Tagged: nhl

Bruins Win

Boston Bruins, 2011 Stanley Cup Champions. Getting used to it. Quick post from iPod at work. Got a short vacation next starting Monday so busy getting details worked out. After that I’ll have a longer blog post.

Congrats to fellow Bruins fans, been a long time. Now I have to figure out what merchandise to get. Website has crazy thing like a garden knome with the Cup and dressed in Bruins gear. If you garden a lot I guess that makes sense.

Last year I made a smart purchase. After blowing a 3-0 lead vs Philly I decided to make lemonade out of lemons. Thought that be a good time to get a jersey. Demand would be low after something like that. Got a Bobby Orr throwback for 50 bucks on eBay. Never worn CCM jersey with tags still on it. So a year later I get to wear that in downtown Kingston after a Cup win. 🙂

Sorry to friends in Vancouver. More for the riot than the loss. And one of the rioters ends up being a member of Canada’s under 18 Water Polo team. Pictured trying to set a car on fire. He turned himself in.

He was about to get a full scholarship to Calgary this fall. Natalie Thomas, who like me picked Boston to beat Vancouver, got a sports scholarship. She must be shaking her head at this.

We had the Queen’s homecoming mess a while back where a car was flipped and set on fire. Thinking it was all ‘anarchists’ in BC is silly. I recall front page of paper in Kingston was a guy jumping on the car. Was a local high school kid too, like this idiot in Vancouver. You’d be amazed how stupid some people can get during these things. Working midnights downtown on weekends, I see it 1st hand.

This Friday a rerun of the program. Following Friday live in studio for Canada Day. Might do something easy like a Hey Rosetta retrospective. They are playing in Toronto that day with Weezer, Broken Social Scene and The Tragically Hip.

Wednesday I see Peter Gabriel in Toronto. That will be a good night.

NHL Round 4 Picks: ‘One’

Good to see my Bruins in the Stanley Cup Finals. After this round Natalie Thomas clinched the playoff picks, so congrats to Natalie on the win. Bragging rights to her, since we didn’t come up with a ‘digital prize’ for winning. 🙂 But she just got back from vacation so that’s a prize in of itself. Only place I plan on visiting this summer is Toronto. Exotic Toronto? Not so much.  Will get me out of town for a couple of days though.  Natalie had the lead going into the last round and clinched the victory.

Onto sports. A team trying to win fans in a non-traditional market. Bad ownership and they lose season after season which doesn’t help getting a foothold in the area. They end up moving elsewhere. Talking about the Vancouver Grizzlies of course. Oh, you thought I meant a team in the news this week. Then I guess I’ll talk about them.

Thrashers to Winnipeg. First thought was the fans in Atlanta got screwed. Sad to see so much Canadian media ignoring the fanbase in Georgia and how they were treated. Main point is the owners in Atlanta were horrible and didn’t even act like they wanted the hockey team. Atlanta Spirit group owned both the Hawks and Thrashers. Payroll last year for the Hawks, 7th highest in the NBA. Thrashers in 4 out of the last 5 seasons were the lowest in the NHL. To have the lowest payroll, in a league where the Coyotes are owned by the league itself is a sign you do not want a team. And employees found out about it online. Nice. From a reporter in Atlanta. Great opening to the article.

“This is how it ends: With the weasel of a commissioner not stepping foot in the city, with another season passing without a playoff game, with a lying ownership group maintaining it did all it could to save a franchise that in reality it spent most of seven years wrecking.”

http://blogs.ajc.com/jeff-schultz-blog/2011/05/31/thrashers-atlanta-were-never-given-a-chance/

Another article mentioned now we found out they’ve wanted to sell the team as far back as 2004.  While they were lying to fans about wanting to keep the team going.  Canadian media trying to portray it as “Atlanta didn’t want hockey” when it is much more complicated than that.

Back to teams still in the playoffs. Unlike the Canucks and the pressure they’ve been under, for me this has been a pleasant surprise. I still remember the amount of Vancouver fans who jumped OFF the bandwagon after Game 5 against Chicago. Left and right on Twitter there were running away. Vancouver does have diehard fans, but I’ve seen evidence that there is a lot of bandwagon fans. I commented on Carmen Cruz’s blog she wrote about that phenomenon in BC. It’s weird. I lived in Ottawa and Toronto during playoff runs. They don’t have the same amount of flaky fans.

http://www.carmencruz.ca/2011/05/canucks-craze.html

Hockey fans for almost every other NHL team, are die-hards. They’ll either sink or swim with their team. Canuck fans (*again, this is not directed towards the few hardcore Canuckleheads I know*) are so quick to turn their back on their team after a few crappy games. Fickle I tell ya. F-I-C-K-L-E.

As JP Kirby on Twitter from New Brunswick said ‘So it’s all set….Canada’s Team vs Vancouver.’

http://twitter.com/#!/the506

Never subscribed to the silly ‘your team is gone so cheer for a Canadian based team’. Makes no sense. Another quote online was ‘Canada is a country not a city, this is the NHL not IIHF’.

Let’s assume Boston was not in it. I have not visited Vancouver and my family is all from Atlantic Canada. If I go down the ‘jingoistic’ road, there are more Canadian players on Boston or even Tampa Bay. So wouldn’t you cheer for a team with more Canadians? Especially with the Stanley Cup tradition of bringing the Cup home. More Canadian born players means the Cup would be spending more time in the Great White North.

Edmonton Journal agrees with me. I like Edmonton, except in the 1988 and 1990 finals. “Root for the Vancouver Canucks? Are you insane?”

http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2011/05/30/why-i-am-cheering-for-canadas-team-the-boston-bruins/

Dan Cleary won with the Red Wings and brought it home to Newfoundland. First player from Newfoundland to win it. More of a connection to me than the Canucks/Flames/Oilers winning a Cup. Bruins also have Newfoundland born Michael Ryder. Tampa Bay had Teddy Purcell also from The Rock. And San Jose had Ryane Clowe from Fermeuse, NL. I don’t know where this influx of players from my home province are from. Good to see though.

Canadian teams won the Cup all the time until the late 1990s. The ‘Canada’s Team’ idea is one that I think is a media creation.  Did Toronto fans want Montreal getting far last year? No.  Did Habs fans cheer for the Sens when they were in the Finals? No.  Flames/Oilers would never cheer each other.

My team for years has been the Boston Bruins. Still remember 1988/1990 even though I was a kid. Some reason 1988 is more memorable. Probably because I thought we had a shot against the Oilers then during Game 3 realized ‘no, they don’t’. In 1990 Gretzky was gone, which meant Boston lost in 5 games instead of 4. Better than a sweep I suppose.

Bad luck for any team who got to the Finals and had to face those 84-90 Oilers teams. Similar to ‘We got to the NBA finals, this is great….. we are facing Michael Jordan’. That never ended well.

Since then it’s been a long time. Big reason was the owner has been cheap. Infamous in that regard. So he must’ve really liked the salary cap. Forgotten to most hockey fans was that Boston was good for a few seasons after 1990. Back to back seasons lost in the Conference Finals to Mario Lemieux’s Penguins. Again, another team in their prime. If the owner wasn’t so cheap Boston would’ve gotten a free agent to help. They didn’t. If you want proof, I give you Dimitri Khristich.


Following the 1998-99 season, his second year with the Boston Bruins, Khristich took his club to arbitration and was awarded a $2.8 million dollar salary. Feeling he wasn’t worth the money, Bruins General Manager Harry Sinden opted to walk away from the contract making Khristich an unrestricted free agent. This marked the first-time ever than an NHL franchise opted to walk away from a player after losing an arbitration case.

1st time ever, wonderful decision guys. Today this happens quite a bit. However that’s because there is a salary cap so it makes sense. Only have a certain amount you can spend so sometimes you have to cut someone because you can not pay them. 1990s, no such thing in place. Even if teams didn’t agree with the amount a player was awarded, they would sign the player to keep his rights. You could trade him away and get something for him in return. Boston lost a player and got nothing to show for it. Huh? This was the 1990s Bruins in a nutshell.

Hockey Night in Canada has all of Boston/Vancouver. For those in the US it is split between Versus and NBC. Thankfully the last year for that. NBC will air every Cup Final game after this year.

Looking at CBC it will be pretty even when it comes to loyalties [real or perceived] on the broadcasts. Don Cherry, we all know who he is for. If you saw Game 7 of Boston/Tampa Bay you saw him wearing Boston Bruins stuff. Ron Maclean, might not be for Boston per se. However his least favorite player is Alex Burrows. [A link to those who weren’t paying attention earlier in the season]

http://www.nowpublic.com/sports/ron-maclean-alex-burrows-video-hnic-host-rips-burrows-2558287.html

HNIC’s Glenn Healy joked on FAN590 that he’s not liked in Vancouver. He was quoted earlier that he hated the Green Men, and Glenn also played for the 1994 Rangers. Not a good combo. Although, the Green Men are silly. It’s a joke that’s been beaten into the ground.

On the Canucks side the play by play guy will be for them, Jim Hughson. I know he would disagree with that. He’s in the situation where he has to say he’s impartial. Jim born and raised in BC. Called local Canucks games on radio and TV over the years. Now does all the Saturday Vancouver games on CBC. Who does he want to win? We all know. But some announcers have to put on a facade of being impartial. Others don’t. Jack Edwards of NESN is over the top in his bias for Boston. I give him credit for being honest. I can see a journalist trying to be viewed as not cheering for one side over the other. Play-by-play announcers are different. Jim Robson’s call of the Canucks winning Game 6 of the 1994 Finals come to mind.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSdIHTx1-DE

If he was trying to be viewed as ‘cheering for neither team’ it would have been boring. No one would have put it on YouTube. Cherry is for Boston, Hughson is for Vancouver. We all know this. Nuff said.

This playoff is like the Vancouver Olympics for me. Something I’ve followed but been a bit ‘out of the loop’. I work midnights which makes watching the games difficult. Those afternoon games, forget it. That wasn’t happening. Game 7 of Boston/Montreal I could watch some, however at 10pm had to leave for work. So I missed the overtime winner. It’s always something.

How much of the series I will see live? I’m not sure.  Start time is horrible for me.  I leave home at 10pm, puck drops at 8pm.  So I miss most of 1 period every time as I go to work.  Only game I will be home for is Game 5, if necessary.  So I hope for Boston in 5, crazier things have happened.  Lots of people mentioning the 1995 Finals.  Detroit vs New Jersey.  Red Wings overwhelming favorites.  What happened?  Devils in 4.  I don’t expect that to happen.

Natalie and I are both going with Boston this round.  She had Boston picked before, while I thought they wouldn’t make it out of Round 2.  But a Bruins blogger on SBNation’s ‘Stanley Cup of Chowder’ also thought the same thing.  I told you this is a pleasant surprise for us Bruins fans.

With her win I should link again to her website [which has her blog], Twitter and Facebook.  Not quite a Twilight-American Idol-Reality TV-related thing.  Hey, it’s all I got. [Read her blog and you’ll understand my reference]

http://nataliethomas.ca/

http://twitter.com/#!/NatalieTWN

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Natalie-Thomas/114191888624177?v=app_4949752878

And I should end this post soon.  Can you say LONG?  Note The Weather Network just started in HD on Monday.  New set and look even if you have it in standard def. right now.  I’ll have to show my tweet that was shown on air.  However, I’m almost at 1800 words.  Think you want to read something else at this point.  Obviously the U2 song in the title is ‘One’.  I went with a simple one.

NHL Round 3 Picks ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’

Quick post written from an iPod touch. Natalie took a 1 game lead after the last round. She is going with San Jose and Boston in finals with Boston winning. I’m going with Tampa vs San Jose and Lightning winning.

We will have a final round pick since our picks might already be decided. Natalie gets Boston right then it’s over. 🙂

I would like to see Vancouver vs Boston. But I think it won’t be. I’ll write a followup with a longer post when I’m not typing on a small device. Still worked though.

NHL Round 2 Picks ‘2 Shots of Happy, 1 Shot of Sad’

After Round 1 it came down to Tampa Bay/Pittsburgh as to who would take the lead. Tampa won so I have a 1 game lead over Natalie. Onto Round 2 picks, we are carrying over the 5-4 lead I have. What U2 song to pick for this round? One for the fans who will see their team lose in this round.

“2 Shots of Happy, 1 Shot of Sad”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUgrI1AByDQ

Washington vs Tampa Bay

Natalie and I pick Washington.

I picked Tampa Bay to beat Pittsburgh. Mainly since I thought the Pens would wear down without Malkin/Crosby. Turned out that way. Games 5 and 6 they were beaten easily. Put up a fight in Game 7. 1-0 loss is a tough one to take.

Didn’t think Caps would beat the Rangers, Natalie picked them. I think the Caps have enough to beat the Lightning. And Caps at full strength compared to the Penguins. Caps in 6.

Boston vs Philadelphia

Natalie is going with Boston.

Glad my Bruins pulled it out against Montreal. But I think Philly is a bit better. And a 3-0 comeback last season against the Bruins and an appearance in the Finals doesn’t hurt their chances.  I can separate who I “think” will win versus who I “want” to win.  Would I like the Redskins to win the Super Bowl next season.  Of course, it’s not going to happen though.  Flyers in 6.

Vancouver vs Nashville

Both going Vancouver.

We both picked Chicago which almost worked out. Not sure about Natalie but I’m picking the Canucks mainly for knowing nothing about the Predators. Except for Mike Fisher ‘Mr. Underwood’ being on that team. Canucks in 6.

Detroit vs San Jose

San Jose is Natalie’s pick.

I will pick Detroit. History of winning and making to the Finals. Sharks, not so much. They also weren’t that great against L.A. Especially early in games. Outscored 8-1 by the Kings in the 1st periods in that series. Can’t do that against the Red Wings. Detroit in 7.

Thanks to Natalie for sending the picks, she’s been reporting from Manitoba all week.  Blog here about all the friendly people of the province.

http://nataliethomas.ca/2011/04/29/friendly-manitoba/

U.S. NHL TV Ramblings/Good Friday

Thought to have another hockey post during the 1st round, but this TV related. For those who read the blog during the Olympics remember I commented quite a bit then about TV coverage and the like.

News that NHL signed a new deal in the US. 10 years with Comcast/NBC worth $2 Billion. First thought, that is WAY too long of a deal. A decade at anytime is a fair chunk of time. With technology today it’s even moreso. 2001 I didn’t have HDTV. Facebook and Twitter hadn’t been created yet. Idea of being able to watch video on a cell phone was crazy. Even trying to watch video online was a chore.

Some articles saying it’s a big win in the first battle of ESPN vs Comcast. Guess they forgot the ‘right to match’ part. Then it’s not an even playing field. Which was a problem. Even if the NHL wanted to go to ESPN it was out of their hands. Not smart whoever let that in a TV contract. With the merger that has Comcast/NBC/Universal under one umbrella they were not going to let something get away that they could overpay for and keep. No matter what someone else offered they could match. So it’s a “win” on a technicality.

Being in Canada I did catch some of Versus’ coverage of the NHL at start of the season. For those overseas regular season games TSN just picked up the Versus feed. Quite bad. Not a channel that just got the NHL rights last year either. Years of doing it and still not good coverage? Insane. Those reading in Canada, Versus is what OLN [Outdoor Life Network] became in America. So NHL hockey along with fishing, yachting and bike racing. Not the most high profile sports.

Games aired on NBC are much better of course. Should be with the big guns they have on air and the production side. With the Comcast/NBC merger hopefully the Versus side will increase. Read they will change again to NBC Sports Network or something like that. They can’t get worse.

The ESPN side of things is where they suffer. Just watching Pardon the Interruption on Monday was proof of that. Entire first segment on the NBA playoffs. You’d think it was the only playoffs going on. 2nd segment they did talk one NHL story. Canucks’ Torres not getting suspended. Both agreed the NHL disciplinary is a joke. So the only NHL comment as of that time on the show was negative. Very end of the show as in the last few seconds they asked who was going to win that night`s game between Boston/Montreal. Since I recorded the show it got cut off because it was that late in the program.

The decade long deal really handcuffs the NHL. Since with a reasonable length of a contract ESPN could stay partly interested. A decade though kills that idea. No point at all for them to promote NHL on all it’s properties.

Some good news for US fans. All the Stanley Cup Finals games will be on NBC. I know, fact that is a selling point of the new deal is lame. Some Twitter comments about the deal.

Turnkey Intelligence VP & Group Dir Steve Seiferheld: “No surprise to me at all, Versus can’t be a sports network without at least one mainstream sport.”

CAP Sports Group Owner Curt Pires: “No surprise by the NBC Sports – NHL deal. Its an exciting time for sports rights. You have to keep what you own before you add anything new.

National Post’s Bruce Arthur: “Thank goodness the NHL’s going back to NBC. ESPN doesn’t even have a horse race they could cut away from overtime playoff hockey for.”

Yes, you might’ve forgotten about that. NBC scheduled playoff hockey on Sunday afternoon which ended up going to OT. Game cut into horse racing so they cut away from Sabres-Sens and pushed the game to Cable. Shows their priorites.

As for numbers, ESPN has over 100 Million subscribers. Versus ratings last year averaged 353,000 viewers. Drop in the bucket nationally speaking, even with that being 19% higher than last year. 353K is a number that would get a show on the CBC cancelled. From AdWeek some background on what happened years ago. NHL went to Versus because of an ESPN executive shooting his mouth off.

http://www.adweek.com/news/television/nbc-versus-freeze-out-espns-nhl-offer-130773?page=2

“Not only would it get hockey back on SportsCenter, but you know ESPN would go all out with their playoff coverage,” the exec said. “When you think about all the shoulder programming and feature packages they would have put together . . . it just feels like a lost opportunity.”

And in the past week a huge story has really changed things. The biggest US Poker websites getting seized by the US Government. Reason it’s big is right away Poker Advertising is gone. I mean GONE. Dropped from all major sports channels and most poker shows were created and run by those same poker companies. They can’t be aired either. That is a lot of inventory that has now disappeared without any warning.

“ESPN will remove poker advertising and programming after the U.S. indicted gambling websites that sponsor televised tournaments and froze their bank accounts”

Hmmm, who thinks ESPN needs something to fill that void? Lost opportunity in more ways than one. Poker story could be an entire separate post. Fascinating part is that Poker websites in Canada are deemed OK. No worries here. So there is talk already from some poker players coming up and living in Canada to make money. Those who made a living playing online poker, they do exist, now can’t make that money in the US. Sounds like the plot to a bad sitcom. ‘American poker player moves to Winnpeg and has to deal with the locals.’

In 10 years could NBC Sports Channel [or whatever they call it] rival ESPN? No. Will be bigger than OLN/VERSUS, faint praise.  Just compare the conglomerate. Off the top of my head there is ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, ESPN.com, ESPN Radio, ESPN Magazine, ESPN podcasts and ABC. That’s a lot of places to get the word out on a sport. As pointed out just look at soccer. ESPN gets MLS and the amount of stories increase. TSN gets Toronto FC/Vancouver Whitecaps and I saw a SportsCentre Top 10 entirely on soccer. Coincidence? Hardly.

SportsCenter in the US more likely to have Top 10 Playoff Hockey Goals or Top 10 Playoff Basketball Shots? We know the answer. And casual fans watch ESPN. Lot of casual fans. I have an example of how coverage or lack of coverage of a certain team can affect things.

Got to work a few days ago after Canucks/Blackhawks ended. Guy wanted Vancouver to win. Canucks won that game, which we didn’t see since we work midnights and it was an earlier start.  He asked me “Are the Sedins Canadian?”…… yes a real question. The Sedins are twin brothers from Sweden. Informed him they weren’t from Canada. He is a Leafs fan however not a die hard who can name each player on the team or anything.  That was a good example of ‘casual sports fans’. If you don’t hear much about a team or sport you don’t pay attention to it.

I’m sure I heard all people in Vancovuer hit their head against a wall when they read the Sedins question. Power of the media for you.

After all of that some radio news.  Good Friday I will be live in studio doing a show.  Interview with Allison Crowe that will air next week as well, for those listeners who will be out of town for the Easter Weekend.  Those who are listening on Friday will get Hey Rosetta! ‘Seeds’ on Vinyl, in it’s entirety.  Just found out ‘Seeds’ is currently Number 1 on the CFRC album charts.  Was going to play 1 side of the album, with that news I will play the whole thing.  And it’s Good Friday.  Holiday for most people so you will enjoy something different.

NHL Round 1 Picks ‘Rattle and Hum’: Rob vs Natalie Thomas

NHL Playoff time. I remember I did a podcast a couple of years back picking games. Blogging is easier so I’ll try that this year. Plus allowed me to have a guest pick against me. I will be facing off against Natalie Thomas from The Weather Network. Natalie also has been part of Guelph Storm home games for the last 2 seasons. As the host in the arena who gives out prizes and such.

Also on the sports side she’s played more competitive sports than I have, and most likely 98% of people reading this. You ever play college basketball in the U.S.? Probably not. From her newly redesigned website. [I’m getting around to a touch up of the blog here eventually.]


In her last year of high school, Natalie received a full scholarship to play basketball at Appalachian State University. It’s an NCAA Division 1 school in Boone, North Carolina. Natalie spent her four years playing basketball and studying Broadcasting in the Communications Department.

“It’s really hard to describe playing college ball. Unless you’ve done it, you can’t imagine how awful and awesome it can be at the same time. I loved my teammates, and still love them to this day. And the whole experience definitely makes you a stronger person. But no part of me would want to relive the workouts!”

Natalie says the conditioning, weight lifting and practices could be a nightmare. “The pre-season and post-season workouts were the worst! One day, when one of our teammates missed class so the whole team had an hour ab workout as punishment. Half way through we were all crying. The girls still remember that as being our worst day!”

http://nataliethomas.ca/

Once in college I ran out of snacks during a football game and had to run to the store….. I was a bit winded. I pulled through with my own grit and determination. 🙂

Onto the picks, hockey is the hardest sport to pick playoff winners. You will see the example of President’s Trophy winners later in the post. If you are 1st overall, you would think those teams must get far in the playoffs. Not so much for the most part lately.

I will first put Natalie’s picks, then I will ramble on about mine. Quiet night at work so I had some time on my hands.

(1) Washington Capitals vs. (8) New York Rangers

Natalie picks the Capitals.

Last year President’s Trophy winners the Capitals are 1st in Eastern Conference again. How did last year’s 1st overall team do? Eliminated in Round 1 by Montreal. Another 1st place seed in the East against a team with a goalie who could steal some games. Uh oh, deja vu. Rangers in 7.

(2) Philadelphia Flyers vs. (7) Buffalo Sabres

Natalie is going with the Sabres.

Flyers after appearing in the Cup finals a Number 2 seed and could have a long run like 2010. After coming back from 3-0 against Boston they are a stubborn group. Flyers in 6.

(3) Boston Bruins vs. (6) Montreal Canadiens

Natalie and I agree on the Bruins.

Boston-Montreal XXXIII, ‘The Search for More Money’. Rivalry that’s always big. Money and ratings talk. It’s already pushed the French TV Debate to another night. In New England Red Sox games are being moved to the secondary cable station. Wow, that’s saying a lot. Meanwhile in New York City a meaningless Knicks game is on MSG and Rangers playoff game is on MSG Plus. Shows how popular the Bruins/Habs matchup is compared to other cities.

Talked to a Habs fan about this series for about 5 minutes. Chara’s hit didn’t come up once, that’s how deep the history is. Sure some people think it adds something to the series. I don’t. Last time Montreal beat Boston in Round 1 a few years ago they rioted which made CNN. After a Round 1 win!  That a series that needed help to get eyeballs? Is there anyone at home who was not going to watch Boston/Montreal but the Chara hit is going to make them watch? No.

Bruins in 7.

(4) Pittsburgh Penguins vs. (5) Tampa Bay Lightning

Natalie picks the Penguins.

Now this series could’ve used something to pump it up. 2 franchises who have never played each other in the playoffs. Now if Crosby/Malkin were playing interest would be higher, they’re both out. Amazing the Penguins are a 4 seed with Crosby missing in action and Malkin’s injury problems early and late in the year. Though I think this long year will catch up to them. Tampa is healthier and haven’t had such a grinding season. Getting a win over a recent Cup champion is something I’m sure Tampa would like to have, even against a depleted Penguins team. Lightning in 6.

Move to the Western Conference.

(1) Vancouver Canucks vs. (8) Chicago Blackhawks

Natalie picks the Blackhawks, same as me.

Ah yes, this year’s 1st place team, the Canucks. You might think “well the Caps thing was a fluke with being 1st overall” last season. Wrong, that’s the norm for President Trophy’s winners since the lockout.

2006 had Detroit facing the 8th seed from Edmonton. That was the Oilers amazing run to the Finals. Red Wings out in Round 1. Nice seeing you, bye-bye.

2007 Buffalo Sabres had better luck than most of the Trophy winners. Advanced to the Conference Finals. However Ottawa knocked them out.

2008 version of Detroit avenged their earlier mistake and handled their business with advancing to the Finals and winning the Cup. Only team since the lockout to do so.

2009 San Jose Sharks, out in Round 1 against Anaheim. Aforementioned Caps out in Round 1 last year against Montreal. So 3 out of the 5 teams that claimed the President’s Trophy couldn’t get to Round 2. Crazy.

Add to that the fact that Canucks were knocked out by Chicago the last 2 seasons. Who you think I’m going to pick? Chicago in 6.

Some teams just have another one’s number. Need I mention the Leafs/Sens playoff encounters. Ottawa could never beat them. Heck, I lived in Ottawa during 2 of those series. I went for the Leafs by the way each time. Senators were too vanilla for my liking. And when push came to shove they didn’t show up.

(2) San Jose Sharks vs. (7) LA Kings

Natalie predicts a win from the Sharks.

2 California teams so I can’t come up with much for this. Neither team has travel concerns for once in a playoff series. Not even leaving the state let alone their own time zone. Kings in 7.

(3) Detroit Red Wings vs. (6) Phoenix Coyotes

Natalie picks the Red Wings, we agree.

Coyotes in the playoffs again even with all the crazy behind the scenes stuff going on. In a market no one cares about. And Toronto misses the post-season. Phoenix getting there is a good story but they can’t beat Detroit. Red Wings in 5.

(4) Anaheim Ducks vs. (5) Nashville Predators

Natalie picks the Ducks.

4 vs 5 are never fun to pick. 5 seed winning is not an upset especially in this case. Ducks, Predators and Coyotes all had 99 points. 4th to 8th place separated by 2 points out West. So betting on the lower seeds might be the smart thing to do. Two teams with 99 points, I flipped a coin and went with Nashville in 6.

Natalie’s usually anchoring on the weekends, but to keep up to date you can check out her on Twitter and Facebook.  She can be doing other shifts during the week as well.  We both work holidays on long weekends.  Probably the few people who are at work at 5am on a long weekend Monday.  Some of us have to do it. 😉

http://twitter.com/NatalieTWN

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Natalie-Thomas/114191888624177?v=app_4949752878

U2 reference in the title is since we’re both big U2 fans.  If I had more time I could’ve come up with a song title for each series.  Bruins/Habs ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’ is almost too easy isn’t it?

NHL Round 1

Time for NHL 1st Round to begin. As a lot of people will do time for predictions. I have to say this season is one I hardly paid attention too. The great Golden Gaels Football run distracted me at the start of the season. Plus there was too many games crammed into a shorter period of time before the Olympic break. Games I saw seemed flat. That’s not even going into the fact there are 82 games a season. Too many. And a record amount of games ending a shootout which I hate. Like a NBA game ending with free throws.

But no more crappy shootouts. Overtime as long as need be.

Start with the Eastern Conference. Washington vs Montreal. I’ll go with Captials in 5. Habs last week played badly ending with a loss to Toronto. They got in because they went into overtime which means automatic point. Another reason the OT rules in NHL are dumb. You get rewarded for losing? Brilliant.

New Jersey vs Philadelphia. Devils in 5. Philly snuck in on a shootout win so I have to go with NJ.

Buffalo vs Boston. Sabres in 6. Boston might fight for a while. Sabres have Mr. USA Olypmic goalie in Ryan Miller. My team’s the Bruins and we get the Leafs pick tonight. So if they lose in the 1st round it’s not that bad.

Pittsburgh vs Ottawa. Penguins in 4. Pens swept them last time Ottawa was in the playoffs. Ottawa got older and Pens have won a Cup since then. No confidence in Ottawa.

Out west we start off with San Jose vs Colorado. Avalanche in 7. San Jose, the San Diego Chargers of the NHL. Choke every year. Yet hockey experts will pick them to win the entire thing. Although they can’t even get to the last game of the year. San Diego = San Jose.

Chicago vs Nashville. Blackhawks in 6. Chicago got some good experience last year so they should handle the Preds.

Vancouver vs Los Angeles. Canucks in 7. I can see L.A. winning this. Luongo didn’t win the medal for Canada but he didn’t lose it for them either. I still remember Game 7 last year against Chicago where he let in 6 goals and cried after. That was in Round 2 however.

Phoenix vs Detroit. Wings in 6. Detroit looked like they might miss the playoffs for a while. Woke up though and got a 5 seed. Is there any home advantage in Arizona? I don’t think so.

And from another blog, Awful Announcing the entire 1st round schedule. Including what station you catch the games on in the US and Canada.

http://awfulannouncing.blogspot.com/2010/04/your-opening-round-nhl-playoffs.html

EASTERN CONFERENCE

#1 Washington Capital vs. #8 Montreal Canadiens

Thursday, April 15th – Game One, Montreal at Washington (VERSUS/TSN, 7pm)
Saturday, April 17th – Game Two, Montreal at Washington (VERSUS/TSN, 7pm)
Monday, April 19th – Game Three, Washington at Montreal (TSN, 7pm)
Wednesday, April 21st – Game Four, Washington at Montreal (TSN, 7pm)
*Friday, April 23rd – Game Five, Montreal at Washington (VERSUS/TSN, 7pm)
*Monday, April 26th – Game Six, Washington at Montreal (VERSUS/TSN, 7pm)
*Wednesday, April 28th – Game Game Seven, Montreal at Washington (TSN, TBD)

#2 New Jersey Devils vs. #7 Philadelphia Flyers
Wednesday, April 14th – Game One, Philadelphia at New Jersey (TSN, 7:30pm)
Friday, April 16th – Game Two, Philadelphia at New Jersey (TSN, 7:30pm)
Sunday, April 18th – Game Three, New Jersey at Philadelphia (TSN, 6pm)
Tuesday, April 20th – Game Four, New Jersey at Philadelphia (TSN2, 7:30pm)
*Thursday, April 22nd – Game Five, Philadelphia at New Jersey (TSN, 7pm)
*Sunday, April 25th – Game Six, New Jersey at Philadelphia (TSN, TBD)
*Tuesday, April 27th – Game Seven, Philadelphia at New Jersey (TSN, 7:30pm)

#3 Buffalo Sabres vs. #6 Boston Bruins

Thursday, April 15th – Game One, Boston at Buffalo (CBC, 7pm)
Saturday, April 17th – Game Two, Boston at Buffalo (NBC/CBC, 1pm)
Monday, April 19th – Game Three, Buffalo at Boston (VERSUS/CBC, 7pm)
Wednesday, April 21st – Game Four, Buffalo at Boston (VERSUS/CBC, 7pm)
*Friday, April 23rd – Game Five, Boston at Buffalo (CBC, 7pm)
*Monday, April 26th – Game Six, Buffalo at Boston (CBC, 7pm)
*Wednesday, April 28th – Game Seven, Boston at Buffalo (CBC, 7pm)

#4 Pittsburgh Penguins vs. #5 Ottawa Senators

Wednesday, April 14th – Game One, Ottawa at Pittsburgh (VERSUS/CBC, 7pm)
Friday, April 16th – Game Two, Ottawa at Pittsburgh (VERSUS/CBC, 7pm)
Sunday, April 18th – Game Three, Pittsburgh at Ottawa (CBC/VERSUS, 6:30pm)
Tuesday, April 20th – Game Four, Pittsburgh at Ottawa (CBC/VERSUS, 7pm)
*Thursday, April 22nd – Game Five, Ottawa at Pittsburgh (VERSUS/CBC, 7pm)
*Saturday, April 24th – Game Six, Pittsburgh at Ottawa (CBC/VERSUS, 7pm)
*Tuesday, April 27th – Game Seven, Ottawa at Pittsburgh (CBC, 7pm)

WESTERN CONFERENCE

#1 San Jose Sharks vs. #8 Colorado Avalanche

Wednesday, April 14th – Game One, Colorado at San Jose (VERSUS/CBC, 10:30pm)
Friday, April 16th – Game Two, Colorado at San Jose (VERSUS/CBC, 10:30pm)
Sunday, April 18th – Game Three, San Jose at Colorado (VERSUS/CBC, 9:30pm)
Tuesday, April 20th – Game Four, San Jose at Colorado (VERSUS/CBC, 10pm)
*Thursday, April 22nd – Game Five, Colorado at San Jose (VERSUS/CBC, 10:30pm)
*Saturday, April 24th – Game Six, San Jose at Colorado (CBC, TBD)
*Monday, April 26th – Game Seven, Colorado at San Jose (CBC, TBD)

#2 Chicago Blackhawks vs. #7 Nashville Predators

Friday, April 16th – Game One, Nashville at Chicago (VERSUS/TSN2, 8:30pm)
Sunday, April 18th – Game Two, Nashville at Chicago (VERSUS/TSN, 8:30pm)
Tuesday, April 20th – Game Three, Chicago at Nashville (VERSUS/TSN, 9pm)
Thursday, April 22nd – Game Four, Chicago at Nashville (VERSUS/TSN2, 8:30pm)
*Saturday, April 24th – Game Five, Nashville at Chicago (NBC/TSN, 3pm)
*Monday, April 26th – Game Six, Chicago at Nashville (TSN, TBD)
*Wednesday, April 28th – Game Seven, Nashville at Chicago (TSN, TBD)

#3 Vancouver Canucks vs. #6 Los Angeles Kings

Thursday, April 15th – Game One, Los Angeles at Vancouver (CBC/VERSUS, 10pm)
Saturday, April 17th – Game Two, Los Angeles at Vancouver (CBC/VERSUS, 10pm)
Monday, April 19th – Game Three, Vancouver at Los Angeles (CBC/VERSUS, 10pm)
Wednesday, April 21st – Game Four, Vancouver at Los Angeles (CBC/VERSUS, 10pm)
*Friday, April 23rd – Game Five, Los Angeles at Vancouver (CBC, 10pm)
*Sunday, April 25th – Game Six, Vancouver at Los Angeles (CBC/VERSUS, TBD)
*Tuesday, April 27th – Game Seven, Los Angeles at Vancouver (CBC, TBD)

#4 Phoenix Coyotes vs. #5 Detroit Red Wings

Wednesday, April 14th – Game One, Detroit at Phoenix (VERSUS/TSN, 10pm)
Friday, April 16th – Game Two, Detroit at Phoenix (VERSUS/TSN, 10pm)
Sunday, April 18th – Game Three, Phoenix at Detroit (NBC/TSN, 3pm)
Tuesday, April 20th – Game Four, Phoenix at Detroit (TSN, 6:30pm)
*Friday, April 23rd – Game Five, Detroit at Phoenix (VERSUS/TSN, 10pm)
*Sunday, April 25th – Game Six, Phoenix at Detroit (NBC/TSN, 2pm)
*Tuesday, April 27th – Game Seven, Detroit at Phoenix (TSN, TBD)