NHL playoffs round two update: Bolts and Sharks take 2-0 series leads

Detroit vs. San Jose (Sharks lead 2-0)

The Tampa Bay Lightning and San Jose Sharks find themselves only two wins away from advancing to the Conference Championships after last weekend’s Action. The Bolts are heading home after stealing a pair of games in D.C. while the Sharks held serve at home against the Detroit Red Wings.

San Jose took both games by the score of 2-1. Friday night required overtime to hang the first loss of the playoffs to Detroit while yesterday afternoon they built a 2-0 lead and hung on down the stretch for the victory.

Antti Niemi stopped 33 of the 34 shots he faced in the game-two win and has now tuned aside 57 of the 59 Wings attempts on his goal.

“He’s spectacular”, Joe Thornton said of his netminder. ““He’s the reason why we’re in this postseason and it feels like every time he’s in the net. He gives us a chance to win.”

Last spring the Sharks held a 2-0 second round series lead against the Wings and won in five games. But head coach Todd McLellan warns this series is far from over. “The two teams are pretty darned even,” he said. “‘I think you continue to see this.”

“But if anyone can let their guard down, whether it’s us or them, the other team is going to make them pay.”

Tampa Bay vs. Washington (Lightning lead 2-0)

Meanwhile in the nation’s capital, Vinny Lecavalier’s goal 6:19 into overtime gave the Lightning their second win in as many games against the top seed in the Eastern Conference. Te extra period was required after Alex Ovechkin tied the score at 2-2 with only 68 seconds remaining in regulation.

But the story of this game, and for the series so far, was Washington’s inability to…ahem…capitalize on the power play opportunities. They went 0-6 Sunday after failing on five man-advantage chances in the 4-2 game-one loss Friday.

“That was the difference right there,” Lecavalier said. “We gave them a lot of power plays—we were a little bit undisciplined with our sticks—but our penalty killing was phenomenal.”

But just as McLellan pointed out regarding his team’s situation against the Wings, Ovechkin promises that this series is far from over.

“Well, the series is not over.” He said after the game. “We’re going [to Tampa], and we’re going to win two games. It’s going to be hard, but right now in this situation, we have to win.”

Boston vs. Philadelphia (Bruins lead 1-0)

Tonight, the Boston Bruins will look to duplicate what the Bolts accomplished, winning games one and two on the road. Saturday the Bruins scored three goals in the second period and pounded Philadelphia 7-3.

Once again, the Flyers goalie situation took center stage with starter Brian Boucher allowing 5 goals on 18 SOG. Sergei Bobrovsky gave up a pair on 10 shots in relief. However Peter Laviolette wasn’t blaming the seven-spot solely on the play between the pipes.

“Too many easy goals, too many easy plays,” the Flyers coach said. “We weren’t strong enough right in front of our goaltender.”

Nashville vs. Vancouver (series tied 1-1)

Heading back out west, the Nashville Predators returned home after accomplishing the minimum mission they set out to do in Vancouver, gaining a split in the two games. They dropped game one Thursday night 1-0, then came back for a 2-1 double overtime win Saturday.

Pekka Rinne has kicked out 61 of the 63 shots he’s faced in goal for Preds.

It took the Preds 118:53 to final slip a puck past the Canuck’s goalie Roberto Luongo. But after Ryan Suter goal tied it, Matt Halischuk won game two with 5:09 remaining before a third OT period was required.

“Tonight we played Predator hockey”, Predator coach Barry Trotz said after the win. “We played with conviction. We played with discipline. Our work ethic was there. I thought in regulation, we had the majority of the better chances. We just couldn’t convert.”

Game three will be tomorrow evening back in Nashville.

101 comments Add your comment

R. Stroz

May 2nd, 2011
11:37 am

Dwayne

May 2nd, 2011
11:43 am

ZAvalanche

May 2nd, 2011
12:01 pm

Nice post Blog Master (or Pun Master, lol!). Nashville is going to give Vancouver a hard series. I picked the Caps, but that Tampa team is really impressing me. I think I am really excited to see how Philly bounces back. Can’t believe the Big Red Borg are down 2. My 2nd round predictions are not turning out well at all. Still love the play!

World Be Free

May 2nd, 2011
12:06 pm

San Jose is playing alot more physical then in previous playoff years, which is one of the reasons they are up 2-0. Detroit will come with their A game in game 3, that’s for sure.
I hate to throw dirt on a team at 2-0. but I really believe the Caps are done. So what will they do int he off season? Should be interesting in Washington.

Sam

May 2nd, 2011
12:11 pm

Yes, you should be concerned. So far, the Sharks just look better than Red Wings. Can that change?
http://bit.ly/sharkstks

World Be Free

May 2nd, 2011
12:17 pm

What a great up-ice pass by Jones in OT to setup the winning goal in Washington. Bolts were aware that the both teams had the long changes to their respective benchs in OT, Caps got caught in a lazy change with nobody on the right side to cutoff the pass. Vinny does not miss too often from in front of the next.

World Be Free

May 2nd, 2011
12:23 pm

Off subject but noteworthy-thanks to those brave Navy SEALS what whacked bin Laden. Think they dumped him where the sharks hang out?

R. Stroz

May 2nd, 2011
12:29 pm

Even sharks have standards.

ZAvalanche

May 2nd, 2011
12:32 pm

WBF – I wish they would have dumped him in a wood chipper. And LOL at Stroz! That is funny!

james c.

May 2nd, 2011
12:33 pm

Great job by the U.S. military.If you do bad things you can run but you can’t hide forever.

Now if only the city of Atlanta can git’r done with its hockey franchise.I see the mayor of Sacramento got it done and raised $10 million from the local business community to help keep the Kings in town for 2011-2012 and hopefully until a new arena deal can be arranged.

Red Light

May 2nd, 2011
12:35 pm

Boucher gets the start tonight for the Flyers. Interesting how the 22-year-old Bobrovsky got tossed aside by Laviolette after Game 2 of the Buffalo series.

Imagine if Rinne was given the same treatment by Trotz after allowing six goals to Anaheim in Game 4 of the opening round?

I know it’s not the exact scenario, but remember that Boucher lost the first three games in the Boston series last year too.

In the seven conference semi-final games played thus far, the losing teams are a collective 2-for-30 on the power play.

Hoof Arted

May 2nd, 2011
12:40 pm

I love how Nashville is playing against Vancouver. They struggled a bit in the first couple of periods in game one but have taken it to them since. Luongo has done a great job for the Canucks, though.

Boston was all over the Flyers. If Philly gets a repeat performance in goal again like Saturday, then they’re toast.

Sharks are beating the Wings on the boards, in physicality, in aggressiveness. I took the Wings in this series but don’t mind at all if I’m wrong.

Very surprised by what Tampa Bay is doing but I love it!

Could we see a Nashville/Lightning finals? I’d really enjoy that.

I bet OBL has already figured out by now that there are no 72 virgins waiting for him. LOL. He probably kinda feels like a Winnipeg troll who believed that whole “day of celebration” story last Friday.

They both found out they bought into a big bag of lies!

Matt from MN

May 2nd, 2011
12:40 pm

I have to say I’m torn between rooting for SJ to beat the “Big Red Borg” and seeing Dany Heatley losing the series. Right now, I guess it’s root for SJ and hope the lose in the Conf. Finals.

Dwayne Roloson is playing out of his mind for the Bolts and that team is a real threat to make the Finals. Will this be another Crapital choke?

ZAvalanche

May 2nd, 2011
12:47 pm

Hoof, the Nashville Vancouver series is amazingly awesome. Detroit’s age is going to be a liability I think. Nashville and Lightning in the Finals would be awesome. I am still thinking Vancouver will come back. Caps are done, they don’t have the same number of horses to match up well.

72 virgins! Damn, OBL will need some viagra!

Tom

May 2nd, 2011
12:55 pm

ZAvs – If there is a Nashville – Lightning Finals I think there will be a revolution in Canada.

ZAvalanche

May 2nd, 2011
12:56 pm

Tom – revolution or revolt?

Sage of Bluesland

May 2nd, 2011
1:01 pm

I’m amazed at the Lightning–and how some around here (Cornsheep or Lambbread?) continuously bleated about how we (the Thrashers) were far better than they were…all year, too, it seemed.

What a joke. It would be funny if it weren’t so sad.

I’m amazed how the Lightning were the one team we used to be able to beat upon our entrance into the league (i.e. they were even more pathetic than we were)…then watched them continue to get better–all the way to winning a Cup. Then, they sank again to expansion-levels. Now, they have rebuilt again to a legitimate threat to win it all.

To see such teams rise, fall, and rise again–all the while Don Waddell still being at the helm of this foundering franchise–is very disheartening. All the while the lies from management and ownership are still being accepted by the silly few who actually still put dollars into these clowns’ pockets…

How sad. Again, it would actually be funny if it weren’t so sad.

Go Lightning. Do something the Thrashers can only dream of.

ZAvalanche

May 2nd, 2011
1:06 pm

Sage, there isn’t a team in any sport that doesn’t rise and fall and rise and fall. ASG is keeping us from rising.

Red Light

May 2nd, 2011
1:09 pm

This FYI post is primarily for our good buddy Alan R.

Detroit has come from 2-0 down to win three series since 1987. The Wings beat the Canucks in 6 games in ‘02, the North Stars in 7 games in ‘92 and Maple Leafs in 7 in ‘87. In all of those series, the Wings had home-ice advantage.

But the last time the Red Wings won a 7-game series after losing the first 2 games on the road was in 1963 vs. the Blackhawks, when they lost the first two at Chicago, and then won the next four.

World Be Free

May 2nd, 2011
1:11 pm

james C- my brother lives in SAC, told me how the mayor worked so hard to keep the Kings in town. Looks like our mayor does not give a hoot about what happenes to the Thrashers, which is expected!

Matt-I have moved on from Dany, cheering for the Sharks to discard their past and get to the conference finals. The past is just that.

ZAvalanche

May 2nd, 2011
1:15 pm

Side note: Props to our Special Forces – we have the BEST military in the world – mostly because we spend as much as the next 15 countries, combined, on our defense. We are the Ferrari of military.

ZAvalanche

May 2nd, 2011
1:24 pm

I want the Sharks to beat the Big Red Borg like you have no idea. I have no hate for Dan – I feel bad about what happened and feel for the Snyder family and will till I die. Accidents happen.

ZAvalanche

May 2nd, 2011
1:40 pm

But I will add that there are good decisions and bad decisions.

hockeygoon79

May 2nd, 2011
2:36 pm

I’m sure I think this every year, but these have got to be the best NHL playoffs I’ve ever watched. Mostly close games with lots of action and how many overtimes have we had? Can someone look up what the record is for OT games in a single playoff year? (Looking at you, Red Light).

Ding-dong bin Laden’s dead! Wonderful day for America and the entire civilized world! Wasn’t there a $50 million bounty on that animal’s head? Give it to the SEALs that carried out the mission and and extra bonus for the one that put a plug in OBL’s noggin.

Alan R.

May 2nd, 2011
2:39 pm

Rawhide

May 2nd, 2011
2:51 pm

Like so many others here, I would like to extend a big “Bravo Zulu” to ST6, (DEVGRU), for the mission that was carried out. Job well done by all who planned and carried out the mission causing OLB to kick the oxygen habit and assume room temperature.

hockeygoon79 – I have to agree with you regarding these playoffs. I’m rivited to the TV set…must-see TV indeed.

World Be Free

May 2nd, 2011
2:52 pm

Alan R-does it? Not if the scenario outlines happens.

Old Time Hockey

May 2nd, 2011
2:53 pm

The biggest difference between the teams in the playoffs and those not isn’t talent levels, it’s execution. Vancouver has talent, but the execution is what makes them so impressive. These teams don’t make a lot of boneheaded plays.

Hockey Biltong

May 2nd, 2011
2:56 pm

Zavs- Ferrari of the military would be one that breaks down and needs expensive maintenance. Perhaps a different vehicle… more lunch pail variety, with grit and sophistication… a velvet hammer.
Can’t think of one but open to other comparo’s!

glovesave29

May 2nd, 2011
3:04 pm

Nice part about the Forbes article is it mentioned the team was profitable under Turner, and that $110 million it was worth the risk to keep the team here. As soon as the ASG is gone, I will go back to being a STH.

I went to college in Sacramento…and there are some differences to our situation here. The Kings always drew well…in an arena that was out of date the minute it was finished. It’s the only game in town (save the AAA River Cats playing over in West Sac) so it represents the only claim the city has as a “major league city”. The mayor is a former NBA player. I am pulling for all cities with their teams on the brink…

UBL using a woman as a human shield during the firefight. The ultimate show of cowardice. Wonder how that will play out in the corners of the world that hold him in high regards. I hope the local sharks in the Indian Ocean enjoyed their meal!

alex

May 2nd, 2011
3:13 pm

unlike sac. mayor our mayor not interested, i got burocratik answer from him after contact about possibly relocation like “nothing he can do”. it didn’t surprised me anyway.

Smoothie

May 2nd, 2011
3:26 pm

Why would radical Islamic fundamentalists think any less of UBL for using a woman as a human shield? In Sharia law, women are lowly carbon-based lifeforms here to serve a man’s wishes and propogate their hatred and insanity through child rearing. May UBL burn in hell with Hitler who was confirmed dead on the same day 66 years ago.

james c.

May 2nd, 2011
3:28 pm

For 110 large in a city the size of Atlanta (with its A+++ corporate headquarter base) this should be doable but people have to stop talking about the ownership problems/missing the playoffs etc. and buy tickets…simple as that.Otherwise the city of Atlanta will have the unpleasant distinction of losing two professional hockey teams in the world’s best league only since the year Ronald Reagan was first elected in 1980.

Red Light

May 2nd, 2011
3:32 pm

hockeygoon79

While this isn’t necessarily official, I found 28 playoff games decided in overtime during the 1993 Stanley Cup playoffs, and I believe Montreal and Patty Roy won 10 of them.

Here is the breakdown between 1998 and this year…
2011 17
2010 18
2009 16
2008 16
2007 17
2006 20
2004 19
2003 22
2002 18
2001 26
2000 9
1999 22
1998 19

Rawhide

May 2nd, 2011
3:35 pm

Red Light – That’s very interesting. So, the 17 OT games so far matches or betters the total of the previous four playoffs. Given the pace they are on, I would not be surprised if we see the 28 record of 1993 threatened.

Red Light

May 2nd, 2011
3:40 pm

Turns out that the above is the record for most OT games in one year.

For a list of other playoff related stats, see below link!

http://www.rauzulusstreet.com/hockey/nhlrecords/scteamrecords.html

Alan R.

May 2nd, 2011
3:41 pm

WBF – I think overall, the blog is good news. The price tag is low (I expected it to be closer to $130M), and Glavine is a probable investor — or, at the very least, a name we can reference as “having interest.”

The part about TNSE and an offer of $170M doesn’t make ASG any additional monies over what they would make over a local interest putting up the money, as the blog cites a $60M relocation fee coming out of the sale and to the NHL as a whole.

All in all, it’s within ASG’s best interests to keep the team here.

Cliff Fletcher

May 2nd, 2011
3:42 pm

glovesave///

there are people in this town that are in favor of the thrashers’ execution-one player at a time

hockeygoon79

May 2nd, 2011
3:50 pm

Thanks Red Light. I knew you’d come through.

ZAvalanche

May 2nd, 2011
3:55 pm

RL, that is a darn good bit of research. I am a bit biased on Patty Roy, but MAN, could that guy carry a team.

Red Light

May 2nd, 2011
4:13 pm

Alan R.

As the future landlord, you’re darn right it behooves them to keep the team here. But, the price tag for the Thrashers isn’t low, the price tag is high, and if they got $110 million they should get down on their collective knees and thank whomever for bailing them out despite their mismanagement for seven years.

ASG purchased all three units in 2004 and the cost of the entire deal was $250 million, of which $80 million was attributed to the hockey club. Taking into consideration the reported losses ($8 million in 2009-10), and the fact Thrashers revenues in 2009-10 were said to be in the neighborhood of $71 million (both figures by Forbes in Dec. 2010), even if you applied a multiple of 50 percent on the team’s total revenues ending in 2010, the price should be no more than $106.5 million. I’m sure the team is on pace for more losses and revenues far below $71 million for 2011.

As a matter of fact, in my opinion, I think ASG would accept anything north of the 2004 attributed purchase price if they could get it!

Kenneth Williams

May 2nd, 2011
4:14 pm

That’s the way I see it too, Alan R. Why would the current owners sell to someone looking to move them out of town and lose all of that rent money for years to come? They will seel all three parts or just the Thrashers to someone who will keep them in Atlanta.

I still think there’s only a 50-50 chance we will see the Coyotes return from Arizona and become again the Jets, but even if they are able to remain there I do not foresee the Thrashers coming here even though the internet masses continue to ratchet up that story.

Oh and if you’re wondering, no there was no big day of celebration, parade or any type of announcement made here Friday. But that should come as no surprise to anyone. We’ve been subjected to numerous rumors of an “immanent” announcement of relocation for years now. I suspect there will be more for years on out.

Red Light

May 2nd, 2011
4:22 pm

Kenneth Williams :)

Thanks for your post!

World Be Free

May 2nd, 2011
4:23 pm

Kenneth-appreciate your perpective on the situation. Seems like there is more than one interested party that will want to keep the team here. Agreed that it makes no sense to sell off the team to have it moved and lose the leverage (and dates) in Philips.

Tom

May 2nd, 2011
4:26 pm

Does anyone have any idea on what the yearly cost of operations for the Thrashers outside of player salary? And also what the revenues for last year were? You have to figure that 2010-2011 is the low point for the franchise and there would be a significant revenue bump if and when the team got new owners.

I am just doing some back of the envelope math and the team would be not be far from profitable with a fan base of 17,000 or so and the new TV contract.

Tom

May 2nd, 2011
4:31 pm

Never mind about the numbers, I did not refresh to see RL’s post.

james c.

May 2nd, 2011
4:33 pm

Yep…why would you cut your nose to spite your face in terms of the landlord losing a major tenant especially when any relocation fee goes to the NHL.

As I have said before (based on information I have received from people close to a very successful NHL owner) the NHL’s long term (late 2010’s) plan is to expand by 2-4 teams at a cost of $250 million per new team.For all you math majors out there…that would bring in up to $1 billion for the NHL’s coffers (cue the Austin Powers Dr.Evil theme music!).As Mr.Bettman has said many times…”we prefer not to move franchises if we can avoid it.” I don’t think he wants to lose a market the size of Atlanta or Phoenix…it would look very bad on the league at a time when they have just signed a new NBC TV contract worth $2 billion.

Tom Lysiak

May 2nd, 2011
5:05 pm

Interesting reading the articles linked off the Forbes article. The Gaglardi offer for the Dallas Stars is $100 million for the team and 1/2 of the building. Oh yeah, $100 million in assumed debt. Not a penny in cash. Then you read another linked article saying the Minnesota ownership is having financial issues. Then it links to the Mets ownership issues. Let’s hope Tommy G can make this happen.

On the OBL issue, I thought the guy at the press briefing today put it best. Basically he said, “here is a guy who sent people out to bomb and attack people, living in a million dollar mansion, far away from the action he sends people to, who stands behind a woman when confronted”. Nuff said.

Brendan

May 2nd, 2011
6:35 pm

Great posts today, guys! Good job.

Red Light, touching on what you said on the previous blog, before the Ranallo warning, it really is a short time to turn a franchise around, if it’s done right, and with a little luck. Would Kubina have signed in Tampa Bay if he hadn’t already had a home there, and won a Cup there? That’s something the Thrashers cannot offer. Unless guys got drafted here, and re-signed their RFA contracts here, they might not own a house here. And they darned sure don’t have any previous playoff successes to point to bolster their spirits.

TB winning that Cup, in 2004, was huuuuuge. They know … that God does not hate them. Believe me, they ponder that question in St. Louis, Los Angeles, Washington, Vancouver, and Buffalo. “Why does God hate us?” is on their minds. TB can look to 2003 and 2004 as success stories for their franchise. Grabbing Stamkos and Hedman obviously helps, with favorable draft position, but it really takes committed ownership to make the players flock to a market.

I don’t like to talk about this subject much, but if Atlanta had tanked … enough to pick Stamkos # 1, or Doughty at # 2, in 2008, where might we be today? What if we could have landed Tavares or Hedman in 2009? Okay, look. We wanted to win to keep Kovalchuk around. But clearly, that didn’t happen. And probably wasn’t going to happen no matter if we finished LAST or 9th in the Conference. Then again, maybe Atlanta cannot properly develop Stamkos or Hedman into the players they are today? That’s another possibility.

Alan R.

May 2nd, 2011
8:08 pm

RL – After looking it up, Vinik bailed the Lightning out of a worse situation last year for a mere $93M. So you’re probably right about this $110M not being low, but I wouldn’t call it high either, in the strictest sense of the word. High would be (IMHO) the current asking price for the Coyotes, considering its value currently!

Of course, the discussion regarding the purchase price might be moot, as the figure cited in the Forbes blog could merely be an estimate.