April 26, 2011


1) Setting up a crazy Tuesday night – With the Canucks and Sabres losing in overtime on Sunday, Tuesday night is set up to be the best night of the 2011 NHL playoffs.  It features Game 6 of the Bruins/Canadiens series at 7pm, Game 7 of the Sabres/Flyers series at 7:30pm, and Game 7 of the Blackhawks/Canucks series at 10:00pm. This will be on gripping night of TV for all of you hockey fans. Each series has featured wild momentum swings, crazy moments and hart hitting action, just like you would expect from the best playoff in all of sports!

2) Officiating and borderline hits – The consistency of the officiating in the NHL playoffs is puzzling.
Exhibit A) Take the Brian Bickell hit on Kevin Bieksa in overtime of last nights Canucks/Hawks game. What made this one any different than the Raffi Torres hit on Brent Seabrook? Conditions were almost identical. Both were blindside hits directly to the head, behind the net. Torres got an interference penalty, Bickell got nothing, and he left his feet.
Exhibit B) The interference call on Saku Koivu in the last minute of the Ducks/Predators game. By rule, Koivu set a pick, and it was interference. To call it at that stage of the game with the Ducks trying to make up 1 goal with the goalie pulled to stay alive is ludicrous. The refs were letting many similar plays go all game. Once they set the precedence, they must follow it. Seeing the Ducks get one last chance to stay alive would have been great….. too bad it didn’t happen. 
Exhibit C ) Mike Richards hit on Tim Connolly – Richards got 2 minutes for a questionable hit  on Connolly while the Flyers were already down a man. Connolly ended up hurt on the play, did not return to the game, and may not play in game 7. Buffalo fans and players were outraged that Richards didn’t get 5 minutes and a game misconduct for the hit. Personally, I think the refs got this one right. There is no way Richards was intentionally putting his team down 5 on 3. The hit was dangerous after Connolly turned hit body. We see these type of hits go without calls often. If Connolly wasn’t hurt, would it be worth the punishment of 5 minutes and a game? I doubt it.  

 3) Two more OT games, Two more garbage goals – More examples of how to score in overtime on Sunday. Players should just get the puck to the net. You never know what will happen.  Deflections lead to bounces to players in the right place, at the right time. Overtime is not the time to be cute.

4) Roberto Luongo – If he loses to the Hawks on Tuesday in Game 7, Luongo will go down in history with the likes of Scott Norwood, Greg Norman, Jean Van De Velde, Bill Buckner and Jose Mesa. For whatever reason, the Hawks are buried deep in his head, and he can’t get over the hump. Luongo is 20-20 in his playoff career, but only 7-11 vs Chicago. Benching him in game 6 was a huge statement by coach Allain Vigneault, but now he has no choice but to start Luongo Tuesday with Corey Schneider suffering from cramps. I feel for the guy, but when you are making $10 million per year, you need to be able to throw away your demons and step up in a big game!

Here is the schedule for tonight’s games.
Pittsburgh @ Tampa Bay 7:00pm EST
San Jose @ Los Angeles  10:00pm
No live tweets from me tonight.  I will be back tomorrow tweeting the Flyers/Sabres game 7  @getrealhockey.

Follow my articles and tweets and send questions to @Chyz1 on TWITTER.

-Mark Chyz

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