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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Playoffs Notebook: Day 5

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(Photo from Yahoo)

Series Standings…

Eastern Conference
Washington Capitals (#1) vs. Montreal Canadiens (#8) Tied 1-1
New Jersey Devils (#2) vs. Philadelphia Flyers (#7) Tied 1-1
Buffalo Sabres (#3) vs. Boston Bruins (#6) Tied 1-1
Pittsburgh Penguins (#4) vs. Ottawa Senators (#5) Tied 1-1
Western Conference
San Jose Sharks (#1) vs. Colorado Avalanche (#8) Tied 1-1
Chicago Blackhawks (#2) vs. Nashville Predators (#7) Nashville leads 1-0
Vancouver Canucks (#3) vs. Los Angeles Kings (#6) Tied 1-1
Phoenix Coyotes (#4) vs. Detroit Red Wings (#5) Tied 1-1

The Musings of a Caps Fan 1st round playoff predictions….

Eastern Conference
Washington Capitals in 5 Still possible
New Jersey Devils in 7 Still possible
Boston Bruins in 6 Still possible
Pittsburgh Penguins in 7 Still possible
Western Conference
San Jose Sharks in 5 Still possible
Chicago Blackhawks in 6 Still possible
Los Angeles Kings in 7 Still possible
Detroit Red Wings in 6 Still possible

Well, not bad at all! My predictions could all still happen…. nice!

5 Stars (So Far)

  • Nicklas Backstrom, forward, Washington Capitals; boom! The Swedish sensation Nicklas Backstrom leads all players in the playoffs in goals (4), points (5), and plus / minus (+3). Very good for the Caps….. if they go the distance, and Nicky continues this performance, I could very well see his name on the Conn Smythe this year.
  • Pekka Rinne, goalie, Nashville Predators; Rinne has only 1 game so far, but his goaltending kept the Blackhawks’ offense in check, with his sparkling .962 save percentage. Rinne also has only allowed 1 goal to Chicago. Should Rinne keep his performance up, he could steal the series from under Chicago’s feet.
  • Jonathan Quick, goalie, Los Angeles Kings; the Vancouver Canucks have some pretty impressive offensive weapons, such as the 2010 Art Ross trophy winner, Henrik Sedin. It’s all up to Quick to hold them in check, and he’s done a pretty good job through 2 games. He has a .929 save percentage and a 2.21 GAA.
  • Sidney Crosby, forward, Pittsburgh Penguins; Crosby hasn’t been lightning up the net, but he has 1 goal, 4 assists, and 5 points, as well as a +3 rating.
  • John Carlson, defenseman, Washington Capitals; arguably the Caps’ best defenseman at the moment, Carlson has played well in his own end and has proved, once again, that he is an incredible clutch performer. +3, 1 goal, 2 assists….. it’s like Mike Green, but even better. He’s only played 2 NHL playoff games and 22 NHL games in total…. by the way, he’s only 20 years old!

Caps down 5-4 to Montreal with about 90 seconds left? Delayed penalty? Call in…. THE AMERICAN HERO!!!!! The Canadiens and Jaroslav Halak can’t believe what just happened.

3 Disappointments (So Far)

  • Mike Green & Jeff Schultz, defensemen, Washington Capitals; Green and Schultz have 5 shots on goal, 1 point, and are a combined –3. UGLY. Not good at all….. thank god for John Carlson.
  • Evgeni Nabokov, goalie, San Jose Sharks; I’m sorry, but 7 goals in 2 games to Colorado is not going to get the Sharks anywhere. Nope. And 5 of those goals were in Game 2, when he faced 22 shots total. If Nabokov chokes….. the Sharks are sunk!

Today’s Games (Previews)

  • Phoenix Coyotes vs. Detroit Red Wings, Game 3; The Coyotes come to Joe Louis Arena in Detroit looking to regain the lead in this series, as well as bounce back from an embarrassing 7-4 loss in Game 2.
  • New Jersey Devils vs. Philadelphia Flyers, Game 3; After loosing Game 1 and winning Game 2 at home, the Devils travel to Philadelphia to face the Flyers in Wachovia Center. The Devils will need their offense to keep producing in front of a less-than-stellar Martin Broduer.
  • Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Ottawa Senators, Game 3; Now in Scotiabank Place, in Ottawa, Canada, the Penguins and Senators will both need their offenses to keep producing, but in the end, this one’s all about goalies.
  • Chicago Blackhawks vs. Nashville Predators, Game 2; Pekka Rinne and the Nashville Predators stunned the Blackhawks and the crowds at United Center in Chicago with a 4-1 win on Friday. It was the Predators’ first road playoff win in 11 tries. Will they stun United Center again, and increase their series lead?
  • San Jose Sharks vs. Colorado Avalanche, Game 3; The Sharks travel from home territory to Pepsi Center in Colorado. With the prior two meetings going into OT, which team will take this game, most likely in another close fought battle?

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