This has been a beautiful first week of the playoffs. Tonight we have three games and all of them will break 1-1 ties. Every single one of these games could be pivotal (although Game 5’s tend to be bigger). Let’s take a look at the three games we have to look forward to.
(1) Washington Capitals vs. (8) Montreal Canadiens 7:00 PM EDT (TSN, CSN Mid-Atlantic)
Game 2 was, by my estimation, insane. Scott Gomez fought Tom Poti. The Canadiens began the game 4-1 only for the Capitals to tie it up by going 4-1 right back at them (then Backstrom scored the OT GWG, obviously). Both Andrei Kostitsyn and Nicklas Backstrom scored a hat trick and Jose Theodore went 0-for-2. Just a weird, weird game. If the switch to Montreal can maintain the oddness, it could be an awful lot of fun.
(3) Buffalo Sabres vs. (6) Boston Bruins 7:00 PM EDT (Versus, CBC, MSG, NESN)
Perhaps the Boston Bruins transmitted their injury bug to the Buffalo Sabres. Buffalo will be without their best goal scorer, Thomas Vanek, for at least tonight’s game. Drew Stafford’s return might soothe the pain (slightly), but they need Vanek back. The one bit of good news: the Bruins aren’t very good at home with a 18-17-6 record in Boston. Should be interesting to watch.
(3) Vancouver Canucks vs. (6) Los Angeles Kings 10:00 PM EDT (Versus, CBC, FS West)
The Kings haven’t hosted a playoff game since 2001-02 so … yeah, this should be a pretty big deal. The best part of it for Los Angeles fans is that their team has at least a reasonable chance; after all, they were able to come back from an 0-2 deficit to take Game 2. Will the Kings do well in their “Back in Black” Gretzky-era knock-offs? We’ll have to wait and see.