- Not to be fatalistic about it, but Joe Thornton gives good coup de grace. Giving away the puck on the play that became Corey Perry's clinching goal Anaheim's 4-0 win over the somnambulant Sharks was perfect.
It's so dire in San Jose that local columnists are revisiting the choice to draft Pat Falloon ahead of some guy named Scott Niedermayer back in 1991 with the No. 2 overall choice. The rationale was that they were going to take a defenceman in the second round, if that makes sense. (No.)
- It was a rush hearing that Bob Gainey come about as close as a NHL GM ever will to channeling Jay Billington Bulworth. He aired out the Tampa Bay Lightning, defended Carey Price for acting like a 22-year-old (which he is). It was great. Nothing loosens someone's tongue like the vision of an ax flashing at the top of its arc, eh? When in doubt, blame the media and fans for Montreal losing 253 man-games to injury this season.
- Game 5 of Carolina-New Jersey is the best game not enough people saw (guilty as charged). Fast-paced, up and down, minimal extra-curriculars after the whistle, hockey for art's sake.
- If you really think about it, the Columbus Blue Jackets' beef makes sense. The referees will let everything go, but they always call a too-many-men penalty just because it's in the rulebook.
- Sens Chirp is fanning the flames of Jason Spezza trade speculation again.
Anaheim leads San Jose 3-1 — This one is over like The Office, but kudos to Hockey Night in Canada's Scott Oake for some nice work during the 14-minute delay in the second period after a glass panel shattered. Oake had a report covering off the Ducks' non-sellout (1,000 empty seats) that managed not to attribute it to the recession or Angelenos' disinterest in hockey, noting
When play resumed, only one team realized it and that's that. Incidentally, Anaheim rookie Bobby Ryan has four goals in the playoffs; it's too bad for im the playoffs aren't factored into Calder Trophy voting (it's going to Steve Mason, right?).
Detroit sweeps Columbus 4-0 — The Blue Jackets at least went out on a semi-halfway positive note, forcing Detroit to win a rare 6-5 post-season game.
New Jersey leads Carolina 3-2 — Apparently it was something else, with the old master, Martin Brodeur, being just a smidge better than Cam Ward, who's still young but three years removed from being playoff MVP. Going the full seven seemed to be a likelihood.
Pittsburgh leads Philadelphia 3-2 — It's showings like Pittsburgh's that give credence to the old saw about the fourth win being the hardest one to get in a series. It was a dreary enough game to prompt flipping to an early-season Blue Jays telecast (not that they aren't a treat, but the standard practice is TV muted with the radio broadcast on).
The other series:
New York leads Washington 3-1 — Less than 10 per cent of teams come back from a 3-1 deficit, and the Capitals' chances pretty much rest on whether Mike Green snaps to after being slowed down by the flu. If he recovers, they can win.
Calgary, Chicago tied 2-2 — The question has become whether Calgary still has anyone left to play, with three regulars getting by on pills and needles and Andre Roy suspended for Game 5.
The next question is whether Miikka Kiprusoff, 2009, can steal a playoff game.