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NHL Playoff Observations -- Saturday

Just a few things that caught my eye:
  • Strong skating is one of Drew Doughty's calling cards. Yet David Backes blew Doughty away on a breakaway in the first period. And by several steps. Doughty's overall game has been in slow, steady decline since his sophomore season. Is he suffering from Dion Phaneuf-itis?
  • Don Cherry was at it again: "He's a lazy hockey player." He is Evgeni Malkin. Now if only he was Canadian ....
  • Ducks + discipline = pipe dream. They played with fire throughout the first period. They should have been down by two or three goals. Instead, they won ... convincingly.
  • Jake Gardiner got lucky on a major brain fart giveaway right in front of the net, but Randy Carlyle stuck with him any way. Gardiner rewarded him with some beautifully efficient puck moving and he even set up a power-play goal.
  • I got to thinking today about the Canucks and their invisible men, and it got me to thinking about Derek Roy. Where the heck is he?
  • Jeff Carter is cementing his place on my most-hated list. Pushing, I get. Shoving, too. But cross checking a guy in the windpipe with full force? He's lucky he didn't send Barret Jackman to the hospital on that play. Dirty little ...
  • Phil the Thrill is off the schneid. Mind you, he was really only effective offensively in the nine seconds Zdeno Chara wasn't matched up against him. Still, he put a proverbial knife into the Bruins in those nine seconds.
  • I can't believe Brian Elliot didn't make the save on the Slava Voynov goal. There were only five of his teammates either in the blue paint or within two feet of it. Yikes.
  • King Henrik Lundqvist was named the first star this afternoon in the Verizon Center. That's class. It's not often a guy on the road team gets that honor, but he deserved it. Now if only the Rangers could score. Anyone send John Tortorella that link to the online application for unemployment insurance?
  • Toni Lydman is the latest Bambi on ice victim. Justin Abdelkader charged him, leaving his feet to do it. I have no clue if he'll get a suspension and if does, how long. And what happens when a fight breaks out in the last five minutes of a playoff game? I can't wait for ruling on the Mark Fraser-Shawn Thornton fight.
  • I wonder if Marty Havlat will play Sunday. He had his manhood rearranged by a pitchforking Kevin Bieksa in Game 1 and it was so bad he missed Game 2. For the record, Bieksa has no idea that anything happened at all. At least he's not as dirty as Chris Chelios was.
  • For the record, 68.4 percent of Game 1 winners of seven-game playoff series in NHL history have gone on to win the series. That means that at least two -- and perhaps, three -- of the following teams will not win: Hawks, Pens, Caps, Bruins, Sens, Sharks, Ducks and Blues. I'd say the Hawks, Pens, Caps and Ducks are safe, so two (or three) of the others won't get through. Where's your money?


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