Archive for April, 2003

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I hate the off-season, especially off seasons that start this early. There is no news on the Wings…….

Playoff Update
This will be short, I didn’t watch these games.

The Canucks beat the Wild 3-2 in Minnesota to go up 2-1 in their series. The power play played a large part in this game as all 5 goals were scored on one. The Wild allowed 3 PPGs for only the second time this season. Tempers were still up from Game 2 and there was a fight seven seconds into the game. The next game is Friday in St. Paul @ 9 EST.

The Sens came back from a 2-1 deficit in the 3rd to win their game with the Flyers in OT. They now lead the series 2-1. Ottawa was 0-22 in playoff games when behind after two periods. Next game: Thursday in Philly @ 7 EST.

Tonight’s Games
Dallas @ Anaheim, 10 EST, Ducks lead 2-1
New Jersey @ Tampa Bay, 7 EST, Devils lead 2-1

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World Championships Update
Team Canada beat Team Sweden today, 3-1. Kris Draper played opposite Peter Forsberg. Drapes on being Forsberg’s shadow: “I like those challenges. It’s what I have always done and the reason they brought me over here, so it makes my job easier when I know my role.” The win made Canada the top spot and dropped Sweden to #2. The Swedes had what they called bad luck and Zetterberg’s hitting the post on a clear chance to end the 2nd is evidence of that.

Team Russia beat Team USA to sweep their group and keep USA winless in the tournament.

letsgowings.com has a stats box for all the Wings playing in the WC.

Read this. While I agree that Heatley probably will be the next great player in the NHL (at least the next great one from Canada……), I don’t think he’ll be winning a Cup within 3 years, as the writer says. I don’t think the new CBA will change the league that much. The Thrashers aren’t that close to a championship and they won’t let Heatley go. He and Ilya will turn into Atlanta’s Selanne and Kariya.

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Red Wings Update
Today’s Red Wings Rap mostly has articles on Sergei. This article says the Wings must not let Fedorov go to another team and this article says the last deal between Sergei and the team (in ’98, when he held out for most of the season) was a good one. According to the Wings notebook, the Hurricanes won’t pursue Fedorov, unlike last time. Also according to the Wings notebook, Jason Williams is very likely to be on the main roster next year while Luc is not likely to be on the team. John Niyo says small spenders prove victories can’t be bought and in another piece calls Anaheim the smartest trade deadline dealer this year. Modano and some other guys are complaining about officiating and heroin addict arms. Poor babies, I didn’t know the Stanley Cup Playoffs were supposed to be tough.

Playoff Update
The Stars did what has been impossible so far in these playoffs, beat the Ducks. They won 2-1 in Anaheim to hand the Ducks their first loss in their 7th playoff game. The Stars were carried by two goals from Jere Lehtinen, who according to head coach Dave Tippett, is probably the best defensive forward in the league (HA! You wish, Mr Tippett!). I did not watch any of the game but apparently it was an ugly win by the Stars. Maybe the breaks are beginning to stop for the Ducks, I don’t know. The Ducks have won 6 playoff games by one goal and finally lost by one goal themselves. I personally still think they’ll win, unless this loss breaks them apart. Next game: Wednesday @ 10 in Anaheim.

Well, the Lightning proved me wrong last night when they beat the Devils 4-3. The Lightning gave up a 3-0 lead but went ahead again in the third when Dave Andreychuck (the guy who passed Luc on the all time scoring list) scored. He scored when the Devils were unable to complete a line change that left 4 forwards and a defenseman on the ice. The next game is Wednesday in Tampa Bay @ 7.

Tonight’s games
Vancouver @ Minnesota, 8 EST, series tied 1-1
Ottawa @ Philadelphia, 7 EST, series tied 1-1

World Championships Update

Two major Wings prospects, Igor Grigorenko (who’ll probably come up next year) of Russia and Jiri Hudler (the “steal” in the 2001 draft) of the Czech Republic have been playing well for their teams. Hudler had a goal and an assist in a game against Slovenia and played with Radim Vrbata and Jan Hlavac. He has apparently been called the most impressive player by the media in Finland. He is supposedly being paid $300,000 by AK Bars Kazan to play for them and that is one of the biggest reasons he left the Czech Republic.

Grigorenko has been playing on a line with Datsyuk and Kovalchuk (that sounds a bit unfair to me…. like Bure/Fedorov/Mogilny) and had a goal in the Switzerland/Russia game. Pavel had a goal and two assists in that game. I saw in a report on that game that those three were the by far the best players on the ice. A quote from Pavel about Grigorenko: “He is a very good young player. It was fun playing out there; our line was very good.”

Zetterberg is playing with Forsberg for team Sweden but has no points. Maltby, Dandenault and Draper have been playing as well.

I got most of this from an e-mail someone in Finland sent to an e-mail list I belong to and the rest from the IHWC website. For some more stats go here and scroll down. Get World Championship news here.

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Playoffs Update
Well, the Wild evened up the series last night when they beat the Canucks in Game 2 by the score of 3-2 in Vancouver. I wasn’t able to watch the game (yesterday wasn’t the best day for me) so I can’t comment on the game from having seen it. The Wild scored early in the 3rd to go up 3-1 and the Canucks had to pull Cloutier to score another goal near the end. With about 50 seconds left, The Canucks’ hero in Game 1, Trent Klatt, almost tied the game up but Wild defenseman Willie Mitchell put his closed his hand on the puck. The play was reviewed and that little detail was missed. If it had been noticed by the refs, there would have been a penalty shot. After the final horn, fights broke out and five players were given misconducts, including Mitchell, who had been sent to the penalty box 7 seconds earlier for roughing. I think I’ve decided who I want to win this series. Vancouver. I’m more of a fan of the Wild but I think having the Canucks win will be better for hockey. Because I don’t think the Stars will win their series, having the Canucks win will leave at least one exciting team left in the Western Conference. I don’t want the Wild to end up in the Finals with the Devils. That would be terrible. The next game is on Tuesday in Minnesota @ 8.

The Flyers handed the Senators a shut out in Ottawa last night when the won 2-0 in Game 2. They also tied up their series. Philadelphia goalie Roman Chechmanek had 33 saves and had his 2nd career shut out. I don’t have too much to say about this game because I didn’t watch it and I’m not too in to the Eastern Conference. Game 3 is on Tuesday at 7.

Tonight’s games:
Dallas @ Anaheim, 10 EST, Ducks lead 2-0. I hear Billy Guerin may be back.
New Jersey @ Tampa Bay, 7 EST, Devils lead 2-0

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Anaheim has done it again. They beat the Stars in OT 3-2. I watched some of the game (1st and 3rd periods) and the Ducks are getting a lot of the same breaks they got with the Wings, though they are playing more on Dallas’ level than they played on the Wings’. The game tying goal was a lucky bounce (with about a minute left) and the game winner was sort of a fluke too. Giguere looks really solid and the Ducks defense is still holding off guys looking for any rebounds. I think the Ducks might be for real. Even though they beat the Wings (actually BECAUSE they beat the Wings, having them do well doesn’t make the Wings look any worse as having them do bad would. Also, I just don’t like the Stars), I want them to win the series. They seem to be “destined” to win it anyway. Next game: Monday in Anaheim @ 10 EST.

New Jersey came back to beat the Lightning, 3-2 in OT too. Former Stars player (and Osgood bane) Jamie Langenbrunner scored his second straight game winner for the Devils. I bet the Stars wish they still had him right about now. Brodeur made an awesome save on a St. Louis breakaway and seconds later, the Devils tied it up. New Jersey was behind twice in the game but still came back. I can’t see them losing a game in that series, if the Lightning can’t even hold onto a lead against the Devils. Next game: Monday in Tampa Bay @ 7 EST

Tonight’s games:
Minnesota @ Vancouver at 10 EST, Game 2, Canucks lead 1-0
Philadelphia @ Ottawa at 7 EST, Game 2, Senators lead 1-0