So Boston blew a 3-0 lead and then ... blew another 3-0 lead. Holy too many men on the ice, Sobotka. Stanley Cup of Chowder has a pretty lucid eulogy. And now I have to live with the Flyers of Chris Pronger sort of matching what the Islanders of 1975 did. I feel sick. Chico Resch and Bobby Nystrom are also a little disappointed, but far more classier about it than I am.
After that riveting Game 7, I tried to watch the Memorial Cup and Travis Hamonic; but it was an ugly 9-3 blowout by Talyor Hall's Windsor team (Hamonic is quoted in this recap), so it got uninteresting in a hurry. (Plus, the play-by-play guy on duty is not my favorite voice.)
Anyway, if you're new to Lighthouse Hockey, in yesterday's bits I forgot to mention that we had a Q&A with Hamonic here shortly after his trade to Brandon this past winter; if you're excited about him as an Isles prospect, you'll like that one. Meanwhile, Hamonic's 2008 draft classmate (5th round, #126), goalie Kevin Poulin, has officially agreed to terms with the Islanders.
After the jump, a look at our Round 2 NHL playoff poll results, as well as other links and sundry.
Pat LaFontaine on Game 7s and the Easter Epic
I was lucky enough to talk to Pat LaFontaine a few months ago, but I have never seen an interview where he talked as extensively about the Easter Epic in 1987 as he did in this story at nhl.com. It's great stuff, and it took me back to that night (and morning) in a big way. For me, that was the first long playoff game after I made a pledge (or was it a defiant threat?) to my mother that she could never send me to bed before the end of a playoff game ever again.
A sampling from #16's interview at nhl.com:
"And the other thing to remember was oxygen. We asked for oxygen tanks. And their (the Caps) trainer helped us get oxygen. Mikko Makela and I were taking in oxygen and we felt pretty good and we found out a week later their trainer got fired. I felt bad. We were just asking for help and the guy was just giving us support."
Tavares Pads the Stats vs. Norway; Denmark Routs Slovakia
If you haven't looked, John Tavares has been a steady scorer for Team Canada at the World Championships. Yesterday they whaled on Norway 12-1, and JT picked up a hat trick, which means he currently leads the tournament with six goals. Here's a video interview with Tavares from a few days prior.
Meanwhile, Frans' Danish Army had no trouble dispatching
those mountain peasants who brought us Czechs down Slovakia, 6-0. If you hadn't noticed before, BenHasna's been giving us eye-on-the-ground reports on the Worlds in his FanPosts.
How Smart/Dumb We Were
First, you can look at the brave who attached their names to actual results for each round over in WebBard's pre-playoffs FanPost. With all the upsets in the East, our collective brackets aren't looking too good.
As for our anonymous Round 2 series polls, well take a look:
Here's how we voted in Sharks vs. Red Wings
|SJ vs. Det||SJ7||SJ6||SJ5||SJ4||Det4||Det5||Det6||Det7|
60% had the Red Wings winning. I'm pretty sure I waffled and had the Sharks in 7, but I could have easily figured the Red Wing Mystique would beat out the San Jose Choke.
Here's how we voted in Penguins vs. Canadiens (which includes any anonymous drifter's vote, by the way)
Pit vs. Mon
In that one, I picked Pittsburgh in five -- surely the Habs would crash back down -- while my head pulled for a seven-game series. At least I got that much. But by our poll at least, only 16% went with the Habs.
And how about the big Mr. I Can't Leave 1975 Well Enough Alone boys -- how did we see that series going? I picked Boston in six, so you know by now not to believe a word I say unless it's already happened. Here's how the vote shook out:
Far off the mark again. A whopping 72% of us had the Bruins winning, with only 22% on either side predicting a seven-game series. Now the big question: Who predicted Philadelphia would fall behind 3-0, and then come back? (Though honestly, the Krejci-Gagne injury swings were just the kind of variable you need for this kind of improbable comeback to happen. One team loses an important scorer, while the opponent gets one back? Huge.)
Finally, here's how we voted in the Hawks vs. Canucks series:
I picked Hawks in six (Hey! I got one right! On the button! ... (Of course, so did 22% of us.)).
Now the Hawks move on to face San Jose Sunday afternoon, and I can't stand Patrick Kane because when he pouts he reminds me of the Annakin Skywalker actor who helped ruin the Star Wars prequels. But I can't stand Dany Heatley either because ... well it's a long list. At least this series should be fantastic, entertaining hockey; now that I can get behind.
It comes down to the goalies: I don't have a problem saying the Blackhawks are the superior hockey team, so if Evgeni Nabakov has has a bad or normal week, the Hawks should win. If he has a decent week and Antti Niemi has a few implosions, the Sharks win. I'm betting Hawks in seven, with a very disappointing Game 7 on home ice for the Sharks.