Saturday, May 31, 2008

wings v. pens postgame: being right is fun

as predicted, cleary jumped franzen and ended up on the first line and hudler got a bit more ice, leading to the winning goal. let's face it, kids. the wings look poised to win this series --with or without their top LW creating havoc & scoring goals (and having them called back) in front of the net.

mccarty drew in but was utterly invisible, in his 5:43 of icetime. i swear i thought he didn't play at all, but apparently he hit the ice for eleven shifts.... hmph. he was also, apparently, a very vocal veteran on the bench in the third... i knew there was a reason i loved that guy, even though he was useless on the ice towards the end of his sojurn in calgary...

don cherry, in the first intermission, proclaimed that jordan staal should be set free to play the entirety of a penalty kill. this may be the first time in my life i think i'm a better coach than grapes. i mean, seriously... the entire PK ??? right. so jordy plays 2 minutes straight, only to be utterly useless for the next five or so minutes (at least)... this is a purely crap idea. end of story. maybe cherry IS getting slightly senile....

and even though chris osgood pitched two shutouts to start the finals, z'berg's game tonight shows me that he's poised to win the conn smythe. this guy is outrageously good. his PK work on the third period 5-on-3 is the stuff that legends are made of: he is positionally amazing, and his sense of where the puck is going to end up (psychologists call it 'chunking' and peter gzowski described it in the play of gretzky) is impeccable. i laugh that he was drafted 210th overall... every single nhl club can call themselves 'suckers' for not picking him sooner... with about four or five chances. crosby noted zetterberg's PK efforts in his post game interview, remarking, "i don't think he did anything out of the ordinary." and that is why, young crosby, your team isn't gonna win the big prize. live and learn....

i don't really have a whole lot more to say, other than i've marked monday on the calendar to spend some good, quality time in front of the telly JUST IN CASE maggie the monkey continues to be totally wrong in the finals, and the world gets to see its first european captain hoist a cup. admittedly it's premature but the way things are going, it'll be surprising to see the penguins come back from a 3-1 series defecit....

Friday, May 30, 2008

hollywood, meet hockey part deux

it started with janet jones & wayne gretzky, and now it seems that NHLers are the hottest hollywood commodities: from elisha & dion/avery/komisarek, to comrie and the duffster, and the rumoured one-off between paris hilton & jose theodore...

i'll admit i have no idea who kristen bell is, but IMDB credits her in some decent TV (deadwood, heroes, and the title characters in both gossip girl & veronica mars).... and apparently she's got a bit of a 'thing' for unlikely heartthrob, chris osgood.

from NHL.Com:
"Chris Osgood was my first crush. Brad Pitt be damned, he had nothing on Osgood's rookie skill and sad eyes. There was actually a day in high school when I wrote on a name tag 'Mrs. Osgood' and wore it the whole day. I really thought we were perfect for each other. I'd love to meet him and probably apologize that things never worked out."

i bet dollars-to-donuts that ozzie is über-flattered by this revelation, and has probably already contacted her to say as much.... now... who can lend me one of those name tags, i'm hedging my bets that if i write "mrs. forsberg" i might someday get a call from foppa.... ;)

[related side note: for work, i often send production assistants to the airport to collect out-of-towners, and give them a sign to hold with the traveller's name on it. as a joke, my best girlfriend came to meet my flight from toronto, once, with a sign that said "mrs. forsberg".... very funny and VERY embarassing...]

holmstrom's "lower body" injury (which looked like an uncomfortable groin strain to me) will probably sideline him for game 4, at minimum, which could prove an interesting turn of events for the penguins: it's got to be hard to prepare for the unknown. presumeably franzen will crash the net on the first line, and cleary will get promoted to the second, but as a natural left winger, it's possible that cleary jumps straight into holmstrom's spot.... as for me, i have to say i like the idea of hudler getting more ice. we'll see, i guess...

the wings, like the flames, have an abundance of centres (datsyuk, franzen, filppula, draper, hudler, helm) so it'll be interesting to see the way things shake down in the depth chart. i'm not sure how i feel about mccarty getting re-inserted into the lineup, but i'm not convinced any of detroit's other footsoldiers will get the call either (kopecky, hartigan).... hopefully they can notch a game 4 win, though. going back to the joe tied up at 2 games apiece doesn't make me feel so good.....

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

wings v. pens game 3: good point

detroit hits the old igloo tonight for the third game of the stanley cup final, and i'll tell you what: i don't have a lot of hope for the pens. the wings have pretty much dismantled their offense, and thoroughly shaken their confidence & composure... this team looks its age. they are boys playing the men...

heading back to pittsburgh, my initial reaction was that the pens would get a significant boost from regaining the last change. here's what has to say on this subject :

The Wings will not have the last change in Pittsburgh, but Babcock said that won't impact his plans in the least.

"No, we're going to play the way we play, regardless," Babcock said. "And so there's two trends of thought. I can get our guys on and off the ice all night long, if we want to do that. That's normally not what we do. What we'll do is we have, in our opinion, in the Draper line and Filppula line and Zetterberg line, lines that can play against anybody. We have two (defense) pairs that we're real comfortable with against anybody. If you look at the nine and the four guys, we'll just let them go.

what an absolute luxury of riches, babcock has to work with. what a complete and total glut. it's beyond enviable, truly, for him to be able to, essentially, say, "our fourth line might not play much, and our third defensive pairing might get most of the night off, but otherwise we're totally confident that we can continue to embarass the competition..."

if only calgary could be so lucky....

Sunday, May 25, 2008

hmph... interesting

there is really no need to talk about what happened last night in game 1 of the stanley cup finals. detroit shuts out pittsburgh... i can't say i'm altogether surprised. i absolutely expect pittsburgh to come back with avengeance in game 2 and score at least one goal. then they'll win one back in the igloo.... but i have to say, i'm starting to think that detroit could win this in 5, instead of 6...

my current first-read is the NYT slapshot blog, daily, (mostly because MG has taken the spring off) and they posted a gary bettman Q&A this morning. here's my favorite soundbyte:

"I don’t know what the technical name is for stuff that comes off an octopus. I assume it’s some sort of gunk. When it sticks on the ice it’s a problem, and when it gets on things - it’s actually in one game got on a goaltender as it was being swung. They were going out the Zamboni entrance. It’s really more about making sure that no player hits something on the ice and blows out his knee. It’s about the conditions that we’re playing under. So I have no illusions. The octupi will fly, but they just can’t be swung because we’ve got to limit the gunk. Not a very artful way of describing it, but I think you get the point."

there's also some really interesting stuff about next year's schedule, which outlines that inter-conference play will be increased, and each team will see each other team at least once per season (home one year, away the next, presumeably).

anyhoo. here's to tomas holmstrom for taking it like a man.
the fact that detroit won last night detracts from my theory that bettman has paid off the refs to make sure crosby hoists a cup.... and also ? i feel kinda bad that the highlight reel of marc-andré fleury's career will always start or finish with him falling onto the ice at the joe.....

Saturday, May 24, 2008


couple of things that i pondered this morning:

1. neither lidstrom nor crosby touched/lifted their respective conference trophies, so there's no superstitious advantage there. what i recalled this morning, however, is that no european captainned NHL squad has ever won the big prize.... will liddy be the first, or will the pens take the series ????

2. maggie the monkey spun a win for pittsburgh, yesterday, for this year's stanley cup. last year she picked ottawa over anaheim. in '06, she took edmonton over carolina. she predicted calgary over tampa in '04, and the ducks (the team she'd ridden all year, though the pundits had consistantly chosen otherwise) to beat the devils on her first outing in 2003. my point ? even though maggie is decidly close to 50/50 in total, she is 0-for-4 in predicting the eventual cup winner. will the pens be a first for maggie, or will detroit win the series ???

i think these two utterly useless factoids cancel each other out. i'm still calling detroit to end up victorious.


on the same train of thought, TSN today is replaying calgary v. tampa 2004 game 5, which reminds me that rhett warrener has been to the finals thrice and never won it: yet another reason to get rid of our faithful #44...

can't wait until tonight....


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

det v. pit: why i hate sundays, tuesdays, thursdays & fridays

i don't, currently, have a whole lot to say about the impending stanley cup final that every other pundit hasn't already said. i'm entirely excited about the expected calibre of hockey we'll be exposed to in the next weeks. bring it on....

here's a breakdown of what i expect:

the wings swung through the northeast division this season, and the southeast teams all stopped in for a night at the joe. meanwhile, the pens travelled through the northwest, and played host to the pacific teams. my point ? the stanely cup finalists have never met each other, boasting their current rosters, and can't possibly know quite what to expect from each other in an actual game setting. i would think the redwings will have a slight edge in experience (players, scouting, and coaching) but the pens are younger and hungrier... this could also work against them....

if i was putting a team together, i'd take holmstrom-datsyuk-zetterberg over hossa-crosby-dupuis. but only just...
without franzen, i think pittsburgh's second line (malkin-sykora-malone) beats detroit's (cleary-hudler-filppula), but if you factor in the double shifting of datsyuk or hossa, as their respective coaches seem to do on occasion, secondary scoring pretty much evens out. detroit's special teams don't differ much from their ES lineup, but the malkin-crosby-hossa powerplay unit is deadly, and can be united at 5-on-5 in a dire situation (ie: down a goal). detroit's grind line is superior, but jordan staal is on a tear, and could easily elevate his teammates to the level of maltby & draper (and then some, i'd think).... oh, and laraque v. mccarty would be a good fight.

this is a pretty even matchup, if you ask me.

on the blueline, babcock has a clear hierarchy: lidstrom plays a hell of a lot, rafalski plays almost as much, kronwall and stuart play around 20 minutes, and the bottom two guys (any two of lebda, lilja, or chelios) clock in at about 10. the penguins defense all play in the neighbourhood of twenty minutes a night and it seems to me that therrien likes to run letang-whitney behind the crosby line. i like the look of the redwings, here, though an injury to a top four guy could be a death blow...

as for osgood v. fleury, it's essentially a coin toss. fleury seems stronger positionally but i would not be surprised in the least to see him crumble after letting in a bad goal or a couple of fast, pretty ones by datsyuk and z'berg. ozzie's been to the big dance before (and won), so he knows what to expect. if either goes out injured, you might as well start fitting the red machine for cup rings...

what it might come down to is all of the intangibles, and i would think that the redwings have a huge advantage in this capacity: home ice at the joe louis ? ability to grow playoff beards ? i mean... wow. mostly, though, i think that the penguins have cruised through the playoffs on totally lopsided eastern conference matchups (ottawa, NYR, philly), while the wings have faced some hard hitting, if not high-scoring, western conference teams (nashville, colorado, dallas). i would expect the wings to come out with guns blazing, not letting up until a bruised group of penguins concede the cup....

maggie will presumeably weigh in on friday.

Friday, May 16, 2008

baby's all growdz up....

congratulations to jason spezza, for FINALLY getting his beautiful ol' babyface marked up with the most perfectly placed gash... with proper stitches in, he's gonna look much more rugged and hockeyplayer-like, and the scar should be sweet as well....

pics to follow after i have a few patio pints down at the ship.
feel free to swing by if you know what i look like.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

canada v. norway : psych!!

congrats to canada for making it to the semis, by soundly beating norway this afternoon (even though norway looked like they were gonna put up a pretty good fight for the first bit...).

there were way too many sound-alikes in this game for me:

lars-erik spets ? or jason spezza ?
mattias olimb ? or mattias ohlund ?

i kept hearing miller and mcguire referring to "thomas maki," which thoroughly confused me. "did tömi mäki defect from finland to norway ??" i thought, at first, "or is this some other player altogether ??". i checked the rosters and couldn't FIND a "thomas maki," so turned my attention back to the game. the next time he was mentionned with the puck, i took note that he was #5. the next time i saw #5, i could tell that his last name wasn't as short as "maki."

ladies and gentlemen, i present you:
juha kaunismaki. (say it out loud)


[in trying to figure this out, i might add, i note that tömi mäki is RFA this summer, as is DVDG and adam pardy (among others). um, sutter's got some serious work to do....]

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

nuthin' doin....

the NY times slapshot blog uncovered this little gem of useless trivia in their morning skate today:

"Yes, it is premature to say this, but if the Red Wings and Penguins meet in the Stanley Cup final (which becomes more likely each day), the series will be marked by this rarity: The last Penguins team to win the Stanley Cup, in 1992, was coached by Scotty Bowman. The last Red Wings team to win the Stanley Cup, in 2002, was coached by Scotty Bowman.

Perhaps the researchers at Elias Sports Bureau can figure out the last time that happened, if it has ever happened at all.

And wouldn’t it be nice if the NHL and these clubs honored Scotty along with the captains of those two teams — Mario Lemieux and Steve Yzerman — before Game 1 of the final, maybe by having them drop the puck for a ceremonial opening faceoff?"

love it.

that's all. go wings (not that i'm a wings fan but let's face it, these guys deserve a cup this year above and beyond any other team that hit the ice in 07/08).

oh, and congrats to chucky kobasew for landing a few mil per on a three year deal with the bears...

Sunday, May 11, 2008

battle of penn game 2: who cares ??

mid-way through the pit v. philly game tonight, i realized that TSN pacific [for some reason i'm still getting every single channel, though i expected that to get cut off over a month ago] was showing the flames v. canucks 2004 game 7. so, i decided i'd watch it instead.... here's some things i've noticed and/or remembered:

iggy's first goal was the classic "iginla arm pump" celebration.

"the doors" (commodore/montador) vs. (brendan) morrison....

god, i miss ference (paired with warrener, who could still skate and throw some body). as i type this, however, andy picks up a penalty in the third period of a game 7. and then another one....

#17 was actually kinda good back then (chris clark).

i really quite enjoyed clutch and grab....

kippy doesn't look like his sv% was any better then than it is now.... but i know it was...

"the rookie" matt lombardi (only weeks before being dealt a year-long concussion by hatcher)

i actually celebrated the flames' 2nd goal, even i know vancouver will get it back with six seconds to go, and then calgary will win it a minute into OT

the first night that the red mile really happened was immediately following gelly's OT winner here, and i remember it took about 45 minutes to drive from 5th street to 7th street

with any luck next year, gio will look as decent as ference on the 2nd unit PP

wow. vancouver's tying goal with six seconds left is truly a comedy of errors by iggy... remember this ? him tripping over his own stick ???

i cannot WAIT to see jovo, dejected, in the box for the OT winner....

elsewhere around the league, it was really nice to see mike ribeiro do his best jamie mclennan impression last night at the final buzzer. admiteddly, osgood was asking for it FAR more than franzen was last year, but it's still always nice to see my favorite loser frustrated to the point of aboslute lunacy....MAN, i hate that chump....

it's also nice to see my boy jordan staal WAY out-growing sidney crosby in the beard department. even though sid's got a full year on staalzy, he looks a lot like an 80's highschool kid on the verge of buying his first razor, while jordy's got a pretty serious second-round beard going....

and if you haven't already, i implore you to hit the link in the next post. it'll be well worth your while....

Friday, May 9, 2008

the odd couple

i can't bring myself to post any more photos of flames players enjoying their hawaiian vacations... i'm done with that gossip rag thing, and would like to get back to discussing things that actually interest me (ie: hockey). for instance, i would like to point out that i'm excited about the battles going on, currently, between two french canadian goalies (EC), and two anglo canadian goalies (WC), and how the impact of these series' may begin to effect the vancouver olympics...

in saying all of that, holy crap you have to hit this link to have one last look at dion in boardshorts... mostly because of who he's WITH (hint: hot hot hot bod !!!).....
[also, get a look at his bruised fingernail, which is probably the REAL reason he didn't go to halifax]....
[also, dion is SMILING... like.... you can see GUMS]

do it.
dare ya.

dion phaneuf: fashionista

three days.
three pairs of boardies.
two pairs of sunnies.
one hot blonde (sporting a diamond necklace in the later pix, fyi)

ohhhh, dion... you've come a long way from edmonton, buddy... you're gonna give ray emery a run(way) for his money...

i wonder if avery will feature him in a vogue article this summer ???? tune in next week for pix of mike comrie with the duffster skiing in... uh... downtown calgary (feels like it, right about now, with all this effin' snow !)....

[pix courtesy of keeping us all up-to-date on dion & elisha]

***in other news, maggie the monkey has once again selected the teams i would've chosen: pittsburgh and detroit. considering maggie rarely chooses 100% correctly, i'm hoping that philly might advance, whereby i would have a shot at actually WINNING my pool.... doubtful, but here's to hoping... ;)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

uh... wow....

i know it's hardly newsworthy but i wanted to mention (with undenyable envy) that the detroit redwings know how to build an organization. they draft extremely well (clearly, they have an competent scouting staff in europe), and know how to nurture their prospects ---even the lower round draft picks. the current team's top players were all detroit drafts.... check it:

lidstrom: 3rd round, 1989
holmstrom: 10th round 1994
datsyuk 6th round, 1998
zetterberg: 7th round, 1999
kronvall: 1st round, 2000
filppula: 3rd round, 2002
hudler: 2nd round, 2002
franzen: 3rd round, 2004

add to that a couple of young depth players (jonathan ericsson, tomas kopecky) and it's truly an embarassment of riches... in contrast, the flames' 07/08 team dressed only 5 players that were drafted by the organization (lombardi, moss, boyd, nystrom, phaneuf), and only the defenseman was given a top-line role....

calgary's selections in the same rounds of the same drafts, by comparison, would look like this, 1st round in bold (unless marked with an **, where there was no first round selection):

- Veli-Pekka Kautonen (before lidstrom), kent manderville**
- Mike Peluso (before holmstrom), chris dingman
- Brent Gauvreau (before datsyuk), blair betts**
- Blair Stayzer (before z'berg), saprykin
- Brent Krahn (before kronwall)
- Eric Nystrom, Brian McConnell 2nd round (before hudler), and lombardi 3rd (before filppula)
- calgary had 2 selections in the 3rd round of 2004. prust went before franzen. boyd went after. kris chucko

god, that's depressing....
brutal, brutal, brutal

in other news, did anyone know that valtteri filppula looks like this:

glad i could help out.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

the truth... to why phaneuf turned down team canada:

(ohhh so pasty white, dion !!!)

check it

my pals over at the NYT slapshot blog have doled out their half-playoff awards, and i must admit i'm all for'em...

[it's in the vein of my annual baby flames awards . last year i only gave out the dreamcrusher, though, so the link here goes to my original eponymous blog: the innaugural awards in 2006 came before hitthepost was founded.... but i digress.]

huge extra kudos to ryane clowe for captainning the "all-surprise team..."

i don't, currently, have a whole lot to add, other than pointing out there's been a lot of giordano 'news' lately, including one article one which reflects what a lot of blog-folk have been saying all year. then there's another one which patronizingly points out that gio ain't gonna be playin' with dion or regehr, even though fans are "pining" for the young blueliner.

uh. yeah.
no shit.

he's still part of the solution, randy sportak (if that IS your real name)....

Sunday, May 4, 2008

rangers out, but i'm still smilin' !!!

here's the thing.

four years ago, was when i decided the rangers were my east coast team, there was no name attached to the '04 first rounder that the leafs gave up, for the services of brian leetch.

i'm sure i needn't remind you that ol' leetcher spent twenty eight games with the buds, which adds up to exactly seven for each of maxim kondratiev, jarkko immonen, michael sauer, and lauri korpikoski; the four prospects that JFJ gave up. the last of whom scored a clutch goal for the rangers this afternoon in their last game of the season, in his very first NHL outing...

in looking at the '04 entry draft, if the leafs hadn't done the nasty trade-the-future-for-blueline-experience gag on deadline day, they could've had this guy... 'course, they also could've had robbie schremp, mike green, or johan franzen (though, in saying that, calgary could've had the same, but picked the generally useless kris chucko instead... well done flambés).

note: did you know that dallas drafted a dude named johan fransson in the round before detroit selected johan franzen ? i didn't... but i do now....

as for the mystery "three defensemen ready" mentionned in the post below, i've narrowed it down to pardy, pelech, and giordano. i still think negrin's on sutter's shortlist but i will also concede that daz has a penchant for promoting first-rounders: pelech in this instance. it might come down to a right-point v. left-point thing (pelech shoots right while negrin, pardy and gio shoot left). while i wasn't entirely convinced gio was gonna be welcomed back into the flames' fold, according to jean lefebvre, he's already "come to an agreement to return with the Calgary Flames." i never really wondered what crow tastes like, but now i guess i know who to ask...

glad that tonight's game was won by the stars, and not lost by the sharks.... once a game goes so long i always feel bad if one guy's mistake leads to the GWG....

and FINALLY: maggie the monkey got only the wings right in her picks for this round, which means i also went 1-for-4. duncan was halfway right, and MG pled the fifth... i'll let you know how the next round goes for her. i'm riding the wings all the way to the cup....

Saturday, May 3, 2008

upon further review

with the news that mikael backlund has signed his first NHL contract, i decided to finally sit down and take in what ol' daz had to say, on garbage bag day, about the rest of the team. and i was a little surprised by this particular gem:

"if you look at us from an organization standpoint,... and obviously going back to kipper, i think it's a great position for us... i think defense.... our young guys ---something that gets taken out of context, really--- our defense is... below the league average in age. quite honestly i wish we had some more experience but...with robyn and dion and cory as the cornerstones and being young guys, and knowing how good they are.... especially with robyn and dion --knowing , that they're different types, looked on as #1 and #2 guys in the league, we may be... not MAYBE, we're PROBABLY in a position where we can put a couple more young guys into that, and we have three guys in our organization that will... that will... that we think can fight [for] and/or fill those spots this coming year."

um....... SORRY ???????

okay. so first off, let's address that ol'sutter doesn't pick and choose his words the way some other dudes do, and he definitely has a tendency to jump around a bit mid-sentence. i considered adding in all of the 'uhh's' and 'ummm's thought it detracted from the meaning of the statement above. which fascinates me for the following reasons:

1. "i wish we had some more experience [in the defensive corps]"
um.... HUNH ??? sure, the guys that were eating up the most blueline minutes were the young guys (as mentioned, regehr, sarich, phaneuf) but that's because the other guys that sutter amassed weren't any good !! this statement makes me honestly believe that eriksson was brought in purely due to age/experience over ability.... as though last july, after signing sarich longterm, sutter suddently realized he had five players in their 20's (i added hale and gio into the mix, here). on the flipside, he only had warrener and aucoin as 'oldies,' both of whom often spent time on IR. here's to hoping he doesn't make the same mistake this summer....

2. "we have three guys in our organization that... can fight [for] and/or fill those spots this coming year"
okay, WHOAH. slow down there, daz. this is intense....
THREE GUYS ???? i can only presume that two of those guys are giordano and negrin. the third could be hale, or it could be ramholt, or it could be pardy or pelech.... do i expect any of those guys to end up in a flaming C next year ? well, gio YES. but the problem is that, in order to have your "#1 and #2 guys" help shelter new talent, you've got to split regehr and sarich (cause i can't be the only one thinking that a rookie paired with dion is a bad idea). then our D would look a bit like this:

phaneuf - sarich
regehr - negrin
giordano - aucoin

and i'll tell you what....? i actually don't mind the look of it.

okay everyone: this is your chance to tell me negrin ain't ready....
meetchya at prospect camp and we'll discuss it at length.

PS: congratulations to me, as this is my 300th post !!! HIT IT !!! ;)

Thursday, May 1, 2008

one week down, 8-10 to go !!

there's not alot to say, in the past week about the flames, that hasn't been said on other blogs (see list at right, specifically the BofA and FHF), dissecting the dream that wasn't, and looking towards 08/09. the general concensus ? we're in a bit of trouble.... but not so much trouble that we can't still ice a competitive team next season.

opinions are mixed regarding keenan and kiprusoff but it seems that everyone agrees eriksson, warrener &/or primeau need to disappear. my opinion is that warrener's contract is the most dire to delete from the books, but eriksson's on-ice play is the most obnoxious. for me, those are the priorities....
if primeau has to stay, then primeau can stay.

to be honest, with my team out, it's been quite enjoyable to just watch hockey for the past week. philly is putting up a FAR better fight than i'd imagined possible and dallas is playing to potential (which is a considerably higher brand of hockey than i'd presumed would happen vs. a tough team like the sharks). the pens are riding roughshod over pretty much everyone in sight, thusfar, but now that jagr's got a bee in his bonnet and the boys are playing for their injured mascot (avery), i could envision this series going to six AT LEAST.

as for detroit, i'm hella glad to have picked franzen in my pool. i mean, everyone's got datsyuk, zetterberg and lidstrom, but "the mule" is the guy who will put me over the top (fingers crossed). i don't know what budaj was thinking ---upon his insertion into last night's game, he was expected to two-hand franzen full-force across the belly, was he NOT ??? way to go, pete. you missed a golden opportunity....

other random thoughts from this round:

- if the rangers do, infact, lose (which i'm remaining positive about), will it be because shanahan continues to shave ?? i mean, i've been researching it a bit and it appears that he grew a furry goatee each of the three times he won the cup. where's the beard this year, bud ?

- if the canadiens do, infact lose (which would kill my pool), does gainey get canned for dealing huet for a sack of pucks ? i'd be pissed, if the habs were my team. my pal strombo made a valid point, however : "philly beat huet, too." either way, i think les habitants could be using him right now.

- imagine how good philly would be if gagné was playing ??!?!

- i know it's a longshot but it'd be cool to see a lundqvist (rangers) v. lundqvist (stars) final.

- was avery's spleen already lacerated/injured when he was dressing for game 4 ? ron mclean and kelly hrudey did a bit of CSI: avery HOURS before he went to hospital. the clip showed the pest in some discomfort putting his pads on over his head, and needing help to put on his suspenders. they presumed he was nursing a shoulder injury. i have to wonder.....

that's about it for now.

prospect camp is in july. start the countdown at about 8 weeks... ;)