So It Begins Again

by

The 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs begin tonight with four games on the schedule, four series opening up. For my money, it’s the most exciting time in sports. There is nothing I can think of, except perhaps the USA-Canada Olympic Hockey we saw this winter, that can compare with the NHL Playoffs for pure adrenaline riddled intensity, thrills and all out fun.

Not that other sports don’t have their moments, at times, but it just doesn’t measure up to me. Hockey players lay everything on the line, body and soul, each and every playoff game they play. The hittting, the scrums, the overtime games. Guys playing with injuries that would put your average MLB player on the 60 Day DL. I mean, the Boston Red Sox’ J.D. Drew will miss a week with a stiff neck. Your average 4th liner in the NHL would try to play with a broken one.

Previews and predictions for the series that start tonight:

    Ottawa Senators vs Pittsburgh Penguins – Defending Cup Champs versus one of the more irrelevant playoff teams in NHL history. For all their talent and aspirations over the years, what have the Senators ever accomplished in the post-season? Nothing, really. This year they’ll be playing without Alexei Kovalev, out for the season with a torn ACL, against a Pens team that might not be as powerful or hungry as last year’s but Sidney Crosby and Co. certainly have enough talent and experience to knock off a middling, impotent team like Ottawa. Penguins in 5.

    Philadelphia Flyers vs New Jersey Devils – This one is interesting to me. The Flyers will be riding the high of their last minute ticket to the Tourney via their final game shoot-out victory over the Rangers right into another heated series with a division rival. There will be bad blood here courtesy of ever mentally unbalanced wild card Daniel Carcillo and the cross check to the head of David Clarkson he delivered in a game at the end of March. Devils have the goaltending edge but that might be all they have if the Flyers show up. Upset in the making. Flyers in 7.

    Phoenix Coyotes vs Detroit Red Wings – This might be a good one, as well. The upstart Coyotes, as dark a dark horse candidate you could imagine at the beginning of this season but have played so consistently well you have to give them a legitimate shot at this point. The problem is, they’re going up against the most veteran, experienced playoff squad out there in the Wings and they get them at a time they’re playing extremely well having gone 8-1-1 down the stretch and warming up nicely for another playoff run. The ‘Yotes might make it interesting, especially if Bryzgalov plays well, but i can’t see youth winning out this time. Red Wings in 6.

    Colorado Avalanche vs San Jose Sharks – So, the question is: When will Joe Thornton’s Sharks squad spit the bit this season? When does the upset come? 1st round? Probably not. Colorado just squeaked into the playoffs and are very, very young. Their goaltending, with Craig Anderson, has not been as stellar of late as it had been earlier in the season and it likely won’t be enough to stop the powerhouse Sharks so early in their attempted run this season. Still, you never know. Sharks in 5.

What about you guys? Thoughts, predictions, ominous omens of ill intent?

Let’s hear ’em.

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One Response to “So It Begins Again”

  1. KofC Says:

    I’ve decided I don’t want to post any predictions on my blog, but I’ll discuss them with other people. I actually have 3 of the 4 series above going differently than you do, but that’s mostly wishful thinking about not wanting certain teams in the SCF AGAIN.

    During Chicago’s December games against them, I could imagine a Chicago final vs Pittsburgh, Boston, or New Jersey. CHI-WAS seems to be the big prediction, but the Puck Daddy live chat today saw a lot of CHI-NJD. Also heard CHI-BUF today and that’d crossed my mind before. Of course, there are also predictions for other Western teams, but I won’t mention those…

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