Sports by Randy Charles Morin.
Copyright 2005-10 Randy Charles Morin
Owned by Rapid Spiral Development Inc.
A series by series predictions for the 1st round of the Stanley Cup playoffs and a glimpse into the next 3 rounds. The NHL playoffs since the 2004-05 lockout has been a unpredictable beast. You make the playoffs on the last day of the regular season and you find your way to the Stanley Cup finals. What makes a good regular season team is clearly not what makes a good playoff team. Here's my sense of what might happen this playoff season.
The Minnesota Wild have badly underperformed and scratched their way into a playoff spot. That said, a hot goalie and some timely scoring might give them a chance. But goaltending and scoring have not been their forte this season. They do have some grit with Cal Clutterbuck, but on the whole this team is soft. Not a recipe for winning the Lord Stanley's mug. An underdog to win a series and a longshot to win it all.
And the Wild are playing the recent Stanley Cup winning Chicago Blackhawks. The Hawks are loaded with talent; Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane. Their was the question of goaltending at the start of the season, but Corey Crawford has been great. The consensus is that the Hawks are the team to beat in the West.
This isn't the Red Wings we knew in years past. There's no Nicklas Lidstrom. End of story. It's just not the same team.
The Ducks have been an off-and-on team for years with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. They even won a Stanley Cup a few years back. I don't think this team has the depth to make it far in the playoffs, but I do think they have enough to handle the Wings. Saku Koivu and Teemu Selanne are getting older by the day.
For the 1st time in a long while, the Sharks aren't expected to do anything this playoff. They're suppose to boy out to the much better Canucks. And with perenial non-playoff performers like Joe Thornton, they have every excuse. But remember, they are very deep in talent and someday, if Joe is willing, they might surprise in the playoffs. And don't forget, that's a Cup winning goalie between the pipes; Anti Niemi.
The Canucks are very much like the Sharks of a few years ago. Some playoff success, but everybody expected so much more. And because of injury, they'll be starting the playoffs with long-time playoff disappointment Roberto Luongo in net. Whichever team loses this series, will cement their reputation as playoff losers.
An extremely talented team that should have little problem taking care of the Blues. But I'm not sure a team led by the party boys (Jeff Carter and Mike Richards) can make it two years in a row. I'm thinking the hangover from last summer hasn't quite warn off yet.
The Blues are... well... a blue colar team. No stars and a lot of names even I don't recognize. Just a lot of hard work. Their goaltending load was split between three goalies. It's very rare that teams with no talent advance in the playoffs.
The worst run organization in the NHL made the playoffs on the back of their one superstar John Tavares. That's about as far as they'll get. I doubt they could handle an injury riddled Penguins lineup in a seven game series. And the Pens are getting healthy.
The Canadiens are looking back between the pipes and putting their faith in Carey Price. A career 8-15 playoff record. This might be Price's last chance. If he falters again, then the fans in Montreal might start calling for a change.
I really liked the makeup of the Rangers at the start of the season. Things didn't go as expect and the team was rebuilt mid-season. Mid-season of an already short season. Henrik Lundqvist could put the team on his back lead them thru a few playoff rounds, but I doubt it. Teams rebuilt mid-season rarely go anywhere in the playoffs.
Alex Ovechkin is on fire and we're heading into the playoffs. This team is gonna live and die on his stick. I don't see much problem dispensing the Rangers. Then... in the 2nd round, it's OV time or bust.
As a long-time Leafs fan, what a relief. Playoff games. Everything sits on James Reimer's shoulders. They're a tough and fast team that can score. Can they keep the puck out of the net? Reimer did it all year.
The Bruins are either the toughest team in the playoffs or the 2nd toughest. And the Leafs are either the toughest or 2nd. Expect a lot of hitting. Fighting. Injuries. Whomever wins is likely gonna get beat the next round anyway. This is war.
Luongo simply had an amazing season. But so did most of the Canuck players. They dominated the NHL. Any other year and he'd be a lock. Already considered one of the best, he posted he's career best GAA and SV Pct. Still might not be enough.
Thomas, like Luongo, posted his career best numbers and even better than Luongo's. I can't see Luongo winning over Thomas. The Bruins struggle offensively and rely on Luongo a lot more than Vancouver. If it were not for Thomas, the Bruins may not have made the playoffs.
Rinne had a break out season. He plays for a bad team and single handledly put his team in the playoffs. Without Rinne, the Preds would've been in contention for a high draft pick.
Lundqvist didn't get nominated and won 11 games for the Rangers via shutout. Rangers, like the Preds, could easily have been fighting for a high draft pick had their goaltending had yet another great season. I understand why Lundqvist was left out, but I'm gonna mention him anyway.
All said, Thomas' .938 save percentage is what convinces me to award my vote to him as the Vezina winner. Not to mention his GAA was in fact below 2 (1.998), but rounded up to 2.00 in the stats.
Bruins v Habs (0-2)
The biggest surprise of the playoffs is the Bruins complete lack of offense; one goal in two games. This is due to three reasons; solid play from the Canadians defense (Gill, Subban, Sopel, Spacek, Hamrlik, Wisniewski and forwards Moen, Plekanec), good goaltending from Carey Price and weak shoots from the Bruins. As much as Carey Price has made the saves, the shot difficult is making Price look even better. Down 2-0 and going to Montreal, this series could be over quickly.
Pens v Lightning (1-1)
Not a surprise, without Crosby and Malkin, the Pens will be hard pressed to win this series. One great goaltending performance by Fleury has kept this team in the series. Interesting side note; Craig Adams has 6 goals in the last 3 regular seasons (207 games) and 6 goals in the last 3 playoffs (39 games). If Crosby comes back, then they still have a chance, but I see the Lightning taking this now that they have home ice advantage.
Caps v Rangers (2-0)
I didn't expect the Rangers to be able to keep up with the Capitals and they haven't. Only Matt Gilroy has scored for the Rangers. Lundqvist is gonna have to steal a game or two to get this team back in the series. Looks like a Capitals sweep is possible.
Flyers v Sabres (1-1)
Miller stole game one but the Flyers offense was too much in game two. With Miller injured, I didn't think the Sabres had much of a chance, but stole home ice advantage. The biggest difference in this series may turn out to be the lack of Chris Pronger. Normally, Pronger would be wearing down the Sabres forwards. Add something redundant about Flyers goaltending here. This looks like a 7 gamer. Then flip a coin.
Wings v Yotes (2-0)
It's called the Pavel Datsyuk show. Even without Henrik Zetterberg, the Wings are simply too much for the Yotes. Bryzgalov hasn't been at his best. He really needs to step it up at home and steal both games for his team or it's over. I doubt the Wings will sweep and that's all I got for the Coyotes' fans.
Sharks v Kings (1-1)
There's no reason the Kopitar-less Kings should be in this series. Well, except that Joe Thornton is up to his playoff disappearing act once again. In game 2 on the power play, Big Joe was fed the puck in the slot. He didn't even try to shoot. He skated behind the net, then out to the half boards and shot from there. Going the other way, Drew Doughty scored 4 pts giving him 11 points in 8 career playoff games. I see this going 7 games.
Canucks v Hawks (2-0)
Kane, Toews, Sharp and Hossa have combined for 1 assist in the 1st two games of this series. It might simply be fatigue. All four players have played an enormous amounts of hockey over the last 2-3 yrs. The Canucks look like he team to beat. Three lines are contributing and six d-men. And they have a pretty good goalie. Unless the Hawks win both at home, they could be done in 5.
Ducks v Preds (1-1)
Mike Fisher stole game 1 for the Preds and now they have home ice advantage in this series. The Ducks Big 4 (Selanne, Ryan, Perry and Getzlaf) showed up big time in game 2, each scoring a goal. This series is gonna be a showdown between the big 4 and Pekka Rinne. The series should go 6 or 7 games.
This is a no brainer. Without Lunqvist's best season ever, the Rangers may have been favs to finish overall. Unless Lunqvist steal games, I don't see the Rangers getting to game six.
The Caps are relatively healthy, although several players including Ovechkin missed games late in the season due to injuries. The Caps played great hockey down the stretch. There only weakness might be between the pipes where they have relatively inexperienced youngsters.
Caps in 5.
Very similar to the Rangers, where would the Sabres be without Ryan Miller? It wasn't Miller's finest season and worse, he may be experience the symptoms of a concussion. Without Miller, there's no series. Enroth has looked great all season, but he's no Miller.
Flyers may have the best overall playoff lineup, if and this is a big if... You don't look between the pipes.
Flyers in 5
Finally, a big time goalie matchup; Price v Thomas. And why not the most celebrated playoff rivalry of all time.
The winner will be the team that finds a way to score. Give the edge to the Bruins, since Price has been a playoff zero to date in his career.
Bruins in 7. And trust me, I want the Habs to win.
To play Crosby or not to play Crosby? That is the question. If he plays and is healthy and plays to his capability, then Pens win, else who knows. That's quite an if. Even if Crosby returns, the Pens are hardly Cup contenders without Malkin.
Roloson is key for the Lightning. Since the Bulin wall left Tampa, they've been a loss in net. Roloson is kinda old, is putting it mildly. Lightning can score, but can they keep the puck out?
Pens in 5
Who won? Lot's of team. Forget all the small trades, let's go thru the big ones. I'm only going to discuss those made on trade day.
Otherall winner is Florida. Picking up Evan Oberg, Samsonov, Hauswirth, Bergfors, Rissmiller, Kennedy and three 3rds. No blue chip prospects, but a lot of them. Unloaded salary and they are gonna suck for the next 20 games. Sign players in the off-season and start all over. I like it. Fans aren't gonna like the remainder of the season. But this is how you build. Brian Burke?
I updated all the OHL rosters on Talk-Sports.
Wings v Sharks
Thornton, Marleau and Heatley combined for 1 goal, a combined -7 plus/minus and somehow they beat the Avalanche. Unless there big line wakes up and this isn't the 1st year the Thornton line sleeps thru the playoffs, then expect the Red Wings to win. Wings in 7.
Habs v Pens
OK, the Habs won the series, but solely on goaltending. As much as I think goaltending is the most important part of the game, you cannot win games consistantly when you are getting outshot 45 to 15 every night. Not to mention, they are playoff Sidney's Pens. Pens in 6.
Flyers v Bruins
The Flyers made the playoffs because the Rangers played worse. The flyers defeated the Devils because the Devils played worse. This isn't even a playoff worthy team. Marc Savard is returning to the Bruinds lineup that won round 1 without him. Bruins in 4.
Canucks v Blackhawks
A redo from last year. This series will likely produce the best hockey. I expect the winner to be in the Stanley Cup finals. I'm picking Luongo over Niemi, but it's pretty much a pick'em. Will Luongo and the Sedin's show up all series? Canucks in 7.
Sens v Pens
Ottawa is using a rookie playoff goalie (Elliot). One of their stars (Kovalev) is hurt. They had the worst goal differential of any team that made the playoffs. They are playing the defending Cup champs. Pens in 5.
Flyers v Devils
Flyers made the playoffs by playing slightly less horrible than the Rangers. Remember, they only had to win one of their last two games and they almost blew that too. They are playing Boucher in net only because they don't have anybody else who is eligible to play. Devils in 5.
Bruins v Sabres
The Bruins can't score goals. They score even less goals when Marc Savard is injured. Yes, he's out for the series. They score even less goals when playing Vezina candidate Ryan Miller. I just can't see the Bruins scoring enough goals. Sabres in 5.
Caps v Habs
The Canadian, like the Bruins, can't score goals. The Caps can. I cannot see Halak being capable of keeping them in a 7 game series. Even if Theodore falters, the Caps have playoff proven Varlamov. Caps in 5.
What undermines everyone’s effort when entertaining any conversation that puts forth anything resembling the above is the idea that you can sell it. Don’t! You can’t! It’s purely entertainment!
In the meanwhile, I received and email from Anita Jenkins asking why I was ignoring her attorney's emails. I told her that her attorney was lying and that I had responded to all her emails.
Finally, I received a textual version of the subpoena. The content of the subpoena follows (some edits).
I responded asking who I would contact to validate this blatantly suspicious subpoena. I never received a reply. After a few days, I looked up the court phone number and called them myself. The court records showed nothing from Anita or Justin Jenkins. The clerk told me to get the case number from the lawyer. I sent an email asking for the case number. When this email wasn't responded to promptly, I sent a further email indicating that I would inform the lawyers court and bar if I didn't hear back. The lawyer eventually responded that the subpoena was actually just a draft. I'll let the reader formulate their own opinion on the given evidence.IN THE CHANCERY COURT OF HINDS COUNTY STATE OF MISSISSIPPI JUSTIN JENKINS Petitioner/Plaintiff vs. Cause No. ___________________ JANE DOE Respondent/Defendant SUBPOENA FOR DOCUMENTS TO A NON-PARTY TO: Randy Charles Morin You are hereby commanded to do each of the following acts at the instance of the Plaintiff, Justin Jenkins, after receipt of this subpoena. That your company, and/or associated and/or companies, and Websites produce and permit the Plaintiff, and his counsel of record, to receive, inspect and copy each of the following documents: "Any and all reports, records, correspondence, notes, memoranda, or other documents, which evidence the name and address of the user/profile that generated comments regarding Justin Jenkins from IP address 220.127.116.11 located at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. Such production and inspection may be provided by mail, electronic transmission, and/or the place where the documents or things are regularly kept or at some other reasonable place designated by you. You have the option to deliver or mail legible copies of documents or things to the party causing the issuance of this subpoena but you may condition such activity on your part upon the payment in advance by the party causing the issuance of this subpoena of the reasonable costs of the making of such copies. You have the right to object at any time prior to the date set forth in this subpoena for compliance. Should you choose to object, you should communicate such objection in writing to the party causing the issuance of this subpoena and stating, with respect to any item or category to which objection is made, your reasons for such objection.
One of the most popular Facebook apps and best money making for certain is the Zynga poker app. It's free poker, or at least kinda free. You can buy fake chips and some have suggested that Zynga is making nearly $50M selling these fake chips. Why are people buying? To impress strangers with large chip stacks?
Worse, I played a few hands and I hit quads, sets, straights, full houses, flushes, pocket rockets every second hand. They were clearly distributing the cards to give me amazing cards and get me excited about the game. The cards were unbelievable. I don't know their algorithm, but many poker websites give newbies great cards in order to encourage them to return. I personally can't stand it when I try a poker website and get pocket rockets left and right. It's fake. It's not real poker. I hate it!
Here's my 1st round predictions for the 2009 NHL Playoffs.
We just updated all the OHL rosters for the 2008-09 season.
We just updated all the NHL rosters.