He's banged out beastly Homer-esque comments with a high level of consistency.
Playoff-related thoughts, dudes…
1. One of the most amazing things about the Pens-Sens series was watching Sidney Crosby evolve into the present-day Lemieux. After watching a regular season in which he remade himself from elite playmaker to elite goal-scorer, it didn’t seem possible that Crosby could elevate his game much more. Wrong. Facing an opponent that has historically kept him bottled up, Crosby finished the first round of the playoffs with 14 points (5 goals, 9 assists) in 6 games. That’s a ridiculous 2.33 point-per-game average, even more unreal considering he was held scoreless in Game One. His career postseason high is 31 points, which he posted last year. In 24 games. He’s almost halfway there in one-fourth the time.
2. I know it’s a very small sample size, but that pace would equate to a 192 points over an 82-game regular season (69 goals, 123 assists). He couldn’t possibly keep that pace up, right?
4. Dear King Shero, Sign Matt Cooke. Yesterday.
5. Remember all the worrying and hand-wringing about Letang’s contract extension? Watch him closely in the playoffs. He was one of the Pens better all-around defensemen in both the offensive and defensive zones. Another playoff game-winning goal, and also drew compliments from Sens players via the media about his physical game and his composure with the puck. This kid was primed for an offer sheet if he would’ve gotten to July 1. Shero HAD to sign him.
6. Ruslan Fedotenko, the KHL is on Line Two.
7. Jay McKee started off the season playing absolutely unreal defensive-zone hockey and then tailed off drastically around December. The Sens series was the best hockey he’s strung together since, despite pulling off the near-impossible feat of looking slower than Hal Gill. And Frankie Leroux. And me.
8. And as I type this, Montreal and Washington are going to a Game Seven. Someone must’ve showed Halak a tape of Marc-Andre Fleury in Game Five of the 2008 Finals because I’m not sure I’ve seen a goaltending performance that amazing since. Doc Brown’s DeLorean may have been parked outside the Bell Centre with the date May 1986 on the computer and luggage marked “P. Roy” in the back.
9. Phoenix takes Detroit to a Game Seven. Montreal takes Washington to a Game Seven. Nashville and Chicago are exchanging goals tonight like it’s a series between the 1992-93 Pens and a mid-80’s Oilers team. What the hell kind of Bizzaro hockey world is this? Next thing, you’re gonna tell me that the Flyers smoked Brodeur in five games…oh, wait.
10. Speaking of which, maybe it might be time for New Jersey to think about 1) getting Brodeur a decent backup goaltender and 2) playing him more than five starts a year. Three years in a row Uncle Daddy has flamed out in the playoffs and in spectacular fashion. Either he’s overworked, or the new rules that actually force the Devils to play a little bit of offense impact his game that much. Speaking of which…
11. I know Jacques Lemaire built up an impressive career on the ice and a great coaching career off it, and his style of play and coaching acumen translated into Stanley Cups. But Lemaire’s trapping style of play choked the life out of the game in the mid-1990’s and made the game unwatchable on television as every team devoid of offensive talent copied his trapping systems. The game of hockey is better off with fewer coaches willing to resort to that defense-first, defense-second, defense-third style of play.
12. Tuukaa Rask for Andrew Raycroft. Tuukaa Rask for Andrew Raycroft. Tuukaa Rask for Andrew Raycroft.
13. The tension in the Verizon Center for Game Seven between the Caps and Habs is going to be thicker than Mike Green’s skull.
14. Bruce Boudreau just called out the Habs players, Maxim Lapierre specifically, for diving. Brucie, how’s about taking a look at your own Kapitan before throwing that little dart out there, eh? Ovie is 6’3”, 235 and flops worse than a Jennifer Lopez movie when he gets whacked across the legs.
15. Eric Fehr in the Caps postgame comments said that “this will be [their] fourth Game Seven and [they] know what to do.” Would be nice if someone reminded him that the Caps are 1-2 in those previous three Game Sevens.
16. I would love to see Alexandre Burrows on a wing with Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin. C-blogger I Have Kasparaitis said it best – dude is Chris Kunitz and Matt Cooke with better hands.
17. From the “It Must Be Late April” department: Joe Thornton’s got no goals, three assists and is a -3 in the playoffs. Marian Hossa took five games to score a playoff goal. Joe Corvo is a -2 in six games. And Craig Adams has more points than Alexander Semin.