Tuesday, June 7, 2011

2011 Playoffs : Vol.8

The sign of a consistent hockey club is shown in their ability to find ways to win. The Canucks certainly demonstrated this skill in games one and two. The Canucks talent of sticking to their game for sixty minutes was evident in game one. Working the clock right to the final seconds, with Raffi Torres depositing the winning tally at 19:41. In game two, Vancouver trailed, but netted the equalizer in period three. Their determination and persistence continued in the overtime.

Is there any better example of "sudden death" than Alex Burrow's winner in game two?

On the topic of Burrow's goal, did anyone else have an instant flashback to the Gold Medal game at the Vancouver Olympic games? The celebration after the overtime goal in game two stirred memories of Sidney Crosby and Team Canada whooping-it-up after their golden goal. The huge team hug in the corner, along with the atmosphere in the building was very reminiscent of 2010.

Another characteristic of a championship team, is their ability to survive a rash of injuries. The Canucks lost Manny Malhotra, but continued their winning ways. When he returned on Saturday evening in game two, Malhotra was an inspiration to his teammates and fans. Not to mention his knack of winning key faceoffs in the defensive zone. With Dan Hamhuis going down in game one, the Canucks tightened their game and the five remaining skaters on the blueline held Boston scoreless.

Last night, as expected, the Bruins got a lift from playing on home ice. In an old fashioned blowout win for Boston, 8-1, one fact was clearly established - these two clubs are starting to get a hate-on for one another.

What a terrific display by the hockey fans in Winnipeg. After True North Sports and Entertainment secured the Atlanta Thrashers franchise, the good people of Winnipeg went to work. Over the weekend, True North met their goal of selling 13,000 season tickets.

New team. Fresh start. The name most often mentioned for the transplanted Thrashers is Winnipeg Jets. Also, some reference has been made to adapting Winnipeg Monarchs, based on the 1935 World Championship squad. My recommendation? The Jets are in Pheonix and the Monarchs deserve their place in history. So, time to wipe the slate clean. New team. New name.

Musical chairs. Kevin Dineen replaces Peter BeBoer as Florida Panthers coach...John McDonough, president of the Chicago Blackhawks, adds the title of chief executive officer to his business card...Out as NHL disciplinarian is Colin Campbell, replaced by Brendan Shanahan...We hardly got to know you - Rick Dudley will not be retained as general manager of the Winnipeg NHL team...Craig Hartsburgh becomes a member of Calgary's coaching staff.

Toronto's economic development committee voted 3-1 in favour of the City taking steps to pursue a second NHL franchise. The recommendation will be presented to city council on June 14th.

Great to see Don Hay named as coach of Canada's entry in the upcoming World Junior Championships. The Vancouver Giants coach is no stranger to the WJrHC. In 1995, he guided the Canadian Squad to victory.

Congratulations to Edmonton Sun columnist Terry Jones and Detroit Red Wings broadcaster Mickey Redmond, on their selection as new members of the Hockey Hall of Fame (media wing).

It is painful just to view footage shot at the NHL combine. The annual event was held last week in Toronto. Watching prospects like Ryan Nugent-Hopkins being pushed to their physical limits, is not suggested as must-see-tv while eating dinner. Stories of players being sick don't mix with greasy fries and spicy tacos.

Best wishes to Montreal Canadiens icon Jean Beliveau. Big Jean will undergo a preventive surgical procedure this week in Montreal. The hockey club revealed Beliveau is having surgery to repair abdominal aneurysms.

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