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Strader's Blog: Week One Coverage

Tuesday, 04.17.2007 / 11:55 AM ET / News
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Strader\'s Blog: Week One Coverage
Hello Panther Fans!

What a first week covering the Stanley Cup playoffs. This is the time of year when you have to be ready to pile up the frequent flyer miles, but the past 12 days have been the most hectic I’ve experienced in 20 years of covering the NHL. After driving from South Florida to my home in upstate New York (stopping along the way in Raleigh to call the final Panther game on FSN), I barely had time to pack for a trip that began with the first 2 games of the Dallas-Vancouver series. A car service brought me to the Montreal airport last Tuesday (a 3 hour drive) for my cross-Canada flight to Vancouver.

The journey to Vancouver was just the beginning. Game one between the Canucks and Stars turned out to be the 6th longest in Stanley Cup history….a four OT thriller that ended about 5 ½ hours after it began with a 5-4 Canucks’ win. Roberto Luongo faced a modern day record 76 shots and made 72 saves. Daniel Sedin scored the first goal of the game and his twin brother Henrik scored the OT winner. It was the first time brothers had scored goals in a playoff game for the same team since Jeff and Steve Larmer did it for the Chicago Blackhawks back in 1984!

Game two was a more “conventional” playoff game…tight checking and not many scoring chances for either side as the Stars evened the series with a solid 2-0 victory. The fact that the game ended in regulation enabled me to begin the next segment of my playoff adventure. NBC allowed me to take a red-eye after game 2 in Vancouver and travel to Atlanta for Game two of the Thrashers-Rangers series the next afternoon. If all went according to plan, I would arrive in Atlanta at 10:30am….about 4 ½ hours prior to game time. There was a back up plan to have someone to take my spot in the event I didn’t get there on time. Fortunately for me, my flights went smoothly and I made it to Atlanta for the telecast. It was the first playoff game in Atlanta’s franchise history and the atmosphere in Philips Arena was electric. The Rangers’ Sean Avery got a lucky goal off a bad bounce on the glass in the first period and the game winner from Brendan Shanahan in the third to take a 2-0 series lead.

Sunday morning it was back across the country for Games three and four of the San Jose-Nashville series. After a nasty first two games resulted to two Sharks getting hurt and one Predator getting suspended, game three on Monday was a bit more tame and the Sharks prevailed 3-1 to take a 2-1 series lead.

Today is an off day and our crew is going to play golf at a truly magnificent course called Pasatiempo in Santa Cruz. My broadcast partner, former Panther goalie John Vanbiesbrouck, will be on the other team in today’s match. I’ve seen him play and I don’t think I can get enough strokes for a fair game. But, considering what I’ve been through the past two weeks, a loss on the golf course will be a small (I hope) price to pay!

I’ll check back in at the end of the week.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 79 27 39 23 66
J. Jokinen 81 18 42 25 60
A. Barkov 66 28 31 18 59
J. Huberdeau 76 20 39 17 59
V. Trocheck 76 25 28 15 53
R. Smith 82 25 25 19 50
A. Ekblad 78 15 21 18 36
N. Bjugstad 67 15 19 -8 34
B. Campbell 82 6 25 31 31
B. Pirri 52 11 13 -4 24
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 35 19 6 .922 2.35
A. Montoya 12 7 3 .919 2.18

 
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