Thursday, April 29, 2010
I just got to tip my hat to the Montreal Canadiens (How could you not?) after taking down the Washington Capitals in 7 games. Sure, the Caps outshot the Habs and Halak was out of this world in between the pipes… but really, who thought after being down 3-1 heading back to Ovechkin Land that the Canadiens had any chance at all? Not me. If anyone tells you that they did, they are full of it.
The only people who knew they had a chance were the players themselves. That’s why you have to be impressed with this team. Where they go from here, who knows? But you got to tip your hat to the Habs. As for the Caps, well… it all comes crashing down. A great regular season, the second best player in the NHL (That’s right, I said second), and the President’s Trophy winners. What did it get you? Nothing. Why? Big time players play big in the big games. Yours simply did not.
Now that the first round is over, I’ll give you my take on the second round of the playoffs.
Western Conference Semi-Finals
#1 San Jose Sharks Vs # 5 Detroit Red Wings
San Jose had a big wake up call early in their series against the Colorado Avalanche. There’s no questioning that. However, they found a way to snap out of their historic playoff funk that they have been known for. Could this finally be their year? No so fast! Detroit, who struggled mightily against the Phoenix Coyotes, still find a way to drum up some of that magic (much to my displeasure). When it’s needed most, they usually get the job done. However, I’ll take San Jose in 6.
#2 Chicago Blackhawks Vs #3 Vancouver Canucks
The Blackhawks were very fortunate in that Nashville series and they just managed to escape. If not for Nashville’s indescribable meltdown in Game 5, Chicago might be on vacation already. That being said, a rematch with the Canucks who lost to the Blackhawks last year in the playoffs should be very interesting. Vancouver showed some great comeback ability in taking care of Los Angeles and they got great goaltending from Roberto Luongo (Finally). This will be a tough one, but I’m leaning towards the ‘Hawks in 7. This one could go either way.
Eastern Conference Semi-Finals
#1 Pittsburgh Penguins Vs #8 Montreal Canadiens
The Penguins proved they are in it for the long haul by taking care of the Ottawa Senators in 6 games (with neither Crosby or Malkin involved in the offense in Game 6). That is not good news for the rest of the league as Sidney Crosby has once again showed the way for the Penguins with 14 points in 6 games. Can they repeat? They sure can. As for the Canadiens, how’s this for fun? First you have to slay Goliath in round one, and then you have to slay King Kong in round two. The Habs took down the Caps with a tight and stingy defense that gave up a lot- and I mean a lot of shots. Halak was marvelous in nets, but I don’t believe they will get away with this two series in a row. Something has to change in order for them to win. Pittsburgh in 6.
#6 Boston Bruins Vs #7 Philadelphia Flyers
The Boston Bruins beat the Buffalo Sabres in 6 games. I didn’t believe they could do it, but they did (shows what I know). They did it by playing tough and hardnosed hockey with solid goaltending by Tukka Rask (He outplayed Miller). Marc Savard is now skating and he could be in play for the Bruins in the next round! It would help for sure. Now, onto the Flyers who are well rested after embarrassing the New Jersey Devils in 5 games. However, they are a very wounded hockey team. Jeff Carter, Simon Gagne, and Ian Laperriere are out for the Flyers. I’m not sure that I want to put my trust in Brian Boucher one more time. The Bruins will take this one in 7.
Well, that’s it. Over and out!