I haven't done a Friday Five Focus in over a month. To make up for all those missed five questions (or thoughts) I'm going to do a longer FFF for the playoff games I've watched thus far; I'll list five observations that stuck out the most to me.
Pittsburgh v. Ottawa (Game 1)
Pittsburgh v. Ottawa (Game 1)
- Pittsburgh looked so much better than Ottawa. I predicted Pittsburgh to win this series but I expected Ottawa to at least look like they wanted to win. In the third period I was actually rooting for Ottawa to score so the game would appear to be somewhat competitive.
- Gerber looked shaky in the first period (how in the world did he not save Roberts's goal?) but looked great in the remaining two periods. I still can't get that glove save robbery out of my head!
- I always laugh when I see a game that's played in Pittsburgh and I see the visiting backup goalie sit by himself. Poor Emery...that's gotta suck!
- Marc-Andre Fleury should never play the puck behind the net. And if he does, he should never hold onto it for more than 2 seconds. I think he may be worse than Hasek at playing the puck.
- Forget all the hype about Crosby, this was the Malkin Show! I am completely awestruck of his skills. I knew he was good but he looked damn good in Game 1.
San Jose v. Calgary (Game 1)
- This game was televised on Versus through a CBC broadcast and watching this feed made me yearn for a pure Versus broadcast like never before. The play-by-play guy sucked; he was so incredibly boring to listen to. The red, white, and blue bar at the top of the screen that showed the team names, score, and time remaining bothered me so much. For one, the colors and format made it look archaic. Secondly, why not use team colors as the background color of each cell where the team names were placed rather than red and blue? Thirdly, if the color format is a tradition, then why not at least place the red and blue so they correspond somewhat closely to the team colors. Seeing a red block automatically made me think of Calgary, but no, it was placed with San Jose and the blue was for Calgary. Does that make sense to anyone? FSN's color and format are much more pleasing to the eye and even Versus does a much better job.
- The highlights of the Minny/Avs game was terrible! It was like watching a highlight reel from the '60s. Is this what Canadians are subjected to whenever they watch a CBC broadcast?
- Another rant about the broadcast: the sound was distorted so you could barely hear the fans. I love being able to listen to the sounds of the game and one component of this is the crowd. When you can't hear the crowd it makes it seem like the fans aren't into the game. I barely heard any other sounds outside of the play-by-play guy, which I already mentioned was not fun to listen to.
- Kipper played frantically in the first period and looked out of position on several occassions. I was worried that this was just a sneak peak of what was to come. Fortunately, Kipper got back on his game and his teammates helped limit San Jose's opportunities.
- The refs let so much shit go. There was definitely one play where it looked like Clowe (I think) and Phaneuf were taking shots at each other and both were going to go off for something, but only Clowe got the penalty. And other times players made blatantly obvious infractions and no penalty was called. I can't quite decide if I want the guys to be able to just play or if the games should be called to the same standards as the regular season games, but the 'law-abiding citzen' in me is saying that the penalties should be called if it's ruled an offense in the rulebook.
Continued after the jump.
Detroit v. Nashville (Game 1)
- Zetterberg and Datsyuk are so awesome together. I still hate Tootoo.
- Ellis was a machine throughout the entire game and really gave the Preds a chance to win. He always looked pretty good against the Kings but...yeah, it's the Kings.
- I couldn't understand how the game was still tied after the second period. Nashville isn't going to go down easily and hopefully this game is a wake-up call for Detroit. Not that Detroit played poorly, but just that they'll have to bring their A-game every night against the Preds.
- Zetterberg's game winning slap shot was sick. Zetterberg is amazing...and dreamy. I still hate Tootoo.
- I couldn't believe Ellis didn't go back in the net when the faceoff was just outside of Nashville's blueline...I think everyone who saw that happened called the empty netter before the linesman dropped the puck. I don't think Nashville would have tied the game if Ellis had stayed in net, so it's kind of a moot point, but just an interesting move by Trotz that I wasn't expecting to see.
Check out the game review by Steph of No Pun Intended.
Anaheim v. Dallas (Game 1)
I actually didn't watch this game. But I kept the boxscore up to keep track of the punishment Dallas inflicted upon the Ducks.
4 Power Play Goals + Shutout + Dallas Win = Awesomeness
Washington v. Philadelphia (Game 1)
- I've been looking forward to this game since the Caps qualified for the playoffs. Neither team disappointed and I loved watching every single second of it. I was partially hoping for the game to go to overtime because I wanted to continue watching these teams battle like it was win or die.
- I did the "pumping two fists in the air" celebration when Brashear scored the first goal of the series. Seeing him score was awesome...he displayed patience and soft hands by finishing what looked like an easy scoring opportunity but could have been easily flubbed if he had panicked or rushed it.
- I was very unimpressed with Washington's power play. As soon as they set up in the zone the players were relatively static. They don't move around too much and in essence, are pretty predictable. They caught a break when the Philly player painfully blocked a shot and crumpled to the ice, allowing the Caps extra time to make the next pass, which led to a power play goal. However, if the Caps want to go deep in the playoffs I think they need to improve their power play.
- This game was so physical, yet clean. Every player made an attempt to finish his check and not back down. What was so refreshing about seeing this hard hitting game was that it never looked like either team was out their element by playing like this and neither team looked like they were in a frenzy just trying to line up guys for the sake of making hits. Props to both teams for making this game incredibly exciting.
- Ovechkin's game winning goal was so f'ing awesome!!! What a way for him to start his playoff career.
Minnesota v. Colorado (Game 2)
- I guess the broken man isn't so...broken...yet.
- I don't ever recall analysts kissing Sakic's ass in previous playoff years, but I have heard them call him "Captain Clutch" way too many times in the past several days. I'm sorry, but didn't you guys give that nickname to Chris Drury? And also, I question whether it's appropriate to still call Ryan Smyth "Captain Canada" even though he doesn't play for a Canadian team...anyone have any thoughts?
- These two teams tried to play a physical game but they didn't even come close to the physicality of the Wash/Philly game.
- I was so excited when Koivu scored Minnesota's second goal to take the lead with little time left in regulation. His shot looked somewhat nonthreatening and I was shocked it went in. Theodore must have felt like shit for letting in that shot. I think I laughed and pointed at him.
- I could not believe it when Colorado tied it, sending the game to OT. Seeing Colorado tie it made me doubt my prediction that the Wild would win this series, but thankfully the Wild took no time in winning the game in OT to tie the series. I guess Baby Hockey Jesus does listen to prayers!
I love the NHL Playoffs!! and my DVR!