FINALLY some other series closed out last night. As bandwagoners this year, we were lucky enough to not say good-bye to anyone Red Wings fans will miss. Tonight, however, we may not have any 'happy' options...
LAST NIGHT'S RECAP
Yesterday started with the Capitals 1-0 victory over the Flyers, sending them packing 4 games to 2. Now Philly can start golfing with Milan Lucic to work out how they get him on their roster for next season. Let's just put all the garbage in one state, at least. Pennsylvania: home of the Amish and terrible goon-hockey.
Even though they won the series, the Caps have done little lately to inspire confidence as a true Cup contender. Dropping 2 in a row to a Philly team that couldn't even score a goal against the Wings near the end of the season really makes you wonder about this team's chances. They'll have their hands full next round, as they face that other awful Pennsylvania franchise that nobody outside their own state likes. I hear their star player is from Canada and even they hate him. That takes some major tool-ness.
Dallas also managed to close out their series, beating the Wild 5-4 in Game 6. This game, like the series, was absolutely closer than it should have been - Dallas has no favors coming its way from the blue-line or the net. After taking a commanding 4-0 lead yesterday, Minnesota seemingly found every hole in the Dallas defense to storm back and scare the crap out of every Stars fan. Where before there was confidence in the Dallas squad, there are now serious questions as to their survivability in Round 2. This is what you get for bringing hockey to the desert.
In last night's finale, the Islanders closed out the Panthers in a 2-1 double-OT game. The Panthers led all game until John Tavares scored with Thomas Greiss pulled. Tavares then netted the game winner after about 30 extra minutes, ending what just might have been the best series we will see this post-season. If people in Miami knew what hockey is, they'd lose their minds. It's tough to think of either of these teams having a shot against the Lightning, but the Islanders will be sure to put up a fight.
Match-Up #1: Anaheim Ducks at Nashville Predators (Game 6), 8:00PM EDT - CNBC, FS-TN, FS-W
You know it's going to be a rough night when this isn't the most hated game on the schedule. There's no love lost between Detroit and either of these teams. We have fond memories of Shea Weber grinding Henrik Zetterberg's face into the dasher and Corey Perry squaring up to fight Pavel Datsyuk. Meetings in the post-season and hard fought battles in our Western Conference days mean that we will be happy and sad when this one is over - happy that one of these pretenders lost, sad that the other team advances.
Last time, the Ducks broke the trend of only winning away games in this series and took a win at home. The Preds were seemingly outdone for the entire game, dropping the decision 5-2. Down 3-2 in the series, Nashville should be praying they can actually take advantage of home ice tonight to bring this series to a winner-takes-all Game 7 on Wednesday.
Why You Care Enough To Watch: Of the two games tonight, this is the only one you can feel remotely OK about hate-watching. You're certainly welcome to root for whoever you want, but I, personally, hope Nashville can take this to 7 games. Ryan Getzlaf looks like Pierre McGuire's dim older brother. These two need to go out together for Halloween as Fred and Kent Dorfman from Animal House - Getzlaf the odd-ball older brother that nobody liked, and Pierre the dorky younger brother who only gets to hang with the cool kids because he's a Legacy pledge. Anything that reminds me of Pierre McGuire is bad, so Nashville needs to put the Ducks on double-secret probation and expel them from the playoffs.
Match-Up #2: St. Louis Blues vs Chicago Blackhawks (Game 7), 8:30PM EDT - NBCSN, FS-MW, CSN-CH
This. This damn series. Every time the Blues think they have it in the bag, the Blackhawks somehow keep themselves alive. Game 6 was absolutely brutal for the St. Louis squad, as they let an early multi-goal lead turn into a 6-3 disaster on ice as Chicago refuses to die. At least this one is at home, but with how tightly most of this series has been played I'm not sure that counts for much.
Why You Care Enough To Watch: You'll tune into this one to cheer for the Blues. You won't like it. You'll feel dirty and need to shower afterwards. But none of us can bear one more playing of 'Chelsea Dagger' while hipsters who don't even know the difference between icing and boarding go crazy because the captain the call "Toes" scored another goal. At least Blues fans are only half as insufferable than Blackhawks fans.
Also, there's the whole "Donna Kane Incident". Go Blues (I feel gross).