Two intense nights in the playoffs already in the books, including at least 5 periods of overtime (depending on how late Phoenix and Chicago go and whether I edited this before it went up), controversial supplementary discipline, the Penguins pissing away a 3-0 lead, Braden Holtby being a bowss, and more. Join us as we watch and chat, some of it even about the hockey we're watching!
Game of the Night: #5 detroit red wings Presented By Amway at #4 Nashville Predators, Game 2, 7:30 Eastern, CNBC and CBC
Oh boy here it goes. Nasvhille took Game 1 at home on Wednesday, but somehow the story became other things. For example: the wings will be without Darren Helm, who will undergo surgery after taking a skate to the forearm and is expected to miss the rest of the playoffs, even though they were just chattin up how awesome it would be to get him back. Speaking of injury, Hal Gill didn't skate in practice and is still considered day to day. Bettman was in the house for Game 1, and the officials called hoo boy a whole lot of penalties, including DIVING ON JIRI HUDLER HAHAHAHAHAHA, at which point Babcock put on his sadfaec for the cameras. U sad? Umadcuzubad? Not that it mattered, as Nashville went roughly 0 for 1,000,000,000 with the man advantage anyway. Late in the third, with detroit mounting a barrage on Pekka Rinne, the Predators took a penalty, but managed to kill off the resulting 6 on 4 (including the empty net, and also Jimmy Howard was off for the extra attacker #Boom) and hang on to win, with Henrik Zetterberg hitting Shea Weber up high as time expired. So Weber went for Zetterberg's head with an open glove to retaliate, and missed. Then things got ugly, as he grabbed his opponent by the head with both hands and slammed his face into the glass for good measure (not entirely unlike Kozlov on Adam Foote, as many Twitter smartasses quickly noticed, except that it was a totally different situation by which I mean after the horn and by two hands when neither player was moving). Personally I don't know what else you could call clear intent to injure, but the NHL saw otherwise and only fined Weber the maximum amount allowed by the CBA, which is $2500.
Watch for all the reasons I listed on Wednesday, but also watch for some bad blood to appear if the officials can't keep a handle on things (assuming they even can). This series has the serious look of a rivalry-maker. Here's your regular season tale of the tape (I'll use the playoff numbers when we get a relevant sample size).
in other news
You Hadn't Noticed This Series Hadn't Started Yet And Never Would Have Either If They'd Just Flipped A Coin To Pick The Next Team To Be Honest: #6 New Jersey Devils at #3 Florida Panthers, Game 1, 7:00 Eastern, NHL Network and TSN
This is the upset everyone in every office pool picked. Rookies and AJ Crushes Adam Henrique and Adam Larsson get their first playoff experience tonight against a Florida team that features such ex-Avs as "enigmatic" Wojtek Wolski (his third team after leaving Colorado) and good guy Tomas Fleischmann (Roy save his lungs), not to mention netminder Jose Theodore (who may or may not be in net, I don't know as I write this) and all those guys who came down in the mass migration from Chicago. (Throw in one more Colorado tie as the Devils were hockey's Colorado Rockies once upon a moon, and I'm almost interested in seeing how this series turns out. Almost.) Henrique had this to say:
I'm very excited. It was the goal right from the start of the year. It's a long way leading up to it, but being my first one I'm excited. It's a whole different season. Every game counts.
Wait, every game in the regular season doesn't count?
In Which No Dominant Lead Is Safe: #5 Philadelphia Flyers at #4 Pittsburgh Penguins, 7:30 Eastern, NBC Sports and TSN, I assume based on geography?
In Game 1, which was a ratings monster by the way, the first period looked like men against boys as the Pens steamrolled a seemingly-dumbstruck Flyers team to a 3-0 margin. Then a linesman forgot wtf is an offsides and Danny Briere scored a breakaway goal, and it was downhill from there for Sidney Crosby and Friends. Two more unanswered goals saw a 3-3 tie go into overtime, and then Jakub Voracek played hero for Philadelphia to make it a total of four unanswered. No, really, go read that. Mike does a phenomenal job with those. After Peter Laviolette called one o thems timeouts thangs, the Flyers scored 4 goals and gave up only 1. Lore and legends, what did I tell you? In sideshow news, the Flyers think they're getting in the Penguins' heads. And in case you missed it, Ilya Bryzgalov revealed the only thing he's afraid of to reporters:
You know, I'm not afraid of anythink. Except bear. But bears in the forest.
After the game, on the Twitter I didn't realize he had, Jaromir Jagr had this to say about Pens fans in fursuits.
Bryz is scared of bears. There were like 70 bears at the game! I wonder what would happen if he said he is scared of beautiful naked girls?!
Classic. Philly leads the series 1-0.
The Abercrombie and Fitch Diving In Dirt Bowl: #8 Los Angeles Kings at #1 Vancouver Canucks, Game 2, 10:00 Eastern, NBC Sports and CBC
Well wasn't Game 1 of this one something? The Canucks flopped all over the ice, whined all night, played remarkably dirty hockey, and that's usually the Kings M.O. but the Canucks just straight up took them to school on it. What a display it was. Jonathan Quick and Roberto Luongo played well in this one, and it took hey that's a pretty damn nifty kick-pass Mike Richards just pulled off to Dustin Penner for the game winner. The LA official Twitter feed had some fun with the outcome, and everyone loved it except Vancouver fans who strangely had a problem with it. In other shenanigans, shock and surprise Byron Bitz is kinda dirty, elbows dudes in the head and gets 5+game penalties. Because The NHL Is Absolutely Staunchly Against Such Unnecessary Head Blows, In The Interest Of Protecting Its Players From Brain Injury, Bitz Will Miss The Next Two Games (And Clifford Is Out Tonight), shouted someone with a bullhorn who looks surprisingly like Shea Weber.
Team SBN sites for those who are so inclined:
Broad Street Hockey (Flyers)
On the Forecheck (Predators)
Nucks Misconduct (Canucks)
Jewels from the Crown (Kings)
Litterbox Cats (Panthers)
In Lou We Trust (Devils) although that site is kinda the anti-MHH, in that it's always ontopic and you can't use any language that would get John Tortorella fined twenty grand.