I missed the Vancouver/St. Louis game last night because my Versus feed was scrambled like my eggs. This morning I saw 2 people wearing Rangers jerseys on my walk to the subway. That is way more than the usual zero I see.
Canucks beat the Blues, 2-1(lead series 1-o): As I said above, I couldn't watch this game. I did see the high-lights (twice) on NHL: On the Fly this morning. The slap pass from Demitra to Sedin for the first goal is true beauty. Its an obvious pass, because of the angle, but its got to be a slap to get enough speed on it to beat a goalie five-hole. Also, when Matt Barnaby was analyzing the play on ESPN this morning he said, "you can't give Demitra that much time and space." Well Matty, it was pretty much a power play for Vancouver as Lunogo had gone to the bench on a delayed power play. Thats why he had so much time and space to pick out Sedin in the slot. Oh yea, and Luongo has give up 2 goals in his last 4 or so games. Thats not grease in his hair, thats him exuding confidence.
Penguins beat the Flyers, 4-1 (lead series 1-0): If was writing a New York Times trendwatching piece about the NHL play-offs, it would be about face-offs. See everyone knows how important face-offs are, but I would make it a times trendwatch piece, by just talking about it now and only using limited evidence - like last nights Penguins game. The Penguins won almost 65% of the draws. And with the 9 power plays they had, thats a lot of time where Philly didn't have the puck. It wasn't complete domination, but the numbers make it seem that way. Also, somehow Daniel Carcillo got in trouble. He was more invisible than Chevy Chase in that move.....
Devils beat the Hurricanes, 4-1 (lead series 1-0): This game was complete domination by the home team. Cam "hot in march" Ward was not great, but also took on more shots than a Mr. W at a high school keg party. The Devils played like an efficient machine last night. The little plays they make are so fundamentally sound. For example on Elias' snipe - he doesn't get that puck if Gionta doesn't take the right angle to get body positioning on the Canes defenseman. Also, Parise went low stick side from the goal line - how is that possible!?
Rangers win over the Capitals, 4-3 (lead series 1-0): Jose Theodore made the Rangers an offensively gifted team. Well, so did Jeff Shultz. Henrik Lundqvist plays so deep in his net, it makes me think that he never learned his angles. I've always admired the Rangers penalty kill, its seems to me the most logical and ferocious way to be a man down. Lastly, Blair Betts broke his stick sliding to block Ovy's last second shot. Thats play-off hockey.