In the beginning of the first period, this was looking like another typical Montreal Canadiens playoff game. Jaroslav Halak was under siege worse than Steven Segal at certain points, yet the Philadelphia Flyers only managed one powerplay goal from Braydon Coburn.
The big difference is that the Canadiens are showing a little more punch, even if they haven’t pierced Flyers goalie Michael Leighton just yet. Leighton had 13 saves in one period for Philly while Halak seems like he’s playing more like Marc-Andre Fleury or Jose Theodore with only 5 of 6 saves. Sure, Montreal hasn’t had that many great scoring chances, but it’s rare enough for the Habs to have a 2-1 (or better) shoots for versus against ratio.
Despite the shot disparity, Philadelphia is playing confident, aggressive hockey right now. These two teams are on remarkable hot streaks and it looks like the Canadiens might really struggle with the Flyers.
So far, this series is looking quite intriguing. More updates to come.
For a little more than a minute, Brandon Saad was going to be the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ opener. Instead, his power-play goal merely got the ball rolling on a flabbergasting finish.
The New York Rangers scored three goals in 1:17 of game time to manage a 4-2 win.
They’ve now spoiled home openers for the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets to begin their 2015-16 season.
It might be easiest just to show you when the goals were scored, noting that the third period began with a 1-1 tie.
Brandon Saad power-play goal: 16:10 into third period (2-1 Columbus)
Oscar Lindberg: 17:24 (2-2 tie)
Kevin Hayes: 17:41 (3-2 Rangers)
Mats Zuccarello: 18:41 (4-2 Rangers)
Yikes. Zuccarello scored two of the Rangers’ goals, while a beauty by Cam Atkinson is likely long forgotten.
This post will be updated if there’s video of that staggering sequence.
Mike Babcock admitted that there might be a painful transformation as he tries to fix the Toronto Maple Leafs.
His old friends made that abundantly, painfully clear on Friday.
As of this writing, the Detroit Red Wings are up 4-0 on the Buds. Justin Abdelkader just completed a hat trick with James Reimer in net, so the subplot isn’t just about Jonathan Bernier having another tough start.
The big story might just be Detroit’s varied new line of Abdelkader, Dylan Larkin (who scored his first career goal) and Henrik Zetterberg. At the moment, they’ve combined for seven points.
This post will be updated if Detroit’s tribute video to Babcock surfaces.
Really, though, this beating has been about as ugly as this blanket so far.
Here’s video of Abdelkader’s hat trick: