Sorry everyone, I’ve had some computer problems over the last few days and I wasn’t able to make any blog posts. The problem has been solved (thanks, Jeremy), and we are back under way.
There are five games on the schedule tonight. Three of them will split a tied series and the other two are possible eliminations. All-in-all it will be a very pivotal night in the NHL.
Boston vs Washington
Game 5: 3:00 EST
This game has already started at the time of this writing. The story of the series so far has been the play of Caps goalie Braden Holtby. He’s only allowed seven goals in four games and has Washington right in this thing. Boston needs more out of their top six. Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Brad Marchand, Milan Lucic and Tyler Seguin have combined for a total of one assist (Bergeron) in the four games thus far.
Florida vs New Jersey
Game 5: 6:30 EST
The series shifts back to Florida, tied 2-2. I’m actually quite surprised. I picked New Jersey to win this one in a walk but the Panthers have kept themselves in it. Every game has seen a team stake at least a 3-0 lead, and with the exception of game four, every game has seen a comeback attempt. That exception was the Devils stepping their play up and Martin Brodeur earning his 24th career playoff shutout in a 4-0 Devils win. Is New Jersey ready to shake these cats off or will Florida be able to hang?
New York vs Ottawa
Game 5: 7:00 EST
The third of three tied series on the docket tonight. The Senators have managed to keep even with the first seed New York Rangers thus far. Two overtime wins have paced the Sens despite being without captain Daniel Alfredsson, out with a concussion since game 2. The Rangers are spreading their scoring out with seven players tied for the team lead with 3 points, including Brian Boyle who has three goals.
St Louis vs San Jose
Game 5: 7:30 EST
The first of two series that could be over by the end of the night. After the Sharks stole game 1 in overtime, this series has been all Blues. Despite some close scores and almost-even shot totals, San Jose has not looked like a team with a chance in much of the past three games. Brian Elliott has shut the door since taking over for an injured Jaroslav Halak and forwards Andy McDonald and Patrik Berglund have been almost unstoppable with a combined 13 points. Stopping those two and solving Elliott is a tall order and I don’t think the Sharks are up to it. My bold prediction here is this series end tonight.
Phoenix vs Chicago
Game 5: 7:00 PST
It will come as little consolation to the Chicago Blackhawks that Phoenix forward Raffi Torres was suspended for 25 games for his hit on Marian Hossa. Hossa is still out indefinitely with a concussion and the Hawks are facing a 3-1 series deficit. Every game in this series has been to overtime so you have to think Chicago has a chance to come back. Then again, Mike Smith has given the Coyotes excellent goaltending while Corey Crawford has done just enough to get Chicago to OT and then let in a softie almost every game now. That has to be deflating. I wouldn’t be surprised if Chicago came back in this one, but I’m not making any predictions. Except overtime. There will be overtime. And maybe Ray Emery.
- Torres suspended 25 games for late hit to head on Hossa (tsn.ca)
- Gallery, video: Chicago Blackhawks Marian Hossa released from hospital after brutal hit by Raffi Torres (calgaryherald.com)
- Sens, Caps look to take 1st playoff series leads (cbc.ca)
- Andy McDonald doesn’t think suspensions have been a deterrent (prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com)
- NHL Playoffs 2012: 4 Key Takeaways for the Boston Bruins After Game 4 (bleacherreport.com)
- GARTH: Its Now Or Never For Pens and Nucks (hockeybuzz.com)
- Friedman: Saturday’s burning questions (cbc.ca)