Last season during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, I put out a morning “noteworthy” column in the style of Trey Kerby’s “Things Of Note” posts on The Basketball Jones. This year I’ll be doing something similar (I think with some upgrades on my own previous attempts) using the NHL’s morning press release (“Stanley Cup of Joe,” they’re calling it), my own opinions, and some videos, .GIFs and appropriate pictures. Quoted passages are from the NHL press release.
The Pittsburgh Penguins pulled themselves together for Game 5, and promptly hung a 4-0 beatdown on the New York Islanders last night, not too unlike the 5-0 one they laid down in Game 1. Sidney Crosby put the icing on the cake for the Pens when they were up 2-0, doing this:
Tomas Vokoun and the Goalie Nontroversy
Tomas Vokoun got the nod in place of Marc-Andre Fleury in that game, likely because A) Vokoun ain’t so bad, and B) Fleury had been for three straight games. The Isles chucked 31 shots at him – 14 in the first period alone – but Vokoun stood his ground, shutting out the Isles en route to being named first star. He now has more shutouts against the Isles than any other NHL team (five), which is actually more than he has playoff wins (four). His GAA against the Isles this season is 0.69 with a .977 save percentage.
It was his first playoff start since April 20th, 2007, and his last playoff shutout was even farther back:
Pittsburgh goaltender Tomas Vokoun made 31 saves for his second career postseason shutout and first in nine years and 26 days – a 41-save, 3-0 victory for the Predators over the Red Wings on April 13, 2004, in Game 4 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals. That’s the third-longest gap between playoff shutouts by any goaltender in NHL history. The two larger gaps were by “Sugar Jim” Henry, who recorded shutouts 10 years and 10 days apart (1942 and 1952), and Brian Boucher, who went 10 years and six days (2000 and 2010) between blank sheets. (Elias Sports Bureau)
The Penguins are the first team in 34 years to have separate goalies record shutouts in the same playoff series, with the last being Billy Smith in and Chico Resch. Including Fleury/Vokoun, it’s only happened six times in the history of hockey.
Bad news bears
When you’re hoping to upset a superior team, you need some luck. What you don’t need, are injuries to your most integral players. The Penguins have been getting healthier as the series has moved along, while the Islanders find themselves without Andrew MacDonald for the rest of the way, and possibly Frans Nielsen. Also, you need your goalie to not play like this:
All she wrote
It was a night of not-that-close hockey, as the Ottawa Senators put the boots to injury-riddled Montreal Canadiens by a score of 6-1.
Right time to shine
The Senators absolute dominated the Canadiens on the scoreboard in the third periods of this series. Check it out:
The Senators outscored the Canadiens, 13-0, in the third period and overtime of their five-game series. That marks the largest disparity for the third period/overtime of a single series in the history of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The previous record was set in 1944, when the Canadiens outscored the Maple Leafs, 13-1, in the third period/overtime of their first-round series.
The 13-0 margin also marks the largest shutout disparity for the third period/overtime of a single series in the history of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The previous record was set in 1958, when the Canadiens outscored the Red Wings, 9-0, in the third period/overtime of their first-round series. (Elias Sports Bureau)
The Sens goals-by-period: 4, 3, 13. The Habs: 2, 7, 0.
Isn’t it funny?
All year, the Ottawa Senators were hampered by injuries, to the point where them even making playoffs briefly came into question after a fantastic start. Suddenly, they have two huge cogs in the machine back – Karlsson and Anderson – and they happened to run into a team going through what they did earlier in the season. Pacioretty was playing with a bum shoulder, Gionta needs bicep surgery, Eller is in no shape to play, Price was hurt…what goes around comes around, luck-wise, I guess.
…Anderson, he was okay:
Ottawa goaltender Craig Anderson stopped 171 of the 180 shots he faced in five games against the Canadiens. His .950 save percentage leads all netminders in the playoffs, while his 1.80 goals-against average ranks third. Anderson led all goaltenders during the regular season with a .941 save percentage and 1.69 goals-against average in 24 appearances.
All she wrote part deux
The Blackhawks did away with the Minnesota Wild last night, in what was a lot more difficult series than it appeared for the Hawks. They got through, as most predicted they would (using last night’s game for a 5-1 exclamation point), but the Wild did some good things. For one, they held Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews to a combined zero goals, which you know was a focal point for them coming into the series.
Marian Hossa had a breakout playoff performance, as he often has in the past. This dude is a straight-up stud. Let’s look at the numbers:
Chicago forward Marian Hossa totaled three points (2-1—3) in Chicago’s series-clinching victory, marking the sixth time in his NHL career that he has recorded three or more points in a postseason game and the third time he has done so in a series-clinching win by his team. Hossa scored four points (1-3—4) for the Penguins in their decisive Game 5 victory over the Flyers in 2008 and three points (0-3—3) for the Blackhawks in their clinching Game 6 win over the Predators in 2010. (Elias Sports Bureau)
* Ottawa forward Daniel Alfredsson scored his 49th career playoff goal, which is 32 more than any other player in Senators franchise history
* Chicago forward Patrick Sharp netted his fifth goal of the playoffs, tied for the League lead with Boston’s David Krejci
* The NHLPA announced that Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals and Martin St. Louis of the Tampa Bay Lightning are the three finalists for the 2012-13 Ted Lindsay Award.
All Times Eastern
Toronto @ Boston, Game 5, BOS leads 3-1, 7:00 p.m., NHLN-US, CBC, RDS, NESN
NY Rangers @ Washington, Game 5, series tied 2-2, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN, TSN, RDS2, MSG, CSN-DC
Anaheim @ Detroit, Game 6, ANA leads 3-2, 8:00 p.m., CNBC, TSN2, RDSI, KDOC, FS-D
St. Louis @ Los Angeles, Game 6, LA leads 3-2, 10:00 p.m., NBCSN, CBC, RDS, FS-MW, PRIME