If the first two nights of the 2012 NHL Playoffs are any indication of what’s to come, then buckle up, because we might be in store for one of the greatest Spring seasons in NHL history.

As if Wednesday’s headline filled night wasn’t enough, Thursday marked the first time in 11 years that three playoff games went into overtime on the same night.

As usual, Chris Lund had all of the action covered for us.

But while overtime winners and actual results took over the NHL headlines on Thursday night, this happened:

If you didn’t catch that, watch closely. Around the top right of your screen, you can see the pane of glass come crashing down on David Krejci while the Bruins celebrate their Game 1 OT win over the Capitals, literally crushing him. This is easily one of the most bizarre incidents I’ve seen in an NHL game.

We can look back now and find the obvious humour in it, but could you imagine if this had actually caused serious injury to Krejci or another Bruins player? It would have been the story of the post-season, without question.

While situations like this seem crazy to you and I, and to most hockey fans, they’re just another night at the office for Backhand Shelf editor, Justin Bourne.

Pane of glass falling from the boards? Pffft. Try topping a jumbotron.

Now on to the links…

  • In Calgary, more dominoes than Brent Sutter need to fall (Calgary Herald). The Flames have been slowly run into the ground over the last few years. What they’re left with is the worst thing in professional sports. They have a roster that isn’t even close to good enough to seriously compete for anything, but also isn’t bad enough to compile high draft picks and exciting young talent. The Flames are probably in the early stages of what should be a lenghthy drought (as a Leafs fan, I can detect such dry spells).
  • Sutter’s solutions didn’t jive for Flames (Calgary Sun).
  • Five things learned in the Bruins/Capitals opener (Cape Cod Times). Solid post, but they forgot to mention “celebrate away from the boards.”
  • Tuukka Rask won’t rush his return to the Bruins lineup (Metro West Daily News). If the Bruins continue to limit the Capitals to just 17 shots per 62 minutes, it won’t matter who’s in net.
  • Capitals praise Braden Holtby’s Game 1 effort (Washington Post). And rightfully so. While Tim Thomas was barely tested with just 17 shots against, the 22-year-old Holtby stopped 29 of 30 shots in his post-season debut.
  • The Senators were an opening night flop on Broadway (Ottawa Citizen). While the Canucks/Kings series looks to be a nail-biter, the early indication from Rangers/Sens is that this is a real 1 vs. 8 matchup. The Rangers looked good on Thursday, but the Senators were awful for the first 50 minutes.
  • The Rangers followed a tried and true formula to take Game 1 (Sporting News). Balanced scoring and strong goaltending.
  • U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird have made a friendly wager on the Rangers/Senators series (NBC Sports). Sidenote, did you hear some idiots at Madison Square Garden chanting “U.S.A.” during Game 1? Hey geniuses, this isn’t an international tournament, and you’re team has just as many Canadians as it does Americans.
  • The Blackhawks continue to struggle in close games (ESPN).
  • The Canucks are still expected to be without Daniel Sedin tonight (The Hockey News). Kyle Clifford will not play for the Kings, as he sustained an upper-body injury on the hit from Byron Bitz.
  • Speaking of the Canucks, the tweet heard ’round the hockey world led Cory Schneider to throw Edmonton under the bus (Canada.com). “Nobody cares about Edmonton so nobody hates them. It’s that simple.”
  • Shea Weber’s WWE-inspired attack on Henrik Zetterberg deserved a suspension (Sports Illustrated). Brendan Shanahan dropped the ball in a major way here. As I wrote yesterday morning, if cupping a guy’s head and guiding it forcefully into the glass as time expires isn’t worthy of a suspension, then what the hell is?
  • The Red Wings want to unravel Pekka Rinne in Game 2 tonight (The Detroit News).
  • Martin Brodeur’s NHL-record 171st straight playoff start tonight will begin a unique post-season for him (New York Daily News).
  • Is the Flyers’ new personality a better fit for the playoffs? (The Philadelphia Inquirer)
  • Have you seen Puck Daddy’s playoff beard watch? (Puck Daddy). Which category do you fall into? I’m definitely somewhere between “Casper” and “Maybe Don’t.” If you can’t grow legit facial hair, or are just too young to grow some serious scruff (I’m not quite sure which one of these I fall into yet, but should find out in the next few years), this photo gallery will put you to shame. You’ve been warned.