Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Time To Get Funky Like A Monkey!

At least that's what the newest member of the W.W.E. Hall of Fame, "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes would say. Yeah, it's N.H.L. playoff time beginning tonight! I'm still very slowly getting over this nasty cold/cough, but I do thank you all for the cards and letters. A couple of things, my free-to-view card scheduled for this Friday night has been moved to Sunday evening, April 29th and to the E.C.W. Arena. Folks, there was just too much damage done to the "Rangers In Seven" Arena by the Dudleys at the conclusion of "March Matchups."

Also, congratulations go out to someone I hope to some day have an ounce of her writing ability, and that is Anne Rice. Her bestselling book Christ The Lord: Out of Egypt, is being turned into a movie. Filming will begin this fall in Israel and is set to hit theaters a year later. Ad majorem Dei gloriam!

I can't go from a positive into the very negative world that is Rosie, Imus, etc. so we'll save that for another time.

Now to the N.H.L...

(1) Buffalo vs. (8) Islanders
The Islanders squeaked in and everyone on Long Island is going wild, especially the Ice Girls. But the fact is they are going up against an absolute juggernaut that has overcome many injuries this season to win the President' Trophy as the NHL's top team. Buffalo Head Coach Lindy Ruff is one of the finest coaches in the game, while Ted Nolan I'm sure wants to beat his old team very badly, will have to wait for another time. Sabres in four.

(2) NJ Devils vs. (7) Tampa Bay
What a year for New Jersey! Martin Brodeur wins number 48 breaking Bernie Parent's record for most wins in a season and GM Lou Lamoriello fires Head Coach Claude Julien. Incidentally, we predicted a Christmas firing of Julien on this blog back when he was hired in June 2006. Tampa's John Tortorella is a very fiery coach and the Lightning do boast Vinny Lecavlier and Martin St. Louis. But the Devs will slice and dice their way through the defensively-challenged Lighting and their goalie, former Rangers' prospect, Johan Holmqvist. Devils in four.

(3) Atlanta vs. (6) N.Y. Rangers
The Thrashers first foray into the playoffs is going to be short. Atlanta, like Tampa, boasts an awesome one-two punch in, Ilya Kovalchuk and Marian Hossa. The Rangers are getting healthy, including the return of Marian's bro, Marcel. Jaromir Jagr and Brendan Shanahan will run wild in this one. The Blueshirts have to continue to play good defense and must stay out of the penalty box. Atlanta will kill the Rangers on the power play, if they don't. Still, the Rangers roll in the first round in five.

(4) Ottawa vs. (5) Pittsburgh
This is by far the best first round matchup! The offensive firepower of Ottawa is still very good despite some key departures the last couple of years. Dany Heatley netted 50 goals this year while Daniel Alfredsson was an astonishing plus 42. Wade Redden and Chris Phillips will punish any Penguin who comes across the blueline, and Ray Emery is solid and consistent between the pipes. Pittsburgh added Gary Roberts at the trade deadline and he will go a long way in helping the young Pens. Sidney Crosby will continue to dazzle along with Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal. I like the Pens on the road in 7.

(1) Detroit vs. (8) Calgary
Detroit retooled in the summer and we'll make it past the first round, despite the testy Dom Hasek in goal. The last two Cup Finals' have seen a team from Alberta, however, not this time. Calgary did just enough to squeak in past Colorado. Wings in five.

(2) Anaheim vs. (7) Minnesota
Are you really surprised that the Wild gave up the fewest goals (191) out of any team in the NHL this season? Not if you know Jacques Lemaire and Wild goalie "Ragin' Bull" Manny Fernandez. Anaheim is supposed to win it all this year, right? They may, but will struggle mightily (oops did I really use that word) against the Wild. Ducks in seven.

(3) Vancouver vs. (6) Dallas
I am really excited about this series. Vancouver finally got a goalie in Roberto Luongo (47 wins) which led to the Canucks winning the Pacific Division. Dallas, of course, has Marty Turco (38 wins) who goes into hiding like a turtle during the post season. The Stars have Sergei Zubov and Mattias Norstrom on the blueline, plus aging stars such as Mike Modano and Eric Lindros to watch out for. But there is plenty of firepower on Vancouver with the Sedin twins; Daniel leading the team with 36 goals and the very dangerous Markus Naslund. The fans of Vancouver - the Canuckleheads - want a return to the finals and they may get it this year. Vancouver in 6.

(4) Nashville vs. (5) San Jose
There's always one upset in the opening round. Well, this is a mild one but I am taking the Sharks in six games. Last year the Sharks won it in five over a Nashville team that had plenty of injuries. The situation this year is very similar, as the Preds are without Steve Sullivan and have many others players with nagging injuries. Nashville went out and got Peter Forsberg at the trade deadline and he also has battled a bunch of injuries all season. The Sharks' Joe Thornton had another great season with 92 assists, while Jonathan Cheechoo lit the lamp 37 times. Paul Kariya and Forsberg won't be able to shoulder the load for Nashville, that's why I'm taking San Jose in six.

Check your local listings and yes...

Stay Onsides!


Rob Adams said...

I have to say it. You know it's coming, and beleive me, I'm happier to talk about this then the Imus thing. So here it comes...ready?



Sean G. Kilkelly said...

You might be may be Rangers in Seven. As long as they win.