Stepping in for The Beach-ed One while she pretends to be far too busy to contribute to the site so you're stuck with me twice on the same day. Oh, the huge manatee! We've finally seen some final results and the first round will be concluding here in the next couple days as some Game 7s wrap up.
|Eastern Conference||Western Conference|
|WSH: 4, NYR: 1||DET: 4, PHX: 0|
|PIT: 3, TBL:3||VAN: 3, CHI: 3|
|BOS: 3, MTL:2||ANA: 3, NSH:4|
|PHI: 3, BUF: 3||SJS: 4, LAK:2
Washington Capitals (#1) v. NY Rangers (#8): The Caps successfully exorcised the demons of last season's meltdown by using this year's 3-1 series lead to propel them to a 4-1 victory. Even the Madison Square Garden's best soccer-style chanting couldn't keep the Caps from clamping down and clinching. Mad props to Ovie and the boys. Now give us one of your damn goalies. Caps win in 5.
Pittsburgh Penguins (#4) v. Tampa Bay Lightning (#5):Tampa Bay's flat refusal to go quietly into the good night led by the suddenly Vezina-caliber Dwayne Roloson has provided an interesting match-up for the star-challenged Penguins offense. Even without their stars, the Pens are forcing Roloson to play like a manbeast that only the Stanley Cup Playoffs can bring out in a goalie. Game 7 will be Wednesday night. Series tied at 3 games apiece.
Boston Bruins (#3): v. Montreal Canadiens (#6):The series with the most history on its side started out rather stale but has turned into a pretty solid battle. Plenty of bad blood drives this Original Six rivalry into its final stages as the proverbial war takes itself into Game 6 tonight as part of the triple header of potential elimination games. Boston leads series 3-2.
Philadelphia Flyers (#2) v. Buffalo Sabres (#7): I wish I could let UZ write this one up because I know he's been following it closer than anybody (except maybe Tex and her mega crush on Claude Giroux) but he's a bit busy with coverage of Los Rapidos and the upcoming Mammoth playoff right. But from what I know, it's been a blood bath. Lots of hitting, lots of one-sided officiating (supposedly), approximately 63 goalie changes and most importantly, 3 wins for each team. Winner takes all Game 7 tonight. Tune in or die. Series tied 3-3
Vancouver Canucks (#1) v. Chicago Blackhawks (#8): Oh, boy. The headliner of what has been a fantastic first round as Vancouver's collapse has been well-documented. 3-0 lead becomes 3-3, perennially overrated Roberto Luongo gets pulled, then given job again. Defending champs going down swinging while this year's President's Trophy winner is learning the hard way that winning games in April and May require a bit more effort than beating Columbus at home in February. Who knew? Series tied 3-3
Anaheim Ducks (#4) v. Nashville Predators (#5): The Predators earned their first ever first round series victory with a 4 games to 2 series win. I hate that sentence so much but am too tired to figure out how to rewrite it to satisfaction. Now I'm having a meltdown instead of lauding Nashville for advancing to the second round for the first time. Sucks this series will be remembered for the goal Bobby Ryan scored where he undressed, uh, everyone on the ice with about 14 jaw-dropping moves. Nice. Congrats, Nashville, on your 4-2 series win.
San Jose Sharks (#2) v. Los Angeles Kings (#7): Huzzah! The Sharks continued to try and shake their "choker" label by beating a limping Kings team with a confusing inability to win at home during the postseason (5 straight home losses in the season after the season). Joe Thornton, Joe Pavelski, and Ryan Clowe all came up big as the Sharks plowed past the Kings in 6 highly entertaining and very competitive games. Good luck moving forward with that goaltending, San Jose....Sharks win it, 4-2.