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12 April 2007

The playoffs have started...

Marty Turco works out at General Motors place right in front of the nicely-designed zamboni

Game 1; VAN leads 1-0

BIEKSA, K. : Hooking - 2 min
BIEKSA, K. : Hooking - 2 min
BIEKSA, K. : Interference - 2 min

3rd OT
BIEKSA, K. : Hi-sticking - 2 min

Now, count how many penalties our friend Kevin Bieksa took last night and you will know how many overtimes the Canucks and Stars played last night at General Motors Place in Game 1 of their series.

Yes, they played 4 overtimes, it was the 6th longest game in NHL history.

Marty Turco actually played a decent game, and made 51 saves in a losing 5-4 cause to the Northwest champions.
His counterpart, Roberto Luongo, made an astonishing and mind boggling 72 saves in his first ever career playoff game, a new record.

And the one to end it all, was Henrik Sedin, who at 18:16 of the fourth overtime, picked up a pass from (come on, guess)...Daniel Sedin and put the puck through the legs of a tired Marty Turco, to give the Canucks a one-game lead over the Dallas Stars.

Ladislav Nagy scored his first playoff goal in nearly a decade, his last one dating back to 1999 when he was still with the Blues.
I was too tired to watch this game last night, first I watch Ottawa cream Pittsburgh, then I watched the Sharks top the Preds, I think that was enough playoff hockey for me.
Game 1; OTT leads 1-0

It was all Senators from the start.
As I tuned on to CBC to watch another Canadian team other than my Canadiens, I actually wanted the Sens to make (isn't it about time?) a serious run to win the Stanley Cup.

They sure looked like Cup contenders to me against the tough but inexperienced Pittsburgh Penguins in their first game last night, pounding them 6-3, although it was never close.

Jeremy Roenick, on TSN last night, put it best:
Sidney Crosby looks like a 19-year old out there.

That's all you need to know on how the Penguins played last night; most of their players had yet to skate on playoff ice let alone win a playoff game, their loss wasn't too unexpected.
Marc-Andre Fleury looked shaky in the first period, allowing two goals in the first eight minutes of the game, one that he should've stopped against defenceman Andrej Mezaros.

It didn't help the Scotiabankers were chanting his name "FLEUUUUURRRY!" continuously. (Habs fans may remember the last playoff series before the lockout, when the Habs came back from a 3-1 deficit to beat the Bruins and it was all because of literally speaking, the fans who didn't stop abusing poor Raycroft...RAYYYYYYCCRRROFT!" )

Fleury settled down after, but in the third period, the Sens already had a 6-1 lead and many grumbled at a call that disallowed Sidney Crosby's goal in the second period, that would've put the game in realistic reach for Therrien's Pens, but no, it was waved off and I agree, Crosby went to the crease, the rebound went off Ray Emery and right to Crosby's legs who slid the puck in the goal as he was skating towards him.

Maybe it was a bad call, but from the angle I saw it, I wouldn't have ruled it a goal either.
Jocelyn Thibault played the last 5 or so minutes of this contest and it's likely he will start Game 2 for the Pens.

The Pens had something like 6 straight powerplays in the last ten minutes of the game, had they converted on 2 or 3, they could've made a serious run to tie the game.

Sidney Crosby scored in vengeance but it was no use as the Pens fell to the Sens 6-3 at Scotia Bank Place last night.

Daniel Alfredsson played a wicked game, the guy had like 15 shots on goal last night (it's probably not that) and played like a real captain.

Game 1; SJS lead 1-0

Just a quick recap for you...Jonathan Cheechoo left the game and blew his right knee out, after taking a knee-on-knee hit from Scott Hartnell in the second period.

The Sharks still ended up winning despite blowing a 4-2 lead.

Patrick Rissmiller picked up a nice pass from Pat Marleau and snapped it by Tomas Vokoun to give the Sharks a 5-4 OT win, sorry 2OT win.

Our friend Craig Rivet scored on a 5-3 for the Sharks and even had an assist.
Mike Grier, Milan Michalek and Matt Carle scored the other goals for San Jose.

Rookie Alexander Radulov and JP Dumont scored twice for the Preds who drop game 1 to the Sharks.


Game 1; ANA lead 1-0

Here we go, my Wild were in Anaheim to take on the Ducks.

The game wasn't particularly exciting, but nonetheless, the Ducks prevailed 2-1 over Minnesota.
With about 5 minutes to go in the hockey game, Dustin Penner swiped at a puck supposedly under Nicklas Backstrom in the crease and buried it behind a fallen Nicklas Backstrom with a Kim Johnsson on him.

"I watched the replay and I was sure it was under me and nobody saw the puck," Wild goalie Nicklas Backstrom said. "Of course, you're going to get the puck out from a goalie if you slash at it with your sticks.

"I don't know if he stopped the puck or whether he was right on top of it or if it was under the pad," Lemaire said. "He waited a bit and they whacked the puck right in."

Hmm, I learned this in pee wee, when the puck is under the goalie for 2 seconds, a whistle is supposed to be blown, I guess it wasn't this time Jacques.

Jean-Sebastien Giguere didn't play for the Ducks, Ilja Bryzgalov (their hero last year in the playoffs) started and made 24 saves.
Giguere's newlyborn son had a condition that could keep him blind in his right eye, however, fortunately, a specialist told the Ducks' goalie and his wife that he will have sight in that eye.

"We felt that the emotional roller coaster Giguere has been on, it was more beneficial to let him get his feet underneath him," said Randy Carlyle after being asked why Giguere didn't play.

Teemu Selanne and Pavol Demitra scored the other two goals of the game, a game that was relatively speedy and creative, but low-scoring.
I especially liked Demitra's goal, he took a slap shot 15 feet from Bryzgalov and the puck was just wired over the goalie's glove.
Hey, ya sure that wasn't Brian Rolston (remember his shootout slapper on Luongo?) ?
And there's your first playoff recap, I hope I'll be able to post after every game...

Tonight, the Sabres take on the Islanders, should be an interesting game; the Devils take on the Lightning, boy that'll be fun to watch; the Thrashers play their first ever post-season game against the Rangers and the Wings will host the Calgary Flames.

Bleu, Blanc et Rouge

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