Cup Check! April 16, 2015

Friday 17th, April 2015 / 18:46 Written by
Cup Check! April 16, 2015

Our custom doodles are provided by our very own Christy “Babs” K.

Welcome to The Other Half’s crowdsourced playoff-recap for April 16th, 2015. Your friendly neighborhood #TME is in charge of the round-up again today, with some major contributions from our very own Amber French. The first round’s second night upped the ante on what we love most about the postseason: total and abject devastation in one corner and mind blowing talent in the other.

At the end of the night the basics looked like this:

The Pittsburgh Penguins fell to the New York Rangers, Tampa Bay Lightning fell to the Detroit Red Wings, Minnesota Wild took the St. Louis Blues, and the Anaheim Ducks took the Winnipeg Jets.

 

How about them details:

Twenty seven seconds into the Pens/Rangers game the power failed, the internet died and no one will ever know how that game ended. The end.

The reality is that no one expects anything good from the Penguins this year. Not even me, and if you’ve spent five minutes on this site you know that #TME is a devoted Crosby fan. But he can’t carry the whole team, and given the seriously small amount of time he was even on the ice last night, he’s not got a chance at even trying.

Twenty eight seconds into the game Fleury put his knee down on a dead center shot and the rebound landed directly on Derick Brassard’s stick. The narrative of Fleury choking in the playoffs is a long and well-worn one, despite his leading all active goalies for wins in the postseason – but this really wasn’t that. It was a bad rebound, but frankly? There wasn’t another Pens jersey in sight when it happened, and the defense needs to shoulder some of that burden.

The Penguins scored in the second period but the game was lost in the first 20 minutes. Too many penalties, too much scrambling, and a total lack of the discipline they’re going to need to rally if they plan to unbreak my heart.

Rangers 2, Penguins 1, giving the Rangers a 1-0 series lead.

They match up again Saturday in New York at 8:00 PM ET.

 

Amber watched the Lightning/Red Wings game and passed me her notes.

Goals:

-(DRW) Datsyuk on Detroit’s first shot of the game (9:03)
-(TBL)   Boyle at 14:31 in the 1st period
-(DRW) Datsyuk –  :08 into the 2nd period
-(DRW) Glendening shorthanded (unassisted) goal at 5:50 in the 3rd
-(TBL)   Nesterov 08:26 in the 3rd for his 1st career playoff goal

Impressive first-times were the running theme of the first night of the playoffs, and it looks to have continued right on through the second. It’s always a good time watching the playoff newbies do great things, and this game was no exception: both goalies were in the net for their first time in the playoffs, too. Mrazek had 44 saves and Bishop 11. Good job, guys!

Notables:
-That Stamkos vertical leap to let Nesterov’s shot get past was just an awesome thing to witness. Pull up that last link one more time and keep your eyes in front of the net.

-This is the first time Tampa and Detroit have ever met in the postseason and Tampa Bay came out swinging, outshooting the Red Wings 46-14. But ultimately the Red Wings got more in the net and stand at a 1-0 lead in the series.

Best/Worst:
Best: Did you see that gif of Stamkos jumping on the Nesterov shot? That was A-MAY-ZING. Go watch it again, I’ll wait.

Worst: Mrazek got crashed into by Stralman at the edge of his crease near the end of the first, and the CNBC announcers said he “sold” it. HE GOT HIT IN THE FACE/SHOULDER BY A BODY, OF COURSE HE FELL OVER, YOU NITWITS.

Also Tampa’s abysmal power play stayed the course, as they failed to convert on any of their seven-man advantages.

Detroit 3, Tampa Bay 1, giving the Red Wings a 1-0 series lead.

They match up again Saturday in Tampa at 3:00 PM ET.

 

Moving on to the Wild/Blues game: despite the Blues having the home ice advantage, in the end the Wild simply took it right out from under them. They did what they do best, when they’re playing their best. They used their speed to set the pace of the game from the get-go, stopping the Blues from playing the game their way, and it showed.

Once again, both men in net were making their playoff debuts, with Devan Dubnyk setting a record as the first goalie in Wild franchise history to earn a win in his Stanley Cup Playoffs debut. Congratulations!

Jake Allen had 25 saves at the end of the night, but it doesn’t matter how many saves the man in the crease makes if the guys out front aren’t getting past the other guy. Matt Dumba got his first postseason goal on a power play, and the deal was sealed by two empty netters from the Wild in the last two minutes of the game, with the Game winner coming at the hands of Mikael Granlund.

Wild 4, Blues 2, giving the Wild a 1-0 series lead.

They’re up again Saturday in St. Louis at 3:00 pm ET.

 

Amber caught the Ducks/Jets for us too, and she really takes the best notes. (Editors note: we all know that opinions offered in these pieces are those of the author and do not reflect the site as a whole, yes? ;)

Goals:

-(ANA)  Vatanen at 1:57 in the 1st period
-(WPG) Lowry (49 seconds later) at 2:46 in 1st
-(WPG) Stafford 5:00 into the 2nd
-(ANA)  Perry PPG 1:09 into the 3rd.
-(ANA)  Perry AGAIN 13:21 in the 3rd  (Jets NO, Jets WHY)

Too bad this was clearly a goal. While play continued, Stoner committed a penalty and the on-ice officials confirmed with Toronto that Perry definitely scored again.

The officials reset the clock, but Stoner’s penalty stood because of Rule 78.6:

“Any penalties signaled during the period of time between the apparent goal and the next stoppage of play shall be assessed in the normal manner, except when a minor penalty is to be assessed to the team scored upon, and is therefore nullified by the scoring of the goal.”

-(ANA)  Getzlaf PPG with 3:05 left in the 3rd (It was pretty skillful. I will never admit to saying this. Ever.)

Goalies: Andersen stopped 27 of 30, Pavelec stopped 23 of 27.

Notables:
-The Ducks scratched three of their trade deadline acquisitions: Tomas Fleischmann, Jiri Sekac, and James Wisniewski. Your guess is as good as ours.

Best/Worst:
Best: The Ducks won, so there was nothing good about this game. But really, it was pretty unmemorable aside from the waived-off goal/penalty thing in the 3rd. Some physicality, which Western Conference fans will be 1000000000% unsurprised by. I guess the best thing for me was that the Ducks missed the empty net once Pavelec got pulled? #smallmercies

Worst: It’s a three-way tie. Pavelec did Pavelec things. This included tanking in the 3rd period. Actually, the entire Jets 3rd period. I don’t know why Winnipeg decided to channel their inner Dallas in the 3rd, but they should probably avoid that in the future unless they want to get swept. You’re not gonna win McDavid or Eichel, Winnipeg. It’s too late for that.

Chiarot got crushed into the boards on a late hit from behind for a no-call. Playoff hockey! Sigh. Can I please get the rulebook for playoff hockey, because it seems like the infractions are made up and the actual rules don’t matter.

Bruce Boudreau quote from today: “I don’t think Winnipeg or us are going to turn into a bunch of ballerinas.”

You know Bruce, you probably shouldn’t talk about people that can support their body weight on their toes until you can handle their training.

Ducks 4, Jets 2, giving the Ducks a 1-0 series lead

This terrible nonsense continues Saturday, April 18 at 7:30 PT in Anaheim.

 

Once the points were tallied and the soundbytes given The Other Half took a vote and we all agree:

      • What impressed us: Pavel Datsyuk. He’s always impressive, but sometimes we’re reminded just how impressive he is, and last night was one of those times.
      • What distressed us: The Penguins. Got scored on at 0:28 into the period and then proceeded to spend too much time in the penalty box or running around like they forgot where they were. Be better, guys.

 

That’s it for the Game Ones of Round One of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs. If we’re really lucky Amber will keep taking notes for us, and I can’t wait to see what our other hockey writers have coming as well.

Games Two kicked off tonight before I even managed to finish editing (it’s been a busy day). The New York Islanders are up 3-2 on Washington in the 2nd, and Ottawa and Montreal are sitting at 1-2.

I double checked our numbers at NHL.com and you can get some more of the great playoff-typical random stats in the April 16th Notebook.

We’ll be back tomorrow with the details for all four of tonight’s games. See you then!

Sasha Davis
Managing Editor

Sasha is co-owner and Managing Editor of The Other Half. A runner and an avid hockey fan, after spending years in graphic design and accounting she turned her sights to her first true love and has spent the last year honing her editing skills on tech articles and short fiction. Sports writing is a whole new ballgame.


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