Stanley Cup Game 4 “not-so-live” liveblogging

June 13, 2006

I don’t own a laptop, so while watching the game I took my notes the old fashioned way with my pen and notebook. I didn’t stay up late enough last night to post these, but you can see my thoughts here. I probably won’t do one of these very often, as it requires actually paying attention and using critical thinking to determine how the game is going. Hopefully I’ll be able to move beyond basic liveblogging (strictly reporting events as happened) to slightly more involved liveblogging with opinions and questions interjected.

Here goes…

Pre-game thoughts

Carolina – Can they find balanced scoring outside the Brind’Amour line?
Edmonton – Can they generate offense on the power play, or even get shots from the point on the man advantage?

First period

2:30 – Stillman is not playing with Brind’Amour and Williams as I’ve seen him the last few games (I think). Will this enable the Canes to spread the offensive output?

6:20 – Edmonton is really throwing the body around. Will this wear down Carolina and create chances (like they had in Game 1), or will the over-aggression hurt them (like it did in Game 2)? So far, so good.

8:40 – Edmonton scores. Sergei Samsonov works the give and go with Radek Dvorak to perfection. EDM 1 CAR 0

8:57 – On the center ice face-off, Torres takes a lazy tripping penalty. Can Edmonton slow down the Carolina power play?

9:09 – The answer is “no”. Stillman puts a one-timer in the short side of the net to tie the game. EDM 1 CAR 1

10:06 – Hemsky has great moves, but he should shoot more. As the last two goals have showed, getting the puck towards the net will create chances.

13:08 – Whitney takes a penalty. The Hurricanes do not look comfortable. The penalty kill is aggressive as we’ve seen throughout the series, but they are having trouble generating chances at even strength.

15:35 – Whitney takes another penalty. Even if the Carolina PK is great, they can’t be happy about letting Edmonton have so many opportunities to break their power play drought.

16:23 – 5 on 3 for Edmonton. They finally get some good opportunities on the power play. Both teams are hitting hard, now.

19:20 – Edmonton finally takes a penalty after a face-off win (is this a trend? Shouldn’t most of your penalties be when your team doesn’t have the puck?) Can they carry their energy to the power play?

First intermission – Edmonton is now 1/24 in the series on the power play, but they seem to be carrying the energy so far in the game. I think that they will need a power play tally to get past the Canes tonight.

Second period

3:24 – Big Pronger is called for holding. Can the Edmonton PK survive with #44 in the box?

5:24 – Edmonton survives thanks to Markkanen. He’s coming up big.

8:00 – Carolina has found the offense and is dictating tempo with their speed and creativity in the offensive zone. But they still can’t quite foil Jussi. If Edmonton does not take the reins back from the Canes, the series will go to 3-1 in favor of Carolina.

8:54 – Hedican in the box, can the Oilers capitalize?

9:09 – Edmonton has to solve the high pressure from the Carolina penalty killers, or they may not get a power play goal for a while.

12:09 – Mrs. EOB opines that Canes defenseman Mike Commodore really should wear #64. Good stuff from the couch. High comedy and hockey, I love it.

13:05 – Markkanen gets bailed out by Pronger, as Jussi makes the initial save but can’t find the rebound that’s sitting right under his nose. #44 clears and the Oil are safe for now.

15:25 – Ales Hemsky needs to shoot more. The kid is a wizard with the puck, but smooth stickhandling moves won’t put the puck in the back of the net.

15:56 – Staal picks off a failed Pronger clear and makes the quick feed to Recchi at the goal mouth, goal Carolina. EDM 1 CAR 2

18:05 – Carolina powerplay. Whitney draws the interference call on Greene. Can the Cane PP net one to completely shift the momentum their way?

18:35 – Justin Williams takes a tripping penalty to put the game at 4 on 4. The far referee makes the questionable call. After letting things go for awhile, the refs are back to making themselves known.

19:27 – Pronger gets called for a cross check. Now the Oilers have to kill a 4 on 3.

Second intermission – If Carolina plays the third period like the second, they will probably win. But if Edmonton can pull the tempo back a bit to their style, this could be an even series. I see both teams coming out strong in the third, with Carolina pulling it out. If special teams chances remain the same, the Canes have the advantage since they can actually score on the power play.

Third period

0:57 – Markkanen makes a snappy glove save on the PK. Does anyone else wonder what would’ve happened if he had been on the bench in Game 1?

3:45 – Edmonton hasn’t converted their PP opportunities, and now they can’t score at even strength either. This may not turn out well for the Oil.

6:54 – The refs have disappeared again. There have been a couple of missed calls that look like they would have warranted a whistle in the first.

9:30 – Spacek takes a big hit from Staal (with the two assists and physical play, has this kid silenced his critics after this game?) Spacek looks to have hit his face/head on the boards on the check. How well will he be able to play the rest of the game?

12:06 – Markkanen continues to keep the Oilers in the game. Okay, seriously, have the refs swallowed their whistles???

15:22 – A penalty is finally called from the stripes, putting Carolina on the power play. I get the feeling that even if it had been an Edmonton power play (under different circumstances, I’m not questioning this call) that it might not matter. Carolina is firmly in control and not giving up quality chances.

17:24 – Carolina time-out. Edmonton fans get loud and the NBC commentators gush over the passionate fans. I’m sure they’re great, but I’ve heard the RBC on TV pretty loud as well. We’ll see what we hear on Wednesday.

18:10 – The Carolina defense comes up big on a few Edmonton chances.

End of game – Carolina holds on for a 2-1 Game 4 victory, and extends the series lead to 3-1. Game 5 back in Raleigh on Wednesday. Will Brind’Amour close out the game with the Cup raised high, or will Edmonton force the series back to Alberta?

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