Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Tuesday Evening Post

An impressive trio of former Sioux entered the final round of the NHL playoffs with hopes of hoisting hockey's most prized trophy, but after just three games it's the Los Angeles Kings and Matt Greene who are on the verge of winning the Stanley Cup for the first time in the history of the franchise after soundly defeating the New Jersey Devils 4-0 last night in Los Angeles. The Los Angeles penalty kill has been phenomenal all postseason, and it was in shut-down mode again last night. Greene is one of the key cogs in the Kings' penalty kill unit, having logged the fifth most shorthanded minutes during the playoffs.

The Devils, meanwhile will be looking to become just the second team in Stanley Cup Final history to overcome a 3-0 series deficit. Considering the stellar all-around play the Kings have displayed throughout the playoffs, it would seem that New Jersey is facing an insurmountable challenge, but the Devils say they will refuse to go down without a serious fight as they try to survive one game at a time.

Particularly daunting is the thought of having to win four straight against Los Angeles goaltender Jonathan Quick, who is producing historic numbers this postseason. Travis Zajac, whose return has helped fill a void down the middle for New Jersey, has had several high-quality scoring opportunities stymied by Quick. Last night was no different, as Zajac had a great chance on the doorstep only to see Quick turn him back with a tremendous glove save. You can take a look at the play right here.

Another North Dakota college hockey tie to these Stanley Cup Finals is that of Los Angeles King forward Dustin Penner, who is featured in this SI.com piece. The story states that the big Manitoba native played junior college hockey in Minot, but he actually spent two years playing for Minot State University-Bottineau (now called Dakota College-Bottineau) before moving on to the University of Maine.
In other news...
  • The Toronto Marlies return home down two games to none after dropping the first two games of the Calder Cup Finals to the Norfolk Admirals. Not having the likes of Matt Frattin, Nazem Kadri, and a couple other key forwards has left the Marlies in a pretty deep hole. They can start digging themselves out of it Thursday night in game two. Frattin, of course, is out for the duration of the series after undergoing knee surgery.
  • Drew Stafford's goal scoring dropped a bit this past season, but a deeper look at the stats indicate the Buffalo Sabre winger had a better season than most people give him credit for.
  • Rastislav Spirko completed his first season playing in Russia's KHL, and here's a nice highlight reel featuring some of his biggest plays:

  • Around the WCHA, Etc...Former Sioux standout Steve Johnson was officially announced as the new Nebraska-Omaha assistant coach yesterday. Johnson, the father of Sioux recruit Luke Johnson, is a former All-American whose 191 career points rank seventh on North Dakota's all-time scoring list...Minnesota-Duluth picked up a new recruit and lost a long-time fan...Minnesota State has a couple Stanley Cup Final connections...The NCAA Ice Hockey Rules Committee has convened for its biennial meetings, and among the key topics up for debate are the three-quarter face shield, shootout and overtime rules, and hybrid icing...And lastly, Minnesota has begun its countdown of the top 10 moments from the 2011-12 season. The Final Five semifinal against North Dakota has to be number one, doesn't it?

No comments:

Post a Comment