Hockey After Dark: Night 8, April 19th by @DXTraeger - PensInitiative | Pittsburgh Penguins Blog | Rumors | News

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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Hockey After Dark: Night 8, April 19th by @DXTraeger

"...Where Insomnia Hits the Ice."
(Welcome to "Hockey After Dark," a late-night recap of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.  Topics will include scores, injuries, controversies, the Twitter-verse, and random jokes at the expense of the Philadelphia Flyers)

NOTE:  I fell asleep early, which is about as rare as the Philadelphia Flyers winning a game.

---Washington Capitals defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-4 (Series tied at 2-2)---

Question: When is a billionaire hockey owner sad?

Answer:  When that owner is the Washington Capitals' CEO Ted Leonsis.

Jesus!  His team hadn't even lost the game!  ...yet.
Just look at that guy.  Holy shit.  He's alone, staring down at the ice as though someone had just gone and Old Yeller', Old Yeller.

I give Leonsis some credit because he eschews normal, professional owner etiquette and can't be bothered to wear a suit or tie, opting instead to wear a Capitals jersey (rumor has it that it was of the "Ovechkin" variety), and he doubled-down by wearing what appears to be a red vest, just in case that he got really cold specifically between his arms and head/waist.

In conclusion: Leonsis is a billionaire that does things his way, both in overpaying for Brooks Orpik and Matt Niskanen AND in wearing ironically hilarious garb while sitting alone with his thoughts as this President Trophy-winning team starts to slowly collapse like a flan in the cupboard.

Washington nearly mirrored its owner's Sad Panda routine when the Caps gave up consecutive goals to narrow its 4-1 lead to a mere 4-3, but the Toronto Maple Leafs were unable to net the equalizer, thus tying the series at 2 games apiece.

I don't want to say that Washington's scoring luck is "unsustainable" but when the team is being paced by Tom "Freaking" Wilson (who scored two of Washington's five goals), yikes.  To be fair, the regular goal scoring yeomen (Alexander Ovechkin and TJ Oshie) also contributed in the eventual 5-4 win.

---Ottawa Senators defeat the Boston Bruins, 1-0 (Ottawa leads the series 3-1)---

Bobby Ryan scored early in the third period to break a 0-0 tie and his tally held up as the game winner, propelling the Ottawa Senators to a commanding 3-1 series lead over the suddenly offensively impotent Boston Bruins.

I actually didn't have to do any Photoshop work here.
The shutout was Ottawa's Craig Anderson's fourth career playoff blanking, and helped him to outduel Boston's Tuuka Rask, who stopped 26 of 27 shots on net.

Bobby Ryan scored the game-winner off of a deflected shot from Erik Karlsson, narrowly avoiding both Rask and Boston defender Zdeno Chara on its way into the net.

The Bruins pushed to tie the game, but Ottawa managed to keep the analytics darling (the Bruins for those of you scoring at home) at bay and took a commanding 3-1 series lead.

Not much description can be added to this game, as the contest was played largely within the neutral zone.  Critics can (and appropriately so) label this as the "Most Boring Game of the 2017 Playoffs to Date."

---Minnesota Wild defeat the St. Louis Blues 2-0 (STL leads the series 3-1)---

When laziness & typos meet & fall in love.
Minnesota got on the right side of luck (finally!) on Wednesday, as it was the Wild who got the stellar goaltending en route to a 2-0 win.

Devan Dubnyk stopped all 28 shots he faced, while his counterpart Jake Allen faced the same number of shots, but missed two (goals by Charlie Coyle and Martin Hanzal, who is so hot right now).

The Wild win staved off elimination for at least two days, but Minnesota still has to run the gauntlet of winning three more games consecutively to make the second round.

---Anaheim Mighty Ducks defeat the Calgary Flames (ANA wins the series 4-0)---

Anaheim got early back-to-back goals from Patrick Eaves and Nate Thompson to take a 2-0 lead, and Ryan Getzlaf iced the game with an unassisted empty netter as the Anaheim Mighty Ducks swept the upstart Calgary Flames by way of a 3-1 win.

The Flames had a torrid second half of the NHL regular season, leading many to believe that they'd be a tough out in the playoffs.

As the games unfolded, Calgary simply lacked the poise the Mighty Ducks had, and the Flames couldn't kick the "taking stupid penalties just because" habit that had plagued them even when they were winning.

Anaheim now gets to relax and await the winner of the back-and-forth San Jose/Edmonton series.

As always, feel free to respond with your questions, comments, recipes, deconstructive critiques of my FABULOUS photoshops, or the reason why the "microwave emitter" in "Batman Begins" didn't cause everyone's body to explode when the emitter was "vaporizing water."

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