Sunday, April 15, 2007

Sunday Pucks Brunch: Hockey Notes From Saturday Night

With no "Hockey Night in Canada" feed available here in D.C. (merci, Comcast Digital), SPB will be somewhat abbreviated today. (However, last night's "Satellite Hot Stove" segment can be seen here.) And it was announced this week that the coach in "Coach's Corner," Don Cherry, is scheduled to make his debut on NBC at some point during its Stanley Cup Final coverage. In a post-Imus world, one can easily imagine NBC producers and suits drinking mugs of Mylanta instead of coffee once Grapes finally does appear.

Speaking of television coverage, I'm sure some will disagree with me, but Mike Emerick should be banned from ever covering a Pens game again. His love sonnets to Sidney Crosby were tedious even before the puck was dropped and became unbearable by the time Sid scored the game-winner in the third. Here's hoping the more-measured Joe Benanati is the play-by-play man for tonight's game (Speaking of Joe B., anyone know why he wasn't in the booth with Andy Brickley Saturday night?)

On the ice, Saturday's games were each remarkable in their own way, but there is something they share in common: the road teams all took one-goal victories. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, "There have been three other days in NHL history in which visiting teams won four playoff games by the minimum margin, but there were either seven or eight games played on each of those days. Saturday marked the first day in league history in which there were at least four playoff games, and the visiting team won by a goal in each game."

And here's another interesting note about one-goal games: Washington was the only team in the League with a lower winning percentage than Ottawa in one-goal games this season. The Senators had a .313 winning percentage in one-goal games, going 10-13-9, or more accurately, 10-22.

Make that 10-23 after yesterday's game.

From the wires:

Calgary's Robyn Regehr is expected to play in today's game...Christoph Schubert is not expected to be in Ottawa's lineup tonight, after sustaining an injury early in yesterday's game...Detroit's Todd Bertuzzi will not play this afternoon...Tampa Bay's Brad Richards has now scored a point in 11 consecutive playoff games...Vincent Lecavalier won 59% (17-of-29) of faceoffs in game 2 , after winning just 35% in game 1...Buffalo's Chris Drury played in his 100th career postseason game... Ales Kotalik was demoted to the fourth line during yesterday's game and was replaced by rookie Drew Stafford...Islanders captain Alexei Yashin was benched for most of the 2nd and 3d periods yesterday, finishing with a team-low 7:07 TOI...Ronald Petrovicky replaced Georges Laraque in Pittsburgh's lineup Saturday. Petrovicky skated one more shift than Laraque did Tuesday night...The next goals scored by Calgary's Jarome Iginla and Alex Tanguay will be the 20th career playoff goal for each...Suspended Islanders F Chris Simon has been attending the team's morning skates and practices...The city of Atlanta has never led an NHL playoff series. The Flames had a 2-15 record in six postseason appearances before moving to Calgary in 1980...The New Jersey Devils have yet to play to a sold out stadium this season. Saturday's attendance at CAA of 18,235 was 800 short of capacity... For the 10th time in their history the Rangers have taken a 2-0 lead in a best-of-seven playoff series. They have won nine of those series, losing only to the Blackhawks in 1968.


Lines of the Night:
  • First star: "You can't play with fire too much." - Devils goalie Martin Brodeur on Jersey's inability to contain Tampa's top players through the first two games of their series.
  • Second star: “I don't have a clue what we're going to do for Game 3” - Lightning coach John Tortorella on his line juggling.
  • Third star: “Maybe it was the love we have for Sean Avery." - Thrashers coach Bob Hartley when asked about the cause of the ruckus at the end of Saturday's game with the Rangers.

Sources: AP, Elias Sports Bureau, FSN, MSG, New York Newsday, TSN, Vs.

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