And then there were 14...
On day eight of the Stanley Cup playoffs, we saw another one bite the dust (but not without a pinch of controversy), another goalie take over a series (and Sean Avery maybe playing his way OUT of the playoffs) and another suspenseful game between the 'Hawks and the Flames...
Here's the recap:
(Bruins 4, Canadiens 1)
-Montreal's centennial season is over, and ultimately it was the Ghost of players past coming back to haunt them in the first round. Coach/GM Bob Gainey didn't have to worry about Montreal fans booing the US national anthem -- they were all over his team instead! Former Hab Michael Ryder had seven points in four games against his old team and they looked defeated after a couple of quick goals in the second period. A bit of controversy surrounding that though, as Phil Kessel's breakaway goal to make it 3-1 looked to be waaaay offside on the replay. They went up 4-1 under a minute later. Frustrations boiled over late in the game too, especially for Mike Komisarek of the Habs, who had already lost a fight to Boston's Milan Lucic. Late in the game, he hit Lucic with a high cross check and earned himself five and a game. The league could suspend him, but that would just be insult to injury! The Bruins dominated this series from start to finish.
(Rangers 2, Capitals 1)
-The look on John Tortorella's face says it all. Sean Avery took a high-sticking penalty in the last three minutes of Tuesday night's one-goal win, his second dumb penalty in a matter of minutes, and his coach's stare could have burned a hole right through him. Avery got caught up with a Washington player and wound up clocking him in the face with his stick. If I was Sean Avery, I'd be buying Henrik Lundqvist and the rest of the NY penalty killers a nice steak dinner...because had Washington scored, I think Torts might have ended his hockey career. Speaking of Lundqvist, he made 38 saves basically stealing this one for his club. Without his 30+ saves each night, this would be a different series. On the other end, Simeon Varlamov has allowed three goals in three games, but the game-winner on Wednesday was a bad one. If the Rangers beat the Caps in five, I think it would be safe to call that an upset.
(Flames 6, Blackhawks 4)
-Does Stephen King write the boxscores for the Calgary Flames? They certainly seem to enjoy a little suspense, come playoff time. They lose the first goal, they fight back. They score three in the first half of the second period, then give up three in the second half. Thankfully for the Flames, they wound up winning this one...otherwise I think Mike Keenan would have some choice words for his players (although I'm sure he'll still give them an earful). A good sign for Calgary was that Olli Jokinen scored a pair of goals, his first mesh-ticklers in sixteen games. The series shifts back to Chicago now for game five, tied at 2-2.
Philadelphia @ Pittsburgh - 5pm (Series: 3-1 PIT)
Detroit @ Columbus - 5pm (Series: 3-0 DET)
Carolina @ NJ - 5:30pm (Series: 2-2)
SJ @ Anaheim - 8:30pm (Series 2-1 ANA)