Atlanta Thrashers v Florida Panthers

The NHL doesn’t have the equivalent of an NFL RedZone Channel, which is fairly understandable given the fluid nature of the game (thought it COULD bounce around to the most relevant games, the closest ones, the ones not at intermission etc, but that’s another post for another time), so most hockey fans with the Center Ice package are left to do their own rink-surfing. I plan to use Twitter as my guide, a completely failsafe plan if I’ve learned anything about the internet. (Apparently I haven’t.)

So instead of the Forced Watched challenge, I’m doing a sort of Voluntarily Watched Non-Challenge…live blog style. I dunno. I’m gonna be watching the games anyway, so let’s hang out NHL RedLight style.

I’ll be skipping around, but if there’s something worth discussing, I’ll be discussing it (that one guy definitely kicked that one goal in, hey?), and posting the relevant videos, so stop back periodically to see what’s been happening around the league. Oh, and feel free to get involved in the comments. I’ll be checking those out too, and hopefully responding.

In a nutshell, I’m testing a format for big nights in the playoffs, so let’s start with “Bourne comments on everything he sees” and narrow it down from there.

***

What we’re dealing with tonight:

schedule

Jets/Caps is huge, Isles can clinch, Boston/Philly has playoff implications, Rangers need a win, the Blues, Wild and Sharks could all use two points. Oh, the Habs playoff seed is undecided too. Let’s get this going.

* NOTE: Posting complex posts with lots of embedded stuff from home apparently makes my posts go wonky. In the future I’ll be doing this from work with multiple TVs and machines that functions better. For today, please excuse formatting errors and the like – WordPress has a mind of its own tonight.

* Here’s what we’re dealing with in tonight’s biggest game:

goalies

I loved that Dennis Beyak, the great commentator that he is, commented on Pavelec’s wins, not his save percentage when this graphic came up. Well done, sir.

* Occurring to me this is going to be a lot easier at the office with the billion TVs. Ce la vie.

* Capitals score! You need your goalie to come up big in big games, and the Jets goalie is still Ondrej Pavelec (sorry). Matt Hendricks done it.

/Wince

* Erskine made a huge sliding save on Brian Little, who had an open net. He’s in the box now, Jets on the PP.

* The Islanders are down early in their contest:

And right after…

* Isles tie it!

Here’s the goal and call:

Converting to Vine, a day at a time.

* Still no score in Montreal/New Jersey with minimal tweets in my feed, so I’ll assume nothing crazy is happening.

*John Erskine is kinda doin’ some goal savin’ tonight. He might single-handedly beat the Jets. Made the sliding save on Little, and just pulled a puck out that was hovering on the goal line.

* Isles fall behind again. Not cool, man.

* Dave Lozo, future contributor to Backhand Shelf (like, very near future), is tweeting in French tonight, which is hilarious for many reasons I won’t touch. But HEY! The Habs are falling behind badly. Habs/Leafs, comin’ up?

* Buffalo/Pittsburgh is under way. I’ll be sure to essentially ignore the game barring some crazy highlight, cause ya know, those two have their seeds more or less penned in.

* I’ve largely ignored the Habs, so here’s the box from the first:

box

* Truf comin’ below:

oh ya

* Rangers/Panthers are ten minutes in with no score, by the way.

* A defense of my passing shot at Pavelec before:

* Boston and Philly are tied at one in the first, Hartnell with the Flyers goal…wait for it…Redden from Jagr for the Bruins. I dunno. I don’t even know anymore.

* Oh man, stuff is happening. Chimera scored late in the first to put the Caps up 2-0 at the intermission, and the Jets needed one bad. 16 seconds in the second period, Evander Kane scored a beauty, where he looked like he’d be cutting to the middle, but he just pulled the trigger. Video coming soon.

* Jets early goal in the second makes sense:

2nd

* Kyle Okposo just created a beauty, 2-2. Josh Bailey got it.

* There is nine games on right now. This is madness.

* Calgary is up 1-0 on Nashville. In a nutshell:

Goals hurt the tanking hopes a touch.

* The Panthers may be tied with the Rangers, but that’s not stopping the Florida twitter feed from looking down the road:

* Marcus Johanssen just straight stole a goal from Brian Little. Brian Little keeps getting goals stoled, you guys. Not cool. (Oh by the way, I want the Jets to win for pure chaos’ sake.)

* Okay, so…

The finish in the East is going to be mayhem. Not because the bottom teams are good, but because they’re close.

* The Wild are taking it to the Kings early, which the desperately need to do tonight:

*Ooo, the Jets are going to make this fun. Blake Wheeler is on the board, and the game is suddenly tied at two. What if they win and the Isles and Rangers lose? (Rangers still tied at zero in Florida.) Chaos.

* Annnnnd the Caps have regained the lead just like that. Backstrom from Ovy.

* Okay that “East mayhem” fantasy suddenly looks less likely:

* Curious thought: when did people start using “East/west” as a pejorative? Commentators are blinded by the praise for “north/south” guys that coaches love so much, I think.

* The Panthers are beating the Rangers, the Panthers are beating the Rangers! With the Isles losing, at least I can enjoy that. I want Rick Nash to finally get involved in a playoff race, but this isn’t the year. Go Markstrom go.

* Flyers ahead of the Bruins 2-1…then this:

tweets

Yup. 3-1 now. Video coming.

* The Blues are up on the Colorado Avalanche 2-0. For context on the Avs season, here’s an amazing tweet from their beat writer being responded to:

It’s 3-0 now, so it’s not like he’s wrong or anything.

* Islanders down to five minutes to tie the Hurricanes, and the Jets down two with ten to do it. Unda Pressha

* I dunno what’s up with Pominville, but I do know that “Pomerdoodle” remains the league’s best nickname.

* The Isles score! Man, a point would go a long way. Dollars to donuts they just try to hang on for that now. Jack Capuano loved it.

cappy

And I loved that it came off a failed Kyle Okposo toe drag. So fitting.

(Note: going all text until I can get to work tomorrow and update this post with videos and such. I’ve figured out a glitch over here.)

* And the Jets score! 4-3 with eight minutes left. Things are getting weirrrrrrd.

* The Devils beat the Habs, which is pretty great for those wishing for a Toronto/Montreal series.

* Jets heading to the PP – excuse the focus on the East coast games, but they’re the ones coming to a close right now.

* If you’re the Hurricanes heading into a shootout against the Isles here, what’s the incentive to put out your best scorers? I mean, I’m sure Kirk Muller, the Canes coach, wants their record to finish as pretty as possible, but if you know you’re back next year…might as well (secretly) hand the game to the Isles, right? They’re in top pick range at the bottom of the standings.

* Canes beat the Isles 4-3 in a shootout – I’ll take it.

* No magic for the Jets tonight! Alexander Ovechkin scores on the empty net to ice the game, and likely the Rocket Richard trophy for himself. The Jets are your three seed, Eastern Conference. Also, that clinches a playoff spot for the Isles. BOOM, baby.

* A thing I tweeted: The East so badly lacks depth that some bad team is going deep until Pittsburgh and Boston can meet. 3rd best team is…Washtreal? Leafgers?

Seriously, it’s probably Washington, who’s just ecstatic about making playoffs with two games to go in the season. Then maybe the Rangers, who might miss playoffs?

* Philly is now up on Boston 5-2. This Flyers team isn’t awful, they just ran out of games.

* Wait – do I suddenly need a ticket to New York?

* Speaking of New York – the Rangers just lost to the Panthers 3-2, but the Jets loss keeps them in 7th. Lucky for them – if they miss playoffs, Tortorella gets fired, yes?

* Dammit, Nashville has pulled ahead of Calgary 4-2, which really messes with my plan for the Flames to stay hot and climb away from a good draft picks. Ah well. It would’ve been fun.

* Wild only up 2-1 on Kings now. HUGE points for them.

* At a quick glance, I count six teams in the West that could win the Cup (contrasted with three TOPS in the East). Okay, back to game action.

* Roman Cervenka scores to push the Flames within one with 4:50 remaining. WHO WANTS IT BOYS? WHO WANTS IT MORE??

* Dude, Niklas Backstrom just made the save of saves with 11 seconds left in the third to preserve the Wild’s one goal lead on Slava Voynov – you just wait until I’m allowed to embed stuff tomorrow morning. You’ll see. YOU’LL ALL SEE.

* Congrats to the Flames – huge loss to the Preds tonight, in regulation no less. An Oilers win can see the Flames climb the draft board (oh my god this method of determining top picks is a mess, lottery or not).

* The Blues beat the Avs 3-1. Kay.

* The Twitter account “Check The Ticker” tweeted this out: After 762 career games. Jay Bouwmeester is in the playoffs. It has happened. Neat-o.

* Tyler Dellow pointed out a pretty amazing stat: Ryan Suter played 32 MINUTES TONIGHT!!!

* The last game on is Sharks/Kings, which I’ll update on tomorrow if anything ca-raaazy happens. For me, it’s bed time.

I’ve learned my lesson: RedLight Channel posts will have to be done from the office from now on, which ain’t so bad. Plus I’ll be recruiting Goldsbie for help. This should be fun, we’ll see you next time.