Beautiful day. Friday afternoon. Rangers playoff game in a few hours. . .
I just can't sit still!!
Greatly looking forward to the game tonight. I only hope - hope! - it's a really good one!
Not much to say right now, it's in the Rangers hands what they do tonight. But wouldn't we all like them to just Close. It. Out!
Around the League:
Sorry I've been a little lax with playoff updates. Again, I've mentioned before, it's kind of hard when there are like three games overlapping, like last night, and then a late, late one. It's hard to say I've watched and gotten a feel for many series. The two series, besides NY/Caps, I've seen the most of are Philly/Pittsburgh and Chicago/Calgary.
The Flyers had a big win in Pittsburgh last night staving off elimination. Besides the obvious the win helped cement two things: the Penguins can be beaten and the Flyers can win in Mellon arena. I am not sure if the Flyers will prove my prediction - win in 7 - but if they win tomorrow and the deciding game goes to Mellon arena, at least they know they can and have won there. That means a lot mentally.
I saw hardly anything of the Detroit/Columbus series, which disappoints me. Not as much as if Columbus was able to skate with them, but it still does. I had picked Columbus in 6, which sounds both bold and a little moronic at present, even I admit. But I think I can break it down in the simplest way.
- I thought Chris Osgood had a sub-par season. I was not alone in this line of thinking. He stepped up big time in the playoffs. Credit to him. I always liked him and he has been there before for Detroit. They apparently never doubted him. I guess some of us should have thought the same.
- I thought Columbus, despite the late season struggles, had a chance to pick off Detroit mostly because of Steve Mason and his hot hand. Now, that didn't pan out and Mason looked human. I still think he'll - deservingly - win the Calder. And I feel confident he'll pick up in a good place next year and be important for Columbus.
- I thought Columbus was mature and ready enough to knock out the defending Stanley Cup Champions. This was my biggest flaw. Columbus was young, raw, and thankful just to have been there. They were down before they could get into the series mentally. No matter my, or their, intentions, it is hard to draw from experience when your goalie, your captain, and much of your team, has never played a playoff game. Shortsided thought on my part. Or I was thinking with my heart, not my head, which I've been known to do.
Regardless how sad it was that they were knocked out in four - and how much I wanted them to win the game last night! - it's important they took that first important step. I hope they are back there next year and make strides towards improving what they could not this year. When all is said and done though, it probably came down to experience. A David versus Golliath scenario, and unfortunately Columbus never was able to strike first, or at all. That might have made a difference. As we got a taste of in game four, Columbus could score against Detroit. It'll be interesting to see how it goes next season.
Sentimental moment watching the players salute their fans and the fans cheer for their team. It took nine years for playoff hockey in Columbus. What's one more - hopefully only one more - year for their first win?
NHL.com Celeb Blogs...
I usually check these out during playoff time, but I didn't this time around until today and I found this on Eddie Cahill's Rangers blog:
"Also, saying goodbye to Peter Prucha was tough for me. Again, I get why he had to go, and I think it was a smart move, but it was a move that a little bit hurt the feelings. Mr. Prucha, I'm guessing you won't read this either, but thank you and good luck. It was a pleasure rooting for you."
As if I didn't already love Eddie Cahill enough, I now find I love him MORE! :)