Latest posts by Beerguyrob (see all)
I’m eschewing NFL News today & tomorrow because nothing important is going on, and the draft is still 15 days away, meaning Cleveland has plenty of time to screw things up.
Tonight’s previews cover the teams not already written up by our crack staff of intrepid reporters.
Many other teams, however, don’t have stalwart-enough fans on DFO to warrant analysis. So, they get mine.
Here’s all you need to know about the Habs:
If Carey Price is off, they’re fucked. They don’t have the scoring or defence to hang long with big-shooting teams. But like the 1986 (or 1993) Canadiens who rode Patrick Roy to an improbable Cup, if he’s hot, they have a long run in them.
FYI: They are called the Habs because people think it means “Habitants”. The “H” comes from when they switched their name from “Club athlétique Canadien” to “Club de hockey Canadien” .
According to NHL.com, the first man to refer to the team as “the Habs” was American Tex Rickard, owner of the Madison Square Garden, in 1924. Rickard apparently told a reporter that the “H” on the Canadiens’ sweaters was for “Habitants”.
As sad as it has been to watch the Canucks golf their way down to obscurity again, it’s been equally frustrating watching the Bruins muddle their way to ambiguity. Allow me to remind you about the two minutes that led to their current state:
Some of the core components from the 2011 & 2013 runs are still there. Obviously, Big Z is still anchoring the blueline, and Rask, Marchand & Bergeron still have their roles. But injuries are the key factor in how far they might go. The Bruins start the series short two defensive starters; Torey Krug is so hurt the Bruins signed a kid right out of Boston University and his first professional game will be Game 1 in Ottawa.
Scoring isn’t an issue. The hard part will be breaking through Ottawa’s modified neutral-zone trap.
Once again, Tuukka Rask carried the bulk of the net-minding load, and his 2.25 GAA should give the Bruins a good chance to squeak out the series victory, a series that on paper is the closest matchup of the first round.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: “The Capitals have what it takes to go all the way this year.”
The Capitals have always had the offence to go far, but a defence that kept them from doing so. Ovi is Ovi,
but the real force this year was Nicklas Backstrom, who finished the year 18 points above his captain.
On defence, adding Kevin Shattenkirk at the trade deadline bolstered an already strong defence, anchored by probable 2018 Canadian Olympic starting goalie Braden Holtby. (They’re going – the IOC needs the NHL more than the NHL needs the Olympics.)
On every level, stats & regular-season performance dictates this finally has to be Washington’s year.
And yet every year, around late-April, this shot flashes across your TV screen
and you wonder…
Toronto Maple Leafs:
Go away. No one likes you.
- Rangers at Canadiens – 7:00 | NBCSN / CBC
- Bruins at Senators – 7:00 | NHLN-US / Sportsnet
- CBJ at Penguins – 7:00 | USA / Sportsnet360
- Blues at Wild – 9:30 | NBCSN / Sportsnet360
- Sharks at Oilers – 10:00 | USA / Sportsnet
- Hawks at Pacers – 8:00 | ESPN
- Pelicans at Trail Blazers – 10:30 | ESPN
Next to the first round of March Madness, the Stanley Cup’s first round is the greatest tournament in sports. NO ONE DENIES THIS!