Yesterday the Capitals could not figure out to put traffic in front of the net at the right time, fell behind, and ultimately were eliminated after a 2-1 loss. Needless to say, we went 0-1 yesterday. Well tonight there is a game that kicks off the second round and this one promises to have some fireworks. The Sharks and Red Wings met four times this year with the Wings taking three of the four games. This has the makings of being a great series between a team trying to hold on to its championship pedigree and a team trying to shed its label of being called "choke artists". Who will reign supreme?
Much thanks to our friends on Bloguin for helping us out throughout the playoffs so far and we are going to try and take a stab at predicting this game. Here is our score tonight and I cringed at this but I will go with it.
Sharks 4 Red Wings 3 (OT)
Will this happen? I do not know. Did you want those shiny money lines? Okay here they are.
Needless to say the turkeys were in some fear this week. There were so many options but my god, the Coyotes were chasing them and almost got them before the second round. Fear not, the Coyotes did not catch the turkeys. One never wants the headliner of a column to literally get gobbled up by a pack of Coyotes.
Now this week may have been the toughest week for turkeys ever. There were so many good choices as the first round came to a close. I am sure we will be leaving some people off that maybe should be on said list. The first round of the playoffs always has an ample amount of goats but the three we selected take the level of goat and raise it exponentially. We hope you enjoy these and well if you are a fan of one of these players, well sorry but the truth hurts.
You may have seen this coming a mile away....okay maybe many miles. The less visible he was this series it seemed to be better for the Caps. That sounds weird but it is true. He only had 2 points in the first 4 games but he was a +2 and actually playing pretty solid as the Caps jumped out to a 3 games to 1 lead. Then for some reason he wanted to be more assertive. Maybe it was the Norris nomination perhaps but ten of his twelve penalty minutes came in the last three games. He had 13 shots in the last 3 games compared to 10 in the first 4. The writing was on the wall. The dumb penalties were added insult to the fact that he got plowed over by Scott Gomez. Let us not confuse Mr. Gomez for physical play like this. He used to take on players bigger than him but this was unexpected. Green was clearly not the same player after and the more he pressed, the more mistakes he made. It almost seemed like a pattern for the entire Washington Capitals team. It is weird how that works. A good reason to be given the first turkey and that mistake on that Habs clincher last night....OY!
You could hear the potential money running away from his bank account after this one. Two points in seven games was just not going to cut it and I do not think the Caps were happy with his performance. People think Alex Ovechkin was a puck hog? Semin was pretty darn close with a whopping 44 shots and NO goals. That is right....ZERO! For a team who prided itself on the Power Play and yes Alex Semin had 27 points on the man advantage in the regular season. The oh by the way is this. Semin had ten more shots on goal this series than Alex Ovechkin (34). By the way, Ovechkin at least had five goals in this series (nearly 6). People will want to focus the turkey crosshares straight on him but Semin gets some definite second turkey wrath here. People really are going to take notice that some Caps players really need to get the heave ho and Semin may just be first on the list as he may be more selfish at times than any (fairly or unfairly).
The pressure was on him and everyone knew it. In a series where Roberto Luongo was far from spectacular, all Quick had to do was be pretty solid and the Kings would have a great shot at winning. The amount of goals he gave up were not as alarming as some of the goals he gave up. At least two or 3 of Mikael Samuelsson's 7 goals were of the questionable variety and Quick had a penchant for giving up goals in the third period moreso than even Carey Price. Now that one has got to hurt some. The last four games he could not keep his save percentage at or above .900. Cue up those Jonathan Bernier rumors because I have to tell you come sometime next year, Bernier is going to be the starter for the Kings and then look out. Jonathan Quick was a feelgood story but it may be one that has run its course unless he rebounds in training camp.
5 For Dishonorable Mention.....
1. Roberto Luongo -- his offense bailed him out big time in the last three games of the series.
2. Jamie Langenbrunner -- just for still being grumpy.
3. The entire San Jose first line -- ten points combined in series against Colorado. (Joe Pavelski had 8 pts by himself).
4. Buffalo PP outage -- 0 for 27 and really that cannot be all blamed on Thomas Vanek's injury.
5. Caps PP outage -- 1 for 33 and never was able to really generate traffic in front of the net. Crackdown or no crackdown, you must screen the goalie! The Caps paid the ultimate price....ELIMINATION!
So the turkeys will now take their leave but mind you, they will be looking all next week for more turkeys to put on its list. If you want to nominate any turkeys for submission, just contact us via email on the blog and we will gladly consider it. Thanks again.
Wake up hockey fans! Okay some are waking up very slowly this morning if at all.
The Morning After: Last night’s scores: Canadiens 2, Capitals 1 Predictions record: 0-1
My 3 stars from last night: 1. Jaroslav Halak, MTL (41 Saves, 1 GA) Halak put together another masterful performance as the Habs pulled the gigantic upset. 2. Hal Gill, MTL (1 Assist) Gill was a force all night in the defensive zone, and had the primary assist on Moore’s winner. 3. Dominic Moore, MTL (1 Goal) Speaking of Moore… the journeyman’s goal late in the 3rd proved to be the difference. ‘RLD Game-Changing Performance’ of the night: The no-goal call… When Ovechkin scored early in the third, I really thought they had broken the seal on Halak. But Mike Knuble was called on a crease violation (but no goalie interference) during the play. The goal should’ve counted, but it didn’t. And the frustration piled up even more after that, and the Caps just couldn’t buy a goal. This was a critical call in the game. --- Tonight’s Slate: Detroit @ San Jose, Game 1, 9:00 ET
Game of the Night: Detroit Red Wings @ San Jose Sharks Game 1, 9:00 ET… TV: VERSUS, TSN, Local Networks
Players to watch: DET- Johan Franzen ‘The Mule’ didn’t score as many goals as expect in round one, and needs to start this series off well. SJ- Joe Thornton ‘Jumbo Joe’ was hardly relevant in the Colorado series; it’d be a good idea for him to show up in this one.
Starting Goaltenders: DET- Jimmy Howard (Playoff stats: 4-3, 2.59 GAA) SJ- Evgeni Nabokov (Playoff stats: 4-2, 1.76 GAA)
Game Thoughts: This promises to be a great series, and I don’t think tonight’s game will disappoint. The Wings didn’t have much time to prepare, but it won’t affect them as much as it would some other teams. San Jose really needs to win this game and get off on the right foot. I think they will, behind a solid effort from ‘Nabby’. Prediction: Sharks 3, Red Wings 2
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