Takes and trash talk from both ALL sides of the NHL's most obscure PATHETIC* rivalry

* Thanks, Kevin Lowe!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Nothing left now but the hot stove...

In many ways, this was a playoff run for the ages. After hearing about the best-since-2002 ratings (sort of sad in some ways, really) I cannot help but compare this year to the majestic Mark McGwire - Sammy Sosa home run battle that "saved" baseball after its lockout.

(I guess McGwire = the Red Wings for favorite and team color reasons, although that's stretching an already thin analogy even thinner. Unless we find out that the Penguins were corking their sticks...)

Ultimately, the NHL's best team won. After the Carolina Hurricanes, Edmonton Prongoilers and other Cinderella teams began fighting for and sometimes even winning the Cup, it's really interesting that we've had back to back dominant teams. The Red Wings and Ducks were both the odds-on favorites in their respective Cup runs, which shows you that there's always a trend even when it seems like new ground is being broken.

Anyway, it will be both nice and depressing to have a little break from the nail biting back and forth hockey of the playoffs. But soon enough, October will be upon us. And who knows which team will be the odds-on favorite to win the Pacific.

What are the Sharks, Ducks, and Stars going to look like after retirements, firings and free agency take their course? Will the Kings shock the world and find some competent goaltending? And could the Battle of California become the Battle of the Pacific (that last question is probably my fault)?

There's plenty of stories to follow. Over the hot, hockey-less months I'll throw in some random posts ranging from not particularly hockey related to cockamamie backseat GMing posts. All in the hopes of entertaining the unwashed hockey masses.

Until the draft, though, Old Lady NHL can take a break and rest her weary eyes...

Burnside roofs it with his Stanley Cup Playoffs wrap-up...


Earl Sleek said...

Interesting also how for the second year in a row, the cup-winning goal was pushed across the goal line by the wrong team. That "Fleury's rubber ass" play might really take a lot of heat off of Chris Phillips, as I point out in today's PuckToon.


Earl Sleek said...

Oh, and while I'm linky, feel free to check out Pensblog's cup-losing post, which is all class and features a bit-cameo by Earl Sleek passing the blog title belt to A2Y.

I didn't really know what they were asking for, but the quote is really mine.

Doogie said...

It does bear pointing out that Fleury's own-goal would not have gone in 99.9% of the time; he did what he was supposed to, the problem being that the puck was in just the right position that sitting on it caused it to squirt free rather than become trapped. This is in contrast to his gaffe at the 2004 World Juniors, in which pokechecked the puck right into the pads of an onrushing defender, who deflected the puck right into his own net.

Earl Sleek said...

Yeah, for sure it was the right play by MAF. I only really poke fun because I can say with a semi-straight face how the west has won the last two cups but the east has scored the last two cup-winning goals.

Mike in OC said...

James, I guess they should consider changing the name around here in light of the fact that The Dallas Stars won this years Battle of California.

I hope Lidstrom pulls a Niedamayer next season.

Earl Sleek said...

Re: Battle of Pacific.

I've got to start writing posts around here again (probably starting this weekend), and this will be the topic of one of my first ones. My problems with BoP vs. BoC are more technical in nature than philosophical at this point.

For now, just write about whatever team suits you.

I hope Lidstrom pulls a Niedamayer next season.

I'm actually hoping that this does not occur (and Bettman's tone last year leads me to believe he'll be tougher on the next Niedermayer), only because I think it's a good (though slightly dishonest) cap strategy and the Wings have a lineup that can pull it off better than the Ducks did.

Mike in OC said...

I see your point Earl, I hope he just flat out retires then!

PJ Swenson said...

Battle of California is fine, Dallas and Phoenix want to be California anyways so it is not a stretch to post about them here. BOC authors historically struggle with staying on topic or remaining coherent anyways.

I might have a Phoenix/Arizona related interview coming up in the next week or two. I might need some BOC input beforehand.

Congratulations to the Detroit Red Wings on their Stanley Cup Championship. I think I can speak for the entire BOC staff when I say: I hate Detroit.

Earl Sleek said...

I think I can speak for the entire BOC staff when I say: I hate Detroit.

Aw, just eliminate them a few times and the hate seems to ease up some.

I'll tell you, though, I was mighty glad to see the Wings blow their chance to celebrate in front of the home fans. Having Zetterberg carry around that Smythe trophy among a steady chant of "Crosby, Crosby" brought a smile to my face.

Mike in OC said...

I was mighty glad to see the Wings blow their chance to celebrate in front of the home fans.

Damn Earl, it is pretty scary how similar our thinking is sometimes, I was saying that after game 5.

Disturbing actually.

brokeyard said...

Might as well get some Avalanche coverage in here too... they're closer to California than the Stars are.

And just to be funny let's have this place do the Bruins too.. but NEVER mention it. People will be like "Well I get the other teams but why Boston?" and you guys can be like "What... are you talking about... why wouldn't we do Boston?"

and it will be awesome.

VeryProudofYa said...

how kooky, mike. just after game 5 I was thinking about you and earl kissing each other without your shirts on.

Wait, what?

Alexander Dubcek said...

I'm still waiting for Earl to take up my challenge for a SleekToon that makes fun of how the Battle of California includes Dallas or in conjunction with a relaunched Battle of the Pacific that conspicuously omits one of the five members.

C'mon, Earl, you promised me that like three weeks ago! I know you're probably still shellshocked from having to visit Indiana, but we're depending on you.

Earl Sleek said...

Dubcek, it's now my weekend project.

I'll admit freely that I've been more than negligent on a lot of blog duties lately, but if I can give a status report on distractions:

GTA4 -- finished all story missions, which is huge, though the game tells me I'm still at like 67% completion (apparently I haven't gone on enough dates or side missions).

Battlestar Galactica -- in the last three weeks or so, I've seen all of seasons 1-3 (I dunno, 40 hours worth?). I'd already been watching all of the current season 4, so I'm all caught up, and like the rest of humanity now I have to wait until tonight to see the next one (the unboxing of #3), and I'm antsy as hell.

But distractions can only get you so far; blogging resumes tomorrow!

Alexander Dubcek said...

No worries, Earl. I understand the appeal of the video game's siren song, which explains why I haven't accomplished more on my dissertation lately. I just thought I'd remind you, so you don't totally forget.