OK, do up the chin strap, sharpen the blades and torch a few sticks – the NHL Playoffs are here!
For us here in Europe, it means the beginning of a few months of very late nights! Most games start at midnight, and there are many tired eyes come sunrise. But, it’s all worth it. It’s the most incredible playoffs in all of sport, and the Stanley Cup is the hardest trophy to win at any level. Who will get out of the first round? Here’s my predictions:
Penguins over the Islanders in 5 games, Senators to upset the Canadiens in 7, Rangers over Capitals in 6 and the Bruins over the Leafs also in 6 games.
Blackhawks over the Wild in 6 games, Ducks over the Red Wings in 6, Sharks to upset the Canucks in 7 and the Kings over the Blues also in 7 games.
Can the Kings defend their title? Can a Canadian team break the long drought dating back to 1993 (Montreal won the Cup that year)? These and many more questions will be answered in front of our very eyes, on the biggest of sporting stages. Guys will play with broken bones and injuries we cannot even imagine, third liners will become heroes, and stars will become goats! It’s the most magical time of the hockey year.
So, who are you picking? Post a comment on whether you agree or disagree with my first round picks, and tell us who you think will survive and move on. Enjoy the start of the playoffs folks, and make sure you have loads of coffee – it’s going to be a fun ride!
Follow Murph on Twitter throughout the Stanley Cup journey @MurphOnIce