Tag: Tampa Bay Lightning vs New Jersey Devils playoffs

NHL Stanley Cup Playoff Headlines: Is EVERYTHING a suspension?

People all of sudden it becomes playoff hockey and everyone and their grandmothers are calling for a suspension on every hit or play. For example, the Drew Doughty scenario, ok yeah he clipped Carrier a little high and it was a blow to the head, but cmon, Doughty did not go into that play with the intention, let me crush Carriers head. He was trying to separate the man from the puck and it looked worse then it was.

Ok, now a bad one was the Nazem Kadri suspension. Yes definitely worthy of a suspension, no need for that hit. The player was defenseless and Wingels was already falling down Kardi was frustrated and did something stupid. He reaps the consequences now with a three-game suspension. The Corey Perry incident, with his hit on Karlsson, yeah definitely a little dirty but the argument is that Karlsson was battling for the puck. Although it looked like Perry was clearly looking for head contact and to run Karlsson that could have been suspension worthy.

The funniest ones, in my opinion, are the PK Subban one where he separated Nathan MacKinnon from the puck by a sort of punching motion to his chest to turn him the other way. If you’ve ever played hockey and the puck is in the skater’s feet along the boards, stick between the feet and you do what you can to separate the man from the puck. Subban was playing good defense and there is no need for even a discussion of suspension. Another funny one was Brad Marchand, yeah he swung his stick at Jeff Gardiner but cmon if that is all Marchand is doing out there, please let it go. He can do and has done much worse, relax people. Another borderline was Andy MacDonald hit on Hornqvist, from behind yes, but it was such a quick play and I am going to give MacDonald benefit of the doubt by saying he did not push him hard from behind it was a light tap saying I’m behind ya, and Hornqvist did not expect it, was far from the boards, to begin with, and sold it a little bit. We know Hornqvist for doing those things also.

Another HILARIOUS one is Forseberg hit on Duncan Siemens in game one, absolutely destroyed Siemens and people are saying Forsberg was head hunting. Give me a break it is playoff hockey he is setting the tone and playing physical. The Eric Staal and Josh Morrisey one is pretty bad but Morrisey was trying to just latch onto a man in front and happen to come up high with his stick he got suspended so relax people. He did not mean to do that on purpose at least not to the head.

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs 2018

But the latest one was Nikita Kucherov hit on Sami Vatanen in game four. Kucherov absolutely destroyed Vatanen and the only reason people are throwing their arms in the air is that there was no call on the play. The hit was clean, a little blindsided but hey that’s hockey, keep your head on a swivel at all times. Kucherov’s elbow may have come up high at the end but that’s the motion of the hit, he came in with the shoulder and naturally you end up finishing the check a little high, we’ve seen it time and time again. If Kucherov gets suspended for this, the NHL may be on the path to making this sport soft. Snowflakes and their typical rants after a big hit. It was clean, a hockey play and a player playing with emoton and intensity. He’s a compeitior and wants to win therefore he is going to set the tone and do whatever it takes to gain an advantage. The fact we see one of the best players in the league laying hits like that is awesome. Terrible to see Vatanen out rest of the game, but I am sure he will be fine, for the rest of the series. If not, sorry to him, but stuff like that happens and we cannot throw our arms in the air after every big hit.

Here is a video of Kucherov’s hit, you be the judge. 

Now the Doughty hit on Carrier, similar but Kucherov’s was definitely cleaner. 

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FREE NHL PLAYOFF Picks: April 18, 2018

Pittsburgh Penguins vs Philadelphia Flyers

The Penguins have a chance to go up 3-1 and head back to Pittsburgh for a series win. The Flyers last time losing to Pittsburgh in game one bounced back for a big win. A lot of fans expect that to happen today, but the Penguins will come out much better tonight as they did in game two. The Flyers may be without Sean Couturier after a collision in practice with Radko Gudas. A lot of people are saying it was intentional or Gudas is a scumbag and if you are one of those people, don’t speak hockey. Freak accident and the two paths happen to cross at the same time, either way, Couts is a game-time decision not the greatest news for the Flyers. The Penguins come into this game with higher hopes than last game. After losing 5-1 at home, they luckily stay at home where they hope the home crowd can rally behind them and give them some momentum. It is evident the Flyers need to get off to a quick start, each time Pittsburgh has scored first they have won. The key for Philadelphia is to play a full 60-minutes and take no shifts off, get one early and put the Penguins on their heels. Tonight I am going with Philadelphia though.

Tampa Bay Lightning vs New Jersey Devils

After a wild game three and an eventful ending, the Devils have definitely got the attention of the Lightning now. After Sergachev almost ripped off Brian Boyle’s head and Victor Hedman almost left Nico Hischier needing pelvic surgery this series is going to shape up to be a good one. The home crowd was electric in game three and Taylor Hall mentioned it after the game as he said the home crowd really have them that push they needed. The Devils capitalized on the power plays they got and that was the deciding factor. Corey Schneider played well in between pipes and looks to be the starter for the remainder of this series. Tampa Bay continues to see production from all across the board but it is only a matter of time until Kucherov and Stamkos take control this series. Going to be yet another eventful game for game four. The Devils at home have been solid this season and these New Jersey have been dying for playoff hockey, see a similar outcome from game three in terms of intensity, and I think Devils take this one here tonight also.

Nashville Predators vs Colorado Avalanche

The Avalanche put the hammer down on Nashville in game three leading 4-0 at one point, the Avalanche were not giving up without a fight. And that came from the stick and leadership of Hart candidate Nathan MacKinnon. The Avalanche are not going to make it easy for Nashville all series but I doubt we see another five-goal game from the Av’s and the Predators trailing like that again. The Predators will for sure come out much better, but a key for Colorado to not go behind 3-1 in this series is to again get off to a quick start, score the first one and continue from there. The Predators have the opportunity to come out here tonight with a win and heading back to Nashville where they have been lights out at home in the playoffs(last season) and regular season. The Predators know what is at stake and I cannot see this team losing two in Colorado, they want to get out of this series as quickly as possible especially with Winnipeg up 3-1 now. I’m going Preds tonight.

San Jose Sharks vs Anaheim Ducks 

This series has been all Sharks after the Sharks pounded the Ducks 8-1 last game and every Shark forward recorded a point they now head back to San Jose for a possible sweep scenario. That would be terrible to see this Anaheim team get swept with the talent and hopes many had for them. The Ducks are in a do die situation, tonight will show the true colors of Anaheim. A team that has been lacking offensive production this playoff run, going up against a team that has been all offense is a tough situation. There is not much to say, it is put up or shut up time for Anaheim. Going San Jose though.

 

FREE NHL PLAYOFF Picks: April 16, 2018

Boston Bruins vs Toronto Maple Leafs

The Bruins head into Toronto up 2-0 and outscoring the Leafs 12 to 4, no one saw this coming. Not even Boston. David Pastrnak, Patrice Bergeron, and Brad Marchand have combined for 20 points over the first two games, as Pastrnak is coming off a 6 point night, and leading the Bruins with 9 points. The Leafs have struggled greatly against Boston, and it seems the whole Frederick Anderson owns Boston is no more now. The Leafs luckily get two at home here, but this will not be any different than the first two games. The Leafs have come out to slow starts in both games and have allowed 4 power play goals, giving Boston a 40 percent rate right now. It’s pretty evident what we can expect from this Toronto team, they are going to need to come out and get the first goal here and get off to a much better start. There top guys like Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner are going to need to be relevant out there. With Nazem Kadri out still due to a suspension, the Leafs will be using Leo Komarov a bit more to match up against top lines. This Bruins team is extremely deep, for some reason, people had Toronto to take this series which I am not sure why but it is clear the Bruins are showing everyone why they deserve to be a Stanley Cup team. Going Leafs tonight though, Bruins in game four.

Tampa Bay Lightning vs New Jersey Devils

This series is going exactly how everyone expected it too. Well most of us, those who are not blinded by reality. The Devils yes are going to put up a fight for a majority of the game but the Lightning are the better team and know what needs to be done this time of year. Production from guys like Brayden Point and Alex Killron have helped the Lightning take some pressure off the top guns, but still, with a line up with Stamkos and Kucherov as well, it is hard to slow these guys down. The Devils did throw 50 plus shots on net last game which is a good sign, but Andrei Vasalevskiy has stood tall for a majority of this season while Keith Kinkaid, for the most part, has not, as he has allowed 10 goals in two games. Which may open up the conversation about starting Corey Schneider possibly. The Devils run the possibility of dropping this game here tonight and facing elimination during game four. I think the Devils understand how important this game is and will for sure play a very desperate game. Going home to the “Rock” in front of home fans will help the Devils out here tonight. Going Devils here.

Nashville Predators vs Colorado Avalanche

The Predators have faced a much tougher Colorado team then they expected. Colorado has not gone down easy and each game has been neck and neck until the end. The shots are 63 to 58 in favor of Nashville and a team we expected to see very little production on the front end have scored four-plus goals in both games. The Avalanche are a hungry team for sure, and a team that is happy to be here, but the Predators are just a much deeper, all around better team. For any of those who expected Nashville to not take this series in five games or even lose the series, may want to reconsider their hockey knowledge. This series is going can one of two ways, the Avalanche rally behind the home fans at the Pepsi Center and take two here or they make it a little easier for Nashville and split the next two games with the chance of elimination in Nashville for game five. I think Nashville takes this one tonight, Colorado takes game four, then Nashville finishes business in game five on home ice. Going Nashville tonight.

Anaheim Ducks vs San Jose Sharks

No one expected this series to go how it is right now. San Jose is only the second team this playoff run to go home with a 2-0 advantage(Columbus). The Sharks did the unspeakable and took two games in Anaheim. The first was Evander Kane’s first career playoff game in which he, of course, scored two goals. Game two was a little different as the game was very tight and back and forth all game, but Martin Jones stood tall and shut the door on Anaheim’s late third period chances. The Ducks are now a game away from hitting the panic button. The Ducks drop this one tonight and stay in San Jose for game four, it could be a sweep for the Sharks. Luckily I do not see that happening, I think Anaheim’s veterans and core guys, step up big here tonight, rally the troops and take one in San Jose tonight. The Ducks veterans like Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, and Adam Henrique will need to be chipping in and doing whatever is necessary to get this team focused. The Ducks cannot afford to drop one here tonight, it is a do or die game for them and that is why I see a very desperate, physical Ducks team coming out tonight. Going Ducks here.