The four moons of Bettmania are aligned!
Something bizarre happened in last night's games.
In every single series, the team that won Game 1, won Game 2. Now we've got 2-0s across the board on our trusty Yahoo! scoreboard.
A day earlier, it was the opposite. It was all 1-1.
I'm really not sure what to conclude from all this aligning, except to only make a bold prediction: Today, all four series will be 2-1. Just wait and see.
Alright, enough. (I'll let The Calculator figure out the probability of what happened happening.)
The thing I always find with the first round is that there are so many games, so many storylines, that it's pretty tough to (a) watch four games a night and (b) blog about four games a night when its not humanly possible to watch them.
While the Grand Master Pooh-bah of all that is hockey blogdom, Eric McErlain, has done a nice job of rounding up the many voices of the blogosphere every night, I'm not that clever. (Plus, I can't quote myself, for fear of ridicule.)
What I can do, however, is get in the dressing rooms, grab some quoteable quotes from every postgame presser and assemble them here. So that's what I'll do.
The GAME of the night
Canadiens 6, Hurricanes 5 (2OT)
"They came back, but we never put our arms down," [Montreal centre Mike] Ribeiro said. "We kept pushing."
I don't have a clue what he's talking about, but I like the idea here. After all, it would be difficult to push if your arms were down.
This was a terrific game to watch, and, as with a lot of games out there yonder, the crowd/cheerleaders in Raleigh were as entertaining as the action on the ice. The Battle of Ontario sums up the ambience nicely:
...tonight's Montreal-Carolina tilt tonight from the RBC Center features the most bizarre crowd noise I've ever heard. There's the usual three-second delay after a goal before the celebration, the passionate booing after every stoppage and rapid shift to jubilation when it turns out to be a Habs penalty or to silence when it's an offside call. But there's just this random, fluctuating din, too.And with his team now down 2-0 and headed to crazy Habland, Hurricanes coach Peter Laviolette might want to rethink the playoff whiskers he's got going.
In other news, Alexei Kovalev and the Habs have been upgraded to pet turtle:
"I've been saying that I hate the word underdog and after winning the first game, I don't think we're the underdogs," said Kovalev, who was part of the New York Rangers' Stanley Cup winner in 1994. "I think we've taken a step up. We're cats now."Now all he needs is a blog.
The unGAME of the night
Sabres 8, Flyers 2
"Use a different word if you want, but I thought they did," [Sabres head coach Lindy] Ruff said. "The more they acted like idiots, the more we wanted to play."
And that's one of the few quotes without an expletive from the coaches' postgame pressers. There was some ugliness. Vegas is taking odds on Ruff v. Hitchcock.
Of all the series I would have expected would turn into a slaughter, this would have been at the bottom of the list. The Flyers aren't even competing. Peter Forberg is playing the worst hockey I've ever seen him play, and the 'big, slow' Philadelphia defence we heard so much about looks just awful.
But I can't see this Flyers team roll over after a thrashing like this. Game 3 will be a war.
Avalanche 5, Stars 4 (OT)
"We dug ourselves out of a hole. That's the bright spot. But they just kept coming," [Stars captain Mike] Modano said. "We came from behind all year and had solid finishes to games. To lose that one is tough."
What can I say? There were goaltending issues on both sides of the ice in Dallas tonight, but especially for Marty Turco, who is going to really gain a reputation of a goalie that can't play in big games if the Stars bow out early.
Dallas played disciplined hockey and showed a ton of mettle in coming back from a 3-0 deficit, but I can't see them rallying in this series. I know I said it earlier in the week, but playing in Denver is really tough given the high altitude, and Stars coach doesn't have any option other than riding Turco until the end of the series.
This could be a sweep.
Devils 4, Rangers 1
"This won't happen again for a long time, it would be nice if it did," [Devils centre John] Madden said. "In reality, I have to get back to checking and getting the puck deep and winning faceoffs and killing penalties."
The 'this' he's referring to is the first-ever hat trick Madden had in this game, which tells you just about everything you need to know about what happened in East Rutherford tonight.