It was an interesting two-days when it came to the game one-- here's what I took from the adventure:
-Did everyone really underestimate the strength of the Oilers?? Dwayne Roloson played on his head and did an outstanding job. If not for a fluke goal, the Oilers could have won that game in double-OT. Is the loss of Pavel Datsyuk that telling on the Wings' gameplan?? I don't expect to see the same slacking off on the Wings bench in Game Two.
-It's going to be a goaltending clinic in the Anaheim/Calgary series, I'll well you what. Ilya Bryzgalov and Miikka Kiprusoff played amazingly in Game One with Darren McCarty being the unlikely hero in OT. The question still remains if the Ducks will be this strong if J-S Giguere is out for an extended period, but Bryzgalov looks up to the task, if need be.
-I think Sean-O was right when he mentioned that Jaromir Jagr would pack it in if he didn't win the Art Ross Trophy. Outside of his one assist and injury he inflicted on himself, he was rarely a factor in the game. Of course, NBC was tracking his every move, but these are the same people who had the "floating heads of death" in their first season of Nascar coverage.
-Note to the Sharks-- if you stop taking stupid penalties, the Predators won't score on you at will. I have to say I'm surprised at the Preds output with Chris Mason in net, but I should know better than to count out a Paul Kariya team.
-Both Ray Emery for Ottawa and Cristobal Huet for Montreal were outstanding in their first starts of the Playoffs. They may not have experience on their side, but they have great teams in front of them to help out and give some goal support in the process. Martin Gerber on the other hand....not so much.
-If there is a more obvious reason for kids to keep their heads up when skating the puck, then the hit that Brian Campbell put on R.J. Umberger should be the visual aide. It is also a demonstration on how to give a clean, hard check with your opponent's head down. God speed to Umberger and his recovery. Which leads me to a "thumbs down" to the Sabres' video crew for replaying the hit in the arena. Sure, you want to get the crowd into it, but you don't want to give the opposing team more fuel for the fire. It's an unwritten rule and was a classless act.
-Gary Bettman said the refs should call everything, and they are-- sans a couple of too-many-men and other calls. It seems that they aren't putting the whistles away just because it's late in the game or in OT. At least they didn't do that for the Flyers/Sabres affair. Discipline play will be key, so it shouldn't come as a surprise if you see a couple of GWGs on the power play in overtime in the near future.
We have all-day action tomorrow for Game Two, which I should have some commentary about or what-have-you afterwords, maybe with a "FOHS Do's and Don't Of Playoff Hockey", but only if you're good. Enjoy the games.