Wednesday, April 21, 2010
I can’t help but think, “If only the New York Rangers had managed, somehow, someway, to sneak into the playoffs this year”. Things might have looked up for the Blueshirts. Oh well, just a thought!
I got to tip my hat to the overall performance by the teams that did make it. It’s been fast, physical, and damn fun to watch. The only negative that continues to be a problem is the inconsistency of the officiating. Sorry, I know it’s an old story, but I’m sticking to my guns on this. There has been too many soft calls and my only hope is that it doesn’t rear its ugly head and cost a team a critical game or series. The NHL has to take most of the blame for this, but I also think the NHLPA deserves some as well. With all that’s been done since the lockout to tinker with the game, I think its obvious to the fans and privately talked about by the players… just let them play! With that said, I still like the overall picture of how the playoffs have progressed and I am looking forward to more games.
Here’s my take on what I’ve seen so far:
#1 Washington Capitals Vs #8 Montreal Canadiens
The Caps got an early wake up call, but Montreal blew a golden opportunity by losing Game 2 after having a 4-1 lead. Sorry, Habs. You had your chance and now the series is tilting in favor of the Capitals.
#2 New Jersey Devils Vs #7 Philadelphia Flyers
Boy, oh boy! A shocker! Well, not really. The Flyers have dominated the Devils all season long and it’s continued so far in the playoffs. The Flyers are now up 3-1 in the series. Boucher over Marty? Who would have thunk it? The Flyers will not be without adversity though in Game 5, the early reports are that Jeff Carter and Simon Gagne will be out with injury.
#3 Buffalo Sabres Vs #6 Boston Bruins
One thing Ryan Miller can’t do for the Sabres is score. Losing Vanek to injury hurt them big time in the scoring department for Lindy Ruff’s team. Honestly, Boston has outplayed Buffalo in all 3 games so far and deserved to be leading this series. Plain and simple!
#4 Pittsburgh Penguins Vs #5 Ottawa Senators
Ah, the defending Stanley Cup champs. They had their attention span checked in a home loss to the Sens in Game 1. No question about that. Since then, Sidney Crosby has taken his game to a new universe. He is the best player in the world (Sorry Ovechkin fans). The Pens are now on a roll and look to close out the series at home in Game 5.
Now, out West we go!
#1 San Jose Sharks Vs #8 Colorado Avalanche
The question in this series is will the Sharks even win in the playoffs? After the Dan Boyle debacle, the Sharks bounced back to even the series at 2 games a piece. But, I’ll tell ya, it hasn’t been easy and it won’t get any easier going forward. The Avs have been tough, especially with Craig Anderson in goal.
#2 Chicago Blackhawks Vs #7 Nashville Predators
This is another head scratcher. I thought that for sure Chicago would be ready for a serious run at Lord Stanley. My thoughts were that they gained valuable experience in last year’s playoffs. Oops! Wrong. Nashville has showed the hockey world that the Blackhawks might not be ready just yet. Stay tuned to this one!
#3 Vancouver Canucks Vs #6 Los Angeles Kings
I’ll keep it simple on this one. The Kings going in were my upset special in the playoffs. Vancouver, well… I believe in them when I see them win a big time series. They haven’t been able to do this yet, period.
#4 Phoenix Coyotes Vs #5 Detroit Red Wings
Give the Coyotes full compliments on a season that could have easily been a disaster. The series is now tied at 2 games a piece with the Wings. I, among others, would love to see the Coyotes move past the Red Wings and advance further into the playoffs.
So, that’s it. Just a little run down on the playoffs thus far. As I said in the title: so far, so good! Over and out!