As soon as teams are eliminated after a deep playoff run, there are
two questions that are asked of players the next day.
kind are the reflections on the series loss, the season past and
rumination on what went wrong.
The next are saved for the pending
free agents. Hey, the season has only been over for a day, but what are
your plans moving forward?
Jaroslav Halak, the hero for the
Canadiens along the road of an improbable playoff run, will be a
restricted free agent with arbitration rights on July 1st. While the
Canadiens had previously turned via free agency to Carey Price, I’m
guessing that the team would rather have Halak for the long term. He’s
not thinking about any of that just yet:
“Right now, don’t think about it,” Halak said Tuesday when asked what
his priorities are when it comes to his contract status. “This is not
going to happen today or tomorrow, it’s going to happen over the summer.
“It’s a good question, but right now I just want to go on vacation and
put aside hockey and not think about it.”
There’s always the fear that a player that gets so hot in the
playoffs ends up being just a one-time shot in the pan, someone who
cashes in on a great postseason and never lives up to high expectations.
For Halak though, he’s a goaltender who was in high demand for the most
of the season, with the Canadiens reluctant to part ways with him via
trade unless a king’s ransom was paid.
Halak has the tools and the ability to a long-term, solid goaltender
for the Canadiens and he’s already become something of a cult figure in
I’m guessing the contract issues will work themselves out just fine.
There was apparently an issue with a microphone used for the national anthems prior to Game 3 between the Ducks and Oilers in Edmonton.
Canadian country music star Brett Kissel was supposed to perform the anthems, however, as he stepped up to the mic, he soon discovered that there seemed to be a malfunction.
With some quick encouragement from Kissel, fans at Rogers Place stole the show with stirring renditions of both the American and Canadian national anthems.
Here is the Star Spangled Banner:
Here is O Canada:
Good news for the Anaheim Ducks, who trail the Edmonton Oilers 2-0 in their second round series.
Ducks defenseman Sami Vatanen returns to the lineup Sunday for Game 3 — his first game since April 13, which was the opener of Anaheim’s first-round series with Calgary, because of an upper-body injury.
However, the Ducks will be without Kevin Bieksa, who is dealing with a lower-body injury.
The Nashville Predators have snapped their one-game funk in these Stanley Cup playoffs, taking back the series lead over the St. Louis Blues.
For long stretches of Sunday’s contest, the Predators kept the puck away from and stifled the Blues, including a stretch of almost nine minutes at the beginning of the second period in which St. Louis failed to register a shot attempt.
The Predators’ 3-1 victory in Game 3 was eventually secured on an unbelievably dominant shift late in the third period.
Joel Edmundson‘s (costly) turnover led to a dizzying attack from Predators, who had sustained puck possession inside the St. Louis zone for about 1:10.
By the end, Edmundson and Colton Parayko had exhausted themselves as the Predators tossed the puck around with increasing ease before Roman Josi halted the madness with a slap shot to the top corner, giving Nashville a two-goal lead.
That continues an impressive trend for the Predators.
They have scored nine goals in this series, with at least one defenseman contributing directly with either a goal or an assist on eight of those goals. Nashville’s group of blueliners — including Ryan Ellis, who has been on quite a productive roll throughout these playoffs — have combined for 11 points through three games in this series.
This series resumes Tuesday in Nashville, with the Predators leading 2-1.
Playing in Nashville over the years it has been easy for Ryan Ellis to get overlooked, always playing in the shadow of bigger name stars on the team’s blue line.
Shea Weber (before he was traded). Roman Josi. P.K. Subban.
But Ellis has been a major part of the Predators’ blue line and he had a career-year in 2016-17, setting new personal bests in goals (16) and points (38) while matching his previous career high in assists (22).
He has continued that strong play in the postseason and is currently the team’s leading scorer after he netted his third goal of the playoffs (and eighth total point) on Sunday afternoon to give the Predators a 1-0 lead over the St. Louis Blues.
You can see it in the video above.
After being held without a point in the Predators’ first playoff game, Ellis has now picked up at least one point in every playoff game since them and is now riding a six-game point streak.
The first half of Sunday’s game has been a defensive clinic by the Predators, by the way, limiting St. Louis to just 10 shots on goal through the first 34 minutes, and none through the first 14 minutes of the second period.
The Predators extended their lead to 2-0 in the second period when Cody McLeod deflected in his first goal of the playoffs to give the Predators some unexpected scoring depth. He had just five goals in 59 games during the regular season between the Predators and Colorado Avalanche.