FanDuel - WFBC

May 14, 2007

Sabres 0: - Senators 2
Red Wings 1 - Ducks 1
with apologies to lilnemo

posted by DrJohnEvans to hockey at 09:47 AM - 38 comments

Because we haven't had an NHL playoffs thread in almost a month, darn it!

posted by DrJohnEvans at 09:48 AM on May 14

Sens look unstoppable. I didn't think Buffalo could be straight dominated like that. Miller (at times) has made these games closer than they actually are. Wow. Out hit, out chanced, out gunned. And this was after beginning with a 2-0 lead. This is seriously going to damage my office pool. I have 3 Sabres and 3 Ducks left and nooooooo Sens.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 10:29 AM on May 14

Damn you, Joe Corvo! Actually, I guess I'm sort of rooting for Ottawa now. It doesn't seem right to have a Cup final when they don't play the Canadian anthem. Oh, and the wrap-up is great this way, Doc. How did your surgery on Halladay go?

posted by wfrazerjr at 10:41 AM on May 14

I, for one, am cheering for anyone but the Ducks. It's not that I have any particular animus toward them, but I'm tired of the Stanley Cup residing in cities where it rarely (if ever) snows. Detroit, Buffalo and Ottawa are all perfectly acceptable locales, but I think the Cup might spoil if it has to spend a fourth straight year in a warm-weather climate. (It sat for two years in Tampa because of the strike.)

posted by TheQatarian at 10:46 AM on May 14

Oh, and the wrap-up is great this way, Doc. How did your surgery on Halladay go? Our secret strategy is to slowly turn him into a cyborg. So I replaced his appendix with an aluminum one.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 10:51 AM on May 14

Ottawa looks great. But I get the sense this would be a different series tally right now if Buffalo could do something with its power play, which has sucked all year long and cotinues to do. 5 on 5, Buffalo is the team to beat. Fortunately for Ottawa, it's not always a 5 on 5 game. Sometimes during these two games I've wondered if Ottawa might even be better than Buffalo if they played the entire game 4 on 5. They did get that one SH goal, and Buffalo's 0 for 12? 15? on the PP.

posted by diastematic at 11:30 AM on May 14

Miller looks very beatable. Emery, not so much. Who would have guessed? And Alfredssssson -- he finally showed up. I guess he figured something out at the Olympics. Ottawa looks too consistent to get beat. Buffalo looks to inconsistent to win. Buffalo seems to spend all their time trying to get one guy to slide past three defenders at the blue line. No dump-ins, no passing, just hopeless attempts at supreme dekes. It's a testament to how good they are that it sometimes works, but they need to get back to their crazy passing attack if they hope to win any of these games.

posted by fabulon7 at 11:40 AM on May 14

I'm getting the impression the Sabres feel like they were robbed last year, didn't learn anything and expected to win it all this year. At the same time, the Sens expected to win it all last year, took their beating to heart and have turned last year into the final piece of the puzzle. On preview: Daddyhood has something to do with Alfredo's game. That, and a new pair of skates.

posted by garfield at 11:45 AM on May 14

Here's what I wrote back in early November when the Sens were struggling:

This team doesn't need scoring itself, but scoring consistency. These guys on the roster have to be hitting the ice with the same mindset every single shift. These guys have to be patient, disciplined, and focussed.
They are doing this now. Traditionally, they played very much like Buffalo is playing now, with bursts of incredible skill that could put the puck in the net easily. (They could even be successful doing that—when those bursts lagged, they had big Chara on the back end to cover for them.) But you can't win four seven-game series playing by highs and lows. You need consistency. And yes, Bryan Murray has proved me wrong since then. It took him a while to get things settled, but he's brought that consistency to the table and the players are buying in.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 12:06 PM on May 14

Nice to see Emery finally get a little bit of respect. For weeks I've been hearing, "He's not that good, he gives up big juicy rebounds." Any other goalie and they are 'controlling the rebound' but for some reason when it comes to Emery, it's a 'missed opportunity' for his opposition.

posted by MrFrisby at 12:07 PM on May 14

On the Ducks' third goal it looked to me as if Rob Niedermayer pushed Hasek into the goal. But whatever, there is still a lot of hockey to be played.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 12:30 PM on May 14

Is it possible that Buffalo jinxed themselves with the New York state champions paraphernalia?

posted by MrFrisby at 01:21 PM on May 14

Actually, I guess I'm sort of rooting for Ottawa now. It doesn't seem right to have a Cup final when they don't play the Canadian anthem. Apparently Buffalo plays the Canadian anthem before each game, no matter who they're playing. It is out of respect to their many Canadian fans.

posted by tommytrump at 02:23 PM on May 14

The best thing about being a Sens fan is you can always brag, My goalie can beat up your goalie. (Okay, maybe not the best, but pretty darn good.) tommy, that is awesome. Every team in the NHL should play both.

posted by apoch at 02:34 PM on May 14

Every team in the NHL should play both. I'd argue that every team in the NHL shouldn't play either one, but that's another topic. Anybody get the sense that the Ducks' OT goal in game two pretty much decided the series right there? If Detroit had one, they'd likely have won the series; but now that the Ducks won, even though they just tied the series, it feels as though they've guaranteed themselves a finals appearance. Don't mean to diminish the Red Wings, and it's by no means set in stone yet, but it did come across as the pivotal point in the series.

posted by mkn at 04:06 PM on May 14

I'd argue that every team in the NHL shouldn't play either one, but that's another topic. I know where you're coming from with that statement and I agree 100%.

posted by yay-yo at 04:51 PM on May 14

Anybody get the sense that the Ducks' OT goal in game two pretty much decided the series right there? I curse you, mkn. May you lose tremendously in any confidence pool for the next 1,000 years. The Wings are still probing their adversary for weaknesses. They will split the series in Anaheim, regain home ice and win the series in six.

posted by wingnut4life at 05:23 PM on May 14

I have a tough time thinking of Detroit as a team that could get shaken enough to lose a series based on one overtime goal. Maybe Hasek alone, but not Detroit as a team. I still think this series is a seven-game toss-up.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 05:29 PM on May 14

I can't really see any blowouts happening in the next couple games in that series. As I thought before the series, these games have been hard fought and close. Losing Schneider is a big blow since he is a catalyst on the powerplay.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 06:44 PM on May 14

Well, holy crap.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 09:14 PM on May 14

Ridiculous. Ottawa should hope for a short Anaheim/Detroit series they're playing so well.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 10:17 PM on May 14

Ugh. Buffalo has given up. One shot in six power plays. Pffffffffffftttttttttttttttt.

posted by diastematic at 12:08 AM on May 15

>One shot in six power plays. Ottawa had a shorthanded two-on-none. I don't know if I had seen that before.

posted by Philfromhavelock at 06:58 AM on May 15

I'm just saying this because I think there is a non-zero chance of it happening, and because of what happened in the 2004 ALCS: Buffalo can still win the series. They have the talent, and Ottawa has shown times this season where they can fall apart. Will Buffalo win 4 straight? I'd say the odds are about 50:1.

posted by grum@work at 08:08 AM on May 15

Anybody get the sense that the Ducks' OT goal in game two pretty much decided the series right there? After Detroit being down 0-2 to the big, bad, San Jose Sharks and peeling off 4 straight? No, not really. My opinion might change after the game tonight, but OT goals happen. Two of the Ducks goals were fugly. That's not to diminish the goals (after all, playoff time's all about ugly goals), but that goal where the puck was on Hasek's pads? Lucky. I don't know if they'll win, but Detroit had at least showed they know how to bounce back. And, the Sabres games suck. I really don't care who wins that series, but I'd at least like to see two competent teams play instead of just one. The Sabres' powerplays were painful at best to watch. I would think they'd have a chance to comeback if they showed some semblance of life out there. I didn't see any. I think the biggest ray of hope is even with their shitty play, they were one goal away from OT.

posted by jmd82 at 09:03 AM on May 15

Should I be expecting a check in the mail Doc? ;p

posted by lilnemo at 12:06 PM on May 15

After Detroit being down 0-2 to the big, bad, San Jose Sharks and peeling off 4 straight? Actually they were down 0-1 and 1-2 and then won three straight. But I agree with you in that the Red Wings aren't the type of team to let a game like thay decide the series.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 12:26 PM on May 15

Should I be expecting a check in the mail Doc? ;p No, but I did send you Roy Halladay's appendix. Autographed!

posted by DrJohnEvans at 12:32 PM on May 15

Watching the replay of the only goal last night, I notice just how brutal Buffalo's backchecking was. Giving Spezza and Heatley that much space that far away from the net is fine and good, but three white jerseys are watching the puck and nobody even thinks about checking Alfredsson. It's like they have given up.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 01:06 PM on May 15

No, but I did send you Roy Halladay's appendix. Autographed! Sweet Deal!

posted by lilnemo at 01:50 PM on May 15

It's not that I think Detroit is going to lay down and die or collapse, it's just that I think Anaheim is going to improve and improve and ride that momentum into the finals. Of course, we'll see how much egg is on my face after tonight.

posted by mkn at 04:57 PM on May 15

And this is why I'm not doing so hot in the confidence pool.

posted by mkn at 12:01 AM on May 16

Of course, we'll see how much egg is on my face after tonight. MOO-HOO-HAH-HAH!! (popup blocker should be disabled).

posted by wingnut4life at 12:57 AM on May 16

It's not that I think Detroit is going to lay down and die or collapse, it's just that I think Anaheim is going to improve and improve and ride that momentum into the finals. Of course, we'll see how much egg is on my face after tonight. Scrambled, poached, or over easy today? Would you like to hear the specials? They come with coffee and toast.

posted by tommytrump at 09:04 AM on May 16

While I don't agree with piling on someone for making a prediction and getting it wrong, I have to admit that tommytrump's comment was done with the right amount of zing.

posted by grum@work at 11:36 AM on May 16

What a game by the Wings. I do believe Pronger should have been the one ejected for that hit. He had enough time to at least keep himself from checking Holmstrom in the head. The NHL really has to do something about the ugly play that comes when one team is being blown out of the water.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 09:07 PM on May 16

While I don't agree with piling on someone for making a prediction and getting it wrong, I have to admit that tommytrump's comment was done with the right amount of zing. mkn, grum, that was intended in the lightest fashion possible, I certainly hope it was taken that way. Hell, for the number of predictions I try to make through the course of a sports season (any sports season), my wallet tends to get a little lighter as the schedule progresses. By the way, we do have tabasco sauce available if you would like some to go with your eggs. It's Zowie, Zesty, Zingy!

posted by tommytrump at 09:39 PM on May 16

The NHL really has to do something about the ugly play that comes when one team is being blown out of the water. No, the NHL has to do something about blows to the head, period. They've become a part of the strategy of checking. Watch every slow-motion bodycheck that comes across your desk: the checker's shoulders (or arms) start at legal chest/shoulder height, then move up to head height as the check is applied. Every. Single. Time. It's easier to win if your opponents are injured. This is what the players are taught. They call it "finishing your check". Of course, the same coaches teach the players to face the boards with about two feet to spare, so when they're lightly checked from behind they can fall into the boards and draw the boarding penalty. And clamp your arm down on your opponent's stick to draw the hooking penalty. I swear, this game is disgustingly ugly sometimes. (And I'm not talking about tonight's Ottawa game—there was some really pretty play there. This is general hockey-related anger.)

posted by DrJohnEvans at 10:40 PM on May 16

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