Overtime!: April 2008
League of Legends Guide

Thursday, April 24, 2008

NHL playoffs: Round 2.

Tonight will be presented the first games of round two of the NHL playoffs. Eight teams are still in the race for the Stanley Cup.

With the early elimination of the defending champions, the Anaheim Ducks, a new champion will be crowned.

So here are the second round matchups:

(1) Montreal Canadiens vs (6) Philadelphia Flyers

Both teams went thru similar paths during the first round. The Flyers and the Canadiens dropped game five and six of their respective first round matchups after leading 3-1. Both teams played each other four times during the regular season and all four games were won by the Canadiens who should eventually have the edge in this series. The return of Saku Koivu in the lineup is giving more liberty to head coach Guy Carbonneau. The young Kostitsyn brothers have also played well during the first round and should be seen on the same offensive line more often.

As far as goaltending is concerned, the advantage goes to Montreal once again. Despite being at his rookie season, Carey Price showed that he is soon to be considered as part of the elite goaltenders in the NHL. Martin Biron in net for the Flyers is at his first playoffs and will have to elevate his game to give a decent chance to Philadelphia.

Daniel Briere was hot during the first round for the Flyers. In the seven games he played against Washington, Briere scored six goals and leads the NHL in scoring with a total of 11 points. Briere should expect special attention from the Canadiens' players and from the Montreal home crowd. Last summer, Briere decided to sign his new contract with the Flyers instead of accepting the Canadiens' offer and the fans will remind him every time he will be around the puck.

My prediction: Montreal in six games.

(2) Pittsburgh Penguins vs (5) New-York Rangers

I expect this series to be long and very disputed. Both teams know each other very well and played each other eight times during the regular season. New-York has won five of those eight regular season games. The experience all across New-York's roster is an undeniable edge for them.

Henrik Lundqvist for the Rangers has shown a great deal of consistency in net over the last two seasons while Marc-Andre Fleury has kept decent numbers despite an injury. Both goaltenders will now play in the biggest games of their young careers.

Pittsburgh made short work of the Senators in the first round. They are well rested and ready to go. Pittsburgh's impressive offensive capacity comes from a lot more than just Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Marian Hossa. Some players in their roster like Maxime Talbot, Ryan Malone and Jordan Staal, are also known to be clutch goal scorers.

My prediction: Pittsburgh in seven games.

(1) Detroit Red Wings vs (6) Colorado Avalanche

This will finally be a first serious challenge for the Detroit Red Wings this season. I will not hide and I admit that I always really hated the Red Wings. So do not expect a lot of good words from me about them. The outcome of the series will tell us a lot more about the real value of the Red Wings. Their undeniable offensive talent is still there, no doubt about it. But the defense and goaltending will be put to the test.

After cruising on top in the standings all season long because of playing in a poor division and after cruising over the weak Nashville Predators during the first round, the Colorado Avalanche will stand in their way and represent a real challenge. You cannot ignore Joe Sakic, Peter Forsberg, Paul Stastny, Milan Hejduk and Wojtek Wolski. Your defense and goaltending have to be sharp to fend off the Avalanche.

My prediction: Colorado in six games.

(2) San Jose Sharks vs (5) Dallas Stars

This series should be very entertaining. Both the Sharks and the Stars are serious contenders. Dallas has eliminated the defending champions during the first round and are rolling ahead. Mike Ribeiro is a fantastic playmaker for the Stars and really rejuvenated their offense. In net, Marty Turco has experience and has gone all the way before. An interesting duel with Evgeni Nabokov is expected.

San Jose has been picked as champion by many observers for a reason: they have no weaknesses. Evgeni Nabokov is in Vezina trophy shape in net, the Sharks defensive corp is impressive and their offense can sum up goals from all over. Players like Joe Thornton, Jonathan Cheechoo, Patrick Marleau and Ryane Clowe will test Marty Turco.

My prediction: San Jose in six games.


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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Shameful victory celebrations in Montreal.

Yesterday, once the game between the Montreal Canadiens and the Boston Bruins was over, the victorious hockey fans gathered in downtown Montreal and started cheering and chanting, in decency.

During the initial hour of celebration, everybody remained calm and no major incident was reported. The subway lines were filled of happy and cheering fans who were heading home, satisfied of still being in the Stanley Cup hunt.

But as the night went on, the celebrations were troubled by a group of people who started going over the edge. Among those people, some has taken advantage of a lack of organization inside the police ranks to go over the top. A couple of stores were vandalized.

Another group of rioters had another ultimate goal in mind: the police vehicles themselves. They were just standing around the cars, stomping and bashing them with all kinds of stuff then flaming them at will. The police and special forces did eventually manage to recover and restore peace and stop the extent of the damages.

Once this crazy night weared down, a total of sixteen police cars were vandalized, stomped, bashed and burned. For an approximate $500 000 in damages only for the cars.

What was supposed to turn up a relative quiet evening slipped into a mini-riot. All the damage was caused by a few dozens individuals. The worse is that for the majority of those people, they didn't even realize before vandalizing that it is their own taxes that are paying for this equipment. The whole community PAYS for public services thru the taxes.

All that for a first round victory.

(Pictures: Montreal police cars, Canadian Press.)


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Montreal Canadiens: The pedal to the metal.

The Montreal Canadiens and the Boston Bruins disputed game seven of their first round series yesterday at the Bell centre in Montreal. The Canadiens played a solid game and this time they have kept the pedal to the metal as the game went on. As for the young rookie goaltender Carey Price, he has been absolutely perfect all game long.

Mike Komisarek opened the score for Montreal during the first period when his shot from the blue line was deflected by a Boston player and past goaltender Tim Thomas.

Halfway into the second period, Mark Streit doubled Montreal's lead on a great play as he went past Boston's defense and slipped the puck thru the goaltender. Andrei Kostitsyn increased Montreal's lead to 3-0 before the end of the seocnd frame.

Andrei Kostitsyn scored his second goal of the game during the third period and his brother Sergei completed the score with only a few seconds left to the game.

Final score: Montreal Canadiens 5 - Boston Bruins 0 (Montreal wins the series by 4-3)

(Picture: The Montreal Canadiens, Canadian Press.)


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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Montreal-Boston series: A seventh game is needed.

Yesterday, game six of the first round series between the Montreal Canadiens and the Boston Bruins was nothing less than an emotional roller coaster ride for the fans gathered at the TD Banknorth Garden in Boston.

The Boston Bruins deserve all the credit in this game. They have worked very hard and rallied from a one-goal deficit three times during the lenght of the game.

After a goal from Chris Higgins during the first period, Phil Kessel tied the game at 1-1 early into the second period. Then Tomas Plekanec getting out of the penalty box received a pass from Steve Begin and went all alone with goaltender Tim Thomas. Plekanec netted his first goal of the series and gave a 2-1 Montreal lead after two periods.

A great main course was served to the fans during the third period. A total of six goals were scored during this exciting last frame. Vladimir Sobotka tied the game at 2-2 early into the third on a very discutable play. The Bruins looked to be offside at the Montreal blue line but the linesman misjudged Boston's entrance in Montreal's zone on the play.

Francis Bouillon gave a 3-2 lead to Montreal halfway into the third period when his shot was deflected by a Bruins defensemen in front of Thomas. Only two minutes later, Milan Lucic deflected a shot from Aaron Ward to tie the game once again.

With under five minutes to go, Phil Kessel with his second goal of the game gave the lead to Boston for the first time. Montreal replied immediatly: Chris Higgins tied the game at 4-4 only eleven seconds later on a great feed from captain Saku Koivu.

Marco Sturm
scored the game-winner for Boston with under three minutes to go in the contest.

Final score: Boston Bruins 5 - Montreal Canadiens 4 (The series is tied at 3-3)

Should the Bruins come back from a 1-3 deficit and win this series monday, a very unique milestone will be registered by Boston's head coach Claude Julien.

Julien, a former Canadiens head coach, has already registered a 1-3 series comeback against the Boston Bruins a few seasons ago. His team is now only a single game away from the comeback. With a win on monday, Julien will have a 1-3 series comeback with both Boston and Montreal in his resume.

(Picture: Claude Julien, Canadian Press.)


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Thursday, April 17, 2008

A cold shower hits Montreal.

The Montreal Canadiens were looking to put away the Boston Bruins at the Bell centre tonight. Up three games to one in this first round series, the Canadiens dropped their intensity level thinking the Bruins have given up.

The game started well for Montreal when Alex Kovalev scored the first goal of the game during the first period. The crowd was loud in the Bell centre and everybody in the building could almost taste the victory.

But the Bruins never gave up. First, Phil Kessel tied the game up on a power play during the second period. Kessel, a healthy scratch for games two, three and four of the series really turned the game around.

The third period was entirely in favor of Boston who scored four unanswered goals on goaltender Carey Price. Glen Metropolit, Zdeno Chara, Marco Sturm and Vladimir Sobotka scored a goal each to extend the series to a sixth game.

Final score: Boston Bruins 5 - Montreal Canadiens 1 (Montreal leads the series by 3-2)

The Bruins with this important victory are now back in the series and have created a serious doubt in the Canadiens' roster. Game six promises a lot of action in Boston.

(Picture: The Boston Bruins, Canadian Press.)


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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

First career shutout for Carey Price.

The Montreal Canadiens and the Boston Bruins were facing each other for game four of their first round series yesterday evening at the TD Banknorth Garden in Boston.

Only one goal was scored during this game. Patrice Brisebois scored during a power play late into the second period with a precise shot thru a crowd. Carey Price protected the slim lead and blocked 27 shots on his way for his very first career playoff shutout. The rookie goaltender handled the pressure very well.

We witnessed a real playoff game. A lot of bodychecks and a low scoring affair. Game 5 will be played tomorrow at the Bell centre. The Canadiens will have the opportunity to put away the Bruins in front of their own fans.

Final score: Montreal Canadiens 1 - Boston Bruins 0 (Montreal leads the series by 3-1)

Other scores:

Philadelphia Flyers 6 - Washington Capitals 3 (Philadelphia leads the series by 2-1)

San Jose Sharks 3 - Calgary Flames 2 (The series is tied at 2-2)

Colorado Avalanche 5 - Minnesota Wild 1 (The series is tied at 2-2)

Anaheim Ducks 4 - Dallas Stars 2 (Dallas leads the series by 2-1)

(Picture: Carey Price, Getty Images.)


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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

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This message was sponsored by 3GB.biz

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The recipe for self-destruction.

The Ottawa Senators are now only one loss from elimination. Yesterday, a 4-1 loss at the hands of the Pittsburgh Penguins gave a 3-0 series lead to Pittsburgh.

If we go back only three months ago, nobody would've believed that the Senators would ever finish 7th in the Eastern conference and nobody would've believed that the Sens could ever lose their first three playoff games. Three months ago, the Senators were comfortably on top of the Eastern conference and looked like a sure bet for the playoffs.

I have been following hockey for over three decades and I cannot recall such a collapse during a single season. So what happened with the Senators? How can such a solid looking team completely collapse? The answer is self-destruction.

So how did the Senators went from serious contender to figurant?

First, we have to take a look at the players, more specifically at the team's unity and chemistry. During the course of the season, goaltender Ray Emery was not satisfied being pushed aside by head coach John Paddock in favor of Martin Gerber. Emery on december 30th came late for a team practice. Emery was fined and has drawn negative attention from the fans, the press and from his own teammates. Nothing to help a team's unity.

The Ray Emery problem wasn't solved by the General Manager either. Instead of sending the goaltender elsewhere to clear the air, (trading Emery for a dozen of sticks would've been some kind of viable solution) the Senators have kept him on board, decaying the team chemistry for sure.

Early in february, the Senators have traded forward Patrick Eaves and defensemen Joe Corvo to the Carolina Hurricanes in return of forward Cory Stillman and defensemen Mike Commodore. The trade looked profitable for the Senators at first glance but in reality the trade was an awful one for them. The Senators defensive unit has been depleted greatly with the departure of Corvo.

Then on february 27th came the firing of head coach John Paddock by the General Manager Brian Murray who took the head coaching job himself. The change did not bring anything positive for the Senators. In fact, instead of firing John Paddock, Brian Murray should've fired himself for the team's lack of consistency. Brian Murray is in fact responsible for the collapse of his own team: Murray kept troublemaker Ray Emery on board, Murray fired his head coach and Murray traded Eaves and Corvo out of Ottawa.

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and you have a perfect recipe for self-destruction.

(Picture: Sidney Crosby and Martin Gerber, Canadian Press.)


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Monday, April 14, 2008

Bruins breaks the curse.

After thirteen losses in a row versus the Montreal Canadiens, the Boston Bruins have finally won a game versus their arch-rivals and broke the curse.

A goaltender duel was presented to the fans at the TD Banknorth Garden in Boston yesterday. Both Tim Thomas and Carey Price have played a solid game as they only allowed a single goal each during regulation.

The Bruins scored first in this one during the first period with a goal from the young 19-year old Milan Lucic. The Canadiens replied during the second period when Tom Kostopoulos slipped a puck under Tim Thomas to even up the score.

The regulation ended with a 1-1 tie and an overtime period was necessary for the second game in a row. Halfway into the first overtime period, Marc Savard ended the contest with his first goal of the playoffs.

Final score: Boston Bruins 2 - Montreal Canadiens 1 (overtime) (Montreal leads the series by 2-1)

Game four of the series will be presented on tuesday.

Other scores:

New-Jersey Devils 4 - New-York Rangers 3 (overtime) (New-York leads the series by 2-1)

Philadelphia Flyers 2 - Washington Capitals 0 (The series is tied 1-1)

Calgary Flames 4 - San Jose Sharks 3 (Calgary leads the series by 2-1)

(Picture: Marc Savard, Canadian Press.)


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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Kovalev reels in game two.

Yesterday evening, game two of the first round series between the Montreal Canadiens and the Boston Bruins was presented at the Bell centre. Once again the atmosphere was incredible in the arena.

The Canadiens despite being more seriously challenged by Boston compared to the first game of the series managed to take the lead late during the first period on a goal by defensemen Roman Hamrlik. Then during the second frame, Sergei Kostitsyn sent a rebound past Tim Thomas to double the Canadiens' lead.

The Bruins never gave up and rallied during the third period of the game. First, Peter Shaefer picked up a rebound and sent it over Carey Price's shoulder. Then a little later on during a Bruins power play, Alex Kovalev took a selfish slashing penalty. The five-on-three opportunity was enough for the Bruins who tied the score at 2-2 with the double man-advantage goal by David Krejci.

An overtime period was necessary to declare a winner. The Bruins self-destructed during the first overtime period with two back-to-back penalties. During the second one, Alex Kovalev fired a perfect slapshot from the wing that went over Tim Thomas' shoulder. Kovalev repaired his costly penalty by himself with the winning goal of the game.

Final score: Montreal Canadiens 3 - Boston Bruins 2 (final-overtime) (Montreal leads the series by 2-0)

If it wasn't for both goaltenders during this game, many more goals would've been scored. Both Tim Thomas and Carey Price (who was named first star of the match) played outstanding for their respective teams.

Game three of this first round series is scheduled tonight in Boston.

Other scores:

Detroit Red Wings 4 - Nashville Predators 2 (Detroit leads the series by 2-0)

Dallas Stars 5 - Anaheim Ducks 2 (Dallas leads the series by 2-0)

(Picture: Alex Kovalev, Getty images.)


League of Legends Guide

Friday, April 11, 2008

One down, fifteen to go.

The Montreal Canadiens began their quest for the Stanley Cup yesterday as the first game of the first round series with the Boston Bruins was presented at the Bell centre.

The Bell centre was filled to capacity and the fans were not disappointed by the home team. The Canadiens exploded out of the gates, bringing the loud roar from the crowd. With just over two minutes of play, Sergei Kostitsyn and his brother Andrei Kostitsyn had scored a goal each.

The Canadiens played a very solid game as they only allowed a goal to Boston. Shane Hnidy deflected a shot from the blue line to bring the Bruins within a single goal. But that's about all the Bruins could do during this game.

The Canadiens dominated the Bruins physically. Some very good bodychecks were distributed by the home team. Zdeno Chara was often targetted by the Canadiens players. Bryan Smolinski and Tom Kostopoulos completed the score for Montreal.

In net, Carey Price had his first playoff experience in career and was never seriously tested. At the other end of the ice, Tim Thomas had plenty of work in front of the Bruins net. The four Montreal goals were scored between Thomas' pads...

Final score: Montreal Canadiens 4 - Boston Bruins 1 (Montreal leads the series by 1-0)

Game 2 of the series will be played saturday evening.

Other first round scores:

Pittsburgh Penguins 4 - Ottawa Senators 0 (Pittsburgh leads by 1-0)

New-York Rangers 4 - New-Jersey Devils 1 (New-York leads by 1-0)

Detroit Red Wings 3 - Nashville Predators 1 (Detroit leads by 1-0)

Calgary Flames 3 - San Jose Sharks 2
San Jose Sharks 2 - Calgary Flames 0 (This series is tied at 1-1)

Colorado Avalanche 3 - Minnesota Wild 2 (Colorado leads by 1-0)

Dallas Stars 4 - Anaheim Ducks 0 (Dallas leads by 1-0)

(Picture: Canadian Press.)


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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

2008 NHL playoffs: Round 1 (continued)

So here it is, today is the beginning of the 2008 NHL playoffs as four matchups are scheduled today.

Yesterday I flew across the East, now let's have a look at the Western conference matchups:

Nashville Predators (8) vs Detroit Red Wings (1)

The Red Wings have won yet another Presidents trophy this season with a total of 115 points. The fact that they play in a poor division helps a lot winning those trophies year after year. But we cannot look away from offensive stars like Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg in the Wings lineup. Nicklas Lidstrom has been steady as ever on defense. They look like a steamroller to be frank.

The Predators will try to pull off a huge upset here! Don't get me wrong but the Predators winning this series would be a huge upset. I just don't believe that they can pull this off. So if you are in for a longshot, pick this team.

My prediction: Detroit in five games.

Calgary Flames (7) vs San Jose Sharks (2)

This series promises to be a great one. The San Jose Sharks, are loaded with offensive talent with Joe Thornton and Jonathan Cheechoo only to name those two. While in the net, Evgeni Nabokov has been as solid as a rock. A great goaltender is needed to win the cup, and San Jose has one in their roster.

The Flames will give a fight to the Sharks. Jarome Iginla added another 50-goal season to his record and is for sure the main man offensively. The Flames are usually a tough team also, don't expect a walk in the park for the Sharks. Dion Phaneuf's contribution as a defensemen will also be of great importance for them. One last thing: Can Mikka Kipprusoff in net steal a few games for the Flames this year?

My prediction: San Jose Sharks in seven games.

Colorado Avalanche (6) vs Minnesota Wild (3)

The Avalanche finished the regular season on a good note. This team suffered greatly the loss of Joe Sakic and Paul Stastny on offense. Stasny has recovered from his injury and along with player like Milan Hedjuk, Wojtek Wolski and Joe Sakic, the Avalanche represent a volatile offense. The Avalanche's goaltending also has to deliver for the team to advance.

The Minnesota Wild is a tightly coached team. Head coach Jacques Lemaire has the teams he wants. Rough and playing tight defense. Marian Gaborik is a great offensive talent and can bail out the team by himself. They are capable of the better and the worse. Should they roll over the Avalanche, this team will gain momentum.

My prediction: Colorado Avalanche in six games.

Dallas Stars (5) vs Anaheim Ducks (4)

The Dallas Stars are made for the playoffs. The only bad news is that they face the defending Stanley cup champions. Mike Ribeiro has been a fantastic offensive outlet on offense. His vision of the game is undeniable. As for goaltending, they still have the goods with Marty Turco who has already went thru the playoffs a champion.

The Ducks begin their title defense today. With Selanne and Niedermayer back from semi-retirement, the team offense is maybe only a Dustin Penner away from being a sure two time champion in my opinion. On defense, big Chris Pronger will control traffic and contribute offensively. Jean-Sebastien Giguere is a prime playoff goaltender and is sure hungry for a second cup.

My prediction: Anaheim Ducks in six games.

Enjoy the first round of those 2008 NHL playoffs!


League of Legends Guide

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

2008 NHL playoffs: First round.

So this is the time of the year once again, the 2008 NHL playoffs are set to begin this week. What team should we follow more closely? Who will win the Holy Grail?

Let's go thru the Eastern conference first round matchups:

Boston Bruins (8) vs Montreal Canadiens (1):

The Montreal Canadiens have surprized every hockey analyst this season by finishing in first position of the conference. Not a lot of hockey analysts gave any chance to the Canadiens this season but here they are, standing atop of the conference and with the ice advantage thru the first three rounds.

The Boston Bruins also had a notable season. With the loss of their main offensive weapon Patrice Bergeron, very early into the season, nobody thought that Boston would be able to get into the playoff round.

Both teams faced each other eight times during the regular season and the Canadiens have won all of them. In fact, Montreal has won their last 11 matchups versus the Bruins. I do not expect a very close series.

My prediction: Montreal as a winner in five games.

Ottawa Senators (7) vs Pittsburgh Penguins (2):

The Senators had an up and down season. The team led the conference standing for the major part of the season but collapsed towards the end. Ottawa was expected in first place but a lack of consistency in defense and goaltending sent the team all the way down in 7th place. Their offensive power is undeniable but will their defense and goaltending hold up?

The Pittsburgh Penguins had a very good season despite losing Sidney Crosby for a long period of time. Evgeni Malkin elevated his game during Crosby's absence as he carried the team on his shoulders. The team also acquired Marian Hossa at the trade deadline, another very dangerous offensive weapon. Pittsburgh was eliminated by Ottawa last season, another reason to be motivated.

My prediction: Pittsburgh in six games.

Philadelphia Flyers (6) vs Washington Capitals (3):

The Washington Capitals qualified for the playoff round at their very last game of the season. An irresistible push during the later part of the season allowed the team to edge the Carolina Hurricanes on top of the Southeast division. Alexander Ovechkin was simply spectacular all season long. Ovechkin wrapped up the season with over 60 goals, an impressive plateau. The acquisition of goaltender Christobal Huet at the trade deadline will help the goaltending department of the Capitals.

The Philadelphia Flyers had a bit of a deceiving season. After signing forward Daniel Briere and defensemen Kimmo Timonen during the off-season, the Flyers were expected to be among the best in the east. But the team underachieved this season and they now have to face the fantastic Alexander Ovechkin in the first round.

My prediction: Washington in six games.

New-York Rangers (5) vs New-Jersey Devils (4):

The Hudson river battle should be a good one. Both teams hate each other and should produce a very interesting series. For the Rangers, their main strenght is the veteran squad. The Rangers team is an experimented one with Jaromir Jagr, Brendan Shanahan and Chris Drury. As for goaltending, Henrik Lundqvist has shown consistency and he should be able to bring the Rangers into the second round.

As for the Devils, their only hope is that goaltender Martin Brodeur will be hot. If Brodeur does not dominate in his net, the Devils have no chance. The offensive squad outside Zach Parise is not talented enough to bring enough goals to the team.

My prediction: The Rangers in six games.


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Monday, April 07, 2008

Montreal Canadiens: Eastern conference champions!

The last match of the regular season has been played in the NHL and the Montreal Canadiens with 104 points clinched the Eastern conference championship. The last time the club has won the conference championship was in 1992.

So for the first round of the playoffs, The Montreal Canadiens will face the Boston Bruins who finished 8th in the East. Montreal and Boston played each other eight times this season and Montreal has won all eight games. I expect that this trend will continue. I think the Habs have what it takes to take the Bruins out in five games.

I will add more details about the 2008 NHL Playoffs, daily. I will also give my view on every first round series.


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Sunday, April 06, 2008

Bahrain Grand Prix: Ferrari dominates.

Today, for the third leg of the Formula One championship, Robert Kubica in his BMW-Sauber had the privilege to start from the pole position in front of the Ferraris.

But the Ferraris did not waste any time to take the lead. After the second lap, both Ferrari drivers were in front of Kubica's BMW. While Ferrari was taking the lead of the race, Lewis Hamilton completely missed his start, collided with Fernando Alonso and then went back all the way to the 18th position.

After the numerous position changes following the start of the race, the situation stabilized itself and we saw a lot less position changes in the later stages of the competition.

Both BMW-Sauber cars finished behind the Ferrari but are now leading the constructors championship after three events. We could have an interesting 3-way race for the constructors championship until the end of the season.

With all his problems encoutered during the early stages of the race, Lewis Hamilton did not score any points and finished 13th. Hamilton also lost his lead in the drivers championship with this counter-performance.

Here is the top ten positions of the Bahrein Grand Prix:

Winner: Felipe Massa (Ferrari)
2-Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari)
3-Robert Kubica (BMW-Sauber)
4-Nick Heidfeld (BMW-Sauber)
5-Heikki Kovalainen (McLaren)
6-Jarno Trulli (Toyota)
7-Mark Webber (Red Bull)
8-Nico Rosberg (Williams)
9-Timo Glock (Toyota)
10-Fernando Alonso (Renault)

Drivers championship after 3/18 races:

1-Kimi Raikkonen 19 points
2-Nick Heidfeld 16 points
3-Lewis Hamilton 14 points
4-Heikki Kovalainen 14 points
5-Robert Kubica 14 points
6-Felipe Massa 10 points
7-Jarno Trulli 8 points
8-Nico Rosberg 7 points
9-Fernando Alonso 6 points
10-Mark Webber 4 points
11-Kazuki Nakajima 3 points
12-Sebastien Bourdais 2 points

Constructors championship:

1-BMW-Sauber 30 points
2-McLaren-Mercedes 28 points
3-Ferrari 27 points
4-Williams 10 points
5-Toyota 8 points
6-Renault 6 points
7-Red Bull 4 points
8-Toro Rosso 2 points

(Picture: Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen.)


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Saturday, April 05, 2008

Kubica registers his first career pole.

Robert Kubica in his BMW-Sauber has registered his very first career pole position today at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Behind Kubica, all the contenders for this season's drivers championship are present. Felipe Massa, Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen complete the first two rows.

After the second grand prix of the season, I mentionned the fact that if there is no major breakdown this season, the BMW-Sauber could very well be a serious contender for the constructors championship. Kubica's pole today only confirms that the BMW is now really only an inch behind the Ferraris and McLarens.

While Fernando Alonso still struggles with his Renault this season (he only qualified 10th), the surprise of this qualifying session came from Jenson Button who managed to rank in the top ten with his Honda.

Here is the top 10 qualifying positions for the Bahrein Grand Prix:

Pole:Robert Kubica (BMW-Sauber) 1:33.096
2. Felipe Massa (Ferrari) 1:33.123
3. Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) 1:33.292
4. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) 1:33.418
5. Heikki Kovalainen (McLaren) 1:33.488
6. Nick Heidfeld (BMW-Sauber) 1:33.737
7. Jarno Trulli (Toyota) 1:33.994
8. Nico Rosberg (Williams) 1:34.015
9. Jenson Button (Honda) 1:35.057
10. Fernando Alonso (Renault) 1:35.115

(Picture: Robert Kubica, Getty Images.)


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