I woke up from the low-scoring conservative fest that was this Stanley Cup finals series to find an eerily silent [Finance of some sort] Garden watching Nathan Horton placed on a stretcher.
He'd been tagged in the head by a leaping -- okay, we can agree on it being "upward bursting"? -- Aaron Rome, a healthy beat after he'd let his pass go, in what was rightly called a major for interference.
Didn't want things to turn in quite this way to add spice to the series, but they did. As they are wont to do, Boston blew the five-minute powerplay. But by the end of the night they had the 8-1 rout -- with Roberto Luongo staying in for all of it -- that would give the media its "Bruins inspired by Horton's injury" narrative. Wow. At the cost of one brain injury, this series just got interesting.
As is so often the case, Shawn Thornton had the best line about the whole deal and what the league might do about it:
"That's the league's decision. That's way above my pay grade. I just lace them up and go out there and try to work hard. I'm sure they'll do what they deem necessary."
Thornton got tossed with the score 4-0, receiving the Islanders Misconduct.
My bet: Rome is unimportant, low-hanging fruit. The NHL actually does something with him (helping Vancouver by subtraction), but stops short of "make an example." Meanwhile, the Canucks' chances just got better because the Bruins are without Horton.
Here's one version of the scoring chances from this game. (By the way: Anyone else notice Jeff Tambellini's defensive effort on Daniel Paille's garbage time goal? Yikes.)
The Rome-Horton Hit
Links from Here...
The Areener Issue: A Farmingdale resident's letter to NIFA (Nassau Interim Finance Authority), as shared with Chris Botta. What do you make of the argument?
NHL Draft: Craig Button always has "unconventional" views on things, and his top 10 for the draft is no different. And here are some thoughts and good performers from the Combine from Scott Cullen at TSN.
LHH Mock Draft: Half-way there! Last night we got Metzfan22's pick for the Rangers at 15. Sadly, he did not play the part of a mole. Next up: DirtyIsle has Buffalo at 16, pgat28 has Montreal at 17.
The Age-old Question: Do the Kings need an enforcer? (That depends: How often do they play teams from Pennsylvania?)
Did someone say enforcer? WebBard has done so many awesome things on this site, but this Micheal Haley video may be my favorite. To all the courageous league enforcers and agitators who saw this train coming and thought, "Awww, he's not big, I can take him," we salute you. Thanks for playing.
Did Someone Say Stats? This was front-paged yesterday (and I can't figure how to shorten the headline), but garik put together a nice primer on how and why the measures for a player's quality of team/linemates can provide key context.
...and Links from Yonder
- "Claude Julien is no fan of Maxim Lapierre." Neither, I would think, is any human with a soul. Just love how the "wanna bite my finger?" circus Lapierre amplified has become a damn symbol of the series now. Lapierre's a special kind of tool. (And I say this as no fan of Horton or Milan Lucic's typical garbage time antics.)
- Gosh, it's been like 24 hours without a Winnipeg update. What gives?
- Kerry Fraser says making refs anonymous by removing their nameplates strips them of their individuality. I just think it keeps all but the most intense fans from realizing which refs are really, really awful.
- Fun Video: Tim Thomas puts a Sedin on his seat. My crease. My crease.
- Sean Couturier, Ryan Strome, and Mika Zibane-notgonnaworkthere all worked out for the Senators. The Sens pick sixth, one after the Isles.
Jason LaBarbera has re-signed with Phoenix, and I thank Don Maloney once again for sending Al Montoya the Isles' way.
- This will either disturb you, make you feel old, or make you wonder what the difference is between Lillehammer and MC Hammer: Things that were going on the last time the Canucks were in the finals.
Funny: Brooksie drops -- not from Dubinsky's camp, apparently -- that Brandon Dubinsky wants $4.5 million per from the Rangers. Fans lose their [Avery] about it, Blueshirt Banter has to distribute chill pills.
- Yes, they're still running with this Messier Award thing. (Zdeno Chara, Shane Doan, and NIcklas Lidstrom are the nominees.)
"I’d rather lose 8-1 rather than like the way they’ve lost their games."
Yeah, what he said.