HOCKEY PLAYOFFS – ROUND TWO MADNESS

04May12

This time of the year I always find myself asking the same question – is there a better sport for playoffs than hockey?  It doesn’t matter what your favorite sport is, the NHL playoffs take you on a roller coaster ride, never knowing where you will end up! 

Let’s do a quick recap of the first round. 

The #1 team in the league, that’s right, the President’s Cup winning Vancouver Canucks got their clocks cleaned by the #8 seed Los Angeles Kings.  In fact, they only managed to win one game in the series, and that was game four. 

The Detroit Red Wings, a team that never loses in the first round, not only lost but were dominated by the Nashville Predators, going down four games to one. 

The Phoenix Coyotes, the one team in the west that won the Rodney Dangerfield award because they “get no respect at all”, not only beat the favorite Chicago Blackhawks in six, but won all three in Chicago in a very physical series. 

The only series that had no shockers involved the St. Louis Blues knocking of the San Jose Sharks in five games, after losing game one at home.  

In the east, the #8 Ottawa Senators nearly upset the top dog New York Rangers, taking them to seven games before bowing out. 

The returning champions and #2 Boston Bruins weren’t so lucky, dropping their series in seven to #7 Washington Capitals. 

New Jersey had to battle back from a 3-2 deficit, winning games six and seven, to beat the Florida Panthers. 

In the series that was supposed to be the greatest series of all, Philadelphia dominated nearly every game to knock off the favorite Pittsburgh Penguins. 

Only 18 of the 48 games played were won by the home team, with 16 going to overtime. 

Now that we’re knee deep in the second round, things should be getting straightened out, right?  Riiiiiiiight!  (A little Dr. Evil humor there!) 

Let’s take a quick look at where we stand so far. 

The Los Angeles Kings are at it again, taking the first three games from the new top dog in the west, the St. Louis Blues.  They can finish the sweep with a victory at home on Sunday. 

The Phoenix Dangerfields, er, Coyotes, who were clearly overmatched against the Nashville Predators, now hold a 3-1 lead in that series, and can wrap things up on Monday at home. 

Back east, the Capitals are at it again, giving the Rangers all they can handle.  The Rangers are up 2-1 with game four in Washington on Saturday. 

After dominating the Penguins and becoming the favorites to do the same in round two, the Philadelphia Flyers find themselves down 2-1 to the New Jersey Devils, with game four in New Jersey on Sunday. 

If things keep going as they have been, we’re going to see the #8 Kings taking on the #3 Coyotes in the west, while the #6 Devils will battle the #1 Rangers.  No Canucks, no Blues, no Red Wings, no Blackhawks, no Predators, no Penguins, no Bruins, no Flyers. 

Okay, maybe I’m getting ahead of myself with the Predators and Flyers.  After all, the home team is not necessarily the favorite when it comes time for the NHL playoffs. 

It’s not a sport to wager a lot of money on.  But it sure is an exciting ride!

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