It’s probably getting old to read, but Henrik Lundqvist is pretty good in goal.
After pitching his second shutout of the Eastern Conference finals in Game 3, a 36-save effort, Lundqvist was his usual understated self following the game. Lundqvist was peppered a bit more than usual during Game 3, but he told reporters afterward that not freaking out when in trouble helps his team stay strong.
“But we didn’t panic, and that’s the biggest thing,” Lundqvist said.
“I think we had moments during the year where we got into some tough minutes, if you can call it that, but we didn’t panic, we kept our composure, kept playing the same way, and as a goalie, you know sooner or later it’s going to turn. It’s going to turn in our favor. We’re going to get a chance. We’re going to get a break. And that’s the feeling I had. In the third we came out big, made some really big plays and scored some really good goals for us.”
John Tortorella said after the game how Lundqvist plays shows off the personality of the Rangers, that as he competes and stays strong so does the rest of the team.
That couldn’t be more obvious than in today’s game as Lundqvist kept turning aside Devils shots while the Rangers’ bend-don’t-break brand of game kept them in it. If there’s any more of that kind of play, the Rangers are going to wind up in the Stanley Cup finals with a goalie firmly in charge of their championship hopes.
–Pittsburgh Tribune writer Jonathan Bombulie breaks down the four things the Penguins need to do to close out the Ottawa Senators in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final. It starts with being ready to play, being desperate, scoring first and showing Ottawa some respect. (Pittsburgh Tribune)
–A few weeks after they were bounced from the playoffs, the Sharks are still deciding if they should bring back Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau. If anything, it sounds like there’s a good chance they chose to keep Thornton over Marleau at this point. (CSN Bay Area)
–The city of Nashville has come a long way as a hockey market. They went from having fans that needed “Hockey 101” lessons to now being fully invested in their team. There were some lean years in Nashville, but they’ve seen the benefits of education young fans over the years. (New York Times)
–The Nashville Predators locked up their first berth in the Stanley Cup Final by beating the Ducks 6-3 on Monday night. Colton Sissons, who was the unlikely hero in Game 6, scored a hat trick. You can check out the highlights from that game by clicking the video at the top of the page.
–The Philadelphia Flyers own the second overall pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, and there’s at least a chance that Nolan Patrick could be available at that spot. Despite dealing with some pretty significant injuries over the last year, Patrick believes he’s capable of staying healthy and playing in the NHL next season. Oh, and by the way, Patrick doesn’t like pizza, but he loves cheesesteaks. (Courier-Post)
–The Hockey News recounts the story of the old Cleveland Barons, who found out they were entering the NHL just three months before the start of the 1976-77 season. As you can imagine, those are some difficult circumstances, and problems arose from the beginning. “I couldn’t even give tickets away. I asked my mailman if he wanted tickets, and he said, ‘I’ve got bowling tonight,'” said former captain Al McAdam. (The Hockey News)
–Tennessee Titans offensive lineman Taylor Lewan was at the Preds-Ducks game last night, and yup, he threw a catfish on the ice after the Predators won the game. Here’s the visual evidence:
After reaching their first ever Western Conference Final, the Nashville Predators topped that in a big way, advancing to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in franchise history.
There were a lot of firsts and rarities along the way.
In ousting the Anaheim Ducks with a 6-3 victory in Game 6, GM David Poile’s team advanced to the championship round for the first time in his lengthy time as an executive.
Peter Laviolette also became the fourth coach in NHL history to bring three different teams to a Stanley Cup Final. The Predators are also the first 16th seed to make it this far.
Yep, that’s a long list of milestones (and not a comprehensive one). And, to think, the Predators haven’t even been on the brink of elimination during the postseason yet.
It’s special stuff, so don’t be surprised by the boisterous celebration you can see in the video above this post’s headline.
If there’s one thing we can agree upon about the Stanley Cup Playoffs, it’s that these months have really cemented just how hockey-mad Nashville has become for its Predators.
(Yes, you can call it “Smashville” if you’d like.)
The scene at Bridgestone Arena was as boisterous as ever in the Predators’ 6-3 Game 6 win against the Anaheim Ducks, with legions of fans packing and surrounding the building.
Sights like these have becoming resoundingly normal for a hockey market that was once questioned by media and other fan bases:
As the Predators advanced to their first-ever Stanley Cup Final, plenty of people were making jokes at the expense of the Montreal Canadiens for trading P.K. Subban. Of course, Subban wouldn’t take a shot at the Habs during such a great moment, but his praise for puck-nutty Predators fans says a lot in itself.
“I played in an A+ market my whole career,” Subban said, via Jeremy K. Gover of the Nashville Predators Radio Network. “There’s not a city in the league that has anything on Nashville.”
Whether their opponent is the Pittsburgh Penguins or Ottawa Senators, we already know that Nashville will begin the Stanley Cup Final on the road. That’s OK … Predators fans might need some time to get their voices back and recover from celebrating, so waiting until Games 3 and 4 might be a blessing in disguise.
The Anaheim Ducks battled their way to Game 6 of the Western Conference Final, but Colton Sissons and the Nashville Predators ended their season on Monday.
The Ducks are processing that disappointment – being just two wins away from a trip to the championship round – and some of their reactions might spark a little controversy.
Specifically, it sounds a bit like Bruce Boudreau believing that his Minnesota Wild were superior to the St. Louis Blues despite falling in that series.
Andrew Cogliano, it must be noted, was spurned by Pekka Rinne on some early chances in Game 6. He likely feels as frustrated as any Ducks player right now.
Sisson’s hat-trick goal, making it 4-3 before two empty-netters cemented the 6-3 finish, was the dagger that finally put the hard-working Ducks down.
One can understand some of those feelings from Anaheim, especially considering the frustration of a) getting over Jonathan Bernier‘s early struggles to make a very real game of this and b) occasionally carrying the play in a dramatic way, including in Game 6.
Still, the Predators got the right combination of great stretches of play from Rinne and strong work from the expected and the unexpected, such as Sissons.
For an aging star like Ryan Getzlaf – a player who produced some of his best work late in the season and during the playoffs – you have to wonder how many chances remain.