Thursday, May 22, 2014

Brian Gibbons' Game 7 Dirty Dangle

After making it into 8 playoff games with the Pittsburgh Penguins these Stanley Cup Playoffs, Brian Gibbons was sent down to help out the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in their Calder Cup run. Despite ample playing time on Sidney Crosby's wing, Gibbons mustered 2 goals in the 8 games he cracked the roster and must have been saving all his skill for this goal in Game 7 of the AHL's Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Providence Bruins. 

Already up 3-0 in the 2nd period, Gibbons has himself a fun game of keepaway as he wins the faceoff forward and gains control of the puck as he enters the Bruins zone before running out of room. Rather than send the puck into the corner for winger, Conor Sheary, or just dump it in and pressure the defence, Gibbons retreats out of the zone with Seth Griffith on his tail and Alexander Khokhlachev providing support. He makes a quick cut between the two Bruins forwards avoiding their stickchecks and has the awareness to stop up at the blueline to stay onside as Sheary clears the zone. As soon as that happens the shift takes on a whole new life as Gibbons puts it clear through poor Blake Parlett's legs for a semi-clear path to the net with David Warsofsky the last man who can catch him. Gibbons loses the puck and it actually works out for him as Warsofsky's pokecheck misses and Niklas Svedberg is left hung out to dry for Gibbons' Goal of the Year candidate as he tucks it five hole. 
In summary we have 12 seconds of puck hoggin', 4 skaters beat, and 1 goalie dangled. Some players don't even get to hang onto the puck that long in an entire game and Gibbons made his count with this special goal. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

10 Guys To Watch At The Worlds

Great prospect, hideous jersey.
The 2014 World Hockey Championships are well underway in Minsk, Belarus and you may have heard a little about the tournament in between Stanley Cup Playoff games. It's been an interesting tourney so far as we've seen France upset a Canadian team of NHLers and Isles goalie, Anders Nilsson, actually make saves. As in the past, there's not much attention surrounding the tournament, but there's always a few guys to keep an eye on as the tourney could represent something bigger for them. Whether it be getting some confidence for next season, looking good in front of NHL scouts, or simply making a case for more money come contract time, there's some added interest in watching a few players play.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

First Round Studs and Duds

The first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs is doneski and it was a great two weeks of hockey with some upsets, many blown leads, and hated rivals trying to kill each other. The playoffs are a different animal than the regular season and a player's clutchness and value are often based off of how they perform in the playoff months. With that said, let's take a look at the studs and duds of the first round.

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