Turns out I can't show you the coveted Yelnats Cup right now, so here's a photo of the fake game between the Wild and Blue Jackets (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Damn Habs. That is all.
Tonight's schedule was:
Join me for tonight's recap of an action-filled night!
Edmonton Oilers vs. Calgary Flames
Ahh, the battle of Alberta. Here's one of the more meaningful matchups in the Playoffs so far in terms of hate and rivalry. Penalties set the tone in the first period as Calgary and Edmonton amassed 5 and 6 PIM respectively. Alex Tanguay was the first to capitalize on the powerplay as he scored at the 5:24 mark with helpers going to Robyn Regehr and Curtis Glencross. Gilbert Brule would make the Flames pay for a penalty as well as he scored a PP marker a minute after Tanguay's goal. The goal was assisted by Shawn Horcoff and ''The disrespectful one'', Linus Omark. It looked to be a very even period, shots were 13-13. Curtis Glencross scored an important shorthanded goal at the 11:29 mark with assists going to Jay Bouwmeester and Mikael Backlund. 2 points already for Glencross, but he wasn't done yet. 2-1 after 20 minutes.
Calgary's Lance Bouma started the period with a bang, scoring at the 3:20 mark, helped by Matt Stajan and Greg Nemisz. Andrew Cogliano retaliated 5 minutes later with the help of Tom Gilbert and Jim Vandermeer. No love lost between these two teams as Calgary got another 7 PIM in the second frame and Edmonton got 6, which means Calgary got another major penalty. They're lucky Edmonton's powerplay couldn't take care of business! Curtis Glencross night continued at the Saddledome as he scored his second goal of the night at the 10:37 mark of the second period, helpers to Anton Babchuk and Robyn Regehr. Shots were 9-8 in favor of Edmonton for the period, 4-2 the score for Calgary after 2.
Off came the hats in Calgary as Curtis Glencross scored ANOTHER shorthanded goal to make it 3 goals, 1 assist on the night, to make his career night an early contender for best individual performance of the Playoffs. Backlund and Tom Kostopoulos assisted on the hat-trick goal. That goal would put the game out of reach for the Oilers, who still managed a 3rd goal, which came off the stick of Jordan Eberle, assisted by Magnus Pääjärvi. Things got a bit chippy towards the end, but both teams were more disciplined in the third period. Nikolai Khabibulin did everything he could, turning away 16 of 17 shots in the third, but in the end, the offense just couldn't get the job done.
This game had all the promised intensity of a heated rivalry and it will be interesting to follow this series as the hate accumulates. Both Rene Bourque and Ales Kotalik got major penalties, they'll have to be careful, because those could've cost the Flames the game. Final score: Calgary 5, Edmonton 3.
Period 1 2 3 OT Total
CGY 2 2 1 - 5
EDM 1 1 1 - 3
PIM CGY 5 7 2 - 14
PIM EDM 6 6 6 - 18
SOG CGY 13 8 17 - 38
SOG EDM 13 9 16 - 38
#1 Curtis Glencross (Hat-trick, 2SHG, 1A)
#2 Mikael Backlund (2A)
#3 Robyn Regehr (2A)
Florida Panthers vs. Toronto Maple Leafs
Much to my cousin's enjoyment, this game was all Maple Leafs. Things started out with a fight between Darryl Boyce and Darcy Hordichuk. It was a lengthy battle that saw Darryl Boyce come out victorious with a take down and that gave the Leafs all the momentum they needed. Young hotshot Nazem Kadri scored the first goal of the game with assists by Dion FANOOF and Keith Aulie. Captain FANOOF would follow with a goal of his own around 4 minutes later assisted by Clarke MacArthur and Mikael Grabovski. Toronto held an 11-9 shot advantage after the first 20 minutes.
This time, the Panthers were the ones dominating play, as they outshot the Leafs 15-6, but James Reimer shut the door (OPTIMUS REIM) Darryl Boyce tipped in a Joffrey Lupul slap shot fed by Joey Crabb on the powerplay to make it 3-0, which has many people wondering: what the hell are Crabb and Boyce doing out on the ice on a powerplay? I guess it paid off. Clarke MacArthur added a back-breaker goal at the 6:47 mark of the second, with assists by Luke Schenn and Tyler Bozak. Toronto were oppurtunistic and played off Giguere's strong performance to make it 4-0 after 40 minutes.
This time, it was Toronto's turn to dominate play as Florida managed just one shot in the first 15 minutes, but ruined Reimer's shutout bid at the 16:21 mark with a David Booth goal, assisted by Evgeny Dadonov and Stephen Weiss. Reimer was still the story of this game however as the Maple Leafs took a 4-1 win at the ACC.
Apart from the fight in the 1st period, this was a rather quiet game as both teams elected to play smart, disciplined hockey.
Period 1 2 3 OT Total
TOR 2 2 0 - 4
FLA 0 0 1 - 1
PIM TOR 7 2 2 - 11
PIM FLA 5 4 2 - 11
SOG TOR 11 6 14 - 31
SOG FLA 9 15 4 - 28
#1 James Reimer (27 saves, 1GA)
#2 Dion Phaneuf ( G, A, GWG)
#3 Darryl Boyce (G, won the fight)
Ottawa Senators vs. Atlanta Thrashers
This game turned out to be a rather exciting goaltending duel as not many goals were scored. Both teams came out flying in the first period. No penalties, but lots of shots. Atlanta had a 17-12 shot advantage, but it was Ottawa that ended the period with a 1-0 lead off a Bobby Butler goal, assisted by Jesse Winchester and Chris Neil at the 2:14 mark of the period.
Another very disciplined period here, but both teams tightened up as Ottawa got a 10-7 shot advantage in the period, but Atlanta found a way to solve Craig Anderson after just 33 seconds from the start of the period. Chris Thorburn scored with the help of Anthony Stewart and Andrew Ladd. Ottawa had one minor penalty, Atlanta got none.
Here's where things got really interesting. Nick Foligno broke the tie at the 6:31 mark with the help of Colin Greening and Jason Spezza. Then, all hell broke loose as Jason Spezza threw a questionable hit on Evander Kane and many Atlanta players took exception. Andrew Ladd got a minor penalty out of all this, but the Thrashers couldn't score on the powerplay. However, they did tie the score all over again towards the end of the period as Ron Hainsey was fed by Dustin Byfuglien and Bryan Little and let go a booming slapper past Anderson. After 60 minutes, the score was deadlocked 2-2, which means on to overtime they went!
That was fast! (That's what she said). Bobby Butler wasted no time scoring his second of the night in OT. Atlanta won the faceoff, got two shots on net, Ottawa counter-attacked as Greening fed Spezza and Butler scored on Spezza's rebound, all in 26 seconds. Game over, Ottawa takes game 1 3-2
Ondrej Pavelec and Craig Anderson made this game quite a show and it should be a great battle throughout the series. This was a fast-paced, disciplined game, save for the Spezza fiasco.
Period 1 2 3 OT Total
ATL 0 1 1 0 2
OTT 1 0 1 1 3
PIM ATL 0 0 2 0 2
PIM OTT 0 2 5 0 7
SOG ATL 17 7 11 2 37
SOG OTT 12 10 5 2 29
#1 Craig Anderson (35 saves, 2GA)
#2 Bobby Butler (2G)
#3 Jason Spezza (2A)
And now, the main event (wink wink): Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Minnesota Wild.
This game turned out to be an interesting goaltending battle as well. Minnesota bombarded Steve Mason with 16 shots and he gave in to two of those shots as Chuck Kobasew ripped one in at the 6:36 mark assisted by Mikko Koivu and Eric Nystrom and Antti Miettinen scored under a minute later to make it 2-0 after 20 for the home boys. Cam Barker got the lone assist on the Miettinen goal, making it the realization of the rarest occurence in sports history: Mittens scoring without Koivu's help and Barker actually getting a point... at the same time. Of course this could only happen in a fictitious world. Columbus fired 13 shots at Niklas Backstrom and stood his ground.
Ho hum. This period was a snoozer. No goals, no penalties, 7 shots a piece. Yawn. Not like we're not used to dull periods, right?
Both goaltenders shined in this period, with Mason absolutely robbing Cal Clutterbuck of a sure goal with a beautifully timed dive and Backstrom batting the puck out of mid-air with his stick to prevent a goal. However, the BJs found a way to capitalize on Minnesota's only penalty in the game, which was a John Madden tripping penalty. I dare you to guess who the goal scorer was. Go ahead, I dare ya. If you guessed Rick Nash, well no duh! Nash continues his dominance of the Wild by getting a powerplay marker at 6:12 of the final frame, assists went to Fedor Tyutin and Jakub Voracek's golden locks. Columbus desperately seeked the goal that would send the teams into OT, but Backstrom would have none of that as the Wild held on to win it 2-1.
30 saves for Backs tonight, 29 for Mason. This series is likely to be a great duel between those two men. Tonight's game was a clean one, only one minor penalty a piece. This was as even as a matchup could get, despite the game not going to OT. Nick Schultz suffered a minor injury. The game says he'll be hurt for about a week or so, which usually means he'll play anyway, but not at full capacity.
Imagine that, the Wild are leading the series! Yippee :)
Period 1 2 3 OT Total
MIN 2 0 0 - 2
CBJ 0 0 1 - 1
PIM MIN 0 0 2 - 2
PIM CBJ 2 0 0 - 2
SOG MIN 16 7 8 - 31
SOG CBJ 13 7 11 - 31
#1 Niklas Backstrom (30 saves, 1GA)
#2 Steve Mason (29 saves, 2GA)
#3 Antti Miettinen (GWG)
Well, that was the action for tonight, now all teams have played at least one game (except Dallas and Carolina, who have byes) , so let's take a look at the playoff tree:
#9 Dallas Stars
#10 Calgary Flames 1
#15 Edmonton Oilers 0
#11 St.-Louis Blues 0
#14 Colorado Avalanche 1
#12 Minnesota Wild 1
#13 Columbus Blue Jackets 0
#10 Toronto Maple Leafs 1
#15 Florida Panthers 0
#11 New Jersey Devils 0
#14 New York Islanders 1
#12 Atlanta Thrashers 0
#13 Ottawa Senators 1
That's it for tonight! Tonight I found out that this is a million times more work than I anticipated, but in exactly one week, year 4 of my University program will be finished and I'll be able to invest lots more time on this and bring you more interesting recaps. Join us tomorrow as Game 2 between the Blues and Avalanche and the Isles and Devils take place, and don't forget your brackets! I haven't received many yet.
Don't miss any of the action! History will be simulated. Peace!