Archive for April, 2013

“Because It’s The Cup”: All 2013 Team-Specific Ads

For the “Because It’s The Cup” ads for the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs, team-specific versions are montages that focus on each playoff team, their history, its star player/players, or their team culture. The videos are shown in order of their seed in their respective conference. Here are all 16 team-specific “Because It’s The Cup” ads  for you to check out!

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2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs: Conference Quarterfinal Predictions

EASTERN CONFERENCE

1) Pittsburgh Penguins vs. 8) New York Islanders

Historically, when these two teams meet in the playoffs, this series would be an upset special. In 1975, The Islanders came back from a 3-0 deficit to upset the Penguins in seven games thanks to players like Ed Westfall and Glenn “Chico” Resch. In 1982, both teams went the distance again, and once again, the Islanders prevailed with a Game 5 overtime winner by John Tonelli. The Isles and the Pens last met in the playoffs in 1993. The heavily favored Penguins took on the surprising Islanders without one of their best players, Pierre Turgeon. Again, the series went the distance in overtime when David Volek pulled off one of the most stunning goals in Stanley Cup Playoffs history.

Unless Evgeni Nabokov turns back the clock, John Tavares plays Superman, key Penguin players get seriously injured, and Marc-Andre Fleury plays like the goaltender that gave up 30 goals to the Philadelphia  Flyers last year, I see the Penguins roll through the Islanders easily.

Prediction: PIT in 5

2) Montréal Canadiens  vs. 7) Ottawa Senators

This will be the first playoff meeting ever between the Habs and the Sens. However, the Habs and the original Ottawa Senators did meet four times, the last being in 1927, when the series was a 2-legged match determined by aggregate goal score. However, in the first all-Canadian Stanley Cup playoff series since 2004, both teams are evenly matched. Both teams split the regular-season series. Both teams have Norris Trophy-caliber defensemen (Subban, Karlsson), and both teams have elite goaltenders (Price, Anderson). However, I give advantage to the Senators because the Canadiens have struggled down the stretch run. If Carey Price can rebound, maybe the Canadiens might have a chance at taking the series.

Prediction: OTT in 6

3) Washington Capitals vs. 6) New York Rangers

This will be the fourth playoff meeting in the last five years between these two teams. In 2009, the Capitals won in seven games. In 2011, the Capitals won in five games. And last year, the Rangers won in seven games. During the regular season, the Rangers took two out of three games. However, the Rangers are facing THE HOTTEST TEAM IN THE NHL. When the sleeping giant known as Alex Ovechkin woke up, he carried the Capitals to a Southeast Division Title. The Rangers can pull off the upset, but they’ll have to try to shut down the high-octane Capitals offense. Not to mention, Henrik Lundqvist has to play like …well, Henrik Lundqvist. Either way, I think this series will go the distance again.

Prediction: WSH in 7

4) Boston Bruins vs. 5) Toronto Maple Leafs

It’s been nearly a decade, but the Leafs are back in the playoffs. The bad news: they’re facing a well-established Boston Bruins team that has been to the mountaintop before. And just like last season’s series between the Florida Panthers and the New Jersey Devils, having players with experience counts more than a team that’s “happy just to be in the playoffs.” These two teams haven’t met in a playoff series since 1974, and I’d expect to see this series play like that same series in 1974: physical, and somewhat high-scoring. Not to mention, you might just hear a big, sarcastic “Thank You” to Phil Kessel if this series ends in Boston.

Prediction:  BOS in 6

WESTERN CONFERENCE

1) Chicago Blackhawks vs. 8) Minnesota Wild

Out of all the matchups in the Western Conference, this is the only one that has a clear-cut favorite. The Presidents’ Trophy winners take on a team that clinched a playoff spot on their final game of the season. Yet, if the Minnesota Wild, who haven’t made the playoffs in five years, want to pull off something their predecessors, the North Stars, did in 1991, they’d have to play a near-perfect series against Chicago. Zach Parise has to play like the player that led the New Jersey Devils to a Stanley Cup Final last year, and Niklas Backstrom has to play out of his mind and steal multiple games in Chicago, which is probably the toughest thing to do in the NHL. In the end, I see the Blackhawks get through the Wild with ease.

Prediction:  CHI in 5

2) Anaheim Ducks vs. 7) Detroit Red Wings

Everyone thought that with the retirements of Nicklas Lidstrom and Tomas Holmstrom, the Detroit Red Wings would be half the team they were, and their 21-year playoff streak would end. Much like the Capitals in the East, the Wings went on a roll, finishing the season on a four-game win streak, and squeaked in to the playoff picture as the seventh seed. Anaheim, on the other hand, with nothing to play for, surprised everybody and won the Pacific Division, propelled by the emergence of goalie Viktor Fasth and a bounce-back season from captain Ryan Getzlaf. But I’m not sure Anaheim wanted to see the Red Wings in the first round. The Wings took two out of three games this year, which were back-to-back wins at The Pond. This series is a virtual coin-flip, but I think this series could have the making for a potential upset.

Prediction:  DET in 7

3) Vancouver Canucks vs. 6) San Jose Sharks

The Vancouver Canucks’ season was one straight out of a script of a daytime drama. Schneider or Luongo? Schneider or Luongo? Schneider or Luongo? Well, as long as ONE of those goalies played solidly and consistent, this team is just as good as the team that went to the Stanley Cup Final two years ago. However, the Sharks won all three regular-season meetings this season, and if they want to pull off the upset, they can’t afford to play streaky-hot, streaky-cold. If the Sharks play streaky-cold hockey, this series will be short and will be in favor of Vancouver. But like the Ducks-Red Wings series, it is a coin-flip, with the Sharks having the potential to pull off the upset.

Prediction:  VAN in 7

4) St. Louis Blues vs. 5) Los Angeles Kings

The defending Stanley Cup Champions begin their quest to repeat against a team that they swept in four straight games last year en route to the Cup. But this is not the same St. Louis Blues the Kings will face in the first round. Yes, the Kings won all three regular-season games against the Blues this season, but the Blues come in to the playoffs winning eleven of their last thirteen games of the season, and Brian Elliott is undoubtedly THE HOTTEST GOALIE IN THE NHL. The Blues also have loaded up on the back-end, acquiring defensemen Jay Bouwmeester and Jordan Leopold via trade. I wouldn’t expect a sweep this time around, but the Kings have been there before, and the Kings do have what to takes to win the Stanley Cup again, but this matchup is not going to be a cakewalk.

Prediction:  LA in 7

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Coach’s Corner Rewind: April 27, 2013

On the last Saturday of the 2012-13 NHL Season, here’s the regular season finale of Coach’s Corner. And one of the major topics discussed this week was the Duncan Keith incident in Vancouver.

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“Cake Boss” Buddy Valastro Creates Hockey Night 60th Anniversary Cake

If you want to make it as a baker/pastry chef, there are two great influences when it comes to creating unique cakes. One is Charm City Cakes owner and star of Food Network’s reality series “Ace of Cakes”, Duff Goldman. The other one is Carlo’s Bakery owner and star of TLC’s reality series “Cake Boss”, Buddy Valastro. Personally, I prefer Duff Goldman because he’s a former hockey player and a die-hard hockey fan. He created a life-size replica of the Stanley Cup 5 years ago for a newlywed couple who met via the Washington Capitals message board. But thanks to the help of Hockey Night in Canada studio analyst Kevin Weekes and Canadian Tire, Buddy Valastro created a cake to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Hockey Night in Canada. The cake was unveiled during Scotiabank Hockey Tonight. Here’s what the cake looked like:

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Coach’s Corner Rewind: April 20, 2013

Last night’s edition of Coach’s Corner is dedicated to those affected by Monday’s Boston Marathon bombing, and the spirit of those people who dedicate themselves for the safety of others.

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Bruins Aid Healing In Wake of Boston Marathon Bombing

Yesterday’s Bruins-Sabres game was the first major sports event in Boston since Monday’s tragic event at the Boston Marathon in which 3 people were killed and nearly 200 others were injured. Over the past 72 hour since the bombings, the NHL, its teams, and its players united with the city of Boston in moments of silence and moments of patriotism. Before the game, Rene Rancourt performed the national anthem, not accompanied by TD Garden organist Ron Poster, but by the #BostonStrong Garden crowd of 17,565 in a moment of poignant resonance.

And even though the Bruins lost in a shootout, both teams saluted the #BostonStrong Garden crowd after the game.

Three days later, after Boston went on lockdown, the suspect was  finally taken to custody, and a city rejoiced in heroism and pure relief. And like the previous game,the #BostonStrong Garden crowd of 17,565 sang the anthem as one, not in the somber tone of tragedy, but in a resounding tone of triumph that we will not be deterred by the last five days. We are Boston, we will prevail, and we will run again.

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NBC Sports Group’s “Push for the Playoffs”: 20 Games in 14 Days to Conclude 2012-13 NHL Regular Season

Before the drama of the Stanley Cup Playoffs commences on April 30th, the drama just to get in to the Stanley Cup Playoffs has just begun. Starting with today’s Blackhawks-Blues game, NBC Sports Group will broadcast 20 games in the span of 14 days to conclude the NHL regular season. The Push for the Playoffs will feature teams in playoff contention. Most of these games will either be an originally produced national broadcast or a simulcast from a feed of a NBC Sports regional network (Comcast SportsNet). Here’s what you’ll see on either NBC or NBC Sports Network over the next two weeks (all games ET):

Sunday, April 14
Chicago Blackhawks vs. St. Louis Blues, 12:30 p.m., NBC
Detroit Red Wings vs. Nashville Predators, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN

Monday, April 15
Dallas Stars vs. Chicago Blackhawks, 8 p.m., NBCSN

Tuesday, April 16
New York Rangers vs. Philadelphia Flyers, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN
Los Angeles Kings vs. San Jose Sharks, 10:30 p.m., NBCSN

Wednesday, April 17
Buffalo Sabres vs. Boston Bruins, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN

Thursday, April 18
New Jersey Devils vs. Philadelphia Flyers, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN

Friday, April 19
Nashville Predators vs. Chicago Blackhawks, 8:30 p.m., NBCSN

Saturday, April 20
Philadelphia Flyers vs. Carolina Hurricanes, 7 p.m., NBCSN

Sunday, April 21
New Jersey Devils vs. New York Rangers, 3 p.m., NBC
St. Louis Blues vs. Colorado Avalanche, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN

Monday, April 22
Phoenix Coyotes vs. Detroit Red Wings, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN

Tuesday, April 23
Boston Bruins vs. Philadelphia Flyers, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN
Dallas Stars vs. San Jose Sharks, 10 p.m., NBCSN

Wednesday, April 24
Los Angeles Kings vs. Detroit Red Wings, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN
San Jose Sharks vs. Phoenix Coyotes, 10 p.m., NBCSN

Thursday, April 25
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. New Jersey Devils, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN

Friday, April 26
Calgary Flames vs. Chicago Blackhawks, 8 p.m., NBCSN

Saturday, April 27
New Jersey Devils vs. New York Rangers, 3 p.m., NBC
Detroit Red Wings vs. Dallas Stars, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN
San Jose Sharks vs. Los Angeles Kings, 10:30 p.m., NBCSN

Sunday, April 28
Ottawa Senators vs. Boston Bruins, 7 p.m., NBCSN

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