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Welcome to e2hockey!

If you enjoy fast-paced, almost non-stop action, the subtle scratching sound skates make on ice, the sharp SLAP! of a stick on a puck, the roar of a goal foghorn or an excited rabid crowd, the dull thud of a puck rebounding off end boards, the excitement of your team scoring a goal, and even in some situations the DING! of a puck hitting a post or crossbar -- if you LOVE HOCKEY -- this is the group for you!

No matter what team you follow, be it the Detroit Red Wings or the St. Louis Blues, these are the things we all have in common. I founded this group because I thought it was about time that all of us E2 hockey fans had a place to talk hockey, to nodevertise our hockey writeups, to console each other in the dark days of the 2004-2005 non-season. I have noticed there are quite a few hockey fans on E2, maybe more fans of that sport than any other sport (that I've noticed anyway). It's time for us all to come together. Let's try to recruit all the E2 hockey fans, find them, seek them out, /msg them (I'm currently doing so). Let everybody - who would care - about our wonderful new group.

So come, rejoice, praise the sport's excitement, rant about officials or the CBA, no subject is taboo!

I, artman2003 am the founder and avalyn is a charter member. A complete member list is below:


Venerable members of this group:

artman2003, avalyn@, dg, mfishrules, Lord Brawl@, etouffee, Chris-O, FubarPA, RPGeek, vandewal, gpb, Transitional Man
This group of 12 members is led by artman2003

The Kansas City Scouts was a National Hockey League team based in Kansas City, Missouri. An expansion team in 1974, the team underperformed both on the ice and in the front office. The team relocated to Denver, Colorado in 1976, and would eventually become the present-day New Jersey Devils.

Expansion Franchise

The National Hockey League awarded expansion franchises to Kansas City and Washington Capitals on June 8, 1972. Originally, the ownership group intended to call the franchise the Kansas City MO-Hawks, combining the postal code for Missouri, and the traditional Kansas nickname, Jayhawks. However, the Chicago Black Hawks franchise would not allow the nickname, due to the similarity to their own nickname. Instead, the nickname "Scouts" was chosen, to honor a statue that overlooked the city. The NHL reorganized the internal of the league with the arrival of the two new teams, creating four divisions. The Scouts were placed in the new Smythe Division.

Due to a rodeo taking place at the Kemper Area, the Scouts opened the 1974 season with nine consecutive away games. The Kansas City Scouts played their first game on October 9th, 1974 in Toronto against the Maple Leafs, and lost 6-2. They would go winless on their opening road trip, losing seven games and tying two. Their home opener at Kemper Arena took place on November 2, 1974 against the Chicago Black Hawks, a game which also resulted in a loss. Losing became a strong trend for the Scouts in their opening season, at one point losing by 10-0 against the Philadelphia Flyers. The team finished with a record of 15-54-11, totaling only 41 points and putting them at the bottom of the Smythe Division, but performing slightly better than their sibling Washington Capitals. The underperformance of these teams, along with steep competition from the competing World Hockey Association made many in the NHL wonder if the expansion had been a mistake.

Another Fruitless Year

The Scouts performed better in beginning of their second season in the NHL, starting with a record of 11-12-4. It appeared that the team had a chance of making the playoffs, as the Smythe Division was weak compared to other divisions in the NHL. However, the Scouts returned to the form of their previous season, going winless for 16 games in a row between December 28th and February 7th. After winning one game against the Capitals, the winless streak continued through the end of the season. The Scouts once again finished at the bottom of the Smythe, with a record of 12-56-12, which was the fifth worst finish in NHL history.

Relocation to Denver

To add to the problems on the ice, fan attendance at games also drastically decreased, leaving the 37-member ownership group $900,000 in debt by the end of the year. In an attempt to keep the franchise in Kansas City, the ownership group held a season ticket drive, hoping to sell 8,000 tickets for the following year. Only 2,000 tickets were sold during the drive. In order to maintain their investment, the team relocated to Denver, Colorado and became the Colorado Rockies. Along with the movement of the California Seals to Cleveland that postseason, it was the first time since the 1934-35 NHL season that a team relocated to a new city.

NHL Return to Kansas City?

Following the departure of the Scouts, Kansas City once again became a minor league hockey town. The city became home to the IHL Kansas City Blades from 1990 through 2001, when the league and franchise both folded. The Kansas City Outlaws played in the UHL for the 2004-05 season, before the team ultimately folded.

The construction of the new Sprint Center in downtown Kansas City has revived notions that the city might once again host an NHL team. The arena, build by the Anschutz Entertainment Group, was designed with the hope of luring professional franchises to the city. The Pittsburgh Penguins were in talks with Kansas City officials about the possibility of relocating to the city, but the Penguins city of Pittsburgh reached an agreement on a new arena there, and talks of relocation were dropped. The Nashville Predators also expressed an interest in moving to Kansas City, but this franchise is now out of the running. A Kansas City based group of investors is now attempting to get an NHL expansion franchise.

Hall of Fame Players
None

Retired Numbers
None


Resources:
http://www.sportsecyclopedia.com/nhl/kansascity/kcscouts.html
http://www.azhockey.com/Ka.htm
http://www.databasehockey.com/teams/teampage.htm?tm=KCS&lg=N

= 2001 = 2002 = 2003 = 2004 = 2006 = 2007 = 2008 = 2009 = 2010 = 2011= 2012 = 2014 = 2015 = 2016 = 2017 = 2018 =

Round One - Conference Quarterfinals

Western Conference

#1 Detroit Red Wings vs. #8 Calgary Flames

Perennial Cup contenders Detroit Red Wings find themselves in familiar territory, atop the Western Conference again facing a team that barely made it to the post season. However, they were hoping it wouldn't end like it did in 2006... and 2004... and especially 2003. Calgary just looked to ignore their seeding and hoped that Jarome Iginla and Miikka Kiprusoff could get them to the Finals again.

GAME ONE: CALGARY 1 at DETROIT 4 -April 12
Detroit opened the series with a near-perfect game. Hasek and the rest of the team dominated the Flames, scoring pretty, scoring ugly, and throwing ugly checks. Valterri Filppula, Nicklas Lidstrom, Matthieu Schneider, and Pavel Datsyuk - scoring for the first time in the playoffs since the 2002 Confernece Finals - all tallied for the Winged Wheel as they burned rubber to a Game One win. Calgary did manage a goal from Alex Tanguay with 5:05 left, spoiling Hasek's shut out bid, who only had to make 19 saves for the win. Jarome Iginla didn't even have a shot on goal!

GAME TWO: CALGARY 1 at DETROIT 3 -April 15
Detroit takes a 2-0 series lead and it was in no small part due to Pavel Datsyuk and Nicklas Lidstrom scoring within the first 4 minutes. It was also due in no small part to Calgary taking no less than 5 penalties in the first 8:13 of the game. Dion Phaneuf fluttered one past Hasek's glove in the second but other than that Detroit's early lead proved insurmountable. Valterri Filppula notched his second goal of the playoffs for Detroit in the third.

GAME THREE: DETROIT 2 at CALGARY 3 -April 17
Detroit was headed to a 3-0 series lead, leading 2-1 in the third on two goals by Kris Draper, both assisted by Daniel Cleary, but the Flames scored two unanswered goals to tie it and get the lead and win the game. Calgary went up 1-0 in the first off of Matthew Lombardi's power play goal and the two goals in the third were a power play goal from Mark Giordano and the game winner from Jarome Iginla.

GAME FOUR: DETROIT 2 at CALGARY 3 -April 19
Daymond Langkow scored two power play goals, including the game winner, in the Flames' 3-2 victory over the Red Wings to knot up the series. After Langkow's first goal Todd Bertuzzi had tied it at 1 in the first for the Wings; after Craig Conroy had put the Flames up 2-1 Detroit tied it up again with Johan Franzen. Miikka Kiprusoff worked harder than Hasek that night, as the Flames were outshot by a 35-21 margin, including being outshot 13-5 in the second where the only goal scored was Langkow's game winner.

GAME FIVE: CALGARY 1 at DETROIT 5-April 21
A good old-fashioned rout was just what the doctor ordered for the Red Wings on this Saturday afternoon as they extinguished the Flames at home. Detroit, who had lost their previous two Game 5s and were eliminated in the following game, needed to show their fans that they were serious about this year's playoffs. And it was all special teams for Detroit, too. Daniel Cleary started things off with the first ever playoff penalty shot conversion in Detroit, the first goal of the game in the second. Later that period Henrick Zetterberg scored a power play goal and Chris Chelios scored a shorthanded goal. In the third Zetterberg scored another power play goal, followed by a shorthanded goal by Andrei Zyuzin midway through the third - Calgary's only goal. Pavel Datsyuk capped off the scoring with a power play goal about five minutes later. Jamie McLennan, Calgary's backup, took over shortly after that, and after being on the ice less than a minute he was penalized for slashing and was removed from the game with a match penalty and game misconduct. The Calgary Flames were actually fined $100,000 for this and the other slew of stick handling penalties they received in the closing minutes and McLennan was suspended for six games.

GAME SIX: DETROIT 2 at CALGARY 1 (2OT)-April 22
Johan Franzen scored early in the second overtime to get the Red Wings to the second round for the first time since 2004. Calgary had went up 1-0 early in the second on a goal by Jarome Iginla but Robert Lang tied it up later that period and not another one was scored until Franzen extinguished the Flames in double OT.

Red Wings win series 4 games to 2.

#2 Anaheim Ducks vs. #7 Minnesota Wild

The Ducks aren't in Disneyland anymore. Now their success is no fairy tale and with two major stud defensemen in Scott Niedermayer and now Chris Pronger they have dominated most of the West. The Wild, still a young team chronologically, are in the playoffs for a second time looking to go back to the West finals and maybe beyond.

GAME ONE: MINNESOTA 1 at ANAHEIM 2 -April 11
The Ducks edged the Wild to take Game One. Dustin Penner scored with 5:20 remaining, poking the puck in after Wild defenseman Kim Johnsson crashed into his goalie Niklas Backstrom, who thought the puck wasn't free and the goal should have been disallowed. Teemu Selanne had tied it for Anaheim in the second, just 3:51 after Pavol Demitra put Minnesota up 1-0.

GAME TWO: MINNESOTA 2 at ANAHEIM 3 -April 13
So far the Wild have been fairly mild. Anaheim feels just ducky going up 2-0 in the series with this Game Two win. Defenseman Francois Beauchemin scored pair of power play goals and and Ilya Bryzgalov made 30 saves to help the Ducks take full advantage of their home ice. Ryan Getzlaf added salt to the wound with a shorthanded tally in the second. The Mild got goals from Marian Gaborik in the second and Mikko Koivu in the third. After two games they're 0-for-6 on the power play.

GAME THREE: ANAHEIM 2 at MINNESOTA 1 -April 15
The Mild find themselves in quite a hole after being edged by the Ducks yet again. Andy McDonald scored in the first and Rob Niedermayer scored in the third to go up 2-0. Minnesota finally tallied in the third - a power play goal by Petteri Nummelin - but it was too little, too late.

GAME FOUR: ANAHEIM 1 at MINNESOTA 4 -April 17
The Wild finally got wild and staved off elimination. The Ducks were denied a sweep by a backs-to-the-wall performance from Minnesota. Chris Pronger got things going in the second on a slap shot power play goal. But then the Wild scored four unanswered goals to stay alive: Pierre-March Brouchard in the second, they finally scored a power play goal in the third from Marian Gaborik, and then Brian Rolston and Mark Parrish finished off the scoring.

GAME FIVE: MINNESOTA 1 at ANAHEIM 4 -April 19
Teemu Selanne joked after the series-winning game that he looked like "Rocky." He was hit with a puck during pregame warmups that opened up a gash above his right eye and during the game a stick opened up another cut over his other eye. This really had nothing to do with Anaheim's 4-1 effort to knock off the Mild and move to the next round. Chris Pronger scored just 1:02 into the game, Marian Gaborik scored a short-handed goal - a rare feat against Anaheim this year - to tie it up. But then it was all Ducks. Ryan Getzlaf scored a power play goal less than a minute later to make up for allowing that short-handed goal and then Corey Perry made it 3-1 midway through the third. Travis Moen capped off the scoring with 57 seconds left.

Ducks win series 4 games to 1.

#3 Vancouver Canucks vs. #6 Dallas Stars

The Canucks are back in the playoffs after missing the post season dance the previous season and with a #3 seed and finally a great goaltender had high hopes. The Stars looked to dash those hopes, however, and shine brighter.

GAME ONE: DALLAS 4 at VANCOUVER 5 (4OT)-April 11
It took the sixth-longest game in NHL history to decide who takes Game One in this series. The Canucks emerged victorious when Henrik Sedin scored 18:06 into the fourth overtime. Roberto Luongo, whom Vancouver had acquired from the Florida Panthers for Todd Bertuzzi in the offseason, set the record for saves in a first career playoff start - 72. Antii Miettinen and Ladislav Nagy had scored in the third period to force overtime. Daniel Sedin, Mattias Ohlund, Markus Naslund, and Bryan Smolinski also scored for Vancouver. Brenden Morrow and Trevor Daley had the other two Dallas tallies.

GAME TWO: DALLAS 2 at VANCOUVER 0 -April 13
Jeff Halpern and Joel Lundqvist scored on the opening shift in each of the first two periods, and Marty Turco snuffed all 35 shots he faced to lift Dallas to a Game Two win and even up the series.

GAME THREE: VANCOUVER 2 at DALLAS 1 (OT)-April 15
It took another overtime but this time not quite as long for the Canucks to get another win in the series. The Stars had been heading for a 1-0 win and a Marty Turco shutout but he allowed a third-period tying goal by Jan Bulis. Then he fell to an all-time 1-9 record in post season overtime when Taylor Pyatt scored on a one-timer from the left circle 7:47 into the extra session. Dallas had went up 1-0 in the second period on a power play goal by Stu Barnes. Roberto Luongo made 29 saves for Vancouver, including a few dandies from his back early on, but Turco made 35.

GAME FOUR: VANCOUVER 2 at DALLAS 1 -April 17
The Canucks took a 3-1 series lead and the Dallas fans were none too happy about it. 'Nucks Defenseman Willie Mitchell swept a trickling puck off of a goal line and everybody but the Stars and their loud fans determined that there was no goal on the play. Late in the third period on a potentially game-tying effort Stars center Mike Ribeiro skated around two defensemen and got one past Luongo but the oh-so-slowly trickling puck was swept away at the last second. This tight game saw no goals until the third period when Mattias Ohlund scored, then Dallas tied it up with Darryl Sydor, but Vancouver came back with a goal from Trevor Linden which Mitchell made sure was the game-winner. All were even strength.

GAME FIVE: DALLAS 1 at VANCOUVER 0 (OT)-April 19
Marty Turco stops 21 shots for his second playoff shutout and Brenden Morrow ends a scoreless tie 6:22 into overtime to lift the Stars to a 1-0 victory to avoid elimination. The Canucks will get another chance, however, to clinch in Dallas, where the Stars have lost both games in this series and six straight overall - one shy of a NHL playoff record.

GAME SIX: VANCOUVER 0 at DALLAS 2 -April 21
The Stars are successful at forcing Game Seven with yet another Turco shutout. And again he had to stop exactly 21 shots to get it. Luongo did a good job, too, stopping 28 of 30 shots but his team still hasn't scored since the third period of Game Four. Mike Modano scored a power play goal in the first to make it 1-0 then Jeff Halpern scored even-strength in the third.

GAME SEVEN: DALLAS 1 at VANCOUVER 4 -April 23
After being shut out yet another period - which made 7 straight - and the Stars took a 1-0 lead in the first on a Joel Lundqvist tally, things looked grim for the Canucks. But the bounced back in the final 40, finally scoring in the second on a power play goal by Henrik Sedin, and then they proceeded to score three times in the third to send the Stars to clean out their lockers. Trevor Linden scored a power play goal early in the period followed by an even strength tally by Tyler Pyatt later and they capped it off with an empty-netter with less than a minute to go from Bryan Smolinski.

Canucks win series 4 games to 3.

#4 Nashville Predators vs. #5 San Jose Sharks

Both of these teams are finally showing that they're bonafide Cup contenders and forces to be wreckoned with... now they're reckoning with each other.

GAME ONE: SAN JOSE 5 at NASHVILLE 4 (OT)-April 11
After losing top-scorer Jonathan Cheechoo by what San Jose maintains was a dirty hit by Scott Hartnell and coughing up a two-goal lead, the Sharks somehow manage to come away with a Game One win. Patrick Rissmiller won it in OT beating Tomas Vokoun with a shot from the edge of the left circle. Matthew Carle had gotten things going in the first putting the Sharks up 1-0 in the 1st. The Preds went up 2-1 in the second with goals from Alexander Radulov and Jean-Pierre Dumont but Mike Grier, Craig Rivet, and Milan Michalek put the Sharks up 4-2 later that period. Radulov and Dumont both scored again in the third to tie it up.

GAME TWO: SAN JOSE 2 at NASHVILLE 5 -April 13
Turns out Cheechoo's OK and even gets an assist, but tempers ride high as the Predators roar back to even up the series. J.P. Dumont had all the scoring in the second period, scoring shorthanded goal and then a power play goal 2 1/2 minutes later to help Nashville to a Game Two win. Craig Rivet had opened up the scoring for the Sharks but then the Preds went up 4-1 on goals by Alexander Radulov, Peter Forseberg, and those two from Dumont. Ryan Clowe got the Sharkies within 2 again early in the third but Peter Forseberg struck again - an empty netter - with 1:05 remaining. On the ensuing face-off, 3 seperate fights started and 15 penalties were handed out at the 19:00 mark of the third, seven of them game misconducts and six of them fighting majors. Five players were ejected. Ah, hockey how it should be.

GAME THREE: NASHVILLE 1 at SAN JOSE 3 -April 16
The Sharks bite back to take the series lead and Game Three. After Ryan Suter put the Preds up 1-0 in the first, the Sharks scored three unanswered goals: Michalek, Clowe, and captain Patrick Marleau.

GAME FOUR: NASHVILLE 2 at SAN JOSE 3 -April 18
The Sharks take a 3-1 series lead after edging the Preds 3-2. Milan Michalek and Joe Pavelski put San Jose up 2-0 and then Michalek scored again for a 3-1 lead after Jason Arnott had gotten Nashville on the board. Scott Hartnell scored a power play goal late in the third but the Predators couldn't get the equalizer.

GAME FIVE: SAN JOSE 3 at NASHVILLE 2 -April 20
The Sharks closed out the Predators and moved onto the next round with a 3-2 comeback win on enemy ice. Ryan Clowe put the Sharkies up 1-0 in the first but Jason Arnott scored a power play goal and Vernon Fiddler scored in the second period to put the Predators up 2-1. (And isn't it just cool that a guy named Vernon Fiddler plays for the Predators?) But then later in that period San Jose tied it with a power play goal from Patrick Marleau and at 15:39 of the third period he scored again for the game-winning and series-winning goal.

Sharks win series 4 games to 1.

Eastern Conference

#1 Buffalo Sabres vs. #8 New York Islanders

The Sabres, after starting the season with a long winning streak, just dominated the East all year. They looked to lay waste to the Islanders and move on to Round Two on their way to a Cup.

GAME ONE: NEW YORK ISLANDERS 1 at BUFFALO 4 -April 12
Buffalo delights but doesn't surprise their home crowd by cruising to a 4-1 Game Two win. Islanders' netminder Rick DiPietro was finally cleared for practice for the first time in three weeks but didn't come back soon enough as his backup Dubielewicz doesn't fair well against Buffalo's exploding offense. Sabres went up 1-0 with Brian Campbell in the first, New York's Aaron Asham tied it up in the second, but then Chris Drury, Chris Drury again, and then Brian Campbell again with a power play goal sealed the victory.

GAME TWO: NEW YORK ISLANDERS 3 at BUFFALO 2 -April 14
DiPietro's return is enough to spur the Islanders to win Game Two and even up the series. He made 32 saves to help his team go home with a split, what every low-seeded team wants in the playoffs. Marc-Andre Bergeron scored the go-ahead goal 8:37 into the third period to seal the deal. New York also got goals from Trent Hunter and Bruno Gervais which had put them up 2-0 in the first. Buffalo had tied it up with Toni Lydman and Dmitri Kalinin.

GAME THREE: BUFFALO 3 at NEW YORK ISLANDERS 2 -April 16
Ryan Miller took two off of his mask, using his head to make some saves as Buffalo regains the series lead with a 3-2 win at New York. All the scoring was in the second period, Adam Mair and Thomas Vanek putting the Sabres up 2-0. Trent Hunter made it 2-1, but then Daniel Briere gave Buffalo the lead for good. Ryan Smyth pulled the Isles within 1 before the period was over.

GAME FOUR: BUFFALO 4 at NEW YORK ISLANDERS 2 -April 18
Chris Drury scored two to help Buffalo to a 4-2 win and 3-1 series lead. Jason Blake made it 1-0 for the Isles early in the first, Thomas Vanek tied it, Drury gave Buffalo the lead, Mike Sillinger tied it up again on the power play, but Drury scored the game winner in the second and Jason Pominville scored late in the third. The Islanders thought defenseman Brendan Witt tied it with 1:42 left when Miller was pushed across the goal line after making the save: the puck popped out and into the net. Sorry, guys, can't score that way, so said the league before it was even reviewed.

GAME FIVE: NEW YORK ISLANDERS 3 at BUFFALO 4 -April 20
The Sabres closed out the series and sent the Islanders packing - barely. A panic-stricken Ryan Miller made a blind glove save in the final seconds to solidify the win, denying Miroslav Satan's tying effort. This came after New York rallied from a 4-1 deficit to make it a one-goal game in the third. Buffalo had went up 3-0 on Drew Stafford, Jason Pominville, and Derek Roy. The Isles got one from Satan early in the third, but Maxim Afinogenov made it 4-1 Sabres. But Trent Hunter and Chris Campoli rallied for the Isles, but they unfortunately fell short.

Sabres win series 4 games to 1.

#2 New Jersey Devils vs. #7 Tampa Bay Lightning

After winning the Cup in 2004 the Bolts have been struggling just to make the playoffs and had an early exit last year and were hoping this year wouldn't be the same. The Devils were looking to just continue their long-held postseason dominance.

GAME ONE: TAMPA BAY 3 at NEW JERSEY 5 -April 12
Lightning struck three times in this tilt but the Devils struck twice more than that as New Jersey takes Game One. Zach Parise, a 22-year-old who had a team-high 31 goals this season, scored twice for the Devils, including the game winner early in the third period. Patrick Elias, Brian Rafalski, and Brian Gionta also scored for New Jersey. Tampa got one goal from Martin St. Louis and two from Vincent Leclavalier.

GAME TWO: TAMPA BAY 3 at NEW JERSEY 2 -April 14
Vincent Leclavalier, the NHL's top goal scorer in 06-07, netted the game winner for the Bolts in the third period to even up the series. Filip Kuba got things started with a shorthanded goal in the first and Martin St. Louis tallied in the second. New Jersey got goals from Zach Parise (PPG in the 1st) and Jamie Langenbrunner (PPG in the second). Johan "Homer" Holmqvist made 34 saves - some of them "unbelievable" - to outplay Martin Brodeur.

GAME THREE: NEW JERSEY 2 at TAMPA BAY 3 -April 16
The Bolts take the series lead with another goal from Leclavalier - a sharp-angled power play shot that skipped between Brodeur's legs. Johan Holmqvist made 30 saves to once again show up Brodeur and Vaclav Prosal scored the game-winner in the third period. Brad Richards, one of 2004's heroes, scored the other Tampa goal. The Devils tied it up twice with John Madden and Zach Parise.

GAME FOUR: NEW JERSEY 4 at TAMPA BAY 3 (OT)-April 18
Scott Gomez scored 12:54 of overtime to lift the Devils to a 4-3 win and tie up the series. Brian Gionta had put New Jersey up 1-0 in the first, Eric Perrin tied it, Zach Parise put the Devils up again and then gave them a 3-1 lead but Tampa rallied to tie it with Marin St. Louis and Vincent Leclavalier.

GAME FIVE: TAMPA BAY 0 at NEW JERSEY 3 -April 20
The Devils take a 3-2 series lead with a 3-0 blanking of the Bolts. Martin Brodeur's 31-save performance. It was his 92nd playoff win, tying him for #2 with Grant Fuhr. (Patrick Roy is first with 151.) The Devils scored in each period to make his shutout count: Andy Greene in the first, Brian Gionta in the second, and Scott Gomez in the third.

GAME SIX: NEW JERSEY 3 at TAMPA BAY 2 -April 22
Martin Brodeur made 32 saves and Brian Gionta scored two goals to lift the Devils to Round Two.

Devils win series 4 games to 2.

#3 Atlanta Thrashers vs. #6 New York Rangers

The hapless Rangers, after spending 9 seasons out of the playoffs and finally making them last year only to be swept by the Devils, were really hoping that they could cash in on Atlanta's postseason inexperience and finally win a series - hell, even a playoff game. The Thrashers - making the playoffs for the first time in their largely miserable eight-year history - looked to make the most out of their first appearance in the postseason.

GAME ONE: NEW YORK RANGERS 4 at ATLANTA 3 -April 12
Holy crap, stop the presses! The Rangers win a playoff game! Jaomir Jagr scored the Rangers' first playoff goal this year and had this to say about it: "I don't like to score the first goal. That gives me bad luck. I scored the first goal this year and I struggled. I hate that." Um, yeah. The Rangers scored the first two goals of the series in fact, the second coming from Michal Rozival, and they held off an Atlanta comeback attempt to take Game One. Henrik Lundqvist earned his first playoff victory but had to keep the Thrashers from scoring on a two-man advantage goalie-pulled situation in the final minutes to get it. Eric Belanger, Shane Hindy, and then Pascal Dupuis had Atlanta's first three playoff goals ever but Marcel Hossa and Michael Nylander also scored for New York.

GAME TWO: NEW YORK RANGERS 2 at ATLANTA 1 -April 14
The Rangers take a 2-0 series lead, now spoiling both of Atlanta's first home playoff games, by edging the Thrashers 2-1. Sean Avery put the Big Apple up 1-0 in the first when his harmless shot from center ice. Johan Hedberg went to go behind the net to head it off but the puck caught a metal riser that holds the glass, ricocheted unexpectedly toward the goal and in before he could dive to catch it. Ilya Kovalchuk tied it up in the third but Brendan Shanahan scored his first playoff game as a Ranger about ten minutes later to win it. Atlanta, who has been outshot so far a combined 77-52, is starting to show frustration with their anemic offense and bad luck; Kovalchuk delivered a cheap shot in the final seconds of the game and of course Keith Tkachuk was involved with that. .

GAME THREE: ATLANTA 0 at NEW YORK RANGERS 7 -April 17
Welcome to the playoffs, Atlanta! The Thrashers are the thrashees in this lopsided tilt. Michael Nylander had his first playoff hat trick, and Henrik Lundqvist stopped 21 shots in his first NHL playoff shutout for the Rangers as the Blueshirts blew out their southern opponent. Nylander scored 32 seconds in, then again later, then Marek Malik scored along with two from Ryan Callahan in the second period, then one from Shanahan and the third from Nylander came in the third period.

GAME FOUR: ATLANTA 2 at NEW YORK RANGERS 4 -April 18
The Rangers are partying like it's 1997! They completed the sweep with a 4-2 win and ordered another round. Keith Tkachuk finally scored to put the Thrashers up 1-0 in the first, New York tied it less than a minute later with a power play goal by Michal Rozsival, Greg de Vries put Atlanta up again in the second but Brendan Shanahan tied it up later that period and Matt Cullen got the game-winning and series-winning goal for the Rangers early in the third, a weird one that he shot from the blue line that barely crossed the goal line, bounced off of... well... something... and came back out. It wasn't officially a goal until after a review. Jaromir Jagr scored an empty-netter with 1:33 remaining.

Rangers win series 4 games to 0.

#4 Ottawa Senators vs. #5 Pittsburgh Penguins

After a few abysmal seasons, the Penguins stocked up on great draft picks and returned to the playoffs up with rookie superstars Sydney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Besides those two and Jordan Staal, 11 other youngsters were seeing their first playoff action. Would this young Pittsburgh team make the most of it, what could be their final post season in Pittsburgh before maybe moving to Kansas City? Or would the Ottawa powerhouse do what they were supposed to do and go Penguin hunting?

GAME ONE: PITTSBURGH 3 at OTTAWA 6 -April 11
So far they are going Penguin hunting. The Senators spoil Crosby's playoff debut and spank Pittsburgh by a 3-goal margin. Andrej Meszaros and Chris Kelly scored 5:01 apart early in the first period and Tom Preissing, Chris Neil, Dany Heatley and Mike Comrie rounded out the Ottawa scoring as they take Game One. Jordan Staal, Sergei Gonchar, and Crosby - with his first playoff goal - a power play goal near the end of the game - scored for the Penguins.

GAME TWO: PITTSBURGH 4 at OTTAWA 3 -April 14
This time Sidney Crosby's goal was important - the game winner that evened up the series 11:44 into the third period, the third goal for the Pens that period (the other two came from Gary Roberts and Jordan Staal). Pittsburgh's Ryan Whitey had the Pens up 1-0 in the first on a power play goal but the Sens went up 2-1 in the second on tallies from Jason Spezza and Daniel Alfredsson. After Roberts had tied it up Ottawa lead again, briefly, on a goal from Chris Kelly.

GAME THREE: OTTAWA 4 at PITTSBURGH 2 -April 15
Sydney Crosby's home playoff debut was spoiled, just like his overall playoff debut, by a dominating Ottawa team. Daniel Alfredsson scored twice in the second period and along with previous goals by Mike Comrie and Dean McAmmond the Senators took Game Two. The Penguins had went up 1-0 in the first on a tally by Gary Roberts. Crosby did score and, much like Game One, it was late in the third and a day late and a dollar short.

GAME FOUR: OTTAWA 2 at PITTSBURGH 1 -April 17
Ottawa takes a 3-1 series lead by scoring in the first (PPG - Jason Spezza) and the third (Anton Volchenkov) with Pittsburgh's only goal in between them: a tying effort in the second from Jordan Staal.

GAME FIVE: PITTSBURGH 0 at OTTAWA 3 -April 19
Ray Emery gets his first playoff shutout with 20 saves and gets his team to Round Two. Dany Heatley, Antoine Vermette, and Chris Kelly all score wrist shots for Ottawa in the second period. Sidney Crosby and the the other Pittsburgh kids go home and put away their toys.

Senators win series 4 games to 1.


Round Two - Conference Semifinals

Western Conference

#1 Detroit Red Wings vs. #5 San Jose Sharks

The last time these two met in the playoffs was 1994 when the eigth-seeded Sharks knocked off the first-seeded Red Wings in seven games (similar to what they did to the Blues in 2000) so plenty of Detroit fans probably still remember that - and a few still might be wanting revenge. But revenge probably isn't on the Red Wings players' minds since it is a completely different team now; what they have on their minds is the Cup. And the same goes for the Sharks.

GAME ONE: SAN JOSE 2 at DETROIT 0 -April 26
The fans at the Joe Lewis Arena were left speechless after the Sharks scored two goals 24 seconds apart in the first period. Matthew Carle scored a power play goal on a snap shot then he was followed up very quickly by an even strength tally from Mike Grier. San Jose's 1st goal was on their only power play of the evening, making them 100% with the man advantage: how 'bout that stat? Detroit only had three themselves. The Sharks were held to only 19 shots, Hasek making 17 saves, but Evgeni Nabokov was stellar with 34 saves and the shutout.

GAME TWO: SAN JOSE 2 at DETROIT 3 -April 28
Jonathan Cheechoo and Joe Thornton had put the Sharks up 2-0 in the first, but that lead was erased Henrik Zetterberg later that period and a shorthanded goal by Daniel Cleary early in the third. Then Pavel Datsyuk scored the game winning goal with a minute and a half left to tie up the series.

GAME THREE: DETROIT 1 at SAN JOSE 2 -April 30
Jonathan Cheechoo scored a power play goal with 6:21 left to lift the Sharks to a 2-1 win and 2-1 series lead. Nicklas Lidstrom had put the Wings up 1-0 but Ryane Clowe tied it later for the Sharks. Evgeni Nabokov made 29 saves in another great performance to keep the Wings at bay while Hasek did pretty good, too, stopping 28 of 30.

GAME FOUR: DETROIT 3 at SAN JOSE 2 (OT)-May 2
Jonathan Cheechoo and Marcel Goc made it 2-0 Sharks in the first and second period, respectively, and it looked like they were on their way to a 3-1 series lead. But Detroit got on the board with five seconds left in the second with a power play goal from Tomas Holmstrom. Robert Lang tied it up with 33.1 seconds left with Hasek pulled for the extra attacker. Sharks almost won it in overtime with a great power play chance from Goc again but Hasek stoned him. Then, the Red Wings, on a power play of their own (Craig Rivet thought it would be a great idea to shoot the puck into the stands) at 16:04 of overtime won it and tied the series on a goal from Mathieu Schneider after batting a clearing attempt down to the ice and shooting it past Evgeni Nabokov.

GAME FIVE: SAN JOSE 1 at DETROIT 4 -May 5
Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg each had a goal and two assists which helped give Detroit a 4-1 Game Five win and 3-2 series lead. Marcel Goc had put the Sharkies up 1-0 in the first but then it was all Detroit. Each of Datsyuk's and Zetterberg's goals were in the second and then they each helped on Mikael Samuelsson and Tomas Holmstrom's power play goals in the third. Hasek "dominated," snuffing 23 of 24 San Jose shots.

GAME SIX: DETROIT 2 at SAN JOSE 0 -May 7
Age-defying defenseman Chris Chelios assisted on both of Mikael Samuelsson's goals - the only two goals of the game - in the first period as the Red Wings shut out the Sharks to take Game Six and the series. Hasek stopped all of San Jose's 28 shots on goal while Nabokov kept them in it, stopping 20 of 22 Detroit shots.

Red Wings win series 4 games to 2.

#2 Anaheim Ducks vs. #3 Vancouver Canucks

These two teams had never met in the playoffs before so this series would be history in the making. Who will prevail? The stinging offense and tough offensive-defenseman of the Ducks? Or the Canucks team, with that stud goalie and the high after a seven-game first round winner that could carry momentum into this series? Or did the long grinding series tire them out too much? Or will too much sitting around have gotten the Ducks too rusty? Or maybe should I stop asking all of these questions?

GAME ONE: VANCOUVER 1 at ANAHEIM 5 -April 25
Andy McDonald had his first career playoff hat trick as the Ducks go quackers, taking a 1-0 series lead. Jeff Cowen scored first for the 'Nuckleheads in the first but later that period McDonald notched two with a Selanne goal sandwiched in between. After a scoreless second, Ryan Getzlaf and McDonald scored in the third. His first and third goals were on the power play.

GAME TWO: VANCOUVER 2 at ANAHEIM 1 (2OT)-April 27
Roberto Luongo made 43 saves - 19 on power plays - and Jeff Cowan scored 7:49 into the second overtime from a sharp angle shot to even up the Series for the Canucks. Anaheim, with much less offense in this tilt, got a second period goal from Travis Moen to tie it on a rebound after Luongo stopped Teemu Selanne's shot on a breakaway; Markus Naslund had gotten Vancouver up 1-0 about five minutes earlier. Anaheim's J.S. Gigeure made 42 saves.

GAME THREE: ANAHEIM 3 at VANCOUVER 2 -April 29
The Ducks had a lot of penalty-killing to do in this game and except for a power play goal by Markus Naslund in the first which had tied the game at 1, they killed them all off. It was a power play goal of their own by Corey Perry that won the game in the third. Dustin Penner had made it 1-0 Ducks in the first and Francois Beauchemin's power play goal in the second had put them up 2-1. Vancouver tied it at at 2 with Daniel Sedin later that period.

GAME FOUR: ANAHEIM 3 at VANCOUVER 2 (OT)-May 1
For a player who's always had a reputation for finesse and not toughness, Teemu Selanne sure is sucking it up in this series. After being cut by a high stick for the third time this series, his face was left swollen and bruised, his right eye multicolored, his cheek stitched, and a golf ball sized welt jutting out from his jaw line (an "upper body injury" he called it). But still he smiled as the Ducks take a 3-1 series lead with a 3-2 overtime victory. Travis Moen scored 2:07 into the extra session to put Vancouver away again. That was the third of three unanswered goals by the Ducks, as they rallied past a 2-0 Vancouver lead starting at 3:58 of the third when Chris Pronger put a biscuit in the basket. Selanne scored the tying goal about ten minutes later. Vancouver's goals were by Markus Naslund in the first and Brendan Morrison in the second.

GAME FIVE: VANCOUVER 1 at ANAHEIM 2 (2OT)-May 3
4:30 into the second overtime the two Niedermayer brothers conspired to win the game, and the series, and send the Ducks flying into the third round. Rob Niedermayer slammed into a Vancouver player to squirt the puck loose for older brother Scott to wrist a shot from the left point and past goalie Roberto Luongo. The Ducks' Samuel Pahlsson scored first 14 seconds into the second and Vancouver tied it up in the third with Alexandre Burrows - their last goal of their season as they head back home to Vancouver to clean out their lockers.

Ducks win series 4 games to 1.

Eastern Conference

#1 Buffalo Sabres vs. #6 New York Rangers

The last time these two teams met in the playoffs was way back in 1978 when the first round was just the preliminary round. It's New York vs. New York for the first time in 29 years in what promised to be an exciting series between two tough teams.

GAME ONE: NEW YORK RANGERS 2 at BUFFALO 5 -April 25
After a scoreless first, Buffalo exploded for three goals in the second period on their way to a 5-2 win and 1-0 series lead. Thomas Vanek had two of those with Ales Kotalik in between. Marcel Hossa made it 3-1 early in the third but Jason Pominville regained the three goal lead. Brendan Shanahan again got the Rangers within 2 with a power play goal but Drew Stafford capped off the scoring with an empty netter in the last minute.

GAME TWO: NEW YORK RANGERS 2 at BUFFALO 3 -April 27
Martin Straka got the Broadway Blueshirts up 1-0 in the first on a power play goal, then Buffalo had one of their own with Brian Campbell. But New York went up 2-1 in the second with another power play goal from Paul Mara. But in the third it was all Sabres when Chris Drury and Thomas Vanek both scored to take the lead. New York had a great opportunity to tie it on the power play and with the goalie pulled for a two-man advantage but they only had one shot on goal in the final two minutes.

GAME THREE: BUFFALO 1 at NEW YORK RANGERS 2 (2OT)-April 29
Michal Rozsival, who had been contending with a painful left knee the entire series that had him leave Game One, scored on a slap shot at 16:43 of the second overtime to give his team a 2-1 win and trim the Sabre's lead to 1 game. Jaromir Jagr had put New York up 1-0 in the second but Buffalo's Daniel Briere tied it in the third. It was a goaltending duel after that and before the overtime goal. Lundqvist, the winning goalie, stopped 38 of 39 shots and Miller stopped 44 of 46 shots. Rangers defenseman Karel Rachunek might have made it 3 goals for New York but a video review showed he had kicked the puck in.

GAME FOUR: BUFFALO 1 at NEW YORK RANGERS 2 -May 1
For the second straight game the fate of the game was decided by a lengthy video review. Daniel Briere almost tied it up with 17 seconds left but Henrik Lundqvist stopped the shot just shy of fully crossing the goal line. Jagr scored a power play goal just 45 seconds into the second to put the Rangers up 1-0, Brendan Shanahan made it 2-0 with another power play goal in the third. Ales Kotalik made it 2-1 later but Buffalo came up short (about a half-inch short) of keeping the Rangers from tying the series.

GAME FIVE: NEW YORK RANGERS 1 at BUFFALO 2 (OT)-May 4
Maxim Afinogenov, after being benched Game Four, is the overtime hero tonight, scoring 4:39 of OT to give the Sabres a 3-2 series lead. Martin Straka got the Rangers up 1-0 at 16:41 of the third but Buffalo tied it up with 8 seconds left on a goal by Chris Drury.

GAME SIX: BUFFALO 5 at NEW YORK RANGERS 4 -May 6
It was do or died for the Rangers in Game Six and, well, they died. It looked like they might do, with leading 1-0 after the first on a goal by Michael Nylander, but they came up on the losing end of a wild second period that saw five goals scored, only owning one of them. Dmitri Kalinin and Jason Pominville made it 2-1 Sabres, Paul Mara scored a power play goal to tie things up, then Buffalo lead 4-2 Jochen Hecht and Chris Drury scored. In the third the Sabres had to hold off a determined Rangers team, who scored two power play goals - by Jagr and Nylander again - but sandwiched in between them was the game and series winning goal, the second of the night from Hecht.

Sabres win series 4 games to 2.

#2 New Jersey Devils vs. #4 Ottawa Senators

The Senators were hoping that their angelic offense could defeat the devilish goaltending of Martin Brodeur and prevent the Devils from reaching the Finals again, which they have done three times in the last eight years, winning the Cup two of those times.

GAME ONE: OTTAWA 5 at NEW JERSEY 4 -April 26
Jason Spezza scored 1:30 in, followed by a power play goal from Corvo, a shorthanded goal from Dean McAmmond, and an even-strength tally from Dany Heately to put them up 4-0 in the first. Travis Zajac, Brian Gionta, and Andy Greene got New Jersey within one, then Wade Redden scored a power play goal 43 seconds into the third to make it 5-3. New Jersey would not give up, though, with Zach Parise scoring in the final minute, but the Senators held on for the Game One win.

GAME TWO: OTTAWA 2 at NEW JERSEY 3 (2OT)-April 28
New Jersey poured it on in the first with lots of pressure and they went up 2-0 on a pair of power play goals from Brian Gionta and Sergei Brylin. However, they quieted down and in the second Daniel Alfredsson scored a power play goal and Dany Heatley scored the tying goal with their goalie pulled with 27 seconds left. But Jersey came back and won it at 1:55 of the second overtime with an amazing goal by Jamie Langenbrunner where he fought off a hook by defenseman Corvo and shoved it between Ray Emery's pads before Corvo came crashing into the net.

GAME THREE: NEW JERSEY 0 at OTTAWA 2 -April 30
Ray Emery held off the Devils, stopping all 25 New Jersey shots in his second playoff shutout, and Tom Preissing broke a scorless tie at 4:46 of the third as the Senators take Game Two and a 2-1 series lead. Jason Spezza added an empty-netter with 56 seconds to go.

GAME FOUR: NEW JERSEY 2 at OTTAWA 3 -May 2
The Senators put the Devils on the brink, edging them in Game Four to take a commanding 3-1 series lead. Dany Heatley took a shot from the right boards that struck Brodeur's right skate and went between his pads late in the second period to put the Senators up 2-1, another example of the flukey goals they'd been scoring in the series. Daniel Alfredsson, assisted by Heatley, scored first in the first, Brian Gionta tied it up for New Jersey with a power play goal in the second, then came Heatley's goal later that period, then came Mike Fisher's goal early in the third to give Ottawa a two-goal lead. The Sens withstood a tip-in from Jay Pandolfo and held on for the win.

GAME FIVE: OTTAWA 3 at NEW JERSEY 2 -May 5
The Senators finally get into the third round of the playoffs after years of disappointments with a 3-2 win in New Jersey. Scott Gomez put the Devils up 1-0 in the first but the Senators surged in the second with three goals: Antoine Vermette tied it, Jason Spezza scored a power play goal then helped set up Daniel Alfredsson's game winner along with Dany Heatley. Scott Gomez scored again to put New Jersey within one with 40 seconds left, but a tying goal was not meant to be.

Senators win series 4 games to 1.


Round Three - Conference Finals (Stanley Cup Semifinals)

Western Conference

#1 Detroit Red Wings vs. #2 Anaheim Ducks

GAME ONE: ANAHEIM 1 at DETROIT 2 -May 11
Their goals may have been ugly, but a win, pretty or not, is sure beautiful to the Red Wings in the third round. Lidstrom scored the winner with 4:54 left in regulation on a shot that hit goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere before hitting the ice and trickling into the net. Henrik Zetterberg's put them up 1-0 in the first on a shot that deflected off an Anaheim player and past Gigeure. The Ducks' loan goal came from Chris Kunitz in the third that tied it up.

GAME TWO: ANAHEIM 4 at DETROIT 3 (OT)-May 13
Scott Niedermayer scored at 14:17 of overtime to even up the series for the Ducks in a game where the Ducks dominated many ares of the play, including penalty killing where at times it looked as if they were playing keep-away from the Wings. The other Niedermayer, Rob, started the scoring in the first. Kirk Maltby tied it up for the Wings with a shorthanded goal in the second, Andy McDonald made it 2-1 Ducks and Lidstrom's power play goal tied it up for the Wings again before the period was out. The Wings went ahead on a power play goal from Pavel Datsyuk in the third and Travis Moen's snap shot goal early in the third was how the Ducks forced OT.

GAME THREE: DETROIT 5 at ANAHEIM 0 -May 15
The Wings poured it on in a near perfect Game Three to grab the series lead, 2-1. Franzen, then Holmstrom with a power play goal scored in the first, Todd Bertuzzi finally wakes up and scores along with Holmstrom again in the second, and Filppula capped off the scoring in the third. Hasek dominated, snuffing all 26 shots he faced.

GAME FOUR: DETROIT 3 at ANAHEIM 5 -May 17
Despite blowing a 3-1 lead and being without Chris Pronger, the Ducks managed to win Game Four and even up the series. Corey Perry, Ric Jackman, and Teemu Selanne built that lead, all in the first, with Detroit's Daniel Cleary tying it at 1 after Perry's goal. But Detroit's Todd Bertuzzi and Daniel Cleary again, with power play goals, tied it up in the second. But Ryan Getzlaf, with a power play tally and Rob Niedermayer put the Ducks up again, and for good, in the third.

GAME FIVE: ANAHEIM 2 at DETROIT 1 (OT)-May 20
The battered Teemu Selanne scored at 11:57 of overtime to seal the 2-1 win for the Ducks and give them the 3-2 series lead. After a bad giveaway by Andreas Lilja (who scored Detroit's goal in the second), Selanne roofed it on a sprawling Dominik Hasek. The Ducks might have been down 3-2 in the series, though, if Scott Niedermayer hadn't scored a power play goal with 47.3 seconds left in regulation to force OT. Both goalies made amazing saves, keeping the game tight; J.S. Giguere made 36 saves, Hasek made 24.

GAME SIX: DETROIT 3 at ANAHEIM 4 -May 22
Despite a valiant comeback effort, the Ducks held off the Red Wings for a 4-3 win to clinch the Western Conference Championship and head to their second Stanley Cup Finals appearance. Anaheim went up 3-0 on a short handed goal by Rob Niedermayer in the first, a tally by Corey Perry miday through the second and a power play goal by Ryan Getzlaf near the end of the period. But in the third Henrik Zetterberg put the Wings on the board early with Samuel Pahlsson scoring the crucial game-winning and series-winning goal for the Ducks a few minutes later. But Detroit kept coming with two power play goals by Pavel Datsyuk and a flurry of desperate attempts, including a good one from Tomas Holmstrom, but it was simply Not To Be this year for Detroit.

Ducks win series 4 games to 2.

Eastern Conference

#1 Buffalo Sabres vs. #4 Ottawa Senators

GAME ONE: OTTAWA 5 at BUFFALO 2 -May 10
The Sabres certainly weren't used to being on the receiving end of routs this season. But the Senators sure handed them one tonight. Even though, after a shorthanded goal by Mike Fisher and a power play goal from Alfredsson in the first 10 minutes of the first, the Senators went up 2-0, they let Buffalo come back on tallies by Maxim Afinogenov and Toni Lydman. But the Senators showed 'em who was boss in the third period with goals by Oleg Saprykin, Jason Spezza (power play) and Dean McAmmond.

GAME TWO: OTTAWA 4 at BUFFALO 3 (2OT)-May 12
Coming home being up 2-0 in a series is a beautiful thing and for the Ottawa Senators it's beautiful indeed, especially against a tough opponent like Buffalo. Joseph Corvo scored 4:58 into the second overtime period to lift the Sens to a 4-3 victory. Vanek and Hecht had gotten the Sabres up 2-0 in the first but later that period Alfredsson made it 2-1 and then Ottawa scored a pair of power play goals in the second to make it 3-2 (Fisher and Redden). But the Sabres forced overtime in the third on a tally by Daniel Briere.

GAME THREE: BUFFALO 0 at OTTAWA 1 -May 14
The Sabres are on the brink after the Senators edged them in a tight game 1-0. Captain Daniel Alfredsson scored the only goal of the game at 13:40 of the second period and Ray Emery recorded his third postseason shut out with his 15-save performance. Sabres' goalie Ryan Miller kept them in the game, stopping more than twice that many shots - 31 - the only one he let in was an odd one: a Dany Heatley one-timer that bounced off the end board and right back at Miller who attempted to glove it, but missed and inadvertently deflected it back to the open goal where Alfredsson knocked it on right before it crossed the line.

GAME FOUR: BUFFALO 3 at OTTAWA 2 -May 16
The Sabres stay alive! Buffalo stoked themselves to a 3-0 lead with Derek Roy (just nine seconds into the game), a power play goal from Maxim Afinogenov, and a wrist shot goal from Chris Drury. Dean Mcammond and Peter Schaefer got the Senators within 1 before the second period was out but Buffalo held on for their first win of the series. Ryan Miller did everything he could to extend his team's season, stopping 31 shots - 15 in the third to stop Ottawa's comeback attempt.

GAME FIVE: OTTAWA 3 at BUFFALO 2 (OT)-May 19
The Senators get sent to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first-time ever, fittingly on an overtime goal from their captain and longest-serving player - the only player to have played in all 94 of Ottawa's postseason games. Daniel Alfredsson scored the biggest goal in team history so far at 9:32 of overtime to propel the Sens to the final round. It didn't seem, at first, like the kind of play that would score a big goal: he came in 1-on-3 into Buffalo's zone; but he tipped the puck off a defender's stick and it snuck just inside the right post. Jochen Hecht had put Buffalo up 1-0 in the second; later that period Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza put Ottawa up 2-1. In the third the Sabres got their final goal of the season, a 5-on-3 power play goal from Maxim Afinogenov to force overtime.

Senators win series 4 games to 1.


Round Four - Stanley Cup Finals

Anaheim Ducks vs. Ottawa Senators

With a freshman (Senators) and a sophomore (Ducks) in the Finals, it was anybody's guess how this one would turn out. What would happen when two hot goalies duked it out? Which team would outshine the other? It was a clash of offensive and defensive Titans as both teams were battling for their first Stanley Cup!

GAME ONE: OTTAWA 2 at ANAHEIM 3 -May 28
Travis Moen, a member of the Ducks' checking line, scored at 17:09 of the third period to complete a Ducks comeback to take Game One of the Stanley Cup Finals. Power play goals by Ottawa's Mike Fisher (first period) and Wade Redden (second period) had had the Senators up 2-1, with an Andy McDonald even strength goal in between them. But Ryan Getzlaf and Moen scored in the third to tie it and then take the lead.

GAME TWO: OTTAWA 0 at ANAHEIM 1-May 30
Sammy Pahlsson scored at 14:16 of the third period, breaking a long scoreless tie and lifting the Ducks to a 1-0 win and 2-0 series lead. Both goaltenders played out of their minds, both making phenomenal saves during extended periods of high pressure; Ray Emery, who had to work harder, stopped 30 of 31 shots and Giguere snuffed all 16 shots he faced. At one point in the action almost 8 minutes went by with no whistles.

GAME THREE: ANAHEIM 3 at OTTAWA 5-June 2
As Stanley Cup hockey returned to Canada's capital for the first time in 80 years with a sellout crowd at Scotiabank Place, the Senators got one game back on a controversial goal and a flub-up by the Ducks. Andy McDonald scored first in the first, putting Anaheim up 1-0, Chris Neil tied it later on a wrist shot. The Ducks went up again on Corey Perry early in the second and again the Sens answered off a shot right from a face-off where the Ducks were a man short... but they, uh, weren't being penalized. Apparently somebody forgot to come out onto the ice and nobody noticed. Ryan Getzlaf gave the Ducks the lead again two minutes later but Daniel Alfredsson scored a power play goal that will be talked about for years to come: it appeared he may have kicked it in, or maybe he was just trying to stop and shoot the puck, but whatever happened with the reviewed goal it went off his foot and past Jiggy. Later Dean McAmmond, before being elbowed hard by Chris Pronger - a move that got him suspended for Game Four, put the Senators up 4-3 and Anton Volchenkov added an insurance goal early in the third.

GAME FOUR: ANAHEIM 3 at OTTAWA 2 -June 4
The Ducks grab a commanding 3-1 series lead - even without Pronger - Dustin Penner scoring the game-winner 4:07 into the third. The other Anaheim goal scorer was Andy McDonald, scoring at 10:06 of the second and then scoring exactly one minute later again. The Senators had grabbed a 1-0 lead with Captain Alfredsson in the first and Dany Heatley had tied it up near the end of the second.

GAME FIVE: OTTAWA 2 at ANAHEIM 6 -June 6
Costly mistakes by Ottawa including an own-net goal and Anaheim's powerful offense broke the Senators' spirits and the Ducks became the first West Coast team to win the Cup! Andy McDonald and Rob Niedermayer put the Ducks up 2-0 in the first. Daniel Alfredsson halfed that lead in the second period on a great passing play but a few minutes later: disaster. Defenseman Chris Phillips came out from behind the net where his goalie Ray Emery was standing, he lost the handle on the puck and it got caught in Emery’s skates and he put the puck into his own net. It ended up being the series and Cup-winning goal, given to Travis Moen, the closest Duck to the misadventure, eerily similar to when Oiler defenseman Steve Smith put the puck off of Grant Fuhr in the 80's which lost them that third-round series. But the Sens still wouldn't roll over and die. Later Alfredsson scored a short-handed goal to make it 3-2 on a great break-in. But the Ducks' Beauchemin scored a goal on that power play anyway. But the Senators had a great chance to cut into that lead: At 7:23, Antoine Vermette was awarded a shorthanded penalty shot but tried to deke too much on Giguere and ultimately didn't even get a shot away. Moen got a goal in the third that he actually did score and Corey Perry put the icing on Stanley's cake with a blast with exactly three minutes to go in the period and in the series and in the season.

Ducks win series 4 games to 1.

ANAHEIM DUCKS WIN THE STANLEY CUP

Conn Smythe Trophy
most valuable player in the 2007 playoffs:
Scott Niedermayer (ANA); 3G, 8A (11P), +2, 21GP

Source: nhl.com

Georges Vézina


Hockey Player
21 January 1887 - 27 March 1926

Georges Vézina was a goaltender, most famous for his tenure with the Montreal Canadiens in the National Hockey League. At only 5 ft 6 in, he would be considered small by modern standards for goaltenders; however he played in an era where goaltenders did not drop to the ice to make saves, so his small size was an advantage.

A Beloved Laconist

Frank Boucher, a hockey player in Vézina's era remembered the goalie as "the coolest man I ever saw, absolutely imperturbable...He stood upright in the net and scarcely ever left his feet; he simply played all his shots in a standing position. Vezina was a pale, narrow-featured fellow, almost frail-looking, yet remarkably good with his stick. He'd pick off more shots with it than he did with his glove." This unflappable character earned him the nickname for which he is famous: "Le Concombre de Chicoutimi" (The Chicoutimi Cucumber). Once his professional career began, he was quickly welcomed and adored by the Montreal fans, earning his other nickname: "Le Habitant Silenceux" ("The Silent Inhabitant"), a reflection of "Les Habs" whom he faithfully served for 328 National Hockey Association and National Hockey League games.

An Amateur Phenom

Born to his father, a baker, and his mother in Chicoutimi, Quebec, the young Vézina began his hockey career playing street hockey. By some accounts, he did not wear a pair of skates until he joined the hometown amateur team at the age of sixteen. Although his career hit a roadblock when Vézina left Le Petit Séminaire de Chicoutimi to assist his family's bakery, the young goaltender quickly improved his game. In those days, larger teams would travel through the provinces, searching for amateur teams to play in exhibitions. One such game pitted the Chicoutimi locals against the Montreal Nationals of the Canadian Amateur Hockey League. After winning the game and impressing the Nationals' retiring goaltender, he was invited to practise with Le Club Athlétique Canadien (the forerunners to the National Hockey League team that would form in 1915) starting in the 1910-1911 season.

A Professional Superstar

As a professional, Vézina was immediately successful, leading all National Hockey Association goaltenders in GAA as a rookie. He would do it again in the 1923-1924 season with an unbelievable 2.00 goals per game. His career stat of 3.49 only seems high by modern standards: for many years, he was the dominant goalie in the league. He was also a constant presence in the nets of Les Glorieux, wearing La Sainte-Flanelle 328 consecutive league games and 39 straight playoff contests across sixteen professional seasons from 1911 to 1925. He was also the first National Hockey League goaltender to record a shutout (a 9-0 win against Toronto in 1918), and the first goaltender to be credited with an assist. But perhaps most importantly, the first three of Montreal's Stanley Cups would be won on Vézina's watch.

A Historical Hero

Perhaps what makes Vézina's string of uninterrupted games most impressive was the first game he failed to finish. During the Canadiens' home opener of the 1925-1926 season against Pittsburgh, Vézina would leave the ice after the first period bleeding from the mouth. He attempted to return after the intermission, but falling to the ice, he had to leave. It turned out that Vézina had tuberculosis, a fact he had been hiding from his family and team so he could continue to play. Forced to retire due to his rapidly degrading health, Vézina died four months later. He left behind 22 children, including one named Marcel-Stanley for the trophy he loved.

After his death, the owners of the Canadiens decided to sponsor an award in his name for the least scored-upon goaltender. The first winner of the Vézina Trophy was Vézina's understudy, George Hainsworth for his play in the 1926-1927 season. Eleven other Canadiens goaltenders have won the award since, although now for the most valuable goaltender in the National Hockey League as voted by broadcasters and writers of the NHL rather than goals-against-average.

Although Vézina was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1945, if you travel to Le Centre Bell to watch "the Flying Frenchmen", you won't see Vézina's number amongst the twelve Canadiens' numbers which have been "raised to the rafters". What was the reason his number was never retired? Vezina skated before numbers were sewn to the backs of players' sweaters, another anachronism of the nearly forgotten period of hockey in which Vézina played. Instead, Vézina has been honored with his own set of rafters since 1949; the Chicoutimi Centre Georges Vézina is named for their first son.

When it comes to the ranks of professional coaches, there are some who rank head and shoulders above their peers and depending on your loyalties, a debate might ensue about just who the greatest of all time was (is). When it comes to football, you have your Vince Lombardi, your Joe Walsh and your Chuck Noll. Basketball has its Red Auerbach, Pat Riley and Phil Jackson and baseball has its Casey Stengel and Joe Torre. When it comes to hockey though, there really is no debate or argument. For now, Scotty Bowman sits alone atop the heap.

Like most of his fellow brethren in the coaching profession, Scotty started out as a player but an injury to his head while he was still a youth forced him to hang up his skates and stick and try his hand behind the bench. In term of accomplishments, what was to follow is truly amazing.

Don’t Let The Blues Get You Down

After kicking around the minor leagues in Canada with some degree of success, Bowman soon found himself in the employ of the Montreal Canadians and their minor league team. As luck would have it, the NHL was undergoing a period of expansion and a franchise was awarded in 1967 that would be known as the St. Louis Blues and Bowman took the job as head coach.

For those of you who aren’t sports aficionados, let me just say that doing anything with a newly formed team is damn near impossible. Your choice of players is usually limited to cast offs from other squads and your farm system is virtually non-existent. These were long before the days of free agency and just finishing out of the basement would be considered quite an accomplishment.

So, what did Bowman do? In each of the teams first three years of existence, he took them to the Stanley Cup finals. Granted, they lost in all three but I believe that’s a record that won’t ever be broken in any of the major sports.

O Canada

In 1971 the Montreal Canadians called Bowman home and offered him what was then the most prestigious job in hockey. Sure, they had won the Stanley Cup the year before but many of their players fought openly about the tactics of then head coach Henri Richard and were looking to jump ship. Bowman came in and settled things down and during his next eight years at the helm, a dynasty was in the making. All they managed to was to hoist “The Cup” five times. That included a run of four straight ending in 1979.

Shock Waves

Once the 1979 season was over, Bowman shocked the hockey world when he announced he was stepping down as the head coach of the NHL’s premier franchise. Maybe it was the pressure of playing in Montreal or maybe Bowman was looking for a new challenge but he soon accepted an offer from the Buffalo Sabres to be their head coach and general manager. Alas, success wouldn’t follow Bowman to the same degree as it did in Montreal. While the Sabres were good and made the playoffs in most of the years Bowman was behind the bench, he never duplicated the success he had in Montreal.

A Ticket To Pittsburgh

In 1987 Bowman tried to call it quits behind the bench and start up a new career in the booth. He worked as an analyst on CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada but that wouldn’t last for too long.

The Pittsburgh Penguins, a longtime NHL doormat had just won their first Stanley Cup in 1991 and were looking like a sure bet to repeat the following year. Tragedy in the form of cancer struck their then head coach (Bob Johnson) and Bowman was called in to take his place. He would lead them to victory and 1992 and almost pulled it off again in 1993 but were upset by the New York Islanders in the conference finals.

Next Stop, Motown

The Detroit Red Wings, one of the NHL’s original six teams, had become one of the laughing stocks of the league. They seemed destined to remain perennial cellar dwellers and were looking for a way out of the basement.In 1994 Bowman was called in to take the reins of the once proud franchise. In 1995 Bowman lead them to regular season record of 42 wins and the Red Wings made their first appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals in twenty nine years. Unfortunately for them, the New Jersey Devils lay in wait and swept them in four games.

Undeterred, the next season Bowman led the Red Wings to an NHL record sixty two regular season victories but once again they fell victim, this time to the eventual Stanley Cup winners, the Colorado Avalanche.

In 1997 it all came together and Bowman led the Detroit Red Wings to its first Stanley Cup victory in forty two years. In a town that had been thirsting for a championship, they wouldn’t have to wait much longer to sip from the Cup as the Red Wings repeated as league champions again in 1998.

After a couple of disappointing seasons in which the team played well but failed to do so in the playoffs, Bowman decided to call it quits after the 2002 season. Rather than let his team know about his decision, he kept them in the dark and apparently it was the right call to make. He went out a winner as the Red Wings once again lifted The Cup when they defeated the Carolina Hurricanes in five games. It wasn’t until they had won that Bowman let his players know that this was his last season behind the bench.

Nowadays, he's a consultant for the Red Wings and an occasional analyst for ESPN.

You Want Numbers?

  • An NHL record of nine Stanley Cup victories
  • Winningest coach in NHL history with 1,244 victories and a .654 winning percentage.
  • Most games coached (2141)
  • Most playoff games coached (353)
  • Most playoff games won (223)

Source(s)

http://www.legendsofhockey.net:8080/LegendsOfHockey/jsp/LegendsMember.jsp?mem=b199101&type=Builder&page=bio&list=#photo

The late Brittanie Cecil (1988-2002) has the unfortunate distinction of being the first spectator to be killed by a hockey puck at an NHL game. On Saturday, March 16, 2002, she was hit in the temple by a puck at a Columbus Blue Jackets game against the Calgary Flames at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, and died three days later, on Tuesday, March 19, 2002. She was 13 years old.

After the puck was shot by Blue Jackets forward Espen Knutsen, it deflected off an opposing player, and then bounced into the stands at about 80MPH, where it struck another spectator before nailing Brittanie's left temple. While she was able to walk out of the arena under her own power, she nevertheless died later of a severely bruised cranial artery.

The NHL itself and many arena executives have stepped up their safety awareness protocols, and are considering the installation of puck-catching nets in all arenas to protect spectators.


UPDATE! November 1, 2002: The start of the 2002-2003 NHL season brought the installation of black nylon netting in every NHL arena. It encircles the ice from approximately the right face-off circle, back behind the goal, and then ends at the left face-off circle, on both sides of the ice. If a puck touches the net, it's out of play, even if it bounces back onto the ice, and the player who put it in the netting is assessed a two-minute delay of game minor penalty.

It's barely visible in television broadcasts, and apparently hard to see from the seats in any of the arenas in which it has been installed, though I have not yet been able to verify this since I live in a city with no NHL team.

Anyway, it's saving lives. Pity the NHL suits didn't consider installing it until someone was killed.