I honestly don't know what I'm doing in this game day preview/game thread, but the Usual Suspects are busy getting ready for JvR's Very Special Day tomorrow (more about that to come), so I am going to give you the best of each team's BEST COMPLAINTS about each series. Then, you can add your own, more intelligent observations below.
Tampa Bay vs. Montreal, 6 PM -- NBCSN/CBC
Where's Drouin? Asks Kyle Alexander.
The frustrating thing is to look at the guys that are getting into the lineup -- particularly the 4th line -- and try to build an argument that Cooper somehow trusts them. Brenden Morrow, who skated north of 9 minutes a game in the regular season, is under 8 in the playoffs. So are his regular linemates Vlad Namestnikov and J.T. Brown. Cooper has shifted his forward group either to an 11F-7D formation or switched to a three-line team if he's using 12 forwards.
The Habs kind of need to score goals, says Andrew Berkshire
In spite of all those shots, and relatively not terrible scoring chance generation, the Canadiens have scored on just 2.69% of their shots on goal. In the regular season, that's no big deal, because percentages that extreme can't be sustained. No team in the NHL lacks talent so badly, or plays poorly enough, to earn a 2.69% shooting percentage over a long period, there's just too much parity and NHL players are just too good, but the Canadiens don't have a long time, they have possibly as few as three games.
Minnesota vs. Chicago, 8:30 PM -- NBCSN/CBC
Ryan Suter sucks at offense, says Alec Schmidt
We've reached the point with Suter where there is simply no logical explanation for having him on the ice in high-leverage, must-score situations, such as the power play and final minutes when trailing. Over the past three seasons, Suter has posted an anemic 1.6 shooting percentage at 5 vs 5. Among Wild defenders with >100 minutes in those three seasons, only Stu Bickel is lower on that list at 0%.
You know what? The Blackhawks have zero complaints about their hockey team today. No wonder these bastards win the cup so often.
Calgary vs. Anaheim, 10:00 PM -- CNBC/Sportsnet
No comebacks to be found in 6-1 blowout loss to Anaheim, laments Arii
There were many problems, one of which was definitely goaltending. Both Hiller and Ramo let in terrible goals against: Hiller when the game was still within reach, and Ramo when he had a shot at taking over the starter's gig.
The Ducks don't have any complaints about their scary, talented team either. In fact, they're gently patting their own heads about what makes their team so great today. MUST BE NICE, DUCKS.
I am off to Ultron! Everyone tell me how it's going on Twitter!