Both of the Western Conference’s games went to overtime last night, and both series were evened at two games a piece as they head back to Dallas and San Jose respectively.
Stars vs. Blues
In the (relative) matinee yesterday, Cody Eakin made short work of Brian Elliott’s short side about three minutes into OT, giving the Stars some much needed life after the pecker slapping they took on Tuesday night in West East St. Louis. Kari Lehtonen was serviceable despite never looking fluid in any of his movements, and the game saw Lindy Ruff of all people break out a neutral ice trap after the first intermission. He may not have the personnel for it, but on the road without one of the league’s most dynamic players to create both offense and matchup problems, desperate times call for desperate measures.
On the other, stupider side of the coin, Ken Hitchcock still managed to play Vladimir Tarasenko only 18 minutes of a game 4 at home that was never outside of a one-goal radius, and in which Tarasenko scored one goal and fired the shot that resulted in the deflected second. Troy Brouwer played 21 minutes. This isn’t the us of last year carping about (then) TWO CUPZ Q not playing an unproven Teuvo enough to create bum slaying opportunities. Vladmir Tarasenko is an Olympian who scored 40 goals this year (35 of them against the Hawks), and Hitch could have picked the matchups with anthropomorphic archery target Kris Russell in road whites taking defensive zone starts while just begging to get buried. And every opportunity like this that is blown is one day closer to Tyler Seguin coming back. It will be debatable how effective he’ll actually be upon return, but one thing is for certain: Ken Hitchcock will coach that game closer to the vest than a coat of shellac.
Sharks vs. Preds
The Predators are a trash organization, and any neutral fan that finds his or herself rooting for them this post-season should find a sewer grate to get trapped face first into. As a group we put that case on display pretty prominently in the immediate aftermath of their ouster last year, but they’ve even added onto it. Since that time moldering piece of shit Mike Ribeiro has gone from “accused sex criminal” to “admitted sex criminal”, one who simpering, spineless liar GM David Poile had the audacity to call a “great family man”. And yet the florid hilljack Nashville faithful still found the moral high ground to lustily (and rightfully) boo Garbage Dick during All Star weekend as if they had any whatsoever to stand on. And it certainly makes Poile look like an even bigger asshole for prostrating himself at Ribeiro over the summer trying to re-sign him due to a complete dearth of options now that that colostomy bag with a pulse has been healthy scratched for the last two games, at home no less, where in theory an advantageous matchup could be found. Bravo everyone.
Speaking of moral high ground in Nashville, they also made a very public showing of pulling Gary Glitter’s “Rock n Roll Part 2” as their goal song for very obvious and rightful reasons. Which makes it all the more baffling that if they’d rather not have the music of a criminal playing during stoppages at the rink why they now have DMX’s “Party Up” as their power play song. For reference, this is an entire section on X’s Wikipedia page:
(click to enlarge)
So of course it was fitting that Woman’s Right’s Activist Mike Fisher would pot the triple-OT winner on a rebound after their Doogie Howser looking motherfucker of a goalie bailed them out time and time again (with a bit of an assist from the officials on the Pavelski non-goal). And here’s a Barrett Jackman insult just to round things out from the inimitable Anthrax Jones, who may or may not be stealing Slak’s bit here. Fuck the Predators.
Barret Jackman's beard, when examined up close, is just the messy remnants from his dinner, a hefty bag full of giraffe shit
— Bic Pentameter (@AnthraxJones) May 6, 2016
‘Ning vs Isles, Tonight, 6PM
Even without Steven Stamkos (something they should probably get used to) and Anton Stralman in the lineup, the Bolts still have enough firepower to eventually turn Thomas Greiss into, well, Thomas Greiss. The question is whether they can do it before John Tavares, who has been arguably the most dominant forward in this entire post-season, does what the Hawks have done twice now to Braydon Coburn and Matt Carle on far bigger stages, with the immobile Jason Garrison and Andrej Sustr also contributing next to nothing. Victor Hedman has shown that he can take over entire series, and as long as Genius Steve Yzerman is handing out Genius Contracts like a Genius $5.5 million to Matt Carle, he’s going to have to out of necessity.