If you missed even one second of last night’s two playoff games, all I can say is to you is…SHAME ON YOU! They were probably two of the most entertaining and awesome games I have seen all of the second round, if not the whole playoffs.
Some of you might be asking “Why the Nashville/Phoenix and New York/Washington games were so good?” Well, I would be happy to tell you.
First off, my favorite team, the Nashville Predators, finally showed up defensively for the first time in their series against the Coyotes of Phoenix. Maybe it was the fact that they were back at home or maybe it was because they read my blog about their horrible play and decided they need to step it up a notch. Reasons aside, Nashville made a huge move to keep this series alive last night with their decisive 2-0 win. Not only did their defense finally show up, but Pekka Rinne was back to his MVP caliber ways after struggling for the first two games of this series. Rinne was seeing the puck all the way and making the easy and hard saves alike. He did his best to stop the Phoenix power play which has been pretty good so far this postseason making sure not to give the Yotes any momentum in Game 3. But I was most impressed by the Preds defense. They made a huge adjustment from the first two games to shut down the dangerous Coyotes offense that can really burn you if you don’t handle them carefully. And now with the series 2-1 in favor of Phoenix, Nashville has a chance to even things up and go back to Phoenix with some much needed momentum.
The second reason last night was awesome was because we saw our first triple overtime game of the postseason featuring the #1 seed New York Rangers and the #7 seed Washington Capitals. Overtime is when the playoffs are at their best. The need to score first or go home a loser really makes for some of the best hockey of the year. And when the game goes to 3OT and neither team seems to be budging, that is even better.
And this was no ordinary overtime game. The fact that this was a match-up between the #1 and #7 teams in the East just goes to show that everyone has a chance to win when it comes to the do or die moments of the playoffs. Another reason this game was awesome was the fact that the two goalies forcing more overtimes were phenomenal. Henrik Lundqvist for the Rangers and Braden Holtby for the Capitals were unbelievable. Both gave up only one goal in regulation and they were both next to unbeatable in all three extra frames. It took a well placed shot by the ex-Wild forward Marion Gaborick to break the tie and give the Rangers the win and the 2-1 series lead. But, just the fact that Holtby, who is only 22-years-old, was able to hold his own for almost three full overtimes goes to prove that he is more than ready for a full-time job with the Capitals going into next season. He has been amazing throughout the whole playoffs and if the Caps continue to surprise the hockey world, he could easily be the MVP of the playoffs this year.
And if those reasons aren’t enough for any hockey lover to kick themselves for missing last night’s games, then I you aren’t a true hockey fan.
Well that is all for now,