Tag Archives: Pekka Rinne

2012 NHL Playoff Preview: Conference Semifinals

 

Just for the record: In my first round playoff preview I only predicted half of the games correctly and got one series exactly correct (Phoenix in 6). There also will be no repeat of last year’s Stanley cup Finals as both Vancouver and Boston were eliminated.

Phoenix Coyotes (#3) vs. Nashville Predators (#4)

By taking care of business versus Chicago the Coyotes advance into the second round of the playoffs for the first time in 25 years and the first time since moving to the desert. The first five games of their series against the Black Hawks went into overtime, an NHL first, and youngster Mikkel Boedeker got back-to-back game winning goals. With Hanzl and Vrbata battling some injuries and Shane Doan skating his way out of quality scoring chances they had to rely on the likes of newcomer Antoine Vermette to put the puck in the net. What most people will remember from this series however is the head shot Raffi Torres laid on Marion Hossa that garnered him a hefty 25-game suspension. Nashville, on the other hand, took out Phoenix’s greatest playoff kryptonite in the Red Wings. Detroit just didn’t have that killer instinct this year and Nashville was able to grind away a series victory bolstered by the strong play in net by Pekka Rinne. Rinne and Phoenix’s Mike Smith were both brilliant in the first round posting identical 1.81 GAA albeit with Smith appearing in an extra game. This should be a really good grind it out series that probably no one will watch. Phoenix and Nashville aren’t exactly hockey hubs and certainly won’t attract the casual fan. With goaltending being even I give Phoenix the slight edge in offense and nastiness.

Prediction: Phoenix in 7 with at least four overtimes.

“We love overtime games.”

Continue reading 2012 NHL Playoff Preview: Conference Semifinals

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The 2011 NHL Awards – Who Won and Who Deserved To…

So the NHL awards took place tonight, finally putting the 2010-2011 to bed. Let’s take a look at those who won, and those that should have been winners:

Norris Trophy (Best Defenseman)

Nominees: Zdeno Chara – Boston Bruins, Nicklas Lidstrom – Detroit Red Wings, and Shea Weber – Nashville Predators.

Winner: Nicholas Lidstrom, Detroit
Should’ve Been: Shea Weber, Nashville

While the Lidstrom win, his 7th, is not surprising, I think Weber was the correct choice. Weber finished The season with 16 goals, 32 assists, +7, and 211 hits. Weber, along with Pekka Rinne, is the reason behind Nashville’s successful season and playoff run.

Continue reading The 2011 NHL Awards – Who Won and Who Deserved To…

2011 NHL PLayoffs: ‘Canucks vs Predators’ – After 2 Games…

The only reason why this series is tied 1-1 is due to the amazing play of Pekka Rinne. In game two the dude flat-out robbed Vancouver with some spectacular sprawling Hasek-Style saves, denying several would be goals, two of them in overtime.

After two games it’s quite clear that the Canucks is the far superior team. Nashville’s offense has been anemic at best, while their power play has been down right awful. Every Nashville pass and entrance into the offensive zone was more painful to watch than an episode of Scrubs… That’s right I said it. I f–king hate that show. “Oh look I’m an awkward doctor just trying make sense of this life I’ve chosen…” Blah blah blah – Who cares.

Anyways, going forward I think Nashville can possibly steal one more game on the back of Rinne at best, but it’s doubtful. I fully expect Vancouver to come out in game 3 and finally flex their regular season muscle.

Still saying Canucks in 5 (or 6).

2011 NHL Playoffs – Round 2: Western Conference


Vancouver Canucks vs Nashville Predators

Well if i knew this series was going to take place a week ago I would say Vancouver in 4, but we all saw how they almost blew a 3 game lead last round. But to be fair, teams 4 thru 8 in the Western Conference were pretty much all the same anyway, so dwelling on Chicago being the #8 seed isn’t completely warranted.

So, with that said this series is going to be decided by Roberto Luongo and Nashville’s Pekka Rinne, both of whom are up for the Vezina Trophy this year.

Prediction: If Luongo gets his head out of his ass, I’d say the Canucks will move on in 5…… or 6 if Rinne stands on his head one night.

Detroit’s Winged Wheels vs the San Jose Sharkies

Once again, these two western conference power houses meet, making this THE SERIES to watch for the second round. Both teams are pretty much dead-evenly matched offensively, with all three lines having consistent, solid production in the first round. Detroit put up at least 4 goals in all four of their first round games, while San Jose was able to orchestrate one of the greatest comebacks of all times in their game #3. The only real difference between the two here is that Detroit put up their 1st round numbers without the help of Henrik Zetterberg who will be returning for the second round.

When it comes to defensive play and goaltending, Detroit has the edge. While to date Jimmy Howard has only proven to be serviceable at best, its who is surrounding him that gives them the edge. Having Nicklas Lidström (one the greatest defensemen of all time) and Pavel Datsyuk (whose up for his 4th straight Selke Trophy) in front of you makes your goaltenders job just a little bit easier.

Dan Boyle is a "Man's man"

As for the Sharkies, Niemi’s first round performance was a hell of a long way away from the 2 shutout, .910 save percent average. and 2.64 goals against average playoff performance he gave Chicago last year. Being pulled twice in three games (with one of the times being in the first 10 minutes of the game), having .864 save percent, and averaging a 4.00 goals against, up against an inferior team in the Kings.

That does not bode well for the Sharks.

To make matters worse, Neimi doesn’t have much support from the defense in front of him, since the San Jose defensemen are really forwards in disguise.

I’m looking at you Boyle

Prediction: Wings in seven. Sorry sharkies, but better luck next year.