Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Thoughts after Two

So both of the Conference Finals have played two games, and there are two 2-0 leads.

First up, the East. It looks like the Canadiens' Cinderella run may have come to an end. The Flyers have completely dominated them in both games, winning 6-0 in the first game, and then 3-0 in Game 2.

Hm... having a Cinderella run after being a low seed abruptly end in the Conference Finals... I'm sure us Caniacs have no idea how that feels...

Granted, the series isn't over yet, and if the Flyers of last round have taught us anything, it's that the near-impossible can happen in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. And the Canadiens have come back in a series already this playoff season against the C[r]apitals - but they're going to have to play significantly better in their next games if they want to accomplish the feat again.

The Western Finals have produced games that are definitely more interesting, although still with the same lopsided series result. The first game came down to the last minute, the Sharks receiving a powerplay and could have tied the game, but Antti Niemi came up strong and the Blackhawks won 2-1.

Game 2 didn't come down to the wire in the same way, but it was certainly closer than the Eastern Conference game that was aired before it. Ex-Cane Andrew Ladd had a very nice goal to open up scoring for the Hawks. The Blackhawks went on to score two more and the Sharks couldn't recover and lost the game 4-2.

And, just a question, but one that's been bothering me for a while. Dustin Byfuglien. Apparently, his last name is pronounced "Buff-lin". WHERE DOES THE 'G' GO?! Seriously, who looked at that last name and came up with that pronunciation? Although, it makes me curious to see how Chuck Kaiton would say it on the radio...

Finally, I've been a little lax in Canes news of late, so let me get you caught up. Last Thursday the Canes traded a 5th round pick to Phoenix for Jared Staal, Eric's youngest brother. Then on Friday they signed him to an entry-level contract. Apparently Jared is not the instant NHL sensation that his other forward brothers were, expected to stay in the minors for a bit longer. But I can't see an issue with having another Staal in the system, when the others have turned out so well.

Recent news is that Anton Babchuk may be back on his way to the States, Rutherford sounding confident that he'll be back this season. Our blueline has definitely missed his slapshot in his absence, but I can't help but remember how he completely disappeared in the 2009 playoffs. He has extreme amounts of potential... but potential that has only seemed to have shown in spurts throughout his career with the Canes. Although, I suppose the worst that could happen with his return is that he sits in the press box.

Well, that's all I've got for today! Playoff games resume on Thursday with Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final.

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