People expecting a sluggish, defense-only chess match between the Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens in Game 1 were likely shocked to witness a wild affair on Thursday night. The Senators stole one 4-2 in a contest jam-packed with action.
Let’s get to the talking points:
So, how good is Craig Anderson? The Habs fired 50 shots on the red-hot goalie, but they could only get two pucks through him.
Conversely, should the Habs remain worried about Carey Price? He wasn’t outright awful, yet he did allow a goal or two that he’d like back and was out-played by the lesser-paid, less-hyped netminder on the other end.
Two of the best defensemen in the NHL were on display on Thursday, as P.K. Subban and Erik Karlsson both enjoyed fantastic nights. If you had to pick one of the two, which one would you build your team around?
Important note: Game 2 of this series is on Friday. Which team has the advantage in such a short turnaround time?
On a similar note, which Senators player should take the spot likely vacated by Lars Eller?
Where does this intense game rank with the opening nights of the playoffs’ other series so far?
If you think the Dallas Stars are struggling because of defense more than anything else, then you’ll make sure to keep the video above “on file.”
There Kari Lehtonen was, helpless on a 2-on-0 rush for the Calgary Flames, which Johnny Gaudreau finished with calm and ease. For some, that goal is the symbol of the Stars’ season.
Either way, it was a painful goal in the Flames’ 2-1 win against the Stars. Calgary won despite Dallas firing 30 shots on goal versus the Flames’ 20.
One team climbing, the other stumbling
With that, the Flames are now on a four-game winning streak. Since falling to 5-10-1 on Nov. 12, the Flames have gone 9-3-1 in their last 13 games, pushing them to 14-13-2 overall. Gaudreau coming back is the icing on the cake after Chad Johnson really took charge of the Flames’ top job.
During a similar span, the Stars can’t seem to get it together. Dallas stood at 6-6-3 after beating the Oilers 3-2 on Nov. 11. They’re now 10-11-6, essentially standing in place as a .500 team.
Dallas can’t seem to get momentum going, a thought that might have left them envious of the team on the other end of the ice on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, it wasn’t just about Jack Eichel vs. Connor McDavid. Instead, it was a clash between a fleet of young scorers who were in their prime, with the Buffalo Sabres coming up on top against the Edmonton Oilers.