Apr 28, 2012, 4:19 PM EDT
Great goaltending and solid defense are the keys to success in the playoffs. At least, that seems to be the lesson to take from the four first-round series in the Western Conference.
While the Philadelphia Flyers showed that you can still sometimes survive by overwhelming your opponent, the four remaining Western Conference teams feature a formula that often leads to low-scoring games.
That’s what made Friday’s second-round opener between the Phoenix Coyotes vs the Nashville Predators so surprising. While it wasn’t exactly reminiscent of Pittsburgh-Philadelphia, there were plenty of scoring chances to be had.
Blues coach Ken Hitchcock thinks that the St. Louis-Los Angeles series might end up following a similar path.
“I think this series is going to shock and surprise people,” Hitchcock said. “I don’t think you can keep that standard up: one goal, one goal, one goal. I don’t think you can keep that up. I think when emotion gets as high as it does, just like it did last night, I think the legs get a little bit rubbery, I think you see the players more on the move, like you did last night. And I think you’re going to see more scoring chances because of it.”
It’s worth noting that Hitchcock still doesn’t think this will be a high-scoring series. It’s also possible, as LA Kings Insider’s Rich Hammond pointed out, that Hitchcock might be engaging in a bit of gamesmanship. Still, this is the playoffs and anything can happen.
- Video: Lundqvist stones Stamkos with left-pad save 0
- WATCH LIVE: Rangers at Lightning, Eastern Conference Final Game 6 0
- Bob Clarke really doesn’t care for tanking 26
- Hitchcock re-signs for one more year in St. Louis 9
- Ducks win crazy Game 5, push ‘Hawks to edge of elimination 32
- WATCH LIVE: Blackhawks at Ducks, Game 5 of Western Conference Final 3
- In the playoffs, sometimes it comes down to the ‘bounces’ 4
- Now feels like a good time to debate Stamkos’ next contract 38
- Here’s the latest on coaching searches in Buffalo, San Jose and New Jersey 3
- Bishop bounced back in Game 5, but did the Rangers test him enough? 9
- Reports: Sabres thought they had a deal with Babcock, aren’t happy (174)
- Leafs land Babcock with reported 8-year deal, estimated at $50 million (130)
- Kesler on wearing down Chicago: ‘No human can withstand that many hits’ (75)
- What’s wrong with Lundqvist? (70)
- From healthy scratch to hero: Vermette scores OT winner for Blackhawks (66)