Stanley Cup Playoffs: Round One, Day Three

Night Three of the First Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs occurred last night. Game One between the Predators and the Ducks happened at “Way Too Late” O’Clock. The other games are all Game Twos, including a rare back-to-back playoff set between the Isles and Fancy Cats. Find out what happened with all the games by reading further.

Detroit Red Wings @ Tampa Bay Lightning 7:00PM CNBC, CBC
Ok. I’ll admit it – I had this series sussed out completely wrong. These teams officially hate each other now. It took them a while, but they finally threw some actual punches.

First, note that Pierre McGuire is in the house. He is somehow everywhere this week. Chris Cuthbert did the play-by-play.

Period the First:

The Red Wings start out strong, Henrik Zetterburg and Pavel Datsyuk pepper Ben Bishop with some shots, but they do not strike oil. Under this pressure, Alex Killorn commits a holding penalty. We see a lot more of the Zetterburg/Datsyuk/Abdelkader line. But Bishop continues to see the puck really well and they make it through unscathed. After five minutes of play, Tampa Bay gets some control and some good looks on goal. On one rush, Nikita Kucherov crashes the net, sliding fully into the net, and is partially obstructed from leaving. Since he is not a hockey puck, the referees decide that this is not a goal, and play continues.

Soon the penalties start to go against the Red Wings. Right after young Nyquist does his slashie thingie, giving Tampa a 5 on 4 advantage, Abdelkader commits interference — it’s now 5-on-3. But not for long. Kucherov – the Red Wing killer – fires one into the net, from a pass by Tyler Johnson.

Of course it’s still 5-on-4 and Detroit is pinned in their end.

A few more minutes and a couple of hits including a big Kucherov hit on Green. Drouin bangs the crossbar, but Howard is nowhere near it.

It has really been all Bolts in final 12 min, but at the end of the first period, shots are 15-12 Detroit.

Jimmy Howard was sort of lucky this period to only give up one goal. Bishop however was both lucky AND good.

Period the second:

JT Brown is out starting the 2nd period. Steve Yzerman’s favorite player, Jonathan Drouin gets to do double shifts. The Lightning starts out strong in spite of Brown being out.

1:12 into the period, Dylan Larkin goes to the box for hooking Nikita Kucherov. Detroit holds ’em to 0 shots, then Abdelkader makes big hit on Nesterov and the Wings come alive. Soon, Larkin comes out of the box, and Ericsson finds him with the puck. He burns by Drouin, and beats Bishop for his first postseason goal. Tie game 1-1.

A few minutes later, the Bolts break out with the rush – Drouin carries it to the corner with Brian Boyle open at the high slot – effectively telegraphing what’s going to happen… Drouin makes the pass and Boyle’s shot goes in.

Meanwhile, the mercury continues to rise – Hedman hits Datsyuk in the face. Datsyuk retaliates on Hedman and gets 2 minutes – but he’ll spend it (and the rest of the period) in locker room after spitting out teeth.

Soon after, there’s some wrastling going on after a high hit by DeKeyser on Palat. Drouin, Hedman, and Sheahan are sent to the penalty box. This results in the crowd chanting love notes to the refs. Penalties are mysteriously evened out counting the man already in the box for Datsyuk, resulting in a shortened power play for Wings.

Nearly as soon as he get out, Hedman is right back to the box for a weak hook. Some pressure, but no goal.

Then Brian Boyle decides to learn the difference between girls and boys from Jonathan Ericsson by checking with his stick. Right afterwards, he makes this blatant interference hit, and has his stick ripped away. He seems upset that the refs have lost control of the game. Hmmm… there is a subtle point I think he’s missing here…

Exuent period two.

Period the Third:

Datsyuk is back for the 3rd period. No word on whether his teeth will be on LTIR. Early into the period, Gus Nyquist clutches Nesterov’s stick and draws a power play for high sticking. For a minute, things look uneventful, then Brad Richards seals the deal. Tie game 2-2.

The joy does not last so long for the Red Wings. Killorn drags Howard to the right behind the net, then passes to Tyler Johnson for the alley-oop wraparound. 3-2 Tampa Bay Lightning.

In response, Tatar apparently tries to get that Power Play magic going once again by grabbing a stick – it doesn’t work out and he goes to the box.

The Red Wings aren’t completely out of it, and manage to make things interesting, but Tyler Johnson scores again, with assists by Kucherov and Garrison. Things seem dire for the team in red. They go empty net early, but that just results in a couple of long ENG attempts from Killorn, who lands one at 17:16. Tampa Bay 5 Detroit 2. Its all but over now.

With 1 minute left, a little freindly slashing, turned cross-checking, and it’s a party!! Old Time Hockey! A senseless pigpile line brawl ensues (though Larkin & his partner Callahan are off to one side, mostly faking it) Abdelkader is on top of the pile throwing haymakers on Blundin who is beneath him. Every one involved is sent down the tunnel, and the refs are hard pressed to do all of the accounting necessary to process all the penalties. It looks like new years morning with all the discarded equipment on the ice.

The Lightning is now up 2-0 on the series. Game 3 will be at the Joe. It should be fun.

New York Islanders at Florida Panthers 7:30PM NHLN SN360

Okay, so I didn’t watch this game, and I feel bad, because it sounds like I missed some chaos.

Reilly Smith opened the scoring for the Cats at 4:32 on a feed from Nick Bjugstad and Jonathan Huberdeau. They spent the rest of the period doing everything they could to cough up that lead, with Rocco Grimaldi going to the box for tripping Ryan Strome at 6:19, and Garret Wilson doing the same to Shane Prince at 14:21. The Isles failed to convert on both chances, which seems like a bad plan to me, but hey, what do I know? Game goes to 1st intermission 1-0 Cats.

Florida continues to run the game, and Nick Bjugstad scores on a feed Reilly Smith and Dimitri Kulikov (you will note that Oven Mitt has been coming up a lot, and all the revisionists on twitter have been complaining about it). 2-0 Cats. Naturally, the Isles decide that they can’t stand for this, but instead on scoring goals, we end up with a royal rumble of a line brawl at the end of the period (18:33), which resulted in 14 minutes of roughing minors passed out the the entirety of both 4th lines. So, for the Isles that’s Martin, Cizikas, Clutterbuck, and Strome (Cizikas got 2 minors) to the box, along with Wilson, Thornton, and Mackenzie for the Cats. Period ends, all quiet on the Western Front, 2-0 Cats.

Folks come back from the 2nd intermission with cooler heads it would seem, with only Alex Petrovic going to the box for holding Cal Clutterbuck at 4:13. The Isles, again, fail to convert on the chance handed to them. However, John Tavares decided to show why he’s Captain, sinking a feed from Nick Leddy and Kyle Okposo at 16:27 to make it a 1-goal game. A wild chase to end the game didn’t get the Isles up to that tie game though, and Dimitri Kulikov scored the bullet into an empty net at 19:50. Final score, 3-1 Cats.

Shots on goal were closer to even last night than Thursday, with a differential of 42-30 in favor of the Isles (likely score effects). Nice to see the Isles getting their shot numbers up, and the Cats didn’t really give up much ground there (what is defenz?). Both Greiss and Luongo stood tall, with sv% of .933 and .976, respectively, which is an insane set of digits. Well done netminders, well done.

These teams meet next on Sunday at the Barclay’s Center, with the series tied 1-1.

Chicago Blackhawks @ St. Louis Blues 8:00PM NBCSN, SN360

I think NBC is on to me- Doc and Pierre were not in the house tonight

Instead we had the joy of listening to Pat Foley and Eddie Olczyk. Don’t you worry NBC, I know Olczyk was a former Hawk, you’re not that clever. One thing I wish I mentioned in the series preview was the goaltending pads for both Corey Crawford and Brian Elliot. Both goalies do not use the “standard” white pads, and it looks beautiful on the ice.

How can you hate on those?

Oh yeah, the First Period happened too. Seriously did both teams have Thanksgiving or something before the game? The shot totals at the end of the First:
Blackhawks: 2
Blues: 7

Second period
Okay, things started happening here. After about 10 minutes of still processing the tryptophan, this game got rolling. Both teams started opening it up, leading to several high quality scoring chances on both ends of the rink. Both Elliot and Crawford stood tall though, nether team being able to break free. However, Vladimir Tarasenko decided at 15:20 that not-scoring wasn’t fun anymore and ripped one home to make it 1-0 Blues.

Noted jerk and recently un-suspended Duncan Keith agrees that scoring is fun, and blasts a shot from the blue line with 5 seconds left in the period to tie the game 1-1.

Third Period

At 12:14 into the third, Tarasenko pots a feed from Jori Lehtera, only to be called back by old fiend “No Goal”. Seemingly frustrated by the goal taken back, just over a minute later Tarasenko gets booked for slashing on Andrew Shaw. Sometimes the broken stick slashing call is really weak, not this one, he came down hard on Shaw’s stick (#b2bafterdark) Chicago finally breaks through on the power play on a goal from Andrew Shaw and the Blackhawks take their first lead of the series.

Ken Hitchcock actually challenged this goal, as a case could be made for goaltender interference, but the call stands and it’s 2-1 Hawks. Artemi Panarin scores on a long clearing attempt into the empty St. Louis bench at 18:34 to make it a 3-1 lead and the Blues were done for the night.

Or were they?

Kevin Shattenkirk blasts one home from just outside the circle at 19:58, but it’s too little, too late. My “Hawks being down 2-0” prediction has failed. Hawks win this one tonight, 3-2. Game 3 will be Sunday at 3:00pm EST.

Nashville Predators @ Anaheim Ducks 10:30PM NBCSN, CBC

Last night’s game between the Nashville Predators and the Anaheim Ducks at the Honda Center was an eye opener. Surprisingly, these teams hate each other, but I’ll give the Preds the benefit of the doubt because everyone hates the Ducks. The problem with this matchup is that it’s chock full of players that are easy to hate: Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, Ryan Kessler on the Ducks, Mike Ribeiro, James Neal on the Preds. Even Shea Weber is hard to like since he can be so good but so reckless. But, having a whole roster of people who are willing to dive, talk shit and goad the other team into penalties while not backing it up with either excellent play or fighting just means that you’re a team that deserves to have no fans, Ducks.

Now, I know that everyone expects that I am going to talk about how much I love Roman Josi…and I will, just not in that way. That Preds defense makes me excited to watch hockey again, mostly because of the play of the aforementioned Swiss player but also Ryan “Dr. Beardface” Ellis. At 25, both are young and hungry, willing to move the puck through all three zones to make a play and create an opportunity, yet drop back into coverage when things turn toward their defensive end. I see these two players having many successful years if they continue playing this way.

Token Predators stupid jerkface James Neal scored 0:35 seconds into the game. As much as Neal is certainly despicable, when he is behaving himself like he did last night, he certainly tries to make plays and takes shots on goal. He had 9 SOG last night, more than any player on either team.

Lots of icing happened after that for a while. When Ribeiro and Kessler faced off, it was just so much yuck.

Getzlaf went down and the crowd wanted a penalty. Within a few seconds of game time, Mike Ribeiro gets the penalty for hooking Getzlaf. The Ducks went on the Power Play with poor results. The Preds looked good on the kill, Mike Fisher got in on the action by making a poke-check while defending his blue line, sending the puck down the length of the rink. Later in the kill, Pekka Rinne made a great save when the puck seems to slip through his grasp as the Ducks descended upon him.

Nashville went on the Power Play when Ducks’ defenseman Simon Despres was called for High-Sticking against Calle Jarnkrok. Not surprisingly, the Ducks kill off the penalty. A scrum started in front of the Predators’ goal after Ducks made a drive. Human assface Corey Perry seems to be at the middle of it; again no surprise.

The Predators took too ill-timed penalties within 35 seconds; Tom Bitetto for Holding the Stick and Shea Weber for Cross-Checking. With Nashville down by two men, Getzlaf scores a PP goal to tie the game at 17:39, which kills off Betitto’s penalty. The Preds manage to kill off the remaining 1:11 in penalty time.

Second Period

To start off the Second Period, Kessler scores at 0:48. Ducks lead 2-1

Preds press afterward, have great zone time led by Ellis who makes great efforts to keep the puck in the zone. Jakob Silfverberg is called for Interference on Barret Jackman and goes to the box to feel shame.

During the resultant Power Play, Nashville took 3 shots on goal,in quick succession, all blocked by Ducks goalie John Gibson. The Preds PP doesn’t succeed.

At this point, it is getting harder to not notice that Neal is trying to win this game. By comparison, young Centerman Ryan Johansen’s lack of playoff experience shows; he looked sluggish and like he wasn’t eager to get into the play.

Colin Wilson ties the game with 12:05 left after a major movement of the puck down the ice by Ellis on a touch by Josi. Wilson looks like he just poked it in.

Cody Bass, after the whistle, bumped into Ryan Garbutt, who went down all too easily. Bass went for Unsportsmanlike Conduct. I mean, what do you expect with a name like that? Ducks went on the Power Play again.

Ryan Ellis prevents a goal WITH HIS BUTT by just laying in the crease and net when Rinne is caught off guard and out of position. It seems that the whistle should have been blown a few seconds before the bodies piled up.


This is the exact opposite of the Butt Fumble but equally as beautiful to watch. BUTT BLOCK!

Third Period

Half the period would elapse before it seemed like anyone really wanted to score. Neal pings a shot off the goal. The Ducks do things even less successfully. At 10:25, what looked like a goal by Craig Smith, turns out to be a wrister by Filip Forsberg. The puck bounces off and redirects Duck’s defenseman Shea Theodore‘s skate.

Things got chippier between the teams in the Third. The Preds went back on the Power Play at 14:44 when Sami Vatanen sent the puck over the glass for a Delay of Game. After this, the Preds started to play more conservatively. Looking like they want to preserve this lead more than to add to it. It almost costs them. Anaheim goes Empty Net forcing the Preds to stay in their zone with many of the same players for the remaining 3 minutes. Luckily, their best shot blockers are out there in Josi and Weber, who relied on their forwards to try to clear the puck, which they do for icing twice. Preds hold on, Ducks fail to score and all is right in the world. Oh, and Perry was at the center of another scrum. Barret Jackman will be fun to watch with him for the reminder of the series because Jackman isn’t taking Perry’s shit.

Predators win 3-2 and take the early series lead 1-0. Game 2 will occur on Sunday, April 17th at 10:30pm because the Hockey Gods™ hate me.

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Bass went for Unsportsmanlike Conduct. I mean, what do you expect with a name like that?

So I guess you’re not all about that Bass? (And neither are the officials.)


Cody Bass, after the whistle, bumped into Ryan Garbutt, who went down all too easily. Bass went for Unsportsmanlike Conduct. I mean, what do you expect with a name like that? Ducks went on the Power Play again.

Ryan Ellis prevents a goal WITH HIS BUTT by just laying in the crease and net when Rinne is caught off guard and out of position. It seems that the whistle should have been blown a few seconds before the bodies piled up.

There is so much rump in these two paragraphs.

Ryan GarBUTT


Cody Bass, after the whistle, bumped into Ryan Garbutt, who went down all too easily.

Sounds like there’s something fishy going on there…

the german hammer
the german hammer

It just writes itself, I swear. Ellis’ butt is clutch, that’s all I know.

the german hammer
the german hammer

It all happened. This series is going to be about dat ass!

comment image

Seriously, though, it’s not like I was concentrating on that because hockey pants are super modest.

If the games insist on starting at Stupid Time EST, then they better be damned entertaining.

Also, I think I should be commended for my amazing self-restraint, especially when talking about Josi.