Friday, June 29, 2007
This is an announcement that I will be away for a while on vacation. I will not be able to post from where I am going, so this will be my last post for 2 weeks unless I can find a computer in the Great White North.- Happy Summer Holidays - Young Gun
Yesterday, the NHL Hall of Fame announced the inductees for this year. There were lots of worthy players to choose from, but only 4 could go in.
With more than 10 great players to choose from, the Hall of Fame committee chose Mark Messier, Ron Francis, Al MacInnis and Scott Stevens as this years inductees.
Each player had an amazing career. Messier captained the Rangers to a cup and is 2nd an the all-time points list. Francis was one of the most consistent players ever scoring 20 or more goals in most of his seasons. MacInnis was a great defenceman and had one of the hardest shots in NHL history, and Stevens was the best hitter of his time.
"I have a lot of respect for all the guys who were inducted this year," Messier said after the announcement Thursday. "I think their stats and what they've done speak for themselves."
It is the Hall's first four-player haul since 2001 when Mike Gartner, Jari Kurri, Slava Fetisov and Dale Hawerchuk also pushed the selection to the four-player maximum
"There was a number of players eligible this year beyond the number that we could put in," said former Toronto head coach Pat Quinn, a member of the 18-person selection committee. "The deliberations were strong."
That they were.
Yesterday, the Portland Trailblazers had the 1st pick in the NBA Draft. They had a choice between Kevin Durant and Greg Oden.
As the time for the number 1 pick arrived, there were lots of question marks about who was going to be picked. But the Trailblazers eventually went for the big man from Ohio State, Greg Oden. "I was on the phone with the radio station back in Portland," Oden said. "They said they stomped the floor like they won the NBA championship once they called my name."
They did that with good reason to, as Oden will be one of the better big men in the league for years to come. He hopes to make Portland a winning team. "They did have a bad (reputation), but I think Brandon and LaMarcus kind of turned that around," Oden said. "I hope that I can come and just push that along some more."
With the 2nd pick, it came as no surprise to everyone in the building that the Seattle Supersonics picked Kevin Durant number 2. But moments after Durant was picked saw Ray Allen being traded away to Boston. Durant was not so sure that he could single-handedly make the Sonics win with Allen gone. He says he is not a savior. "Not at all, not at all," Durant said. "When you play since you were 8 or 9 years old, you know the game is not a one-man sport. I'm far from being a saviour."
Some trades on draft day included the one with Ray Allen, Portland trading Zach Randolf and others to New York for Steve Francis and Channing Frye, and the only other trade involving an NBA player came when Golden State sent Jason Richardson and the rights to Jermareo Davidson, the No. 36 pick, to Charlotte for Brandan Wright, taken at No. 8 by the Bobcats.
Other picks were:
Number 3: Al Hortford
Number 4: Mike Conley Jr.
Number 5: Jeff Green
Number 6: Yi Jianlian
Number 7: Corey Brewer
Number 8: Brandon Wright
Number 9: Joakim Noah
Number 10: Spencer Hawes
Number 11: Acie Law IV
Number 12: Thaddeus Young
Number 13: Julian Wright
Number 14: Al Thorton
Number 15: Rodney Stuckey
Number 16: Nuck Young
Number 17: Sean Williams
Number 18: Marco Belinelli
Number 19: Javaris Crittenton
Number 20: Jason Smith
Number 21: Daequan Cook
Number 22: Jared Dudley
Number 23: Wilson Chandler
Number 24: Rudy Fernandez
Number 25: Morris Almond
Number 26: Aaron Brooks
Number 27: Arron Afflalo
Number 28: Tiago Splitter
Number 29: Alando Tucker
Number 30: Petteri Koponen
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Today, the Toronto Blue Jays were facing the Minnesota Twins in the last game of a 4-game set. Although it was just 1 game in a 162 game season, it was certainly very special.
Frank Thomas, who has been one of the best hitters in the MLB for the past decade and some had 499 home runs going into today. It didn't take long for him to get 500. The 1st inning started out with with 2 men getting on with 1 out. Then, Thomas stepped up to the plate and blasted a ball to left field. As he did for his last 499 homers, he went around the infield with his head down, thinking about what he had just done.
The rest of the game did not go so well as the Twins clawed their way back into the game and really opened it up with a 4-run inning in the 5th. The final score was 8-5.
After the game, not only Thomas was happy, but the fan who caught the ball. "I lost it in the roof as it was coming down," Eisenlohr said. He said he traded the souvenir ball for an autographed ball, bat and jersey.
Eisenlohr was one of many fans who gave Thomas a standing ovation in Minnesota today. Thomas now becomes only the 21st player in MLB history to hit 500 home runs. Now, he has a new goal. Yo move up the all-time home run list. He is only 13 homers away from being 16th on the all-time list.
Congrats on Number 500 Frank Thomas
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
The St. Louis Blues are officially in a re-building stage. They have been one of the worst teams in the NHL for the past 2 years, and have virtually no good players in their lineup. But they took a step toward the right direction yesterday.
The Blues traded for the rights to Keith Tkachuk and a conditional fourth round draft pick in 2008, which could become a third round choice in 2009, in exchange for a conditional first round draft choice in 2008 on Tuesday.
Tkachuk was traded to the Thrashers from the Blues last year at the trade deadline. Before that trade he was a long-time Blue. Keith has played a major part for the Blues organization over the past seven seasons and played some of his finest hockey under head coach Andy Murray," said Blues president John Davidson.
St. Louis does not have a contract with Tkachuk yet, and will try to get one in these last few days before free agency starts. But Tkachuk is a good power forward, and will probably try to test the free agent market for more money then the Blues offer.
Yesterday, Matt Stairs contributed greatly to the Toronto Blue Jays game against the Minnesota Twins.
After Roy Halladay gave up a run in the 2nd, the Jays scored 3 runs in the 3rd off homers from Rios and Wells. After a bunch of 2 run innings by each club, the game was tied at 5 going into the 8th. In the inning, Matt Stairs launched a homer to right field to give the Jays a 2-run lead. They added one more in the inning. Minnesota wouldn't come back from that as the Jays took this one 8-5.
The Jays offence is finally looking up, as they have the most home runs in the American League since May 18th. Vernon Wells is finally getting hot as he homered for the 3rd time in 4 games. Matt Stairs also contributed with the eventual game winning home run, and has been very consistent.
"When I signed here, I expected to maybe get 200 at-bats. You hate playing due to injuries. Trust me, I'd love to see Overbay and Reed Johnson playing out there everyday," Stairs said. "But it's nice to have a veteran who's been around, and I've been in that situation for the last three years with Kansas City and guys getting injured."
Roy Halladay struggled in his start against the Twins, but still picked up the win.
"Sometimes, during the game, it's frustrating and it's tough, but those are always the more satisfying games after the fact. It's a grind, you kept yourself in it," Halladay said. "To me that's satisfying to be able to get a win with all that stuff going on. It's a good feeling. Sometimes, those tougher ones are more gratifying."
The Jays will try to make the win streak 5 today. They will try to keep the momentum going, as they are one of the hottest teams in the MLB
Sunday, June 24, 2007
The most difficult thing to do in baseball is a no-hitter. It takes extreme skill, and a whole lot of luck. Today, there was a lot of talent on the mound, and a lot of luck.
Dustin McGowan was 3-3 going into today and looked to get a win and a sweep for the Jays. After 2 shutout innings by both teams, the Jays scored 4 runs through the 3rd and 4th. One of those runs was of Frank Thomas, who homered for the 2nd straight game. The homer was Thomas' 499th of his career.
For the rest of the game, McGowan shut down the Rockies for almost all the game. He had a no-no going into the 9th. But the 1st hitter of the 9th singled up the middle to stop the no-hitter. McGowan had to settle for his 1st complete game of his career and a 1-hitter.
It was a night of almost's. Frank Thomas almost had number 500, and McGowan almost had a no-no. "That would have been priceless, 500 and a no-no," McGowan said.
The excitement of the no-hitter still makes the game a tiny disappointment. ''It's disappointing but you have to give (Baker) credit, he put a good swing on the ball,'' said McGowan, who admitted to being both nervous and excited on the mound. ''I was trying to keep my composure and not try to overthrow the ball. Just do what I was doing the whole game.''
Even tough it was almost a no-no, it was still a great pitching performance. "That was the best pitched game I've seen in a long time." -- Rockies manager Clint Hurdl
Yesterday, the Jays were looking to get a win against the Colorado Rockies.
It did not take long for the excitement to begin. In the bottom of the 1st, Matt Stairs homered to left field to give the Jays the lead. Then, with a man on, Frank Thomas hit his 498th home run of his career to give the Jays a 3 run lead. But the next 3 innings saw Colorado score 1 run each inning, which meant it was a tie game.
Skip to the bottom of the 6th when the game was tied at 6, the Jays got something going. They scored 2 runs in the 6th, 1 in the 7th and 2 in the 9th. The Rockies however did nothing, so the Jays took this one 11-6.
It was a good day to be 39 at the ball park today, as Matt Stairs and Frank Thomas had amazing days. Stairs tied a career high with 4 hits, and Thomas was perfect on the day going 4-4.
The Jays' bats are finally starting to heat up. They have 32 hits and 20 runs in just 2 games against the Rockies, and are averaging 9 runs over their last 4 games. "You look at the last two or three days and we've really been swinging the bats," Gibbons said. "That's been big. It gives you a little breathing room. That doesn't make it easy, but that's good to see. We've got to have that, but it's not going to be like that every night. It's good to see some guys get on a little roll."
A great sign for the Jays in this game was Thomas. He had a slow start with Oakland last year, and this was about the time when he started heating up. Matt Stairs has also been a good sign, as he has been the Jays most consistent hitter throughout the season so far. "It's good to have that type of guy sitting around on your bench who can swing like that," Thomas said. "Matt, the last couple years, hasn't been getting that many opportunities. The way we've been swinging the bats all year, he's found his way into he lineup and he's stayed. He's a dangerous hitter."
"I don't know where we'd be without him," Toronto manager John Gibbons said about Stairs. "[He's] been unbelievable this year. And you see Frank is starting to get going. A lot of things are going to happen when he's swinging the bat."
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Right now, all of the NHL's teams have lots of spots because of players lost to free agency. Even with all of the signings that are going to happen in the next few days, there will probably be over a hundred players going into the free agent market. But I narrow them down to the top 6. 3 forwards, 2 defenceman and 1 goalie.
(LW) Ryan Smyth - After many years as an Oiler in the city of champions, Smyth finally had an all-star year. But at the trade deadline, he was dealt to the New York Islanders to help them get to the playoffs. He did help them as they took the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference. He finished the season with 36 goals and 68 points. Now, without a contract, Smyth is one of the top forwards on the free agent market and will probably be signed to a contract worth $6-7 million. But the Islanders may be able to re-sign him, so if he is your key free agent that you want to sign, maybe start talking with him now.
(RW) Keith Tkachuk - Tkachuk spent most of last year playing with the St. Louis Blues . But at the trade deadline, he was shipped off to the Atlanta Thrashers to help with a playoff run. Although the Thrashers went out pretty early, he contributed great as he was a scoring threat and a physical presence. He scored 27 goals and 58 points in the regular season. Tkachuk is getting older though,s so I predict he will go for $3-5 million with a short-term contract. The Thrashers have not publicly expressed that they want to re-sign Tkachuk, so put him on your wish-list.
(C) Daniel Briere - Briere is one of the best players of the new NHL. He spent the entire '06-07 season with Buffalo, going deep into the playoffs. They went to the Eastern Conference Finals, but were then knocked out by the Senators. He scored 32 goals and a whopping 95 points and is by far the best centre in the free agent market. The Sabres though may want to re-sign either him, or Chris Drury. Buffalo only has room for 1 of those players. If Briere does go out into free agency, he will be getting $6-7 million with a long-term contract.
Sheldon Souray - The skilled defenceman from the Montreal Canadeins had a huge year last season. He added some spark to the Canadiens (who missed the playoffs for the 1st time in a while last year) on the powerplay. He became the Bryan McCabe of the '06-07 season. He was 2nd on the Canadiens in goals with 26 and was 2nd on the team in points. Montreal has not expressed publicly that they want to sign him, so he will probably be on the market. He will go for $5-7 million with a short-term contract.
Roman Hamrlik - After being signed to a big contract with Calgary 2 years ago, Hamrlik played averagely this year. He had 7 goals and 38 points, but can play better. The Flames just got Arian Aucoin in a trade, so they have no need for Hamrlik. He will probably try to get back on his game with a short-term contract worth $ 1-3 million.
Curtis Joesph - Cujo may be a little passed his prime, but he is still a solid goalie. Playing for a bad team last year, he had a GAA (Goals Against Average) of 3.19. He is the perfect goalie for any team looking for a short-term commitment with a goalie. He will probably go for a short contract because of his age and be paid around $2-3 million.
Those are my top 6 free agents.
Yesterday was draft day in the NHL, and while many teams were looking at what players to draft, some were focusing on their team right now.
Before the Draft even started, there were some draft day trades. First, the Toronto Maple Leafs acquired Mark Bell and Vesa Toskala from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for a conditional first round pick, a second-round pick in 2007 and a 2009 fourth-round pick.
This will force Andrew Raycroft to play better in the pre-season, because Toskala has an equal chance of being the starting goalie. Toskala seems very excited to be a Leaf. "I think every player in the world wants to play in Canada at one point in their careers," Toskala told CP. "The fans, the media, people live for hockey in that country, especially in Toronto. I'm actually very very excited to take on that challenge." Mark Bell is also a young talent, that was a 20 goal scorer with Chicago, but had an off year with the Sharks last year.
Another trade happened that included a goalie. Tomas Vokoun of the Nashville Predators was traded to the Florida Panthers for a first-round pick and two second-round picks. Vokoun will really help an up-and coming team that missed the playoffs last year by less than 7 points. "We saw Chris Mason emerge as a No. 1 goaltender in 2006-07 and with full confidence in Chris and Pekka Rinne, we felt as if we could make this move," said Predators general manager David Poile. "Mason won 24 games for us this past season, starting 21 in a row at one point, and finished with the second-highest save percentage in the NHL.
For coverage on the actual Draft, look to the post below
Yesterday, the NHL Draft took place in Columbus. There were some surprises, and there were some trades.
In the Draft, the number 1 pick was held by Chicago. With many young players to choose from, they choose Patrick Kane #1 overall. Dale Tallon, Chicago's General Manager is optimistic that Kane can make the lineup i September. "We're going to be a young team so he'll get every opportunity to play," Tallon said. "He'll have 10 games before we make a decision so we're going to give him a good chance."
With the Number 2 pick, the Philadelphia Flyers bypassed Kyle Turris and went for a much tougher player in James van Riemsdyk. The Flyers GM wanted to get back to the basics, which for Philadelphia, is big and strong.
Number 3 was the Phoenix Coyotes pick, and they took, without hesitation, Kyle Turris. "I saw Wayne Gretzky stand up and bring a jersey up to the podium and I was just hoping and praying," he said. "It was pretty cool."
Los Angeles was next and took Thomas Hickey, a defenceman, even though Karl Alzner was the top rated defenceman in the draft. "I was sort of dozing off thinking of later picks and I sort of heard my name and thought it was maybe a mistake and maybe I just heard it wrong," he said. "I got a few nudges in my side and it still really hasn't sunk in yet."
Rounding out the top 5 were the Capitals, who picked Alzner. He will be a great addition to the Caps, who don't have any defencemen I can name.
Sam Gagner went next for the Edmonton Oilers. "I'm happy to be picked but I realize this is just the beginning, there's a long way to go," said Gagner. "There's a lot of work to be done."
A player that got picked later in the draft than expected was Angelo Esposito, who instead of being picked by Montreal as many expected, was taken 20th overall by the Penguins. The Montreal boy was passed by the Canadiens with pick 12, and went all the way down to number 20.
Other picks were:
Number 7 - Jakob Voracek
Number 8 - Zach Hamill
Number 9 - Logan Couture
Number 10 - Keaton Ellerby
Number 11 - Brandon Sutter
Number 12 - Ryan Mcdonagh
Number 13 - Lars Eller
Number 14 - Kevin Shattenkirk
Number 15 - Alex Plante
Number 16 - Colton Gillies
Number 17 - Alexei Cherepanov
Number 18 - Ian Cole
Number 19 - Logan Macmillan
Number 20 - Angelo Esposito
Number 21 - Riley Nash
Number 22 - Max Pacioretty
Number 23 - Jonathon Blum
Number 24 - Mikeal Backlund
Number 25 - Patrick White
Number 26 - David Perron
Number 27 - Brendan Smith
Number 28 - Nicholas Petrecki
Number 29 - James O'Brien
Number 30 - Nick Ross
Thursday, June 21, 2007
After another great NHL playoffs, in which he led the Anaheim Ducks to a Stanley Cup, J.S Giguere is now getting rewarded.
Today, the Ducks announced that Giguere has been signed to a four year, $24 million contract extension. This comes on the eve of July, when teams can sign free agents, and all contract negotiations are finished.
"J.S. Giguere has been an instrumental part of this franchise for the last six years," said Ducks Executive Vice President/General Manager Brian Burke said in a statement. "We view him as one of the top goaltenders in the NHL today, one with tremendous character and competitive fire, traits we value greatly in this organization."
Giguere found a groove in the playoffs last year playing like he did in 2003, when he won the Conn Smythe Trophy, despite being on the losing end of the Finals.
"I'm very excited to be staying with the Ducks," said Giguere in a statement. "Orange County has been a great place for my family over the last six years, and we are grateful to the entire organization for the opportunity to stay here."
Giguere will now lead the Ducks into next season, and try to repeat as Cup Champions.
Last week, the Boston Bruins fired head coach Dave Lewis after just 1 year. They have now filled that spot.
Claude Julien, who was fired late in the season last year by the Devils, is now the new Bruins head coach. He is the 3rd Bruins coach in less than a year. 'He demands execution,'' Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said. ''He demands that his players do what he wants.''
Julien will try to improve a Bruins team that was last in their division last year with a record of 35-41-6. The Bruins haven't been to the playoffs in 2 years and hasn't won a playoff series since 1999.
It will be a tough test for Julien, but he might be able to do it. ''You want to be gritty in all areas,'' he said.
Willie Mays, Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron and Barry Bonds. All of these players have one thing in common. They have 600 home runs. Yesterday, Sammy Sosa looked to become a member of the 600 club.
Playing just his 2nd game against his former team the Cubs, Sammy had a 1-2 count. He then whacked a ball away to right field. It went out for his 600th homer of his career. "It was something that cannot be explained," Sosa said. "Getting my 600th against the Chicago Cubs, and my first team (was) the Texas Rangers. It's liked everything clicked. My emotions, I don't know what they are."
Sosa hit 545 home runs with the Cubs, and hit his 600th against them. Sosa played 12 years with the Cubs and won the '98 NL MVP. No. 600 came off Jason Marquis, the 364th pitcher the 38-year-old Sosa has homered off in his 18 major league seasons.
Lou Piniella expressed his thoughts about Sosa hitting his 600th homer against his team. "Sammy's had a great career," Piniella said before the series began. "It's maybe apropos that here the Cubbies are in town. . He was an icon in Chicago for a long time, was loved."
Congratulations Sammy Sosa - Number 600!
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Right now, the NBA is looking for a spark. It just had the NBA Finals, which received the lowest T.V ratings ever for the Finals. It refuses to re-seed in the playoffs, which led to the best series of the playoffs going in the Western Conference Semi-Finals between the Spurs and Suns. But finally, there might be some excitement on the way.
2 of the NBA's top players might be traded before the start of the '07-08 season. One of them is Kobe Bryant.
After changing his mind on whether he wanted out of Los Angeles, he has finally come to the conclusion that he does want to be traded. And he wants to go the the East (no surprise that the East is the worst Conference). After asking for Shaq to go, he now suddenly wants out for a better team, in a Conference that he has a better chance of winning in.
Bryant does have a case though. He is the best individual player in the league, but is playing with a bunch of nobody's. Trade offers for Shawn Marion and Jason Kidd have been unsuccessful, and the Lakers don't want to give up Lamar Odom, Andrew Bynum and a first-round pick in the same trade for Indiana's Jermaine O'Neal because they see it as a lateral move that doesn't automatically shoot them up the ladder in the West. The Lakers better do something before the start of the season, because knowing Kobe's personality, he will either refuse to play or not play good.... in which case he won't play.
The other player that is apparently on the trade market is Kevin Garnett. One of the original players to come out of high school had oneof his best season's last year in terms of statistics. But the Minnesota Timberwolves could not help him out, as they went 32-49 last year and missed the playoffs for the 3rd straight year.
Phoenix and Boston are the teams currently interested is Garnett right now. But knowing that Steve Nash and Garnett have become good pals over the years after playing in several All-Star Games together, it's safe to say he'd much prefer the desert.
No matter what happens with these players though, these trade rumors will provide a much needed spark to the NBA's reputation.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Until today, everything was looking good for the future of the Anaheim Ducks. They had solid young players in Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perrey, a good goalie in either Iyla Bryzgalov or J.S Giguere, and solid veterans in Chris Pronger and Scott Neidermayer. But one of those veterans may not be coming back.
After winning his 1st Stanley Cup as a captain this year with the Ducks, all-star defenceman Scott Neidermayer is now contemplating retirement. This morning, he informed his GM of his the possibility of retirement. ''Scott has indicated that he's thinking about retirement,'' Ducks GM Brian Burke told The Canadian Press on Tuesday.
ESPN asked Neidermayer some questions about this today. 'I think every player, as they get older, begins to think about how much longer they're going to play,'' Niedermayer told the website. ''I know I think about it.''
Scott Stevens was also questioned about this topic. He captained the New Jersey Devils to 3 Cups with Neidermayer. 'When I was playing with him, he never seemed, in my opinion, like he was planning on playing that long, or as long as I did,'' Stevens, who played 22 NHL seasons, told CP on Tuesday. ''I kept saying to him, `You'll have no trouble surpassing my amount of games and this and that.' And he'd say, 'Oh no, you won't see me doing that.' But there's no question the guy can play as long as he wants.''
Although he only turns 34 on August 31st, he still may call it quits. ''He's earned the right to walk if that's what he wants to do,'' said Burke. ''We told him we'll support him.
Monday, June 18, 2007
Because of the unknown future with the Nashville, the Predators arranged with the Flyers to give them exclusive negotiating rights to two coveted free agents - defenceman Kimmo Timonen and forward Scott Hartnell.
Now, the Flyers have reportedly signed each player to multi-year, multi-million contracts. Hartnell has signed a contract for a 6-year, $25.2 million deal for a cap hit of $4.2 million per year. Timonen was also signed to a 6-year, $37.8 million contract for an annual cap hit of $6.3 million.
The Preds in return for those 2 players will receive a 1st-round pick from the Flyers, which is the pick that was sent to the Flyers in the Peter Forsberg trade. Although the deals aren't official, they are pretty close to being official. "We're extremely close to getting it done," Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said. "We'll get it done in the next day or two."
The Preds wanted this to happen before July 1st, when the free agent signing happens. ''We expected both Scott and Kimmo to be among the most sought after at their respective positions when the unrestricted free agent marketplace opens on July 1, and it did not appear as if we were going to be able to sign either player before then,'' said Predators executive vice president/ and general manager David Poile. ''That being said, we received a first-round pick for the exclusive right to negotiate with two players who ultimately could have hit the market in two weeks.''
''Timonen was our team captain this past season and an All-Star,'' added Poile. ''Hartnell is a young player that we drafted, inserted in our lineup at age 18, and saw develop into a 25-goal scorer. Both of these players have been important contributors to our franchise's success and we wish them the best going forward.''
Today, a huge move was made in the NHL. John Muckler, GM of the Ottawa Senators was let go by the organization today, and is to be replaced by head coach Bryan Murray. But Murray told reporters that he will not take on both roles of coach and GM, and said he will conduct interviews for a new coach over the next few weeks.
"The last three years as head coach has shown me we have a very strong foundation of players to build upon," Murray said at Monday's news conference. "The depth and experience of this team presents us with an enormous opportunity to a create a long-term plan that will allow us to bring forward a competitive team for many years to come."
Last year, the Senators went to their 1st Stanley Cup Final in modern history. That apperantly was not enough to keep Muckler. "I leave Ottawa with a great sense of satisfaction at what I've helped to accomplish here," Muckler said in a statement. "It is a first-class organization, and I'll very much miss being part of it."
For the draft this weekend, Murray will run the Sens' draft efforts. "Bryan shares our focus and drive on building a championship team in Ottawa," Melnyk said in a statement. "His combined 25 years of NHL experience as a coach and general manager was something we simply could not overlook as we build for the future."
Angel Cabrera started well back of Tiger Woods at the U.S Open yesterday, and wasn't even in the same group as him. But even with the pressure of not knowing what Tiger was doing in the course behind him, he made all the right shots at all the right times.
After an early triple-bogey by leader Aaron Baddeley, it was anyones tournament. Angel Cabrera, who was playing 4 holes ahead of that group was playing stellar holding on an under par round for all of the round. By the end of his 18 holes, he had the lead, but Jim Furyk and Tiger were looking to catch him. A late bogey put Furyk out of contention, so it was up to Tiger to catch up. He had a putt on the final hole to force a playoff, but it just went right. This meant that Angel Cabrera won the US. Open!
Cabrera is the 1st Argentinean to win a major in 40 years. 'It is very difficult to describe this moment,'' Cabrera said. ''Probably tomorrow, when I wake up with this trophy beside me, I will realize I won the U.S. Open.''
Canadian Stephan Ames was one of many to be beaten by Oakmont. His round of 76 was capped off by a double-bogey on 9. Tiger was also disappointed by his 2nd place finish. ''Finishing second is never fun,'' Woods said after closing with a 72. ''You play so hard, and it's just disappointing.''
Sunday, June 17, 2007
There is definitely excitement in Hamilton. Everyone is excited. And why shouldn't they be. Their Hamilton Bulldogs just won the Calder Cup, and Jim Balsillie has just bought the Nashville Predators, and is looking to move them. Hamilton so far is the number 1 spot for the Preds to be re-located to, but will it happen?
Hamilton is doing it's best to make sure it does. So far there have been more than 4,700 deposits for lower bowl seats and almost 2,500 deposits for upper bowl seats in Coops Coliseum. Also, 60 deposits for $5,000 boxes have been received. But because of the lack of those boxes, Balsillie's lawyer Richard Rodier has stopped selling the seats.
"I've put a cut-off on the suites because we're quickly approaching selling out the suites," said Rodier, before adding: "You can take that as a reflection of interest generally."
This is a great reason for the Preds to be moved. It is obvious that people in Hamilton want hockey, and that is what the NHL is looking for. If people keep buying seats like this, than most games would be sold out if Hamilton gets a franchise. This would be a huge boost to the money-strapped Predators, who averaged 15,259 fans per game last season.
And any problems about to many franchises in Southern Ontario and Northern U.S.A have already been dismissed by some teams, like the Buffalo Sabres. The Sabres are one of a possible 3 teams within 2 hours of each-other.
"It's a fool's game for me to speculate on things like that," Sabres managing partner Larry Quinn said Thursday. "If and when somebody decides to put a franchise in Hamilton, they're going to have to go through a procedure. .. We'll act accordingly."
Just a few days ago, Hamilton's city council has approved an agreement that would allow Copps Coliseum to become the home of the NHL's Nashville Predators if they are relocated. "If a relocation application is put forward, the league would like us to look at all reasonable alternatives," said Rodier. "Our preliminary indication is that Hamilton would be ahead of the pack." Hamilton mayor Fred Eisenberger is confident that the city has adequately protected its future prospects.
So everything is looking good for the Hamilton Predators to become a team. For the next few days, weeks and months though, all we can do is wait.
This mock draft will go pick 1-30 overall, so the entire 1st round. *Note- This mock draft does not interpret possible trades with picks prior to the draft.
Number 1 Chicago Blackhawks - Patrick Kane.
With a solid core of young players already, the Blackhawks will add to it with Patrick Kane.Kane scored 62 goals and added 83 assists for a total of 145 points in the London Knights regular season, despite playing only 58 games! To make it in the NHL though, he needs to put on some weight to his 162 pound body, but the Hawks will pick him anyway.
Number 2 Philadelphia Flyers - James VanRiemsdyk.
Although the Flyers have Kyle Turris to pick, who is ranked #1 overall in North American Scouting, they will pick the much bigger VanRiemsdyk. After their horrible season last year, the Flyers need to get back to the drawing board. What better way to start re-building than with a player that meets your teams philosophy. VanRiemsdyk is 6,3 and 200 pounds! He is an easy choice for pick number 2.
Number 3 Phoenix Coyotes - Kyle Turris.
The #1 ranked prospect in North America will be picked 3rd overall. He was the BCHL MVP, scoring 66 goals, 55 assists and 121 points. He is just what the Coyotes need. They already have the physical players in George Laraque, so now they need some talent. With the Great One on the bench, he will become an all-star for Phoenix.
Number 4 Los Angeles Kings - Alexei Cherepanov.
The Russian superstar plays in the Russian Super League, setting the record for goals by a rookie (18), surpassing Pavel Bure’s record of 17. He is a highly offensively skilled player for his age with the ability to handle the puck at a high speed. He will be a welcome addition to a young core that includes Anze Copitar, Alexander Frolov and Micheal Cammalleri. Cherepanov is only 18.
Number 5 Washington Capitals - Karl Alzner.
The big, 6,2, 210 pound player is an ultra-smooth defenseman who has good hockey sense and instincts, which define good players from the great ones. Has an active stick when shadowing the opposing team’s forwards. Plays with great position and is not shy about initiating contact. In 63 games, Alzner scored 8 goals and 47 points.
Number 6 Edmonton Oilers - Sam Gagner.
Gagner played with Patrick Kane in London this year and had 35 goals, 83 assists and 118 points. Without Ryan Smyth, he will have to be the next superstar for Edmonton. He is smart and skilled player, who is a great skater with impressive acceleration, agility and breakaway speed. When on the ice he is always in the mix of things, either initiating the offense or providing support for his defense. He is a skilled passer from the blue line in, and is an opportunistic shooter who more than not capitalizes on his scoring chances.
Number 7 Columbus Blue Jackets - Jakub Voracek.
This like able Czech had an impressive rookie campaign in the QMJHL with Halifax, having no problem adjusting to the North American style of hockey. He is a strapping winger who possesses good size, playmaking skills and the determination to work hard along the boards. He had 86 points in 59 games with Halifax of the QMJHL.
Number 8 Boston Bruins - Angelo Esposito. After an amazing '05-06 season, Esposito took a step back in 2007. But you can't overlook his skill. He has plenty of offensive talent, is a fast skater that uses his speed on the rush with the ability to lead his team into the offensive zone. He tends to rely on his skill to much. Has a poor work ethic that may lead him to fall out of the top 10 in the draft. Some question his hockey IQ and his anticipation as he routinely has to play catch up in his own zone.
Number 9 St. Louis Blues - Keaton Ellerby. Ellerby is ranked 4th in North American Scouting. He is an offensive defenseman that finishes his checks well and has playmaking ability. Good skater with great mobility, who handles the puck well and uses his reach effectively. He will be a great addition to the Blues, who have no defence at all.
Number 10 Florida Panthers - Logan Couture. He scored 78 points with the Ottawa 67's of the OHL last season. He is also a big guy getting close to 200 pounds. He's a methodical worker whose movements always look comfortable and controlled, shows a good hockey IQ. Has an active stick along with well-timed pressure that causes the other team to turn the puck over. A reliable center man that is solid on the draw, and possesses a scary one timer in the offensive end.
Number 11 Carolina Hurricanes - David Perron
Number 12 Montreal Canadiens - Ryan McDonaqh
Number 13 Toronto Maple Leafs - Mikael Backlund
Number 14 Colorado Avalanche - Tommy Cross
Number 15 Edmonton Oilers - Lars Eller
Number 16 Anaheim Ducks - Jon Blum
Number 17 New York Rangers - Zach Hamill
Number 18 Calgary Flames - Stefan Legein
Number 19 Minnesota Wild - Brandon Sutter
Number 20 Pittsburgh Penguins - Maxim Mayorov
Number 21 Phoenix Coyotes - Nick Ross
Number 22 Montreal Canadian - Dana Tyrell
Number 23 Philadelphia Flyers - Brett Maclean
Number 24 St. Louis Blues - Nick Petricki
Number 25 Vancouver Canucks - Joakim Anderson
Number 26 St. Louis Blues - William Sweatt
Number 27 Detroit Red Wings - Oscar Moller
Number 28 Washington Capitals - Colten Gillies
Number 29 Ottawa Senators - Colby Cohen
Number 30 Edmonton Oilers - T.J Brennan
Labels: NHL 2007 Draft
Saturday, June 16, 2007
In the 2006 NHL off-season, the Montreal Canadiens signed Sergei Samsonov to a multi-year, multi-million contract after losing out with Bill Guerin. But after a very disappointing season with the Canadiens, Samsonov was traded today.
The 28-year old who once scored 29 goals in 1 season was a healthy sratch for 18 games of the Canadiens season. Samsonov, a Moscow native had just nine goals and 17 assists in 63 games.
He was traded to the Blackhawks for defenceman Jassen Cullimore and forward Tony Salmelainen.
Bob Gainey talked about the trade and Samsonov's disappointing season. ''Considering we didn't have plans for Sergei Samsonov in our organization for next season, our options were either to buy out his contact or to trade him in order to allow us to save valuable cap room over the next two seasons,'' Gainey said in a release.
Samsonov will be a welcome addition to the Blackhawks, who have a lot of young talent ready to break out.
The NHL Awards took place on Thursday, and Sidney Crosby made up for last year, when he went home with nothing.
At only 19, Crosby was presented the Hart Trophy as the League MVP. He got 91 1st place votes and 1225 overall points, beating Martin Brodeur and Roberto Luongo for the Trophy. Crosby also won the Lester Pearson Award as the league's most outstanding player. With the Art Ross Trophy he already recieved earlier in May, he becomes only the seventh player in league history to pull off the Ross-Pearson-Hart triple.
Other players who won trophy's are:
Martin Brodeur - Vezina Trophy
Evgeni Malkin - Calder Trophy
Alain Vigneault - Jack Adams Award
Pavel Datsyuk - Lady Bing Trophy
Nicklas Lidstrom - Norris Trophy
Rod Brind'Amour - Frank Selke Trophy
Saku Koivu - King Clancy Memorial Trophy
Phil Kessel - Bill Masterson Trophy
In other hockey news, the some coaching moves happened.
Mike Keenan, one of the best coaches in NHL history has been signed by the Calgary Flames. Keenan, 57, joins his eighth NHL team as either a coach or general manager. He last worked in the league for the Florida Panthers but abruptly resigned as GM in September 2006 with more than two years remaining on his contract amid rumours of differences with head coach Jacques Martin.
''You never know how the game is going to call you back do you?'' Keenan said Thursday when he was introduced at the Pengrowth Saddledome.
Lewis expressed his feelings on what happened Friday on a Boston television network. ''As a coach, you go into a new organization not really sure what you have and not sure what you need. By the end of the year, I knew what we had and I knew what we needed and then you just don't get a chance to start on with the next season,'' Lewis said Friday in an interview with Boston's WHDH-TV.
The Bruins look to have a new coach by July 1st.
Darryl Sutter also talked about the hiring of Keenan. One of Sutter's 1st jobs was as an assistant coach along side Keenan. ''We've coached with each other, against each other and for each other, all those things,'' Sutter said. ''I can't say that I've been associated with a coach or worked with a coach that has a more focused vision than him.''
Things are looking up for the Flames, but in Boston, they just keep going down.
Former Detroit coach Dave Lewis was fired Friday in his 1st year as the Bruins head coach. He led the Briuns to a last place finish in the Northeast Division with 76 points. 'I have great respect for both of those men and what they've done in the past and what I think they will accomplish in the future,'' Chiarelli said on a conference call with reporters.
''You see a level of play that you expect and want and it teases you, and obviously something wasn't getting through,'' Chiarelli said. The general manager said he doesn't expect ''top level play'' all the time, but insists the team be more consistent on the ice.
Assistant coach Marc Habscheid was alsol et go by the Bruins, but both coaches will be assigned other positions in the Bruins franchise.
Friday, June 15, 2007
The San Antonio Spurs played for the NBA Championship on Thursday, and looked for their 3rd championship in 4 years.
For the entire game, the Spurs were always 1 step ahead of the Cavaliers. With Manu, Parker and Duncan playing their best ball, the Spurs squezzed out a win against Cavaliers to win by a final score of 83-82.
The Spurs coach talked a few days ago about how the Spurs weren't a dynasty. They are now. ''I don't care where we fall in history,'' Parker said. ''I just feel blessed, honoured and privileged to play on a team like this.'' Tim Duncan also talked about his emotions after the game. 'It never gets old, it never gets old,'' Duncan said. ''Unbelievable. Such a great run, a great journey, a great bunch of guys.''
And while the Spurs now where the crown, King James has now learned that a championship won't come easily. ''I didn't want to turn around at all and look at it,'' James said. He walked off as the buzzer sounded.
Congratulations to the 2007 San Antonio Spurs!
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Every no-hitter requires a degree of luck and fate, and the planets aligning properly. A bad bounce here or a poor decision there can be enough to separate a pitcher from his place in history and, "Sorry, not today." Curt Schilling learned that a week ago. But yesterday, Justin Verlander had a chance to put his name in the history books.
With all of his pitches going for him, and the Brewers swinging away, Verlander retired 12 of 27 betters by strikeout. Almost all of the rest were defensive gems by the Tigers' defence. ''It was the best thing that ever happened to me,'' he said. "About the fifth or sixth you can't help but think about it a little,'' Verlander said. ''Everyone kept giving me high-fives and nobody came and sat next to me.''
Verlander now joins Mark Buehrle as the 2 pitchers who have thrown no-hitters this year. There have now been 3 no-hitters in less than a year, this happening after the longest time without a no-hitter in MLB history.
'A lot of things go through your mind when something like this happens,'' Leyland said, fighting back tears. ''I'm very happy for him, happy for the team, happy for the fans to see something special.''
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
It's been a tough stretch of weeks for Mats Sundin. He avoided hip surgery, and rumors he was going to retire. But now, that is all put behind him, as today hen signed a $5.5 million, one-year contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The 36-year-old Swede, Toronto's captain, had 76 points (27 goals, 49 assists) in 75 games with the Leafs last season while earning $7.6 million. Sundin's salary cap figure last season was $6.3 million, so Toronto receives a significant savings with this deal. It also gives the Leafs more flexibility beyond 2008 in case Sundin retires after the coming season.
"We are extremely proud to have Mats continue as captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs," Ferguson said in a statement. "Not only has he been one of the greatest players in our franchise history, but his exemplary leadership on and off the ice has been all that any organization could want from a team captain.
"We will again rely on Mats' playing ability on the ice and on all of the contributions he makes to the development of our young players."
Sundin also talked about his new contract with the Leafs.
"I've never felt there was a bigger chance to win a Stanley Cup with a different organization," he said. "Especially with the last few years where we've seen a new organization winning every year. All the organizations are pretty evenly matched with the salary cap. ..
"I do want to finish my career as a Toronto Maple Leaf. I don't have any urgency to go anywhere else."
Sundin also said he was not concerned about his health.
"I had some issues in the middle of last season with my hip, it was a little sore. I think it's because I got hit once. After that, I worked out with Matt Nichol and the medical staff," Sundin said. "For the last two months of the season I really didn't have any problems at all. It didn't bother me. There's nothing that bothers me now."
Now the Leafs have the center of their franchise locked up for this season. Now the challenge is to get players who can play and put them around Sundin.
Monday, June 11, 2007
The Toronto Maple Leafs missed the playoffs in 2006-2007 and will need to get creative in the summer to make a push for the playoffs next season. And a huge part of next season is Mats Sundin.
This year is the last year in his contract, his option year. Rumors his career would end or be delayed because of a hip problem have been dismissed and he can focus on hockey. But what is next for his hockey career?
He is very close to a deal that will see him sign a 1-year extension, but the Leafs organization would have gladly extended his contract by 2 or 3 years. This is purely Sundin's decision, and he says he wants to be in full control of what happens over the next few years. A Ray Bourque situation may arise here with Sundin as well.
Sundin has been so great in his career with the Leafs. Sundin has led the Leafs in scoring in 11 of his 12 seasons with the team. In 1,231 career games, he has 523 goals, which is 29th-best in NHL history and only one behind Bryan Trottier, and he has 720 assists for 1,243 points, which puts him 33rd on the all-time league list. But the Leafs have never won the cup.
The problem that the Leafs have right now, is that they need to get some players around Sundin fast. Players like Alex Steen and Kyle Wellwood will not be playing their best hockey until their late 20's.
But the Sundin issue is only 1 of many issues that the Maple Leafs staff have to face, in order for the Leafs to be a contender in future years.
A few days ago, Josh Towers received a spot in the Blue Jays pitching rotation, and now, he will pitch against the San Francisco Giants.
This is the perfect team for the Jays to be facing, as the Giants have been starving for runs lately. They have been shutout for the past 2 games, and look to get a run tonight. San Fran has also lost 3 straight and are last in their division.
But it will take more than a run for the Jays to be stopped. Their bats have been hot of late with role players such as Matt Stairs stepping it up. On Sunday Troy Glaus had three hits, including a pair of solo homers and scored three runs.
Towers, who has never faced the Giants, was 1-3 with a 4.70 ERA in four starts to begin 2007 before making six relief appearances. He is 2-3 on the season with a 5.15 ERA and earned the win in his last outing on Tuesday with a two-inning relief stint versus the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. "I liked the reliever role a lot," said Towers, who is slated to start on Monday in the opener of a three-game Inter league set with the Giants. "I fell in love with it for some reason. I think it's the preparation of being ready every day. But starting is a big job, and it's a lot of fun, too."
Sunday, June 10, 2007
The Jays were very optimistic coming into the season. But a long string of injuries have delayed those many players seasons. But when 1 door closes, 1 opens. The Jays young players have stepped it up this season, and Shawn Marcum is one of those young guys.
He was pitching yesterday against the Los Angeles Dodgers. He nneded to pitch good, as the Jays have had offensive troubles of late. On Saturday, though, it didn't matter. The lone run that Toronto's missing offense provided for Marcum -- Matt Stairs' sixth-inning home run -- was all the young pitcher needed to work with in a 1-0 win over Los Angeles at Dodger Stadium. The right-hander spun another gem for the Jays, and walked away with a hard-fought victory after outdueling Dodgers starter Derek Lowe.
Despite the win. John Gibbons talked about his teams lack of offence. "I'm frustrated, we're all frustrated," said Toronto manager John Gibbons, referring to the low offensive output of late. "But we can hit. In reality, when they pitch good against you, just like we did against them, that shuts down offenses. That's just a fact."
Matt Stairs also talked about the lack of run support for the pitchers. "Our pitching has been doing an outstanding job the last month," Stairs said. "We've been going through some rough times, and our offense hasn't really been stepping up to the plate -- no pun intended. I think we've been getting that one big hit, though. We've been getting clutch hits."
He also talked about the difficulty of hitting off Derek Lowe, the pitcher for Los Angeles. "Whenever Derek takes the mound, you hope to God he makes a mistake. He's been like that his whole career," Stairs said. "I was very fortunate he threw me a first-pitch slider for a ball and came back with a sinker that stayed up in the zone a little bit."
The rubber match of this series goes today at 4:10pm.
Saturday, June 9, 2007
Right now, life is good for 20 year old Carey Price. He just won the Calder Cup with the Hamilton Bulldogs (the Canadeins Farm Team) and was named MVP of the series. He has been heralded as the savior for Montreal in the net, and has drawn comparisons to Patrick Roy and Ken Dryden already. An NHL scout has been quoted as saying "Price will be a Michael Jordan at his position". But what is the next step for Price.
The #1 spot at goalie is unknown for the Montreal Canadeins for the '07-08 season.
After a break-out year in '05-06, Cristobal Huet played average hockey in the '06-07 season. David Aebischer, who came over in the Jose Theodore trade had a chance at the starting job last year, but played poorly giving up 3.17 goals per game in 28 games. Finally, Jaroslav Halak made his debut with the Canadeins last year and played well going 4 games over the .500 mark. Right now Price has a huge chance of taking the starting job.
But none of these goalies seem ready to take the starting job in Montreal and play consistent. The players who have the most experience out of those 4 are David Aebischer and surprisingly, Price. Aebischer made it to the playoffs many times with the Colorado Avalanche, and Price just won the 2nd biggest prize in hockey. It is unlikely though that Price will take the starting job at his young age. "Nothing's going to be forced," Trevor Timmins, the Canadiens director of player recruitment and development, said Friday. "We'll just take it step by step .
"I've always preached patience ever since I got to Montreal. We can't be impatient with a young goaltender, especially, because most of them don't come into their prime until their late 20s."
This is a growing trend in the NHL. Many teams have young goalies who are being labeled as the next big goalie. Players like Justin Pogge, Kari Lehtonen and Tuukka Rask are all young goalies that are going to be or have already been thrust into a pressure situation in the NHL at a young age
We'll just have to wait and see what is going to happen over these next 4 months with not only Price, but goalies all over the league.
Friday, June 8, 2007
The era of Ohka is over.... even though it was only for 2 months. Yesterday, the Toronto Blue Jays put Toma Ohka for assignment and will now hand the ball to Josh Towers in his place.
Ohka this year is 2-5 with his latest loss coming to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Towers though isn't without his fair share of troubles. After getting close to or above 10 wins in his 1st 3 years with the Blue Jays, Towers crumbled in 2006. He went 2-10 with an ERA close to 9! This year he had a chance to impress the Blue Jays staff, as he was part of the pitching rotation on opening day. But he went 2-3 with a 5.15 ERA, so the Jays replaced him with Victor Zambrano.
Ohka, Zambrano and John Thomson were all part of the off-season singings that J.P Riccardi (Blue Jays GM_"I don't feel any added pressure," Towers shrugged of the Jays' history of having little patience for even one bad outing. "I feel I pitched well out of the bullpen. That's why if they have a short leash or we don't score any runs, or whatever the (crap) was that went on in the past, it's irrelevant, because I can relieve now. I can just go out and pitch
"I don't feel any added pressure," Towers shrugged of the Jays' history of having little patience for even one bad outing. "I feel I pitched well out of the bullpen. That's why if they have a short leash or we don't score any runs, or whatever the (crap) was that went on in the past, it's irrelevant, because I can relieve now. I can just go out and pitch."
Ohka, Zambrano and John Thomson were all off-season signings for pitching that J.P Riccardi's (Blue Jays GM) signed. Those pitchers haven't worked out so well as the 3's combined record is 2-7 in 18 games (12 starts), with a 6.62 ERA.
Now, let's see if Towers can put up some wins.
Throughout Scott Niedermayer's career, he has learned to play from the best in Scott Stevens. Neidermayer played 12 seasons with Stevens winning 3 cups, but never raising one as the captain. But after leaving New Jersey for Anaheim, he has taken over and is now the best defenceman in the game of hockey.
This year, Neidermayer added to his already amazing resume capturing his 1st Stanley Cup as a captain. In '06-07 he set a career high in points and got a Norris Trophy nomination. Like a true leader would, he spent less than 10 seconds with the cup as he handed it to his brother, Rob. With the amazing year he had, he is now up in legendary status. He is better than such greats like Scott Stevens, Dit Clapper and Hap Day. And if he can have another season like he just did, than he will be as great a Paul Coffey, and Ray Bourque.
Scott also has a World Championship, and a Olympic Gold Medal.
Neideramyer is the best defencman in the game today and deserves the Conn Smythe Trophy he won and the Norris Trophy.
Thursday, June 7, 2007
The Anaheim Ducks have taken the Mighty out of their name, but yesterday, they were definitely, Mighty Ducks
The game started out great for the Ducks as they had 3 early power plays, and they scored on 1 to get a lead. Rob Neidermayer then scored on a beautiful rush to give the Ducks a 2-goal lead. After a period of the teams exchanging goals, the Ducks put the nail in the coffin scoring 2 goals to get a 4-goal lead. The Ducks held on for the rest of the game. The Anaheim Mighty Ducks are the 2007 Stanley Cup Champions.
For the first time, the Stanley Cup can enjoy an NHL western home, and the Ducks' victory came at the expense of Canada. The cherished trophy was born in Ottawa, but no team north of the border has won it since Montreal in 1993.
"Canada loves their hockey, and from what I heard out there, we have quite a few fans who love their hockey out here, too," said captain Scott Niedermayer, a four-time champion from British Columbia and this year's Conn Smythe Trophy winner.
When Scott Neidermayer raised the cup in front of the home crowd, the 1st person he gave it to was his brother, Rob. In 2003, it was much different, as the only things the brothers exchanged were handshakes, as Scott prevailed with the Ducks.
"I don't think I'll ever have a better feeling than that in my career," Rob said. "When he came here, I know he turned down a lot from New Jersey and he had a lot of fond memories there.
"I never touched it when he won. He's won so much, but he's never been a guy whose ever rubbed it in a guy's face. He's been rooting for me my whole career, and I'm just lucky to have him as a brother."
Teemu Selanne, who started his NHL career 15 years ago finally raised the cup over his head. "I was just like, 'I couldn't believe it, it's going to happen,"' Selanne said. "So much hard work, so many years to dream about that moment.
Possibly the player who has gone through the most adversity this year to win the cup was Chris Pronger. Even in this game, he played with a separated shoulder. "I just kind of got hit awkwardly there and went into the boards funny and separated it," Pronger told TSN.
He played the rest of the game, following a brief absence, before returning.
"I was going to be on the ice, no question," he said.
The "choke label" may be put on the Ottawa Senators again. They did get to the final, but didn't play like they did in their 1st 3 series and lost in 5 games. "They had more depth than us in this series," Alfredsson said. "We didn't play our best. We tried to come back in the second period, but that didn't last. It seemed like they were better than us."
Congratulations to the 2007 Anaheim Ducks
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
If the Anaheim Ducks win the game tonight, who is the Finals MVP.
Daniel Alfredsson - He has had the best post-season of his career. He scored high numbers in every series, and sent the Sens to the final with his O.T goal against Buffalo. He seemed the front-runner to get the MVP coming into this series.
Teemu Selanne - Selanne, after a bad start has really heated up. He assisted in the winning goal in game 4 of the Finals, and has 15 points this post-season. What's more, he's not selfish. He has 10 assists in the playoffs.
J.S Giguere - He has found the groove he had in 2003, where he won the Conn Smythe Trophy when he was on the losing end of the Final. He shut Ottawa out in the 1st game, and is still dominating the Sens now.
What do you think?
Who is the MVPWho is the MVP if the Series Ends Tonight
Create your own myspace poll
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
The short-handed Anaheim Ducks were looking to get a 3-1 series lead in the Stanley Cup Final yesterday.
But it didn't start out to well for them, as Chris Neil drew 2 penalties in the 1st 4 minutes of the game. But the Ducks killed them of. It looked like it would be tied going into the 2nd, but Daniel Alfredsson scored with 1 second left in the 1st to give the Sens the lead. Anaheim didn't give up though as they came out firing. Andy McDonald got 2 goals in 1 minute to give the Ducks the lead. But Ottawa's big guns came back as Heatley ended a scoring slump to tie up the game at 2. Early in the 3rd, Dustin Penner scored to give the lead back to Anaheim. Ottawa tried to tie it up, but ran into Giguere every time. The Ducks ended winning 3-2.
Ottawa blew a lead in the 2nd after McDonald scored 2 goals in 2 minute, and that 1 minute was the key to the game. They also let Anaheim get to them without Pronger in the lineup. "Again, it just proves the point that our players have found a way to reach back and give more when it's asked of them," Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle said.
The Senators, even though they lost still played a pretty good game. Dany Heatley scored to get out of a scoring slump, and Alfredsson kept his hot streak going. It was only a 2-1 rush and a bad minute that did them in. But obviously, it is the NHL, and something is wrong if you lose. "They made a little adjustment in the second period and we started forcing the play," Ottawa coach Bryan Murray said. "But other than that, there was no reason to play the way we did in the second period. We started breaking down. They got 2-on-1 chances. Guys that don't normally make these plays, they tried to make tonight and they got caught and it burned us."
When the 2nd period was ending, Daniel Alfredsson decided to shoot the puck... at Neidermayer. "I looked up at the clock and saw five or six seconds left, so I wanted to shoot the puck at the net," Alfredsson said. "I braced my stick and the puck kind of stopped sliding. Then it got caught up in my feet, so I just wanted to get rid of it. I didn't mean to hit him." It was the spark the Ducks needed to really get going. "You can probably figure out what I thought about how I acted after it happened but it doesn't do us any good to talk about it, really," Niedermayer said. "I wasn't happy, yeah, there's no need to get hit with the puck at that point. I'm not going to say any more than that."
A player that I think is being overshadowed by players like Selanne and Alfredsson for the Conn Smythe Trophy is J.S Giguere. He let in only 1 goal in a 1st period that saw the Ducks get out shot 13-2 and he saved the Ducks in the final minute of the game. Already, no matter what happens, Giguere should be the Conn Smythe Award winner.
Ottawa now has the go back to Anaheim for game 5. It will be tough to win with a well rested Pronger. But if Ottawa wins game 5, than I guarantee they will win game 6.
Sunday, June 3, 2007
Today, Chris Pronger got disciplined for his elbow to the head in the game last night.
Pronger is to miss 1 game for his elbow, and he and the Anaheim Ducks staff are not happy.
'We'll take our one game,'' said Burke. ''That's Colin's job and it's a tough one and we'll take it." Pronger was also suspended for a game during the Western Conference final against Detroit, which makes him just the third player ever to be suspended twice during one post-season.
This a huge bonus for the Senators, who look to tie up the series on Monday. For the entire series, Pronger has had his way with the Sens, but will now not be able to contribute to the game.
But the suspensions are not entirely his fault. His 6,6 height makes it tough for him not to hit smaller players in the head.
''He doesn't go around trying to knock guys heads off,'' said defenceman Ric Jackman, who will see more ice time in Pronger's absence. ''It's unfortunate that it's happened twice in the Stanley Cup playoffs for us, but I wouldn't classify Chris as a dirty player. He plays hard. He's a competitor. Stuff like this happens.
Pronger talked about possibly changing his physical ways in the future. "I don't think I can, for me to be the type of player I can be," Pronger said. "Obviously, it's a fine line and getting finer every year, and we have to make subtle adjustments. But I don't think I can make wholesale changes and still be the type of player I can be."
Dean McCammond, who took the hit also talked about the Pronger suspension. "It wasn't incidental. It's not like that couldn't have been avoided," McAmmond said in the release. "I'm feeling pretty much the same as I was [Saturday], -- a little bit 'headachy,' not feeling quite right. I'm going to do everything I can, or as little as I can, to feel good [Monday]. I want to play, but at this point in time, I'm not sure right now."
Ottawa will now have a easier game to play on Monday. But the last time Pronger was suspended, the Ducks won the game without him. We'll see if the Ducks can do it again.
The Cleveland Cavaliers yesterday were looking to get to the Finals for the 1st time in franchise history. They did.
After a 48 point performance in game in game 5, the spotlight was this time stolen by young guard Daniel Gibson. He had 31 points in the game and 19 in the 4th quarter. He quickly got the Cavs a lead in the 4th and started widening the gap throughout the quarter.
After the game, LeBron James talked to the media about his 1st NBA Finals appearance.
"Man! Oh man!" was all LeBron James could summon when he took the microphone and began to address the fans.
And then, with his voice hitting a high pitch that I never knew he had in him, LeBron played to the fans and gave them what they wanted to hear: "First of all, man, I'd like to thank every single one of the 20,000 fans. This is special. This is so special, man!" James said. "This is the best thing that ever happened to me, but listen here: It doesn't stop."
Cleveland will now face the Spurs in the NBA Finals. "You are no longer just representing yourselves and your city, you are representing the Eastern Conference, and so I'm going to end by saying: Make me proud.," Celtics legend Bill Russell said.
The Spurs are obviously the more experienced team right now, but the Cavs are playing amazing. And they are just a bunch of great young guys, that don't know that their aren't supposed to win. Even with LeBron though, I think the Cavs have to put more people around him for them to win. So I say the Spurs win in 6.
Game 1: Thu, June 7, at SA
Game 2: Sun, June 10, at SA
Game 3: Tue, June 12 at Cle
Game 4: Thu, June 14 at Cle
*Game 5: Sun, June 17 at Cle
*Game 6: Tue, June 19, at SA
*Game 7: Thu, June 21, at SA
Yesterday's game 3 of the Finals was unlike any of the other finals games we've seen this year.
Fired up by a Ottawa crowd who was watching their 1st Stanley Cup Final game in 80 years, the Sens looked to get back in the series. But it was the Ducks who scored 1st when Andy McDonald scored for Anaheim. But with 4 minutes left in the 1st, Chris Neil scored to tie it up. The game was tied up at 1 at the end of the 1st. After the teams exchanged goals at the beginning of the 2nd, Anaheim grabbed a 1-goal lead off the stick of Ryan Getzlaf. But the Sens came back scoring goals 2 minutes apart to take the lead. Then, in the 3rd, Anton Volchenkov scored to give the Senators a 2-goal lead. Anaheim wouldn't come back from that as the Senators won game 3 5-3.
This was a very different style of game than what we saw in Anaheim. The goalies didn't play particularly well, and the forwards actually scored! One thing that the teams did have in common from games 1 and 2 was the physical play. The hits kept on coming, and a huge scrum occurred after a questionable hit.
'We can play physical and we can play with the puck,'' said Alfredsson. ''We can handle any situation. It was a character game because we came back a few times.''
Chris Pronger was also heard again as he laid a hard elbow on Dean McCammond in the 3rd. "He's known for that. Hopefully they'll call something on it," Neil said.
"It was an elbow to the head," Murray added. "I don't want to say too much because I'll get accused of complaining."
Randy Carlyle, coach of the Ducks talked about his team's lack of discipline in the 3rd period. "Obviously, the frustration level showed in our group into the third period," Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle said. "But we have to take responsibility for our actions and we played nowhere near our capabilities. And discipline was an issue."
The key to this game was the 5-5 scoring. Coming into this game, all of the Sens goals in the series had come on the powerplay, but scored 4 this game. Ottawa will have to keep it up to tie up the series on Monday
Chris Pronger Cheap shot
Saturday, June 2, 2007
5: Colangelo Named Executive of the Year - The Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo was named the NBA's Executive of the Year for the '06-07 season. During the off-season, he signed Anthony Parker and Jorge Garbajosa, traded for T.J Ford, Rasho Nesterovic and Kris Humphries, re-signed Chris Bosh and drafted Andrea Bargnani. Colangelo's latest move was signing reigning NBA Coach of the Year Sam Mitchell to a contract extension. This was the 2nd time he has received this award as he won it 2 years ago in Phoenix.
4: Tocchet Pleads Guilty to Gambling Charges - Former NHL player and assistant coach of the Phoenix Coyotes plead guilty to multiple gambling charges at the end of the month Tocchet will probably avoid jail time for being a 1st time offender and the door is apparently open for him to come back to the NHL.
3: Captain Crosby - Sid the Kid was named captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins a couple days ago. Last year, he served as an assistant captain for the Pens. He also led the league in points with 120 of them and got the Penguins a playoff berth as an elite team. This is the 1st time the Penguins have had a captain that wasn't Mario Lemieux in a long time. This past year, the Penguins went without a captain to honor Lemieux's achievements throughout his career.
2: NBA Draft Lottery - For the 1st time in a long while, the Raptors weren't gunning for a high draft spot. Instead, it was the Grizzles, Celtics and Bucks going for the #1 spot. They all lost out as all of them got picks from 4-6. The 3 teams that were left for the final 3 picks were Atlanta, Seattle and Portland. Portland had the worst odds to win the NO.1 pick as they only had a 5.3% chance of getting the 1st overall pick. But the Trailblazers beat the odds getting the 1st pick in the 2007 NBA Draft.
1: Stanley Cup Final - The Stanley Cup Final began a few days ago with the Ducks and Sens battling it out. The Ducks took the 1st 2 games of the series, and Ottawa now finds themselves in a big hole. Their NO.1 line really needs to step it up.