Is it the major focus of this game? No, even though a lot of press will be made of it. You can't help but talk a little about the first meeting between Roberto Luongo and the Canucks with Dustin Byfuglien since game 6 of the 2nd round of the NHL playoffs last season. I like the message that this sends, starting Luongo. This entire season has been about showing a Canucks team unlike any they've seen before. Why not send a message to the guy who for the last couple years has manipulated refs and thrown our goalie off his game. I've always believed Byfuglupagus to be more hype than anything else: a large, physical player with the soul of a rat. Very willing to bump, hack, slash and facewash you, but never willing to back it up. And as much as it would be satisfying to see the Chicago Blackhawks miss the playoffs, I do get a kick out of this schmuck (and his obnoxious pal Andrew Ladd) having to toil away in the perpetually half empty rink in Atlanta. Bitter? Sure. But it goes away with every victory that we get closer to the goal, and tonight we let him know he can't fuck with us anymore.
No, the true focus is two more points, and edging closer to their first President's trophy and home ice advantage throughout the playoffs. It looked for a while like the additions of Byfuglugnoihdothoitthfrritz and Ladd were going to help the Thrashers make the playoffs for just the 2nd time in franchise history. Emanuel Lewis' oversized doppelganger was scoring goals as a defenceman and was an allstar, and Ladd's had a career year. In the end, they were still the Thrashers and have faded like they do every year. So let's get in there, rattle off a win, and for gawds sake, punish that fat bastard if he so much as breathes on Luongo.
It will be interesting to see if Daniel Sedin can extend his scoring lead over brother Henrik and Steven Stamkos tonight. Dank sits 7 in front of Hank and 9 in front of Stamkos, who's been as cold lately as he was hot earlier in the year. Corey Perry is keeping pace, and now sits 1 behind Stamkos in the Rocket Richard race. There's been some talk of Perry being a leading contender for the Hart, which is a tad premature. Shouldn't people wait and see if the Anaheim Ducks even make the playoffs before such discussion? And the same goes for Jonathan Toews. The Hawks are hardly a lock.
Fried Egg and Cheese Sandwich
Talk about games that didn't live up to their hype, that mess of a game between Boston and Montreal last night was painful to watch. Possibly the most embarrassing loss for the Habs since Patrick Roy's last in a Montreal uniform, they couldn't possibly have been more passive and disinterested. It seemed like they had no real game plan, and after a couple quick goals went into shutdown mode and just let the Bruins have their way. I would fire coach Jacques Martin over that if I were running that show. How could you possibly have confidence in your coaching staff heading into the playoffs when they absolutely nothing to try and stop the bleeding there? Pathetic... If Anaheim misses the playoffs, chances are they will look back on last night's loss as one that sealed their fate. Spotting Nashville, a team more known for defensive prowess 5 goals is never a good idea. Jonas Hiller looked shaky in his return to the Ducks lineup after vertigo problems. He gave up 3 goals on 9 shots, and you have to wonder if the Ducks wouldn't have been better served by sending Hiller for a conditioning stint for a game or two instead of throwing him back into the fire... Speaking of big wins, how about the Toronto maple Leafs moving to within 3 points of the 8th place Buffalo Sabres last night with a 4-3 win over the Colorado Avalanche? 2 goals from Nikolai Kulemin and a 3rd period PPG from Phil Kessel led the way, as James 'Optimus Reim' Reimer continued to establish himself as the goalie of the future in TO...
WAACH 'Cast's Band Of The Day- DETHKLOK
In keeping with a lil hint from Sean's preview thread, I thought it fitting to unleash the biggest cartoon band in the galaxy. I am sure most of you have seen Metalocalypse, the Cartoon Network program that features the exploits of Dethklok, the world's most popular band. Two things I love about the show is their use of extreme metal musicians for voices of characters on the show, and incorporating metal band names into the program as stores, etc. Voices have been done in the series by George Fisher (Cannibal Corpse), Devin Townsend (Strapping Young Lad), James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett (Metallica), King Diamond, as well as members of Nevermore, Arch Enemy, Dimmu Borgir, Emperor, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Scott Ian (Anthrax), Slash, Brian Posehn, Mike Patton (Faith No More), Ace Frehley, and Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters) among others. Also cool, Mark Hamill provides a number of voices, including the band's arch nemesis Senator Stampington.
Series founders Brendan Small (Home Movies) and Tommy Blacha have also brought Dethklok on tour as a live band, utilizing a Gorillaz type set up that shows the cartoon band playing onscreen while the live band plays on stage below (including legendary drummer Gene Hoglan). The show is heading towards a 4th season, and while it's fans eagerly await this, lets see some of the best from Nathan, Skwissgar, Toki, Murderface and Pickles!