Playoff slapshots: Sunday's stars, Caps crack, more notes
My Three Stars from Sunday's action:
Playing at the Garden in the playoffs will test Varlamov's mettle, but the move also emboldens the Rangers. A second seed making a radical move like that after only one game? It signals that the Caps aren't as cohesive behind the scenes as their outwardly abundant confidence would have you think. And with the Rangers getting superlative goaltending from
Ovechkin, who hasn't scored in his two playoff games this postseason, wasn't scouting his foes for Game 3. No, he was watching because he thought it would "piss off" New York head coach
"Because they're afraid of me," Ovechkin said with a smile. Tortorella, meanwhile, said after practice that he didn't notice the sniper's presence, but maybe that's because Ovie was watching from the bench. Because let's be honest: Everyone takes notice when A.O. is on the ice.
Still, the Ducks had 22 road wins this season and were the only playoff team with a better away record than at home. Plus, they have their veteran core of players who are just two years removed from winning the Stanley Cup, and rookie sensation
So, maybe we shouldn't be all that surprised. At the very least, the Ducks are as tough a first round draw as any Presidents' Trophy-winning team could ever imagine. With the Sharks faithful clamoring for playoff success after years of almosts, there is no rationalizing a first-round exit. But, if
Saturday night's 5-1 trouncing of the Habs was as complete a hockey game as a team can play. The Bruins were physical yet disciplined, creative without cockiness and committed to supporting one another on both sides of the puck.
For Game 3 in Montreal, the Bruins will have to endure the one-game suspension of hulking winger