Monday, April 30, 2012

The Hockey Drinking Game

We have talked to many people and it seems that they just do not watch hockey.  We have tried to explain why it is better than other sports but with limited success.  As a result of all this time spent, we have decided to make a hockey drinking game.  Let's face it, people like to drink, it could be water, Capri Sun or alcohol.  You can play this game with whatever beverage you want, but it is recommended that if you are of legal drinking age you should play with a couple of beers.  It would also be recommended if you want to par take in this game that you have a designated driver, or just stay at a friend's house.

The Rules:

Socials - If you are unfamiliar with Socials, it means that everyone drinks.

  1. Any time play is stopped for an injury.
  2. Any reference to Crosby when the Pen-goons are not playing.
  3. Any time the puck goes out of play.  (Into the safety netting, or the crowd)
  4. Any play/goal that is under review.
  5. Any time the goal is knocked off the pegs.
  6. Any time there are no carry-over penalties from the period before.
    1. A carry-over penalty is a penalty that is not over at the end of a period.  Penalties are not carried over from game to game.
One Drink for the Following Events:
  1. Any time your team ices the puck.
  2. Any time your goalie freezes the puck.
  3. Any time your team is off-sides.
To The Face - A phrase that means finish your beer:
A picture of a line brawl.
  1. Any time a player on your team is thrown out of the game.
  2. Any time a player on the opposing team scores a hat trick. (3 goals by the same person)
  3. Any time a player on the opposing team scores a Gordie Howe hat trick (an assist, a goal and a fight).
  4. Any time the opposing team wins and items excluding towels, beverages are thrown on the ice.  (ex. squid in Detroit, rats in Florida)
To The Face Socials - A combination of a Social and To The Face, everyone finishes their beer.
  1. During a Line Brawl. A line brawl is when there are multiple fights on the ice at one time.
Goals - Drinks for when the opposing team scores.
  1. Beginner's Game - One drink for every goal scored.
  2. Advanced Game - First goal is one drink, Second goal is two drinks and so on.
  3. Extra drink for a goal when the goalie's water bottle is knocked off the goal, or if the camera inside the net is destroyed by the goal.
Penalties - Drinks for penalties on your team. 
A full penalty of St. Louis Blues.
  1. A 2 minute penalty = 2 drinks.
  2. A 4 minute penalty = 4 drinks
  3. A 5 minute penalty = 5 drinks
  4. A 10 minute penalty = 10 drinks
Multiple Penalties on the same player or team.
  1. Beginner's Game - All penalty time will be added up and said player will take drinks for the full amount of penalty time.  Player can pause for a couple of seconds between different penalties.
  2. Advanced Game - The same as the Beginner's Game except there is no pausing drinks for different penalties.
  3. All parties involved will count in a timely fashion for person drinking said number of beers.
Miscellaneous Rules:
  1. Finishing one's beer does not stop said player from finishing said drinks.  All drinks will be carried over to the next beer.
  2. In the event you run out of beer, the game will be over.  Any unfinished drinks shall not be forgiven, unless all the players agree otherwise.  If no agreement, all drinks will be carried over to the next game. 

Cheating - Cheating will not be tolerated in this game.  If said player is found to be cheating or have broken a rule.  Each of the other parties involved in the game will get to slap the cheater in the face.  Game will not restart until all parties have slapped the cheater in the face.

The Friendship Rule - In the event that a said player passes out, or is puking in the bathroom, the game will be paused.  The game will remain paused until player stops puking and is deemed ok by all parties playing.  If player passes out, said player shall be carried to bed and tucked in.  The game can only restart once said player is ok or in bed.

  1. If all parties are rooting for the same team, all arguments will be won by the person that is most sober.
  2. If all parties are not rooting for the same teams, all arguments shall be won by the fan of the losing team at that point in the hockey game.
  3. In the event that, the most sober or fan of the losing team is completely wrong and just arguing for the sake of arguing, that player will be slapped in the face as if he/she was cheating.
If you have other rules you would like to add they must be agreed upon before the game starts.  It also must be agreed upon before the game starts if you are playing the beginner's or advanced game.

This game was founded in the interest of having fun and friendship.  If a player becomes out of control, other parties can cut that person off.  This game was also made for entertainment purposes if you actually play the game, please be safe.  There is no reason to act crazy and hurt yourself and/or others just because you are drunk or on a sugar buzz.  Capri Sun can be substituted for alcohol if kids wish to play the game with the adults.  In any event I hope you have fun, and watch some hockey please!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Seasons in the Sun 2nd Round NHL Preview

If the 1st round of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs was not awesome enough, they are going to play another round.  The second round features many new faces, but some familiar foes.  The round will only feature one team from the original six, the New York Rangers.  The second round should be a blast though, so many close series.  Season in the Sun hopes to improve on our 4-4 record from the first round.

No messing around here though, let's get into some analysis about the teams, and the match-ups that we will be seeing in the next round.  If you are not familiar with the NHL playoff rules, all the series are 7 games in all rounds.  Also, what they do is that the bracket is always reloaded so that the highest seed team will play the lowest seed team.  What does that mean?  Well, you know March Madness, teams play in a bracket format when you could have a lower seed play a lower seed in the second round.  In the NHL, both lower seeds would be separated to play higher seeds, so you see the difference?

Let's start off in the Western Conference:

St. Louis Blues (2) vs Los Angeles Kings (8) - Can the Kings pull off another miracle upset?  Its going to be much harder, the Blues are playing very good hockey.  The Blues also have a coach, Hitchcock, that won a Stanley Cup when he was with the Dallas Stars.  He has really turned this franchise around, and they are playing at a very high level.  Both teams have great goal-tending, as we touched on this topic in the first round, Quick for the Kings, and Elliott or Halak for the Blues.  We here at Seasons in the Sun sadly think that it is time to start buying into the Blues.  The Blackhawks were also a #2 seed when they won the cup in 2010.  If the Blues win the Cup they would continue the trend of a Central Division team winning the Cup every two years.  Seasons in the Sun likes the Blues in 6.

Phoenix Coyotes (3) vs Nashville Predators (4) - Another series will great goal-tending, you have Mike Smith on Phoenix, and Rinne on the Predators.  It will make it really hard for the offenses to get going in this series.  This should be a very tight, and very close series; very low scoring as well.  Both teams have been in the playoffs, the last couple of years and have tasted defeat with younger players.  Both Weber for Nashville and Doan for Phoenix are getting toward the end of their careers in the NHL, and both will be gunning for the Cup.  Both are very skilled, and great team leaders.  This is the best Nashville team that they have had since the franchise started, the same can be said for the Coyotes since they moved from Winnipeg.  Season in the Sun likes the Predators in 7.

Eastern Conference:

New York Rangers (1) vs Washington Capitals (7) - This will be a hard series to handicap because like the last series, the Rangers look better on paper and should win the series.  The Washington Capitals are coming off a big upset, will we see an emotional letdown?  We think the same question could be asked of the New York Rangers.  The Rangers were one game away from having the best record in the NHL this year.  The Rangers style though has kept opponents in the game, which leaves them vulnerable to upsets and defeat.  We would like to think that the Capitals are better than Ottawa, and they have Alexander the Great.  Seasons in the Sun likes the Rangers in 7.

Philadelphia Flyers (5) vs New Jersey Devils (6) - The Flyers are coming off a 6 game series with the Pen-goons and the Devils are coming off a 7 game series against the Panthers.  The question has to be did the Flyers pick up any rust being off almost a week longer than the Devils.  We really like the Flyers right now at Seasons in the Sun.  Giroux has really stepped up his game, and his leadership for the Flyers this year.  The Devils while they are a great team, we just do not feel like they are on the Flyers level right now.  The Devils will have to cool off the NHL's hottest power-play in the playoffs.  I think the task is too much for the Devils.  Seasons in the Sun likes the Flyers in 5.

Well there you have it, hopefully it will go better than the .500 mark that we set in the first round.  Last Saturday, Seasons in the Sun watched 10 hours straight of NHL playoff hockey and it was great.  The day was capped off by a Toews aka Captain Serious goal in OT against the Coyotes.  I have been watching so much hockey that I am afraid that if the TSA is watching or tapping into my cable they might think that I am a Canadian immigrant living in the US.  Hahaha, that was a joke, have a great one!

NHL 1st Round Analysis

I might be a prisoner of the moment but I would have to believe looking back on the 1st Round of the NHL playoffs this year might have been the best ever.  There were so many overtime games.  There was so much chippy play, and players were actually fighting in the playoffs.  There was the Penguins - Flyers series in the 1st round.  A bunch of game 7's in the last couple days, that were very exciting.  How could you seriously go wrong with what went down?

So let's do some analysis based on the picks and how the first round went down.  Starting with the Western Conference:

Los Angeles Kings (8) vs Vancouver Canucks (1) - In what had to be the most surprising series in the first round, the Kings handled the President's Trophy winners in 5 games.  Seasons in the Sun was quoted as saying, "The Canucks should easily win this series in 5 or 6 games," boy were we wrong.  The Kings' goalie, J. Quick, was the difference in this series, he played lights out.  On the other hand, Luongo, played terrible for the Canucks and was benched in favor of the back-up goalie.  It went so bad for Luongo in Vancouver, that he is apparently asking for a trade, unbelievable.  Seasons in the Sun - 0 - 1

San Jose Sharks (7) vs St. Louis Blues (2) - In another series that ended in 5 games, the St. Louis Blues showed that their regular season play was equal to the task in the playoffs.  Seasons in the Sun could not pick the Blues because of a conflict of interest (a classy way of saying we hate the blues hahaha).  The Blues goalie Halak was hurt in this series, and will be ruled out of the first two games of the 2nd round.  That was a little matter as Elliott, the back-up for the Blues, came in and put the Sharks in a net they could not swim away from.
This is just another failure for the Sharks, whom have the talent to get to the cup final, but just have not made it there.  Seasons in the Sun - 0 - 2

Chicago Blackhawks (6) vs Phoenix Coyotes (3) - In a very testy series, that would be the only series to go more than 5 games in the Western Conference first round, the Phoenix Coyotes got the better of the Chicago Blackhawks 4-2.  The series was dealt a black eye when Raffi Torres knocked out Marian Hossa, the Blackhawks leading score on the season, in Game 3.  Mike Smith, the Phoenix goalie, played brilliant, shutting down the Blackhawks offense.  The world knows how we feel about the Blackhawks, and let's just say that this series really left a very bitter and bad taste in our mouths. Seasons in the Sun - 0 - 3

Detroit Red Wongs (5) vs Nashville Predators (4) - Thank God for the Nashville Predators ending the Red Wongs' season in 5 games.  Season in the Sun said, "It was Nashville's time," and it was, only losing one game in the series.  The series was testy early, but the Red Wongs did not really answer the bell when it came to be physical.  They have a pretty old team, and the younger players did not step up their game as the Red Wong fans would have liked.  Great Job Nashville! Seasons in the Sun - 1 - 3

Eastern Conference:

Ottawa Senators (8) vs New York Rangers (1) - Seasons in the Sun, brought up the idea in the preview that this might be a trap series for the New York Rangers, and it was very close to that.  The Rangers prevailed in 7 games, which leads us to believe that the Rangers might have over looked the Senators a little bit.  The Senators probably the worst team in the playoffs really gave the Rangers all they could handle.  Ottawa might have given the Rangers' opponent in the second round a blueprint to beat them.  Seasons in the Sun - 2 - 3

Washington Capitals (7) vs Boston Bruins (2) - There will be a new Stanley Cup Winner this year as the Boston Bruins were downed by the Capitals in game 7 in OT.  This might have been the best series to watch, really good physical play, and up/down the ice action that was hard to beat.  This was a slightly less upset than the Kings - Canucks, media was really not giving the Caps much of a chance.  Too bad we did not pick this upset, hahaha.  Seasons in the Sun - 2 - 4

New Jersey Devils (6) vs Florida Panthers (3) - It went to double OT in the 7th game but the Devils beat the Florida Panthers 3-2.  We were not that high on the Florida Panthers when the series started but they played very well, hats off to them.  New Jersey should also be given a pat on the back for winning the last two games in OT to advance to the second round.  Its really too bad that both teams could not move on because they were very equal teams.  Seasons in the Sun - 3 - 4

Philadelphia Flyers (5) vs Pittsburgh Pen-goons (4) - In what was the most testy series in the 1st round the Flyers beat down the Pen-goons in 6 games.  It was a very high scoring series, and the goalies, well, they did not show up.  Fleury for the Pen-goons had another playoff flop, he let in so many soft goals that it was hard for the Pen-goons to keep up.  The Flyers power play was unbelievable at 53%, in the regular season you're lucky if you are at 25% to 30%.  Giroux, was an animal for the Flyers, and really set the tone for them.  Thank you Flyers for destroying the Pen-goons.  Seasons in the Sun - 4 - 4

Our first round wrap up would not be complete without a section on 1st Round Conspiracy Theories.  You know everyone loves a good conspiracy theory or a good conspiracy thriller like The Fugitive with Harrison Ford.  There is really nothing like Harrison Ford running around trying to be like he is in Die Hard, and at the same time trying to prove that he did not murder his wife.  There are no murders here but these are the conspiracies that caught our eye from the first round:

Is there really parity in the NHL or is it all set up?  The NHL has been going around preaching about how awesome the parity has been in the sport but did it systematically eliminate the last four cup winners all in the first round?  You might think that this is not fishy, but they eliminated them in the order that they won the cup.  In 2008, the Red Wongs won the cup, they were eliminated on April 20th by Nashville.  Next, was the 2009 winner, the Pen-goons eliminated on April 22nd by the Flyers.  Thirdly, the Chicago Blackhawks eliminated on April 23rd by the Coyotes.  Toews and the Blackhawks raised the Cup in 2010.  Finally, the Boston Bruins were upset by the Capitals on April 25th.  This is too weird not to think something is not up.

The second conspiracy has to do with Coyotes - Blackhawks series, and it is what we at Seasons in the Sun have dubbed, "The Red Wong Conspiracy."  This has to do with the fact that the NHL does not want the Blackhawks to win anything.  Why would the NHL want the Coyotes to win? Duh, they own the Coyotes.  Coyotes attendance has been at the bottom of the league, and the only way the league can break even is if the Coyotes get to the playoffs.  Well, they have been in the playoffs the last couple of seasons, and that has done little for attendance.  The NHL finally decided that it needed the Coyotes to win a playoff series so maybe someone would buy the team from them.

That's not all though let's talk about some of the plays in the Coyotes - Blackhawks series that bring up questionable officiating.  For example, Smith, the goalie was run into by Shaw of the Blackhawks, Smith missed two periods, Shaw was thrown out of the game when the play happened and suspended 3 games.  Next play, Marian Hossa was knocked out by Raffi Torres, no penalty was called on the play.  Torres as compared to Hossa has almost 50 less points on the season.  Luckily, some justice was given when Torres was suspended 25 games.  There are 4 officials on the ice during an NHL game, how can they not see this? Who was the only player thrown out for the Hossa hit?  Bollig, a Blackhawks player for going after Torres.  Finally, Hayes in game 6 with about 10 minutes left was thrown out of the game after he checked a Phoenix player into the boards and gave him a bloody nose.  You see a theme? Only Blackhawks players were getting thrown out of the games.

We would like to thank you for reading Seasons in the Sun NHL 1st Round Wrap Up, coming soon will be the 2nd round preview.  As always thanks for reading, and have a great day.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Seasons in the Sun's Best Sports Video Game Moments

Crosby laying in pain on the ice (NHL '12)
We at Seasons in the Sun, we not only love sports but we love video games.  The best part of sports video games is that things that are completely impossible can come true.  Unrealistic stats, like throwing for 700 or 800 yards a game.  Teams with no business winning anything, coming away with the title.  So, from what we can remember, these are the best of the best video game moments:

R.J. Umberger destroys Cindy "Crybaby" Crosby - NHL '12 - You know those hits where one player does not see what is about to happen, that is what happened here.  Umberger came out of no where, and destroyed Crosby, Crosby literally went flying (remember this is a game).  Once Crosby finally came down, he slid to the blue line and was rolling around in pain.  Crosby left the game and did not return.  If this would have happened in real life, Umberger would have been thrown out of the game, suspended, fined and probably given the death penalty.

Troy State wins the National Title - College Football '05 or '06 (PS2) - It took three years in Dynasty Mode but finally I got enough decent players to win the title.  This was before games started the BCS model, Troy State would have had no chance whats so ever to get into the game.  Troy State went 9-3 the first year, and I got crushed against NC State.  The second year, I was undefeated but was left out of the title game, classic.  They say third time is the charm, and it was.  Troy State has since changed their name to just Troy University.

Hartford Whalers win the Stanley Cup over the Detroit Red Wongs - NHL '96 - You guys know about the love that I have for the Hartford Whalers, and we took them to the promise land in a magical season.  I did not pick to play the Red Wongs, it just happened that way.  The only sad thing about this was that Kevin Dineen, the greatest Whaler of all time was on the Flyers when the game was made.  Nothing like seeing the Whale celebrate winning the cup, even if it was a video game.  Maybe one day, this dream can become a reality.

Buffalo Bulls 22 - Iowa 21 - College Football '07 - In what was the greatest upset of all time, besides Troy State winning the National Title.  Buffalo is one of the worst football teams in the game, and they went into Iowa City praying for a miracle.  The team was so bad the only way I could move the ball against the Iowa defense was subbing in the fastest player on the team for the QB, and running the ball.  The game came down to the last play in the 4th quarter, Iowa was up 21 - 14, Buffalo would score a touchdown as time expired to make it 21-20 Iowa.  There was no way I was going to OT, so I went for 2 and it was good.  The upset was complete 22-21, Buffalo wins.

Chicago Blackhawks 17 - Detroit Red Wongs 0 - NHL '96 - This was easily my biggest shut out of all time.  The game was on 5 minute periods, luckily after playing the game for about 15 to 20 years, you can figure out all the glitches in the game.  In NHL '96, you can score from pretty much anywhere on the ice.  I have scored from the opposite goal line before, its frickin' crazy.  This was equally great because I got to just pound the Red Wongs into the Ice, running up the score? Definitely.

Columbus Blue Jackets win the Stanley Cup - NHL '12 - Erasing what was the worst season in the real NHL for 2011 - 2012, the Blue Jackets swept the Montreal Canadians to win the cup.  Rick Nash was given the cup by Gary Bettman at Nationwide Arena, the fans were going nuts.  The Blue Jackets were the #5 seed in the Western Conference playoffs and made it all the way to the cup.  NHL '12 does a great job with the end of the game, showing players passing around the cup, and then getting down on the ice for the infamous team photo.

Ohio State University 154 - Penn University 0 - College Football '07 - This game just turned into how many points could I score.  I was kicking onside kickoffs, going for two on every touchdown, and running the hail mary offense.  The Hail Mary Offense is defined by throwing a Hail Mary on every play. Penn like Buffalo is one of the worst teams on the game.  The game was actually play @ Penn, though the home crowd did not help much.  This was an example of running up the score, and showing no remorse for anyone.

As you can see from some of these moments, they just are not possible.  Come on, the chances of Troy winning a BCS title, or the Blue Jackets winning the Stanley Cup, just does not seem very likely.  If you did not notice, I love to run up the score, its more of a challenge then anything once you figure out what works and what does not.  Some of the older games have many glitches, and the programmers today have become much better about limiting the glitches.  So if you have any ridiculous sports video game accomplishments, put them in the comments below.  Thanks for reading Seasons in the Sun.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Raffi Torres Done for 25 games.

Bye, Bye, Torres!
Raffi Torres learned today that he will be suspended for 25 games for the hit on Marian Hossa.  Torres has already been fined $2,500 and suspended this year for hits on other players.  He was able to escape suspension for his hit last year on Brent Seabrook in the playoffs.  The question now is will he change?  Matt Cooke of the Pittsburgh Pen-goons, was a goon much like Torres, and after getting "the book thrown at him," he has played a very clean 2011-2012 season. Cooke's turnaround has been rumored to be fueled by his wife's anger about the way he was playing.  And they say that husbands never listen to their wives, child please.

Torres will forfeit about $21,500 per game that he sits out.  This was the 3rd time this season that he has been suspended by the NHL for dirty play.  The suspension will carry over to next year.  It is the opinion of the Season in the Sun staff, that if Hossa misses more then 25 games, the suspension should be lengthened to the amount of games that Hossa misses.  It probably would not happen, but it would be nice justice if it did.

As we described in the blog a couple days on the Hossa hit, Torres violated rules 42.1 and 48.1 with regards to charging and hits to the head.  Shanahan agreed with us about the violations of those two rules, and he also added that he violated the rule for interference.  Interference occurs when a player hits another player that does not have the puck.  Also, interference can be called if a player interference with the goalie's opportunity to stop the puck from going into the net.  Clearly, Torres violated all three rules on the hit, and will now sit out.

Torres: A History of Cheap Shots:

Torres hit on Hossa - 25 game suspension.

Torres hit on Brent Seabrook - No suspension.

Torres hit on Jan Hejda - $2,500 fine.

Torres hit on Nate Prosser - Two game suspension.

Torres hit on Max Pacioretty - Sorry it's in French (hahaha)

Torres hit on Milan Michalek - from 2006 when Torres played for the Oilers

Torres hit on Andrew Ference - Adam McQuaid makes Torres pay.

Do you want more or is this enough to see that Torres has a history of leaving his feet, charging, playing dirty?  I think we need more!

You didn't think I could find more did you? - Torres dirty hit on Jordan Eberle (4 game suspension).

Well there are 7 videos to show you that Torres' hit on Hossa was not an anomaly.  Torres is a very dirty player, and he continues to target opponents' heads.  He clearly has no respect for his opponents, and we at Seasons in the Sun, thank Shanahan for the 25 game suspension, but we wonder if it is enough to get through to Torres.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Torres' Dirty Hit on Hossa

We here at Season in the Sun, believe that before we make any comments on what happened in the Chicago - Phoenix game last night, that you formulate your own opinion before we state ours.

As you can see from the video this was, in our opinion, a very dirty hit by Raffi Torres on Marian Hossa.  This is not the first time that Raffi Torres has targeted a star player on the Chicago Blackhawks.  Last year Raffi Torres laid out Brent Seabrook.  Torres has a history of dirty play, not just against the Blackhawks.  He has been suspended and fined, but it does not seem any of this is getting through to him. Ignorance is clearly bliss.
"First off, I hope he is alright. As far as the hit goes, I just felt like it was a hockey play, just trying to finish my hit out there," said Torres. "The last thing I'll say is a I hope he's alright."
Torres was not penalized on the play, because somehow all 4 officials on the ice, did not see it happen.  The only player to be penalized was Brandon Bollig of the Blackhawks for sticking up for his teammate.  After doing some reseach, we at Seasons in the Sun believe that the hit broke two NHL rules 42.1 and 48.1.  Clearly, Torres does not think he did anything wrong, even though he knocked out Hossa and watched Hossa leave on a stretcher.

NHL Rule 42.1
"42.1 - Charging - A minor or major penalty shall be imposed on a player who skates or jumps into, or charges an opponent in any manner. Charging shall mean the action of a player who, as a result of distance travelled, shall violently check an opponent in any manner.  A "charge" may be the result of a check into the boards, into the goal frame or in open ice."
Torres is in violation of this rule because his skates left the ice, and in the words of the rule, he jumped into the opponent to violently check Hossa.  The rule even covers the area of ice where the hit happened, open ice, so that there might not be any loop-holes in the rule.

NHL Rule 48.1
"48.1 - Illegal Hits to the Head - A hit resulting in contact with the opponent's head where the head is targeted and the principle point of contact is not permitted.  However, in determining whether such a hit should have been permitted, the circumstances of the hit, including whether the opponent put themselves in a vulnerable position immediately prior to or simultaneously with the hit or the head contact on an otherwise legal body check was avoidable, can be considered."
Torres, in our opinion, is in violation of this rule because he hit Hossa with his shoulder in the head, specifically the jaw.  As you can see from the video, the head area was the only place on the body that Torres hit Hossa making it, "the principle point of contact."  As you can also see from the video, Torres has all sorts of time to pull up, skate away, and avoid Hossa.  By the time that Hossa was hit by Torres, he did not even have the puck.

Blackhawks players, fans and the coaching staff are baffled by the fact that there was no penalty called on the play, and the fact that none of the officials saw what happened.
"We've got four guys out there.  When there's a guy getting carried off on a stretcher, you might think that there might be something wrong with what happened." - Toews, Blackhawk's Captain.
Toews would go on to say that he would not be surprised if Torres did it again because he was not penalized at all.  Seasons in the Sun would not be surprised either because this is not the first time Torres has done this to the Blackhawks.

This just goes back to the other point that we were trying to make about the NHL and the lack of discipline. The way that these playoffs have been going, you need to suspend guys to curb this fighting and dirty play.  It is completely out of control, and now you have someone that got seriously hurt.  The NHL needs to step in and say that this dirty play needs to stop.  They need to make a statement with Torres' suspension to say hey look guys, we are not messing around anymore.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Shanahan Dragging His Feet on Suspensions for Pen-goons

I think we all remember last Sunday, the Flyers vs. the Pen-goons, we remember the fights and the dirty play by the Pen-goons.  Questions remain why two days later, the suspension dictator Shanahan has only suspended one player, Adams (Pen-goons) for game 4 and fined the Pen-goons coach $10,000.  These were automatic because Adams started a fight in the last 5 minutes of a game, and if that happens the coach of the team is automatically fined $10,000.  Why Neal and Asham have not been suspended is preposterous.

Let's look at Neal's case first, Neal left his feet and hit a defensive-less player, incident number one.  He then hit another Flyers player in the head, incident number two.  Neal is not a first time offender, he was fined $2,500 for a high stick earlier in the season.  $2,500 might not sound like much, but legally under the collective bargaining agreement it is the most that the NHL can fine a player.  So you have, two incidents, a non-first time offender, if he is not suspended for at least two games, its a joke.

This is the video from incident #1 as you can see the Flyers' player, Couturier is not even playing the puck and is leveled.  The play was not penalized, even though its classic interference, and you could even make a case for a charging call because Neal left his feet.  The video also shows incident #2.  Neal's play is definitely worthy of a multiple game suspension.

Neal's teammate Asham, cross checked Schenn in the throat area after Schenn made a hit along the boards on a Pen-goons player.  Asham not only cross checked Schenn, he decided to punch him again after the violent cross check.  Now, Asham whom already has a laundry list of questionable plays that have led to previous suspensions, clearly was out of line here.  If I was Shanahan, I am going 4 games, for a check to the head area, and for the extra punch with Schenn already out on the ice.

Here is the video of the Asham hit and the extra punch on the back of Schenn's head.  You can hear the NBC announcer say that Schenn's hit was clean.  That was definitely a cheap shot by Asham, and then for some reason he thinks that the cross check was not enough and hits Schenn in the back of the head.  This crossed so many lines, this was definitely not a hockey play.  There was a clear intent to injure here, that's why 4 games is what I would advise Shanahan to suspend Asham.

Let's talk about Cindy Crosby for a second, he started a fight with Giroux for Crybaby incident #1.  He takes 3 or 4 extra wacks at the Flyers goal, which is a violation of an unwritten rule, that you do not wack the goalie's glove when he is holding the puck (Crybaby incident #2).  He knocks Voracek's glove away from him when Jacob tries to pick it up (Crybaby incident #3).  Both incident #2 and incident #3 started scrums on the ice.  He started the fight with Hartnell where Adams came in at the end and pulled Hartnell's hair (Crybaby incident #4).  So, he pretty much started at least 4 different fights, but only fought one.

This is Crybaby incident #4.  Clearly, you can see that Crosby was at the beginning fighting Hartnell, and like the coward he is, he could not finish the fight.  He needed to summon one of his goons (Adams) to try to finish the job for him.  Given, Cindy Crosby's actions for the entire game, I would suspend Cindy for Game 4.  He was an instigator on numerous fights, and you know what if the NHL wants this to stop, they really need to suspend players for playing like Cindy was playing.

I am not really sure why the NHL and Shanahan are dragging their feet on these suspensions because they are clearly suspension worthy.  I am not sure why the Pen-goons have given into playing like goons, they have a good team when they are focus.  Clearly, they are not focused anymore.  The Flyers really have had to play a game of self defense in this series.  You cannot fault the Flyers for fighting back, because the Pen-goons have lost their heads.  Shanahan needs to wake up and start suspending players the day after and not waiting because it might look good.

Shanahan with a laundry list of penalties like this you cannot tell me two days later you can only come up with one suspension so far:

Game 3 Penalty Summary:

1st Period
2:39 Pittsburgh roughing - 2 min D. Engelland
2:39 Philadelphia roughing - 2 min Z. Rinaldo
5:14 Philadelphia high-sticking - 2 min J. Voracek
6:44 Pittsburgh cross checking - 2 min M. Niskanen
6:44 Pittsburgh roughing - 2 min M. Niskanen
6:44 Philadelphia roughing - 2 min C. Giroux
7:24 Pittsburgh cross checking - 2 min K. Letang
12:02 Pittsburgh roughing - 2 min S. Sullivan
12:02 Philadelphia roughing - 2 min J. Voracek
12:02 Pittsburgh fighting - 5 min K. Letang
12:02 Pittsburgh game misconduct - 10 min K. Letang
12:02 Philadelphia slashing - 2 min K. Timonen
12:02 Philadelphia fighting - 5 min K. Timonen
12:02 Philadelphia game misconduct - 10 min K. Timonen
12:02 Philadelphia fighting - 5 min C. Giroux
12:02 Pittsburgh fighting - 5 min S. Crosby
14:15 Pittsburgh match penalty - 10 min A. Asham
14:15 Philadelphia charging - 2 min B. Schenn

2nd Period
0:35 Pittsburgh hooking - 2 min J. Staal
9:13 Philadelphia kneeing - 2 min N. Grossmann
12:30 Pittsburgh tripping - 2 min C. Kunitz
17:22 Pittsburgh slashing - 2 min C. Kunitz

3rd Period
15:18 Pittsburgh charging - 2 min J. Neal
15:18 Pittsburgh roughing - 2 min C. Kunitz
15:18 Philadelphia roughing - 2 min J. Voracek
15:18 Pittsburgh misconduct - 10 min D. Engelland
15:18 Philadelphia roughing - 2 min W. Simmonds
15:18 Philadelphia misconduct - 10 min W. Simmonds
15:18 Philadelphia roughing - 2 min S. Hartnell
15:18 Philadelphia fighting - 5 min S. Hartnell
15:18 Pittsburgh roughing - 2 min S. Crosby
15:18 Pittsburgh instigator - 2 min C. Adams
15:18 Pittsburgh misconduct - 10 min J. Neal
15:18 Pittsburgh fighting - 5 min C. Adams
15:18 Pittsburgh game misconduct - 10 min C. Adams
17:38 Philadelphia cross checking - 2 min Z. Rinaldo
17:38 Philadelphia unsportsmanlike conduct - 2 min Z. Rinaldo
17:38 Philadelphia misconduct - 10 min Z. Rinaldo

Shanahan do your job, make a decision, stop dragging your feet just because you have to suspend players from the Pen-goons.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Mr. Smith Goes to Phoenix

In Phoenix, Game 1, first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Mike Smith of the Phoenix Coyotes did to the Chicago Black Hawks what he has been doing all season, and that is shut the opponent down.  Smith stopped 43 of 45 shots in Phoenix's overtime win, 3-2.  This is nothing new to Smith who is having a career year in Phoenix, after being sent there from Tampa Bay for this season.  Given, how the Coyotes have been having ownership problems, Smith has literally saved (no pun intended) the Coyotes every night from leaving the desert.

This story cannot be told without first giving the reader a little bit of background on what the Coyotes have been going through the last couple of years.  First off, the NHL has owned the team since 2009 because the original owner Jerry Moyes, had driven the team into bankruptcy.  Moyes tried to sell the team to new ownership that wanted to relocate the team to Ontario, but that failed.  It was rumored that the sale of the Atlanta Thrashers and their move to Winnipeg, the Coyotes original home, was put through to cover some of the Coyotes losses.

I think I might have talked about this before in another blog, but the Coyotes even with severe financial problems have been a playoff teams for quite a number of years.  The problem has always been getting people to the regular season games.  The Coyotes have continued to have one of the lowest average attendance in the NHL.  This has really pissed off the people in Atlanta because Gary Bettman said, "We will fight hard to keep team in their current locations," (paraphrasing) but it seems that the NHL has fought much harder to keep the Coyotes in Glendale, Arizona.

Now that you have some idea of what has been going down in the desert, let's talk about how Mike Smith arrived in Phoenix.  Smith would have never arrived into Phoenix but the former goalie Bryzgalov was traded to Philadelphia after the team and the player could not agree on a new contract.  Bryzgalov was also quite vocal about his concerns that the team might return to Winnipeg, and he said, "It's too cold there."  Smith, who left Tampa Bay would get his first starting job in Phoenix.

Smith who was the back up in Tampa Bay would have to take a huge pay cut to stay there.  At the time of leaving Tampa Bay, Smith called it, "The hardest decision I ever had to make in hockey."  He had been with the Lightning for 4 years, he had moved his family down to Tampa Bay.  He just had his first child during all of this turmoil in his hockey career.  He need to take this step though, he needed to become a starter, after spending so much of his career as the back up.

This has turned out to be a great decision to leave Tampa Bay for both the Coyotes and for Mike Smith.  He started 67 games this year, before that the most games he played was 42.  Smith posted 8 shut outs this season, that is almost more then all of his NHL years combined (9).  His goals against average 2.21, is the best of his career.  Not to mention his save percentage of .930 is also the best of his career.  His 38 wins this season is 24 more wins than his previous career best.  Face it, the guy is have a career year in the desert.
Mike Smith's Goalie Mask

To give you a better idea of where Smith is compared to his peers, his goals against average was good for 7th in the NHL this season.  That save percentage of .930 tied him for third in the NHL with Lundqvist of the New York Rangers.  The career high 8 shut outs also ties him for third in the NHL, with Lundqvist.  So, I think you can get the picture from the stats, that not only is Smith having a great year compared with his own career he is having a great season compared to the rest of the NHL goalies.

Mike Smith's story is comparable to many veterans that are finally getting the opportunity to be a starter and seizing the moment.  We can only hope that he continues to play at a high level, after he loses to the Chicago Black Hawks, just kidding.  Season in the Sun, seriously wishes him all the best, because he is a great story for the NHL, in a city that has been a real thorn in the side of the NHL.  You can see Mike Smith in action, Game 2 of the Phoenix - Chicago series is Saturday, April 14th at 10:00 EST.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Columbus Blue Jackets and could it get any worse?

You know those movies where everything seems to go wrong for the main characters until the very end, and then everyone is all happy and kissy;  the Columbus Blue Jackets are living the entire everything going wrong, and hopefully for their hardcore fans we just have not reached the kissy, kissy we just won the cup.  In one of the Blue Jackets worst seasons since entering the NHL, to say thing were going bad was an understatement. Suspensions, injuries, and players flat out not wanting to play really doomed Columbus from the start of what was a season to forget.

Let's start at the beginning because usually when you are writing, that's a great place to start.  The Blue Jackets traded for James Wisniewski, a high class defensemen.  This was an up-grade because the Jacket's really do not have any solid defensemen, people were pretty happy.  Things started to tumble when Wisniewski hit Cal Clutterbuck (Minnesota Wild) in the head and was suspended for the remainder of the preseason and 8 games of the regular season.  Things got even worse when he came back finally, and got injured.  By the time he was fully healthy things were already out of control and the basement of the Central Division was full of the Blue Jackets.

Another trade that turned into an epic failure was the trade for Jeff Carter.  First off, the guy did not want to come here.  Second off, he got injured right away and was out of the line-up.  Rumors circulated High Street and the surrounding areas to whether or not, or how bad his injury actually was; it was bad enough apparently to keep him off the ice.  Third off, the Jackets traded the Flyers Jacob Voracek for Jeff Carter, he scored in his first game, in the first period as a Flyer.  He had a career year this season.  Please tell us the story gets better!

The story does not get any better, or at least it got better for Jeff Carter.  He was traded to the LA Kings, for Jack Johnson (a michigan player).  LA made the playoffs, the Blue Jackets well they are playing golf, and watching the playoffs from home.  Jack Johnson is a decent player, but again, he was added to the roster too late in the season to do any real damage.

Another players that showed some promise that was acquired through another trade, this time with the Pittsburgh Pen-goons (I told you we were going to call them that); Mark Letestu was added to the Jacket's roster in November.  By January, Letestu was put on injured reverse because of a hand injury.  He was expected to be out for 6 weeks at the point.  He would come back in mid February but at that point the season was already a wash and he might as well just stayed on the injured reverse.

If the injuries to almost everyone they traded for or signed was not enough, Scott Howson threw Rick Nash, the face of the franchise under a bus, more like under a train, no more like under an F5 tornado when he went public with the fact that Rick Nash asked to be traded.  It is my opinion, that Rick Nash only asked for a trade because he wanted to better the franchise that he has been single handily carrying on his back for quite some time.  Rumors and questions about the entire situation have swirled but Rick is still with the team today.

That was not the only disastrous decision Howson made this year for the Blue Jackets, another one came when he just did not want to fire Scott Arniel.  Howson let Arniel bury this team in one of the worst starts in franchise or league history.  Other teams, including the Washington Capitals had poor starts and fired their coach.  Where are the Capitals now?  They are in the playoffs.  In St.Louis, the Blues fired their coach and hired former Blue Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock.  Where are the Blues?  They are in the playoffs too.

Up to this point, suspensions, injuries, bad coaching, a disastrous start had all played into the Jacket's woes of 2011 and 2012.  Most fans of the Jackets were happy the season ended, that meant the bleeding at stopped.  Well that all took yet another nose dive during the NHL Draft Lottery.  With a 48.whatever percent chance of getting the #1 pick and the pick was likely to be prospect Nail Yakupov, the Blue Jackets lost the #1 pick to the Oilers.  The Oilers had only an 18% chance of getting the first pick.

At this point, Jackets fans had to be frustrated, cashed out, any term you can think of.  This will be the Oilers' third #1 pick in a row.  Columbus has to be coming up with conspiracy theories now.  I think this video pretty much sums up the failure at the lottery:

At about 25 seconds into the clip all hope is crushed like it had been so many times before this season, when they turn over the Oilers' card.  The beginning of the clip was so full of optimism, like the Blue Jackets at the start of the season.  Like the rest of the season, that very quickly, turned to No's and Boo's.

One almost has to feel bad for the Blue Jackets fans worse than anything.  All this money spent on a franchise that is ran by idiots (i know name calling is for 5th graders but it's the truth).  They still do not have any clue how to run the team or whether or not to trade Rick Nash.  I have said it before that I am very worried about the future of the Blue Jackets in Columbus.

All this just begs to ask the question, the cliche, can it get any worse at this point?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

NHL Playoff Preview Round 1

Tonight the NHL playoffs start, one of the greatest times of the year.  Here's what to look for in the first round.

Western Conference

#1 Vancouver Canucks vs #8 Los Angeles Kings - The Canucks come into the series winning the President's Trophy, given to the team with the best record in the regular season.  The Kings barely got into the playoffs.  The Canucks have to be the favorite in the series.  The only problem I see with the Canucks is if they lose focus and turn into goons.  The Canucks should win this is series in 5 or 6 games, with the Canucks winning easily.

#2 St. Louis Blues vs #7 San Jose Sharks - Behind the coaching of Ken Hitchcock, the St. Louis Blues had a breakout year.  The Sharks on the other hand, have had an up and down year.  The Sharks have the talent but it seems like they just never get to the promise land.  They are the only team to be in the conference finals the last two years.  The Sharks have experience and the Blues are the new kids on the block.  The Blues have better goaltending.  This is a difficult series for me to pick, I dislike the let's go Sharks!  Sharks in 7.

#3 Phoenix Coyotes vs #6 Chicago Blackhawks - Even though the Blackhawks had more points than the Coyotes in the regular season since the Coyotes won their division they get the #3 seed.  The Blackhawks have had some questionable goal tending, and Smith for the Coyotes has been great.  The Blackhawks captain Toews is questionable with concussion symptoms.  My heart says pick the Blackhawks, and my brain is telling me to pick the Coyotes.  I am really torn right now.  Blackhawks in 7!

#4 Nashville Predators vs #5 Detroit Red Wongs - Just another great series in the Western Conference.  Both teams come from the central division.  We know about the Red Wongs, the captain Lidstrom, who really should retire to a nursing home.  Nashville needs goalie Rinne to have an awesome series.  He is better than Jimmy Howard (Red Wong's goalie).  I think this is Nashville's time, Predators in 6.

Eastern Conference

#1 New York Rangers vs. #8 Ottawa Senators - The Rangers the top seed in the East, and could have won the President's Trophy but lost the last game of the season.  The Senators, like the other #8 seed Kings, barely got into the playoffs.  Could this be a trap series for the Rangers?  The Rangers on paper are clearly the better team.  I like the Rangers in 5 games.

#2 Boston Bruins vs. #7 Washington Capitals - The defending champions, the Boston Bruins, are back to defend the crown.  The Washingon Capitals are just getting healthy and looking to rid themselves of playoff failures of the past.  The Capitals need Alexander the Great to play awesome, like he has never played before.  This is not a gimme series for Boston, even though they are the better team on paper.  I like the Bruins in 6.

#3 Florida Panthers vs. #6 New Jersey Devils - Similar to the #3 vs #6 series in the Western Conference, the New Jersey Devils had more points in the season than Florida, but Florida edged out Washington for the division title.  I am really not that high on the Florida Panthers.  The Devils had over 100 points and played in the toughest division in the Eastern Conference.  New Jersey in 6 games.

#4 Pittsburgh Pen-goons vs. #5 Philadelphia Flyers - This has to be the series that everyone and their mothers will be watching.  Two bitter rivals, playing in the 1st round, life cannot get much better.  Home ice should not matter in this series.  The Flyers are 5-1 in the Pen-goons new stadium.  I hope this series goes 7 games, and is as tough and physical as the regular season.  I hope at the end Cindy Crosby is crying like a little girl.  Flyers in 7, wha up!

The games can be seen on the NBC family of networks, including for the first time CNBC.  Yes, the business channel will be taken over by the NHL.  Clearly, they do not have enough good programming by themselves, the NHL will definitely help.  Season in the Sun will be back to wrap up the first round and preview the second round.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Men's Frozen Four 2012 - Tampa Bay - Final Update.

In the final game of the Men's Frozen Four, fans were treated to one heck of a game.  Boston College was able to defeat Ferris State (Michigan) 4-1.  The game was much closer then the final score would indicate.  That tends to happen much of the time in hockey because if your team is down 1 or 2 goals, many times the goalie is pulled in favor of a 6th attacking skater.  That is what happened here the game was 3-1 late, and Ferris State was forced to pull their goalie.

Let's talk about the goalies for both teams for a moment.  Let's start with the winner, Parker Milner, who made 27 saves on 28 shots.  He only gave up two goals the entire tournament.  He went 193 minutes and change without giving up a goal in the tourney.  Quite a performance for a guy who did not have the starting job when the season started.  His counterpart, Taylor Nelson of Ferris State, made 33 saves on 36 shots.  He really kept his team in the game when things could have went south very quickly.  He was a huge reason Ferris State made it to the Finals of the Frozen Four this year.

The scoring was started by Boston College's Steven Whitney making it 1-0 early.  It seems like we have mentioned his name in every update about the Eagles, he is a great player.  Only 2 minutes later, Ferris State tied the game,1-1, when Garrett Thompson found the back of the net.  Paul Carey made it 2-1, Boston College, with a power play goal to close out the scoring in the first period.  There was no scoring in the 2nd period.  With 3:02, freshman Johnny Gaudreau made a wonderful move between two Ferris State defenders to make it 3-1, as seen here:

Gaudreau led the nation in scoring for freshman.  Whitney would get his second goal on the game on an empty net goal, and the party for the Boston College Eagles was on.  It was also Seasons in the Sun's third correct pick for a champion.  Not too bad considering before this year, we had never filled out a bracket for the Frozen Four.  Also, making it harder to fill out the bracket is that it seems that college hockey always has an upstart program like Union(NY) that makes it pretty far in the tourney.

Pittsburgh, arguably the worst city in America (just kidding!), will be hosting the 2013 Frozen Four.  It will be played in the same arena that Cindy Crybaby Crosby plays in.  Maybe he can learn something from this college kids, like how to stop crying about things that do not go his way.  Oh well, it should be another great tournament next year, we cannot wait.  Again, congrads to Boston College on their impressive win in the championship game.

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Pen-goon Empire Strikes Back...I Mean Strikes Knee.

The Pen-goons have struck again this time it was Brooks Orpik with a dirty knee to knee hit on Derek Stepan.  The Pen-goons have clearly resorted to tactics, dirty and questionable tactics that their counterparts in the NFL, the Pittsburgh Steelers use.  This the second time within a week that the Pen-goons, have really lived up to their new nickname.  There is really no place for this kind of play in the NHL, and I am starting to get highly annoyed by its common-place in the game today.

I was not the only one annoyed by the hit or the lack of respect that players seem to have for each other, here is a video of John Tortorella, the Rangers' outspoken coach about the hit:

Tortorella makes a great point about the whining stars on the Penguins.  We all know that that starts off with Cindy (Sidney) Cry Baby Crobsy.  The guy is constantly whining the officials, and diving all over the place.  He has even gone so far as to whine about fans throwing hats on the ice after a hat trick was scored by the opponents.  Really Cindy? Come on now, just play the game and stay up on your skates.  You look like a fool, flopping and diving all over the ice.

This is the second time in the past week that the Pen-goons have struck against a playoff bound team.  The first was Vitale's hit on Briere in a meaningless point of a 6-3 game in the third period.  Orpik was given a 5 minute major for the knee to knee hit last night.  It was more then Vitale was given for cowardliness against the Flyers.  This really need to stop and if you are a Pen-goons fan you cannot be proud of the way that your team is finishing the regular season.

If I was the Flyers in preparations for the game Saturday, I would be sitting my star players.  The Pen-goons are clearly out in full force and are trying to injure key players on their opponent's teams.  If I was the Flyers, I would consider calling up high energy, enforcer type players for the game on Saturday.  There is no reason to let the Pen-goons injure anymore of your team's star players right before the playoffs start.  Clearly, the Pen-goons are out for blood now.

The whole situation was not without another spineless denial by Daniel Bylsma (the head Pen-goon):
 “You see here where (Stepan) jumps out of the way and Brooks is on his track and looking to hit the guy at an angle, and he trying to get out of the way creates that scenario,” Bylsma said.
This is the same response Bylsma gave after the Briere hit, when he said that, that hit was a clean hit.  I know we discussed that hit before, but I feel I need to make the point again, that if you injure someone it is not a clean hit.  If you injure someone you do not need to come out and decry if the hit was clean or not, you need to apologize to the player you injured.  Its just common respect.  Bylsma would take none of that as you can see by his quote.  Stepan jumps out of the way because he saw Orpik putting his knee out!  Come on, Bylsma you do not need huge glasses to see that.

The Pen-goons need to shoulder the responsibility for their actions.  They have not been playing with any class the last week of the season.  What is more disheartening is the NHL does not seem to care because NBC, the NHL TV rights, are in love in the Pen-goons.  I'd love to see what Bylsma's response would be if someone went after their stars.  An eye for an eye, right?  We will continue to follow the NHL, and until a time when the Pen-goons can start acting like a civilized NHL team, we at Seasons in the Sun will stop referring the Pittsburgh franchise as the Pen-goons.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Men's Frozen Four 2012 - Tampa Bay - National Semifinal Update

Ferris State celebrates a 3-1 victory over Union (NY)
Today was the day for the National Semifinals for the Frozen Four in Tampa Bay, and Ferris State continues to destroy my picks.  They started the day off with a 3-1 victory over Union (NY).  The night cap was two of the "old guard," and Boston College was all over Minnesota 6-1.  Overall, I think we got a lot of great college hockey today.  I cannot wait until Saturday for the Final between Ferris State and Boston College, both teams are playing at a very high level.

The first game that featured two new comers to the Frozen Four, Ferris State and Union (NY), was a close game throughout.  The scoring started in the second period when Daniel Carr from Union (NY) scored, unfortunately it would be the only goal that Union (NY) scored.  Late in the second Aaron Schmit of Ferris State would tie the game on one of his two goals. 15:17 into the 3rd period, Kyle Bonis would get a rebound goal to break the tie.  Schmit added an empty net goal to close the scoring.

Ferris State has to be the surprise of the tournament.  They have been getting great goal tending from Taylor Nelson.  He shut down the Union (NY) offensive to only one goal.  Ferris State has been playing pretty decently all the season, they were ranked #1 early in the season.  They had a little bit of a tough go of it, losing to Bowling Green in the CCHA tournament, but they have really bounced back nicely.  They will definitely need everyone to be on their "A" game when they face Boston College on Saturday.

On the other side of the first game, you have Union (NY).  I believe this was their first year in Division 1 NCAA Hockey, and they really turned some heads.  It's like their coach said after the lost to Ferris State, and I am para-phrasing, even though we lost and this is a sad time, this is something that the program can really build on.  This will go along way in recruiting for next year, more players will have heard of Union (NY) and might consider going there.  If you are a Union (NY) fan there is no way you cannot be proud of what the team accomplished this year.

The second game on Saturday was more of blow out with Boston College taking it to Minnesota.  The game from what I saw, and it was not much because I had to work, it was a little bit more chippy then the first game.  Boston College opened the scoring in the first period with a goal from Steven Whitney.  The flood gates opened in the second period when the Eagles got 3 more goals making it 4-0 by the end of the period.  Minnesota would score to make it 4-1 in the third, but Boston College had the answer 22 seconds later making it 5-1.  The Eagles added one more to make the final 6-1, thumping of the Gophers.

Boston College has to be feeling really good about themselves right now after crushing a really good Minnesota team.  Boston College was the team to beat coming into this tournament ranked #1 and they have really proven so far to be the best team.  Ferris State will have their hands full in the Final with BC, and that's just trying to slow them down.  This is the Eagles 5th appearance in the final game in the last seven seasons.

On the other hand, Minnesota has to be really down.  The Gophers fought hard to get here, but in the end they just did not show up.  Well, at least they got a trip to Florida out of it.  I think this game will really leave a bad taste in their mouth, and next year the Gophers will be out for blood.  The program is too proud to let this happen and not do something about it.  If they do not do anything else, they might want to get a goalie and a defense that is not going to make the goalie look like a sieve.

Seasons in the Sun was only half right picking BC to beat Minnesota; Union(NY) did not come through for us.  We still have BC in the final, and hopefully that will be a winner.  Don't forget that the Final Game is Saturday at 7PM on ESPN2.  Have a great Friday, and keep reading Seasons in the Sun.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Flyers - Pen-goons Brawl Fallout.

On Monday, it was just unjust punishment in the case of the Flyers - Pen-goons brawl.  After calling the Pen-goons decision to send out the 4th line with a minute to go in the game, Peter Laviolette, the Flyers coach was fined $10,000.  He called it a "gutless move" and brought up the fact that the Pen-goons 4th line had played less then 12 minutes during the game.  The Pen-goons coach was not fined but an assistant coach was, Tony Granato, fined $2,500.  Rather unbelievable given, and I will stand by my position, that the Pen-goons started this brawl.

The Pen-goon's coach Dan Bylsma said that the hit on Briere was a clean hit.  Briere since the hit has been diagnosed with a upper back contusion.  Let's stop playing politics for a second, Mr. Bylsma, clean hits do not injure people indefinitely.  Let's talk about the hit and how close to the head it was.  Is anyone on the Pen-goons going to take responsibility for the fact that the hit injured Briere? No.  That has been made perfectly clear.

The Pen-goons and their coach would rather deflect all responsibility for the hit on Briere to Schenn's hit on Crosby.  The said crosscheck as they are calling it, happened after a goal when the players were skating to the bench.  Crosby was pushed a little bit, and did his classic flop to the ground to gather more attention to what happened.  Was Crosby injured? No. Is he going to miss any games? No.  I really do not see a problem with it.  The Pen-goons have decided that since Schenn's hit Crosby, that it's ok, to send out the 4th line in a meaningless point of the game and what happens, happens.

A look at Schenn's hit on Crosby:

Another baffling point in this entire story has been the biased coverage by the media.  Yahoo Sports ran a story after the game, "Flyers bully their way to a victory."  The game was 6-3 before the brawl happened, the game was over, the Flyers were the better team that day.  There was no bullying to victory.  The Flyers crushed the Pen-goons, in Pittsburgh.  Its rather sickening to read this kind of journalism that takes one brawl out of context and demerits how the rest of the game was played.

Also, if the Pen-goons are so worried about Crosby getting cross-checked maybe he should stop skating around the ice slashing everyone.  Crosby, with the NHL's graces, is allowed to skate around the ice and get away with penalties that most other players cannot get away with.  They let him skate around the ice like a saint, but we all know that there is blood on his hands.  I really wish someone would just give him a good, clean hit, and let him be out indefinitely just like Briere.

This is just another installment of punishment not being consistent in the NHL.  There is no way that Dan Bylsma should have not been fined.  It was his decision to send Vitale and the 4th line out there in a game that was already decided, bares some amount of responsibility for the brawl.  I am not, in any way, saying that the Flyers do not or should not been fined, because they are just as guilty.  Both teams were out of line and both should have been punished in a similar fashion.  That was not the case here, and it continues to be very frustrating that the NHL will not fairly execute punishment.