Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Summer school starts on Wednesday

(Me: "Clearly I've been in school too long... I just told Pops that Vanek was injured early in the semester!"

Soph: "So does that make the playoffs summer school then?")

It's everyone's favorite time of year... PLAYOFFS, BABY!!!! WOOOO! The playoffs are actually what wooed me, and later Soph, to hockey. In fact, I first got into hockey during the 2000 playoffs... and we all know who the Flyers' goalie was then. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

I wish I could make some sort of prediction for the Flyers' playoff hopes, but hell, who knows anymore? This year, they've shown flashes of brilliance (comeback victory over Chicago, beating super hot Detroit, beating Montreal in back-to-back games going into the Olympic break) and had total breakdowns (blowing a lead against Minnesota and losing in OT, getting blown out by the Islanders, pretty much the entire month of December). Sunday's game was a huge moral victory for them, especially in the shoot-out, their nemesis all season. ("Not the shoot-out! Not the shoot-out!" was our mantra during the third period and OT.) But they also got lucky. The Rangers' offense vanished (except for Jody "Maurice Richard" Shelley, of course! Oh Shelley, we liked you better on the Sharks!), which meant that all they had to do was get to Lundqvist, and they finally did. The fact that this team just barely squeaked into the playoffs should still call for serious changes in the off-season...

But for now, there's the playoffs (woo-hoo!), and it's a whole new season. They get the Devils, which may bode well for them, as the Devils are a team they've played well against. And as a talent-laden team with key veterans (coughProngercough), they could be spoilers, ala Pronger's eighth seeded Anaheim team last season. Boosh had a big game when they needed it most on Sunday... can he keep it up? Defense and goaltending are key to championships. Do they really have what it takes? Ehhh.... probably not. But the '08 team snuck into the playoffs and made a run for the Cup, so who knows what this year's bipolar team will do. If they beat the Devils, that's great! And if they lose, well... at least it's not to Pittsburgh again?

I'm similarly stumped to make a prediction for the Sharks. Supposedly, their mid-March skid got their playoff jitters out of their system early, but it all means nothing until they're in the Conference Finals or better. I don't know much about Colorado (besides the fact that they have Chris Stewart, who was a stellar mid-season addition to Foxy Lady Byng!), but they seem quite young, which should work to the Sharks' advantage. An up-and-coming eighth seed, as opposed last year's experienced Ducks team. We shall see...

So break out your jerseys and welcome back "Cup Raise"... it's playoff time!

(Also also! If you're here, you're already procrastinating, so take a minute and vote for my friend Ellen! She's in the running to win a grant to open her own theater company and needs every vote she can get. It seriously takes a minute to vote, and Ellen and I have been friends since we were like seven, so she's clearly awesome. If you're interested, you can check out her page here... Thanks, guys! :D)

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