Tag: NBC playoff coverage


Video: Keith Ballard’s hip check ranks as the hit of the 2011 playoffs


If the hip check is a dying art form, then Vancouver Canucks defenseman Keith Ballard created one of the last great masterpieces.

In his first appearance since April 30th, Ballard made a big impression by delivering a wicked hip check on San Jose Sharks forward Jamie McGinn, sending the young player into a near-cartwheel. One must think that the check was especially satisfying for Canucks fans, considering the fact that McGinn’s two Game 3 hits resulted in injuries to defensemen Christian Ehrhoff and Aaron Rome.

Some people (including Mike Milbury) wondered if Ballard should have gotten a clipping penalty for the hit, but considering the mind-numbing festival of penalties that dominated the game’s first 40 minutes, it’s nice that the referees let it go. (Feel free to debate the merits of whether or not it should have been a penalty in the comments, though.)

Watch the video below for what might be the best hit of the playoffs so far.

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Video: Net and Star Cam footage from Bruins-Lightning Game 4

Boston Bruins v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game Four

(Want an in-depth recap of the Tampa Bay Lightning’s impressive comeback from a 3-0 first period deficit to beat the Boston Bruins 5-3 in Game 4? Check out this post, which covers all the bases.)

A lot of people counted out the Lightning once they fell behind 3-0 to start off this afternoon’s Game 4. Some even went as far as to close the book on Tampa Bay’s postseason altogether. Amazingly, many of those same people have been following this year’s playoffs and still assumed that a game could be decided in its first 20 minutes.

This Bolts team won’t quit and the Bruins occasionally struggle with leads (particularly 3-0 ones, many will joke), so the game was far from over. The Lightning bounced back after Dwayne Roloson was yanked in favor of backup Mike Smith while Bruins netminder Tim Thomas struggled in the second period. Ultimately, the Lightning played a great final 40 minutes after suffering some mental lapses in the first 20. Check out Star Cam and Net Cam footage for both teams in the videos below.

Tampa Bay Star Cam footage:

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Bruins Star Cam highlights:

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Net Cam video for both teams:

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Video: Highlights and Net Cam footage from Boston’s 7-3 win against Philadelphia in Game 1

Matt Carle, David Krejci

(For a full recap of Game 1, click here. This post includes Pierre McGuire’s interview with Boston Bruins forwards Nathan Horton and David Krejci.)

If any team should know that one win doesn’t tell the whole story of a seven-game series, it should be the Bruins. Honestly, many of the returning players from that 2010 semifinals collapse against the Philadelphia Flyers will tell you that three games only mean so much.

That being said, you cannot fault the B’s for feeling content for at least the rest of Saturday. They absolutely dominated the Flyers in Game 1, scoring five of the first six goals and winning 7-3 overall. Brian Boucher allowed five of those tallies while Sergei Bobrovsky was beaten twice in his short relief appearance. Tim Thomas allowed three goals of his own in Game 1, but that was an acceptable price to pay in such a one-sided game.

If you want to watch all the great work by David Krejci, Brad Marchand and every other goal scorer from Game 1, this video has all 10 goals covered.

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As an added bonus, here’s the Net Cam highlights for both teams’ as well. You know, just in case you were wondering if these goalies could stop anything …

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David Krejci, Bruins get first measure of revenge against Flyers with crushing 7-3 win

Boston Bruins v Philadelphia Flyers - Game One

The Boston Bruins need three more wins to truly get their revenge for last year’s 2010 semifinals collapse against the Philadelphia Flyers, but today’s 7-3 win must have been sweet for David Krejci.

Krejci gained a measure revenge against Mike Richards and the Flyers, who knocked him out of Game 3 of last year’s series. He scored two goals and two assists as Boston absolutely squashed Philly, adding fuel to the fire of the Flyers’ seemingly eternal goalie questions.

Boston 7, Philadelphia 3; Bruins lead series 1-0

Krejci and his linemate Nathan Horton helped the Bruins build a 2-1 lead in the first period, but the Flyers didn’t really unravel until the ugly second period. Krejci, Mark Recchi and Brad Marchand scored three more goals to bump Boston’s lead to 5-1, chasing befuddled Brian Boucher out of the Flyers’ net in the process.

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James van Riemsdyk scored to make it 5-2 as the second period ended, but things didn’t get much better for the Flyers.

The third period featured a plethora of puzzling penalty calls and non-calls capping a sub-par afternoon of officiating. Mike Richards made it 5-3 on the tail end of a 5-on-3 power play, but Marchand and Gregory Campbell sealed the deal with two more goals.

Although the second period was a disaster overall for Philadelphia, the two-goal span that made it 3-1 Boston really sapped a lot of the Flyers’ energy. They got there thanks to a late first period goal by Horton and Recchi’s tally 2:33 into the second.

Plenty of positives for the Bruins.

Obviously, the Bruins must feel excited about the Krejci-Horton-Milan Lucic line, even if Lucic technically didn’t score. Lucic was more involved in this game than he was in the first round, although he needs to be careful being that he was thrown out of the late proceedings after mixing it up with Flyers fighter Zac Rinaldo.

The Bruins also received great performances from Patrice Bergeron (three assists) and Marchand (two goals, one assist). Much has been made about Philadelphia’s offensive depth, but the Bruins can roll with more than one quality scoring line themselves.

Obviously, Boston also boasts one of the best goalies in the NHL in Tim Thomas. He made 31 out of 34 saves, including some highlight reel stops that must have made Flyers fans a little jealous.

The only issue for the Bruins is their still-stagnant power play. They went 0-for-5 in Game 1, extending their struggles to 0-for-26 in eight playoff games. It’s an area of concern, but with Boston dominating like they are at even strength, it’s far from a crisis.

Flyers face questions in areas beyond goaltending.

Speaking of crises, the Flyers have a lot of questions to answer. The most obvious one revolves around their goalie issues. Will Philly go back to Boucher or stick with Sergei Bobrovsky? It must be noted that Michael Leighton’s play sparked much of the team’s 2010 turnaround after Boucher struggled and then dealt with an injury.

Goaltending isn’t the only issue for Philadelphia, though. The Flyers lost plenty of puck battles during the game and must find a better matchup against Boston’s Horton-Krejci-Lucic line. Perhaps they should take Pierre McGuire’s advice and send two-way center and captain Richards after that group?

The Flyers power play wasn’t exactly fantastic either, as they only went 1-for-5 in this game.

Philly might take two positives from the game: 1) their offensive leaders produced and 2) Chris Pronger looked more like his old, angry self in Game 1. Danny Briere scored his playoff-leading seventh goal, Richards found the net on the power play and JVR scored a goal while peppering the net with eight shots.

They’re going to need Pronger and his mates to play elite defense if they hope to get back into this series against the Bruins, though. This Flyers team might succeed in tough spots, but the Bruins look like a more versatile opponent in 2011.

Nathan Horton, David Krejci drive Boston to 2-1 first period lead in Philadelphia


David Krejci came into this 2011 series with unfinished business from 2010. As you may remember, Mike Richards caught Krejci with an open-ice hit that ended Krecji’s playoff run in Game 3 of that second round. That ended up being the last win Boston earned in the ’10 playoffs.

Call it revenge or just carryover momentum from Nathan Horton’s Game 7 OT winner, but the Horton-Krejci-Milan Lucic line created two goals and plenty of scoring chances in an exciting first period.

Boston 2, Philadelphia 1

Flyers fans had to cringe at just how quickly the Bruins went on top. Krejci scored about two minutes into the game by taking advantage of some lax defense by the Flyers. It seemed like the Bruins were showing some deft timing with their counter punches against Philly‘s aggressive play.

Speaking of aggressiveness, the tone of the game seemed to change thanks to Chris Pronger. Pronger went into his own end to try to touch the puck for an icing call and then took exception to Daniel Paille’s physical attempt to get the puck. Pronger clearly slashed Paille after that interchange, prompting the officials to give both players coincidental minor penalties. Pronger’s rage wasn’t contained just yet, though, as he also shoved Shawn Thornton on his way to the penalty box.

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There was one tough moment for Horton, though, as Danny Briere sneaked away from the big forward during a 4-on-4 to bang home a loose puck for his playoff-leading seventh goal. Briere increased his post-lockout playoff point total to a stunning 92 points.

Horton (and his line) made amends for that one slip-up as he gave the Bruins a 2-1 lead with about 30 seconds left in the first period. He managed to get the puck in net even as Boucher seemed to swat at the puck with his glove a couple times.

As usual, Tim Thomas produced an amazing save as he moved laterally to stop a James van Riemsdyk one-timer. He made 7 out of 8 saves while Boucher stopped 10 out of 12 shots.

It’s easy to blame Boucher for those two goals – and he wasn’t perfect – but the Flyers need to find a way to slow down that Lucic-Krejci-Horton line if they hope to beat Boston once again. If the first period is any indication, this should be an awfully fun series.

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