Day-36 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs:
INKTIME on RINKTIME Observations and Random thoughts by Chris Madsen:
THESE B’s ARE BUZZIN’: I must admit that I NEVER saw the start to this Series coming. But, then again, apparently Penguins Coach Dan Bylsma and his high profile players not only didn’t see it, they have proven over not one–but TWO games–that they do/did not have the ability to read and react…so, subsequently the Bruins are up 2-games-to-none with the Series set to shift to Boston.
In hockey, Coaches try to defend against what is known as a “quick-strike offense” and with names like Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Jarome Iginla, Chris Kunitz, James Neal and Pascal Dupuis dotting their line-up, perhaps this phrase has been used most often this season when referring to the Penguins. But the Bruins put a “quick strike offense” to work less than a minute into Game-2 and added an exclamation point by responding with another goal just seconds after the Pens got on the board.
And to give you an example of just how ineffective Crosby, Malkin, Iginla, Kunitz, Neal and Dupuis have been thus far in this series–COMBINED–they have amassed ZERO points, while also proving to be a liability on the defensive side of the puck with a CUMULATIVE - 20, +/- rating.
And on top of all this, Coach Bylsma has a decision to make for Game-3 at TD Garden…like, who gets the start in goal? Tomas Vokoun got the hook after surrendering 3 goals on 12 shots. But in all honesty, Marc-Andre Fleury never looked comfortable after filling in, and he a gave up 3 goals on 17 shots.
Meanwhile, all is sunny in Beantown. Now, if we could only hear from all of those Claude Julien second-guessers???!!!
Winning has a way of silencing the critics.
CRUNCHING THE NUMBERS Courtesy of nhl.com :
WOULD “THE GREAT ONE” BE A GOOD FIT?: Rumors continue to swirl that Wayne Gretzky is interested in the Rangers Head Coaching job. Then again, reportedly Gretz’s former teammate Mark Messier is reportedly interested too. But would either guy fill the bill?
At least Gretzky has 4-years of coaching experience at the NHL on his resume’. Wayne guided the rudderless Phoenix Coyotes for 4-seasons, and under the circumstances (and financial duress) compiled a record of 143-161-24–while never qualifying for the Playoffs.
Messier–who arguably is even more popular in the New York area than Gretzky after leading the Rangers to a Stanley Cup in 1994–only has coaching experience at the International level…and that was for one year in 2010.
The problem for both men is that although both were great as players, there are at least three guys I can think of off the top of my head that have far more coaching experience and post-season accomplishments to brag about. And they are Lindy Ruff, Ron Wilson and Alain Vigneault.
Then again, if I’m Vigneault, I’d do my best to steer the interview conversation as far away from my Playoff record as possible.
UNTIL THE NEXT TIME WE LACE ‘EM UP AND HIT THE ICE!–Chris Madsen
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