The 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs was an absolute doozy to witness. Although my beloved Chicago Blackhawks were eliminated in a mere six total games, my eyes never ceased to deviate from the rest of the competition that was going on. Thus far, there have been a total of 23 games that have gone into sudden death overtime, the most since 2003, which also had 23 overtime games. The NHL record for overtimes in a playoff is 28, set in 1993. The record could be broken if the extraordinary happens in this year’s final, which would have to result in, at least, a six game series in which every game extends beyond 60 minutes. A side note to those unfamiliar: Nothing is more nerve-wracking than observing your team sacrifice body after body in order to keep that tiny, disk-shaped piece of vulcanized rubber from crossing the goal line. Nothing. A great number of fans from Chicago and Phoenix, as well as myself, had to endure five consecutive cardiac-arrest-inducing wars between the Blackhawks and Coyotes. Even though the Yotes came out on top, it’s safe to say I loved every minute of it (this is easier to say a few weeks afterwards). No sport conveys suspense and sense of urgency like hockey. It’s simply unparalleled.
What makes hockey so great is that, no matter what happens at the end of the regular season, all sixteen teams have an equivalent shot at hoisting the most majestic trophy in all of sports. This year’s playoffs further attest that statement, as we are set to watch the eight-seeded Los Angeles Kings face-off against the six-seeded New Jersey Devils. The Kings have been wiping up the floor with everyone they’ve played so far, losing only two games in the entire playoffs. This includes the top three Western Conference teams, the pesky Vancouver Canucks, the St. Louis Blues, and the Phoenix Coyotes. The Devils, on the other hand, have had scares against the Florida Panthers, who took them to seven games, as well as the number one-seed New York Rangers, who took them to six.
I’m going to compose this preview in a more abnormal way than I usually go about by just giving five thoughts about the matchup, instead of breaking down every facet of each team and comparing the two. I’d like to imagine these opinions will enlighten those new to the sport as well as the hardened veterans that have watched the game for the past 20 years. Enjoy. Continue reading →
The sneaker culture takes a huge hit today, as Nike unveiled its plans to completely revamp the way future releases are distributed. Days after announcing the ban of in-store midnight releases, hopeful sneakerheads will now have to wait online instead of in line. Nike will begin to utilize Twitter as a means for RSVP-ing your favorite shoe. This comes in light of the recent, negative media attention sneaker releases have been getting, from the hectic release of the Jordan XI “Concords” to the “Galaxy” Foamposites.
The coveted Air Jordan XI “Playoffs/Breds” are set to release sometime during the holidays this year. Be sure to bring your riot gear to the lines, because these will be even more desirable than the Concords that made headlines last holiday season.
The Air Jordan XI “Breds” can best be remembered for being worn by MJ himself during the 1996 NBA Finals, the fourth championship won by MJ and the first after the death of his father. Hopefully Nike/Jordan Brand will make enough pairs this time around to appease the crowds, but I doubt that’ll happen.
Air Jordan 11
Black / Varsity Red – White
Here’s the Eastern Conference Final Schedule. Let’s go Bulls!
Bulls vs. Heat
Game 1 – Sun May 15 Miami at Bulls, 7 Game 2 – Wed May 18 Miami at Bulls, 7:30
Game 3 – Sun May 22 Bulls at Miami, 7:30
Game 4 – Tue May 24 Bulls at Miami, 7:30 Game 5 * Thu May 26 Miami at Bulls, 7:30
Game 6 * Sat May 28 Bulls at Miami, 7:30 Game 7 * Mon May 30 Miami at Bulls, 7:30
All games on TNT and ESPN Radio.
“And the Dallas Stars’ season will end in Minnesota…”
Who thought that this would be a Hawks’ fans’ favorite sentence at the end of the season? The defending Stanley Cup champions rejoiced today after suffering a vital 4-3 loss to the rival Detroit Red Wings, only to see their playoff lives wake up from the dead as the Minnesota Wild ousted the Dallas Stars with a 5-3 victory. The Hawks have now claimed the number eight seed in the wild Western conference and are set to face off against the number one seed Vancouver Canucks. Can the Hockey Gods will us to our third playoff defeat of the Canucks in as many years? Only time will tell. Look for a preview soon.
First column: Games played, then wins, losses, OT losses, points (in bold), and ROW
As of right now, the Blackhawks are in a tight race coming down to the last game of the season with both the Anaheim Duck and Dallas Stars. The Ducks hold the 7th seed while the Hawks hold the 8th seed. Both teams have 97 points. The Stars are sitting just behind the Hawks and Ducks with 95 points. All three teams have a game remaining. The Ducks take on the Los Angeles Kings tonight at 9:30 central, all eyes should be on this game. However, if all three teams somehow end up with 97 points (which would mean a Ducks’ loss tonight and a Blackhawks’ loss tomorrow followed by a Stars’ win), the 7th and 8th seeds will end up going to the teams who meet the sufficient tiebreaker procedures. Here’s how they work:
The first tiebreaker is basically the greatest amount of games won, called ROW (wins in regulation plus overtime; shootout victories are excluded). As of right now, the Ducks have the most ROW with 42 compared to the Hawks 38 and the Stars 37, clinching them a playoff spot no matter what. They’re going to finish either 6th, 7th, or 8th no matter what happens tonight.
Can the captain lead us to the promised land once more?
A Dallas win and a Hawks loss would put both teams at 97 points and 38 ROW, therefore resorting to the second tiebreaker, head-to-head points. Therefore, the Hawks would need at least to get to overtime against Detroit in their final game of the season to put them ahead of Dallas by one point. Dallas holds the second tiebreaker against the Hawks, as they have six points (three wins head-to-head) while we have only three points (one win and an overtime loss).
A final observation: If the Hawks do in fact lose to Detroit in game 82, Dallas would have to win in either regulation or overtime. If their game with the Minnesota Wild goes to a shootout and they win, they would have the same amount of points as the Hawks (97), but would still have 37 ROW to our 38. Good lord, this is going to be an epic regular season conclusion!