The Rumors and Rants Stanley Cup Playoff Roundup

April 16, 2010 – 9:15 am by TheRiot

Here we are, back again for the Stanley Cup roundup. The best is yet to come for those of us that live around the Chicago area and are ready to see what the Blackhawks are going to do.

But seriously, there have been some great…GREAT…opening games in the conference quarterfinals.

Odds are you haven’t watched much of it so let’s catch you up before Friday’s slate of games. Read on, wannabe hockey fan.

Eastern Conference

Game 1: No. 8 Montreal 3, No. 1 Washington 2 (OT): This was Thursday’s only carry over from the upset-themed first day of games. The story was pretty simple: Alex Ovechkin didn’t find his way onto the score sheet and Montreal goaltender Jaroslav Halak came strong with a 45-save effort.

Tomas Piekanec scored the game-winning goal at 13:19 of overtime to stake Montreal to an early lead in the series.

It’s not one of those deal where we expect Washington to struggle. Then again, Montreal is really pretty good and if Halak gets hot, it could be an interesting series.

Ovie better come correct in Game 2.

Game 1: No. 3 Buffalo 2, No. 6 Boston 1: Does anyone remember that guy we all rallied around during the Olympics when Team USA fell just short of a gold medal? His name was Ryan…Miller? Yeah, that was him. The goaltender.

Well in case you forgot he’s really, really good and he plays for the Buffalo Sabres. In fact, against Boston on Thursday he made 38 saves and made Craig Rivet’s game-winning goal stand up.

Gotta like Buffalo’s chances with Miller running hot, right?

Western Conference

Game 1: No. 3 Vancouver 3, No. 6 Los Angeles 2 (OT): Ah, the Canucks. A very good if sometimes overlooked team this year. HenrikĀ  and Daniel Sedin. Roberto Luongo in goal. Certainly a Stanley Cup contender.

The Sedin boys played well Thursday but Mikael Samuelsson scored two goals and Luongo made 27 saves in the win. For what it’s worth, LA goaltender Jonathan Quick (the heir apparent to Ryan Miller in Team USA’s goal) made 44 saves in a fantastic effort but didn’t get enough from his teammates.

Kind of expect Vancouver to roll easily in this series.

The one game you’ll care about tonight: Well, the one game we care about is Nashville at Chicago. It’s their first game. But hey, we’re not going to shove our Midwest bias down your throat.

Versus has a double header that includes Ottawa at Pittsburgh (7 p.m. Eastern) and Detroit at Phoenix (10 p.m.) as both Pittsburgh and Detroit to to even up their series.

Meanwhile Colorado plays at San Jose (Avs up 1-0) and Philadelphia is at New Jersey (Philly up 1-0).

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