Anton Khudobin, and Making KSTC Suck Less


I may have found a way to make hockey on KSTC 45 watchabale. If you have DirecTV, and you have their DVR, and you have it connected to your home network, you can get DirecTV2PC. It enables you to watch your DVRd programs on your computer. Tonight I watched Wild v. Philly slightly delayed on my 19″ monitor, and you’d be amazed how good that looks when compared to a 50″ HDTV. It was actually watchable. Takes a lot to get there, but it can be done. You’re welcome 45 (sing the jingle).

On to tonight’s game. Wild win 2-1 and get call up G Anton Khudobin his first NHL win in his first NHL start. The 23-year old stopped 38 shots, which ties a season high for the Wild. Gotta give props to the kid.

It was a very entertaining game. Not chippy, not broad street bully-esque, but there was some physicality. Owen Nolan got riled up and went after a surprised Flyer, and later scored the game winner. And the Wild did just enough to preserve that lead.

So, here we are on a 2-game winning streak. The last losing streak only lasted 2 games, so what happens v. Phoenix on Wednesday? They’ve got to win more than they lose down the stretch. With 3 games left before the Olympic break, all at home, and still 4 points out of that 8th spot in the West, I’m going to go ahead and and call it a must-win.

Otherwise, ground will never be gained.

Conference Finals…More Coincidental Hockey

Since the Wild were eliminated, it’s been tougher this year than others to get into the playoffs. That said, I did watch most of the Dallas/SJ 4 overtime game on Sunday. I watched most of the game, then 3 of the overtimes, and decided I can’t stay awake through another intermission and who knows how much hockey. So I set the DVR and watched the 4th OT as I got ready for work. Thank goodness it ended when it did…I almost had to FFwd to the game winner. Incidentally, what a great game! Both goalies were stellar in the OTs, including an unbelievable save by Nabokov in the 1st (I think) OT. Congrats to the Stars for finishing the series and pulling another upset. And to Brendan Morrow…would love to have him on our team.

On to my thoughts about the finals…

Pittsburgh Penguins v. Philadelphia Flyers
It’s been a pretty magical run for the Flyers. They’ve played tough in this playoff, beating Washington and then ousting #1 seeded Montreal. For the Pens, they’ve only lost 1 game so far in the playoffs, sweeping Ottawa and losing only 1 to the NY Rangers. This could be a good series. Can Philly’s bruisers take it to Pitt’s talented forwards? I think this will go long, and I think the Pens will outlast the Flyers. We know one thing…the state of Pennsylvania will have a team in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Detroit Red Wings v. Dallas Stars
Detroit had to work a little to get by Nashville in the 1st round, but had an easy go against Colorado. Dallas pulled upsets against teams from their own conference in both rounds, Anaheim and then San Jose. How will they do against a team from another conference, and one that has not had to play seemingly 50 periods of overtime hockey? I gotta say it’s been fun watching Dallas overachieve, but I think Detroit’s the better team here and is playing real well right now. Detroit wins…Sorry Matt.

Round 2 Update…

It’s been a while since I last posted…so here’s a recap of where the playoffs are at. Philadelphia has ousted Montreal. Detroit obliterated Colorado (typical). Pittsburgh is about to finish off New York Rangers, and San Jose has won the last 2 to make a series v. Dallas.

I can’t say I’ve watched too much of the playoffs since the Wild lost, but I have picked up enough of Stars v. San Jose to know that that series could easily be San Jose up 3-2 or even already over in SJ’s favor, or already over with Dallas winning. The games have been tight. Dallas has won 2 OT games, SJ has won 1. It has been the most competitive, which is why it was odd that Dallas was up 3-0. Dallas has another chance tonite to close this series out, but SJ has a bunch of momentum. Stars fans have to hope they haven’t used up all their great play over the first month of the playoffs…

Pittsburgh also has a chance to close out the Rangers this afternoon, in Pittsburgh, on NBC. (What? the Pens and the Rangers are on NBC? That’s so different!) I think this one is over today.

Philly is back in the Eastern Conference Finals, a year after accumulating only 22 wins in the entire season. Very impressive. Hey Wild!

Lastly, Detroit absolutely manhandled Colorado, sweeping a series that culminated in a 8-2 drubbing in Colorado. All-world against the Wild, Jose Theodore came back to earth, yanked 3 times in this series. In fairness, the Avs were hit with a bunch of injuries. Wild fans can sympathize there, but I’m not sure if I’m happy because Colorado was handled so easily, or more disappointed because it shows the Wild played down to their competition and simply lost to a team that they were better than.

The Conference Finals are setting up to be pretty exciting. We’re getting down it!

Conference Semifinals Predictions

Well, it’s been almost a week since everyone’s favorite non-goal-scoring, defenseman-challenged hockey team was elimiated from the chase for the Cup. It’s still difficult for me to detatch enough to post, but I’ll start back slowly.

1st Round Surprises

  • Wild lose – I truly expected them to get past the 1st round.
  • Dallas beat Anaheim – I didn’t think the Stars had it in them.
  • Jeremy Roenick was a factor – He had 2 goals and 2 assists in game 7 v. Calgary
  • Boston took Montreal to 7 games.

1st Round As Planned

  • New Jersey had nothin v. the Rangers.
  • Washington was vulnerable as the 3rd seed in the east. Similar to the Wizzy.

Western Conference 2nd Round
#1 Detroit v. #6 Colorado
This is the big rivalry series from the late ’90s and early ’00s. Will it be as physical? Doubt it. Colorado proved they don’t have to be physical to compete. I think this is where it ends for the Avs tho. Detroit should pull this one out.

#2 San Jose v. #5 Dallas
2nd matchup of the playoffs for Dallas against their division. This will be a great series. Mike Modano v. Jeremy Roenick. Evgeni Nabokov v. Marty Turco. I told people from the area I’d be pulling for Dallas, so that’s my call.

Eastern Conference 2nd Round
#1 Montreal v. #6 Philadelphia
Montreal surprisingly took 7 games to get by Boston, but I think they’re a better team than Philly.

#2 Pittsburgh v. #3 NY Rangers
This should be another great series. I don’t trust the Rangers, but alot of people pick them to get to the Cup final. I’m going with the Pens.

Ode to a Dead Wild Season
Eh, maybe in a few days…