Posts Tagged ‘hockey’
Move over Broadway Joe, here comes Beantown Tim. Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas, predicted before yesterday’s Eastern Conference Final game 5, that his team would be victorious. After all was said and done, he held true to his word. In a hard-fought game, the Boston Bruins emerged the victors over the Tampa Bay Lightning. The primary reason for this was Thomas himself, who turned in a magnificent performance, stopping all but one of the 34 shots he faced. Could he have super powers? Perhaps, but I don’t believe that they involve predicting the future.
Instead Thomas made his prediction become reality. His powers lie in his goaltending ability. He has a slinky for a spine and is far more fast and agile than he should be at the ripe old age of 37. In fact he is more fast and agile than most goaltenders are at the age of 27. He reminds me of Dominek Hasek, as he is unorthodox, and makes up for less than sound positioning with unfathomable acrobatic saves.
Stu Grimson, Bob Probert, and Boogaard all made their legends with their fists, and will go down as some of the most feared men to ever take the ice. As a player, Boogaard was always quick to stand up for a teammate and never one to back down from a fight. His abrasive, in-your-face style made him well respected with teammates. He always wore his heart on his sleeve and was adored by fans, despite only scoring 3 goals in his 6-year NHL career.
“History will be Made.”The slogan of the NHL playoffs is certainly holding true in the series between the Detroit Red Wings and the San Jose Sharks. Down three games to none, the Wings have rallied back to force a game seven. When say rally, I mean that in every way possible. Not only have the Wings won the past three contests; they have come from behind in every victory. Now it is all tied up, and one win will earn them a date in the Western Conference Finals with the Vancouver Canucks. They could also become just the fourth team in NHL history to win a series after being in a 3-0 hole.
How were the Wings able to mount such an epic comeback? There were several reasons. First, they didn’t panic. The Wings are the most playoff seasoned team in the NHL, they have been in these high-pressure situations before. Second, they have gotten good goaltending from Jimmy Howard, something you cannot win at this time of year without. Finally, their superstars have performed like superstars. Zetterberg has 7 points in the series and has been outstanding. Niklas Kronwall has provided responsible defense, bone-crushing hits and even solid offensive production. While these players have been fantastic, the greatest difference maker has been Pavel Datsyuk. Datsyuk has points in every single game this series and has dazzled with mesmerizing stick-handling and incredibly accurate passing. These aren’t even the areas where he has been the most impactful. Datsyuk is being used as the teams’ shut-down center, consistently going against the Sharks’ top offensive units. He has effectively limited the production of Joe Thorton and Dany Heatley and has turned Patrick Marleau into a complete non-factor. He has even added some grit to his game, mixing it up on several occasions including drawing a double-minor for his shenanigans after a play in game 6. This isn’t normal behavior for Datsyuk, a several time winner of the Lady Byng Trophy as the league’s most gentlemanly player. But then again, this isn’t a normal situation. It’s the playoffs and the Wings’ season was at stake.