Round two roundup – Habs Halak still stopping while Savard & Bruins take a bite out of Philly

Last night Chicago dodged a bullet. Having been throttled 5-1 in game one by the Canucks, they found themselves trailing 2-0 after the first five minutes of game-two. Heading into Vancouver down two games to none would have been extremely un-good for the Blackhawks.

Kris Versteeg's third period goal gave the Blackhawks a 3-2 lead with 90 seconds remaining (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Kris Versteeg's third period goal gave the Blackhawks a 3-2 lead with 90 seconds remaining (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Brent Seabrook’s goal at the 7:40 mark of the first period closed the gap and the score remained 2-1 going into the third. But that’s where Chicago took over as Patrick Sharp scored a short-handed goal and Kris Versteeg gave the Hawks the lead with just 90 seconds remaining. Patrick Kane then added an empty netter 42 seconds later, his 6th goal of the post-season.

The Hawks outshot the Canucks 13-6 in the final 20 minutes despite taking the only two penalties in that final frame.

Seabrook’s goal was his first of the post-season and he also added two assists Monday night, finishing the game a +4 for Chicago.

Earlier in the evening Boston once again slipped by Philadelphia 3-2 thanks to Milan Lucic’s blast with just 2:57 remaining in the third period. With the win they head down to Philly needing just two wins in the next five games to advance to the Conference Finals for the first time since, I believe, they were swept by the Penguins in 1992.

During a second-period scrap, Philadelphia’s Daniel Carcillo complained that Marc Savard had chomped on his finger. 

“Last time I have been bit was in grade school. It is not a good feeling. It is pretty cowardly,” Carcillo said after the game. “Guys don’t bite. Men don’t bite.”

Savard…ahem…turned and pointed his finger back at the Flyer.

“He pummeled on my face,” Savy slyly said. “He pulled on my teeth, so I guess that’s biting when a guy tries and pull your front teeth out.”

Tuukka Rask is now 6-2 in the playoffs with a 2.32 GAA and .922 SV% while Boston’s 92.9 % effective penalty kill leads all teams in the post-season so far.

Tonight, the Montreal Canadiens will look to take advantage of their split in games one and two played in Pittsburgh. After suffering an off night in Friday night’s game one…allowing four power play goals on four Penguin’s opportunities…they held Pittsburgh’s offense at bay, giving up one goal and denying them on all three power play chances.

The Habs have killed off 35 of the 40 man-advantages they have faced so far in the nine games they have played in the playoffs…35 of the 36 not counting game-one against the Pens. Special teams play could play a major role in this series given Pittsburgh’s 31.4% effective power play leads all eight teams remaining in the playoffs. If the Habs PK unit continues to shine, that can only help them in their second consecutive upset bid this spring, (DUH5).

Michael Cammalleri’s 8 goals tie him with Vancouver’s Mikael Samuelsson for second most during the playoffs to date and his 13 overall points are third. Sidney Crosby, of course, leads all scorers with 16 points, (5 goals 11 assists).

Also, there is Jaroslav Halak… whose .931 SV% is tops of all keepers not-yet eliminated from post-season play. Sunday he stopped 38 of 39 Penguins shots faced in their 3-1 game-two win.

Later on in Motown, the Sharks will look to continue feeding on octopi. The Big Red Borg face what can really only be classified as a “must win” situation after dropping both games played in San Jose. The Sharks Joe Pavelski is making his case for the Conn Smythe Trophy with a playoff-high 9 goals and 14-point performance in 8 games played. He’s a +7 as well.

Evgeni Nabokov continues his good work this spring. He is now 6-2 with a .916 SV% and playoff-low 2.02 GAA…this even though the Red Wings have netted six goals on 54 shots in their two losses.

Meanwhile…Down On The Farm

The Chicago Wolves find themselves tied with the Texas Stars at one game apiece with the Texas Stars in their AHL Western Conference playoffs series. The Wolves outlasted Texas to win game-two 4-3 in double overtime Sunday…the winning goal being scored by Anthony Stewart, his second of the game and 6th of the playoffs.

Patrice Cormier thought he had scored his first goal as a member of the Wolves during regulation, but the refs waived it off citing he’d lost sight of the puck. Later during the first overtime, a Chicago goal was disallowed as it was ruled kicked into the net.

Along with Stewart’s two goals, Jason Krog and Spencer Machacek also scored for the Wolves while Peter Mannino stopped 35 of the 38 shots he faced for the win. Mannino allowed 4 goals on 28 shots while Krog, Stewart and Joey Crabb scored for Chicago.

Texas won game-one 4-3 in overtime last Friday night on a power play goal by Garrett Stafford while Crabb sat in the box for high sticking.

The series now moves to Texas for the next three games starting with tonight’s game-three.

133 comments Add your comment

Tony C.

May 5th, 2010
1:50 pm

RedLight
Reason #1 is the biggest obstacle they’ve got.

That being said, it seems the “underacheiver” tag has FINALLY gotten under the skin of San Jose’s collective psyche… That, and I think the guys they brought in for “presence” are providing just that-I doubted SJ in the 1st round, but even if we throw out game 2’s result (and I’m inclined to-even though I can’t stand Detroit-they got jobbed for sure), and replace it with a RedWings win, the Sharks are still up 2-1 and Detroit looks less and less able/interested in giving forth the winning effort.

World Be Free

May 5th, 2010
2:23 pm

Glovesave-I was merely referring to the larger surface in the CFL vs. “real football”.

I ran all over the rink when I was a young defenseman. The older I got, the more I relied on angles and eliminating the quality shots. It’s not that I am adverse to the corners, but forwards have less success scoring from the boards as they do the slot, especially with fine goalies as yourself between the pipes.

Spud Webb

May 5th, 2010
2:31 pm

When I was watching game one of the Sharks-detroit series, I was watching heatly and thought “he must be hurt”, he’s NOT MOVING. A whack here, a slide there, boom play is past him. What has happened?? He’s the power forward, minus ANY POWER. I’m sorry, goals and all, he’s a sissy. At least he doesn’t dive like Cindy. But geeeez.

Brendon, I think the Wings will make a splash, SOMEWHERE…a team with that many resources will not stand pat. If Nik stays or goes, they will do something major. Must be nice to be a wings fan!! I’ll take their down year anytime!!

glovesave29

May 5th, 2010
2:57 pm

I hear ya WBF! You shouldnt be in corners anyhow, that leaves the slot wide open…and in our beer leagues, you can bet that the forwards surely are not coming back to help. No cherry-picking going on, is there? Ha!

Sage of Bluesland

May 5th, 2010
3:01 pm

“Red Wings’ Maladies…After effect of losing assistant GM Don Waddelll 12 seasons later!”

Now THAT was funny!

This is ‘Quote-of-the-Year’ material.

kracker

May 5th, 2010
3:30 pm

Ya know things are improving when Sage can laugh about anything concerning former GM Don Waddell!

Lee

May 5th, 2010
4:09 pm

Halak is a beast! I’d take him in replace for one of our upcoming FA’s but looks like he ain’t going anywhere.

World Be Free

May 5th, 2010
4:21 pm

Waiting for Sage to chime in-and he’s correct!

Glovesave-have to say I had more fun in the beer leagues than anywhere else. Those leagures are very competitive too!

Spud-Heatley reminds me of Roy, Pominville, Hecht, Stafford and Connolly-soft as a twinkie!

Joe Friday

May 5th, 2010
4:45 pm

Heatley is missing the key ingredient that makes good players great . . . heart.

glovesave29

May 5th, 2010
4:58 pm

WBF – why in past tense? Hung up the skates? Tell me it is’t so!

JF – and Heatley took away the player who had more of it than everyone else on the team combined.

Brendan

May 5th, 2010
5:50 pm

To be clear, I don’t think the Red Wings suck. There are many teams who would swap rosters, immediately, with Detroit. Good organizations find a way to improve and remain competitive. I think Detroit has some nice potential with Helm, Abdelkader, Howard, Kronwall, and Filppula. Plus, they’re a desireable market, so talent will always gravitate towards them. Indeed, it must be nice to be “Hockeytown.”

Red Light

May 5th, 2010
6:59 pm

I wouldn’t feel too sorry for the Wings either. They’ll be back quickly and Holland still has cap room to maneuver where he wants to go during the next two off seasons. Franzen, Zetterberg, Datsyuk, Fillpula, Cleary, Hudler, Rafalski and Kronwall are a nice base from which to work, and he’s only paying his two goalies a total of $1.9 million next year. Not a Stuart fan either, but Holland’s got $17 million left to work with. They’re not the Wings we’re used to seeing at this time of year and that’s a good thing in my opinion! I get a little tired of the red-and-white!

Red Light

May 5th, 2010
9:50 pm

The loss of Carter, Gagne and Laperriere leaves the Flyers a shell of a team, particularly on the power play. The once occasionally dominant Timonen is a shadow of his former self. He doesn’t seem like the same player of 1, 2 or three years ago. It has been a long time since the Flyers were swept in a 7-game series but as far as I am concerned, the golf courses up there are in perfect condition for them right now. Holmgren got lucky with the opening round win, but now he’s in the same position as he was before, looking for answers. FORE!

Brendan

May 5th, 2010
10:52 pm

Boston has put a ’stranglehold’ on its series with Philly. I liked the way the Philly fans booed their team with 6:00 left in the 3rd period. See, they’re NOT polite in Philadelphia. If the Flyers get swept, the boos will be even louder. And Philly ownership will “care” enough to address the situation. If it were the Thrashers facing elimination at home vs. Boston, we’d sit there … QUIETLY … perhaps mumbling to our neighbors, and offering excuses about lawsuits hampering the ownership, and so forth. But we wouldn’t “boo.” And ownership would do absolutely nothing, not hearing the voice of DISPLEASURE on the part of Thrasher fans. Go Philly!! You guys Rock! Go on witcha bad selves. And “boo” loud enough for ownership to someone accountable.

Brendan

May 6th, 2010
12:40 am

I’m breathing a little easier with my pick of Chicago over Vancouver. I hope it lasts. The last Blackhawk goal should have been disallowed. But hey, it didn’t radically alter the outcome of the game. The score was 4-2, in favor of Chicago, at the time. Vancouver’s fans were quiet.

Go Blackhawks! Will this be the year they put the Leafs ‘officially’ on the clock? 1961 … and counting … for Chicago. The Leafs sit next, at 1967.

Red Light

May 6th, 2010
7:50 am

Vancouver played like their playoff teams of the recent past…”They’re just a bunch of pansies”

World Be Free

May 6th, 2010
7:53 am

“Heatley is missing the key ingredient that makes good players great . . . heart”

And that’s never more evident than in the playoffs. Not hit, all stick, refusal to get dirty to make plays. Heatley hit the jackpot when he was given the chance to play with Thornton.

Glovesave-yeah I am retired for now. Heading to Buffalo this summer, so I may look at new skates. I am currently wearing an old pair of Mike Ramsey’s skates, so they are kinda old.

Red Light-I think Carter is just as important to Philly as Richards. Laperriere is still one of the toughest players in the league, has been for over a decade.

Brendan-Philly fans being polite? Just ask Mike Schmidt, Donovan McNabb or Steve Carleton how polite Philly fans have been over the years.

rob

May 6th, 2010
9:12 am

Who posted that comment as Sage? I can’t beweive it wuz weely him because none of the fans were called names LOL

Spud Webb

May 6th, 2010
9:19 am

Well, I called it yesterday afternoon, philly is COOKED, bye!!! I cannot believe Boston is going to make the conference finals. Have I mentioned I HATE BOSTON?? Rask is good, really good!!
WBF, Carlton as great a pitcher as he was, was a d&ck to fans and the media!!! Santa isn’t welcome in Philly!! NICE……….
Too bad about the canucks, I like that team.

Savannah Blueland Fan

May 6th, 2010
9:22 am

The Thrasher fans would sit quietly mainly because it’s embarrassing to be loud when you are the only person in your section. Sometimes the truth hurts. But the Philly fans booing was kind of funny (smirking). They should be thankful their team even made it this far because they sucked near the end of the regular season.

GO CHICAGO! GO CHICAGO! GO CHICAGO! The “hat trick” from Bufglik–Bufgo-whatever That guy from Minnesota– was false. Nevermind that he clearly interfered with Luongo, but he kicked it in. But the game was already won anyway so GO CHICAGO! GO CHICAGO! GO CHICAGO!

World Be Free

May 6th, 2010
9:24 am

Spud-Carlton is a strange guy, his distain for the fans and media grew over time and being critisized alot. He didn’t like that, kinda like another buddy of ours, Dennis “Oil Can” Boyd. Shoulda been called “Garbage Can”.

Red Light

May 6th, 2010
9:28 am

World Be Free

Certainly my opinion runs contrary to yours and the others’ sentiments, but here goes.

Interesting that you should toss Thornton’s name in the “jackpot” message, when he is one of the great underachievers in recent playoff history. In 85 career playoff games, Big Joe has 14 goals, 47 assists and is -15 in those games and has never scored two goals in any playoff game. And while not a “goal scorer” per se, he has just (1) three-point game during his playoff career.

Heatley has (4) three-point games in 42 career playoff games, 44 points and an even rating.

Marleau has scored twice in a playoff game just once (4/20/07) during his career which spans 100 playoff games. He has 38 goals, 29 assists and is -7 in those games.

The Sharks new hero, Pavelski, had three straight games with 2 goals and an assist in this year’s playoffs alone and now has 15 goals, 11 assists and is +10 in 34 career playoff contests.

Big Joe has never made it past the 2nd round during his career, while Heatley has played in the Cup Finals. You can call him soft, selfish, a teammate killer or whatever, but who really hit the jackpot? I say it’s Thornton.

Too Funny

May 6th, 2010
10:16 am

The Hawks are having to discount their second round playoff tickets. The ASG should try investing in the Thrashers instead of pouring the bulk of their resources into the Hawks.

http://www.atlantaonthecheap.com/2010/05/05/25-off-hawks-playoff-tickets-for-games-3-4-of-round-2/

Oh well, in the words of Ron White, you can’t fix stupid.

World Be Free

May 6th, 2010
10:24 am

Red Light-as usual, you make your point and back it with facts that cannot be disputed. Thornton has certainly been a “regular season guy”, always has been which made his expendable in Boston. I can’t believe the Bruins made that trade at the time, giving up on a big man. But you look at Boston and I say they are better off without Thornton and with Savard, a smaller man in stature but much larger in heart.

My reference to thornton is as a setup man, his ability to make a guy like Cheechoo look like a star. You gotta think SJ went after Heatley to get an upgrade on Cheechoo from a goal scoring perspective. I hope Joe can find himself and raise his playoff performance this season to a level never achieved.

I still hate Heatley-have a tough time being objective about the creep.

rob

May 6th, 2010
10:29 am

Spudd,
I hate the Bruins too, just hate the Bums in Philly more, and yet I cheered for the Bums because of my distaste for one Mr Kovalsucks. I say Go Bruins now, and hope that the Pens make it to destroy them!!! The playoffs always make for interesting matchups and who you want to win, and it’s series like Hawks/Nucks last year and after the showing off to fans after the hat trick last night that give the fans such passion about the game. The next game in that series should be a great one, and I hope that the winner there humiliates the Sharks! It’s all about the rivalries!!!

Joe Friday

May 6th, 2010
10:37 am

”They’re just a bunch of pansies”

No kiddin. I was expecting a war, and they rolled over like a bunch of pansies. Pffft.

I’d take Thornton over Heatley every day and twice on Sundays. Thornton brings a lot of intangibles that don’t show on the scoresheet (nobody counts backchecks and forechecks). Next time you see Dany give up his body on the forecheck will be the first time you seen it. Heatley’s a lazy cherry picker, Thornton will mix it up and create space for his lineups.

Stats can be culled this way and that to try to back any opinion. I’m pretty black and white. Just win baby.

Alan R.

May 6th, 2010
10:47 am

Haven’t looked through here yet to see if it’s been posted, but it seems the Manitoba Moose coach Arniel has interviewed with the Blue Jackets. An interview with the Thrashers is apparently pending.

I’m interested to see what happens. He’s apparently pretty high on a lot of teams’ wish lists for coaching.

glovesave29

May 6th, 2010
11:03 am

Spud – worked at a signings show a few years back with Steve Carlton. I was the one at the table taking the tix and snapping photos with him and his fans. I got to spend the better part of the day with him, and I gotta say he is one nice guy. Told stories. Went above and beyond what a lot of the other athletes do at the shows. I think he hates the media and they in turn hate him. He’s a more reserved person, but I would have disagree with what I have read of him…

As for the Hawks…I’d like to see them win to piss off the Leafs fans as they would now have the longest dry spell, but the idea of a silversmith in Montreal engraving the name “Marian Hossa” into the holy grail kinda makes me sick.

rob

May 6th, 2010
11:08 am

Interesting to see how all of this coaching shakes out in the end. Good look at Arniels philosophy about teaching the young guys right and bringing them up quickly to get the most out of them. I can definitely see that same thought with the Thrashers, especially w the octomess running it. So, in that type scenario, an AHL coach who has a solid grasp on the game and a game plan that is more than 1 dimensional (like JA) and works well with developing players might not be as bad as some of you have made it out to be. We are, and will continue to be, a young team that will need a coach willing to teach and analyze those who can play, and bring up replacements for those that can’t. That being said, Dudley has had a year to look around and see the talent that is already here, and what needs improvement, and I am sure he will find us the coach best suited to this situation.

rob

May 6th, 2010
11:11 am

glovesave,
Maybe Hossa can be left off “mistakenly” if they manage to win? Or have his name mispelled Mary Anne Hossa

glovesave29

May 6th, 2010
11:22 am

I want a coach who is like a great chef. He walks into the kitchen, takes stock of the supplies, and makes something great out of what he has. Has flexibility and creativity.

We had a coach with a good recipe, but without the supplies to make the meal. He hoped that in time, his ingredients would change to allow him to make what he wished to do in the beginning. But a mushroom cannot become a filet. His inflexibility and lack of creativity to vary from his vision was his downfall.

ChippersLoveChild

May 6th, 2010
11:56 am

Why the hate for Hossa?

Trixie (Rawhide's Secretary)

May 6th, 2010
12:14 pm

:!: RANALLO WARNING!! :!:

This is your official 10-minute Ranallo Warning.

New rawhide blog in 10 minutes.