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2004 NHL Playoffs: Round 1


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#21 of 813 OFFLINE   Scott Merryfield

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Posted April 06 2004 - 01:42 AM

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Go Whalers!

They already went. Posted Image

#22 of 813 OFFLINE   Jeff Gatie

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Posted April 06 2004 - 02:03 AM

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hal gill is absolutely AWFUL


That's why Gill is now paired with the defensively gifted Boynton who is no longer called on to provide offense because of the aquisition of Gonchar (and Slegr). Gill is terrible at the outlet pass, but with Boynton, he can stick to stay at home defense and worry about his own end without running around or trying to play the puck.

Quote:
thornton, while a decent passer


Yeah, he's "decent" Posted Image

Quote:
can be counted on to take a bad penalty in the last few minutes of a game, especially if (god forbid) someone takes the body on him


Joe's recent "bad" penalty at the end of a game was due to Kerry Frasier getting scared that Joe was going to kill someone due to an uncalled crosscheck to the head. I personally hope the Habs go at Joe; leave him alone and he sometimes disappears (holds up at the hashmarks and looks for Murray), but get him mad and he starts to drive for the net and there is not a Hab in the bunch who can stop that.

Quote:
boston has trouble against teams with speed


That was with an immobile defense, before Gonchar, Slegr, McGillis, Boynton before coming into his own, with O'Donnell as a #1 (I shudder to think of it) and Gill as a #2. Plus, as Paul said, Gill has been a madman since getting tuned by Chara and since his role is more defined.

#23 of 813 OFFLINE   Jeff Gatie

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Posted April 06 2004 - 02:37 AM

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Has ESPN posted what their game coverage is going to be for the next few days ? Nothing's showing up in my TiVo guide data yet...


http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/schedule

#24 of 813 OFFLINE   Richard Travale

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Posted April 06 2004 - 06:03 AM

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The Leafs are taking it all this year guys! I can feel it! Wait... maybe I felt it the last 3 years too.... hmmm, well they will THIS time!!! Posted Image


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#25 of 813 OFFLINE   Lew Crippen

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Posted April 06 2004 - 06:12 AM

For any fence sitters, the Stanley Cup alone is reason enough to make the jump to HD.

IMO, no sport benefits more from the added clarity and the extra width than hockey.
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#26 of 813 OFFLINE   Jeff Gatie

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Posted April 06 2004 - 06:27 AM

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For any fence sitters, the Stanley Cup alone is reason enough to make the jump to HD.


I second this. The Superbowl was great in HD, but it is only one game. I'll be missing most of the Bruins home games in HD cause I'll be at the games, but the ABC and ESPN HD coverage is phenominal and even better than the Superbowl, it's from now till June!

#27 of 813 OFFLINE   David Singleton

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Posted April 06 2004 - 07:07 AM

I always love to watch the banter between fans of two teams during a playoff series (of any sport, really). I always ask the question of whether the person in question actually knows anything about both teams in the series, or takes other factors (like a rivalry) into account that might impact the games. Usually, most fans make their picks with their heart and not their head.

After saying that, and admitting upfront that I'm a Predator's fan (and my knowledge of the league is bent heavily to the Western Conference), here are my picks:


WESTERN CONFERENCE

Nashville vs. Detroit: Detroit in 7
The rivalry between these teams is nasty. The Predators have always considered Detroit almost like its "oldest brother." Detroit was the top team in the league when Nashville was created and placed in their division. If anybody has watched the Predators play, doubtful unless you're one of their fans, you will know they nearly always play their best against Detroit, just like a little brother that always tries to earn the respect of his older brother. Nashville can win this series, but it is unlikely. Nashville plays harder than just about any other franchise (Calgary and LA noted), and can absolutely irritate the snot out of another team. If Detroit had not been knocked out hard last year in the first round, I might pick this series different. Anyone that thinks that Detroit will dominate every game by two or three goals, I can guarantee you they haven't watched any Predators hockey. Their record against the top teams in the Western conference this year (outside of Dallas) is exceptional and the matchup most favorable to the Predators is a team that relies on skill and speed (like Detroit) as opposed to size and strength. All that said, Detroit is talented enough to win 16 straight games.

Dallas vs. Colorado: Dallas in 6
Working on the assumption that losing all four games in which Turco was serving his suspension was just that, I think that Dallas is peaking at the right time. Add to that the mini-slump that Colorado is in, and I just don't see Colorado taking this series. I'm tempted to give it to Dallas in 5, but I'll make it 6.

Calgary vs. Vancouver: Calgary in 6
Calgary is a team that reminds me of Nashville in that they are hard working, hard hitting, and play with a lot of heart. They also have had good goaltending and scoring from one of the best stars in the game. I don't think Vancouver has enough goaltending and will also miss Bertuzzi too much.

St. Louis vs. San Jose: San Jose in 5
I'm not too fond of St. Louis. Their style is too much geared for the cheap shot/thug mentality for my tastes. I think they've struggled all year to just continue the trend of making the playoffs and now they are going to run into a hot team. Much to my delight, I think they go down quickly.


Second Round

Calgary upsets Detroit in 7
Detroit has too many people just coming off injury and too much unsettlement at goaltending to survive two hard series.

San Jose beats Dallas in 6
Still riding the hot team of San Jose.


Western Conference Finals

San Jose beats Calgary in 6
Iglinia cannot score every goal himself.

EASTERN CONFERENCE

New York Islanders vs Tampa Bay: Tampa in 6
I know that Tampa has had problems with the Islanders this year, but I just have a feeling about Tampa.

Montreal vs Boston: Boston in 6
I'm not very sure about this pick at all. I've seen Boston twice against the Predators (a split with the away team winning both times), and one other time.

Philadelphia vs New Jersey: Devils in 7
This will be one of the best series in the first round of the Eastern Conference. Brodeur gets the Devils this far...

Ottawa vs Toronto: Ottawa in 7
This will be a great series. I think Lalime will quiet a few of his critics in this series.


Second Round

New Jersey vs Tampa Bay: Tampa in 6
...but he can't get them beyond St. Louis and his team.

Ottawa vs Boston: Ottawa in 6
Lalime continues to come up strong.


Eastern Conference Finals

Ottawa vs Tampa Bay: Tampa in 7
High scoring series (especially for a playoff series) that will be fun to watch.


STANLEY CUP FINALS

San Jose vs Tampa Bay: Tampa in 6


A great final series that features a great scoring team in Tampa that finds a way to beat a hot goalie.



Of course, what do I know?

#28 of 813 OFFLINE   Prentice Cotham

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Posted April 06 2004 - 07:23 AM

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I think they've struggled all year to just continue the trend of making the playoffs and now they are going to run into a hot team. Much to my delight, I think they go down quickly.


Before Dec, the Blues were one of the best teams in the league even with Mac and Jackman out for the year. They went into a big slump from Dec thru Feb, but now they are back and playing well. They played their way into the playoffs. I feel they'll get past the Sharks, but the Wings will be another story unfortunately.

I would love to see the Wings lose to an overachieving Preds team. Vokoun would have to stand on his head to accomplish that.
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#29 of 813 OFFLINE   Scott Merryfield

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Posted April 06 2004 - 07:27 AM

Richard, that's a great parade photo! Posted Image I sent it to a co-worker who's a Leafs fan.

The playoffs in HD are great, except for those crappy announcers. The Habs should be on CBC here for the first round, since they are playing different nights than Toronto vs. Ottawa. So, I'll have to put up with poorer picture quality in the first round, at least. We always get the Leafs or Sens over the Canadiens on CBC in this market. Posted Image ABC/ESPN (the Detroit/Colorado network) wouldn't even think about showing a Canadiens game, either.

#30 of 813 OFFLINE   David Singleton

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Posted April 06 2004 - 07:42 AM

I agree Prentice, they played their way into the playoffs. Their playoff clincher in Nashville was one of the most fun games I've ever attended. Their were probably 1 to 2 thousand Blues fans that apparently road several buses to be at the game. The dueling chants were great.

My only disappointment with the NHL is something I highly respect the NFL for: officiating. I can't understand why the NHL cannot have consistent officiating year round and also not be different from the regular season to the playoffs. Rules are rules, regardless of the time of year. The NFL does the best job I've ever seen with handling officiating- mind you that they're not perfect.

In the Nashville vs St. Louis game, the officials were not going to call anything. It took Nashville about a period and a half to just realize that. Then both teams started obstructing, hooking, etc. without any calls. That took a little away to me, as I really enjoy watching the skill of the players on the ice. I love the hitting, but a highly skilled offensive play is a thing of beauty.

OK, enough with the rant. Enjoy the playoffs. I know I will, even if Nashville will only have the two games for me to attend (I will be at every home playoff game).

Later.

#31 of 813 OFFLINE   Kachi Khatri

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Posted April 06 2004 - 07:47 AM

Eastern Conference

(1) Lightning over Islands > Strong up the front and good coaching should get some lightening rod zap the Isle.

(2) Bruins over Canadiens > Habs struggled down the strech and the Bruins have the better team.

(3) Devils over Flyers > A tight game for sure. Brodeur is a huge edge, even without Stevens, he can steal a game or two.

(4) Maple Leafs over Senators > Psychological edge tends to prevail. Let's choke up one more time for the Sens!


Western Conference

(1) Red Wings over Predators > Wings easily without much of a fight. Wings are smart enough not to fall ito an upset like last year.

(2) Sharks over Blues > Blues tend to suffer from some post-apocalyptic syndrome

(3) Canucks over Flames > Great matchup that may stretch in seven games. Canucks seem to be getting the Bertuzzi off it's head. Flames have a hot goalie though.

(4) Dallas over Avalanche > Avs main weakness is their goalie plus team chemistry. Nonconsistency is a problem.

#32 of 813 OFFLINE   Christ Reynolds

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Posted April 06 2004 - 09:07 AM

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Considering that more people in this thread are picking the #7 seed Canadiens to beat the #2 seed Bruins, I'm not sure where you think that Boston is getting too much credit.
you again huh? guess i will have to clarify. i meant in general, not necessarily in this thread, people are giving boston too much credit. happy now?
Quote:
defensively gifted Boynton
Posted Image
Quote:
Joe's recent "bad" penalty at the end of a game was due to Kerry Frasier getting scared that Joe was going to kill someone due to an uncalled crosscheck to the head. I personally hope the Habs go at Joe; leave him alone and he sometimes disappears (holds up at the hashmarks and looks for Murray), but get him mad and he starts to drive for the net and there is not a Hab in the bunch who can stop that.
maybe so, but it still doesnt explain the countless late game penalties he has taken as a result of someone trying to contain his body. and if anyone would take the body on murray and not let him wander around, maybe even the lowly habs could take down the bruins, murray's shot is nothing to leave unattended. if you get in thornton's face a little, he gets all flustered and takes a bad penalty. i've seen it happen too many times to think anything will happen otherwise. his captaincy is simply a case of giving it to the best player, not the leader. how can he actually lead them team from the box? the things that are keeping joe from being a really great player are his temper and his ego. anyone see him when he was asked by some reporter if he considered himself one of the top players in the league? even if you are one of the best, you are supposed to play it down. he said (paraphrasing) "oh yeah last year even though i had lots of points i didnt think i was up there but this year i consider myself at least one of the top 10 players in the league" if joe could be a little more modest and control his temper, i think he would only be limited by his potential, which is very promising.

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#33 of 813 OFFLINE   Casey Trowbridg

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Posted April 06 2004 - 10:38 AM

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San Jose vs Tampa Bay: Tampa in 6

Wouldn't this be something? Surely the fact that 2 warm weather cities and cities often not thought of first when talking about good hockey towns would drum up some attention, maybe not all of it good though I suppose.

As for the officiating, well, the NHL does have some problems in the difference between the regular season and post season in what rules they choose to enforce, but I'd hardly say that the NFL is the level of exelence 1 should be hoping for, IMO some poor calls in the Indianapolis/New England game, and certain other Patriots games from playoffs past.

I've always heard Betmen say that HDTV would do wonders for his sport, and while I don't have an HD set yet, from what I've read in this thread it sounds like he's right.

#34 of 813 OFFLINE   Jeff Ulmer

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Posted April 06 2004 - 11:01 AM

My only interest is in the Vancouver/Flames series, which the Canucks will take in 6. Yes, they miss Bertuzzi, but they have demonstrated that they have adjusted to their new players by sweeping the final six games. Cloutier's past three seasons rival only Ed Belfour in 30+ wins, and even if he folds, Hedberg is solid as a backup. The Canucks are determined to right the ship after the past few years' performance, and any team they face will find a tough opponent.

As for future rounds, I'd love a Canucks/Avalanche series this year, but I think Dallas will be done with them in 5.

I'm rooting for all the Canadian teams in the East, it's too bad the Canucks will be eliminating the rest of the Canadians on their run to the finals. Posted Image

#35 of 813 OFFLINE   Jeff Gatie

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Posted April 06 2004 - 11:11 AM

Quote:
defensively gifted Boynton



That's right, defensively gifted. Seeing that you only watched most of the Bruins home games, I'll cut you some slack for missing a little thing called the All-Star game. Yes, Boynton played in it and he didn't make it there because of his offense. The rest of your diatribe against what may be the best two way player in the game, well I'll just take your assessment of Boynton into account and leave it at that. After all, according to you his only real plus is being a "decent" passer.

#36 of 813 OFFLINE   Christ Reynolds

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Posted April 06 2004 - 12:18 PM

diatribe? calm down man, it is just my opinion. as far as my opinion on thornton, you are clearly a fan and can not see past his weaknesses. it is within your right to call him the best two way player in the game, but there are many many others who will disagree with you.
Quote:
Seeing that you only watched most of the Bruins home games, I'll cut you some slack for missing a little thing called the All-Star game
how do you know what i saw? anyway, i knew there would be some people in here who think thornton is the end-all be-all of hockey around here. if you would read my "diatribe",(yawn) you would see that i happen to think thornton has nearly unlimited potential, but has problems to work out before he can be considered one of the top players in the league.
Quote:
if joe could be a little more modest and control his temper, i think he would only be limited by his potential, which is very promising
you must have either missed that part of my post or ignored it. fair enough either way, we are obviously not going to agree on much.

anyway, if there are any caps fans in here, you have a lot to be happy about now, they won the draft today, which means they will almost certainly get the russian lw star alexander ovechkin. there is a 35mb video at his website, but the site appears to be down now.

CJ
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#37 of 813 OFFLINE   Jeff Gatie

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Posted April 06 2004 - 11:07 PM

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it is within your right to call him the best two way player


I said he may be, not is, the best two way player in hockey. A case can be made for others and I would not argue. I personally do not see the fact that Thornton gets penalties as that much of a problem. His penalties have steadily declined in the last three years and he did not take as many retalitory stick penalties this year as in the past. I said before that Joe has to have a burr under his saddle to play at this best (this is his only weakness IMHO) and you do not play with an edge and be that big without drawing the ire of the zebras. I'm not blaming the refs, but a Lindros, a Tkhachuk or a Primeau will always get more notice than a St. Louis or Gionta, it's just human nature. As far as a Bruins Captain not being able to lead from the box, look up the names Cashman and O'Reilly, nuff said.

Quote:
how do you know what i saw?


I figured after your laughing smiley when I called Boynton defensively gifted that you did not realize he was on the All-Star team from the East (the same team that *started* Thornton at center). My apologies if you did realize this and still don't believe he is defensively gifted. He also led the team in +/- with +17 while only playing the PP occasionally and being 1st penalty kill. Nope, no defensive skills there . . .


Edit: Not to belabor the point, but there is an interesting bit of Bruins trivia about points and PIMS. Only three players have ever led the Bruins in both Points and PIMS in a single season. Two, Thornton and O'Reilly, went on the become captains. The third was only an assistant captain, but he did it with 120 points and 125 PIMS. I'll leave it for anyone to guess his name, but here's a hint - His last name rhymed with his numberPosted Image .

#38 of 813 OFFLINE   Dave_Brown

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Posted April 07 2004 - 12:11 AM

Quote:
Red Wings over Predators > Wings easily but not without a fight.


So which is it? Easily or with a fight? Posted Image Sorry, just find it kinda funny as I don't equate easily winning to be not without a fight.

#39 of 813 OFFLINE   David Singleton

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Posted April 07 2004 - 01:01 AM

Let me second how great hockey is in HD. Having watched the Super Bowl in HD this past year and several hockey games, hockey gains a huge edge with HD over SD. Due to the size of the puck, and the ability to see more ice on the screen, and the feeling of "closeness" to the game, hockey in HD is just outstanding.

Of course, everything in HD (so far for me), has been outstanding. That said, some of my family cannot tell any difference except for the hockey games.

Later.

#40 of 813 OFFLINE   Jeff Gatie

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Posted April 07 2004 - 02:19 AM

Quote:
Joe had a tendancy to sleep walk through some games over the past two regular seasons. One way to wake him up is to get him pissed off. Once you've done that, he'll pick up the intensity quickly. Perhaps he'll get too chippy in retaliation, but it also brings out a maximum effort out of Joe.


My point exactly, thanks for concurring. If it takes a few penalties to get him to play the ferocious game we know he is capable of (sort of like Neely, but with playmaking skills), I'll give him his 100 PIMS a year with no complaints. I'd rather have a pissed off Joe for 15 minutes + 5 in the box than a complacent Joe for 20. The stick fouls are down, which is good. But no one should ever complain that Joe laid a beating on Bryan McCabe after a dangerous hit or that Joe labeled Begin after the uncalled crosscheck (and would have taken out every Hab in sight if Frasier had not given him a Game). Fear is a great tool in Hockey if used correctly and the happy-go-lucky Joe is not as effective in its use as the snarling, intimidating, "I'll f'in kill you" Joe we saw when he went after Perrault.


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