Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Hockey, 'eh?

(Special thanks to Chuckie Hacks NHL Correspondant Rich "Jagr" Hager)

"No soup for you!!"

It's that time of year again...Playoffs, hockey style!! You remember, that game played with sticks, pucks, a sheet of ice. Throw in a Zamboni and some mullets (aka hockey hair) and you've got the makings of a good time.

Everyone steps it up about 10 notches come playoff time, and this year is no different. Turn on VS (if you can find it) or NBC during the weekend and reacquaint yourselves with the game again, you won't be sorry! All right on to the match-ups. I am going to break down the East first and will do the Wild West later on this week.

First off in the East we have the New Jersey Devils(2) vs. the Tampa Bay Lightning (7)
Currently the Lightning lead the best of 7 series 2-1. The 'Ning are on their game right now. Vinny Lecavalier has 4 goals so far. New Jersey better find a way to stop him and Martin St. Louis or they will be sent home early. I'm taking the Lightning in 6.

Staying in the East we have the Buffalo Sabres (1) vs. the New York Islanders (8)
The Sabres lead the series 2-1 thanks to the play of Daniel Briere last night. Buffalo is considered the top seed in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, they play with grit and determination. Coach Lindy Ruff (great hockey coach name) has them ready to make a run this year. You can't count out the Isles though, they are desperate and not expected to win. Anyone remember Bucknell vs Kansas??? Anyway no Cinderella here, Sabres in 6.

Next up are the Atlanta Thrashers (3) vs New York Rangers (6)
Rags lead this series 2-0. Who woulda thunk it?!? There was a time in Feb.
when the Rangers and playoffs weren't even mentioned in the same sentence.
So what do they do? Go into the hockey hotbed Atlanta and steal the first two games from them. My Boy Jagr has a goal and a helper and their power play is clicking. Atlanta has a good squad, but this isn't their year. I'm taking the upset - Rags in 5.

Finally a series near and dear to my heart the Ottawa Senators (4) vs the Pittsburgh Penguins (5)
Quick side note : I have been a Pens fan since I was 9, watch them win two cups with Super Mario and Jags in high school and lived through the "lean years".. So I am NOT a bandwagon-er as Chopper can attest. Ottawa leads the series 2-1 mainly due to their aggressive forecheck, and the lack of experience/discipline of the Pens. When your offensive stars are 19 (Sidney Crosby - 2nd year), 18 (Jordan Staal - Rookie) and 20 (Evgeni Malkin - Rookie) there is a definite lack of experience. The Pens looked awe-struck the first game, then turned it around enough to win the second game only to get hammered the third game. I'm sad to say, but Ottawa has beat them like a rented mule this series. They are forcing the Pens to take stupid penalties and have them off their game. The Pens are at their best with wide open play, and Ottawa has bottled them up. I have a hunch Sid and the rest of the kids will be playing golf by weeks end, but I'm taking the Pens in 7 (Keep the dream alive).
That's it for now. I will breakdown the West later this week.


Goldy said...

Is this post supposed to fill the Chuckie hacks diversity requirement?

Jags said...

It betta or else Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are gonna file a suit with the ACLU!

Brad said...

I'm still rooting for a Hartford Whalers/Winnipeg Jets final!