Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Quick hits...

Been a while since the last post so I wanted to throw out some quick-hit thoughts.

-The Islanders had another third period breakdown against the Penguins Saturday night. What else is there to say? Everyone knows they are a couple of years away from where they want to be but they have to find a way to bare down and prevent these comebacks in the third.

-Watched the Oilers vs the Blue Jackets the other night. It was a very entertaining game but the best part of it was watching Edmonton forward Ales Hemsky. When he's on, he is one of the most electrifying players in the league from a pure skill perspective. Unfortunately he struggles with consistency a little but with 15 points in 15 games he's having a pretty good season so far.

-Montreal has looked lousy since their 6 day break. Carey Price has been below average and Alex Kovalev was no where to be seen in their 6-3 loss to the Leafs. It's always hard to figure out when Kovalev takes a night off. This one was even more puzzling given the fact that the Hockey Hall of Fame honored one of his heroes, Igor Larionov, before the game. You would expect him to be pretty pumped but instead he was flat.

-Speaking of the Leafs and Canadiens, the hit from behind on Mike Van Ryn by Tom Kostopoulas was scary and completely unnecessary. Kostopoulos offered a lame apology and inferred that the Leaf defenceman was partially to blame because he made an attempt to change direction at the last second. This might have been a possible excuse if the Canadien forward had not used his arms to follow through on his check and drive Van Ryn into the boards. He made absolutely no effort to let up. It only takes an instant to recognize when a player is in a vulnerable position. You might not be able to stop but you could definitely take your foot off the gas a little and you could certainly not drive a guy's head into the boards. Kostopoulos was suspended three games for the hit which, yet again, shows how seriously the NHL takes this type of dangerous behaviour by it's players - not much. Three games is laughable and in no way acts as a deterrent against such hits in the future. One funny thing though was that reporters scrummed around, of all people, Ryan Hollweg of the Leafs to get his take on it all. Ryan Hollweg? I actually didn't get to hear what he said but I can only imagine the gems of wisdom someone like Hollweg could offer. Maybe he was critiquing the hit; comparing it to one of the many he's perpetrated. At any rate it made for a pretty funny scene - the only thing funny in all this.


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