How quickly and cruelly a playoff series turns. Two nights ago, the Capitals were an OT bounce away from tying their series. A bad OT line change and a 24-second third-period nightmare later, they're preparing to walk the plank as soon as tonight.
Meanwhile, in Nashville the Canucks got away with too many men on the ice in OT, then saw Ryan Kesler draw Shea Weber into a weak hooking call. The Canucks scored the OT winner on the ensuing powerplay. As I watch the playoffs as a neutral, I'm reminded daily that for every high the playoffs give the partisan fan, they punch that fan in the gut. Only one fanbase survives the spring with their emotional ledger in the black. (Why do I want this experience again?)
Islanders and hockey links, plus updated power rankings after the jump. Come back later this morning for some prospect talk.
In the OHL final, Game 1 goes to Casey Cizikas (1G, 2A, +2) and his Missisauga St. Michael's Majors.
Botta's top 10 Islanders prospects according to a poll of eight scouts. We'll talk more about this in the next post, where I'll add some more context.
Playoffs on SBN: Caps fans get their pre-mourning in at Japers' Rink. | Raw Charge-rs celebrate their 3-0 lead. | Nucks Misconduct nucks it up. | On the Forecheck admits the Preds were in that game longer than they should have been.
How much do special teams really matter in the playoffs? [G&M]
Good to hear small markets Winnipeg and Quebec City "might be able" to support an NHL team if given a second chance. [G&M]
Your Lyle rumor roundup includes speculation on Jagr's return, speculation on what do do with Scott Gomez, and oft-injured
Hab Hockey Club from Montreal member Andrei Markov wanting a contract extension.
Fun to hear Paul Steigerwald isn't a certainty to return as Penguins TV play-by-play man. As discussed many times here, that announcing pair is among the league's worst, and you'll find Pens fans who'd say the same.
I neglected to post Mike's update last week, but here is how the power rankings look through what is 91 games for some teams.
The premise here is to keep calculating the rankings based on results through the playoffs. The teams still around are by and large the ones doing the best over the long haul -- you can see Boston really rise from two weeks ago. Fun to see Dallas still above the Rangers -- the only "playoff team" out of the top 16.
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