Tag Archive | "stanley cup playoffs"

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!!

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Thrashers Recall Defenseman Chris Chelios from Chicago Wolves (AHL)


ATLANTA, Ga. – After losing three games in a row and dropping down to 10th place in the Eastern Conference, the NHL Chris Chelios PhotoAtlanta Thrashers have recalled defenseman Chris Chelios from the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League in an attempt to spark the team and bring veteran leadership to a young core of players at a critical time of the season.

Executive VP and GM Don Waddell hopes Chelios can bring stability to and inspire his young team.

“Chris has been an outstanding leader and mentor for our young players in Chicago and his level of play has made him deserving of this opportunity,” said Waddell. “He’s a tremendous competitor who strengthens our group of defensemen and instantly adds a veteran presence to our locker room.”

Originally drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in the second round, 40th overall, of the 1981 NHL Entry Draft, Chelios, 48, has appeared in 46 games with the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League this season, recording 22 points (five goals, 17 assists) while ranking fourth in the league with a plus-34 rating.

The Chicago, Ill., native has registered 948 points (185 goals, 763 assists) and 2,891 penalty minutes in 1,644 career NHL games with the Detroit Red Wings, Chicago Blackhawks and Montreal Canadiens.

In a NHL-record 266 career Stanley Cup Playoff games, Chelios has collected 144 points (31 goals, 113 assists) while capturing the Stanley Cup three times, once with Montreal (1986) and twice with Detroit (2002 and 2008).

In his 25-year NHL career, Chelios ranks fourth in games played, eighth in all-time assists by a defenseman, and ranks 10th among defensemen in points. Among American-born players, he ranks first in games played, second in plus/minus (plus-352) , and third in points by a defenseman.

The 6-0, 190-pound defenseman has earned the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s top defenseman three times (1989, 1993, 1996), has been named to the NHL’s First All-Star Team five times (1989, 1993, 1995, 1996, 2002), and has participated in 11 NHL All-Star Games.

Chelios has represented the United States in international competition 12 times, and served as team captain at the 1998, 2002 and 2006 Winter Olympics. He led the U.S. to a Silver Medal at the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City and also won a Gold Medal at the 1996 World Cup of Hockey.

He has also appeared in the 1984 Winter Olympics, the 1984, 1987, 1991 Canada Cup, the 1982 IIHF World Junior Championship and captured the 1983 NCAA Men’s Hockey Championship with the University of Wisconsin.

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