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Archive for the ‘Playoffs’ Category

Jun
12

EDITORIAL – After a 45-year drought, the Los Angeles Kings were given their first ever NHL Stanley Cup. Despite being one of — if not THE — lowest scoring teams this season (never scoring more than 2 goals per game all season), the team amazingly defeated the New Jersey Devils 6-1 in game 6. Even more amazing and completely unbelievable is that the eighth-seeded Kings picked off every higher-seeded team in the league — a feat which is simply impossible given the Kings’ lack of talent and poor regular season.

Give credit to the officials who year after year continue to astound with blatantly one-sided calls and to Kings’ majority owners, AEG, whose “never take ‘No’ for an answer” tactics and deep pockets have finally brought to Los Angeles the best bling that money can buy.

CeeCee

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Apr
29

The Quarter Final Round of the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs is in the books and the Semi Final Round is now underway. The Western Conference features the St. Louis Blues (2) vs. the LA Kings (8) and the Phoenix Coyotes (3) vs. the Nashville Predators (4). In the Eastern Conference, it’s the New York Rangers (1) vs. the Washington Capitals (7) and the Philadelphia Flyers (5) vs. the New Jersey Devils (6).

Check your local listings for air times and get the complete schedule here.

Note: The numbers in parentheses denote seeding.

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Jul
01

Now that the dust has settled from the Annual Farce (aka the NHL Stanley Cup Final), fans can look back on the absurdity of it all. The irony wasn’t lost on this hockey fan when KTLA and its affiliates started airing “Eight Men Out” in heavy rotation the same week of the NHL Final.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the film, “Eight Men Out” is a 1988 movie which depicted the scandal involving eight members of the 1919 Chicago White Sox who conspired with gamblers to throw the MLB’s World Series to the Cincinnati Reds. At the time, the White Sox were considered to have one of the best rosters ever and was the team to beat.

Aspects of what transpired during the 1919 World Series can be compared to the 2011 Stanley Cup Final. Like the White Sox, the Vancouver Canucks was the team to beat. This season, the Canucks won the President’s Trophy for the most points in the league, allowed the least goals scored against them, boasted the best power play of any team, and dressed the Art Ross Trophy winner for the most points in Daniel Sedin. It was inconceivable that the first seed Canucks would lose to the third seed Boston Bruins. Granted, goaltender Roberto Luongo is no Tim Thomas, but both were finalists for the Vezina Trophy for the best goalie in the league. Despite everything the Canucks had going for them in the previous three series, during the Finals they laid down and “let” the Bruins take their lunch money. On what planet does that happen?

Since 1993, no matter how many stellar Canadian teams have gone to the Finals, in many cases they have “lost” to a much inferior American team. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has said that as long as he is commissioner, no Canadian team will win the Stanley Cup, but isn’t that an admission of fixing? Can someone explain to me how that works? How does someone take another country’s national sport and its trophy and say, “You can’t have either of them back”?

Let’s review: Hockey is Canada’s national sport but in the United States, it’s only the number four or five sport. In 1892, the then Governor General of Canada, Lord Stanley of Preston, donated the Cup to be awarded to Canada’s top-ranking amateur ice hockey team, but Gary Bettman took it in 1993 and decided that Canada can’t have it back. Doesn’t that constitute theft of a national treasure? I suppose making that declaration is the only way a Canadian team will ever hoist the Cup again.

Don’t get me wrong. Ever since 2004 when the Calgary Flames were obviously the better team in the Finals but “lost” to league darling/Bettman’s friend Dave Andreychuk and his Tampa Bay Lightning, I try to brace myself for the annual farce. Oh, and for those who are keeping score, as much as the league hates the Anaheim Ducks and the officials did everything they could to hinder the team in the 2007 Finals, the Ducks managed to prevail. The fact that they had Teemu Selanne and were playing against the Ottawa Senators was insurance that they’d win. That’s the only season I can think of when the league didn’t want either team in the Final to win.

— CeeCee

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May
31

With home ice advantage in the Stanley Cup Final, the Vancouver Canucks will host the Boston Bruins on Wednesday. The seven-game series is expected to be a hard-fought battle as both teams hope to end longtime droughts. The Canucks have never won a Stanley Cup in their 40-year existence, and the Bruins haven’t been to the Final since 1990.

NHL.com has posted the TV viewing schedule for the Final. Check your local listings for coverage (all times listed are Eastern Time): http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=563806&intcmpid=nhln-button

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May
31

Vancouver Canucks forward Manny Malhotra did not attend the team’s morning skate, nor was he available for Media Day interviews. Canucks GM Mike Gillis said that the centerman was at a doctor’s appointment and until further notice, his status will be listed as “day-to-day.”

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