STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS 2007-1st Round (recap)

The 1st round is over, not many surprises (especially not for me since I went 7 for 8 on my 1st round series predictions). That said, we did get a glimpse into the future as Sidney Crosby and his Pittsburgh Posse showed they will be strong for years to come though they were rather easily dispatched by a more seasoned & experienced Ottawa team. The Atlanta Thrashers proved they are not ready for big time hockey as they were steamrolled by the Rangers. The New York Islanders are back although they were no match for Buffalo. The Tampa Bay Lightning may have created a monster as they had the New Jersey Devils on the ropes but could not deliver the knockout blow, consequently, the Devils look like they’ve now hit stride and Martin Brodeur is now in that rare air yet again.
Out West, the most compelling series was Dallas vs. Vancouver. The teams started with a 4 OT thriller and so fittingly the series did go seven games. Most amazingly, Goaltender Marty Turco may have finally shed his playoff “choker” label – in defeat. Goaltender Roberto Luongo was the victor in that 4 OT masterpiece (his first ever playoff game) and again of course in game seven. The Detroit Red Wing dispatched Calgary in six games – only by the otherworldly goaltending of the Flames’ Mikka Kiprusoff kept Detroit from sweeping a Flames team which seemed in disarray much of the time. Coach Jim Playfair is going to have plenty of questions to answer in the offseason. The Anaheim Ducks had little trouble dispatching the Minnesota Wild in five games. The Nashville Predators met the San Jose Sharks in the 1st round for the 2nd year in a row, and although Nashville bolstered their roster by adding Peter Forsberg & Jason Arnott (he may soon have to change his name to “Isnott”, “Doesnott” or “Willnott”), the result was the same – out in 5. Nashville has a good team, but something is missing. We,re down to eight teams. It’s time for round 2.

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