Playoffs: So Far, So Good

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!


greg m said...

i have that thought every day, if only the rangers would of made it,this could of been our year!
then i usually wake up!i cant bare to watch any first round hockey.ill wait till the men get seperated from the

Kotsy's Korner said...

greg m, I keep thinking that I will be heading to MSG for game 6...Oh well what could of been.

The first round has been pretty good actually and it's only going to get better. My biggest concern is letting the players play and let them decide the outcome of games.

snowcloud said...

Go PRU on the Coyotes. Maaaarty is washed up! I haven't even watched one game of these playoffs so far. I have to make an effort to get interested. Good post, Kotsy.

Kotsy's Korner said...

snowcloud, Although it's no fun without the Rangers in the playoffs, The playoffs have been a very good watch so far.

Got to like what Phoenix has done so far as well as a few others. Better get to watching you're missing some good hockey.

Thanks for looking and the compliments.

greg m said...

i think im read for the next round, and my nyr mourning period is over.between twitter,facebook,im getting game highlights...but im ready to watch,i think i missed a good one between the sabres and bruins.and again right on with letting the players decide the out come of the games!i think its going to get real interesting.

Kotsy's Korner said...

greg m, I think all Ranger fans feel like crap about the Blueshirts not making the big dance. You are not alone LOL.

I have to say though as much as I criticize the NHL for many things, The playoffs have been exciting to watch.

Tony V said...

Nice summary.

I always enjoy the first round of the playoffs. The games in the West have been outstanding with great skating and wide-open action. SJ had more than 90 shots over 2 games and could only score goals. I have been liking L.A. for a while and think they are the dark horse no one wants to play. For sentimental reasons, I am rooting for Chicago.

In the East, the Buff/Boston series has been terrific but the Sabres are fading. I'm impressed by the Bruins' resiliency. It looks like there will be some serious re-seeding after the first round finishes if both #2 (NJ) and #3 (Buffalo) lose.

Kotsy's Korner said...

Tony V, Playoffs have been wonderful to watch . The 1st round is always the toughest to figure out. Lot's of surprises Philly? Boston? who would of thought LOL.

The west has been very entertaining. Chicago has me puzzled? L.A might blown their chance losing game 4. One things for sure nothing beats Playoff hockey.

B.J. McSitteer said...

When I've been asked about the play-offs this year I compare it to the 1980s. Lots of scoring, tons of hitting, timely glove saves and very entertaining. The 1st round is always more exciting to watch for upsets. I am amazed with how well some of the teams have hung in. Even Montreal keeps fighting but just can't keep it together for 60 minutes. One question I have though is, when is Lammerello going to finally insist on cutting Brodeur's work load? As usual he's at the top in most categories but once again gone in round #1. I know I reference the Islanders alot but look at how they did it splitting the games before unleashing Smith in the post season.

One final note (it's no real shocker)but I fully agree with the officiating. I'm tired of the comparisons to penalties with other sports. This is hockey and come play-off time, put the whistle away and let the boys battle for supremacy.

Kotsy's Korner said...

B.J. McSitteer, The 1st round is always the toughest to figure out. Teams can come together or fall apart. Playoff Hockey at it's best.

The Habs had their chance in game 2 and blew a 4-1 lead. The Devils should be embarrassed for their pitiful showing.Who knows what will happen in "Devil Land" now?

The NHL and the NHLPA made this mess when it comes to the Rules and officiating. They alone bear the scorn of fans who see through the garbage that is being called.

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