Thursday, April 12, 2012

Let the Fun Begin!

~On and Off the Ice~

If opening night of the 2012 playoffs is any indication, hockey fans can look forward to some entertaining action.

The Los Angeles Kings and Philadelphia Flyers pulled off important road victories to get their respective series underway. In Pittsburgh, the Flyers came from behind to sink the Penguins 4 to 3 in overtime. The sudden death goal coming off Jakub Voracek's stick.

In the late game out west,  the Los Angeles Kings scored a late goal to defeat Vancouver 4 to 2. The game-winning-goal came at 16:46 of the third period. On the play, Kings forward Jeff Carter made a nifty move by deflecting the puck to teammate Dustin Penner with his left skate. Once he had the puck, Penner's shot beat Roberto Luongo. With 17.9-seconds remaining on the clock, the Kings other Dunstin, being Dustin Brown, closed out the scoring with Luongo having been yanked from the Vancouver goal.

The lone home victory was recorded by the Nashville Predators. Gabriel Borque lead the scoring for Nashville, netting two goals in their 3 to 2 win over Detroit. One of the highlights in this contest was a dazzling save made by Predator goalie Pekka Rinnie. Diving across his net, Rinnie robbed Red Wing Pavel Datsyuk of a goal.

For an opening act, the first night of post-season competition certainly didn't disappoint. Each game was close, which only added to the excitement.

The fun has only started.

An excellent addition on the newsstand is Sportnet - The Captains - Ranking The Greatest Leaders In Hockey History.

Like most ventures of this nature, there will be those who have a problem with the placement of certain players. Some will be upset concerning individuals left off the list, who in their opinion, make the grade.

As noted by publisher and editor-in-chief, Steve Maich, "a few people on this list spent most of their careers without being recognized as captain, but that didn't diminish their leadership role on their teams."

Taking this into account, it is interesting no goalie made the list. Is there any better example of a player leading by skill and example than Glenn Hall? Although he often suffered from nerves prior to taking his spot in the Chicago net, Hall set a unique record for NHL goalies. He appeared in 502 consecutive games (from 1955 to November 7, 1962) for the Hawks. In this span, Hall was the last line of defence as he backstopped Chicago to the 1961 Stanley Cup.

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