NHL Playoffs begin with a BANG!

April 15, 2010

Sid the Kid and his Penguins are already down 1-0 to the Senators


We here at T.O.N.Y. Sports apologize for the lack of NHL coverage, but hockey is just simply trumped by the other major sports in this town.  Nonetheless, even with both the Rangers and Islanders out of the race for the cup, the Stanley Cup playoffs definitely peaked my interest last night.  

It didn’t take long for Cinderella to rear her head as the defending Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins dropped their opening game 5-4 to the Ottawa Senators.  Although Ottawa is a 5 seed, and the Penguins are only a 4, this was still a shocker considering the star power Pittsburgh presents as well as Ottawa’s previous struggles in the post-season.  

“There are times when you’re going to be down in the playoffs, and you’re playing pretty good hockey still,” Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby told reporters afterward. “That’s the way it is. It’s close hockey, and there’s not a lot of difference that decides games.” 

With Crosby, the Pens have been threatening to claim their spot as the NHL’s dynasty.   They have won seven of their last eight playoff series and possess another top 5 talent in the league by the name of Evgeni Malkin.  But what makes the NHL playoffs so intriguing is the potential for numerous upsets, and the Penguins defeat was just the beginning.    

The New Jersey Devils have the best goalie in the sport, but couldn’t find enough offense last night and lost 2-1 to the Flyers.  Philadelphia qualified for the post-season with a shootout win over the Rangers and are attempting to ride their own hot goal-tender, Brian Boucher.  

The perennial choke-artists, the San Jose Sharks, also lost their opener 2-1 to the Colorado Avalanche. The Sharks once again were the kings of the Western Conference this season and Colorado barely made the playoffs.  This may have been an upset in terms of seeding, but any hockey fan knows the Sharks struggles in the post-season. 

"At least we have each other..."


This year was supposed to be different for San Jose, but this guy’s not buying it! 

The mighty Detroit Red Wings came in as the 5 seed in the west, and despite being a lower seed to the surprising Phoenix Coyotes, the Wings are the favorite to win the series.  Nevertheless, Detroit also lost Game 1 and made me look stupid for picking them to go to the Finals. I’m not claiming bankrupcy just yet, as it’s still early.  

“It’s only one game,” Coyotes captain Shane Doan told the Arizona Republic. “But it was a big game. We keep answering the questions everyone has about us.” 

Up on the docket tonight are the Eastern Conference favorites, the Washington Capitals, who take on the Montreal Canadiens.  The Caps are favored at 6-1 to win this series, but would anyone be shocked if they were upset?  I personally don’t trust their goaltending and a strong net-minder can be as valuable  as an elite quarter back in football.  

Of course, goaltenders can also be as destructive as Tony Romo has been to the Cowboys in the post-season.   

(You see, one can mention the Capitals without speaking on Ovechkin.) 

The Sabres face the Boston Bruins in what should be a snore-fest.  Both teams rarely score any goals, so definitely take the under in each game.  I like the Sabres in this one…. 

The Kings take on the Vancouver Canucks tonight in the 3-6 matchup out West, and Vancouver has emerged as a trendy pick to win it all.  The Canucks are lead by Henrik Sedin, but it is their goal tender Roberto Luongo who will make or break their post-season.  Vancouver allowed three or more goals in 21 of their final 29 games. 

Should be another fun night on Versus, especially since there’s not much else to watch.


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