The six pictures that make up the top row of Jonathan Toews’ Getty Image page all show something similar to what you see above. Jonathan Toews with a facial expression that implies something like “F^&% F$%$ STUPID PUCK WHY DON’T YOU JUST GO IN THE STUPID NET YOU F&*%ING F*^&.”
Now, you can generally find Toews with some sort of contorted look while playing, but it’s getting pretty extreme. He pretty obviously wants to score, and win, bad.
For those who haven’t noticed – and it’s pretty clear he’s not one of those people – he’s yet to contribute a tally in the post-season. His zero goals sit beside a total of three assists, which after eight games, doesn’t quite match-up with his 48 points in 47 regular season games.
There’s a number of excuses to be made for him, as their is for most top-tier players: it’s playoffs, and he’s one of the players other teams are going to key on to shut down (Jonathan Ericsson, in particular, is making him insane). It’s playoffs, so he’s going to be paying extra-special attention to defense. And it’s playoffs, so everybody’s time and space is shrunk by the general ramped-up intensity of the game.
There’s also a number of reasons to say he’s actually playing extremely well despite not putting up the standard boxcar stats. He’s averaging 3.5 shots per game, a pace only eclipsed in the regular season by a handful of players. His advanced stats are downright gaudy, as he’s leading the way for the Blackhawks possession-wise, while suffering a 970 PDO (he’s been somewhat unlucky). And he’s certainly not shying away from “the dirty areas,” which is generally a problem for skilled players going through slumps. He’s getting chances. Read the rest of this entry »
It wasn’t your typical Hollywood underdog sports story. Underdogs generally don’t win 9 straight heading into a championship final. Underdogs don’t tend to be one of the top-scoring teams in a tournament, finishing tied for the most goals. Underdogs don’t boast incredible goaltending, finishing second in team save percentage.
That is, however, what Switzerland did at the World Hockey Championships, defeating Sweden, Canada, the Czech Republic (twice!), and USA enroute to a landmark appearance in the gold medal game. Despite ultimately losing in a rematch with Sweden in the final, it was still an incredible tournament for the Swiss.
The national team’s performance, combined with the emergence of Swiss players in the NHL, is an indication that Switzerland is once again poised to be a top tier nation in hockey.
Last season during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, I put out a morning “noteworthy” column in the style of Trey Kerby’s “Things Of Note” posts on The Basketball Jones. This year I’ll be doing something similar (I think with some upgrades on my own previous attempts) using the NHL’s morning press release (“Stanley Cup of Joe,” they’re calling it), my own opinions, and some videos, .GIFs and appropriate pictures. Quoted passages are from the NHL press release.
Last night the Detroit Red Wings took down the Chicago Blackhawks for a second straight game to move ahead 2-1 in the series.
Viktor Stalberg almost died
Or at least almost ended up paralyzed. He managed to play nearly 10 minutes in the contest, which isn’t so bad considering this happened on his first shift: Read the rest of this entry »
The craziest part about this play is that it absolutely works. Well, actually wait, that’s not true – the crazy part is having the presence of mind and the stones to try it from a scoring situation, which you don’t get a ton of in a game.
But it does make sense; it allows him to pull the puck back from the defender’s stick, and get his stick in a position to make the pass.
Again, that’s Max Domi, Tie Domi’s son. Apparently he plays a bit more of a skill game.
A decade into his NHL career, and Niklas Kronwall has already put together quite the highlight reel of on-ice carnage. I love his attitude about the getting run over – if it happens to me, I probably put myself in a bad spot.
One of my absolute favourite things as a sports fan is “mic’d up” videos, and this one is no exception.
Highlights for me:
* Ryan Getzlaf telling Jonathan Ericsson (6’4″, 220) “You’re not scary.” I guess that’s easier to say when you’re the same size.
* Patrick Kane yelling “showtime” after a goal
* Jarome Iginla telling Pascal Dupuis (or whoever) to just fire the puck at him chest height and he’ll grab it and put it down. Don’t be surprised to see more plays like that in the league. Great way to minimize risk on clears.
Well, maybe after a 46-save performance, it’s time to replace Tomas Vokoun and go back to Marc-Andre Fleury. Win, and you’re in, after all, and the coach Dan Bylsma has to go with the hot hand. Vokoun stopped 27 shots in the regulation period, but not the 28th.
Of course… that’s absurd. Tomas Vokoun has been excellent since taking over in relief of Fleury in advance of the fifth game of the first round against the New York Islanders. Heading into Sunday’s game, the Penguins had won four consecutive, finishing off the pesky New York Islanders and taking the first two from the Pesky Sens.
At the trade deadline I bet a friend of mine straight up, taking The Field vs. the Pittsburgh Penguins. When the New York Islanders made it 5-4 in the fourth game of the series, I thought I might have him beat. “Surely, these are just the Islanders,” I thought. “Good as they are, one of the Bruins or Senators is going to have to take them down, right?”