Happy Easter sports fans. The first weekend of the 2017 playoffs rolls on with a day game during everyone’s family dinner. No big whoop, it’s the meteor series. After blowing two games at home, the “Boudreau can’t win in the playoffs” postulate seems to pass the eye test yet again. Columbus looks to be in a spot of bother but they only need to win one on the road to move on, IF they can take care of business at home. I think a lot of us expected this series to go the distance, let’s hope it does. The night games are pivotal in these close series, each one featuring an overtime and a 2-0 shutout. It’s interesting to note that in the more competitive Eastern conference the PIT-CBJ series is the only one with the home team taking the first two and in the lagging Western conference SJS-EDM is the only one tied.
3pm ET- Wilds at Bloos on NBC, STL leads 2-0
6pm ET - Pens at Jackets on CNBC, PIT up 2-0
7pm ET - Habs at Rags on NBCSN, tied 1 all
10pm ET - Oilers at Sharks on NBCSN, 1 up
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The beloved Rampage mopped up their disaster of a season with a 6-3 win over Texas last night. Rocco Grimaldi scored his 31st goal of the season and Reid Petryk scored his 5 in the last 6 games. Colin Smith got an empty-netter for a hat trick and Brendan Ranford tallied 4 assists. Josh Anderson did not play. The Rampage win set them at 27-42-7 for the year, 8th in the pacific, 16th in the WC (both last places) and 28th in the league.
An interesting AHL note: The Cleveland nee Lake Erie Monsters ended up in a flatfooted tie for the final playoff spot in the Central Division but were eliminated by Charlotte on ROWs. Not only did the Avs give the Monsters 8 unsuccessful seasons as a parent club, but they took the only coach that has won a playoff series for the franchise away after a championship season. Ouch.
The shining spot of the Avs org is now the Colorado Eagles. After a tentative loss Friday, the Eagles bounced back in OT last night with a 2-1 victory. The offensive issues are still there but this should give them some confidence heading to Idaho for the middle portion of the 1st round series. Game 3 is Wednesday and games 4 & 5 will be next weekend. If need be, they will return to the Front Range next week. Sergei Boikov had an assist in game 1 but sat last night, Alex Belzile had the goal that sent the game to OT. Mason Geertsen, Julien Nantel and Shawn St-Amant have played in both games. Kent Simpson started game 1 in net.