2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs nightly GIF recap: West is best on Wednesday

Yes, that's Henrik Sedin checking someone. - USA TODAY Sports

Featuring terrible, no-good goaltending!

After an opening night with two overtime games, Wednesday night was expected to be a little less exciting. But we didn't expect two huge blowouts.

As great of a playoff story as Toronto and the Islanders are, they have the misfortune of facing two playoff veterans in the first round. Pittsburgh and Boston made them look foolish, outscoring them by a combined 9-1 margin. Yikes.

Luckily the Western Conference match-up was able to make up for the lack of excitement in the East. The Sharks and Canucks gutted out a physical battle typical of the two squads. Who came out on top? Read on and enjoy the GIFs to find out.

We started out in Pittsburgh, where the Islanders were doomed just minutes into the game.

Heedpuck2_medium

Harmless, right?

Not harmless. Meet "Dazed Nabby." He's just...not all there.

Nakov_medium

Sometimes he likes to wander off aimlessly.

Nabokov2_medium

Unfortunately, that means giving up four goals on 15 shots. That won't cut it in the playoffs. So the Isles pulled Nabokov and let Kevin Poulin face the swarming cloud of bees that was the Penguins attack. Pittsburgh ended up winning 5-0, but they might've lost James Neal along the way.

Nealow_medium

Ouch.

Meanwhile, in Boston, Johnny Boychuk was scoring from the blue line. Powerfully.

Johnny_boychuck_goal_medium

James van Riemsdyk was stick-tapping Brad Marchand in the balls.

Marchand_medium

And Wade Redden was making James Reimer look really dumb.

You read that right. Wade Redden.

Redden_reimer_goal_medium

That pretty much summed up the night for the Leafs. For a team that made the playoffs for the first time in nine years, it was a forgettable return. Toronto lost 4-1, but it felt so much worse than that for Leafs fans.

The night finished up in Vancouver. Roberto Luongo got the start in lieu of the injured Cory Schneider, and he started off quite well.

Luongo_robs_havlat_medium

Luongo's early brilliance was overshadowed by the grinding physicality of the game. The Canucks had 40 (!!) hits on the Sharks. Like this one:

Sharkcrush_medium

As everyone not named Randy Carlyle knows, hitting does not equal winning. Ultimately, the Sharks battled to tie the game and then went absolutely nuts as the game started winding down.

Exhibit A:

Sharksgoal_medium

Exhibit B:

Sharksgoal2_medium

Just like that, San Jose had a 3-1 win and a 1-0 series lead over Vancouver.

And that, kids, is the GIF story of how the Western Conference is more exciting during the playoffs than the East. Until next time.

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