Friday, May 19, 2006

 

Western Conference Finals - Game 1






Preview


I can't say I know too much about these Mighty Ducks, except that Selanne seems to have found his groove again, and like the Sharks they are apparently relying on a wet behind the ears backup goaltender. Earl Sleeke has also found his groove over at the Battle of California, and he is providing some 'Meet your Mighty Ducks' vignettes -- presumably because people in California don't know anything about their team either.

Much has been made about young Bryzgalov's jocularity in the locker room; but the fact is, it is easy to be loose when your team is winning. I'm guessing that at the first sign of trouble (i.e., Ryan Smyth's moolay all up in his grill), his jock will tighten considerably. Sometimes it just takes a little bit of time for these young pups to realize that they are actually playing for some important marbles -- and once that bulb goes on, it's hard to turn it off again. If he has a weak first or second outing, Anaheim will have a full on goaltending controversy just like Oilers fans enjoyed watching in Detroit and San Jose. Besides, the crack Oilers scouting staff has been watching this guy and will have identified his quirks.

I'm sure that Madcrutch and IOF will crunch the rest of the numbers, but Andy has identified three figures that stick out for me:

Sacamano's Key to the Game:

Prediction: 4-2 Oil (Dvorak, Bergeron, Pisani x 2).

Go Oil!

Comments:

sacamano - as much as I love those numbers I think they mean kibiddle - kabaddle - nothing.

Having said that, I think the Oil win in 6, nevertheless.

Abd I definitely agree on the Ducks' young keeper. Great numbers but so did "Vesaaaa Vesaaaa"
 


Winning 72% of your games against a team in the past 6 years, and having a 100% winning record against them at home in that same time period has to count for something. I am not a statistician, but there has to be a point where numbers move beyond coincidence into pretty salient fact.

And maybe MacT only meant the players could talk about it, Sac. Do you know for a fact that we are off the hook?
 


Bryzgalov's comments in today's L.A. Times about his playoff beard:

"I don't know about tradition; it's because I don't like shaving. I hate it. You have to buy the razor, spend the money, and buy the cream and spend the money. Who wants to shave?"


You're gonna get in this guy's head?
 


I'll admit it -- I like the kid. He's got spunk.

But he's also a Russian goaltender. Can anyone name a Russian goaltender other than Tretiak who ever got it done come nut-cuttin' time? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?
 


I'll take a stab at it: Khabibulin.

But I don't know about this Russian. I felt that the Flames never tested him and that by the middle of game 7 he got into their heads and they were afraid to shoot. Colorado did not seem to really test him much either. He had perhaps the easiest 3 game shut out streak in history.

Other goalies who have had too easy a time so far: Roloson (though he was good in the long overtime, he has not been as good as Greg Millen believes)
 


He had perhaps the easiest 3 game shut out streak in history.

Yeah, I should put a post up about that. Breezy '06 should in no way be confused with Jiggy '03; it's a completely different story.

That said, what the Ducks need this year is not a show-stealer, but rather just a dependable guy who is not going to implode. Solid, not spectacular.

In that regard, Breezy fits the bill very well.

But Jiggy '03, well, that is among the greatest goaltending stories ever told (in my lifetime, at least).
 


I'll take a stab at it: Khabibulin.

That was funny.

My question Sac, is why is Tyler 'Madcrutch' now? Was he involved in this stabbing business?

One more vowel change and he'll be known for his angry groin.
 


"Ilya Bryzgalov" is just the post-Cold War rendering of "Vladimir Myshkin".

Every year some weird-looking bundle of rookies & breadcrumbs makes a convincing charge through the first couple of rounds and then disappears on the doorstep of the big game. Anaheim's that team. Their big deadline move was getting rid of Keith Carney and keeping Joe diPenta, for Christ's sake. Oilers in four. Oilers in fucking four.
 


What's the deal with the Niedermayer's anyways? They are always listed as being from Edmonton, but I know they grew up in the B.C. interior. Cranbrook, no? Is it simply a matter of being born here, and then moving at a young age? And does this in any way effect how much we hate them for the next two weeks?
 


I'd love to agree with you on the numbers thing, andy, but what does a game that happened six years ago have to do with what happens over the next two weeks. Believe me, more then anything, I want those numbers to mean something. I just don't think they mean much more then Bryzgalov's numbers do or Toskela's did. I'm still picking the Oilers but regular season means nothing now - see Red Wings, Detroit. Also Senators, Ottawa. Etc etc.

Niedermeyers are definitely Cranbrook boys.
 


I agree, but it is just such a bizarre statistic. I mean, we have beaten them at home 96% percent of the time we have played them. That is all-time. That is just crazy. And don't forget that the regular season numbers support the Oilers, too. We beat both Detroit and San Jose in the regular season series.
 


Gotta love Wikipedia.

My buddy from Cranny (and an NHL.com feature on the number of Cup winners from that town in the last ten years--lots) says the Niedermayers are hometown boys. He once had a wrist injury (mis)treated by their father.

Also, Strachan picks the Oil in five. Hell hath frozen the fuck over, I'm sure.
 


Andy's numbers too much ... must fight getting cocky ... bad karma ...

Andy, shhhhhhh.

Go shave or don't shave or whatever you're supposed to do to make this happen.
 


My question Sac, is why is Tyler 'Madcrutch' now? Was he involved in this stabbing business?

Aw, hell, I dunno -- that's the way were were first introduced at HF. His mamma may call him 'Tyler'; but he'll always be Madcrutch to me. Or Calculator, of course.
 


I'm not cocky. I am all over keeping my mouth shut. I just think it is a really interesting conversation. Consider my mouth shut on this til after the playoffs.

Strachan? Fuck, no. First Millen. Then Cole. Now this. We should get an award as fans for this.
 


Other goalies who have had too easy a time so far: Roloson

Oh man, this is a change in tactics.
 


Also, Strachan picks the Oil in five. Hell hath frozen the fuck over, I'm sure.

Surely the death knell.

Anaheim's that team. Their big deadline move was getting rid of Keith Carney and keeping Joe diPenta, for Christ's sake. Oilers in four. Oilers in fucking four.

Is it just me, or is Cosh getting more and more unreasonable as the Oilers progress through the playoffs? Lord help the publications he's writing for if they get through this round. (Did you see Carney waddle around the ice for the Canucks down the stretch?)

Anaheim in 7. (No cursing required to reinforce my alleged fanboy prediction.)
 


A Penner v. Pronger battle in front of the net might be fun. I wonder if that'll be the matchup Carlyle goes for.
 


Don't anybody mind Mirtle. He's a little cheesed that he was up late Wednesday writing an entry about Roloson, only to find that someone else had done it twice as well in half the time.
 


He's a little cheesed that he was up late Wednesday writing an entry about Roloson, only to find that someone else had done it twice as well in half the time.

Just in reference to the speed point...Mirtle wasn't hurrying so that he could go out and stab someone in celebration of the big win.
 


Geez, and I thought that sports fans were competitive -- you writer/journalist types really cut to the bone.
 


There's ten of us to every one paying job, so it's an ugly, bleak world. He did kinda have a point about Carney.
 


I wonder how long it'll take the Sun to pick up on this story, what with all the mentions of animal feces....

http://tsn.ca/nhl/news_story/?ID=166357&hubname=nhl
 


He did kinda have a point about Carney.

On deadline day, Carney was one of four moves for the Ducks. Don't forget they also shipped out BOOZolinsh, and in separate deals acquired O'Donnell and Friesen.

Here's a fun fact: regardless of the outcomes of the remaining series, the Ducks will be the only Western Conference team to win a series with home ice advantage this year.

Conversely, the Sabres will be the only Eastern Conference squad to win a series when they started on the road.
 


If the Stan Weird totem continues to bring us good luck and fortune we should start a petition to have a live sized portrait of him placed in Rexall.
 


Well, Cosh's Roloson write up was one of his best.
 


Don't anybody mind Mirtle. He's a little cheesed that he was up late Wednesday writing an entry about Roloson, only to find that someone else had done it twice as well in half the time.

Colby Cosh: A better read*.

I admit it's unfortunate I missed the key biographical details about Rick Tabaracci's hot streak in the mid-90s, what Roloson's mask was made of and what someone blogged about him in 2003.

The Maple Leafs offer bit is interesting, and I also couldn't drum up what degree Roloson had. (Where'd you find that anyway?)

It's still bizarre we both wrote about him at the same time. I'd already talked about Roloson earlier in the playoffs, but after Oake's question, I had to throw in just what this guy's been through (and the fact he's proven as a good goaltender). Not too many guys scouted in Wellington, Ont., (population: nobody) are playing in the NHL right now.

There's ten of us to every one paying job, so it's an ugly, bleak world.

You should see J-school out here, Cosh; they're pumping out those degrees by the hundreds now and only the strong are surviving. Ugly is the word.

He did kinda have a point about Carney.

Kinda? I thought it was a good move when it happened, but the guy's 36 and his time definitely passed during the lockout. You always have to be suspiscious when someone like Burke is tossing bones to his protege in his own damn conference.

* - for half the price!
 


A-hem...

I'm a little late to the conversation, but I feel the need to point out that although the Niedermayers are "Cranbrook boys", Rob was born in Cassiar, B.C. in 1974. Scott played his first year of novice hockey there, circa 1979, then the family moved to Cranbrook.

Just sayin', that's all.
 


Pinto!
 


Is it possible to "expect" them to win? Seriously, I'm not talking about the we're going to win blather, or even the "I'm quite confident we're going to win because we are superior, here, here AND there".

I'm talking about actually sitting down for the Sunday game and expecting to fly.

Possible?
 


Good Lord, anyone who thinks that O'Donnell = Carney has been smoking the drapes.

O'Donnell is a bottom pairing defenseman at this point. (He actually played on the second pairing with the hugely underrated Salei in the only Ducks game that I saw in round two [G3 I think, the OT one]. But RiversQ and Dennis both say he's been a bottom pairing guy in the playoffs, and they're usually right about that sort of thing. And that makes sense. My NHL hasn't been kind to Sean.

Carney, OTOH, played tough minutes everywhere he's been and has posted results. He's a top pairing Ohlund-style guy on almost any team in this league I'd think.

Especially in VAN since getting there, and he's a tough effer to play against. Helluva hockey player, and a stunningly lopsided trade between Burke/Nonis here, one that smacked of an under the table handshake agreement for some future deal.
 


Especially in VAN since getting there, and he's a tough effer to play against. Helluva hockey player, and a stunningly lopsided trade between Burke/Nonis here, one that smacked of an under the table handshake agreement for some future deal.

That's what Carney used to be. I don't think, at 36, he's a top pairing guy any more. And, no, O'Donnell's not as good as him (especially not last night).
 


That's what Carney used to be. I don't think, at 36, he's a top pairing guy any more. And, no, O'Donnell's not as good as him (especially not last night).

I dunno, the Oilers played a three game set with Vancouver in mid March, and Carney was terrific for the Nucks. I was cursing Burke then.

I mean a second round pick and an (apparently) low level prospect for a guy who was still delivering results AND has a year left on his deal at reasonable coin. Madness IMO.

Didn't know he was 36, but D who can get the puck out of their own end well should be able to play a long while. Some of the baseball fans who post on the net talk about the theory that all pitchers would just keep improving, learning how to get batters out, if only their arms held out. I don't have an opinion on pitchers, but I buy that theory for NHLers too, especially defensemen. Maybe not as many minutes, but if their bodies hold up and they don't lose too much of their footspeed or desire ...

At some point I'll check and see what type of minutes Carney was playing for ANA and VAN.
 

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