The Pendleton Panther

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Jaroslav Halak

For the first time in NHL history, a number eight seed has defeated a number one seed.  But that’s not all.  For the first time in NHL history, a number eight seed has defeated a number one seed, while trailing three games to one in the series.  Jaroslav Halak denied every shot that the Caps tried to take, and did a brilliant job at it.  Halak was unstoppable.  What makes the situation even worse, is that the Caps have Alex Ovechkin.  Not only did Halak silence the Caps while they were in the lead, but he silenced many a time MVP, Alex Ovechkin.  Halak played extremely well in the Olympics, and showed his consistency while ousting the Caps.  This is the third season in a row where the Caps have lost on home ice in a game seven playoff round.  There is always next year Caps and Ovechkin, keep your head high because you make millions of dollars.  At least you’re not as bad as the Nationals.

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Former Giants receiver Plaxico Burress was sentenced to two years in jail on Tuesday for violating gun laws. He was immediately taken into custody following his hearing. He is expected to serve about 20 months with good behavior and he could be released as early as the spring of 2011. He will serve two years of probation following his jail term. Burress was accompanied to his hearing by his wife and 3-year old son. The hearing was very brief because the prosecution and defense had already agreed to a guilty plea deal and a two-year sentence. After the hearing, Burress apologized to his family and fans and thanked them for their support. He was then transported to Rikers Island Jail in New York. He will later be transferred to another jail for processing and then to a medium-security prison in New York to serve out his sentence. nfl_a_burressp_400

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Josh Hamilton was selected as the first overall pick by the Tampa Bay Rays in 1999. He was thought to be the fastest player drafted out of high school to make it to the pros. However, this did not go according to plan. You might ask, what stopped him from making his debut in 1999? Weeks after arriving in the minor leagues, a season ending injury occurred in 2000.  Days before the start of the 2001 season, Hamilton was involved in a motorcycle crash which kept him on the DL for the entire season.  More injuries in 2003 kept him out of play for nearly 263 straight games. With much free time on his hands, the 19 year old began to hang with the wrong crowd. With no baseball  Josh started decorating his body with 32 tattoos and soon after became addicted to cocaine. This caused him to fall deeper into the black hole, he was already heading towards. After failing multiple drug test in 2004 and 2005, he never played a game.  His lowest point in 2005 was when he found himself lying on his grandmothers doorstep with his body wasted away at 2:30 am. After his grandmother got him back on his feet that morning, he started his road back to baseball. In the next year Hamilton was traded to the Reds, found the Lord and got married.  In 2007 the superstar that everyone thought they would see in the pros in 2000 made his debut with the Reds. Hamilton currently is with the Texas Rangers and is one of the most feared hitters in the game and has not done drugs since 2005.

Round two is here and the first two games in Detroit have concluded.  The series is currently tied 1-1 in a dramatic fashion after a prolonged finish to game two.  Detroit brought the heat in game two however hit a hot goalie Hiller playing for the Anahiem Ducks.  The game when I turned it on was 3-2 for Anaheim in the 2nd period.  The same score concluded the second period and maintained a good time into the third until a spectacular goal by Franzen, assisted from Zetterburg and Cleary.  Fans began to think overtime, however probably were not prepared for what was to come.  The Red Wings dominated the play keeping the puck in Anaheim’s end for a good portion of time.  However Hiller stood on his head for the Ducks multiple time sending the game into a third overtime.  At the start of the third overtime the Ducks fired a low percentage shot that found the back of the net as it went over top of Osgood’s glove side shoulder. Hiller ended the game with 62 shots against him and 59 saves.  Detroit heads to California for game 3 tomorrow hoping to prevail with a win.

Could this be an important piece for the Washington Capitals to win game 7? They will be without Donald Brashear after he was suspended for 6 games when he “blind-sided” Blair Betts. The reasoning from Colin Campbell, the NHL’s senior executive VP of hockey operations said “Brashear delivered a shoulder hit to an unsuspecting player” and that “It is also my opinion that the hit was delivered late and targeted the head of his opponent, causing significant injury.” Brashear known for his physical play, plays a key part with protecting other plays and keeping up the physical play. I mean you don’t need people to get stupid and make dumb decisions for trying to hurt someone, the league is doing the right thing, they need to protect the players. We will just find out soon if he could be the reason why they lose game 7 and get out of the first round.

Detroit pleased its fans as it usually does come playoff time.  I am not talking about the Pistons who just got swept by the Cavaliers, I am talking about the Red Wings.  Although their opponent was no great challenger the Wings had many stars step out as usual dominating the games.  Chris Osgood seems to have silenced critics so far, acquiring a .33 GAA in the first three games of the series.  However he was injured during the final game and let in 5 goals in the 6-5 series winning game over the Jackets.  With the amount of time given before the next series he should be ready for action come game one.  Columbus was an enormous underdog in this series.  You have the past season champions on one side and Columbus on the other as they made their first ever playoff debut.  Umbergger played well for Columbus although could not penetrate Detroit’s defense on his own and struggled to put points on the board for his team.  Detroit will go into the next series favored once again.

The NHL is always fun to watch this time of year.  Mostly because it is crunch time for teams trying to crack the top 16 spots.  As of today, Edmonton has the 16th spot to themselves by a point with 79 points.  The Red Wings are behind San Jose for the top spot by a point with 105 points.  As for other teams it may be time to look towards next season.  Tampa Bay has an All-Star roster yet fail to play and win as a team.  They are currently in second to last place with 64 points.  Ryan Malone went to Tampa Bay after last season hoping to show his talent as he was overshadowed by teammate Crosby when with the Penguins.  I wish there were a way for me to get the Detroit channels down here to watch some quality hockey games.  Hopefully Versus gets coverage or CBC for the playoffs so I will be able to watch the games.  Although Versus currently has an announcer that no one can tolerate when watching the games.  He is obnoxious and clueless, as well as quite often behind pace.  Yet all I want is to be able to watch the playoffs.


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