After the Boston Bruins' fourth goal tonight in their 4-2 Game One win against the Montreal Canadiens, a silly little scrum occurred with Maxim Lapierre bumping into Phil Kessel as he celebrated. (Was that "message sending," which is now a suspension-level offense in the NHL?) During the tussle, Alexei Kovalev participated in some intriguing fan interaction. From the AP:
Montreal Canadiens right wing Alexei Kovalev (27) and a Boston Bruins fan battle over possession of Kovalev's stick, which popped through a photographer's shooting hole in the glass, during the closing minute against the Boston Bruins in a first-round NHL hockey playoff game Thursday, April 16, 2009, in Boston. The Bruins beat the Canadiens 4-2. The stick broke, with both men ending up with part of it.
Yeah, but whose wish comes true? And more importantly, did Kovalev eventually give that dude on the left a fist bump or what?
Thanks to Puck Buddy Brad S. for the tip; if anyone comes across a clip, hit us on e-mail and we'll add it. A couple of thoughts on the early games:
• Pavel Datsyuk, Marian Hossa, Tomas Holmstrom, Nicklas Lidstrom and Brian Rafalski were held off the scoring sheet ... and the Detroit Red Wings still put four on the board against Steve Mason and the Columbus Blue Jackets. Thirteen saves from Chris Osgood in the first period probably quieted a few critics for the moment.
• Martin Havlat's going to get the ink tomorrow morning, but the story of the night for the Chicago Blackhawks' win was Jonathan Toews. He had the primary assist on Cam Barker's goal, played aggressive hockey all night and won 10 of 14 faceoffs -- including seven of nine (as opposed to Seven of Nine) against faceoff ace Craig Conroy. There wasn't a ton of anticipatory buzz about Toews heading into the postseason; he's on the radar now.
• Finally, a big thanks to everyone who read and participated in the first-round preview coverage here on Puck Daddy; and a tap of the stick to both B.D. Gallof and Steve Dangle for adding their particular brands of whimsy to the proceedings. If you missed any of them, here they be:
Puck Daddy's 2009 Stanley Cup playoff staff prognostications
Series Preview: Boston Bruins (1) vs. Montreal Canadiens (8)
Series Preview: Washington Capitals (2) vs. New York Rangers (7)
Series Preview: New Jersey Devils (3) vs. Carolina Hurricanes (6)
Series Preview: Pittsburgh Penguins (4) vs. Philadelphia Flyers (5)
Series Preview: San Jose Sharks (1) vs. Anaheim Ducks (8)
Series Preview: Detroit Red Wings (2) vs. Columbus Blue Jackets (7)
Series Preview: Vancouver Canucks (3) vs. St. Louis Blues (6)
Series Preview: Chicago Blackhawks (4) vs. Calgary Flames (5)