Was hockey kidding? How can two consecutive games be THAT freaking awesome?
In 126:22 of hockey tonight, we were treated to 21 goals on 135 shots and more lead changes than any normal person could possibly consider rational.
Take the Penguins/Capitals game for example, the sixth in a now-seven-game series that has lived up to every inch of its lofty billing and will make the Conference Finals (be they against Boston or Carolina) look like the worst kind of anticlimax. It was 1-0 Pens after one. Then the Caps score twice. Then Geno Malkin levels inside of 30 seconds to go in the period and it’s 2-2 through two. Then all hell breaks loose.
Kris Letang scores on the power play at 4:40 of the third. Brooks Laich answers 58 seconds later and Viktor Kozlov puts his team up just 29 seconds after that (with a special tip of the hat to Hal Gill, who’s pictured above). But then Sid Crosby, clearly the best player on the ice in this series, scores with just under five minutes to go in the period to force overtime. That’s where The Steckel came in to pop in his second goal in this series, both of which have been game-winners.
Then go have a peak at that Chicago/Vancouver game. No Game 7 necessary there, eh? Nah, Patty Kane took care of that. Hat trick for the kid. Lead changed five times in that one. Home team won before their huge home crowd which, for the year, officially topped one million fans tonight, a good fifth of which might’ve turned up to see them play last year.
And that game was a lot like the Pittsburgh game in that many of its goals came in bunches. The two goals in the first were scored exactly two minutes apart. Three of the four in the second were scored in the space of 4:32. The first two in the third came 1:58 apart, and the last four were in 4:02. It was nuts. And despite having three separate leads, Vancouver only actually found itself ahead of the Blackhawks for 4:43.
There was just no unseating the Blackhawks or Caps tonight. Awesome night of hockey.