Come on people, it's 2 weeks until the Playoffs!!!
Where the heck is the article about this!?!?!? I did my Oilers article the other night, and I’m not going to lie, it’s because I’m pumped that they look like they’ll make it (knock on wood). But how are we all not pumped as can be that the playoffs are just 2 weeks away. 2 weeks from today, we’ll be beeking each other back and forth over who will take out who, and in how many games, and who will go all the way. “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” That isn’t just a Christmas song you know! So let’s look at who will finish where.
In the West…….
Now, for those of you who did read my article the other day, I had San Jose and Dallas flipped. Defintly still could happen, but San Jose came back with a big win vs the Wings last night to move 3 up on Dallas having played the same amount of games. Add to this Zubov’s injury last night(which no one seems to know about, can’t be good news for Stars fans). I think we’ll know for sure by Monday, and whoever wins the game on Sunday will have an excellent shot to win the divison. The game is in San Jose, and San Jose gets LA twice(who they seem to own lately), Calgary and Vancouver at home(both in slumps)and Phoenix on the road. As for Colorado…..up 2 on Chicago headed to the 3rd you must win that game. I know you don’t think it means much, but it does. Now San Jose is tied with them. Back to back vs Detroit(not easy), and Nashville the final day of the year will be difficult as well. Trust me, Colorado probably would love to get the Canucks in the 1st round, but want no part of Calgary. Calgary has played them very tough this season, are bigger, tougher, and have a great allbiet unproven goaltender. Dallas is rolling, and I’m really looking at them to go to the Conference finals. But who really knows with the way this season has gone! Edmonton is scorching and I wouldn’t look for them to cool off anytime soon(knock on wood), they’ll finish 7th, maybe 6th if Calgary continues to slide(who would have thought that was possible a month ago!?!?). St.Louis and Nashville will go down to the last day for 8th. St.Louis on paper has the inside track to 7th really(easier then Edmonton too), but this team lacks desire(in my eyes). I think they’ll slip up in one of there easier games, and will lose to Edmonton and Nashville. Los Angeles has simply run out of gas and luck. They deserved a better fate Monday night vs the Oilers and it just didn’t happen. With 2 more games vs the Sharks, and games in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, and Colorado, they’re done.
Having said all that, I still didn’t touch on Detroit. I think they’re locked in 1st in the Conference, and probably overall, but man do they have problems right now! As I write this, we don’t have any word on Cujo and his injury in warm ups tonight. Lang has broken ribs, Draper has the shoulder injury, Hatcher I don’t believe will be 100% the rest of the year, and Chelios and Yzerman are injury prone(although Yzerman has impressed me all season). Bottom line here is…..there is no clear cut favorite in the West, but I think it will be one of Detroit, Dallas, or Colorado comming out of it.
Now on to the East…….
I said this before, I’ll say it again, I think Tampa is due to get upset this year. It’s the first year that they’re looked at as a hardcore favorite, and the Isles have been tough the last 2 years in the playoffs. Last year they ran into a phenominal Ottawa team, and they nearly knocked out the Leafs the year before that. Add that to the fact that they’ve beaten up on Tampa this year(from what I hear). Boston improved there team the best at the deadline if you ask me because they got exactly what they needed. They’re on fire(of course last night was thanks to Patty Lalime), and will make a strong push for there 2nd Eastern crown in 3 years. Philly just seems to stay consistant, and they’ll win the divison and finish 3rd. Toronto seems to be cemented in 4th, and I think Ottawa will slide to 6th. I know from extremely good sources that this team believes they can just push the playoff button and they’ll be fine. I hope for there sake that Lalime is the one that pushes it! I know Montreal is hot, and my buddy Lint gets mad when I say this, but I don’t think they’ll get out of 7th. Then again, they could be the one, not Jersey, that gets T.O in the first round(how sweet would that be???).
So that is how I think it will end up. Some of it is HOPING that’s how it will end up. Nashville/Detroit would be outstanding. Edmonton would have an excellent chance to knock out San Jose. Colorado vs Vancouver…..need I say more? Calgary vs………let’s just be glad they’re here!!! Ottawa vs Philly, you all know about that one. Boston vs Montreal, same thing.
But the bottom line in this article is I’m stoked!!! No real favorite, the East and West look equal, 6 Canadian teams, no real big threat of a Anaheim/Minnesota type of team……..it has potential to be one of the best playoffs of all time! Let me know what you think people!!! Blues fans, Sabres fans, Kings fans, I’m sorry. Everyone else, tell me how your team is going to do, I wanna know! Get pumped people, it’s playoff time!!!!!!!!!