Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Monday morning musings on a Tuesday
Amid the suddenly cold comfort of the oft-quoted 87 percent success rate among playoff teams that take 2-0 series leads and Boston's failure to ever win a series in which the Bruins lost the first two games, there's been a more sinister statistic lurking: the Canadiens have lost the last two playoff series in which they won the first two games - five years ago against Carolina and in 1996 versus the Rangers. That doesn't mean any more or less than any other historical footnote, but it's still out there...As much as the Canadiens are out of wiggle room against Boston, their mindset is rock solid compared to the panic-stricken Vancouver Canucks, who've blown a 3-0 series lead against Chicago ahead of Game 7 tomorrow night. As top seed in the West and the pre-playoff pick of most experts and oddsmakers to win it all, the Canucks are on the verge of writing the most agonizing chapter in a long history of squandered post-season promise...Joe Thornton might be a hero in San Jose for scoring the overtime goal that put the Sharks into the second round, but he's let his country down by not upholding his longstanding tradition of tanking in the playoffs so he can represent Canada at the world championships...Phoenix goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov's vow to leave the team and go home to Russia if the Coyotes move to Winnipeg is drastic but not preposterous. Moving from Phoenix to Winnipeg is like moving from...well, Phoenix to Winnipeg. As a native Russian, it's understandable that Bryzgalov would prefer the real deal to Stalingrad on the Assiniboine.