If you have not heard by now, Brad Richards was named one of the finalists for the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy last week. Richards is a former winner, 03-04 with Tampa Bay, and also a one time runner-up in 2006. For those who are not familiar with the trophy, it goes to the player shows the “best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.” To the best of my knowledge, that sounds it exactly like Brad and how he played this season. He ended up with 67 assists and 91 points. That is good for two short of Modano’s single season team record of 93 points for the Dallas Stars in 1993-94. He did all of this while only getting 14 penalty minutes all season, being a constant leader on the ice and a class act. But it may be hard for Richards to bring the Lady Byng home to Dallas, something no Dallas Star or Minnesota North Star has ever done, as his main competition is Pavel Datsyuk. The Red Wing has won it the last 4 years in row, but I think they should change it up and Brad had a stellar year here in Dallas.
Also, Richards had successful hip surgery today to clean up a minor problem. Report is that it is arthroscopic to work on a torn labrum, and that he should be back to his full offseason program in about 8 weeks. Wish him a quick recovery and can not wait to see if he and that top line can repeat or exceed what they did this season. Now if we can play some defense…..another time, we will save that for another time.
By now, if you have read any of my 1st round predictions or other posts and tweets in the last couple of weeks, you should know that the Chicago Blackhawks are my 2nd team and are the team I am rooting for in the playoffs. Saturday something happened that made it where I was not going in to work, so I sat down and got to watch game 5 between the Blackhawks and the Predators. Exciting game as Chicago lost the lead in the 3rd period and late were still down one. Marian Hossa is chasing a puck back behind the Nashville bench and this goes down:
This may be just me, but I do not think it was as bad as the Ovechkin hit on the Blackhawks Campbell. Ovechkin threw force into it and wanted to send Campbell into the boards, Hossa gives a type of shove that happens all the time in games with no result and Hamuis is off balance a bit and moving towards the boards already. Should it have been called, yes. I agree with the call, but I do not think he should be suspended and thus I agree with the NHL’s ruling. So Hossa goes and sits for 5 mins with only 1:03 left in the game. But the Blackhawks finally get the puck and pull the goalie to even the powerplay out and make it 5 on 5 play, leading to Patrick Kane scoring off a rebound with 13.6 seconds to go. Then the game goes to OT, B’hawks kill the rest of the major penalty and right after Hossa comes out of the penatly box he scores the game winner in OT as the puck bounces right to him in front of the net. Great game, crazy stuff, and lots of drama. Now Chicago has a 3-2 series lead and game 6 is tonight in Nashville.
Also over the weekend and last week we had a couple series wrap up. The Sharks finally figure out the Avalanche and win the series 4-2. San Jose had trouble in the series with the young and quick bunch, and many people are already speculating about if they may lose in the 2nd round again. Vancouver closes out the Kings to win the series 4-2. I had picked the Kings, but besides their powerplay, they were overall out played in the series and the #3 seed Canucks move on. I got to tune in yesterday and watch the Coyotes win 5-2 in Detroit to tie the series up at 3-3 and send it to a game 7 in Phoenix. Tuesday night is game 7 and is a must watch: the Coyote fans hopefully packing it out and making it hard on the Red Wings and the Coyote players getting a chance to prove to the hockey world what they can do. But we already know what the Red Wings can do and their track record in playoff situations. It should be intense and has to be a must watch!
More tomorrow on the playoffs and tonight’s action. Tonight we have game 6 in Nashville (Chicago up 3-2), game 6 in Boston with Buffalo up against it (Bruins lead 3-2) and Washington trying to close out in Montreal (Caps lead 3-2).