Genesis, the beginning of all things. That's what the Bible calls its first book and that's where we are at today, Genesis.
No NHL team has won anything and no one has lost anything. We start, again, from scratch. In this article, I won't make any predictions as to who will win and who will lose save one. The Detroit Red Wings will win the 2008 Stanley Cup and if you've read some of my other stuff, I don't need to tell you why.
It's time for "Match Game '08"
Before I begin, I must reiterate again that I live in Okieland. Clothes line, blue line, standing in (on) line, no one here knows the difference. I did get a chance to catch a Dallas Stars game a few times on Fox Sports SW or a "Game of the Week" on Versus Sports Channel but for someone from Hockeytown...well, let's just say, "That just doesn't cut it." and leave it at that. And when you're "jones'n" for a hockey game, anything, any team, will do, even old highlight reels.
So let's take a look at Who's Who in Round 2:
The Winner and New (still) Champion...
Colorado Avalanche vs. Detroit Red Wings:
What can I say about this but Detroit will win. Of course they will win, they are the 2008 Stanley Cup Champions. From what I've seen so far this year, no other team can match the Wings in skating, passing, creativity, flow or depth. And depth is a must for any team. During Round 1, Detroit's third and fourth lines were scoring. That is quintessential.
The one thing I did notice during the games against the Nashville Predators, is that the Wings top performers, Pavel Datsyuk and Henrick Zetterberg, didn't score on a lot of the opportunities they had. They came close and they had their chances, they just couldn't find the net. Detroit's top lines have to score if they are going to win the Cup.
Of course, there are always lucky bounces that happen during the playoffs that somehow don't normally happen during the regular season. Captain, Nicklas Lidstrom had one in Game 6. Don't forget that in Game 2, the Predators had a lucky bounce, as well.
Dallas Stars vs San Jose Sharks
Except for Red Wing games that were aired on Versus this season, I have watched the Stars games on Fox and Dallas has a pretty good team this season. They beat the defending Cup champions, the Anaheim Ducks, four games to two in Round 1 and everyone knows that you have to "whip the champ to beat them".
On the other side is the Sharks who had an amazing come back in Game 7 against the Calgary Flames at the Shark Tank. Four goals in the second period against the Flames is not an easy task to accomplish, especially against Mikka Kiprusoff and Curtis Joseph, goalies for Calgary.
Both these teams have a lot of momentum on their sides but San Jose has home ice advantage. I believe they will beat Dallas but it will be close.
Philadelphia vs. Monteal and New York Rangers vs. Pittsburgh
I'll be totally honest with you. Except during the playoffs, and that was the later games, I haven't seen these teams play much. Remember, Okieland native. So I can't say much about them.
I would like to see either Montreal or New York advance to the finals only because I would love to see an "Original Six" Stanley Cup matchup. On the other hand, I have a friend who likes the Flyers, so for her sake, Philly going on would not upset me in the least and as for the Penguins, they would probably give the Wings a run for their money in the finals.
Let's go to the Faire...
I'm now going to take a left turn but I will bring it back in line soon.
When I was young, five through my early 20's, I played hockey and getting ready for Festival days is like getting ready for a hockey game. I can't stand still. I'm moving all over the place keeping my legs and arms warmed up and pumping up for the day the same as I did getting ready on gameday.
Today, I find myself, already, getting pumped up for tonight's Wings/Avs match in the Joe Louis Arena. All the series games should be pretty exciting for all hockey fans even if their teams are not part of it. My hope, my prayer, is that no player gets injured to the point where they can't play anymore, either during the rounds or permanently. That has always been a concern with me.
So get pumped up, hockey fans whether your team is in it or not. Find a team to root for during the playoffs and through the Cup finals. And if you fancy a journey to a time past, come to the Faire. It runs every weekend in May and will be a good time to relax in between games. I'll be there. Just look for a funny looking French man.