Tag Archives: Roloson

Summer is here

Red Wings fans have sobered up now that the Wings are gearing up for summer in Michigan. Time to get the boat out, head for the lake and fondly reminisce about what could have been. Next season for sure!

Lidstrom will surely retire after this season at age 41, six Norris Trophy wins and 4-time Stanley Cup winner. He’s won the Viking Award twice, which is given to the best Swedish player in North America. While Lidstrom may be bound for Sweden to retire, the Red Wings will be losing Mike Modano and Chris Osgood as well. The 2011-12 NHL season in Detroit will look different with new additions from Grand Rapids moving in.

Fine wine ages, and so must the Wings fledglings. This new flock will have their growing pains, but overall will maintain quality hockey for the fans and in the Western Conference. Detroit will not be in danger of sitting last in the race next year to make the playoffs.

Brendan Smith, Tomas Tatar are just a few who have had some ice time in Detroit. Notable Griffins not ready for prime time include Gustav Nyquist from Maine and Brandon Straub from Colorado College.

We still will have Zetterberg, Datsyuk and Franzen but how long will it be before Rafalski leaves? A few more productive years in Detroit, then he could be done or NHL rumors have focused on Rafalski as a trade option.

The new team will work under Babcock and Holland. Change is good so look forward to getting to know the 2011-12 team and think fondly of the 2010-11 Wings. Somewhat like the transition from Steve Yzerman heading to Tampa Bay, the triumph comes with perseverance. Detroit fans will not be denied a good game of hockey.

The playoffs continue with Tampa vs. Boston and the Canucks vs. the Sharks.

Boston is a Bunyan of a team with Milan Lucic, David Krejci and Zdeno Chara, and then some. Tim Thomas in net creates the beast within the Boston Bruins. I expect gritty games with incredible puck-in-glove action from Thomas. Boston bets: Marchand, Peverley, Recchi.

Tampa Bay boasts Martin St. Louis, Steven Stamkos, Vinny LeCavalier and in net, Dwayne Roloson, who has been on will-call for a Stanley Cup trip. Other names you need to know: Purcell, Malone, Bergenheim.  Tampa won the Cup in 2004, then the lockout derailed the NHL for years. The experience on the Lightning is just enough to take out Boston.

Tampa Bay takes the series because they shut down Ovechkin to get here.

Vancouver Canucks stands for Canada. Ryan Keler will also take out anyone who gets in his way of this Cup. He was gyped out of the Gold, so now he must conquer the Cup. The Sedin twins are expected to get the job done as well. Roberto Luongo is a proven winner in net and so is his opponent. Gentlemen’s duel. Canucks who can make the plays: Bieksa, Burrows, Torres.

The Sharks have carried some playoff baggage that needs to get tossed. With Logan Couture, Devin Setoguchi and Ryan Clowe, the Sharks look tough to beat. Clowe will clock Kesler I’m betting on that one. The Sharks have Joe Thornton. Plus, Dan Boyle has won a Stanley Cup with Tampa Bay in 2004.

Vancouver Canucks will move on, despite both teams having difficulty closing the deal.

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Let the Octopi Fly

The Detroit Red Wings were the first to advance to  the second-round of NHL playoffs. Energized, the Wings swept the Coyotes with the depth in player skill the Wings are known for. The break means rest, which is essential for the Wings as Zetterberg and Franzen will make a return. The Red Wings do it every year and will continue to do so with the type of managment and care for their players. Red Wings fans are happy fans:Lidstrom was nominated for the Norris Trophy and Pavel Datsyuk nominated for a Selke. Jimmy Howard is holding his own and can keep the Sharks out of net to win.

San Jose has been enjoyable to watch, but the LA Kings stalled the Sharks.With Anze Kopitar out, the nimble netminder Quick is just one piece of the puzzle that fits so well in Los Angeles. This team continues to display the type of fan base and talent base to become an elite league leader. Going toe-to-toe with the Sharks was a bit unexpected. The Sharsk are tired, but pumped they made in through to the next round. Sharks defeated the Wings in three of the four games played during the regular season. The Sharks also eliminated the Wings last year in five games. Watch out for Ryan Clowe and Logan Couture as a powerful force on the Sharks.

The Sharks-Wings series will begin Friday in San Jose, with Game 2 on Sunday at 3 p.m.

Vancouver looked solid and on their way to annihalate the defending champs, but the Hawks found out how to play Luongo for a chance to defedng their turf. Fighting for a first round advancement, Alex Burrows buried the winning puck in net to grab the Canucks the series win, for the second year in a row. Ryan Kesler was also nominated for a Selke for his awesome season. Just like the Sharks, the Canucks got their workout but are propelled by adrenaline.

Nashville holds on to finally seek a Round 2 in the NHL playoffs. Anaheim was a tough hump to bump this season but give credit to Pekke Rinne who look unfazed most nights. Watch Rinne play against any team and the stun gun comes out as his stance rarely flusters. Barry Trotz, one heck of a coach, will see how his team rides the next curve with hometown boy and Hobey Baker winner, Blake Geoffrion. Smashville has smashed on through. This team is building a strong house.

The Vancouver-Nashville series is expected to start Thursday with a 9 p.m. game in Vancouver.

Western Conference final prediction: Detroit vs. Vancouver

I’m taking the Red Wings, because I always do. Vancouver deserves to battle it out with the best.

Ovechkin in, Pens out

Buffalo proved that goaltending does make a difference, but couldn’t surpass the fire of the Flyers. Miller had two shutouts in the series, but the tandem of Boucher and Leighton is brotherly love in true form. This has been a great series with higher scoring numbers. The Flyers wanted it more.

Boston and Montreal had quite a battle, but Boston moves on. Tim Thomas is a stable goaltender who will give the Philly boys a challenge. Boston is a good team, but the Flyers are scrappier.

The Philadelphi Flyers will face the Boston Bruins. The series will start Saturday afternoon at 3 EST. Classic east coast matchup.

Tampa Bay wouldn’t go away. With am 8-2 victory in Game 5 of the Pens-Lightning series, Tampa refused the exodus. That game was the turning point to rid the Pittsburgh Penguins a chance for the Cup. Sidney Crosby will recoup over the summer for a hopeful return in September. Tampa Bay’s victory is good news for the Southeast division and the growing hockey fandom down south. It’s also good for new GM Steve Yzerman. Goalie Dwayne Roloson was a great catch for Yzerman’s Lightining and will square off with the Caps rookie Neuvirth in goal. Tampa didn’t get the break as the Caps did.

Washington took back their spark beating the Rangers convincingly. This season, goalie Neuvirth illustrated his skill as former Calder Cup MVP. And he did it against Lundqvist who is the backbone of the Rangers. With Ryan Callahan out, the Rangers were down a man but the toughness expected of New York sputtered after two OT losses. Washington got a rest before the new clash in the East with their divisional rivals, the Lightining. Caps won 4 of 6 games during the regular season. This is a difficult series to predict.

Tampa will head to Washington on Friday to begin the series at 7 EST.

Eastern Conference final prediction: Tampa Bay vs. Philly

I’m riding the Lightining with their solid cast of Martin St. Louis, Steven Stamkos and Roloson. While Washington is good, the playoffs cause the Caps to fumble.

NHL Oldies, but Goodies

Forging into the second week of the NHL season, all eyes are on the rookies, Islander John Tavares, Lightning Victor Hedman, and Avs Matt Duchene.   The young players are vital to the sport, but fans may want to divert their eyes a few seconds for the veterans skaters who may be playing their last year in the league.  They may be considered past their prime, but they show no signs of slowing down.

Legendary feisty Red Wings alumni, Chris Chelios, at age 47 did not want to stop playing the game he loved.  His team had other plans, however.  And despite the rejection and the lack of offers, Cheli remains out on the hunt for his next team.  With 25 NHL seasons with three different teams, and three Stanley Cups, Chelios was the NHL’s oldest active player in 2008-09 playing with the Red Wings during the Stanley Cup finals.

Chelios, a Chicago native, was captain of the Blackhawks from 1995-99. He was traded to Detroit in 1999. His NHL career includes 185 goals and 763 assists for 948 points.   The man wants to play hockey, and looks forward to the opportunity to play in a city he has ties with.  Practicing and potentially playing with The Chicago Wolves,  the Atlanta Thrashers’ top affiliate,  Chelios isn’t concerning himself with playing for his fourth NHL team if called up.

The Wings face some questions on the future of Captain Nick Lidstrom, 39, who dealt with knee surgery prior to the 2099-10 season. Two assists during the October 15th game with the Los Angeles Kings gave Lidstrom his 1,000-career point ranking eighth for defensemen in the halls of NHL history.   Lidstrom has played a total of 1,336 games, all with the Red Wings.

As quoted in the Detroit Free Press, “It’s been lots of fun for him, for sure,” Holmstrom said. “He’s been around for a long time so it’s good to see him get that milestone.”

Bill Guerin, 38, made some stink to be relocated out of the Island for his second Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins.  Prior, he also won a Stanley Cup in 1994-95 with the New Jersey Devils.  Remember Ray Bourqe’s transfer to the Avs for his chance?  Great moment s are delivered to the fans, and these veterans get a shot because the league and players want to see it happen.  Fans feel the elation of players like Guerin and Bourque to fulfill their final goal.

Doug Weight, also 38, stayed on the Island and is now taking time to work with rookie John Tavares. Weight won a Stanley Cup with the Carolina Hurricanes in the 2005-06 season.  His influence is crucial for the rebuilding Islanders where mentoring is vital to the team’s cohesion.   Veterans are valuable to the growth and development of a player to adapt to a new style and to new teammates.  The veterans also get to see the innovations and fresh approaches of the new squad.

Boston Bruin Mark Recchi, 41, has played for half of the eastern seaboard and has landed in Boston for what could be his final fun.   On October 12, 2009, Recchi scored his 546th goal of his NHL career.  The “Recchin’ Ball,” has won two Stanley Cups: 1990-91 with the Pittsburgh Penguins and in 2005-06 with the Carolina Hurricanes.

Newly crowned Captain Adam Foote has tons of skills to bestow on the third pick in the draft, Matt Duchene.  Foote is no stranger to success, winning two Stanley Cups in 1996 and 2001 with the Colorado Avalanche.   His leadership is adding excitement to this up and coming team in the Western Conference.

Dwayne Roloson, 40, stood out behind the net last year in Edmonton.  Far away from his family, the goaltender knew his years were dwindling.  The distance, the traveling, the tough play and hawkish puck monitoring can exhaust older players.  Hockey is a tough job.

With a flare for toughness, readiness and willingness, the NHL veteran players deserve our last look before they retire.  Joe Sakic’s retirement was painful for the Colorado Avalanche community, Steve Yzerman’s last game made me cry, and Gretzky’s last call was a national event.  Enjoy the season and the seasoned players before it’s over.