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Stanley Cup Playoffs 2013 – Day 28

Day-25 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs:

INKTIME  on RINKTIME Observations and Random thoughts by Chris Madsen:

MEMORIAL DAY:  As the Son of a man who served in two branches of the military–the Army and Air Force–my Dad ingrained in me a love of country and a genuine appreciation and respect for the call to duty and sacrifice every man, woman and canine who has served–is serving and will serve–unselfishly to this great Nation.

But what separates MEMORIAL DAY from VETERAN’S DAY and ARMED FORCES DAY is that according to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, “Memorial Day (the last Monday in May) is a day for remembering and honoring military personnel who died in the service of their country, particularly those who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle. While those who died are also remembered, Veterans Day (Nov. 11) is the day set aside to thank and honor ALL those who served honorably in the military — in wartime or peacetime.”

So, on many fronts,  I believe it would a disservice for me to write about the details of last night’s game between the Sharks and Kings or look ahead to tonight’s match-up of the Blackhawks and Red Wings , when commonly a writer, like myself,  would use words like “battle”, “confrontation”, etc., when such words ring hollow and rendered meaningless when we attempt to fathom these numbers:

WW I:  116, 516 lives lost

WW II:  405, 399  lives lost

KOREA:  33,686  lives lost

VIETNAM:  58, 209 lives lost

IRAQ:  4, 404  lives lost to date

AFGHANISTAN: 1,086  lives lost to date

May God Bless them all…and May God Bless America:

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Stanley Cup Playoffs 2013 – Day 25

Day-25 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs:

INKTIME  on RINKTIME Observations and Random thoughts by Chris Madsen:

HARD TO BELIEVE:  But I just realized that I have as many goals in this year’s Playoffs as Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews.

And perhaps in his zeal to get into the Box Score of last night’s 2-0 debacle in Detroit, JT took the least desirable way to get there–under the header of PENALTIES.  And he did so in succession in the 2nd Period:

05:20    Chicago    Jonathan Toews: 2 minutes, hooking
08:04    Chicago    Jonathan Toews: 2 minutes, hi-sticking
10:54    Chicago    Jonathan Toews: 2 minutes, hi-sticking

 

Now, you don’t need a slide-rule or an abacus to figure out that that is three trips to the Penalty Box in 5:34!  All three infractions are stick related and every player playing the game–under control–knows that he is responsible for his stick.  Toews second penalty resulted in a Jakub Kindl power play goal (the first PPG against the Hawks in 30+ tries during the Playoffs) that proved to be the game winner.

As for his undisciplined play in a “must-win” game: “My stick got a little loose there,” Toews said.  “I was playing hard. Sometimes that happens.”  Sometime that happens?  Sometime that happens? For a guy in his 6th NHL season–who averages just over 30-minutes in penalties over a full-82-game schedule, I’d venture an educated guess that it has NEVER happened before.  And if it did, it certainly never happened during the Stanley Cup Playoffs!

Now my respect for Jonathan Toews is well-documented.  Heck, just a couple of days ago I stated that I thought Toews should be the hands-down winner of the Messier Award over the Kings Dustin Brown and the Sens Daniel Alfredsson…but my goodness, man, find a way to get your head screwed on straight, so that what happened last, night never “happens” again!

Which leads me to my question of the day:  Is it time for Coach Joel Quenneville to consider benching his struggling star?  And before all you Blackhawks fans begin with the “what, are you crazy?’ responses…need I remind you…that just last night, Rangers Coach John Tortorella banished big money Brad Richards–a guy whose coattails Tortorella road all the way to Stanley Cup in Tampa–to the Press Box…and need I remind you of how the Rangers responded?  Please COMMENT in the space provided below.

And finally, regardless of which direction Coach Q decides to go, I’d make certain his Captain carries this quote from Red Wings Defenseman Jonathan Ericsson EVERYWHERE HE GOES until the drop of the puck for Game-5 Saturday night in Chicago: “We’d like to keep him (Toews)  in the box.  He’s not as good for them in the box.”

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ROY CALLED UPON TO MAKE ANOTHER  BIG SAVE: Hall of Fame goalie Patrick Roy –who won a pair of Stanley Cups as a player in Colorado–is officially rejoining the Avalanche as Head Coach and VP of Hockey Operations.  Roy–who played for winner after winner, inherits a team that finished dead-last in the Western Conference and failed to make it to the Post-season for a third consecutive year.

The 47-year-old Roy becomes the sixth coach in Avalanche history.

UNTIL THE NEXT TIME WE LACE ‘EM UP AND HIT THE ICE!–Chris Madsen

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TONIGHT’S SCHEDULE:

Ottawa    at Pittsburgh    7:30 PM EST

 

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Stanley Cup Playoffs 2013 – Day 24

Day-24 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs:

INKTIME  on RINKTIME Observations and Random thoughts by Chris Madsen:

A MARK MESSIER, HE’S NOT:  Mark Messier took his rightful place among the all-time great NHL Captains when–with his team trailing the Canucks in the 1994 Stanley Cup FInals–he boldly guaranteed that the Rangers would win Game-6!  And the rest, as they say is NHL History.

Last night, after his Senators were soundly beaten by the Penguins 7-3, one couldn’t help but notice that Ottawa Captain–and Messier Award Finalist–Daniel Alfredsson scooped-up the game puck once the final buzzer sounded, leaving many to assume that the fan favorite had perhaps come to the realization that he may have played his final game in front of the Sens faithful fans.  When queried about the puck, the 40-year old Alfredsson responded:  “I’ve got a lot of kids at home.”  In other words, this one may be headed to the family trophy case.

But nostalgia aside, and getting back to leadership, Alfredsson probably flushed any chance of him actually getting a sniff of the Messier Award when he said this (around the :33 mark) about his club’s chances of rattling-off three straight victories against the high-flying Pens:

Now, some may saw “He’s only stating the obvious.”  But my goodness man, even if you are thinking it, don’t actually say it…YOU’RE THE TEAM’S CAPTAIN for cryin’ out loud!

My advice Daniel, take a hint from your grizzled Coach Paul MacLean…say as little as possible…and go out and show the heart and determination that has helped you amass over 1,100 points in your career, while earning the adoration of your fans:

Now, for those of you who require a quick refresher, the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award  is presented to “the player who exemplifies great leadership qualities to his team, on and off the ice during the regular season” and the ultimate winner is is selected by Messier’s alone.

So Daniel, if it was your last home game, I’m delighted you got the puck, because I’ve  got a feeling you won’t be needing to clear anymore space in the family trophy case come Award Season.

Tell me if you agree or disagree in the COMMENT space below.

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JOB OPENING:  The Canucks did the totally expected and cleaned-out their Coaching Staff yesterday.  This is what happens when expectations are sky-high and you get swept out of the Playoffs in the Opening Round by a #6-seed, like San Jose.

Gone are Head Coach Alain Vigneault, along with his Assistants Rick Bowness and Newell Brown.

The numbers on Vigneault’s Regular Season Resume’ are impressive (313-170-57)…But it’s his Post Season ledger that leaves much to be desired (33-32) …not to mention a (1-10) mark over the Canucks last 11 Playoff games.

Vigneault took the high road out the door:  “I am proud of many of the things we accomplished as a group these past seven seasons in Vancouver and only wish we were able to win the Canucks’ first Stanley Cup.  I am a career coach, and it is what I love to do. I hope to coach again in this league and will always have good memories of my time and the fans in Vancouver.”

My memories are of Bowness and Browne.  Rick Bowness was one of my broadcasting partners at ESPN, years ago, during our coverage of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.   And, of course, I worked closely with Newell Browne while he was an Assistant Coach with the Ducks.  Two terrifc guys who certainly know their hockey.  May their time away from the game be a brief one.

UNTIL THE NEXT TIME WE LACE ‘EM UP AND HIT THE ICE!–Chris Madsen

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BREAKING NEWS!!!

Rangers Playoff bust Brad Richards will be a healthy scratch tonight as they when try to stave off elimination in Game-4 of their Eastern Conference semifinal against the Bruins.  Richards has just one goal in 10 playoff games and is a -3 overall.  Richards is in the second year of a 9-year, $58.5 million contract.

TONIGHT’S SCHEDULE:

Boston    at     NY Rangers 7:00 PM EST
Chicago    at     Detroit 8:00 PM
San Jose    at     Los Angeles 10:30 PM