Shrapnel - 5/26/2011
Despite a David Krejci hat trick, the Boston Bruins couldn't find a way to close the deal last night, giving us a game 7 Friday night (and the Stanley Cup Finals, regardless of who comes out of the East, will start on Wednesday, June 1st).
I'll ask you a serious question - is it time for the "Choker" label to be peeled off the Canucks and the Sharks, and applied to the Bruins? In the last three years, they've melted down against Carolina, blown a 3-0 series lead to Philly, and now stand on the brink of elimination once again after letting Tampa back into this series to tie it up each time they've taken the edge.
You've got Tim Thomas. You've got Zdeno Chara. You've got David Krecji. You've got Patrice Bergeron. This lineup has grabbed a President's trophy, Vezina Trophy, and the Norris Trophy in the last three years. There's a LOT of talent here - so why can't you guys seem to make it work?
Prediction: If Boston should lose on Friday, look for Claude Julien to be cleaning out his desk by the end of next week.
Meanwhile, in the story we all wish would get it over with, it's being widely reported that the deal to move the Thrashers to Winnipeg is done, and we're just waiting for the NHL to announce it - leaving the speculation of if they'll wait until after the playoffs are over, so it won't overshadow the Stanley Cup Finals, or if they'll get it out the the way so we'll all stop asking Bettman about it every time he shows up to a press conference.
Over in Long Island, Kyle Okposo has signed a new 5 year deal, and there's speculation that he could replace Doug Weight as the team's new captain. Good for him - he's clearly matured quite a bit since his rather messy departure from Minnesota a few years ago.
Not strictly hockey related, but certainly Columbus news - the new Columbus Commons park will open today, the start of a weekend long festival to celebrate its' completion. Yay for something a little more useful coming out of the former City Center site. Go take a look if you happen to be downtown this weekend!
Speaking of the Jackets, are you a graphic designer? Do you like hockey? Do you need a job? the Blue Jackets would like to speak with you. I'm just going to sit here, steaming with envy at my total lack of visual art skills.
In a somewhat meta moment, CBJ manager of communications Ryan Holtmann tweeted a few months ago about the music in Rogers Arena, which was picked up by 4th Period Magazine as part of an article on hockey tweets, printed this month, and then pointed out to Ryan on twitter once again. I love living in the future.
Staying with the Twitter theme, The Goalie Guild took a look at CBJ prospect Mathieu Corbeil in the replay of his Memorial Cup game yesterday on NHL network. Take a look at his timeline for a good objective look at Corbeil's performance and his predictions for the young netminder's potential. (For those looking for a shortcut, the tweets start here.)
And to round out the set, here's a nice shot of GM Scott Howson playing street / playground hockey with some of the CBJ Pen Pal kids over at Arlington Park Elementary. I had no idea that business casual was acceptable goalie wear. Why don't we see more goaltenders rocking the slacks and a polo shirt?
Japer's Rink takes a look at Scott Hannan's season - a UFA coming up here, I'm not sure he's what Columbus is really looking for, but the review is worth a look.
Hockey Players > Basketball Players.
Finally, it looks like Carolina Hurricanes prospect Oskar Osala is bolting for the KHL and several large bags of money. It's starting to really shape up that if you want to play hockey for the sake of playing the best hockey you can? You stick in the NHL pipeline until you can carve out a spot on a roster. If you want to play hockey just to make money? There's a great opening on the fourth line in Magnitogorsk.
I don't entirely blame him - if I were playing in the AHL for $50-65,000 a year and didn't think I could make it to the NHL soon, and someone offered me a couple million dollars instead if I went to Russia, I'd probably be pretty tempted, too. But it's a shame to see him go, especially since it seemed like he had a pretty legit shot at making the Hurricanes' roster in the near future.