Monday, April 16, 2012
Things to know
By Paul Grant
The Penguins will be swept: It doesn't matter what the media is told afterward; the Flyers have the Penguins completely off their game. Evgeni Malkin is a shadow of himself, intimidated into a peripheral role, going from MVP to Most Invisible Player. The Penguins -- captain Sidney Crosby, especially -- are too paralyzed by the goon show to be able to play the way they did during the season. The Flyers' goaltending has been ripe for the picking, too. This is a lost opportunity, and now the Penguins will be left with thinking about what could have been with one of the best collections of talent they've ever had.
Shea Weber for Conn Smythe: Now that's how a captain reacts to adversity. Shea Weber, public enemy No. 1 in Detroit, scored and let everyone know he doesn't get fazed. This guy is a cold-stone killer. Preds are up 2-1 in that series.
The Panthers bounced back: The Panthers won a playoff game for the first time since 1997, which was a long time ago, eh? Before full-body searches at the airport and everything. Don't know about you, but it took me that long to get over the proliferation of "rats" headlines.
The Canucks are cooked: In other news about wildly favored teams choking away potential, the Canucks are one game from playing golf or catching salmon or whatever they do for a pastime in British Columbia. (Chill, people; I've been to Stanley Park.) Hindsight is 20/20, of course, but it just goes to show you what having a settled situation in net will do for your team's confidence in the playoffs. If he keeps this up, no one will say, "If only Jonathan Quick played on the East Coast, he'd get the recognition he deserves ..."