Hockey Night In Canada play-by-play man Jim Hughson had the line of the night in Denver saying: “They call this place the Pepsi Center, but it could be nicknamed the Time Machine the way this season has gone.”
After knocking off the Minnesota Wild 2-1 Saturday and winning the Western Conference quarterfinal 4-2, the Colorado Avalanche veterans are playing like they did a decade ago.
Goalie Jose Theodore is playing as well as he did when he won the Hart Trophy as MVP with Montreal. Teammate Ryan Smyth said Theodore won the series for the Avalanche.
It was interesting to hear Theodore give credit for his resurgence since January to his ex-teammate in Montreal and current goaltending mentor Jeff Hackett.
“He knew exactly what I needed to do to get my game back,” Theodore told HNIC.
Peter Forsberg, Joe Sakic and Adam Foote are all playing heavy minutes even though they’re in the twilight of their careers. Foote again shadowed Wild star Marian Gaborik Saturday and held him to just one assist in the series.
So dominating were Colorado’s veterans, the Avalanche held the Wild to less than five minutes of playing time with the lead. Only the Ottawa Senators led for less time in this year’s playoffs.
The Avalanche now play either Detroit, Calgary or the winner of the Anaheim-Dallas series in the second round.
Boston’s 5-4 victory on home ice against Montreal in Game 6 was certainly the most exciting and dramatic of the series so far.
When Hockey Night In Canada announcer Bob Cole rattles off “Oh, Baby,” three or four times in the final 10 minutes and when I had to turn down the volume on color man Greg Millen because his voice was disturbing the neighbors, you know it was intense.
With six goals in the third period and four lead changes, the fans at Banknorth Garden were going nuts. It got so crazy, the noise made by the hometown fans actually cost the Bruins a goal, believe it or not.
The score was 1-1 in the second period when Montreal’s Tomas Plekanec emerged from the penalty box to score on Tim Thomas. What the Bruins skaters didn’t hear in the raucous arena was Thomas banging his stick on the ice letting them know the penalty was winding down.
The Bruins rallied from the 2-1 deficit with outstanding efforts from Phil Kessel and Marco Sturm to force Game 7 in Montreal tomorrow. The question now is will the Canadiens continue with young Carey Price in goal, after a second straight shaky performance.
Price did make some impressive saves Saturday, but also looked slow and mentally tired on other plays. One thing Price has shown though in the past two years is the ability to come up big in the crucial games.
THN.com’s Playoff Blogs, featuring analysis and opinion on the action from the night before, with insight on what happened and what it all means going forward, will appear daily throughout the NHL playoffs. Read more entries HERE.
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