NHL Weekly (Playoffs Week 1)

So it begins.

And in a fantastic way.

The New York Rangers have been surprised by a resilient Ottawa Senators. After going down 0-2 in the opening six minutes Wednesday, the Senators fought back in the second to tie the game. And won in OT to tie the series at two a piece.

The Detroit Red Wings, now holders of the longest home winning streak in all of NHL history, have failed to use that to their advantage in the Nashville-Detroit series, now 3-1 in the Predators’ favor. Detroit dominated the fourth game in terms of shots and momentum, but Pekka Rinne was solid in net, plain and simple. And Kevin Klein got the go-ahead goal in the third to give the Preds the victory they really proved they wanted.

The Florida Panthers’ lead is a surprise too – as their playoff record historically is abysmal. But down three goals before the end of the first, the Panthers climbed back into the game Tuesday to win 4-3 and take the 2-1 lead in the series. Impressive.

But the biggest surprise has been the L.A. Kings’ 3-1 domination over Vancouver. Who would have thought? Daniel Sedin’s absence is said to be partly to blame for the Canucks dropping the first three games of the series. And it’s true the playoffs are a thing unto themselves, full of surprises and things. But I think credit is due to coach Darryl Sutter for bringing the Kings around after a sickening start to the season. Acquiring Jeff Carter around the time of the trade deadline has also proven to be a very smart move. If the Kings win this, they deserve this.

The Flyers-Penguins series is something to wonder at. The combined 45 goals in the first four games is a new NHL playoff record. And it’s been all about comebacks. Now to see if Friday the Pens can once again avoid elimination and come back from the 1-3 deficit.

It’s playoffs, people!

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Categories: Columnist,Hockey