If you are a Pittsburgh Penguins fan who watched even a few minutes of the other Game 1s this weekend, you were probably treated to an ice cream sundae with hot fudge type of game. There was the incredible goalie duel between Vegas Golden Knights’ Marc-Andre Fleury and Minnesota Wild Cam Talbot, which Minnesota won. The wild OT win by the Washington Capitals with a backup goalie over the Boston Bruins. If you saw any of the Florida-Tampa Bay Game 1 on Sunday night, you probably couldn’t turn the channel as those teams turned in a 1980s classic performance that kept hearts racing before Tampa Bay center Brayden Point scored a breakaway goal with 74 seconds left.
I’m sure the Penguins game on Sunday was great for excitement purposes, too, though probably less so if you have a rooting interest in the Penguins.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: The Pittsburgh Penguins losing ways in the playoffs cannot continue. There were things to build on in Game 1, but three things the Penguins MUST change.
For PHN+ subscribers, the Penguins report card explains what the New York Islanders changed in the third period. Little change = big result.
From New York:
NYI: “Level headed” Ilya Sorokin shined in the Islanders win.
NYI: THIS is why the Islanders brought in Kyle Palmieri.
NHL & National Hockey Now:
Vegas Hockey Now: Marc-Andre Fleury was absolutely brilliant. He made 10-bell save after 10-bell save, but finally, Minnesota won, 1-0.
I know what Pittsburgh Penguins fans are thinking when they see that performance. Just remember who the last guy on that hill was (though I seem to have a lot of company now).
The Florida Panthers-Tampa Bay Lightning game had tongues on Twitter wagging. It was so good. End to end. Big hits. Big saves. Great offensive efforts. Kids, if you hear us old geezers talk about the salad days of the 1980s, you got a good look at it in this game.
Sportsnet: Here’s a recap and a highlight reel of Nikita Kucherov’s goals and the first-round awesomeness.
Now, not to salt an otherwise awesome weekend, but why are NHL teams allowed to absolutely destroy the salary cap in the playoffs? I know there are technical answers (players don’t get paid for the playoffs), but it’s ludicrous that a team like Tampa Bay can load up with players on IR, then unleash the fury in the playoffs with a $98 million roster.
To recap, three favorites lost Game 1 (so far), Vegas, Boston, and the Penguins. At least two of the three will rally to win their series. But which ones?
TSN: Montreal is making a mess of their yet to begin Round One series. Rookie sensation Cole Caufield apparently won’t play in Game One because he doesn’t have “experience,” according to coach Dominique Ducharme. However, Carey Price and Brendan Gallagher will play an AHL game or two to get back in shape after long injury absences.
It’s out thinking yourself 101 if Caufield doesn’t play.
Philly: If you need a few fisticuffs to start your Monday, Wade Allison dropped his opponent twice in a good scrap on Sunday.
Boston: Brad Marchand noticed a young girl was struck by an errant puck in pregame warmups before Game 1…so, he signed a stick and had it delivered.
Pretty cool, Marchand. Pretty cool.
Colorado: Top defenseman Erik Johnson wants to play this season, but concussion symptoms persist from his late January concussion.
San Jose: Exit interviews–Is 32-year-old Logan Couture still in his prime?