Where Did That Round Come From? - Saturday Playoffs Open Thread

PHILADELPHIA , PA - APRIL 23: Members of the Washington Capitals and the New York Rangers take part in the series ending handshake as the Capitals defeated the Rangers 3-1 in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Verizon Center on April 23, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Len Redkoles/Getty Images)

Seriously, the question in the title says it all. With the game 7's ending Thursday night, I was expecting the 2nd round starts to wait for Monday, and I would have a nice quiet weekend up-island. Then, on my way up here yesterday, I hear that game 1 for the Coyotes-Predators was starting in 2 hours! Okay, so it appears that the 2nd round has already started. Here's what is on the table today:

  • 12:00 pm PDT: Rangers vs Capitals, Game 1. At one end of the rink, we have Henrik Lundqvist in net, currently a nominee for this year's Vezina and Hart trophies. At the other end of the rink, we have rookie Braden Holtby, who surprised everyone by helping to dethrone the Bruins, and outshining 2011 Vezina and Conn Smythe winner Tim Thomas. Along with the potential firepower on offence for both teams, this is going to be a great series. And I haven't even mentioned that this will be the 3rd time since the lockout that they face each other! Viewable on CBC.
  • 4:30 pm PDT: Blues vs Kings, Game 1. Aside from the Flyers-Devils series (Ilya Bryzgalov doesn't quite rank high enough for that this year....), pretty much every series this round is going to be a true "goaltending extraordinare" matchup. For this one, with Jaroslav Halak getting himself hurt against the Sharks, St Louis will start with Brian Elliott in net for the first couple games. At the other end, Vezina nominee Jonathan Quick will look to continue the success he had from against Vancouver. Viewable on TSN.

Go catfights.

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