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Raleigh, NC • 41 Years Old • Male
God I love playoff hockey. Right before the playoffs started, my wife gave birth to our first child, a baby daughter named Abby (actually went into labor at the Canes vs. Caps game…I am guessing Abby was a bit annoyed at Johnny Grahame for letting in 3 goals on 6 shots, and wanted to give him a piece of her mind)…well, those that have kids know that the sleep is sporadic and hard to come by…so to have hockey on late at night is a fantastic thing! That said, I have watched a few of the series…a few that I think will go the distance and a couple that will be done early…

NJ vs. Tampa – Vinny and Marty are just fantastic players (does this mean that Richards will be moved when they get bounced?) but they don’t have any goaltending…though I am not willing to heap all of that on Holmqvist….I think Torts is easily one of the worst coaches in the league to play for when you’re a goaltender…you never get the credit you deserve and you take all of the blame. NJ will finish this one up quickly…5 games

NYR vs. ATL – First, I have to say, Atlanta’s announcers are two of the biggest morons in the sport…and there are some bad ones out there. Right before the puck dropped, they said “this series is a matchup of two of the premier goalies in the NHL”..I had to check my TV and see if maybe I had it on the DET vs. CGY game by accident. I understand homerism, but to even say something as moronic as Lehtonen being a premier goalie in this league leads me to believe their main job must be to cover Braves games. To date, Lehtonen is a goalie who everyone has high expectations for, who to date, has proven to be….middle of the pack. Lundqvist, I would say is a better goalie and has proven to be on the bottom edge of the upper tier, but make no mistake….neither of them are selling tickets or advertising like a Brodeur, Kipper, Luongo or Hasek.

Regardless, entertaining game and what I expected to happen did…as long as the Rangers can pelt the net, Kari will let in goals…he is not going to bail the Thrashers out. And assuming that the officials will call the thuggery that can be Hartley’s tactics, this will be a short series as well…5 games…

Buffalo vs. NYI – DiPietro is not going to save this series….and in all likelihood this series will end in 4. That said, if the Isles can get sustained pressure like they did in the 2nd, and not sleepwalk through the 1st and 3rd, they could make it interesting. Game 2 will be an indication of how much difference a guy like Smyth can have in the locker room.

Pens vs. Sens – You could see the game one outcome coming from a mile away…the Sens have a chip on their shoulder and the Pens are the young upstarts who are still realizing what they have gotten themselves into. That said, if Fleury can get settled down in this series…I think the Pens can score in bunches, as can the Sens…and that will make this a barnburner of a series.

Nash vs. SJ – Damn shame what happened to Cheechoo…intentional…depends on your perspective, but in my unbiased opinion, it was at best wreckless…and I for one am tired of players who are not taking into account the well being of other players. It is a matter of time until we see a career end because of this. Hockey has always been a rough sport…based on violent collisions…but hits like the one Hartnell did are unnecessary and really bad form.

I still expect this series to go long, with or without Cheechoo….I think Volkun is good enough to make things difficult on the offensive minded sharks and the Preds are pretty balanced…will definitely be entertaining…

DET vs. CGY…easily one of the worst defensive performances I have seen in the playoffs since the Canes game 1 vs. the Habs last year….Kipper is great…but the rest of that team needs to act like they care if they have any hope of not getting swept.

VAN vs. DAL – I admit it, I feel asleep in the 2nd OT…but jeez, what a game….Luongo is going to be the difference in this series….And as always, will be kind of nice to see Modano get knocked out in the first round…

Minn vs. ANA _ I am looking forward to watching this….Anaheim is probably the best team in the playoffs from a balance view….but Minnesota is a team that I could see getting hot at the right time and rolling…

Oh yeah, and for what it is worth, my daughter last night makes a scrunched up face when she hears Jeanerette make a goal call…not all that disimilar from me when I hear Homer Number One scream at the top of his lungs :-)
April 13, 2007 10:42 AM ET | Delete
Great blog, I agree with your assessments. Seems all you have to do on Lehtonen is shoot high and it'll go in. He goes down early and the Rangers know it. I think Minny will take down the Ducks. Just a gut feeling on that one.P.S.Congrats on the new daughter! I think she'll be a pretty big hockey fan from the sounds of it :)
April 14, 2007 10:04 AM ET | Delete
Atlanta's TV announcer is a joke. He is god-awful. Darren Eliot, the color commentary guy, does know hockey, but his credibility is shot after way too many homerish ass-kiss compliments to the team when they weren't deserved.Lehtonen may one day be elite. He is far from it right now.
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