Jack Adams Trophy (Best Coach)
Dan Bylsma, Pittsburgh Penguins
Alain Vigneault, Vancouver Canucks
Barry Trotz, Nashville Predators
Ducks2Nucks take: Coaching awards are always hard to call because you can go any way you want with the analysis. Bylsma managed to keep a winning team through an injury plagued season. Vigneault led a powerhouse squad to the President's Trophy for best record in the regular season. Barry Trotz... Barry Trotz has to coach the Predators and that's pretty hard I'd imagine. Evan and I had a hard time picking for this one, but Evan picked Bylsma because of his adaptability, and I'm going with Trotz because the guy doesn't get the recognition he deserves I feel. Vigneault will probably win just because we didn't pick him. Whatever.
Hart Trophy (MVP)
Daniel Sedin, Vancouver Canucks
Martin St.Loius, Tampa Bay Lightning
Corey Perry, Anaheim Ducks
Ducks2Nucks take: This is a close race. All three players had fantastic seasons, but the real question is which player had the most impact to his team's success. St.Loius pumped out really impressive numbers at an age where he should be wrapping up his career, but Tampa also had Stamkos putting up a lot of points and Lecavalier producing another solid season. Sedin scored a lot of goals and was a huge offensive force alone this season, but he also had his brother Henrik and players like Ryan Kesler on the Canucks roster to help lead their season. Corey Perry really stands out to us from these nominees. Perry had a phenomenal season, leading the Ducks in points and goals with 50 goals and 48 assists for a total of 98 points. Perry's play really stood out this season as a stable superstar talent.
These games concluded a very exciting first round in hockey. Tonight begins the Eastern/Western Conference Semi-Finals. Here is mine and Adam's take.
The nominees and our picks, after the jump.
Borderline animal abuse. Hilarious.
The Washington Capitals defeated the New York Rangers yesterday by a score of 3-1 and go on to win the series 4 games to 1. The Caps join the Detroit Red wings as the only other team so far to win their series. Detroit swept Phoenix 4-0.
Here's the move:
Ryan dekes around David Legwand twice and absolutely burns Pekka Rinne to score the go-ahead goal. Unfortunately for the Ducks, they would lose in overtime.
Last nights games concluded all of the game ones in the series. The games featured two shutouts and a thrilling 3-2 overtime victory. Credit goalies Carey Price and Ryan Miller with the shutouts. Joe Pavelski scored in overtime for the Sharks.
Day one of the Stanley Cup Playoffs are in the books. 5 of the 8 series have begun and things are already shaping up to be interesting. Two goalies, Pittsburgh's Marc-Andre Fleury and Vancouver's Roberto Luongo, recorded shutouts for their teams. One game ended in with a thrilling overtime finish, and one lower seed defeated the higher seed.
(#1 Seed Canucks) (#8 Seed Blackhawks)
Evan's Prediction: Canucks win in 7.
Adam's Prediction: Canucks win in 6.
Our take on the series: Chicago is a huge threat, especially as the #8 seed. Expect them to give the Canucks a run for their money or even pull out a series win. Statistically though, Vancouver is just too good. They have to President's trophy, the Sedin twins, and Luongo.
In light of his inability to grow a proper playoff beard, Patrick Kane offers us the playoff mullet. Classy as always.
Fans of the Pittsburgh Penguins remember what occurred on February 11th of this year. They remember Matt Martin applying a sucker punch that barely missed the skull of Max Talbot. They remember Trevor Gillies throwing a flying elbow into the face of Eric Tangradi, and then continuing to throw punches on the defenseless winger as he lay on the ice. They remember Michael Haley goading Brent Johnson into his second brawl in nine days, and Eric Godard coming off of the bench to protect his goaltender.
The massacre on Long Island is still fresh in my mind, and I imagine I am not the only fan of the flightless fowl that shares these vivid images. That game was scary to watch. It was frightening to come to the realization that what I was witnessing was not hockey; not the game I love, but a gongshow that has no place in professional sports.
The thing that scares me now is that there is still one more visit to Long Island looming on the calendar. Friday night, the Penguins will faceoff at the Nassau Veterans’ Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York, against the Islanders.
Tonights game marks his 1,737th regular season game; also his final one.
McCreary's post game interview: