The Blog of Jerrit Dusome

Random Thoughts from the Mind of a Genius

2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs: Round One Predictions

Well, it’s playoff time again, so I suppose I will be growing the beard out again. Yes indeed, this is one of my favorite times of year, even though my beloved Toronto Maple Leafs have finished their season already, finishing out of the playoffs for the 4th consecutive year. Oh well, it could be worse. At least the Leafs are taking the steps to be better next year.

But I am not writing this article to talk about the Leafs, this is a playoff article, and I will purely talk about those teams involved. To start, my pick to win the cup this year will be the Detroit Red Wings. They are just too good, they will not be stopped this post-season, much in the same way as last year.

Saying that, I do not want the Wings to repeat as Stanley Cup Champs, I would like to see the Calgary Flames or the Anaheim Ducks win it all this year, however I don’t think the Ducks are getting out of the first round, so LETS GO FLAMES. 

Anyway, lets get to the predictions shall we?

Western Conference

#1 San Jose Sharks vs. #8 Anaheim Ducks

Any other year, this would be one series that I would really be looking forward, but seeing as the San Jose Sharks were absolutely amazing this year, I don’t really see the Ducks having much of a chance in this series, therefore making it hockey that won’t necessarily be fun to watch. However, stranger things have happened, and if J.S. Giguere really heats things up, the Ducks could give the Sharks a run for their money.

Prediction: Sharks in 6

#2 Detroit Red Wings vs. #7 Columbus Blue Jackets

This is one series where I have seen certain people predicting an upset. Let me just say, you people are WRONG. Detroit is going to win this series, but Columbus will put up a bit of a fight. Steve Mason is an incredible goalie, but it won’t be enough to carry them past the power house Red Wings. The Blue Jackets will manage to steal a couple of games due to goaltending, but like I just said, it won’t be enough.

Prediction: Red Wings in 6

#3 Vancouver Canucks vs. #6 St. Louis Blues

As a good old Canadian boy, I am obviously going to take the Vancouver Canucks to win this series, however it is not because I am a Canadian that I am going to do so. Vancouver is the superior team in this series, and I think they are going to walk all over the St. Louis Blues. While the Blues do have a lot of young talent, I don’ they have what it takes to make a dent in Robert Luongo and the Canucks.

Prediction: Canucks in 5

#4 Chicago Blackhawks vs. #5 Calgary Flames

I haven’t had any upsets thus far in my predictions, so let this be my first. This is going to be one of the best series of the first round of the playoffs. Both of these teams have stellar goaltending, as well as great talent, both offensively and defensively. Some people have said lately that Miikka Kiprusoff is tired, and therefore will be outplayed by is counterpart at the other end of the rink, but I think that is ridiculous. Kiprusoff will have another great playoff year, and will help his team get the wins they need.

Prediction: Flames in 7

Well that’s the Western Conference, so now lets get to the East and see what’s going on.

Eastern Conference

#1 Boston Bruins vs. #8 Montreal Canadiens

I hate the Montreal Canadiens. I mean, I REALLY hate them. That’s why it makes me so happy to say that they are going to lose this series. Tim Thomas, in my opinion, is the best goaltender in the Eastern Conference going into the playoffs. Carey Price, on the other hand, has been nothing but inconsistent all season, and that trend will continue into round 1. While the Canadiens may pull off a victory in this series, in the long run, the Bruins will prevail.

Prediction: Bruins in 5

#2 Washington Capitals vs. #7 New York Rangers

Some people have stated that goaltending is going to be the deciding factor when it comes to this series, however I think that this statement is wrong. Yes, the New York Rangers have the superior goalie in Henrik Lundqvist, and yes, Jose Theodore is not as consistent as the Capitals would like, but this series is going to be about the weapons that Washington has. The Caps have Alexander Ovechkin, likely going to win the Hart Trophy again this year, 56 goals during the regular season. He is going to be the difference maker. Now add Mike green into this 30+ goals during the regular season, and a strong defensive force. The Rangers have no players who had 30 goals this season. Its just a matter of math. The Capitals win quite easily.

Prediction: Capitals in 6

#3 New Jersey Devils vs. #6 Carolina Hurricanes

This series is another one that has potential to be a great series. The New Jersey Devils are just an all around great team, and they are facing the Hurricanes, who have been one of the hottest in the league over the last couple months. Both goaltenders have been playing great, and I do believe that it will be a strong defensive battle. Expect to see a long series. It is going to be close, but I think the Devils will narrowly escape the Hurricanes.

Prediction: Devils in 7

#4 Pittsburgh Penguins vs. #5 Philadelphia Flyers

I bet that the Philadelphia Flyers are regretting where they ended up at the end of the regular season. The Pittsburgh Penguins are coming off a very hot end to the regular season, and with the team that they have, especially on offense, the Flyers must be a little nervous at the moment. With the likes of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Jordan Staal up front, Sergei Gonchar and Hal Gill at the back end, and Marc-Andre Fleury in net, the Penguins are strong all around, and the Flyers won’t be able to persevere in the long run.

Prediction: Penguins in 6

Well there you have it. My Predictions for the upcoming 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs. You may not agree, but thats alright, because you’ll be wrong.

Just Kidding. My Predictions are no better than anyone else’s.


April 15, 2009 Posted by | Hockey | , , , | Leave a comment

Why I Love Alex Ovechkin’s Goal Celebrations

With Alexander Ovechkin and his Washington Capitals in Toronto to face-off against the Leafs tonight at the ACC, one might think that this may heat up the feud that is ongoing between the Russian superstar and Hockey Night in Canada’s Don Cherry.

Ovechkin, having recently scored his 50th goal of the season, has been taking some heat over his celebration for said goal, where he put his stick on the ice, and made hand motions over top indicating that his stick was ‘too hot’ to pick up.

This event only added to a discussion that has been ongoing over the past month between Cherry and Ron MacLean on Coach’s Corner.

For Cherry, he believes that goal celebrations should not be as exuberant as those performed by Ovechkin after most of goals. Whether it be jumping into the glass at top speed, or flying across the ice on one skate with your arms flailing behind him, Ovechkin has made a name for himself with these type of antics.

However, Cherry feels that these type of celebrations do not belong in hockey at all.

In fact, Cherry believes that these celebrations show that Alex the Great does not respect the other team, his own teammates, or the game of hockey itself. Ovechkin has been quick to dismiss Cherry and his claims.

“Everybody right now doesn’t like my celebration when I score a goal and jump to the glass or do something like that. But I only do something now. It’s just my thing. I was just happy that I scored 50 goals.”

As for the issue of respect, Ovechkin doesn’t feel as though he is doing anything wrong, and that he is just having fun out there.

“I respect everybody. I don’t want to show bad things. I show my thing. It was not disrespect.”

I think that this whole series of events has been completely blown out of proportion. Alex Ovechkin brings passion to the game of hockey, passion that I think has been lost by many players in this new NHL.

Should we really be condemning a man because he loves to play the game? Of course not. Ovechkin jumps to the glass after a goal because he is genuinely thrilled that he just scored a goal. He doesn’t do it out of disrespect. I mean look at his face after a goal, the young man couldn’t be happier.

Alex Ovechkin loves the game of hockey, and he loves the NHL. For me, it makes me smile every time I see one of his celebrations, and hockey in general needs more characters like Alexander the Great.

In a lot of markets throughout the U.S. teams are struggling to fill arenas. Washington was one of those markets before Ovechkin arrived. Now they have a lot more fans in the seats each night.

It’s because they love watching a young man play his heart out for the game he loves, and he has fun doing it.

Their should be more Ovechkin-like goal celebrations throughout the league, it would make hockey much more fun to watch for those that normally wouldn’t.

I know when I watch the Capitals take on the Leafs tonight, even though I will be cheering for the Boys in Blue, if Ovechkin scores a goal, I’ll be clapping when he jumps into the glass to celebrate.

March 24, 2009 Posted by | Hockey | , , , , | Leave a comment

Mats Sundin Returns to Toronto, and He Deserved the Standing Ovation…

mats-sundin-in-toronto1Even though Mats Sundin no longer wears the white and blue, it doesn’t mean that he doesn’t hold a special place in the hearts of the many legions of Leafs fan throughout the province of Ontario.

This point was best shown during the first period of Saturday’s game between the Vancouver Canucks and Toronto Maple Leafs, when MLSE played a video on the Jumbo-tron honoring their former captain in front of a capacity crowd.

Many were curious as to what kind of reaction Sundin would receive from the Leafs faithful on Saturday, but that question was quickly answered, when during the video tribute he was a given a standing ovation lasting roughly three minutes.

It was clear that not everyone shared those same sentiments, but I was among those cheering and clapping on my feet, even though I was watching the game from my living room.

I have continued to cheer for Sundin during his tenure with Vancouver. Indeed, I wish I was able to watch their games more, as I have become an instant fan of the Canucks when the Leafs are not playing on a particular night.

Even though some may argue that the circumstances behind Sundin leaving Toronto have hurt the Leafs in the long run, I tend to disagree.

With Mats being asked to waive his no trade clause last spring, many felt that a trade involving the superstar would bring in some much needed young talent, as well as a few draft picks. However, this was not to be, as Sundin refused to leave the city he had played in for the past thirteen years.

And he deserved the right to do that, in my mind. Even though at the time it did make me somewhat angry at what I viewed was a selfish move on his behalf, looking back, it was his choice to make, and he made the right decision. Sundin ended his time in Toronto on his own terms, and I am glad that he did.

As for the standing ovation that he received Saturday night, those that argue that he betrayed the Leafs in refusing a trade will also argue that he didn’t deserve to be honored as such. To put it flat out, these people are wrong.

Sundin serve 13 years with the Leafs, being captain for his final 10 seasons. In the Toronto organization he holds most of the records, leading the franchise in such categories as goals and points all time.

Not withstanding his offensive contribution to the franchise, he also was one of the most beloved captains in team history. There are those that believe he was not a leader, and merely held the captaincy because of his skill. But he was a good captain, just ask any of the men that he played with while in Toronto.

Lets just face it, Sundin is one of the all time greatest Leafs, especially in terms of this generation of fans. Sundin will always have a place in the hearts of Maple Leaf fans (mine included), and I look forward to a few years down the road when the number 13 is raised to its rightful place in the rafters of the Air Canada Centre.

Read This Article on Bleacher Report here.

February 21, 2009 Posted by | Hockey, Sports, Toronto Maple Leafs | , , | 1 Comment

Me, a Sports Journalist? Maybe Someday…

 

So as none if you will no, because there is no one reading this (lol), I am also a writer on the sports journalism website Bleacher Report. I really pride myself in my journalism, so I figured I would share one of my recent article entitled, “Jason Blake: Three Reasons the Leafs Should Trade Him.” I am primarily a Toronto Maple Leafs analyst, so if you are a fan, I hope you enjoy:

35956_featureWith Brian Burke now officially the general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, many people are beginning to wonder when the so-called “rebuilding” process will begin.

With no moves being made yet and the trade deadline quickly approaching, the big question is who will stay and who will go. In my opinion, there is one person on the team that is almost certainly on his way out of Toronto: Jason Blake.

I personally have nothing against Blake. I like his style of play and I like the skill that he brings to the Leafs, especially as of late as his play has been spectacular.

However, on this Leafs team he has no place on the roster. Here are the three reasons why Jason Blake should be traded this year.

Age

Toronto is looking to build a team around a strong base of young players, such as Luke Schenn. At 35, it is easy to see that Blake does not fit in with where this team is moving.

The Leafs should look to trade him and pick some draft picks, prospects, or even one decent young player, because, in the long run, it will benefit the team much more than Blake ever could in the present.

Money

Blake is in the second year of a five-year, $20 million contract, and it is easy to see that this cap space could be better spent on three or four young players.

Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment has always been worried about money when it comes to its hockey team, and even though Burke has complete autonomy, there will be a push from the front office for Burke to save some money where the source is available.

Jason Blake is arguably that source.

Production

Blake has been nothing if not inconsistent during his tenure with the Buds. After scoring 40 goals in his final season with the NY Islanders, Blake managed merely 15 in his first season with the Leafs.

Due to the fact that Blake was signed to give offense to a team that was lacking in that department, a 15-goal season is just not acceptable. Granted, Blake was struggling with his recent cancer diagnosis, but he still managed to play all 82 games, and for a player of Blake’s supposed caliber, 15 goals just won’t cut it.

On the flip side, Blake’s production of late has been quite excellent. Through 49 games thus far this season, Blake already has 19 goals and 40 points.

He has been the Leafs’ best player through the last 10 to 15 games, which one could argue is giving him a much better trade value than this time last year. This should be reason enough for Mr. Burke to pull the trigger and make a deal before it might be too late.

In conclusion, it is easy to see that the Leafs need to move Blake. The team needs to start looking toward the future, and although he might be good for the present, in the long run, the Leafs need youth.

At his age, Jason Blake is merely part of the past.

February 20, 2009 Posted by | Hockey, Sports, Toronto Maple Leafs | , , | Leave a comment