Monthly Archives: April 2012

First Round Leaves Many Frowns: NHL Playoffs Week Two

So far Moonpie and T-bone have predicted the outcome of 1 series. That's why they pay us the big bucks.

The frowns started in Michigan back on Friday when the ‘young guns’ of the Nashville Predators sent the ‘old farts’ of the Detroit Red Wings a-packin’ in just 5 games.  A team that just four years ago won Lord Stanley’s Cup was eliminated in the first round by newcomers to this whole “winning in the playoffs” thing.  It really got me thinking about the Wings; there will be a time when the Red Wings do notmake the playoffs.  Weird right?!  It’s been since the days of Adam Oates and a young Steve Yzerman that Detroit was last thought as one of those “other teams” in the Western Conference and not a formidable cup contender.  I’m sorry Wings fans, but I can’t say I’m sad to see your days of dominance come to an end.  Give someone else a try for once, c’mon.

With the end of that first playoff series one of the best traditions in hockey was witnessed for the first time since last June; the handshake.  Imagine what it’s like working your guts out against another person, trying to beat them no matter what for a week or two, then having to look into their eyes and shake their hand once it’s decided one team is better than the other.  You can’t find such a tremendous display of humility and sportsmanship like this at the end of a grueling series in any other sport!   Regardless of whether you’re the winner or loser, it’s probably pretty weird, although I’m sure the winners have a much better time at these end of game gatherings.

Aww, poor Sharkies. Maybe next year! Or if you're on a different team.

That’s how it all began, and next we said goodbye to San Jose Sharks.  Not a real shocker in the moment, but if someone had told you in the beginning of the season that the 7th seeded Sharks were going to get eliminated in 5 games in the first round by the 2nd seeded St. Louis Blues, you’d be all like, “saayy whaatt?!”

We then said goodbye to the Vancouver Canucks and that was a real shocker.  It’s pretty hard to believe that the President’s Trophy winner and former Western Conference Champions would lose so decisively to the 8th seeded Kings, but that’s what’s so great about the playoffs, you never know what’s going to happen!  Raffi Torres could get suspended 25 games!

The beloved Pittsburgh Penguins were sent home by the evil Philadelphia Flyers.  A lot of people picked these Pens to go on another Stanley Cup run but they were simply out-played by the Flyers and didn’t really deserve to win.  All we can hope for now is that the Rangers can be the Senators in tonight’s game 7…which brings me to my next point: Game 7’s!!  We’ll have three of these babies in the East this year!  The division winners have all had their hands full with the bottom of conference playoff barrel, but we’ll know what the second round match-ups are by the end of Thursday.

Mike Smith really bailed out the Phoenix Coyotes in their series with the Chicago Blackhawks.  Without him they would be toast, but with his goose egg performance the Quarterfinal match-ups are set in stone in the West: Blues-Kings and Coyotes-Predators.  One of these four will represent the West in the Cup Final, who are you rooting for?

All things being equal, Smitty's mask is pretty dope.

Feel free to leave us a comment, write to us via e-mail here, and follow us on twitter here.  Sometime after Thursday and before the second round starts we’ll put up a podcast with our first round thoughts and second round predictions.  You can hear our old p-casts here!

-T-bone

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The NHL Playoffs: Week One

All caught up!

I just decided that I am going to try to do a weekly recap of the playoffs.  I guess I’ll talk about all the things I found noteworthy and interesting, awesome or ugly.  We’ll see how it goes.  3…2…1…BLAST OFF!

Holy hell!  What in the hell got into those really big guys with knives on their feet and sticks in their hands?!  They’re running around doin’ all kinds of fucked up shit!

Byron Bitz, Matt Carkner, Carl Hagelin, Andrew Shaw, Nicklas Backstrom, Craig Adams , Aaron Asham, and James Neal all have been suspended in this first week.  Brent Burns should have been suspended for his blatant elbow on Scott Nichol, and more importantly, Shea Weber  should have been suspended for slamming Henrik Zetterberg’s  face into the glass in the first game of the Detroit/Nashville series.  Raffi Torres will no doubt be suspended for this hit that sent Marian Hossa to the hospital last night:

Torres’ suspension will most likely be the strongest swing of the Shanahammer we’ve seen this post season, Odin willing.  Of all the “taking that kind of hit out of the game” and “it’s about respect the players have for each other” talk we’ve been hearing since October, what can we make of these heinous infractions?  That the players don’t have respect for each other and they aren’t afraid of the big, bad, Shanahan, or their emotions have just gotten the better of them in the first week?  What do you think?

Speaking of thinking, who’da thunk the Philadelphia Flyers would be up 3-0 on the Pittsburgh Penguins?  Probably not any of these guys:

Yikes!

I said Philly would win in 7 because I want the Pens to win and I never ever get what I want, a-boo-hoo.  We’ll see if Pittsburgh can make an historic first round rally starting tonight, but I doubt it.  They have been sloppy in their own zone, their defense has been terrible, their special teams has been equally as puke-inspiring, and they have been despicably dirty.  To the Flyers credit, they’ve played great and have kept their composure.  The Penguins are trying to beat the Flyers at their own bully-style game and it’s just not going to work.

The Panthers comeback from a 3 goal deficit last night against the Devils was pretty awesome.  You’d expect that kind of comeback from the Stinkin’ Philadelphia Flyers, but it’s cool to see it done by a team most people (myself included) had written off as the worst team in the playoffs.

The LA Kings are up 3-0 on the President’s Trophy-Winning, defending Western Conference Champion Vancouver Canucks.  No one saw that coming either.  A team who squeaked into the playoffs in the last couple of days of the regular season now has the chance to become the first ever to sweep the reigning P-trophy champs, are you kidding me?

The hockey gods have something pretty crazy in store for us this year, that is fo sho.  Can’t wait to see what next week brings!

Feel free to leave us a comment, write to us via e-mail here, and follow us on twitter here.  Oh! And we finally got the podcast on iTunes, so you can subscribe to that here.

-T-bone

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T-bone and the Hockey Doggz no. 11: Trophy Winners and 1st Round Playoff Predictions From the Playoff War Room!

T-bone and the Hockey Doggz have successfully cranked it up to 11 to coincide with the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.  This episode was recorded last night from and undisclosed location known only as TB & HDz Playoff War Room.  THE PLAYOFFS START IN T-MINUS 30 MINUTES which doesn’t give you enough time to listen to the whole thing but you can listen to part now and then pause it and come back to it later.

In the first period we discuss our guesses votes as to who will win what trophy.  Through a thorough discussion we came to some pretty interesting conclusions about the winners.  We also chose a winner for the first ever T-bone and the Hockey Doggz Kane Trophy (pictures to come), an award that goes to the player who best exemplifies excellence and general awesomeness among T-bone and the Hockey Doggz.  Betcha can’t guess who it’s going to!

The second and third periods are devoted solely to NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs.  Who’s gonna win what series in the West?  Who’s gonna win what series in the East?  We state our predictions and reasons why, and hilarity ensues.

Listen to it, and tell us if you think we are “right on!”, or if we are “real dumb…”.  Either way let us know by posting a comment, or emailing us here, or you can follow us on twitter here and tweet to us all day and all night.  Oh, and T-bone sincerely apologizes for all of the snorting…he got sick yesterday, give him a break!  HAPPY PLAYOFFS EVERYONE!!

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The 2011-2012 NHL Season in Review, or: Things I Remember About Hockey Since October 6th

Drawing this was harder than you would think.

The 2011-2012 NHL season has made it 7/9ths of the way up Mt. Stanley and as you can see from the beautiful hand-made bracket above, only the strong (and the Panthers) have survived.  The playoffs are just around the Tuesday and I, for one, am fucking PUMPED!  But before my mouth starts salivating like Manny Legace’s for hamburgers, I want to take a moment to reflect on the season that was.

Just like every other NHL season, this one had its ups and downs.  The Minnesota Wild were at the top of the league in December boy oh boy did they ever take a tumble.  According to Ryan Lambert of Puck Daddy,

“the Wild won seven of their final 52 games in regulation. Fewer regulation wins than Columbus. That’s a team that was never making the playoffs, right there.”

Yikes!  Can’t say I wasn’t happy when they were doing well, but we all knew that wasn’t gonna last.

Remember when Ryan “The Nuge” Nugent-Hopkins scored his first career NHL goal in his first career NHL game?:

Nikolai Khabibulin at had a save percentage of .964 and a GAA of 0.97 after 10 games, pretty good for an old fart!  Things were looking good for the Oilers in the beginning, but the Bulin Wall and the Oilers didn’t fair quite as well for the remaining 72 games.

It would come to be known as “The Year of the Shanaban”.  With the face of the NHL, Sidney Crosby, out indefinitely, hits to the head would no longer be tolerated, lest ye be trounced with the full force of the Shanahammer.  People who follow the game would learn Brendan Shanahan was tough, but fair (mostly).

This year was especially meaningful for me.  After being abducted early in the 2008 season, I came to in Philadelphia and met up with my old friends the Hockey Doggz to talk about, ya know, hockey.  I wasn’t exactly sure how into the game I could get with such a prolonged absence but I gave it a shot.  I thought to myself, “I don’t know anyone who plays for the Stars or the Avalanche” so I decided to watch this game:

Holy fuck, are you kidding me?!  What a whacky game!  Did you see that Duchene goal to get the hat trick?! Avs scored 2, then Dallas scores 4, Avs come back with 3, they go back an forth, and Dallas wins in OT?! Craziness.

Needless to say I was hooked.  I decided to put down Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace and direct all my attention to the game.  No regrets…sorry Huskey.

Here are some of my other memorable moments from the 1,230 games of 2011-2012 in no particular order:

  • Remember when realignment looked like it was going to be a thing?  We sure do!  But the players were all like, “Umm, nah”.  We’ll have to wait until contract bargaining agreement talks start to fully realize the effect of that snub
  • Lars Eller and Matt Moulson both scored 4 goals in a game and Sam Gagner had 4 goals and 4 assists in one tilt!  That’s pretty spectacular
  • The Crosby roller coaster was a pretty wild ride.  He comes back, gets a bunch of points, gets hurt again, and now he’s back again.  Jeez.
  • Cam Ward got a goal right after we talked about how cool goalie goals were, although his wasn’t that cool.
  • The Detroit Red Wings won 23 STRAIGHT GAMES at home!
  • T-bone and the Hockey Doggz went to the Winter Classic and got exclusive interviews with Mark Recchi AND Pat Sajak
  • The St. Louis Blues were on top of the NHL for a long time, just to have those upstart Vancouver Canucks steal the President’s Trophy right out from under ’em
  • Henrick Lundqvist,  Jonathan Quick, Brian Elliot, and Jaroslav Halak had themselves good seasons.  Not to mention Mike Smith getting the most saves (54) in a shutout EVER
  • Remember that All-Star Game?  Yeah, me either
  • The evolution of Matt Cooke is a pretty good one
  • This was a big story:

This season has been blessed by the Hockey Gods for some and marred with disaster and broken dreams for other.  Soon we will move on and, oh lord, the Stanley Cup Playoffs will be awesome, hallelujah amen!  I can’t wait to watch all of the series’s’es unfold.  Who knows who’s gonna win?!  In a month and a half we could be looking down the barrel of a full-loaded Coyotes/Panthers Stanley Cup shotgun (the lowest scoring, tightest checking shotgun ever).  Whatever the case, the way we got there will have been special, because it never happened before and will never happen again.  Or…?

What were your favorite moments of 2011-2012? Let us know!  Email us here and follow us on twitter @TboneHockeyDogz .  We’ll hopefully be getting another podcast up before the playoffs and maybe even get on to iTunes, once we pull our heads out of our asses.

-T-bone

P.S.

Big ups to A. Rat for not giving me too much shit!

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