Someone’s got to do it, I guess. Slide in front of an opponent getting ready to send a puck towards the net with ill intentions. It today’s game, blocking shots is a key element to most team’s defenses, more a skill than luck. Without players willing to sacrifice parts of their body to the impact of frozen rubber hurtling through space at 90+ MPH, teams usually don’t get very far in the postseason.
One man has now knocked aside more pucks with his body in the postseason than any other player in NHL history. That man wears a Tampa Bay Lightning uniform and his name is Ryan McDonagh. With four blocked shots in Game One, McDonagh surpassed Dan Girardi (another former Ranger turned Bolt) and holds the dubious record with 386 blocked shots in his postseason career. It speaks to the longevity of his career (he’s never missed the playoffs since joining the NHL in 2010-11.
In the each of the two Lightning’s two Cup seasons he blocked 46 shots, but his “best” season came early in his career when he blocked 62 shots for the New York Rangers when they lost in the Eastern Conference Finals to the New Jersey Devils.
He’s at 25 so far this season through just 8 games. Another long run by the Bolts and he could challenge that 62 number.
Lightning / NHL News
Brayden Point out for Game Two [Raw Charge]
I can’t say it’s not unexpected. Personally, I think he might be out for a few more games. The good news is that Erik Cernak should be back.
Even without Brayden Point the power play was the difference. Corey Perry scored one with man advantage. Granted anyone could have scored after that feed from Nikita Kucherov. You know what, let’s see that play one more time:
Nikita Kucherov decided to snatch a man’s soul tonight pic.twitter.com/QwgcH3zMcZ— Andrew Weiss (@WeissHockeyTalk) May 18, 2022
The key ingredient to the Lightning’s playoff success - defense [Tampa Bay Times]
The magic mark for the Lightning in the playoffs seems to be three goals. They are 29-2 when allowing two or fewer goals since 2020 while they are just 9-15 in games where their opponents score three or more.
Another opponent of the supposadly “dirty” Tampa Bay Lightning has been fined for the league for actions during the game. Ben Chiarot was fined $5,000 by the league for his head-butt to Ross Colton in Game One.
Jared Spurgeon finalist for the Lady Byng [Hockey Wilderness]
Spurgeon, Jaccob Slavin, and Kyle Connor are the three finalists for the “gentlemanly conduct” trophy.
Last Night’s Games
Carolina Hurricanes 2, New York Rangers 1 (OT) Carolina leads series 1:0
It looked like the Hurricanes were going to get goalie’d in Game One as Carolina held a 1-0 lead late into the third period. Sebastian Aho finally scored for the Hurricanes at the 17:37 mark of the final frame to match Filip Chytil’s first period marker. Ian Cole, who else, scored the overtime winner for Carolina in a game that featured 120 total shot attempts but only 3 goals.
There were more goals in the first 8 minutes in this game than the entire overtime match between Carolina and New York. Calgary scored twice in the first minute, was up 5-1, had the game tied up at 6, then scored the next three. Matthew Tkachuck had a hat trick and old friend Blake Coleman scored twice.
Tonight’s Other Game
Colorado leads series 1:0
Jordan Binnington (and the five posts the Avalanche hit) did his best to steal Game One on Tuesday. He’ll likely need to do that again tonight if the Blues want to have any hope of pulling off the upset.