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Author Topic: HOCKEY HOCKEY HOCKEY
Lyrhawn
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Bam! Great game. Babcock's line juggling looks masterful. Filppula was finally a major factor after a few games of great chances but no results. I expect great things from him in the future, and it was great to see him get an assist and a sweet goal at the end there.

I like that Babcock split up Hank and Pavs, the two of them are playmakers, even when they aren't scoring themselves, and they make the people around them into much better players. I think this was a good move to increase output from the other lines.

Smokin' victory. Maybe we can do more than I'd hoped for and take two games in Anaheim, but I'll still be happy for a 2-2 return to Detroit.

Xav -

It's no offense to Ottawa's play, I think they've been stellar, I just didn't expect to see Buffalo collapsing from the pressure, and frankly I thought it was going to be a toughter series just based on Buffalo's drive and determination, but we'll see tomorrow night.

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TheTick
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WHERE WERE YOU GUYS??? 3-0 in the second!

edit: 3-2...hold on boys, you can do it!

[ May 16, 2007, 08:53 PM: Message edited by: TheTick ]

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Lyrhawn
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Good game Sabres, y'all almost tossed it away near the end, but you held on. Both of the series are now a bit more exciting. [Smile]
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Flaming Toad on a Stick
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Definitely.
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TheTick
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The expression on the guy in the Team Canada jersey's face says it all. [Wink]

My thoughts. I wonder if we'll see Nathan Paetsch in place of Kalinin next game. He was good on the point for the power play earlier this year. Zubrus is hurt, but there is an extra day to recover so hopefully he can go Saturday.

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Flaming Toad on a Stick
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Looks like Anaheim's making a move.
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Lyrhawn
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They did a good job breaking up the two man advantage, but it's still anyone's game.
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Flaming Toad on a Stick
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And Anaheim take it. You gotta admire the Wings fans though, they still put an octopus on the ice. Best of three now.
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Lyrhawn
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Best of three doesn't worry me. We already won a best of three when we were up 2-1 coming into tonight's game.

I have faith we can do it again. We did it against Calgary too.

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Lyrhawn
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Quarterfinal Results:

West
1 Red Wings vs. 8 Flames 4-2 Wings WIN (YEAH BABY!)
2 Ducks vs. 7 Wild 4-1 Ducks WIN
3 Canucks vs. 6 Stars 4-3 Canucks WIN
4 Sharks vs. 5 Predators 4-1 Sharks WIN

East
1 Sabres vs. 8 Islanders 4-1 Sabres WIN
2 Devils vs. 7 Lightning 4-2 Devils WIN
3 Thrashers vs. 6 Rangers 0-4 Rangers sweep Thrashers
4 Senators vs. 5 Penguins 4-1 Senators WIN

Semifinals Results:

West
1 Red Wings vs. 5 Sharks 3-2 Wings WIN!!!
2 Ducks vs. 3 Canucks 4-1 Ducks WIN

East
1 Sabres vs. 6 Rangers 4-2 Sabres WIN
2 Devils vs. 4 Senators 1-4 Senators WIN

Conference Final Standings:

West
1 Red Wings vs. 2 Ducks 2-3

East
1 Sabres vs. 4 Senators 1-4 Senators WIN

The only reason I'm disappointed in the result of Game 5 is that the Red Wings dominated that game. We outhit them, outshot them, in pretty much every category we dominated. But a flukey goal with 40 seconds to go in the game leads to an OT win by the Ducks. Giguiere kept them in that game, and won them in that game, kudos to him. One error by Franzen with 40 seconds to go kept us from clearing it, and one little error by Lilja in OT kept the puck in and allowed a goal.

It's sad to outplay an opponent and still lose, but it happens, it's hockey. But playing that well, I feel good about forcing a Game 7. I think we're far from out of this series.

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Kwea
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Go Red Wings!
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brojack17
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Killer OT loss.
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Flaming Toad on a Stick
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And that's clinched. Superb OT Goal by Alfredsson, deking out three defenders and Miller. A stellar end to a stellar series. We're going to the Cup. WOOOOOOOOO!!!!!
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Lyrhawn
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God willing, they'll be playing the Wings [Smile]

We'll find out at least part of the answer to that hope in 18 hours and 15 minutes.

I have faith in my Wings. I'm sick of bandwagon fans saying "choke! choke!" about the Wings. We've defied all expectations for this year, we've played spectacular hockey in the face of all the critics, and dammit, we can still win this thing!

GO WINGS!

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Kwea
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They aren't playing so hot now.....


:::winces:::

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Lyrhawn
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Amazing attempt at a comeback in the final period, but the distance was too great.

Great season Red Wings.

The only thing I fear now is the backlash from the bandwagon Detroit fans and the calls for firing half the team. There IS some deadweight to drop (I'm looking at you Lang), but I think much of the team is pretty solid, hell, they got us to the Conf. finals.

We'll see.

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Kwea
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I am not a bandwagon fan, but I do get tired of them ALMOST winning it all.....

Great season though. Any other team should be happy. [Wink]

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Lyrhawn
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They have the longest playoff streak in professional American sports, they made it to the Conference Finals after winning the Conference after everyone said they wouldn't finish better than sixth or seventh in the conference.

A lot of people said we'd lose to Calgary.

EVERYONE said we'd lose to San Jose.

A lot of people said we'd get swept by the Ducks in four games, but instead we dominated them in multiple games.

There's nothing to be disappointed about, we went further than what any critic said we'd go. And so I still love my team, and support them, and I'm going to pounce upon the bandwagon fans who refuse to settle for anything but a Stanley Cup. The Tigers haven't won a World Series since the year I was BORN, and they still have the support of tons of fans, don't even get me started on the Lions. What does it take to win the respect of the city? And how did they lose it after being the toast of the town in the 90's?

My team doesn't disappoint me, my city does.

PS - Kwea, that wasn't aimed at you, I'm just really prone to Red Wings related outbursts at the moment, and probably will be for the next few weeks.

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TheTick
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*makes room on the bench for Wings fans*

So...who do we root for now? I have a hard time cheering for the Sens with all the history there, but there is nothing at all to compel me in the other direction. If I thought that a Ducks win would raise awareness of the sport in a 'non-traditional market' I'd probably lean in their direction. But I doubt it.

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Lyrhawn
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I have an odd way of choosing which team to root for after my team loses.

I root for the team that beat me. If they go all the way, I can maintain the illusion that my team is the number two team, because if the team that beat my team gets beat, I feel even worse.

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Kwea
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All good man...I was a fan when they sucked back in the 80's and when they first got better but couldn't get past the second round of the playoffs.
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Flaming Toad on a Stick
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Game 1 on monday. I'm pumped.
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Flaming Toad on a Stick
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And that's the end of it. Damn. They came to play, we didn't. They played every period of every game, while we played a period (at max). I don't begrudge Anaheim the Cup, they deserve it, but we really should have played much better. Ah well, good season guys, see you in a few months.
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Lyrhawn
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It's almost that time again....

Training camps start soon. Offseason trades have been made by the dozens. How did your team do, and what do you think your chances will be this season?

Personally I don't think the Wings did that bad. We lost Schneider, which would be a bad hit, but we replaced him with Brian Rafalski, which is nearly a man for man trade, so I can live with that. We dropped Lang, Bertuzzi and Calder, all of which I'm perfectly happy losing.

Danny Markov is probably a loss, I haven't seen him sign with anyone else, but I think he's asking for too much money to sign back with us. We picked up a couple other minor guys, and I think we'll have two rookies up from the farm system, probably Kindl and Grigorenko (the only thing close to a phenom in the system), and there's still that yearning hope of snagging Forsberg before training camp starts. But we'll see what happens.

Personally I think we dropped some dead weight, the team will be younger and faster, but still with the experience of some great older players to show them the way. At worst, we're as good as we were last year. At best, we got a teeny bit better, but I'll wait to see how the preseason games go. I would like to see Jimmy Howard brought up as the backup goalie to see how he does learning from Hasek and to get him some NHL experience, but he might need one more year in the AHL before the big leagues. He's the future of goaltending in Detroit, and I don't want to wait too long to bring him up, or bring him up too early and burn him out.

Already the naysayers in Detroit are busy bemoaning how much the Wings will suck this year whilst simultaneously talking about how great the chance is for the Lions to break through. Gimme a break! They even talk about the Pistons with great hope for this year, but they too will likely flop again unless Amir Johnson turns out to be a magical Lebron like phenom, which I don't see. It's going to be a great season for the Wings! HEY HEY HOCKEYTOWN!

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Flaming Toad on a Stick
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Alrighty then, we've got some games going. I like the way the Sens are shaping up this season-so far we're 5 and 0. We're not scoring as much as, say, Detroit or Edmonton right now, but we've won all our games so far, and we've got a ton of steam behind us. How's your team doing?
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TheTick
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Things still look bright for the Sabres this year. The youngsters got a ton of playing time in the first 3 games, and in the first game with a mostly regular lineup, the Leafs got drilled 7-2. Derek Roy is doing his best to replace Briere, with 6 points including a natural hat trick in that game. Vanek has looked sharp and is causing massive problems in front of the net (4 points vs the Leafs). Ryan Miller is making plays as usual.

Of concern is injuries (already). Teppo Numminen is out for 3 months after a pretty serious heart surgery, so Nathan Paetsch steps in. Teppo normally covers for all of Kalinin's mistakes so that's a big loss. Maxim Afinogenov, Tim Connolly, Dmitri Kalinin, Paul Gaustad and Andrew Peters all have nagging injuries. Other than Teppo, all should be back for the opener.

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Lyrhawn
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Toad, if you look at the stats, you're only two and four goals behind Edmonton and Detroit so far in the preseason, which isn't bad at all. Frankly I think the more impressive number is goals against, of which the Sens have 10 so far in the preseason, which beats out the whole Western Conference (barely), and puts you in a threeway tie for third place in the Eastern. Looks like a well rounded defense and offense.

Detroit is doing good. It's hard to really get a feel for how the team will play when its the preseason and so many guys are playing for basically two spots, one on defense and one on the fourth line, and I doubt any but maybe one of them will make it.

THe lines were really juggled this year. I would've said last year that Zetterberg, Datsyuk, Holmstrom was easily in the top three best lines in the NHL, maybe even the best line. But they've been broken up, and with good reason, to the first and second lines. It might make for more production, and might help less experienced players get more time with the stars, but it'll be interesting to watch. Kronwall is healthy, which will be nice if he can stay that way. Franzen is expected to have a breakout year, but I have my eye on Valteri Filpula, the Wings' only Finn, who had a fantastic postseason last year and has subsequently been moved up to the third line. He's a little green, and needs to shoot more, but he reminds me of Zetterberg in his rookie year, if not a little more unseasoned in some ways.

I have high hopes for the year. It's nice to finally see St. Louis and Chicago doing better. Those two have really got a lot going for them, and while I don't think they'll have a chance at winning the Central, at least we won't walk all over them this year. I like a challenge, which the Central doesn't usually provide. That might not be a worry if they change the scheduling next year. Only another week and a half until the regular season starts!

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Flaming Toad on a Stick
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All right. Preseason is done, and my Sens came out on top without a single loss. For all that's worth, it's still promising. Time for the season to get into full swing.
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Lyrhawn
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Wings came out strongly, point wise in a three way tie for first place of the NHL. We lost three games, but also played more games than any other team in the NHL too.

Season opener tomorrow vs the Ducks. I'm feeling good.

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Lyrhawn
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WOO! Wings win the season opener against the defending Stanley Cup champion Ducks in a dramatic shootout.

Wings 1-0 baby!

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akhockey
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Stastny's on par for 246 goals! Avs are on par for an 82-0-0 season! huzzah!
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Flaming Toad on a Stick
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BAM! What a way to start a season. Dramatic overtimes, tense shootouts, and a couple of fights to boot. Sens beat the Leafs in O.T., 4-3, with Heatley, our registered Leaf-Killer, netting two.
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Lyrhawn
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October has been very good to the Wings so far this year [Smile]
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TheTick
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Most of my detailed thoughts are going here but the Sabres' season has been a roller coaster so far. A weak start with the Isles led to 3 straight wins where the team looked dominant...and then 3 straight losses where at times the guys looked lost. They were down a few d-men during the latest stretch (including a resurgent Jaroslav Spacek) but managed to gut out a couple of wins against the Florida teams with the help of a few lucky bounces.

Possibly the most important stretch of the season is coming up, with 10 of the next 11 games against division opponents. If Buffalo can dominate this stretch it will go a long way towards the Sabres getting back to the top of the standings.

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Lyrhawn
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The Wings have been doing crazy good so far this year. Zetterberg is setting records with his point getting, though tonight was the first time this season that he failed to get one. Valterri Filpula on the other hand picked up another goal and assist tonight. He's my favorite of the younger up and comers.

What's funny is that for the last few years everyone says the Wings are a lock every year because the Central division is so weak, and I'd say there was a lot of truth to that...until this year. The Wings have lost five games so far this year, and four of those losses are to Central teams (the fifth being to Anaheim).

With 27 points, the Wings are dominant in the Western Conference right now. And yet Nashville, Columbus and Chicago are all right at the top of the points with the rest of the Conference with 19-20 points. Even St. Louis, who has been on a skid lately, is doing fairly well, and would be in the middle of the pack in any other division. My point? The Wings have been tearing up the Conference, and the teams that used to be pushovers are all of a sudden strong and not easy wins any more. This won't matter as much next year when the scheduling scheme changes, but I think it shows just how good the Wings are that they are still so dominant in the face of a rejuvinated Central Division. We'll see how it turns up in the next two weeks when they play all Central teams, but we're hot right now. Every season it seems people are all ready to jump on us for losses, like losing Schneider, Lang, and Markov, but we're still in there, and I think we're even better than last year.

Go Wings!

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Flaming Toad on a Stick
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Senators have had an awesome season so far. We have yet to lose two games in a row. We've been missing Spezza the last few games, but he should be fine to skate on Thursday. Alfie has been tearing up, and he's inspiring our team like never before. Gerber's been showing some skill as well, and you can really see where his training's kicking in. Bring on the Pens. We're ready.

Go Sens Go!

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Lyrhawn
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Let's go Red Wings!!!!

We're at the halfway point this season. The Red Wings currently lead the NHL, with our closest competition in the Senators trailing us by seven points.

And for you all Wings haters who say we skate by with an easy division: We're 24-1-1 against everyone EXCEPT for the Central, and we're 6-7-2 against the Central. In other words? We're going to the playoffs, and we womped on everyone that we'll play when we get there. [Smile]

And several of those victories came while top scorers Holmstrom and Zetterberg were out due to injury. Injuries are normal sure, but two top scorers, that has to say something. Our fourth line guys really stepped up in his absence and put a lot of pucks in the net.

I loves my hockey!

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Flaming Toad on a Stick
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The Wings have been truly excellent. You'll rarely see a team play with that much style.
My Sens are, of course, not doing that bad for themselves, and we're getting out of a bit of a slump right now. We just beat Tampa Bay in a tense overtime game in which my favourite player (Mike Fisher baby!) came through in the end. Emery's also starting to shape up, and is showing that he's more than just Gerber's backup.

In other news, Canada just won the World Juniors. A great way to win it too, playing a hard game against a hard team for every minute (including a 20 minute overtime). 4 in a row baby!

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Flaming Toad on a Stick
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Playoffs starting up. I decided to make some round 1 predictions.

Western Conference

Red Wings/Predators: Nashville has shaped up fairly well as a team, and have done pretty well against the Wings this year, but the Wings are just too damn deep to be knocked out in the first round. They outclass the Preds in almost every department (physical play being the glaring exception). If the Preds hope to do well, they're going to have the fight of their life. I can't see them winning more than one game. Wings in 5.

Flames/Sharks: The Sharks have played incredibly this year. They are incredibly cohesive as a team, and they have a great Stanley Cup chance. The Flames are also incredibly skilled, with great leadership and drive. Both teams have incredible goaltending. The Flames won the first one by a very close margin, but I think the Sharks will end up on top in the end. Sharks in 7.

Avalanche/Wild: Close call. The first game was a nerve-racker right up till the end. Colorado have got a lot going for them, but I don't see them holding up well in the long run against a much younger, tougher Wild team. Wild in 6 or 7.

Stars/Ducks: Decisive victory for Anaheim. Their goaltending is as good as ever, and their team is still very deep and tough. Ducks in 6.

Eastern Conference

Sens/Pens: I hate to say it, but if we keep playing like this, we're not even going to give the Pens a challenge. Losing Alfie and Mike hurts, but our playing ethic is what's really killing us. Unless we shape up, we've got no chance. Contrast that to the Pens, who are playing absolutely awesome hockey on every end. Pens in 5.

Canadiens/Bruins: Can't say I see any hope for Boston in this one. There's a reason the Habs dominated them 8-0 in the season series. It is the playoffs, so anything can happen, but it'll be hard for Boston to win a single game. Montreal in 5.

Rangers/Devils: When both teams have immaculate goaltending and defence, the offence will make the difference. And now Gomez is on the other team. Rangers in 6.

Flyers/Capitals: The Flyers have been playing some great hockey, but the Caps are riding a bullet train's worth of momentum. Caps in 5.

Do you guys have any predictions? I'd like to see them. This should be a great playoff.

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Fusiachi
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West: Wings, Sharks, Wild, Ducks. I think Dallas could surprise Anaheim, though.

East: Pens (though I'm rooting for OTT), Canadiens, Rangers, Flyers (WSH is not exactly a very deep team).

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Lyrhawn
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It's go time baby! (very excited about the start of the playoffs tonight) WOOT!

Western Conference

Wings/Preds - Everyone around here is already talking about how the Wings are going to choke, and I can't say I blame them only for one reason: The Wings have a HORRIBLE record this year against Central division teams, of which Nashville is a part of. But we're still like 5-2 or something like that against them for the season, and we just got back a slew of injured players which should really get us back to where we were three months ago, but even then, we steamrolled everyone in March. Preds may not suck but, the Wings are going to crush them. Wings in 5.

Sharks/Flames - Both teams have excellent goaltending. Kipper is the only thing that kept the Flames in the playoffs last year, the guy stands on his head. But Nabokov isn't a pushover either, he's a stellar goali. But the Sharks will overpower them offensively and keep them away from the goal defensively, probably while getting beaten up by a physical Flames team in the process, but Sharks in 6.

Avalanche/Wild - The Avs have a lot of great young players on the team, but then, so do the Wild. Gaborik is a stellar player that will put up a lot of points on the board, and overall I think they are a faster, more well rounded team. Wild in 6.

Stars/Ducks - I don't think this is going to be nearly so easy for the Ducks as a lot of people are saying. I think the Stars are going to put up a serious fight. They were good down the stretch. The Ducks have great goaltending and defensinve parings that'd make most offenses want to cry, but the Stars have a great well rounded team as well. It's tough, it'll go 7 games, but in the end I think I'll give it to the Ducks.

Eastern Conference

Sens/Pens - Given how the Sens have played coming into the playoffs and the injuries, it seems a no brainer to say the Pens are going to roll over them, but I don't think Ottawa is a pushover team. Everyone comes to play in the playoffs, as if nothing that came before mattered, so I think they could turn it around but, seeing the Pens play without Crosby, and then with Crosby, and the energy they are bringing, I have to say Pens in 5, maybe 6 is the Sens put up a fight.

Canadiens/Bruins - No brainer, the Habs are on a mission this year. Look for the sweep, but Habs in 5.

Rangers/Devils - The Devils have stellar goaltending, a cut above the rest, but the cabinet seems a little bare when you get to the front of the lineup. Rangers are going to have some issues in later rounds, but for now, Rangers in 6.

Flyers/Caps - Have you see Ovechkin at all this season? Sorry Flyers, you aren't a BAD team per se, but this kid is on FIRE, and his team is along for the ride. Caps in 5.

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Fusiachi
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:

Flyers/Caps - Have you see Ovechkin at all this season? Sorry Flyers, you aren't a BAD team per se, but this kid is on FIRE, and his team is along for the ride. Caps in 5.

Playing in the SE division really helps build momentum. Besides Ovetchkin, they have 2 guys with over 20 goals this season. And they're both negative in the +/-. On D, they've got Mike Green and Tom Poti. That's it. Huet was a good addition IMO, but he's in a sticky situation--with Kolzig on the bench, he could get pulled at any moment.

The Flyers are a much deeper team. If they can find a way to slow Ovetchkin down, they've got a great shot. Playoff hockey against the Flyers isn't a skate in the SE division park. AO is the best in the league, but you can count on him stealing 2 games for you, at best. The role players have to show up if they're going to advance.

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Flaming Toad on a Stick
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Well, the Wings and Habs games were as expected. The Flames/Sharks matchup is incredibly tense. Every game is going to be close.
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Lyrhawn
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Flames and Sharks are close.

The Stars stunned the Ducks. 4-0 shut out? Maybe I should have said Stars in seven and not the Ducks.

Everyone else is going, if not according to plan, then at least unsurprisingly.

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Fusiachi
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1st Round Results To Date:

MTL leads BOS 3-1
PHI leads WSH 2-1
NYR leads NJD 2-1
PIT leads OTT 3-0

DAL leads ANA 2-1
SAN - CGY tied 2-2
COL - MIN tied 2-2
DET leads NSH 2-1

------------

So far, the East is exactly as I'd expected. MTL should finish off Boston within a game or 2, although they've been under performing, in my opinion. PHI should be up 3-0, were it not for a huge blown lead in game 1. The last 2 games were absolutely controlled by PHI. Ovetchkin has 3 pts in 3 games, and 2 of them came in the game 1. He'll have to turn it up if WSH is going to hang around. Game 4 is in PHI. PIT is drubbing OTT, who is already vacationing. I hope OTT pulls a game or two out before it's over, but I don't see it happening. NYR in front of Jersey... This series could go either way, depending on Brodeur's play, but the Rangers are a much deeper team. Could give PIT trouble in round 2. PIT fans have got to be praying for a NJD victory.

The West is still a toss-up. NSH is the only team I consider to be out of the running at this point. DET is much, much better. CGY has played very well, but as the series drags on I think it works in SAN's favor. As far as the other 2 series go... who knows. I don't follow the West that closely. My money is still on ANA against DAL. COL just might pull it out against the Wild. Minnesota's got a great hockey atmosphere, though, so I'll stick to my guns and say MIN in 7.

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Xavier
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quote:
PIT fans have got to be praying for a NJD victory.
The Rangers certainly are the scariest team in the east for us Penguins fans. I think it would have a big potential to go 7 games, and I'd give the Penguins about a 55% chance of victory.

Possible second round matchups for Penguins (assuming they close it out)...

Other series:
[1] Canadians vs [8] Bruins
[3] Capitals vs [6] Flyers
[4] Rangers vs [5] Devils

Possible victors: who Penguins would play.
1,3,4 : Capitals
1,3,5 : Capitals
1,6,4 : Rangers
1,6,5 : Devils
8,3,4 : Bruins
8,3,5 : Bruins
8,6,4 : Bruins
8,6,5 : Bruins

This of course makes it seem far more likely we'll play the Bruins then reality, since I'd give them very poor odds of pulling out a victory.

My guesses on probability:
1 (93%) vs 8 (7%)
3 (35%) vs 6 (65%)
4 (70%) vs 5 (30%)

So in my previous matchups:

1,3,4 : Capitals (.93 x .35 x .7) = 22.785%
1,3,5 : Capitals (.93 x .35 x .3) = 9.765%
1,6,4 : Rangers (.93 x .65 x .7) = 42.315%
1,6,5 : Devils (.93 x .65 x .3) = 18.135%
8,3,4 : Bruins (.07 x .35 x .7) = 1.715%
8,3,5 : Bruins (.07 x .35 x .3) = 0.735%
8,6,4 : Bruins (.07 x .65 x .7) = 3.185%
8,6,5 : Bruins (.07 x .65 x .3) = 1.365%

Leaving:

Rangers: 42%
Capitals: 33%
Devils: 18%
Bruins: 7%

Which when you come down to it just means: If the Captials, Bruins, or Devils win this round, we won't play the Rangers next round.

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LargeTuna
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Go Flyers!
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Flaming Toad on a Stick
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Well, that's the end of it. Hopefully well shape up and give a better performance next year.

Looks like the Predators are stepping up.

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Lyrhawn
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Shh!

Monday was a fluke, the Preds are going down.

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TheTick
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quote:
Originally posted by Flaming Toad on a Stick:
Well, that's the end of it. Hopefully well shape up and give a better performance next year.

Looks like the Predators are stepping up.

I will miss Murray attempting to say 'undishiplined penaltiesh', it's true.
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