The first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs ended with a bang last night with two Game Sevens. The Bruins topped Montreal in overtime and forty-one-year-old netminder Dwayne Roloson shut out the Penguins to send the Lightning on to the second round. Four of the eight first round series went the distance and fourteen games were decided in sudden death overtime. Amidst all the drama, the Boston-Montreal series may have been the most intriguing. The series between the two traditional rivals featured three overtime games (all won by Boston), the road teams winning the first four games of the series, and the Bruins failing to score a single power play goal. It's amazing that they could still prevail in seven games despite their impotent power play.
It's also interesting to note that in spite of all the drama, only two lower seeded teams won series and they were both five seeds. The underdog Sabres, Blackhawks, and Canadians were all able to push their series to seven games (and into overtime for the Hawks and Habs), but they couldn't finish off the upsets. Which I'm sure was as painful for their fans as it was for me in the case of Montreal and Buffalo whom I picked in the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs Challenge.
But there isn't much time to savor the excitement of round one or cry over missed opportunities. For round two starts TONIGHT with Nashville opening things up against hated Vancouver. So if you're part of the ten team Fraters league in the NHL.com playoff challenge, you need to get your second round picks in TODAY. It would be a real shame if any of the six individuals currently above me in the standings failed to do so and I was able to bypass them because of their inattentiveness. Yeah, a real shame.