Blues improve to 8-3 on the road this post-season where they’ve been much better than they’ve been at home (5-5). Bruins have been equally strong on the road as they’ve been at The Garden.
One assist and an ENG for Boston’s top-line. I don’t expect that to continue?
Last edited by Dan; 05-29-2019 at 11:24 PM.
Go Andrew!!!! They might just hang that banner...
Bruins...hope your prediction holds true Dan agree it’s still theirs to lose but gotta have some big games outta that top line. They know that and I expect a better showing in the next one.
Before I get too far into this one, I have to re-state … this is still the B's series to lose. It's been their Cup to lose since the East was reduced to them, the Islanders, CBJ and Carolina, and the West was reduced to has-beens and newbies. None of that was Mensa-level stuff, and none of that has changed.
What DID change last night was the Blues decided to play against the B's the same fierce, methodical and heavy checking game that they've aimed against a series of prior Western opponents, to great effect. They pretty much had those tables turned on them starting with the second period in Game One, and it looked like the B's carried that into the start of Game Two, when they took a pair of one goal leads, and still looked like clearly the better of the two teams even when the game went into the first break tied 2-2.
And then it all changed. Where the B's answered the bell after the first break and dictated terms to SLB for the duration, it's hard not to say the Blues didn't do the same exact thing to the B's last night. Sure, there were ebbs and flows over the last two periods, and I'd say the split of play was not even close to the dominance the B's showed in the latter stages of Game One … at least not until it was absolutely crunch time, when the Blues found another gear the B's showed no indication of matching. I'm not even sure the B's have come out of the dressing room yet for the OT … it was that lopsided.
How did that happen? I blasted the Blues for what I felt was a fraudulent performance for most of Game One, because they'd failed so badly to play their game, and force it on the B's. Well … last night, that didn't happen. The Blues were hitting pretty much everything in sight, and sometimes twice. It was a (delayed) response to the B's upping the tempo and forcing the Blues into playing a faster, more open game in Game One. And while the Blues wilted (badly) in Game One when the B's turned the screw on them … last night, it was the B's who wilted and buckled under the pressure of being forced to play the Blues' game. Some of the B's became virtually invisible. Lines were tinkered with, with no real response. The Blues were winning all of the key battles when it mattered. And their OT game-winner could not have come as no surprise to anyone.
As in Game One for SLB, the only prominent B's player who emerged from last night with the ability to look at themselves in the mirror without some sense of shame was their goalie.
Now it's on to St. Louis, and suddenly this is starting to feel like it might become a real series. I fully expect Boston will take a split back home, and then it's a best of three with the B's still holding home ice advantage. Except, of course, St. Louis has not shrunken from winning big games on the road in this year's playoffs. And the deeper into the series we get, the B's attrition is likely only to become worse. There were a lot of B's picking themselves up off their home ice last night, and that's something you've rarely seen. Even the Boston fans were pretty quiet as the game wore on to its inevitable conclusion. B's fans know a lot about physical hockey - they're arguably the most prominent Original Six franchise most synonymous with physical play - and their relative silence while their boys were taken out behind the woodshed last night spoke volumes.
The longer this series goes on, the more it favors St. Louis … BUT ONLY IF they can continue to impose their physical play against the B's, who are a faster yet still pretty rugged team themselves. St. Louis raised the bar last night, though, and made a clear statement that they're not frauds, and they're here to win - not just fat and happy to be here. The B's haven't really faced that kind of opponent now in over a month, since they finally rid themselves of Toronto in 7 games.
Toronto was a more talented team than the Blues - and frankly, more talented than the B's too - so it's not always the most talented team that wins when a series turns on physicality. The ball is now squarely in the B's court, and now that SLB has gotten up off the mat and slugged the B's in the mouth, it will be interesting to see how the B's respond. I'm expecting a war.
Sworn Enemy of the Perpetually Offended
Montreal Expos Forever ...
If the Blues force a Game 7 or win outright - kudos to them. They'll have earned it. They're also a good team (and I wouldn't call that a Bruins' choke - as some may, should that situation arise ). I don't mean to discount them. I just like the Bruins club more and I'd be surprised if the Bruins top players don't start playing like stars in the very near future. I am certain they are aware they need to play better and are determined to do so. Even still, if one of the MANY rebounds or passes that bounced over the sticks of scoring chances laid flat the Bruins might have stolen Game 2 just as easily as they were saved in Game 1 by their depth...
If anyone is worried about how good STL looked in last nights game, just remember how good the Celtics looked in Game 1 at Milwaukee - the better team rose to the occasion over the course of the series in that instance, certainly, regardless of the outcome of that one-off. Stanley Cup Final Game 2 is nothing more than a one-off at this point. Its up to the Bruins to keep it that way.
Darius - who do you like in OKC - Still riding that Barnhill train? If UF has any chance they have to stay in the winner's bracket to lighten her load. I'm not sure that happens as my predictions for today include an OSU upset. I also like UCLA, Washington and Oklahoma here on Day 1. What a war this opening game between Alabama/Oklahoma could turn into. The loser will have a real tough road through the loser's bracket - but I believe Florida State lost game one last year, so anything is possible...
Live Free or Die!!
Miami University '03
Last edited by HockeyRef; 05-30-2019 at 10:58 PM.
Let's Go SouzaCats!
I will not be out cheered in my own building.
UCLA over Minnesota was a pretty easy call. Minnesota relies so heavily on their ace and she's still just a FR - the moment was a bit big for her early in the game, but she kept them close. The Gopher's just dont have the offense to truly threaten a pitcher like Garcia. Unless Fiser can steal the game from UW on Saturday, single-handedly, look for MN to barbecue...
Whether it was Barnhill or Walton, Florida should have avoided pitching to Show - especially after the first HR, as she really is the only dynamic threat in the OSU line-up. Show also took her deep in last seasons's Super at UF. If you asked Barnhill today, no doubt she is CERTAIN she is much better than Show. That's who she is, therefore Walton should have made that call for her. The rest of the OSU line-up would really have to string hits together to get through Barnhill and that is a tall task. OSU goes as Show goes, its as simple as that. She's solid in the circle, but probably the weakest #1 in the tournament - I just don't see a lot of danger in the UF line-up after you get past Lorenz in the lead-off spot. So Show with her heavy drop has enough to hold them and I figured the offense had a 50/50 chance to scrap out 2-3 runs and get by. I didn't expect Show to go full-on Babe Ruth and pitch a dominant game, while knocking two solo-HR's (OSU's only hits of the night) for a 2-1 victory.
There are no easy opponents at the WCWS - but Alabama/OU was a clash of the titans for round-one. Alabama moaned about their 8th-seed on selection day - it was never going to effect them in the Regional or Super Regional rounds, but it caught up with them yesterday when they drew top-seeded OU. They'll have a tough task advancing deep now, with a clear ace in Fouts (only a FR). They'll need to get some innings from their depth at some point and we'll see if those two can deliver when it counts on the big stage. They'll be geared up for UF - they swept the Gators in the regular season and THAT is the team they think stole the seed they felt they deserved. That will be a really tough match-up with someone going home too soon...
Today I like UCLA over Arizona in the clash of the original blue blood softball programs and OU to slow down the Show-show and top OSU in softball Bedlam. Two good match-ups.
Live Free or Die!!
Miami University '03
And for anyone else who is interested - here is the EPIC bat flip from yesterday's game. I've been waiting this entire tournament for Show to unleash and she finally did - I've never seen anything like it. Its more a bat throw, if anything...
It took me a while to get used to softball home-runs - but I enjoy Show and I think, while its certainly very different from baseball in this regard, the subdued HR celebration ship sailed a long time ago. This is a sport where the entire teams comes to home-plate after every HR (and have for decades). Oklahoma has regularly hit 100 home-runs a year (for years) and they've celebrated every single one by air-planning from third-base to home-plate. Pitchers yell and scream after big strike outs - some run to meet their catcher for a quick high-five. There are so many more examples. I got used to it - I had to. I think for the most part, Softball has grown and excelled BECAUSE of its differences from baseball...
If I have a problem with anything, its more the pre-planned or coordinated celebrations than any natural outbursts of passion and emotion - which is how I'd describe last night's throw. And I think, more often than not, the anger towards a bat flip primarily comes from the frustration of making a bad pitch or giving up a home run in the first place. Agree or disagree on the bat-flip, the debate is probably good for the spot and last night's games will get a lot more attention as a result...
I've known Show since she played for the Texas Aces 14U, and had grew up taking hitting lessons from a friend. She was a swaggy little 13-year old, even then, and I've always kind of liked that about her. Barnhill is an uber confident kid in her own right - she's got a lot of Show in her. I'd bet there is something to your mano-a-mano theory, but I doubt she's given the bat-flip itself a second thought.
Live Free or Die!!
Miami University '03
Show certainly has attitude, bordering on arrogance. Her post game interview (quick search can't find link) is an example as is: https://www.espn.com/espnw/sports/ar...-samantha-show
Barnhill is a more gracious competitor as shown in her pre-recorded in-game interview. Again quick search can't find link. Regarding the bat flip she says, "Act like you've been there".
I will not be out cheered in my own building.
Again, Oklahoma led the nation in HR's this season and pimped every single one of them. Entire teams empty the bench to celebrate home runs when ahead or behind by eight runs, on a regular basis. WCWS caliber-teams chant at opposing pitchers that 'they don't want their dirty balls' when a drop ball skips in ahead of the plate. Its a semantics argument really. Its wrong for Show to flip her bat, but Lauren Chamberlin air-planed home 25 times a season and was never once called out for showing up a pitcher? Outside of the fact that Chamberlin smiled and show scowls, whats the difference?
Softball players celebrate. In a lot of ways they never outgrow how they played the game as kids. While baseball players for better or worse have that sort of enthusiasm beaten out of them as soon as they graduate from Little League.
Here’s my take on the pro- or anti-Show debate, embrace all the over the top celebrations in softball on both sides of the ball or criticize them all. If it’s OK to scream as a pitcher it’s ok to toss the bat. If it’s OK to pimp a HR trot it’s OK for the pitcher to fost-pump.
Show is taking a lot of heat specifically for the act of bat-flipping. No one would even have noticed in the flow of a softball game (and all the regular acts of celebration that would get you drilled on a baseball diamond) if bat-flipping (specifically) wasn't such a hot-button, topic du jour in baseball. If it wasn't long, and recently, ingrained in people's mind that bat-flipping is against the unwritten rules of baseball and that's why its supposed to be against the unwritten rules of softball too. What would happen to the Red Sox if the whole team emptied the bench to celebrate a third-inning HR? Or if JD Martinez spread his wings while rounding the bases? Baseball (and the opponent) would throw a fit - but those things are long past common place in softball and no one blinks...
Show is who she is. She doesn't try to project anything else - if its spontaneous and genuine, I personally have no problem with it. And last nights ‘flip’ was a go-ahead, late inning HR in a national tournament game. I certainly understand why so many might disagree, but she has backed it up this season (so far) and she'll have to eat crow if she doesn't moving forward...
Last edited by Dan; 05-31-2019 at 03:46 PM.
There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)