Day-30 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs:
INKTIME on RINKTIME Observations and Random thoughts by Chris Madsen:
BREAKING NEWS: John Tortorella is OUT as Coach of the NY Rangers.
THE KINGS OF HIGH DRAMA: I must admit that the Kings and Sharks kept me glued to the TV set in their winner-moves-on Game-7. But the mystery of who was going to go to the Western Conference Finals was solved for me when Jonathan Quick made this improbable stop on Joe Pavelski (who probably didn’t get much sleep last night) with just over 5-minutes to go in the game:
At that point, I got up from my favorite chair and walked out to the patio. My wife asked, “Where are you going? The game’s not over yet.” To which I replied, “Oh, yes it is!”
And so, for the moment, the Defending Stanley Cup Champion Kings are reduced to the role of most mere mortals–spectators–as they await the outcome of tonight’s Game-7 in Chicago. If the Blackhawks prevail (and I believe they will), my sources are telling me that the Western Conference Finals would begin in Chicago on Saturday at 5:00 EST. But if the Red Wings complete the upset, the Kings would open at home on Friday night versus Detroit at 9:00 EST.
AND SPEAKING OF THAT GAME-7 TONIGHT IN CHICAGO: What a comeback it would be if the Blackhawks could completely overcome a 3-games-to-1 deficit to take this series tonight. And this winner-take-all showdown between these two Original-6 franchises has been 48-years in the making. This will be the third Game 7 all-time between these two teams and first since the Blackhawks won a semifinal matchup in 1965.
But history, let alone back-to-back victories by the Blackhawks to bring us to this point, means nothing right now. This upstart group of Red Wings–who, BTW eliminated the much heavier favored Ducks in 7 games–must keep Hawks Captain Jonathan Toews in check (he only has one goal this Post-Season), while Chicago must find a way to the disrupt the confidence of Wings netminder Jimmy Howard.
In preparation for the game, Toews suggested that he and his teammates should “embrace the opportunity”. May I also suggest that we all embrace this opportunity to witness these two storied franchises clashing in the Playoffs one more time…because we may not see it for some time…as the Red Wings move to the Eastern Conference via realignment, while Chicago remains in the West.
And as for the pressure that is part and parcel of a Game-7, Blackhawks Coach Joel Quenneville shrugged his shoulders and put things in perspective: “I thought we just played two Game 7′s. So we’re looking forward to the real Game 7. We’ve put ourselves in a good position and I’m excited about it.”
UNTIL THE NEXT TIME WE LACE ‘EM UP AND HIT THE ICE!–Chris Madsen
|Detroit||at||Chicago||8:00 PM EST|