Saturday, May 21, 2005

Memorial Cup predictions

With game one currently underway at the Memorial Cup, I better hastily scribble down my predictions before the results come in.

Winner: Kelowna. Forget all of the talk about London's high-powered offence and the Sidney Crosby Show. Systems and experience win championships, and despite the fact they don't have the most talented team at the tourney, Kelowna has boatloads of both. Provided rookie netminder Kristopher Westblom can hold up in goal, the Rockets are going to win a ton of low-scoring, tight-checking games — the likes of which London and Rimouski haven't played in their respective leagues.

Runner-up: Rimouski.
3rd: London.
Thanks for showing up: Ottawa.

I did say hastily. I realize I'm going way out on a limb here — only one of the National Post's nine pundits picked the Rockets — so cut me some slack if London and/or Rimouski do roll through the tournament.

Unfortunately I'm working nights all week on the news desk, so I won't get to watch a ton of the hockey. I'll be following things as well as I can, however, so expect more on the tournament as we get into things.


At 9:53 a.m., May 22, 2005, Blogger deepfriedgold said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 9:53 a.m., May 22, 2005, Blogger deepfriedgold said...

Dude, that London-Rimouski OT was insane. I was watching it at a bar instead of listening to my friend Susannah talk shit about something.

I admit I haven't seen Kelowna play this year, but I felt whoever came out of that game alive last night was going on to win it all.

At 2:14 p.m., May 23, 2005, Anonymous pete said...

I'm gonna have to go ahead and agree with DFG up there.

My call going in was the Knights to win it all, followed by a coin toss between Kelowna/Rimouski.

I'm sticking with that.

Kelowna's system didn't appear to work overly well against Ottawa - by all accounts, the least talented team in this thing.

Knights, man. That is some impressive depth.

At 10:38 p.m., May 23, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ottawa has received no love from anyone, but when you get lights out goaltending like that anything can happen. OTOH, Kelowna is now 0-2 precisely because they don't have a front line goalie. They are the ones about to get the "thanks for coming" award, not the 67s.

At 3:25 p.m., May 26, 2005, Blogger SensFan said...

looks like you were very wrong!

At 4:05 p.m., May 26, 2005, Anonymous pete said...

Rockets 0-3. Buh-bye.

After all the talk, looks like the WHL is not so mighty after all.

Re: Crosby - I don't care if you're playing against a bunch of rodeo clowns, you've got to have respect for a 17 year old who gets 168 points in a season. He's great, his team is very good, and that's why they'll be playing on Sunday. Not Kelowna. Kelowna has no finish. They get 48 shots over teh final two periods, but can't win. 110 shots in the two games before that. They have no finish. Crosby is all finish. Plus, the way he has been getting hacked all week long without retaliation has been positively inspiring. The kid has taken at least 3 vicious two-handed hacks (that I've seen) and countless cross-checks (the one Mosienko gave him in front of the net was positively ludicrous)

I think this kid is for real.

But I'm still taking London to win it all on Sunday. Not in a blowout or anything, but they have passed every single challenge they've been faced with so far.

We said let's see what happens when "the streak" ends against weak OHL opposition. Then we said let's wait until they win the OHL. Then we said who cares - lets see what they can do against the best of the best at the MC.

Well, they've done it. I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt for this one last game that they'll pull it out. Final score? 5-3 over Rimouski.

Then let the serious "greatest junior team ever" discussions begin.

At 4:00 a.m., May 27, 2005, Blogger James Mirtle said...

You're pretty uppity Pete, for a guy who's never seen a Canadian Hockey League game in his life.

I thought the Rockets played a damn fine tournament with their backup, rookie goaltender and the worst schedule of the bunch — that's the way it goes sometimes in the Memorial Cup when it comes down to a goal here or there. They've been in at the tournament three years running, which is nothing to hang your head about (this is London's first Memorial Cup ever).

As for the WHL's dominance... well, the OHL has only won twice in the psat 11 years (while the beasts from the west have taken it six times). London wins this one and, well, we'll call it not anywhere near square.

At 4:04 a.m., May 27, 2005, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Greatest junior hockey team ever? Kamloops Blazers, 1995. Third cup in four years, most NHLers from a team, complete dominance in the Memorial Cup at home... an 8-3 victory in the finals over Detroit.

Anyone else in this discussion been watching junior hockey since the early 90's?

At 2:35 p.m., May 27, 2005, Blogger deepfriedgold said...

go back to b.c., hippie.


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