Saturday, April 25, 2009

Kerrzy's Notebook: Playoff recap, Day Ten

Just one lonely game in the NHL on Day Ten of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Washington's playoff lives were on the line, and they certainly played like it!

(Capitals 4, Rangers 0)

My big question before this game was 'can Simeon Varlamov bounce back from the shaky game-winner he let in last game?' (he bobbled a routine save, Chris Drury put it behind him). Did he? Yes, he sure did. The rookie made 20 saves for the shutout (his second of the series). On the other end of the ice King Henrik, as in Lundqvist, looked more like Jose Theodore, letting in four goals on 14 shots. That's a far cry from the previous four games, where he made at least 32 saves per night. For the second time in as many days, it was role players stepping up when their team faced elimination. On Thursday night it was Philly's grinders coming up big in a shutout win over the Penguins. On Friday -- it was Washington's Matt Bradley. He scored his first ever playoff goal on a shorthanded breakaway to open the scoring, and then scored again minutes later!

The other interesting thing about this game was the absence of super-pest Sean Avery, who was a healthy scratch after a couple of bone head plays in game four. Was that Avery's dad sitting behind the Rangers bench, getting into it with coach John Tortorella?

Also: is this the year of the goalie? There have been four shutouts in the last five games!

Today:

Pittsburgh @ Philadelphia - 1pm (Series: 3-2 PIT)
-Pens can move on with road win

Calgary @ Chicago - 7pm (Series: 2-2)
-Home team has won every game so far

Anaheim @ San Jose - 8pm (Series: 3-1 ANA)
-Will this be the end to the latest chapter in the Sharks pathetic playoff performances?

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