Sound Off

Can Scott Niedermayer and the Mighty Ducks return to the Finals for the second time in three seasons?

The Anaheim Mighty Ducks have taking a commanding 2-0 lead on the Colorado Avalanche and right now look like the favorites to come out of the West. Rookie goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov recorded his third straight shut out yesterday afternoon and the Ducks have outplayed the Avs in every asset of the game. Joe Sakic and Rob Blake have lost a few steps and for the Avs to have a shot at winning Game 3 and getting back into the series Blake and Sakic need to out on better performances than they have. Don’t expect it !!!

Sanjose – Edmonton
Sharks lead series 1-0
This series will mostly go 7 games, but the key is going to be the Thornton-Pronger matchup. Pronger will most likely keep the NHL’s leading point scorer in check so second line center Patrick Marleau will be the key for the series. Only problem for the Sharks is the Oilers have the depth up the middle, something the Predators didn’t have. Horcoff,Peca and Stall can all matchup up against Marleau and take him off of his game while Pronger will have the duty of stopping Thornton and Cheechroo. Will be a exciting series.

Despite the shortage of proven goal scorers in the Penguins system if defenseman Eric Johnson is still on the board at #2 the Penguins have to take him and if there’s a way to move up to get him then do it. Take a look at the playoffs this year. Check it out: Edmonton and Anaheim are beating teams that are better than them because of the way Pronger and Niedermayer are dominating the oppositions top lines and logging 28+ minutes a game. Detroit – Edmonton series: Shanahan 1 goal, Datsyuk 0 goals. Johnson is 6ft4 225 pounds and is being projected as the next Chris Pronger. Word out of St.Louis is the organization is in love with the Stall kid who is the younger brother of Carolina Hurricanes superstar Eric Stall, so Johnson the #1 rated player on the board may be there and if St.Louis passes on him it will be like the Texans passing on Reggie Bush. Not a smart thing to do.

Just read an article by Bob Smizik of the Post-gazette a few minutes ago and this guy needs to go. The guy is such a hypocrite. When the Bucco’s signed Joe Randa in the offseason he was praising the move and now as Randa is playing terrible ( not very surprising ) the bonehead for like the first time ever bashes the organization for making the move and even makes a reference about how could they release Ty Wigginton who has 9 homeruns and 30 Rbi’s for the Devil Rays this season. Ty Wigginton might have been one of the worst ball players I have seen in a Pirates uniform. He looks like they picked him up from a local bar. I would respect Smizik’s article if he made a article like this in March saying why the hell sign Randa and Burnitz who are 4 month stop gaps when they have young guys in Sanchez, Doumit and Bautista who are not 4 month stop gaps. Talk show hosts Mark Madden and Tim Benz of ESPN radio 1250 were right on in March about how the Bucco’s have a Joe Randa in Freddy Sanchez who is only 25 yrs old and questioned the signing.

Smizik like most of his articles the past 5 years doesn’t make sense and on tv when he’s on the Nightly sports call on UPN he makes less sense. The guy lives for the Pirates and makes statements on UPN that the Penguins are the worst team and ticket in town. That is just mind boggling. When the Penguins reach more than 10 straight seasons then we can start talking about them being in the Bucco’s league of being the worst ticket in town. The Penguins at least have a foundation to build on and whether there in Pittsburgh or Kansas City this team will compete for a title in 3-4 years. Until then Mr.Smizik: shut ur mouth until you have something logical to say or write about. You know what; Smizik is the kind of guy who bashes a team while their losing and then in three years when Sidney Crosby is leading the Penguins deep in the playoffs he’ll be that guy at all the games and jumping on the bandwagon.

Bonds is 1 away from tying Ruth

Barry Bonds is one homer away from tying the fat guy and it looks like he is getting his swing back. I believe Bonds will return next season and break Hank’s record if healthy but with the Giants losing and Barry looking to cash in one last time, could we see Barry in a different uniform in 07?

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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