First off, apologies for not posting any updates after Friday night's games or last night's games. Friday night, I spent a late night watching my wife's cousin get married and then literally dance the night away in Houston.
Saturday was spent driving in the rain from the hotel to one of my wife's other aunt's houses in Bellaire, then spent trying to get out of Houston before we were swept away. Not sure if you heard, but they had a little bit of a flash flooding problem because it rained for 43 out of the 48 hours we were in town.
So it took forever to get back home safe and sound. Suffice to say, I didn't get to watch much hockey those two nights.
But now I'm back. What's more, I checked my social calendar for the next two months and it's WIDE OPEN. Think I'll spend that free time watching some hockey.
Which is not what I'm doing at the moment I write this. San Jose is in a dogfight with Anaheim tied, 1-1, in the second intermission.
As for the other games:
G3: Philadelphia 6, Pittsburgh 3 (PIT leads 2-1)
I got to watch quite a bit of this one. Philly just had too much going for them in returning home. I did think they were in trouble when it took Pittsburgh just 25 seconds of game time to erase a 2-0 deficit scoring with 12 seconds left in the first then tying it 13 ticks into the second.
Philly's scoring depth really came into play in this one as five different Flyers scored their first five goals of the game before Simon Gagne capped off the scoring with his second of the game into an empty net.
Still, I think Pittsburgh has control of this series. Last year after the Flyers whipped the Pens in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals to avoid a sweep, Pittsburgh came back home and returned the favor in Game 5 to advance to the Stanley Cup FInals.
It wouldn't surprise me if they come back out in Game 4 of this series and win to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the series.
G3: Canucks 3, Blues 2 (VAN leads 3-0)
Boy did I whiff on this one. I thought when this pairing was set, this was destined for seven games.
Instead, the Sedin Twins have elevated their play and Roberto Luongo has looked unbeatable in goal. Sunday night, Vancouver overcame an early David Backes goal, scored a pair of goals in the second. Then after Andy McDonald had tied it late in the second for the Blues, Steve Bernier responded 101 seconds into the third to give Luongo all the offense he would need.
I watched part of the third, then listened to the rest of the game on the 50,000 watt blowtorch out of the midwest, KMOX. I could almost hear the helplessness and wishful thinking in the play-by-play and color guy's voices.
G3: Devils 3, Hurricanes 2 OT (NJ leads 2-1)
Missed this one, too.
But I did catch the highlights on Versus, which showed just how much of a shame it was that I missed it.
Brian Gionta gave them a 2-1 lead that stood up through the latter part of the second before Chad LaRose tied it back up for the Canes.
But in the end, it was Zach Parise who made the difference in working his way into a primo scoring chance on Cam Ward in OT. Ward made the save, but he was well out of position to deal with Travis Zajac's game winner that went cookie jar from a bad angle.
In related news, I'm still trying to figure out why the Islanders passed on him. From a tradition standpoint, it would have been great as J.P. Parise, Zach's dad, played a key role on the last true Stanley Cup dynasty in the early 80's. Anyway, he's the Isles loss and the Devils gain.
And a big one at that.
G2: Ducks 2, Sharks 1 (ANA leads 1-0) - In Progress
Tonight's been all about the failure of the Sharks power play to get the job done. And some timely advantage taking by the Ducks when Evgeni Nabakov has been uncharacteristically bad. Andrew Ebbett's goals should never go in from that angle.
And I daresay he shouldn't have allowed Drew Miller's goal that just gave Anaheim a 3-1 lead.
Look, if San Jose doesn't come back, they're officially in trouble.
And come back they have. At least from down two goals to down one with Jonathan Cheechoo scoring to make it 3-2.
I'll update this if it stays 3-2 or the Sharks tie it up.
[Update at 11:41 CDT]
Christian Ehrhoff hit the pipe to the left of Hiller for the second consecutive game right after the Cheechoo goal, but that's as close as Los Tiburones would come to tying it up.
So now they're REALLY up against it. How much so?
According to WhoWins.com, the series record of lower seeded teams that win the first two games of a playoff series in the other team's barn is 15-7 in the first round, good for a .682 winning percentage. In all rounds, it's 52-16 (.765 winning percentage).
IIRC, the last team to overcome losing Games 1 and 2 at home was the 2006 Carolina Hurricanes...who did go on to win the Cup that year. In fact, they won the next four games in their ECQF series with the Habs after going down 0-2.
If I'm Patty Marleau, I keep telling the Sharks they were within a goal in nearly 70 minutes of overtime hockey in a Game 6 in Dallas of overcoming a 3-0 series deficit. If they can win Game 3 in Anaheim and get their power play going, they'll be OK.
If it remains in the slumber that it's been in the first two games, they're dead in the water.