The Flyers-Pens series did a 180 degree turn today as it moved to Philadelphia for game four. The Flyers and their fans were on top of their game and Pittsburgh was off their game primarily due to less than stellar goalkeeping by Marc-Andre Fleury. Claude Giroux really had a good game winning first star honors. I loved the way the Flyers were physical and never backed down in spite of too much time in the box in the first two games. Philadelphia appears to be back in this one and will force it to six or seven.
Meanwhile, back in Pittsburgh, the Penguin fans are taking it to NBC for their refusal to allow an outdoor broadcast of the game outside the igloo. Pensblog has posted a list of all NBC execs as well as the names and phone numbers of all the advertisers. NBC made a really stupid move on this and will hear about this for a while. I wonder if this will interfere with the Pens being the darling of NBC and NHL Properties.
The Blues started strong but succumbed to a much stronger Vancouver team and appear dead in the water with a good chance of being swept. That was a really odd penalty in the last few seconds of the game especially with the slashing in front of the net at the same time. So far in the playoffs Detroit and Vancouver have been the two most dominating teams. Boston is probably there with them but I have yet to see very much of their games.
New Jersey pulled off the miracle they needed to regain home advantage in overcoming the Hurricanes in OT. The TSN commentators were making a big deal about the fact that Marty Brodeur had never won an overtime game against Carolina and that another OT loss by Marty would give him the all-time record for OT playoff losses. Glad to see that Marty avoided that record for the time being.
Mark over at the View from 111 took a look at all the series this morning.
The Milwaukee Admirals extended their series lead to 3-0 over Rockford with their third 3-1 win in a row. Ads goals were scored by Andreas Thuresson and Ryan Jones. Cal O'Reilly had two assists. Drew MacIntyre had another excellent night in goal. The Ads will try to finish off the sweep Tuesday at Rockford.
Here's a better wrap-up of game two than the one I posted last night from game 2 of the Admiral's playoff series with Rockford. Lost in the shuffle this weekend was the article that Preds other first round draft pick of 2008, Chet Picard, was joining Milwaukee for the rest of their playtoff run. The Preds will have a crowed goalie situation in the unlikely event that they resign Drew MacIntyre. Big Drew will probably go to camp with some other NHL team next year to compete for a backup slot.
Earlier today John Glennon at the Tennessean gave his year end analysis of the Preds. I don't disagree with much of what John wrote except I don't know how he picked Shea Weber over Pekka Rinne as MVP. Without Pekka in net, the season would have been over on New Year's Day. The Forechecker also commented. I stongly agree with Dirk that the game against Vancouver was a turning point in the season with Nichol being out for months and J P in a haze for an extended period.
Mirtle has an interesting article on sweeps and the history of teams that go down 2-0.
Nice article on the Caps "Keeping the Faith" by our friend Ailyn Diaz of the Big Haired Hockey Show.
Finally, I didn't forget about the Sharks-Ducks but with the score tied 1-1 at the end of the second period, I am retiring from writing foe the evening. As they say in the standings in the newspaper, late games not included.
Update: These playoffs keep getting stranger as the Jonas Hiller led Ducks hung on for a 3-2 victory over the Sharks. Hiller made 42 saves as he really stoned the Sharks for their second victory in a row at San Jose. San Jose has never come back from an 0-2 deficit in the playoffs to win a series so history will have to be made for them to advance. I guess I will have to move the Ducks into the top four teams in the playoffs with the afore mentioned Wings, Nooks, and Bruins.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass