It’s about time I weigh in with some playoff thoughts. But first one quick thing to mention:
- Got a nice shoutout from Puck Daddy today for one of my rec hockey team’s jerseys. Check it out – me and my jersey are the first images. By shoutout, I actually mean “got burned pretty good.” But whatever, right?
OK. These playoffs have been great. The first round was absolutely killer. Easily the best first round I can recall. For me, some highlights included watching game seven of the Blackhawks-Canucks series in a downtown Chicago bar. You could hear a pin drop in that packed bar for the majority of the third period. That is, until Jonathan Toews did something amazing. Then things got nuts. Unfortunately for the Hawks, Chris Campoli made the biggest error of his career by assisting on Alex Burrows series winning goal.
Is it just me or was the Montreal-Boston series kind of underwhelming? I didn’t expect bench clearing brawls, but the series was a bit of a snooze fest. Have to hand it to Montreal though. They came way too close to taking that series, despite all their defensive injuries. And having to dress Scott Gomez. That’s like a permanent penalty in itself…
This was a great series. It had a bit of everything too. Really enjoyed watching the back and forth games, the gritty and rough play and Teemu Selanne’s clutch performances. Finally seeing Nashville advance beyond the first round was a nice moment too. Obvious best moment of the series: Bobby Ryan’s epic goal. Second best moment? Tie between Shea Weber’s beard and fans throwing catfish on the ice.
The second round has been good too, but not quite as good as the first round. Some second round thoughts:
For the record, I really like the Preds. I like their story and how hard the team works, but Nashville have scored the worst goals on Luongo and the Vancouver Canucks during their second round series. It felt like every game they got a flukey goal. I counted at least four terrible goals from impossible angles, including Ryan Suter’s game one goal and David Legwand’s last night. What are the odds of a getting a goal like that? Not high, but it happens. Now ask yourself what the chances of getting several goals like that is. Yeah, “Olympic goalie” alright. If I’m a Canuck player, I’m really nervous whenever a shot from behind or at the side of the net is taken.
Speaking of the Predators-Canucks series, let’s talk about Joel Ward. This is not the “coming out party” the media would like you to believe. Seriously, will any of us remember this guy in a few weeks? This guy has scored some huge goals for his team, but so did Fernando Pisani several years ago. Yeah…
When was the last time Detroit’s great goaltending was the only reason they were still alive in the Stanley Cup playoffs? The Sharks have peppered Jimmy Howard with shots, but the Wings goalie has been incredible. I felt especially bad for him after that Benn Ferriero overtime goal in game one. That one was pretty crappy. And to think, they wanted to sign Evgeni Nabokov…
Tampa Bay Lightning
I’m a bit shocked by the Tampa Bay Lightning. I figured their inexperience, particularly on defense, would be their downfall in the first round versus Pittsburgh. It wasn’t. Then for sure I figured this would be the case in round two versus Washington. It wasn’t. I think I’m going to stop betting against Tampa now… even though I feel Boston should win the Eastern Conference Finals.
Washington Capitals and Ovechkin
I’ve never felt bad for Alex Ovechkin before. The guy has it all. However, I couldn’t help but feel for him as his Caps got swept by Tampa. Ever since the Vancouver Olympics, people have been ripping Ovechkin for not “wanting it” as badly as a guy like Sidney Crosby. This year Ovi stepped up and did everything he could. In past years that critique would be accurate, but not this year. He was outstanding in the 2011 playoffs. It’s a shame none of the other Capitals played to that level (or anywhere close). Still ‘t think Boudreau keeps his job though.
Roenick’s (Still) A Douche
Ugh. Jeremy Roenick. Awesome hockey player in his prime. Not so awesome hockey broadcaster, ever. His comments about Patrick Marleau, while true, are pretty distasteful. I can’t stand that Roenick always goes for the “Mike Milbury” shock value effect. What I dislike even more is Roenick’s “I wish I had the talent that [Marleau] has” justification. Yeah, sounds like a great reason to go blast a former teammate of yours, on a team that let you continue to play in the NHL when you should have retired years ago. On national television no less. Classy.
That’s it for now – I’ll check back in soon!
Stay classy, NHL playoffs.