Month: April 2010

Round Two:What we want to see, but won’t…

After an exciting first round that saw plenty of overtime action, highlight reel saves and ridiculous goals, it’s time to move on and enjoy Round Two of the 2010 NHL Playoffs

Here’s some thing’s we’d like to see happen in Round Two:

– Sydney Crosby realizes his dirt ‘stache needs to go and shaves it off. Women everywhere rejoice and declare a national holiday.

Joe Thornton learns how to score in the playoffs; Unfortunately he was taught by Dan Boyle, and it ends in the back of his own net.

– The San Jose Sharks forget to book their flights to Detroit. Hey, it’s not their fault! They just haven’t made it through the first round in a while… give them a break!

– The Boston Bruins get tired of Carcillo and Zdeno Chara throws round like a rag doll, McCabe anyone? *Okay this one might actually happen..

Even though they were no where close to the playoffs, Brian Burke decides to hold a news conference to inform the media on how his team’s golf game is going.

– The Ottawa Senators still manage to have a better golf game than the Leafs, even though they’ve had a month’s less practice. I guess that’s where Daniel Alfredsson and Milan Michalek for the first round.

Marc Savard returns from injury, determined to prove he isn’t made of glass and goes after Mike Richards. He was wrong and shatters into a million little pieces. Game 1  is delayed by an hour as the rink crew picks up the pieces.

– The Twitter account of Allan Walsh breaks and the hockey world is free from …”Halak it, Halak it a lot!“… and his comparing of his client Jaroslav Halak to the greats like Patrick Roy and Ken Dryden.

– The Vancouver Canucks announce that they’ve legally changed the name of forward Mikael Samuelsson to Mikael Sedin, but Mikael decides to play like Daniel in the first round and forgets how to score.

– Contrary to recent reports, Steve Yzerman does not join the Tampa Bay Lightning as their GM, he instead suits up for the Redwings and leads them to a sweep of the Sharks and scoring a hat trick in all four games.

Henry Whitfield is an avid sports fan who covers everything and anything in the sports world, while focusing on hockey and football. Follow him on twitter @HenryWhitfield.

Advertisements

NHL 2010 Playoffs – Round 2 Predo’s

2010 Stanley CupWhile most of us are recovering from the stunning comeback by the Montreal Canadiens last night, I figured that I would try to put together some predictions for the second round.

I correctly predicted just one of the outcomes in the East, but recovered with the West going 4 for 4 and finishing the first round with a 5 out of 8 right. But seriously, how many people had Boucher dominating New Jersey and the Habs coming back after going down 3 games to 1?

With that being said, here we go for my Round 2 predictions:

——–

The EastI said that the East was pretty even before the first round, and that came true with 3 of the Top seeds being knocked out.

Pittsburg (4) – Montreal (8) – While we catch our collective breath from the Habs comeback, this matchup has hockey fans licking their lips. Sid the Kid comes to town to face his childhood heroes, and Jaroslav Halak enters the series as the MVP of round one Mike Cammalleri led the Canadiens with 5 goals and 5 assists, while Crosby was explosive with 5 goals and 9 assists. This series will come down to goaltending, and if Halak can steal another series. He made 231 saves against the Caps and let in just 14 goals, his counterpart Marc-Andre Fluery only had 173 shots against but let in 19 goals. 

As tempting as it is to jump on the Halak bandwagon, i’m going to give the star-studded Penguins the edge in this series: Penguins in 6.

Boston(6)  – Philadelphia (7) –  There are so many stories in this bottom two matchup, its hard to know where to start. The two teams combined for just four 20-goal scorers, and this series will come down to defence and goaltending: Tuukka Rask verse Brian Boucher. Chris Pronger verse Zdeno Chara. Between the pipes Rask pipped Tim Thomas for the starting job, while the Flyers had Michael Leighton and Ray Emery fight for the job, until the team jumped onto the back of a hot Brian Boucher.

This one is a toss-up for me and the closest series that the playoffs have served up in recent years, however: Philadelphia in 6

——–

The WestFour for four isn’t bad eh? The noise you hear right now is the sound of the ‘Yotes bandwagon emptying and people jumping back onto perennial favourite Detroit Redwings.

Sharks (1) Detroit (5)– Playoff choke artists verse Playoff Masters.  San Jose has 4 Stanley cup champions on their roster, while Detroit sports 20, oh and four of them have four rings, while two have two.  Joe Thornton, Danny Heatley and Patrick Marleau combined for one goal between them, and continued the Sharks streak of key players disappearing in the playoffs. Lucky for them, Joe Pavelski won two games by himself and Evgeni Nabokov was in fine form. In stark contrast, Detroit struggled in the regular season but showed once again why they are a perennial Stanley Cup favourite. They are a team built for the playoffs and their best players were their best players in round one.

It’s not really an upset, but more like same old for these two teams: Detroit in 5

Blackhawks (2) – Vancouver (3) – This will be the MOST exciting series of the round, hands down, no questions asked. Two of the most offensively talented teams in the league, with the Sedin twins, Mikael Samuelsson, Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa. Where to start? Sammy had 7 goals in the first round but between him and the twins they had all four game winning goals. Talk about your stars coming out to play. On the other side, the Blackhawks had 10 different players score but Kane, Toews and Hossa combined for 8 goals. Goaltending is where this series gets interesting with Roberto Luongo looking shaky down the stretch and letting in 17 goals against LA, although most were on the Powerplay. Down the ice, Antti Neimi stole the starter job from Christobal Huet and rattled off another two shutouts in the first series.

This series will be full of high-octane offense and stunning saves, but definitely go the distance. Luongo has me worried but I have to believe he will turn his play around and for that reason I say: Vancouver in 7.

——–

So there you have it, my Conference finals will look like this:

East – Pittsburg (4) – Philadelphia (7)

West – Vancouver (3) – Detroit (5)

Henry Whitfield is an avid sports fan who covers everything and anything in the sports world, while focusing on hockey and football. Follow him on twitter @HenryWhitfield.

A Few Changes Around Here

If you have been reading ‘Sports With Henry’ for the last few weeks, you will notice a drastic change and there are more to come.

Name Change // Gone is the old name ‘Sports With Henry’ and in with a new, distinct blog name: “The Ignorant Sports Fan”

Theme Change // The Black/Orange is gone for a more simplistic, appealing theme but expect this to change as I edit/mess around with color schemes.

New Contributors // Starting with next week there will be a few more contributors to the blog (Hence the name change…). That being said, if anyone wants to write and contribute to the blog contact or leave a comment.

Video Updates // Currently we’re looking into adding a weekly or twice weekly video update to the blog. This will add some more media to the site, and hopefully keep you coming back for more!

Thanks to everyone who has been reading and following so far, we’ve had a much higher view count than I had expected and with the changes, we’ll keep growing!

NHL 2010 PLayoffs – Round 1 Roundup

Prediction Results: I thought the East was close after the Penguins, and I guess I was right because I only guessed correctly one of the series results. Lucky for me, I went a perfect four for four in the West and successfully predicted the Redwings upsetting the Coyotes and finished with a 5/8 record.

Here are the rest of my thoughts from round one;

Old Faithful – The Detroit Redwings showed once again how they are so dominant in the playoffs and why they should never be counted out. The young ‘Yotes played hard, but the veteran leadership and experience shone through for the Redwings who put an exclamation mark on the series with a 6-1 win in Game Seven.

Ovey Meet Halak –Never one to keep his thoughts to himself, Alexander Ovechkin stirred the pot with goalie Jaroslav Halak, stating that he thought the goalie looked ‘shaky.’ Alex, he was so shaky, he stole the series after the Habs went down three games to one and made 231 saves.

Unproven Goalies steal the show – Brian Boucher outdueled Marty Brodeur, Jaroslav Halak stood on his head and even Craig Anderson stole a games. The first round sported a number of goalies who emerged this season as solid goalies and showed that they were no fluke.

—————–

MVP – Jaroslav Halak. The man was on fire in net and helped the last place Habs knock off the Capitals in one of the biggest comebacks and playoff results in recent memory.

The No Show – This goes to three players this week: Danny Heatley, Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau combined for 1 goal. In the regular season they had a combined total of 103 goals and 254 points.

Most Goals –Mikael Samuelsson (VAN) had seven goals.

Most Assists –  Sidney Crosby (PIT) had nine assists.

Most Points – Sidney Crosby (PIT) has fourteen points.

Henry Whitfield is an avid sports fan who covers everything and anything in the sports world, while focusing on hockey and football. Follow him on twitter @HenryWhitfield.

Overtime, Golden Goal and Shootouts – Oh my…

In the 2010 NHL Playoffs, there have already been more than a few games that have gone into overtime.  Then last night, we were treated to a 6-period thriller between the Champion Pittsburgh Penguins and the Ottawa Senators, who were on the brink of elimination already down three games to one in the series.

Whether it is Overtime in Hockey, Basketball, American Football or Penalty Kicks and Extra Time in Football (Soccer), there is nothing more exciting than the thrill of overtime.

We all know that Mats Sundin and Joe Sakic love to find the back of the net in overtime, but inspired by Matt Carkner’s unlikely heroics, here are my

Top Five Unlikely Extra Time Heroes:

5. Leafs beat Sens in 2001 Playoffs – At the time Curtis Joseph had his eyes set on being the first goalie in 56 years to record 3 straight playoff shutouts. However, in game three it was Cory Cross who provided the game winning goal in the first overtime period past a stunned Patrick Lalime.

4. Kasparaitus Beats Buffalo – In the same 2001 playoffs, the Buffalo Sabres met up with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern  Conference semi-finals. The season was all about Mario Lemieux’s return from retirement, but it was Kasparaitis who beat Hasek with a bullet to take game seven in overtime.

3. England Crashes out of Euro 2004 – Although most remember David Beckham’s shot miss that went into the crowd, it was Portuguese keeper Ricardo that was the hero. After stopping Darius Vassell’s penalty shot he stepped up to the spot and scored moving Portugal into the Semi-Finals of the Euro 2004.

2. May Day – Most of us have heard to call, check it here, but back in the 1993 Adams Division Finals, the Buffalo Sabres were in overtime against the Boston Bruins and up three games to none. Enforcer Brad May dashed in and past the defender, scoring an unlikely goal and making him a hero to the Sabre Nation.

1. Avs First Stanley Cup – After moving from Quebec and in its first season, the newly created Colorado Avalanche were looking for its first Stanley Cup. Up three games and looking for a sweep, Game 4 was a goalie duel between Patrick Roy and Florida Panthers goalie John Vanbiesbrouck. Uwe Krupp let loose a shot from the point that snuck past Vanbiesbrouck and clinched a Championship winning sweep of the Panthers. Did I mention it was in the THIRD overtime period?

Henry Whitfield is an avid sports fan who covers everything and anything in the sports world, while focusing on hockey and football. Follow him on twitter @HenryWhitfield.

Top 5 World Cup Songs…

Singing Fan

 

The World Cup is fasting approaching for the Soccer Football world and for the most part Football Associations and fans like are ansy to get it started.

With most World Cup’s the host country will release a theme song for the tournament, however, some countries *cough* England *cough* release song’s for their campaign to win it all. With The FA announcing this year that there will be no official song for the WC, here’s a list of the Top 5 England World Cup Songs.

5. We’re on the BallAnt and Dec (2002) – One of the cheesiest song’s I have ever heard, but the Comedic Duo ‘s song is catchy and was certainly memorable for its witty lyrics. Check it here.

4. VindalooFat Les (1998) – The unofficial cult classic from the ’98 WC is one that you can’t get out of your head. Obviously any song named after a Curry dish must be a classic right? Even better, the music video located here is a sweet parody of the Bitter Sweet Symphony video by The Verve. You should go listen to it. Now.

3. World At Your Feet Embrace (2006) – In a year where England was hurting and worry filled fans heading into the ’06 WC, this song was a beacon of hope that after 40 years we would lift the trophy again. We were wrong, but the song is still awesome and conveniently found here.

2. World In Motion  – New Order (1990) – A song that really captured the nation’s feelings and an instant classic. I can’t help but love it! Check it here to hear it in all its awesomeness.

1. Three LionsLightning Seeds (1998) – When World Cup time comes around, this song is instantly played a dozen or so times a day for me. It’s a song that gives hope to England fans and will get you pumped up for gametime no matter what. You need to hear it, so go here.

Henry Whitfield is an avid sports fan who covers everything and anything in the sports world, while focusing on hockey and football. Follow him on twitter @HenryWhitfield.

Footie Gone Wild..

When the Title race has been closer than John Terry and Wayne Bridge’s  ex-girlfriend, there was bound to be some wild moments in the closing weeks of the English Premier League season.

Super Scholes – After dropping to 4pts below Chelsea, the defending champions were all but considered out of the race for the title. Heading into the Manchester Derby verse Man City this past weekend, Manchester United needed a win to stay on course. After Man City showed they’re a legit contender and kept the score at nil-nil, the ageless sensation Paul Scholes showed why he’s still starting at his age and put away a header in extra time to pull off a 1-nil win and throw the pressure back on Chelsea.

Choking Chelsea – As a self admitted die-hard Chelsea supporter, this weekend was gutting. After watching Man Utd win in the last moments, we needed a win. 90 Minutes later, I’d watched John Terry go off with a Red, and my boys in blue lose 2-1 in a lacklustre performance against Tottenham Hotspur. Needless to say, with Liverpool still to go our 1pt lead is a little small for my liking, but at least I can count on Rafa doing something illogical to lose that match.

And fourth goes to… – Well, speaking of those delightful and struggling Liverpool boys, the question begs: Who will finish fourth this season? Liverpoolsits 5 points behind the pace and in seventh, while Aston Villa sits in sixth two points ahead at 61 on the season. Both teams have played 35 matches, while Man City sits in 5th with 62 points and Tottenham with 64 points and both of them have a game in hand. With Tottenham still to face Manchester United, i’m going to throw it out there that the table finishes like this:

4th – Man City // 5th – Tottenham // 6th – Aston Villa // 7th – Liverpool

Poor, Poor Portsmouth – What a story, as a Saints fan, well, it’s wonderful to see that our neighbours who once waved 20-pound notes at our team when we were relegated twice, is now going down in the same way. Karma anyone? However, announced today that the team faces 120-million pound debts, its unfortunate that a team destined for their second FA Cup final in two years faces such a problem. This is the clearest indication that ownership issues in the EPL are out of hand and more must be done or the league will start to chip away. With most teams with some debt (Chelsea is Debt Free by the by), things need to chance quick.

The Special One – Am I the only one not surprised that Jose Mourinho’s Inter Milan beat Barca in a convincing 3-1 manner yesterday? Seriously, one of the best managers in the world (Enjoy him soon Manchester United fans), he is a masterclass tactician and showed why he has dominated with Porto, Chelsea and now Inter Milan.

Henry Whitfield is an avid sports fan who covers everything and anything in the sports world, while focusing on hockey and football. Follow him on twitter @HenryWhitfield.