Looking back

April 30, 2006

After nine days of playoff hockey, I’m flipping back through to see how my predictions are going. Some are okay, others are slightly less. A quick review…

I had Ottawa taking Tampa Bay. Ottawa wins the series and looks pretty good doing it. Jason Spezza is quickly going to become a known commodity in the NHL. Unfortunately due to the unbalanced schedule, Jackets fans didn’t get to see the Senators play this year (actually, as I type this, maybe that’s not so bad). Consequently, we didn’t get a chance to see one of the more entertaining hockey teams on the ice right now. I’ve had the opportunity to catch a few games, and I’m impressed. If the Blue Jackets can build a team in a similar manner to Ottawa we may be a force to contend with. Of course, it may take five or so years. But it would be worth the wait.

I picked Carolina to oust Montreal. Despite going up 2-0 early in the series, Montreal has dropped three straight to fall to the brink of elimination. And as I knew would happen, I haven’t gotten to see any Canadiens games on television. They’ve been matched up against the Detroit-Edmonton series in the timeslots, and Detroit will win that battle in this neck of the woods any day.

I picked New Jersey over the Rangers. Four games, four Devil victories. Jaromir Jagr was hurt early on, and the Rangers lost whatever hope they had when the playoffs started. Enough said.

I predicted Philadelphia to take down Buffalo. After five games, Buffalo holds a 3-2 lead. The Sabres set the tone physically in Game 1, and put up eight goals in Game 2. The home team has won each game in the series to date, so I would not be surprised to see this one go seven games. Despite picking Philly, I’d really love to see the Sabres move on. It is good fun to watch them play hockey.

I had Detroit moving Edmonton out of the playoffs. Big Pronger has been a wing-eater in the series, earning a game star in four of five games. If Detroit cannot figure out how to win at home, the Wings will make their third straight playoff exit to an “inferior” team. I cannot tell you how much pleasure I would derive from this scenario. In general, the Red Wings “fans” are an interesting lot.

For two certain Wings fans (Mr. & Mrs. EOB, Sr.), I would feel bad. For the rest of Red Wings nation, I’ve seen you when your team is playing well and you support them. I’ve seen you when things go drastically wrong, and you’re silent or worse. I have little patience for fans with a sense of entitlement. There are many Buckeye fans here in Columbus with that problem, and believe me when I say that this fact really bothers me. Yes, the Red Wings are a fantastic hockey team. But that doesn’t mean that 1) Every team they play should roll over and play dead so you can realize your pre-destined Stanley Cup Championship, and 2) That when a team doesn’t roll over that you have the right to forsake your team. With the Wings down 2-1 in the series, there were more than a few fans ready to drink the Kool-Aid and jump out of a plane. Even great teams lose. The Oakland A’s in 1990. The Vikings in any Super Bowl they’ve ever been in. Karl Malone (ha!). Even the Red Wings. If it happens, go ahead and get rid of Legace (can you really say this guy has it or not after one year as a starter?), Datsyuk (he’s hurt… in the playoffs… bad combo… sorry), etc. While some pieces of the team will likely retire or move on soon, this team is built to be good for many years to come. Stay with your club. Yeah, you gave yourself the nickname “Hockeytown”, you should try to live up to it.

I picked Dallas to take down Colorado (and go on to win the Cup). So, apparently the Avs want to play against Brendan Morrow. Marty Turco looked like a video game goalie flopping around on the ice. Very sad. I blew it here. Oh well, like I said before, my predictions likely won’t mean squat.

I had Anaheim outlasting Calgary. The teams have exchanged wins, with Calgary currently holding the lead 3-2 after five. I haven’t had much of an opportunity to see games in this series, so I really don’t have much to say.

I picked the Sharks over the Predators. The Preds succumbed to the Shark attack in five games. Nashville won the series opener, and it looked like Chris Mason might have a chance. Four games later, Mason performed admirably for an unseasoned goalie, but not well enough. San Jose moves on.

I really blew it on Dallas (just like the NCAA brackets, at least I’m consistent), and I’m hoping I’ll blow it on the Philly pick (I can’t stand them for some reason, either). All in all, it’s just good fun to see how little I actually know about the game. The playoffs change everything.

Until later, thanks for stopping by and reading.



  1. “Interesting”, huh?

    I’ll take that as a compliment.

  2. It was more meant as a blanket statement for the entirety of Wings fans. Of course there will be exceptions to the rule.

    In general, I suppose that any team that wins with alarming regularity (Detroit for the last 10+ years) has fans that expect them to win no matter what. I can think of the University of Miami fans when the Buckeyes played them in ’02, for one. Can you imagine if Jordan’s Bulls had the audacity to lose a Finals series? It would have been madness.

    I think the geographic closeness between Columbus and Detroit, combined with the fact that many people in Columbus are Wings fans (as witnessed on many occassions at Nationwide Arena for Detroit/Columbus contests) really bothers me. In five, ten, or twenty years this will be less so. But for now, it gets to me.

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