Thursday, May 1, 2008

Hockey Talk

Frustrated beyond belief. That's what I, as a Montreal Canadiens fan, feel right now. There is no question that Montreal has badly outplayed Philadelphia throughout much of the series, admittedly aided in large part by refereeing that has gone the Canadiens' way through almost all of the series. Last night, the worm turned. I'm not saying that the zebras favoured the Flyers, because they absolutely did not. What I am saying is that you knew the Flyers were in line to get a late penalty call in their favour. Well, enter Steve Begin, whose asinine, moronic penalty with about five minutes left in the game led to Daniel Briere's game winning goal with 3:38 left in the game (RJ Umberger, who scored 12 goals all season, scored an empty net goal--his sixth of the series (!!) to ice the game with a little over one second left). And let's be perfectly clear: There is NO DOUBT in my mind about the call on Begin. It was absolutely a penalty, and it had to be called. I hope that he slept well last night, knowing that he cost Montreal the game, and very likely the series. Philadelphia is now up three games to one, and I expect the Flyers in Game Five to take their customary 2-0 lead and roll to victory. Here's a fact that jumps out at you as a hockey fan: Montreal's ONLY lead in this series at any point was when it scored in overtime of Game One. That's it.

All of my obsessing and moaning about the Habs may be a moot point anyway, because I don't know that any team in the East will be able to match the Pittsburgh Penguins combination of firepower at the offensive end and solid goaltending from Marc-Andre Fleury in between the pipes. The New York Rangers are finding that out the hard way, and are now on the wrong end of a 3-0 series deficit. Game Four is tonight, and don't be shocked if the Pens wrap it up right in Madison Square Garden.

Out west, the Detroit Red Wings appear to have found their mojo, and they are quietly steamrolling the Colorado Avalanche. That series is 3-0, and I think that the Red Wings make it a clean sweep tonight. Finally, the Dallas Stars have forged a 3-1 series lead over the San Jose Sharks, who showed a rare bit of backbone in avoiding elimination last night. Assuming that the Stars do not become the third team in NHL history to blow a 3-0 series lead (I don't see them doing that), expect considerable changes in the Shark Tank, starting with head coach Ron Wilson. That team is much too talented to struggle in the post-season the way it does......

1 comment:

JZ said...

Well, with Buffalo out and Montreal out, go Flyers!