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Bizarre Finals Opener

Posted by Radatz on May 29, 2017 at 11:25 PM Comments comments (7)

I hate finals. The pregame crap is impossible. The schedule is inanely stretched out. When will the NHL figure out that the games are what people long for, not ceremonial phoniness. And with that for a preamble, off we go into maybe the first Cup final coached by two guys from Massachusetts. Outside of Franklin and Marshfield, no one here cares anyway.

The first period didn't do the NHL any more good than the pregame fluff. Nashville looked good early, good enoug...

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Playoff Intermission Fun: 4 Greatest Defensemen

Posted by Radatz on May 28, 2017 at 11:50 PM Comments comments (7)

It's not easy to pick from the lot of great defensemen that have graced the NHL for so long, and harder still to mix eras. But we're going to do it anyway. And here they are, ranked. It's clear who the pairings are (even though they may not have been the best 'pairings'; that's impossible to tell). The Boston Bruins own this setup, even with Ray Bourque and Zdeno Chara not particularly in the conversation. It's amazing to think that names like Tim Horton, Pierre Pilot, Brad Park, ...

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Parliament Dissolved by Kunitz

Posted by Radatz on May 26, 2017 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (4)

And here we are. Game 7 in all its agony. Period by period.

The first period was even scorewise and might have belonged to Ottawa shotwise if Ottawa could figure out how to get off a shot, but largely it was more of Pittsburgh winning 1-on-1 battles, picking pucks off the boards and reacting faster to loose pucks. Ottawa seems nearly incapable of clearing its own zone, sending more passes to the point than the Pitt forwards do. But they escaped without falling behind, which ...

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Return from the Underworld

Posted by Radatz on May 23, 2017 at 11:25 PM Comments comments (3)

Did Ottawa's grand strategy of playing dead work and put Pittsburgh in a catatonic trance for game 6, or did Pitt's nose candy leave them all strung out?

Tonight it took a washed-off goal and a 5-on-3, but Ottawa did it. Analysts carped at the washoff, but it was clearly GI. Their reasons were otherworldly. Who ever got carte blanche to wrestle for the puck with a goalie in the crease for a good 5 seconds plus push him into the net so he couldn't reach the puck? They carped ...

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Nashville Cats

Posted by Radatz on May 22, 2017 at 10:55 PM Comments comments (7)

Clean as country water. Sort of.

Getzlaf came out flying and the Ducks did everything in the first period --- kill a major, dominate shot totals --- except score. Meanwhile, they managed to kick another one of those shallow flips at the net from the boards into their own goal, then leave a shooter open 20' in front of the net. Poor Bernier had given up 2 goals on the first 3 shots. Nashville would end the period down 12-4 on shots and up 2-0 in goals.

The s...

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Senate Dissolved by Salted Birds

Posted by Radatz on May 21, 2017 at 5:55 PM Comments comments (2)

Having nearly lulled Pittsburgh to sleep in Ottawa, the Senators took the logical next step by not only being skated off the ice but also welcoming a scoring barrage that adequately reflected the mismatch. Pittsburgh, aware that the old ennui might beckon any minute, snorted smelling salts throughout the game (that, or the 2017 version of Benzedrex inhalers) and skated like a pack of speed freaks. Meanwhile, Bouchet snickered wryly as that simply fed into Ottawa's grand strategy, ...

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Duck Soup

Posted by Radatz on May 20, 2017 at 10:25 PM Comments comments (1)

Nashville's chances were widely dismissed following Johansen's injury, let alone Fisher's, but they played the Ducks even in Anaheim shotwise, skated better generally, and won anyway. Gibson stopped all 10 shots he faced and then disappeared with the dreaded arcane 'lower body injury', leaving Bernier in net. Bernier is a bit unorthodox but considering some of the pressure he wasn't bad. Just not good enough. Nashville looked no different than they usually do, but following their second goal ...

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Hard to Watch, Harder to Figure

Posted by Radatz on May 19, 2017 at 10:55 PM Comments comments (1)

This game was a complete mismatch that nearly had an impossible ending. Following a bit of an opening flurry by Ottawa, the Senators weren't just outplayed. That happens. They were outcoached, outhustled, outfought, outskated, outpassed and outshot. It was a mismatch the sort of which you might see with Toe Blake's Canadiens playing a scrimmage squad of AHLers who'd never seen each other before. The Senators resembled stationary table-top hockey players. They won almost zero 1-on-1 battles. T...

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Ducks, Yas Yas!

Posted by Radatz on May 18, 2017 at 11:45 PM Comments comments (6)

Pardon the Robert Crumb-esque title. I read it 5 decades ago and I still don't know what he meant. There're only so many clever hockey headlines you can think up that involve ducks.

The Ducks came out flying and ran up a 14-2 shot ad in the 1st stanza but left the ice with just a 1-0 lead. Nashville stormed back in the first half of the 2nd but didn't score and Anaheim recovered to nearly make it 3-0. Getzlaf, who never seems to do anything wrong, clanged the lef...

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Senators Lay Down the Law

Posted by Radatz on May 17, 2017 at 11:00 PM Comments comments (2)

How things dooo change. Well, sort of. Nobody saw this coming, I'll go out on a nice thick limb and say. In a basically even game shot-wise, Pittsburgh seemed to be more aggressive in the balance but Anderson stopped most of what they had to offer while Fleury let in 4 on the first 9 shots. It wasn't all his fault; most of those goals were either of the way-too-close variety or just good shots. But you can't fire the defense so in came Murray. Flurrymurry. Sorta got a ring to it. Murray was m...

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