After announcing the Vezina Trophy nominees for the NHL’s best goaltenders, the three games played on Monday night seemed to be all about the goalie.
Boston beat Buffalo with a late goal by Patrice Bergeron on a fantastic play by Mark Recchi. But it was Tuukka Rask providing the theatrics with 32 saves and keeping the Sabre’s powerplay scoreless in 12 attempts in the series. Ryan Miller of the Sabres and one of the Vezina nominees, is getting zero support from his offense. Granted they’re playing without Tomas Vanek, and will now be without Jochen Hecht who is out with finger surgery, but where the heck is Tim Connolly? I can’t remember the last time I heard his name. Down two games to one, the Sabres are in trouble, and the Bruins may have set the tone with Johnny Boychuck’s big hit on Matt Ellis in the second period. Ellis went off the ice on his own, but was in some significant pain, although he did return later.
The Caps are doing what they set out to do in a typical playoff road game. Take the crowd out of it. In addition to that, Habs goalie Jaroslav Halak was chased after giving up three goals, and was shaky for most of this game. Replaced by Carey Price who gave up two more, Montreal and Jacques Martin now have their backs against the wall, and a big decision to make coming into game four. Who starts? Halak or Price? It may not matter as Alex Ovechkin was not the only goal scorer last night as Boyd Gordon , Brooks Laich , Matt Bradley and Eric Fehr got into the act. When your third and fourth liners start making a difference, you know you’ve got problems. Game four is a must for Montreal, but it won’t matter who’s in net. The Caps have too much offence for them.
In Los Angeles where they haven’t played a playoff game since 2002, the Kings took on the “Nucks” and wanted to send a message to Vancouver as well as the NHL. We mean business! Except for the fact that the Canadian National Anthem was sung with a cheat sheet, the Kings wanted to remind Roberto Luongo of his last appearance at the Staple Center. The last time Louie played in L.A. he gave up eight goals and L.A. seemded determined to do the same this night as well.
Mr. World Class Goalie was pulled in favor of Andrew Raycroft (Yikes) after giving up four goals on 16 shots as the Kings used an extremely effective powerplay to beat the Canucks 5-3. Vancouver’s penalty kill unit was awful as they gave up goals at 31,42 and 37 seconds into the power plays. Luongo was, and has been shaky to say the least since his Olympic triumph, but as I’ve said on this blog before, he ain’t as good as some think.
The game wasn’t without some controversy as it appeared that Daniel Sedin cut the lead to 4-3 in the third, but after reviewing the play, it was determined the puck was kicked in with his skate, and as we all know, that’s a no no. Although many Canuckleheads thought that Mike Murphy who made the decision in the Toronto war room was wrong, he was following the rule, but offered this comment. “Daniel Sedin twisted his toe, and pushed the puck in the direction of goaltender Jonathan Quick’s five hole”.
Wow! Twisted his toe? Really? Boy those Sedin sister’s really are talented!
In a collaborate effort with Versus we have some video action for your viewing pleasure.
Here’s an NHL promo spot from Versus that you should take a look at.
Check out the Versus video replay for all the playoff action.
Playoff notes: The bottom three seeds are 10-7 against the top three seeds so far. Thanks to the tweet of Pierre LeBrun from ESPN for that one.
Also note that when a team wins game three of a series, 70% of those teams go on to win that series.
Thanks for reading.
Your comments are always welcomed and appreciated.
Winner of game 3 goes on to win series 70% of time.
Follow me on twitter @therattrick