Thursday, April 28, 2011

Round 2

Okay, so I was feeling pretty good about myself until the end of the last two series last night. I was shooting for 100% (on teams at least) until that. Then, an over time win and a bad game later and I've missed on two. Ah well, on to the next series.

Vancouver (1) vs Nashville (5)
Well that was fun, now wasn't it!? I've never seen a team's fans turn on a team as fast as the majority of Vancouver fans did. Or news broadcasters. Ridiculous. I was thankful, that, Chicago - have I mentioned that I really hate that team - got to eat their cocky words and did "expose them [Vancouver] for the team they really are." Yes, there's a reason they're holding the President's Trophy and game 6 and 7 certainly showed it. That was fun hockey. Oh, and what about those those Predators? Who is that goal tender and where'd he come from?! It's fun to see a team that hungry - first time ever to go beyond the first round - and a coach that simple. "We're happy and relieved to make it to the second round," he says. Yes, I'm sure you are.

So what will we see? A team that's realized that they really do want this and a team that's surprised to find they have a chance. Vancouver in 6.

Detroit (5) vs San Jose (3)
If the long break between series following their sweep of Phoenix didn't put Detroit to sleep, I think this one will be a dull round. Detroit's got everyone back off injury - or at least that's the expectation -  and San Jose is a little more beaten up after their series.  San Jose definitely is a better team than Phoenix and has a lot more to energize them - from drive to fire power - I'm just not feeling it. Still, we're going to see it go long. Detroit in 7.

Tampa Bay (5) vs Washington (1)
Okay, so what if Roloson looks a lot like the Roloson that took Edmonton on their run in 2004? You know, the goalie that, when he's on, like he is right now, you start to wonder where on earth he's hiding all those lucky horse shoes. Seriously, maybe I'm selling the rest of the team a little short but he's what they've got going right now. They got some production from some of the young kids on their 3rd and 4th lines that is exciting and will go a long way to battling hard and making this fun. I still don't think it's enough. Washington looked calm, cool and collected, getting better every game. They got what they needed from the guys that were supposed to produce, guys living up to their potential. Everything they did well in the regular season has continued into the post season. I like the defensively minded system they're working. It works. Washington in 6.

Boston (3) vs Philly (2)
Okay, well this one's going to be fun, now, isn't it!? Both teams coming out of their series fairly battle worn but buoyed by their advance. Tim Thomas playing fantastic for Boston and Chara being, well, Chara. Oh ya, then there's Horton. He'll be alright. Here's the thing, their power play STINKS. Literally, stinks. In Philly's favor is the fact that they are seeing production out of a bunch of their players. I guess they have to with guys like Pronger not playing to potential, primarily due to injury. Downside to that is it comes with no real "go to" goalie. Maybe I'm wrong but eventually they've got to decide who they're going to run with between the pipes. Special teams could be interesting here too. Their power play was not great in the last series, not terrible, but not great. I guess when you're playing a team who couldn't score on the power play, that's probably not their biggest concern though, is it? And then there's last year and the question of history repeating itself. Ask Chicago how that went for them. All that to say, I'm going with Boston in 7.

A few other things to note from the last round:

Bitter flames fans and the way they are "enjoying" the playoffs bother me. I've been told if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. Good advice. Sportsmanship can apply to fans too.

All of this about Winnipeg getting a team has been funny. Seriously, as much as I'm Canadian through and through and grew to love the game watching Edmonton beat the Jets, I can't see moving any team there being a stellar economic venture for any investor. That said, I think it would be funny to know that Byfuglien is living in Winnipeg (no offense to those who enjoy living in Winnipeg). If a team DOES go to Winnipeg, they have to be called the Jets. Anything else would just be silly.

Hats of to Chicago's Crawford. I know, I know. I hate Chicago but man, that kid was good.

I've decided this whole suspension/penalty/going to the dressing room for 15 after a head shot thing is getting more and more confusing and inconsistent all the time.

Okay, enough of that. Off to round 2.

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