The Stack is here on this Friday without a whole lot to talk about as we head into Memorial Day weekend. There were some playoff games last night, all on the ice. We'll talk about that plus a couple of other stories so let's get right to it and see what made "the stack" for today, Friday, May 24:
Rangers stay alive
The New York Rangers are still in the postseason following their 4-3 overtime win over the Boston Bruins. The Rangers never led until they put the puck in the back of the net in overtime. The Bruins got up 2-0 on a couple of power play goals in the second period, but the Rangers battled back. Their much maligned power play finally came through to tie the game 3-3 in the third. The Rangers had a couple of crazy goals early in the game including one when Derek Stepan stole the puck from Zdeno Chara who didn't realize he was behind him and got the puck past Tuukka Rask who was slow to react. He fell down on the first Rangers goal so it wasn't a great night for Rask. In overtime, Rick Nash set up Chris Kreider with a very pretty pass and Kredier tipped it in and the Rangers got their first win of the series. They still trail 3-1 and the odds are heavily against them that they'll win the series. Then again, the Boston Bruins haven't been great at closing teams out. They're still the better team. I expect them to win game five.
Blackhawks fall to Red Wings...again
The best team in hockey this season is on the brink of elimination following their 2-0 loss to the Detroit Red Wings to put them in a 3-1 series deficit. What has happened to the Chicago Blackhawks? They cannot score at all. Jimmy Howard has played sensational in net for the Red Wings. He is the major reason the Red Wings are in position where they can close the Blackhaws out. The Blackhawks never had to go through adversity in the regular season. They are in a major hole and they are facing a ton of adversity. So far they are not responding well. Chicago has a ton of talent and it is somewhat stunning they can't get the puck past Howard. It's all hands on deck right now or their season will end Saturday.
Kings blank Sharks
Home ice reigns supreme in the San Jose Sharks-Los Angeles Kings series. The Kings responded after losing games 3 and 4 in San Jose by shutting out the Sharks 3-0 to take a 3-2 series lead. The Kings came out with way more energy in the first period than they've shown so far in the series and while they didn't get a goal, they put the Sharks on notice. The Sharks couldn't put any of their 24 shots past Jonathan Quick who got his second shutout of the series. The Sharks will go back home where they will probably win and will force a game 7 back in L.A. They need to find a way to win on the road. Same could be said for the Kings.
Canucks fire coach, Avs hire one
The Vancouver Canucks were once again embarrassed in the playoffs, being swept out of the first round by the San Jose Sharks. They've lost ten of their last eleven games. That cost head coach Alain Vigneault his job on Wednesday. The Canucks have been the best team in the northwest division for a while now, but their age is starting to show and their failure to find success in the playoffs did not go unnoticed. It's probably the right move to fire Vigneault.
While the Canucks were firing a head coach, another northwest division team was hiring one. The Colorado Avalanche named former Avalanche goalie Patrick Roy as head coach and VP of hockey operations Thursday. The move is made in part I'm guessing to re-energize a fan base that has seen a bad product on the ice in recent years. Joe Sakic is in the front office already. He and Roy were brilliant together when they were teammates. The team is hoping that will translate to the bench and upstairs as well. It's a good hire. Roy is a smart hockey man and will find a way to make the Avs successful. Good day yesterday for the Colorado Avalanche.
Second game of the NBA eastern conference finals are tonight...
Indiana Pacers @ Miami Heat 8:30 PM ET TNT (Heat lead series 1-0)
The Pittsburgh Penguins look to wrap up their series with the Ottawa Senators tonight. Puck drops on that game at 7:30 PM ET on NBCSN. Penguins lead the series 3-1
Have a great Memorial Day weekend everyone. Make sure you take a moment to remember the men and women in the armed services and thank them for what they've done for our country both past and present.