Say what you will about the NHL’s marketing efforts in the past, it’s pretty easy to say that the series of “History Will Be Made” spots the league has crafted before and throughout the playoffs have been, for the most part, poignant and well thought out. Much like all things, however, there comes a moment where you wonder if perhaps the ad wizards in charge of everything have gotten a bit carried away and pulled a Fonz and went water skiing with it.
Enter the latest spot from the NHL featuring Dustin Byfuglien and Chris Pronger asking “What if the Blackhawks couldn’t be bullied?”
Never mind the question the spot asks since Game 5 was the only game in the finals where we really saw the Blackhawks get physical right back with the Flyers. How about the NHL giving some folks the idea (read: crazy conspiracy theorists and/or Flyers fans) that the league is openly rooting for the Blackhawks? And we bet you thought all the tinfoil hat talk went away with the Red Wings… Ha!
So what do you think dear readers? Is the league taking sides here or is this just an example of a great ad campaign going over the top?
Sharks swarm in the third period, take down Predators in Game 1
But that all changed in the final period. It started with Tomas Hertl on the power play finding room just under the glove of Rinne to get San Jose on the board. Joel Ward followed that up with a gorgeous deke, tucking the puck in behind Rinne just as he started to go behind the net, as San Jose was able to take advantage of a defensive breakdown.
Logan Couture added the eventual winner. Within the span of 13 minutes, the Sharks had completely taken over, cashing in on two Nashville penalties and a defensive lapse.
When the onslaught was over, the Sharks skated off with a 5-2 win in Game 1 of this second-round series with the Predators, who only wrapped up a seven-game series win over Anaheim on Wednesday.
Ryan Johansen made it interesting, cutting into San Jose’s lead with under two minutes remaining, but any further comeback attempt was quickly halted by a pair of empty net goals from the Sharks.
The game ended with a dust-up along the boards, before cooler heads did prevail.
Another North Dakota junior goes pro as Blackhawks sign Luke Johnson
Brock Boeser, Vancouver’s 2015 first-round pick and coming off an impressive freshman year, will return to North Dakota for his sophomore year, as per Canucks general manager Jim Benning earlier this month.
Video: Black cat hits the ice before Sharks-Predators Game 1
The Dallas Stars scored a late winner, held on in the final minute and eventually struck first in their best-of-seven second-round series with the St. Louis Blues.
Once again, it was the speed and skill of the Stars that proved to be the difference in the end. Radek Faksa scored with less than five minutes remaining in the third period, breaking the deadlock and giving Dallas a 2-1 victory and 1-0 series lead over their Central Division foes on Friday.
As he entered the zone on the rush, Faksa dished off to a flying Ales Hemsky, who was denied by Brian Elliott in alone. But Faksa followed up, jamming in the rebound to give the Stars the lead, as both St. Louis defensemen Jay Bouwmeester and Alex Pietrangelo were caught by the speed of the Dallas forwards on the rush.
The Stars held on from there, as the Blues made a late push to tie the game.
Kari Lehtonen stopped 31 of 32 shots for Dallas, while Elliott was busy throughout the night, stopping 40 of 42 shots.