Friday Pens Points: Pens Begin Round Two

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

John Tortorella is out in Vancouver. Caps trade Halak to Islanders. Canadiens beat Bruins in 2OT to open the second round.

The John Tortorella era is quickly over with in Vancouver, as a Torts and assistant coach Mike Sullivan were fired yesterday.

The Washington Capitals traded UFA goaltender Jaroslav Halak to the New York Islanders for their 2014 4th round pick. Not sure of the wisdom of making these in-division trades without a new GM in place, though.

The Minnesota Wild open their 2nd-round series against the Blackhawks tonight, and will do so with Ilya Bryzgalov in net, as Darcy Kuemper's injury will not allow him to start.

The second round of the playoffs officially started last night, when the Canadiens beat the Bruins 4-3 in 2OT. It was an excellent game for Carey Price and PK Subban, who scored the first and last Montreal goals.

The Bruins don't have many weak links, but Matt Bartkowski might be it. I feel uneasy picking on the guy who took both penalties on which Subban scored goals, but you just can't give their PP those chances, especially not in OT. He just looked totally overmatched out there.

Crosby, Getzlaf and Giroux are finalists for the Hart Trophy. I happen to agree with all three choices. Getzlaf is a no-brainier, and Giroux started slowly, but ended up playing well and I'm not sure the Flyers would have made the playoffs without his elevated play.

All 5 NYR-PIT games this season were played before the trade deadline that exchanged Callahan for St. Louis. Just my 2 cents, but I think that's probably favorable for the Pens. Callahan was really hard for us to battle against. Dave Molinari breaks down the matchup, and here is also a look at the key statistical takeaways. Also here are some key things to focus on for the Pens as they go into this series.

The Rangers were also the first team in NHL history to win three consecutive 1st-round game 7s (2012/13/14). As we discussed, the schedule is really tough for them, but what's the bigger factor: rest/rust for Pens, or exhaustion/just-go-play for the Rangers. Let's discuss.

For full disclosure, in my bracket I picked them to beat us because I've sat through so many losses to them recently. They are a better team under Vigneault and have certainly been the winners of that coaching swap.

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