But the Caps and Canucks are proving they are for real this year. The Capitals let in only one goal during the last two games against the Rangers and are finally playing a game more suited to the playoffs. They are bearing down, playing tight defensively and also have more veteran depth than in previous years. Speaking of veteran depth, Jason Arnott become only one of two active players who scored a playoff goal for 5 different teams with yesterday nightâ€™s tally.
The Canucks are the deepest team in the league, yes, even with Philadelphia in the equation. The big story about both those teams is defensive depth. Iâ€™d argue that every Canucks defenseman currently in the lineup would crack any other teamâ€™s top 4 defensive pairing, except Aaron Rome (whoâ€™s their 7th defenseman). They arenâ€™t afraid of any defensive matchup because they know they donâ€™t need to hide any pair which gives the other team a world of problems. On top of that, they have better goaltending than Philadelphia with Luongo playing his best playoff season to date. A big credit for that goes to the goaltending coach change the Canucks made during the offseason. Roland Melanson made Luongo stay deeper in the net which makes full use of his big frame. He seems more composed and confident in his game which is reflecting on the scoreboard. In other news, both Tampa and Anaheim had strong games to even their respective series at 1. Tampa beat Pittsburgh 5-1 and the Ducks leapfrogged Nashville with a 5-3 win.
Links after the jump
â€œHe skates well, finishes checks and creates things. It’s good for our team to see him finishing. Hopefully it’ll continue.”
– Vancouver’s coach Alain Vigneault on Jannik Hansen who scored two goals in two games for the Canucks in the 2011 NHL playoffs.
Is Datsyuk on par with Sidney Crosby? I think he’s close.
Will the Western champion inevitably be the Stanley Cup champion?
What makes Selanne so good at 40?