Sunday, May 29, 2005

It'll be a cold day in hell......

Shall address my absence from the HockeyNation blogzone in a day or so, suffice to say with no NHL to watch I went on with my life, which actually became rather busy (alas unpaid) for May.

But til I compose those thoughts, I found this tidbit rather entertaining. The horned stickmen refuse to change their name. With no contracts to negotiate and not trades to make, Leapin' Lou Lamoriello is reduced to battling bizarre motions from politicians.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Candles for Kristian?

Slovenia Goaltender Robert Kristian may be wondering what's next for him as he prepares to face the Canadian squad on Tuesday morning. Slovenia was shellacked by the USA Team by a score of 7-0 on Sunday night, meaning that the Canadians will want to keep their foot down on the accelerator all game long hoping to load up on those Goals for while keeping the goals against down low. With the Americans and Canadians in the same pool, the need to fill the net is high already for the Canadian team.

Roberto Luongo will get the nod for Canada on Tuesday and perhaps bringing a magazine to work might be an idea. The Slovenian squad managed only 16 shots against the Americans on Sunday, making it a long night spent mostly in their own end of the ice.

While the Canadians won't be taking Slovenia lightly, they most likely will have one eye on the game coming up on Thursday against the USA. That one wraps up the round robin aspect of the competition and will set the tone for both teams for the rest of the tournament.

But before that they will see what the young star struck squad of Slovenians can put together. In these world tourneys there always seems to be an unexpected show of force by an unlikely opponent, Canada shouldn't have too many problems with the young Slovenian team, but they will rest on their reputations at their own peril.

The apple never falls far from the tree

The AHL playoffs continue along towards the Calder Cup finals. With the first round out of the way now, there are some surprising entries for the championship trophy. The Manitoba Moose dismissed the St. John's Maple Leafs with consecutive wins at the MTS centre to send the Leafs packing (for good as it turns out, they now move on to life in Toronto and a new home at the Ricoh centre). Rochester swept the Hamilton Bulldogs out of the playoff race in record time, sending the Bulldogs to the golf courses in four straight games.

Cincinnati surprised a heavy favorite in Milwaukee taking the series in seven games. Likewise Providence and Lowell played giant slayers toppling favored Hartford and Manchester teams in the first round.

But by far the biggest surprise (but then again maybe not) was the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins toppling of the Binghampton Senators in six games, coming back from a two game deficit to knock off the Sens in four straight. The Senators were high flyers all year, stocked with a number of NHL stars courtesy of the NHL lockout. Unfortunately the NHLers must have brought some of that Ottawa playoff karma with them. Like the big boys, the Jr Sens were prime time in the regular season and off the air in the playoffs. Sometimes you can stick to a game plan a little too closely!