Well friends, there were games last night. I don’t promise that they were exciting, but they happened. So I have a recap.
Game 1: Rangers vs Capitals
Final score: Rangers 1 – Capitals 2
Series: Rangers 1 – Capitals 3
So someone asked me on tumblr if the Rangers would be able to win without Mats Zuccarello in the lineup and I scoffed. Not, like, out loud. Or in my answer. But like. Surely they can, right? They’ve got Rick Nash, who had a pretty amazing regular season. (Not Art Ross worthy, but there’s only one of those to go around.) Zuccarello isn’t even the second highest scoring Ranger, that’s Derick Brassard. You have to go all the way down to fifth for Zuccarello. And when you get past all that, you’ve got a decent defensive core and Henrik “they don’t call me the King because I’m royalty” Lundqvist as a stopgap in net.
But I tell you, friends, I think the Rangers are missing Mats Zuccarello. If #grit were a measurable stat (Carolyn probably has a way, but I don’t), I posit that he would top the Rangers chart. They certainly seem like a shadow of the team that made it to the finals last year. (The finals round I refuse to acknowledge. What finals round. The Stanley Cup went unawarded last year. The Hawks still have it. Denial is great.)
And it looked so promising at first. Derick “french donut” Brassard scored first.
Followed ten minutes later by Andre “russian . . . . toast” Burakovsky.
What exactly Rangers defense was doing there, I can’t really tell.
But whatever, we go into second intermission on a 1-1 tie. Which lasts all of 24 seconds of the third period before Burakovsky scores again.
The Rangers have all period to pull themselves back even, but Holtby wasn’t letting anything through. Not even hockey players this time.
Carl “might be a member of a boyband with that hair” Hagelin got a penalty shot for being hauled down by Mike Green, but isn’t able to do much with it.
Oh also there was a fight.
(Thanks to eagle-eyed reader Elena for pointing out I had the wrong fight posted! Sorry, friends!)
But even that managed to be a little boring. Tanner “literally the worst player in the league for several years running” Glass did what Tanner “no seriously” Glass does and fought Tim “right hook so strong I gave it a name” Gleason for . . . reasons, I guess.
What we learned:
Chances are Henrik Lundqvist has a different view of this moment.
Game 2: Lightning vs Canadiens
Final score: Lightning 2 – Canadiens 1
Series: Lightning 3 – Canadiens 0
So I had a thought, last night, after I saw this score, that it would be HILARIOUS to me (and probably Lightning fans, and maybe even some masochistic Habs fans) if the Lightning sweep the Habs the year after the Habs sweep the Lightning. Wouldn’t that be fun? Wouldn’t you laugh? I would laugh.
It hasn’t happened yet, and don’t worry I knocked on wood so I can’t be blamed, but yeah. Laughter would ensue.
ANYWAY. About this game.
The Lightning score in the first on a Stamkos feed to Killorn.
Brendan Gallagher gets cross checked in the face, which isn’t a fun way to spend your birthday.
But he follows it up with a birthday goal while Brian “might actually have giant blood” Boyle is literally on top of him.
So that was kind of impressive. Third period winds down and I think everyone was battening down whatever hatches (idk nautical terms this is just happening) they have open for OT.
Everyone except Tyler “didn’t want to miss the late show” Johnson, who scores with literally a second left in the game.
The Lightning were pretty excited about it.
I especially love that coach who pumps his fist with the war cry. Goal is reviewed, but there wasn’t really much of a question about it. Do yourselves a favor and listen to the recap guy. (Not the goal video but the actual recap. They’re using a different feed for each which is so annoying, but whatever. DO IT.) “IT COUNTS! IT COUNTS! IT COUNTS!” That man loves his job.
What we learned: