Saturday, April 23, 2016

NHL Playoffs

Sadly, the Detroit Red Wings didn't make it past the first round in their 25th straight year of playoff participation. Which means it's time to look at which teams are left and decide who to pull for.
My Wings lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning, who are actually my second favorite hockey team, so it's pretty easy to pick the Lightning as my favorite in the East. A couple of others are interesting as well. The Florida Panthers were better in the regular season than anyone expected, so it would be interesting to watch them in the Cup finals. Not looking too likely, though, as they're in a 3-2 hole against the Islanders in the first round. And it sure would be nice if the Washington Capitals could finally figure out how to win the big one. The franchise has no Stanley Cup wins and only one conference championship, despite a whole lot of playoff appearances.

On the West side, I'll be pretty happy as long as the Chicago Blackhawks get knocked out as quickly as possible. Too much of a Detroit rivalry for me to ever enjoy seeing them win, plus no non-Blackhawks fan wants to see yet another Chicago championship, not after 3 of those in the last 5 years. I could see myself liking either the San Jose Sharks or Minnesota Wild, if they end up face someone other than the Lightning in the finals. Both of those teams have had their share of playoff disappointment and could use some good fortune.

Normally I'd prefer to adopt Canadian teams for playoff watching, but none of them made it in this year. That doesn't seem to have stopped the hockey playoffs from being big in Canada, though. I see Toronto Blue Jays broadcasts sometimes as I'm watching MLB.TV, and there is no lack of ads for hockey playoff games coming up later on their network. Not surprising, since just about every American hockey team has quite a few Canadian players.

Too bad about the quick exit for Detroit, but the hockey playoffs are still exciting, no matter who is playing. I'll catch whatever games I can.

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