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Parks Picks sports

Top 5: Players to Watch in the Blues/Kings Series

After tonights game seven match ups (Florida & New Jersey, New York & Ottawa), we’ll have a full schedule for the Western Conference Semifinals, including the St. Louis Blues and Los Angeles Kings. This is going to be an incredibly well-matched series (although LA won the season series 3-1), and hockey fans should enjoy the fast pace, low scoring games that are bound to ensue. While watching (on CNBC, i’m sure), I’ve got a few guys to keep an eye out for:

1. Andy McDonald, 10, St. Louis: I think it was apparent in the first round against San Jose that little McDonald (listed as 5’11…yeah, right) has quite a bit of speed. Scoring 4 goals in the first round and racking up 8 points total to lead the team, I can’t see him slowing down anytime soon. Look for him to be one of few who can get something by Jonathan Quick. Speaking of…

2. Jonathan Quick, 32, Los Angeles: That Vezina nod wasn’t a fluke – 26-year-old Quick is here to stay. His 1.95 GAA may seem in like with the Blues tender tandem, but it was through 69 games (Jaroslav Halak played 46, Brian Elliot, 38). Not to mention, he just held the President’s Trophy winning Vancouver Canucks to 8 goals in 5 games, maintaining a 1.59 GAA. He’s not your average goalie.

3. Jeff Carter, 77, Los Angeles: After a deadline deal sent former Columbus Blue Jacket Carter to LA for Jack Johnson and a first-round pick, it was apparent that what Carter needed wasn’t a big contract, but a set of line mates to help push him (Mike Richards, Dwight King). It may not have been his best year (21 G, 13A), but he hasn’t had a chance to explode in the playoffs yet. He will.

4. Scott Nichol, 12, St. Louis: Go ahead, call me crazy. Nichol is not cut out to be a first line top scorer, and he knows that. Which is why he is so solid on the fourth line. Averaging 9:19 on ice time (mind you – he’s a fourth liner!), this little guy is not afraid to make big plays in the defensive end, and is not afraid to bring the puck down the ice, regardless of who he’s facing. Plus, he’s got a little mean streak in him!

5. Brian Elliot, 1, St. Louis: I’m a firm believer in going with the hot (and healthy) hand, which is what Elliot has. With Jake Allen on the bench for games 1 and 2, Elliot can truly shine against one of the leagues finest. Between him and Quick, you can rest assured that there will not be a similar situation to that in the Philadelphia Flyers/Pittsburg Penguins series.

Who are you most excited to see this series?

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sports

Why the Media, NHL and the Blues are Not Friends

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(I don’t own these photos – I just make them better)

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sports

Marek vs. Wyshynski – Game Show Friday!

Well, LUCKY ME! I was today’s contestant on Game Show Friday on Marek vs. Wyshynski. If you’re clueless as to what that is, Wyshynski is Yahoo! Sports’ Puck Daddy. On their Friday radio show, they choose a contestant for Game Show Fridays – a variety of rule-related questions for the NHL. I was given 9 questions to answer. How would you have done?

Questions:
(1) The goaltender (number 30) gets a minor penalty. Number 12 on the team serves the penalty. Which number shows up on the score clock?

(2) Yes or no. Does a blocked shot count as a missed shot on the game sheet?

(3) When a penalty for both the home and visiting teams occur at the same time, which team is announced first by the public address announcer?

(4) Two players receive off-setting penalties. One of the players is injured and goes to the dressing room. This is still 5-on-5 play. The player in the dressing room gets fixed up and returns to the bench. The penalty expires, but play continues. He jumps on the ice and scores a goal. Does the goal count? (This is the hardest question.)

(5) Both Halak and Elliot get injured. By the rules, a team can play any eligible goaltender (not a random member of the team). He is supposed to get a two-minute warm up, but there is one exception to this rule. Is it on a penalty kill, penalty shot or overtime?

(6) A player is not listed on the game sheet. He scores two goals, and then scores a third, and the officials catch that he is missing on the game sheet. They take away the goal because he is an ineligible player. What happens to the other two goals? Do they count or not?

(7) If another puck other than the legal one appears on the ice. Does play automatically stop? Yes or No?

(8) A penalty shot is awarded to a team. But, the team switches goaltenders to face the shooter. After he faces the penalty shot, how long does he have to stay in net?

(9) Bonus: A player is awarded a penalty shot. But as he’s awarded the penalty shot, he takes a penalty on the play as well. Yes or no – does he get to take the shot?

Answers:

(1) Number 12 (I went for number 30)

(2) No (Again, wrong.)

(3) Away (Correct, with a bit of help)

(4) No, because he is an ineligible player because he hasn’t been released from the box. (Correct again.)

(5) Penalty Shot (I went with overtime)

(6) Yes (Correct)

(7) No (Correct, with help. The play is whistled dead when there is a change of possession)

(8) Until there is a stoppage in play. (Correct)

(9) Yes, because it happened after the initial penalty. (Correct)

Yep – that’s 6 out of 9 for me. Right out of the NHL Rule Book, which unfairly, I do own (however, I have not read it. It’s huge). Thanks Inside Hockey! How many did you get?

It was fun. You can listen to me here (I’m on around 43:05), and the entire podcast (which I would suggest). Thanks to the guys for including me!