Big thanks to Sean for picking us up this weekend. Post some cats tonight to show your appreciation.
So here we are. The second round is set, except for one minor detail. (The Western matchups are even low on travel, which is good for the environment.) Chicago gets detroit, LA gets San Jose, Pittsburgh gets Ottawa, and the remaining two teams get each other. But who will they be?
#5 Toronto Maple Leafs at #4 Boston Bruins
7:00 Eastern, CNBC, CBC, RDS
This is a series that many expected to be a three-game Bruins sweep, and yet here we are. Game Seven. David Krejci is leading the way for the Bs, with a preposterous 11 points (5G 6A). Milan Lucic and Zdeno Chara are close behind with, erm, 7 points apiece. "Close" is relative. For Toronto, James van Riemsdyk has 5 points (2G 3A) and Joffrey Lupul, Cody Franson, Phil Kessel (including 2 GWG), and sensational defenseman revelation Jake Gardiner each have 4. The goalies, James Reimer and Tuukka Rask, have identical .932 SV%, though Reimer has faced 29 more shots. (He's faced the worst barrage of the playoffs, actually, at 39.7 shots against per game.)
Keep an eye on the second period, as that's where the big difference in the series has been. Boston has outscored Toronto 9-5 there. The other two periods, Toronto has outscored the Bruins 9-7.
#6 New York Rangers at #3 Washington Capitals
8:00 Eastern, NBC Sports, TSN, RDS2
This is how Game 6 ended (I hope the link still works today). Frustration-driven line scrum as Henrik Lundqvist celebrates his shutout alone. The Rangers and Capitals are going seven games because of course they are, it's what they do. Mike Green, Mathieu "My Name Is Hard To Spell" Perreault, and Joel Ward lead the Caps with 4 points apiece. Derick Brassard has put the Rangers on his back, with 7. A lot has been made of Rick Nash's whopping 1 assist, but folks, come on, he's taken a team-high 20 shots, bested only by the 29 of Alex "Controller Disconnected" Ovechkin. They have to start going in sooner or later. Goaltenders Braden Holtby and Henrik Lundqvist, like Reimer and Rask, have very similar numbers, .938 and .937 SV%.
The difference in this one is also the second period. Through the series the Rangers' scoring is pretty balanced throughout the game. Of Washington's 10 regulation goals, 7 have come in the second. Also, 8 total goals were scored in Washington's 3 wins, versus 15 total goals in New York's three wins. Finally, the home team is 6-0 in the series. So, HRNK HRNK HRNK?
Honestly, I can spell Tuukka Rask no problem, but Mathieu Perreault is a fucking nightmare. Jeez.