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Stanley Cup Playoffs Round 3 Open Thread

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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

I'll update this post as the round goes along.

The Semi-Finals Schedule


Sharks win series 4-2.

G1: Blues 2 Sharks 1
G2: Sharks 4 Blues 0
G3: Sharks 3 Blues 0
G4: Blues 6 Sharks 3
G5: Sharks 6 Blues 3
G6: Sharks 5 Blues 2


Penguins win series 4-3

G1: Lightning 3 Penguins 1
G2: Penguins 3 Lightning 2
G3: Penguins 4 Lightning 2
G4: Lightning 4 Penguins 3
G5: Lightning 4 Penguins 3
G6: Penguins 5 Lightning 2
G7: Penguins 2 Lightning 1


-Sharks reach the Cup final for the first time in franchise history.

-Former NHL ref Kerry Fraser talks about the refs in the East series "boxing themselves in" by letting too many obvious infractions slide. Penguins have a goaltending decision to make.

-The Penguins' loss of Trevor Daley is going to put a lot more miles on Letang.

-Solid trades by Penguins' GM paying off for team big time. Lose Hornqvist to hand injury though.

-Sharks PP "Burns" Blues in game 2.

-Crosby comes to life with OT winner.

-Brian Elliot steals game 1 for Blues.

-Injured in Game 1, Ben Bishop's tests come up negative.


Penguins win game 7:

Sharks win their series over the Blues in 6 games:

Penguins win game 6


Wow, I cannot believe the fail that was Shea Weber and Roman Josi in Game 7 versus the Sharks. But there is one thing I can believe: this Sharks team appears to have something special going on. No, they have never made the Finals in their existence, but this club, given all the changes made (new coach (Pete DeBoer), new goalie (Martin Jones) and several supporting cast member like Joel Ward and Paul Martin can actually get to the dance. Lots of depth there. Lots of hunger there. They are the guys I'm pulling for (that and anyone not playing for Pittsburgh.)

Gonna be a great series against the Blues. Lots of physicality and hatred. The Blues have quite a disturbing history when it comes to the Cup Finals. A true tale of woe. They have not been there since they did it three consecutive years back in 1968-1970. In all three Finals appearances they were (a) coached by Scotty Bowman and (b) never won a game. The last goal they saw scored against them in a Stanley Cup Finals game was this historic one:

Depth also tells the story in the Penguins/Lightning series. The Penguins, statistically in these playoffs, have far more scoring depth than the Lightning. Tampa, sans Stamkos (no one is saying when he will return yet), have gotten most of their points from Tyler Johnson, Nikita Kucherov and Jonathan Drouin. The Penguins have several peeps like the scorned Phil Kessel, Crosby, Malkin, Bonino (damn it!), Hornqvist and Hagelin putting up the points. Interesting goalie duel here between Ben Bishop and (surpise!) Matt Murray. But that doesn't mean any guarantees. Anything can happen.

I've got a Sharks/Penguins Final. How about you?