He's banged out beastly Homer-esque comments with a high level of consistency.
It’s just too bad there’s nothing to talk about, eh? Oh, wait…
- I guess I can kick this off with the topic du jour – the Crusade Against Questionable Hits. Unless you’ve spent your last week with Coach Boudreau coming up with 1001 ridiculous reasons why the league might suspend Ovechkin should he randomly choose to board someone like, say, Brian Campbell, it’s become fairly apparent that every hit that’s even remotely borderline is going to be subject to some sort of scrutiny. If it doesn’t happen with the on-ice officials during the games, it’ll be addressed by the announcers calling them or the media dissecting it every possible way after the fact. Just get ready. Don’t say you weren’t warned. It’s probably going to get worse.
- Keep in mind that we haven’t even gotten to Thursday yet. That, of course, is the day the Pens visit Boston and we’ll likely see new internet trending records for the words “Matt”, “Cooke” and “retribution”.
- Watching a replay of whatever it was that Steve Downie technically did to Sidney Crosby and it’s still amazing to me that all of Crosby’s knee ligaments – and his tibia and fibula, for that matter – remained intact. Still looks to me like some half-assed attempt at a slewfoot.
- Equally amazed that Downie still hasn’t been brought up for a hearing either, although I shouldn’t be surprised. No penalty was called but that may have more to do with the fact that no one really saw the incident happen; he and Downie were the only two players on the left half of the ice when Downie locked him up. Three full seconds passed from the time Crosby sent the puck across the ice to the time he was hauled off his feet. Crosby dishes the puck before he crosses center red and then glides the rest of the way to the Tampa zone. Downie engages him at center red and hauls him down about ten feet inside the Tampa zone. In other words, he had plenty of time and space to break away from Crosby. Crosby wasn’t charging into the zone, so there was no reason for Downie to lock him up in the first place.
- Then again, I’m giving Downie too much credit here. There’s a reason Downie has built up the reputation he has, and expecting him to peel off Crosby in a situation like that is kind of like expecting Eric Lindros to remember to skate with his head up.
- Not sure whose comments following the Ovechkin hit were dumber – Ovechkin arguing that Campbell just fell into the boards (because falls like that routinely cause broken ribs, broken clavicles and grade 2 concussions), Boudreau again pulling the “Well if it was Crosby…” card, or Milbury calling the hit a hockey play.
- Speaking of Milbury, am I the only one who can’t wait until that afternoon five or six years from now when he has to do a Bruins-Pens Saturday game for NBC and Philip Samuelsson – son of Ulf – is patrolling the blueline for the Pens?
- OK, enough of this. There are bigger fish to fry. Mmmmmm,…fish fry.
- That knock at the door is Boudreau and Leonsis. Shouldn’t have typed “fish fry”. My bad.
- Glancing at the standings and some of these matchups in the Eastern Conference are playing out nicely for the Pens. If things stay relatively the same, the Pens would get Montreal in the first round. You’d have Philly and Buffalo beating the hell out of each other in that 3-6 matchup. You’d also get New Jersey and Ottawa meeting in the first round in the 4-5 series. Ottawa’s a well-balanced team that could match up very well against the Devils. Tampa is the team I’d love to see slide into that eighth spot. Tampa would present a much tougher matchup for the Caps than would the Bruins, Rangers or Habs. It’s way too early to tell, but this could set up nicely.
- From the “Fire Mike Yeo” department, the Pens powerplay is up to a 17.3% conversion rate. Even better, the consistency is there. In 13 games played since February started, they’ve scored at least a powerplay goal in nine of them.
- I never, ever, ever thought I’d say this, but as a DirecTV subscriber, it’s nice to have Versus back in time for the playoffs. I kind of like this arrangement, actually. I like my DirecTV service so I didn’t want to switch. So thanks to their little spat with Versus/Comcast this year, I spent about 75% of the regular season not having to worry about accidentally flipping past asstastic Versus broadcasters making another Monday night Rangers-Flyers game worse than it already was. And now with just a few weeks left before the playoffs, Versus comes back into my life as if to say, “We got you for playoff hockey, OK, Stoosh? We know our broadcasts are Sega Genesis quality, our studio looks like it was built in your basement and Beninati’s voice sounds like he’s gargling with a bucketful of gravel. But the intensity of playoff hockey often overrides the audio torture.” Maybe…just maybe, Versus, we can make this work, you and I.