My Least Favourite Hockey Teams

1. Pittsburgh Penguins-This seems very self explanatory to anyone who has followed this blog

2. Chicago Blackhawks-2007 NHL Entry Draft (Flyers finished as the worst team in the league, yet Chicago who was the 5th seed, somehow won the lottery. Who was picked 1st overall? Patrick Kane. Who beat Philadelphia in the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals? Who scored the game winning goal in Game 6? Of course he did.

3. Toronto Maple Leafs-This is a good one. Growing up in the area, I was actually a young leaf fan. That seems very hard to believe, but its true. Well, as soon as I realized the difference between day and night, I switched.

4. LA Kings-Nothing against the Kings, they have a really good team. But I could not stand to listen to people who constantly think that Philadelphia handed LA the cup. They traded 1 player, Mike Richards to LA; not Jeff Carter. I could care less what Columbus did with him after the trade. I still think they won both of those trades and would make both trades 10/10 times.

5. NYR Rangers-Divisonal Rival. Beat Philadelphia in 7 games this year. Not much love.

And wouldnt you know, the 3 teams left in the playoffs are all on my list. Montreal was my last hope.

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Mastercard Memorial Cup

Yesterday featured the first game of the Mastercard Memorial Cup, being held in London. The game featured the host team, the London Knights vs the QMJHL champions, the Val-d’Or Foreurs. London came out flying in the first period and dominated the majority of the game, outshooting Val-d’Or 51-28. The Foreurs’ goaltender, Antoine Bibeau had a fantastic game, recording the 51 save shutout. Bibeau was drafted in the 6th round, 172nd overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs. Anthony Mantha scored the lone goal for Val-d’Or. The goal was Mantha’s 82nd goal in his 82nd game this year (season + playoffs). Those are some ridiculous numbers. Mantha was drafted last year in the 1st round, 20th overall by the Detroit Red Wings. At the time, Mantha was almost a full year older than the other prospects. Also, most scouts deemed him to be too “inconsistent” and a “one-dimensional player”; these factors all made his stock drop. Well, it looks like Anthony Mantha may end up being the steal of that draft. Today features the OHL champions (Guelph Storm) vs the WHL champions (Edmonton Oil Kings). My money is on a final featuring these 2 teams. Normally high end prospects who are expected to go high in the NHL entry draft are featured playing in this tournament. Last year it was Nathan MacKinnon and Seth Jones. This year the top prospect plays for the Guelph Storm. Robby Fabbri. Fabbri’s stock has risen this year comparable to that of Jeff Skinner’s a few years ago. I think Fabbri will go around the 10-20 mark in this years draft.

Crazy

I find it hard to believe that in a little over a month, I will be done high school forever. Technically last year could have been my last, but obviously I came back for a 5th year. I just cannot believe it. Time goes by so fast. It feels like I was walking down the hallway scared as a Grade 9 only yesterday. These last few years have been great, but I simply don’t want to leave. I feel more scared than excited to move on to university next year for some strange reason. University will be great, but I wonder how it will compare to high school?

If you could redo high school and start over, what would you do? Join more teams? Get better grades? Try harder? Get a job/get a job earlier? Be more social? If I started high school all over again, I would have gotten a job right in grade 9.

Movie Review

A few days ago, I saw the movie, The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Now, I rarely go to theatres to see new and upcoming movies, unless it’s a big big movie that I cannot wait to see. I did not consider this a “big” movie, but my friends wanted to see it so I thought, why not?

The movie is 142 minutes long, and was released May 2, 2014. The film recieved a score of 7.5 on IMBD and 55% on tomatometer. Here is a summary from IMBD:

We’ve always known that Spider-Man’s most important conflict has been within himself: the struggle between the ordinary obligations of Peter Parker and the extraordinary responsibilities of Spider-Man. But in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Peter Parker finds that his greatest battle is about to begin. It’s great to be Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield). For Peter Parker, there’s no feeling quite like swinging between skyscrapers, embracing being the hero, and spending time with Gwen (Emma Stone). But being Spider-Man comes at a price: only Spider-Man can protect his fellow New Yorkers from the formidable villains that threaten the city. With the emergence of Electro (Jamie Foxx), Peter must confront a foe far more powerful than he. And as his old friend, Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan), returns, Peter comes to realize that all of his enemies have one thing in common: Oscorp.

I did not have big expectations coming into the theatre, so I actually thought the movie was decent, I would have rated it somewhere in the ballpark of 7/10. The one problem I had with the movie was Gwen dying. In the original Spiderman series (Toby Macguire), Gwen lives through the whole series.

Next Year

As anyone who follows hockey should know, the Flyers got knocked out in Game 7 against the Rangers. It was a tough and unpleasant outcome, but there is always next year. Plus, I believe if Steve Mason played this whole series, the Flyers would have won. Anybody who watched any of this series would know that Steve Mason played great and outplayed Henrik Lundqvist. Injuries do happen, but atleast the team seems to have finally found their number 1 goalie, since, well it’s been a while. There are many areas in which this team needs to improve on in order to make a cup run.

  1. Better 5 on 5 play. The Flyers have a great power play and penalty kill. But they ranked 17th in 5 on 5 play during the season. They live and die on special teams and they need to improve playing even strength.
  2. More speed. This team was too slow and they greatly need to add some speed, which should help the 5 on 5 play.
  3. Top line sniper. Claude Giroux needs someone to put the puck in the net. He can score, but is a past-first type of player and playing with Jake Voracek (playmaker), and Scott Hartnell (powerforward) is not going to cut it. You put Giroux with a sniper, watch him easily hit the 100+ point mark. 
  4. Top pairing defensman. Somebody who can skate, move the puck, and eat alot of minutes. Ever since Chris Pronger went down, this team has been mediocare on the back end.

Now, I really hope that the organization has the same views. Pulling all of that off would make for a very exciting summer. You never know with this organization though.

Poem

Roses are red,

Violets are blue.

The NY Rangers are divers,

But they wont be survivors.

 

Roses are red,

Violets are blue.

The NY Rangers are soft,

As they will pay the cost.

 

I cannot wait until tonight at 7pm EST. Game 4. Back at the beginning of the season when the Flyers fell to 1-7; Claude Giroux came out and predicted they would make the playoffs. Here we are. After Game 3, he came out again and said they will win Game 4 and go back to bradway with the series split at 2-2. Lets hope that he is once again right.

Reflection

The NY Rangers took game 1 at MSG with a 4-1 score. The Flyers came out flat, did not move their feet, and as a result could not establish a forecheck or any offensive zone time. They had 15 shots on goal. The two teams face off Easter Sunday at 12pm ET.

I do know that the Flyers basically got killed last game, however, it is unbelievable how everyone thinks of the NY Rangers. It’s 1 game. You would have thought they just won the Stanley Cup. Everybody needs to relax. I picked the Flyers in 6 and I stand by that prediction. When they win on Sunday, the series will be tied 1-1 and that’s all anyone could ask.

Another thing. I think the NY Rangers are overrated. If they are that good, then why did they only finish with 2 more points than the Flyers? After Philly started 1-7? The Rangers have a great goalie and a great d core. I wont deny that. But their offense is questionable. They are the 18th ranked offensive team in the league. Mats Zuccarello, the leading point scorer, had 59 points. The team has 2 20 goal scorers. The Flyers have 7.

If the Flyers move their feet more often, they will win. Hopefully Steve Mason is back, as he will help with the breakout as he is a great puck handler.

Playoffs

The Stanley Cup Playoffs are finally here! Series start as soon as tomorrow night, with the other series starting Thursday/Friday night.

Anaheim vs Minnesota

San Jose vs LA

Colorado vs Minnestoa

St Louis vs Chicago

 

Boston vs Detroit

Tampa vs Montreal

Pittsburg vs Columbus

New York vs Philadelphia

 

The Flyers/Rangers series starts Thursday night. The first two games will be played at MSG with games 3 and 4 being held at the Wells Fargo Center. The two teams have tied the season series at 2 games a piece, with both teams winning their games at home. The Flyers have not won at MSG since 2011, and are 0-8-0 in their last 8 games at MSG. In saying that, this is the playoffs and is a new game. Plus, they have to win there eventually…..

Projected Lineups

Hartnell-Giroux-Voracek

Raffl-Schenn-Simmonds

Read-Couturier-Akeson/Rinaldo/McGinn

Hall-Lecavalier-Akeson/Rinaldo/McGinn

Coburn-Timonen

Grossman-Streit

Schenn-Macdonald

Mason (should be ready to go for Game 1)

Emery

 

Hagelin-Stepan-Nash

Fast-Richards-St. Louis

Pouliet-Brassard-Zuccarello

Moore/Carcillo-Boyle-Dorsett

McDonagh-Girardi

Moore-Staal

Stralman/Diaz/Klein

Lundqvist

Talbot

Prediction: Flyers in 6

The MASTERS

The 2014 Masters have officially begun! The best players around the world are all teeing it up in Augusta, Georgia this week, except for the number 1 ranked player in the world, Tiger Woods. Las Vegas recently revealed their odds for this weeks tournament. Rory McIlroy was voted as the favourite with Adam Scott, Jason Day, and Phil Mickelson not too far behind. This Masters is going to be very interesting as the majority of the higher ranked players in the field are injured. Tiger Woods may not play a major this year, there have been concerns about the health of Adam Scott. Phil Mickelson withdrew one of his tournaments 2 weeks ago, and Henrik Stenson has been injured since he won the Fed-Ex Cup. With all these injuries, the field is wide open. Also, a quarter of the field have never played at Augusta and are “rookies”. Included in these rookies is Canadian Graham Delaet. Delaet has played great over the past year, the only thing he hasn’t done is won. Could this be his first PGA tour win?

I think 2 names to keep an eye on would be Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia. Rory had his worst season on the PGA tour last year and he will be looking to add this tournament to his resume and make this his 3rd major championship. Garcia has always struggled at the Masters but with a 3rd place finish last week and his ballstriking ability, he has a good shot. Garcia is 34, the same age as Phil Mickelson was when he won his first major.