Cornwall Ontario – It was great to see five Canadian teams make the playoffs this season after Canada was blanked last year.
Sadly all five lost their opening games; some tragically, some, well hockey is a game of funny bounces and for the Leafs Friday night the puck didn’t bounce their way.
The upstart Leafs are ahead of schedule, but you don’t hire Mike Babcock to lose or not make the playoffs. Even if the Leafs are swept, which I don’t think will happen based on last night, it’s a great learning experience for a young team that can only get better.
For the Habs; if the team doesn’t get out of round one it may spell the end for GM Marc Bergevin. If Dean Lombardi can be bounced with two Stanley Cup wins under his belt, what does it say for a GM that dumps PK Subban and then trades for slow beef at the trade deadline when teams are trying to get faster and more skilled?
Speaking of PK, his Nashville team surprised Chicago and won their first game.
Fearless Predictions after game 1:
Habs and Rangers – Montreal was a hot mess. They didn’t play that bad a game, although Carey Price kept it closer than it might of have been. The big issue was their best players not being their best players. The Rangers looked like they had a game plan and their veterans played like veterans. If the Habs can’t glue it up they will be golfing before game 7. Their D in particular is scary right now. Markov and Weber simply doesn’t cut it together, and sadly that’s as good as it can get for les boys. Rangers in six.
Ottawa vs Boston – The Bruins are a pretty good team. They’re strong up the middle; stronger than Ottawa and that ultimately will decide the series unless Bobby Ryan all of the sudden turns into Bobby Ryan; or someone else on the Sens does. Bruins in six.
SJ vs Edmonton. Did San Jose figure out that Joe Thornton is cursed? 🙂 Without him in the lineup they surprised the Oilers and won game one in OT. A lot of pundits had written off San Jose this year, but for today they’re leading the series. The Oilers are simply too good a team to lose this series and SJ is bound to put Thornton back in the lineup at some point. Edmonton in 6
Calgary has very low expectation which they met by falling to Anaheim in Game One. They simply don’t match up well against the Ducks who are very strong up the middle. Ducks in 5.
Leafs vs Caps. How can Washington lose? They’re favored to make it all the way to Lord Stanley’s Cup final. Alex Ovechkin seems to be trying to play a more rounded game, or he simply fell down a few times too many. First Rounder Tom Wilson is showing that he’s more than just beef as he scored the winner. Washington just has too much for the Leafs to overcome, but this is a great learning experience for Babcock’s squad. Losing a series is always more inspirational than not making the playoffs. The Leafs can only improve, but this series should be the Caps in 5.
What do you think hockey fans? Will this be a good year for Canadian teams? You can post your comments below.