NHL Playoffs: Clutch is real

  • Wikipedia says “clutch” is the “phenomenon of athletes under pressure, usually in the last minutes of a game, to summon strength, concentration and whatever else necessary to succeed, to perform well, and perhaps change the outcome of the game.” Wikipedia needs a picture of Justin Williams. Game winner. He’s incredible.
  • I wonder how many seconds it took Mike Babcock to text Kyle Dubas a told-you-so about Curtis McElhinney.

  • There has to be a better playoff giveaway than towels. They’re about as stereotypical as a mullet.
  • Blocker high — that’s the book on Robin Lehner. I think every goal scored on him went there. Not just Wednesday, but every game.
  • McElhinney is like a fine wine. He has gotten better with age. His last two seasons have been the best of his career. Mike Babcock’s head will be exploding.
  • No supplemental discipline for Brad Marchand. But I think his leash will be mighty short in Game 4. From his coach and the refs.
  • McElhinney became the oldest goalie to start his first Stanley Cup Playoff game. At 35, he’s 37 days older than Les Binkley, who played for the Penguins when made his first NHL playoff start on April 8, 1970.
  • Hamilton the Pig — the Canes’ good-luck charm this postseason — has his own Instagram account. @hamiltondtr is a fun follow. #bunchofjerks #stormsurge
  • Roope Hintz scores again! A rookie sniper with enough two-way skills to be on the ice in the last minute to defend a lead? That’s almost an oxymoron.
  • Leading scorer from the blue line? Erik Karlsson? Brent Burns? Neither one. This has been Jaccob Slavin’s coming out party. I’d have him on my team any time.
  • Robert Thomas deserves a better line assignment than Tyler Bozak and Pat Maroon. He has been the best Blues’ forward in the last two games. His third-period snipe came when they finally put him with Ryan O’Reilly and Jaden Schwartz. That’s an impressive trio.
  • Nick Leddy was a force all night long — he gave the Canes fits because of his ability to jump up into the play. He will be available for cheap come draft day because of his regular season totals. Next year could be a return to the mid-40s for him.
  • Word of advice, Brock Nelson? Don’t pat Curtis McElhinney on the head after goals anymore. It’s patronizing. All you did was inspire the #stormsurge. You don’t need to feed them any more inspiration.