The Best Round of Playoffs BeginsShareThis
And I’m supposed to provide insight on this madness? I can’t do it.
…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:
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.