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What they’re saying about Game 1 of the 2012 Stanley Cup finals

After a meaty break between the conference finals and Game 1 of the 2012 Stanley Cup finals, the hockey public was ready for the Los Angeles Kings and New Jersey Devils to kick things off in Newark. The Kings won Game 1 by a score of 2-1 in OT (Discuss it here), but let’s take a look at the game through the eyes of Twitter.

(To make it easier to navigate, we’ll just quote or paraphrase the Tweets rather than bogging down your browser/phone with screen caps.)

New Jersey fans had their own clever remarks for the New York Rangers last round, yet the Los Angeles Kings’ Twitter feed reveals that they might need to get warmed up a bit for an unfamiliar foe:

“Crowd starts a ‘Beat L.A.’ chant. Pretty sure we’ve heard that one a few times.”

Yup, the Lakers and Clippers have heard it too.

Things started out without much rhythm; Sam Carchidi described a “lack of flow” shown by the fact that there was just one shot in the first five minutes. Arthur Staple captured the Devils’ stilted beginning with a little more color and sarcasm, though.

“[Devils had] more icings (three), offsides (two) and blocked shots (two) than shots on goal through 5:15. Clearly the fault of the Rangers — poisoned the game.”

Well played. Colin Fraser finally broke the ice with a 1-0 goal, which was the first of his playoff career. Dan Tencer reminds us of Fraser’s interesting path to that tally.

“Colin Fraser, the subject of a grievance filed by the LA Kings against the Edmonton Oilers prior to the season, opens the Cup finals scoring.”

As you may remember, Dean Lombardi dropped a Bernie Madoff reference because of that incident.

The Kings carried the early play, prompting people like James Mirtle to feel even more emboldened about picking them in their series predictions. Gary Lawless asked about the so-called rust that many expected to see from Los Angeles, although it must be said that they didn’t quite steamroll through Game 1 like they have before.

After Kopitar ended the contest, the praise started rolling out (except for Martin Brodeur and for Marek Zidlicky, that is). Carchidi referred to their efforts as “amazing” while also pointing out that road teams are 15-9 in overtime in the 2012 playoffs. Jim Rome had this amusing bit of praise:

“Bam! Kings win! They cannot lose on the road. Unbelievable.”

Even Tommy Lasorda congratulated the Kings.

Unfortunately, Eric Hornick finishes things off with some doom and gloom – which might be doubly disturbing for Kings fans.

“2004 Lightning were the last team to drop Game 1 of Stanley Cup finals at home and rebound to win Cup. Of course, a lockout followed.”

Well, great.

Gustavsson secures one-year contract with Bruins

Jonas Gustavsson
AP Photo
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There was stiff competition for the backup goaltending job in Boston, but with a signing this afternoon, it seems likely that the matter has been resolved.

The Boston Bruins announced that Jonas Gustavsson has agreed to a one-year, $700,000 deal. It’s a one-way contract, according to the Boston Globe’s Amalie Benjamin.

That contract is still small enough that the Bruins could bury it in the minors if they so desire, but it does set him apart from his last competitor for the goalie position, Jeremy Smith, who has a two-way deal. The fact that Boston went this route seems to imply that Gustavsson will serve as Tuukka Rask‘s understudy, although both netminders attended Sunday’s practice.

In Smith, the Bruins would be getting a 26-year-old goaltender who was dominant with the AHL’s Providence Bruins last season, but has no NHL experience. By contrast Gustavsson, 30, has played in almost 150 NHL games.

Boston sent Zane McIntyre and Malcolm Subban to the minors last week, but an argument could be made that either one of them is worthy of the backup job. However, both of them have a lot of potential and it’s not surprising that the Bruins felt they were better served by staying in the minors where they can play regularly and focus on honing their game.

Flames release Ryan Wilson from PTO

Ryan Wilson, Sidney Crosby
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The Calgary Flames have released Ryan Wilson from his professional tryout.

The 28-year-old was trying to make a comeback after missing 79 games with a shoulder injury last season.

Even with T.J. Brodie sidelined because of a broken hand, Wilson still faced long odds to make the final roster.

The veteran will be hard-pressed to find NHL work with another team.

He hasn’t suited up in more than 12 regular season games since 2011-12.

The Stockton Heat, Calgary’s AHL affiliate, also made some news on Sunday.

The club announced that they’ve signed Colton Orr to an AHL contract.

The 33-year-old tough guy suited up in just one game for the Toronto Maple Leafs last season. He has 12 seasons of NHL experience under his belt.