I've been deliquent, I know people. Priorities are what get in the way when you don't get paid to do what you want to be doing. And that as always is talking hockey. But I don't think I'm totally at fault. The lengthy blogroll to your left hasn't been exactly prolific. How's that for throwin' those fuckers I don't even know under the bus?! But its true, everyone's concentrating so much on actual hockey, because its playoff hockey, that there isn't all that other superfluous bullshit. Well we'll try and find it, and then wade through it.
No Longer Relegated to the United Center Basement
Someone allowed Tallon to escape. No one knows who, it sure as hell wasn't the Bowman's. As loyal as Dale is, Scotty would never believe that Tallon would keep his mouth shut about Stan fucked up all those RFA offers. Should have killed him Scotty, you would never get convicted in Canada. Or Detroit. Probably was McDonough. He fucking hates Dale. But anyway, Tallon got hired to take over the mess that is Florida and has nothing but big expectations in front of him after getting all the credit for building what is now the Blackhawks. Look at this way Dale, there's nowhere to go but up, but its long way up to any level of respectability. Look for the big shake-up somewhere around July 1st, if he's got a blank check.
You Thought Florida Was Bad? Try Tampa
Its the job nobody wants. Even after the two season sideshow has been removed, and a "respectable" owner has been found, who at least looks reasonably headed in the right direction. Vinik supposedly is receiving assistance in the selection of a new General Manager from the "experts" at the NHL. Four offers, and still a vacancy. Stevie Y was the hot candidate for a while, but that's cooled off now, Riseborough supposedly walked through the office and then realized that Floridians want exciting hockey and passed on the job. Ronny Hextall has been mentioned as well, but it sounds like he wants no part of that mess. So everyone just assumes that Pierre McGuire is the only option left. Hell, if you're going to hire that jackass you might as well bring back 'the Mullet' behind the bench. McGuire's resume is thin, and that's being polite, while his use of the word "monster" and uncomfortable touching of other men on air is a heavy file. It makes me wonder if anyone has thought about bringing Jay Feaster back in.
Returning to the LineupAs usual, the playoffs are filled with players playing injured, and of course the sprinkle of injuries so horrific that they actually can't play. Gasp! Ryan Kesler was on the former list and as effective as a broken stick, as is Dany Heatley who's still hobbling around in a vain attempt to still make a good impression on his new teammates. Many speculated that Ovechkin had some kind of hitch in his giddyup, and it seems the only plausible excuse for Malkin's disappearance this entire season, despite both of them suiting up for the white, blue, and red at Worlds. Then you bring on the actual, vivid descriptions of the playoff injury such as the dreaded lower or upper body injuries. Markov's LBI in Game 1 against the Pens, or the undeniable leg laceration that Hal Gill suffered. A pair of broken feet for Flyer forwards Gagne and Carter that required surgery, and a trifecta for Pennsylvania if you throw in Jordan Staal's miraculous recovery. And that's what I can't understand, is how these guys return to professional hockey so goddamn quickly after suffering an injury. Did anyone think Brian Campbell would return to action any time soon with a broken collarbone? I mean its hockey, not pingpong, rib cages connected to the, collarbone, will be flexed by contact, its not his jejunum, he can play without one of those. Staal returned a few games later after having a severed tendon surgically repaired in his foot. Now Markov had surgery on his ACL or MCL or some CL, and is supposedly out 6 months. Are we going to see him in the Stanley Cup finals when the Habs once again pull off that miracle upset in 7?
Briere/Gagne/Leino - Briere took all the shit he's been suffering through in Philadelphia since he's signed that whale back in '07, with all of his injuries and lack of production, and produced when it counted the most. Nine goals, nine assists in 14 games. Gagne's been a "McGuire" since returning from injury notching game winning goals in pivotal moments in the seriesesssss. Six goals, three assists in 10 games. Leino, after quietly coming over from Detroit in a trade just before the deadline, has earned his spot on Laviolette's roster. Three goals, eight assists in 10 games.
Leighton - Wrap your head around this. Leighton has not allowed a goal since 14 minutes into the first period of Game 7 against the Bruins. That's 166 minutes of shutout hockey. Of course, tonight the Habs will score. He's only allowed four goals since taking over for Boucher in Game 5, preserving that shutout. And the Flyers only paid $11,250.- for him.
Flyers in general - On top of the three forwards and the waiver wire steal already mentioned, you've got Richards playing like a captain with 18 points (5G, 13A), Pronger just shutting down the blueline not to mention his 4 goals and 8 assists, and veteran play out of the younger guys in Giroux and vanRiemsdyk.
Toews/Kane/Byfuglien - Toews leads all playoff performers with 23 points (7G, 16A) in 14 games, leading by example, and showing great poise as a young captain. I don't know how Kane doesn't get plastered every night with his dipsy doodling. I guess they can't catch him. He really knows his way around the offensive zone, and really knows how to pick his spots with 7 goals, 11 assists. Byfuglien has 6 soul crushing goals and if that didn't get you I'm sure his shoulder or his agitating personality will.
Chicago in general - I don't know if its the depth, but everyone on this team is contributing in their own personal way. I think the Q is coaching the shit out of these guys too, getting good matchups, and response from his players when called upon.
Cammalleri - Twelve goals leads all postseason scorers, coupled with 6 assists for 18 points in 16 games. He's had some secondary support in the first two rounds, but the whole team needs to step it up to get back into these Conference Finals.
Subban - Why was this kid not brought up sooner? No one has been able to answer that for me. His skating is incredible, and he's got the desire of a kid who just broke into the League.
Halak - I still consider him hot because he's not the reason the Habs aren't scoring. Not to mention the facts that, he's the main reason they're still playing this late in May, and he has a penchant for bouncing back, as does the rest of this team.
Joe Pavelski - Again, has cooled off, but has 9 goals, 6 assists in 13 games. Is not getting the secondary help, and this whole team will need to respond quickly, to avoid the stamp of "CHOKE."
Nabokov - Has sucked this entire postseason. I cannot remember a single game where he was the difference for a win. However I can remember plenty of goals where blame could be placed squarely on him. If the Sharks lose this series, I expect Wilson to look for new goaltending.
Sharks in general - Fragile. Fire hasn't worked in the past with Ron Wilson, and it certainly doesn't work in the tanning both with Doug Wilson. There's a ridiculous number of incredible hockey players on this team and they're just folding. Where is that fucking Olympic line now? The young gang of Pavelski, Clowe, and Setoguchi bailed their asses out in the first round, and they finally put something together against the Wings, and now they've vanished again. All of them. This team should have the same blood thirst they had in the second round, carried over against the Hawks.
Gomez - He's got 10 assists and 1 goal, does that make his contract worth it?
I'm sure there's a lot more, but they're already on the sixth hole by now.