Busy week in the NHL and the action stops for no one, including me ! Although I was sidelined due to other commitments that had me away from my computer, as promised, I will keep my word and provide my 2 cents on the recent battles being help on the Frozen Pond. First, I take a look at Sunday's melées. Could the Flyers maintain the pressure on the Caps and Ovechkin? Could the Habs extend their winning streak to 14 straight against the Bruins ? Would the Rangers continue their dominance over Brodeur and the Devils and who would emerge dominant in the epic battle of San Jose and Calgary? Read on for all these answers and more.
Capitals 0 vs Flyers 2 (series tied 1-1)
I predicted the Flyers in 7, I predicted they Capitals were running on adrenalin and it had to wear off eventually, I predicted the Flyers would wear the Caps down. I love it when a plan comes together. The Capitals started showing signs of fatigue during this second game and Martin Biron stonewalled any player who had any intentions of scoring for the Caps including a nice kick save he made on Ovechkin's power-play wrist shot in the first period and the nifty poke check he made on Alexander Semin's breakaway attempt in the second. RJ Umberger and Jeff Carter's first period goals were all the Flyers needed and they made sure there was no way the Caps could mount a 3rd period comeback like they did the game before. If you think the Caps looked tired on this night, wait till game 3 tonight in Philly.
Canadiens 1 vs Bruins 2 in OT (Mtl leads 2-1)
What a game ! Yes, as a Hab's fan, it didn't quite end the way we would have liked it, but you have to admit, the Bruins are making a series out of it ! I predicted Habs in 5, which means they HAD to lose one eventually... this was it. The Habs tried all they could in the latter half of the game to take this win in front of a 50/50 crowd that saw it fit to also boo Chara in his own rink ! The Habs looked like a team that lost it's way in the early going, unable to match the new and improved intensity that continued from game 2 in Montreal. Both goalies were amazing all throughout the game, but it was the Tim Thomas show in overtime as the Habs' chances were approximately 6-3. The only difference is that Boston was able to capitalize on one of theirs on a delayed penalty to the Habs and a shot from Marc Savard that you can not blame Price on. Not time to panic yet folks, but I hope that Doug Jarvis is looking at lots of tape on the Habs anemic power-play. Game 3 tuesday night and if it is possible, I expect a better game from both teams.
Devils 4 vs Rangers 3 in OT (NYR leads 2-1)
Best players of the game? Both goaltenders stopping 30 plus shots each. Hero of the game? John Madden who scored at 6:01 of the 1st overtime period. Pest of the century? Sean Avery, who not only scored his 3rd goal of the series, but also got in Martin Brodeur's face, literally standing at the edge of his crease with his back to the play waving his arms like he was hailing 2 cabs in order to distract the Devils' goaltender. He also waved the blade of his stick back and forth in front of Brodeur's mask.... Needless to say, that if this was not an infraction prior to this game, the league instantly made it one following it. Enough said about that. Rangers' captain Jaromir Jagr told the press that no said it was going to be easy, but, bottom line, that they had to win the next game. I do see that happening in game 4.
Sharks 3 vs Flames 4 in OT (Cal leads 2-1)
Great game by two great teams in a never say die battle that looks like it will go 7. Give credit to the Flames who had to overcome an early 3 goal deficit in order to finally win it with less than 4 minutes left in the 1st overtime period. A goal scored by former Shark, Owen Nolan. Joe Thornton made himself known on the score sheet by assisting on 2 of the Shark's goals but the usual suspects on Calgary's end, Iginla, Phaneuf and Langkow scoring and it wouldn't be a hockey game if there wasn't a bad call controversy. blah blah it was a cheap shot says one coach, blah blah it looked legal to me said the other. In between all the griping, it was an exciting game to watch even before the overtime period started. Calgary has a chance to put a stranglehold on the brow beaten Sharks if they win game 4 in Calgary on Tuesday night.