Thursday, June 07, 2007

Marchant, Selanne and O'Donnell

In the end, it wasn't even close.

While I hoped the Sens would win, I really had little emotion invested in the finals and when the final whistle blew I thought it was a fitting end to this season. Except for the slew of injuries they suffered mid-season the Ducks were pretty well the class of the league. Before the season I actually pegged them to finish behind the Sharks. I figured secondary scoring (or lack thereof) after Teemu would do them in and that unless the kids grew up fast they would be also rans despite their blueline.
Well, the kids grew up fast. They always do.
Things I think:
1/ My favourite part of the playoffs is when they present the Cup (except for last season). This year was no different. Watching veterans like Todd Marchant, Sean O' Donnell, Teemu Selanne and Rob Niedermeyer lift the Stanley is wonderful.
2/ While Alfredsson's move in G4 was bush league (sometimes one wonders what goes on in his head) there is no doubt that he silenced his doubters this post season. After he scored the shortie last night, it looked to me like he was about to have a game for the ages. Now whatever happened to Spezza and Heatley?
3/ Bryan Murray deserves credit for some of the kids on the Ducks' roster but James Mirtle, as always, does an amazing job of showing how Brian Burke turned the Ducks around. Only four players remain from before his arrival. He dumped unmovable contracts, plucked hidden gems and fleeced Doug MacLean and Kevin Lowe. He also hired the right coach. He has a big mouth and you may not like him but he is a hell of a GM.
4/ Randy Carlyle and Dave Farrish played D on my hometown junior team thirty years ago, part if a terrific team that fell a goal short of a Memorial Cup berth. Great to see them raise that Cup.
5/ Always funny to see the travelling secretary and the assistant to the stickboy lifting Stanley.
6/ Poor Chris Phillips but luckily for him this one wasn't even close. Sure it was a momentum killer but a few minutes later they were within one again. There were fifteen periods in this series and the Ducks dominated, what, twelve of them? This wasn't Steve Smith.
7/Last summer I floated the idea of the Oilers moving Pronger and Torres or Moreau to the Sens for Phillips, Fisher and Vermette. Moot point seeing as the Oilers weren't taking on salary but I remember one commenter blasting the idea, saying that such a return would be shit. Vermette sure has Todd Marchant's hands but I'd take any of those guys on my club. Especially Fisher and Phillips. What a couple of terrific players.
8/ Will Anaheim be able to repeat? Well, can they keep Giguere? And if Teemu retires, can they replace him? If they can do both then they will be right back there next year I think. You never know what happens but they have a great team.
9/ And having said that, what happens if Scott Niedermayer doesn't score that late goal against the Wings? Imagine. I also think if it were Wings/ Sens you may have seen a Sens' Cup. The Ducks just were a tough matchup for them.
10/ Whither the Oilers now? Seeing Burke turn the Ducks around gives me hope but Kevin Lowe was the anti-Burke this past season.
Finally, congrats Earl, whatever ditch you are lying in this morning. One of my favourite bloggers. I'm happy for you.


Kyle said...

Both Phillips and Fisher are guys I would absolutely love to have on my team.

Vermette too, but not as much.

SweatyO said...

Somewhat odd suggestion today by Dreger on TSN that Scott Niedermayer may have nothing left to do and might go and retire.

So, let's say Selanne and Scotty decide to hang 'em up and then Giguere takes a boatload of cash to go to Detroit or Florida....could we see Anaheim crash such that the first rounder we got from them is actually more like a legit first rounder and less likely something on par with an early 2nd rounder?

A guy can dream...can't he?

Black Dog said...

agreed on that Kyle - I like vermette a lot but obviously he is not in the class of the other two

sweatyo - nice to think so but Bryzgalov is a decent keeper and they have more kids coming - there will be a hangover but unless they have a total collapse fueled by injuries they are in the playoffs - best case for the Oil is a first round loss for the Ducks and a mid first rounder I think

Niedermeyer always has struck me as the type to run off to an ashram or something but I can't see it

Stan the Caddy said...

Somewhat odd suggestion today by Dreger

Has Dreger been anything but odd since coming over to TSN? The guy is a good host, buy analyst? I don't think so. And his writing reads like a news ticker.

what happens if Scott Niedermayer doesn't score that late goal against the Wings?

Good point, but doesn't every championship team have these types of moments? Or any team that wins series for that matter? What happens if Raffi doesn't score the third period goal in game 3 of the Sharks series? Or Brind'Amour doesn't get that late second period goal of Game one of last years finals? Or if Jay Mckee doesn't get the delay of game penalty in the third period of game seven of last years ECF? Or, or, or. The playoffs sure are destiny's bitch.

Black Dog said...

Well, the one difference is that there were 30 seconds left in a game the Wings had thoroughly dominated. No goal and we likely have two smaller puck possession teams in the final.

There are always turning points (Roloson's save on Cheechoo sticks in my mind) but few as dramatic.

Jibblescribbits said...

Off topic...

I am an Avs blogger, looking for an Oilers blogger to answer some questions for me for the upcoming year (it's part of my offseason overview I am doing.) it's obviously Avs focused, but I was wondering if you'd be willing to take part. I'd e-mail you, but can't seem to find an e-mail address.

Black Dog said...

jibbles -