Mixed Martial Arts

Mixed Martial Arts
Mixed Martial Arts

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Welcome to my blog which deals with mixed martial arts betting and preview with a detailed analysis on the world of MMA. This blogs covers anything relating to the UFC, Strikeforce, Dreams or any other MMA organization.

Friday, May 05, 2006

NHL Playoffs

in NHL hockey could one single position player dictate the play and even the result of a playoff series. That player of course is the goaltender.

The first round of the playoffs is now complete, and goaltending certainly was the storyline.
We’d be remiss by not starting with the New Jersey Devils and their four-game demolition of the New York Rangers. The sweep may not have been as surprising as the 17-4 aggregate score. Future Hall of Famer Martin Brodeur was brilliant stopping all but four shots, with three of the Rangers’ goals coming on the power play.

The Devils have now won 15-straight and Brodeur has stopped 139 of the last 146 shots he’s faced. In his three previous Stanley Cup triumphs, Brodeur has Mariano Rivera-type credentials when given a lead, so the Devils will have to be considered prohibitive favorites in their second round match up with Carolina despite splitting the season series 2-2.

The Canes had their bacon saved by backup goalie Cam Ward. After allowing 12 goals and losing their opening two home games to Montreal, Ward replaced starter Martin Gerber and won four-straight allowing just six goals with a save percentage of better than 94 percent. Ward also won four one-goal games, three in overtime.

Both finalists in the 2004 Stanley Cup final, Tampa Bay and Calgary are now playing golf. Tampa Bay was completely outclassed by the Ottawa Senators in their match up, perhaps the only series where Goaltending was not a factor.

Senator goaltender Ray Emery was shaky throughout the series allowing the Lightning 13 goals in five games. Tampa Bay was unable to stave of the Ottawa offensive onslaught however, allowing 23 goals with John Grahame the sacrificial lamb.

Teargas wouldn’t have kept the Senators out of the Lightning defensive end but Ottawa will have to be much sharper against a much more disciplined Buffalo Sabre outfit. The Sabres dispatched the Philadelphia Flyers in six games winning the final two 3-0 and 7-1.

Ryan Miller was sharp with his 2.16 goals against average and turning back 155 of 168 shots. He’ll have his work cut out for him as with the Ottawa shooting gallery coming to town. Ottawa won the high-scoring season series 5-3 with both teams lighting the lamp and average of seven times per game.

(Tomorrow, Part II, Western Conference)