Monday, April 28, 2008

Winter Sports Teams All Tied

The Sixers

The Sixers lost game 4 of their best-of-7 series with the Detroit Pistons by a score of 93-84. As a result, the series is tied at 2 games apiece, and it's heading back to Detroit.

This outcome could have been avoided, as the Sixers had a 46-36 halftime lead and were buzzing.

But the veteran Pistons came out of the lockerroom in the 3rd quarter, and overwhelmed the Sixers, outscoring them in the quarter 34 - 16. The sleeping Piston defense looked as if it had been poked awake in the lockerroom at halftime, as the going was a little tougher in the 3rd period offensively for the Sixers. Rasheed Wallace poured in 3 3-pointers during the quarter to punctuate the Piston comeback.

While all 5 Sixer starters posted double figures in points, Andre Iguodala continued to struggle, shooting 4 of 16 from the field and ultimately ending up with 12 points. Rookie Thaddeus Young posted 15 points and 9 rebounds in a losing effort.

Also of concern, is that somehow, someway, the Sixers might want to figure out how to stop Tayshaun Prince. Prince has now missed only two shots in his last two games, shooting 19 for his lat 21 and averaging a little over 20 points in those games.

Pivotal Game 5 is tomorrow night in Detroit.

The Flyers

The Flyers tied up their best-of-7 series at 1 game apiece by beating the Montreal Canadiens last Saturday by a score of 4 to 2.

The story of Game 2 was the goaltending of Martin Biron, who shut down the Habs when they were buzzing in the 2nd period. His best save, of many good saves, was a breakaway by Hab Tomas Plekanec that he snapped up with the glove. When Marty Biron is starting to get confidence on breakaways (he was TERRIBLE in penalty shots this year), he's clearly on top of his game.

RJ Umberger added two more fluky goals to go with the fluky goal he scored the other night. Danny Briere and Jeff Carter also added goals; Briere's 7 goals ties him for the NHL playoff lead with Red Wing Johan Franzen.

A side story from this game was a sucker punch delivered by alleged purse thief Tom Kostopoulos. After the Flyers scored a goal, Kimmo Timonen smiled at Kostopoulos and skated away from him. At that point, angry I guess, because Timonen had no purse to steal, Kostopoulos sucker punched Timonen from behind causing a scrum.

Apparently, according to Guy Carbonneau, Timonen deserved it. Flyer coach John Stevens had it right the first time, when after the game, he called it "cowardly".

Think about this for a second. What if the tables were turned, and it was uber-pest Steve Downie slugging Alexei Kovalev in that same fashion? I doubt Carbonneau's opinion would be so laissez-faire and I REALLY doubt he would suggest Kovalev "deserved" it.

Furthermore, the Canadian press would be all over Gary Bettman and Colin Campbell to suspend Downie is such an incident were to occur. The NHL never even considered sanctions against Kostopoulos.

This is just another example of a hypocritical Canadian press for not taking Carbonneau and Kostopoulos, members of a team playing in Canada, to task for this incident in the same way that the Flyers and Steve Downie were taken to task over their incidents with the Jason Blake and the Leafs earlier this year. At least Downie had the guts to face the guy he sucker punched; Timonen didn't even know it was coming.

Game 3 is tonite at the Wachovia center. I'll be in the house and have a good report tomorrow AM.

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