The Detroit Red Wings are in the NHL playoffs for the 21st consecutive season, thanks to their win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday. In the Eastern Conference, the Ottawa Senators solidified their playoff position while possibly ending the playoff hopes of the Winnipeg Jets.
Detroit Red Wings 7, Columbus Blue Jackets 2
Detroit really couldn't have clinched a playoff spot in a more emphatic fashion. They held a 7-0 lead over Columbus at one point, less than 42 minutes into the game, until they decided to let off the gas a bit. Winging It In Motown was particularly impressed with Henrik Zetterberg.
I could sing the praises of Henrik Zetterberg all day, but that pass to Tomas Holmstrom for the Wings' first goal was simply beautiful. Then he makes an EVEN BETTER pass to Homer for the Wings' third goal. Hell, his pass to Datsyuk in the third was good, but compared to the first 2 it was something that Jonathan Ericsson could have done. This is 2008 Zetterberg we're seeing right now, and I can't wait to see him kick his game up another notch in the playoffs. He's also your Player of the Game.
Vancouver Canucks 1, Los Angeles Kings 0
The Kings fell out of playoff position with the loss (and a big Colorado win), and if you're to ask Canucks blog Nucks Misconduct, it's all Roberto Luongo's fault.
But really, this was Roberto Luongo's game. It did not seem to matter where the shots were coming from. You just got the feeling that it was going to take something special to beat him tonight. Perhaps that had something to do with his rebound control tonight, which was outstanding. More than likely, it had to do with the tight game played in front of him. Definitely, it is easier to play a complete game that only requires one goal when your goaltender is making the shooters shake their head all night long.
Ottawa Senators 6, Winnipeg Jets 4
Winnipeg might have played themselves out of the playoff race with their two straight losses, while the Senators look pretty comfortable at seventh in the East. Even though their team managed six goals and a regulation win, Silver Seven was extremely unhappy with the officiating
Whooo boy, Dan O'Rourke and Danny LaRue did just about everything they could to give the Jets an extra point or two in this one. Between weak calls (including one on Sergei Gonchar, whose resultant powerplay led to the Jets' first goal), non-calls (including a trip on Erik Condra that wasn't called, and was followed moments later by Evander Kane's goal), and a play that sure looked like goaltender interference (that same Kane goal), it wasn't a shining example of the abilities of NHL referees.
Perhaps most questionable, though, was the penalty shot awarded to Kyle Wellwood ... Daugavins feebly tried to knock Wellwood's stick, didn't come close, and Wellwood took a shot; that shot representing a scoring opportunity. All's well that ends well and Wellwood didn't score in the penalty shot, but it was a call that left many scratching their heads.