Two hockey guys talking hockey.
Joe Pasquali and Eddie Theisen are two diehard NHL fans. They both watch every hockey game every night (almost).
The guys recognize Marty Brodeur’s amazingness, being “Shanabanned” and hipster hockey fans. If the Hartford Whalers came back, I’m positive Joe would watch their games every night. He’s doing the same thing with Winnipeg this season.
Final Scores 2/5/13
NJ 3, NYR 1
PIT 4, NYI 2
TOR 3, WSH 2
LAK 4, CBJ 2
OTT 4, BUF 3
PHI 2, TAM 1
CGY 4, DET 1
WIN 3, FLA 2
NSH 6, STL 1
CHI 5, SJ 3
Pasquali: Goooood morning Edward, are you suffering from a hockey hangover this morning? Too much goodness?
Theisen: Sort of, it was a great party but when your team loses it can put a damper on things… like seeing your girl make out with some dude at the frat party you’re at.
Pasquali: So, you are OK with your girl making out with dudes at a frat party you are NOT at?
Theisen: As long as you don’t see it, it didn’t happen.
Pasquali: Strong words to live by. Yeah, Red Wings didn’t look good. After blowing their last two games, Calgary fans have to be excited their team actually played a full 60 minutes. The win could be bittersweet though with Miikka Kiprusoff going down.
Theisen: They said it was a lower body injury and not sure how serious it is yet, but Leland Irving came in for Calgary and stopped all six shots he faced in the third from Detroit. Calgary fans should also be happy to see Jarome Iginla break his slump with his first goal of the season last night. Calgary needed a win like that last night. Was last night the moment they turn it around?
Pasquali: It’s a good win, but turn it around? I don’t see Calgary as having the components to be a playoff team this year. They need to string some quality wins together to get back in the race.
Let’s each talk about a few things we learned from the action last night. What is one thing that stood out?
Theisen: How bad the Red Wings are struggling with the absence of Nicklas Lidstrom. Detroit’s defense has been horrendous for most of this season so far, and even Niklas Kronwall seems to be struggling with the new work load he’s had to endure.
Pasquali: Agreed. Wings got problems at the back end and we’re discovering once again how super human Lidstrom was. Until Detroit gets healthy we really won’t know how good or bad this team is. But we can both agree their playoff streak looks like it could finally be in jeopardy.
The first thing I noticed last night was that Zac Rinaldo of the Flyers can fight. Like really, really fight. If hockey doesn’t work out, dude could be a boxer. Watch him swing that right arm!
Theisen: He seemed more like an MMA fighter with his cheap shot when B.J. Crombeem was falling to the ice. Rule of fighting in hockey: Don’t swing at the guy when he’s going down or on the ice. Was glad to see Vincent Lecavalier give Talbot a shot when he was on the ice with their fight in the third.
Pasquali: Lecavalier isn’t known for his fisticuffs, but that was a veteran move. Standing up for your teammates even if that isn’t necessarily your job speaks volumes. I really like this Tampa team.
Theisen: My second thought is that the Blues goaltending and defense is human, losing last night 6-1. St. Louis for the past year has been known to shut down opponent’s offenses pretty easily, but this season has been a different story. In their last five games, they’ve allowed 19 goals. Not exactly terrible, but not great either. The Blues could just be in a slump defensively, but they need to figure out a way to get back to the old style they’ve grown accustomed to last season.
Pasquali: Big shock last night with the Predators dominating the Blues. Their best win of the young season. Nashville has never exactly been an offensive power, so a six goal night is big news. Chicago continues to churn out W’s and no one else in the Central can string any games together. If this keeps up they can run away with the division.
My second point from the night is from the Leafs/Caps game. James van Riemsdyk can score, and real quick. Washington cannot get a puck to bounce their way. I know teams don’t like to comment on “luck”, but they have to feel like they made the hockey gods mad or something.
Theisen: Van Riemsdyk has been putting the puck in the net lately for sure. The Captials on the other hand, just hoping for one to go in. Let’s see if the Capitals can find something offensively soon to turn their season around.
Pasquali: It’ll have to come quick. In the East, Pittsburgh has found its game (another win, last night over the Islanders) and Philly got a solid win over Tampa.
Theisen: Last but not least, I have to say Marty Brodeur can STILL play some goalie. Bordeur and the Devils were a bit of a surprise last season, making a run to the Stanley Cup Finals. (Predicted them in the Finals, FYI Joe). New Jersey got there in huge part of Brodeur. He was bit shaky in the first round against Florida, but in the second and third rounds against the Flyers and Rangers, he played like the Marty of 2000. Last night he had 24 saves and only 1 goal against him in their 3-1 win over the Rangers. Best save of the game was him robbing Carl Hagelin in the third.
Brodeur is 4-1-2 this season and looks like he could be in for another deep playoff run with his play so far this season.
Pasquali: Ahh, I’m so glad you brought up the amazing Martin Brodeur. He churns out highlight saves every night, and last night was no different. The Rangers had to be wondering what they’d have to do to beat him.
Mentally, what does it do to a team when the opposing goalie is just standing on his head?
Theisen: Honestly, it just makes you frustrated and everyone gets on the same page of what we have to do here. It’s like when you have a great goalie behind you, like Marty Brodeur. The Devils just play with more confidence and play a lot looser, which is huge come playoff time.
Pasquali: Since you brought up.Brodeur, that allows me to bring up the new HOT rivalry in the league. Florida and Winnipeg!!! Two great games in a week. Panthers v Jets is becoming must-see TV. Last night, Bryan Little scored the game winner in overtime, blowing the roof off the MTS Centre.
Theisen: What is with you and the Jets/Panthers games? I enjoy a nice Winnipeg atmosphere of course, but against a better team, preferably a Canadian one.
Pasquali: Maybe, I am just fascinated by teams no one watches. It’s like I’m part of some special club or something. It’s like I know Philadelphia v Tampa Bay is probably the best game of the night, I mean there is a reason it had national coverage. But when you own the NHL Center Ice package, if you REALLY want to get your money’s worth, I feel like you have to watch the obscure games. You have to enjoy some Panther hockey.
Theisen: Once again, you’re the ultimate hockey hipster.
Pasquali: I may just create a spotify playlist to listen to when I flip over to my “hipster” games. I am going to be listening to some indie tunes and watching teams light the lamp in front of half empty arenas. Well, you know I am an optimist. I’ll say half full arenas.
Theisen: Make sure that playlist has The Shins and Foster the People.
Pasquali: Bobby (the owner of this blog) loves him some hipster/indie music. We’ll have to ask him what album he recommends for tomorrow’s Columbus v Calgary game. Speaking of Columbus, you picking the Jackets didn’t help them against the Kings last night.
(*editor’s note) I’d probably pick The Royal Concept’s “World on Fire”.
Pasquali: What did you think about the Brandon Dubinsky hit on Rob Scuderi? OK with just a minor? Richards did the right thing and went after Dubisnky after the hit.
Theisen: I was fine with the minor being called. If you look closely, Scuderi puts himself in a vulnerable position and Dubisnky wasn’t trying to take him out violently. Richards did the right thing going after Dubisnky. I bet Dubisnky still gets a suspension, with how the NHL is trying to ban headshots today
Duby is about to be “Shanabanned”.
Pasquali: Player safety has become REAL important in the league the last few years (thanks to Crosby getting his bell rung). Let’s just hope the powers at be don’t let the league turn into the NFL. Let’s keep hockey looking like hockey.
Theisen: Hopefully the defenseless receiver rule doesn’t make its way into hockey.
Pasquali: All this talk and we haven’t touched on the Hawks yet. Big win in San Jose. Both teams are loaded. Western Conference Finals preview?
Theisen: Still too early to tell, but it’s looking more and more like it. I’ll never bet on the Sharks again though, as I predicted them to win the ’07, ’08 and ’09 Stanley Cup. So, if history has taught me one thing, don’t count on the Sharks. The Blackhawks seem like more of the real deal to me. I predicted them to win the Central and they’re well on their way to doing that. You believe that will be the West matchup?
Pasquali: If I was betting on any two teams right now in the West, it would be San Jose and Chicago. After that, I’d go with Anaheim, St. Louis, and after last night, Nashville. The most impressive thing to me about the Predators is that they have played seven of their first nine games on the road! And they’re playing well, CRAZY.
Back to last night though, Sharks fans have to be in an uproar today over the Andrew Desjardins hit was called a major and resulted in Chicago taking the lead. That is the second time in a week a referee has called a hit to the head and ejected a player wrongly (Friday, Detroit took control over St. Louis on a similar play). I know the game is super-fast, and referees are human. Do you think they should have replay available to make such big calls?
Theisen: That call was an absolute joke. Definitely ties the call on David Backes for worst of the year. I think if you call a major penalty, you should be able to go review it before making such a huge call in a game. The refs have been the worst part of the NHL’s return.
Pasquali: Well, we only have three games tonight so the chances of the officials screwing anything up are a lot smaller. You ready for some Bruins v Canadiens?
Theisen: That’s like asking baseball fans if they’re ready for Yankees vs Red Sox… of course I’m ready.
Pasquali: Yeah, I am almost glad there aren’t many games tonight so we can really focus on what should be a great game. Even though Montreal was bad last year, they went 2-3-1 against the Bruins. Whoever wins goes atop the Eastern Conference. Who do you like?
Theisen: I got to go with the Bruins. A lot more size and experience on their side. It is at Montreal, which could be the difference for the Canadiens… but I like Boston.
Pasquali: I’ll go with the Habs. Your points yesterday may have swayed me. LEVER LE FLAMBEAU!!
Theisen: I don’t speak Frenchy, you’re going to have to translate that for me.
Pasquali: Culture, Edward. Try it
Pasquali’s Picks (season so far 20-27)
Habs over Bruins
Ducks over Avs
Oilers over Stars
Theisen’s Picks (season so far 22-25)
Bruins over Habs
Ducks over Avs
Oilers over Stars