You can still grab a copy of our kick-ass 2009 Playoff Pool Guide, for $3.00 if you've got a late draft this weekend.
Henrik Lundqvist is playing out of his head right now, two straight wins in Washington and yesterday the cherry on top was a 35 save shutout. He looks to be a fixture in the Cap's kitchen right now banging around all their pots and pans... we'll see if they can shake it for game #3.
Washington's answer to King Henrik yesterday was to throw 20 year old rookie Simeon Varlamov between the pipes instead of Jose Theodore. The rookie showed well and stopped 23 of 24 but now the pickle that Coach Bruce has himself in is... do you throw the rookie in again on the road or can you go back to Theodore after showing that you've lost all confidence in him?
This scout's playoff pools may be going up in flames along with the Crapitals but hopefully you listened to us and picked up Ryan Callahan as a sleeper pick. Had a big goal yesterday and has played over 20 minutes a night during the series, whereas his more heralded teammate Nik Zherdev only played 10 minutes last night.
Another easy night for Chris Osgood as he only had to stop 25 shots for the shutout while Detroit threw 39 shots the way of rookie Steve Mason and he allowed four goals.
Big night for Marc Savard as he put up 2+2=4 in a resounding win over the Habs. Both his goals and four of his five points in the series have come on the PP so as much as it might be effective for Montreal to try to shut this guy down, it really comes down to the PK and goaltending...
Speaking of which, Carey Price was pulled after allowing five goals last night and gave way to Jaroslav Halak for the third period... Halak was perfect but only faced five shots. Not sure who will get the call for game #3 but we'd bet on Halak.
Bob Gainey also had to sit Tomas Plekanec down yesterday, he was a healthy scratch which just caps off one of the worst season's in the league this year as he dropped 30 points from last year's 69 point season.
We mentioned after game #1 that Jonathan Toews could have had a shedload of point as he dominates every time he's out there and he backed that up with two goals last night to bring Chicago back from a 2-0 deficit to win 3-2 and take a commanding lead in the series.
Injury Updates (see our Injury Updates page for a consolidated list of injuries):
Jamie Langenbrunner did not make the trip to Carolina for games 3 & 4 and could be out for the rest of the series with a LBI... huge loss for the Devils as he had a great second half (tied for team lead with 24 goals since Jan 1st) and really clicks with Zach Parise.
Chris Drury returned to action for the Rangers yesterday after missing game #1 with a leg injury. He only played 15 minutes so they appear to be easing him back into the lineup.
Matt Hunwick is a dude who's had a rough playoff... got his face almost washed right off in game #1 and then before game #2 he was rushed to the hospital to have his spleen removed. Sounds like he'll be ok but he's out for the rest of the playoffs.
We told you the other day that Patrick Sharp didn't look right after game #1 and he admitted that he was only at around 70% for game #2... apparently 70% of Sharpie is good enough for 1+1=2 last night and he looks to be regaining his form.
What's distracting us today? We'll be watching the U-18s Championships today, USA vs Russia for the gold and Canada vs Finland for the bronze (check your listings for when they're being shown)... Great chance to see a handful of guys who will be 1st round picks in June... like Simon Despres, Zach Kassian, Stefan Elliott, Drew Shore, Toni Rajala, Dmitri Orlov and a few other who might sneak into the 1st round. But the real treat is that you can get a look at some of the 16 & 17 year olds who will be top 10 picks in the 2010 draft. You'll be hearing a lot more about names like Fowler, McFarland, Granlund, Kabanov and Kitsyn in the years to come.