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Weekend Action Wrap-Up

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Bryan Bickell tries to work some of the tension out of Raffi Torres' back.  What a nice guy.
Bryan Bickell tries to work some of the tension out of Raffi Torres' back. What a nice guy.

Good morning, folks.  I trust you all enjoyed this hockey/Easter weekend?  Lots of exciting action going on and, at the end, the Wings are no closer to knowing who their 2nd round opponent is going to be.  While Detroit heals up, practices their game and hopefully avoids as much rust as possible, we got to see seven games this weekend where other playoff teams beat on each other.  Let's recap:

Saturday, April 23:

Tampa Bay 8 - Pittsburgh 2 [Series now 3-2 Pittsburgh. Game 6: Monday 7:00 PM]
NY Rangers 1 - Washington 3 [Washington wins series 4-1]
Montreal 1 - Boston 2 (2OT) [Boston leads series 3-2. Game 6: Tuesday 7:00 PM]
Los Angeles 3 - San Jose 1 [Series now 3-2 San Jose. Game 6 Monday 10:00 PM]

Sunday, April 24:

Philadelphia 5 - Buffalo 4 (OT) [Series tied 3-3. Game 7: Tuesday 7:30 PM]
Anaheim 2 - Nashville 4 [Nashville wins series 4-2]
Vancouver 3 - Chicago 4 (OT) [Series ties 3-3. Game 7 Tuesday 10:00 PM}

Join me after the jump for some weekend thoughts.

  • The Tampa-Pittsburgh game was the perfect example of snowballing.  The Penguins controlled play for the first part of the opening period and then Tampa got a goal; then another; then before you knew it, the score was 7-0.  I completely expect Pittsburgh to come out tonight with the kind of effort we expected out of Vancouver in game 5 after the Hawks bloodied their noses.  However, after watching how the rest of that series went, I'm not so sure. If Stamkos has "woken up" like his two goals hinted he has, Pittsburgh's usually-stifling defense is going to have a much tougher time.
  • Washington completely outclassed the Rangers.  Credit to John Tortorella for getting one win out of his team in this series.  Look for Marian Gaborik's face on the side of milk cartons soon.
  • Boston/Montreal is becoming my favorite series.  It's perhaps because this is the series I have the least rooting interest in (kind of rooting against both fanbases).  Now that a home team has won a game, I'm looking for this one to go seven. 
  • Hey Sharks, usually copying Detroit is a good thing, but you may want to go ahead and throw out the page in your playbook that says to give efforts like the Wings did at home during the regular season.  1 goal in the last two home games isn't going to cut it.  This was supposed to have been the most one-sided series of the first round and all of a sudden ghosts of playoffs past are booing around the HP Pavilion.
  • If Montreal/Boston is my favorite series so far, Buffalo/Philly is a close second.  No lead is safe between these teams.  I think they're both second-round fodder for whomever they play, but watching these guys slug it out is fun.  The only thing I hate is that every time Ville Leino does something decent, we as Red Wings fans have to discuss him.  I say screw Ville Leino.  If he hadn't let a Danny Briere pass go through his legs during regulation, his OT "heroics" (not getting planted on his ass in front of the net by a Buffalo defender) wouldn't have been needed. 
  • Congrats to the Predators for finally pulling a beatable first-round opponent and then actually getting the job done.  I wouldn't mind a second-round meetup (considering it would involve needing some hilariously awesome things to happen).  If you do end up facing Vancouver in the second round, don't count much on that "depth scoring" to get the job done.
  • Finally, what more is there to say about this Vancouver/Chicago series?  Watching the Canucks' implosion is less hilarious when there's the built-in excuse that both of their goalies are hurt.  Still, they have a much deeper team than the Hawks and should have ended this series days ago.  Whatever happens, I hope game seven goes to twelve overtimes.  Also, as a part of the budding hate I'm starting to grow for Jonathan Toews, what's with him coasting back on Bieksa from his own blue line on the third Vancouver goal?  Selke candidate my ass... defensive forwards keep their feet moving, Johnny.