May 04, 2006

Frozen Treats

The first round of NHL's playoffs are over. The top four seeds in the Eastern Conference all advanced, while none of the top four in the West survived.

Now things get interesting. Both Ottawa and Buffalo are starting rookie goalies. The Senators are a goal-scoring machine, but Buffalo has managed to do it all year long. Speed, speed, speed. This series is going to be fun.

Carolina took a nap early in the series against Montreal, and it almost cost them. The Devils are a solid team, and they have Broduer in net, which is a huge positive. Add the fact that they've won fifteen straight games. Personally, this series is probably the least interesting one to me, but it features two evenly matched teams who promise plenty of excellent hockey.

In the West you have the San Jose Sharks, who're on a scorching hot streak (second only to those Joisy boys), up against the Oilers, still on a high from knocking off the top-seeded Wings. Edmonton's Chris Pronger has quietly put together another excellent season, and after years of playoff futility in St. Louis he's hoping to carry his new team all the way this year. Then again, they're about to run into the buzz saw of the Sharks offense. They have so many weapons that shutting down one, like the Predators did with Thornton, only means that someone like team captain Marleau will ably pick up the slack. In goal, it's Roloson for the Oilers, a late acquisition from Minnesota at the trade deadline, vs. Toskala, yet another in the recent series of excellent Finnish goaltenders. Backing up Toskala is Nabokov, who would be starting for more than half the teams in the NHL (hell, maybe more than half the teams that made the playoffs).

Last, but not least: Colorado against Anaheim. I know next to nothing about these two teams this year, beyond that the Avs have former Canadien Jose Theodore in net, and that he played beyond expectations against the Stars. I always liked him, but then like I said, I haven't seen him play much this season. Colorado stumbled badly towards the end of the season, but if they've truly turned it around they should handle the Ducks easily.

Ha, like I know what I'm talking about!

Posted by Ted at May 4, 2006 05:21 AM | TrackBack
Category: Balls and Ice

Everyone left in the west is tough. The Sharks, like you said, have too many goal scorers and Edmonton seemingly can shut down everyone in the NHL but that Zetterberg kid. That's gonna be a great series.

Go Avs go!

Posted by: Derek at May 4, 2006 10:04 AM
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