Postgame Spread
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Friday, June 08, 2007

Stanley Cup Aftermath    

So, Ducks win.  I wasn't surprised.  I haven't got a lot to say about them in the way of analysis, since they pretty much did what they needed to do in every facet of the game.  They're deeper and better.  Better skaters, shooters, and hitters.  Convincingly the best team.  Congratulations to them.

The Senators, however, could have played significantly better than they did.  It's easy to write off their collapse as having run out of gas after taking down three excellent teams in a row, or the nine-day layoff between the semis and the finals, but I don't buy either of those excuses.

Nor do I believe that their loss is primarily related to the underwhelming performances of Jason Spezza and Dany Heatley.  Top lines often struggle in playoff scenarios; it's up to the supporting cast to pick up the slack.  Daniel Alfredsson and Mike Fisher did so.  Even my distant (and I mean distant) cousin, checking forward Antoine Vermette, played well enough to earn himself a bump up to the scoring lines in Dean McAmmond's absence.  So overall, I think the forwards played better than the results show.

To me, the main culprit is Ray Emery.  His final showing was downright Cechmanek-like.  In the final three games, he let in an awful lot of softies, particularly down low.  How many times did we see a Duck flip the puck on net, low, only to have Emery lift his leg out of the way in order to cover high?  I counted two in Game 5, one of the Andy McDonald goals in Game 4, and Ryan Getzlaf's goal in Game 3.  There may have been others.  Who's telling him to do that?  If that's his weakness as a goalie, if this was the coming-out party for how to beat Ray Emery, he's going to get crushed next season.  Ray, seriously, shut your five-hole.  If anyone let his team down, it's him.

It's sad that yet another Canadian team got its hopes up, only to be let down in the Finals.  As an ethnic Canadian, I'd like to see them bring the Cup back.  It's doubly tough to see Anaheim win when you consider the pain that last year's Cinderellas, the Edmonton Oilers, must be feeling right now.  Darth Vader couldn't have said it better.  [via Off Wing Opinion]

But at the same time, I'm not exactly crying about a cheap team like Ottawa getting stuffed at their own game.  Both clubs are physical, but with an exception or two (coughPRONGERcough) Ottawa is the cheaper of the two teams.  Two words: Chris Neil.  You can imagine my joy when Ottawa's hypocritical bitching to the referees in Game 5 resulted in an avalanche of penalties... against Ottawa.  I love when that happens.  You live by gamesmanship, you die by gamesmanship.  So I'm not too upset about watching them lose.

Either way, much better than watching LeBron gets schooled by a bunch of cheating thugs.

So, no more hockey until next season... in other words, that's no hockey for three whole weeks.  (haha)

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