Overtime!: May 2008
League of Legends Guide

Saturday, May 31, 2008

French Open: Wozniak exits in third round.

As the first week of the French Open is upon completion, the only Canadian player remaining in the singles competition was Alexandra Wozniak.

Ranked 140th in the world, the 20-year old player from Blainville, Quebec made her way thru the first two rounds of the Grand Slam event. Today, in Wozniak's third round match, Vera Zvonareva controlled the major points on her way to an easy 6-2, 6-2 victory. In the fourth round, Zvonareva will face the number seven seed of the tournament, Elena Dementieva.

The young Canadian did not play her usual game. Her number of unforced errors and double faults was unusually high. That fact alone was enough to cost her the match but Zvonareva did play sound tennis at the other end of the clay court.

For Alexandra Wozniak, the results of this week should help her rise a bit in the rankings and allow her in the main draw at Wimbledon. If she could repeat her French Open run at Wimbledon, Wozniak could be ranked as high as 70th in the world when the season will be coming back on American soil.

Alexandra Wozniak will then play on home ground at the Masters Series tournament in Canada which is only two weeks prior to the 2008 US Open at Flushing Meadows. The good French Open result gives her a chance to play and try to break her best career ranking during the rest of this season.

I will follow the continuation of her season with interest and I wish her the very best of luck.

(Picture: Alexandra Wozniak, Canadian Press.)


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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Stanley Cup final: Penguins still perfect at Mellon Arena.

Yesterday, game three of the Stanley Cup final was played at the Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh Penguins were in a must win situation as they were trailing the Detroit Red Wings 0-2 in the series. The Penguins now have a 9-0 record at home during these 2007-2008 playoffs.

A valiant effort by the Penguins allowed them to finally score a goal on goaltender Chris Osgood. Late into the first period, Sidney Crosby scored his fifth goal of the playoffs on a deflected shot by Marian Hossa that appeared on the blade of his stick. Crosby fired the puck without hesitation and scored the first goal of his team in over 137 minutes of play.

Then early into the second period on a man-advantage, Sidney Crosby scored his second goal of the evening as he was waiting at the side of the Wings net. Late into the second period, the Red Wings cutted the Penguins lead to a single goal when Johan Franzen scored his 13th goal of the playoffs during a man-advantage.

Into the third period, Adam Hall registered his second goal of the playoffs from behind the net. Hall banked his shot off Osgood who was out of position. Hall's goal was the winning goal of the contest because Mikael Samuelsson scored for the Wings and made the contest very interesting with just over six minutes to go into the final frame.

The Penguins held on to their one goal lead with the precious help of their goaltender Marc-André Fleury who was very spectacular in front of his net.

Final score: Pittsburgh Penguins 3 - Detroit Red Wings 2 (Detroit leads the series by 2-1)

Game four of the series will be presented Saturday at the Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh.

(Picture: Sidney Crosby and Daniel Cleary, Getty Images.)


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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Stanley Cup final: Red Wings blanks the Penguins again.

Yesterday, game two of the Stanley Cup final was presented at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.

The Detroit Red Wings, after defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins with ease by the score of 4-0 during game one of the series, played an even better game as they only left bits to their opponents.

During the first period, defense-men Brad Stuart scored his first goal of the playoffs as he opened the score for the Wings with a shot on Marc-André Fleury's stick side. Only a few minutes later, after a turnover committed by the Penguins defense, Henrik Zetterberg's shot was partially blocked by the Penguins' goaltender. Tomas Holmstrom pushed the loose puck over the goal line to double the Wings lead.

Valteri Fillipula completed the score during the third period with a spectacular individual play. As Fillipula was hooked down by defense-men Christopher Letang, the Finn managed to beat Fleury and extinguish any hope for a comeback.

Final score: Detroit Red Wings 3 - Pittsburgh Penguins 0 (Detroit leads the series by 2-0)

The Red Wings domination this far in the series is impressive. The Penguins' talented offense has been completely neutralized during the first two games. What was supposed to be an offensive showdown between the two finalists turns out to be a Wings complete lockdown. Once Detroit took a one or two goal lead during the first two games, the team completely closed the game, reducing the Penguins scoring chances to the minimum. Boring for hockey fans, but very effective...

Game three will be played wednesday at Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh.

(Picture: Valteri Fillipula, Getty Images.)


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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Stanley Cup final: Detroit wins game 1.

The Stanley Cup final began yesterday at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. The Pittsburgh Penguins were the visitors while the Detroit Red Wings benefited of the home ice advantage.

Game one prooved that the ''old'' Red Wings were able to contain the young Penguins. The collective play of the Wings was superior during this game as they allowed only a few scoring chances to the Penguins.

After a disallowed goal during the first period, the Red Wings opened the score during the second period. Mikael Samuelsson scored his third goal of the playoffs when he went around the net and banked the puck off Marc-André Fleury's left skate. Samuelsson doubled the Wings lead during the third period on a turnover committed by Evgeni Malkin.

Dan Cleary scored the third goal for the Wings on a race for a loose puck then Henrik Zetterberg completed the score during the final minute of the game on a power play.

Final score: Detroit Red Wings 4 - Pittsburgh Penguins 0 (Detroit leads the series by 1-0)

(Picture: The Detroit Red Wings, Canadian Press.)


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Monaco Grand Prix: Hamilton wins, Ferrari slips.

The Monaco Grand Prix was run today under rainy conditions and those conditions interfered with the usual course of the event. The track was very slippery and many drivers lost control of their cars during the race.

Heikki Kovalainen experienced a first failure during the pace lap. His car was stuck on the grid and he had to begin the race from pit road. Lewis Hamilton, starting third, managed to pass Kimi Raikkonen on the start. But Hamilton touched the railing only a few laps later and punctured a tire. He had to go thru pit lane to change the tire.

Fernando Alonso also touched the rail while David Coulthard and Sebastien Bourdais touched and were both forced to retire. The incident brought the safety car on the track, saving Lewis Hamilton from a disastrous track position.

Kimi Raikkonen then suffered a drive thru sanction. Ferrari installed Raikkonen's tires with under three minute to go to the start of the race which constitutes a rule violation. Ferrari's troubles continued only a few laps later, Felipe Massa lost control of his Ferrari and gave the lead to Lewis Hamilton who seemed to be on his lucky day.

But the biggest surprise of the race came from Force India's Adrian Sutil. After his final pit stop, Sutil came out in fourth place, just in front of Kimi Raikkonen. A dream position for the first year team.

But Nico Rosberg's crash transformed Force India's dream into a nightmare. The safety car was sent out on the track for a second time, regrouping the cars together with 16 laps to go. Kimi Raikkonen was right behind Adrian Sutil when the race resumed. Only a few laps later, the defending champion lost control of his car at the exit of the tunnel and slid into the Force India driven by Sutil who had to retire from the race, heartbroken.

Lewis Hamilton was not seriously challenged until the end and crossed the finish line in first place. Robert Kubica avoided trouble all race long and placed second.

Here is the top ten finish at Monaco:

Winner: Lewis Hamilton (McLaren)
2-Robert Kubica (BMW-Sauber)
3-Felipe Massa (Ferrari)
4-Mark Webber (Red Bull)
5-Sebastien Vettel (Toro Rosso)
6-Rubens Barrichello (Honda)
7-Kazuki Nakajima (Williams)
8-Heikki Kovalainen (McLaren)
9-Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari)
10-Fernando Alonso (Renault)

Drivers championship after 6/18 races:

1-Lewis Hamilton 38 points
2-Kimi Raikkonen 35 points
3-Felipe Massa 34 points
4-Robert Kubica 32 points
5-Nick Heidfeld 20 points
6-Heikki Kovalainen 15 points
7-Mark Webber 15 points
8-Fernando Alonso 9 points
9-Jarno Trulli 9 points
10-Nico Rosberg 8 points
11-Kazuki Nakajima 7 points
12-Sebastian Vettel 4 points
13-Jenson Button 3 points
14-Rubens Barrichello 3 points
15-Sebastien Bourdais 2 points

Constructors championship:

1-Ferrari 69 points
2-McLaren 53 points
3-BMW-Sauber 52 points
4-Williams 15 points
5-Red Bull 15 points
6-Toyota 9 points
7-Renault 9 points
8-Toro Rosso 6 points
9-Honda 6 points

(Picture: Lewis Hamilton, Getty Images.)


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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Monaco Grand Prix: Ferrari takes the first row.

The qualifying session of the Monaco Grand Prix has just ended today and both Ferrari drivers, who have been a dominating force for the last few races already, have registered the two fastest times.

The constructors championship standings has been respected during this qualifying session. Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari took the first two positions on the grid while the McLaren-Mercedes cars of Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen placed on the second row. The BMW-Sauber of Robert Kubica placed fifth.

The biggest surprize came from Nick Heidfeld who is starting to become a deception for his team this season. His qualifying performances and starting positions are costing the BMW-Sauber team some very precious points. Today, Heidfeld placed his car at the 13th place on the grid and a very difficult task awaits him tomorrow for the race.

David Coulthard registered the tenth best time but could not participate to the last part of the qualifying session. The British driver lost control of his Red Bull racing car and crashed. Coulthard is not injuried but could not improove his grid position.

Here are the top ten positions for tomorrow's race:

Pole: Felipe Massa (Ferrari) 1:15.787
2-Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) 1:15.815
3-Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) 1:15.839
4-Heikki Kovalainen (McLaren) 1:16.165
5-Robert Kubica (BMW-Sauber) 1:16.171
6-Nico Rosberg (Williams) 1:16.548
7-Fernando Alonso (Renault) 1:16.852
8-Jarno Trulli (Toyota) 1:17.203
9-Mark Webber (Red Bull) 1:17.343
10-David Coulthard (Red Bull) ---------

(Picture: Felipe Massa, Ferrari.)


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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

2008 Stanley Cup final: Pittsburgh Penguins vs Detroit Red Wings.

The quest for the Stanley Cup began with 16 teams and three elimination rounds later, the field has been reduced to the last two.

To the opinion of the majority of hockey observers and backed by their impressive playoff records, the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Detroit Red Wings represent the two big forces both in the Eastern and the Western conference.

The Penguins tied a NHL playoff record by winning their three first matches of every series along the way. The Senators, swept in four games, while the Rangers and the Flyers both managed to win a single game in their home building after falling 0-3 to the Penguins. A 12-2 record for three rounds is not common.

The offense never slowed down. Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Marian Hossa are producing on a great pace while players like Jordan Staal, Pascal Dupuis and Maxime Talbot can score big goals at critical times. Defense men Sergei Gonchar supports the offense and has valuable experience at the defense position. Another defense men worth talking about is the young Christopher Letang. This team is formed of young players like Staal, Fleury and Letang are already gaining valuable playoff experience on the way to that cup final.

In net, Marc-André Fleury was very efficient. In 14 games, the Penguins' goaltender kept a 12-2 record with three shutouts. Every time the opponents were trying to come back in the score, Fleury managed to make clutch saves to keep his team ahead on the score sheet.

The Penguins did not lose a single game at Mellon Arena during the playoffs and took the lead early in their series this year. But the Red Wings have the home ice advantage for the final and also have taken the lead early in their series.

The Detroit Red Wings is also an impressive machine that rolled over their opponents on their way to the final. They have a great mix of skilled and experienced players all around their lineup. For some of them, this final represent a last shot at the Grail.

And talking about skill, how about Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk? With their stickhandling and scoring abilities, they have the power to change games by themselves.

As for experienced and specialized players, the Red Wings have a plenty. Forwards like Tomas Holmstrom, Kirk Maltby, Dallas Drake, Johan Franzen, Dan Cleary and defense men like Brian Rafalski, Niklas Kronvall, Nicklas Lidstrom and Chris Chelios knows what their respective role is.

The first encounter is scheduled for Saturday at the Joe Louis Arena. We, as fans of this great game, expect a very disputed and exciting series. I hate too much the Red Wings to root for them so I am biased in my prediction. In this final, I would like to see the Penguins ending up victorious.

My Prediction: Pittsburgh Penguins in six games.

(Picture: Stanley Cup.)


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Monday, May 19, 2008

Pittsburgh Penguins qualify for the Stanley Cup final.

The Pittsburgh Penguins has completely dominated game five of their series with the Philadelphia Flyers yesterday and qualified for the Stanley Cup final with a decisive 6-0 victory.

The Penguins did not waste any time yesterday. After ten minutes of play, Ryan Malone and Evgeni Malkin gave Pittsburgh a 2-0 lead.

They have scored three other goals during the secon period to put the game out of range for the Flyers. Marian Hossa with his ninth of the playoffs then Ryan Malone with his second goal of the game and Jordan Staal with his sixth of the playoffs.

The third period was a formality but the Penguins did add another goal from the stick of Pascal Dupuis. In net, Marc-André Fleury registered his third shutout of the playoffs.

The Penguins only lost two games this far in the playoffs and have been perfect at the Mellon Arena in these 2007-2008 playoffs. The team will now benefit of a little rest until the series between the Detroit Red Wings and the Dallas Stars concludes.

(Picture: Sidney Crosby, Getty Images.)


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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Western conference final: Dallas extends the fun.

Yesterday, game five of the Western conference final was another opportunity for the Detroit Red Wings, who were up 3-1 in this series, to finish off the Dallas Stars and qualify to the Stanley Cup finals.

But the Dallas Stars were on a mission and had some objectives worth playing for. The disallowed goal to the Red Wings during the first period of game four gave a new life to the Stars. They went on to score the first goal of the game, to a 3-1 victory, avoiding a series sweep. Goaltender Marty Turco was still looking for a first victory at the Joe Louis Arena in career and needed his best game of the series to avoid his team's elimination.

For game five, Dallas needed to score first.

Outside the reduction of the stress and anxiety level, the feeling of playing with ''nothing to lose'' has a tendency to include. Each player feels that his tiny contribution can keep his team rolling. We had a good proof of that in game five. Halfway into the first period, Trevor Daley with his very first goal of the playoffs, opened the score.

The Red Wings did tie the score at 1 before the end of the first period. During a man-advantage, Jiri Hudler sent the puck in the net defended by Marty Turco on a great setup by defensemen Niklas Kronvall.

Then the winning goal came in the second period on a brilliant clearing by Turco. His long pass caught a skating Joel Lunqvist who went on to score on goaltender Chris Osgood. The score remained unchanged for the rest of the game as Marty Turco stopped 38 of the 39 shots he faced and played his best game of the series to finally win at the Joe Louis Arena.

Final score: Dallas Stars 2 - Detroit Red Wings 1 (Detroit leads the series by 3-2)

The Dallas Stars will now host game six of the series.

(Picture: The Dallas Stars, Getty Images.)


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Saturday, May 17, 2008

2008 World Hockey Championships: Medal round.

The 2008 World Hockey Championships will be completed this weekend as the final two matches of the tournament will be played at the Colisée Pepsi in Quebec city.

The two hockey super powers, Canada and Russia, will play the gold medal match on Sunday. Both teams have gone thru the whole tournament without suffering a single loss. Russia needed to go thru a shootout session twice during the tournament; once against Belarus and once as they faced the Czech Republic. But both times, the Russian team claimed the victory. Alexander Ovechkin, Alexander Semin and veteran Sergei Fedorov lead Russia's offense with 10 points each.

On the Canadian side, the team went perfect all tournament long. All the games were won during regulation time even if a couple of games were very disputed. Yesterday's 5-4 victory against the Swedes in the semifinal match was everything except an easy one. Also, a surprising 2-1 result over Norway during the group phase helped raise some doubt about the team's capacity of going all the way to the gold medal match. Dany Heatley has been a hot player and leads the tournament scoring this far with 11 goals and a total of 18 points. During the group phase, Heatley surpassed Steve Yzerman for the most international competition goals scored in Canadian history.

Both teams has the ability to win Sunday and since this gold medal is awarded over the result of one match, it's pretty much anybody's medal. Cam Ward will be in goal for Canada who will at least benefit of the home ice and home crowd advantage...

The bronze medal match will oppose Finland and Sweden and will be played tomorrow at the Colisée Pepsi in Quebec city.

(Picture: Team Canada, Getty images.)


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Friday, May 16, 2008

Eastern conference final: Flyers avoid the sweep.

The Philadelphia Flyers avoided the elimination yesterday in their series with the Pittsburgh Penguins. With a productive first period, the ''Broad Street Bullies'' were finally able to establish their physical presence in this series.

The Flyers were solid early on and it was good for three unanswered goals from the 9th to the 18th minute the first period. First Joffrey Lupul at even strenght, then Daniel Briere and Jeff Carter each during a man-advantage.

With the lead, the Flyers did focused on Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Marian Hossa. The constant bodychecks managed to get under the Penguins stars players' skin. There were many retaliations from Crosby during the second part of the game.

Only Jordan Staal managed to beat Martin Biron yesterday. But he did in fact managed to beat him twice during the third period. So with just under six minutes to go the Penguins were only one goal behind. A quiet and anxious crowd started wondering if their team could hold on.

But the Flyers managed to hold on to their reduced lead, mostly because the Penguins never really organized themselves to produce some kind of pressure on the Flyers. Joffrey Lupul scored in the empty net. The last minute of the game was full of retaliations and utter frustration scrums.

Final score: Philadelphia Flyers 4 - Pittsburgh Penguins 2 (Pittsburgh leads the series by 3-1)

Both teams have a date with each other Sunday afternoon in Pittsburgh for game five of the series.

(Picture: Mike Richards and Joffrey Lupul, Getty Images.)


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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Western conference final: Awful refereeing gives Dallas a new life.

Tonight, game four of the Western conference final was presented and the Dallas Stars were down 0-3 in this series and were facing elimination. But the story of the game was the discussable quality of the referees.

For many reasons, the Detroit Red Wings have all the rights to blame the referees for their contribution to the Stars victory. During the first period, Dallas benefited of three straight man-advantages but were not able to convert on either of them. Then later in the period, a goal from Pavel Datsyuk was disallowed because the referee judged that Tomas Holmstrom was standing in the goaltender's crease. But it was clear on the replay that Holmstrom was not inside the blue paint.

Then late into the second period, after the referees equalized the penalties stats by calling three straight infractions to the home team, the Dallas Stars opened the score with a goal from Loui Eriksson.

The Red Wings tied the game at 1-1 during the first minute of the third period when Henrik Zetterberg scored his tenth goal of the playoffs. But Mike Modano scored the game-winner during a penalty to Brian Rafalski five minutes into the period. Brenden Morrow scored the insurance goal ten minutes later with his ninth goal of the playoffs.

Final score: Dallas Stars 3 - Detroit Red Wings 1 (Detroit leads the series by 3-1)

The ''first star of the game'' could be awarded to the referees. Their judgement was simply awful during the whole course of this game and their pitiful work should be the main topic tomorrow in Detroit.

Game five will be played at the Joe Louis Arena, Stars' goaltender Marty Turco is still looking for his first career victory in Detroit.

(Picture: Getty Images.)


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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Eastern conference final: Penguins ties NHL playoff record.

Game three of the Eastern conference final was presented tonight at the Wachovia center in Philadelphia and the Flyers were in a must-win situation as they were down 0-2 in the series.

But with the injuries to Kimmo Timonen and Braydon Coburn, the Philadelphia Flyers' defensive corp could not stave off the Penguins offense.

Very early into the first period, a shot from Ray Whitney was deflected into Martin Biron's net. Then only two minutes later, Marian Hossa has scored his seventh goal of the playoffs on a shot that the Flyers goaltender would like to see again.

R.J. Umberger did reduce the Penguins lead to a single goal before the first period was over but it was the only Flyers goal of the game. Philadelphia's first offensive line was invisible all evening long. Daniel Briere and Vaclav Prospal who are considered to be the top offensive players for the Flyers did not register a shot on net in this one.

During the third period, the Penguins extended their lead with goals from Ryan Malone and the second goal of the night from Marian Hossa.

Final score: Pittsburgh Penguins 4 - Philadelphia Flyers 1 (Pittsburgh leads the series by 3-0)

The Penguins tied a NHL playoff record as they have won the first three games of every series they participated this far. The Penguins have only lost a single game during the second round to the New-York Rangers. Pittsburgh shows an impressive 11-1 playoff record.

Game four of the series will be played thursday.

(Picture: Canadian Press.)


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Monday, May 12, 2008

Western conference final: Datsuk scores three, Wings up three.

The Detroit Red Wings crushed the Dallas Stars hopes of coming back into the series tonight with the help of Pavel Datsuk who registered his first career playoff hatrick.

After ten minutes of play, the hero of the night, Pavel Datsuk, opened the score for the Wings. Then the Dallas Stars tied the game up at 1-1 with the first playoff goal from defensemen Niklas Grossman. But Datsuk replied only 37 seconds later and gave a 2-1 lead to the Wings.

Brad Richards tied the game at 2-2 and gave hope to the home crowd early into the second period. But once again, the Wings pulled ahead thru Jiri Hudler, this time, the Wings never allowed a tying goal from their opponents.

The third period was all in favor of the Red Wings. The killer goal came very early in the third period when Henrik Zetterberg scored while his team was shorthanded. Pavel Datsuk completed his hatrick with three minutes to go in the contest.

Final score: Detroit Red Wings 5 - Dallas Stars 2 (Detroit leads the series by 3-0)

Thursday could mark the end of the Stars season as they are now facing elimination.

(Picture: Pavel Datsuk, Canadian Press.)


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A first victory since 1997 for Villeneuve.

Jacques Villeneuve ended an eleven year drought yesterday when his team finished in first place of the Le Mans Series endurance race presented at Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium.

The team composed of the French Nicolas Minassian, the Spaniard Marc Gené and Canadian Jacques Villeneuve on board of a Peugeot 908 HDi-FAP crossed the finish line in first place of the 1000 km race.

Jacques Villeneuve said to the press immediately after the podium ceremonies that this win felt very good after waiting for a victory for such a long time. In fact, Villeneuve's last victory was registered in September of 1997 at the Nurburgring. At this time, Villeneuve was driving for the Williams Formula One racing team as he was on his way to the drivers championship.

The team of Minassian-Gené-Villeneuve will be kept intact for the legendary 24 hours of Le Mans endurance race that will be run on June 14th and 15th. Villeneuve will be trying to conquer the only triple crown racing jewel missing in his resume as he already conquered the Indianapolis 500 and the formula One drivers championship.

The only driver to ever conquer the three racing jewels which are the Indianapolis 500, the 24 hours of Le Mans and the Formula One drivers championship is Graham Hill. The British driver won the Monaco Grand Prix in 1963, 1964, 1965, 1968 and 1969; the Formula One World Championship in 1962 and 1968; the Indianapolis 500 in 1966 and finally the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1972.

(Picture: Jacques Villeneuve, Getty Images.)


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Sunday, May 11, 2008

Eastern conference final: The Penguins win again.

Game two of the Eastern conference final was played tonight and the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Philadelphia Flyers by the score of 4-2 for a second time in a row to take a 2-0 series lead.

Despite a better overall performance from the Flyers, the Penguins managed to get big goals at important moments in the game. Both teams managed to get scoring from their special team units.

First, at the halfway point of the first period, Sidney Crosby's shot was deflected by Lasse Kukkonen's skate and went past goaltender Martin Biron.

The Flyers tied the game with Jeff Carter's fifth goal of the playoffs during another man advantage. Then Marian Hossa gave a 2-1 lead to the Penguins on yet another man advantage. But just seconds before the end of the second period, Mike Richards tied the game while being shorthanded when he went all alone with goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. The goal from Richards could've turn this series around should the Flyers scored the following goal.

But the winning goal for Pittsburgh was registered by Maxime Talbot halfway into the third period. Talbot who missed the last three games with a foot injury was impatient to return in action and tipped the balance in the Penguins favor. Jordan Staal completed the scoring in an empty net during the final minute of the game.

The Penguins will travel to Philadelphia for game three on tuesday. Pittsburgh leads the Eastern conference final by 2-0.

(Picture: The Pittsburgh Penguins, Getty images.)


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Turkish Grand Prix: Massa, imperator of Istanbul.

The fifth leg of the Formula One championship was run today in Istanbul and Felipe Massa registered his third consecutive pole-victory combination on this circuit.

A very exciting race was offered to racing fans today mainly because the configuration of the circuit allows many overtaking chances to the pilots. We saw many position changes and battle throughout the field today.

Starting from the third position on the grid, Lewis Hamilton was on a three pit stops strategy while the Ferrari cars were on a two stop strategy. Being lighter than his opponents, Hamilton managed to overtake Felipe Massa before his first stop.

In the end, McLaren's strategy allowed the british driver to gain one position overall. The other McLaren driver, Heikki Kovalainen, experienced a front tire puncture after a contact with Kimi Raikkonen's car during the start. The puncture costed Kovalainen dearly as he did not score any points today as he finished in 12th position.

But nobody managed to keep Felipe Massa's pace who finally ended up winning his third consecutive race at Istanbul. Massa is the first pilot to win three races in a row at the same circuit since Michael Schumacher.

The BMW-Sauber cars did manage to recover a bit from their qualifying problems and placed in fourth and fifth place. Despite an ordinary performance, BMW is still second among constructors.

The Formula One championship will resume next week with the presentation of the Monaco Grand Prix.

Turkish Grand Prix top ten finish:

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

Drivers championship after 5/18 races:

1-Kimi Raikkonen 35 points
2-Felipe Massa 28 points
3-Lewis Hamilton 28 points
4-Robert Kubica 24 points
5-Nick Heidfeld 20 points
6-Heikki Kovalainen 14 points
7-Mark Webber 10 points
8-Fernando Alonso 9 points
9-Jarno Trulli 9 points
10-Nico Rosberg 8 points
11-Kazuki Nakajima 5 points
12-Jenson Button 3 points
13-Sebastien Bourdais 2 points

Constructors championship:

1-Ferrari 63 points
2-BMW-Sauber 44 points
3-McLaren-Mercedes 42 points
4-Williams 13 points
5-Red Bull 10 points
6-Toyota 9 points
7-Renault 9 points
8-Honda 3 points
9-Toro Rosso 2 points

(Picture: Felipe Massa, Getty Images.)


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Saturday, May 10, 2008

Western conference final: Wings puts pressure on the Stars.

Game two of the Western conference final was played tonight at the Joe Louis Arena. The Detroit Red Wings has been nearly perfect thus far in this series as they only allowed two goals to the Dallas Stars this far in the series.

The first period produced all the scoring in tonight's game. The Wings opened the score with Darren Helm who registered his first playoff goal. The Dallas Stars replied four minutes later when the shot from Stephane Robidas went past a partially screened Chris Osgood. Henrik Zetterberg scored the game-winner with five minutes to go to the first period.

The Wings shutted the door on Dallas and protected the one goal lead during the rest of the game. A little boring for the hockey fans present in attendance but it proved to be an effective strategy.

The game ended in some kind of chaos when Wings goaltender Chris Osgood touched Dallas Stars' forward Mike Ribeiro in the face with his stick. Ribeiro retaliated to Osgood with a slash of his own and a crowd formed besides the Wings net. The referees did a good job of containing the players before some more disgusting actions were committed.

Final score: Detroit Red Wings 2 - Dallas Stars 1 (Detroit leads the series by 2-0)

The drought of Stars' goaltender Marty Turco continues as he still never won a game inside the Joe Louis Arena in his career. The series will resume Monday evening in Dallas.

(Picture: Getty Images.)


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Never leave home without them!

If my pants could talk, how would they describe a typical day? My pants could tell you how they live a wonderful and eventful life.

''After comfortably resting a full night on a metal hanger in a warm and dry closet, my owner always makes sure that he has taken a shower before picking me up. Then, he is taking me outside for some exercise and some fresh air. While we are keeping ourselves fit, we meet all kinds of interesting pants and skirts all day long.''

''I suspect that my owner prefers short skirts because when we come across those, we usually spend more time around. We even occasionally go and dance with them all night long. My owner usually takes really good care of me. He avoids spilling food and drinks on me and regularly washes me with the gentle cycle. I do not understand why but the only time I ever find myself laying on the floor, it is after meeting and dancing with one of those short skirts.''

Okay, I will spare you some details here...

If you have a special story about your own pants, it could be featured in a TV commercial. A Dockers contest on NBC is currently open and the best videos who will be chosen will be featured in an upcoming Dockers TV commercial.


All you have to do is follow the Dockers contest link and get those cameras rolling. Maybe you and your pants will be featured all around the country. All the details of the contest are available at www.nbc.com/Dockers

Sponsored by Dockers

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Turkish Grand Prix: Massa in front of the McLarens.

Felipe Massa registered a time of 1:27.617 to grab his second pole of the season and his third consecutive pole at Istanbul.

Cool weather marked this qualifying session as the temperature did not reach 20 degrees celsius. Among the top three teams in the constructors championship, those frisky conditions negatively affected the BMW-Sauber cars. Robert Kubica only managed to place 5th while Nick Heidfeld will start from the 9th position.

As for Ferrari and McLaren, the race will be disputed and will be a very interesting one for the racing fans tomorrow. The four pilots who ranked in the top four are only separated by three tenths of a second. The first few corners and pit stops strategies will be crucial for the outcome of the race.

Here is the top ten on the grid for tomorrow's race:

Pole: Felipe Massa (Ferrari) 1:27.617
2-Heikki Kovalainen (McLaren) 1:27.808
3-Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) 1:27.923
4-Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) 1:27.936
5-Robert Kubica (BMW-Sauber) 1:28.390
6-Mark Webber (Red Bull) 1:28.417
7-Fernando Alonso (Renault) 1:28.422
8-Jarno Trulli (Toyota) 1:28.836
9-Nick Heidfeld (BMW-Sauber) 1:28.882
10-David Coulthard (Red Bull) 1:29.959

(Picture: Felipe Massa, Getty Images)


League of Legends Guide

IZEA's newest evolution: Socialspark.

I have been a happy member of PayPerPost for over a year now and I am glad to have the opportunity to write about IZEA's newest consumer generated advertising website: SocialSpark.

For those of you not aware of how IZEA's consumer generated advertising network function, let me briefly introduce you to the concept. In short, IZEA's network is a way for various businesses from all around the world to increase the visibility of their different businesses, products and/or websites thru personnal blogs (just like this one) that are already active on the blogosphere. The advertisers that are needing more exposure for their different products or services are posting paid opportunities for bloggers. When a blogger wishes to take an open opportunity, all he has to do is write about the business or the product in their own words and include a certain number of links towards the advertiser's website into his text.

For almost two years, PayPerPost has been steadily growing in popularity towards bloggers while offering an excellent ROI to the advertisers. But, as you know, nothing is ever perfect and IZEA has decided to evolve to increase it's effectiveness and created SocialSpark.

This new website virtually works the same way as PayPerPost did but now allows bloggers and advertisers to get in a much closer relationship with each other. Both the bloggers and the advertisers can now have a direct relationship and can now interact in a much more productive way. Both can now browse each other's profiles and can directly interact thru messaging. Within a few minutes, an advertiser can now learn a lot more about any specific blogger and his different blogs to target an even more effective campaign (and an even better ROI).

As for the bloggers, they can read each other profiles, learn more about each other, message each other and exchange on various subjects while earning extra cash along the way.

So if you are a blogger or an advertiser, a visit to SocialSpark is a must. A code of ethics is in place and all the bloggers are including In-Post Disclosure, Transparency, Real Opinions and all this is Search Engine Friendly.

Sponsored by SocialSpark

League of Legends Guide

Friday, May 09, 2008

Eastern conference final: The Malkin way.

The series between the Philadelphia Flyers and the Pittsburgh Penguins began tonight in Pittsburgh. Evgeni Malkin did not waste any time and made his presence felt all game long.

Both teams exchanged five goals in an exciting first period in this series opener. First, Petr Sykora opened the score when he waited for goaltender Martin Biron to make the first move to beat him after only six minutes of play. The Flyers replied with two goals from Mike Richards in a four minute span to give a 2-1 lead to his team.

The ''Broad Street Bullies'' lead only lasted 1:21 when Sidney Crosby scored his third goal of the playoffs, tying the game at 2-2. From this point on, Evgeni Malkin took charge and made the difference. With only six seconds to go in this offensive first period, Malkin scored his first goal of the game, his seventh of the playoffs and the game winning goal.

Five minutes into the second period and playing shorthanded, Evgeni Malkin accepted a great pass from Sergei Gonchar and went all alone with the Flyers netminder. With a powerful slap shot on the stick side of Biron, Malkin has put an exclamation point to this game and earned the ''first star of the game'' award.

Final score: Pittsburgh Penguins 4 - Philadelphia Flyers 2 (Pittsburgh leads the series by 1-0)

Game two of the series is scheduled sunday.

(Picture: Evgeni Malkin, Canadian Press.)


League of Legends Guide

Western conference final: Detroit takes game 1.

Yesterday, the Western conference final between the Detroit Red Wings and the Dallas Stars began at the Joe Louis Arena. The Red Wings completely dominated the match to take the early lead in the series.

The Red Wings' power play produced three goals during the game. First, Brian Rafalski opened the score with a shot from the blue line while Tomas Holmstrom was screening goaltender Marty Turco. Then Johan Franzen doubled the Wings lead when he deflected a shot from Niklas Kronvall. Franzen is having his way during these playoffs as he now totals 12 goals.

Tomas Holmstrom deflected a shot from Niklas Lidstrom during another power play early into the second period. Then Valterri Filpulla sent Detroit up 4-0, putting the game out of reach for Dallas. Only Brenden Morrow was able to get one past goaltender Chris Osgood and avoided the shutout.

Final score: Detroit Red Wings 4 - Dallas Stars 1. (Detroit leads the series by 1-0)

With at least one goal in each of his last five playoff games, Johan Franzen tied a club record held by two Red Wings legends. Gordie Howe (1949 and 1964) and Ted Lindsay (1952) have also scored in five consecutive playoff games with the Detroit Red Wings.

Game two of the series will be played saturday.

(Picture: Detroit Red Wings, Getty Images.)


League of Legends Guide

Thursday, May 08, 2008

The Saputo stadium is ready.

The Montreal Impact is a week away from playing it's first home game and the organization officially presented the Saputo stadium to the press yesterday.

With it's 13 000 seats, the new home of the Montreal Impact is said to be the best looking stadium of the United Soccer League and there are also speculations about the transfer of the team into the Major Soccer League as soon as next year.

Should the team enter the MSL next year, the possibility of increasing the number of seats has been planned and would be easily achievable. In a meeting between the MSL and the Montreal team, the league suggested that a minimum of 18 000 seats is needed in order to be accepted. The Montreal Impact owner, Joey Saputo, said that the addition of 5 000 seats would not be a problem for the franchise.

(Picture: Saputo stadium, Canadian Press.)

League of Legends Guide

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Register to Goozex and get a free game!

Goozex.com is the leading online video game trading site online today and now offers a free game to any new user that registers during the month of may.


The list of available games is absolutely impressive on Goozex. Once a registered user has finished a game, he can trade his game for points and use those points to acquire a new game of his choice. The list of available games includes any popular platform: Playstation 3, XBOX, PSP, WII, Nintendo Cube, Nintendo DS, PC or Apple only to name those platforms.

Goozex's website is clean, very well organized and easy to browse. You can find anything you want within a couple of easy clicks. A newsletter and a forum is also available to users. At the time I have visited the website, over 5000 trades were active at the same time so the choice of available games covers any kind of gamer out there.

In my opinion, this website should have a huge success. The concept gives a new life to a game and allows users to get more value out of their initial purchase. Without any doubt, Goozex.com is a must visit for any hardcore gamer out there.

Sponsored by Goozex.com

League of Legends Guide

2008 NHL Playoffs: Conference finals.

After two rounds in those 2008 playoffs, only four teams are still battling for the Stanley Cup. We have had plenty of action already and a few surprises, as usual.

My predictions for the second round were completely off. I expected a hard fought series between the Colorado Avalanche and the Detroit Red Wings but the number of injuried players on the Avalanche roster allowed the Wings to cruise by in four easy games.

I expected a clash between the Montreal Canadiens and the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern conference final but the splendid goaltending of Martin Biron and the eight goals scored by the very opportunistic forward R.J. Umberger of the Philadelphia Flyers contributed to a quick elimination of the Canadiens in five games.

The San Jose Sharks was also one of my picks to advance but the Dallas Stars and their captain Brenden Morrow raised their level another notch to dispose of the Sharks.

So what do I expect for the conference finals?

Eastern conference final:

(2) Pittsburgh Penguins vs (6) Philadelphia Flyers

The Philadelphia Flyers emptied their pool of opportunity and their string of favorable bounces during the second round in my humble opinion. The Pittsburgh Penguins' offensive firepower will be too much to handle for the slow defensive unit of the ''Broad Street Bullies''.

Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Marian Hossa have found their rhythm and the team has only lost a single game this far in these 2008 playoffs. The Flyers will probably give a honorable fight to the Penguins but will fall short in my opinion.

My prediction: Pittsburgh in five games.

Western conference final:

(1) Detroit Red Wings vs (5) Dallas Stars

Hopefully, this series will mark the end of the easy road for the Wings. This team has not been seriously challenged thus far since october. Yes, the Wings are talented but the opposition in front of them has been mediocre during these playoffs.

The Dallas Stars will change this trend. They have sent the defending Cup champions and a serious contender during the first two rounds. If there is enough gas left in the tank all across the Stars' roster, they should have a decent chance to upset the Wings.

Have I ever mentioned that I hate the Detroit Red Wings? :)

My prediction: Dallas in six games.


League of Legends Guide

Monday, May 05, 2008

Dallas wins a marathon.

The Stanley Cup is without any doubt the hardest trophy to conquer and we had another example of it in game six of the series opposing the Dallas Stars and the San Jose Sharks.

Both teams were involved in the 8th longest NHL playoff game in history. Four overtime periods were needed and the game lasted a total of 129 minutes and 3 seconds. The game finally ended at 2:26 AM Eastern time with the winning goal from Brenden Morrow of the Dallas Stars.

Both goaltenders, Marty Turco and Evgeni Nabokov, entertained hockey fans with spectacular saves to keep the game alive. Among those spectacular saves, Nabokov robbed Brad Richards with a great glove save during the first overtime. At the other end of the ice, Marty Turco matched his opponent's work with some goaltending clinic saves of his own all night long.

Turco ended the game with a total of 61 saves while Nabokov stopped 53 shots before allowing the winning goal to Morrow.

Final score: Dallas Stars 2 - San Jose Sharks 1 (4th overtime)
(Dallas wins the series by 4-2)

Other series:

Pittsburgh Penguins 3 - New-York Rangers 2 (overtime) (Pittsburgh wins the series by 4-1)

Philadelphia Flyers 6 - Montreal Canadiens 4 (Philadelphia wins the series by 4-1)

Detroit Red Wings 8 - Colorado Avalanche 2 (Detroit wins the series by 4-0)

(Picture: Brendan Morrow and Mike Modano, Getty images.)

P.S. I am sorry for not bringing you any news for the last ten days. I have moved to a different location and did not have internet connection until today. But now everything is back to normal and I will continue my daily sport blabbing. :)


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