Wow, the Conference Finals have started, and to me the first games in each series were both somewhat surprising.
I wouldn't have figured the Western Conference finals to start off with a goaltender's duel but it did. Antti Niemi won the battle against Evgeni Nabakov and the San Jose Sharks. Niemi stopped 44 of the Shark's 45 shots on goal, while Nabakov only managed to stop 38 of the Blackhawk's 40 shots on goal. End result Blackhawks 2 - Sharks 1. Game 2 is in San Jose on Tuesday evening.
I also really wouldn't have figured that if the Eastern Conference finals started off with a shutout, the guy getting it would be Michael Leighton. Perhaps even more surprising to me was the one sided nature of the Flyers victory this evening. Tonight, the Flyers chased Jaroslav Halak out of the net before the end of the second period and they held Mike Cammalleri to just one (1) shot on goal. I guess I shouldn't have been all that surprised about Leighton's ability to get the shutout, the Flyers and Leighton have held opponets to a GAA of just 1.00 since Brian Boucher went down. The Canadiens helped the Flyers get off to a good start by taking a plethora of uncharacteristic undisciplined penalties. The Flyers capitalized on the Canadiens lack of discipline notching 2 power play goals on 6 opportunities while holding the Canadiens potent power play off the board in their 4 man advantage chances. End result Flyers 6 - Canadiens 0. Game 2 is in Philadelphia on Tuesday evening and I'm sure the Canadiens will make some changes/adjustments after that game.
Big news supposedly coming out at KCI tomorrow morning. Scuttlebutt is it's all about the Nicklas Backstrom contract extension. We'll see.
I just have one other thing --- is it September yet?