Well, the regular season is finished, and what a finish it was. Some teams delivered at the very last minute, and some couldn't pull through.
Washington in, Carolina out. Vancouver out, Nashville in.
Some first-round pairings and even possible matchups were previewed in this past Sunday's last games. Here's what we have:
(1)Montreal—(8)Boston Bruins (Montreal wins season series 8-0)
(2)Pittsburgh—(7)Ottawa Senators (Ottawa wins season series 3-1)
(3)Washington Capitals—(6)Philadelphia Flyers (Tied season series 2-2)
(4)New Jersey Devils—(5)New York Rangers (New York Rangers wins season series 7-1)
(1)Detroit Red Wings—(8)Nashville Predators (Detroit wins season series 5-3)
(2)San Jose Sharks—(7)Calgary Flames (Calgary wins season series 3-1)
(3)Minnesota Wild—(6)Colorado Avalanche (Minnesota wins season series 5-3)
(4)Anaheim Ducks—(5)Dallas Stars (Dallas wins season series 5-3)
The season series will likely prove irrelevant and I'll explain why in the show.
The teams that didn't make the cut were finishing strong all throughout the finish of the season. When I say that, I'm really just talking about clubs like Chicago, Edmonton, and Buffalo. In the show, I'll discuss the future of those teams and how close they did in fact come to becoming sneaky like the Washington Capitals were, but fell just short.
I'll tell you all of my predictions on the first round and give my detailed explanations. Some may be upset by the things I'm about to say, and some may be relieved. The matchup I wanted to see the most is actually about to happen and it's in the East.
For those who watch my Hockey Week in Review show in Erie, PA know exactly which pairing I'm talking about, and I even mentioned it in the last blog post below this one. Hint hint, No Joke versus Never Your Reason...for those who still don't get it: NJ vs. NYR.
I should apologize to all of you for not making any new shows in the recent history of the Hockey Rant podcast. I took some vacation time to visit relatives in Baltimore, MD, and aside from that trip, I have been loaded with school work as I'm about to finish up here with Graduate School.
My other reason, which I kind of feel bad about is that I've been spending more time working on my Hockey Week in Review show and video podcast. I'm not ignoring you all. I'm just finding it hard to make time for everything to get done that I would like. So, feel neglected no more, the Rant Man is back for his loyal following who have helped successfully push me over the 4,000 "downloaders" mark. You guys are the best.
Stay tuned because the second season is sure to deliver some of the best action considering the regular season saw its tightest and most exciting finish in YEARS.
Talk to you all real soon!
The Rant Man