Archive for January 1st, 2009

Friday’s NHL Games & Picks: AVERY & GABORIK

January 1st, 2009

TONIGHT’S GAMES:

MTL @ NJD: Take MTL, Habs and Devils will play a tight defensive game but give the edge to Montreal who have strarted to play much better.

[email protected] CAR: Take CAR, Canes at home against a depleted weaker Blues club. Canes are pushing for a playoff spot and starting to heat up.

VAN @ ATL: Take VAN, Canucks travel to Atlanta after winning last night vs. Preds on the road.

CLB @ COL: Take COL, This is a toss up the Blue Jackets are playing excellent the last few games but will be in tough on the road against the Av’s.

NYI @ PHX: Take PHX, Yotes in their own rink where they still have a solid record will beat the weaker Islanders.

PHI @ ANA: Take PHI, Flyer’s upset on the road in Duck country tonight. Ducks have not been great at home as of late and Fylers are a very tough team to play against when they are on.

WHERE ARE THESE TWO PLAYERS GOING TO END UP THIS YEAR BY TRADE DEADLINE ?

CANADA-USA RIVALRY BITTER

January 1st, 2009

Doesn’t get any better in hockey than last nights bone chilling first two periods of the World Jr game between Team CANADA vs. Team USA on New Years Eve.

Their was bad goaltending, sloppy defensive play, terrible refereeing to go along with some true hatred in the first two periods.

Canada down 1-0 already were down 5-3 on some very questionable calls by the European Reffing crew. Canada then found themselves down 3- Nil and to their credit could have packed it in for the night. But that’s not the Canadian way unfortunately for Team USA who became unraveled as Canada mounted their comeback in Ottawa infront of a sold out house.

REAL DEAL

This John Tavares kid is going to be the real deal at the next level scoring twice to get Canada back in the game. Tavares finished his night off with an empty net hat trick goal in the 3rd period, this after his second prime time goal in the top shelf five on five earlier.

The final score did not indicate the game as this was a one goal game if you take out the 2 empty netters  by Canada late in the 3rd. When the two teams meet again and seems like they will, both teams will have to get the goaltending and discipline they showed in the 3rd period to get the win.

Tempers boiled over after Canada scored in the 1st period and ran directly by the US bench to celebrate the goal. Prompting one of the US players to stick out his stick grazing one of the Canadian players in the side of his face. That was followed by a Canadian player pretending to fall and hit a US player in the face with a half punch which created some more drama at the respective benches. All of this can be avoided if teams stop this ridiculous practice of after scoring running up to the benches to continue the celebration. I hate this it’s not needed I still remember the Barrie Colts OHL Champions coached by Bill Stewart would  not allow his team to do this after scoring. It didn’t stop them or any team I have ever coached and won with from winning Championships. I’m all for team togetherness and such but clearly this has nothing to do with the outcome of games. Couple all that with the fact that if a team came that close to my teams bench it wouldn’t be a stick coming off the bench to combat that, it would have been players.

TSN INTERMISSION

During the intermission it was laughable to watch TSN Bob Mckenzie and John Tortorella talk about what had transpired in the game. Mckenzie who this is not his first walk in the park at a World Jr’s was clear and concise about both teams play and the fact that both teams would need to be better moving forward. Then Tortorella the American Born ex Tampa coach  was so pro- American in his comments about the game and the refs calls it was laughable. Tortorella who has coached for Team USA at other tournament’s resists the fact that Canadian players just have what it takes to mount those type of comebacks and clearly has a US against the world mentality in him. Staying with TSN broadcast when in the 3rd both goaltenders made some big stops. I was worried about color commentator Pierre McGuire’s heart when he almost came through the TV and out of the broadcast booth yelling after each of the saves.

DISCIPLINED EMOTION

You could just feel the emotion and hatred oozing out of the players last night in what obviously is a very patriotic rivalry. Also you can ask the players to play more disciplined and that’s true but what can you do when  refs are making marginal calls at best ? Grin and bare it and just play through it.

I had to laugh last night in the 3rd period when an American player got a penalty and on TSN they had a close up on the kid in the box. Some Canadian fan was chirping the US player in the box and the US player mouthed and gestured to the fan ” You paid to come watch me play”. I started laughing because he used his gloves to make the money sign rubbing his fingers together. This is something that we all have done in Jr A at away games to fans who are chirping you. I remember coaching in Jr A playoffs  in the old Prov Jr league in rinks like Milton, Oakville, Aurora where the fans seemed like they were right on top of you. That kinda stuff would happen every night in those days as rabid fans and coaches/players interaction was part of the landscape in that league.

HATRED ALL AROUND

Hey did anyone see just how far apart Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Ontario’s Premier Dalton McGuinty could get from each other at last nights game ? They literally sat on opposite sides of the rink the same way they do on political issues. You thought the hatred only ran through two teams that played last night in the building.

For Hockey God I”m  Dave Frost

NHL NEW YEARS GAMES & PICKS

January 1st, 2009

TODAY’S OUTDOOR GAME  AT CHICAGO’S WRIGLY FIELD

DETROIT @ CHICAGO: Take CHICAGO, Hawks lost to Detroit in the Joe the other night,  the young emerging Hawks will get revenge outside with their young legs.

TONIGHT’S GAMES:

PIT @ BOS: Take BOS, Bruins over the Pens at home in Boston. Pens have played better but it won’t be enough for the Conference leading Bruins.

BUF @ TOR: Take TOR, At home in Toronto’s ACC on New Years will be a festive crowd with Curtis Joseph in net for the 2nd straight game. Sabres and Leafs should keep it close through the night.

TBL @ WSH: Take WSH, Caps at home will get no match from the visiting Tampa club on the road who although have played better the last 10 the Caps have to much fire power.

VAN @ NSH: Take VAN, Canucks who are now on the Sundin watch of when he can play in a game, Will take down the Pred’s in their building.