Dallas Stars Not Quite Daily Links: Blackhawks and Rangers Take Series Leads
In which the Blackhawks win, like they're supposed to, the Canadiens decide to allow the Rangers to score all of their goals for the series in the first game, and there are no other NHL games to talk about, because the Conference Finals have arrived...
Can I just say, I love this Western Conference Final matchup. Yeah, it's a series between the last two winners of Lord Stanley's Cup, but more importantly, it's a series between my two favourite NHL coaches. If Bruce Boudreau is the Looney Tunes of the NHL world, then Joel Quenneville and Darryl Sutter are the Muppets. And any time I get to see Coach Q overreacting when a correct call is made that goes against his team, while Darryl Sutter is on the other bench simply existing, I'm happy.
It's the little things in life.
Regarding the actual game, the Blackhawks were perhaps a little lucky to emerge with the win as they did. Sure, they took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission, but they got absolutely shellacked in the second. Fenwick in the second period saw a 17-7 advantage for the Kings, and if it weren't for a fluky double deflection for the Hawks second goal, and Crawford standing tall on a couple of prime opportunities, the Kings could have taken the lead. Instead they went into the second intermission still down by a goal, and weren't able to sustain the pressure in the third period. And so the game ended a low-scoring affair, 3-1 to Chicago.
You know what wasn't a low-scoring affair? Game 1 between the Montreal Canadiens and New York Rangers. Well... it was fairly low-scoring for the Canadiens, who only managed two on Henrik Lundqvist. But for the Rangers it was a field day! Four goals were scored on Carey Price, which is four times as many as he allowed in the last two games of the series against Boston. And after he was pulled, backup Peter Budaj conceded 3 goals on 8 shots. Woops.
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You know how the Texas Stars and Grand Rapids Griffins were playing a pretty tight series through the first five games? Well the Stars decided to forego that, and instead routed the Griffins by a score of 7-1 in Game 6. You'd have almost thought they were playing the Canadiens... *da dum tshh!* The win gave them a 4-2 series victory, and sets up a third round matchup against the Toronto Marlies, beginning on Friday in Cedar Park. [100 Degree Hockey]
Bad news for the Canadiens, as Price is doubtful for tonight's game. [National Post]
This annoys me somewhat. Jonathan Toews cuts through the crease and sprawls all over Jonathan Quick, and while that's happening, the puck bounces off a defenseman and goes into the net. And yet we're going to say the no-goal call is controversial? Imagine if the Hawks would have lost the game... [NHL.com]
Team USA played a little better against Finland in the World Championships, winning by a score of 3-1. Tim Thomas only allowing one goal, fancy that! [IIHF]
I'm pretty sure this will be the last Milan Lucic link for a while, seeing as how his team is out of the playoffs and all, but still. Apparently Lucic is very anti-bullying, even having a children's book about it. Way to lead by example. [Puck Daddy]
That's the last of Lucic, but we can still make fun of Zdeno Chara, right? [Russian Machine Never Breaks]
Travel times is a common complaint in the NHL. Remember when the Stars played in the Pacific Division? Course you do, it was last year, but still. We thought that was bad. Try playing for Vladivostock in the KHL. [IIHF]
And lastly, I'm a sucker for a good Hockey Night in Canada montage: