NHL Playoffs: First team to advance

  • On Jan. 1, the Canes had 80-1 odds to win the Cup. Today, they are the favorites at 13-4. Let that sink in. The Carolina Hurricanes.
  • The Isles were 38-2-2 this season when they scored three goals. It took three games to score three against the Canes. And they had just five total — that’s one less than Curtis Joseph had to work with in 2002-03 with the Wings. Like Cujo, Robin Lehner deserved far better.

  • Jordan Binnington has a bit of honey badger in him. He’s not the second coming of Ron Hextall, but he has a bit of the same bite. And a touch of Eddie Belfour crazy, too. Kinda nice to have some quirky characters in hockey again.
  • Imitation always happens after a team wins. How long before other teams try to build their squads like the Canes? After Jordan Staal’s $6 million AAV contract, the next four biggest contracts belong to defenders. And they use two goalies that total $2.35 million. Hmmmm …
  • Columbus was schooled by Boston Thursday night. Like taken to the woodshed schooled. They need to do something different Saturday or this series could be done.
  • Only in Toronto — the Carolina Hurricanes sweep the Isles and #DonCherry starts trending on Twitter. No-one seems to like the Canes, but they’re ready to cheer on any team that pi$$e$ him off.
  • Jason Spezza has back-to-back goals after two healthy scratches. Nice touch in the twilight of his career.
  • Remember that tap on the head that Brock Nelson gave Curtis McElhinney in Game 3. Dougie Hamilton got the last laugh in the handshake line.
  • Justin Williams or Joe Thornton — there’s always a veteran that everyone wants to win the Cup. Given the odds, Williams may have his fourth before Jumbo gets his first.
  • Cringe-worthy? “Polak carries the puck out.” That’s an oxymoron. Yikes.