After the press conference and green garbage bag day last Wednesday, it was a fairly slow week in terms of Flames news. The biggest item, of course, was Jarome Iginla telling the media that he would consider waiving his no-trade clause if asked and if he felt the move was right for him and his family. Makes the possibility of that happening a little more real, I suppose, but what else was he going to say? I've said my piece on Iggy already, for the most part, and I'd hate to see him go, but I'd also like to see the team get better. It might be a tradeoff the organization will have to decide if it's willing to make. The other pieces of news coming out of the Flames' camp last week was the addition of Mark Giordano and Rene Bourque to Team Canada's World Championship Roster. Giordano played for Canada and helped them to a gold medal in the 2007 Spengler Cup while playing in Russia and Rene Bourque has never played for Canada before. Good for both of them, I'm excited to see how they do. The rest of the team is very young with few veterans, so it should be an interesting tournament. Ales Kotalik, on the other hand, has not been asked to join the Czech Republic's team and was caught off guard by rumours that he was considering playing in Europe next season. Bummer.
Aside from that, it's been all playoffs all the time, and they've been great so far. Great goals, upsets, and rubber snakes galore. Read more about this weekend's playoff action including Dan Boyle's Steve Smith moment after the jump.
With seven series tied at one game a piece prior to yesterday's games after overtime heroics by Anze Kopitar, Niklas Backstrom, and Devin Setoguchi and Boston, Detroit, New Jersey, and Pittsburgh bouncing back to square their series, yesterday's action was all about the series lead.
After losing what appeared to be a very tightly contested game 7-4 on Friday, the Coyotes bounced back with a convincing 4-2 victory to take the 2--1 series lead over the Red Wings yesterday afternoon, minus their captain Shane Doan, who was injured after crashing into the boards in the second period. Nik Lidstrom was -3 (!) in that game while somehow, Todd Bertuzzi managed a +1. [NHL] [Five For Howling] [Winging It In Motown]
The Penguins gained the edge in their series with the Senators after a 4-2 win yesterday with "Mr. Clutch" Maxime Talbot scoring the GWG. Sens captain Daniel Alfredsson was injured on a hit by Sidney Crosby. [NHL] [Pensburgh] [Silver Seven]
The Philadelphia Flyers took the lead in their series with a 3-2 overtime victory (GWG courtesy of none other than Dan Carcillo) over the New Jersey Devils after Brodeur stopped 31 Flyers shots, including twelve in the third period when the Devils only managed three. Brian Rolston scored twice in a losing cause, which is semi-good news for my fantasy team. [NHL] [In Lou We Trust] [Broad Street Hockey]
Poor Dan Boyle. With the San Jose Sharks out-shooting the Avalanche 51-16 after three periods and still tied at zeroes due to the magnificent play of Craig Anderson, Dan Boyle put a backhand shot past an unsuspecting Nabokov less than a minute into the first extra frame. The GWG was credited to the Avs' Ryan O'Reilly, giving Colorado the 2-1 series lead in typical Colorado fashion. A "History Will Be Made" parody ad was created promptly in his honour. [NHL] [Fear The Fin] [Mile High Hockey]
In other playoff news, the Hitmen tied their series with the Brandon Wheat Kings after a 3-2 overtime victory on Saturday night and are headed to Brandon for Game Three today [Hitmen]. The Abbotsford Heat also find themselves tied in their series with Rochester after losing 4-1 Saturday, a game that Mitch Wahl missed due to undisclosed reasons. The Heat will host the Americans in Game Three back in Abbotsford tonight [Abbotsford Heat].
The finalists for all NHL awards will be announced this week starting today with the Vezina Trophy nominees; but did the NHL pick the wrong time to announce them? [The Globe & Mail] (Update: Brodeur, Bryzgalov, and Miller named finalists for Vezina trophy via Jeff Marek)
Marc Savard is hopeful for a playoff return after passing an exertion test and skating on his own yesterday after missing over a month with a concussion as a result of being hit by Matt Cooke [The Boston Globe]
Could Olli Jokinen be headed to Russia next season? [The Hockey News]
Alex Ovechkin claims to have seen Canadiens' keeper Jaroslav Halak's hand shaking while drinking water after allowing a goal during game two of the series on Saturday night, in which he scored a goal and added three assists after being invisible for much of Game One [TSN]. Halak will get the start tonight while Varlamov will counter for the Caps.
Walkinvisible takes on the own-goal scoring tendencies of two of her favourite Sharks defencemen and what it could possibly mean for one Mark Giordano [Hit The Post]
The Fourth Line Blog tackles the pros and cons of a possible Iginla trade and, if you haven't done so already, check out their spiffy new digs
The final grades are in for the Flames' defencemen and goalies [FlamesNation]
Today's Playoff Schedule:
Game 3: Washington vs. Montreal (Series tied 1-1, TSN 7PM ET, 5MT)
Game 3: Buffalo vs. Boston (Series tied 1-1, CBC, 7PM ET, 5MT)
Game 3: Vancouver vs. Los Angeles (Series tied 1-1, CBC, 10PM ET, 8MT)
Game 3: Hitmen vs. Wheat Kings (Series tied 1-1, 7PM MT, The Fan 960 & Shaw TV)
Game 3: Rochester vs. Abbotsford (Series tied 1-1, 8PM MT)
Analyze Craig Anderson's Vezina snub and enjoy tonight's games in the comments everyone. I'm about to go watch my mom finish the Boston Marathon and enjoy my last day here in Beantown.