Stanley Cup or Bust! : A Metro Playoff Hockey Update
By Andrei Petrovitch
Milbury Goes Mad, Motivates Team!
On Sunday, Islander General Manager Mike Milbury invited several local hockey reporters to Nassau Coliseum to see cleverly edited videotape that reportedly showed a double standard in officiating during Saturday's Eastern Conference quarterfinals game against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The presentation (which, BTW, yours truly was NOT invited to), was accompanied by an obscenity-filled tirade in which Milbury managed to blast Toronto coach Pat Quinn, league officiating, and ex-Isles prospect and current Leaf agitator Bryan McCabe. He also reportedly used the F-word 26 times in only ten minutes, falling just short of the record set by Charles Grodin and Robert DeNiro in the film Midnight Run.
We here at the Wave agree that the officiating during Saturday's game was cheesy and totally biased in favor of the Leafs. However, let's not forget an important fact the Islanders at that point had scored only one goal in the series. One. Uno. Eins. Un. ONE!!!!!!!!! They had also been outshot by a combined total of 45-57.
Fully aware of the team-wide offensive drought, the Islanders managed to flip the switch during game 3 on Tuesday. Streaky winger Mark Parrish scored two of four power play goals to lead the Isles to a 6-1 victory over the Leafs.
Wait a minute shouldn't that be Leaves? If Milbury wants to complain about something, it should be the rather, ahem, relaxed standards of grammar that are accepted by the National Hockey League.
The Devils Still Have It
It seems that the Devil's quasi-dynasty is still alive and well for now. After two close losses to the Carolina Hurricanes, the Devils managed to turn on the heat and neutralize the Canes' top line of Ron Francis, Sami Kapanen, and Jeff O'Neill. As a result, the series is now tied at two games apiece, with New Jersey outscoring the Hurricanes with a combined score of 7-1. Defenseman Brian Rafalski and center Bobby Holik have elevated their games, with the former scoring 3 goals in the last two games.
If they can continue to chase â018Canes goalie Arturs Irbe from the nets, the series will continue to belong to the Devils.
Help Wanted: Coach Sought for Mediocre Hockey Team
Meanwhile, the search is on in Rangerland. Ranger General Manager Glen Sather is lighting up the switchboards in search of the next sucker/head coach for his ailing team. Candidates include Dallas Stars scapegoat Ken Hitchcock, Team USA miracle worker Herb Brooks, and blacklist regular Ted Nolan. Cup winning coach Mike Keenan was invited by Sather to return to the city of his greatest triumph, but Keenan (currently head coach of the Florida Panthers) was unavailable. The story doesn't end there; apparently Florida may file tampering charges against the Rangers despite claims by all parties that Sather asked for, and was granted, permission to speak to Keenan.
We here at the Wave smell BS. We theorize that Florida is using the tampering claim as a way to seek compensation from the Rangers in the form of players and/or draft picks - resources they failed miserably to obtain in the Pavel Bure trade. The Panthers organization was widely panned for the deal, and this Keenan conspiracy looks like an attempt to get even with the Rangers.
Elsewhere Around the League
St. Louis Blues goalie Brent Johnson is laughing at his critics as you're reading this; he the only goalie in over 40 years to post shutouts in his first three wins. The Blues defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 1-0 to lead the series three games to one The Philadelphia Flyers at press time have yet to score a goal in regulation against the Ottawa Senators Hats off to cancer survivor Saku Koivu, who scored a goal in Tuesday's comeback win against the Boston Bruins The San Jose Sharks have a 2-1 series lead over the Phoenix Coyotes The Colorado Avalanche have a 3-1 series lead against the Los Angeles Kings Now that the Detroit Red Wings have managed to shake off their slumber and tie their series with the Vancouver Canucks at two games apiece, expect them to live up to the hype and advance to the next round. For more hockey news, check out the following websites: