All hail the new lord of Tomato Cans – Tanner Glass.
It only took 65 playoff games but he finally strung together ten solid minutes of playing time and contributed 2 assists – and all in one game! Therefore, all the empirical evidence on the wasted roster spots of 4th line fighters is rendered moot and we now live in a world where everyone needs a Tanner Glass type player on their roster if they want to win 7 to 8 games in the post-season (Though I suppose that’s a step up from the combined 3 wins the Hawks have had the past two playoffs).
If you have to say anything about this Rangers/Senators series when Erik Karlsson is not involved, it’s that it will be completely forgotten by the the time it’s over and no one will ever remember it happened. God bless the Senator fans for being smart enough to realize their team has 0 realistic Cup aspirations and still had plenty of open seats for a playoff game as recently as Game 2. Perhaps some Senators fans can speak at the upcoming Bulls re-education camp this summer to help instruct some of the yokels here.
–I do feel slightly bad for Caps fans. Unfortunately, the Caps seem to have entered that rarified air of Murphy’s law of playoff weirdness that transcends sports. The Cubs and Red Sox are the first two teams that come to mind as former members of this group that needed this type of moment before they could finally break through. I’m sure there are others that aren’t coming immediately to mind.
Basically, what it boils down to is that it’s going to take a moment (or a comeback) like this if they’re ever going to win it. It’s sort of what I was expecting going into this series. There was no way the Capitals were going to sweep through or dismiss the Penguins in 5 or 6. When teams have failed this many times before and against the same team each time, it almost always requires some sort of revived from the dead/miraculous comeback.
So here they are. Down 3-1 and everyone ready to dance over their grave. If they can see past the smog of death, they’ll notice their only very difficult task will be winning one more game in Pittsburgh. If they keep playing as they are, they’re going to win (at least) one of those games in Washington quite easily. Pittsburgh would be foolish to play Crosby in anything but a Game 7 at this point. Winning the next three games shouldn’t be as monumental of a task as it probably feels to them right now.
Of course, it’s easier to say this as an outsider and not covered in the stench of previous playoff failures.
–In the West, Anaheim may have broken Cam Talbot in Game 4. With a 2-0 lead at home and facing a Ducks team that loves to fall on their face, the Oilers had their chance to put them away. That didn’t happen. Instead, the series heads back to Anaheim with the Ducks regaining home ice and the feeling that they’ve finally solved Talbot and therefore are never out of any game for the remainder of this series.
Naturally, this is the time to remind everyone that if a series was best-of-5, the Ducks would be a 7-time Cup winner already. No team loves to win 3 games and then forget how to play hockey more than this outfit. So while I’m inclined to believe Anaheim is going to push through; I will certainly not be surprised if Lucy pulls the football out from underneath them. Again.
–In one of the rare predictions we nailed in our playoff preview podcast, the winner of the Blues/Wild series appears to, indeed, be a speed bump for the winner of the Preds/Hawks series. Mike Yeo and the Blues just can’t help themselves and are more worried about what the Predators are saying to the officials between plays than how to actually slow down their attack. So the Blues will do what they do best – go away. Never change.
Should be a couple of fun ones tonight regardless who you’re rooting for.