Alexandre Ovechkin had the goal of the playoffs and the Capitals stayed alive in their first round series with the Rangers with a convincing 4-0 win but the story of the game was once again Sean Avery. The Ranger pest was a healthy scratch as coach John Tortorella decided to sit the agitator down after his meltdown at the end of Game 4. Tortorella feeling--and with good reason--that Avery was simply too much of a liability. However, the Rangers were not the same team without Avery that they are without him. They looked nothing like the team that won three of the first four games in this series.
It only asks the question as to whether or not Tortorella made the right move. Yes, the Capitals have all the momentum going into Game 6 but I think Tortorella did make the right decision. Avery is a ticking time bomb and he could have taken a stupid penalty or penalties that might have led to a Washington win. Tortorella sent Avery a message and its one he is hoping got through. I expect Avery to play in Game 6. If he doesn't, one can expect Avery has played his last game as a Blueshirt.
I forgot to mention this when I talked about the Canada win over Belarus at the World Hockey Championship. I didn't hear the whole conversation but it would appear as if Rider Pride is alive and well in Switzerland. Dave Randorf and Dave Reid were talking near the end of the hockey game and while I didn't hear the whole conversation, it would appear as if someone wearing Rider green was in attendance at the hockey game. Randorf also saying that there was someone wearing a Rider jersey at the world womens hockey championship in Finland. The Rider Nation is everywhere....everywhere I tell you. Like you didn't know that.
The drama is gone and the St. Louis Rams are on the clock. Detroit didn't really surprise anyone by announcing late Friday they have come to terms with University of Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford on a six year deal worth 78 million---41.7 million--- is guaranteed. I'm sorry but when you haven't taken a snap in the NFL and you are guaranteed almost 42 million, it only screams that a rookie salary cap needs to be put in place. Stafford could be a bigger bust than Ryan Leaf (although I don't think that will happen even though he's in Detroit) and he will get 42 million. That's ridiculous. It means the Rams are next and word is they will take offensive lineman Jason Smith from Baylor. Then it gets interesting. I really have no idea what direction my Seahawks will take at number 4. I don't even know if they will make the selection as I think they will trade it. If they are to use the pick, I hope they take Texas Tech receiver Michael Crabtree. The Hawks are still thin at receiver and some think Crabtree might be the best pure athlete in the draft. Thus I say take him if you can. I think its going to be an interesting Saturday in New York City. CNN's Peter King was on Pardon the Interruption Friday and said the NFL draft is more popular than the NHL right now. I can't argue that statement. More people in the U-S are talking about the NFL draft than they are the Stanley Cup playoffs. Just another example as to how Gary Bettman's vision for the league has failed.
They haven't played Boston, Tampa or the Yankees but the Blue Jays continue to be one of the stories in baseball's first month. Toronto absolutely destroyed the White Sox 14-0 Friday night. The Jays have scored 118 runs in their first 18 games and averaging more than 10 hits a game. Adam Lind and Aaron Hill are tearing the cover off the ball and this no-name rotation behind Roy Halladay is getting the job done. As I said, I still think this team will be hard pressed to finish any higher than 3rd in the A-L East, but they are doing their best to prove me and many others wrong.
Its April 24 and with the windchill its minus 19. NICE!!!
Why can't I buy Cherry Powerade anymore??
If Troy Westwood's comments several years ago resulted in the formation of the Banjo Bowl, what will Mike Kelly's comments of this week spawn. Do I really want to know???
Have a good weekend!