Friday, May 4, 2012

Triple Overtimes, Puppies, and Captain America = I LOVE HOCKEY


The first 3 games of each series are in the books! This will lead to an exciting weekend of key games that will most likely determine each series.

Current Standings:

In the East:
Wednesday night was not a night to remember for DC fans at the Verizon Center.  In a 2-1 victory, the Rangers defeated the Capitals in DC in TRIPLE OVERTIME to take a 2-1 series lead.  Game winning goal scorer Marian Gaborik secured the win with only 5 minutes remaining.  This game started around 7:45 EST and didn't end til almost 12:30am.  In fact, the Predators Coyotes game that started after 9pm EST finished before this one did!  It was the 20th longest game in NHL history and the 3rd longest since the lockout in 2004-05.  It was the longest game the Rangers had played since 1971 and it was their goalies first ever overtime playoff victory.  Meanwhile the Caps fell to 0-4 all time in triple overtimes.  Not that it made fans in Washington feel any better but the Metro did stay open an extra hour so people could get home.

Capitals defensemen Karl Alzner, who I'm imagining being super tired and depressed afterwards, came home to this sight in his living room:
He tweeted "dogs not happy about the loss either"
Meanwhile the Flyers and Devils headed to Jersey Shore last night and had (another) overtime game themselves!  This time, New Jersey took advantage of a poor line change and an injury returning star Ilya Kovalchuk's beeline pass to set up former Penguin Ponikarovsky (Pony) for the GWG:

Again, I can't imagine a better feeling than being somewhere in the middle of a giant dog pile after scoring an overtime goal in a playoff hockey game.  Awesome.

In the West:
Nashville suspended 2 key offensive players, Andrei Kostitsyn and Alexander Radulov, after not returning to their hotel rooms until 4am earlier this week.  They missed Wednesday's night match up and being down 2-0 in the series, it was a gutsy call by management.  One that paid off.  Nashville and their stud goalie Pekka Rinne pitched a 3-0 shut out to get right back in it.  Moving forward to tonight's game 4, one has to wonder if those guys will be back in the line up even after apologizing to their teammates.  I applaud Nashville here for sticking to their guns and showing what a classy organization they truly are. 

Meanwhile the Los Angeles Kings are steamrolling top ranked teams.  Last night, they pounded the St. Louis Blues to take a commanding 3-0 series lead with game 4 being in LA.  After nearly sweeping the #1 seeded Canucks in the first round, they are about to sweep the #2 seeded Blues.  This is a scary team moving forward from a goalie, defensemen, and forward perspective.  And after going 0-29 on their power play, they got one last night so watch out!  On the other side, the Blues just got to take it 1 game at a time.  It's not easy being down 3-0, just like the Pens!


Phoenix at Nashville 7:30pm on NBC Sports Network
Turning point in the series for either squad.  Nashville would like to tie this thing up and make it a best of 3 whereas Phoenix would like to go up 3-1 and try to clinch a first ever Western Conference Finals appearance at home in the desert.

New York at Washington 12:30pm on NBC
After 2 days off, both teams look to be as fresh as possible after the marathon game 3.  Caps do not want to lose both at home and go back to New York facing elimination.  The Rangers hope to build off momentum and just finish off the Caps.  Washington is fiesty so it would be good for NY to not let off the accelerator.

St. Louis at Los Angeles 3pm on NBC
It's now or never for the Blues.  If they don't win, there's no tomorrow.  Enough said.  In the LA locker room, guys have to be telling themselves do not let in any ray of hope for St. Louis.  Finish them off at home! If not, anything can happen.

Philadelphia at New Jersey 7:30pm on NBC Sports Network
The Devils are on cloud 9 after last night's OT victory.  They will look to take control of the series Sunday night by going up 3-1.  The Flyers powerplay and "best player in the world" Claude Giroux have been invisible this series.  Briere can't do it by himself (107 points in 106 career playoff games, not sure there's a better stat line for a guy who's never won a Cup).


Our boys wearing the red, white, and blue kicked off the IIHF World Championships today with a win over France.  It actually played live here in the US on NBC Sports Network at 5am!  It was a tight one early on as France took a 1-0 lead but in the second period, penalties killed the French and the USA dominated the rest of the way winning easily 7-2.  

Columbus Blue Jackets' defenseman Jack Johnson was named Captain of Team USA yesterday which of course makes him Captain America and makes it even more perfect heading into this weekend's the Avengers movie nationwide release!

They play again tomorrow at noon in a big game against Canada.  However the game won't be shown live due to Kentucky Derby coverage and will be shown tape delayed at 10:30pm tomorrow night.  Stay tuned and God Bless America!
In the last panel, Captain America is saying "You think this letter on my head stands for France?" Classic.