I gotta feel for you Hawks fans, poor cap management is what killed you guys. I mean just how many players can a team dump and expect to repeat.Unfortunately it doesn't get any better next year with all the UFAs.
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I really dont think people should be calling the Torres on Seabrook hit a "blind side hit". Torres and Seabrook were skating towards each other. No "side" involved at all, and the "blind" part is only because Seabrook has his head down looking for the puck.
Please excuse any typos, but I'm still hung-over from last night's debacle... It's time to give a tip-of-the-hat to the Canucks...they are simply a better team - more depth and skill. It's easy to look back and re-hash every game of the 82 game schedule and recall how the Hawks easily could have attained an additional 7-10 points. Did this year really surprise any Hawks fans? I was still a little Cup drunk when the season began, but it was quickly removed within the first 15-20 games when I realized just how talent-less this team was. Last year the Hawks had four lines deep of stud horses...this year they had/have two lines of horses and the rest are simply donkeys and mules. Even if the Hawks had somehow upset Vancouver in the first round...where were they going???? Too much talent walked out the door before the season began. I'm not crying in my beer, it's just a fact. I'm not one to place blame on a single player, but where did Hossa go?!?! In my opinion...Kane, Toews, Sharpe, Keith, and the other top guys for the Hawks all have this facial expression - like they know the team doesn't have the talent to play at this level. Sad end to a sad season for defending the Cup. Now we get to see how Stan (cough, Scotty) Bowman handle the off-season.
Looking more and more like the 'young team learns hard lessons' season. Winning the Cup makes the next season harder - not easier.
Pretty solid summarization. However, you really need to watch this video on what is a legal hit and what is illegal: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SszoPpBEit8 Note the hit at 3:55. Also note the reference at 4:37 in the "North-South" hit that Stevens lays on Lindros: "here is an example of a LEGAL shoulder check to the head where the player skating North-South with the puck has to be aware of where he is AND WHO IS ON THE ICE." Okay, both those instances are of players carrying the puck. Point taken. Now consider this from Bob MacKenzie (a reporter in favour of suspending Torres): "My first reaction to the Raffi Torres' hit was that it was a classic case of Rule 48. A blindside hit, principal point of contact to head or targeted head shot. That's my view, but when NHL general managers created Rule 48 a year ago March, they allowed the area behind the net to be a "hitting area" and players need to be more aware than, say, in the neutral zone. In March of 2010, a DVD went to players, coaches, and general managers saying exactly that, that there was far more latitude given on hits behind the net on unsuspecting players. In other words, as one NHL GM told me tonight, a hit behind the net is viewed more like a north-south hit than an east-west neutral zone hit. The other big issue is principal point of contact. Was it a straight-on body check where the shoulder also struck head or a "head shot"? Remember, in the NHL, there are circumstances where a shoulder hitting an unsuspecting or vulnerable player in the head is entirely legal." http://www.tsn.ca/blogs/bob_mckenzie/?id=362700 It's not as clear cut as it would seem to be.
Taking a shot at the Bruins?? Maybe Dallas will lose and the firesale Blackhawks will back in to the second round too. What a joke of a title defense. Now, excuse me I need to drink some water as I am still dehydrated. Hey, Get Your Red On.
Oh Boston Joe, always good for a laugh. Not taking a shot at the Bruins - even though they had the biggest collapse in NHL history - but more taking a shot at the 'Hawks for not having the capability to even come close to a comeback. At least Idzy has something to root for.
As a Canucks fan (and obviously not the target audience), I like Jeff's writing a lot more than Tim's. But that's the point, I suppose. Tim's writing makes the Canucks 3 wins feel even sweeter though. But to be fair, you are only feeling what we have felt twice already, and probably not as bad because many fans were under the delusion that the Canucks were the better team last year. You were generally expected to lose, even by many of the fans over at SCH. It's been a great series, and the Hawks probably deserve better than 0-3, and a possible sweep. Vancouver papers are calling for a suspension on Torres; hopefully you can see that not all of them are idiots. And I really like your Boxing idea - it sums the game up nicely. It's been fun!
Josh, Much appreciated with the kind words. If people thought the Canucks had the better team last year, it was this year it was proven correctly. The Blackhawks backed into the playoffs - not just because they blew it on the last day against Detroit and needed Minnesota to win - but with their last few weeks of mediocre play which put them in that position in the first place. And now, they're backing out in similar fashion. Did I believe the 'Hawks were going to win this series? Absolutely not. However, it doesn't make it any less frustrating. It's not really because of this series, but more the season of being consistently inconsistent. Thanks again for stopping in.