Round 1 Playoff Preview!!!

OK, so I’ve written a helluva lot this weekend… but screw it!! This is the time of year where everyone gets into it and brings their A game… scorers score…. goalies tend goal… checkers check… and writer’s write!! And what better to talk about then the tournament that rewards the Richest and Greatest Prize in Professional Sports (well aside from the WCW/World Heavyweight Title belt… I can’t help it… that damn thing is a piece of artwork!)… anyway.. it’s time to talk STANLEY CUP AND MEAN IT!!! CMONNNN PLAYOFFS!!!!

    Western Conference

#1 San Jose vs #8 Anaheim:
I think everyone, their mother and even her buck toothed third cousin knows how insanely and irrationally (ok it’s VERY rational to me… I took the 2003 Finals on the Always Biased Coverage Network WAY too personally and I felt my fan-dom was challenged… and that’s heavy shit… I don’t take that lightly!)… so anyway… I hate the Ducks and I rejoice at all bad things that happy to the MASTER of the JiggyPout (no goalie sulks more then Giguere when a goal is scored on him and no sight looks more beautiful!).. while the steam still rises from my keyboard however… the Pond-scum will NOT be an easy out… JiggyPout is riding pine, that makes them better… Pronger can throw elbows and beat teams down… and the Sharks are still soft to me (and that goes a HUNDRED FOLD on Joe Thornton until he dominates a series like an elite guy on his level SHOULD)… and of course we have the Niedermommy brothers too… this has got to be the LAST team the Sharks wanted to see… and all the pressure is on them… notice I barely talked about them… if they swept the Pond-Scum, people would ask why it didn’t happen in 3 games! I don’t think it will be easy, and this may be good for the Sharks… overcome an early scare and hope the greatness of Claude Lemieux rubs off on them (Imagine if only Pepe had one more run in him eh?)
Sharks in 6 (but it will not be pretty!)

#2 Detroit vs #7 Columbus
The playoff tested juggernaut against the up and coming team that may not know any better… this is going to be one helluva a match-up too!!! The Wings have all the names and all the guns… but none of the netminding … and Osgood sold his worthless soul to not suck LAST year… I can’t see that happening again… and if you look at the Blue Jackets… really… they got some talent.. Nash, Huselieus, Umburger… and the goalie the Red Wings could have wet dreams about… not to mention a coach that KNOWS the playoffs and knows a thing or two about beating the Red Wings…it only took the second series for me to get stupid… but damn I love the underdog here!!!
Columbus in 6

#3 Vancouver vs #6 St. Louis
man Vancouver comes in running on all cylinders don’t they?? Scoring is coming in bunches and from everyone they overcame, what a … 13 point lead by the Flames?? (well Calgary sure helped that!)… but to quote my old buddy from the bar.. “they’re clicking!”…. but then again… look at St Louis, and look at the run they made to get here too… these teams are VERY similar in their success and their pushes in the second half (though the Blues push is due more to healthy players, while Vancouver’s is guys clicking), this series really is a bitch to figure out… for all of Luongo’s “greatness” he’s got a whopping FOUR more playoff wins then Chris Mason… this thing is really a toss-up and can get ugly as these teams learn to hate each other… not to mention the premier Vancouver guys (and yes I mean you Sundin and Demitra) are KNOWN for their playoff disappearing acts!! (so is Keith Upchuck too though… I still hate him for that US Olympic Crap)… but I’m just feeling another live underdog here!!
Blues in 6

#4 Chicago vs #5 Calgary
Wow talk about a team that’s stock dropped quicker then Fanny Mae and GM combined!!! (too random??) That would be your Calgary Flames… now don’t get me wrong I love watching them, but DAMN they are a mess… Kipper looks burned out, the top 4 defense… ALL hurt….it’s just ugly in the land that gave us the Hart family (WOOT.. more wrestling references!)… and on the other hand… you have a young, ready and EAGER (no not Ben :p) team that has a very determined Nikoali Khabibulin back in net trying to prove to the world that not only was Chicago idiotic to try to get rid of him but the rest of the league was DUMBER to not grab him when they could!! That’s a dangerous combination for the Flames… and if they don’t score first and win that first game… it’s OVER for them…. and they ain’t doing it….
Hawks in 4

    Eastern Conference

#1 Boston vs #8 Montreal:
About the only team coming in with smoke flying out of the battle-damaged engine as much as the Flames is the Hundred-Year-Habs… they’ve been a mess (though it’s sick that Schneider is playing with a busted rotator cuff… yet one more reminder why hockey players are above us mere mortals!)… normally when you look at a match-up of a team playing well vs a team in disarray with a confused goalie… it has sweep written all over it….but then you add in… the rivalry… it’s Boston and freaking Montreal!!! They did this last year and it was Montreal who was SUPPOSED to sweep the awful Bruins… nah-uh!!! This will be a battle, and honestly I don’t buy the Bruins as a dominant team (look how shitty that division was this year, but Scott they’re playing one of them… I know… weird things happen in the playoffs… just ask Matthew Barnaby!)… this will be fun to watch as the pressure mounts on that team in Boston that last won a Cup when I was in the womb :p
Boston in 7

#2 Washington vs. #7 NY Rangers:
Well this is a fascinating series… both of these teams’ weak points go head to head… the Rangers can’t score, and Jose Theodore couldn’t stop a heat-seeking missile by holding up a match! Not to mention… Sean Avery is gonna try to make Ovechkin angry and he’s just gonna turn into the Hulk and eat Vogue’s favorite intern… and the Rangers just seem … so…. flawed… I hate their defense, the goal scorers don’t impress me… and the only way they win in this series is if the Caps shoot for the Puffy-Pads and lower (and look through the playoffs… especially last year… the Diary Queen was not-so-good (even in beating the Devils… trust the old goalie… he was fighting the damn puck and the Devils just couldn’t get the puck past him… wasn’t him stone-walling the universe)… the Caps won’t win a Cup with the hair club for men goalie, but they will get at least one step closer this year!
Caps in 6

#3 Devils vs #6 Carolina:
Man the whole world is picking against the Devils this year…. I like this!!! I know Carolina had a nice run, but Buffalo cooled them off… and look.. EVERY team not named Montreal in the East had A RUN like this… and when the run ended the team ran cool for a few weeks…this is not the time of year to be doing that… the Canes have the goaltending yes… but that D can be bottled up (and yes so can a good part of the Devil team too.. matchups MAY matter in this series).. and I’ve been thinking all along this year that this is finally the year the Devils go deep in the playoffs… hey Carolina… sorry about yo’damnnn luck!!!!
Devils in 6

#4 Pittsburgh vs #5 Phily
Well look… it’s Gary Bettman’s love children Malkin and Cindy the wonder child… and what city loves man on boy love like Phily?? (damn that was a harsher cheap shot then I even meant it to be :p)… the Penguins will get EVERY call in the universe until 87 and 71 are carried off the ice dead (a different Flyer team and this would be likely)… but the thing is the Flyers are by FAR the NHL’s most dangerous team shorthanded… and an early shortie in the series could fritz the Penguin power play and strip them of their greatest asset… and if you look at the Flyers they can go goal for goal with Uncle Gary’s boys, and I really like… ewww.. Phily in this series…a little pay back for last year!!
Flyers in 6