If you bought new Mach 3 razors, save em for the summer because the NHL playoffs have sprung into action, and donning a playoff beard is so official. Originated by the New York Islanders dynasty in the 1980's as a good luck charm, the playoff beard can make anyone look rough, tough, and give someone the impression there's no quit here.
The new season got off to a great first week with 7 games going into overtime, and 14 one goal games demonstrating the hard fought level of play
A quick recap of the first week:
The Flyers led by Chris Pronger and Mike Richards have done a great job against the Devils really using their size to an advantage to control the play. Their dominating the boards and controlling the puck, holding the Devils to just 4 shots Sunday in the third period and overtime. Marty Broduer is going to have to pull a rabbit out of his hat cause the Devils could be in trouble here with the Flyers taking a 2-1 series lead.
Colorado's Craig Anderson did his Patrick Roy impression, stopping 51 shots for a shutout in Game 3 against the top seeded San Jose Sharks in a game that ended on a Dan Boyle goof. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PAQQyNw1lg . Dany Heatley missed the game with an undisclosed injury and is desperately needed as the Sharks look to avoid another season of choking on a pole. The Avalanche have a 2-1 series lead but will have to be better in Game 4.
The Bruins have jumped out to a 2-1 series lead behind goalie Tukka Rask, and horse Zdeno Chara. Zdeno Chara a man they once called Lurch at an Islanders training camp, is eating up minutes as well as Sabre forwards. He's also contributing to the score sheet. The Bruins prefer the low scoring, hard fought scrappy style as they don't have the depth up front for a high scoring affair. Ryan Miller might have to go Olympia on em, if they want to move on.
All the Kings Men from Los Angeles have really had a spark in their series against Vancouver getting production from their big names as Kopitar, Doughty, Handzus and Smyth have come ready to play. Bobby Lu is going to have to rebound strong if the Canucks want to get back in the series. His effort in Game 3 was weak sauce and the Luuuuu's might turn to Boooo's in Vancouver. The Kings lead the series 2-1 and have cool dark knight black jerseys they rocked in Game 3.
This years NHL biggest surprise the Phoenix Coyotes continue to shake heads. How?? Led by Ilya Brzygalov in goal this scrappy bunch goes hard and have done a good job defensively against Detroit taking a 2-1 series lead. Their going to need to keep fighting and winning the battles as Detroit can never be counted out with the likes of Zetterberg, Datsyuk and Lidstrom. Will be interesting to see if Chris Osgood gets a look for Detroit as Jimmy Howard has looked like a rookie in this new season.
After early jitters in Game 1 the CA PS have found their game. Nicklas Backstroms hat trick in Game 2 not only evened up the series, it also gave them back their swagger. Game 3 saw Boyd Gordon, Eric Fehr and Brooks Laich all find the back of the net and take some of the pressure off Alex Ovechkin. Capitals coach Bruce Boudrau made the goaltending change from Jose Theodore to Semyon Varlamov a move everyone saw coming.
The Preds leave the Windy City with a split and if your Barry Trotz you have to like that. In a matchup between two Finnish goaltenders Anti Niemi vs Pekka Rinne the Preds have a slight edge but will have to score goals to match the likes of Kane, Toews and Hossa. If the Preds can continue to slow the game down and frustrate the Hawks we could have a major upset at hand.
If your Sidney Crosby, and you can't even grow a playoff beard just score a lot of big goals and we can't say anything.