Medicine Hat, AB – Its only the start of the second round of the NHL playoffs and already my nerves are shot. That seven game slugfest with the Caps took a lot out of me. Especially the 1-0 game 6 victory at the Garden. The last three minutes of that game when the Rangers didn’t touch the puck had me reaching for the bottles of Knob Creek and Xanax. Cheesy’s Bruins scraped by the Maple Leafs with a miraculous game 7 comeback for an overtime victory. I’m sure that game caused a few hear attacks along the Mass Pike.
Now the Rangers take on a physical Bruins team that seems to have woken up from their slumber in game 6 and the first 54 minutes of game 7 with the Leafs. If last nights game is any indication, Cheesy and I are going to need to keep the bromo seltzer close by for the next couple of weeks. The Rangers had a lot of help from the iron to keep the game going in the third period and in overtime until tired legs and poor decisions led to the odd man rush that decided the game in the Bruins’ favor.
On the one hand, Lundqvist let in two soft-ish goals to the B’s in regulation. On the other hand, Lundqvist had a lot of help from the posts to keep the Blueshirts in the game. Tuukka Rask didn’t play particularly well either. But he played well enough to get the win in game 1. Hopefully the Rangers can get the power play going and Nash in among the goal scorers. He seems to be getting closer. He hasn’t played poorly, but he needs to get on the scoresheet. The second installment will be Sunday afternoon at 3pm, live on NBC.
In Pittsburgh, the cases of agita are just starting to subside after their battle with the Isles to see who had the worst goalie. In the end, the Pens benched their horrible goalie. A luxury the Islanders could ill afford. The Pens are going head-to-head with a Senators team that made quick work of Les Habitants. That series was a delight. Its always good to see the Canadiens lose. Give the goaltending edge to the Sens, which might prolong this series to maybe six games, but the Penguins have too much skill and will advance to the Eastern Finals.
Out west, Cam is still singing the Blues as the Kings take on the Sharks in and all-Cali Western Semi. Jonathan Quick is human and can be scored on. But he wont give up much. The Sharks will have to tighten up if they want to advance to the Western Conference finals. And they’ll have to do it without Raffi Torres, who finds himself suspended again. Just when people were starting to think that Torres was turning his game around, he goes and gets himself suspended again. The Sharks will miss his tough play going forward. I think Quick and the Kings will advance in six games.
The other Western Semi is another Original Six affair with the Red Wings taking on the Blackhawks. This series will be great. I think it’ll go seven with the home team winning every game. The rest of the games should be tighter than game 1. Don’t expect Howard to give up three goals every game in net for the Red Wings.
It all makes for some great viewing. As long as you’ve got the antacid, anxiety meds, and booze handy.