Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Questions Abound As Playoffs Begin
I love the lead line on the NHL playoffs preview piece in today's Leader-Post written by Peter James of Canwest News Service. He says "the economy is in the tank, job losses are mounting and corporations are teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, yet there's a positive sense of anticipation in the air---its Stanley Cup playoff time in Canada. YUP...it sure is. The battle to win the hardest trophy in sports begins tonight. What team will be the first to get 16 wins. There will be many twists and turns in these playoffs as there always are. Many questions as well.
--Does Detroit go with Osgood or Conklin in net and how long until a change is made??
--Who will be the first team to make a goaltending change.
--Are the Flames burned out?? If they lose in the first round I say Mike Keenan is gone.
--What type of performance will Columbus have in their first ever appearance. How will their guys react?? The same goes for St. Louis and Chicago.
--What are the Oilers doing right now?? (never mind)
--Crosby and Malkin or Richards and Carter??
--What does Avery have in store for Ovechkin??
--Can Joe Thornton get the monkey off his back and lead his team to the finals??
--Who's the Cinderella team??
--How ugly will Don Cherry's jackets be this year???
We will find out starting tonight. Here's what I'm thinkin.
Boston vs Montreal. Habs fans are praying that the ghosts that occupied the Forum will move into the Bell Centre and that the magic they have had against Boston continues. Here's a reality check. Your 100th anniversary season ends in 5 games. Maybe 6 if Halak steals one....yes I said Halak!
Washington vs Rangers. What does Sean Avery have up his sleeve for Alex Ovechkin and what does Ovechkin do to counter it. The Rangers have the goaltending edge but thats about it. Washington in 6
Carolina vs New Jersey. The Hurricanes were hot down the stretch while the Devils weren't. The Devils have Marty Brodeur. A well-rested Marty Brodeur. This will be a good series but in the end New Jersey wins in 7
Philadelphia vs Pittsburgh: Probably the best of the first round matchups. Carter and Richards against Crosby and Malkin. If the Flyers had a top notch goalie, I might take them to win the whole Cup. I still say they go a long ways but they will be in tough against Pittsburgh. Flyers in 7
San Jose vs Anaheim. The Sharks won the Presidents Trophy this year. They have been Cup contenders the past few years only to blow it in round one or two. Much like Hockey Night in Canada, the tradition continues. Ducks upset San Jose in 6
Detroit vs Columbus. The Jackets are happy making their first playoff appearance. Detroit is stilll the best team in the league from top to bottom. Rick Nash can head to Switzerland for the Worlds when this series is over. Detroit in 5
Vancouver vs St. Louis. How far can Luongo take the Canucks. He gets them past this round against a St. Louis team that is talented but not experienced at this level. Vancouver in 5
Chicago vs Calgary. Chicago is inexperienced as well but guys like Toews, Seabrook and Barker have won World Jr Gold so they know what has to be done at this time of year. Calgary has not played well down the stretch. Kiprusoff is tired. The Flames are beat up. The Flames are done. Chicago in 6.
Let the games begin!!!! By the way in the end, I see a Detroit-Philly series with the Wings winning it all yet again.