Friday we had two pretty great hockey games to watch, at least from my perspective with no rooting interest in any of the teams.

First, the Colorado Avalanche and the Dallas Stars played a classic game. Despite being without Landeskog, Timmins, Johnson, and both their two main goalies, the Avs continually held the lead only for Dallas to fight back.

For the Stars, the hero was Joel Kiviranta — and you are forgiven if you’ve never heard of him before — who scored the tying goal with less than 4 minutes in the third period and then scored the overtime winner to complete the hat trick.

The game itself was a bit sloppy, but that made it more fun. Action was back and forth, lots of shots and chances, and in the end what probably won the game and the series was the Avs having to play Michael Hutchinson. In spite of his magical run, the goals he gave up gave me flash backs of poor rebound control.

Katya observed during the game that the Stars really seemed to be targeting Hutchinson’s glove side, where his rebound control is the worst. And, well, that seems to be borne out...

For an encore, the Vegas Golden Knights and Vancouver Canucks played a much different game but no less compelling (for me). Vegas dominated the Canucks, giving up only 6 shots on goal through two periods. Thatcher Demko was a great story, dragging the Canucks to their previous two wins and looking like he could do it for a third straight game.

Look at this heatmap for god’s sake!

It took a Shea Theodore powerplay goal with only 6 minutes left in the game to break the tie, with Vegas adding two more goals late to secure the 3-0 win. It was a pretty tense game, and I admit I was torn. I wanted to see if Demko could pull it off but my heart was cheering for Vegas to win. They were the team that deserved it.

Still though... poor Demko. What more could he have done? :(

And now, today on Saturday we have the one remaining game 7 to conclude the conference semi-finals. The Philadelphia Flyers will try to do what Vancouver and Colorado could not: complete comeback after being down 3-1 in their series vs the New York Islanders.

[Leafs Links] Chris Johnston: “Everything is pointing in the direction” of a Frederik Andersen trade | a good recap of what all the insiders are saying on the matter, by MLHS

Can the Leafs even afford Alex Pietrangelo – or another big money D-man? | by James Mirtle

My (horrible?) idea for a P.K. Subban to the Leafs trade proposal | by Jon Steitzer at TLN, and spoiler: yes it is pretty horrible.

I think we may be seeing a bit of a fire sale in Arizona soon...

Have a great long weekend everyone!

What is your ideal Stanley Cup Finals matchup?

Lightning vs Golden Knights105
Lightning vs Stars20
Flyers vs Golden Nights8
Flyers vs Stars6
lol as if I’d include the Islanders as an option39