Should be a fun filled night of hockey playoff action tonight as two of the games are do-or-die game 7’s and one is bound to be. Here are the match-ups and why you should or should not tune in.
Boston Bruins @ Montreal Canadiens
More drama than a soap opera, the Montreal Canadiens look to tie up the series at 3 a piece. Starting in the regular season with the Zdeno Chara hit on Max Pacioretty, the Habs fans tried to get Chara in hot water by calling the police to investigate the action. Failing to have Chara serve hard time before the series, the show continued. Game four brought another bit of excitement as Boston Bruins Andrew Ference was fined for displaying the California howdy to the Montreal crowd. Ference took a Janet Jackson defense claiming a wardrobe malfunction.
The games have been quite abnormal with a win-on-the-road series for the first four games. The Boston Bruins have finally won one at home to lead the series 3-2. This was of course without lack of excitement as the win came in the second overtime. Expect Montreal to come out flying fast and peppering goalie Tim Thomas with pucks. The series is set-up to be going to game 7.
Buffalo Sabres @ Philadelphia Flyers
The Buffalo Sabres had the Philadelphia Flyers on the brink of defeat, only to lose on home ice in 5-4 loss in overtime. Traveling to the sea of Orange, the Sabres have a tall order to fill to win.
On a bright note, the Sabres look to bring back secret weapon Derek Roy after suffering a torn left quadriceps tendon. This will however be at the offsetting loss of Tim Connolly. Connolly was driven into the boards from behind by Flyers Mike Richards. Some might even call it a boarding. Richards, who you could say started the whole reason for taking blindside hits to the head more serious with his hit on David Booth, will not receive any suspension. After reviewing the tape, it was difficult to decide the severity of the hit and if it warranted a suspension…. if your name is Helen Keller. Connolly knocked out the for the series, hit from behind, can NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell be fired yet? I think the weather man/woman gets more calls right.
Regardless of the outcome of the game, one team needs to advance only to be eliminated in the next round. Watch if you have nothing better to do.
Chicago Blackhawks @ Vancouver Canucks
Welcome to the maiiiiiin event!
That’s right, the defending Stanley Cup Champions Chicago Blackhawks look to eliminate the season leading record Vancouver Canucks. After losing the majority of their team in the offseason to salary cap issues, the Blackhawks barely made it into the postseason only to give the Canucks a run for their money. Losing the first 3 games and winning the last 3, momentum looks to be on their side.
Vancouver is in a panic and rightfully so. On the verge of being called the new San Jose Sharks with their lack of ability to produce in the postseason, the “untouchable on paper” Canucks can be eliminated. Media outlets are trying to pin point the turning point, saying the Canucks Raffi Torres hit on Blackhawk defender Brent Seabrook woke up the giant. I don’t quite buy that, but I do buy that Vancouver General Manager Mike Gillis is trying to deflect media attention from net-minder Roberto Luongo with his claim that the referees are out to get them. Sure Chicago has had 27 power-plays to your 16 in the series, 22 to your 12 in the last 4 games, but hey, who’s counting? OK, maybe Gillis has a point, but still, Luongo looks bad, real bad. With a career 2.57 goals against average and .915 save percentage for the playoffs, I think we know who to point the finger at and it is not the refs.
Should be a fast paced game and worth watching, even worth staying up late on the east coast. Either one of these teams very well could be in the championship this year, which one though will be decided tonight.