My three stars from Wednesday night:
"I've never seen a player take the kind of abuse Jarome Iginla is taking," SI contributor
On the surface, it's a befuddling strategy to use against a grizzled veteran, who has shown little fear of sticks, stones or epithets during his career. And it may have backfired in the short run. Iginla scored two goals and added an assist on Wednesday as Calgary beat Chicago on home ice, 6-4, to even its series at two games apiece. But this isn't about Iginla. It's about the Blackhawks, a once-proud franchise that had dwelled among the league's doormats before a recent revamp. This is an Original Six trying to shake the shame of malaise, stir the fans' passion and convince itself that it belongs on the ice with the establishment.
Given Chicago's opening-round foe, nobody represents that establishment better than Iginla. The Hawks are not so much standing up to somebody -- who, after all plays, the game with great integrity -- but standing up for themselves. They are finding the biggest tree in the forest to chop down rather than picking on a twig that won't steel them for the Cup run they hope to make someday soon.
On the surface,
On New York's second goal, Varlamov fielded a soft off-wing wrister from Ranger captain
The Capitals have every reason to think that they are the better team. They have outshot the Rangers by at least seven shots in each game and have a 149-99 edge for the series.
Now, picture Avery, the prankster who casually bonked Bruins goalie