Round 1 in over. There were sweeps, there were reverse sweeps, there was choking and man, was there a lot of overtime. Here is my breakdown of the best and worst of Round 1 of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Best Series: Sharks vs. Kings Because when you manage to pull off a Reverse Sweep – only the 4th in NHL history, you’ve earned the best series title. To be fair, the competition was steep for this too. The Habs sweeping a Lightning team with Stamkos on it was pretty noteworthy and the nail-biting; Avs and Wild is also worth...Click here to read more.
Author: Victoria Pattison Denault
Crazy Coach-Off Forget who will score first or who will get the first penalty – the big moment here is which coach will spaz out first? Both Avs coach Patrick Roy and our John Tortorella are fiery and animated, to say the least. Both could go off like firecrackers if this game gets chippy or a team gets one too many bad calls. So keep your eyes on the bench, people. This could be fun! In Booth We Trust I have no idea how it came to this, but apparently David Booth is the Canucks’ best player right now....Click here to read more.
Nothing to Lose Nashville is pretty solidly out of the playoffs. I find this to possibly be their biggest advantage in tonight. Teams with nothing to lose tend to play much better than teams with something to lose. Also I think this game will be scrappy because the Preds are probably bitter and angry that they’ll be missing the playoffs for the second consecutive year (and only the second time since 2003) and the Canucks will be panicky and feisty because they’re desperate. I predict a Sestito fight or two. But Canucks will need to keep their heads (I’m looking...Click here to read more.
Do you have your life vests on, Canucks fans? If not, grab a door floating in the choppy waters and hope for the best! Because the Canucks are sinking. We’ve known this for a while now, haven’t we? With every trade GM Mike Gillis made in recent years the return seemed to be less and less, at least it seemed to me anyway. It was like, when the Canucks ship started leaking, Gillis started trading giant buckets for teacups. David Booth? Well that didn’t quite go as planned. Keith Ballard? He didn’t get to reach hipcheck greatness because that’s hard to...Click here to read more.
I’m overflowing with emotion. This simple game with two sticks, a net, a round rubber disc and some ice can fill my heart with joy or break it so easily it’s breathtaking. And today it filled my heart with joy – and gold. I kept calling them the “Soft Swedes” because in my opinion most of these guys aren’t incredibly physical on their NHL teams. But apparently playing for your country brings out the hip check in you. According to NBC before the game Babcock showed Team Canada a picture of Alfredsson hitting a player and said, “When does he do...Click here to read more.
Every team is going to have a game where they struggle. Every team will have to face a red-hot goalie at some point. We had the fortune of having the shaky game against Norway and the red-hot goalie with Latvia, who had little else to stop us. The USA had the misfortune of having a shaky game and the red-hot goalie in the same game – our game. I just want to say to the USA fans blaming Quick, you’re the reason the world thinks Americans are stupid. If it wasn’t for Quick you’d have lost that game 5-0. The...Click here to read more.
I’m still shaking as I write this. Dear Hockey Gods we almost lost to Latvia. LATVIA?! Major props goes to the Latvian goalie Kristers Gudlevskis. Insane play. Insane effort. Insane heart. @MaltbyMVP tweeted “This isn’t Canada sucking. This is Latvia playing their heart out. You’re an idiot if you think otherwise.” And he’s 100% right. 57 shots on goal is Canada playing well. 54 blocked shots and saves is Latvia and their goalie doing everything possible to pull off a miracle. And 1 shot attempt not hitting the net was just Latvia cheating and the Refs missing it. No other...Click here to read more.
Drew Doughty scored 3 goals in his last 28 games for the Los Angeles Kings. He’s had 3 goals in 3 games for Team Canada. Clearly he was conserving his abilities for the Olympics and as a Canadian, I’m okay with that. But I’m pretty sure the popping sound I’m hearing around LA today is Kings’ fans heads exploding. Subban should be dropped in and Vlasic pulled out. Or Bouwmeester. I am not a PK Subban fan. I wasn’t even sure I wanted him on Team Canada because his attitude and his preference to play a bit dirty and arrogant...Click here to read more.
A shutout and the first Team Canada natural hat trick since 1956. And a Nation breathes a sigh of relief. This is more like it. Roberto Luongo saw as much action in the first 5 minutes as Carey Price saw in his whole game. And he handled it better. I have nothing against Price. I know he’s a great goalie. I’d even be okay with the argument Price is a better NHL goalie. But Luongo is an amazing Olympic goalie. 2010 proved it and this shutout game keeps proving it. So if the Canucks ever make it to another serious...Click here to read more.
We came, we conquered! Well… maybe that’s an overstatement. ‘We came, we won’ is more fitting. We had a rough first period. Canada had 7 off-side calls. Clearly the boys hadn’t gelled yet. More concerning was the abysmal first powerplay. It was so bad I thought I was watching the Canucks for a second. You had to be a bit concerned, even if it was almost expected. After all these guys haven’t had a lot of time together yet. Babcock’s furrowed brow on the bench wasn’t helping my nerves either. That said, although we beat Norway in 2010 by a score...Click here to read more.