Happy Cinco De Mayo (Marcelino is 1/64th Mayan).
Bolts in the conference final. B’s are close … but they won’t get ahead of themselves this time. Claude Julien is going to bring in a motivational speaker: The Most Interesting Man in the World, to tell them, “Stay Thirsty My Friends.”
2) How cool is it to have a Gordie Howe Hat Trick in a playoff game, like Nathan Horton did for the B’s?
3) People are making a big deal out of Tampa Bay’s 1-3-1, and for good reason. But the thing that really separates the Lightnings is the power play—12 PPGs already in the playoffs. Absolutely lethal.
4) In case you hadn’t heard, John Tortorella—who helped build this Tampa team—is undergoing the knife for the second year in a row. Last year it was a hip replacement, this year a knee replacement. He’ll be bionic soon.
5) Gee. Philly having goalie problems. Odd.
6) Sean Bergenheim=this generation’s Chris Kontos.
7) Actually, and this isn’t new or unique, but have you noticed how many goals are being scored by role players, third-line types?
8) Colie Campell’s kid has turned into a pretty darn effective hockey player, hasn’t he?
10) Game over. Season over. … for the NHL and it’s Crosby-Ovechkin crush.
11) Pretty good night for the Bergeron boys in Boston and Tampa.
12) I’d love to know who came up with the stick salute, because it’s one of the coolest things in sports.
13) That Marchand kid in Boston has a lot of Ryan Callahan in him. And he reminds me, too, of the Little Ball of Hate.
14) I’ll be interested to see how the Lightnings handle a really physical team, because they haven’t yet. The Capitals weren’t nearly as physical vs. the Lightnings as they were against the Rangers.
15) I guess the countdown is on for the launch of Bruce Boudreau. He’ll have plenty of time to work on his vocabulary for the next time he stars in a reality show. … All the king’s horses, and all the king’s men …
16) Did you see Darren Pang get hit in the onions?
17) I don’t think the Flyers are coming back by any stretch of the imagination … but I’m certain that everybody, all these analysts, were saying the exact same thing last year.
Cartoon from the Washington Examiner.
AP photo/Chris O’Meara, above.
FYI, Mitch Beck has video from the Whale’s break-up day press conference on his Howlings blog.