The second round of the playoffs got off to a relatively quiet start, with only one game on the docket. Although it’s far too early to determine whether the second round will be as exciting in the first, it is unlikely than anything can top the level of excitement that was on display night in and night out through the opening round.
What we as fans should come to expect from the second round is a hard hitting, tight checking, defensive style. As evidenced from last night’s game between Nashville and Vancouver, the battle between Pekka Rinne and Roberto Luongo highlighted what was otherwise a relatively uneventful contest.
Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals host division rival Tampa Bay Lightning at the Verizon Center tonight. It will be interesting to see how the Capitals defense reacts to the Lightning attack, led by Hart Trophy nominee Martin St. Louis and Steven Stamkos. The Caps only had to limit Marian Gaborik, who struggled for the Rangers, and Brandon Dubinsky. It will be up to Mike Green to step up as a leader on the backend and perform when it matters most.
The 21-year old Swede posted a 2.18 GAA and league leading .927 SV% in 32 games with Djurgarden last season.
Mikhail Grabovski embraces the honoring of being named team captain of the BelarusÂ for the World Championships.
Mike Ulmer suggests the Leafs could pursue Paul Stastny of the Colorado Avalanche.
Chris Higgins scored the game winner in the Canucks 1-0 win.
Nashville blueliner Shea Weber hopes he doesn’t need to shave off his playoff beard anytime soon.
Toronto Star reporter Paul Hunter recaps the first round of the NHL playoffs.
The NHL deemed the hit to be clean despite holding a hearing with Ference.
Puck Daddy weighs in with their semi-final predictions.
Playoff predictions from the team of writers at the Nation Network.
NHL announces the nomination for the player who is most valuable to his team.
Former NHLer Mark Napier has partnered with the Toronto Rotman Research Institute to determine the affects of brain injuries in hockey.
World Championship Links:
The red and white can’t wait for the puck to drop at the World Championships as they faceoff against Mikhail Grabovski and the Belarussians this afternoon.
Phaneuf, Schenn and Reimer all expected to play a leading role for Team Canada.
Leaf Prospect Watch:
The Portland Winterhawks are back in action tonight for game 4 of their third round series with the Spokane Chiefs. The Winterhawks have a 2-to-1 series lead and can advance to the WHL finals if they win two more games. Brad Ross has four goals and two assists in 10 playoff games for Portland.
Game 1 of the OHL finals gets underway on Tuesday night as the top-seed Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors welcome Jesse Blacker and the Owen Sound Attack to town. The winner of the best-of-seven series is guaranteed a berth in the Memorial Cup in May.
How will the second round unfold? Do the Canucks have what it takes to go all the way to the finals or have they not played as well as theirÂ seeding indicates?