Thursday, May 16, 2013

All Things Hockey: Playoffs

Syracuse Crunch owner Howard Dolgon blasted the city of Syracuse following the Crunch 3-0 win over the Springfield Falcons.

He was unhappy that only 3,200 showed up for their Eastern Conference Semifinal game where the Crunch took a commanding 3-0 lead, despite the fact that the game was actually the 2nd best attendance of the 4 games played.  Only Wilkes-Barre/Scranton drew more fans, at nearly 3,800.

Oklahoma City drew the worst, at just under 1,800, and Grand Rapids saw 2,700 pass the turnstiles for their game.  Grand Rapids numbers aren't surprising, as they were going up against their parent club's (Detroit) Game 1.

Associated Press
Speaking of the Red Wings, they're down 0-1 in the series as they lost Game 1 to the Chicago Blackhawks. Johnny Oduya broke a 1-1 tie in the 3rd Period after the Blackhawks had tremendous pressure in the Red Wings zone.  Marcus Kruger then added insurance, then the Blackhawks had to defend the Red Wings attempts to narrow the gap, including a shot from Damien Brunner that hit the crossbar, came down, and was swept away by Brent Seabrook before it could cross the line.  Patrick Sharp added the empty-netter at the end, as CBC announcer Bob Cole uttered, "This is it, baby.  Right here."

The Blackhawks won 4-1, and will try to take a 2-0 series lead Saturday afternoon at 1PM in Chicago.

CSN New England
Tonight kicks off the fourth and final of the Quarterfinal series in the NHL, as the Rangers and Bruins take on each other at the TD Garden in Boston.  The Bruins are unbeaten in regulation against the Rangers this year in the regular season in three tries, but suffered an overtime and a shootout loss.  Both teams needed 7 games in order to come to this pairing.  Boston came back from a 4-1 deficit, including two goals in the final 90 seconds, as they beat the Toronto Maple Leafs in overtime.  The Rangers had an easier Game 7, winning over the Washington Capitals 5-0.

It should be a good series, as it may come down to which goaltender has the better save percentage.  Tuukka Rask has a .923 save percentage, and has a Goals Allowed Average of 2.49. Henrik Lundqvist has a better save and GAA, at .947 save percentage and Goals Allowed Average of 1.65, and is working on a 120 minute shutout streak after shutting the Caps out in both Games 6 and 7.

PREDICTION: Rangers win series in 6 games.

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