As much of a disappointing result the end of the Canes season was, I can honestly say I cannot wait to watch the playoffs and not be as emotionally drained as I was last year...I think the entire post season last year took a couple of years off my life!
Now who would a Canes fan pull for in this years post season?
In the East
Sabres - Not a chance....from the personally witnessed behavior of a group of fans in the ECF to Lindy lying about champagne and whining in the postseason, I can only hope that Drury signs on with another team in the off season so I can root for a class guy like him to win another cup.
Devils - Eh....while it is tough to not like Brodeur on some level as he is easily the best goalie I will ever see, and imo he is the only goalie in the playoffs this year who has enough in the tank to put his team on his back and win the cup largely due to his efforts...
Atlanta - I wish I could say that I am behind the Southeast but I really am not....Hartley has proven over the past couple of years that while he is a good hockey coach that he is as capable and willing to thug it up as anyone in the league...and when you have players like Hossa and Kovalchuk on your roster, you shouldnt have to do that...
Ottawa - Tough not to like Ottawa....Ray Emery is as likable a character as you have ever seen, and in my heart, I still have a soft spot for Marty Gerber, as I saw what he is capable of in tough situations last year.
Pens - my childhood rooting interest...has quite possibly the best group of youngsters in the game in Crosby, Malkin, Fleury and Staal...damn fun to watch as well...I am not sure they are good enough defensively, but as the Canes showed last year, if the players they have step up, they can win, even without "name" guys
Rangers - Henrick may be the 2nd best goalie in the east playoffs, and if he gets hot, look out....but without that I expect to see this Jagr led team fold like the heartless leader he has shown to be in the past
Tampa - Scary, scary team if they get goaltending. Of course Torts does his best to alienate any and every goalie who comes through, outside of the Bulin Wall, who I can only guess didnt understand what he was saying, which is why he took the insults in stride.
Islanders - Ultimate wild card...Smyth is the kind of guy that can throw a team on his back and his effort and will can rub off on his teammates...this team could be scary if DiPietro enters the mix healthy.
So who does this Canes fan root for in the East? Easy, the Pens...would love to see the Staal bloodline continue to assert themselves as up and coming hockey royalty.
Later, coverage of the west