James O'Brien

Corey Crawford

Gold rushed: Crawford gets pulled after one period


These aren’t the same Nashville Predators that the Chicago Blackhawks faced years ago in the playoffs. That much was evident in the opening frame, as Nashville stormed to a 3-0 lead in the first period, dispatching Corey Crawford from Chicago’s net in the process.

Colin Wilson stood out in particular, scoring two of Nashville’s three goals, including the one that ended Crawford’s night early.

Scott Darling gets his first taste of NHL postseason action with this one. Chicago recently made it 3-1, so perhaps this change will spark a Blackhawks comeback (a prospect that brings back tough memories for Predators fans).

Bye bye P.K.: Subban gets game misconduct for slashing

P.K. Subban

Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban is often a lightning rod for criticism, but on Wednesday, the officials are also putting themselves in the spotlight. Subban was ejected from Game 1 for slashing Ottawa Senators forward Mark Stone.

To be precise, Subban received a five-minute major for slashing and a game misconduct.

The Canadiens aim to beat the Cinderella Senators without Subban and Max Pacioretty for the rest of the evening. We’ll see if anything further happens regarding supplemental discipline and will keep an eye open regarding Stone injury news (if applicable).

Update: Stone appears to be OK, but we’ll find out later.

You know, in the way that NHL teams barely tell the world anything about injuries, that is.

Apparently this isn’t the first time Subban has been tossed from a playoff contest against Ottawa:

Ouch: Sens’ first goal goes off of Markov’s stick

Andrei Markov

The Ottawa Senators’ luck might not just be reserved for the regular season.

They’ve been taking it to the Montreal Canadiens early on in Game 1, and they were rewarded much to Andrei Markov’s chagrin, as Milan Michalek got credited for the tally on this own-goal:

Oof, that has to sting. Apparently Carey Price was non-too-pleased about that gaffe:

Plenty of jokes came from this one, including an ode to former Edmonton Oilers defenseman Steve Smith and his notorious blunder.

For Markov’s sake, it’s at least a far less crucial time.

Video: Brock Nelson scores the first goal of 2015 Stanley Cup playoffs

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Young New York Islanders forward Brock Nelson began the 2014-15 season on a hot streak. Perhaps he’ll do the same in the postseason, as he scored the first goal of the 2015 Stanley Cup playoffs on Wednesday.

It’s certainly not a beauty, and it’s definitely one that excellent Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby would like back. Some think Troy Brouwer has a little egg on his face for this one, too:

Nelson had 12 points in 10 October games to begin the season, easily his best month of his first full campaign. Seeing him get an early goal is a great thing for an Islanders team brimming with talented, inexperienced players.

Update: Marcus Johansson tied it up with a heck of a shot.

Thornton now has harsh words for McLellan as Sharks mess festers

San Jose Sharks v Vancouver Canucks - Game Five

Bad feelings tend to flourish when teams suffer from losses and disappointing seasons, but it’s difficult to think of many situations where players and executives aired their grievances as publicly as the San Jose Sharks have.

It’s really been a mess since last summer, and if you expected media availability to be full of no-comments or diplomatic responses, then you probably weren’t close to Joe Thornton.

Not that long after Thornton told his general manager to shut his mouth, the Sharks’ former captain and frequent lighting rod made sarcastic comments toward his head coach Todd McLellan this time around, as CSNBayArea.com reports.

Q: There’s a lot of focus on the coaching staff. Do you sense any need for change?

Thornton: “I have no idea. Todd has to talk to his family. Maybe he should talk to this family as well in here. We’ll see what happens.”

Sheesh, that’s a little salty, huh?

It wasn’t the only sign that Thornton, 35, has some hard feelings for a coach who may or may not return next season. This seemingly sarcastic comment from his brother (and agent) about McLellan coaching Team Canada at the 2015 World Hockey Championships also suggests that all is not quite well:

For those wondering why the Sharks don’t just trade this problem away, do note that Thornton has a no-trade clause, so it may not be such a straightforward process … and that’s assuming they’d want to deal a guy who still is a big difference-maker on the ice.

The malaise hanging over the franchise is quite obvious, and it hasn’t been lost on players like Logan Couture, who admitted that he doesn’t think the culture is “great.”

Whether the Sharks make some big changes or largely stay put, it wouldn’t be surprising to see this franchise raise a few eyebrows before training camps for 2015-16 kick in.