While we have massive storms and downpours in Tennessee, I hope everyone is looking forward to a good weekend full of playoff hockey and anything else interesting and fun.
Last night's second round opener was a real surprise. After Vancouver dominated Chicago for two periods it was really looking like a short series. I was looking at comments on Twitter as the second period wound down and folks were dropping like flies heading for videos, the X-box and anything else looking like it might have more life to it than the Hawks.
The Hawks did come back and serve notice to the Canucks that they had every intention of being competitive and fought back to a 3-3 tie with five minutes left and were clearly out skating the Nooks. With 1:13 left Sami Salo save the day for the collapsing Canucks and pulled it out for the home team.
In spite of the loss, Chicago proved that they would be competitive and would not go quietly. I am going to have to reconsider my Canucks in six pick as this one may indeed go seven and I would say it's a toss up at this point as to who will win.
Tonight's games have a couple of great match ups with Anaheim at Detroit and Carolina going to Boston. As usual, I will be more focused on the Western conference match-up since they run fairly concurrently. I simply don't understand why they can't stagger two games more than 30 minutes.
In Predator News...
The Milwaukee Admirals lost their first post-season game of the year to the Houston Aeros last night. It appears that they forgot the week long break was over as even the Houston coach feels like they caught a break and said "things are gonna get harder now". Ryan at the Red Light District has a breakdown of all the Calder Cup action.
Chris Mason was solid in goal and Shea Weber scored a power play goal as Canada beat the Czech Republic 5-1 on Thursday. Team USA plays France today and Pekka (Finland) plays Slovakia. Scott Clemonson has been added to Team USA. They must have been listening to The Program on BTR on Wednesday night when we were scouring the internet looking for goalies better than Robert Esche.
From Brandon Felder - Mark McGee's latest column is up over at www.hockeybuzzradio.com and is about Alexander (Rudy) Radulov.
Dirk is out of town but still on top of things with his playoff previews at On the Forcheck.
Rachel at What The Puck has part 4 of her Preds Season wrap-up.
"Squish Em"! Interesting from NHL.com Comedic look at Southern hockey. Don't read this if you aren't a bit thick skinned.
Other news around the NHL
In all the pick news yesterday, I omitted friend Sarah Connors in Boston at For Puck's Sake.
The Jack Adam's Trophy finalists were announced and include Todd McLellan, Andy Murray, and Claude Julien.
The NHL Tweetups are still going strong in other cities under the fine leadership of @dani2boyz. Site maker @goaliegirl has made a cool calendar at her NHL Tweetup site. The first one here was a lot of fun. Anyone else think we need to do it again in Nashville before the playoffs are over?
Interesting Pop Quiz from Puck Daddy on the Bruins-Hurricanes match-up.
ChicsHockey is contemplating Jaromir Jagr's return to the NHL (in Edmonton, year after next?).
XM Fantasy Guru, Canadian Rocker and Juno Games star Rob Higgins has joined the Twitterverse as @Higgy2112. Give him an add.
Pansification in hockey? I thought it was pantification. Same principle I guess.
Off Topic Stuff...
Completely off topic but this is a must read for anyone who appreciated the writing of Gonzo journalist Hunter S Thompson. I read it at least one annually on Derby weekend to get in the true spirit of the event that anyone who has been can relate to.
More OT stuff from @perrybelcher - a bad intersection.
More later as usual...
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass
@usahockey Team USA earned a 6-2 win over France at the WC's in Switzerland & continues qualifying round Sat. against Russia
@stevens8204 Pekka Rinne makes 25 saves as Finland outlasts Slovakia 2-1 in OT!
The Predators have good summary of today's US and Finland action.