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The Best Round of Playoffs Begins



Playoffs, wow.

And I’m supposed to provide insight on this madness?  I can’t do it.

I won’t.

I couldn’t.

…I will.    You know I will.  Let’s cut to it.

The (3) Van-goddamn-couver Canucks vs. (4)The Chicago Younghawks

I figured since it’s the only game tomorrow, I better make sure to weigh in on it.  Here’s what’s up:

We’re dealing with the Blackhawks, a team on the rise (remember “Buy! Buy! Buy!”?), versus, the Canucks, an impenetrable defensive force with just enough firepower.  The Blackhawks are stacked with caterpillars – they’ve even seen a few develop into gorgeous butterflies (this is a f***ed up analogy, scrap it), but do they have enough? 

The Canucks have every team in the NHL beat in net, a massive checkmark in any head-to-head series.  Khabibulin is good, but nobody can equal Don Corleone Cannoli Mcponytail Roberto Luongo in net… (PS, I’m teasing folks… no Italian distaste here). 

On D, I’d rather have the Hawks corps for my fans but the Canucks D for playoffs.  Ya gotta love that little bitta bite of a group that boasts only one guy under 6′ 3″, and that’s the face punchisizing Kevin Bieksa. 

Up front, I’ve got a biased opinion - I played in the WCHA agianst Burrish (underrated, for now), Dowell (and Skille), Chicago players that may be no-names to the average NHL fan, but players that I know can kick it into overdrive.  Set those guys next to Havlat, Kane, Sharp, Toews, Versteeg (with extra’s like Ladd and Pahlsson?) and they’ve got the edge on a very good crew of Canucks up front.

So here it is, prediction one of round number two:

I won’t abandon you Canada – defense and goaltending wins championships.  While noting that I’m online shopping for a Blackhawks hat for next year so I can claim to have been a lifelong fan (PS, great original six jersey’s aren’t they?  This is a battle of gorgeous uni’s.  Only missing the Isles third jersey for the hattrick), let me bold-ify my pick:

(3) The Vancawesome Canucks… eh.

They’re gonna beat the Hawks in a nail-biter of a series, one full of emerging stars and ticket-selling drama.  The NHL is more than slightly aroused at the product they’re about to offer their ravenous fans.  It’s gonna be a rollercoaster.


How about these matchups?  As much fun as round one was, it’s already at the best round.  With eight teams that make picking a winner like buying a lottery ticket, the “anything-can-happen” vibe is stronger than ever.  Is there more than a team or two you couldn’t see holding Lord Stanley’s at years end (or even one?)?

I love it because you couldn’t watch more than two games a night in the first round anyways, so now you can follow it all without missing a thing.  Plus, the teams are better (beat it, Blue Jackets - the adults are talking).  So enjoy the warming weather.  Maybe knock it around for 18 holes.  But if you aren’t a part of your couch in your nightly comfy’s for round two, you’ve failed yourself as a sports fan.  Enjoy, folks.


7 Responses to “The Best Round of Playoffs Begins”
  1. AiH says:

    Wow I am really amped up for the Nucks/Hawks series!

    Burrows, Kesler, Burish and Kane!

    BK me ASAP!

    Can’t wait to see Byfuglien battling with Luongo at the top of the crease.

  2. Gary Harding says:

    Great Blog, Justin!

    Living on LI – I have been a Canuck supporter (not primary) longer than I was an Islander fan (saw the old jersey in 1970 as a 7 year old – and kept following). I think this is a 7 gamer. These guys are just so ready for a war. And this is the time for it. I thought Chi/Cal would be 7 but the injury bug negated it. Should be dun!

  3. ms.conduct says:

    Word. Nucks/Hawks all the way. Though the series I thought I’d see the least of in round 1, I saw the most of and vice versa, so who the hell knows? Depends on the Aeros schedule, I guess, as to how much I’ll actually get to see, but I’d gladly miss all the NHL playoffs to get to watch the local boys go deep.

  4. Neil says:

    I think you’re giving Chicago too much credit, a broken Flames team (in goal, in the dressing room, and on defense) made them look good. When the Flames got amped and played like they wanted it, they won. Canucks in 5! (Ok, 6, but I gotta look confident)

  5. AiH says:

    Perhaps you’re not giving the Hawks enough credit Neil – regardless of the state of the Flames, Chicago went into the C of Red and dished out a beating with the Flames facing elimination.

    In addition, the Hawks are getting better as the playoffs continue. A lot of those players haven’t hit their peak yet.

  6. Neil says:

    You’re right, there is a lot of potential on that team and if they all crank it up at the same time they won’t get smacked around by anyone. Also, I think Sami Pahlson is about as good as a third line checking center gets, and that trade slipped under the media radar a little bit.
    In terms of going into the C of Red, imagine playing the Ducks without Pronger and Neidermayer, or the Nucks without Willie and Bieksa: the Flames were out Phaneuf and Regher, Sarich was on a broken foot (there’s your top 3 out or hurt for game 6), Langkow had injuries to both hands , Bourque on the mend, Bertuzzi’s awful, etc. I’d agree that the Hawks have the potential and the more I think about it the more I worry, but I don’t see their win over Calgary as proof they are for real (whereas Anaheim humiliating the Sharks, or the Pens making fairly short work of a tough, fast Flyers team, or the Nucks sweeping the hottest team in the back half…). Although I’d almost like to see the Hawks win the first one by a few goals just to hear the city crap its pants all at the same time.

  7. Marc says:

    Being from Chicago, and went to school at Madison when Burish and the rest took the National Championship…. Go blackhawks. Seriously, not long ago I’d tell people I’m from Chicago so all naturally I was a fan of any team who would take Chicago’s trades and watch them succeed….. Now Chicago is keeping its good players and I’m loving what’s happening there right now.

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