Here at theScore we have a wildly popular basketball blog called The Basketball Jones (which you should be reading). For playoffs, we’ll be stealing their feature “Things of Note,” that recaps all the….things of note, from the night’s previous action. The tidbits may be a little longer than theirs, but the idea remains the same. This is happening because the hockey editor is not nearly as creative as the basketball editor, Trey Kerby.
Game of the night: The St. Louis vs. San Jose double OT battle was a doozy, especially when you consider Blues games can generally be used as an organic substitution for Ambien.
Staind: It’s been awhile (remember that song?) - the last time there were three playoff overtimes in a night was April 18, 2001.
Wait, what?: Kevin Shattenkirk, a defensemen playing against his peers (as opposed to an NHL forward playing C league rec hockey), had four more shots than any other human in the League last night with 11. For context, a two shots per game average is very, very good. 11 is six less than all the Washington Capitals had combined.
Random factoid: As you likely know by now, Shea Weber got fined $2500 for his WWF move on Henrik Zetterberg. The Twitter feed @TSNresearch shared today that it takes him 90 seconds of a game to earn that (he makes $7.5 mill a year). “Ouch, my pocket hurts.”
And today’s issue is: Oh, it’s still officiating, we haven’t moved on to a new one yet. The funny thing is, it’s not like the refs are making bad calls. It’s not like they’re calling penalties wrong. It’s all non-calls (Clowe in game 82, Briere’s offside in game one, the waved off icing). Last night, the Phoenix Coyotes tied the game up at one moments after what should have been a too-many-men penalty. Check it out at the 16 second mark.
Let’s go game-by-game for fun factoids:
Hot start: After missing 22 games, Jonathan Toews scored on his second shift back
Concerning: Radim Vrbata, the Coyotes leading scorer, left the game with an injury after his first shift. Not only can I not tell you to what, I can’t even narrow it down to a hemisphere of the man’s body. BUT IT’S SOMEWHERE.
Pro-Yotes stats: Phoenix was 33-1 when leading after two periods in the regular season. Make it 1-0 in ploffs. Also very good: they’ve now killed off 29 straight powerplays.
Young gun: Patrick Kane’s two apples took him to 50 career playoff points. He’s still like, nine.
Wake up: If he’s not on your radar, start following Oliver Ekman-Larsson’s career. He led all Coyotes in ice time last night (over 31 mins), and is a stud in the making.
Bruins and the…chain gang?: The 80s jacket from last year is gone, so this year the B’s are giving their star of the game this junkyard dog chain. Don’t be a weak link, and all that.
Kiiinda feels like a bit of a reach to me.
An odd choice: Tim Thomas switched brands of pads before playoffs, something unfathomable for most superstitious tenders. He stopped all 17 shots last night en route to his 6th career playoff shutout.
A good sign: Boston and Washington have met twice in playoffs before (1990, 1998), and both times the winner went to the Stanley Cup Final.
Buckle down: In a close game, like, say a 1-0 game, details like faceoffs can have a huge impact. Last night David Krejci absolutely owned the circle, winning 18 of his 25 draws (72%), while Brooks Laich did the opposite, winning a mere seven of his 26 attempts (26.9%).
Bringing down the house: If you missed it, Krejci also got absolutely buckled by a pane of falling glass after the game. That could’ve really ruined my playoff pool, is a selfish thing I swear I didn’t think.
San Jose/St. Louis
Havin’ it: Marty Havlat missed 39 games this season with an injured hammy (don’t wanna pull those. Gotta warm-up), and the Sharks are happy he’s feeling better – he had two snipes (the first of which snapped the Blues streak of 51 consecutive killed penalties), and scored the OT winner. He now has 30 points in his last 29 games played.
It’s been awhile part two: St. Louis hasn’t won a playoff game since 2004, which is crazy – when I was growing up they never missed playoffs. At one point they had the longest streak of consecutive years in the playoffs in pro sports, with something like 23 in a row.
Hammer time!: JON HAMM WAS AT THE GAME HE’S DREAMY.
I’m dying laughing: Please, please cut to the 44 second mark and explain to me what Jackman and Mitchell are doing. Mitchell is like a cat pawing at a toy here:
Poor timing: Sens tender Craig Anderson had never lost in Madison Square Garden before last night’s game, going 6-0 with a 1.13 goals-against-average. If you caught any of the game, you’re aware that streak snapped like Bob McKenzie on Twitter (kidding, kidding, his rant was great the other day).
Now’s the time: Henrik Lundqvist has never been past the second round of playoffs, but he took a great step towards doing so last night. He made 30 stops on 32 shots, and only gave up the two goals when the game was out of reach.
Your other star performers of the night: Mike Smith had 42 saves (and was like a boss in his post-game quotes – reporter: “Not the way you wanted to start, probably?” Smith: “Why, what happened?” Unflappable), Martin Hanzal had six shots, three blocks, eight hits, and the OT winner (First Star of the Night), Dan Boyle had a couple apples during his 44 shifts (35 minutes of ice), Antti Niemi out-played Jaroslav Halak, making 40 saves including 14 in the first OT, and Patrick Berglund had two snipes - his first two playoff goals ever.
Looking forward to more of the same tonight!
(Stick-tap to Jake Goldsbie for the research help)