The role of defense in the playoffs is such an interesting thing. The Devils, with no offense to speak of, left in the first round of the playoffs when their defense wasn’t enough to keep them in games. The Ducks, with a huge offense, left in the first round when their defense failed them and their offense couldn’t compensate. Last night, against Montreal, the Flyers, without a horribly impressive offense, won pretty much on defense alone. After jumping to a 3-0 lead, the Flyers held on to win 3-2. The one hole in Montreal’s game this season has been their streakiness. It’s easy to blame Habs goalie Carey Price, who was pulled after just three goals, but an offense like Montreal’s should have been able to handle the Flyers, a team that can easily lose focus for 20-25 minutes a night.
Over in Dallas, actually quite a bit of a hockey town, hockey is getting even bigger. The Dallas Morning News even has five tips for sounding like a hockey expert. I would add “Good things happen when you put the puck on net” as another. I think I’ve heard it around 260 times so far this season. How come NBA announcers never say that about basketballs? How come baseball announcers don’t say “Good things happen when you hit the ball over the wall”?