"The Stack" is here today to talk more NHL playoffs, but we also have some reaction to the NFL schedule that came out on Tuesday. There are a couple other things on tap as well, so let's get right to it and see what made "the stack" for today, Thursday, April 19:
1. Penguins keep series alive with Flyers
In a final score that really resembles a low scoring, defensive battle, football game, the Pittsburgh Penguins are still alive in the playoffs following their 10-3 drumming of the Philadelphia Flyers. Jordan Staal recorded a hat trick for the Penguins who scored seven unanswered goals over the first and second period to take a commanding lead. The Penguins now trail the series 3-1. This series has had a lack of goaltending, but last night was just comical. With the Penguins ability to score at will it appears and game five heading back to Pittsburgh Friday night, the Penguins can climb right back into the series and then all of the pressure shifts squarely onto the Flyers. You hate being prisoner of the moment in scenarios like this, but the Penguins may be able to do this. The Flyers themselves came back from being down 3-0 in a series two years ago against Boston so they know what they have to do, but can they execute? That is the real question.
2. Senators outlast Rangers in overtime to knot up series
The New York Rangers scored two quick power play goals in the first period and that was all they could muster. It ended up not being enough as the Senators rallied back to tie the game 2-2 and force overtime where Kyle Turris scored his first goal of the series, giving the Senators the 3-2 win and tying the series up 2-2. Henrik Lundqvist played well in net for the Rangers, but Craig Anderson was better in net for the Senators, stopping thirty-one shots and numerous chances by the Rangers. He made some incredible saves. It's tough to say at this point who will win the series. The Rangers have to be more tough. They were the toughest team in hockey during the regular season. Get back to that and you will win. Game five is set for Saturday night in New York.
3. Canucks stay alive with win in Los Angeles
Just like the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Vancouver Canucks are still alive in the playoffs following a 3-1 road win against the Los Angeles Kings to force a game five back in Vancouver. The Canucks trail 3-1 in the series. Daniel Sedin was a big boost back for the Canucks and their power play unit was effective, but the real story is goalie Cory Schneider. He gave up only two goals in the two games in Los Angeles, constantly denying and frustrating the Kings. With two of the final three games in this series back in Vancouver, the Canucks have a pretty good chance of winning this series. The Kings better watch out and come out in game five as though they are the ones trailing in the series or they could find themselves out of the playoffs fairly quickly.
Thursday's playoff games:
Florida @ New Jersey 7:00 PM ET
Boston @ Washington 7:30 PM ET
Phoenix @ Chicago 8:00 PM ET
St. Louis @ San Jose 10:30 PM ET
4. Pat Summitt steps aside as Tennessee head coach
The Pat Summitt era is over at the University of Tennessee. Women basketball's winningest coach has decided to relieve herself as head coach and will take on the "head coach emeritus" role with the program. She'll help the team out and report to the athletic director. Longtime assistant Holly Warlick will take over as head coach. Summit's longterm status with the program came into question last year after she revealed she had onset dementia-Alzheimer's type. After this year, Summitt must have decided it was too much and she had to do what was right for her health wise. Summitt forever changed the landscape of women's college basketball and helped take the sport to where it is at today. She has shaped and impacted countless lives of players, coaches and fans alike. Coaches are releasing statements crediting her with where the game is at and praising her for helping them accomplish what they've done. She leaves the game after winning eight national championship and 1,098 games won. No doubt she is the best coach women's college basketball has seen thus for though UCONN's Geno Auriemma may pass her one day. Here's hoping Summitt continues to live a long healthy life and that her impact on women's basketball will continue and never be forgotten.
5. NFL 2012-13 schedule thoughts
Tuesday as I'm sure everyone knows was the release of the 2012-13 NFL schedule. This is one of the most anticipated and exciting days for fans to see when they play their biggest rivals, how many prime time games they play, so on and so forth. While we could take a look at every team's schedule now we won't, just take a look at some of the bigger storylines for the upcoming season. Starting next week, we'll take a look at one team's schedule a day with a couple of interesting takes on the individual schedule. Now let's take a look at some of the more interesting storylines as a whole for the upcoming 2012-13 NFL season:
- Every team, as most should know will appear on an NFL Network Thursday night game between weeks 2 and 16. While that's all well and good, some of the matchups like Cardinals-Rams (week 5) and Cots-Jaguars (week 10) are a waste of people's time in primetime. The NFL wants to get football on as many nights as possible, but they appear to have missed the ball with this one. Juicier matchups are a must.
- Pittsburgh, Denver, San Diego, NY Giants, Philadelphia, Chicago, Green Bay and San Francisco all have five primetime games.
- Seven teams, (New England, NY Jets, Baltimore, Houston, (plus a Thanksgiving Day game against Detroit), Dallas (plus the annual Thanksgiving Day game), Detroit (plus annual Thanksgiving Day game) and New Orleans have four primetime games.
- Meanwhile eight teams, (Minnesota, St. Louis, Cleveland, Tampa Bay, Jacksonville, Miami, Buffalo and Indianapolis) just have their lone Thursday night game on the NFL Network.
- The Thanksgiving Day slate is a good one. Houston @ Detroit (12:30 PM ET), New Orleans @ Dallas (4:15 PM ET) and New England @ NY Jets (8:20 PM ET)
- The defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants have a very tough schedule.
- Peyton Manning and the Broncos face the team they beat in the playoffs, Pittsburgh, to open up the regular season. Peyton also faces his arch rival Tom Brady and the Patriots week 5 in New England
Those are just some of the top headlines. There are so many more from so many different angles and starting Monday, we'll take a look at each individual teams schedule and point out some interesting games and storylines.
Coming up Friday: NHL playoff reaction from Thursday night plus other top headlinesComments and suggestions on what to write about are always welcomed and appreciated.