June 02, 2008

Time to Crown a Wing?

WingsbannerThere's still a game to be won, but there's a feeling here we're going to see a new Stanley Cup champion crowned in Detroit tonight.

With a win over Pittsburgh tonight, the great city of Detroit will celebrate a Cup champion, the Red Wings' 11th.

Not trying to jinx Detroit, not trying to get too far ahead. This Pittsburgh team is too talented and too good to do that. But the Wings are focused, fired up and ready to go.

Party at Sunrise Quarterdeck tonight, with most of the televisions tuned to the Stanley Cup Final (the others will have the Marlins, FSU baseball and I'm requesting the Indians/Rangers).

Despite all the distractions, I'll be watching the hockey game, one I would bet is the final game of the 2007-08 season.

Where does the time go?

-- If Detroit were to win, who do you like as Conn Smythe Trophy winner as playoff MVP? Detroit has some great candidates, from Henrik Zetterberg to Johan Franzen to Chris Osgood.

It's Frozen Poll time, AKA Alcoa's You Make the Call (comments always welcomed below)....

May 05, 2008

It's Finals Time

FinalsThe NHL has come out with the starting times for the upcoming conference finals, and I have to admit I am very surprised with the Philadelphia Flyers. I didn't think they had it in 'em to go up to Montreal and handle the Habs the way they did.

Good for them.

That said, I'm still picking the Penguins (not that they really care).

Here is the complete schedule for the upcoming games...

SERIES M                       TIME (ET)    #2 Pittsburgh vs. #6 Philadelphia        Networks
Friday, May 9  7:30 p.m.        Philadelphia at Pittsburgh       VERSUS, CBC, RDS, NHL RADIO
Sunday, May 11 7:30 p.m.     Philadelphia at Pittsburgh       VERSUS, CBC, RDS, NHL RADIO
Tuesday, May 13 7:30 p.m.    Pittsburgh at Philadelphia       VERSUS, CBC, RDS, NHL RADIO
Thursday, May 15 7:30 p.m.   Pittsburgh at Philadelphia       VERSUS, CBC, RDS, NHL RADIO
*Sunday, May 18 3 p.m.         Philadelphia at Pittsburgh        NBC, CBC, RDS, NHL RADIO
*Tuesday, May 20 7:30 p.m.  Pittsburgh at Philadelphia       VERSUS, CBC, RDS, NHL RADIO
*Thursday, May 22 7:30 p.m. Philadelphia at Pittsburgh        VERSUS, CBC, RDS, NHL RADIO

SERIES N                        TIME (ET)        #1 Detroit vs. #5 Dallas        Networks
Thursday, May 8 7:30 p.m.      Dallas at Detroit                     VERSUS, TSN, RDS, NHL RADIO
Saturday, May 10 7 p.m.        Dallas at Detroit                       VERSUS, CBC, RDS, NHL RADIO
Monday, May 12 8 p.m.          Detroit at Dallas                     VERSUS, TSN, RDS, NHL RADIO
Wednesday, May 14  8 p.m.    Detroit at Dallas                       VERSUS, TSN, RDS, NHL RADIO
*Saturday, May 17 1:30 p.m.   Dallas at Detroit                       NBC, CBC, RDS, NHL RADIO
*Monday, May 19   8 p.m.       Detroit at Dallas                     VERSUS, CBC, RDS, NHL RADIO
*Wednesday, May 21 7:30     Dallas at Detroit                       VERSUS, CBC, RDS, NHL RADIO


May 02, 2008

Here Come the Wings

WingswinYou figured the Colorado Avalanche were going to come out and give Detroit their money's worth in Thursday's Game 4 didn't you? The Wings led the series 3-0, and the Avs had one chance to extend their season.

For a while, it looked like they might. Detroit led 1-0 before the Avs tied it.

Then things got out of control. The Wings scored two more before the end of the first to lead 3-1 at the break, then scored five more before rolling their rivals and leaving Denver on a mile-high roll with an 8-2 win.

On the flip side of the Avs collapse, you have the Rangers. In a similar situation, the Rangers responded by beating the Pens 3-0 to live at least another day. The Pens get to end the deal Sunday at the igloo (I'll be covering the Marlins, but you can watch on NBC-6), and the thought here is they will.

But at least the Rangers showed us a little something, no? The Avs looked beaten and broken, and the Wings looked very championship like. They weren't the best team in the game all season for nothin' folks.

The Wings now get to go back to Motown and rest up a bit, watching tonight's game from San Jose with interest. Got to think the Wings are rooting for the Sharks to win tonight and then force a sixth game in Dallas, one more game meaning a few days fewer days off for the red-hot Stars.

Course, the Stars have won eight of their past nine in San Jose, so things are looking good for them.

Redwingsring You think the Wings have what it takes to win it all? As always, comments are more than welcomed.

Don't you think the league -- and especially the suits at NBC -- would love a Detroit/Pittsburgh finale? Or, if a miracle happens, the Wings-Rangers?

Tomorrow's Montreal-Flyers tilt looms large, and the Habs are going back to Carey Price in net. Coach Guy Charbonneau told the CP that Price -- benched for Montreal's eventual Game 4 loss in Philly -- "deserves a second shot.''

Carbonneau adds "he had time to calm down and refocus and get ready for another long stretch.'' Don't know about this one, you have to think Price's confidence is shot right now. Yet he came back from some pretty bad outings in the Boston series and won that one, one of the reasons I picked to Habs to win this series as well. I thought surviving that experience was only going to make him stronger. We'll see.

April 23, 2008

Hockey Talk

HarrydoyleBefore this site turns into 'On Frozen Diamond*' thought I would dedicate today's post to the second round of the NHL playoffs.

Looks like we have some fun matchups. Feel bad for the Capitals (they had plenty of chances to win that one), but good for the Flyers. Think that's going to be a decent series one in which I think the Habs win in 6. Carey Price shutting out the Bs on Monday night was huge. Huuuuuge.

Can't wait to watch the Pens and the Rangers, though, and I'm picking the Blueshirts to win that one in 7. Could go either way, obviously. I love the Pens, you all know this, but I also am a big fan of Henrik Lundqvist. I think he's a money maker and a difference maker. Goalies like him are built for the playoffs. Rangers just have too much going for them right now in my opinion.

Out west, what hockey fan doesn't love a Detroit-Avalanche matchup? That's just good, old fashioned hatred right there. Sure, a lot of the names have changed, but a few haven't. Bad blood always boils the best. I like Detroit there, and I think they need to stick with Osgood for the foreseeable future. Colorado may be the sixth seed, but they are a darned good sixth seed. I could see them winning here as well. Again, another fun series.

Good win for the Sharks on Tuesday, J.R. really coming to play by getting four points in Game 7. Not bad for a guy who text messaged a reporter in Philly this summer to tell him he was retiring, only to come back and sign a one-year deal with the Sharks. Did you see JR after the game last night? You could see him savoring every moment of that deal. That said, I like Dallas to win that one in 7.

-- PS: A total of seven Panthers will be representing their respective countries at the upcoming World Championships starting next week in Canada. David Booth and Craig Anderson will represent the U-S-of-A and Jay Bouwmeester will play for the homestanding Canadians. Others: Olli Jokinen (Finland), Ville Peltonen (Finland), Magnus 'Magnum' Johansson (Sweden), Branislav Mezei (Russia).

(*) Going to be doing a live report from tonight's Miami-FIU baseball game, and will also be doing some Florida Marlins reports when I cover them in May. Gives me something to do. Would have stopped in when I covered horse racing last weekend, but I was too engrossed in my Daily Racing Form to log on. Thanks to Mike and Michele at Gulfstream and Calder for all their help.

-- Bonus stuff on Detroit-Colorado: Colorado's Adam Foote and Joe Sakic have played in all 30 playoff games between the Avs and Wings, Detroit's Nicklas Lidstrom and Darren McCarty have also played in all 30. Peter Forsberg, Kris Draper and Chris Chelios have played in 29 of the games.

-- Our good friends at Bodog.com have forwarded me their current Stanley Cup odds. Use these as you will. Odds to win the Stanley Cup: Detroit Red Wings 5/2; Pittsburgh Penguins 7/2; San Jose Sharks 9/2; Montreal Canadiens 6/1; New York Rangers 13/2; Dallas Stars 7/1; Colorado Avalanche 14/1; Philadelphia Flyers 16/1

-- Also, here is the complete schedule for Round 2. Clip and paste!
2008 EASTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS
SERIES I TIME (ET) #1 Montreal vs. #6 Philadelphia Network

Thursday, April 24, 2008 7 p.m. Philadelphia at Montreal CBC, RDS
Saturday, April 26, 2008 7 p.m. Philadelphia at Montreal CBC, VERSUS, RDS
Monday, April 28, 2008 7 p.m. Montreal at Philadelphia VERSUS, CBC, RDS
Wednesday, April 30, 2008 7 p.m. Montreal at Philadelphia VERSUS, CBC, RDS
*Saturday, May 3, 2008 7 p.m. Philadelphia at Montreal CBC, VERSUS, RDS
*Sunday, May 4, 2008 7 p.m. Montreal at Philadelphia VERSUS, CBC, RDS
*Tuesday, May 6, 2008 7 p.m. Philadelphia at Montreal CBC, RDS

SERIES J TIME (ET) #2 Pittsburgh vs. #5 NY Rangers Network
Friday, April 25, 2008 7 p.m. NY Rangers at Pittsburgh VERSUS, CBC
Sunday, April 27, 2008 2 p.m. NY Rangers at Pittsburgh NBC, CBC
Tuesday, April 29, 2008 7 p.m. Pittsburgh at NY Rangers VERSUS, CBC
Thursday, May 1, 2008 7 p.m. Pittsburgh at NY Rangers VERSUS, CBC
*Sunday, May 4, 2008 2 p.m. NY Rangers at Pittsburgh NBC, CBC
*Monday, May 5, 2008 7 p.m. Pittsburgh at NY Rangers VERSUS, CBC
*Wednesday, May 7, 2008 TBD NY Rangers at Pittsburgh CBC

2008 WESTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS
SERIES K TIME (ET) #1 Detroit vs. #6 Colorado Network
Thursday, April 24, 2008 7:30 p.m. Colorado at Detroit VERSUS, TSN
Saturday, April 26, 2008 3 p.m. Colorado at Detroit NBC, TSN
Tuesday, April 29, 2008 10 p.m. Detroit at Colorado VERSUS, TSN
Thursday, May 1, 2008 10 p.m. Detroit at Colorado VERSUS, TSN
*Saturday, May 3, 2008 1 p.m. Colorado at Detroit NBC, TSN
*Monday, May 5, 2008 10 p.m. Detroit at Colorado VERSUS, TSN
*Wednesday, May 7, 2008 TBD Colorado at Detroit TSN

SERIES L TIME (ET) #2 San Jose vs. #5 Dallas Network
Friday, April 25, 2008 10 p.m. Dallas at San Jose VERSUS, TSN
Sunday, April 27, 2008 9 p.m. Dallas at San Jose VERSUS, TSN
Tuesday, April 29, 2008 7:30 p.m. San Jose at Dallas TSN
Wednesday, April 30, 2008 9 p.m. San Jose at Dallas VERSUS, TSN (JIP)
*Friday, May 2, 2008 10 p.m. Dallas at San Jose VERSUS, TSN
*Sunday, May 4, 2008 9 p.m. San Jose at Dallas VERSUS, TSN
*Tuesday May 6, 2008 10 p.m. Dallas at San Jose TSN