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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.

Scary moment: Carlo Colaiacovo hospitalized with ‘dented trachea’

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Buffalo Sabres defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo has experienced plenty of bad injury luck in his winding career, but Saturday presented one of his worst scares.

As you can see from the video above, Colaiacovo received a scary cross-check from Viktor Arvidsson of the Nashville Predators, who received a major penalty and game misconduct.

Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma said that Colaiacovo was hospitalized with a “dented trachea” yet is OK, the Buffalo News’ John Vogl reports.

Frightening stuff from an eventual 4-1 Sabres win.

PHT will keep an eye out for additional updates regarding Colaiacovo’s health (and a possible suspension for Arvidsson).

Comeback Kings: Gaborik pulls L.A. past Kane, Blackhawks

Jake Muzzin, Scott Darling

Patrick Kane set an American scoring record, and added another assist to make it more impressive, but the Los Angeles Kings just wouldn’t be denied.

In the end, Marian Gaborik‘s big night meant more than Kane’s; he scored the tying and then overtime game-winner, both assisted by Anze Kopitar, for a rousing 4-3 overtime Kings win.

Gaborik’s first goal:

And here’s video of the OT-GWG:

Noticing a theme tonight? Yeah, it’s been an evening in which it’s dangerous to assume a lead would stand.

With that, the Kings stick to the No. 1 spot in the Pacific Division, but Chicago shouldn’t feel all bad. The Blackhawks were able to piece together a decent run during their dreaded “circus trip.”

Patrick Kane’s streak hits 19 games, setting a new American record


When it comes to point streaks for U.S.-born NHL players, Patrick Kane now stands alone.

With a power-play goal early in Saturday’s Blackhawks – Kings game, Kane extended his streak to 19 games, breaking a tie with Phil Kessel and Eddie Olczyk (who finished with at least a point in 18 straight).

As of this writing, Kane has 11 goals and 19 assists during this 19-game streak. He also leads the NHL in scoring.

Bobby Hull’s 21-game point streak stands as the Chicago Blackhawks’ overall team record, by the way.

So, how would you protect a lead against the Stars?


You know what they say: it’s easy to bash a strategy in hindsight.

Slam that NFL head coach for going for it on fourth down … or settling for the field goal. Bury that MLB manager because he kept a pitcher in too long. And so on.

“Score effects” settle in during almost any lopsided hockey game, yet the Dallas Stars present quite a conundrum: what’s the best way to put a way a team with this much firepower?

Tonight may have presented the greatest evidence that this team won’t go away easy, as it seemed like the Minnesota Wild had the best of a tired Stars team* when they built a 3-0 lead.

Instead, the Stars scored three third-period goals while Tyler Seguin capped the comeback with an overtime-winner.

It was one of those bend-and-then-break moments for Minnesota. Dallas generated a 44-26 shot advantage, including a ridiculous 35-15 edge in the final two periods.

Does that mean that Mike Yeo may have tried to play too conservatively with a healthy lead? It’s a possibility.

On the other hand, would the Wild be wiser to try to run-and-gun with one of the most dangerous offenses in the NHL?

It sure seems like a pick-your-poison situation. Which way would you lean, though?

* – To be fair to Minnesota, each team was on back-to-backs.