Rory Boylen is the editor of Post-to-Post and has been with The Hockey News since 2007. A former OMHA referee for 10 years out of Coldwater, Ont., he grew up an unlikely fan of the Florida Panthers and - perhaps even more unlikely - was crushed by Uwe Krupp in 1996. Toss out Big Lebowski lines and he'll be your friend for life.
One Pennsylvania team will get a goalie change in their next playoff game.
The Philadelphia Flyers, trailing the New York Rangers 2-1 in their first round series, will turn to their regular starter Steve Mason in Game 4. Mason, who missed the final few games of the regular season with an upper-body injury, returned to the bench to back up Ray Emery in Game 3 and played the final 7:15 after Emery was pulled in the 4-1 loss.
Overall, Emery hasn’t been bad for the Flyers in this series. The team in front of him has been one of the worst possession lineups in the playoffs so far – better than only Los Angeles (down 3-0), Tampa Bay (swept), and Colorado (the anomalous one). Of the six goals Emery allowed in Games 1 and 2, half were on the power play. And through those first two games, Emery had a .913 save percentage. That’s not a bad performance at all – Emery even deserves most of the credit for Philadelphia’s only win in the series. Read more
The Montreal Canadiens swept the Tampa Bay Lightning aside earlier this week. Blame Tampa’s goaltending, its defense or a combination of the two: either way, the city of Montreal was in celebration mode Tuesday night.
And Dale Weise was wearing a mic for it. Though the Habs allowed Tampa Bay to come back from a 3-1 deficit in the third and tie Game 4, Max Pacioretty’s power play goal with less than a minute left in regulation propelled the Habs into the second round.
Here is a short clip of the Canadiens’ reaction to the winning goal – as heard through Weise’s mic – a glimpse into the post-series handshake line, and a brief look into the locker room celebration after the game. Read more
On The Tonight Show Tuesday, Jimmy Fallon dipped his toe into the NHL’s frozen pond with his humorous NHL Playoff Awards. He’s done this before in 2013 and even focused on the Bruins before, though he’s destroyed the pronunciation of so many of these names.
Last night, the Bruins and Penguins were in the crosshairs and it was a pretty good segment which, naturally, compared Zdeno Chara to Frankenstein-type monster. There is no other comparison for the towering Bruins defender.
But Matt Niskanan and Simon Despres got the worst of it, especially the former, who is in the middle of a heated Stanley Cup playoff series. If Niskanen doesn’t receive trash talk related to this joke in Game 4 – and onwards – it would be the most surprising development of the Stanley Cup playoffs. And now anytime he dumps it in, we have to wonder if Niskanen was actually trying to shoot it on net. Read more
The Atlanta Thrashers had high expectations for Kari Lehtonen when they drafted him second overall in 2002. But by the time the dysfunctional franchise gave up on him seven years later, all they had to show for it were Ivan Vishnevskiy, a brief playoff nightmare and a whole lot of man-games lost to injury.
That injury-prone, unreliable starter label has been a tough reputation to escape post-Atlanta, especially playing in another dormant southern market like Dallas has been. With little exposure and no playoff appearances with the Stars Lehtonen is an afterthought. All the while he’s been posting better numbers and playing in more games than he ever did with the Thrashers and became a rock for Dallas, earning a five-year extension on a $5.9 million cap hit.
Lehtonen hasn’t been special, but if all you can ask of your goalie is for him to be consistent from year to year and to not surprise you with meltdowns or significant periods of missed time, then Lehtonen has given the Stars all they can ask for. He won’t ever be a 70-start netminder or a Vezina winner, but he has been a good support player for GM Jim Nill’s build up. Read more
The Los Angeles Kings played their best game of the first round, had the lead midway through the third period and were clearly the better team in overtime, but none of that mattered. The San Jose Sharks won anyway and now hold a 3-0 series advantage on their division rivals.
Patrick Marleau continued his amazing run of overtime winners with this fortunate redirect, San Jose’s very first shot on goal in OT. The Sharks have won 10 of their past 11 playoff overtime games and Marleau has ended four of them.
Who says the Sharks vets don’t get it done in the clutch? Read more
Professional antagonist Dan Carcillo didn’t play in either of the first two games for New York against Philadelphia, but we’re sure glad Rangers coach Alain Vigneault dressed him for Game 3 in Philadelphia.
Carcillo, who’s played 33 of his 38 career playoff games in a Flyers uniform, had taken a hooking penalty midway through the third period when his Rangers led 3-1. It set the table for the Flyers to get back into it, but after they failed to convert on the man advantage, Carcillo increased the lead to three – and rubbed the city of Philadelphia’s face in it.
There is just so much hate to love in this clip: Read more
Although the Tampa Bay Lightning turned a Game 4 stinker into a thriller, they were unable to overcome poor defense and even poorer goaltending that nagged them throughout Montreal’s sweep.
As was popularly predicted, the loss of goalie Ben Bishop to injury was too much for the Lightning. He had emerged as the backbone behind a work-in-progress defense and had a significant hand in Tampa’s evolution and growth this season. He entered the Vezina conversation as a top 10 goalie in GAA and SP, but without Bishop, the Lightning more closely resembled the team that missed the playoffs the past two years. Read more
Despite being dominated in Game 3, the Colorado Avalanche will still one lucky bounce away from going up 3-0 in their series with the Minnesota Wild.
I mean, look at this Fenwick chart from the game, which looks like it should have been much more of a blowout than San Jose’s 7-2 win over Los Angeles Sunday night.
But this was a 1-0 overtime game.
Enter Minnesota playoff Mikael Granlund, who converted his first post-season goal in the extra frame. He couldn’t have made it look much prettier, or made Jan Hejda look much worse. Read more