Men In Black Part Four

By Gary Norris Gray BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: May 14, 2011

Oakland, CA-This could be the name of this year’s conference championships America will witness the best hockey of the year. Interestly three of the four teams wear black. San Jose, Tampa Bay, and Boston have black uniforms as their home jersey, only the Vancouver Canucks crashed the black uniform party with their sky blue and green uniforms. If they kept their 1994 jersey they would also be joining the party with their old black, yellow, and white Stanley Cup Final jersey against the New York Rangers.

The hockey television network Versus did not get their wish. Not a single team of their premiere selection are in the Conference Finals. Not only that but sportscaster and former player, Jeremy Roenick took a shot at San Jose Sharks Captain Patrick Marleau calling his play against the Detroit Red Wings gutless. Well, Marleau got the last laugh as he scored the winning goal in game seven putting the last Versus network sponsored team out.

EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP

The Boston Bruins hosted the Tampa Bay Lightning the first two games before going to Northwest Florida. The Bruins are back after last years four game collapse against the Philadelphia Flyers. This was after the Bruins controlled the whole series. The Flyers got off the floor and won four straight games ousting Boston last year. Tim Thomas made sure it did not happen again this year with stellar goaltending.

This Conference match up is a contrast of hockey styles. It is speed against size, it is north against south.

The little speedy Lightning mustangs of Martin St. Louis, Vincent Lecavalier, and Steven Stemkos will battle the big line of Boston‘s David Krejci, Milan Lucic, and Zdeno Chara. Goalie Tim Thomas in net for the Bruins will make it very difficult for Tampa Bay to score.

Goalie Dwayne Roloson will continue to ride the Lightning Bolt in 2011. The two teams are contrasting styles and contrasting forms and it should go seven games with speed and defense. Saturday Night Tampa Bay scored three goals in 85 seconds and their power play was in full force scoring 3 goals. The Lightning took the first game 5-2, Roloson stopped 31 Bruin shots. The stars were even blocking shots on net making Dwayne’s night fairly easy with the Lightning’s 1-3-1 collapsing defense.

Boston Bruin goalie,Tim Thomas was also outstanding, keeping the game close with 29 saves.

The Tampa Bay Lightning will move on to the Stanley Cup Finals in seven games.

Game two will be Tuesday night in Boston.

WESTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP

For the first time in National Hockey League history the Western Conference finals will be held entirely in the Pacific Time Zone with both teams on the Western Coast of North America.

The winner of the Presidents Trophy team finally made it to the Conference Finals. The Vancouver Canucks beat the Stingy Nashville Predators 4 games to 2.

The Vancouver Canucks defeat the Nashville Predators 2-1 to gain Western Conference Title shot. The Canucks will have had a week off to heal wounds and minor injuries.

Ryan Kesler should be called the M.V.P. of this series with one assist on each goal also has been the star for Vancouver. Goalie Roberto Luongo the Vancouver goalie stood tall in net and could be called the 2nd MVP to get this team to the Conference Finals. That combination helped Vancouver to return to the Conference Title since 1994.

Congratulations to the scrappy and gritty Nashville Predators. This team should give goalie Pikka Rinne a medal for taking all of those Canuck shots in that series. Next year there could be dancing in the streets of Nashville and the state of Tennessee because this team shows potential to win the Cup.

Goal Brother Joel Ward did all that he could for Nashville scoring 7 goals and 5 assist in this series Ward scored 10 goals during the season, and he is now a free agent. I truly hope the Nashville Predators do not repeat the mistake the Chicago Blackhawks made in 2010. Remember the Dustin Byfuglien syndrome? The question looms will the Predators trade Ward making the same mistake of the Chicago Blackhawks trading a potential star.

The Vancouver Canucks could go either way in this championship because of the long rest (one week). The Detroit Red Wings force the San Jose Sharks to go seven games in a one goal slug fest. This might have worn both teams out and could make them easy prey for the Vancouver Canucks or the Canucks could be very rusty and not play well the first two games.

Vancouver with the brothers Sedin, Henrick and Daniel with Raffi Torres should be enough scoring power for the team to move into the Stanley Cup Finals. We cannot forget the new Canuck star Ryan Kesler who buzzed the Nashville net for goals.

The Canucks lead the league in victories, in scoring, and team defense.

The San Jose Sharks got the monkey off of their backs defeating the Detroit Red Wings. The Sharks have many injuries going into this championship round, Ryan Clowe not playing could be the key if San Jose wants to compete against the Canucks. The Shark power play has to be better and the penalty killers have to stop Vancouver‘s very potent power play. Rookie Logan Couture has to step up in this series if San Jose wants to win. Goal Brothers Devin Setoguchi and Jamal Mayers also have to score more to defeat Vancouver. Mayers did not play much against the Detroit Red Wings. Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski cannot disappear in this series or the Men of Teal will be going home again.

Last year the San Jose Shark organization traded for goalie Antti Niemi for this reason the Western Conference Final and The Stanley Cup Finals. So far it’s been a very good investment.

Sunday night in game number one the San Jose Sharks must be thinking they are in the movie Ground Hog Day because they lost a one goal lead again. The Vancouver Canucks scored two goals in the third period to take first game 3-2. Both goalies had a very shaky start letting two easy goals in net. Then San Jose goalie Antti Neimi kept the Sharks in the game with acrobatic saves in the second and third periods. Neimi stopped 35 shots.

The Canucks are happy because the Sedin Brothers have finally put points on the scoreboard, Henrick a goal while Daniel gets assist. Vancouver just looked faster, hit harder, and passed the puck better in the third period.

The Canucks in seven

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Copyrighted 2011@ Gary Norris Gray- Gray Leopard Prod.