Month: April 2004

Playoff predictions: western conference

I think any of six teams can make it to the cup finals this year — the West is that strong and well-matched. Should be some great hockey. As a san jose fan, the teams that worry me most are Dallas (which has had the sharks number all year) and Detroit (because they are, well, detroit). I think all of the playoff teams are capable — but also vulnerable. No team is a lock this year, which makes life interesting. My predictions: Detroit/Nashville: Detroit has looked old and tired to me. that makes them only moderately dangerous. They run the risks of injuries and long series. If they can’t knock off Nashville in 4 or 5 games, it’s possible Nashville could take them out, but more likely, they’ll leave enough on the ice in the first round to not survive late into the playoffs. What Detroit needs for success more than anything else is rest. Any teams that deny them that with long, tough games and long, tough series puts Detroit into trouble in later rounds. But Detroit is also capable of handling that and going all the way, too. Detroit in 5. San Jose/St. Louis: Rather evenly matched. I much prefer Nabokov to Osgood, and I don’t think the blues are as strong a team as they have been (especially without MacInnis). I don’t think it’ll be easy;...

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The second season begins

The regular season for the NHL ends with a bang, not a whimper, as Brad Stuart scores twice late to tie the game, and Vinnie Damphousse scores in overtime for a great win to close the season. It’d be a shorter list of who didn’t set personal/career bests, what wasn’t a new team record, or what isn’t a new standard for this team to build on. And if I’m LA, losing even the moral victory aspect of today’s game (we aren’t in the playoffs, but at least we beat San Jose), has to hurt. they’re going to be telling themselves it was a meaningless game all off-season, but not really believing it. One thing I noticed in the arena: at the end of the game, a number of players came over to wish Randy Mitton a fond farewell, as he closed a wonderful career today; but also, I noticed Luc Robattaile doing the same — is Luc planning on hanging it up? He sure acted like it today, quietly. And kudos to the referees (Dennis LaRue and Mick McGeough) for showing Mitton the respect of letting him lead them off the ice after the game — which Mitton didn’t want to do. And now off to the second season, another two months or so of hockey, but this stuff counts! Today, however, showed the ultimate failure of the two...

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