Some highlights from the NHL playoff weekend that was, plus some of the discussion topics around here:
- Ex-Islander Raffi Torres returned from suspension for a headshot to ... deliver another headshot, to Brent Seabrook. Fast play, but brutal hit. Again using the behind-the-net area as a screen on his victim. Again delivering his primary blow not to the body, but to the head (also: carrying his stick high). That's a lot of no-no's. He received two for interference; he may receive more from Colie's Wheel.
- Teemu Selanne is still awesome, but pissed as his Ducks are down 2-1 to Nashville.
- Brooksie is an esteemed professional hockey writer.
- Chris Pronger still didn't play, but the Flyers pulled out a win in a wild Game 2 against Buffalo that saw six first-period goals (this after Game 1 had only one goal).
- The Bruins are in trouble, and a "dehydrated" (ill?) Zdeno Chara missed Game 2.
- The Kings stunned the Sharks to tie that series 1-1.
Brandon Dubinsky scored the winner late on one of the luckiest caroms you'll see, helping the Rangers avoid dropping to 0-3 in their series with Washington. Hard work earned that luck though.
Notes about Coaches and the Things They Say or Do
...I accept that John Tortorella is an easily irritable curmudgeon who deserves as good as he dishes out, but I fail to see how baiting him about superficial topics (In what situations do you feel a cliche describes your team, Coach?) in the middle of a playoff series is an example of quality reporting. Who is the story here?
...After a clear goal was not signaled but was awarded for Buffalo against Philadelphia, I noticed the referee took several minutes to explain the situation to Peter Laviolette, which was not required but courteous nonetheless. I wonder if some day referees will afford the same respect to Jack Capuano.
...Joel Quenneville, pissed off about the Torres hit but more ticked that his team is now a dead man walking down 0-3, said of the Torres hit and two-minute minor it elicited: "Major. Absolutely. They missed it. We could have scored four goals on that play." I wonder if the Cup-winning coach will get the same ridicule for that "four goals" remark that it would elicit if it came out of Capuano's mouth.
'Round Here: Islanders Discussion at LHH (and Beyond, Slightly)
WebBard's weekly prospect round-up talks the AHLers and the junior kids. Calvin De Haan's season is done, but Nino Niederreiter and Kirill Kabanov continue to light it up in these playoffs, as Lewiston and Portland advanced to their respective league semifinals.
- Keith's brief praising Rhett Rakhshani's AHL rookie season (and illustrating just how much lineup carnage Bridgeport faced).
- Flashlight, Episode 2: Both of the above return with their podcast, discussing how they became fans, the coaching moves, Doug Weight and more.
- An interesting take on Kabanov from a Caps fan who lives in Maine and watches him play for Lewiston.
John from ATL's breakdown of the season into various stretches and who left the lineup, and when.
- WebBard's playoff pool/bracket is now closed for the first round, but you can come back and play once the second round pairings are set. See everyone's picks here. (I'm afraid to even look at who I picked, and we haven't even gotten past Game 3 yet.)
- Stadium Reviews: An honest third-party review of the Coliseum [Fanshot here], plus two older reviews at Stadium Journey: One of Bridgeport's Arena at Harbor Yard, the other Eric Hornick's review of the Coliseum.
That's plenty of fodder for now. Player report cards and some other topics continue later today.