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.
Playoff hockey is so awesome.
How's that for expert analysis?
In all seriousness, even though our Dallas Stars aren't still playing, I think we all get a little extra spark from the Stanley Cup playoffs. For some reason, there's just an added level of excitement to every single game. So when we get nights like this, it's not hard for me to abandon my Friday night plans and watch hockey all night long.
Five games tonight. I won't waste any more time pontificating. Let's get right into tonight's action....
Ottawa - 1 / Pittsburgh - 2 (Series Tied 1-1)
Well, it was bound to happen, wasn't it? A day after Alex Ovechkin goes shotless and the media spends the newscycle trying to diagnose his problems, Sidney Crosby puts on a show of force against Ottawa. He scored on a quick rebound at 8:45 in the first period. Granted, Brian Elliot didn't play that shot from Kunitz very well at all. Elliot juggled the rebound and laid it right at the doorstep for Crosby to tap it in. Then came this fleecing of Jason Spezza, completing a great game for the Penguins:
After the jump, the rest of tonight's chaotic playoff action...
Philidelphia - 3 / New Jersey - 5 (Series Tied 1-1)
Ah, Ilya Kovalchuk. You just bide your time, making little impact on the game...until I have the notion to think you're overrated. Then you turn things on and shut me up. I guess that's why you're the 'superstar' and I'm the blogger. Anyways, tonight was all about Kovalchuk and Zach Parise. Kovalchuk erupted with two assists and an empty netter, while Parise netted the game winner off of an absolutely debilitating forecheck by Parise, Dainus Zubrus and the other forward I can't quite remember at the moment. It's always impressed me how effectively Parise works around and in front of the net. Just looking at him and at his size, it's a weird concept. None the less, I fear Parise anywhere near the crease..
Nashville - 4 / Chicago - 1 (Predators Lead Series 1-0)
To all you Blackhawks fans desperately trying to figure out why Chicago Finals tickets aren't on sale yet, tap the brakes a little. First of all, your goaltending still sucks. And second of all, you gotta get past Nashville. Those two points, when merged, aren't very comforting for Chicago fans. Nashville had something like 8 shots over a span of 28 minutes from the end of the first period, and yet they still managed 2 goals in that span on Niemi. By the way, tonight wasn't really his night. J.P. Dumont's first goal should have NEVER gone in, yet it seems I say that a lot when talking about the Blackhawks goalies. See where I'm going here? Chicago can't expect to get anywhere, much less the Finals, unless somebody in net decides to get things together and get on a roll.
Detroit - 7 / Phoenix - 4 (Series Tied 1-1)
Again, poor, poor Coyotes. The sad thing here is that Phoenix gave Detriot literally everything they had. Seriously, five goals in 3:52 is a RIDICULOUS statistic. The rapid pace at which the Wings answered the Coyotes' replies.....there was nothing Phoenix could do about it. Good news though, is that the Coyotes have nothing to hang their heads about tonight. They got bested by an on-fire Henrik Zetterberg, yes. But It's not like Phoenix left anything out on the ice...if anything, the 5th and 6th Wings goals were more of a result of exhaustion than mental error. I have a strong feeling Phoenix will come back with a vengeance in Game 3.
Colorado - 5 / San Jose - 6 (OT) (Series Ties 1-1)
And Art will take it from here, this game ran too late for me. Stupid Sharks. Just won't give up.
Art: While Pat crashed for the night with visions of Joe Pavelski being stabbed in the eye repeated dancing in his head, I settled into my couch hoping and praying for a long, long overtime because frankly it doesn't feel like the playoffs have started until we get at least a double-OT thriller and because I had come back from a NLL lacrosse game fueled by a dangerous mix of multiple cans of Dr.Pepper, an Oreo ice cream sandwich and popcorn. Sadly but not unexpectedly thanks to ten goals in regulation time, this one didn't last that long Devin Setoguchi scored a little over five minutes into OT. Congrats San Jose... On this night you managed to barely squeak by the #8 seed while surviving your shoddy goaltending but still overall have managed to give up the split in the first two games and leave the Avalanche with all the confidence in the world that they can still have this series. This is the sound of one hand clapping...