2010 Playoff Nightcap: Alas And (H)alak!

Are the answers for scoring on Jaroslav Halak up in the rafters? Either that or Ovechkin is trying to reverse headbutt the monkey on his back right now...

Washington: 1 - Montreal: 4 (Series Tied 3-3)

Lets take a few quick surveys...  

All of you who had the Canadiens with game five in Washington D.C. having just failed the Carey-Price-in-goal-as-a-playoff-savior attempt in game four and down in the series 3-1, coming all the way back to force a game seven raise your hand.

If your hand is up you're either a Habs fan, or a liar and you could be one in the same in all reality.

Now if you think the Habs have a chance to win game seven in Washington D.C, pull off the feat of winning three in a row against the Presidents Trophy winners and complete one of the most stunning upsets since the playoffs went to this top eight seed format back in the 90's, again raise your hand.

Again if your hand is up you're either a Habs fan, or a dreamer and again you could be one in the same.

Now for the last quick survey...  If you really want to bet against Jaroslav Halak who has stopped 90 of 92 shots fired at him over the last two games and was five minutes away from a shutout even with a heavy barrage of Caps pressure that seemed to be non stop through the entire game and looked very cool and composed through all of it, raise your hand.

Personally I still think the Capitals can't possibly lose this series and it can't be possible for Halak to stop another 40 to 50 plus shots...  Montreal tonight did just enough offensvely again blitzing the Caps early in the game just like they did in game five with two goals from Michael Cammalleri in the first ten minutes and I don't know if they can pull that same stunt for a third time on Wednesday especially with Alex Ovechkin having gone quiet stat wise lately...  But where four days ago I didn't think it was possible, it certainly is now and Caps fans should be very worried about that prospect.

Chicago: 5 - Nashville: 3 (Blackhawks Win Series 4-2)

As I stated in our playoff preview, the Predators always seem to do well to bring the fight to whichever higher seed opponent they happen to be facing in the first round and they always provide a scare, but they can never seem to close out the deal and tonight was a perfect metaphor for their playoff fortunes.

A very wild and entertaining first period where the Blackhawks raced out to a 3-1 lead only to see the Predators finally figure out how to score a power play goal and spark a mini-comeback only to have Jonathan Towes snuff out the Preds fire with a late first period power play goal...  Like it always seems to be with Nashville they fell behind and while they were inspiring in their fight back, they just didn't have enough energy or the talent depth to come all the way back against Chicago.

 

Buffalo: 3 - Boston: 4 (Bruins Win Series 4-2)

Ok one more quick little survey...  How many of you thought that Tuukka Rask would outplay Ryan Miller in a seven game series?  Rask's performance through the entire series even caught his coach Claude Julien off guard as he described facing Miller as "facing the best goaltender in the league, if not more"

I suppose in the technical sense this is an upset with the 6th seed topping the 3rd seed, but what will upset Sabres fans is the Sabres power play that went 0 for 19 in the series, not to mention the fact the Sabres scored first in the first five games of this series.  The Bruins were never outstanding in this series, nor were they dominant at any point... in fact truth be told they were kind of uninspiring, but they did play relentless - a style of play exemplified in the work of players like Miroslav Satan who didn't have a hockey job until the Bruins came calling at the start of 2010, or David Krejci who had two goals and an assist tonight.

The B's will either match up in the second round against the Philadelphia Flyers if the Canadiens happen to win game seven or against the Pittsburgh Penguins if the Caps prevail.  Either way, I won't be so likely to overlook the Bruins a second time around.

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