In the first week of the playoffs, every game seemed like it would be a nail-biting barn burner. The last couple days, though, there have been a few contests that weren’t hanging in the balance in the final period. While Phoenix-Detroit was quite competitive, Vancouver gave the Kings a (don’t write royal don’twriteroyal don’twriteroyal) profound beating.
Detroit 4, Phoenix 1
Red Wings lead series 3-2
In the last two games, the Coyotes have only managed to score a single goal on Calder candidate Jimmy Howard. This one was tied through the middle of the third period until Detroit unloaded with two goals only 1:09 apart to take control of the game. Tomas Holmstrom scored a nice deflection goal and Pavel Dastyuk then padded Detroit’s lead with a sweet backhander. Henrik Zetterberg scored an empty netter for his sixth tally of the playoffs in the final minute to seal the deal.
The series goes back to Detroit for Game 6 and you have to wonder if Shane Doan might force himself to fight through the pain and give his sagging team a much needed boost.
Vancouver 7, Los Angeles 2
Canucks lead series 3-2
Here’s a good rule of thumb: if your goalie is pulled but then returns later on in the game and the backup hasn’t been injured … your team is probably getting destroyed. That was exactly the case with the Kings, who took a severe beating via the Vancouver Canucks. The first period was fairly pedestrian with Vancouver up 2-1, the Sedins and Mikael Samuelsson dominated the second period and the third was just an absolute mess. With two goals in that game, Samuelsson already has a career high in playoff goals for a single post-season with 7. Considering the fact that he’s frequently played deep into the summer, it’s obvious that the Swedish sniper is having a career year.
I hate to say it, but cue the Jonathan Bernier talk … even though he’s in the minors right now.