Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Way Late... Round Two Predictions

I don't have time for this crap.  I was lulled into a sound sleep from the Western Conference being over in a week, next thing I knew, the East is still playing Game 7's while the West started on the second round.

Whatever.  This is what my bracket looked like after the first round.

Actually, it was bloodier.  With less excitement.

Getting your two Cup picks getting blown out in the first round will piss you off something fierce, let me tell you.  Despite that Club Fuckery, I still went four for eight, that's about as good as flipping a coin.  You want good pro hockey insight, you come right fucking here.

In case you didn't get enough, here's the next round, which I've conveniently posted nearly two games late.  But you'll see I'm so stupid I'll still go against the results and pick what everyone now knows will not happen.  Somehow giving validity to it all.  Poetic isn't it?

The Kings had a gameplan.  They executed it, and took the #1 seed out swiftly.  They're running with that ball, and having Jonathan Quick doesn't hurt either.  The Blues made short work of the Sharks, as most of us intelligent prognosticators expected.  Sharks don't win shit, Blues are good this year, equals San Jose turfed in first round.  As we've already seen, the Kings are showing that the Blues are fallible.  I expected this one to go to seven, and could have gone either way, but my gut said the Kings would take it.  If I wasn't cheating, you'd think I was a genious.

Kings in 7.

The Coyotes are a dogged team.  I'll give you a minute to collect yourself.  They work hard, are well coached, and have a goaltender that is just feeling it right now.  If the Blackhawks could stop enjoying themselves from being themselves they may have won that series.  That, and Corey Crawford absolutely blows.  The Predators dispatched the old, and wobbly Red Wings handily.  No surprise, not this year at least.  They've been caught off guard by the Coyotes, but this series is far from over.  They'll regain composure, and I originally expected them to take it in 6.  That looks doubtful now, but stranger things have happened.  By the way I'd love to see the Coyotes run the table.  Fantastic.

Predators in 6.

It took the Rangers 7 games to beat a Senators team that was playing on borrowed time.  For that deep a Rangers team it was pretty despicable.  The Capitals on the other hand took down the giant in 7 close 1-goal games.  Its easy to say those games could go either way, but the Caps are here and the Bruins are not.  This is another series that has upset written all over it.  Is this the year the Capitals finally hit their stride?  They look like shit all season with some small glimpses of Ovechkin returning to form, and now Dale "I didn't hear the whistle" Hunter finally saying, "Fuck the egos, we're doing it the way we always should have been."

Caps in 7.

The Flyers absolutely crushed the Penguins.  They ripped their balls off, chewed them, and swallowed them like they weren't eating testicles.  The Devils needed seven games to beat the Panthers.  The Florida Panthers.  Typical. "New Jersey" typical.  I expect the Devils to go out without a whimper.  Giroux is in beast mode, and the Flyers are hungry.  Brodeur is going to be shown the door at least once in this series.

Flyers in 4.

I would put any stock in my predictions but if you're an idiot, I would say we're looking at Flyers East vs. Flyers West for a final.  Nashville could easily get in the way of that, they looked poised in the first round, not so much now.  It would definetely make for an interesting Cup Final with all the story tie-ins.  And a big fuck you to whoever loses.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Quick Thoughts on the Post Last Night 4/11/12

Pens vs. Flyers

Blowing a 3-0 lead at home to start does not give you that same warm and fuzzy feeling you had for the Penguins steamrolling into the postseason.  Danny Briere threw the team on his back for a goal or two, and got a team who never said die, back into game that seemed decided pretty early on.  Brayden Schenn had a breakout three-point night, assisting on Briere's goals, and tipping the tying goal home.  You've got to give Bryzgalov a lot of credit, he hung in there when everyone had already written him off.

Preds vs. Wings

This was exactly the type of game you expected it to be, just a constant back and forth, wearing down game, the two teams only capitalizing on each other's mistakes.  Pekka Rinne and Jimmy Howard were great, with the exception of that second goal for the Predators.  Jimmah would like to have that one back I bet.  Weber seemed off his game the whole night, just completely uncomfortable out there.  He saw red after Zetterberg bumped him late in the game, and just went stupid.  Really undisciplined at a point in the game when it shouldn't matter.

Canucks vs. Kings

Talk about uncomfortable, the Canucks looked out of their skin last night, and barely showed any signs of returning to form.  To their credit, the Kings had a game plan, came out flying, and brought it all night long.  Luongo was the only reason the score was as close as it was.  Quick wasn't too shabby either, but we've come to expect that this postseason after a Vezina worthy regular season.  But late in the third, the score was tied at two, if the Canucks had pulled out a win, that would've been a crushing blow to the Kings, having given everything they had and not come out with a win.  But it didn't, and so, it doesn't matter.

All in All...

Welcome to the learning curve of officiating in the postseason, as opposed to the dramatic difference in the regular season.  Thought the officiating, across the board, in all three games, was absolutely horrible.  Some officiating teams were of the mindset to let them play, others called every goddamn thing, and sometimes for one time only.

Nashville was the only team to win at home, once again making us question the difference of home field advantage in the postseason.  And also that seedings don't matter coming out of the gate of the post.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Full Bracket

There she is, in all her miserable glory. A further elaboration from the wake up call of yesterday's post. No confidence in this whatsoever, even though there aren't many risky moves out here. Well maybe a few, depending on which fanbase you talk to. I've got the Finals at a seven-gamer between the Canucks and Penguins. I think the Pens have a better shot of getting there than the Coconuts, but that's just me. And apparently every other pundit, (or idiot with a blog). Separated East and West brackets below.

The risky here is the Predators making it to the West finals, then again, you could probably say that about the Canucks too. Its funny, they win the President's Trophy the last two years, and they still seem to be the odds on upset. I could easily see the Blues making me look like an idiot too, but that wouldn't be there fault, the blame would be squarely on me.
I really don't see much risk in the first round picks in the East, other than the glorious 4/5 matchup, which is always problematic. Like I mentioned earlier, the Pens seem to be the favorite for going long. The risk here is pushing the Devils to beat the Rangers. Honestly, I'm biased. My hate for the Rangers is too damn strong. But even if they pass the Devils, I think they're dead in the water against the Pens. Honestly, I think whoever wins the battle of Pittsburgh goes to the Cup Finals.

Conn Smythe winner... Even with the Canucks to take it, I bet its going to go to the losing team this year. And my vote is the probably Hart Trophy winner, Evgeny Malkin. Beast-mode is not strong enough a term for how this guy has been playing.
Enjoy the two and a half month hockey orgy.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

And We're Back... Predictions

Should I lead off by saying, don't expect too much? I think with the prolonged hiatus and the lack of quality posts should cover that. I couldn't miss this, its Christmas time for hockey fans. So let's jump right in shall we?
Western Conference
#1 Vancouver Canucks vs. #8 Los Angeles Kings
How sloppy was that Pacific Conference race to mediocrity? And Drew Doughty adding that little blackboard material of wanting to knock the Sharks out, only to lose both games in the home-and-home finale. Well Terry Murray's gone and Darryl Sutter's in, and not much has changed. Jeff Carter whined his way out of Columbus and somehow he was lucky enough to get traded to the same team his best friend forever was shipped off to. They should have sent that little bitch to the Islanders just to send a message. But the Kings still have Jonny Quick and Anze Kopitar, and they'll have to ride those two horses into the ground to have any shot of beating the Canucks.
Vancouver slept their way through the second half of the season and still end up with the Presidents' Trophy, for better or worse. I can't tell if they're lying in waiting, or if they're just disinterested at this point, but they don't appear to be a team ready for the post show. Even still they're a talent-ladent team that beefed up defensively, if not bulkier. They're going to give Roberto Luongo the chance to do it himself, but if it were me, I'd be starting Cory Schneider, ego be damned. They'll need Daniel Sedin back to be dominant, but should be able to walk over the Kings fairly easily.
Canucks in 6.
#2 St. Louis Blues vs. #7 San Jose Sharks
Never thought I'd be putting those numbers with those teams back in October. I really don't know how the Blues missed taking the points lead, but I see them as the most dominant team coming out of the West at this point. Hitchcock has got a solid roster operating like a well-oiled machine. The two headed tandem of Jaro Halak and Brian Elliott provides security, and they can roll out three solid lines with a vengence. Their defense moves the puck well and will be the difference in this series.
The Sharks on the other hand are just slowly breaking down. Then again, every other year they've rolled into the postseason strong, and looked like Cup contenders, they've never made it. But its not like they still don't have high expectations, even limping in as the seventh seed. That seems to be the killer for this team, that and a lack of a killer instinct. I really don't expect them to make it out of this round, especially with how the Blues have owned them this season, and the fact that this team is just getting older and older.
Blues in 5.
#3 Phoenix Coyotes vs. #6 Chicago Blackhawks
Phoenix grabs the division title and look the best they've ever been with Tippett at the helm. Mike Smith has been a revelation after stinking it up in Dallas and Tampa for years. You want to feel good about the Coyotes making some progress in the postseason, but their first round exits in years past makes that sunshiny feeling run away real quick. Honestly the Coyotes are a middle of the road team that got a good seed thanks to a lousy Pacific division.
The Blackhawks are two years removed from a Stanley Cup, but a team that has seen a lot of personnel ship out since then, with the exception of the core of Toews, Kane, Hossa, Keith, Seabrook, and I'll even throw Hjalmarsson in there. Corey Crawford isn't Antti Niemi, but even Niemi wasn't and still isn't considered a Stanley Cup winning goaltender. The Hawks know what it takes to win, but with Toews probably not being 100% after his concussion (from car accident not some other bullshit), it leaves a little room for skepticism. But still, I think the Hawks will have enough to win even if it takes the whole series.
Blackhawks in 7.
#4 Nashville Predators vs. #5 Detroit Red Wings
This is it, we're all in. Wait, who are we talking about? I would say its the same for both teams. Detroit is on its last legs with this roster, but are still the deepest team organizationally that this League has ever seen. I expect this to be the swan song for Lidstrom and Holmstrom, and without that presence on the blue line and in front of the net for years to come, I expect to see a slide. But the ol' boys will give it one last run, and the wizardry of Zetterberg, Datsyuk, and Franzen while still amazing, is starting to wane. Okay, maybe not Datsyuk, but he's an alien. Jimmy Howard is a strong goaltender, but I've seen the playoffs break him down, mentally more than anything.
The Preds have certainly pushed everything into the pot, if not to now get out of the second round alive after conquering the demon of the first round, then just to keep Shea Weber and Ryan Suter in Nashville for a few more years. The coup of re-obtaining Alex Radulov certainly helped the cause, if not conveniently timed, but carefully handled by GM David Poile. They grabbed a few others to beef up the lineup in front of the immovable Pekka Rinne. This is the best shot they've ever had of going deep, and I believe they can get past the postseason stalwarts of Detroit.
Predators in 6.
Eastern Conference
#1 New York Rangers vs. #8 Ottawa Senators
Ottawa has been the surprise of the year, with Paul MacLean behind the bench he's had a steady hand on the youth and experience of this Senators club. Erik Karlsson has been the revelation for this team, and its true he loves playing the game, and has tremendous skill, but he is far from being a complete hockey player. Alfredsson is exactly that, but this again is probably his last hurrah, despite the ability to probably go a few more years. Spezza will need to continue his strong play, and Michalak will have to go back to his play in the 1st half of the season, which are both unlikely to happen.
This is most certainly the Rangers best chance at doing some damage since 1994, but something in me just believes that they are not built as a playoff team, I don't know why. They've got a lineup of lunchpail guys, a hero in Brad Richards, a sniper in Marian Gaborik, and a helluva backstop in Henrik Lundqvist, but I don't like their chances beyond this first round. John Tortorella, love or hate him, turns teams into contenders. His shot blocking methods are what brought the Stanley Cup to Tampa Bay, and this Rangers team has turned it into an art.
Rangers in 5.
#2 Boston Bruins vs. #7 Washington Capitals
This should really be a lot better matchup than it is, but I don't think anyone has any faith in Dale Hunter leading the Caps anywhere. If you had a choice right now, to enter the postseason with Bruce Boudreau or Hunter behind the bench, who would you take? You may not think Boudreau has what it takes to lead this team to some sort of promised land, but you certainly don't think Hunter has it in him. Ovechkin has slightly returned to his old form in the last few weeks of the season, but he'll still need to up the ante to put this team on his back and get them through this round. And he'll need help, Nicklas Backstrom's return helps, Alex Semin will need to play like he gives a shit, and that playoff monster in Joel Ward will need to return for them to do any damage on a bruising Bruins squad.
Boston was flat after the midseason break, but returned to form at the end of the season. I really don't know have the Bruins have the energy, or desire, to get the 12 wins to get to the Finals, but are nonetheless a strong, well-built team. Tim Thomas is not the same goalie he was last year, then again, the postseason let out a freak in him that earned him a Conn Smythe by the second or third round. You've still got Bergeron, Krejci, Lucic, Seguin, and Chara to deal with, and they definetely know what it takes to up it another level.
Bruins in 6.
#3 Florida Panthers vs. #6 New Jersey Devils
Back in the postseason for the first time in forever, this Frankenstein of a team with Kevin Dineen will give the people of Miami/Ft. Lauderdale something to cheer about, if only for a short while. As everyone has said, this team won a division title thanks to being in an incredibly weak division that saw Washington take a nosedive. They'll give a try, probably win a game on home ice, but I expect it to be over quick.
The Devils are most certainly a better club than the Panthers, and won't need much to sleepwalk through this series. DeBoer is a solid coach who's handled the team well despite last year's debacle after the Summer of Ilya. Brodeur is nowhere near the goalie he once was, and I honestly hope he hangs them up after getting a first round win after a few years. I wouldn't call this an upset, but maybe beating the Rangers in the next round would be.
Devils in 5.
#4 Pittsburgh Penguins vs. #5 Philadelphia Flyers
The 4/5 matchups are certainly the best, probably because they're the most even. Either one of these teams could move on, but they'll be worse for wear in the next round. Pittsburgh was so damn strong without Crosby, adding him only makes them scarier. Malkin has been a beast all year, but he's got support and that's what makes this team so dangerous. Fleury is a solid, little goaltender, who can do enough to get a win.
Philadelphia will need Ilya Bryzgalov to be stellar, and even steal this round to give the Flyers some hope. Pronger's presence is deeply missed, and I have a feeling we'll see him in the next round if the Flyers can get there, and if not, in late games in this round. The Flyers have scoring depth like the Penguins but will need it from all parts of the lineup. This will be a brutal series and more than likely the best one of the first round. Its anybody's guess who ends up the winner in this one.
Penguins in 7.
Sorry about the formatting for this, Blogger sucks.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

...and it All Comes Down to One Game

Once again, here we are. Here we are at the brink of the end of the season. At the brink of a group of guys feeling like Gods with an unexpressable joy, leaving another group feeling so unbelieveably pissed off and disappointed for another year or maybe even, forever. Could you imagine? Playing all the way to a game 7 in the Stanley Cup Final only to lose, and never have the good fortune to return and reclaim that failure? Its as unbelievable as how you might feel if you won the damn thing.

Just a couple of thoughts to leave you with before the most important game of the season begins tonight...

This literally is the biggest game of their lives for all players involved. Honestly, the Bruins have showed up and played every game this series, even games they lost. The Canucks have obviously been exposed to show that they do take a night (or three) off, even in the most important series in franchise history.

Does home ice really carry all the advantage it appears to? The Bruins have exploded on home ice this series, the Nucks have won with a late goal in each game at Rogers Arena. If the finals were decided by score the Bruins have annihilated the Canucks. Considering they had a two game lead to start, that doesn't seem that far from the truth.

Without question, Tim Thomas wins the Conn Smythe, regardless of outcome. It could only be in doubt if the Canucks pay forward the Bruins the same schellacking they dished out in Game 3. Denying him would be completely unjust in the eyes of all 'just' hockey fans. He's been just about flawless.

On the Horton/Rome hit... I do believe the hit was late. I also believe that Horton was admiring his pass. That used to be grounds for being levelled at the blueline, a la Stevens on Lindros. Coaches in youth hockey would have been telling me to keep my head up if I got nailed like that. There's a responsibility for players to respect other players in terms of blatant maliciousness, but there's also a responsibility for players to protect themselves. The line is beginning to blur and that's not good.

Four games was a bit much in a Stanley Cup final. If Rome knows he's getting four games for cracking Horton, he pulls up on that hit guaranteed. The optics of Horton laying on the ice, eyes glassed, concussion clicking added to that punishment I'll bet.

Two awful things about Mason Raymond's injury... The first is that a stretcher wasn't brought out to take him off the ice. Just seeing that replay was enough for my unsubstantiated opinion to say 'immobilize him.' I wonder if that did any more damage by dragging him off the ice.

The second was the booing. I know it was the beginning of the game and the crowd is amped, but that shit is just awful. I bet if he gets taken off on a stretcher, there's a different reaction from the crowd before the resume of play.

Luongo has been godawful in Boston. I don't know if he shakes off his reputation even if the Canucks win tonight. Those first three in Game 6 were enough to make you vomit. Three goals on 8 shots. Get the fuck out of here. He should be downright ashamed for that, and play like a man possessed tonight.

A know-nothing-about-hockey friend was sitting with me watching Game 6, and he said, "If this goalie is so bad, and his backup is actually pretty good, then why aren't they playing him?" I didn't really have an answer other than, "because you don't want to damage his 'delicate sensibility'." That's pretty fucking awful. You are paying this guy over $5 million per for the next decade and he's probably the most fragile goaltender in the league.

Don't get me wrong, Luongo is a great goaltender, but only when he's on. He can manufacture a real stinker with saves that could've been made by a pee-wee. He's great positionally, and he works hard to improve. But you have a guy at the other end who is a Hasek-flopper, and plays on guts and instinct and you have to ask yourself which one you'd rather have in net tonight.

Its amazing how the media has really vilified Vancouver, team and city alike. NBC is definetely painting that picture assuming that all Americans are rooting for Boston. This slant is typically reserved for the visiting team by the local broadcast team. I guess that's not too far off.

Milbury is starting to gain ground in NBC's most annoying hockey personality against perpetual leader, the always creepy Pierre McGuire. Its pretty obvious that Milbury is really hamming it up to be a replacement for Don Cherry once he gives up the throne. But the most ironic part of all of it is that Jeremy Roenick mouths off about Marleau and that gets more press than anything that's come out of Mike's mouth. Not to mention the fact that it actually spurred Marleau on in the playoffs.

And he can't be ready for that Coaches Corner spotlight if even the mild mannered Sedin's can comeback with better lines. "He did a great job on Long Island. I'm sure he is happy with that." Surprising how Luongo's name didn't come into that script. "I don't know how he looks at women. I would be pretty mad if I was a woman."

Brad Marchand's face makes you want to punch it in an attempt to try and fix it. But man, does that guy work his ass off and make the most of his rookie opportunity.

Patrice Bergeron's mean streak has really come out hasn't it? I could've done with the biting to overshadow it all, but I would have loved to watch the battle between him and Burrows be highlighted. Wouldn't you love to have a microphone on those French-Canadian scrums?

Kesler's spotlight has certainly burned him out. You can see he's trying to do the little things, but he just looks like he's out of steam, or playing on a wooden leg.

These videos from Vancouver are incredible. Hope someone does it for tonight's game.

Well that's about all I got, I know there's more I just can't think of 'em. Enjoy the finale.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

2011 Stanley Cup Finals Prediction

Well here we are, the moment we've been waiting 82 games + playoffs for. Its been a great ride hasn't it? The ups, the downs, the loop-de-loops. The optics of this final series look to provide a wealth of entertainment and sappy storylines.

...Ryan Kesler, the American boy turned Canadian hero...

...Tim Thomas, rises from the ashes to become two-time Vezina nominee...

...against fellow Vezina nominee, Roberto Luongo, and usual goat for western Canadians, despite winning Gold...

...Patrice Bergeron, concussion king, and rock on the Bruins squad...

...the magical Sedin twins, playing for hockey respect...

...Milan Lucic, Vancouver Giants favorite returning to the City to play in the Stanley Cup Finals...

There's plenty to love about this matchup, but its just not even. I'm not sure its even fair.

Goaltending, the most important element of the NHL playoffs (despite what Chicago and Philadelphia will tell you), is a wash. These two are great when they're on, and miserable when they're off. Its as simple as that.

Defense, this edge has to go Vancouver by a huge margin. Boston has Zdeno Chara and his partner's Dennis Seidenberg surprising play, and that's it. If you are going to argue that Ference and Boychuk are solid defenders then you're not sure what defence is exactly. The Canucks regularly sit Keith Ballard, a guy who's for sure a top 4 d-man on most teams. And almost every defenseman the Canucks have can join the rush and bomb it from the blue.

Offense, again I've got to give it to the Canucks. Sedin's on one line, Kesler on another, Malhotra coming back eventually to the third line, for if nothing else a solid defensive set. Krecji, Lucic, Bergeron, Horton, Ryder, Seguin, its just not matching up for me. The speed and transition game on this Canucks team is going to eat the Bruins alive.

I like this Bruins team, I really do, but I don't see any way around this unstoppable force. Just like Chicago was last year, Vancouver is this year.

I'm giving Boston one game, that's it. Its the Canucks time. It may sound cliche, but it really is their time.

Canucks in 5.

Odds and Ends

First off this 8pm start time is bullshit. Granted the games probably won't actually start until 8:30pm, but this is still 5:30pm on the west coast. This is not enough time to get home from work, let alone to find a bar in California that's actually got the game on. That's not really true, its the Stanley Cup Finals, the game will be on, but it won't be a "hockey bar" that's for sure. But the whole schedule is way too drawn out. Since all the games are primetime, I don't see why we couldn't have kicked off on Monday night, and then do the every other night thing while the series is in the same city. Instead, we start tonight, then wait until Saturday, teams travel to Boston, play Monday/Wednesday, back to Vancouver for Friday, then wait until Monday/Wednesday again if it goes back that far.

I'd like to tackle the whole Atlanta to Winnipeg thing in another post. I know I've promised Phoenix game and 'Playing with Fire' reviews in the past but I hope to deliver on all of them this summer. While in the process of buying a new home, having another baby, and all the other day-to-day joys of life.

I'm not sure what's sadder, this guy losing his hockey team or losing his marriage. Losing both at the same time would be enough to kill most men. Kidding aside, the Falconer is one of the best bloggers around, and he'll be sadly missed if he decides to hang 'em up. And no one could blame him for doing so.

Guy Boucher is my new favorite head coach if only for the soundbytes in postgame interviews and gif images. The hockey world is better place with smartass coaches like Ron Wilson, and John Tortorella telling Larry Brooks to fuck off.

Tampa is really an incredible turnaround. Think about what that team was a few years ago with Barrie/Koules at the helm, and where it ended this season. Lots of respect.

Glad to see the Isles making some progress in signing Grabner and Okposo to multi-year deals, and a brighter potential for getting a new building.

Rafalski is one of the smoothest defenseman I've ever seen. He'll be missed.

Boogaard's death was pretty humbling, as death usually is, but the thing that ate at me was the fact that all the media wrote how they never really knew the guy because they didn't think he was worth talking to, and now they discover what a great guy he was.

Both teams deserve this Cup, but only one's going to win it.

Enjoy it.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Conference Finals Predictions

Almost there. The quarterfinals would have been a real bummer of a round without that Detroit/San Jose Game 7, the East was sure a bore. Two sweeps with an upset, (sorry, I don't consider a #3 beating a #2 seed an upset). Nashville drained the life out of the Vancouver series, but I think the most exciting teams have pushed through.

I went 3 for 4, picking the Tampa upset, but missing the Bruins sweep. Also picked that the Sharks would need seven to get past Detroit, for whatever that's worth. So only three more series left to pick, here's my thoughts on the next two...

Western Conference Finals

#1 Vancouver Canucks vs. #2 San Jose Sharks

How do you pick at this stage of the game, who's bashed up the least. I think these teams are pretty even, but I think the Canucks have the edge in speed. I'll call goaltending a draw, despite the fact that the thought is that Luongo should be lightyears ahead of Niemi. Everthing else seems to be similar, defenses move the puck well, plenty of offensive weapons, special teams click. I think the Sedins' get going in this series while Kesler slows down, Pavelski and Marleau get going, while Setoguchi and Thornton stall. Kesler is going to busy shadowing Thornton leading to less offense for both.

Canucks in 6.

Eastern Conference Finals

#3 Boston Bruins vs. #5 Tampa Bay Lightning

Boston's hungrier this year and it shows, despite Philadelphia's injuries and sluggishness, I think the Bruins proved a point in beating the Flyers. Thomas is the sharpest he's ever been, lots of offense, decent defense, but a shitty powerplay. Tampa, as I said before, just believes and that's what they're riding on. They've got offensive firepower too, but not as much as depth as the B's. For the warrior that Rolosson is, I think Thomas will win this matchup.

Bruins in 5.

Some other thoughts...

  • Boogaard's death is crazy news. If this is due to concussions, this will definetely be the slap in the face that all contact sports will need to regulate hitting, or maybe just fighting. Already thinking Bob Probert.

  • Great news for the Isles, hope they finally get that new rink built. And they signed Grabner.

  • Crazy part about Grabner is that he was a Canuck last season. That organization is oozing talent. Hope Hodgson gets a real chance next season.

  • Disagree with Jagr to the Pens, despite the fact that it is more about getting the Penguins legend back into the organization rather than actually playing next season. But if the media's going to create it, then I don't think he mixes well in that lockerroom with that young group. But that's just me.

  • This relocation crap is hitting critical mass, but I would not be surprised to see Atlanta go out without a whimper. Imagine a hockey team being swept out of a city before the fanbase even had a chance to dispute it. But what Atlanta Spirit owner Bruce Levenson had to say in this interview was pretty depressing for Thrash fans.

Plenty more, but I'll save it for another time, enjoy the confy finals!