June 7, 2007

Sens get Ducked

by Dan Bilicki In: Ice Hockey

Anaheim’s 6-2 win last night gave the NHL their first Stanley Cup champion ever from the “Golden State” and their first Pacific coast champion since the Victoria Cougars won the trophy way back during the 1924-25 season. The Ducks win also snaps the streak of either Canadian teams or the Detroit Red Wings winning the series in years that end in 7.

The highlight of the game and low-light of the series for the Senators was when -idiotically, Chris Phillips skated from behind the net with puck and proceeded to bank it into his own net off of Ray Emery. This gaffe proved to turn into the game winning goal and might just thrust Phillips into the same spotlight that Steve Smith, who years ago scored on his own net in the finals, is stuck in. Just one of those bone-headed plays that Cup winners manage to avoid and Cup losers always remember.

Also, the fact that Antoine Vermette horribly fanned on a penalty shot later in the game should be well noted. Not to mention he nearly hit the linesman with slap shot after the puck careened into the corner after the botch. Somewhat reminiscent of Daniel Alfredsson’s slap shot at Scott Neidermayer after the second period of game 4; but not nearly as obvious.

Congratulations are definitely in order for mother and father Neidermayer, whose sons played outstanding for the Ducks over the entire season. Neidermayer, who should win the Norris trophy as the best defenseman, took home the Conn Smythe trophy for being the MVP of the playoffs. While many of the Ducks could easily have taken it, there shouldn’t be many arguments against the captain.

Now with only the AHL’s Calder Cup left to be rewarded, the hockey season has effectively -and thankfully- has come to an end. It wasn’t a moment too soon.

And by the way, if you’ll remember who I picked to win the Stanley Cup and Conn Smythe trophy…


Even the Intern saw this one coming…

But wait! There’s more hockey news… sigh…

The New York Islanders decided they don’t want Alexei Yashin any more so they’ve decided to buy out the remaining four-years on his massive deal he signed after leaving the Senators. Now a free-agent, Yashin has conveyed through his agent that he’d like to go back to Ottawa, the place that drafted him and he grew to despise. While this move could help the loser Senators, props should be given to Yashin if he makes it back to Ottawa. It takes a lot of talent to completely skip the whole “building a good team” phase and come back for the peak.

The Toronto Maple Leafs also decided to compound their mistakes by signing one of the jokes on their team, Nikolai Antropov to a two-year contract extension for roughly $2 M per season. This will ensure his ass will be the press-box, taking up a spot on the IR until the end of 2010. There’s always the long shot that someone will trade for him, but how many GMs in the league are as inept as the one running the Leafs?

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