Be Careful What You Wish, Commish

Posted in Professional Sports, The Quick Hook on May 14th, 2011 by Ian Paregol

Gary Bettman cannot be too thrilled about the looming pairings for the Stanley Cup finals. In the East, Gary better be wearing his Bruins underoos as the puck drops on Boston-Tampa Bay series on Saturday, May 14th. Boston is the only team from the original six and the only large market team left in the Conference Finals. Although the Lightning have a couple players with some fire-power in Steven Stamkos and Marty St. Louis, the Florida market for hockey is one of the leagues weakest – the Lightning and the Panthers round out two of the NHL’s five lowest rated fan bases. The fans in San Jose seem to care about the Sharks, but  Read more »

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Goaltending: The Cup’s Net Asset

Posted in Professional Sports, The Quick Hook on April 25th, 2011 by Ian Paregol

Two heavy favorites move on to the second round, the upstart Preds surprise the Ducks, 3 lower seeded teams must win at home to stay alive and 2 series (so far) await a deciding 7th game.

Stanley Cup Playoff hockey is in full swing.   The Flyers have cycled through all three of their goalies (Bobrovsky, Boucher and Leighton) in the 6 games with the Sabres thus far.  In the other 3-3 series, Roberto Luongo, who helped lead the Canucks to the President’s Trophy and is finalist for the Vezina Trophy has twice been pulled in favor of Cory Schneider.  Loungo’s .750 save percentage over the last 40 Blackhawk shots is causing some panic in the mean streets of Vancouver.

If you look at the last 20 years of Stanley Cup history, winning the Cup is about Read more »

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Hirsute Up

Posted in Professional Sports, The Quick Hook on April 15th, 2011 by Ian Paregol

It’s Spring and it’s warming up (even in Boston) and that’s the logical time to grow a nice itchy beard,… more specifically, a “Playoff Beard.”  Denis Potvin and the members of the New York Isles – who owned the Stanley Cup from 1980 to 1983 – take credit for the development of the playoff beard.  But when Gretzky’s Oilers wrestled the Cup away from the Islanders stronghold, the beard took a hiatus until the Devils made it a mainstay in hockey post-season culture.  So from Vancouver to DC…. hockey fans,…. this is the week that shaving becomes optional (for up to 7weeks), employers consider revising their standards for staff appearance and men sleep alone as hockey fans grow their facial hair in support of their clubs.

There are many rules for the playoff beard but Rule #1 is: Read more »

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Blackhawks Down (and almost out)

Posted in Professional Sports, The Quick Hook on March 30th, 2011 by Ian Paregol

With 6 games remaining in the regular season, the Chicago Blackhawks cling to the 8th and final playoff spot in the Western Conference, three points ahead of a Dallas Stars team which cleaned Chicago’s collective clocks on St. Paddy’s Day.  Chicago wraps their season up with two games against central division rival Detroit which would surely relish knocking the defending champs out of the playoff picture.  Should the Hawks –  who days after the 2010 Stanley Cup awards ceremony were chopped up like a 2006 Honda Accord –  fall short on their 2011 playoff bid, they will be just the 9th club since 1915 to fail to qualify for the post-season after winning the Lord Stanley’s Chalice the prior year.  As true competition withers into league parity and dynasties dissolve in favor of bottom lines (even in the formerly immune NHL) it is interesting to note that there has not been a back-to-back Stanley Cup winner since the Red Wings in 1997-98 after decades of multi-year championships by the Canadians, Leafs, Flyers, Isles and Oilers.

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