Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Kerrzy's Notebook: Playoff recap, Day 38/Oilers Make the Right Move

Well, we're now halfway to a rematch of last year's Stanley Cup final after Pittsburgh's game four win over the Carolina Hurricanes. I knew I shouldn't have picked them to advance...

Here's the recap:

(Penguins 4, Hurricanes 1)

The way this one started, it looked like the 'Canes might have some gas left in the tank...but it didn't last.

The Penguins looked like the better team from start to finish in this game, and the Hurricanes always looked like they were just on the verge of being that team that upset two of the Eastern Conference's best teams in the opening rounds.

Were the Penguins just that much better than the 'Canes? Was the wear and tear of two seven-game series just too much for Carolina? Perhaps a bit of both.

Besides the obvious players like Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby (in that order), I think Ruslan Fedotenko was one of the most important players for the Penguins in this series. Also, I bet Ray Shero will be begging Bill Guerin to come back after watching the gritty winger play with Crosby.

So, for the second straight season, the Pittsburgh Penguins were presented with the Prince of Wales trophy as Eastern Conference champion. I noticed something interesting during the presentation of the trophy this year, as opposed to last...

Hockey superstition dictates that you don't touch that trophy when it's presented to you, because it's bad luck.

After the Pens beat the Flyers in the 2008 Conference Final, Sidney Crosby went along with this thinking and didn't touch the trophy...and his Penguins lost in the Stanley Cup Final to the Red Wings.

This year, Crosby got his mitts all over the hardware, even sharing it around with Sergei Gonchar and Evgeni Malkin.

Will it work? I guess we'll have to wait and see.


*Chicago @ Detroit - 5:30pm (Series: 3-1 DET)

Oilers hire Quinn, Renney

It wouldn't be right of me to not throw in my two cents about the latest news out of the Edmonton Oilers camp.

What a move by the Oil snagging Pat Quinn and Tom Renney in one fell swoop. Isn't it about time that the team brought in someone new to the franchise to have a go at turning this ship around?

I think so.

You've got to be excited that they managed to bring in not only Quinn, who ranks fifth on the all-time wins list for coaches with 657, but another guy in Tom Renney who would easily be short-listed for any head coaching vacancy in the league.

That's a solid move. Will it work out? There are so many variables in play when you ask a question like that. I think it's definitely the best move they could have hoped for in this current situation.

Quinn is in the twilight of his career and is coming back to the place where he won a Memorial Cup in junior with the Oil Kings (1962-63). Renney is an experienced coach who is coming home in a way too - he started his coaching career in the WHL with the Kamloops Blazers and has coached in the Western Conference before with the Vancouver Canucks.

I'll be honest, as soon as the Oilers fired Craig MacTavish, I was hoping that they would bring in Pat Quinn. Needless to say, I'm pumped to see how he does!

Let Kerrzy read it to you:

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