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Archive for May, 2008

RIP Luc Bourdon

Vancouver Canucks rookie defenseman Luc Bourdon passed away yesterday after crashing his motorcycle into an oncoming truck.

This is another unfortunate addition to the growing list of young athletes who ended their career or lost their life in a car or motorcycle accident.

The Red Wings and Penguins will honor Luc with a moment of silence prior to game 4 Saturday.

Here is an article worth reading.

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I just really want the Penguins to lose.

The NHL finally gets a Stanley Cup Finals between two major teams that non hockey fans might actually watch.

I hope Niklas Kronwall does this to a couple penguins.

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In thrilling comeback fashion, Russia won the gold medal at the Ice Hockey World Championship earlier today. Heading into the third period down 4-2, Russia scored twice to force the game into Overtime.

1:55 into the OT period, Rick Nash was whistled for delay of game and just 45 seconds later, Ilya Kovalchuk scored to win the game for Russia.

Fedor Tyutin had an assist in the game.

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A total of four Rangers players participated in the tournament:

Skaters
Player Team GP G A PTS PIM +/-
Brandon Dubinsky United States 4 3 0 3 2 1
Michal Rozsival Czech Republic 4 0 0 0 0 1
Fedor Tyutin Russia 6 0 1 1 0 3
Goaltenders
Player Team GP TOI W L GA SVS SOG SV% GAA
Henrik Lundqvist Sweden 5 283:15 3 2 14 143 157 0.911 2.97

Lundqvist did not play in the bronze medal game against Finland.

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The Philadelphia Flyers showed they were still very much alive last night when they beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-2 to stave off elimination. The Penguins now lead the series 3-1. The Flyers scored three goals in the first period to jump out to a 3-0 lead heading into the first intermission. Things got pretty interesting in the last few minutes thought. The Flyers were out to prove that they aren’t going away easy. After Hatcher basically beat the crap out of Malone (the refs stopped the fight before the overmatched Malone got seriously injured), the Flyers’ best player (Mike Richards) told Sidney Crosby to shut up. With his fists.

For any fellow Rangers fans that aren’t sure who Mike Richards is, just think of Brandon Dubinsky in about 1-2 seasons. Also throw in the ability to fight well.

I wonder if the Flyers have possibly gotten into the Penguins heads. Don’t forget, this is the same exact thing that happened in the second round to the Rangers. They were down 3-0 and kicked some ass in game 4. The game ended with a couple slewfoots and a few scrums too. Maybe the Rangers were getting into the Penguins’ heads! The series headed back to Pittsburgh and we all know how it ended up.

I think the Flyers have a better chance to bring this series back to Philly than the Rangers had to bring it back to the Garden one round ago. Throw in the fact that the Flyers are getting back their two top defensemen (Kimmo Timonen and Braydon Coburn) for game 5 and things are looking pretty good for the Flyers.

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I think Marc and I are gonna hold off on wrapping up the Rangers’ season and playoffs until after the Stanley Cup has been won. We aren’t sure how we want to do it (team as a whole or player by player by coach). Regardless, we will be posting news and opinion throughout the offseason so keep checking the site for updates.

Also, if you have any thoughts, comments, suggestions, criticism, or work for the Rangers (or the NHL) and want to help us out with an interview please don’t hesitate to email us at 5holeblog@gmail.com.

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Here are the video highlights.

P.S.  I love Canada.  ESPN should show highlights like these.  ESPN should also buy the rights to broadcast NHL games.

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The question is: am I referring to the Red Wings or the Penguins?

Red Wings vs. Penguins looks like a foregone conclusion for the Stanley Cup Finals, which should make hockey fans, TV executives, and the NHL all happy.

Both teams are playing on a different level from everyone else.  The Penguins have an incredible 11-1 record in the playoffs, with their only loss coming against the Rangers in game 4 of that series.  The 11-2 Red Wings, meanwhile, are riding a 9-game winning streak and look pretty much unstoppable.

The only question left for the conference finals is whether both teams will sweep.  The Red Wings and Stars play game 4 tonight in Dallas, while Pittsburgh and Philadelphia play their game 4 tomorrow in Philly.

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Because some people are impatient

Brandon Dubinsky got a hat trick yesterday in Team USA’s trouncing of Norway at the IIHF World Championship.

You can see highlights here.

There’s your daily update. 😛

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I wrote an article a few days ago about why I think the NHL shouldn’t revert back to the old schedule. One of our readers wrote to us explaining why he thinks this change is for the better.

I couldn’t disagree more with what you wrote there. And personally, I think they should go back to the NBA style format they had in the mid 90s when everyone played each other at least twice. I also have history to back me up on this one. Remember when Gretzky was traded to the Kings? That was one reason why the game got so popular during the early 90s. All that LA media attention helped the league out and when the Kings would come to town, more people went to the arenas to see hockey games. Yes, just because you get to see Crosby and Ovechkin once a year doesn’t mean that people will go to the 39 other games. However, they might go to more games after seeing someone like that play. Which brings up another thing, the NHL needs to go back to ESPN, but that is a whole other post.

Let’s say you were the owner of one of the teams in the basement of the Western Conference. Not a lot of fans go to see a last place team night after night, but more would go to the games if Crosby or Ovechkin were in town. Do you think that a team like LA Kings, who didn’t see either of them this year would have loved to trade a couple of division games to get them there? Or how about the fact that it is Crosby’s third year in the league and he had never been to Calgary, Edmonton, or Vancouver before this year? Players like Crosby and Ovechkin are huge draws and they create excitement in the city when they are in town, in return, they might draw in some non-hockey fans sports fans who want to see what these guys are all about. Maybe after seeing them, those people go to more games. Imagine the firestorm in the NBA in cities like Memphis and Sacramento if they new LeBron James would not come to town but once every three years? Teams in the bottom of the league need the big name stars to come to town as revenue boosters. Yes, the west has plenty of talent (a lot more talented I would dare say), and is more competitive than the east, but the west lacks the marquee names that the east has.

Another problem with this format is the Division layouts, and just thanks our lucky stars that Detroit is not in a division like the Southeast, but the Wings are in the weakest division out west. Another thing is why is Dallas in the Pacific Division when they are no where near that Ocean? With this format, if you have one team leaps and bounds better than the other teams in their division you are practically giving them the President’s Trophy. At the same time, you are hamstringing teams like the Rangers, Devils, Pens, Stars, Ducks, and Sharks by placing them in the same divisions where the talent in both conferences is concentrated.

The problem with the current format is that rivalries aren’t made in the regular season. Think about it, the Celtics and Lakers aren’t rivals because they played each other 20 times a year. The Colts and the Pats are rivals because of the great games between them when a trip to the Super Bowl is on the line. Rivalries in the divisions are going to exist because they still play each other more, and in the end of the year, those are quasi-play-off games. But the big rivalries are created when the Cup is up for grabs. You mean to tell me that you would rather see the Wings play the Blue Jackets than the Avs?

Teams like the Pens and the Flyers are always going to be rivals, and the same holds true for Edmonton and Calgary, Detroit and Chicago, and The Rangers and Devils, et al. Rivalries are there because of history also. There is history in games like the Wings vs. Leafs, or Habs, or Bruins, or the Rangers. But sadly, the League with its current format has turned its back on those games. Most of us loved the game between the Pens and Sabres this year outdoors. It would have been better if it were between the Wings and Boston, or Montreal, or the Rangers. Even more exciting with the fact that the Hobs and Wings were the best teams in their conferences.

It is their playoff histories that make those rivalries even bigger rivalries. Another problem with the current format is that the odds of the two finalists playing each other next year is small. After those chippy Finals last year, wouldn’t you have loved to see two more games between the Ducks and Senators. That is also how rivalries grow and stay alive. Rivalries like the Wings and Leafs are dying because they hardly play each other, which is just sad because there is so much history between them. I applaud the league for trying to fix this issue, but they still haven’t gone far enough. Maybe if you didn’t live in NY where you get to see the big draws every other week you might understand why the schedule format needs changing.

Thanks for your thoughts, Phil. We hope to hear from you again in the future.

We here at 5-hole.com encourage all of our readers to let us know what you think. Whether you agree or disagree with what we’re saying, we want to hear it. You can leave a comment at the bottom of any post or you can email us at 5holeblog@gmail.com.

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It’s so sad…

…having to watch all these Flyers fans around me go through the same thing I went through a week ago.

“We’ll come back home and win 2 and tie up the series.”  Sounds familiar.

Do it and then come talk to me.

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On a sadder note, team USA lost their game against Finland yesterday and that’s not even the saddest part!  2:11 into the third period, Finland appeared to have scored a goal with the 2-man-advantage to cut the lead to 2-1.  The US complained that the puck actually went through the side of the net so the goal was reviewed.  The replay CLEARLY showed that the puck did in fact go through the side of the net and should have been disallowed.  The goal was allowed and Finland ended up winning 3-2.

Quotes can be found here.

Right before the Puck enters the net:

Right after the puck enters the net:

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The NHL handed down fines to each player, but the amount of each penalty was not disclosed.

I’m a little bit surprised that there were no suspensions. A butt-end to the face is very dangerous. Osgood is lucky he isn’t being suspended.

And what Ribeiro did to Osgood wasn’t all too different from what Chris Simon did to Ryan Hollweg last season, which got Simon a 25-game suspension. Don’t get me wrong, what Simon did was definitely worse. But really the only difference was that Simon was more malicious and hit Hollweg in the neck/face. Ribeiro hit Osgood in the chest. You’re telling me that Simon should get 25 games and Ribeiro should get ZERO?? That’s incredibly inconsistent.

In my opinion, it is completely unacceptable to 2-hand chop someone no matter where you hit them. There should be no place for that in hockey and Ribeiro is lucky he won’t miss any games.

Here is the article from espn.com

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