Monday, May 01, 2006

My blogging comeback and the NHL

Well, it's been a while since I wrote, and I'm going to try and start posting regularly again. In the meantime the greatest sporting event of the year is going on right now, the NHL playoffs. Pretty much all my spare time is spent watching games on the Center Ice Package or at my local bar, Rocksport. I just have a few things to say about the playoffs, and my picks (I know it's cheesy to make picks halfway into the first round, but too bad).

First I must say, I'm a huge Rangers fan and am bitterly disappointed in the way they ended their season- swept by the Devils, entering the playoffs on a 6-game losing streak, the league MVP getting injured in the first game, super-sloppy play in the playoffs. That being said, most sports analysts had picked the Rangers to finish around 30th out of 32, so overall I'm happy with their season.

Having not had a season last year, it has been a pleasure having it this year, and the playoffs are still even better than the regular season. I even bought the Center Ice package this year, and I highly recommend it, worth every penny. Because I had the package, I watched a lot of the "new rules" hockey, and overall like the changes in the game. The only bad rule is the goalie trapezoid area, I don't understand limiting a players skills. Minor complaint though. My only problem with the new rules is here in the playoffs. The refs have been instructed by the league to call the games as strictly (if not more) as the regular season. This is killing some of the intensity of previous years playoffs, when the refs tended to let a lot more go, the games were ferocious, and refs basically put their whistles away in close games. With the amount of penalties they are calling this playoffs, almost half the total goals scored have been on the power play. This kind of defeats the reason for most of the new rules, which was to speed up the game and make it more exciting and have better flow end to end. When teams are constantly playing their special teams lines, the game slows way down, and some of the best players are kept off the ice for long stretches. Kind of defeats the purpose of the new rules, don't ya think? Anyway, minor bitch, I'm just glad hockey is back.

My picks (and again, I know it's weak to pick more than halfway through the first round, but I'll be honest where I was wrong too)

Rangers vs. Devils- Besides being a fan, I had picked the Rangers over the Devils, I really didn't think NJ was very good. They sure have been hot the last few weeks though... (Devils 4-0 sweep)

hurricanes vs. Canadians- I picked the Canadians, mostly because I firmly believe there should be no hockey in the South, at least until Seattle has an NHL team (Carolina leads 3-2)

Sabers vs. Flyers- Picked Philly, I love Forseberg and Hatcher, good coach, solid goaltending. Too bad I didn't watch many Sabers games this season, I didn't realize how fast they are (Sabers lead 3-2)

Senators vs. Lightening- Picked Sens, so did everyone, Tampa was not a real threat (Senators win 4-1)


Red Wings vs. Oilers- I pick(ed?) the Red Wings, but they might be having flashbacks of a couple years ago right now, back when a Ducks goalie single-handedly beat the entire Red Wings team (JIGGY WITH IT). Roloson has looked amazing in this series, and has the Oilers in position to upset, but I'm sticking with the Wings (Oilers lead 3-2)

avalanche vs. Stars- I picked the Stars, even though I hate them and was rooting for the Avs. Fortunately, the Avs kicked Dallas's ass, Sakic is awesome (Avs win 4-1)

Flames vs. Ducks- I pick the Flames because I hate the Ducks (except Giegre [sp?]) and like Inginla and Simon on the Flames. Plus, you have to root for a Canadian team over an Anaheim team in hockey, right? (Flames lead 3-2)

Sharks vs. Predators- I picked the Sharks because they looked good when I watched them, and I hadn't seen a single Predators game. Also, see above, screw hockey in the South. (Sharks win 4-1)

New picks next week, more regular posting coming!


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