Welcome to Defending Big D's coverage of the 2010 NHL Playoffs! Against our rather loud protests outside the NHL office in New York, the NHL has foolishly decided to continue with these playoffs even though Dallas isn't involved. Sometimes there is no justice at all... Anyway, every night there is playoff hockey we will walk you through a quick run around of the NHL playoffs in hopefully an entertaining and enjoyable way.
I love the NCAA Basketball tournament and watched a ton of it this past March. Two years ago I really didn't care much about it at all and couldn't even tell you who the final four was. So what changed? Last year our local cable company - here in Canada I may remind you - made tournament basketball games available for free on demand. Did I miss two games during the day while I was at work? Not a problem.. I could go home, order them up for the cost of zero pennies and keep up with all the action.
Being able to see all the games - or at least have that option - is huge for fans like me who crave to see as much as we can se we don't feel we've missed anything.
Yet, there is nothing like that for the NHL playoffs. Does this make sense? Even in hockey mad Canada there is no way for me to go back and watch one game because I was busy watching another that was on at the same time. I can only imagine how frustrating it is for fans in the States who don't even get the option of all the games on TV.
C'mon NHL... If the NCAA can put up games on demand for free here in Central Alberta, how hard can that really be?
/ soapbox mode
Boston - 1 / Buffalo - 2 (Sabres Lead Series 1-0)
When I first saw this match-up on paper I was stoked that these teams were going to meet in the playoffs because I had thought they were long time playoff rivals that always meet much like the Oilers / Stars do. Turns out I was a little wrong - they've only met in the playoffs seven times before, the last in 1999. No matter, it was still as physical and as chippy as I think many of us expected. Best moment of the game wasn't a goal or a save, but Czech Zdeno Chara (clearly taking inspiration from Stephane Robidas) going cage to visor with the Finn Toni Lydman. Somewhere Don Cherry had to be pulling out what little hair he had left. Rask played well, but I can't help but feel a twinge of regret that we don't see Tim Thomas in a battle of US goalies.
After the jump, two overtime delights and video of a fan who really took the Caps loss hard...
Los Angeles - 2 / Vancouver - 3 (OT) (Canucks Lead Series 1-0)
This game did feature more goals that they had in 2007, but this game sure did remind me of the games the Stars and Canucks had back then. Lots of great chances at both ends met with even better goaltending at both ends. Ya know I can't even crack any jokes at this one, this was just a great game to watch from start to finish. Should be a great series! I'm calling it right now, the Sedins will factor into every goal the Canucks score in this series.
Montreal - 3 / Washington - 2 (OT) (Canadiens Lead Series 1-0)
This morning when I got up I kid you not one of my first thoughts was "man I hope the Caps choke tonight so I can rip into them.." but then Ted Leonsis who I can only assume has the ability to read all bloggers minds fired a preemptive strike at all of SBNation Hockey as he heaped praise on our network of sites. You win this time Ted... Sadly your team didn't, but really is it that hard to believe? It's not like the Habs are a horrible 8 seed or anything and Jose Theodore does have a checkered past in big time games so while the Habs win in game one was huge and yes an upset, it wasn't the most humiliating loss ever....
Unless you're talking to this guy who clearly thinks it's the worst loss ever and wants the cameras off now!