Who do we appreciate?

The Hurricanes (2), Sabres (4), Ducks (6), and Oilers (8).

After round one, we had #1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 seeds surviving. People talk about just how random the playoffs are these days, but this weird uniformity is uncanny. You wouldn't have to look too hard to find expert pre-season predictions stating that this quartet would miss the playoffs. Now, it's an all-Cinderella Battle Royale.

The story lately has been
The Flu. I don't think this will harm the Oilers' chances. The way these things operate, the problem has probably already spread to the Ducks' dressing room and should peak in time for game 4 or 5. I could have sworn I saw Jason Smith deliberately coughing on Anaheim forwards in the 3rd period Sunday night.

Do these flu epidemics take place in any other team sport? I'm tempted to think they occur in hockey because of the extreme fatigue the players suffer. Football is a rough sport and all, but there is no way one NFL football game per week is anywhere near as taxing as 3.5 NHL playoff games per week.

And what's up with Hemsky's neck? Is he growing gills? Or dating a vampiress?

Much ink has been spilled in detailing the similarities between these clubs. Their surprisingly successful regular season, the rookie goalies, the no-name defenses, the speedy New NHL forwards. However, the teams are not quite carbon copies up front.

The Buffalo forwards follow a theme: skill and skating before size. Usually by this point in the playoffs, I can identify players on TV just by how they look/skate/behave on the ice. There are at least a half a dozen Sabres who are all pretty much plug & play. When Briere, Connolly, Afinogenov, Drury, Pominville and Roy are on the ice, I have to look for their numbers to tell them apart (although Afinogenov's and Briere's puck-on-a-string displays often make them stand out). The Sabres also have a more accomplished group of divers. Derek Roy-who-cried-wolf is a standout in this regard. Carolina has more veteran forwards, they are a more diverse bunch and appear to have more size.

I'm not sure how these differences should play out in the series, but the discussion helped flesh out this blog post.


The NHL player profiles on the ESPN website contain a unique ID number in the URL. It appears the database admins had a little bit of fun with these numbers:

Mario is #66 (of course).
Paul Coffey is #77, and Eric Lindros is #88.

Following this pattern, it should be obvious that
Sidney Crosby is... #3737. And #99? Unused.

Here's a list, conveniently sorted in numerical order for all the other OCD-types out there:

1 = blank
2 = Kevin Stevens
3 = Brett Hull
4 = Jeremy Roenick
5 = Yzerman
6 = blank
7 = Sakic
8 = Luc Robitaille
9 = Gary Roberts
10 = Mark Messier
11 = Recchi
12 = Turgeon
13 = Leetch
14 = blank
15 = Oates
16 = blank
17 = blank
18 = Housley
19 = Ray Bourque
20 = Larry Murphy
21 = MacInnis
22 = Scott Stevens
23 = Andreychuk
24 = Damphousse
25 = Mogilny
26 = Owen Nolan
27 (to 1) = Tocchet
28 = blank
29 = Gilmour
30 = blank
31 = Olczyk
32 = blank
33 = Sergei Fedorov
55 = Amonte
66 = Mario
77 = Coffey
87 = blank (reserved for future use?)
88 = Lindros
98 = Bob Bassen
99 = blank
100 = Belfour


My apologies for the ridiculously long stretch without updates. No, the demise of the Canadiens has not plunged me too far into the depths of despair to post. Rather, I've been busier than a sack of cats. Who would have thought that changing jobs, buying a house, wedding planning duties, and watching three different tournaments at once (NHL playoffs, WHCs and the Memorial Cup) would take up so much time?


Blogger speeds said...

I believe the story with Hemsky's neck is that he was cut by a broken bottle when a guy attacked him in a Czech bar during the lockout, supposedly it was pretty close to his jugular so things could have been much worse.

5/24/2006 4:22 p.m.  
Blogger Jeff J said...

In Edmonton, fans stab each other with knives. In the Czech Republic, they stab the players with broken bottles? That's hardcore.

5/25/2006 8:41 a.m.  
Anonymous jon said...

Interesting point about the player numbers. For both yahoo and ESPN, Miro Satan's playerid is 666. Looks like someone thought they could pull a funny.

5/29/2006 2:53 p.m.  
Blogger Jeff J said...

Didn't even think to check Satan's profile! That is classic!

5/30/2006 9:56 a.m.  

Post a Comment

<< Home