MARLBORO, NY – This week we lost one of comedy’s most colorful characters in Don Rickles. You knew you were an entertainment icon if this guy roasted you with unparalleled insults. I remember some of these roasts and his many appearances on all the late-night talk shows but affectionately recall watching him in the short-lived show CPO Sharkey. It was a sitcom that disappeared from the screen, along with everything from Pampers to Panasonic televisions, when the 1977 summer blackout struck. So, as Rickles would say, here’s a column for all you hockey pucks out there prepping for the NHL Playoffs.
Women’s Ice Hockey? The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Women’s World Championships came to an end Friday night when the Gold Medal game came down to the USA and Canada, as it seems every international tournament does. I’m as patriotic as the next guy and am glad the USA ladies won 3-2 in overtime but I couldn’t care less because it’s…women’s sports. The only ladies of the ice I like seeing are those with skimpy outfits cut high in the thigh and who perform in front of international judges. I’ll expect your letters.
Brad Marchand: They don’t call this guy The Little Ball of Hate for nothing, as the accompanying video from Thursday night’s game will show. He is probably the NHL’s Dirtiest Player – and that’s coming from a huge Boston Bruins fan like myself. He’s been in and out of the NHL Disciplinary Department’s doors in the past and received a fine and two-game suspension for skewering Tampa Bay Lightning defensemen Jake Dotchin in the chimes in a game the Bruins needed all their best players contributing… to secure a playoff spot. I guess the punishment equaled one game for each nut Marchand cracked. I’m not ever going to say anybody has a shot to the family jewels coming to him but the Dotchin did cross-check the Bruins forward in the back. He may have initiated the forthcoming lapse of good judgement in the critical game – which Boston ultimately won.
NHL Playoffs The Washington Capitals have scored the third most goals, are the stingiest in goals against, roll out four lines and three top flight defensive pairings, have arguably the best player in Alex Ovechkin, and have won the President’s Trophy as the NHL’s best regular season team. Usually the President’s Trophy is the kiss of death when it comes to winning hockey’s ultimate prize but from the physical beating and smothering the Caps put on the Bruins yesterday, an opening round upset at the hands of the same Boston team is out of the question. Washington probably steamrolls through the Eastern Conference on their way to the Stanley Cup Finals.
In one of the only other match-ups known for sure at the time of this writing, the New York Rangers will be squaring off against the Montreal Canadiens. Provided Chris Kreider doesn’t steamroll Habs goalie Carey Price this time around, I see the physically heavier and defensively well-structured Canadiens winning the series in six games. Sorry Rangers fans but that window of opportunity closes even more.
That’s it. Please comment below and come back tomorrow for a Buffalo Sabres Hockey Puck, DJ Eberle. And please follow us on Twitter – @CheesyBruin & @MeetTheMatts, Instagram @MeetTheMatts and like our Facebook page, Meet The Matts.