Last night had a little bit of everything. Well, now that I think about it, everything but a line brawl. I don’t even think anyone fought. Man, come to think of it, last night was hella boring.
Game 1: Lightning vs Canadiens
Final score: Lightning 2 – Canadiens 6
Series: Lightning 3 – Canadiens 1
Two things to start off. You might be thinking I’ve made a mistake. Surely the Lightning just played LAST night, not tonight. In one of those rare occasions where a confluence of events like arena availabilities and scheduling conflicts all come together, two teams end up playing back-to-back games in the playoffs. Hardly seems fair, but there you go. SECOND, if you think I’m pressed at the Bolts for not finishing the Habs and making my subtitle the most perfect and apropos subtitle ever, you’re totally right. YOU HAD ONE JOB, BISHOP.
The Canadiens were down, but not out, and came to play Thursday night with a desperation only seen in an elimination game in the postseason. Does anyone think they can do this three more times in a row? Probably not. But the series just got more interesting.
Prior to this game, the Habs had led 12 minutes the whole series long. Well, add 60 to that total, because they went up 5-0 before the Lightning even got on the board.
Eight goals is a lot and I’m not going to go over every single one, but the one I think everyone should see is Brandon “I only whine about officiating when things aren’t going my way” Prust using Jason “and in that moment I was sad to be alive” Garrison’s stick, yes the one he was holding, to get the puck past Andrei “I don’t know what you were expecting” Vasilevskiy for the Habs’ 6th goal of the night.
That, friends, was the game ender.
What’s to say about this game? The Habs were finally desperate, they had something to prove, and the Lightning were not equal to the task of shutting them down. In fact, given that Montreal scored on them in literally all available situations last night, one could definitely say that the Lightning simply melted down, forgot about the sweep, and basically played survival mode hockey. Maybe they just want to seal the deal in Montreal, WHO KNOWS.
Or maybe the Habs will come back and win the whole thing. Stranger things have happened. Probably.
What we learned:
Game 2: Blackhawks vs Wild
Final Score: Blackhawks 4 – Wild 3
Series: Blackhawks 4 – Wild 0
SWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP. (I tried to find a gif of Fraser and Turnbull doing this in Due South because I’m secretly a Canadian wannabe, but couldn’t find one.) (If I was actually Canadian I’d probably have the gif already. I’d probably have made the gif.)
ANYWAY. Blackhawks sweep the Wild in the second round, advance to the Conference Finals where they will probably (I mean, in a crime against God and nature and all human decency) face the Ducks. As soon as the Ducks beat the Flames. Which they still haven’t done.
ANYWAY. The Wild never had a lead, two of their three goals happened in the last four minutes of the game because the Hawks live to make their fans have heart attacks.
Brent “biggest goals in the biggest games” Seabrook scores first with a neat little wrister on a breakaway. Who do you think you are, bud, Patrick Kane? I’m used to these howitzer slap shots from him, and I guess Dubnyk was too.
Beauty. The Hawks had all scoring situations too this game. Andrew Shaw scored on the power play, and Marian “the clutch” Hossa finally got his first goal in 25 playoff games on a shorthanded SIX-ON-FOUR empty-netter.
The Wild were not going to go quietly into that good night. They had 37 shots on goal to the Hawks’ 25, and 11 of those were in the third period. Not quite the furious effort of the second, but the Hawks (despite the score) were actually trying to hold on to their lead. They did, but barely. The two Wild goals made Hossa’s empty-netter the series clinching game winner. Apparently, the first series clinching empty netter since 1991. Even when he scores empty netters, he does it with distinction.
Other thing that should be mentioned: in the second period defenseman Michal Roszival was heading down the ice, tried to take a side step to get skating, and ended up with one of the more gruesome injuries I’ve had the displeasure to actually witness. You can click here for a slo mo gif but in the interest of not making myself vomit I’m not going to embed. Hawks will be down Roszival for the rest of the playoffs, I would imagine, though at this point there hasn’t been an official update.
What we learned: