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PLAYOFFS!!

Posted in 2011 NHL Playoffs, Anaheim Ducks, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning, Vancouver Canucks, Washington Capitals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 13, 2011 by davepoleck

For the first time in….forever….I will be missing the opening of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. I have a ball hockey game at 7 and due  to an oath I swore in blood at the beginning of the season, I have to attend. I’m already planning on taking my phone on the bench in order to prevent anxiety attacks, but it just won’t be the same. Thank God there are five games on tonight!!

Washington vs New York

  • Aka Washington vs Lundqvist; he’s the best goalie in the league and rarely has an off game. The same can’t be said for the Caps in the playoffs
  • Sean Avery will be a healthy scratch
  • People are always so hard to get on AO about not leading, but he had 10 points in seven games last year. Alexander Semin had two assists in their loss to the Habs
  • Michal Neuvirth makes his playoff debut. Jose Theodore was pulled after Game 1 in the last two playoffs

Detroit vs Phoenix

  • Modano is a scratch, Zetterberg is out, Kronwall is returning. Ugh.
  • In 2010, the Coyotes were up 2-1 in the series until Shane Doan missed games 4-7
  • The Wings outscored 28-13 in the seven game series last year

Pittsburgh vs Tampa Bay

  • Sidney Crosby likely won’t be playing in this series
  • After a slow start, Jordan Staal has 30 points in his last 37 games
  • After a hot start, Steven  Stamkos has five goals in his last 27 games
  • Crosby’s 61 points in 40 games still led the Penguins
  • Ryan Malone only has two points in 10 games against Pittsburgh since leaving
  • Dwayne Roloson’s last playoff appearance was in 2006 when he lead the Oilers to the Cup Final

Vancouver vs Chicago

  • This is going to be awesome. Enough said.
  • In the six game series last year, Byfgulien had four points, Ladd had one, Versteeg had three
  • Luongo has never played more than 12 playoff games in a season; the Sedin’s highest was 14
  • The Canucks and Hawks are 1st and 3rd in goals scored

Anaheim vs Nashville

  • Corey Perry has the same number of goals as Erat and Kostitsyn (Nashville’s leading scorers) do points
  • It looks like Dan Ellis will be starting in net for the Ducks
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2011 Playoffs Are Set

Posted in 2011 NHL Playoffs with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 11, 2011 by davepoleck

Ohhhh baby!!! Five games are set for Wednesday night and I cannot wait!! Although I was on the edge of my seat for the entire game this afternoon, I am glad that the Hawks eventually made it into the postseason. Something just wouldn’t feel right if the defending Cup champs weren’t there. It also means we’re all treated to another stellar meeting between them and their arch rival Canucks.

The NHL has announced the first round broadcast schedule (aka my personal heaven on a nightly basis). I will have my predictions out before things get under way, but I have to say that I love the mix of old and new matchups. Three of the eight series are first time matchups; Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay, San Jose and LA and Anaheim and Nashville.

Last year’s first round only featured one familiar matchup since the lockout and it was one that everyone knew the outcome to; Ottawa vs Pittsburgh. 2011 is a lot different:

Washington vs NY Rangers- 2009, Caps won in seven

Philadelphia vs Buffalo- 2006, Sabres won in six

Boston vs Montreal- 2008, Habs won in seven
                                          2009, Bruins won in four

Vancouver vs Chicago- 2009, Hawks won in six
                                                2010, Hawks won in six

Detroit vs Phoenix- 2010, Wings won in seven

Zetterberg Down; Wings Out?

Posted in Detroit Red Wings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 8, 2011 by davepoleck

I’ve been refraining from posting on this because thinking about it makes me want to curl up in a ball and cry, but Henrik Zetterberg will likely be missing some of the Wings’ first round series this year. Zetterberg is the Wings leading scorer this year with 80 points in 80 games, but even more painful is the fact that he is a former Conn Smythe winner and has accummulated 87 points in his last 85 playoff games. He is one of the players that defines stepping it up in the post season.

Combine his loss with the Wings being 6-6-5 since the beginning of March and that they’ll be playing a team that has essentially been in playoff mode for the last month, and I have to say that I don’t like the Wings’ chances. Continue reading