Posts Tagged ‘Brian Elliott’

I am now one-for-five in my playoff predictions so far and albeit that my wallet has taken a beating so far this post-season (the Hockey Dekely does not endorse gambling), I’m actually quite pleased. I’ve always been an underdog fan – and these playoffs are delivering on all fronts of suspense and entertainment.

Last night, the Phoenix Coyotes eliminated the Chicago Blackhawks in game six. This is the first time that the Coyotes will play in a second-round playoff series. Although they finished higher in the standings, the ‘Yotes finished the season with less points than the Blackhawks and were seen as the underdog in the series.

Another upset was the elimination of the Detroit Red Wings by the Nashville Predators. Nashville ended with more points that the Red Wings but were still considered an underdog against the dynasty team with the stellar home record.

Let’s not forget the eighth seeded Los Angeles Kings booting out the President’s Trophy winners and last year Stanley Cup finalists, the Vancouver Canucks, in only five games.

Rounding out the Western conference semi-final match-ups is the one, and only, team that was expected to make it: the St. Louis Blues. Making predictions for the first-round of the NHL playoffs was hard enough, and putting money on choosing winners for the second-round is not something I should do – but I will, and here they are: (more…)

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Some NHL teams are blessed – they have a legitimate No.1 goaltender. They have a star netminder between the pipes that they can consistently rely on, season after season, to perform at the elite level for 60-plus games each season. Teams such as the New York Rangers, Carolina Hurricanes, and the Montreal Canadiens don’t tend to put up, day after day, with media representatives asking which goalie will start that night’s game; it’s simply assumed that Henrik Lundqvist, Cam Ward, or Carey Price will be there to tend the mesh.

But, in general, the franchise goalie is disappearing. The pressure put on NHL goalies, specifically noticeable over the last few seasons, is immense: perform or ride the pine – no second chances. There is no stability for non-franchise goalies to feel when they know each game they play could be their last for a long, long time. For a majority of NHL clubs, the problems are the same each season: they lack goaltending. (more…)