Greg Sherman. Joe Sacco. Sylvain Lefebvre. There have been a lot of new names thrown around the front office of the Colorado Avalanche. But one thing is for certain: the message is loud and clear. There is no turning back now.
Pierre Lacroix is getting this franchise ready for the post-Joe-Sakic era. While Sakic still hasn’t made a decision on whether or not he will be returning to the Avs for a 21st season with the franchise, the team seems to be moving on ahead of him. Sakic missed most of the 08-09 season with multiple injuries, participating in only 15 games and notching just 12 points. Sakic has worn the “C” on his sweater proudly for 19 years, but in the last few off seasons has taken longer and longer to commit to another year on the ice, each year signing only a one-year contract.
Jordan Staal and the rest of the Pens sent the Caps home for good.-Alaina Scarano-Isbouts-Alaina Scarano-Isbouts
OF COURSE. This would happen just hours after I published that “my money is on the Caps-Pens game” for an overtime game and a game 7 win. The Pittsburgh Penguins absolutely killed the Washington Capitals tonight in DC to advance to the Eastern Conference finals. They will face the winner of the Boston-Carolina game 7. The final score was 6-2.
It all started simply enough, by a power play goal from Sidney Crosby 12:36 into the first period. And then a suspicious thing happened… the Pens scored again. Craig Adams scored eight seconds later to give the Pens a 2-0 lead. Every game in this series up until tonight was decided by one goal, except game 5 when the Penguins won by 2 goals.
Three teams will be calling it a season tonight, then it's on to conference finals.
Today and tomorrow, three teams will be eliminated from the playoffs. Of course this is the nature of the playoffs — as long as one team wins, the other one loses and their season is over. To me, game 7s are the epitome of hockey. They are fast paced, they get dirty, and usually only one goal makes the entire difference. Expect at least one of these games to go in to overtime — and my money is on the Caps – Pens game. Read on for previews of all the lucky, and maybe not so lucky, game 7 players.
-by Alaina Scarano-Isbouts
Well all, it’s that time of year — playoffs. Round 1 of the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs will begin on Wednesday night. Get ready to hear of every possible story line; rookies and old-timers ready to fight for the death for the chance of a life time — to win Lord Stanley’s Cup. Here’s my take on what this year’s playoffs have to offer and who will make it out alive.
Boston v. Montreal: What a great series for old rivalries. The two Original Six teams have faced each other many, many times since the modest beginnings of the NHL. Boston, after having missed the President’s Trophy by just one point, has the home ice advantage but the more fickle fans. I’m going to bet this will be a rough-and-tumble series, but the ultimate battle will be between Tim Thomas and Carey Price. I’m going to go with Boston in 6 for this series. Continue reading
-by Alaina Scarano-Isbouts
Eleven games last night in the NHL, and most teams have now played 81. The season is ending for some… but not for all. Read on to see who isn’t polishing their golf clubs yet.
Nashville 4, Detroit 3 SO: Of course we all know Detroit is in, and Nashville isn’t quitting yet. The Preds are now tied for 8th place with St. Louis with one game remaining for Tennessee and two left for the Blues. For things to work out for Jason Arnott and the Preds, they will have to win their last game against the struggling Wild. The game for those who didn’t catch it was actually pretty fantastic. J.P. Dumont scored with one minute remaining in the 3rd to force overtime and Arnott finally got the puck past Chris Osgood during the 4th round of the shootout. I love seeing Detroit lose.
Washington 4, Tampa Bay 2: Jose Theodore was back and just in time to have the honor of playing his 500th NHL game. Alex Ovechkin was pointless in his third straight game and the rest of the Caps seemed pretty cautions as well as they beat down Tampa Bay – who just can’t seem to catch a break.
Pittsburgh 6, NY Islanders 1: Please don’t make me recap this game. I am starting to hate the Islanders.
by Alaina Scarano-Isbouts
Last night, with seven playoff spots left still up for grabs, 26 different teams fought pretty damn hard to move in, move up or move closer to a chance for Tavares. Here is a recap of what went down in the most important games last night.
NY Rangers 3, Montreal 1: Montreal could have locked up a playoff spot with a win at The Garden. The Rangers didn’t yet clinch a playoff berth, but instead earned two extremely important points over the Canadiens. The win was crucial for the Rangers, who are now two points ahead of Florida and has the lead in wins if there were to be a tie. Was it just me or did Carey Price play like he was extremely nervous? The Montreal goalie (who was the topic of my first ever TAS article), after letting in a horrible 2nd goal that shouldn’t have been a goal at all, wasn’t up to his normal par. Price wasn’t covering the puck when he should have been and seemed to not be paying attention to where the puck was going to be — only looking at where it was that moment. Not to discredit the Rangers’ effort… after some speculation on exactly how great Chris Drury is Monday on TAS, it looks like Drury is showing up to the Rangers games after all. Drury had two goals and six shots on goal, truly living up to the C on his sweater.
Toronto 4, NJ 1: This game didn’t matter much for Toronto or NJ. The Devils had already cliched a playoff spot and the Leafs — although not giving up on a playoff run — were an extremely long shot. Martin Brodeur played another horrible game, letting in 4 goals, while the offense for NJ didn’t make much of an effort. Jamie Langenbrunner had the only goal — a power play goal in the 2nd period. Toronto picked up two ill-timed points to bring them to 79 and keep them out of the playoff run. The only news here is that NJ did not yet clinch the Atlantic Division title. NJ could be overtaken for the title if Philly wins their last three and the Devils lose their last two. It’s all going to depend on Brodeur and if he can play at the level he was playing less than a month ago.
Alexander Ovechkin has a bit of fun - remember fun? - at the NHL Skills Competition in 2009.
There are countless reasons why I love hockey more than any other sport. I will not list them all here — I know that most readers of Thin Air Sports are here to read about something other than hockey — but I will tell you one of them. I believe that hockey is more of a team sport than most other sports. Well not that it IS more of a team sport, but that the players have more respect for their teams. When a hockey player scores a goal, the first thing you’ll see him to is have a group “hug” with his teammates on the ice. You don’t see any of these ridiculous touchdown dance things, where players celebrate their general perceived-awesomeness because they ran the ball, forgetting the fact that someone ELSE was the one to throw it to them.
Enter Alexander Ovechkin, the fun-loving Russian (I think that used to be an oxymoron before he came along…).