To start with, there is Ilya Bryzgalov, who is quickly becoming one of my favourite athletes out there. In the 3-0 Ducks victory, Bryzgalov tied the NHL record for consecutive shutouts in the playoffs at 3. The original record was set by another rookie goaltender, the baby-faced Leaf Legend Frank McCool, who managed the feat against the Red Wings in 1945. When asked about his record feat, Ilya replied in his non-shalent manner that is becoming refreshingly familiar by this point, saying "It's not a big deal for me. It's fun because we won the game". How can you not love this guy? This is the same goalie, who after knocking the Flames out in game 7 in the first round said "It's not a big deal, it's just a game. A game you want to win, yes, but just a game." He's an amazing goalie, cool as a cucumber, hilarious in the media and instantly becoming a fan favourite. He's almost enough for me to want to cheer for the Ducks against the Sharks next round, even.
Speaking of whom, Joe Thornton has been drawing 100% of his opponents defensive attention so far these playoffs, and you have to wonder when teams are going to learn that won't cut it. Joe is proving yet again that he is a team player, and is happily seeing his numbers decline as his teammates benefit from the open ice and light up the nets. Marleau was happy to step up yet again, as somehow his opponents keep forgetting that he would be good enough to be a #1 center on most other teams. If the focus is on defending Joe at the cost of everything else, then Marleau will get a couple points and the Oilers will only get 15 shots every game, and this one will be over faster than even I thought. Another player note from the game - Ville Nieminen was absolutely ridiculous out there, throwing 15 body checks that registered in the books, and probably a few more that didn't. The physical, but clean game that the Sharks through at the Oilers was something they had no answer for, and Ville had everything to do with that. I can't imagine a way in which the Oilers can recover from this game. The series is over at this point.
One series over, and one not started yet, and the Devils and Hurricaines get their series underway Monday night. That's right, there was no game on Saturday as scheduled. There just wasn't, and I don't want to hear anyone claiming that there was.
Switching sports now, I'm going to skip right over all the Spurs wins. I've never been able to stand that team, ESPECIALLY Ginobli. I can't even watch any games where he's playing. It just can't be done, and hence I obviously can't comment on the games. Moving on then, Kobe Bryant took a double hit this weekend as the Suns completed their comeback, knocking out the Lakers in game 7 on Saturday. This was followed Sunday afternoon by Steve Nash being named league MVP, an award many (including yours truly) thought should have gone to Mamba this year. Not only did he not win, but he didn't even end up in the top 3 in voting. I really don't understand how this happened. Statistically, he was far and away the league leader this year. In a value to his team sense, Kobe also made the biggest difference. I can't picture that team winning even 14 games without Kobe in the lineup. I'm going to guess that his off-court antics in recent years helped deter many votes from coming up beside his name, and that's just not right. I can see the argument for Nash, but there is no reason for Dirk to be finishing ahead of Kobe. Probably not Lebron either. And as much as I dislike Kobe and the Lakers, this whole situation just isn't right. Just isn't right at all.
Alright, one last note before I go to bed - it's time to move our Rawk the Bawl competition to the semi-finals. The second round was a lot closer than the first, and there were a coupld of ridiculous results as D12 beat out DMX, and Ron Artest inexplicably beat out Chamillionaire. in the other series, Redman beat out Kanye West, and Run DMC took down my favourites Hed PE. This all means that the semi-finals come together as follows:
(1) Detroit D12 - www.d12online.com - These guys are solid right through, except for that white guy that's finally gone (Darco) and that fat guy who doesn't get much playing time (Cato). You still see how it relates.
(3) New Jersey Redman - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redman - He can go higher and higher and higher, apparently. Even Kanye West was no match for Redmans skillz. Hopefully he can pull off another surprise this week as he goes up against Eminems rag tag crew.
(8)Sacremento Ron Artest - http://sportsguynorth.blogspot.com/2006/02/dream-son-dream.html - Ron's wish came true, and he somehow managed to beat Cham in the second round. My guess is no one has ever heard a Ron Artest song, and they were just voting for him based on his bball skills. If somehow he takes out Run DMC I'll know that somethign fishy is going on.
(7) LA Lakers Run DMC - http://pages.sbcglobal.net/tmoren/rundmc/ - For the last time, yes I know that Run DMC isn't from LA. As I said TWICE already, since the Lakers were unable to buy up aging talent to help Kobe this year, I thought I would do it for them in this medium. Lakers fans need some sort of consolation this year. I really get the impression that you guys all purposely just do what I say not to do. I'm going to have to learn how to use this knowledge to my advantage. Stay tuned, and get your votes for Rawk the Bawl's semi-finals in today!