Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Insert Witty Title here...

Well, hockey season is over. No more games...however, there is still the Awards Banquet and the Draft. Not to mention various moves a Free Agents and more college defections. So here are a few words...

-the Carolina Hurricanes won the Stanley Cup. I was very disappointed with the play of Edmonton in game 7. I was really pulling for them to win it. Out of the whole Carolina squad, there are only three players that are decent: Cam Ward, Mike Commodore, and Bret Hedican. So congrats to those three! Also, way to go Cam Ward with winning the Conn Smythe. He's like 4 months older than me and he is just amazing....
-Joe Sakic signed a one year contract with the Avalanche worth $5.75 Million. A steal if you ask me. He could definitley get more somewhere else, but he is good enough to stay with the only franchise he has ever played for in the NHL. Thanks Joe!
-The NHL Draft takes place this Saturday June 24th in Vancouver. The Avalanche are set to pick 18th in round one. I think they will be looking for the best available Defensemen as the system is deep with fowards.
-The Awards for the 2005-2006 season will be given out tomorrow June 22nd (which just happens to be my 22nd birthday. sorry, i had to put it out there) and can be seen on OLN at 6pm MST.

-DU released it 2006-2007 schedule. It looks mostly good for DU, however, the Non-conference teams are weak so the team can't afford to lose to them. As you can see, I have added a countdown to the new season...can't wait...
-DU has added a training camp special from CSTV to its website. I highly suggest checking it out. My good friend PiosAvsFan was kind enough to let me watch it at her house as she subcribes to CSTV so I know it's really great.

-Avalanche goalie and all around hottie Jose Theodore was seen "canoodling" with Paris Hilton at a club in Toronto after the Much Music Awards last weekend. Now, I'm a little confused. Last I heard, he and girlfriend Stephanie Cloutier were basking in the glow of parenthood and love...Now, while my beloved Propecia Joe and that Hitlon girl were seen going in to her hotel at the end of the evening, I don't think he slept with her...My best friend's response to that was priceless "Yeah Catie, cuz hot guys hang out with Paris Hitlon for her intellect..." I'll throw in a picture so you can decide for yourself...

Friday, June 16, 2006

The Evolution of Chris Pronger

In honor of the Oiler's amazing OT win over the Carolina hurricanes Wednesday night, rather than write a boring piece on how amazing Chris Pronger and Fernando Pisani are, I thought I would instead focus on one of my favorite topics...Hair. As a few of my loyal readers (and friends) know, I am rather obsessed with hair...Today, I'd like to talk about Chris Pronger and his hair...

Probably his first NHL team picture. It is just okay...not great not terrible. 6 out of 10.

This pic was from way back in the day when Chris played for the Hartford Whalers (who ps are now the Carolina Hurricanes, small world). This is the evil child of the 50's buzz cut...2 out of 10.

I'm not sure where this pic comes from, most likely a team pic. But the point is, this is the absolute WORST do Prongs has ever sported! Whoever told him this look good, should be shot immediately....Absolutely heinous, 1 out of 10...

This is a picture of Chris, his brother Sean (who is definitely not as talented as his famous brother) and a fan while Chris was playing for St. Louis. I'm going to have to give this do (which is pretty close to his present day coif)a 9 out of 10 as this is probably his best look...

The lighting takes away from this pic. It looks like Angels are lighting Chris' way though doesn't it? I give this a 5 out of 10 as it's not terribly flattering...

I love this coif. Probably the best he has ever had! It's the perfect length for him...totally hot. 10 out of 10!

This is a picture from one of his many All-Star game appearances. I give it a 8 out of 10. I like the general style, but it's a bit too long.

Chris' current team picture. 8 out of 10 go to this one, but only because the picture reminds me of Beaker from the Muppets...I think they may have been separated at birth!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

All the news that's fit to print (and some that's probably not...)

I’m afraid I have been neglecting my blogging duties as of late and for that I am sorry….

College Hockey News:
-DU has named their new Assistant Coach as former Ferris State assistant coach Derek Lalonde. He will have many of the same responsiblilites that Seth Appert had. Read about it here
-Incoming DU recruit Rhett Rakhshani was invited to the 2006 National Junior Evaluation Camp for the USA. He spent last year with the NTDP Under-18 team that won the gold medal at the IIHF under-18 Championships. Read about it here
-Colorado College Sophmore Chad Rau and incoming recruit Bill Sweatt were also selected for the Evaluation Camp. To see the full list of those invited click here
-Matt Carle was named the USA Hockey College Player of the Year. I thought he had won every award possible, but I was wrong. Read about it here

Pro Hockey News:
-The Colorado Avalanche named their new GM, Francois Giguere, former assistant GM for the Dallas Stars, will follow in the footsteps of Pierre Lacroix. Read about it here
-The Avs have acquired the rights to Michael Vernance, a former teammate of Wojtek Wolski. I think he will be a good fit with the other prospects the Avs have coming through the pipeline, like Paul Stastny and TJ Hensick. Read about it here
-The Carolina Hurricanes lead the Stanley Cup Finals 3 games to 1 against the Edmonton Oilers. The series heads back to Raleigh on Wednesday June 14, for game 5 where the Canes will have the opportunity to win the Stanley Cup for the first time in franchise history.

Other News:
-I am just too excited that I can’t not write about this…today, I secured my 2006-2007 season tickets to the DU Pioneers!! I will have the same seats as last year, but I might upgrade if possible through the select-a-seat process. I am so happy that I was able to get season tickets for next season as I was worried I might not be able to afford them. I am looking for ward to the 23 home games.
-A very good friend of mine, known throughout the internet hockey world as PiosAvsFan, and I are thinking about traveling to a couple of away games. We would really like to go to (in order): North Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Any helpful hints in making these trips as fun and cost effective as possible would be greatly appreciated!

Friday, June 09, 2006

A blown Lead, a heartbreaking end, and they can’t catch a break …

-The Edmonton Oilers dominated the first two periods of the Stanley Cup finals. They had a 3-1 lead on goals from Pisani, Pronger (one of the sweetest penalty shots I have EVER seen!), and Moreau going in to the third period of game one and completely blew it! In the third period, Roloson allowed an even strength, a power play and a short handed goal to give the Hurricanes a 4-3 lead. Ales Hemsky tied it up with about 8 minutes left in the game, but then disaster struck.
-Carolina's Andrew Ladd carried the puck into the Edmonton zone, cut across in the front of the net and was met there by Bergeron, who unloaded a big hit from behind that drove Ladd into Roloson and knocked the net off its moorings. The goalie remained on the ice for several minutes, then skated slowly to the locker room with an injured right knee.
-Ty Conklin, who played on 18 games during the regular season, took over for the injured Roloson. The extent of Roloson’s injury was at that time unknown.
-The back breaker for Edmonton came on a goalie miscue with 37 seconds left in the game. Conklin went behind the net to play the puck, Captain Jason Smith came up behind him to take a pass and Rod Brind’Amour came from the front to apply pressure. However, Conklin held the puck too long, Smith was too close behind Conklin to accept the pass, and Brind’Amour was in perfect position to grab the puck that Smith missed and bury it in the essentially empty net as Conklin was still behind the net. Conklin got a lot of bad press for this play, but everything would have worked out okay if Smith hadn’t been right on top of him and if the defensemen had done their job and kept Brind’Amour from getting behind the net like that.
-Carolina won 5-4 to take the series lead at 1-0.
-After the game, Coach Craig MacTavish straight up said Roloson was done for the rest of the series. I think this is a truly heartbreaking end to what had turned out to be a great trade for Roloson, he had finally found a team that believed in him and he, along with the Oilers had a great chance of winning the Stanley Cup.
-In game two of the series, Edmonton couldn’t catch a break. They put puck after puck on net and couldn’t get past Cam Ward, who is admittedly playing absolutely amazingly! The Hurricanes and Ward earned a shutout victory of 5-0 over Edmonton to take the series lead at 2-0.
-Jussi Markkanen was the man in net for Edmonton. He played an okay game, but obviously wasn’t able to steal the game for the Oilers.
-What really killed the Oilers in game two was the amount of penalties they took. Three of the five goals allowed occurred on Carolina Power Plays. Edmonton took 11 penalties, 1 in the first period, 4 in the second and 6 in the third. There is no way they are going to generate the offense they need if they are busy trying to kill penalties.
-Edmonton also needs to convert on their power play chances. They had 7 chances on the man advantage and couldn’t capitalize on one.
-An interesting twist to the series is the accusations that Rod Brind’Amour, Carolina’s Captain and the league's top face-off man this season, is cheating on face-offs. TSN’s Bob McKensie has a wonderful recap of the situation: Oilers centre Shawn Horcoff wasn't shy about saying that at all. Brind'Amour fared better than 80 percent on the draw, compared to about 30 percent for Horcoff. The Oilers argue this was made worse by the fact that Brind'Amour's a veteran who gets benefits from the linesmen. Horcoff, who had a running battle all night with the linesmen and referees, said that Brind'Amour did get tossed out of the circle on a few occasions. But it was only because they complained so much that the referees started making the calls instead of the linesmen. Horcoff had a real nasty exchange with one of the linesmen in Game 1, and some video will be put together for the NHL and its officials on what they believe to be Brind'Amour's 'cheating.' The Oilers' argument will be that he does not line up straight at the circle and comes in on an angle. They'll also point out that he benefits from putting his stick down and lifting it up again.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Dora Strikes again...

After mentioning that the Dora the Explorer show could interfere with the Stanley Cup Finals, I found the Instigator by Charlie Teljuer on CBC Sports. Every week he pens a cartoon that usually pokes fun at an NHL happening. Click here to see Charlie's amazing work...

Friday, June 02, 2006

Carolina wins the East...

-Despite a strong game by the depleted (and mostly rookie) d-corps, Buffalo lost game 7 of the Western Conference Finals.
-After leading 1-0 after the first period on a fluky goal by the fro-sporting, robe wearing, North Dakota product Mike Commodore, the Canes allowed two goals in the second period; The first, another fluky goal by Doug Janik, the second a beautifully screened shot by Jochen Hecht.
-The go-ahead goal for Carolina came from none other than captain Rod Brind’Amour. After a delay-of-game penalty taken by one of the two healthy veteran defensemen for Buffalo, Brian Campbell, when he cleared the puck and accidentally hit it over the glass, Brind’Amour jumped on a loose puck that seemed to sit in front of Ryan Miller for an eternity and took it top shelf to score the game winner.
-Buffalo should be proud of how far they got considering how desperate their situation on defense had become. They fought hard throughout the series and pushed Carolina to the brink.
-Carolina now faces the much rested Edmonton Oilers.

Stanley Cup Final Schedule (all times are EST)

Edmonton (41-28-13, 95 pts) vs.
Carolina (52-22-8, 112 pts)

Monday, June 5, 8:00 p.m. Edmonton at Carolina, OLN, CBC, RDS
Wednesday, June 7, 8:00 p.m. Edmonton at Carolina, OLN, CBC, RDS
Saturday, June 10, 8:00 p.m. Carolina at Edmonton, NBC, CBC, RDS
Monday, June 12, 8:00 p.m. Carolina at Edmonton, NBC, CBC, RDS
Wednesday, June 14, 8:00 p.m. Edmonton at Carolina, NBC, CBC, RDS
Saturday, June 17, 8:00 p.m. Carolina at Edmonton, NBC, CBC, RDS
Monday, June 19, 8:00 p.m. Edmonton at Carolina, NBC, CBC, RDS

Thursday, June 01, 2006

A thriller, an Exodus, and Dora the Explorer?

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usBuffalo/Carolina
-The Buffalo Sabres staved off elimination on Tuesday night with an inspiring 2-1 OT win over the Carolina Hurricanes, forcing a game 7 which takes place tonight in Raleigh. JP Dumont tallied for the Sabres 4:56 into the first period, beating Rookie Cam Ward on a rebound from Daniel Briere.
-Ryan Miller, Buffalo’s phenomenal rookie goal tender looked solid all night, keeping the score at 1-0 for Buffalo until the 16:07 mark of the third period when he was beat from the left circle by Carolina Defenseman (and husband to Kristy Yamaguchi) Bret Hedican.
-Cam Ward turned in another solid performance and to his credit, the game winning goal was fluky. The goal came on a Buffalo power play after Doug Weight got 2 minutes for Boarding. From After failing to generate much in the first 1:40 of the power play, the Sabres had one final rush and got a break when Carolina's Justin Williams stumbled inside his own blue line. Buffalo's Derek Roy got to the loose puck and fed Rory Fitzpatrick at the right point, who quickly passed across to Briere at the top of the left circle. Briere patiently waited for an opening before snapping a shot that fluttered in. "It went off my glove and shoulder and kind of popped in the air," Ward said. "I had no idea where it went after it hit me. Unfortunately, it was too late when I looked back."
-It was the complete opposite to what happened in the previous game when JP Dumont was in the box when Cory Stillman scored the game winning goal in OT.
-This series has been anything but boring. Even though there were only 3 goals scored in the game, it was end-to-end action throughout and both goalies played spectacularly!
-The series ends tonight in the RBC Center at 5:30 MST and can be seen on OLN.

In Edmonton news:
-The Oilers have left Edmonton to both acclimate themselves to the east coast (time zone change and warmer weather) and to escape the distractions of Alberta’s capital city.
-They have taken refuge in Greenburgh, NY which houses the practice facility for the New York Rangers.
Image Hosted by Stanley Cup Finals begin Monday June 5, 2006. In an interesting scheduling conflict reported by CBC Sports: The Oilers' quest of a sixth Stanley Cup title could put them in direct conflict with the Dora the Explorer stage show set for Rexall Place June 17. The NHL, however, has scheduled Game 6 of the final that night should the series go that far. Northlands Park was aware of the potential problem when the NHL released its schedule Tuesday. Northlands Park runs Rexall Place, the arena the Oilers play in. Spokeswoman Bonni Clark said the NHL, Rexall Place and organizers for the Dora show are working to find a solution for all parties involved. This is the second time the Dora stage show has affected the NHL's playoff scheduling. During the second round, the Ottawa Senators were forced delay Game 2 against the Buffalo Sabres because the popular show was scheduled for Scotiabank Place on May 6 and 7. I knew Dora was popular, but honestly, letting it interfere with the Stanley Cup playoffs? I never knew Dora had that much power!