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The 2010 Playoff Nightcap: The Long Quest That Starts Without Us

Ok, it's not a complete WhiteOut, but it's close enough I guess... Could have used more snakes though!
Ok, it's not a complete WhiteOut, but it's close enough I guess... Could have used more snakes though!

Welcome to Defending Big D's coverage of the 2010 NHL Playoffs!  Against my 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.

Before we cover the games, I know the biggest question on your mind is "I wonder how Martin Havlat is doing having left the Chicago Blackhawks for the Minnesota Wild and if he's overly upset that he's not playing hockey now..."

Don't deny it.. it's exactly what you were wondering!  Well thanks to his agent and uber-Twitterer extrodinare Allan Walsh, we have our answer:

The Best playoff hockey my family room with Marty Havlat and my 7 yr old son.

Now that your fears about Havlat have been put to rest, lets go over what happened on night one of the NHL playoffs although after seeing that high action photo of Havlat, it all may seem kind of anti-climatic!

Detroit - 2 / Phoenix - 3 (Coyotes lead series 1-0)

Ok I need to vent a little here...  First off the WhiteOut thing doesn't really work that well when the visiting road team is the ones wearing white.  It also doesn't work if all the seats aren't full and those seats are black.  It also doesn't work if you're in a city where half of Detroit lives in the winter and you're playing the Detroit Red Wings because let's face it, if you have a chance to get the hell out of Detroit for four or five months or more, you do it.  As for the game, the tin foil hat wearing Red Wings fans I am sure will point out all the calls against their team as a reason the Coyotes walked away with a win, but bottom line is the refs cant score goals and it's on the Wings to kill penalties.  Ilya Bryzgalov looked shaky early but settled in nicely in the second half of the game.  Oh and the other important score from the game?  The animals on ice scoreboard of course!  Most agree that the final tally was Snakes: 2 - Octopus: 1

Philadelphia - 2 / New Jersey - 1 (Flyers lead series 1-0)

Brian Boucher wins his first playoff game since 2000 (which by the way was against Martin Brodeur and the Devils) and you know it's like I've always said: Sure you can keep Brian Boucher from not winning in the playoffs for nine years, but make no mistake he won't go ten years without a win.  In other news from the game, Chris Pronger scored on the power play and didn't take a single penalty the entire game!  Somewhere in hell ice is starting to form...

Ottawa - 5 / Pittsburgh - 4 (Senators lead series 1-0)

The good news Pens fans? Gino Malkin is looking like he's on a Conn Smythe-like tear yet again.  The bad news?  Marc-Andre Fluery looks more like "rookie rebound monster MAF" than "experienced playoff Cup winner MAF" but if I'm the Sens, I wouldn't bank on winning nine goal games against Pittsburgh very much. Suddenly this series is about who's goalie gets better first? Is it too late for the Sens to trade back for Patrick Lalime?

Colorado - 2 / San Jose - 1 (Avalanche lead series 1-0)

Did anyone outside of fans of the Avalanche and Sharks care about this series? Seriously, I follow 868 people on Twitter and I think it's safe to say 96 percent of the tweets I read and saw were about the Coyotes / Red Wings game.  It's probably just as well people didn't pay attention as the first half of the game was a snoozefest including the first ten minutes of the second period where both teams only managed one shot on goal.  Thankfully the third was a little more exciting and the end was as dramatic as possible as stud-of-the-night T.J. Galiardi complete with busted lip and blood covered mouth broke a 1-1 tie with about 40 seconds left in the game.  With that, Sharks fans suddenly have a massive group choking feeling going on but have all managed to croak out: "Oh not again!"