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.
Flyers/Devils, Devils won 4-3 in OT
Series: 2-1 Devils
Difference-maker: Ilya Kovalchuk played through a herniated disc (those passionate Russians) and pushed the Devils to a win with this line: one goal, two assists, plus two, two shots, a hit and a takeaway in over 22 minutes of ice (low minutes for him in an OT game). I don’t know what magic they put in his back to get him into game condition, but goddamn did he look good.
Best player in the world: One of the reasons the Devils have the series’ lead has been the utter absence of “The best player in the world,” Claude Giroux. Last night he was minus one with two shots, winning 45% of his draws, in 27:26 of ice. Those are big minutes, small numbers. Giroux might be one of those guys that needs a foil to be at his best – maybe Crosby brought that out of him.
Not Good: The Flyers lost Sean Couturier in the first period, and he never returned – there’s no official word on the injury (it’s lower body!), but watch this video and tell me the problem doesn’t end in “CL.” You can’t.
Still got it: Your fun fact of the day: Martin Brodeur turns 40 this upcoming Sunday. I thought he was there already, but hey, what do I know? Oh and guys, he can still tend the goal:
Yeah that was deec.
Sketchy: While we’re looking at eight second video clips (I love theScore’s video team), here’s Anton Volchenkov trying to absolutely murder Matt Read:
I think people mistake the upward motion guys make on hits as “jumping” or “targeting the head” (both of which do happen occasionally) but I don’t think they realize the forward push you need to knock a guy down and not get run over yourself. You’re always coming up into a hit. I think in this case, Read just saw him in time, and it caused Volchenkov to Superman over him.
Still doin’ it: Despite being on the losing end, Danny Briere put up a goal, an assist, was plus one, he had a block, two hits and a takeaway in over 26 minutes of ice.
Moving pictures: Here’s the game wrapped up with a nice little bow on it:
Los Angeles/St. Louis, Los Angeles wins 4-2
Awfully close: The Kings, as an organization, had never lead a playoff series 3-0 before this season. Now they’ve done it twice in a row, and are on the verge of getting back to the Conference Finals for the first time since 1993. I forget how that went. Leafs fans, little help here?
Serious outage: The Blues are 0-14 on the powerplay in this series. Not only does that mean no goals, it Kings can play them a little harder, and cross the line a little more. Why not, if you’re not going to have to pay for it?
Road vibe: Since the Kings have started playoffs 5-0 on the road, Darryl Sutter had the team
quarantined sequestered put up in a hotel at home. It worked.
Good timing: Drew Doughty had his first career multi-point playoff game. If they’re the team hoisting the Cup when the dust settles, they’re going to need him to be the guy we thought he was a season or two back.
Trigger happy: I’m gonna guess the stat guy in LA goes a little heavy on the numbers (the hits/takeaways/giveaways were all huge), but still: Jamie Langenbrunner had 7 hits in 3:31 of ice time. I found it hard to brush jerseys with seven guys in that much time when I played.
Leadership: Mike Richards is taking the bull by the horns this post-season – he notched another Gordie Howe Hattrick last night.
Backhand Shelf: Chris Stewart was in the line-up for the Blues, and scored both their goals – we’ve got a post coming on him later, stay tuned. And last, the…
Moving Pictures: My favourite part of the highlight package is “Check out backup goalie Jake Allen – he looks petrified he may have to go in,” and boy, does he ever look nervous.