Monday, April 28, 2008

Musings on Round 2 So Far

The series shifts to Philadelphia for tonight's showdown at the Wachovia Center. A lot has been made of what the media has deemed a "sucker punch" delivered to the head of Flyers' defenceman Kimmo Timonen after he taunted several Habs following the game-clinching goal to make it 4-2 on Saturday. Kostopoulos was repentant yesterday despite getting the vote of confidence from coach Carbonneau who said Timonen "deserved it."

I don't see anything wrong with it and I think calling it a sucker punch is a bit extreme. It's so funny to hear the Flyers complain about something like this. Watching the coverage on American networks yesterday, coach Carbonneau was made to look like a smiling villain. Nationally in Canada, response varied but was generally slanted towards the Flyers. Even though they're the last Canadian team in the playoffs, the national media is incredibly quick to jump on the Canadiens.

A lot has been made of the CBC's alleged anti-habs bias, with Don Cherry making his usual colourful remarks. That doesn't bother me at all. Cherry is not without his redeeming qualities but all told, it doesn't bother me not to have him cheering for my team. This guy cheers for the biggest jokes on skates in the Toronto Maple Leafs and is a huge Bruins fan. Why the heck would he jump on the Habs bandwagon? Anyone who thinks there's no place for visors in hockey should have their views taken with a grain of salt.

As far as bad blood goes, I think all this verbal jousting favours the Habs. If the Flyers should back up their team slogan for the 2008 playoffs and look for "vengeance now" it would favour the Habs who are a faster team. The amount of obstruction and interference that went uncalled in game 2 was appalling. It wouldn't surprise me to see the officials take control of the game and put the NHL's top two power plays of the regular season on display.

I expect a high scoring and entertaining game. The horseshoe Marty Biron had up his ass for game 2 will likely be less of a factor. Carey Price will find his game. Someone will probably get hurt.