NHL Playoff Let Downs

chris saccoContributor IApril 16, 2009

WASHINGTON - APRIL 15:  Nik Antropov #80 of the New York Rangers sets up a second period goal against Jose Theodore #60 of the Washington Capitals during Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals of the 2009 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs on April 15, 2009 at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Len Redkoles/Getty Images)

The first round of the playoffs have begun and only some goalies look sharp.

In the NY Rangers first game against the Washington Capitals, Henrik Lundqvist looked a little off in the second period, but rebounded in the third.

Allowing three goals on 35 shots, Lundqvist played a good game. Against an explosive Capitals offense, he was the reason the Rangers won.

The key to the Rangers success has been their solid defense, which appeared to be out of place at times. Alex Ovechkin was all over the place and getting quality shots on the NY net minder.

Recording 13 shots on goal, the Rangers really need to try and shut him down a little more.

Jose Theodore on the other hand, was far worse.

Facing 21 shots, Theodore allowed the Rangers to score four goals on him.

If the Capitals are going to make a serious run at the cup, Theodore needs to step up and play much better than he did.

Looking at the Washington Capitals, goal tending is definitely their weakness. If the Rangers can put a lot of pucks on net, they should get passed the Caps.

The big rivalry between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Philadelphia Flyers has spilled over into the playoffs once again.

Taking way too many penalties, the Flyers dug themselves a whole, which they could not get out of. This left Martin Biron vulnerable to Penguins offense all night. Biron faced 33 shots on which he gave up four goals.

Three of the four goals, he probably should've stopped.

This is without a doubt the Flyers weak spot. And it has been for years. Going back to when Ron Hextall was in net for them, the Flyers goalies have allowed soft goals.

Marc- Andre Fleury looked very comfortable in net for the Penguins.

He put up a very solid performance and wasn't chasing the play around getting out of position.

Aside from one stupid mistake, when he was called for tripping in the third, allowing the Flyers to score their first goal, he was the second best goalie of the night.

In New Jersey, the Devils squared off against the Carolina Hurricanes.

Apparently no one told the Hurricanes that it was the playoffs or that these games are the most important ones, because nobody showed up.

This was probably one of the easiest games for the Devils to win. The Canes were running around in disarray like somebody had spilled an ant farm. It was ridiculous.

Facing 39 shots from the Devils, Cam Ward faced more shots than any of the other goalies that played last night. Allowing four goals, three of which were horrible, Ward was pretty much awful—though the whole team was just as bad 

On the other side of the ice was Martin Brodeur.

Well, what can I say?

Marty faced a whopping 19 shots in the first game against the Canes, and stopped 18 of them.

Just how does he do it?

This guy is like a magician. I can't believe I didn't see it sooner. He is a god.

By the way, that is sarcasm for all you Devils fans.

C'mon! There is no way anyone with a brain can say that he had any impact on that game what so ever. The fat guy in the fourth row could have won that game for the Devils.

However, Chris Mason of the St. Luis Blues had a huge impact in the game against the Canucks.

Keeping the Blues in the game up to the end, Mason was the best goalie of the night. Allowing two goals on 31 shots, Mason was really good.

Roberto Luongo put up an impressive showing but really wasn't challenged as much. The Canucks played a solid game and kept the Blues on their heels, coming out with the win.


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