Well. That went from fun to feisty to ugly really quickly.
NHL playoffs hockey collectively decided to turn up the intensity on Friday. And not all of it was fun. The third day of the Stanley Cup Playoffs was Game 2 for the eight teams that hit the ice, but it felt more like the end of a seven game series.
The displeasure was palpable no matter which game you tuned into. Montreal and New York scrapped at every whistle until a brawl ended with Jordie Benn throwing punches at Mats Zuccarello (of all people) and Shea Weber on top of a Rangers player.
Scottie Upshall essentially tackled Charlie Coyle in Minnesota at one point, leading to a near-brawl near the benches. Don’t worry, they actually brawled later. More on that in a bit.
Give officials credit for tamping down on things before they truly spiraled out of control. But if things are this testy after two games, look out. This might be a spring to remember .
Three Angry Fight Things We Learned
- Steve Ott will take runs at small lovable hockey players
That brawl was brewing for awhile, really. Mats Zuccarello and Brendan Gallagher tangled again, Gallagher tangled with others, Brendan Smith checked Andrew Shaw in the ear ... yeah, a brawl was inevitable.
2. The Wild will fight after the damn whistle, damn it
This was the same game the Wild played in Game 1: lots of shots and chances with little to show for it. And there’s that frustration boiling over.
3. Henrik Lundqvist must be so tired of hockey sticks
You probably thought that was frustrating. Hah! Nope. What if I told you ...
Montreal went on to win the game with an Alexander Radulov tap-in inside the crease. Henrik got no help in Game 2.
Not a pleasant one. Frustrations for Columbus finally boiled over as the game ended and Matt Calvert did something incredibly stupid.
I’d say look for the NHL to come down hard on this, but ... you know. It’s the NHL.
Conn Smythe Watch
- Henrik Lundqvist still deserves consideration for whatever the hell this was.
- Jaden Schwartz’s goal gave St. Louis the late lead, but Jake Allen’s 23-save night gave them the win.
- Three points for Sidney Crosby. Ho-hum.