Hey, two of these in a row? It's like I'm cutting back on sleep to make sure I try to write or something. It'll be perfectly fine as long as I don't start seeing the golden banana of my ancestors calling me towards the light.
Four more playoff series kicked off last night, and three of them would end up needing OT to settle things. Only the Rangers would take care of business, blasting their way past the Senators in a 4-2 win.
In Boston, Capitals goaltending prospect Braden Holtby was put in the hot seat thanks to the injuries to Tomas Vokoun and Michael Neuvirth, and nearly pulled a Ken Dryden for their trouble. Matching Tim Thomas save for save in regulation (really, almost doubling him, given that Holtby had to stop 29 shots compared to a paltry 16 shot effort from Washington), the fun stopped just over a minute into the first OT when Chris Kelly snapped one over his glove.
In St. Louis, the Sharks surprised a lot of people by jumping out to an early lead before hanging on into double OT before Martin Havlat slammed the door. Interesting that the underdog stole the first game of the series in the 1/8 and 2/7 matchups out West.
Finally, out in Phoenix, former Jacket Antoine Vermette scored what looked to be a GWG before Brent Seabrook slid one past Mike Smith with just 14 seconds left in regulation, but apparently it was "Martin Night" in the NHL, as Martyin Hanzal would cash in for the Pacific Division champs.
In Columbus, the Jackets announced that they've signed 2007 third rounder Jake Hansen, who had just finished his NCAA career at Minnesota. Both Hansen and Will Weber will make their pro debut in Springfield's final games this weekend.
Over at Fire That Cannon, they're taking a look at the club's goalie situation, while Jeff at TMM wraps up his "Tools of Ignorance" series with a look at the constant gamble that is trying to predict NHL goaltending.
At the Dispatch, they held another
airing of grievances chat session yesterday. We hope you don't find the tinsel distracting. Bob Hunter also weighs in on the draft lottery results in today's Rumblings and points out that the #2 pick is still a very versatile asset.
Detroit's Darren Helm is out for the rest of the playoffs due to lacerated tendons, and we see the clear cut lines of NHL discipline when Byron Bitz received two games while Shea Weber was fined the equivalent of buying lunch for the guys at the office.
The fine aspect is a weakness of the CBA - and one I think should be adjusted if at all possible in the next round of negotiations. $2,500 maximums were fine when players made $50-60,000 a season, but when guys like Weber are making almost twice that amount per game, you're not really making a substantial impact.
The real issue here is that both players delivered exactly the type of hit the NHL claims they want out of the game - Weber's delivered with the league commissioner in the building, no less, but the "star" player gets off with nothing, and the grinder gets hammered.
Pronger was suspended multiple times in the playoffs for hits to the head that looked a lot less severe than Weber's turnbuckle move. What's changed?
Dear Sheriff Shanny: This is exactly the sort of thing you were supposed to be cleaning up. Why don't you put that tin star on and do some good?