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Author Topic: HOCKEY HOCKEY HOCKEY
Lyrhawn
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I was just going to look for this thread.

With a Wings win and a surprise Blackhawks win over the Preds, the Red Wings secured the Central Division for I think the sixth year in a row.

The Sabres I believe also clinched the Eastern Conference. Congrats to them.

Anaheim and Nashville would have to win all their remaining games, and Detroit would have to lose back to back games against Chicago (who we're currently 6-0 against for the season) to give either of them a shot at the Conference title. Hopefully we have it locked up ::knock on wood::

Colorado pulled within five points of a playoff berth, but they'd still have to win all their remaining games, and Calgary lose all of theirs to make it. It looks like Detroit will be playing Calgary in round one. Should be a good first round matchup.

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TheTick
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Recchi kicked it in. [Razz] The Gods (and video replay officials) conspire against yet another Ryan Miller shutout. You don't need to apologize, although Gonchar should apologize to YOU for getting his jock handed to him by Vanek. Thomas has been dominant lately, scoring his 40th goal and one assist away from a 40/40/+40 season.

It is quite possible Tim Connoly will be on the ice tonight as a power play specialist, something we sorely need. Max should be on his way back too, if not tonight than one of the weekend games.

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TheTick
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Heh, it will be backwards: Max returns tonight, Timmy C no earlier than Saturday. I have no idea what they do with their lines. We might end up with 4 lines that can score like mad. [Evil Laugh] Poor Boston...
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TheTick
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They spotted the Bruins a 2 goal lead...but came from behind to drill them 4-2 with 4 unanswered. Thomas Vanek was unfair, scoring 2 including the game winner, and passing up a possible hat trick to give a teammate a sure thing. The goalies were both awesome, Toivonen kept it close. In the end, the Sabres saluted the hometown crowd after a very entertaining game.

BTW, with the Frozen Four on ESPN2 it was like old times, Gary Thorne and Barry Melrose on the worldwide leader. All they needed was Bill Clement.

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Lyrhawn
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Red Wings clinched the Central Division for the sixth straight year tonight.

For some reason we couldn't beat Chicago to clinch the Conference, but I expect that will be done this weekend.

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TheTick
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Poor Leafs (not). Sabres/Islanders in the first round, I have a ticket to the first game on Thursday night! IT'S GONNA BE NUTS! The Isles won't know what hit 'em when our fourth line rolls and scores all up on 'em over and over. [Big Grin]
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Flaming Toad on a Stick
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w00t!
Leafs are out. Sens all the way dudes.

And Tick, you are a lucky son of a gun. I live within 5 minutes of Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, but there's still little to no chance of me making it to a game anytime soon. Grr.

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Lyrhawn
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We'll have to catch a game next season Toad. No sense in living that close to the Joe if you can't take advantage of it [Smile]

I checked the prices for Red Wings playoff tickets. Cheapest ticket was I think $63 for standing room, but some nice seats in the low 70's. Still too expensive for me, but I want to catch a couple games next year.

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Fitz
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The Leafs/Islanders game was exciting. I'm very glad that TO didn't make the playoffs.

Oilers totally lost it after the Smyth trade, but one could argue that Kevin Lowe made nothing but bad decisions in the off season, and that Smyth leaving was just the nail in the coffin. I think it's about time that the Oilers find a better coach, and if they don't, maybe hire a GM who's willing to fire MacTavish.

Anyhow, I'm rooting for Pittsburgh in the playoffs.

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TheTick
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Are you ready?

Neat article about the French Connection

Going to pick up my ticket today - there are advantages to working 50 feet from the Arena. [Big Grin] I like Pittsburgh's chances against the Sens, although that would be at least one round early for the Sens yearly playoff meltdown.

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TheTick
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SI article on Chris Drury. Highlights:
quote:
Drury is, in fact, one of the greatest clutch players in sports. Ever. At 13 he led Trumbull, Conn., to its shocking win over mighty Taiwan in the 1989 Little League World Series, five months after helping his Greater Bridgeport Pee Wee hockey team win the '89 amateur national championship. Ever since, the wins and the honors have rolled in like boxcars: a state hockey title in high school, an NCAA title his freshman year at BU, the Hobey Baker Award as the nation's best hockey player, the Calder Trophy as the NHL's top rookie. Hardly a prolific scorer, Drury knocked in four playoff game-winning goals that first year for Colorado, and two seasons later, stepping out of the shadows of Joe Sakic and Peter Forsberg, he scored 11 goals in the Avalanche's 23-game playoff run to the 2001 Stanley Cup title. He has tallied 12 playoff game-winners -- one more than the great Lemieux -- and his four overtime goals in the postseason are tied for second most among active players. And Drury is only 30.
quote:
Still, nothing marked Chris as extraordinary until the '89 Little League World Series. For a boy to hit .527 and go 8-0 in the preliminaries and at Williamsport, to toss a crafty complete-game five-hitter in the final, to drive in two runs in that 5-2 shocker over Kaohsiung, Taiwan, seemed the perfect foundation for a lifetime of winning. Taiwan had won three straight titles, outscoring the U.S. by 43-1. Drury still remembers hearing people chanting "U-S-A!" hours before game time, the feel and noise of 40,000 people surrounding him and watching every move. Mostly, though, he still sees the cocky Taiwanese players, just before the teams paraded onto the field. "I remember how casual and loose they were, like they already had it won," Drury says. "And I remember thinking, That's not right. This is not how it's going to be."
Dating his future wife:

quote:
During dinner he asked her to go with him to The Beanpot, Boston's storied annual four-college tournament. Two nights later she rode up in a van to Boston with Ferguson and three others. They got to their seats inside the Fleet Center, Rory figuring she'd meet up with her date then. "Where's Chris?" she said to Ferguson.

"Right there," he pointed.

Drury was out on ice, number 18.

quote:
"I'm not extraordinary," Drury says. "I have to work extremely hard because that's how I'm going to succeed. If I coasted or put on weight or didn't work on my game in the summer or didn't lift, I'd take a step back. I would never say, 'I'm good enough.' There's not time enough in the day for me to work on stuff I need to work on."

Quietly, and in perfect concert with Briere, Drury took hold of the locker room. As the team started to win last season, Drury gradually let the music play later and later. He asked that the club put a picture of the Stanley Cup on the wall, to remind everyone what they're playing for. He protected the team from distractions, shutting down an in-game conversation this season between a local TV personality and a trainer, even barring Quinn from entering the locker room one morning because the team was about to meet. "I don't know any former captains who would've said that to me," Quinn says. "But I loved that. It's his room."

Also, American audiences will be exposed to Don Cherry, the very outspoken former Bruins coach will be teamed with Brett Hull on the NBC broadcasts.
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Flaming Toad on a Stick
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
We'll have to catch a game next season Toad. No sense in living that close to the Joe if you can't take advantage of it [Smile]

I would love to.
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Flaming Toad on a Stick
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Cherry's going to NBC? Wow, can't wait to see the reaction American audiences give him. [Big Grin]
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TheTick
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I'm not sure how much Cherry we'll get. FWIW, Hull will also be on the the Canadian broadcasts.
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Lyrhawn
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YAY! Henrik Zetterberg is going to be back for Game 1 against Calgary. Bertuzzi will be out until Sunday most likely, but Hank is back!

It's funny, Zetterberg is still the team scoring leader, even after being out for a quarter of the season. Datsyuk has been on a tear ever since Zetterberg went out, and interestingly, ever since he switched to a new stick that has holes in it, which I guess cut down on wind resistance. Weird looking stick, but he has other Wings trying it out.

Datsyuk was signed to a 7 year, 6.8 million dollar a year contract the other day, mostly on the word of Wings VP Steve Yzerman. I think it's a very good move, he still has room to improve, and I think he'll take his hot stick with him into the playoffs this year.

Usually I don't catch hockey games the Wings aren't playing in, but tonight I'm watchingt he Penguins play (and rooting for them). I can't believe they didn't call that a goal at the beginning of the third period. Kicking motion my foot!

HAPPY PLAYOFFS EVERYONE!

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Bob the Lawyer
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Considering the Habs didn't make the cut I can't see why anyone cares about the playoffs, quite frankly.
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Lyrhawn
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Standings:

West
1 Red Wings vs. 8 Flames 0-0
2 Ducks vs. 7 Wild 1-0
3 Canucks vs. 6 Stars 1-0
4 Sharks vs. 5 Predators 1-0

East
1 Sabres vs. 8 Islanders 0-0
2 Devils vs. 7 Lightning 0-0
3 Thrashers vs. 6 Rangers 0-0
4 Senators vs. 5 Penguins 1-0

[ April 12, 2007, 05:13 AM: Message edited by: Lyrhawn ]

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Fitz
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Penguins were disappointing tonight to say the least.

Exciting OT between SJ and Nashville right now.

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Lyrhawn
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Is that on tv where you are? I'm stuck watching Stars/Canucks on Versus. Good job to Nashville coming back from a two goal deficit to take it into 2OT.
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Fitz
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Yeah, it's on TSN, and when they briefly lost their signal they picked up the FSN feed. So if you have FSN, check that out.

Edit: Except it's over now, Rismiller just scored to give SJ the win.

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Bob the Lawyer
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Anyone else watching the 4th overtime period of the Vancouver vs. Dallas game?
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Fitz
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Gah! Is anyone else watching Dallas vs. Vancouver? It's about to go into OT #4! Awesome way to start the playoffs (for the fans, not so much for the players). Good thing I don't have to wake up early tomorrow.
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Lyrhawn
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I am. I can't believe I'm still up...but this is mesmerizing. I can't believe how hard they are still fighting after playing what amounts to two game back to back and still more!

Kudos to the fans for sticking around at the game, but then again, seriously, who in their right mind would leave after their team has played that hard for that long?

This is why I love the playoffs!

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Fitz
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Finally! I knew if Vancouver scored it would be a Sedin.
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Bob the Lawyer
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The Sedin's are officially money.
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Lyrhawn
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Great game. Poor Turco, worked so hard and so long, and to Luongo as well for seventy some odd saves, but someone had to lose.

That was an instant classic. Amazing that two out of four first night games went to double overtime or more.

16 hours until my Wings play [Smile]

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TheTick
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Whoa, what a first night of action! What the heck happened to Fleury? I thought the Penguins would keep it closer. 132 total shots in the Stars/Canucks game. Just wow.

The Islanders are going to wish they stayed in the hotel tonight.

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Flaming Toad on a Stick
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I'm w00ting all the way home. 6-3 baby!
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Xavier
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quote:
Whoa, what a first night of action! What the heck happened to Fleury? I thought the Penguins would keep it closer.
The Pens came out flat. The Sens came out flying. You could tell that the crowd had them pumped up.

I've never seen home ice advantage demonstrated like that. Makes me wish that the Pens had managed just one more point this year, to have faced the Sens at home.

Fleury wasn't the problem, really. The Sens had at least two or three good scoring chances every shift. He at least kept it respectable for a while. When it was 2-0, right before the third goal, I mentioned to Niki that this could easily be a 5-0 game at that point.

As crappy as the Pens were, I've rarely seen a team clicking on all cylinders like the Sens were last night. They got to every loose puck faster, their passes were crisp and clean, they barely allowed the Pens any room to maneuver in the offensive zone...

Well, that one is in the past, and I expect the Pens to come out a lot stronger in this next game. I predict that it will be won either by one goal in regulation, or in overtime.

If it is the Pens who come out on top next game, I like their chances in Pittsburgh, where Fleury is much better this year. I actually wouldn't mind if they played Thibault on Sunday, and then played Fleury at home.

Every game is huge, but the next one is vital. If they win on Sunday, I see the series going back to Ottawa 2-2. If they lose by one goal on Sunday, I see them losing in game 6 or 7. If they give up another 6 goals in a route, then a sweep is certainly not out of the question. They will limp back into Pittsburgh with no confidence.

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Lyrhawn
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Two hours until game time [Smile]
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Flaming Toad on a Stick
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1.5 hours. [Smile]
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Lyrhawn
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With just about two periods over, Detroit is up by FOUR!

HEY HEY HOCKEYTOWN!

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Lyrhawn
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Wings win it 4-1. As suspected, a very physical game, but the Wings held their own and dealt a bit out too. Great opener. Datsyuk snapps his playoff drought with a smooth goal.
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Lyrhawn
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Standings:

West
1 Red Wings vs. 8 Flames 1-0
2 Ducks vs. 7 Wild 1-0
3 Canucks vs. 6 Stars 1-0
4 Sharks vs. 5 Predators 1-0

East
1 Sabres vs. 8 Islanders 1-0
2 Devils vs. 7 Lightning 1-0
3 Thrashers vs. 6 Rangers 0-1
4 Senators vs. 5 Penguins 1-0

Top seeds seem to be doing well so far. Last year in the West, all top four teams were knocked off. This year, all four start with a one game lead.

[ April 12, 2007, 11:17 PM: Message edited by: Lyrhawn ]

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Flaming Toad on a Stick
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Yep, everything pretty much as expected. I thought Calgary would give more of a fight, but they got owned. I don't think Iginla got a single shot on net.
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TheTick
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WOW What a night! The Sabres drilled the Islanders, never trailing in the 4-1 win. They only allowed 1 shot in the first period and 21 overall. Our powerplay clicked, which was a concern all season. Dainius Zubrus is a BEAST, I can't say that enough. What a great deadline pickup. Captain Chris Druuuuuuury and Soupy each had 2 goals, and Zubrus assisted on 3 of them. Miller wasn't challenged much, but he poke-checked Ryan Smyth on a breakaway. Wade Dubielewicz did what he could, keeping it 2-1 until the 3rd (and getting ample help from the goalposts) but in the end his teammates just weren't up to snuff against the 4 lines Lindy was rollin'. We'll see what adjustments Ted Nolan has in store Saturday. I'm hoping it has nothing to do with the rough stuff at the end, special mention to Drew Stafford, Thomas Vanek, and Jochen Hecht for sticking up for themselves in the various scrums.

I don't really see the Thrashers doing much. The Lightning need a goalie. Pens need to man up, the Sens aren't that much better than them.

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Lyrhawn
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You know, I noticed that there were a lot of empty seats, or at least it seemed that way compared to the Vancouver game and others, so I checked. We were like a thousand people under capacity. And at the end of the game they said there were still tickets available for Sunday.

I couldn't believe that, I thought tickets would be impossible to get. So I checked it out. Standing room only tickets are $68. If you actually want to sit down in the upper deck? $83. Are prices like that all over the league?

Why not lower the price when seats are open and both allow fans to sit there and at least make a little bit of money? The price is just ridiculous.

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TheTick
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No SRO here, our 300 (upper) level started at $75. It was a LOT less for Season Ticket holders, though, who owned 80% of them and had first dibs at buying more at the Season Ticket price.

My seat was at the absolute TOP of the arena, and it was awesome! I got to sit with some of the real crazies, with the various signs (Druuuuuury, Welcome to Pominville, The Mair's Office, There was even a shout out to Zubrus).

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Lyrhawn
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I wouldn't mind sitting at the top of the stadium at all. There's not a bad seat at Joe Louis Arena, I've been there for concerts. I just can't afford $80+ for a ticket. Going to a Wings game is like an extreme special event, considering the price, it's just impossible for the average joe to afford tickets on anything resembling a regular basis. I guess economically it makes sense to make tickets more expensive when they are in such high demand, but when the price is so high that no one can afford them, what's the point?

For all the money we spend here in Detroit, and considering the salary cap has cut the team's salary in half, you'd think they could afford to cut the price of tickets. Tickets to Comerica Park where the Tigers play cost a fraction of that, and they went to the World Series last year! Opening Day tickets were almost impossible to find, thousands of people entered into a lottery to get seats, and still tickets could be had in the $40 range for SRO, and $60 for a decent seat. It's just ridiculous.

I've been considering moving to Grand Rapids, where the Griffins play (the Red Wings AHL team), and I looked at season tickets there. I could get 2 seats, for the entire season, at the front row of the upper level, for about a grand. That's a damned good deal (I mean it's AHL, but who cares? Half the guys there will be on the Wings some day anyway), and I plan on doing that when I get over there in a couple years.

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TheTick
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For season ticket prices, you can get in the door for about $1400 for 2 seats, for where I was sitting last night. They can then buy additional tickets for round 1 and 2 for the same price, and it goes up $5 or $10 for subsequent rounds.

Listening to the highlights, and I LOVE hearing Tim Connoly's name all over them. [Smile] He and our '4th' line were responsible for the first goal, with a great one-time pass to Soupy.

[ April 13, 2007, 08:43 AM: Message edited by: TheTick ]

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Flaming Toad on a Stick
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And here we go again.
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Fitz
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This Nashville/SJ game is very exciting. A lot of animosity between these two teams. Radulov put a vicious hurt on Bernier, and bad blood is just getting worse.

On top of that, Nashville scored shorthanded, and just scored again with a 2 man advantage. I was all set to watch Dallas/Vancouver, but this game is way too intense to stop watching.

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TheTick
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The Dallas/Vancouver game was great also, very intense. Marty Turco mans up in the playoffs with a shutout. He was one deflected puck away from an empty net goal, too.
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Lyrhawn
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Standings:

West
1 Red Wings vs. 8 Flames 1-0
2 Ducks vs. 7 Wild 2-0
3 Canucks vs. 6 Stars 1-1
4 Sharks vs. 5 Predators 1-1

East
1 Sabres vs. 8 Islanders 1-1
2 Devils vs. 7 Lightning 1-1
3 Thrashers vs. 6 Rangers 0-2
4 Senators vs. 5 Penguins 1-1

Looks like the West evened things up a bit tonight, I didn't get a chance to catch really any of it, but I'm watching the Wild/Ducks game right now. Just evened things up.

Thrashers just lost two at home, that's seriously going to hurt. Man that Penguins/Ottawa game was back and forth. I wonder why the Wings and Flames were the only teams to get a two day break. Maybe the others will get a two day break later?

Islanders/Sabres and Devils/Lightning are on at 730pm EST.

[ April 14, 2007, 10:21 PM: Message edited by: Lyrhawn ]

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Xavier
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[Big Grin]

That was what the first game should have been like.

Like I said, I expect this to go back to Ottawa 2-2. We shall see...

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Lyrhawn
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Wings go up 2-0 on Calgary in the first four minutes of the game. I think Calgary already has 10 minutes of penalty time. They're falling apart. Calgary is trying to be physical and hit back but they are going overboard resulting in penalties. Datsyuk has another goal, looks like his postseason slump is just a distant memory [Smile] .
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Lyrhawn
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Standings:

West
1 Red Wings vs. 8 Flames 2-1
2 Ducks vs. 7 Wild 3-1
3 Canucks vs. 6 Stars 3-1
4 Sharks vs. 5 Predators 2-1

East
1 Sabres vs. 8 Islanders 3-1
2 Devils vs. 7 Lightning 2-2
3 Thrashers vs. 6 Rangers 0-4 Rangers sweep Thrashers
4 Senators vs. 5 Penguins 3-1

Updated 10:20 Wednesday

Rangers sweep the Thrashers, some teams take bigger leads, some inch closer to a comeback.

[ April 18, 2007, 10:20 PM: Message edited by: Lyrhawn ]

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TheTick
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Whew, what a tense game last night. Bodies were flying, shots were blasted off goalie masks, and there were several controversial calls. One of them led to a rain of debris on to the ice from the Islanders fans. Apparently there were some jerks yelling during the anthem AND a moment of silence for the VT shooting victims, also.

Adam Mair had a great end-to-end shift on the first goal, knocking Trent Hunter off the puck and one end, and racing down to put home the Drury pass at the other. Vanek's wraparound was reviewed for what seemed like half an hour but was awarded...the only evidence for the goal was the fact that it disappeared from view behind the post before DiPietro deftly slid it back out. I hope the refs don't make too many mistakes on Wednesday, it could get ugly.

I want the Lightning in the next round...

Pens/Sens is a must watch tonight.

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Lyrhawn
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Standings:

West
1 Red Wings vs. 8 Flames 2-1
2 Ducks vs. 7 Wild 4-1 Ducks WIN
3 Canucks vs. 6 Stars 3-2
4 Sharks vs. 5 Predators 3-1

East
1 Sabres vs. 8 Islanders 3-1
2 Devils vs. 7 Lightning 2-2
3 Thrashers vs. 6 Rangers 0-4 Rangers sweep Thrashers
4 Senators vs. 5 Penguins 4-1 Senators WIN

Wings are currently down 3-2 against Flames. They really need to get back on the ball in this game and start killing off these awful penalties!

[ April 20, 2007, 02:23 AM: Message edited by: Lyrhawn ]

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Fitz
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Booo-urns! I was really hoping Detroit would win at least one game in Calgary, so that they could win the series at home in the next game. My favorite teams: Oilers and anyone who's playing against the Flames.
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