Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Ducks/Flames Last Night

This series is a friggin' WWF cage match on ice. These guys are just killing each other on every shift. The season-ending match up set the stage nicely for what has turned out to be the most brutal of the first round series. It's Blood, guts, and glory in spades.

The refs let a lot go in this tilt. Lots of old school obstruction and hitting that was led by elbows, hands and butt ends of sticks. The first period scrum between Jerome Iginla and Francois Beauchemin was classic. Frankie got his hands up in Jerome's grill, Jerome took exception, wild punches ensued, and Frankie took the scrum.

Dion Phaneuf separated Todd Fedoruk from contact with the earth his helmet in a bone crushing hit along the boards.

Darren McCarty took a puck to the mellon only to bounce off of the massive bulk Dustin Penner as he fell. Stephane Yelle played the whole game bleeding from the bridge of his nose.

The end of the game jawing between Ryan Getzlaf and Darren McCarty and around the linesman was also priceless. Getzlaf might be a rookie, but he seems to love this level of intensity.

Little Andy McDonald is a special player. He's a fantastic playmaker who fearlessly dives into any scrum. He takes vicious hits that would fell a lesser man. Not bad for a guy with a history of concussion issues.

Teemu Selanne scored two goals, but only one was allowed. The forehand to backhand shot at an impossible angle to score the disallowed goal was a thing of beauty. His second was purely a goal-scorers goal-a wicked snap wrister over the shoulder of Miikka Kiprusoff (Kipper got everything shot gloveside) on a nice feed from McDonald. Reminded me of the Alexi Kovalev goal in Game #5 the other night.

OBTW, If they are taking the time to review every called goal in the playoffs, why don't they review wave-offs? Selanne clearly netted the puck before the ensuing three-Flame collision in the crease. Not only did they disallow Selanne's goal, they put an innocent Joffrey Lupul in the box for goalie interference.

Scott Niedermeyer has a Matrix-like feel for the game. Matt Leinart may have dressed like Neo in those incredibly dopey and pimp-enriched ESPN NFL draft segues, but Niedermeyer lives in that kind of zone. He just seems to be two steps ahead of every play. Some are saying his game winning wrap-around bank shot was lucky. I think Scotty makes his luck.

Looking Ahead
The first and second seeds are gone in the West. Either of the two teams I watched last night would create huge physical problems for any Eastern Conference team. The Flames want to beat you up and take your lunch money. The Ducks have found a way to make even purple and teal loook mean. Glad only one will move on.


Ingmar "W" Bergman said...

I knew the Habs collective confidence went down the gutter when The Canes won game 3.


CasonBlog said...

And where did Alexi Kovalev disappear to?