WEEKLY PLAYOFF UPDATE: Notice of Eviction

23 May

Well Phoenix, it’s time to pack your bags and hit the golf greens. I hear Arizona has some beautiful courses. Although you can be sure none of them are as beautiful as the Stanley Cup.

“Don’tcha wish your boyfriend was hot like me?”

LA: Looking Forward

This week in the NHL playoffs, the Los Angeles Kings eliminated the Phoenix Coyotes in 5 games. The elimination win came last night near the end of the first overtime period in Phoenix, maintaining the Kings perfect playoff road record.

It was a particularly hard loss to swallow for the Coyotes, considering seconds before the winning goal Kings’ captain Dustin Brown laid a mean knee-on-knee hit on Michal Roszival after the play had gone dead, injuring the young player and sending him to the locker room.

It was a hard-fought series and the Coyotes gave it their best, but it wasn’t enough to take down the hungry Los Angeles team. The Kings play a tight game against the boards, forechecking and tiring out the opposing team’s defense. And they’re fast. Really fast. That’s the one thing I noticed watching the game last night – they beat the Coyotes to every single puck and dominated with puck control during almost the entire overtime period. You knew the Yotes were toast. It was just a matter of time until superstar goalie Mike Smith would slip up and miss a puck. So the Kings kept putting them on net and sure enough, at 17:42 of the OT period, the puck found the back of the net.

The Los Angeles Kings are going to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1993.

“I don’t even know what this trophy is called.”

Control in the East

On the East Coast, the Rangers and Devils are fighting it out for the Eastern Conference Championship. With the series tied at 2, this could swing either way. The Rangers are a good team… when they want to be. Infamous for their slow starts, if they fall behind early in the game they’re not coming back. Proof of this was in game 4, when they fell 4-1 to the determined Devils. The team pushed hard, completely shutting down the Rangers and frustrating them to the point of taking cheap shots, like the one that Mike Rupp delivered to Brodeur.

“I swear Ref, he pushed his head into my fist!”

As the coaches met at the end of the benches and hurled insults at each other, you’re reminded of just how much bad blood exists between these two teams. The series has been tame so far, but something tells me that going forward we’ll be seeing two rougher teams who just won’t back down.

Still Anybody’s Series

If the Rangers want to win, they have to rally as a team. Lundqvist has to be at the top of his game because when he’s not, the rest of the team seems to slump as well. They need to start seeing more production from big point-getters like Gaborik, Richards, and Callahan.

And the Devils? They’re a strong, young team but they have to be at their absolute best to beat the Rangers. There is no margin for error. They have to be on top all game, every game. If not, their season will be cut shorter than they’d like it to. This one is turning out to be hard to predict, but I’m still calling for the Rangers to win it, although more likely in 7 games than in 6.

Game 5 is slated for tonight at 8:00PM at Madison Square Garden.

What do you think, bros? Who will meet the Kings in the finals?

EDIT: For those of you interested in jumping into the conversation in the comments section below, here is the play being discussed:

What do you think? Clean hit?

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5 Responses to “WEEKLY PLAYOFF UPDATE: Notice of Eviction”

  1. Kevin Douglas May 24, 2012 at 8:56 am #

    I didn’t think the Brown hit was knee-on-knee, but rather shoulder-on-shoulder. What was dirty about it though, was that it was post-offside whistle… Rant at me as you may for taking away from the fact most of the World things it was knee-on-knee.

    • Nick May 24, 2012 at 9:04 am #

      It’s definitely a tough one to call. Even giving him a Roughing for hitting after the whistle. They were so close to each other and moving so fast when the whistle went that it makes it hard to stop. Slowing it down on the replay makes it look really bad but I think they were moving too fast to avoid each other.

    • Ron Sly (@RonSly) May 24, 2012 at 1:08 pm #

      Requested rant incoming: That was clearly a knee-on-knee hit. Did you see how far his leg swung back!? Brown’s got to be more careful when cutting across like that. He’s got to be more aware of his surroundings so he stops hurting people. It’s too bad that the overtime goal was preceded by this. It’s dirty. Tough break for the Coyotes.

  2. Ian Daye (@sonician) May 24, 2012 at 1:36 pm #

    Watching it in real-time, you can see that contact was made from shoulder to shin. There was no knee-on-knee except in an accidental fashion. The time between the offiside whistle and the collision was about 2/10 of a second. Not enough time to get out of the way. Kopitar was almost run over by Brown as well. It was a clean effort to make a big open-ice hit. Brown’s never been a dirty player, why would he start now.
    One thing I think we can *all* agree on, is that the refereeing in the playoffs has been awful.

    • Nick May 24, 2012 at 2:54 pm #

      I have to agree with you about the officiating. It’s been painful to watch how inconsistent and unfair it’s been. In my opinion, more accountability has to be put on the refs. Slap them with a fine if you feel they didn’t call something that was worthy of a suspension.

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