Lots of news in this column, mostly because I went off the grid this past weekend and missed literally everything.
What I didn’t miss though, was Tampa Bay eliminating the Boston Bruins, which I’m sure will go over great with the Tuukka Rask haters.
The Avalanche also showed that they have a whole lot of life left in them, as demonstrated by scoring 5 goals in the first period of their Game 5 bout against Dallas.
Bye Bye Boston
Well, Hockey Twitter officially got its way thanks to Victor Hedman’s 2OT series winning goal in Game 5 of the Tampa-Boston series.
On one hand, seeing Boston lose is nice because I can imagine the forehead vein popping in Jack Edwards’ face, and that’s just plain old fashion fun.
On the other, I’m already annoyed at the incoming “Tuukka Rask abandoned his team and cost them the series” takes.
But in the end, the Tampa Bay Lightning are off to Edmonton to play the winner of the Islanders-Flyers series (maybe without Nikita Kucherov, which would be very not good.)
Avalanche show signs of life
After showing that they were maybe not the most well equipped team against Dallas in games 1 through 4, they thundered back into the series with a dominant 6-3 win in Game 5.
That included a five-goal first period that chased Ben Bishop from the Dallas crease.
Bishop, playing his first game since Aug. 13, allowed four goals facing 19 shots in the opening 13:43. He was replaced by Anton Khudobin, who started the prior eight games for Dallas, which was trying to end the best-of-7 series with a win.
Dallas trailed 5-0 after Khudobin allowed a goal at 14:27.
Bishop had not played since the first round against the Calgary Flames. He was 1-1-0 with a 4.04 goals-against average and .862 save percentage in his two postseason games after starting 43 of Dallas’ 69 games during the regular season (21-16-4, 2.50, .920).
With Colorado facing elimination, they turned to Michael Hutchinson instead of Pavel Francouz. Despite the Stars’ best efforts to disrupt his rhythm by crashing into him countless times
Also, the Dallas Stars played one of the chippiest, dirtiest games I’ve seen short of actually doing anything actually reprehensible. The amount of times Hutchinson got ran by the onslaught of Corey Perry, Jamie Benn and Radek Faska was honestly pretty stupid to watch. I know it’s the playoffs, but for god sake’s, you’re allowed to actually call penalties.
Also also, Ryan Graves is playing himself into a very special place in my heart this series.
Max Pacioretty officially knighted
In Game 4 against the Vancouver Canucks, Max Pacioretty had the first true definitive game of his Vegas Golden Knights stint, scoring twice to help Vegas to a 5-3 comeback win.
That’s not to say that Pacioretty hasn’t been good since being traded to Vegas from Montreal, because he has been. But Game 4 was as clear a Pacioretty-take-over as we’ve seen from him. He powered pucks to the net, took lots of shots, and scored.
Because that’s what Pacioretty does.
Pacioretty has always been his best when he’s able to focus on generating offence. Well, playing with Mark Stone has given him exactly that opportunity.
His three point effort (2G, 1A) was a ton of fun to watch. Especially for a guy who’s been as unfairly ripped as Pacioretty has been in his career.
I would also like to take this moment to say that Pacioretty has always been this good. With Montreal, he was this good. When they made him captain, he was this good.
I saw a lot of talk on Twitter about how Pacioretty “couldn’t handle the pressure” in Montreal, which of course, is a ridiculous statement. Pacioretty is one of the league’s premier goal scorers, and playing with Mark Stone has shown that.
Also just a reminder that Pacioretty’s centreman for many years was David Desharnais. So, yeah.
- Max Domi fired his agent Pat Brisson, who is a long-time friend of Habs GM Marc Bergevin. Maybe this means nothing, but also maybe this means exactly what it looks like and Domi is about to be Pacioretty’ed out of Montreal.
- STOP BEING COWARDS AND PLAY HUNTER MISKA COLORADO.
- The list of the highest paid NHL players of all-time is pretty interesting. Number one, is of course, Jaromir Jagr because he played about 74 seasons (give or take). Vincent Lecavalier at #3 is pretty strange, but makes sense considering the contracts he was given. Most surprisingly though is probably Brad Richards at #9, because, just weird right?
- RIP Chadwick Boseman, a cultural icon and incredible human being. Go watch his movies, because he was just awesome, and he’ll be missed. “It’s tough to make dignity interesting, but he found a way.”
Follow me on Twitter @Matthew_Coyte