NHL Playoff Observations -- Tuesday

Just a few things that caught my eye:
  • No offense to Peter Budaj, but Montreal has no hope without Carey Price between the pipes. He was terrific before he went down. #HabsDown.
  • The Isles are like a bad rash -- they just won't go away. They haven't figured out they're supposed to lose to the Penguins. Andrew MacDonald will be hard to replace, though.
  • I said it last week -- block the shot or get out of the way. Raphael Diaz, I'm talking to you. Why'd you stick your elbow out? The puck nicked off and changed direction just enough to beat Budaj. He had no chance at all.
  • Jets' prospect Mark Scheifele is the real deal. I saw him last night in Barrie's convincing 6-3 win over London in Game 3 of the OHL Championship and he was a man among boys. He scored two goals and added three assists on the night, and was dominant along the wall and in Gretzky's Office. This came just after he was named the OHL's player-of-the-week for the week ending May 5. Like all power forwards, it'll take a few seasons to grow into his game in the NHL, but he's going to be fun to watch.
  • I'm glad I was at the Colts-Knights game last night. Otherwise, I probably would have blown a gasket at the Leafs' fan who carried that ignorant and disrespectful Toronto Stronger sign to Maple Leafs Square. It was like the NY Knicks wearing black suits to their game with the Celtics to mimic a funeral. Clearly, you don't need brains to be alive.
  • Speaking of Backstrom, why did it take him until the 17:29 mark of the third to appear in full equipment on the Wild bench. He could have been in the net after Kuemper took one shift. He's been practicing hard and had two full intermissions and a whole period to dress. Where the heck was he that it took him that long to put his stuff on?
  • Kyle Okposo -- are you the breakout candidate of the playoffs? Every year, there are one or two young players whose performances foreshadow a great next season. I'm not holding my breath on you, but a goal in three straight is impressive so far.
  • Jonathan Toews' playoff beard is still pathetic. I saw better beards on teenagers on Monday night. The Colts' Aaron Ekblad (left in image) just turned 17 in February and he looked like Godzilla.
  • I don't know about you, but I held my breath when Brian Strait's shot deflected up into the throat area of Sidney Crosby. He left, hunched over, but was thankfully able to return the next shift. Shudder. 
  • Back to the goalies. What's the over-under on Marc-Andre Fleury being in the Pens' net next game? I smell Tomas Vokoun's equipment already. #badgoaltending doesn't say enough ...
  • I think I'm waking up to the first Canadian team ousted from the postseason. Change things up, Vancouver. Your core isn't good enough.


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