Stanley Cup Playoffs: Round One, Day Five

Four more games are in the books for this First Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. So hatred. Much penalties. Wow.

Blues at Blackhawks Blues lead series 2-1

Oh the huge manatee!

Noted “tough guy” Steve Ott is back in the line up for the St Louis Blues. I guess they didn’t want to be outdone by Duncan Keith in the #DumbJerk category. This was a fun one today, so let’s get to it!

First Period

After a press conference in which Ken Hitchcock stated he wanted his team to not give the Hawks many power play chances, he was likely ready to blow his lid after the Blues took three minors in six minutes. The Blackhawks scored once, on a slap shot from Brent Seabrook at the left point.

Also penalized in that six-minute span was Jay Bouwmeester, first for Hooking, then again for Interference, since he played the puck while still in the penalty box. At 12:04 Viktor Svedberg clips Vladimir Tarasenko under his visor giving St. Louis their first Power Play opportunity of the game. Just seven seconds later, Colton Parayko blasts one from above the left point and we have a tied game.

It’s been mostly Chicago so far in this one, with the Hawks ahead in shots 10-9 and the Blues leading in blocked shots 10-3. The period ends 1-1 on a 4-on-4 situation as Joel Edmundson and Andrew Shaw go off for Cross-Checking and Slashing, respectively.

Second period

Artem Anisimov puts the Blackhawks up 2-1 on what appeared to be the 40th scoring chance early in the Second Period.

That woke the Blues up. After that score, Corey Crawford thought, “Oh yeah, it’s the playoffs and I’m great in them”.

The Hawks get another Power Play chance on a Scottie Upshall tripping call, but the Blues terrific Penalty Kill comes through again.

Random note from the NBC crew today: out of nowhere Pierre McGuire drops the most lustful notion of giving Jonathan Toews the Selke. My thought was, “Uhhh, no, shut up.” The period ends and it’s 2-1 Hawks.

Third Period

Patrik Berglund opens the period up with a shot that gets deflected off Michal Rozival to tie the game up at two apiece.

Patrick Kane gets booked for High Sticking on Tarasenko and it cuts him under his visor, leading to a double-minor. The Blues score on the first of the two penalties on a Jaden “Lonestar” Schwartz goal. (Note, I don’t know if that’s a real nickname, but it should be). The Blackhawks pressed with nothing to show for it and that’s your final, 3-2. St. Louis leads the series 2-1 heading into Game Four on Tuesday at 9:30pm. (Boo!)

Fun note: the dude running the music at the United Center was killing it today. Lots of Tool, some Foreigner, Daft Punk, Rainbow. Props to that guy.

Lightning at Red Wings Lightning lead series 2-1

To start out, there were some personnel updates. The Red Wings swapped out Kyle Quincey on D and juggled the pairings, bringing Brendan Smith back. In goal, they started Petr Mrazek over Jimmy Howard.

For their part, the Bolts moved Brian Boyle into JT Brown‘s spot, bringing up Jonathan Marchessault.

First Period:

Well it’s no surprise that Brendan Smith tried to make some noise – this time on Cedric Paquette:

This generated some aggressive chirping from both parties. Is this the beginning of the “Battle Between Guys Who’ve Been Humiliated by Zdeno Chara“? Time will tell.

Braydon Coburn get caught with a slight hooking on Darren Helm who fell down with Coburn’s stick under his arm. Both men are sent to the penalty box. Wait, Helm went for embellishment? Say it isn’t so! I’ve never accused Helm of diving or embellishing…today.

Each side got some pressure on goal during the ensuing 4-on-4 but at the end, the score is still 0-0.

Later on, this happened:

Later, Tyler Johnson is sent to the box for tripping after a post-faceoff Luke Glendening faceplant. Thus begins the first actual power play of the game. One minute later, Ondrej Palat knocks down Pavel Datsyuk with an awkward skate-on-skate trip, initiating a 5-on-3.
But both penalties were killed, with only 2 SOG , with lots and lots of shot blocking by the three primary penalty killers.

At the end of the First, Jason Garrison gets taken down with a slash to the back of the leg from Joakim Andersson, then is tackled “sorta-kinda by accident”. He needs help to get off the ice, but would return.

Second Period:

A few good hits here & there, including one from Vladislav Namestikov on Alexey Marchenko which makes his nose bleed profusely from the top. Eeeeewww. Perhaps a forehead cut?

Andreas Athanasiou (and I hate you for making me type that name) fires a shot past Ben Bishop from the high slot for the first goal of the game. This precipitates a little poor sportsmanship on the next two puck drops, but not enough for penalties to be assessed. Speaking of poor sportsmanship, the crowd chips in with chants of “Biiiishop Biiiishop”. (C’mon NHL crowds, your teams need to earn the right for taunting. One goal ain’t enough for that.)

Soon after, there is a crazy scramble in front of Bishop’s net;  Bishop goes out to challenge a Detroit skater and returns to the net where he spins a bit, while Henrik Zetterberg  gets the puck in off both skates, yet is not a distinct kicking motion. It slides under Bishop’s thigh and reappears in the net. The Officials’ review says that there was no kicking motion – GOOD GOAL. Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper challenges for goaltender interference, but Bishop was outside the crease when interacting with the first skater and Zetterberg had already sent the puck under him before he made any contact. Ahhhh, just watch it.

Puck Daddy actually has a better look at the whole sequence.

During the challenge delay, an octopus lept mysteriously from the crowd onto the ice. Hopefully medical professionals can save this poor suicidal octopus, who coudn’t stand the stress of a coaches’ challenge any more.

Third Period:

The Third Period is mainly penalties and Detroit containing Tampa Bay for 20 more minutes.

Early in, Nikita Kucherov & Darren Helm go to the box for mutual unsportsmanlike conduct. A minute and a half later, Niklas Kronwall pins Alex Killorn against the boards for too long and is penalized for holding. Tampa begins to enjoy a power play when Tyler Johnson goes to the box for a hook which might have been a Brendan Smith stick hold. Play continues 4-on-4.

Soon after those penalties expire, there was another penalty; Helm falls down a bit easily, with Alex Killorn’s hand on his shoulder, and Killorn goes to the box for holding.

This begins a fair amount of pressure against Bishop for most of the period. By this time, Bishop has lost all rebound control, and had to be bailed out by his skaters on more than one occasion.

At 14:20, a Pavel Datsyuk tripping penalty gives Tampa the opportunity they need, but they can’t capitalize.

A minute or so after the power play expires, Braydon Coburn pushes Brendan Smith, who drops like a stone. The color guy calls him out for diving but the ref does not. Red Wings go on the Power Play.

This kills the game. Last minute nasty slashes and hits precipitate a slight brawl after the buzzer, but nothing as spectacualar as last game.
Detroit 2 Tampa 0,
SOG Detroit 30 Tampa 16

Tampa still leads the series 2-1. Next game is on Tuesday at The Joe.


Panthers at Islanders Islanders lead series 2-1

Game three of the Cats-Isles series continued to bring all the excitement we’ve come to expect from this series of two teams trying to break a 20+ year run without winning a playoff round-  this time at Barclay’s, literally the only barn the Isles could have moved to worse than the Nassau Mausoleum besides the collapsed one on my hypothetical Uncle Leo’s farm (Why Leo? Why Not?).

Anyway Cats open with a Reilly Smith goal at 2:25, further promoting Bruins fans everywhere to engage in hilariously revisionist history on the matter of Reilly Smith. This is only going to get worse before it gets better. Latter on in the period, there was a flurry of penalties, as at 8:32 Greg McKegg (who has a leg for an arm and an arm for a leg!) goes to the box for Holding Thomas Hickey, but the penalty is negated because Cal Clutterbuck High-Sticked Dimitri Kulikov. That seems like an unwise decision. At 10:19 Jiri Hudler goes to the box for interfering with John Tavares, but the Isles fail to capitalise. Later, Matt Martin takes a dubious Roughing penalty for failing to not skate into Alex Petrovic, which twitter seemed more than a little discontent with.

Second period begins, and here we have the action. At 1:11 Sasha Barkov opens up with his first NHL playoff goal ever on feeds form Smith (remember how I said this will only get worse… yeah) and Jonathan Huberdeau. Then, at 4:08 the tide changed. Aaron Ekblad seemed to sink a goal to make it 3-0 Cats, but No Goal showed up, determining that Huberdeau had not had control of the puck when he crossed the blue line ahead of it. The Isles would later attribute the outcome of the game to this incident. In the ensuing chase, Alex Petrovic went to the box for boarding Matt Martin, soon followed by Jussi Jokinen at 5:08 for holding Frans Nielsen, allowing Ryan Pulock put the Isles on the board at 5:21 on the PP for his first playoff goal, assisted by Kyle Okposo and John Tavares. Nick Bjugstad came back at 7:23, reopening the Cats’ lead, assisted by Smith and Kulikov. But this was not to last, as at 11:48 Shane Prince netted a goal on an assist from Pulock and Calvin De Haan, making in 3-2 Cats. Dimitri Kulikov then gets called for clipping Martin at 16:12, allowing Frans Nielsen to quickly convert on the power play, assisted by Tavares and Okposo, tying the game. A late Casey Cizikas tripping penalty on Smith at 18:32 failed to result in a goal, and we go to the second intermission with a tie game.

The third was a very quiet period, with no goals and a single penalty, in which Travis Hamonic High-Sticked Smith, but didn’t draw blood, so it was just the single minor, not that the Cats were able to make the most of it. It pretty quickly became clear we all needed to be hunkering down for some playoff OT!

Everyone managed to behave themselves throughout OT, because that would be very dumb of them had they not. Finally, at 12:31, Thomas “I swear its not a” Hickey scored the first Islanders playoff OT goal since Ken Morrow on April 10, 1984 (!!!!- yes, they had not scored a playoff OT since 8 months before I was born, which is almost unbelievable until you remember that they also haven’t won a playoff series since 1993, so yeah…), assisted by High School Lacrosse Star Brock Nelson and Josh Bailey.

Final score, 4-3 Isles, shots were even 39-39.

Join us Wednesday night at 8 PM EDT for the fourth installment of this madcap timewarp playoff series at Barclay’s.


Predators at Ducks Predators lead series 2-0

The 20,000 referees not paid to call the game don’t like it.- John Forslund, NBCSN Play-by-Play

That was a direct quote from the broadcast about how the Ducks’ fans suck. Really, so much whining.

Turns out that these two teams hate each other, like really hate each other. I had no idea. The animosity is palpable and delicious. I love it.

The only notable personnel change is that Kevin Bieksa is back from injury, taking the spot of another injured defenseman, Josh Manson, who went down in Game One.

Early in the First Period, Barrett Jackman makes a good play to get rid of a rebound off Pekka Rinne‘s pads. Rinne was tested early and often by the Ducks, seemingly flying from side-to-side in net at times, acting as if he were an unmovable boulder at others. Jerkface Corey Perry tried to get Rinne on successive shots with no luck.

That jackass Perry has been getting away with all sorts of crap early in the period, mostly picking on the far superior person that is Roman Josi, by hooking, holding his stick, and interfering with him, and getting away with it. Well, he gets away with that. At 7:16, Perry is penalized for Hooking on Filip Forsberg. Nashville goes on the Power Play but doesn’t take many shots on goal. One notable one was a Shea Weber slap shot that went right in John Gibson‘s breadbasket. It was notable in that it was the slowest slapper I’ve ever seen off of Weber’s stick. Thirty seconds after Perry is released from the box, he’s thrown back in for Interference against Miikka Salomaki. Nashville would get to enjoy the one-man advantage for exactly 1:05 before yet another penalty…no wait…make that simultaneous penalties on Ryan Getzlaf (Hooking) and Josi (Embellishment) at 10:51.

During the Ducks abbreviated Power Play, Rinne continues to be excellent, robbing Ryan Kesler of what was surely a goal. Pushing and shoving occur after every stoppage of play after every shot on goal. Cody Bass pushes David Perron around, protests to the refs about some roughing, gets no play, and escapes without a penalty of his own. Other scrums at similar post-whistle situations involve Salomaki and Chris Wagner, Jackman and some other Duckwit.

Anaheim opens up the scoring when Andrew Cogliano scores at 14:20 going 5-hole on a breakaway.

Ducks go on Power Play when Ryan Ellis goes to the box for Charging against Cam Fowler. Forsberg attempts a short-handed goal but a Ducks’ defenseman (Duckfenseman? Defenseduck?) gets a stick on his and he can’t take a good shot. Gibson makes a series of saves when the Preds hem the Ducks in their own zone after the penalty expires.

With 55.4 seconds to go in the first, Preds’ defenseman Mattias Ekholm scores the tying goal. Colin Wilson makes a play along the wall, finds Ekholm in front of the goal, who backhands it in for the score.

The Second Period starts with a flurry of activity with the Ducks taking many shots on Rinne. The chippiness continues into this period; more scrums occur behind the net after the whistle. Ryan Garbutt gets thrown in the box for an Unsportsmanlike Conduct against Salomaki. It seems they made an example of him more than anything. On the ensuing Power Play, the Preds having problems getting shots off. They’re also having troubles clearing the puck from their zone post-penalty. Then, all these problems melt away when Craig Smith scores the go-ahead goal at 9:55. The play was initiated by Josi and assisted by Forsberg. Preds lead 2-1.

Just when I was willing to give James Neal some credit for good behaviour, he has to ruin it by fucking with Gibson as he sat on the ice post-save. After the whistle, he skates by him and lets his stick drag against Gibson’s mask. How he manages to escape penalty is anyone’s guess. Afterward, Ducks fans shout something that sounds like, “Refs you suck”. This time I agree, Neal should have gone to the box.

David Perron goes for Cross-Checking against Ryan Ellis at 17:30. During the Preds Power Play, Ryan Kesler does an obvious embellishment on mid-ice contact between Weber and himself. It’s a good non-call. Fans hate it. Fuck them. Nashville decides that they do want to score a goal while they have one more player than the other team when Shea Weber scores a PPG with 38.8 to go in the Second. This one goes in after three one-timers in a row. Nashville extends their lead to 3-1.

In the Third Period more scrums happen. Rinne is all over the place. The Preds start out playing like they don’t need to pad their lead. The Ducks press and the net goes off it’s moorings. Getzlaf wants a Delay of Game but has to settle for pouting by himself.

Jakob Silfverberg commits Hooking against Forsberg at 9:41. Nashville goes on the Power Play; it doesn’t matter since they don’t score.

Nate Thompson scores the Ducks’ second goal at 17:18.

I could do without the nailbiting at the end of the Third period, guys. This has been two games you’ve done this to me.

Holy crap! The Walrus is an assistant on the Ducks! This is revealed on the Duck’s timeout.

The Walrus

My new favourite defenseman made smart puck clears twice in the last frustrating 33 seconds.

Yes indeed, don’t miss a moment because these games go down to the wire. Nashville takes both of Anaheim’s home games for the series lead of 2-0. The next game will be at Bridgestone Arena on Tuesday at 9:30pm.

Well, at least it’s not 10:45.

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It appears that the Ducks have also hired the walrus as the assistant to the assistant!

You know that guy only wore a suit to the game to have fun with MacLean.

Miss Muse
Miss Muse

Who the hell names their kid “Greg McKegg”?!

Also it’s nice that the Detroit Red Wings give their Ice Girls uniforms they can actually work in.


Same sort of person who names their kid Jack Kopacka.