|Posted by Radatz on April 17, 2017 at 12:40 AM|
Despite fairly competitive hockey, Round One is beginning to degenerate, at least partially, into the blowoutfest that so often occurs and which fans dread. It's not that the games are blowouts, at least on the scoreboard. But we now have 4 teams without a win, two of which have blown home ice big time. C'est la guerre.
Deja vu. I turned on the NYR/MTL game and thought I was watching Toe Blake's Canadiens skating against the Rangers in 1960, peppering the Gumper. It was that bad. NY skated like they were in mud, passed like they were wearing Timothy Leary's glasses and generally looked dismal. Montreal, by contrast, was actually skating and executing fundamentals. Of course, this edition is more on par with the old Junior Canadiens than with Blake's legends, and the Rangers must be better than the squad on which Andy Bathgate was imprisoned, but you couldn't tell from this game.
Another second period vacation did to the BJs what it had before... lost them the game, this time in OT. Home ice helped the score but little else. Again they were a good match for the Penguins but a shade less adept at putting the puck in the net. Or perhaps at keeping it out. One has to wonder what would be going on in this series if Murray had never hurt himself in warmups before game 1. Fleury has been washed up more than once, but he's still kicking it seems. And he's 3-0 in what should have been a thrilling 7-game series. Totally unexpected. Bobrovsky, meanwhile, is following up a great season with a disastrous post-season. Again, unexpected.
Chicago isn't the only favorite sucking wind at the moment, though they're the biggest. Minnesota is down 0-3 despite once again holding a good shot advantage (41-30). St. Looie scored once in each period. How a team can play as well in general as Minnesota has and be getting so methodically bounced is something of a mystery at this point. But it's happening.
The Sharks went home nursing a 1-1 series tie. They owned the first period, Edmonton the second. Problem was, nobody scored. With over half the 3rd period gone Kassian, the unlikely hero of game 2, picked off a mistake and backhanded it past a surprised Jones. He nearly did it again several minutes later. With SJ playing open-net, Klefbom (I think) crossed center ice, then the blue line, and missed the open net. SJ nearly tied the game as Ward got a great chance in front but hit a baffled Talbot's shoulder. SJ never really got a 6-on-5 going though, spending way too much time scrumming on the boards. There were no multi-pass plays and Talbot held up. SJ's dazzling offense has been stuck in second gear all series. The Oilers have had something to do with that, but so have the Sharks.
Categories: NHL Blogs