I'm not going to lie, had I been right about the way each series would go, it would have been a really boring few days. Instead, we were treated to:
Roberto Luongo making over 60 saves in a LOSING effort to the Ducks. Anaheim is really incredible with amount of offense they have and the fact that they've only played 10 games in these Playoffs is remarkable considering they play in the West. It's funny that no one is talking about their jerseys now, eh? I really feel for Roberto, though. For those of you who didn't see it, in the second OT, a Vancouver player was absolutely demolished by one of the Neidemayer brothers. As the puck slid to the other Neidemayer (Scott), Luongo apparently put his hand up as to signal it should have been a penalty on Rob and didn't get set. The next thing anyone knew, the puck was in the net. Congratulations to Anaheim but welcome Roberto Luongo, the new best goaltender in the NHL.
Over in another part of Canada, Ottawa was busy doing something that hasn't been done often in the Playoffs - absolutely demolish Martin Brodeur. In this case, pure offense was no match for pure defense. We've been waiting for that Ottawa team that was going to break through in the Playoffs. Not many people thought it would be this year. This was the only series I wasn't able to follow this round, so I'll keep my comments brief. Ray Emery has just established himself as a premier goaltender and you have to believe that if the Rangers can slip by Buffalo, the Sens have a great chance to go to the Cup.
Back out West, we find the Wings and Sharks in some truly exciting games. Down 2-1 in the series, the Red Wings score with under 20 seconds to go in the game to avoid going down 3-1 in the series. High from adrenaline, the Wings take the game in Overtime. After a 4-1 loss in Game 4, it would seem as if the Sharks have lost any momentum they once had and Detroit will end this one in six. The Wings penalty killers have been great this series, only allowing two goals. Hasek has been shaky in the start of games (he's allowed a goal at the beginning of almost all of them) but has steadied out by the end of the first. More on this series tomorrow.
Finally, the most important series in the Playoffs. (See my next post) This one has been nothing but exciting. The Rangers winning in Overtime at MSG. What could be better? How about Chris Drury tying about the game with just 7 seconds to go and then Maxim Afinogenov breaking a cold streak to win it in Overtime? Goaltending has ruled the day. Lundquist has played a great series while Ryan Miller has been forced to find ways to mentally stay in a game that finds most of the action at the other end. More on this series in my next post.