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One game in and already there are questions

by Brian Duff
Night 1 of the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs is in the books and who among us doesn't have questions to ask?

* Can the Pittsburgh Penguins' trio of Tyler Kennedy, Jordan Staal and Matt Cooke reclaim its unofficial title as "the best third line in hockey"?

Right now it isn't even the best third line in the series. They were done in by Chris Neil, Chris Kelly, and Jarkko Ruutu, a Sens' formation that accounted for 3 goals, 6 points, and a solid Game 1 win.

* Does anyone else think the hockey gods were sending a not-so-subtle message to Cooke?

* What is wrong with Marc-Andre Fleury?

His inconsistent play seemingly won't go away.

* How long before Mike Rupp is back in business for Pittsburgh?

Not soon enough.

* Speaking of the hockey gods, how about them picking on San Jose's Rob Blake in the final minute?

Blake, of course, eliminated Colorado's Peter Mueller with a late season hit from behind that resulted in the Avalanche forward being sidelined with a concussion.

Wednesday night, TJ Galiardi delivered his own knockout blow, all the while looking as though he was tied up by the Sharks veteran defenseman.

* How many points did the Sharks' big three combine for?

The same as in Game 1 a year ago -- zero.

* Will the fans in San Jose still be booing prior to the start of Game 2?

Maybe they were "Boosh-ing" at the out of town scoreboard, for their favorite former back-up.

* How many games can the Flyers (or any other team) expect to win while getting less than 15 shots on goal?

Depends if Brian Boucher can continue to outplay Martin Brodeur.

* Will Ilya Kovalchuk, now oh-for-5, ever win a Stanley Cup playoff game?

Ten shots generated toward Boucher, not all of them reaching the target, made him the most dangerous Devil on the night. For whatever that's worth.

Mike Richards a goal. Chris Pronger a goal. Any questions?

* Do you still believe that the regular season series (5-1-0 in favor of Philly) was irrelevant?

* How many two-goal leads disappeared on Night 1?

Zero, which is shocking because Ottawa was on the brink a few times. And because it generally happened once every four games during the regular season.

* Who is the very early candidate to be this year's Butch Goring?

It's gotta be Derek Morris in Phoenix doesn't it? Trade deadline acquisition. Didn't have a single multi-point game down the stretch with his new team. Three points, including the game-winning goal, to sink the Wings in Glendale.

* Did you like the Whiteout, or not?

I said this months ago: It's outdated, it reminds me of 23 years of playoff failures, and it makes no sense now that that home team isn't wearing white.

But for one night in 2010, it appeared to work.

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