The puck sometimes seems to have a life of its own, and in the two games last night, it really took off. Not to take anything away from the players and all of their hard work, but sometimes, strange things just happen.
Boston and Philadelphia
Does anyone understand that weird goal that slipped in off Boucher in the second period? It just completely disappeared and then re-appeared, inexplicably, in the back of the net. The commentators called that one a stinky goal, and weren't even sure who it would be attributed to.
The Flyers came back strong against Boston, taking home team advantage and welcoming back Simon Gagne. Just like the triumphant comeback from injury of Marc Savard, it was Philadelphia's turn to have a tie-breaking goal when it mattered the most from one of their heroes. The last game is the hardest one to win; this is not a cliche, but just the simple truth.
Boston could have won this game and completed a full sweep of Philadelphia at any point in this game. They played really hard, too, playing their game, being gritty, using their size, and getting in the right spots at the right time. Their goaltending has been consistent and spectacular and Lucic is back, better than ever.
It just looks like Philadelphia wanted it more. They were reignited by the crowd, and the return of one of their stars and they were on the brink. A real sense of urgency is sometimes the deciding factor in a game, and this was a team that didn't want to lose. Whether or not they can carry this into the next game is still a question.
Vancouver and Chicago
More second period shenanigans, this time in the Vancouver-Chicago game where an intense fight for the puck in front of Lou's net resulted in a whole lot of nothing as the puck actually ended up in the far corner where nobody was playing. This was definitely the most hilarious puck trick of the night, maybe of the entire playoffs.
A name that you heard a lot in last night's game was Byfuglien, who, for the life of me, I can't figure out the discrepancy between the way this name is spelled and the way that this name is pronounced. How can you have a name where seemingly the entire middle of it is silent? It's like the ugli in his name is kept out for some weird reason and then put back in whenever he hits the ice. Because this man's an agitator and he seems to have Lou and the Sedin twins in his back pocket.
Not that this is the only bad blood in this series. The trash talking is happening at top speed on and off the ice and it would be hilarious if it wasn't causing the Canucks to lose games that they should be winning.
This is not a clear contest. The Canucks are losing this series to themselves. They're being their own worst enemy by letting the Blackhawks get to them in this way. The Sedins are spending more time in the box right now than scoring and this is a bad use of everyone's time. The Canucks took so many penalties the other night and most of them were just plain stupid.
The Canucks have got to stop playing like boys at school trying to face off with the local bullies and start playing like real men in control of the game and their emotions. They're ruining what started off as a good playoff run by getting suckered into petty fights over nothing.
The talking is getting tiresome. It's not only ruining the game of the Canucks, it's also ruining the ebb and flow of the games themselves and ends up looking more like the View than a hockey game. Yeah, because that's what we all want to see when we tune into pro sports, a lot of yapping back and forth and personal digs. Get these guys some mugs and coffee and we can let them have a good old-fashioned pre-menstrual bitch fight.
Get over yourselves and start thinking like winners, Vancouver. Show some maturity, show some swagger, shut your ears, shut your mouths, and blast the hell out of them in their zone. Give Niemi something to fear by sending more and more shots on the net. A few good goals should put ugli out.