Stanley Cup Playoffs 2013 – Day 7

Monday, May 6, 2013

Boston at Toronto 7:00 PM EST
Washington at NY Rangers 7:30 PM
Anaheim at Detroit 8:00 PM
St.Louis at Los Angeles
10:00 PM
INKTIME  on RINKTIME Observations and Random thoughts by Chris Madsen:
Looks like this SCE’s Opening Round pick of the Canucks in 7 over San Jose is a looooong shot.  How can a team that typically performs so well during the Regular Season after Regular Season continue to disintegrate during the Playoffs?  And the locals can’t pin this debacle on Roberto Luongo.  And perhaps the understatement of this Playoff Season was delivered by none other than Canucks Captain Henrik Sedin who said, “We absolutely have to score more.  They are scoring a lot and we need to put more goals in.”  Gee Henrik…do you think???!!!  If the Sharks complete the sweep, it would mark  the first time that has happened in the Playoffs in franchise history.
Red Wings forward Justin Abdelkader was suspended two games for his hit on Anaheim Ducks defenseman Toni Lydman in Game 3 of their series on Saturday night.  Abdelkader was given a major penalty for charging and a game misconduct with 4:49 left in the second period.  Lydman was assisted off the ice and did not return to the game.  No word on Lydman’s status for tonight’s tilt.   However, my sources in Detroit are telling me that Mikael Samuelsson will fill Abdelkader’s spot alongside Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg for this evening’s Game 4 at The                      Joe.
Last week I told you that I would share my two “Dark Horse” (DH) picks to make it to the Finals. As indicated, just about every SCE picked the two top seeds– Pittsburgh and Chicago–to meet in the Stanley Cup Finals.  However, I’ve been telling   friends to keep an eye on Washington for weeks.  I had the chance to chat with Adam Oates on several occasions during my time as the voice of the Ducks and he was playing with Boston and the Caps.  This guy’s Hockey IQ was off the charts!  And by the looks of his team’s swift turnaround, it is evident to me that he has a way of conveying his hockey smarts in a way that his players are buying into.  The other DH has been Anaheim.  I know this runs counterintuitive to my pick of Detroit in 6, but I based my pick on trends–and everything was trending the Red Wings way going into this series.  But when you dissect line-combos and defensive pairings–in my humble opinion, Anaheim has been the most balanced team the   Western Conference has to offer.  Plus, whenever you have a “Father-figure” type Coach like Bruce Boudreau behind the bench and a long-time veteran like Teemu Selanne imploring younger players to buy into Boudreau’s message, good things can happen.  And, right now, the Ducks look like the juggernaut that was buzz-sawing through the competition earlier in the season.
Whoever it is you are rooting for….ENJOY THE  RIDE!!!
And finally…The NHL has released the names of their three finalists for ROOKIE OF THE YEAR  honors.  They are Montreal Canadiens Right Winger  Brendan Gallagher, Florida Panthers Center  Jonathan Huberdeau and Chicago Blackhawks Left Winger Brandon Saad.  If you could cast your vote, who would you select?
BTW, the Calder Trophy winner will be announced during the 2013 Stanley Cup final.
More nominations are on their way, with the finalists for the James Norris Memorial Trophy (for Top Defensman) coming on Tuesday.




Chris Madsen