Wednesday, April 15, 2009

2009 NHL Playoffs: Day One Impressions

Well, after watching pretty much all of Pittsburgh-Philadelphia and Vancouver-St. Louis... I'd say some pretty interesting stuff going on thus far.

Penguins 4 - Flyers 1: Wow, Pittsburgh looked dominant in this game. They really appeared to be a study in how good a team can and should be when they've got two of the top five players in the game. The Flyers attempted to "play their game" and get chippy in the final minute, but it actually seemed more sad than what I'll call "send a messageish". The announcers were right when making the comment that there wasn't really a point anymore to the antagonism.

Canucks 2 - Blues 1: Interesting game. The two teams played very similar games with grinding forwards, stout D, excellent goaltending, lots of driving the net and action after the whistle. After seeing them match up for 60 minutes, it appears that St. Louis will likely remain game for as long as they're alive in the series, but Vancouver just does each thing a little bit better.

Other (not watched) action...

Well, given the whole "not watched" thing for the other two games, I'll link to some interesting analysis from Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy on Yahoo! Sports (not sure if I worded that correctly, but it'll do).

The long and short of it... New Jersey is good and Jose Theodore in the Caps net... maybe not so good.

Yea, I understand that Theodore won the Hart Trophy as NHL MVP back in 2002, but me thinks goalie years are kinda like dog years... meaning stellar play 7 years ago does not necessarily equate to the same performance today. Maybe they looked around and found the asking prices too steep, but I just don't know how Washington didn't go get some solid backup insurance at the trade deadline. Hello... Scott Clemmensen, anyone? Now the Caps coaching staff has to decide between rolling Jose back out there for game 2 or going with Simeon Varlamov and his 6 career NHL games played. Fun choice...

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