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Some thoughts on round one

April 13, 2018, 1:17 PM ET [263 Comments]
Ryan Wilson
Pittsburgh Penguins Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
The NHL playoffs do not function with an aggregate goal total so while Game 1 was awesome for the Penguins they need to leave that in past and get back to business tonight. The Flyers got their tails kicked in last game, but it is irrelevant tonight. They have the ability to forget and move on and they will do their best to do just that.

Matt Murray and Olli Maatta had maintenance days yesterday. They will be good to go this evening so the Penguins lineup will be the same. According to Dave Hakstol the Flyers lineup will be the same as well. Judging from Flyers Twitter Hakstol suffers from some of the same things Dan Bylsma used to and that is he knows what he knows and sticks with it. We’ll see how devoted he is to that approach if the Penguins take Game 2.

The Blue Jackets and Capitals kicked off their series last night and the Capitals stormed to a two goal lead only to see that disappear. They regained a one goal lead, saw that disappear. Tom Wilson failed to clear the zone on the penalty kill and I thought I saw a certain #44 on the ice at the time as well. Then Artemi Panarin did his thing and the Capitals find themselves down in the series. By no means is the series over, but with each loss Washington’s wiggle room is a little smaller and the the Ovechkin era sands bleed through the hour glass a little bit more.

Boston looked amazing. I picked Toronto in my bracket because that is who I wanted to win. That looks like a really bad choice. Even Tampa Bay will be in trouble against the Bruins.

We’ve had some dirty hits in the first few nights. Drew Doughty was suspended for one game after he delivered a head shot. I was pleasantly surprised the league has taken action. Nazem Kadri’s hit last night was gross. He should miss the rest of the first round and probably more. There is literally no other explanation for what he did other than he was trying to smash his opponent’s vulnerable head like a watermelon with a sledgehammer. Totally unacceptable. Toronto needs all hands on deck and Kadri is a good player. Without him the challenge is even tougher.

Matt Murray had a shutout the other night and so did his friend Marc-Andre Fleury. Vegas scored early and that was good enough for them to win their first ever playoff game 1-0.

How people feel about the first two days of March Madness is how I feel about round one of the NHL playoffs. It’s great.

Thanks for reading!
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