Henrik Zetterberg is backing up his Conn Smythe Trophy performance from last year with another strong post-season... three points yesterday gives him points in five straight games and he's been on the scoresheet in eight of Detroit's nine playoffs games this year. Now if only Hank could find a way to get Datsyuk going then this scout, and I'm sure a lot of others, would be much happier.
Another goal yesterday for Johan Franzen and that gives him five in the series and 7+6=13 in nine games. Not only is Franzen's production quite amazing but also the fact that it kinda came out of nowhere... in his first two playoffs he had four goals in 24 games but has now totaled 20 goals in 25 games over this year and last.
Rather quietly Chris Osgood is starting to put together some fine numbers in the playoffs... 7-2 record with a 1.97 gaa & .923 sv%... and don't forget that one of those losses was partially due to a Brad Watson quick-whistle. But it certainly helps when you only have to face 17 shots in a game, which is what Ozzie saw last night.
Meanwhile at the other end of the ice, Jonas Hiller faced 37 shots, which is not unusual for these playoffs but you can't expect your goalie to steal you games when you hang him out to dry like that on a regular basis. Some people are speculating that Coach Carlyle may give JS Giguere the nod in game #6 but we wouldn't count on it nor would we recommend that.
Phil Kessel got his first two goals of the 2nd round and it couldn't have come at a better time as Boston was on the brink and a 4-0 victory in game #5 will send this one back to Raleigh. Despite struggling in the series, Kessel has been finding the net with ease lately as those goals give him 11 in his last 12 games going back to the regular season.
The Bruins also got a big game from Zdeno Chara, who had been rather underwhelming with his performance in these playoffs as he came in his only two points and minus-two in the playoffs but came to play yesterday with two assists and plus-three.
Pavol Demitra didn't travel with the team to Chicago so it doesn't look like he'll be ready to go for game #6.
James Wisniewski returned yesterday for the Ducks, so he only missed one game with that bruised lung.
What's distracting us today? The World Championships wrapped up yesterday with Russia winning the gold over Canada, again. Ilya Kovalchuk was named the tournament MVP after he finished second in tournament scoring (behind Marty St.Louis) with 5+9=14 in nine games. Other notable performances from the tournament included Alexander Radulov who had the game winner in the final and finished top 10 in tournament scoring, Steve Stamkos who finished tied for the tournament lead in goals and was named to the All-Star team and Mikhail Grabovski who contributed 3+6=9 in seven games and played over 27 minutes a game for an over-matched Belarus team. Others with strong performances were Pekka Rinne, Jonas Gustavsson, Jack Johnson and Drew Doughty.