I told myself that I was gonna go to bed earlier last night, but Lord Stanley demands sacrifices from all of us, I guess.
Game 1: Lightning v Red Wings
Final Score: Bolts 0 – Wings 3
The year of the backup continues to reign supreme. The Red Wings were back at Joe Lewis for the third game of the series, and man, is that a great crowd. Babcock once again went with Petr Mrazek to start the game, and was rewarded with this decision by shutting out Tampa Bay 3-0.
I only watched the first period of this game because I chose to flip over to 2nd Place Leading Scorer vs Rocket Richard winner instead,and honestly this game wasn’t particularly interesting. The Wings found ways to shut down the Lightning pretty quickly.
The highlights for me were A) Pavel Datsyuk doing Pavel Datsyuk vision things with this beautiful give and go goal. A give & goal, if you will.
(Yes, he did feed that pass to Tatar, the gif just cuts that out)
And B) There was a bit of a controversy at the end of the game when goalie interference was called on Tampa. Yes, the Lightning player clearly initiates contact for no reason, but Mrazek is pretty far out of the crease, also for no reason except maybe to challenge the skater.
IDK. I’m not a particular fan of either team, but I like the Lightning’s jerseys more so MRAZEK WAS TOTALLY DIVING, WTF REF.
What We Learned: Red Wings are now up 2-1 in the series. I should’ve learned by now never to pick youth & beauty over age & treachery.
Game 2: Capitals v Islanders
Final Score: Caps 2 – Isles 1 (OT)
We knew this was going to be an interesting game, especially since the Isles are playing what could be their last game ever at Nassau Coliseum. I’m halfway convinced that Nick Leddy’s playoff beard is simply him trying to get ready to fit in with all the hipsters in Brooklyn.
Remember how I said like, two paragraphs ago that I wanted to watch the score-fest between Tavares and Ovechkin? Well…it wasn’t this game.
Nearly all of the action came in the first, starting with the least Ovechkin like goal of the year – just a mild redirection of a John Carlson shot from the blue line. Both Holtby and Halak were on point and it looked like that would be all until Casey “Noted Goal Scorer” Cizikas scored with less than 20 seconds left in the period on a beautiful feed from…Cal “Soft Hands” Clutterbuck. Clutterbuck also pinged one off the crossbar late in the game.
This is your life now, Isles fans.
There was also a very scary moment in the 1st period where Brooks Orpik went down and took a skate to the face. I’m going to link it here instead of embedding because not everyone wants to see that. Good news, he’s as OK as a hockey player who gets stitched up in the back ever is, and he came back to finish out the game.
Very little else of note happened in the game, as no one else scored until OT. Tom “Pending Healthy Scratch” Wilson saw fit to take back to back penalties, first for kneeing, and then literally ON HIS WAY OUT OF THE BOX takes this charging penalty.
The game goes to OT at 1-1, and unlike last time no one scores in the first 15 seconds, for which the Caps are probably grateful. In fact, the winning goal was probably one of the worst shots of the game – Backstrom sneaking a slow drive from far out past Halak stick-side
What We Learned: Hockey fans are dicks. So far this playoffs, here have been two reports of harassment so bad that they’ve ended up in Mainstream Media (which means there’s been countless more acts that no one bothered to report), with one of those instances taking place just two nights ago at game 3 in this series. And then this happened as the Caps were celebrating their win. Are you fucking serious? Let’s fucking not, ok?
Game 3: Flames v Canucks
Final Score: Flames 3 – Canucks 1
Even though I’m totally rooting for the Flames, I didn’t watch any of this game because the Blackhawks game started while Caps/Isles was in OT. From what I understand, Brandon “Marry Me” Bollig did not score in this game, keeping him tied in playoff goals with other scrubs like Patrick Kane.
However, Johnny “I Swear I’m Not A Teenage Runaway” Gaudreau has decided to make the playoffs his bitch, and is singlehandedly causing havoc among the Canucks defense. He scored what would be the first of three goals on 7 shots for the Flames, chasing Eddie “A Puppy In Disguise” Lack from the net.
The Sedin Collective gets one back for the Canucks, but that is literally all that happened.
What We Learned: Sometimes you just gotta go with the flow.
Game 3: Blackhawks v Predators
Final Score: Hawks 3 – Preds 2 (OT)
Scott Darling got the start again last night, and boy I would be surprised if he didn’t get the start again in game 5, as he was fantastic. The Preds score first on a power play, but literally a minute and a half later Antoine Vermette nets his first playoff goal of the series – and his first ever goal as a Blackhawk.
As we’ve seen all series, the pace of play in this game was electric, though the Blackhawks definitely had an edge in the line matching game because Shea Weber and Mike Fisher were both out with injury.
The Predators went up 2-1 early in the second. The goal reads officially as “James Neal (unassisted)” but you can pretty clearly see that Duncan Keith needs some credit here, as this was the stupidest play he’s made in awhile.
Remember how I said the Hawks had the advantage in the matchups? Their top line of Saad-Toews-Hossa basically walked all over the Preds, especially in the third period, posting 5v5 game possession numbers of 56%, 55%, and 58% respectively.
Hossa and Saad combined forces to score this beautiful goal in the 3rd, tying the game.
In my notes it just says “BRANDON SAAD IS BETTER THAN YOU (and so is marian hossa)”
Of course the game doesn’t end there, literally. Hossa has another excellent chance to end the game with a win in regulation, but Pekka Rinne decides to be a brilliant asshole and stop him instead.
So off to OT we go. The first OT period was much like the 3rd period – lots of chances at both ends, Rinne making brilliant saves and Darling doing his best whenever the Preds look dangerous. No one scores. So off to second OT we go. (Deja Vu, anyone?)
The longer this game went on, the more annoyed with Rinne I got. Until this happened.
It took 4 minutes or so to find that puck. Ahh, good old hockey shenanigans. Meanwhile, my roommate has wandered out of her room and is very confused as to why I’m still watching hockey at midnight. Oh you sweet summer child.
Even as you can see the players about to fall asleep, the goalies remain on point and no one scores in 2nd OT either. WOOO TRIPLE OT!!
Thank god for Brent Seabrook. Apparently his birthday was two days ago, which means that he was basically guaranteed to score in the next game last night. And he did, to put us out of our misery (I was reduced to snacking on carrots. CARROTS.).
What We Learned: I wish I could be as articulate as Brent Seabrook.