The Stack is here on this Wednesday ready to talk playoff reaction from Tuesday on the court and the ice so let's get right to it and see what made "the stack" for today, Wednesday, May 8:
Knicks pound Pacers, Grizzlies even series up with Thunder
A close game entering the fourth quarter turned into a blowout thanks to your everday 30-2 run over the third and fourh quarter by the New York Kniks as they demolished the Pacers 105-79 to even the series up one game apiece. The Knicks dominated the fourth quarter in case you couldn't tell. So what to take away from this game? Well, it's a little difficult as you don't see runs like what the Knicks did everyday. The Pacers are a better team than that and I expect to see that when they return home for game three. But when you turn the ball over twenty-one times to just six like the Knicks did, you're not going to win many games. It will be interesting to see how the Pacers respond in game three. How they open the game will say a lot.
Grizzlies beat the Thunder on the road
The Memphis Grizzlies let one get away from them in game one against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Last night, they made sure that would not happen. The Grizzlies beat the Thunder 99-93 to even the series up 1-1. Everytime the Thunder made a bit of a run, the Grizzlies responded. Kevin Durant was sensational for the Thunder scoring 36 points, but he has to be sensational night in, night out if the Thunder want to win this series. He was one assist shy of a triple-double as he had eleven rebounds and nine assists. The Grizzlies are a sound defensive team and have enough pieces to get by the Thunder especially if guard Mike Conley continues to play like he did last night with a near triple-double. Like Durant, he was one assist shy. Winning this game sets the Grizzlies up to win this series in six I feel.
Tonight's NBA playoff games include...
Chicago Bulls @ Miami Heat 7 PM ET TNT (Bulls lead series 1-0)
Golden State Warriors @ San Antonio Spurs 9:30 PM ET TNT (Spurs lead series 1-0)
Sharks clinch, Senators and Blackhawks take commanding series lead
The previous three times the San Jose Sharks had a 3-0 series lead, they couldn't close it out in the fourth game. Last night, they wanted to make sure that wouldn't be the case. The Vancouver Canucks had other ideas, building a 3-2 lead in the third period before Joe Pavelski scored his second powerplay goal of the game to tie the game 3-3. The Sharks were very agressive throughout the entire game and it showed. They had seven powerplays. Seven! And they made the most of them, scoring three powerplay goals, including the game-winner in overtime by Patrick Marleau to win the game 4-3 and sweep the Canucks out of the playoffs. The brooms were out in full force. What a series by the Sharks. Lots of questions surround the Canucks. They've lost ten of their last eleven playoff games. Ouch! Not what fans in British Columbia expect.
There was another overtime game earlier in the night. The Ottawa Senators came back from a 2-0 hole in the the third period and tied the game with 25 seconds left to force overtime with the Montreal Canadiens. This game didn't have nearly the number of fights that game three had, because the Canadiens were desperate and they played like it. They played very well, but the Senators had it going. When Canadiens goalie Carey Price got injured at the end of the third period, the Senators smelled blood in new goalie Peter Budaj and scored the game-winning goal two-and-a-half minutes into overtime. The Senators, the seven seed in the east, are now up 3-1 in the series. I think they're going to win.
Speaking of underdog teams, what about the New York Islanders? They beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-4 to even the series up 2-2. After the Penguins scored a goal to put them ahead 4-3 less than a minute into the third period, the Islanders rattled off the last three goals including one of the softest goals I've ever seen allowed by Penguins goalie Marc Andre-Fleury. Fleury is the Penguins weakspot. He is going to prevent them from winning the cup. He is out for game five. Good thing, because the Penguins have the offense to win the Stanley Cup, but Fleury is just awful lately.
The Chicago Blackhawks rebounded nicely with a 3-0 shutout win over the Minnesota Wild. The Blackhawks upped the ante on defense, playing a stellar game and frustrating the Wild. The Wild had six powerplays and could not find a way to get the puck in the net. They have yet to score a powerplay goal this series. The fan base is getting restless with the talent and lack of results and to make matters worse, goalie Josh Harding is injured. Look for the Blackhawks to wrap up this series tomorrow night.
NHL playoff action tonight includes...
Boston Bruins @ Toronto Maple Leafs 7 PM ET NHL Network (Bruins lead series 2-1)
Washington Capitals @ NY Rangers 7:30 PM ET NBCSN (Capitals lead series 2-1)
Los Angeles Kings @ St. Louis Blues 9 PM ET CNBC (Series tied 2-2)
Detroit Red Wings @ Anaheim Ducks 10 PM ET NBCSN (Series tied 2-2)
Coming up Thursday: More NBA and NHL playoff reaction