Big Lead Sports Bar

5/15/2009

EARLY NOTES ON PENS-CANES

A few notes on the pending Penguins-Carolina Hurricanes Eastern Conference Finals, made possible by this goal by Scott Walker last night...

Series Schedule is as follows:

Monday, May 18 Carolina at PITTSBURGH 7:30 p.m. TV: Versus

Thursday, May 21 Carolina at PITTSBURGH 7:30 p.m. TV: Versus

Saturday, May 23 Pittsburgh at CAROLINA 7:30 p.m. TV: Versus

Tuesday, May 26 Pittsburgh at CAROLINA 7:30 p.m. TV: Versus

*Friday, May 29 Carolina at PITTSBURGH 7:30 p.m. TV: Versus

*Sunday, May 31 Pittsburgh at CAROLINA 7:30 p.m. TV: Versus

*Tuesday, June 2 Carolina at PITTSBURGH 7:30 p.m. Versus

Things you'll hear about:

--Eric Staal and brother Jordan Staal - often

--Bill Cowher's support of the Canes (which some people are already tired of)

--The Pens won the season series, 2-1-1, outscoring Carolina 12-8. Both victories came against backup goalie Michael Leigton.

--Ron Francis is Carolina's assistant head coach; Tom Barrasso is in charge of their goalies

--No games will be broadcast on NBC; however, Game One and Game Four of Chicago-Detroit will be shown on the Peacock.

--Carolina's power play was the worst of the teams in the second round; their penalty kill was second-best in the playoffs.

--Hurricanes have played in four straight seven-game series and won them all.

--The Canes feature Cam Ward in goal, a Conn Smythe winner. Ward is 8-6, 2.22 GAA, .927 save %. By contrast, Marc-Andre Fleury is 8-5, 2.72, .901.

--1o members of the Hurricanes won rings with the team in 2006

--Sergei Gonchar has four days to rest before the series starts

--Sidney Crosby leads all playoff scorers with 21 points; Eric Staal leads Carolina with 13 points

--Pittsburgh defensemen have scored 10 goals in the playoffs; Carolina defensemen have scored two.

--And finally, don't forget, Brooks Orpik is not popular in Carolina:


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6 comments:

Jeff_King_Fan said...

I live in NC, and it suprisingly has a decent hockey following. i still expect to see plenty of pittsburgh fans in the RBC center. But there is no reason why the Penguins shouldn't win this series. I like them in 5. I get the same feeling as i had last year when the played the rangers. the pens are more talented on paper & come monday we'll see their better on ice too.

art said...

I hope those of you who have access to versus enjoy watching.

I have Armstrong cable and don't have the package that includes versus. They do not make versus available by itself, it is part of a much bigger group and I remember checking last year it was a pretty decent extra each month.

I'll be listening to Mike Lange.

Justin said...

It's an absolute embarrassment to the NHL for showing an entire playoff series on a station that I'm pretty sure most people still don't get. Bettman needs to swallow his pride and take whatever tv deal ESPN will offer him. This current set-up is ridiculous.

Jonny Van Mundegaarde said...

Justin, I know it sucks now, but I am completely confident that the NHL will be on ESPN in the near future. Maybe not as much as it is on VS/NBC, but it'll make a comeback

alex said...

I sure hope so. Then espn will start actually covering it on sportscenter and such with the attention it deserves. Right now it is relegated to second class sport in their eyes because they have no incentive to promote it.

Jeff_King_Fan said...

In the end, i think it would be better to have the NHL on ESPN, but i don't know how big of a difference it would really make. Does ESPN still have MLS? If it does, then i see maybe one top 10 highlight on SC from time to time, and if it doesn't carry MLS, then it obviously didnt work out. And NASCAR's ratings have dropped slightly since joining ESPN.

Again, i think it would be a good move for the NHL to get on ESPN, but i'm just not so sure it will cure everything. Versus is a little bias towards some teams, but overall i think they do a good job even with the difficulty finding it on cable.