In a battle of teams with ex-Boston College Eagles on the rosters — not necessarily on the ice, but on the rosters — the home team struck first in the Stanley Cup playoffs’ second round.
That team was the Chicago Blackhawks, of which Ben Smith and Jimmy Hayes are typically part. Chicago won Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinal over the Detroit Red Wings of Patrick Eaves, 4-1. Neither Smith nor Hayes was in the lineup for the Hawks as the President’s Trophy winners look to march through the playoffs.
Eaves did play for the Red Wings, getting just ten minutes on the ice and firing a shot on goal. His contributions were perhaps more defensive, as he threw three hits and notched a takeaway.
On Thursday, the New York Rangers will take to the ice against the Boston Bruins to begin their Eastern Conference semifinal. Brian Boyle seems certain to play, and with Ryane Clowe still an uncertainty for the Blueshirts, Chris Kreider’s odds of appearing are also relatively strong. Elsewhere in the United States, Rob Scuderi’s Los Angeles Kings will try to take a 2-0 series lead over the San Jose Sharks.
In the AHL’s Calder Cup playoffs, Tommy Cross’s Providence Bruins are on the brink of eliminating the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins after a 2-1 overtime win. None of the four ex-Eagles on the Penguins recorded a point, nor did Cross, but if the Bruins polish this series off, it means a trip to the Eastern Conference final.