April 7, 2008

The other playoffs

by Dan Bilicki In: Ice Hockey

While every sports fan waits in anticipation for the NBA playoffs to start, another sport is on the brink of starting their post-season. That’s right, the red-headed step child of the sporting world, the NHL, is about to start its extended run towards the Stanley Cup.

So who’re the favourites? Well you can start with last year’s champs, the Ducks of Anaheim who have the fourth seed in the West but will have a tough matchup in the second round with the Red Wings — the best team in the league — if all four top seeds roll.

An upset wouldn’t be out of the question as Colorado has a good chance of knocking off Minnesota and the Sharks could choke against Calgary if the Flames catch fire.

In the East, Washington went from the ninth-seed to the three seed with one win and will meet the up-and-down Flyers. It will be interesting to see who Philly sends out to try to injure Alex Ovechkin.

The struggling Senators who will be without their captain, Daniel Alfredsson and centre Mike Fisher for at least the first round and have to face Sid the Kid and Malkin in Pittsburgh. Look for an easy series for the Penguins.

The Canadiens are the first seed and deep enough to give a lot of teams fits. A concern about Montreal is that they’re leaning on a rookie goaltender, Carey Price, to carry them.

As for the poor saps who weren’t good enough to crack the NHL’s top-16 teams, at least the draft lottery is today.

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