And then, there were six.
With the game last night seeing the Capitals advance over the Bruins on Joel Ward's overtime goal in Game Seven we now have one half of the Eastern Conference semifinalists settled - though seeding is still an open question. A pair of game sevens will settle the that, though the scheduling is kind of a screwjob for the Panthers and Devils. If the Rangers top Ottawa, they'll meet the Caps yet again, while an Ottawa victory would suddenly cast everything into limbo until we know who will come out on top in the FLA / NJ series. Gotta say, though, if somehow the Panthers and Senators ended up meeting in round two, a Flyers / Caps semifinal would be pretty fantastic.
(Oh, hey, and does last night's loss add Claude Julien to the list of coaches on the hot seat? Because I'd take him in Columbus in a heartbeat.)
Speaking of tonight's schedule, I completely understand staggering the starts, but 8:30? Really? For a game on the East Coast? Starting the Rangers / Senators game at 7 and starting the NJD / FLA game at 7:30-7:45 makes much more sense to me. Oh, well. I'm not a highly paid TV executive. I'm just a caveman. Your world of talking boxes full of tiny people terrifies and captivates me.
Closer to home, the Jackets are asking fans to share their favorite CBJ moments en route to tomorrow's ASG logo unveiling. I'm torn, honestly. I've got three or four moments standing out in my mind. R.J. Umberger's hat trick vs. Carolina this season is up there. So is Game 4 of the 2009 playoffs. The clinching game vs. Chicago the same season. And just for grins, the 13 round shootout victory over Calgary back in 2006...it's like trying to choose between children, if your children are buildings full of screaming hockey fans.
At a wider level, the NHL has named their Vezina finalists. My guess? It will be Henrik Lundqvist, who certainly has put up the body of work to deserve it over his career, but it OUGHT to go to Jonathan Quick. Ah, well.
At Puck Rakers, Jack Johnson talks about turning the page on LA, going to the Worlds, and moving on as part of the Jackets. I see him mentioning he's looking for a permanent place in Columbus. Have I mentioned my house is up for sale? Beacon neighborhood, right by the elementary school. Hardwood floors and a brand new air conditioner. Just sayin'.
Martini Hockey looks at the reaction some "fans" had to Joel Ward's goal last night, and the ugly racial overtones in their behavior.
Over at DBJ, the season in review continues, as does the look from Andy at the stats, while in Scotland a player was banned from his league's championships due to dressing up like a bear. I did not make that up.
At Backhand Shelf, Ellen Etchingham talks about a little bit of magic at the Hockey Hall Of Fame, Bourne explains why players dive, and Lambert thinks about why non-upsets have felt like upsets this year.