Let the run for Lord Stanley begin! It is that lovely playoff time of year, hockey fans, so strap yourselves in and route on your favorite in the running to hoist and drink from the Stanley Cup for 2012!
This fan is hoping for an orange and black year with Lord Stanley! Would you expect anything less?
Here is how the first round match-ups are predicted to follow:
#1 New York Rangers (109 Pts) vs. #8 Washington Capitals (90 Pts)
#2 Boston Bruins (100 Pts) vs. #7 Ottawa Senators (92 Pts)
#3 Florida Panthers (92 Pts) vs. #6 New Jersey Devils (100 Pts)
#4 Pittsburgh Penguins (106 Pts) vs. #5 Philadelphia Flyers (103 Pts)
#1 Vancouver Canucks (109 Pts) vs. #8 San Jose Sharks (94 Pts)
#2 St. Louis Blues (107 Pts) vs. #7 Los Angeles Kings (94 Pts)
#3 Phoenix Coyotes (95 Pts) vs. #6 Chicago Blackhawks (99 Pts)
#4 Nashville Predators (102 Pts) vs. #5 Detroit Red Wings
2012 NHL Playoff action launches in three short days, Wednesday, April 11th. Check NBC Sports Network for televised listings.
Please make note that the Flyers, Canucks and Bruins are all selected as having the best shot at bringing home Lord Stanley. This fan remembers that last year there was a predicted final round that was to have been between Vancouver and Philadelphia…I could watch that this year!
Just hope that our Flyers squad puts out a stronger game in the first round against the Penguins; as opposed to Saturday afternoon’s 4-2 outcome, in favor if the Pens.
Flyers-Penguins first round face-off:
In what has already been one of the best rivalries of the regular season, the bitter division rivals will square off with a trip to the second round on the line.
Philadelphia has the edge in the season series, but the return of Sidney Crosby to the lineup for the Penguins will offset any mental advantage the regular season edge had.
With each of the previous matchups resulting in fights and even a confrontation between coaches, there is no reason to expect anything but more of the same from these two scrappy teams.
Especially with how tempers flared in the last meeting of the regular season…Philly fans can indeed expect a ‘scrapping’ series between these two Pennsylvania rivals. We need our goaltending to be on point (imagine that in Philly!); the defense to help clear that crease better against the guns of Pittsburgh and finally, all of our scoring guns healthy and ready to pound that puck into the net.
Flyers-Penguins Saturday Recap:
It basically was ‘Evgeni Malkin Day’ at the CONSOL Energy Center, this past Saturday afternoon, as the Flyers stopped in for a rivaled visit.
The Russian star’s 50th goal of the season in Saturday’s 4-2 win over Philadelphia sewed up the Art Ross trophy as the league’s top scorer likely inched to his first Hart Trophy as the league’s Most Valuable Player, but Malkin knows all the personal accolades won’t mean a thing if the Penguins don’t bring home their second Stanley Cup in four years.
Brayden Schenn and Jaromir Jagr scored for the Flyers while Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 19 shots as Philadelphia rested Bryzgalov, who missed three games recently with a chipped bone in his right foot.
“It wasn’t a good hockey game,” Philadelphia coach Peter Laviolette said. “I think everybody had their eye on Wednesday and is excited to get going.”
The bad news right now is that the Flyers have allowed the game’s first goal in 24 of their past 32 games. The good news is that Philadelphia finished the season with 67 power-play goals, topping the NHL.
Excited for Wednesday or not, our squad needs to be focused and ready to ‘bring it’ to this round and all pending ones in their playoff run. There really is no more room for excuses to be made here and the time to play like you ‘want it’ is now.
With all the drama over in this past game that played out from the match-up prior to this one, maybe both teams can now simply get down to the nitty-gritty of hard played, full 60 minute action–fans on the edge of their seats playoff hockey.
No word as of yet as to who will man the Philadelphia net, as they decided to rest Bryz in the last match between these rivlas.
Really at this point, with one goalie partially injured with a bone chip in a foot and another that has not seen a lot of playing time–this fan no longer cares who our net minder of choice is. In both circumstances there are going to be rough spots and kinks to work out to get the consistent performance these NHL playoffs demand.
Let us pray to the ‘hockey trolls’, Flyers fans, that we gain a long, strong and healthy run in the pursuit of the one…the only…Lord Stanley Cup 2012.
Full 2012 NHL Playoff Quarterfinal Round Schedule: http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=626625