Washington forced a game 7 last night with an OT victory in Pittsburgh and after we pointed out that the Caps secondary scoring had vanished the other day, it magically re-appeared last night as Viktor Kozlov had his first two goals of the series, Brooks Laich also got his first and Alex Semin contributed two assists.
Game #7 should be fun, hopefully an epic ending to a great series but an underrated point about this series is that the goalies have both been equally less than impressive... Simeon Varlamov's been shaky at times and his numbers in the series prove it: 3.35 gaa & .907 sv%, while Marc-Andre Fleury's numbers look more like Andrew Raycroft's than a Stanley Cup contender's: 3.20 gaa & .874 sv%.
The young guns for Chicago came to play last night and were able to send the Canucks packing... Jonathan Toews only had one point in the series coming into last night but saved his best game for crunch time as he had 2+1=3 and Patrick Kane looked like a threat every time he was on the ice and notched his first NHL hat-trick.
The Canucks needed more from their top players and they got it from guys like Daniel Sedin, who had his first two goals of the series, and Mats Sundin (four points in the last two games) but they were let down by their best player, Roberto Luongo, who gave up seven goals on 30 shots. Can't blame him on all of the goals but the goalie has to take the blame when you're looking for him to steal a game and he gives up a touchdown.
It will be an interesting offseason for the Canucks as Mike Gillis did a nice re-tooling job last summer that resulted in a division title but this summer he'll have much tougher decisions to make as he's faced with the possibility of the Sedin's and Ohlund walking as UFA's, does he want to deal with Mats waffling again and can he get Luongo signed before he becomes a UFA in 2010.
Speaking of the future of the Canucks, they have assigned their top prospect, Cody Hodgson, to the Manitoba Moose and he'll likely see some action in the AHL playoffs as the Moose are into the semi-finals. We expect Hodgson to be in Vancouver next season so we're interested to see how he does against men in an intense situation.
Brian Rafalski was able to practice yesterday for the first time in a while and looks like its possible that he'll return for tonight's game #6... it will probably be a game-time decision.
What's distracting us today? Pat Kane was feeling so confident and secure last night that he had no problem letting the world know that he thinks Scott Oake is better looking than Elliotte Friedman (or at least he throws out the possibility of such)... bizarre but true... go to the 6:20 mark of the video for evidence...