Tag Archive | "sidney crosby"

Boston Bruins Implode After 3-0 Lead


After the Boston Bruins went up 3-0 in their Stanley Cup Playoff series against the Philadelphia Flyers, it was only human for them to think in the back of their minds they were advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals. I mean, Philly barely squeaked into the playoffs at No. 7 seed.

It’s not like Sid ‘The Kid’ or Alex ‘The Great’ were on the opposing bench. It was Philly and no team had come back from a 3-0 deficit since the star-studded New York Islanders did it in 1975.

Fast-forward to three games later when the guys in gold from Beantown found themselves returning home with the series tied 3-3 but hey, still no worries, right?

Not only were the Bruins returning to their home ice supported by a raucous sold-out arena for Game 7, but Flyers starting goaltender Brian Boucher was injured so fill-in Michael Leighton would be between the pipes.

The Bruins responded with a vengeance, tallying the first 3 goals of the game, letting the world know they intended to stop the Flyers from becoming only the second team in the NHL since 1942 to rebound from a 3-0 deficit.

Up 3-0 at home with the crowd in a frenzy fantasizing about flooding the streets with a classic Beantown celebration, the Flyers scored the next 4 goals and sent the arena and city’s heart beat into a straightline, shattering the dreams of an alcohol-infested night.

This implosion, ladies and gentleman (there’s usually only one of you here) is worthy of a classic, side-armed, Zsa Zsa Gabor Bitch-Slap!

And get this, the Flyers who started the playoffs a No. 7 seed actually will have the home ice advantage in the Eastern Conference Finals because the No. 8 seed Montreal Canadians gave Crosby and his Pens a face-washing and sent them home packing.

This Bruins implosion should remind every sports fan in America that it is NEVER over ‘til that fat bitch takes the mic.

Copyright © 2010 Sports Climax, LLC

Posted in Bitch Slaps, NHLComments (2)

It’s Time for Ozzie to Bail Out the Red Wings . . . Again


DETROIT, Mich. – After Red Wing goalie Jimmy Howard gave up a goal to Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Sami Lepisto just 29 seconds into Game 3 on Sunday, the ice tilted with the Red Wings stealing the momentum and dominating the play the rest of the period.

At the first intermission with the score deadlocked at one, Hockeytown was confident the hometown guys in red had red wings osgoodregrouped and were setting themselves up for another win. But only until the reality kicked in of what can happen when you play a rookie goaltender with no experience in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. In this case it was a 4-2 loss on home ice.

Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard had a strong regular season ending 4th in the NHL in save percentage with .924 and 5th in GAA (2.26) but the during these playoffs, the youngster has looked lost several times with his back completely turned to the play. During that time he has given up 3, 4, and 4 goals in the first three games of the series and has his heavily-favored team in a hole.

In all, the 11 goals Howard has allowed to Phoenix in the first three games of the series marks only the fourth time in 45 series since the Wings playoff streak began in 1991 that a Wings goalie has allowed 11 goals in the first three games.

After Howard let in two softies in Sunday’s 4-2 loss to the Coyotes, he put the Red Wings dynasty in the challenging position of needing to win 3 out of the next 4 games to advance, and two of those games are on enemy ice.

While this rookie display of goaltending has been going on, a seasoned goaltender who has been through it all has been sitting on the Red Wing bench watching, occupying a spot he has grown way too familiar with this season.

Chris Osgood has his name engraved on hockey’s Holy Grail after winning several Stanley Cups and was actually a lot of people’s vote for the Conn Smythe MVP two years ago when the Red Wings beat the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Red Wings would be trying to 3-peat this year if they would have given Ozzie a little more offensive support going down the stretch in last year’s finals when they lost Game 7 to the Penguins, no fault of the goaltender’s.

So when does Mike Babcock hand the reins back to Ozzie?

Now!

Without another second ticking off the clock, let the veteran Osgood know to start emotionally preparing to step between the pipes when these two teams meet again on Tuesday night.

Coach Babcock received praise for a quick roster move after Game One of this series but it’s time for this more important move. If the Red Wings want any chance of gaining the three wins they need to advance and doing it with less bumps in the road before entering the next tougher series, Babcock needs to make that move now.

It isn’t time to panic because the Red Wings are the most disciplined team as far as sticking to a plan and getting the job done; as long as their goalie gives them a chance to win. But if they need to score 4 or 5 goals every night during these playoffs, they may as well start dusting off their golf clubs right now.

This wouldn’t be the first time Ozzie bailed out the Red Wings after being benched. In 2008 when the Nashville Predators battled back to tie the opening round series at two games apiece, Dominick Hasek was pulled during Game 4 in favor of Osgood and that was the turning point of the series and playoffs.

Osgood won that series and went on to lead his Red Wings to another Stanley Cup title. In those finals, Osgood started the series with spectacular back-to-back shutouts giving his team a 2-0 advantage, one Sidney Crosby and the Penguins could never overcome.

Howard is young and looks like he may possibly be the goalie of the future for the Red Wings but the rookie has put his team in the position where they would have needed 5 goals to win on Sunday. They actually needed that same number to take game two. In that game the Wings scored 7 so earned the victory but a pattern like this is one that will surely send any team to the golf course early in mid-April.

Osgood has made himself available to the rookie for guidance but the bottom line is winning. 

I can hear the chants echoing throughout The Joe already . . . Ozzie. Ozzie! Ozzie!!

MORE: Boyle scores into his own net to hand Avs 1-0 OT win (Video)

Hottest wife in the NHL in lingerie – Mandy Modano – Hottest Wives Gallery

Wings/Avs Famous Brawl and Probert Classic Fights – (Video)

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax™

Posted in NHLComments (5)

NHL Logo Ripped Off By U.S. Senate Candidate


 

Blue Jackets Logo Image

The NHL needs all the P.R. it can get and it took a blunder by a U.S. Senate candidate to get it for them this week.

After the 2010 Winter Olympics hockey ratings were sky-high thanks to an adrenaline filled 3-2 victory by Canada over the U.S. the league missed out on retaining a lot of that interest. With a potential rematch between U.S. Olympic goaltender and MVP of the tournament, Ryan Miller and Canada’s Sidney Crosby just days after the gold medal game, Miller was benched for rest and sat out the game.

The following week, Crosby, for reasons no one in marketing can figure, turned down an offer to do the Top Ten on the David Letterman Show.

Jump to this week when Marc Delphine who is running for a U.S. Senate seat in Oregon accepted a ‘free’ logo from a volunteer and placed it on his website.

Turns out the logo is a trademarked piece belonging to the NHL Columbus Blue Jackets. The silver star wrapped in a star-spangled banner, his designer said, evoked the letter ‘D’ for branding purposes.

Delphine thought the design was original but several people contacted him and advised him of the rip-off.

“They were all like, ‘What are you doing with their logo?’ and I was like, ‘I didn’t make the logo!’ and we pulled it immediately,” said Delphine, a Libertarian candidate. “I’m not interested in any kind of infringement. We don’t even need a logo.”

The current Blue Jackets logo is in the photo above and looks almost identical to the hockey one. It is just been flipped from left to right and the red circle synonymous with the Ohio state flag was removed.

“I don’t know if you know anything about Libertarian candidates, but they typically don’t have a lot of money coming in. I was thinking this was so nice, but it was too good to be true,” said Delphine.

Since discovering the rip-off, Delphine removed it from his site and said, “If anything, I hope this raises awareness for the Columbus Blue Jackets.”

Hopefully it does, Mr. Delphine because when it comes to P.R. and marketing, Gary Bettman and the NHL need all the help they can get.

©2010 Sports Climax™

Posted in NHLComments (1)

Canada Squeaks Past U.S. 3-2 in OT & Wins Gold


VANCOUVER, B.C. – The 2010 Winter Olympic Games closed out with a classic hockey battle between rivals U.S. and Ryan MillerCanada and when it was all said and done, Sidney Crosby and his team sat at the top podium wearing gold.

A late goal by U.S. player Zach Parise with just 25 seconds left in regulation tied the game at 2-2 and forced it into overtime. With  host country Canada sitting at the edge of their seats, Pittsburgh Penguins player Sidney Crosby netted the winner in OT sending the arena and country into a frenzy.

The 3-2 victory marked the first time Canada has won gold on their home turf but it did not come easy. The overachieving U.S. team behind the stellar play of netminder Ryan Miller had upset the Canadians earlier in the competition and again showed up to play.

Miller was named the MVP of the tournament after setting a U.S. Olympic record with a 1.35 GA average. Jim Craig held the previous record of (2.14 GA) during the team’s 1980 Miracle On Ice gold medal run.

“It was tough to lose that way in overtime, but I couldn’t have asked for anything more from the team,” said US head coach Ron Wilson. “Their character was great throughout the tournament. It was a great game today and hockey in general wins.”

Canada jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals by Chicago Blackhawks Jonathan Toews and Anaheim Ducks Corey Perry but the Americans fought back finally tying the game with 25 seconds left with Miller pulled for a 6th attacker.

The silver medal is the 11th medal for the U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team and brought the final tally of U.S. medals in these Vancouver Winter Games to an Olympic-best 37. After never winning gold on their home turf, Canada took home the most gold with 14.

Note: Parise (4g-4a) and Red Wings player Brian Rafalski (4g-4a) led the U.S. scorers with eight points each.

GAME SUMMARY & STATS

Scoring By Period

CAN 1 – 1 – 0 – 1 – 3
USA 0 – 1 – 1 – 0 – 2

First Period – Scoring: 1, CAN, Toews (Richards), 12:50. Penalties: USA, Ryan (tripping), 14:02.

Second Period – Scoring: 2, CAN, Perry (Getzlaf, Keith), 7:13; 3, USA, Kesler (Kane), 12:44. Penalties: USA, Malone (high-sticking), 2:33; CAN, Staal (interference), 4:41; CAN, Toews (tripping), 8:25.

Third Period – Scoring: 4, USA, Parise (Langenbrunner, Kane), 19:35. Penalties: None.

Overtime – Scoring: 5, CAN, Crosby (Iginla), 7:40. Penalties: None.

Shots on Goal 
CAN 10-15-7-7- 39
USA    8-15-9-4-36

Goaltenders
CAN Luongo, 36 shots-34saves
USA Miller, 39 shots-36 saves

Power Play:CAN 0-2; USA 0-2
Penalties: CAN 2-4; USA 2-4

Officials: Referees-Bill McCreary (CAN), Daniel O’Halloran (CAN); Linesmen-Stefan Fonselius (FIN), Jean Morin (CAN)
Attendance: 17,748

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2010 Winter Olympics Final Medal Count


VANCOUVER, B.C. – With the final medal count in for the 2010 Winter Games, the U.S. sits at the top with 37 total. Olympic RingsThat is a record for the U.S. who has been more known for their dominance in Summer Games.

After never winning a gold on their home turf, host country Canada won the most gold medals in Vancouver tallying a total of 14. Their final gold was won Sunday afternoon on the ice in a 3-2 OT thriller when Sidney Crosby scored in overtime on U.S, goaltender Ryan Miller.

Here are the full results. See NBCOlympics.com for more detailed breakdowns.

Nation

Medalists

G

S

B

Total

  United States See Names 9 15 13 37
  Germany See Names 10 13 7 30
  Canada See Names 14 7 5 26
  Norway See Names 9 8 6 23
  Austria See Names 4 6 6 16
  Russia See Names 3 5 7 15
  South Korea See Names 6 6 2 14
  Sweden See Names 5 2 4 11
  China See Names 5 2 4 11
  France See Names 2 3 6 11
  Switzerland See Names 6 0 3 9
  Netherlands See Names 4 1 3 8
  Czech Republic See Names 2 0 4 6
  Poland See Names 1 3 2 6
  Italy See Names 1 1 3 5
  Japan See Names 0 3 2 5
  Finland See Names 0 1 4 5
  Australia See Names 2 1 0 3
  Slovakia See Names 1 1 1 3
  Belarus See Names 1 1 1 3
  Slovenia See Names 0 2 1 3
  Croatia See Names 0 2 1 3
  Latvia See Names 0 2 0 2
  Great Britain See Names 1 0 0 1
  Kazakhstan See Names 0 1 0 1
  Estonia See Names 0 1 0 1
 
Total   86 87 85 258

 Copyright 2010 – Sports ClimaxTM

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Several Reasons For Atlanta Thrashers’ Hot Start


ATLANTA – Riding the wave of a four-game win streak and dramatic last-second victory Monday night against division rival Rich PeverleyFlorida Panthers, the Atlanta Thrashers will be taking a great deal of momentum into their game Thursday night against the New York Islanders at Philips Arena.

The Thrashers under the great leadership of Captain Kovalchuk appear to be adapting to Coach John Anderson’s offensive scheme as the team leads the NHL in goals per game with an impressive 3.46 mark. To put that in perspective, the dominating Detroit Red Wings led the NHL last season with a 3.52.

One of the reasons for the Thrashers hot start is the contribution of several players who were not on the roster at the start of last season.

Three of the top four names found on the team’s current stats sheet are Rich Peverley (10g-16a-26pts), Maxim Afinogenov (11g, 14a, 25pts) and Nik Antropov (2g, 21a, 23pts). Afinogenov scored the game winner with 5 seconds remaining in regulation time in that dramatic win against the Panthers.

Another factor is the impressive play of their youngsters. Nineteen-year-old Zach Bogosian leads the NHL in goals by a defensemen with 8 while eighteen-year-old rookie Evander Kane, another first-round pick, has contributed as well, adding (8g, 5a, 13pts), creating a rookie-of-the-year buzz around the city of Atlanta.

Goaltending is another area the team has improved and they’ve done it without Kari Lehtonen, their starting goaltender over the past few seasons. While Lehtonen continues to recover from an injury that required surgery, back-up goaltenders Johan ‘Moose’ Hedberg and Ondrej Pavelec have been sharing the crease duties.

After registering two shutouts (one each) over the past four games, the Thrashers find themselves in the upper half of the league in goals against average, a vast improvement over the past few years when they hovered near the basement in that category.

Pavelec, who earlier this season allowed a 180-ft shot to score, shut out the Red Wings 2-0 in Detroit while Moose put up a 1-0 goose egg at home against the pesky Philadelphia Flyers. Moose’s win snapped a 14-game winless streak against the Flyers.

Currently the Thrashers own one of the best road records in the NHL at 8-2-1 and find themselves in the 5th position in their conference with several games in hand on the leaders.

To put that in mathematical perspective, if the Thrashers win all four of the games they have in hand on the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins, the Thrashers would find themselves one point ahead of Sid The Kid in the standings; but let’s not get too ahead of ourselves.

More NHL:

Thrashers’ Goalie Pavelec Allows 180-ft Shot to Score (video) – Sports Climax

Captain Kovalchuk Returns Early & Shows Great Leadership –  Sports Climax  

Yahoo!Sports – Puck Daddy

Bill ‘Iceman’ Tiller – Atlanta-Journal-Constitution

Copyright © 2009 – Sports Climax

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Hey NHL, Hats off to Expansion Hockey!


With the constant buzz about the NHL expanding their league to places like Las Vegas, Nevada, I was reminded about Hat Tricka humorous incident that occurred in Tampa Bay during their first ever NHL hockey game.

I was living in Central Florida when the Tampa Bay Lightning was franchised under the direction of Phil Esposito with the support of Japanese investors.

Originally from Detroit and brought up an avid hockey fan, I was salivating for NHL hockey so I snagged a few tickets for the inaugural game; the Lightning against the original six Chicago Black Hawks on October 7, 1992 at Expo Hall.

Expo Hall was an arena located at the State Fairgrounds and was normally used for rodeos and tractor pulls but this was NHL expansion hockey so even this makeshift arena could not stop many of us fans from filling it up.

After driving through a muddy bumpy dirt parking area, following the painted plywood parking signs, I made my way into Expo Hall.

The referees called more penalties than I have ever seen in a game allowing the Lightning to live on the power play. The Lightning went on to win the game 7-3 with forward Chris Kontos scoring the first hat trick in Lightning history.

Hat trick!

Where are the hats?

After several seconds, a lone hat, a worn-out looking baseball cap, came floating down like a feather in the wind, gliding to a smooth landing onto the surface of the ice.

With tens of thousands of fans in the seats, we usually never know what loyal die hard sacrifices his hat . . . but this night was an exception. The hat-tosser was the fan, one section over, who was being escorted out of the arena by security personnel for littering debris on the ice.

The innocent man pleaded, trying to explain the tradition, but these dedicated security personnel would have no part of this “radical, rule-breaking” fan and continued tugging the man by the arms, leading him up the stairs.

After watching for several seconds, a few nearby fans rushed to the fan’s aid, trying to help explain the tradition to no avail. Finally, a nearby security guard rushed over and saved the fan from expulsion. The disgruntled fan was allowed back to his seat bringing laughter and a huge ovation from those of us familiar with the game.

Since this incident 16 long years ago, Tampa has evolved into a city that loves hockey. A city that proudly hangs their Stanley Cup champion flag from the rafters of their current home, the Ice Palace, the home to many hat-tossing loyalists who have gotten to know and love the game.

So viva Las Vegas . . . “Hats off” to expansion hockey!

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