Saturday, May 16, 2009

Second Round. "Who Is Hot and Who Is Not..."

Dear Friends,

The second round of 2009 is become history. It was one of the best (if not the best) second round I have ever seen. Three games 7 and one series that ended in six – it says a lot. The quality of hockey itself was terrific. The effort of every game shown by every team was fantastic. Anyway, traditionally I would like to bring to your attention my version of “Who is Hot” and “Who is Not” based on the second round of the 2009 Stanley Cup. I will be more than glad to get your opinion on this point!


It’s definitely hard task. Ovechkin has got 14 points in 7 games. He becomes the first player to register 2 points-per-game-series since 1995, scoring 8 goals in 7 games. Johan Franzen is Red Wings playoffs scoring machine. Young Blackhawks superstar Patrick Kane with his unthinkable hat trick in the last game. Or maybe it’s Cam Ward who was the shipwrecking rock for Bruins battleship? Awakened Geno Malkin or Sergei Gonchar who came back to game 7 playing on “one knee”? Maybe amazing Corey Perry or Jonas Hiller from Anaheim? Again, it’s your choice.

Being Capitals fan I have to admit – my second round “Who Is Hot” selection is Penguins Sidney Crosby. For me his brilliant performance against Washington finally proved his superstar status erased all criticism which he has got during past two seasons. Sidney carried Pittsburgh trough whole series scoring the goals, assisting to his partners but much more important he set the excellent example to his teammates how to fight in each episode, every game. He is true captain. Crosby behaviour is the key factor to the Pittsburgh success specially when trailing 2-0 after the first two games. Good luck, Sid, in the semis.

The hottest team which continues to surprise me is Chicago. This team plays vital, enthusiastic, offensive style of hockey scoring tons of goals against the top NHL goalies, allows tons of goals against only to come back in some romantic unbelievable way. I haven’t seen such type of hockey to be successful in playoffs for decades. Thank you, Blackhawks!


I won’t give you too long list for election. Two regular season Norris Trophy finalist are on this list. Bruins Zdeno Chara failed to neutralize Canes offensive leader Eric Staal who dominated for the most games during this series. The shoulder injure reason of Caps Mike Green playoffs “absence” may convince you but not me. The one of the best League defenseman was, in my opinion, the worst in both teams during this series. Varlamov and Fleury both have allowed some amount of the goals which not supposed to be allowed by playoffs goalies. Detroit forwards Tomas Holmstrom and Pavel Datsuyk are far away from their normal level.

But this unpleasant award in my opinion goes to Washington forward Alexander Semin. His impact to his team play was negative, his plus-minus is horrible, he scored 0 goals, he has taken selfish penalties, he produced a lot of giveaways. Boudreau’s comment on Semin’s “undisclosed” injure AFTER playoffs finished for Caps is ridiculous. And on the top of everything is his stupid comments about Crosby who has truly shown “what is so special about him” as well as Semin did.


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