Thursday, April 12, 2007

NJD v. TB Lightning

New Jersey Devils (2) v. Tampa Bay Lightning (7)

Tampa is the only team in the NHL with two one-hundred point players this season. They are also the only team in the post-season that has goaltending that makes Raycroft look solid.

For the life of me, I can't figure out how Denis and Holmqvist can stink it up so much as starters, but lead the league in shoot-out save percentage. If it weren't for their acrobatics in the skills competition (first and second best save percentage; 10 wins, 2 losses) Tampa Bay wouldn't be anywhere near the playoffs.

Tampa was crushed in the first round by the Sens last year. While the Devils don't have the Sens' firepower, they usually only need to score two goals to win the game.

New Jersey in Five.

It will be interesting to see if Lamoriello can pull a rabbit from the hat again like in 1999 when he fired Ftorek and they ended up winning the Cup.

Quite frankly I have very little interest in this series. Jersey will ride Brodeur to another decent playoff run and end up coming up short against stronger Eastern Teams.

Tampa Bay will have another First Round Exit and spend the summer looking for a goalie again. Any money on Fernandez ending up there next year?

I suspect Tortorella's job will be on the line too if they get knocked out early. I think the players are getting tired of his act.

I am with Mike on this one, Jersey in 5.

I was gonna write this long thing about how Lou Lamerello would be the worst boss on earth (an unyeilding perfectionist who you know can do your job at least as well as you can) and how that's likely to light a fire under the butts of the Devils. But I just can't be bothered to say anything other than: Goaltending, goaltending, goaltending, goaltending, goaltending, goaltending, goaltending, goaltending, goaltending.

Devils in five.

Tampa's problem is that yeah, they've got some guys who can can tear it up points-wise when you throw them out there - but they're up against a team that's going to push their way on through the playoffs by the grace of Martin Brodeur, which basically renders their best chance, well, not quite as useful as they might have hoped.

NJ in five sounds good to me too - someone let me know if it actually happens, I doubt I'll be paying too much attention.

Steph - your comment about not watching the Tampa - New Jersey series made me wonder how many of these match-ups I'll actively watch. Now, keep in mind I'm the type of fan that will actually watch a Washington - Panthers game on a Tuesday in January.

Ottawa - Pittsburgh - This is the one I can't wait to see. Both teams can light the lamp, but there's the great sub-text of the Sens choking again plus I'm really curioius to know how this incarnation of the Pens do in their first-ever playoffs.

Nashville - San Jose - With all that talent, great goaltending, and solid coaching this should be a really compelling series. Will likely feature the best hockey.

Buffalo - New York Islanders - like watching a car crash or some horrible youtube video (gate to the groin skiing accident comes to mind) I'll watch this one just to see how bad the Islanders get dummied.

And this is where my interest starts to wane..

Calgary - Detroit - I don't really care who wins and neither outcome would surprise me.

Anheim - Minnesota - meh, Minnesota is everyone's sleeper pick. Burke's quips will likely be the best part of this series.

And it only goes downhill from here...

Vancouver - Dallas - a one line team with a hot goalie against a goalie who implodes each spring. I'll check the boxscores.

Atlanta - New York Rangers - I wish these guys had drawn other teams. Neither is going to make it past the second round, neither plays good hockey. I hate Bob Hartley and I hate the Rangers.

New Jersey - Tampa - I hope it ends quickly. Will anyone watch this?

Rick (sent Thursday morning)
I don't know about that Mike.

If the cramp in my remote control finger from switching between games and the bags under my eyes from staying up until 1:30 AM watching the Canucks are any indication, then there is going to be a lot of interesting series to watch.

Take the drama from last night for example:
Who would expected the blow out in Ottawa last night.
Who would have expected that the Stars/Canucks game would be more entertaining than the Ducks/Wild game. Only a cheesy goal by Penner and a goal post on Demitra prevented theWild from winning last night.
Bryzgalov in net for the Ducks ?
Cheechoo out with a knee injury
2 OT Games including a 4 OT battle in Vancouver ... and they have to play a 6 PM game tonight! Yikes!!

The fun is just beginning Gentleman, buckle yourself in for a long wildride!!

Coffee Cup: NJD in Five

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