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Discussion in 'Hockey' started by celticdb15, Oct 13, 2016.
Rookie sensation Austin Matthews with FOUR goals last night in his NHL debut!
The 19 year old Matthews is the first player in NHL history to score four goals in his first game. Here's the video of them. In particular watch the close-up replay of his second goal, it was sublime.
I'm watching the Penguins play their arch-rivals the Flyers in Philly. The Pens' black defenseman Trevor Daley horribly misplays the puck in front of his team's net, leading to an easy Flyers goal. The camera lingers first on Pens' goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, and then, not on Daly but on the other Pittsburgh defenseman who was on the ice. Daley is never shown.
So I'm trying to crack the code. In football, when a defensive player makes a bad play, the camera routinely lingers on a player who is from a small minority on defenses even though in many cases the mistake was made by a member of the group that overwhelmingly dominates defenses, not the small minority. But in hockey, when a player from a tiny minority makes a bad play, the camera focuses instead on a member of the group that overwhelmingly dominates the sport even though he had nothing to do with the bad play. Hmm, I'm confused. . .
The Penguins defeated Austen Matthews and the Maple Leafs 4-1 tonight. Toronto played just last night and ran out of gas in the third period in a well played contest. But they are on the upswing, especially now that they have Mike Babcock as their head coach.
Edmonton is finally looking strong after years of loading up on coveted first round draft picks. Speed is in this season, thanks to the Penguins and the formula that worked for them in the '16 playoffs.
Unlike the NFL, which refuses to acknowledge much less imitate the success of brilliant White athletes, the NHL is a copycat league as it doesn't have the Caste System noose around its neck.
Dancing at the rink.
During the late NFL game, I saw NBC was promoting their Black Friday game (Rangers-Flyers at 1 pm/East).
I think it's cool the NHL is trying to create some holiday tradition, w/the New Years Day game, and now a national broadcast after Thanksgiving for a couple years now.
Last night Jagr moved in to a tie for 2nd place in all-time NHL points. He's becoming the George Blanda of hockey. Jagr's running a really great marathon..
Couple more good years, Jagr will put some distance between himself and Messier.. but will still finish hundreds of points short of Gretzky. Gretzky's point total is one of the most underappreciated sports achievements of my lifetime. It's sick how far ahead of everyone else Gretzky got..
Columbus has won 14 straight games and Minnesota 12 straight. When they met tonight it was the first time in NHL history two teams with win streaks that long had met. (And according to Paul Steigerwald, Pittsburgh's play-by-play announcer of tonight's Penguins-Canadiens game, it's the first time it's happened in any of the four major pro leagues.)
The Penguins have had their best December in franchise history, but Columbus blew them out 7-1 recently. Nice to see Columbus having success after almost always being a bottom feeder previously, as long as they don't knock out Pittsburgh in the playoffs. But the Penguins are playing very well overall. They have the ability to cruise through significant parts of games they aren't real interested in yet still be able to turn it on the third period and win. Sidney Crosby is playing as well as he ever has and is the clear number one player in the world again. Hiring Mike Sullivan as coach was the best move the front office ever made. He's the perfect coach for this team -- knowledgeable, demanding and tough but not too tough. He's turned around the country club attitude that pervaded the organization and the Penguins at least have a shot at repeating this spring as Stanley Cup champions, as difficult as that feat is in the NHL.
The amazing Jaromir Jagr is now second on the all-time NHL scoring list with 1,897 points. At 45 years old he's still a very good player. Hard to believe that someone who was on the Penguins' Stanley Cup winning team in 1990-'91 is still playing and doing so at a high level!
Jagr's reached second all-time in spite of playing three seasons in Europe, and of course the 2004-'05 NHL season was wiped out by a lockout.
He's still almost 1,000 points behind The Great One so he'll never sniff Gretzky's mark of 2,857 career points.
At the NHL All Star game the "diverse" girl-group Fifth Harmony bailed out at the last moment and so the NHL had to scramble for a replacement. Courtney Daniels, who is part of the Kings ice crew sang it and was phenomenal. Probably much better than the overblown celebrities that she replaced.
Sidney Crosby needs 3 more points to reach 1,000 for his career. Even though he'll be the 86th player to reach that milestone, it's still a significant mark in the NHL's prolonged "dead puck" era. More impressive is that Crosby is fifth best all-time in average points per game, behind only Gretzky, Lemieux, Bossy and Orr. Crosby leads the NHL with 30 goals and is second to Connor McDavid in the scoring race despite missing the first two weeks of the season with a concussion.
Move over NFL and its emasculating "pink month" supporting feminism every October. The NHL throughout February is partnering with "You Can Play" -- which according to the article I read is a non-profit "aimed at supporting the LGBTQ community and fighting homophobia in sports." One of the initiatives will be on display during tonight's Pittsburgh-Calgary game, when players from both teams will be forced to put rainbow "pride tape" on their sticks. The Penguins also donated tickets to bring "LGBTQ youth" to the game. And an LGBTQ high school student will sing the national anthem before the game. Chris Kunitz is the Penguins' You Can Play "ambassador" for February.
Gross. Stupid move by NHL .
Looks like the Islanders are being kicked out of the Barclay's Center in Brooklyn:
The atmosphere has been lame in hipster Brooklyn where they probably love their NBA team. The old Nassau Coliseum was always boisterous, with a mostly working and middle class fan base. But according to the media and NHL honchos the old barn in Uniondale was outdated and, to be fair, it was more than a little rough round the edges. It is being renovated but the article says the NHL is not likely to approve of it due to it having enough seats.
Cross-ties: mostly white Patriots players visit Bruins for opening celebration and puck drop. Interesting who showed up.
James White stands barely waist-high compared to Chara
Terrific article on the Oiler's Connor McDavid in the latest Sports Illustrated (March 6th issue). He is managed by Bobby Orr's agency and they do a great job of tracing McDavid's hockey lineage with the all time greats so at just 20 his future looks boundless. The only downside is he wasn't featured as the cover story but now that SI has reduced the number of issues they put out each year from 45 to 38 it will be harder for guys like McDavid to garner a cover. Remember though, I do not think the great Pavel Bure ever made a cover. Bure was an early 90's sensation who led his Canucks team to the final vs the Rangers in 1994. I think in terms of speed and dynamic ability he was similar to basketball's Allen Iverson who also led his Philadelphia team to the final against the Lakers but ended up losing just like the Canucks did. The media with ESPN as the gate keeper underplays NHL's athletes and Bure was not drooled over to the extent Iverson was but guys like Bure and now McDavid who travel at near WARP SPEED should not be ignored. McDavid is arguably the greatest young athlete in the entire sports world!!! GO EDMONTON!!!! Too bad I live on the east coast. And again when the caste hounds lay out their arguments you never see legends like Bobby Orr pop up in their discussion. Orr with his end to end speed and wondrous athletic ability along with ace hockey skills takes a back seat to no one in terms of raw physical talent.
Just watched the Sabres-Penguins game. Buffalo was up 3-0 but Pitt fought back and went ahead 4-3 late in the third. The Penguins took a penalty with less than 2 minutes left and the Sabres pulled their goalie, giving them a 6-4 manpower advantage -- until Evander Kane's stick broke and Kane passed the puck with his skate. It's illegal for a player to make a play after his stick breaks. Penalty called on Kane, faceoff in Buffalo's end, Sabres' goalie has to go back in the game, making it 4 on 4. Penguins win thanks to Kane not knowing one of the basic rules of hockey.
Check out this coast to coast one-handed backhand goal Sidney Crosby scored two days ago.
Two big stories happened on Sunday the last day of the regular season. The Red Wings played their last ever game at The "Joe" Sunday night (The Pistons last game was yesterday) and they had a huge post game celebration which featured former stars and other ceremonial moments for the packed house that stayed to remember. Affectionately known as Hockey Town the Detroit Red Wings fans are arguably the most passionate fans in sports. Imagine that white players being cheered on by white fans!
Also wonder kid Connor McDavid notched two assists Sunday night for Edmonton to reach exactly 100 points for the season which led the league. I have said it before but McDavid is probably the greatest young athlete in the sports world today. ESPN is of course nowhere to be seen because they have their heads so far up Russell Westbrook's ass this season they can't see anything.
Glad it's Stanley Cup playoffs time, the toughest competition in professional sports.
It's nice to see five of the seven Canadian teams make the playoffs this year after none did last season.
The injury-riddled defending champion Penguins have a tough first round matchup against Columbus. Three of the four best teams in the regular season all play in the Metropolitan Division, which by the NHL's current seeding format leaves Pittsburgh (second best overall team) playing Columbus (fourth best overall team). No team has repeated as Stanley Cup champs since Detroit did it nearly 20 years ago.
It sounds like the Penguins are getting Malkin back, and Maatta played in the team's regular season finale as well. The loss of defenseman Kris Letang will be huge for Pittsburgh though.
The fact that the Washington/Pittsburgh/Columbus trio all plays in the same division and are three of the four best teams in the NHL make me a skeptic of the NHL's playoff seeding. I get that it's meant to breed more rivalries, but is it supposed to pit the best teams against each other early, ensuring that only one is even able to make it to the conference final?
Anyways, go Penguins!! Hopefully they are able to overcome their injuries. Rookie Jake Guentzel has been impressive when he's played this year. A lot of experts are saying this could be the Capitals' year, but that story has been said a few times this decade. We'll find out if they'll be able to shed their "choker" label in the playoffs. They have never been to a Stanley Cup Final since Ovechkin has been there.
In the West, I think it's the Blackhawk's Finals spot to lose.
If they lose to the Leafs, who are in the playoffs for the first time in four years, then I think it would be pretty safe to say the Caps truly are chokers. A lot of their players have been on the team for some time whereas the Leafs are full of kids. I guess the main advantage the Leafs have is Mike Babcock as coach but coaching isn't as important in hockey as it is in the other North American sports and Barry Trotz - who always reminds me of Edward G Robinson - is quite accomplished himself.
Pittsburgh has taken a 2-0 series lead against Columbus. In both games, the Blue Jackets came out strong, but never managed to get ahead of the Penguins, who've played well in the games after the initial Columbus attacks. They've won 3-1 and 4-1 in their games. Marc-Andre Fleury has been spectacular through his first two playoff games. A surprise start when young net-minder Matt Murray was injured during warmups in Game 1, Fleury's been lights out. I'm hoping he's able to keep up his great play on the road tomorrow.
As an aside, I got to watch Connor McDavid for the first time last night, and I came away impressed. He scored an unassisted short-handed goal last night, and it was impressive. McDavid has a LOT of speed, and he should be one of the best in the NHL for years to come.
Edit: I've found his goal. Go to the 2:00 minute mark of the video.
The Penguins don't get rattled like they used to. Play very physically against their top players until they lash out and lose their poise used to be the game plan against them in the playoffs, and it worked in the Dan Bylsma era. But Mike Sullivan changed their mind set successfully last year as they "turned the other cheek" and won the Stanley Cup by playing their speed game and not letting distractions get to them. Columbus is trying the physical way that no longer works against Pittsburgh, but that's how they play so they can't change what made them the fourth best team in the league in the regular season. So far at least the Penguins have taken their best punches early on and then capitalized as they began to tire, reminiscent of Ali's "rope a dope" strategy against Foreman.