- The Staal brothers clash being a generic storyline has ... become a generic storyline. You've got to love the way the Internet deep fries cliches. Lazy throwaway crutches get trotted out and then everyone makes fun of those crutches. When calling something a cliche jumps the shark*, then we've officially gone a little bit insane.
Could it be that the mainstream media's cliched headline act might actually decide the series? My head hurts now.
- Will it even matter who wins Canes-Penguins?
The only place the remaining three teams can look to for hope is the Red Wings' penalty kill. The Ducks' PP outscored the Wings' PP despite having less chances. The Blackhawks went 1/1 on Sunday, one of the few bright spots in a game Chicago was fortunate to have tied going into the third period.
- Many people (rightly) complained that Evgeni Malkin has often been unfairly overlooked in all the Crosby-Ovechkin hoopla, but despite a nice 10-point effort, Geno was rightly overshadowed in the second round.
While the Capitals seemed quite sleepy at home, the Canes fed off their rabid fans (and ... Bill Cowher) to take some upset victories. Few were impressed by Washington's unconvincing win against the Rangers in game 7; we don't need to tell you about their performance against the Pens. Yet on the opposite end of the spectrum, Carolina shocked the Devils in the last minute in Newark, NJ and then managed to out-hustle the Bruins to an OT win.
- It's hard to imagine the Penguins taking a playoff foe lightly.
That being said, it also wouldn't be outrageous if there is a BIT of letdown after the super-hyped second round matchup.
Of course, the Hurricanes might end up being flat-out better than the Penguins ...
- There's a simple reason that Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane saw only about 15 minutes of ice time in Game 1: they were awful. Kane, in particular, produced very little beyond turnovers.
But please don't make this just about experience. The Red Wings have Nicklas Lidstrom, Brian Rafalski, Johan Franzen and a soul crushingly deep group of quality players to torment any team young, old, hairy or whatever.
It's fun to make something "the factor" in a playoff series, but sometimes one team just grossly out-classes another.
* - I actually prefer using "Jump the Cheeseburger," an ode to the seminal Canadian TV comedy "Trailer Park Boys" but feel the reference will be too obscure. Sadly.
** "Find the fire" = "Get a more favorable matchup."