Thursday, April 12, 2012

Stanley Cup Roundup: Day 1*

Thank you NBC/Universal for broadcasting all the games of the Stanley Cup Playoffs on NBC, NBC Sports, CNBC, and NHL Network. This is the greatest sports tournament in the world, and it's nice to be able to watch as much of it as possible.

Flyers 4, Penguins 3 (OT) - Flyers lead series 1-0
This game was decided in the few square feet in front of the net. The Penguins dominated the crease in the 1st period (Chris Pronger's absence was very notable) and went up 3-0. Then the Flyers fought for that real-estate, eventually tying it off a tip in a few feet in front of the net. Then winning it when Jordan Staal let Jacub Voracek sneak in the backdoor. This series was the most hyped, and Game 1 lived up to expectations. And it was just a post and/or an offsides call from going Pittsburgh's way.

Game 2 Friday night.

Predators 3, Red Wings 2 - Predators lead series 1-0
Rinne won this game for Nashville. It wasn't that Howard had a bad game though. Some really freaky bounces allowed Nashville to play with a lead for most of the night. I was actually impressed with how well Detroit played. Howard looked sharp, and they killed all 6 Nashville penalties (including an extended 5-on-3). This series will be pretty good.

Nashville might lose Shea Weber for a game or more. At the end of Game 1, he grabbed Zetterberg's head and bashed it into the glass. This was as the final whistle blew. Every year, the NHL likes to declare that they're clamping down on "message sending" in the playoffs. We'll see if they actually do anything about this message.

Game 2 Friday night.

Kings 4, Canucks 2 - Kings lead series 1-0

Vancouver lives by the Power Play, and last night they died by the Power Play. The Kings scored 2 goals with a man advantage. And despite incessant praise from the announcers, Robert Luongo just wasn't very good. He wasn't bad, but nowhere near as good as his defenders claim he is. The other Canucks were up to their old tricks. Kesler got a penalty for embellishment. Byron Bitz has caught the Canucks' disease and got a 5 minute boarding penalty, and a 10 minute misconduct. The rest of the team generally whined and moaned about only getting 5 Power Plays.

Game 2 Friday night.

Tonight's games:
7:00pm - Senators @ Rangers - Game 1 - NHL Network
7:30pm - Capitals @ Bruins - Game 1 - NESN/NBC Sports
7:30pm - Sharks @ Blues - Game 1 - CNBC
10:00pm - Blackhawks @ Coyotes - Game 1 - NBC Sports

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