NHL's First-Round Bloody Sunday: Three Series End
Talk about a cull ...
Sunday was the day of destiny for three Stanley Cup hopefuls.
Two favorites moved on, while one top-seeded newcomer found out the hard way about the dif between winning a season and winning a series.
All the Florida Panthers could say was Rats!
This was a novel series for both clubs, not for their limited experience in post-season play, but for home games in front of packed houses.
Few associate Brooklyn with Long Island, but that's where it is. The trick has been getting Isles fans to buy into the new digs, but as they began to realize their team could make the playoffs, the trickle into Barclay's Arena began to grow. And now, their physical style of play could cause trouble for second-round foe Tampa Bay.
Dallas expected to prevail in the first round, being the West's top seed.
Pre-Cup talk seems to focus around the St Louis Blues' inability to advance past the first round each year, but the Stars have been even more frustrated.
This is their first series win since 2008, when they turned away the defending champion Anaheim Ducks as the first step in a run to the Western Conference finals.
The most lopsided first-round pairing was supposed to be the high-flying Washington Capitals against the back-alley Philadelphia Flyers.
While ghosts of the Broad Street Bullies no doubt toasted Ryan White's cheap shot on Brooks Orpik, the Flyers rode Czech netminder Michal Neuvirth to a pair of unlikely victories before Braden Holtby served a reminder as to who won 48 games between the pipes this season:
All in all, quite the Sunday shakedown.