Saturday, June 27, 2009

Zack Kassian drafted by Buffalo

With their first round draft pick the Sabres took Right Winger, Zack Kassian. Incidentally this is exactly what was predicted by James Mirtle and SBN. Given that nobody has really heard about any of these players besides Tavares and Hedman, I'll repeat their assessment of Kassian.

At 6'3" and 215 pounds, Kassian is the most NHL-ready prospect in the draft. His offensive upside may not be as great as some of the other prospects but he makes up for that with size, speed and strength. He is everything the Sabres are not. Big, strong and tough.

The knock on Kassian though is that sometime he will take a shift off, and that is really the last thing this Sabres team needs.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Sabres Pictures

This Spring I had the opportunity to attend a Sabres game, and produced the following pictures (mostly during warm ups).

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Penguins win the Stanley Cup

Stanley Cup
The Penguins did the impossible, and actually won a game on the road this series in order to win the Stanley cup in game seven over the Detroit Red Wings. Malkin was the series MVP (as Mirtle predicted a week ago). Marian Hossa and Ty Conklin who both lost with the Penguins last year in the finals, did so this year with Detroit.

Sidney Crosby was hurt in the game and played only one shift in the second half. Being game seven of the finals there was really no reason to nurse the injury, but as it turned out, the Penguins didn't really need him anyways. The star of the game was Maxime Talbot, who scored both of Pittsburgh's goals.

Four months until the Sabres are back in action...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The home team wins again

The Penguins won at home to force game seven against the defending champion Red Wings which will be played on Friday. The home team has won every game so far this series, which would indicate that Detroit would be expected to win the cup as they have the only remaining home date. Still now that it is up to a single game seven the series could very well be decided by a single lucky bounce, and Pittsburgh does not need to much of a fluke to happen to pull off the win. All the team really needs is a good game from Fleury. Still it may well happen that no team wins on the road all series, either way everything is over by the end of this week, with one team or the other taking home the trophy.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Short handed goal allows Pittsburgh to tie up the series

Jordan Stall put together an all around great two way game including a short handed goal to tie up the Stanley Cup finals with Detroit. By winning two of the first four games the Penguins avoid the finals from being a repeat of last year, or a repeat of the Detroit-Chicago series.

Kennedy also had a real nice goal in the game, forcing a turnover, and then two passes later sending the puck into the net.

This has been a series in which match ups have been important, and the home team has won every game so far, in part because of the ability to get the needed match ups. If the Penguins want to win they will have to take at least one game on the road.

Still for the first time this series the Penguins have to be viewed as the favorite to win. Their two wins were far more convincing than the two by the Red Wings, and any chance of the defending champions simply overrunning Pittsburgh have now been shown to be unrealistic. This series is now guaranteed to go at least six games, and has a good chance of lasting the full seven.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Penguins use the powerplay to get a win

The Pittsburgh Penguins won their first game of the finals Tuesday night with a score of 4-2 after earning two goals off of the powerplay.

The Penguins got the early lead in the game, but then quickly gave it up and even fell behind, before tying up the game 2-2 where the score stayed from the middle of the first period until midway through the third. Then the Penguins took a 3-2 lead off of a powerplay goal and got another empty netter to seal the deal.

The Penguins were two for three on the powerplay and it made all the difference in this game. Detroit for their part were one for two on their man advantage opportunities.

The Penguins now have a chance in this series, only being down 2-1. Still they lost in the finals last year after being in the same position, and will need to continue this production with the man advantage, and to get more out of Sidney Crosby if they want to win the Stanley Cup.