Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Good, The Bad and The Mike Ricci From Round 1

Round 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs have come and gone so it's time to look at the good, the bad, and the Mike Ricci from the past two weeks. There was plenty going on with a record number of overtime games in the first round, three game sevens and only one sweep meaning you had no reason to complain about there not being enough hockey to watch. If you watched every night, you definitely noticed some players lighting it up, and probably didn't notice certain players as they turned into ghosts.

With that said, here's our Good, Bad, and Mike Ricci:

The Good:

The Pittsburgh Penguins Top Dogs:  Offence and more offence.
Evgeni Malkin leads the team with 11 points in 6 games and a healthy Sidney Crosby has 9 points in 5 games. Jarome Iginla is also pulling his weight putting up 9 points and Kris Letang is a point-per-game player with 2 goals and 6 points so far. These guys are lighting it up and that's not a good thing for the Ottawa Senators.

Derick Brassard:  9 points in 7 games
The Blue Jackets gave up on their former 1st round pick and he's playing some great hockey these playoffs for the Rangers. In 7 games, Brassard has a team leading 2 goals and 7 apples, all of which came in the remaining 5 games of the series after New York dropped their first 2 games to the Caps.

Jean-Gabriel Pageau:  5 points in 5 games
The Ottawa Senators 20-year-old rookie wasn't even a lock to play for their AHL team this year, but battled his way for playing time and was given a chance to play for the big club thanks to their injuries. Pageau notched a hat trick in Game 3 against Montreal and has been getting chances to play with Ottawa's first line with his offensive ability. For a rookie, you can't ask for anything more in the playoffs.

Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture:  Only players averaging 2 points-per-game
Pavelski and Couture both have 8 points from their sweep of the Vancouver Canucks. Pavelski has shown flashes of greatness before in the playoffs when he put up 17 points in 15 games back in 2010, and Couture also lit it up in 2011 when he put up 14 points in 18 games as a 22-year-old. If the Sharks big guns can keep firing they'll continue to be a big threat to come out of the West.

David Krejci:  13 points to lead all players in scoring
Krejci had 5 goals and 13 points to lead all players in points in the first round. Krejci is one of those players you never really notice out of the ice because he isn't that flashy, but he can rack up points in bunches. With 4 multi-point games including three 3-point games, Krejci took advantage of the Maple Leafs and looked to be in the same offensive form he was when the Bruins won the Cup in 2011.

Zdeno Chara:  8 points to lead all Defensemen
Chara didn't blow me away from watching him play all 7 games this series, but he did manage to get lucky with some 2nd assists and led all defencemen in first round scoring. Well Chara has always been able to put up points while shutting down opposing teams top scorers, he does have a bullet of a shot and can make plays happen. As Leafs fans, we can't wait until he retires.

The Bad:

Alex Ovechkin:  1 goal and just 2 points in 7 games
Just when everyone thought that Ovechkin was back to being a superstar he gets shut down by the New York Rangers. Ovie tossed 30 shots on goal but only one managed to slip 1 goal pass King Henrik (an open net powerplay goal). It's never good when the thing most people will remember from your playoff performance is this:

Tyler Seguin:  0 goals and 1 assist in 7 games
The usual Maple Leafs killer had 29 shots on goal through 7 games, but just couldn't get any offense going. His lone assist came on Patrice Bergeron's game 7 OT winner and while we haven't been able to watch highlights of that game just yet, we're sure he probably didn't deserve it.

Corey Perry:  0 goals and 2 assists in 7 games
The former 50-goal scorer couldn't find the back of the net against the Red Wings and now has the summer to relax and work on his shot. When you're top triggerman isn't putting pucks in the net you won't win many series and Perry's absence on the scoresheet helped lead to their demise. How much less money would have gotten this offseason after this playoff performance?

Rick Nash:  0 goals and 2 assists in 7 games
I can still remember his season when he scored 41 goals and had just 16 assists back in 2003-04 so it's surprising he has more assists then goals in these playoffs. Nash will need to help out more offensively if the Rangers hope to knock out the Bruins, and with his massive frame they'll rely on him to put pucks on net in the dirty areas - which means crosschecks from Zdeno Chara. This series against Boston will be a big test for Nash and his star status.

Marc-Andre Fleury:  Losing his starting job
The flower looked shaky in every game and posting a .891 save percentage and a 3.40 goals against average will usually have you sitting on the bench. Fleury showed shades of last season against the Flyers and when you have an experienced back-up goalie like Tomas Vokoun sitting there ready to take your job you have to be better.

The Mike Ricci:

The Vancouver Canucks:  Only team to get swept in Round 1
The Canucks will be doing some house cleaning after only winning one playoff game over the last two years. After losing in 5 games to the LA Kings last year they were swept by the San Jose Sharks pretty handedly this year. Allowing 3 or more goals in each of the games, the Canucks goaltending controversy grew even more as Luongo (6) and Schneider (9) combined for 15 total goals against. Is this team getting blown up?

Zach Parise:  1 goal and a -7 in 5 games
The 98 million dollar man was bought brought into Minnesota to add some offense and putting up just one point and being a minus player is not what Wild management was hoping for. After his performance last year in the playoffs when he led the Devils to the Stanley Cup Final it's disappointing to see his statline from the past two weeks.

Brad Richards:  1 goal and 0 assists in 7 games
There are already rumours of a potential buyout of his contract from his subpar season and Richards hasn't been helping himself out with just one point in 7 games for the Rangers. To demonstrate how badly he's been playing he was getting 4th line minutes in Game 6 and 7 against the Caps and primarily played his minutes on the powerplay.

The Toronto Maple Leafs:  Blowing a 3 goal lead in the 3rd period
The Leafs were playing a great series until they shit the bed the last 10 minutes and became the first team ever to lose a game 7 after leading in the 3rd period by 3 goals. It sounds unbelieveable, but it happened. The Maple Leafs meltdown is so rare it's something that happens only once in sixty lifetimes and it won't be forgotten anytime soon in Leaf Nation.


  1. I can't bring myself to blame Zach. He played his heart out these playoffs but the Wild were just over matched.

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