Thursday, May 6, 2010

Factoring In: NHL Playoffs 5/6/2010

- How lucky can one team be? Last year, the Penguins played their beat down toys, the Flyers, the Capitals who had a goalie with 11 games of NHL experience entering the series, a worn down Hurricanes team and then a worn down and injured Red Wings. Fluky events (Brodeur's meltdown, Boston blowing it at home against Carolina) had the Penguins miss playing Penguin killers, New Jersey and Boston. This year, the top three seeds in the East fall in the first round, the Penguins get a Senators team that is a shadow of its former self, a worn down Habs team that is missing its best defenseman and then will either play their beat down toys again or a Bruins team that just lost one of its best scorers. Yet again, the teams the owned the Pens during the regular season (Devils and Caps) are out. All three teams the Penguins will play in the Eastern Conference playoffs, wouldn't have even qualified for the playoffs in the West. This is as easy as it gets.

- I really liked the guts the Ottawa Senators showed in the first round. They were over matched, but it didn't stop them. They layed down and blocked every shot, fought for every inch of ice. If they had ANY talent at all, they would've knock off the Pens.

- Has the "greatest goalie in the history of the NHL" Martin Brodeur, lost a step? The Devils have been eliminated from the playoffs in the first round in each of the last 3 years.

- I said this about the Pens when Therrien was in town and I'm saying it about the Caps now too. They'll never win the Cup with Bruce Boudreau behind the bench. His unwillingness to make any changes while his team struggles to put away an 8th seed is all the reason you need. They also need to give up on Semin. Great shot, great hands, but is way too soft. If the Caps setup Ovechkin with as many opportunities as Semin, we would be talking about a Ovechkin vs Crosby Conference Finals.

- With the season on the line in a shootout, how do you not put in your 42 goal scorer Marian Gaborik? Instead they went with... Olli Jokinen? Dumb. You didn't deserve to go to the playoffs.

- Same old sad story for the Flyers. "We're tough, we're physical, we're built for the playoffs, but we have no goaltending." I hate this team and even I'm getting annoyed by the fact that they refuse to go out and get a competent goaltender.

- You know, I really don't hate Marian Hossa anymore. I haven't for sometime now. I was mad when he left the Wings to sign with the Blackhawks, but I'm over it. He's a good guy and a great player and while I would still like to see him in a Wings jersey, I wouldn't burn my Hossa t-shirt like some idiots might.

- I've never seen a 3-0 series as closely matched as the Sharks and Red Wings. It could easily be 3-0 Wings, but the bounces aren't going their way and they're losing by one instead of winning by one. Meh, it happens.

- I bet everyone knows who Craig Anderson is now.

- Roberto Luongo must be a Britney Spears fan. Ooops, he's doing it again!

- The Nashville Predators had a 3-2 lead in Game 5 on the road, were on the powerplay with less than a minute left in the game and found a way to lose. No wonder they don't have any fans. I got sick to my stomach watching that and I didn't care who won.

- Great performance by the Coyotes in their first playoff appearance in years. Great system, great coach, now if they could get a few snipers so they don't have to rely so much on Shane Doan, Radim Vrbata and Wojtek Wolski to score goals. They're $13 million under the cap and Illya Kovalchuk would do wonders for them.

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