Saturday, June 10, 2006

Hurricanes Goal Scored By Number Seventeen, Joe Camel!!!

Some thoughts on the Oilers 2-1 win over the Canes in Game Three of the Stanley Cup Finals:

• The Canes are whining about Ryan Smyth's game-winning goal. Captain Rod Brind'Amour (seen at left) even refused to come out after the game and do his press conference with the media. He finally relented, but came out and sulked through the whole thing. Not surprisingly, Doug Weight was indignant. Let's be clear: the goal was not goaltender interference. The puck was loose in the crease, and Smytty just went to it. Maybe if Cam Ward could hold on to a puck, it wouldn't be a problem. Either way, it all evened out in the wash. Mr. Magoo blew the call on the disallowed Ethan Moreau goal. That puck was loose, too, but Magoo was too far away from the front of the net to see it.

• We watched the NBC feed tonight, rather than suffering through the CBC's coverage. What a breath of fresh air. The play-by-play and colour men actually could remember players' names. NBC even did a feature on Joey Moss between the 1st and 2nd period. They had Pierre McGuire down on the ice, and Ray Ferraro in between periods. Just awesome. My favorite shot, and I don't know if they showed this on CBC, was of a fan in Rexall holding up a sign saying, "CBC: Crappy Bob Cole."

• I though Jussi was awesome tonight, although he roamed WAY too much for my comfort. I spent the entire second period in the fetal position.

• Speaking of, kudos to Justin Williams for putting his arms up in celebration on a breakaway shot he didn't score on. I must say, though, Williams scares me more than any other player in the Canes lineup, and not just because he looks like a bearded Warren Kinsella.

• Why does Mac T even dress Georges Laraque if he isn't going to play him? I am pretty sure Le GG played exactly one shift all night. Nope. Three shifts, for a total of 24 seconds. I know they had to kill off quite a few penalties, but couldn't they have thrown him some powerplay time or something? It's not like our powerplay was super effective or anything.

• The game should not have been this close. The fucking powerplay sucked ass. Again. Craig Simpson should fear for his life if we lose this series. A 5 on 3 for a minute and a half, and you don't get a single shot on net? Sweet sassy malassy. If the playoffs have told us anything, it is that the Canes blow for the first period, and dominate the third. If the Oilers want to win, they need to start converting on the powerplay, early in the game. My suggestion: try something other than a shot from the point.

• The Peca/Pisani/Torres line returned to form. Peca was our best player tonight, along with Moreau and Dvorak. Poor D-Vo. He just hasn't been the same since Petr Nedved left. Tons of chances, and zero conversion. If he ends up with the Rangers, he'll score 50.

• Did Eric Staal die, and people aren't reporting it? I don't remember hearing his name once tonight.

• I now officially hate Rod Brind'Amour. He just drives me crazy. At least the fact that he wins faceoffs by cheating has been exposed to the world. His faceoff stats tonight:

Game Three

Total Won: 10 of 27 (37%)
Offensive Zone Wins: 2 of 5 (40%)
Defensive Zone Wins: 5 of 12 (42%)
Neutral Zone Wins: 3 of 10 (30%)
Against Peca: 4 of 14 (29%)
Against Horcoff: 3 of 10 (30%)

• Props to E.J. Hradek from ESPN for hitting the nail on the head with Teemu Selanne Brind'Amour.


At 7:25 AM, Blogger Black Dog said...

Great post Andy.

I missed Williams raising his arms - even before hearing that he was on my list of players on that team that I dislike.

The whole Brindamour thing is weird - I've always liked the guy he and Weight came across as total sucks. Not the first time for Weight either.

Not a very likeable bunch of guys. It doesn't matter I guess. I've seen that sense of arrogance before though - Anaheim and San Jose had it too.

Can't hurt the Oilers, that's for sure.

At 10:53 AM, Blogger Jeff J said...

- Williams didn't raise his arms to celebrate - he reached up to grab the puck out of the air after it bounced off the glass.

- Do you seriously prefer the NBC coverage? I can't stand the obtrusive scoreboard or the barrage of stupid little pop-ups. I saw the CBC sign too on the CBC feed.

- "...try something other than a shot from the point."
Again, are you serious? Did you see the first goal? One truism of playoff hockey is that pretty goals disappear. It's all point shots and freaky bounces. They just need to d a better job of getting point shots through (which may involve better work down low, but only to keep the high PKers honest).

At 11:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love how the fans now boo Weight -- did they do that when he was with St. Loo? Because either way, that's awesome, especially now. It's as if they're all saying, "uou left us for more money, you deserve to lose to us now!"

At 11:36 AM, Blogger andy grabia said...

Yes, I did prefer the NBC coverage. Every single one of us watching did, actually, which I thought was interesting. They give you actual points about the game, not just maxims like on CBC. I liked the clock up top, mostly because it worked. I didn't have to figure out we were on a powerplay, or that one had ended and the CBC had just forgotten to take the clock down. I also like the clock that showed the matchup time between Brind'Amour and Pronger. Great feature.

And yes, I am serious about the point shot. The Canes are being super aggressive, because they know where the puck is going all the time. And on a five on three, there is no way a team should be looking for a point shot like that. They should be making quick passes down low that force the triangle to move around. Maybe skate into the slot and shoot. Anything other than the predictable and slow crap they are doing now. Some creativity would be nice.

One truism of playoff hockey is that pretty goals disappear.

Did you miss the Hemsky goal in Game One. Or the handful that Buffalo scored in each round? Or all the odd-man rushes we scored on against San Jose? Lots of pretty goals to go around. I know what you are saying, and the Smytty goal shows it, but on a five on three for a minute and a half you should at least be able to attempt a couple "pretty" shots. Ending up with zero shots on net because Chris Pronger is being forced to shoot around a defender is just unacceptable.

At 11:38 AM, Blogger andy grabia said...

Oh, and I'm still convinced that Williams went to celebrate, but I haven't seen any footage of it since last night. I could be wrong, I guess. It happens...occasionally. :)

At 12:15 PM, Blogger d-lee said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 12:18 PM, Blogger d-lee said...

Andy.... I have to admit that at first, I also thought Viva was celebrating. Watch the replay, though. Jussi just got enough of it to send it over the crossbar, and Viva was simply knocking it down with his glove so he could have another chance.

I didn't see the post-game pressers, and I'm disappointed that the Canes players were being little bitches. I did, though, read one whiny comment from Brindy in the Raleigh paper this morning.

Sorry. Please try to take it for what it might have been -- frustration. I'm not making excuses. Certainly these guys should be able to respond to frustrating losses better than that, but it really isn't representative of their character.

At 2:23 PM, Blogger andy grabia said...

Thanx for clarifying the Williams question. Too bad, really. It would have made for a better story if he had been celebrating.

Dave, you don't have to make excuses for the Canes players. It's not like I blame you for it. They make millions of dollars. They should be able to suck it up. Hradek makes a very good point about the need to sell the game in the U.S., and the importance of dealing with the media who actually bothered to attend the Finals. Players in non-tradiotional markets like Carolina should be especially sensitive to that. So too should the management in those areas.

At 4:16 PM, Blogger The Acid Queen said...

Y'know, I smoke Camels--and I like it.

(and so help me, if this turns into a rumor of some sort I am going to kill people)

At 6:25 AM, Blogger Earl Sleek said...

Ah, Andy gets mad at something else. Selanne talks to the press, bad move Teemu. Rod doesn't talk at all, looks like another Teemu.

"It would be a different story if we were outmatched and outclassed, but that's definitely not the case. We still feel we're a better team and we will have to prove it." --Ethan Moreau after G2

At 9:24 AM, Blogger Kirks said...

"It would be a different story if we were outmatched and outclassed, but that's definitely not the case. We still feel we're a better team and we will have to prove it." --Ethan Moreau after G2

The difference between Moreau's comment and Selanne's comment is that Selanne wouldn't give the Oilers any credit, even after winning the series.

At 10:16 AM, Blogger Earl Sleek said...

The difference between Moreau's comment and Selanne's comment is that Selanne wouldn't give the Oilers any credit, even after winning the series.

Or is it the eye of the beholder? I don't see how his comments about not being outmatched or outclassed gives much credit to the 'Canes.

Very similar statements, except I guess we like Moreau and hate Selanne, thus we are willing to fill in the blanks for one of them.

At 12:27 PM, Blogger andy grabia said...

The difference is that Selanne was wrong, and Moreau was right. Well,except for Game Two he was right.


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