Day-38 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs:
INKTIME on RINKTIME Observations and Random thoughts by Chris Madsen:
I SHOULD HAVE LISTENED TO DAD: As a kid growing up in Chicago, I played baseball at a local park in our neighborhood from the Pee-wee level all the way up to Semi-Pro. And during that time, my Dad was one of the winning-est Little League coaches in the program’s history. Each year, kids would come and go–and yet–each year my Dad would field a team in the Playoffs.
So when I went to College on a baseball scholarship, my Dad encouraged me to give back by offering to coach at the Pony League level (12-15 years of age). Now when it came time to draft players, the other coaches had an inherent advantage because they had an “automatic” pick–more often than not their son–and their son could tell them about all of the “best” players available to choose from.
Before my first draft, my Dad pulled me aside and said, “Son, don’t focus on the guys you are hearing are ‘the best players’. During tryouts (which consisted of fielding, throwing and hitting drills) try to weed-out those boys you feel have the determination and a love of the game. Believe me, in the end, those are the one’s that are much easier and fun to coach…and believe me, you will all go farther.”
Right now, the Boston Bruins look like the more the determined bunch. And their love of the game appears to be off the charts!
I guess the only question is…how much farther can the Boston Bruins go?
BTW, when I finished drafting my Pony League team, many of the Dads/Coaches around the table were openly giggling–rudely saying that I had just drafted the equivalent of the league’s “Bad News Bears.”
We won the Championship…and beat the team that arguably had “the best” players with a Suicide-Squeeze bunt with one out in the Bottom of the 9th! They never saw it coming. And the boy who laid down the bunt, hadn’t had a hit all year.
A VOID TO FILL: And it’s a sizeable one for the Blackhawks, after losing Duncan Keith to a 1-game suspension–following his high-sticking incident in Game-3 involving Kings Forward Jeff Carter (see BREAKING NEWS from yesterday). Normally, Keith takes a regular shift alongside Brent Seabrook, works the Power Play and kills Penalties–so, no doubt, these are pretty big skates to fill.
This circumstance will probably lead to debut of Sheldon Brookbank. Brookbank found himself in a tug-of-war with fellow veteran Michal Rozsival for the 6th D-spot–with Rozival winning out in the Post-Season, by starting the first 15 games of the Playoffs for Chicago. Brookbank played 26 games during the regular season and had one goal and no assists.
The only questions is, who will Coach Joel Quenneville pair Brookbank with? Stay tuned!
MORE FROM THE M*A*S*H UNIT:
Kings Center Mike Richards took a big hit from the Blackhawks Dave Bolland in Game-1 of the WCFS and hasn’t suited up since. His injury has been categorized as “an upper body injury” and believed to be a concussion.
Richards reportedly took a few non-contact turns with all of the other players who were a scratch in Game-3 at the Kings practice facility in El Segundo, California. No word on his status for tonight’s tilt.
Meanwhile, the Bruins will be without forward Gregory Campbell for the remainder of the Payoffs due to a broken leg. Campbell blocked a shot by Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin during last night’s 2OT victory..
But you talk about tough…Campbell stayed on the ice to kill the rest of Pen’s Power Play before gingerly making his way to the B’s locker room.
Like Dad said….”Determination.”
UNTIL THE NEXT TIME WE LACE ‘EM UP AND HIT THE ICE!–Chris Madsen
|Chicago||at||Los Angeles||9:00 PM |EST|