NHL Playoffs: Just get in. You can win

  • You think your playoff pool got burned? The @NHL’s bracket challenge just got obliterated. Tampa was on top and 48.0% favoured to win it all. Guess who was on the bottom. Yep. At 0.4%.
  • Redemption. One year ago in Buffalo, Robin Lehner hit rock bottom. Alcohol. Anxiety. Depression. He got clean, was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, ADHD and PTSD, and the Isles still took a chance. The Pens went after him, but Lehner stood his ground. He stopped 135 of 141 shots and is now headed to the second round. Great story.

  • The best need to learn how to lose before they can win. The Isles in the late 70s. The Oilers in the early 80s. Then the Red Wings of the mid-80s and early 90s. And most recently, the Capitals. The Bolts are in heady company. Let’s wait for the autopsy and talk again in a year.
  • Best tweet of the day? Nationwide Arena at 10:15 am. Friendly reminder… Security has asked us to remind you that due to safety concerns, you can not bring a broom into the arena tonight.” #CBJ 
  • Anthony Cirelli = Jonathan Toews lite. The rookie was promoted to top-line duty with Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos, and he was better than all right. Cirelli has a rep for being clutch. He’s seriously on the rise. Mark my words.
  • Andrei Vasilevskiy may have given up three fast goals, but he was the only reason the Bolts got back in the game. He almost pulled a Sergei Bobrovsky. Almost.
  • Jordan Eberle 4, all Penguins combined 6. That’s the same number of points Eberle put up this series.
  • Barry Trotz and Lou Lamoriello sure look like geniuses. Trotz delivers the goods no matter where he goes. Uncle Lou, too.
  • Casey Cizikas, Cal Clutterbuck and Matt Martin are the best fourth line in hockey. They’re the epitome of a wet woollen blanket. The heavy, itchy kind. Just ask Sidney Crosby.
  • I looked up sacrilege on Wikipedia. I found a pic of Blue Jackets’ special teams consultant, Marty St. Louis’ pic. Ouch.
  • The NHL really is the only league where you can win if you just get in. Are the Blues and Avs next?