4.23.15 SC Playoffs Recap (Never Bet Against A Rookie Swede When The Calder’s On The Line)

Game 1: Islanders v Capitals

Final Score: Isles 1 – Caps 5

Series: Isles 2 – Caps 3

 

This game was what I was WAITING for this whole time. Super chippy, lots of goals, every Isles and Caps fans complaining about the reffing…

Things get heated early, with Anders Lee instigating a fight with Tom Wilson. This is “because” he’s mad about the hit on Visnovsky which unfortunately did cause a concussion and have taken him out of the series. But really, it’s because hockey guys think violence solves problems.

For all that Lee challenged Wilson, he pretty much got his ass handed to him.

 

 

Later in the game, Wilson would get some pain dished out on him – Cizikas spears him pretty thoroughly.

The Isles go up 1-0 pretty quickly after the fight, but the Caps are quick to spoil their party, with Evgeny “Say This Three Times Fast” Kuznetsov scoring 4 minutes later. From there on out, it’s all Washington, with Halak finally getting pulled after the Caps go up 5-1.

What We Learned: Andrew Ference cleans up real good.

 

Game 2: Lightning v Red Wings

Final Score: Lightning 3 – Wings 2 (OT)

Series: Tied 2-2

 

I chose to watch the Isles/Caps game because they started at the same time and so I can only give you a condensed highlight package.

First, Ben Bishop took a holding penalty. Yes. The Ben Bishop who is the goaltender. That one. No, that’s not a typo. Holding. Penalty. Goaltender.

 

Then, as the cherry on top of the really excellent day he’s having, Ben Bishop gets an own goal. It’s credited to Joakim Andersson, but let’s be real here. That shit wasn’t going in without Bishop’s interference.

 

 

Beyond that, the Wings are up 2-0 and not much happens until the 3rd period, when I flip channels because Washington has the Isles on the ropes. I don’t really know what the Detroit defense were doing in the 3rd, but they must’ve thought the game was won because they let Tyler “Most Generic Name Ever” Johnson just walk straight to the net and wrist one past Mrazek to inject some life into the Bolts. Then, basically a minute later, in pretty much the most simple play ever, Palat comes up the middle, passes to Johnson on the wing, heads to the net, catches the centering pass and then BAM ties the game.

The game goes to OT, meaning I miss half of the Hawks first period. Fortunately, Tyler “I Swear This Isn’t A Witness Protection Alias” Johnson knew I was getting antsy and wins it for Tampa  just 3 minutes in.

What We Learned: The Talking Heads really don’t know what to do with themselves when they can’t fawn all over Steven Stamkos. I think they may know less about Tyler Johnson than I do.

Game 3: Predators v Blackhawks

Final Score: Preds 5 – Hawks 2

Series – Preds 2 – Hawks 3

This game was preempted by the OT in Tampa/Detroit, but fortunately, not much happened until the game switched over. And then, oh man. Brad “Former Dallas Star” Richards scores on a shot that Rinne really should’ve had. Still, things went downhill from there.

You see, prior to this game, the Calder finalists were announced, and Predators rookie Fililp Forsberg was left off the list. Despite slowing down his production in the final month of the season, in January, Forsberg was considered a lock for the nom, and even as recently as two weeks ago, I thought he would be the winner. In fact, here’s a few 5v5 charts:

Stone v Forsberg

Gaudreau v Forsberg

Forsberg v Mackinnon

 

Anyway, what this means is that Forsberg had the ultimate Hair Flip game, scoring off a face off just a minute after the Richards goal. Things were pretty tight in the second, but in the third, oh man.

First, Neal scores to put the Preds up 2-1. Then, the refs actually call an interference penalty, which is practically unheard of in the playoffs, and Colin Wilson scores on the ensuing power play. Fun Fact: Colin “Overgrown Golden Retriever” Wilson now holds the Predators record for most goals scored during a playoff series.

It doesn’t stop there. Forsberg scores again, because he really is probably the best rookie forward this year, after a very lovely pass from Mike “Mr. Carrie Underwood” Fisher.

 

 

Scott “Actual Darling” Darling had the start for the Blackhawks, and while the team was quick to come to his defense (well, in the post game, they sure as hell did shit all for him during the actual game), it’s unclear who will be starting in Game 6 on Saturday.

Anyway, Patrick Kane is really good at hockey sometimes, and makes probably the prettiest pass you’ll see all week to Versteeg, who cuts the Nashville lead to 2.

 

 

They pull Darling with 3 minutes left for the extra attacker, but somehow Shaw manages to get into a fight with Seth Jones after Hossa takes a slashing penalty on the other side of the ice. It devolves into a big scrum, and Shaw and Paul Gaustad get game misconducts. The Preds are still on the power play at the end of the game, but Darling stays on the bench.

Can you guess what happens next?

I bet you can.

FILIP “FUCK YOUR CALDER” FORSBERG GETS THE EMPTY NETTER TO COMPLETE HIS HAT TRICK.

What We Learned: Pretty much everyone is smarter than the PWHA. Also, I feel so much better about Klingberg not getting nominated now. Who knew it would only take a more egregious snub to put my feelings in perspective.

Game 4: Canucks v Flames

Final Score: Canucks 2 – Flames 1

Series: Flames 3 – Canucks 2

 

Let’s be real, this game was a let down for everyone, because no one’s actually rooting for the Canucks. Even like, half the city of Vancouver is probably saying “Well, it’d be funny if Calgary went the whole way.”

Because this game started after the Blackhawks game (and while Lightning/Detroit game was in OT), I didn’t watch any of it until the third period. I can confirm these following things happened:

The Flames scored one goal.

The Canucks scored two goals.

The Canucks took a lot of penalties in the 3rd, but still won.

What we learned: Gaudreau is small and good at hockey. I’m throwing my full support behind him for the Calder. Not that it means anything because all the votes are already in.

 

 

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