A LOOK BACK:
There are two more elimination games tonight as pretty much it is all potential elimination all the time now. Speaking of the end, two more teams said goodbye yesterday as the Pittsburgh Penguins and Vancouver Canucks were both escorted out of the playoffs. One series was in six and the other in five.
The goaltending was superb in the late game and one almost hated to see a guy like Cory Schneider lose. He was coming into an almost no-win situation and yet played well in all three games he appeared (3 starts, 1 win, 2 losses). The 1.31 GAA and .960 save percentage was worthy of winning a series as he stopped 97 of 101 shots. In the end, Alain Vigenault probably went to Schneider too late but it serves notice next year to maybe get on that Schneider bandwagon early.
Then there is Claude Giroux, who finished with 14 points in six games as the Philadelphia Flyers eliminated the Pittsburgh Penguins in six games with a 5-1 exclamation point yesterday at home. Giroux unquestionably is the best offensive player of the first round and his six goals and eight assists are testament to that but he set the tone yesterday with a hit and huge goal all in just 32 seconds. From there on, you almost knew Pittsburgh had no chance at all.
One of the guys up for best goaltender in the first round was Jonathan Quick who helped engineer the first round upset of the Vancouver Canucks. The Kings took out the Presidents Trophy winners in just five games. Granted, Daniel Sedin missed three games but its not like the Kings were out of it in Game 4 ladies and gentlemen even with him in. That was mostly because Quick was able to make the timely saves he has become accustomed for.
Monday, April 23, 2012
|NY Rangers||at||Ottawa||7:00 PM | Gameday|
|Phoenix||at||Chicago||9:00 PM | Gameday|
So Chicago and the New York Rangers could potentially have their seasons ended tonight. Chicago already dodged one bullet in Phoenix and it will be interesting to see if they can force a Game 7. The Rangers are a curious case and are without Brian Boyle for Game 6 at least. At this point, every inch of space in these series will now be contested. There is just a level which these types of games approach. Its not that Game 7 level but its going to feel awfully close.
Quickly here is what to keep an eye on for tonight.
KEEP AN EYE ON:
Henrik Lundqvist, G, NY Rangers
He just has to do it again. Simply all Lundqvist has to do is allow 0 or 1 goals and the Rangers will win this Game 6. Something just screams that the Rangers will be able to score two or more goals in this one tonight. Yes Ottawa will chrage at New York with reckless abandon but if the Rangers just can get ahead somehow, that may be enough. Lundqvist can outright steal games like Game 3 in Ottawa so do not be shocked here. He is too good to not go quietly into that good night.
Jonathan Toews, C, Chicago Blackhawks
Before there was Giroux, there was Toews ladies and gentlemen. This guy has won a Stanley Cup and is 100%. He also scored the game winner in Game 5 and can put a team on his back. Everyone knows that “Captain Serious” plays at a level that few can match come the second season. Do not be surprised if he has a big night in Chicago tonight. A goal and assist is considered big in this relatively low scoring series.
Good luck tonight folks and do not worry our projected three stars will come later. Thanks again for reading.