Noteworthy is a feature blatantly ripped off from Trey Kerby and The Basketball Jones crew that catches you up on everything you need to know from the night before in the NHL.

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Lets get to the games.

Capitals/Rangers, Washington won 3-2

Series: 1-1

Mad min(utes): Nobody’s exactly sure what Dale Hunter is up to when it comes to doling out ice time, but man: Alexander Ovechkin played 13:36 last night, more than only a handful of his teammates (he racked up seven shots, had a big hit and scored the winning goal over those minutes, which is impressive). Maybe Hunter is trying too hard to win the battle of line matchups? Maybe he’s just not a very good coach?

Mad min(utes), part deux: Remember what I just said about the ice time thing? Jay Beagle got the most of any Capital, logging a couple seconds shy of 20 minutes. Beagle is a serviceable NHLer (more on him later today), but when he plays more than Backstrom (16:18) and Semin (12:27!), ur doin it rong. Hunter will be fine today because winning heals everything, but once they start losing, it ain’t gonna go over so well.

Road warriors: Four of the Capitals five playoff wins have come on the road (they’re 1-2 at home).

Getting better: The Rangers had 14 shots in game one (in a win, which is crazy), and doubled their total in game two to 28. If that doubling trend continues, and I assume it will, they’ll take 896 in Game 7.

Bangin’ bodies: Ryan Callahan, Chris Kreider and Brian Boyle were out to hurt last night: they had 21 of the 45 Rangers hits. Not bad production from 1/6th of your lineup.

Moving pictures: Here’s what it looked like – check out the Ovechkin celly, giving the fans in the Garden the “Hmm, you’re awfully quiet all the sudden” hand to the ear:

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Kings/Blues, Kings won 5-2

Series: 2-0 Kings

Beast mode: Anze Kopitar it goin’ yesterday – two snipes, plus three, a couple shots, a takeaway, almost 23 minutes of ice time and a winning faceoff percentage. But most impressive of all? This shorthanded goal:

Hot start: The Kings went into St. Louis to play the stingiest defensive team in the League (they averaged giving up under two goals a game in the regular season), and poured four goals in on Brian Elliot (the League’s best statistical goalie this season) in the first period. Oh, and speaking of road warriors: That makes LA 5-0 on the road in the postseason – the last team to do that was the Lightning in 2004, who as you know, won the Cup.

Missed opportunities: The refs apparently tried to help the Blues make it interesting, giving them nine powerplays, but they capitalized on not-a-one. Kings weren’t exactly on fire on the PP either – the two teams combined were 0 for 15 in the game.

Bangin’ bodies: TJ Oshie absolutely destroyed Dustin Penner last night:

He had to step up and fight Mike Richards immediately after. I know fighting after a clean hit seems silly, but I still like Richards going after him there. “You don’t take runs at our guys.”

Captain America: Dustin Brown, when he’s on, is not a fun man to play. I think the Blues would agree, seeing as how he hung this monster line on them last night: three assists, plus three, six hits, a blocked shot, a takeaway and 14 PIMS.

Score effects: When you get up and take your foot off the gas, the ice tends to tilt in the wrong direction. After getting 16 shots in the first period, the Kings combined to get five more over the next two periods.

Moving pictures: And this, my friends, is what it looked like:

Comments (2)

  1. Bourne, I would like to offer my take on your analysis, which is why these comment boxes exist! All hail the internet.

    Anyways, have you considered that Hunter has noticed something in Ovechkin that Boudreau was unable to recognize or remedy?

    I cannot remember exactly, although with some research I could probably find out. Last season, (I want to say November of 2010) Ovie had taken quite a stretch of time off for personal reasons after a death in his family. What I’ve noticed since then is a lack of fire inside of him (see all AFI emo kids crying and listening to Silver and Cold – Lambert gets it).

    Ovie really looked like a little portion of that fire died after that and he just couldn’t get motivated. It cannot be explained in tangible terms but his production since sort of fell off. Not to say he fizzled completely but he just didn’t have the same desire to score goals.

    I think that is something Hunter has recognized and he’s trying to get back. Think of how Daniel Alfredsson reacted in Game 6 against the Rangers. He’s still got that passion/fire inside, which is why he probably won’t retire. Hunter might be trying to piss Ovie off enough to get him into the famous Bill Simmons “Eff You” mode. Just my take.

    As for the Kings, it bothers me that the guy who essentially ruined my team as a GM (Darryl Sutter) is showing again why he should have been behind the bench. I don’t know what it is about him (I have maintained it has to do with a 3 foot long piece of rubber garden hose that is used to “motivate” players), but he’s able to get teams to play to and above their potential. It doesn’t hurt that Quick is awesome either.

    You said the refs gave the Kings 9 penalties. I watched most of the game and felt that most were justifiable, especially the too-many-men penalty. It was one of those penalties that couldn’t be argued. All 6 guys were involved in the defensive zone and nobody even considered going off.

    Anyways, Bourne, nice to have you back in action again. Hope the visit to the ‘rents was enjoyable.

  2. I’ll second the Earl of Sandwich ^. Bourne, you’re the man and I tell everyone I know to read this blog and listen to the podcasts (I’m just waiting for a Pepperoni Pizz reference during a beer league game), but you’re often pretty wrong about the Capitals. Clearly, this is not an easy bunch to coach. I’m grudgingly beginning to see my way to possibly admitting that there’s a chance Hunter’s methods are having an effect (grrr). Yes, he sounds like a dope in media interviews, like he watched the game half drunk with his buddies while casually browsing the Interwebs. But I’m starting to see that he’s a strong study of character, and that he LIVES for playoff hockey. True, you don’t want this Ovi ice time thing to tip past the point where he starts sulking and it’s affecting his play. But so far–little media quips aside–I think it’s waking him up. You yourself noted that insane per-minute production last night. I think Hunter has established pretty effective control of that room. We can argue whether that’s viable over the long term, but the buy-in is extremely obvious to anyone who really watached a lot of Caps hockey during the Boudreau years. Even after his vaunted defensive switch, the boys weren’t playing anything near how they are playing now. I think a coach like Hunter sees that you have to keep Ovechkin just hungry enough to reach for that extra gear more often, and also that Ovi is crap defensively. Right now, those two insights are complementing each other quite well within Hunter’s system. He’s got Semin blocking shots, for God’s sake!

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