April 12, 2008

Other Playoff Thoughts

Montreal up 1-0 v. Boston
If the Habs win tonight, it's over. They gave the Bruins a quick sucker-punch with those two early goals by the Kostitsyn brothers. Now that Mike Komisarek is back on the blueline for the Canadiens, scoring is going to be even tougher now for Boston than it was heading into the series. If Carey Price can impress in this series, then all the "rookie goalie pressure" questions might just go away.

Washington up 1-0 v. Philadelphia
What a game. That is what the playoffs are all about. What was the heart-rate of every Caps fan in Verizon Center last night? After going up early thanks to, of all people, Donald Brashear, then down 4-2 after another Daniel Briere goal, then a three goal outburst in the third period to seal it. Not to mention Alex Ovechkin scoring the winner with a few minutes left. Wow.

NY Rangers up 2-0 v. New Jersey
This series is showing that New Jersey cannot rely solely on Martin Brodeur. As solid as he can be, he can also have a brain cramp every now and then (see: Ryan Callahan Game 1 goal). If the Devils cannot score, this series will not be pretty. Jaromir Jagr is on fire. Sean Avery is getting under everyone's skin and scoring goals and the Rangers defense is stifling a desperate New Jersey offense.

Detroit up 1-0 v. Nashville
Dan Ellis kept the Predators in the game (despite a questionable call), but his teammates were only able to muster 19 shots. This series was tight during the regular-season, so I don't expect anything different now when everything means more.

San Jose tied 1-1 v. Calgary
The Sharks might not have been ready for the physical game that the Flames brought to them in Game One, but they rebounded in Game Two, which featured an incredible save by Evgeni Nabokov on Owen Nolan. There's been much speculation if Nabby's 77 games-played in the regular season will wear him down come playoff time. So far he's looked sharped and seems to enjoy the rivalry with his former teammate Miikka Kiprusoff.

Colorado tied 1-1 v. Minnesota
Both games have ended 3-2 and both have gone to overtime. Possibly the most evenly matched series in Round One. The Avalanche have to take advantage of a depleted Wild blue line that are missing both Nick Schultz (appendix) and Kurtis Foster (leg), two stalwarts of their defense corps. Marian Gaborik, a 40-goal scorer in the regular season, has been held off the scoresheet so far. The Wild will only go as far as he can lead them.

Dallas up 1-0 v. Anaheim
What a stunning Game 1. Who would have thought the Ducks would have been shoved around and dominated like they were in Game 1. The Stars power-play put on a clinic going 4-7 with the extra skater, taking advantage of the most penalized team in the league. Marty Turco was superb, posting his fourth shutout in his last two playoff series. Last year, the Michigan alum notched three shutouts in Dallas' Round One series loss to Vancouver.

Ballhype: hype it up!

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