- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy1 hr ago
No. 1 Star: Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche
MacKinnon’s ankle-breaking goal tied the game. He assisted on Gabriel Landeskog’s two goals to grab the lead, and on Paul Stastny’s empty netter to end it. The Avalanche won, 4-2, taking a 2-0 series lead over the Wild as MacKinnon had a 4-point night. He now has seven points in two games, tying the NHL record for most pts in first 2 playoff games of an NHL career.
No. 2 Star: Matt Calvert, Columbus Blue Jackets
Calvert scored a key shorthanded goal to close the Pittsburgh Penguins’ lead to 3-2 and then, in double OT, scored the game-winning goal to give the Jackets their first ever playoff win. Columbus knotted the series at 1-1.
No. 3 Star: Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis Blues
With due respect to overtime hero Barret Jackman, it was Tarasenko’s power-play goal with six seconds left that propelled the Blues into OT where they eventually won over the Chicago Blackhawks, 4-3, taking a 2-0 series lead.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy3 hrs ago
Since their inaugural season in 2000-01, the Columbus Blue Jackets have played in 1,037 games. That includes five in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, all of them losses.
Game No. 1,038 was Saturday night.
Three periods and two overtimes later, and the Columbus Blue Jackets finally received a stamp of validation as an NHL franchise.
The first playoff win. The first time a Columbus Blue Jackets player was mobbed by his teammates as a postseason hero. The first time a series shifts back to Nationwide Arena with the Blue Jackets not facing a deficit. The first time a Columbus Blue Jackets fan wakes up the following morning – Easter Sunday, of course, because the “coming back from the dead of Game 1” allegories couldn’t be more on-the-nose – with that insatiable notion that creeps into the minds of every hockey fan in the Stanley Cup Playoffs:
“We might actually do this. ”
Matt Calvert played the hero, scoring two goals in the game including the definitive one at 1:10 of the second overtime on Saturday night at the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Here's his shorthanded goal that cut it to 3-2, a goal Coach Todd Richards said was "the difference maker in the game. It gave hope to our guys."
- Harrison Mooney at Puck Daddy3 hrs ago
Nathan MacKinnon is going to win the Calder trophy. He stands alone as the NHL's best rookie, and one of the reasons for that is that he never really looked like one. Heading into the playoffs, you had to wonder if his first NHL postseason was the moment he started to look his age.
In the parlance of most kids his age: LOL nope . On Saturday, MacKinnon scored his first career NHL playoff goal, and my lord if it isn't an incredible piece of business.
The NBA postseason kicked off Saturday, but I submit that you won't see finer playoff ankle breakage than this today. Unbelievable.
You knew the Wild were in trouble the moment MacKinnon received this pass. The only guy near him was Mikko Koivu, and MacKinnon blows by him with ease, leaving him most of the neutral zone to pick up speed, because this is no longer Jacques Lemaire's Wild, and the middle of the ice is wiiiiiiide open. By the time he hits the Minnesota blueline, he's a flux capacitor away from going back to 1955.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy8 hrs ago
The St. Louis Blues have found the recipe for success against the Chicago Blackhawks: Score dramatic game-tying goals with less than two minutes remaining in regulation, and then win in overtime.
Granted, this recipe is about as stable as one for homemade nitroglycerin, but it’s worked in Games 1 and 2, as Vladimir Tarasenko’s power-play goal with just over six seconds left in regulation tied it and Barret Jackman’s seeing-eye shot at 5:50 of overtime won it on Saturday.
Here’s the Tarasenko goal:
And here’s the Jackman game-winner:
Obviously, the game turned as David Backes turned into a Brent Seabrook hit in the third period, knocking the Blues captain out of the game with an injury and the Blackhawks defenseman out of the game with an ejection for charging. Tarasenko’s goal came with 16 seconds remaining on the Seabrook penalty.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy9 hrs ago
Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabook was ejected from Game 2 of their Central Division semifinal game against the St. Louis Blues after lining up and hitting center David Backes in the head late in the third period on Saturday.
The Blues tied the game with 16 seconds remaining on the 5-minute major penalty and 6 seconds left in regulation.
Here’s the hit, which earned Seabrook a game misconduct:
It was a charging major at 15:09, which might have been an easier call than Illegal Check To The Head, which has that tricky “head targeted” aspect. Clearly, Seabrook traveled to hit Backes, who was prone and didn’t have the puck.
Backes left the game after attempting to get up and exact revenge on the hitter. The Blues' trainer smartly held him back.
The larger issue here is whether Seabrook will be available for Game 3 and beyond. The Department of Player Safety will review the hit, and it’s hard to imagine Seabrook won’t miss at least the next game in this contentious series for the hit on Backes. Question is, will it be more than that? Eric Gryba and Justin Abdelkader were both given two games last postseason for dangeorus hits.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy11 hrs ago
In an unprecedented move, the National Hockey League allowed its Chicago franchise to change its team nickname just two games into the postseason, in an attempt to convey to their opponents just how rough and tough they really are.
That, or someone at CBC Sports forgot to clear out a template with some hilarious results before Game 2 between the St. Louis Blues and the Chicago “Unsportsmanlike" on Saturday:
Full stop: That’s actually an incredible name for an NHL team.
Picture Oakland Raiders-like jerseys and a starting lineup of Raffi Torres, Patrick Kaleta and Zac Rinaldo, coached by Bob “Orchestrated Line Brawl” Hartley.
Picture the scene on draft day: “It’s been my dream every day since I was a child to become an Unsportsmanlike …”
If nothing else, we’re down with this name for the eventual irony party if one of the Unsportsmanlikes ever wins the Lady Byng …
This was a great gaffe. But it's still not the best flattering graphic blooper in NHL history ... right, Gary Roberts?
- Harrison Mooney at Puck Daddy13 hrs ago
It's been a nutty start to the NHL playoffs, as for the second straight day, the NHL has handed out a fine for a testicle-related incident.
Just one day after Joel Quenneville was left reaching for his wallet for reaching just left of his wallet, Milan Lucic of the Boston Bruins was dinged $5000 for dinging Danny DeKeyser with a stick to the de keysers during Friday night's series opener between Boston and Detroit. Here's another look:
The league called it spearing. That seems generous.
Lucic also defended his own honour by pointing to his relatively clean record, which is customary in Boston:
Lucic: "I’ve been in the league for seven years and I think I’ve only done that three times. I don’t know why I did it.”
The man has a point. He's only averaging one cheap, cowardly crotch shot every 2.3 years. If he has a 15-year career, he's only going to do this three or four more times. That's it . Seems like an honorable player to me.Sun, Apr 2012:00 PM PDTDetroit at BostonPreview Game
- Harrison Mooney at Puck Daddy13 hrs ago
The Detroit Red Wings are making their 23rd consecutive appearance in the NHL playoffs, but that wasn't the only streak they kept alive by winning the second Wild Card spot. Also saved: Detroit rapper Baby G's run of annual hip hop playoff anthems.
Back in 2011, the emcee released original cut "Throw Your Wings Up", and he's been re-releasing the track with roster updates every postseason since. On Friday, just prior to Game 1 between the Red Wings and Bruins, Baby G dropped version four, "Octopi 2014 edition", and in so doing, gave Detroit the early frontrunner for best hip hop fan anthem of the 2014 playoffs.
"We're going 23 consistent, 11 rings too, that's playoffs my whole existence, can't say the same for you."
This guy has never seen a Red Wings team that didn't make the playoffs. I'm probably not the only one seething with envy and spite right now.
The Red Wings won Game 1 of their series, and while most would argue that it was Pavel Datsyuk who propelled them to victory, I am willing to hear arguments that it was actually Baby G and his dope flow.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy14 hrs ago
It was the kind of loss that could have left another team devastated: Seeing a lead disappear with 1:46 left in the third period, and then losing in triple overtime in Game 1 on the road.
But this isn’t the Chicago Blackhawks’ first rodeo.
Please remember all the way back to 2013, when the Blackhawks dropped their first road game against the Minnesota Wild, Detroit Red Wings, Los Angeles Kings and Boston Bruins, and ended up winning the Stanley Cup.
“We've gone through some stretches where we've lost opening games. We've lost last year all four first games in their buildings and seemed to recover,” said coach Joel Quenneville, via ESPN.com. “That's something we can build on. It's a long series. We expected a tough series against this team. There's going to be no easy games, but it's a good example that going forward we've got to find a way to overcome our opponents."
Where can the Hawks improve as they take on the St. Louis Blues in Game 2 on Saturday?
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy1 day ago
No. 1 Star: Jimmy Howard, Detroit Red Wings
The Red Wings went into TD Garden and upset the Boston Bruins 1-0 in Game 1 thanks to a 25-save shutout from Howard. The game was scoreless until late in the third period when Pavel Datsyuk pulled some sorcerey for the game's only goal.
No. 2 Star: Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks
The Anaheim captain has had an eventful three days. On Wednesday, he took a puck to the face. Then Thursday night, he and his wife had a baby girl. During Game 2 Friday night he scored a first period goal and assisted on what would eventually stand as the game-winner as the Ducks went up 2-0 on the Dallas Stars with a 3-2 victory.
No. 3 Star: Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens