The season is upon us and every team is going into it with high hopes of winning the Stanley Cup. Some teams have what appear to be more legitimate chances at doing that than others do but that’s not going to put a damper on the eternal optimism that every fan has when the season begins anew on Thursday night.
With 30 teams all in the same boat when the season starts, the question always falls back upon one simple thought: Who’s going to win the Stanley Cup? Will the Bruins roll to repeat this year and be the first team since the ’97 and ’98 Detroit Red Wings to pull off the feat? Do the Capitals put it all together, finally, to lift Lord Stanley’s prize? Do we see the Los Angeles Kings bully their way through the West or do the Canucks get back to the finals to make another run at it?
So many possibilities and all we’re asking from you is one simple choice. 30 teams, one winner and we want to know who you’ve got. Let your voice be heard in our poll by picking who you think wins the Stanley Cup this season.
Penguins – Senators Game 7 goes to double overtime, try to breathe
Try to breathe. Maybe meditate during this overtime intermission, if you need it.
The Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa Senators didn’t just need overtime to decide who would win Game 7 and advance to the Stanley Cup Final. It turns out that, despite an angry Penguins crowd, that they’ll need double OT.
There were plenty of big chances during that span of “free hockey.” You could probably argue that Phil Kessel was the most frustrated player during that frame; he was unable to score but generated some golden opportunities.
It’s dangerous to assume much of anything in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final, as the Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa Senators seem like they’re taking turns flipping the script.
After the Senators received the only two power-play opportunities through the first two periods, Phil Kessel drew a call on Dion Phaneuf. Justin Schultz almost immediately reminded us of part of the reason why his presence had been so sorely missed, scoring an authoritative 2-1 tally.
Here’s that goal:
There seemed to be a possibility that officiating would be a huge sticking point, as some didn’t like that call and Guy Boucher was incensed when a whistle was blown when Phil Kessel was hit in the ear with a puck. Penguins haters probably felt especially irritated since the Penguins scored while Zack Werenski was down (and bloodied) during a somewhat similar exchange earlier in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Some will bring that up, especially once we find out how this one will end, but Ryan Dzingel shifted the focus to how the Senators just won’t quit as he scored soon after that 2-1 goal to tie it 2-2, the second time Ottawa’s fought back (quickly) from a seemingly huge Penguins goal.
Watch that goal above, then hold your breath as this game goes to overtime.
So far, the Ottawa Senators are getting their way in Game 7, as their 1-1 contest against the Pittsburgh Penguins has been a grinding, sometimes stifling affair.
This sets the stage for a dramatic finish, as the two teams are locked up by that 1-1 score heading into the third period.
With a trip to the Stanley Cup Final on the line, everyone’s pushing hard, and sometimes that means delivering hard hits.
All things considered, you’d be hard-pressed to top Marc Methot‘s hip check on Evgeni Malkin from a degree-of-difficulty standpoint.
Hip checks are already endangered species in the NHL because it’s just so difficult to lineup in this speedier, more skillful game. But to do it in a tied Game 7, against a driven Malkin, in your own zone? That’s borderline audacious. Then again, Methot’s fighting through that gruesome finger injury (along with … maybe other things given playoff secrecy), so maybe we shouldn’t be surprised.
Here’s hoping that you didn’t take a poorly-timed break in the second period.
For much of Game 7, the Ottawa Senators have been able to slow down the Pittsburgh Penguins, resulting in a contest that went scoreless for what sometimes felt like ages.
Chris Kunitz changed that, long after missing on a golden opportunity shortly after Mike Sullivan decided to put him on Sidney Crosby‘s line. Kunitz finished a nice rush play to make it 1-0 9:55 into the second. Check out that goal below.
Guy Boucher didn’t have to deploy “attack mode” very long, as Mark Stone stunningly tied it up 1-1 just 20 seconds later. That surprising tally can be seen in the clip above this post’s headline.