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How Good are the NHL Playoffs?

With the NHL Playoffs only being a week in, they have not disappointed so far. Every series has had great story lines and great games. Besides the Sharks and Canucks series, all of them are close. Even the two best teams in the league in Chicago and Pittsburg are having trouble with the 8 seeds (NY Islanders/Minnesota Wild). The New York Rangers are one loss away from being in a lot of trouble in their series in Washington. But the 2 seed Montreal Canadians are struggling to score against Craig Anderson and the Senators. It looks like there could be plenty of upsets this year, which is one good thing about the NHL playoffs. If a team gets hot at the right time, regardless of their seed, they have a chance. Just take the LA Kings last year who won the Cup last as an 8 seed. Another thing we have already seen in these playoffs are suspensions. we have three suspensions already and the first round of the playoffs is not even over. Whether all the suspensions were correct or not, they have been a major part of these playoffs already.

The Bruins came out in the first game playing well, but did not look as good in the second game and let it slip away from them. They now have to go into hostile territory in Toronto who have not hosted a playoff game in 9 years. The crowd is going to be a huge factor in this game and the Bruins need to come out and play physical if they want to be competitive in this game. Toronto has a slight edge in momentum and the Bruins almost need to win this game. With so many good series, it is hard to pick one. But since I am such a big Bruins fan and absolutely cannot stand the Montreal Canadiens and everything they stand for, and I have enjoyed watching them get beat in every aspect of the game in their series against Ottawa. Yes it is a close series (Ottawa up 2-1), but after the last game in Ottawa where the Canadiens just got out classed and the crap kicked out of them on the ice, they are going to have to respond big time in game 4. Ottawa holds all the momentum now with another home game and leading the series. With the two game suspension to Eric Gryba on a hit that many people have argued was clean, the blood has been bad with these teams. This came out last night once the game got out of reach for Montreal, like a typical French team, they started playing chippy, dirty hockey and ended up getting what they deserved. As fired up as I am for the Bruins tonight, I am almost as excited for the next Senators/Canadiens game.

As for the Western Conference. There has been a lot of good games, but I don’t believe they have quite lived up to the Eastern Conference games. Any Bruins fan, and probably most hockey fans are loving the fact that the Vancouver Canucks are down 3-0 to the Sharks. They have played like the typical chippy, whiney Canucks and are getting crushed right now. Minnesota is holding their own against the Presidents Trophy Winners in the Chicago Blackhawks. That has also been a pretty good series and it would be nice to see the Blackhawks face some adversity for the first time this season. The Ducks have looked great against the Redwings, and even though they lost one of the games, the way they have been playing makes me think that they are a lock to win that series. Blues have looked good so far, but they are playing a team that just won the Cup a year ago and knows how to play in the playoffs. They will have to keep the pressure on if they hope to make a run in a strong Western Conference.

This has been a great NHL Playoffs so far, and we are only 2-3 games in depending on the series. This is just another reason why the NHL Playoffs are the best playoffs in sports. The game is fast, its physical and usually has a lot of bad blood in them for whatever reason. I bet ESPN hates the fact that they gave up NHL rights years ago and now have to compete with NBC during the playoffs. But I’m sure people tune in for the last 4 minutes of the NBA games, because who really wants to watch 60 minutes of Lebron James dunks. With that said, if you are not watching the NHL Playoffs, it’s time to tune in. All the games are on TV and every series has been fun to watch. It will only get better as they get closer to the Stanley Cup.

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About the Author: I am a Freelance Production Assistant for Comcast Sportsnet and former New York Rangers intern. I am an enthusiast of all sports and want to share my knowledge with those who are interested in reading what I have to say. Follow me on Twitter @ shmity91

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