Niemi shines in the spotlight... Toews continues streak... Leighton is rust free... Seven Flyers with two... S-Tits makes an appearance... HNIC and beer: together in video form
Antti Niemi silenced any remaining critics with a stellar game last night... 44 saves on 45 shots. Wow. Even if you're not in a playoff pool you'll want to keep an eye on Niemi's performance. Whoever starts in Chicago has big time value and dominating starts like this increase the chances the Hawks stick with Antti next year.
Another goalie with a few question marks (albeit smaller ones) is Evgeni Nabokov. He stopped 38 out of 40 and has only surrendered three goals in two games since he got smoked for five goals in a period against the Wings. Question answered we guess.
Duncan Keith played his best game of the playoffs yesterday. His one assist doesn't really due his performance justice as he was a rock out there. Not too often you see a d-man with 27 minutes plus in a non-OT game. This guy is money.
Jonathan Toews kept his scoring streak alive with an assist last night. That's now 10 games with a ridiculous 20 points. Can you say Conn Smythe?
Joe Thornton was minus-2 last night and might not have lost the playoff choker label just yet.
Michael Leighton must be rust proof... for a guy who missed two months of action he sure looks pretty sharp. After his 28 save shutout last night he's let in only four goals in 3.5 games since his return.
The Flyers were working with all cylinders firing as seven players (Danny Briere, Matt Carle, Braydon Coburn, Claude Giroux, Scott Hartnell, Ville Leino, and JVR) picked up two points in their thumping of the Habs.
Maybe we haven't seen the last of Sergei Kostitsyn after all. It looked like his days in a Habs uniform were over but S-Tits was on the ice for the pre-game skate yesterday. He's not somebody you'll want to use in a playoff pool but this news could change his prospects for next year. [more]
Reports were circulating that Andrei Markov would make a return at some point during the Philly series. It's looking like that's not happening, so don't count on him till the finals if he comes back at all.
What's distracting us today?
- Aaron Voros & Sean Avery had an apparent run-in with crazy ol' Lindsay Lohan. It even sounds like Avery didn't do anything wrong.
- Elliott Friedman talks Penguins and specifically getting rid of Geno. We think this talk is nuts... if Pittsburgh wins Game 7 nobody is talking like this. Perspective people!
- Halak is on pace to get the record for most saves in one playoff year... that is assuming the Habs can make it to the Stanley Cup Finals. A big assumption after last night.
- Finally, two of our favourite things combined, HNIC and beer: