2010 NHL Playoffs: The Good, the Bad, and the Biting?
When the 2010 NHL Playoff Bracket was finalized, there were few hockey fans who thought that there would be a second round series between the Montreal Canadiens and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Nor did many of us think that the Red Wings would be down three games to one against the San Jose Sharks.
The Boston Bruins, to some peoples' surprise not only made it to the second round but will play what could be the fourth and deciding game tonight in Philly and sweep the home team.
Chicago, as young and talented as they are, weren't expected to give the Vancouver Canucks much of a fight but Luongo has been better than ordinary and the Sedins' have been all but invisible. Now we're all wondering if the Canucks have a chance.
Let's take a look at some of the good, bad, and down right weird stuff that has happened in this years playoffs so far.
The Good—PK Subban
If the Habs do in fact eliminate the defending Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins from the playoffs, PK Subban will deserve a lot of the credit.
Not as Much as Jaroslav Halak obviously, but more than say...the Kostitsyns.
After being called up for Game 6 against the Capitals, his time in these 2010 playoffs has been like something out of a story book.
The night of his debut saw his parents Rexdale, Ontario home filled with friends and family. The Habs victory in his first NHL playoff game was made even sweeter when Subban contributed with an assist.
“All the shouting and laughter. It was just unbelievable,” recounted his father Karl, “It was a victory for all of us. So they came to share in the victory."
“It was a big moment for P.K. but it was also a big moment for our family and friends. I haven’t been able to answer all the email messages and phone calls. It’s been overwhelming.”
20 year old PK would score his first career NHL Playoff goal two games later in game 1 against the Penguins and has been impressive in all six games in which he has appeared.
He is an even 0 in the +/- category, has two assists and a goal for three points and has yet to take a penalty.
This youngster is going to be worth watching and is making his father Karl a Toronto school principal very proud.
“Having P.K. as a son has given me more credibility, believe me. I see it every day at school. It’s true,” he said. “The kids listen to what I have to say and now they think I know what I’m talking about.”
The Bad—Penguin "Own Goal"
Pittsburgh's Kris Letang is quite probably beside himself this morning after deflecting the a Brian Gionta wrist shot into his own net off of his skate to give the Habs the lead and ultimately the win in last night Eastern Conference Semi-Final match-up.
This was not the first "own goal" of this post season as we will see later.
When asked about the Canadiens good fortune in these playoffs Habs goal tender Halak said quite simply, "We have nothing to lose, no one gave us a chance to get through the first round."
Sidney Crosby and the Penguins quite simply look lost for the most part. An injury to Staal, may have had it's effect on the team for the last game, as much as the injury to Guerin may be having an effect on the series.
But if the Penguins are to have a hope of repeating as Stanley Cup Champions, they have to find a way to keep the hungry Habs out of their zone.
Philadelphia Flyers Daniel Carcillo expected to be involved in some unpleasant incidents during his teams second round match up against the Boston Bruins.
An act of cannibalism was not one of them.
Carcillo accused Bruins center Marc Savard of biting his finger during a scrum to the left of the Flyers net at 5:55 of the second period. The forward didn’t expose the indented digit in the visitors dressing room, but he had some harsh things to say about Savard.
"The last time I was bit was in grade school,” said Carcillo when asked if there were bite marks on his hand. “It’s not a good feeling and it’s pretty cowardly.”
Savard didn’t deny that his teeth came in contact with Carcillo’s hand, but he insisted that the Flyers left winger was practicing an unlicensed form of dentistry.
“He pummeled on my face,” said Savard. “He pulled on my teeth, so I guess that’s biting when a guy tries to pull your front teeth out like his. I don’t see how that (is biting).”
In the seconds leading up to the alleged gorge, Savard was whacking away at Flyers goalie Brian Boucher. Carcillo reacted in a rage as he and defenseman Kimmo Timonen drove Savard into the boards behind the goal.
Left winger Scott Hartnell joined the fun and landed a dropping shot on the side of Savard’s helmet. After the combatants were separated, Savard was sent to the penalty box for slashing Boucher.
Carcillo wasn’t buying Savard’s version. An accomplished NHL brawler, Carcillo insisted he has never tried to extract another man’s teeth with an open hand during a hockey game.
“Oh yeah, that’s what I do when I get in a scrum, I try and pull people’s teeth out,” said Carcillo in a tone of biting sarcasm. “He bit me, and the ref didn’t see.
The incident is not without precedent in postseason games played in Boston. During a heated 1983 NBA playoff game between the Celtics [team stats] and the Hawks, C’s guard and current general manager Danny Ainge emerged from a pile claiming he’d been bitten by Atlanta’s 7-foot-1 center Tree Rollins.
Carcillo harbors no warm feelings for the Bruins. He got the better of a nasty fight with B’s tough guy Shawn Thornton during the Winter Classic at Fenway Park .
When asked about the Flyers series deficit, Carcillo towed the team line and said
“We just have to stay with it. Obviously our crowd is going to get behind us. We have a lot of energy in that building.”
The Good—Dan Boyle
Scoring a goal on your own net is not only rare, but it is virtually unheard of in the playoffs.
Still, in the 2010 NHL Playoffs it has happened twice.
Dan Boyles, more than Kris Letangs had some serious potential to do harm though, but instead it seemed to be a point that galvanized the San Jose Sharks.
The very next game, Boyle scored the opening goal of the game foe the Sharks who went on to tie the series with a 2-1 overtime win over Colorado.
Since that game the Sharks have gone 5-1 and are on the brink of eliminating the Detroit Red Wings from the 2010 Stanley Sup Playoffs.
The Bad—Sid the Kid
Sydney Crosby hasn't score a goal since game five of the Penguins first round match up against the Ottawa Senators.
In fact, he has only three assists in the last five games which is one of a couple of reasons that the Canadiens, their second round opponents, are enjoying a 2-2 series tie right now.
Crosby's lack of production isn't really the reason he is on the "bad" list though.
Crosby is on the bad list for his antics in game 2 of the Penguins series against Montreal.
Don't tell me he was just frustrated, don't tell me he is only human, and please, please don't tell me he was pissed because Montreals Dominic Moore didn't get a penalty. He skated into Moores back.
This is the one and only time you will ever see me compare Sydney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin in the same breath. Sidney showed a complete and utter disregard for the games, the fans, and his team mates by throwing his little temper tantrum and is very lucky he didn't get an unsportsmanlike penalty.
The Ugly—Playoff Officials
I realize that the accompanying photo is of a linesman and not of a Ref, but you get the point.
I am not here to necessarily bash the refs, but for the love of all things hockey people!
I'm not what you would call an advocate of calling fifty-three penalties a game, I am however an advocate of consistent officiating.
This is playoff hockey, I get that.
But if you are going to let stuff go the whole game, don't start calling in the last ten minutes.
Shame on the CBC for showing that lovely little montage of "non-calls" against the Habs and not doing the same for the Penguins last night.
The whole game was absolute garbage from an officiating stand point and the NHL should perhaps re-evaluate their priorities when it comes to the rest of these 2010 NHL Playoffs.