Patrick Kane scored for the Chicago Blackhawks in the 1st period Saturday afternoon, and then in the second the Detroit Red Wings took over. The Wings scored 4 consecutive goals, with no retaliation from the Hawks. This is the team that only lost seven games in the regular season.and won 24 games in a row I did not project that the Hawks would sweep the second round; but to have played such a lackluster game in the opener of the second round …. leaves me stunned. But I am confident that the Blackhawks will rally from this shellacking and put up a better performance next game. Apparently there is a belief in the Blackhawks’ locker room “That whatever position we’re in, we can come back.” I will hold them to these words.
When Sidney Crosby got his third goal Ottawa changed their goalie on Friday night. It looked as though it was going to be a shoe-in for the Pittsburgh Penguins. The shots on goal were relatively even, but had it not been for the Pens’ goalie, Tomas Vokoun, brilliantly stopping a few key shots, the outcome might have been quite different. Vokoun was outstanding in the net. The Penguins had a 4-2 lead at the end of the second period, but Ottawa was not ready to roll over and Jean Pageau’s goal, early in the third, put the Senators within one of tying it. Although most “Gurus” are predicting The Penguins will win the round in five, this, “quasi guru” does not think it is going to be that easy. Except for the outstanding play of Sidney last night, there was not a great deal of thrust from the rest of the team
The Los Angeles Kings took a 2-0 lead in the second round Thursday night with a win over the San Jose Sharks. One wonders if the Kings could stun the hockey world again, as they did last year, in claiming the coveted Stanley Cup. This is a very tall order however with Jonathan Quick in net, it is not impossible just maybe probable. The Hawks are going to be tough to beat and should eliminate the Red Wings in 5… the Pens on the other hand may just have their hands full and have yet to impress me that much… and the much maligned Bruins are iffy and will be in tough with the Rangers as Henrik Lundqvist could steal the series alone and if Rick Nash wakes up from hibernation it could be bye, bye Big Bad Bruins. Pittsburgh meets Ottawa tonight and the Hawks take on Detroit on Saturday. The Kings also play Saturday; so we may see the trend by then.
There was no scoring in the first period Thursday night in the game between the New York Rangers and the Boston Bruins. They exchange goals in the second and third and it took OT for the Bruins to come out the winner. New York’s Brad Marchand took an interference penalty at 2:55 of the regulation and Torey Krug got the tying goal on a power play. In my opinion it was any ones game and the round’s winner is tough to choose. However, tough is the name of the game to the “Bad Boys from Boston”.
Wednesday night’s game between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Detroit Red Wings ended, as most true hockey fans would have expected, in a win for the Hawks. Jimmy Howard Warded of 37 of 41 shots by the Backhawks:; while Corey Crawford only had to face 21 from the Red Wings. An outcome of 4-1 could have been much worse. The score was surprisingly tied 1-1 at the end of the first period, and there was no scoring in the second. The Hawks finally took over in the third and scored 3 unanswered goals. I am predicting the same ending for round two as I did for round one; with … perhaps … the Red Wings stealing one.
Who would beleaf that the victory celebrations, that many ardent Toronto Maple Leaf fans planned, would have last minute cancellations. Within 9 minutes the Boston Bruins decimated a 4-1 lead the Leafs held and in OT claimed the victory of round one. Though, in the beginning, I didn’t believe they would get past 5 games; here they were, with a 3 goal lead. I started to think that maybe they could ace this one. The second goal for the Bruins still didn’t pose too big a threat, but 2 goals … in less than a minute … tied the game, and I knew the Leafs were out of steam. Patrice Bergeron got the tying goal and the winner in OT. The second round begins Tuesday night … without the Toronto Maple Leafs. Several people have told me that it is typical for the Leafs to blow away an almost sure win.
Braden Holtby stopped 22 shots, but another 5 went passed him. One cannot totally blame the loss on Holtby as I don’t think I have seen the Capitals play such a disorganized game. The penalties, probably in frustration, cost them dearly. But where was Alex Ovechkin and the rest of the team that got them to the first round? I must say I am totally surprised. They had beaten the Winnipeg Jets in back to back games in the Jets home town, and went on to eliminate them from the playoffs.This is definitely one of the surprises that I talked about earlier.