Okay, I’ll get to the point about the importance of game threes: Watching game three of the Ottawa Senators/ New Jersey Devils series, I learned of an interesting stat, courtesy of Hockey Night in Canada...69% of the teams who win game three go onto win the series. So who won game three In Round Two? The Senators won game three, along with the Rangers, the Sharks and the Ducks (I was at that game...honestly felt like the Canucks were going to win that one. Had the boa and everything, but no go)
Now to game four...Rangers won that one to tie the series with the Sabres. That’s a big win for the Rangers considering the controversial “no goal” call against the Sabres late in the third. It’s pretty much decided the NHL has to seriously address the goal line camera views. If they can bury a camera in the ice at center ice for face offs during the all star games, surely they can devise a better camera angle for something really important like the goal line. Oh well, the Rangers can enjoy that winning momentum. And the Sabres can be really really angry.
It felt like a winning effort, but the Canucks ended up losing at home in game four during overtime after squandering a two goal lead. (Instead of going to the game, I took a personal day due to a “relocation operation situation”) Anyway, what a shame to blow that lead. Once the Ducks decided they had nothing to lose they turned it up by 10%, as per Coach Randy Carlyle and got themselves back in the game.
This makes the Canucks the first team to be on the ropes in round two, with the odds against them. Now they have to win every single game, with two of those games in the Ducks barn. And you know what the Ducks GM, Brian Burke has to say about their barn: you’ve gotta be prepared to dance.
My advice to the Canucks is play Linden and Naslund together when possible, wear the Orca jersey for the rest of the series; eat, sleep and play with confidence and consider the Niedermayer brothers’ appearance on Jay Leno tonight as some sort of weird Sports Illustrated style curse (because Giggy was on the show in 2003). Curses aside, the appearance on Leno is a PR positive for the NHL.
Here’s to forcing a game six.
After tonight, we’ll see who winds up on the ropes, or who ties it up, between the Red Wings/ the Sharks, and the Senators/ the Devils as they play their game fours.
Happy Playoffs everybody!