Friday, April 20, 2007

Thursday night thoughts

Well, we threw some dirt on two first-round series tonight, and watched as another got a whole lot more interesting while one more was just as stultifying as ever.

Pittsburgh and Minnesota bowed out meekly early on, both losing in five games after pundits across the hockey nation assured all they'd be part of long, drawn-out affairs. On the whole, Anaheim looked far more dominant than I'd imagined they would, while the Penguins were more out of their element in the postseason than it seemed they'd be. I'm sure Sidney Crosby is going to have more than a few sleepless nights this summer given his mediocre (comparatively) play in his first-ever playoff series. (Even still, it'll be great to see the teenage phenom play for Team Canada at the world championship beginning later this month.)

I'm glad to see the Flames rallied to take out Detroit in both games in Calgary, if only because it'd be great to see more first-round series head toward the Game 7 mark and really make this a decent opening round. Daymond Langkow's big game was also nice to see given he's been quiet after having a terrific regular season.

I'm not sure what else to add about the Vancouver-Dallas match-up other than to say that Game 5 delivered entirely more of the same, snore-inducing hockey. Not including the first three periods of the series, we've seen 10 goals scored in the last 332 minutes of hockey — a rate of 1.81 goals per 60 minutes for both teams.

That has to be some sort of record, if only for unwatchability.



At 4:34 a.m., April 20, 2007, Blogger Art Vandelay said...

Will The Kid play with Patrice Bergeron again this spring? They were brilliant last year.

At 7:04 a.m., April 20, 2007, Anonymous Fan in Japan said...

Are goals the only measuring stick of watchability? The goalies have been fantastic, and good saves are just as good as good goals.

To quote Yankeecanuck's ( Game 5 liveblog:

11:30 - Pretty great end to end rushes going on here. At one moment I'm standing and the other I'm cringing...honestly, I know some people have been bashing this series for being boring. I question whether they are watching every game in full. This period has been great from both ends as you can tell each team is pressing and trying to force mistakes

As for me, the games have been good enough to keep me glued to the radio.

At 8:26 a.m., April 20, 2007, Blogger PPP said...

End-to-end rushes? When those rushes actually happen all that is happening is that one team is dumping the puck into the other team's zone to start the cycle again. Nothing is getting created off the rush.

The Canucks have basically given up on trying to create offence as they just flick the puck out of their zone and hope for turnovers.

And all hockey games sound exciting on the radio. You are probably picturing it being a lot prettier than it is.

Good thing the games are so late, they are the perfect tonic for getting to sleep.

At 10:07 a.m., April 20, 2007, Blogger Knotwurth Mentioning said...

That's the case for the first two and a half periods, certainly. But I disagree that the Canucks/Stars games have been boring as the game approaches an end, and certainly the overtimes have proven exciting.

The difference, I think, is that Dallas is really afraid of going into long overtime matches again, and so they begin to press a bit more. Vancouver is willing to play pure defense when the other team is liable to sit back as well, but they can capitalize on other teams' mistakes when they begin to get more aggressive. Not suggesting they have any real offensive punch, because I, a Canucks fan, have been very disappointed to see just how boring a game they like to play, but I have been actually reasonably pleased to see the pace pick up as the game winds to a close.

That, of course, is why only the first overtime went a long while. While they score so few goals per 60 minutes, looking at overtime, they have scored at a pace of 3 goals every 60 minutes with that first overtime excluded. Why the jump from regulation play to overtime, if not for some sort of energy that begins to build as the game enters the extra frame?

At 10:15 a.m., April 20, 2007, Blogger PPP said...

The games certainly get exciting in the last 10 minutes but that is a function of knowing that the next goal will likely be the winner.

If those games were in the regular season people would just turn off the tv.

At 10:24 a.m., April 20, 2007, Anonymous Hooks Orpik said...

Crosby did what he usually does, he played well, but the team as a whole didn't.

But definitely credit Volchenkov and especially Chris Phillips on taking away a lot of Crosby's time and space. I haven't seen any NHL defensemen that have been able to contain and frustrate 87 like those two did about every shift.

At 12:54 a.m., April 24, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

low-scoring, yes. but i didn't find it boring at all. great goaltending. well-played. detroit-calgary, now that i found boring.


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