April 22, 2008

Deep Thoughts Vol. 5: Playoff Hockey

Even though the Maple Leafs are off enjoying the marvelous spring time weather these days in Toronto (read: they're golfing), I still find myself glued to the television each night to watch playoff hockey. The playoffs are a beautiful thing.

So, how about Martin Brodeur's pure snubbage of SuperDouche Sean Avery after the Devils were eliminated on Friday night? Pretty low of Brodeur if you ask me. Well, even if you didn't ask me, I'm telling you. That's, umm, kind of the point of this blog.

Anyway, I think it (the snubbery) only proved how effective Avery was at throwing Brodeur off his game. Marty didn't have a Brodeur-type series. Far from it. He finished 1-4 with a 3.19 goals against average and an .891 save percentage and was a big reason why the Devils were dispatched so quickly in five games (I predicted the Devils to win, of course). Avery was in Marty's head, no doubt.

George Vecsey wrote an interesting column about the Avery/Brodeur drama in the New York Times. Check it out here.

On a side note, is New Jersey not home to the most pathetic fans in the entire NHL? It was shameful to see that many New York Rangers fans in attendance at all three Devils home games. It simply isn't fair that a team with a fan base as sorry as the Devils is, in recent years, a multiple Stanley Cup champion.

Back to the the point. Do you think Brodeur, regardless of Avery's childish antics, should have shaken his hand when it was all said and done? Yes, Avery is a big time motha sucka, but I think you still shake hands. It's part of the game. You go to war in a playoff series but when it's over you say "congratulations" or "good luck" and shake hands, even if it makes you sick inside to do so. Hockey's the only sport with this tradition and Brodeur should have respected it.

At the same time, it's hard to put the words "respect" and "Sean Avery" anywhere near each other. He clearly doesn't have respect for his fellow hockey players, and many argue that he doesn't have any respect for the game. It's a tough call. My brother thinks Brodeur did the right thing, while loyal SportsAndTheCity reader Karan in NYC believes Brodeur's move was classless.

At the end of the day, it's pretty much impossible to be less classy than Sean Avery. Check out his comment after the game:

What a lousy douche, I know. And yet I still want him to be a Maple Leaf (my brother thinks I am deranged). He's simply too good at what he does - it's just "Avery Being Avery" - and the Leafs, well, they need all the help they can get.

Alexander Ovechkin is back. Not that he ever really went anywhere. But he's back. He struck for two goals, and his first since game one, last night as the Washington Capitals staved off elimination once again to force a game seven with Philly tonight in D.C.

The Caps were down two-nothing in the second period yesterday and looked to be finished before they stormed back. Ovechkin bagged the game-winner with a beautiful breakaway goal. He was due. Four games without a goal for this cat is about four games too many. Pierre McGuire said it best: "How do you spell game breaker? O-V-E-C-H-K-I-N!"

The Caps have an incredibly young and inexperienced squad, but the youth dem are making Caps fans proud. Alexander Semin, Nicklas Backstrom, Mike Green (with one hell of a hip check last night) and Ovechkin have been huge. The future is bright in Washington, man (read: I am jealous as fuck). It would be a monumental comeback and here's hoping they can finish off Danielle Briere (props to PPP for that one) and the Flyers tonight.

Speaking of game seven, I think the Boston Bruins forgot they were to play in one last night. Full disclosure: I was cheering for Boston. Big time. I fully wanted the Montreal Canadiens to lose last night and blow their 3-1 series lead. It would have been pretty sweet. Look, when you're a Leafs fan and your team is on the outside looking in again, all you've got to look forward to is the demise and, preferably, the collapse, of your enemies (hahahahahahaha, Ottawa Senators, hahahahahahahahaha).

But, because I'm relatively good people, I'm still able to give credit where credit is due. And Carey Price deserves some credit. Kid was phenomenal last night, especially in the first period when the Habs came out flat. It could have easily been 3-to-1 for Boston if not for some terrific saves from Price early on. He kept his team in the game and they came out possessed in the second period, out-shooting the Bruins 17-6, outscoring them 2-0, and effectively finishing them off.

Price was calm, cool and collected in the biggest game, so far, of his NHL career. He rebounded from a couple of shaky outings and proved that he's got the perfect mentality to play goal in a city as crazy as Montreal.

Damn Price. I would have enjoyed seeing him falter, but now I only want Justin Pogge to follow in his footsteps.

And, for the record, Price might be the worst interview ever. He always looks ready to pass out and almost put me to sleep with his post-game interview last night. But, damn, he's a good goalie.

Before I leave you, I've got some links and videos to share with you. Sharing, like my mother taught me, is fun. The blogroll here at SportsAndTheCity is always growing and one blog I've subscribed to recently is Slap Shot, the New York Times hockey blog, and I urge you to check it out. I know, hockey isn't the first thing that comes to mind when you think "New York Times", but it's a pretty good blog. Trust it.

The writers of the blog are passionate hockey fans and they've been sharing with me some great videos, which I thought I'd share with you. Remember, we all benefit from the cycle of sharing. Enjoy.

Old school highlights, but still pretty awesome:

Miikka Kiprusoff's stalker:

"The Greatest Fans on Earth" (stay classy, Philadelphia):


Anonymous said...

For Caps fans, Game 6 was absolutely incredible. We are really excited about Game 7 but I hope DC isn't rocked like Montreal after the game.

I heard that it had been 314 playoff minutes since Ovechkin scored, and he scored two goals! I think that Ovi is a great player, but I've been mostly impressed on how Semin and Laich have stepped up their game. Oh, and did color-blind McGuire really spell 'Ovechkin' correctly? He can’t seem to distinguish orange from red so I'm concerned about his spelling ability.

Dan, Jr. said...

Some day soon, the Leafs will get back to the playoffs.

He may be good at what he does, bu I'm not a fan of Avery. Lost respect for Brodeur a long time ago. His ego getting out of hand.
I guess Devils fans have been spoiled if they are that indifferent.

I'm not sure who I'd rather the Cap's end up playing in the next couple rounds. But, for the Flyers and the Capitals, it's "Balls To The Wall" time tonight.

Culinarian said...

"youth dem" is right...Caps definately look like a playoff team...And although my playoff pool run has been great thanks in huge part to Danielle and Vacly, I'm happy to see the Flyers ousted by Alex and the Caps...They definately deserve it.
As for Broduer, he is being a sont...Now he's declined playing for Canada too...what a "big baby"

Greener said...

Hey Nav. Brodeur should have shaken hands. By not shaking, he made a political misstep and took all the emphasis away from Avery's unsportsmanlike assholeness and onto himself. He had a chance for everyone to be saying, "Wow, Avery fucked with him for a whole series, and Brodeur takes it like the champion he is." As it is now, Avery goes on TV and claims moral superiority.

Leafs Cental... at Lunch! said...

I really need to get a hold of that pierre mcguire quote when he spells ovechkin, i searched you tube and tsn but can't find it anywhere. Any idea where I could get it?