James Reimer, I am so proud of you. Optimus Reim and his band of Jerks (the Carolina Hurricanes) beat the Boston Bruins 3-2 in Game 2 of their First Round series. The Canes made a whole host of roster changes on the second game of the back-to-back — Game 1 was delayed a day due to the Tampa Bay vs. Columbus overtime game apparently still in progress — including Jake Gardiner and Nino Niederreiter both leaving the lineup for Justin Williams and Sami Vatanen.

Hamilton’s winner evens series at 1-1

Jake didn’t get his revenge with the win, but The One Who Got Away Dougie Hamilton scored the game winner in the third period to secure the win. He also led the Hurricanes in shot attempts in the game with nine. Reimer saved 33 of 35 shots he faced in the win, so happy for him.

Yesterday’s Games

Looking at the rest of the playoffs, I would be so excited to play anyone else apart from Philadelphia, maybe. Yes, even the whining Bruins. Hockey is so much more fun when it’s not against the Blue Jackets.

Columbus Blue Jackets 3, Tampa Bay Lightning 1 — Series tied 1-1
You’ll never guess who beat a Blue and White team again. Sending Tampa Bay my sympathies. At least we’ll be able to do group counselling after this.

Carolina Hurricanes 3, Boston Bruins 2 — Series tied 1-1
Here is a recap of the big win from Canes Country. It was a busy game.

Vegas Golden Knights 4, Chicago 3 (OT) — VGK lead 2-0
Finally a reasonable overtime length. The shootouts in the playoffs idea is safely back on the shelf. Reilly Smith with the game winner.

Dallas Stars 5, Calgary Flames 4 — Series tied 1-1
I thought Dallas was going to win 4-2 over Calgary when I first wrote this article. By the time I was ready for bed, the Flames tied it. By the time I turned my laptop on, Jamie Oleksiak (Penny’s brother) scored with 40 seconds left in regulation to win the game. Insane finish.

Today’s Games

Dallas and Calgary have a back-to-back and will be playing their third game of the series, the rest of the teams will be playing their second games today. A couple upsets starting early with the Islanders and Canucks up.

Arizona Coyotes “@” Colorado Avalanche — Game 2 (COL lead 1-0)
2pm ET,  NHLN, SN360, ALT, FS-A, FS-A+

Montreal Canadiens “@” Philadelphia Flyers — Game 2 (PHI lead 1-0)
3pm ET,  NBCSN, CBC, Sportsnet, TVAS, NBCSP

Vancouver Canucks “@” St. Louis Blues — Game 2 (VAN lead 1-0)
6:30pm ET,  NHLN, Sportsnet, FS-MW

New York Islanders “@” Washington Capitals — Game 2 (NYI lead 1-0)

Dallas Stars “@” Calgary Flames — Game 3 (series tied 1-1)
10:30pm ET,  NBCSN, TVAS, CBC, Sportsnet, FS-SW+

Various Hockey Branches

The Maple Leafs are up against the salary cap — Katya
Simple rule of thumb, if you can’t afford to retain all your players under the salary cap without making any trades, you are up against the cap. Thought that was kinda obvious.

Where do the Leafs go from here? — Hardev
We all have our theories, but this article is what I took away from locker cleanout day. Internal changes before external sacrifices (although those already came last year).

Montreal Canadiens head coach Claude Julien had to make an emergency visit to a Toronto hospital on Thursday to assess what is being called chest pain. He will be out for the rest of the season with Kirk Muller taking over the head coaching duties. Marc Bergevin had to preemptively apologize to the french media for Muller being unable to speak french, citing extenuating circumstances, which are completely reasonable.

Rumors from the 31 Thoughts podcast are circulating that the Buffalo Sabres might not qualify (or possibly buy out) Brandon Montour after a tough first season with the team. I’m sure it’s all his fault. If he’s available, the Leafs should absolutely be looking at him. If he’s going to be bought out, they could even get him on a very cheap deal. Never a bad plan to buy low.