Only one game on Day 23 of the Playoffs. The only series where both teams have won at least a single game. As close and exciting as the first round was, the second round has the brooms on deck with one series already using it. The other two still with the potential to use it. There will be no sweep or elimination tonight though.
The Predators look to even the series up in what may turn out to be, surprisingly, the tightest series of the Second Round. The story for Vancouver has to be Ryan Kesler who despite not showing up on the score sheet really until last game has to be considered an early front runner for the Conn Smythe trophy.
He is doing everything, in every way at this point to get the Canucks the win. Shutting down the opposition, scoring key goals last game, drawing penalties, swearing like a sailor on ice to get in the opposition's head. The Preds are still very much alive in this series and 5 on 5 they look very competitive. This one is not over.
The Washington Capitals were suddenly eliminated in a sweep by the surging Tampa Bay Lightning (7 straight playoff wins at this point) who at exactly the right time, look like the team with all the right moves. The best three word summary of this series: "Will over Skill," from Sarah, who took it from TSN; I lifted it from her comments.
Not that the Bolts lack top talent with Martin St. Louis and Steven Stamkos or that the Capitals lack ' will ' with Alex Ovechkin, who looked like he was trying to do everything, but as far as the teams overall looked, that summed it up.
Quick trivia question for Flames fans, since the year 2000 who has won the most playoff series? The Washington Capitals or the Calgary Flames? The answer... The Calgary Flames! (will we ever stop milking that 2004 run?). Three series wins for Calgary in 2004. The Capitals have one series win in 2009 and one this year in 2011.
With Darryl Sutter's one-and-done Flames and all the frustration here over the years, you have to wonder what the thought process is over in Washington with a young team that has a much higher level of skill and can't win in the playoffs.
The Capitals made history last night as pointed out by our SBNation buds in Washington.
The Bolts are looking epic on ice but I accidently came across a surprising story.
It really shocked me that no matter what the Bolts do they will still lose money this year. By hockey standards, they look like they are about to be one of the most successful post-'95 expansion teams; they have won a Cup, are on a glorious run, and may win a second Cup this year--but still are losing money? Surprised me...
There is a common conception out there that all you need for success in some markets is playoff success.