Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Playoff Hangover

Yeah, Lebron James is probably a little down. His friend, Alexander Ovechkin, will not be advancing in the playoffs despite Ovechkin having a tremendous series against the Penguins. Instead, the Penguins, using a 5-0 lead, eliminated the Washington Capitals in Game Seven tonight, putting an end to "The Series". Crosby vs. Ovechkin was billed as the next great battle, and it turned out to be more entertaining than anyone may have hoped. Both players turned in phenomenal performances in each of the seven games, and it was hard not to watch when one of them had the puck.

But that leads me to this question: no matter who wins in the Boston-Carolina series, do you feel that we may have just watched the best series in this year's NHL playoffs? Honestly, if it weren't for the fireworks at the end of the Ducks-Red Wings game last night, the other second round games outside of Washington-Pittsburgh have been a little boring, no?

As much as I would like a Detroit-Chicago series in a battle of Original Six teams, it just doesn't have the caché that the Washington-Pittsburgh series did in terms of individual battles. History? No doubt. But the players? There is no "Crosby vs. Ovechkin" in that series. Toews and Zetterberg just don't have the history. Kane vs. Datsyuk doesn't really resonate the same way.

Granted, I could see a very upbeat series if the Ducks advance tomorrow, and guys like former London Knights Corey Perry and Dave Bolland will get to play against one another. Getzlaf vs. Toews would be interesting, but, again, little history between the two franchises and the players on either team.

So I pose to you, readers: will you feel a little bit of a Crosby-Ovechkin hangover after witnessing an epic seven-game battle? Let me know in the comments!

Maybe we can hope for a Staal vs. Stall/Brother vs. Brother matchup to tide us over?

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!


Anonymous said...

Yes, a little bit, but more so that Ovie is out of the tourney (who is clearly the most entertaining player in the NHL to watch) and that Chicago will be luckly if they can win a game against either Detroit or Anaheim.

JTH said...

Honestly, if it weren't for the fireworks at the end of the Ducks-Red Wings game last night, the other second round games outside of Washington-Pittsburgh have been a little boring, no?The Hawks/Canucks series was boring to you? What are your criteria for an exciting series?

Granted, Game 3 was a dud, but not the other five. Let me refresh your memory.

Game 1: Blackhawks are dead after 40 minutes. The Canucks take a 3-goal lead into the third and then the Hawks score three in a row to tie it up, only to relinquish the lead and the game with about a minute and a half left in regulation.

Game 2: Again, the Hawks dig a hole for themselves by going down 2-0 early. Then they score 5 goals in a row to put the game away. And how great was that Duncan Keith-to-David Bolland shorthander which also turned out to be the game-winner?

Game 3: Don't let the 3-1 score fool you. It wasn't that close. Vancouver dominates from start to finish. The Hawks look dead. The next day, everyone starts wondering if they're just happy to have made it this far after pronouncing the season a success.

Game 4: Defense dominates. Vancouver manages one "fluke" goal on a 2-on-1 that was the result of a blocked shot after a really strong offensive sequence by Chicago. Looks like they're going to head back home with a 3-1 series lead. Only one problem, a regulation hockey game is 60 minutes, not 57. Marty Havlat ties it up with 2:44 remaining and then less than 3 minutes into overtime, Andrew Ladd ties the series at 2.

Game 5: Chicago finally scores first but (surprise, surprise) they give up the lead and fall behind again, only to score 3 unanswered goals to close it out.

Game 6: Hockey purists will not call this one a great game, but it was entertaining as hell. 12 goals, something like 5 lead changes (3 of them in the third period) and we even got a Patrick Kane hat trick.

Dude, seriously, what was missing from this series that made it boring to you (aside from the fact that the Canadian team lost)?

Teebz said...

Sorry, JTH. I don't find Vancouver's trap to be anything exciting. I enjoyed Game Six, but the trapping hockey played by the Canucks sucked all life out of that series in at least two of the games.

And I will say that Vancouver had no business advancing playing in that style. Chicago, the better team, won that series. And I cheered for them the entire time.

Teebz does not cheer for the trap. LOL

JTH said...

Fair enough. Yes, you're totally right. Vancouver's style of play completely sucked the life out of games 3 and 4.

I was there for game 4 and it was actually pretty horrible for the first 57 minutes and 16 seconds. Even worse, I had standing-room tickets.

I guess I was looking big-picture at the games (plus I had a vested interest in the series) and didn't consider the 60-minute grind of the individual games.

Anonymous said...

As a Caps fan...having just endured 5 elimination games in 2 series...I'm spent.

I'll still passively watch the semis (probably rooting for whoever wins in the Boston/Carolina game tonight to work the Pens over).

I'd like to see a Boston vs Detroit or Chicago series in the Finals. it would be cool to see an Original 6 matchup for the Cup...but I can't say that I'll be watching every game the rest of the way. I definitely have a playoff hangover...and just need a little sabbatical, I think.

Sage Confucius said...

The Caps-Pens series didn't excite me at all. I just don't have a great interest in either team. I kept up with the Blackhawks-Canucks series and enjoyed parts of it. But, I like to watch the offense work and not the defense turtle and work the clock.

I am extremely pleased that Detroit advanced. It was much more stressful than it needed to be. The 'Hawks will be rested and ready for game 1 Sunday night and the Wings need to be ready to go. Another slow starting series and they may be done.

My hope is that both the Wings and the 'Canes advance. This is purely self-serving since I will be moving to Raleigh in a couple weeks. I might have to stop eating for a week so I can afford a Stanley Cup ticket. Just one game! That's all I'm asking.