April 19, 2011


Although it is impossible to truly follow all of the games here are some reflections and opinions from the forth day of playoff action:

     1)  Hits are the big story of the playoffs so far. Raffi Torres did not get suspended, and he should not have been! Hockey is a contact game, and there are spots on the ice where players know they are in danger. People are up in arms about head shots. This was not one of them. Behind the net is an area that players know they will have to take a hit to make a play. Seabrook made the mistake of turning his head to look behind him. The interference penalty was the right call, as Seabrook did not touch the puck. If you are Torres, how are you supposed to stop yourself once committed to making that hit? Can we stop breaking down every hit now because of concussions? Two years ago this year would have made every highlight real for the right reasons. There will be hits in a game that moves as fast as hockey, and unfortunately, injuries will result. It is part of the risk of playing, and part of the beauty of watching.  Watch it again here: http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=362743

      2) More hits to look at for the NHL – Aside from the Torres hit, the league has two very different hits to look at from last night. Steve Downie smoked Ben Lovejoy behind the net early in the first period. The hit would have been a great and very effective hit, had Downie not left his feet. Downie uses all shoulder and no elbow, but he has been guilty of leaving his feet in the past, and this is not acceptable. He should get one game. Lovejoy wound up getting an assist on the play and had no problem with the hit. Later in the same game Chris Kunitz threw a blatant elbow to the head of Simon Gagne. This is one of those “What were you thinking?” plays. Kunitz goes out of his way to raise his elbow to hit Gagne. He was trying to hurt him, no question about it. Kunitz will get at least one game, and probably two.  Watch both hits here: http://watch.tsn.ca/nhl/#clip452667

3) Carey Price threw one away. The Canadiens did not play anywhere near as well as they did in the first two games, but you cannot have your goaltender put passes on the tape of the other team with an empty net. That play put the Habs down 3-0. They woke up after that, but it was too late.
Watch game highlights here: http://watch.tsn.ca/nhl/#clip452666
     4) Tim Thomas has looked awful in the series. Last night, both goals were terrible. The goalie who will most likely win the Vezina trophy, has looked anything but the best goalie in the playoffs. If he is not better, the Bruins will be done in 5 games. Time for him to step up and improve his 11-10 playoff record.     Watch game highlights here: http://watch.tsn.ca/nhl/#clip452666
      5) Has anyone seen a goalie look more lost than Ilya Bryzgalov last night? He must have been stoned. He did not even move on two of the goals, one of which was a breakaway. How do you not see the puck on a breakaway? Bryzgalov is a free agent after this season. Going into the playoffs he was expected to get big money, even though there are not many teams in need of a goalie. Now, he will get a nice contract, but questions will come about his playoff performance. Hopefully we hear something health related that explains his poor play after the series.
            Watch game highlights here: http://watch.tsn.ca/nhl/#clip452682
Here is the schedule for today’s games.
Vancouver @ Chicago   8:00pm EST
San Jose @ Los Angeles  10:30pm

No tweets tonight.  I will also be  tweeting the Flyers/Sabres game  tomorrow @getrealhockey.

Follow my articles and tweets @Chyz1

-Mark Chyz

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