Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Round 2, baby!!!

After 6 games of high drama, trash talking and a goalie carousel, the Flyers came out and played the way we expected them to when the lineup was finalized at the trade deadline, beating the Sabres 5-2!!

Where to begin? First of all, when you play hard for 60 minutes it pays off. They skated hard, forechecked relentlessly, Boosh was fabulous in net and Miller ended up getting chased, yes, after being the laughing stock of the hockey world this week, who got the last laugh? We did! So bwahahahaha!

I can't single out one player who was better than anyone else because they all played great, guys like Versteeg and Zherdev who have been disappointing up till the end of the season really played smart hockey. Zherdev is not a two way player but he has suddenly become one and he was hitting guys! Versteeg simplified his game and was dangerous on offense and defense.

The turning point? Patrick Kaleta crossed the line by making fun of Briere and Hartnell's divorces last year and fired them and the team up. After the game, Pierre McGuire talked to Captain Mike Richards and one question he asked him was how the trash talking affected them and he said "karma". He went on to say they made things personal and it rallied the guys. Kaleta was a jerk in the OHL and continues to be a jerk in the NHL so it couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

Now we just have to wait and see who the next opponent is. If Boston wins it's them, otherwise it gets a bit confusing. Boston and Montreal have game 7 tomorrow night, as do Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Ahhh, it's playoff time!

The NHL playoffs. There is nothing like the drama starting about 3 weeks before the season ends and then into the first round. The nerves, despair, sadness, anger, thrills, heart palpitations, shallow breathing, the joy of victory and agony of defeat. You know what I mean, right? Oh, wait. If you're a Leaf fan, let me remind you of the last time you saw a playoff game with your team participating:

Yup, it's been a while!

Last season, my Philadelphia Flyers got into the playoffs on the last day of the season in a shoot out, something most true hockey fans hate. It's a gimmick and whether your team wins or loses, it stinks. This time last year it helped my team but it would have been a horrible way to lose.

After destroying the Devils in 5 in the first round, they played the Bruins and were down 0-3 very quickly. They won the next 3 games to bring it to game 7 and in the first period were down 0-3 just like that. Coach Peter Laviolette called the time out of all time outs and told them to just score one goal before the end of the period, and told goalie Michael Leighton not to give up any goals. James van Riemsdyk started the ball rolling by scoring. In the second, Scott Hartnell and Danny Briere each scored to make it 3 all. Then, yet another Bruins "too many men on the ice" penalty came back to bite them in the butt and Simon Gagne scored on the power play to make it 4-3 and give the Flyers the win with the comeback of all comebacks. No other team has come back from 0-3 in games and 0-3 to start game 7 and win a series, so for us Flyers fans it was just amazing. The highs and lows were incredible, from the bad score to the time out to Claude Giroux's amazing defensive shift:

On to the Montreal series which was a comparative walk in the park after all that drama but wasn't without highlights as well, courtesy of captain Mike Richards:

After that it was the Stanley Cup finals. The fans tried to do what they could by eating grilled cheese sandwiches before every game to bring good luck. We wore our lucky clothes and discarded them after losses. The quality of play wasn't there as many of the players on both teams were running on fumes, having been through the regular season, the Olympics, and hard played games up till the final. Goaltending was pretty bad for both teams and the game winner by Patrick Kane was weak, right through the 5 hole. I can't bear to put it on my blog but after a day or two of feeling bummed out, we all geared up for the next season and were so proud of what the team had done.

2010/2011 got off to a great start and the team was in first place in the eastern conference for several weeks before ending up in second. We had a new goalie, 22 year old Sergei Bobrovsky who was learning the NHL game and learning to speak English all at once. Brian Boucher is there just in case Bob falters. We reluctantly said goodbye to Simon Gagne who was traded to Tampa, and welcomed Andrej Meszaros, a solid defenceman who has played incredibly well this season. So defence and goaltending aren't a problem, but for some reason the power play and goal scoring in general have suffered.

I don't know how the playoffs will end. Will the power play figure itself out? Will Briere/Leino/Hartnell be as amazing as they were last year? Will Mike Richards go into beast mode? It could be great, or the season could be over by Friday night. That's the beauty of the playoffs, you have to be prepared and on top of your game all the time, and if you don't, the thrill of victory will become the agony of defeat before you know what happened.

This was put together after last season, so hopefully there will be something similar after this one:

Saturday, April 9, 2011

A great week of couponing!

I can't believe I used to pay full price for things without a thought! This week, I got the following:

6 Swiffer duster sets - $4.99 each, free with coupons only paid tax
4 boxes of Milkbones, $1 each, free with coupons, only paid tax
2 bottles of Tresomme shampoo and conditioner, $3.99 - $1 per bottle in coupons
3 boxes of Tenderflake pie crusts, 2 per pack, on sale for $1.99, - $1 each in coupons, paid $.99 each
2 Mars bars, buy one, get one free, .58 cents
3 containers of Betty Crocker icing, $1 each - $1 x 3 coupons, only paid tax
2 boxes of Special K cereal bars, $1.99 - 2 coupons @ .50 per box, $1.49 each
4 Fancy Feast cat food, $1.43 each, marked down to $1 each if you buy 4 or more, minus .75 coupons made it .25 each.
24 cans of Fancy Feast marked down to .38 cents each (no coupons but a great price)
24 cans of Friskies for under $12 (no coupons but a good price)

I gave my mom the pie crusts and a couple of Swiffers as well as the icing. The cat food will go to the Bluffers Park cats. There is only 1 cat left in the colony as all the others have been trapped and are being fostered by volunteers so they still need food. The cats had been taken care of for years by a group of volunteers till some idiot(s) lured coyotes to the colony. At least 1 cat was killed. If you want to learn more, they have a Facebook Page and are accepting food donations at By the Bluffs Diner on Kingston Road, east of McCowan in Scarborough.