallas and come home to finish them off. ^_______^ They're not going to let themselves blow a series lead again, like they did with Minnesota last year. And Aebischer will settle down and improve his rebound control. *nods* Avs-Leafs final!!!! If that happens, I've already got a line on tickets! They're probably going to cost me about $500, but I don't care, I'm doing it!!! Of course, the Avs and Leafs have to get to the finals first.... =P
Oh yeah, almost forgot to mention that I watched the game at East Side Mario's tonight with my friend Alan. It was a lucky thing that I went too, because the others who were supposed to come didn't arrive until after 9pm, so he would've been on his own for 2 periods without me there. It was fun! The noise was incredible when Sundin scored that second goal to basically seal the game. ^_^ Oh, and I had a sip of Alan's beer, and it wasn't as nasty tasting as usual. Maybe this means I'm acquiring the taste?
In other news, the only update we've had about Cloutier is that he suffered a "lower body injury on the right side". Who didn't call that one? =P It's really too bad for the Canucks though. Hedberg can be good, but he can also be really bad. As Steph says, he's really streaky, he's either Hedberg the Great or Hedberg the Terrible. ^^;; I wonder if the Flames are going to have to change their gameplan now, though? I mean, I don't think Hedberg gets as confused as Cloutier when they go behind the net, so I'd like to see if they start just shooting from anywhere on Hedberg. But I'll be honest and admit that I hope this helps the Flames to win the series. I mean, I like the Canucks best after Colorado and Toronto, but I really don't want to see the Avs pitted against the Canucks right now. It's too soon. If I had my way, they wouldn't play each other again until Moore has accepted Bertuzzi's apology (I'm still hopeful that he'll do so sooner rather than later). So yes, sorry Canucks, but for this series I'm rooting for the Flames.
Well, it wasn't the convincing win I was hoping for, but I'll take it! The Leafs were excellent for maybe the first ten minutes, but then they seemed to sit back on their heels and get lazy. There was a span of four minutes (even the CBC guys commented on it) where they were totally owned by the Sens. They weren't winning the battles in the corners, or really doing much to get control of the puck in their own zone. The only reason the Sens didn't score was because Belfour was sharp and the Sens had some bad bounces and misses.
The Leafs cannot expect to win the series playing the way they were for a lot of the game tonight. Not only were they lazy on a lot of plays, but they took quite a few dumb penalties as well. They didn't score tonight, but you can't expect to give a team like the Sens so many opportunities with the extra man without eventually paying for it. I'm sure Quinn said similar things about their effort. I mean yes, it's good that they won tonight, but they can't be satisfied with that effort.
That said, the return of Tucker and Klee was a big boost for the Leafs. Tucker is an important playoff guy, with his energy and grit. And Klee was his usual steady self. ^_^ Kaberle got quite a bit more ice time than usual, which made me happy of course. I think part of it was due to the fact that Quinn knew he could count on him and Klee the way he couldn't count on the Kaberle-Johansson pairing.
Oh, and I know it's bad of me, but I was quite pleased and amused with the way the fans kept booing everytime Alfredsson touched the puck. =P Reminds me of the Turco thing, I guess.
Anyway, that's it for me tonight. The Leafs won (I never doubted that they would), but I expect them to put together a much more solid sixty minutes in Ottawa for game three! Go Leafs GO!
[P.S. - Jello has the most amazing and appropriate playoffs layout, so go check it out!]
Mwa ha ha ha ha!!! Yes, that's right, the Avs owned the Stars once again, taking a 2-0 series lead with a 5-2 win! It was such an amazing game to watch! I wish I could've been there to boo and heckle Turco! For those who didn't watch the game, here's what happened: Turco went way out to play the puck, as usual. Svatos was forechecking, trying to get the puck and ended up gaving Turco a nudge. So Svatos got called for goaltender interference, and none of the fans much liked that. I didn't really like it either. I mean, yes, technically it was the correct call, but Turco was way out, and it wasn't like Svatos was going after him or anything, he just didn't put himself too much out trying to avoid Turco. =P Anyway, after that, everytime Turco touched the puck, he got soundly booed. It was hilarious because when the Avs were on the PK, everyone'd be cheering when they cleared the puck, but then it'd go down to the Dallas zone, Turco would get it and everyone would start booing! The fans kept it up for the entire game, which was great. Oh, and partway through the third they starting doing the "Turrr-coooo! Turrrr-coooo!" type heckling as well. Absolute music to my ears. Mwa ha ha!
Anyway, the Stars were simply awful once again. The first goal by the Avs, Zubov did nothing while Sakic was all alone in front of the net. All night the Avs had tons of chances because the d-men just weren't putting any effort into keeping the Avs away from the net. Oh, and the many stupid Stars penalties sure helped the Avs as well. =)
Hinote's goal from Nikolishin was great to see as well. I mentioned last time that they're solid players who really work hard, so it was nice to see them get rewarded.
And the last five minutes of the game was cool because Granato played smart and kept Sakic, Tanguay, Forsberg and Hejduk on the bench the entire time. So Selanne, Svatos, Nikolishin, Hinote, etc. etc. got rewarded with extra ice time. I mean, the Avs had a power play in the last 3 minutes, and I think Selanne, Konowalchuk, Svatos, and Skrastins all got a pretty good chunk of time on it (the PP). Smart coaching decision by Granato, and a nice reward for the guys. ^_^
Ah, I'm sure I've got tons more to say about this, but I'm pretty tired and I've got to tutor in the morning. so I'll leave it at that for now! Heheheh...Go Avs GO!!! I wanna see them sweep the Stars! Mwa ha ha!
Yes, once again the Leafs are felled by their own stupidity!!! I only started watching from halfway through the second, but they really looked stupid out there. Not just bad penalties, but laziness too. They weren't battling for the puck or anything! ARGH!!!!!! They'd better smarten up, or the Sens are going to have them by the throat in this series! GRRRRRRRRRRRR.......
Anyway, I fully expect that the Leafs will have a fire lit under their collective behinds on Saturday, and will come up with a convincing win over Ottawa. *nods*
(I hate to end this way, but dang, if that fourth Ottawa goal wasn't the ugliest thing I've ever seen! Oh, but Lalime's diving catch was AMAZING. ^^;; Too bad he's playing for the Sens.)
I figured I should post this now, just in case the unthinkable happens and the Sens beat the Leafs tonight. =P You can download this song from Mix 99.9 too!
The Ottawa Song (to the tune of Adam Sandler's Hanukkah Song)
By (Scary) Pete Cugno
Here's a little story, about a hockey team
Who just win the Stanley Cup, but only in their dreams
The team is from Ottawa, the Senators is their name
Soon to be inducted into the Golfing Hall of Fame
They say they'll beat our Leaf-ers, ha, now there's a funny joke
'Cause every year at playoff time the Senators always choke
So three cheers for Ottawa, a real team they are not-ta-wa
They can give all that they got-ta-wa
But the Stanley Cup will never go to Ottawa
Ottawa has their Parliament, and MPs in the news
And it's kind of like their hockey team--they talk a lot but don't produce
They're not the brightest either, I really have to say
When the capital of our country spells Canada with a "K"
(Hey, that's Kanata!)
Oh three cheers for Ottawa, they think they've got a shot-ta-wa
But they must be smoking pot-ta-wa
'Cause the Stanley Cup will never go to Ottawa
You better press your plaid pants, it's that time once again
To hear that familiar Ottawa Senator saying, "Tee-off is at 10"
So get ready for the crying, take out your handkerchiefs
You're about to get your as kicked by the Toronto Maple Leafs
Oh three cheers for Ottawa, a lesson they'll be taught-ta-wa
Hossa and Havlat-ta-wa will soon be golfing a lot-ta-wa
What the hell else rhymes with Ottawa, not a whole lot-ta-wa
There's a team we already forgot-ta-wa cause the Stanley Cup will never go to Ottawa
I really don't know why I find this song so amusing, but I do. =P The line part "Havlat-ta-wa will soon be golfing a lot-ta-wa" just gets me everytime! So yes, let's just hope the Leafs (and Leaf fans) don't end up having to eat a lot of crow. Go Leafs Go!!! (And I know Kaberle will get back on his game for the playoffs!)
YES!!!!!! That's exactly the type of play I want to see from the Avs!!! Okay, so Aebby's got to work on rebound control a bit, but otherwise, everything was great!! A full 60 minutes of hard work from everyone! The big guys all scored--Forsberg, Tanguay, Sakic--Selanne played well, and so did Boughner, and Svatos, and well, just about everyone!!! Excellent, indeed! And I'm really glad that Nikolishin and Hinote seem to be healthy again, they're both solid players.
So yes, everything went swimmingly! Now for game 2!!! Let's hope the Avs keep up the energy and work ethic. Oh, and that they start to score on the power play! ^____________^
Anyway, that's it from me for tonight. I've been up for almost 48 hours straight now. (I had an essay due today, and I had major writer's block, so I didn't get it done until 8:45am @_@)
Oh, and last thing! I chose Aebby for the Kia playoffs pool, so looks like I got rewarded for my faith!
1. List all the Western Conference first round match-ups and state which teams you think would come out on top in the series. Give reasons also:
Detroit-Nashville: Hmm...Detroit has such a deep team and so much playoff experience, it's hard for me to imagine that they'd lose this matchup, especially with the memory of last year's humiliation at the hands of the Ducks still on their minds, I'm sure. The only question they may have is goaltending, but I think the Preds are worse off in that category, and can't hope to match Detroit's depth, so...Detroit, even though I'd like Nashville to win.
San Jose-St. Louis: This is a tough one for me to call, since I don't really pay that much attention to either team (remember, I didn't even realize San Jose was at the top of their division!). ^^;; I'll say San Jose on this one just because I'd rather them win than St. Louis (I'm still bitter about them making the playoffs when the Oilers didn't--why couldn't they stay in their slump?)
Vancouver-Calgary: Another tough one. The Canucks have been playing extremely well of late, but Calgary's good too. I think it might just come down to goaltending. I think in terms of sheer talent Kiprusoff's got Cloutier beat, but Cloutier has experience, so... Oh, but a problem for the Flames might be depth. They've got quite a few significant players injuried--Reinprecht, Yelle, McAmmond--which could be troublesome. Hm, so I guess I'm leaning towards the Canucks winning, although I think it'll be a pretty tight series.
Colorado-Dallas: Well, I'm going to say Colorado simply because I want them to win (Turco, grrrrr....). BUT I'm not a fan with blind faith in my team, so I fully acknowledge that home-ice notwithstanding, the Avs are going into this one as underdogs. They have, quite frankly, sucked since the All-Star break. Their completely uninspirational play in many of their last games has me seriously questioning their work ethic and heart. There's a lot of talent on the roster, but most of them aren't using it. Still, the playoffs are a clean slate, so I'm hopeful that blowing the division title will light a fire under their butts. *sigh*
2. Do the same for the East
Tampa-New York: I think Tampa can definitely get this one done. Their goaltending might still be a bit shaky, but they've got skill, speed, and consistency.
Boston-Montreal: Historically Montreal has got the edge on this one. Plus, as excellent as Raycroft has been, I think that Theodore, with his skill and experience would emerge the victor from a goalie dual. And with Thornton injured...
Philadelphia-New Jersey: New Jersey. Philly's goaltending is pretty shaky, and this season the Devils have shown that they can actually score (albeit sometimes at the expense of their renowned defense).
Toronto-Ottawa: The Leafs are going to have to be pretty careful in this one. With their trouncing of the Sens in Ottawa in the last game of the season, and their history of knocking off Ottawa in the post-season, the Leafs have really given the Sens a lot to prove in this series. The Sens are going to be very dangerous. BUT, if the Leafs can maintain their team commitment to defense, I think they can definitely beat the Sens because they've got Belfour in net. If anything happens to Belfour, though, all bets are off. ^^;;
3. Which team(s) do you think will be the dark hourse?
If they weren't playing Detroit, I'd say Nashville would be a good pick, but I don't think Detroit is going to lose a first round series two years in a row.
4. This is not another year for the upsets? Is it?
It's hard to say that any outcome would be an upset simply because all the teams are so close in the standings and none of them are particularly weak this year. So no, it's not a year for upsets. Maybe the most surprising outcome, to me, though would be if the Islanders beat Tampa.
Anyway, the bad thing about the way the matchups worked out is that two Canadian teams are guaranteed to be knocked out in the first round. On the other, the up side is that two Canadian teams are also guaranteed to make the second round. *shrugs*
The scary thing about this year's playoffs is that I think the Leafs actually have a much better chance of winning the Cup than the Avs. ^^;; *sigh* I really hope they (the Avs) can get going in the playoffs! Even if they get knocked out in the second round, I want to see them playing like the Avs I fell in love with!!
Okay, so the game's not over yet, but 4-1 going into the third, it might as ell be. The Oilers would have to pull off a comeback like that one against Dallas last year to have a chance at tying now. And quite frankly, they're not playing well enough to do that. Darn, darn, darn!!! I mean, c'mon, they had all the time in the world to prepare for this game, there's no excuse for their sloppy play tonight!!
Che. Now I'm just hoping that Dallas loses and Calgary wins tomorrow so at the least the Avs will end up facing Calgary rather than Dallas. Darn. I think Granato deserves a fair share of the blame for playing bloody Salo--SALO!!!--against Minnesota when he must've known that the Avs would need every single win. Darn, darn, darn!!!
On the bright side, the Leafs had a delightful romp in Ottawa, cruising to a 6-0 victory. The best part was that once the Leafs got up like 3-0, they kept up the solid defensive play and didn't give Ottawa a chance to get back into the game they way they have in the past with big leads. A solid 60 minute game for them, so now they're looking to face either Montreal or Ottawa, depending on whether or not Boston wins tomorrow. I rather hope that they face Montreal, simply because the rivalry doesn't have the same kind of nasty edge that the Ottawa one does. I vaguely recall hearing about some bad incidents/unclassy conduct from fans when the Leafs beat Ottawa in...2002? But on the other hand, I like Montreal better, so I'd rather the Leafs knock Ottawa out of the playoffs. =P
Heh, I almost forgot, but did you hear the cheering in the Corel Centre? All "Go Leafs Go!" It was like the Leafs were playing at home! Not to mention the sea of blue and white jerseys. Mwa ha ha. Guess the "ban" didn't work as hoped. And I'm sure the Ottawa foodbank is ecstatic too! ^_^
But yes, darn Edmonton twice over--for losing tonight and foisting off Salo on the Avs!
The Sabres played with great heart tonight, especially considering that they knew, probably from the first intermission, that they weren't going to make the playoffs, regardless of the outcome of the game against the Leafs. But they battled hard right until the end, and for that, I salute them.
Damn. I really wish they could have made it into the playoffs, but unfortunately, their post-season hopes were probably iced when they lost twice to the Islanders late in February. But damn, they played a good game tonight.
For the last ten minutes I was sitting bolt upright, my eyes bugging out of my head. I didn't want to miss a single second of the action. Man, I'm so high on adrenaline right now, I can't even think about what to write!!
Home-ice advantage is all in the Leafs' hands right now. "All" they have to do is beat Ottawa. And if they play like they did tonight, there's a real good chance they'll be able to!! Go LEAFS GO!!!!
And the Avs won tonight too!! It sounds weird to say this, but that was a crucial win against the Jackets. Now I'm just praying that the Sharks will keep the Canucks down to a point at most (preferably no points, of course), and the Avs will have a solid shot at regaining the division title they blew with their pathetic post-All-Star play. Svatos was stellar in that game--you couldn't even tell he was out most of the season thanks to shoulder surgery. And the Sakic-Kariya-Selanne line scored again, which bodes very well for the playoffs.
All in all, things are looking pretty hopeful. I figure the hockey fates owe me one for the first round last year, so...Leafs beat Sens, and Avs squeak out another division title! Damn, tomorrow's going to be a great day of hockey!
[Edit: Since the original message got pushed down, I'll say it here too: Happy 18th Birthday, Lisa!!!]
Okay, my plan is that by the end of the summer--latest--I will have saved up enough money to buy three jerseys from River City Sports:
1. 2004 NHL All-Star Western Conference Youth L/XL Jersey
2. Team Czech Youth L Jersey
3. Team Sweden Youth L Jersey
The grand total, including tax and shipping, should be $353.02. I'm actually rather hopeful that I will be able to make the purchase by the end of May, since I'm putting $150 from my tax return into savings for the jerseys, and I will have started working full time by then. If I get a lot of birthday money, I may even be able to get them at the end of April, but I rather doubt that.
*sigh* I HATE waiting, but I'd like to think that I am intelligent enough to have learned my lesson from two months of extremely high Visa bills. Debt is NOT a fun thing. I spent enough on my HBC Visa card to singlehandedly propel my mother into Gold Membership status. @_@ So yes, I'm waiting and saving. And if my jerseys are gone by the time I have enough money, then I guess that'll be a sign that it wasn't meant to be. (Although that'd make me really sad.)
Happy 18th Birthday Lisa!!! Now you can do the "having a beer, watching the game" thing! =P I'd say that I wish the Canucks would win a game for you, but I need them to tie or lose a game to give the Avs a shot at getting the division title!! So, sorry!! But anyway, hope it's a good one!!