Saturday, May 26, 2007
Way to keep hockey in the public eye, folks. It isn't bad enough hockey is harder to find on TV than a positive opinion of Gary Bettman, but now you take six days off. The Peerless wagers that there is more buzz about the Calder Cup tournament right now than the Stanley Cup. Damien Cox lays out the particulars in the Toronto Sun:
By Monday . . . NHL fans will also be attempting to re-familiarize themselves with the competition in general since it will have been six days since they will have seen an NHL game, not to mention nine days since images of Bryan Murray and Daniel Alfredsson appeared on their television screens, well, at least until NBC got bored with overtime and left for a horse race.
If Gary Bettman's administration was deliberately trying to kill interest in the Stanley Cup, it couldn't be doing much more.
Understand this – hockey fans wanted the NHL season over last week, not three weeks from now.
If Tuesday's Game 6 between Anaheim and Detroit had ended the season, it would have felt about right. Instead, it just began the long wait to the final.
Maybe The Peerless should string an extension cord and a TV out to the pool and enjoy winter's greatest sport.
Plan A for Ken Holland should be gauging Anaheim goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere's interest in switching allegiances and becoming a Red Wing, if he's available. How could the Wings not target him, especially if Giguere wins a second Conn Smythe Trophy in the upcoming Stanley Cup finals?It reads like a message board post at letsgowings.com, but hey, when you've cratered your season, there really isn't much else to talk about . . . I mean, what, it's not like there is a STANLEY CUP FINAL about to begin.
The bidding might reach $5 million a year. It doesn't matter. Get it done and the Wings remain serious Cup contenders for at least the next two years.
There is little doubt, the two teams left standing are the best the NHL has to offer this year.
However, the Senators have no other scorers in the top 30.
Ryan Getzlaf: 5-8-13
Teemu Selanne: 5-7-12
Samuel Pahlsson: 2-8-10
Travis Moen: 4-5-9
Corey Perry: 4-5-9
Scott Niedermayer: 3-6-9
Discipline and the manner in which the games are called could have a bearing on this series.
For the hockey enthusiast, this is almost the perfect series. On the one hand, you have the formidable top line of the Senators, but perhaps the best pair of defensemen in the league in Chris Pronger and Scott Niedermayer, plus the somewhat underrated Francois Beauchemin. Conversely, there is the considerable balance among the Duck scorers, but for
Between the goaltenders, there is not much to distinguish. Jean-Sebastien Giguere is 9-3 since returning to the top spot, with a 1.87 GAA (fourth in the playoffs), and a .931 save percentage. Ray Emery has been at the top of his game for the tournament, going 1.95 (fifth) and .919 (12th).
But if you’re looking for one indicator of what might drive this series, it is this…the two teams have scored first in 18 of the combined 31 games they’ve played. 17 times, they’ve won (
Way back in October, The Peerless picked
In the end, this might be the perfect series to end this season, and it is a tragedy for the sport and for sports in general than so few are likely to avail themselves of the opportunity to watch. On June 11th,