There was hockey! And because I had nothing else to do with my wild Friday night, I actually watched most of it for you, friends.
Game 1: Lightning vs Canadiens
Final Score: Lightning 2 – Canadiens 1
Series: Lightning 1 – Canadiens 0
Carolyn likes to say that all officiating regresses to a mean, and as a case study, I would like to present the Montreal Canadiens. If you’ll remember game 6 of the first round, Jean-Gabriel Pageau actually scored a game tying goal that was disallowed because the ref had prematurely blown the play dead. Terrible call on the ice, but what can you do?
You can wait until the Canadiens get their karmic retribution, is what you can do. Cold comfort for the Senators, maybe, and I’m sorry to you, friends. But hey! The Canadiens lose game 1 on home ice, so that was pretty hilarious, and to the Lightning, who they swept last year.
More on the controversial call later, because that actually happened in double OT, because one of these teams thinks they’re the Chicago Blackhawks, apparently.
Game was scoreless and (let’s be honest) kinda boring until the third period. Shots were even although the scoring chances were skewed toward Montreal. Ben Bishop did a lot of work tonight, and definitely earned his 3rd Star. (Should probably have been 2nd, above Carey Price, since he faced more shots, had a better Sv% and, you know, WON THE GAME, but whatever it’s Montreal and the people picking it are homers.) (First star was Nikita “maybe I was off sides, maybe I break your face” Kucherov and I got no problems with that.)
Anyway. Third period rolls around, and Tyler “my roster photo is sad but my heart is happy” Johnson puts one in the net.
1-0 Bolts, so all they have to do is hold on to a lead, right? Hahaha. Haha. Ha.
Max “did you miss me, just kidding I know you did” Pacioretty scored with a little over five minutes left in the period. And it was a really rough one for Ben Bishop:
Not only did he have all the time in the world to catch it, he thought he HAD caught it. Whoops.
Kucherov scores what would have been the game winner, if he hadn’t used his stick to push Carey Price’s leg into the net to make room for the puck. That’s frowned upon in this league, apparently.
1st OT is scoreless, 2nd OT results in Kucherov actually scoring the game winner, and here’s the controversy:
The player at the top of the picture is the one with the puck. (I don’t remember who it is and it doesn’t matter.) Kucherov is clearly over the line before the puck, making the play offsides. He knows it, probably everyone but the refs know it, but what’s he gonna do? Stop playing and confess his sins? Play to the whistle, bud, and no whistle was blown. So Kucherov keeps skating.
What we learned: Officiating regresses to a meeeeean. (If you check out our podcast, or have in the past, Carolyn sings this sometimes. It’s sometimes hilarious and sometimes enraging, depending on who got the better end of the officiating that day.)
Game 2: Blackhawks vs Wild
Final Score: Blackhawks 4 – Wild 3
Series: Blackhawks 1 – Wild 0
This is my heart in conflict. I’ve been so proud of Devan “other goaltender of my heart” Dubnyk’s successes this year and the way he dragged the Wild into the playoffs on his back and his excellent Sv%. But I can’t get behind the Wild and while it’s all well and good to root for them against the Blues, I want the Hawks to win this series.
So when Brandon Saad scored the first goal, that was fine. That was it. No one else needs to score the entire game right?
HAHAHAHAAHA. Hahaha. Haha. Ha. (Both of these games had these moments, what can I do.)
So the Blackhawks go up 3-0 in the first period. Brandon “future captain because obviously” Saad, Patrick “saucy mitts” Kane, and Marcus “woah wait really” Kruger all score on, wait for iiiiiit, 8 shots in the first period. It looks like it’s going to be a terrible night for Devan Dubnyk again, like the 6-2 game against the Blues.
But, no. It was not terrible. For Dubnyk. I mean, not really any more terrible than it became for Corey “I’m going to compensate for my haters by wearing a really awful mask” Crawford in the 2nd.
No but really:
It’s a mask made to look like an Indian headdress. Hello, cultural appropriation, it’s never nice to see you.
Because, yes. The Wild then score three on Corey Crawford and at least one of them was a total stinker.
Yes, the Wild were on the power play at the time because Roszival just needs to not, but does it even look like, at any point, Crawford knows where the puck even is? What are you doing, bud?
The Wild bring it even for about ten minutes and I start having visions of quadruple OT in my head because, you know, I know the Blackhawks.
But! What is that!? 2nd period hero Teuvo “Merrin will never spell your name right on the first try” Teravainen with a pretty wacky goal as the second winds down.
Wild can’t clear it and turn it over to Patrick Sharp, and it ends up on Teuvo’s stick. He throws it toward the net and from the angle in the gif, it kinda looks like Vermette is the one that puts it away, but it never even gets close to him. That puck was all Teuvo, who scored his first career Stanley Cup goal. He’s a good little boo.
And at that point, when the buzzer rang to end the period, I remembered WE STILL HAD A WHOLE PERIOD LEFT. And only a one goal lead.
But it didn’t end up mattering. Chicago wildly outpossessed the Wild in the third but couldn’t get anything behind Dubnyk. The Wild, in the few chances they had, couldn’t get anything through Crawford. Game ends on Teuvo’s goal.
What we learned: I might die before the end of this series, but it looks like it could be an exciting one. Wild defense didn’t slow the Hawks down much.