Stanley Cup Playoffs Make Grand Entrance
April 18, 2009 by Big Tony
Well the playoffs are now in full swing as every series will have played two games by the end of Saturday. So let’s take a look and how the respective series are unfolding:
1. Boston Bruins VS 8.Montreal Canadiens
The final score of game one was about what everybody expected but the level of competition between the two clubs was probably higher than most thought. Boston roared out to a 2-0 lead but the Canadiens battled back to tie the game at two before ultimately going down 4-2. But the rivalry is hot and despite the perception of a major mismatch it doesn’t seem likely to be over anytime soon. Game 2 is tonight before the series shifts back to Montreal so we’ll see what surprises are in store for us.
2. Washington Capitals VS 7. New York Rangers
Jose Theodore didn’t make it past the first game as he was benched for rookie back up netminder Simeon Varlamov after Washington’s 4-3 loss at home to the Rangers. Again many people felt the Rangers were completely outmatch by the fire power of the Capitals and that the only chance the Rangers had offensively is if Theodore didn’t play well. Theodore did not play all that well in game one and the Rangers stole one from Washington but surely things would be different now that Theodore was benched. Varlamov did indeed play very well in net for Washington Saturday afternoon as the Rangers were only able to net one behind the rookie netminder. Unfortunately for the Caps Henrik Lundqvist was up to the challenge and shut Ovechkin and company out. Now the series shifts back to New York with the Rangers having a commanding lead and looking for the sweep. Sportsroids when against the grain in predicting a Rangers win in this series and so far the Rangers have no disappointed.
3. New Jersey Devils VS Carolina Hurricanes
In a series that many felt would be evenly matched has surely turned out to be that way. After game one the Canes looked to be greatly overmatched; but after Carolina took game two in overtime we’ve got ourselves a series. The two teams are so similar in every aspect of the game and that makes the series a virtually toss up on paper. Sportsroids said Carolina in five and although that seems unlikely now we are sticking to our guns! Regardless of what happens there is a lot of great hockey ahead of us in this series.
4. Pittsburgh Penguins VS 5. Philadelphia Flyers
The Flyers seemed greatly outmatched after game one but game two was an entirely different story. Philly took the earlier lead but Pittsburgh battled back to tie. Then the Flyers took another lead only to see penalties allow the Penguins back into a game seemingly headed to the win column for the Flyers. But take nothing away from Pittsburgh, they dominated game one and although were largely outplayed in game two they took advantage of Flyer mistakes and now have a strangle-hold on the series. Don’t expect the Flyers to quit though as they move home to play in front of their rowdy and very unforgiving fans at Wachovia center. Sportsroids told you this would go seven games, and although that is still possible if Pittsburgh wins either of the games in Philadelphia the Flyers will be in serious trouble. The Flyers won’t fold but don’t expect Pittsburgh to take their proverbial foot off the gas.
1. San Jose Sharks VS 8. Anaheim Ducks
People were wondering if the Sharks were finally ready to take it to the next level or if the same old Sharks would show up again in the playoffs. One game does not a series make but for at least one night it’s the same old Sharks. Granted, the Ducks are not far removed from a Stanley Cup Championship but the Sharks at least need to score a goal. There is still a long way to go but if San Jose continues to play like they did in game one they will be making an early exit.
2. Detroit Red Wings VS 7.Columbus Blue Jackets
As I write this post the Red Wings are leading the Blue Jackets 3-0 at the second intermission, this after winning game one 4-1. The Blue Jackets have been a great story all season but the playoffs are too much for them and so they are done.
3. Vancouver Canucks VS 6. St. Louis Blues
The Blues were another good story going into the playoffs but after making a pretty good showing in game one they were completely shut down by Vancouver in game two losing 3-0. Like Columbus, St. Louis is an up and coming team with great goaltending but they appear to be severely overmatched by the Vancouver Canucks.
4. Chicago Blackhawks VS 5. Calgary Flames
Game one of this series was probably the most entertaining game of the first round so far. Game one had everything you could want in a playoff hockey game: lead changes, scrums, great individual battles, fantastic goaltending and overtime! Sure Martin Havlat ended the party early by scoring only 12 seconds into the overtime period but if game one was any indication of how the rest of the series will go then this and the Carolina-New Jersey series have the potential to become classics.
Like you, we at sportsroids will be watching intently to see how the rest of round one unfolds. Enjoy the ride hockey fans!