Overtime!

Friday, April 22, 2011

NHL Playoffs: Montreal And Boston Tied.


An overtime period was necessary yesterday in Game Four of the first round series between the Montreal Canadiens and the Boston Bruins.

Michael Ryder scored the game-winner and tied the series up at two games apiece.

The Canadiens had the advantage early on and struck first during the first period. Brent Sopel slapped one past goaltender Tim Thomas.

The Bruins tied the score early into the second period when Michael Ryder scored his first goal of the series. But the Canadiens replied with two quick goals. Michael Cammalleri and Andrei Kostitsyn scored their goals less than a minute apart. At that point, Montreal led 3-1 and looked poised to take a 3-1 series lead.

But Boston came roaring back before the end of the second period. Andrew Ference and Patrice Bergeron tied the score at 3 heading to the third period.

P.K. Subban gave Montreal a third lead in the game when his perfect wrist shot found it's way in Boston's net. But Boston tied the game once more with a little more than six minutes to play. Chris Kelly found a loose puck in front of Carey Price and pushed it in the net to tie the game once more.

Michael Ryder with his second goal of the game made the difference during the first overtime period.

Final score: Boston Bruins 5 - Montreal Canadiens 4 (The series is tied 2-2.)

The series is going back to Boston on Saturday for game five.

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Monday, April 18, 2011

NHL Playoffs: Boston In A Delicate Position.


Tonight, Game Three of the series between the Montreal Canadiens and the Boston Bruins will be played at the Bell centre in Montreal.

After winning the first two games of the series in Boston, the Canadiens will be looking to put their opponent in a huge hole. At the opposite, Boston will try to come back in this series before it's too late.

The Canadiens did not feel any pressure during the first two games of the series as they were the underdogs. But with a 2-0 series lead coming home, they are now in the driver seat and the pressure of winning should complicate things a bit.

As for Boston's defense men Zdeno Chara who missed Game Two, we have no clue if he will be in uniform tonight. The tall defense men did make the trip to Montreal but head coach Claude Julien refused to give any more details regarding his status.

The atmosphere should be electric inside the Bell centre tonight. Will the Bruins turn the tables tonight or will goaltender Carey Price manage to shut down Boston for a third time?

We will have our answer tonight. Should be a good one.

(Picture: Milan Lucic, Getty Images.)

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Friday, April 15, 2011

2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs: Montreal Takes Game One.


Carey Price has won his duel with Tim Thomas yesterday and allowed the Canadiens to win Game One of this first round series between the Montreal Canadiens and the Boston Bruins.

Price made the difference as he stopped a total of 31 shots on goal while his opponent, Tim Thomas, allowed a goal on the very first shot of the game.

With two goals, Brian Gionta was the offensive star in this one. The team captain scored his first goal of the game early in the contest after a turnover from defense men Tomas Kaberle. Scott Gomez brillantly threw the loose puck across the ice to Gionta for the goal.

Gionta scored his second goal with less than four minutes to play in the third period. His slapshot coming from the wing found a hole under Thomas' right arm to trickle in the net. A very bad goal to allow when your team is trying to tie the game.

Scott Gomez also printed his name twice on the score sheet with two assists. Before the start of the series, Gomez committed himself to a better offensive production and delivered during Game One.

Final score: Montreal Canadiens 2 - Boston Bruins 0 (Montreal leads the series by 1-0.)

(Picture: Carey Price stops Brad Marchand, Getty Images.)

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Quest For Lord Stanley's Cup Is Open.


Yesterday, five first round matches were presented as the quest for Lord Stanley's Cup has begun.

First, the Washington Capitals needed overtime to defeat the New-York Rangers by the score of 2-1. Alexander Semin scored the overtime winner in this one.

The Pittsburgh Penguins and their goaltender, Marc-Andre Fleury, blanked the Tampa Bay Lightning, 3-0.

The Detroit Red Wings disposed of the Phoenix Coyotes by the score of 4-2 while the Nashville Predators claimed a 4-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks.

The Vancouver Canucks did not made any mistake in front of the defending champions Chicago Blackhawks. The Canucks won the first game of the series by the score of 2-0. Goaltender Roberto Luongo looked great in this one.

Washington, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Nashville and Vancouver leads their respective best-of-seven series, 1-0.

Tonight, the old and bitter rivalry between the Montreal Canadiens and the Boston Bruins will resume. There is no love lost between those two clubs and a heated series is expected, as usual. The Chara-Pacioretty incident is still fresh to our memories and should be used as motivation for Montreal.

Montreal managed to defeat Boston four times in six regular season games this season.

Another point of interest in this series resides in net as Carey Price and Tim Thomas face each other in an anticipated duel. Thomas has had problems with the Canadiens a number of times and will be looking forward to shut down the Habs fans.

Will Boston's physical game intimidate the Canadiens? We will have a part of the answer tonight in Boston during Game One.

(Picture: P.K. Subban, Milan Lucic and Carey Price, Getty Images.)

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Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Montreal Canadiens Clinches Playoff Berth In Overtime.


For the last regular season game of this 2010-2011 season at the Bell Centre, the Montreal Canadiens and the Chicago Blackhawks played a very disputed game, with an ending that pleased the crowd.

The only goals scored during regulation came during the second period. Michael Cammalleri scored for Montreal and Patrick Kane for the Hawks.

The scoring opportunities came at both ends of the ice but both goaltenders in this game made fantastic saves to keep the score tied. Carey Price was litterally in the zone. He saved the game for Montreal late in the third period during a Hawks' man-advantage. As the puck was about to float in the net, Price made a reflex left hand save while falling backwards.

At the end of regulation, the score was still tied at 1 apiece. P.K. Subban ended the contest during a man-advantage with a solid one-timer on a brillant pass from Andrei Kostitsyn.

Subban once again added another flashy goal celebration to his resume as he raced towards Carey Price and collided with him in mid air.

The extra point gained during the overtime insured the Canadiens' playoff spot. With only two games left to the regular season, a ton of pressure has dropped from the teams' shoulders.

Every year, I can't wait for the playoffs to begin. The intensity of every game only gets greater and greater. We saw a good example of it yesterday as both teams played a typical playoff game.

As for Carey Price, this 2010-2011 season will be remembered as one of his best in career. Yesterday, Price played his 71st game, breaking the single-season club record for a goalie. It was also his 37th win, the most by a Montreal goalie since Ken Dryden in 1977-78.

Congratulations to Montreal for clinching their berth and the best of luck for the rest of the way!

(Picture: Associated Press.)

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Thursday, March 10, 2011

NHL Says: No Problem Mr. Chara!

The National Hockey League didn't punish the Boston Bruins' defense men Zdeno Chara for his hit on Montreal Canadiens' Max Pacioretty.

Tuesday evening, with only a few seconds to go to the second period and with a 0-4 deficit in the game, the stage was set for such an incident. Approaching a dangerous part of the rink, Pacioretty and Chara went side by side.

A mild collision between the two players sent Pacioretty's head on the edge of the glass, resulting in a violent and spectacular collision.

Max Pacioretty has a fractured vertebrae (c-4) and a grade three concussion. His season is over while we are still waiting to see if he will ever fully recover from this violent collision.

The incident brought a ton of reactions from the fans who claimed a severe suspension. There was a lot of frustration yesterday when the league decided not to sanction Chara's actions. Another missed opportunity by the league to crack down on those dangerous hits.

Pacioretty said that he was disgusted by the league's inaction in this case. He affirms that Chara placed his hand on his head and directed it towards the edge of the glass.

I wish a speedy recovery to Max Pacioretty and I sincerely hope that the incident will not affect the rest of his career.

Here are the disturbing images of this incident:

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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Montreal Canadiens Pushes The Hurricanes Away.


The Montreal Canadiens extended their lead in the standings over the Carolina Hurricanes to six points with a difficult 4-3 victory at the Bell centre.

The Canadiens sent their backup goaltender, Alex Auld, in action as Carey Price was unable to perform due to a virus. The backup goalie had a difficult time, allowing soft goals and sending dangerous rebounds in front of his own net all evening long.

Andrei Kostitsyn, late in the game, scored the winning goal on a world-class deflection that sailed away from goaltender Cam Ward. Kostitsyn was also the accomplice on Lars Eller's goal during the second period.

The club could use more contribution from AK-46 these days.

Brent Sopel (picture) was in uniform for his first game with Montreal yesterday after being acquired by the club earlier this week. The veteran defense men will greatly help the Canadiens' depleted defensive unit.

Here's the Eastern Conference standings at this date. A heated playoff race is brewing up and all the points are important at this stage.


1

Philadelphia
62 40 16 6 86
2

Tampa Bay
61 36 18 7 79
3

Boston
61 35 19 7 77
4

Pittsburgh
64 37 21 6 80
5

Washington
63 33 20 10 76
6

Montreal
63 33 23 7 73
7

NY Rangers
63 33 26 4 70
8

Carolina
63 29 25 9 67
9

Buffalo
61 29 25 7 65
10

Toronto
62 27 27 8 62
11

Atlanta
62 25 26 11 61
12

Florida
61 26 28 7 59
13

New Jersey
61 26 31 4 56
15

Ottawa
62 21 32 9 51

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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Hail To The Super Bowl XLV Champs!


Last week, the Green Bay Packers defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers by the score of 31-25 in Super Bowl XLV presented in Irving, Texas.

The Packers took the lead on their first possession of the game and never gave it back. On the first possession, Aaron Rodgers hooked up with Jordy Nelson good for a 29-yard touchdown reception and a 7-0 lead.

The Pack doubled their lead when Nate Collins picked a Ben Roethlisberger pass and returned it to pay dirt. A spectacular play that gave Green Bay a 14-0 lead.

Both teams exchanged a touchdown during the second quarter after the Steelers kicked a field goal halfway in the quarter. The Packers led 21-10 at the half.

The Steelers scored the only points during the third quarter. Rashard Mendenhall punched a 8-yard touchdown run, bringing the Steelers within four points.

Greg Jennings scored his second touchdown of the game early into the fourth quarter. Aaron Rodgers completed a total of three touchdown passes, Green Bay was back on top, 28-17.

The Steelers replied immediatly with a touchdown of their own followed with a successful two point conversion. The Packers lead was down to three points, 28-25.

With their final possession, Green Bay added a field goal and defended the Steelers' ultimate attempt for the 31-25 final score.

Green Bay claims their fourth Super Bowl title in franchise history. Aaron Rodgers was named the game MVP.

Congratulations to the Green Bay Packers for their spectacular victory!

(Picture: Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews, Getty Images.)

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

P.K. Subban Puts A Lid On A Catastrophe.


A potential catastrophe was brewing as the Montreal Canadiens hosted the Calgary Flames on Monday night at the Bell centre.

The Canadiens took a 4-0 lead during the second period with goals from Lars Eller, Michael Cammalleri, Jeff Halpern and Andrei Kostitsyn. Kostitsyn's goal chased Mikka Kiprusoff out of Calgary's net who was brilliantly replaced by Henrik Karlsson who held the fort from that point on.

The Flames started to compete a lot better after the goaltender change. Calgary reduced the score to 4-2 before the end of the second period with goals from Rene Bourque and Jarome Iginla.

Early in the third frame, Ales Kotalik and Alex Tanguay tied the game at 4 as they both scored on Alex Auld in only 1:19. P.K Subban made many defensive mistakes and was a factor in this Flames comeback.

Auld was replaced by Carey Price as both teams played a total of four goaltenders during that game.

The score settled until overtime, and P.K. Subban scored a brilliant goal on Henrik Karlsson with a prefect shot to the top shelf. Subban made another spectacular goal celebration, a signature that bothers quite a few around the league.

The Canadiens will travel and play the Buffalo Sabres tonight. Carey Price is expected to start this one. Montreal has already defeated the Sabres three times this season.

(Picture: P.K. Subban, Canadian Press.)

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

NFL Playoffs: Upsets And More.


The Wildcard weekend was filled with very interesting matches and a couple of upsets. The two previous Super Bowl opponents are already out of the picture!

For the first time in NFL history, a team with a losing record was qualified for the playoffs. The 7-9 Seattle Seahawks were facing the defending champions New Orleans Saints. The match itself was well disputed and both offenses scored at will.

A spectacular 67-yard run from Marshawn Lynch who broke about a half dozen of tackles with only three minutes and a half to go made the difference in this 41-36 Seahawks victory.

The New York Jets faced the Indianapolis Colts in a classic matchup. The Jets finally edged the Colts by the score of 17-16. Jets' head coach Rex Ryan has won his match. Ryan took this match ''personnally'' as he promised a Jets win before the match.

The Philadelphia Eagles took the Green Bay Packers to the limit but fell short in a 21-16 loss. Green Bay was simply too talented for Michael Vick and the Eagles in tis one. Vick tried to upset the Packers in a last minute drive but his last pass attempt fell in the hands of the defense.

The Baltimore Ravens completely dominated the Kansas City Chiefs. The final score of 30-7 gives an accurate indication of the match. A one-sided match where the Ravens' defense completely shut down the Chiefs.

The playoffs will continue this weekend as four matches are scheduled.

The arch rivals Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers will square off in Pittsburgh. I expect a very disputed match between those two exceptional defenses.

The New York Jets will travel to Foxboro as they will face the New England Patriots. New England has blown out the Jets earlier this season and should have an edge on them. I really expect New England to go out on top in this one.

The Seattle Seahawks will continue their unprobable run at the Soldier field in Chicago as they will now face the powerful Chicago Bears. Nobody expects a Seattle victory but who knows?

Finally, the Green Bay Packers will be in Atlanta to face the Atlanta Falcons. Both of these talented teams should give a great match. I have not seen the Falcons play this season but their impressive regular season record speaks by itself. I expect a close and exciting match.

Don't miss out on those four great matches this weekend!

(Picture: Steelers vs Ravens.)

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