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Rangers Running the Show

In a seven-game series, the home team is expected to win the first two games and New York did just that and now Tampa Bay will play two incredible games at home to tie the series, in most playoff scenarios that would probably happen.

Tampa Bay could only score on Mr. Shesterkin when gifted a power-play opportunity at the beginning of the game and after pulling their goalie for the extra man with only a few minutes remaining while down by two.

Less than three minutes into the game Mr. Reaves and Mr. Maroon were “jostling” before a center ice faceoff when the Rangers player assessed a minor penalty but not the Lightning player, commentators Mr. Messier and Mr. Chelios explained why the call should have been different.

This power play affords Tampa Bay to score the first goal of the game fortunately for New York they were able to get that one back a few minutes later to tie the game.

With a few minutes remaining in the first period, Mr. LaFreniere rings a shot off the post and the Rangers maintain possession and Mr. Fox makes a pass through two Lightning defenders to Mr. Kaapo Kakko (pronounced…” Cup A Cocoa”) who scores New York’s second goal of the game.

The second period had an entire game’s worth of SOG and ironically no goals were scored in a tight one-goal game.

As the third period begins to wind down Mr. Kucherov takes the puck off the dashboards and blindly throws it out of the zone where it hits a Rangers player in the skate creating an odd-man rush.

The Rangers Mr. Fox passes to Mr. Zibanejad shooting from the top of the faceoff circle absolutely blows it past Mr. Vasilevskiy blocker side for the 3-1 lead.

Just when you thought it was over HC Cooper with a few minutes remaining and down by two goals pulls the goalie and with 2:02 remaining and things became more interesting as Tampa Bay scored with the extra skater.

Shots going wide, blocking Rangers, scrambling in front of the net and final seconds puck possession is all New York for the 3-2 final and the 2-0 games lead in the series and a daunting two games in Tampa Bay next.

Tonight the Edmonton Oilers in Rogers Place should be firing on all cylinders for games three and four if they want to make a series of this Western Conference Final, they have the necessary firepower that can and must score often for the Oilers to come out on top.  

Avalanche Blankets Edmonton

During the first period of game two, Edmonton hung skate to skate with Colorado as each team finished with double-digit SOG and each goaltender prevented any scoring but then the Oilers only take 11 SOG over the next 40 minutes.

In less than three minutes early in the second period Colorado scores three times, the first goal happens because of poor passing by the Oilers which led to a terrific eye-hand tip to the right of Mr. Smith, cannot blame the goaltender for that score.   

The second goal was scored 15 seconds later by Mr. Manson over Mr. Smith’s left pad and the Avalanche were skating hard with a solid forecheck, two smart passes and a 86 mph / 138.404 km shot from the Colorado defenseman for the 2-0 score.

In just over two minutes Mr. Kadri records three assists as Colorado scores for the third time on a three-on-one called a two-on-one by the announcer and another shot goes over Mr. Smith’s pad and under the blocker.

The situation was not dire, with approximately 14 minutes remaining in the period, the third yet to be played, and the Oilers offensive firepower as good as they are could overcome this deficit, but you have to take more than six or five SOG for the period to be successful.  

Having two dozen shots thrown his way, Mr. Francouz (reverently referred to as “Frankie” from the crowd) records his first shutout of the 2022 playoffs and now sits on the bench with Mr. Roy as the only goaltenders to record a shutout for Colorado in the Conference Finals.  

The excitement continues in NYC as the Rangers host the defending two-time Stanley Cup champions for game two of the Eastern Conference Finals, opening faceoff at approximately eight o’clock this evening in Madison Square Garden.

Broadway Blueshirts Bombard Bolts

The New York Rangers won their seventh playoff game in a row for a new franchise record at home last night as they won convincingly 6-2 over Tampa Bay.

The announcers were all too ready to provide the “long nine-day lay-off” excuse for Tampa Bay as heard no less than a dozen times during the entire broadcast and with 14 seconds remaining an announcer wondered rhetorically if the long lay-off hurt Mr. Vasilevskiy.

It was also proffered that Tampa Bay lost 5-0 to Toronto in the opening round so this is just another aberration combined with HC Cooper worrying about the players not having their legs because of being off for so long, okay we will go with that.

New York scored on the power play while killing off three penalties, they won 60% of their faceoffs, Mr. Shesterkin was brilliant in net, and New York scored just over a minute into the first period.

The Rangers scored first as Mr. Zibanejad after receiving a stretch pass from Mr. Vatrano skates around and past Mr. Kucherov, fakes a shot from the faceoff dot, and passes to Mr. Kreider who smokes a shot over Mr. Vasilevskiy blocker side to score the first goal of the game.

Madison Square Garden was rocking but Tampa Bay came back six minutes later to tie the score for the only goals in the first period.

Similarly, New York takes the 2-1 lead early in the second period but Tampa Bay responds a half a minute later to tie the game again. Then the Rangers respond almost as quickly 90 seconds after that to take the 3-2 lead from Mr. Chytil who scores his second six minutes later and the period ends with a 4-2 score.

As expected when The Bread Man, Mr. Panarin scored 30 seconds into the third-period things began to turn ugly as New York’s opponent played to their lowest base physically, and New York scored once more which only creates more animosity.  

We have to witness captain goonkos shove his stick shaft into and through the face mask bars of Mr. Shesterkin who laid face down on the ice momentarily creating a gasp from the crowd, no real harm, no foul.

Then, of course, Tampa’s Footegoon has to face wash and punch Rangers faces in close quarters and the scrums towards the end of the game were beginning to become reminiscent of the 1970s when everyone squared off and the officials cannot tend everyone at once.

It could have become a large-scale donnybrook but the officials and cooler heads prevail, with one player in the box and most others to the locker room, game two should be first-rate.

Tonight’s High Octane event between Colorado and Edmonton starts at eight o’clock and can the Oilers come back with a strong effort as they did against their last opponent or will the Avalanche continue their torrid scoring?

Scores Galore in Opening Onslaught

For the second consecutive playoff series opener, Edmonton allows nearly 50 SOG against and gets bombarded in the first opener with nine goals against and then eight goals against in this series opener last night.

Mr. Kane opens the scoring with his NHL playoff leading 13th goal as he accepts a pass just as he skates over the center redline and continues unmolested right down main street to bury the shot past Mr. Kuemper for the one nothing lead five minutes in.

When Colorado scored with approximately 14 seconds left in the first period to take the 3-2 lead, the replay clearly highlights a clean tag-up before the puck is touched in the offensive zone and Edmonton is penalized for the failed challenge.

To begin the second period on their first power-play Colorado scores 32 seconds in but Edmonton comes right back and then before you know it the Avalanche score another one on Mr. Smith who at this point gets a “mercy pulling” according to the announcer.

After the Avalanche builds a 7-3 four-goal lead Mr. McDavid scores the first of the next three Edmonton goals and this barn burner suddenly becomes a tight one-goal game until the very end with just over 20 seconds remaining and a Happy Net goal for the 8-6 Colorado victory.

This game featured the second-highest amount of goals scored in a Conference Final, two backup goaltenders (starters hurt or tired),  broadcasted by TNT utilizing spectacular ice level shots for faceoffs, unfortunately, they also use one of the most loathed referees for an analyst on called penalties.

Disastrously, Colorado’s starting goaltender now has sustained an upper-body injury, and Edmonton’s number one 40-year-old goalie could bounce back strong, game two Thursday night puck drops at eight o’clock in Colorado.

Tonight’s game one of the Eastern Conference finals pitting the Broadway Blueshirts versus the defending two-time Stanley Cup champions in a series where these two teams could not be more evenly matched statistically, so this will come down to heart and determination, Rangers in six.

Rangers Dissipate Hurricanes

After winning three at home and dropping three on the road entering Game Seven the New York Rangers came into Carolina and took a quick two-goal lead in the first period, but the game was not out of reach with Carolina getting plenty of offensive zone time.

The Rangers goaltender Mr. Shesterkin at times seemed unbeatable and when the Hurricanes were down to their third-string goalie the floodgates opened and with a Happy Net goal New York wins convincingly 6-2.

Game One of the Conference Semi-Finals begins tonight with Colorado hosting Edmonton as two of the NHL’s high octane offenses clash with each team averaging over four goals a game.

Colorado is the number one power play but Edmonton is a much better penalty-killing team, faceoffs are about even, the Oilers average slightly more goals against, and boast a goaltender that just turned 40 years old two months ago, and they have Mr. McDavid.  

This series will come down to the leaders of each team and what they can accomplish Mr. McDavid and Mr. MacKinnon are both capable of carrying their teams and each has quality players on their rosters, so tighten your skate laces this is going to be exciting.

Bye-Bye Blues

The Colorado Avalanche win the game, the series during the waning moments of the third period versus a determined St. Louis Blues team, and as well as Mr. Husso played Mr. Binnington realistically might not have made much of a difference in this series.

Colorado once again peppered Mr. Husso with an avalanche of SOG while barely surrendering a half a dozen SOG each period to St. Louis, scored on the power play, killed off two penalties, and won most of the faceoffs during a closely fought game.

Colorado has not won a playoff series since 2008 and has not won the Stanley Cup Conference Finals since 2001 so now the Avalanche goes up against the offensive power of the Oilers for the right to appear in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Flames Extinguished

They had their chances they had leads, had the established goaltender, earning a +85 goal differential in the regular season as the sixth-best team in the league, yet all for naught as Mr. McDavid, Mr. Draisaitl, and Mr. Kane were backed up by Mr. Smith to douse the Flames.

Calgary’s fifth goal was good the puck was rolling/bouncing into the net when a non-kicking motion skate blade assisted the puck’s velocity, upon review the replay clearly shows this.

Interestingly the Oilers Mr. McDavid is only the second Edmonton player besides Mr. Tikkanen to score a series-clinching overtime goal in the Battle of Alberta.

Carolina and New York win at home in this series and the Rangers are going to have to score three or four goals while onsides to win and the Hurricanes can close out the series by allowing one or no goals.

Even in victory, Carolina could only win in OT or a shutout whereas New York’s victories were by two and three-goal margins, both these teams are playing Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde style of Hockey as the visitors can barely manage to score once during the game.

Colorado can close out their series versus the Blues in St. Louis tonight beginning at eight o’clock.

Two Game Fives

Game Five of the Stanley Cup Quarter Finals if you were born last Century or for the younger Hockey fans this is the second round or the Conference Semi-Finals and either way we have drama.

Since New York took revenge on Mr. Domi for his cheap slash/check after the whistle ending game three it would appear Carolina is now crying foul when Mr. Trouba laid out Mr. Domi with a “legal” open-ice hit.

I am willing to make the supposition if Mr. Domi could have kept his emotions in check and did not act out physically after the whistle ending game three that Mr. Trouba possibly might have pulled up a bit or not gone “through” Mr. Domi in game four.

They say the best form of revenge is to be successful and that is exactly what Mr. Kane has been for Edmonton since the Oilers acquired him, two hat tricks one natural, leads all scorers with 12, and no sign of being a “locker room cancer” during these playoffs.

The addition of a 30-year-old “journeyman” to play alongside Mr. McDavid was nothing short of a coup for Edmonton, no amount of slanted bad press will deter this Edmonton team and Calgary needs Mr. Markstrom to stay in the net to avoid elimination.   

Blues Binnington Bruised

Colorado wins in St Louis 5-2

Much ado will be made about Mr. Binnington getting hurt early in this game and losing your number one goaltender can be devastating if you are a defensive team and St Louis is anything but, they scored over 300 goals in the regular season.

An entire game’s worth of SOG was taken in the first period and all three goaltenders played well as the period ended tied at one, the second period had almost as many SOG with three goals being scored.

When Colorado took the two-goal lead in less than four minutes with the second period winding down it began to look dire for St Louis but Captain O’Reilly scored to pull the Blues within one with only 30 seconds remaining in the period.

The third period was played tighter with less shooting but no less action as Mr. Husso hesitates on a “pulling the goalie call” and subsequently gets stranded in no man’s land and the Avalanche easily scored the Happy Net goal to regain a two-goal lead.

Then as some Head Coaches are prone to do when down by two or more goals with no realistic chance for a comeback and win will still pull the goalie and as was the case last night affording Colorado two Happy Net goals to win the game 5-3. 

Avs take 2-1 series lead

The St Louis narrative at the moment is that Mr. Binnington is still being evaluated and we should know something today, but Colorado did lose one of their defenseman who logs 20-minute games to a break in his breastbone.

The NHL has scheduled the playoffs this Sunday with a couple of afternoon games and one night game beginning at 1:30, 3:30, and then eight o’clock this evening.   

Stanley Cup Playoffs Daily Update

Once again NHL fans were treated to the extremes of playoff Hockey as the first game, not surprisingly a 1-0 contest between a Jennings Trophy-winning team goalie versus the NHL’s second least amount of goals scored against team goalie until the Happy Net goal with 1.8 seconds remaining.

In the second game the barns are still burning out West as the Battle of Alberta’s second game produces 80 SOG, eight goals (the last two were breakaway goals), one disallowed goal, 11 power plays, and nearly 70 hits as this series is now even up.

Edmonton earns a split with a 5-3 victory

New York Head Coach’s quote after the first period when questioned about the face-off disparity, “not major, (smiles), we want to win more”.

Carolina Head Coach’s quote before the game, “if you are playing at this time of year there is something wrong with you”, (injury).

Carolina shuts out New York 2-0

These teams combined for 18 SOG total halfway through the second period, a goaltending duel this was not, and a two-game to none lead in this series is as suffocating as their style of play.

Incredibly the Rangers get a four-minute power play and give up a short-handed eventual game-winning goal, then get penalized with 23 seconds left on their power play, absorb another to be down five on three for over a minute, and do not get scored on. 

The NHL Stanley Cup second round continues this evening with one contest scheduled for an eight o’clock puck drop in St. Louis for the Blues and Avalanche series that is tied after two games.