The Philadelphia Flyers defied expectations by making an honestly pretty astounding push to the playoffs. If they want to advance beyond the first round, they’ll need to beat really big odds once more.
Even if some bring up ghosts of previous playoff disappointments, the Washington Capitals still stand as one of the league’s favorites going into the postseason after cruising to a Presidents’ Trophy win.
Of course, big regular season achievements bring big pressure, and opponents continue to key on that narrative.
“I don’t think it’s a positive thing when you turn on the TV every single time and you have everybody in the world telling you you’re supposed to win the Stanley Cup,” Clutterbuck said. “I’d hate to be the Washington Capitals right now. A lot of pressure.”
Again, that’s some bulletin board material that maybe can be filed away later (along with Washington’s response), as the Capitals drew the Flyers instead of the Islanders in round one.
Former Capitals goalie Michal Neuvirth didn’t do as much of a hard sell as Clutterbuck did, yet he did seem to gently nudge things in his former teammates’ direction, as NHL.com reports.
“It’s playoffs,” Neuvirth said. “You’re motivated as much as you want, but obviously we’ve got a great team. It’s going to be a lot of pressure on them and it’s going to be a good series.”
Celebrity sightings: Bashful Leonardo DiCaprio, Khaleesi from Game of Thrones
We can only assume why DiCaprio felt the need for anonymity. Perhaps the bear from “The Revenant” was seated a few rows over. Perhaps he was concerned about potential future ‘Kiss-Cam’ awkwardness. Perhaps he was convinced some townie from Flatbush was going to corner him for 20 minutes to talk about how he was “the bomb, yo” in “Gangs Of New York.”
As with many of these cases, the situation is kind of sad (Leo seeking a modicum of privacy, or at least a break) and kind of funny (how far he went to not be seen … although he didn’t wear a full-on disguise).
On the other hand, plenty of celebrities seem undeterred, like Emilia Clarke at Thursday’s Kings games. Surely many people made jokes about Khaleesi’s dragons and /insert “Game of Thrones” reference for the sake of rustiness:
Cause for concern? Amid goalie injuries, Pens recall Tristan Jarry
There’s at least the outside chance that the Penguins may enter the playoffs with Jeff Zatkoff and Jarry as their two goalies.
In case you’re wondering, Jarry’s a second-round pick (44th overall in 2013) whose AHL numbers seem to say “Not quite ready yet.”
If this worst-case scenario happens, it will be yet another chapter in the sad story of the Penguins getting hit with injuries heading into the playoffs (they’re already playing withoutEvgeni Malkin, after all). We’ll find out, sooner or later, if these worries are for naught.
GM Jim Rutherford says Tristan Jarry's recall does "not necessarily" mean Fleury and/or Murray will be unavailable when playoffs start.