2011 NHL Playoffs Have Been A Bore Thus Far

Mark RitterSenior Writer IApril 15, 2011

PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 13: Marc-Andre Fleury #29 of the Pittsburgh Penguins protects the net against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Consol Energy Center on April 13, 2011 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  The Penguins defeated the Lightning 3-0.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Heading into the 2011 version of the NHL Playoffs, a number of intriguing series revealed themselves.

Of course, if your favorite team is participating in the playoffs that’s always intriguing, but I am talking about a series that transcends your usual alliances and have you dialed in just the same as when your own team is playing.

For some, it was the Montreal Canadiens/Boston Bruins series; for others, the Vancouver Canucks/Chicago Blackhawks series provides a number of interesting story lines that peaks your interest.

Well, I got news for you: Thus far, there has been little “memorable” hockey in the playoffs, although the goaltending heroics from Canadiens netminder Carey Price and Buffalo Sabres stopper Ryan Miller were fairly compelling.

When I think of Playoffs past, there always seems to be a series that captivates its audience immediately. It may be a series that comes out of nowhere or it may be one that comes as advertised, but thus far, I just don’t see it.

Almost every series has featured a brand of careful, prodding hockey that borders on boring at times.

Big hits are all but void from the conversation and there has been little controversy or interesting quotes for the media and the fans to debate.

Is it the fact that the NHL is marred in parity? Perhaps. That said, it just seems like it is taking a little longer than normal for teams to find some hate between them, it all just seems very blaze.

The Pittsburgh Penguins/Tampa Bay Lightning game had the potential to be an exciting affair, but when the Penguins pumped in two quick goals in the third after two scoreless periods and added an empty netter, it took an exciting close game and turned it into a 3-0 blowout.

The Detroit Red Wings/Phoenix Coyotes game never excited me in the first place and given the way the Red Wings manhandled the Coyotes for the majority of the game, this was another snoozer!

The New York Rangers/Washington Capitals tilt has all the makings of a great series and likely will be. Alex Ovechkin’s tying goal was a huge moment, but I would hardly call their overtime a “war.”

Vancouver put the Blackhawks out of their misery early, getting ahead 2-0 within the first ten minutes of the game followed by 50 minutes of nothing. Well, ok, there were a lot of posts hit and I have to give these two teams props for providing us with what appeared to be the most contested match of the playoffs thus far, but this was hardly a classic.

Dan Ellis was so bad between the pipes that the Nashville Predators had the Anaheim Ducks out of the game early, while over in Buffalo, Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller put up an egg against the Philadelphia Flyers.

The San Jose Sharks/Los Angeles Kings match had it’s moments, but how many of us actually made it through the overtime period?

Then there was the Montreal/Boston game, which, for all the hype that preceded it, was nowhere near as advertised.

Yes folks, the NHL Playoffs have started, but unless you are a fan of one of the teams in the dance, odds are you are yet to be impressed.

Until next time,