Five (Five!) games on the ticket tonight, and two are elimination games. It starts early with the news of Raffi Torres's suspension coming down, followed closely (at least I hope it's been announced by now) by the Game of the Afternoon.
Braden Holtby vs the Broons: #7 Washington Capitals at #2 Boston Bruins, Game 5, 3:00 Eastern, NBC and CBC (2-2)
Man oh man has rookie Washington goaltender Braden Holtby taken the headlines in this series. He's second in playoffs sv% (.953) behind Cory Schneider who has oh yeah played two fewer games, third in sheer number of saves (141) behind Pekka Rinne (who has a game in hand (lol)) and Mike Smith, and third in GAA (1.60) behind Schneider and Brian Elliott. It's only a matter of time before his agent threatens to leave for the KHL and he is traded to Colorado. Also, Alex Semin had just a covetous snipe on the power play in Game 4. That dude makes me laugh all the time. Sherman, get on that train. Former Av and stand-up guy Matt Hendricks rounds out my cheering for Washington in this series.
I'll cheer for Boston next time they play the Nucks.
Fat Marty vs Chicago Blackhawks Alumni Party: #6 New Jersey Devils at #3 Florida Panthers, Game 5, 6:30 Eastern, NHL Network and TSN (2-2)
You might be watching this one for Devils rookies Adam Larsson (who has been a healthy scratch at least once this series) or Adam Henrique (who better not jack Landy's Calder by God), or former Avs Wojtek Wolski and Tomas Fleischmann. Or maybe you care about this series, and power to you to write a better preview for it next time. I'll happily use it. :D
Tort Reform vs Al Fie Al Fie Al Fie: #8 Ottawa Senators at #1 New York Rangers, Game 5, 7:00 Eastern, NBC Sports and CBC (2-2)
Ottawa is giving New York a bigger run for their money than anyone thought. When I went to look at why I found that only 5 Rangers have scored a goal in this series, led by three from
Ryan Callahan Marian Gaborik Brandon Dubinsky ............. Brian Boyle????? He's been a big factor in this series, both on the score sheet and in the Douchi metric (for both sides). Tortorella really needs to get his stars hitting the net. (Ryan Callahan does have 2; Marian Gaborik and Brad Richards each have 1.)
Craig Anderson has been very good in net for his team, hasn't accidentally sliced his hand off buttering toast or anything. Also Daniel Alfredsson is out with a concussion suffered on a high elbow from Carl Hagelin; the Ottawa home fans have been showing their appreciation by chanting ALFIE ALFIE ALFIE at the 11 minute mark of each period. (Alredsson wears #11, in case you didn't know or gather that.)
Game of the Evening: ELIMINATION GAME! #7 San Jose Sharks at #2 St. Louis Blues, Game 5, 7:30 Eastern, CNBC and TSN (Blues lead 3-1)
Former Avs Daniel Winnik and TJ Galiardi and their Sharks are out of chances. Former Avs Kevin Shattenkirk, Chris Stewart (when he isn't a scratch) and Lil Tank Brian Elliott (seriously, all the good in the world on that guy, he had a nightmare situation last year with the worst case scenario resulting and just turned it around like a madman) have a chance to be the second team into the second round since hahahahahahaha the Nashville Predators put Amway's team on the first tee last night.
Joe Thornton added a goal for his fourth point in as many games this series, but other big Sharks names Joe Pavelski and Patrick Marleau remain pointless. There's been a lot of wondering who the finger will be pointed at for the Shark's disappointing outcome this season, but in this series at least, there you frickin go. If they don't turn it around right now, San Jose will have their annual playoff loss a bit early this year. No pressure boys.
Game of the Night: ELIMINATION GAME! #6 Chicago Blackhawks at #3 Phoenix Coyotes, Game 5, 10:00 Eastern, NBC Sports and TSN (Phoenix leads 3-1)
There's no former Avs in this one more recent than the likes of Radim Vrbata, but Chicago is out of chances. Goaltender Corey Crawford has been really good (except for that softie) every night. Mike Smith, unfortunately, is on the other end of the ice with a big sign that says "NO" and a force shield in front of his net, protecting the Oscar perched atop the cage. And that's pretty much the story. All four games of this series have gone beyond 60 minutes. I had to look up how to spell Mikkel Boedker twice, once for each OT-winning goal he has in the series. Also something about Marian Hossa being out and Raffi Torres's suspension being announced today, the controversial decision of course being fodder for discussion below.
Phoenix-Chicago has quietly been one of the postseason's more dramatic series, but Phoenix has dominated more than being 3-1, all in OT, would show; Chicago only sent two of those (including the lone win) into over time with goals with 17 or 5.5 seconds remaining. Seriously. Don't score with 5.5 seconds left in game 2 and you've been swept, Chicago. Goodness.