Sunday, April 6, 2008


Washington Capitals head coach Bruce Boudreau (partially obscured), top left, pumps his fists in the bench area as Alex Ovechkin (8), of Russia, Nicklas Backstrom (19), of Sweden, Brooks Laich (21), Sergei Fedorov (91), also of Russia, and Alexander Semin (28), also of Russia, celebrate against the Florida Panthers during the final seconds of the third period of a NHL hockey game, Saturday, April 5, 2008, in Washington. The Capitals won 3-1. (AP Photo/Nick Wass) (Hey, who let the Swede and the Canuck in the photo?)Anything would be finer than to be in Carolina this morning.

The Carolina Hurricanes, once a Category 3 in the conference, have been downgraded to a tropical depression and are drifting out to sea. Now they have to wait for the selection committee's decision tonight to see if there is still hope. What? It's a points based playoff system and there IS no selection committee? They're ELIMINATED? Sweet tea with biscuit gravy! That would be like the nearly unbeatable North Carolina Tarheels and Tyler Whitesbrough forgetting to show up in their Final Four game with Kansas. Oops.

A different storm has taken the 'Canes place, the cyclone called the Kapital Komrades. (Hey, who let the Swede and the Canuck in the photo?) In last place at the end of 2007, going down the stretch they tore the Southeast Division a new five-hole winning 14 of 18, and they're not even located in the Southeast (see how silly and misleading the new division names are, Doc Emrick?). Catching up with Carolina and tying them with one game each to play, it's amazing that it came down to beating Florida, which Carolina couldn't manage yet the Kaps could. They won't meet Sidsburgh in the first round (thankfully!), though I much prefer forcing the struggling Sens or the Philthy Lyers to skate face-first into this buzzsaw instead.

What a player Thomas Vanek is! Freed from the burdens of "pressure" and "playoff race" he scored 3 garbage time goals (an "unnecessary hat trick") to meaninglessly lead the Sabres over the Bruins, 3-0. How fantastic of him to step up when it didn't matter. Enjoy rooting for this non-entity for the next whatever number of years (6?), Buffalo.

Meanwhile, Montreal beat Toronto (love the "Na na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye" chant at Le Centre Bell with 5 minutes left) to set up an ORIGINAL SIX first round matchup with Boston, which is the way it should be. Typically, the Leaves throw in a cheapshot with less than 5 seconds left in this one (and in their season), with McCabe and Stewart battling with their sticks in an asinine way I can only call Youngblood-esque.

Hey hey hey, goodbye Leaves, you pugilistic pricks.

So it's come down to this: the Strangers visit the Devils in beautiful downtown Newark today to decide home ice in their 4/5 playoff matchup, with a regulation win putting Game 1 in MSG. You know, I hope the Rangers go 8-0 in the regular season and lose to the Devils in the first round, just to prove how little that matters (just like the SUPER BOWL CHAMPION GIANTS losing to Green Bay and Dallas only to beat them in the playoffs).

I realize this report shows an East Coast bias, but with the fantastic TV deals Bettman's signed that's I'm allowed to see. As it is, I'm watching Chicago play today for maybe the 3rd time this season, which is just as many games 'Hawks fans got to see under the watchful, miserly, cold dead hand of Bill Wirtz. (Hey, I'm sure NBC Sports is broadcast free in Hell.) Welcome to the 20th century, you're finally going to show all 82 games on TV next season. Brilliant.

In closing, screw NBC Sports once again for making Doc Emrick call the inconsequential game in Detroit, meaning he won't be present at the Devils' final home game. How about some "home fan appreciation"?


Kris said...


Vanek had a few hat tricks this year, even a couple when it still counted.

The ceaseless Buffalo-bashing certain members of the OH family isn't just annoying, but I think shows some deeper insecurity: "Sabrenvy?"

I'm completely confident that next year Maxim for Men will be gone (with his $3.25 million salary) and the Sabres will finish higher than the Newark Devils.

Jeff K said...

Vanek has 4 hatters this season, all tallied after Feb. 12. Two of them are against last place Tampa Bay, one was against Ottawa (well done), and the last one (which included an empty netter, which Roy unselfishly set him up for) was in Game #82 when they were mathematically eliminated. Sorry if only one of those made any impression on me.

Yeah, my mistake: he's a clutch player, and I'm envious. Gosh, I wish he was skating around listlessly for my team.

Kris said...

Yeah, Vanek always played well against Tampa, too bad they're not in the same division...

At least he was still playing after 82 games, even with no chance.

It seems like the Sabres played their best hockey at game #82. Thibault got a shutout and they beat the Beantowns Bears down.

And yeah, goal #3 was on an empty net that Roy unselfishly passed on, right? Meh. Here's to hoping for a good 2008/2009 campaign. Ugh. It's depressing to have to support another team in the beginning of April.

Let's go NY/NJ (I really don't care if it's the Devils or the Rangers, I'd like to see either go on and beat up on the Kaps or Sidsburg).