NHL Playoff Observations — Blackhawks Down?

Just a few things that caught my eye:

  • Yoo-hoo, Chicago. The net is 4′ x 6′. It has bright red posts. You shoot at it. Sheesh. You’re making Pekka Rinne like he’s 29 again.
  • Freddie Anderson and Braden Holtby made a combined 94 saves. And probably lost a combined 20 pounds. What a game.

  • Mitch Marner is something else. He intercepted Alexander Ovechkin on a breakaway late in the first overtime and stripped him of the puck. He knows how to play both ends of the ice. As a teenager.
  • Is it me or is Ryan Johansen playing like Jonathan Toews should be?
  • Roman Polak is one of the toughest players in the NHL. That’s why I know his leg is either snapped or knee/ankle shredded. “Gone for the year” was the midnight diagnosis. A year ago, no-one would have said his loss would be devastating to his team.
  • Mikael Backlund is Selke Trophy worthy. Just saying.
  • Back to Pekka Rinne. He has more POINTS than the entire Hawks team. My boys are in big, BIG trouble.
  • Worst Jumbotron message? At 11:30 pm, the Caps posted a message about the Metro being shutdown at midnight! I wonder if they also played the Clash’s “Should I Stay or Should I Go?”
  • The Ducks D will be dominant for the next decade. Hampus Lindholm. The injured Sami Vatanen. Shea Theodore. Brandon Montour. The Consonant Kids will be one of — if not THE best quartets of two-way blueliners in the NHL.
  • Man, those Maple Leafs are pesky. And fast. REALLY fast. Mike Babcock deserves the Jack Adams. From 30th to the playoffs and then splitting the first two games against the Presidents’ Trophy winner. Babs is worth every penny.
  • Jake Gardiner played a beautiful game. I know — that sounds impossible. But it’s true.
  • Erik Karlsson’s game has never been better. NEVER. This year, he actually deserves the Norris for his all-round game.
  • Two amazing stories — Clarke MacArthur and Dion Phaneuf. Both guys deserved the win, but for very different reasons. There’s a bit of redemption in both their games.