Day-17 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs:
INKTIME on RINKTIME Observations and Random thoughts by Chris Madsen:
ODUYA THINK? Early on in Game-1 Blackhawks Defenseman Johnny Oduya gentlemanly side-stepped a linesman in the corner only to get pasted by a charging Daniel Cleary from behind. Odouya went shoulder first into the corner boards and Hawk fans at the United Center held their collective breath. But Johnny O, being a hockey player, made his way to the bench and shook the obvious pain off. Then, in a twist of fate and payback, Oduya manning the left point in the 3rd Period recognized that Cleary bit on a Patrick Kane move up the half-wall, glided to the top of the left circle, accepted the perfect feed from PK and proceed to ring –what proved to be the game winning goal–off the post and in!
And the Blackhawks went on to prevail in Game-1 of their Western Conference Semi-Final Playoff Series with Detroit 4-1 .
Furthermore, the Hawks Penalty Killers continued their string of perfection by stymieing the Red Wings Power Play 3 times…and keep in mind the Wild didn’t have a PPG in 5 games in the Opening Round.
Payback…it’s a Blackhawk!
TWO MORE OF THE ORIGINAL SIX: Just as the Blackhawks and Red Wings are locking horns in the West, the Bruins and Rangers get set to do battle in East–and it has been a long time coming considering this will be the first playoff meeting between the two teams in 40 years.. And much like the days of yester-year, shut down hockey could very well be the norm in this series…especially if the Rangers get their way.
New York’s game plan appears to be straight forward…in other words…the same approach they utilized to shutout the Capitals back-to-back to take the Opening Round Series 4-games-to-3. “Box them out before they get near the goal so they can’t provide a screen,” Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi admitted. “If we can’t box them out, the biggest thing is getting their sticks. Hankie ( Henrik Lundqvist) is going to stop that shot if he sees it. We have to do a good job of letting Hankie see
those first shots, make sure there’s no tips.”
But it may take more than a tap on the stick or winning the mano-a-mano battles to keep these B’s from buzzing. As crafty veteran Jaromir Jagr hopes his Bruins can build on their unlikely victory in Game-7 v. Toronto: “You don’t give up. But if you try to do it again, you’re probably not going to do it even if you try 100 times, but it happened.”
Which raises the question…do you believe in fate? Well, I do. Plus, the Rangers leading goal scorer during the Regular Season Rick Nash (21) went without a marker v. Washington, while the Bruins Patrice Bergeron is just getting started.
Your INKTIME ON RINKTIME PREDICTION IS: Bruins in 7.
UNTIL THE NEXT TIME WE LACE ‘EM UP AND HIT THE ICE!–Chris Madsen
|NY Rangers||at||Boston||7:30 PM EST|
|San Jose||at||Los Angeles||10:00 PM|