Part of the fun in any pro sports league is picking the potential matchups come playoff time. There is always going to be at least a couple matchups that everybody has reason to look forward to. With the NHL very much near its post season play, here are some of the potential first or second-round matchups that I would love to see, followed by a few that I hope do not happen.
Now if the post season were to being today, it would feature two clubs that I can’t stand to see winning (regular season or post season), so maybe I will begin with this one.
Montreal Canadiens vs Boston Bruins
The number-one match I don’t want to see, ever, would be Montreal, who would finish in top spot in the East, vs Boston, the one team that I have never, and will never side with them. I don’t like Boston. I never will like Boston. I wouldn’t even go to Boston if somebody paid me to go. But right now they would have a wild-card spot clinched so they would make the cut. Last year’s second-round set went the distance and saw Montreal almost easily win the deciding game. I will re-iterate though, I hope that this does not happen.
Montreal Canadiens vs Ottawa Senators
The other series that I hope does not happen is Montreal vs Ottawa. When more than half of the Canadian content (team wise) in the National Hockey League qualifies for the playoffs, you never want to see two of them face off against each other. It’s almost like watching two fat chicks get into a fistfight over a guy or something. Nobody wins when that happens. And thus the same may be said in a playoff matchup like this (actually, should the show start tonight, the Canucks and Flames would be meeting each other in the Western conference playoffs. Again nobody wins.
The playoff matchups that I would love to see:
Number one, Montreal Canadiens vs Tampa Bay Lightning would be nice
Last season’s first-round matchup was supposed to be good. It wasn’t good (unless you are a Montreal fan), the series went by in four games, Tampa and Steven Stamkos were virtually non-existent. You have to think that should the two clubs meet up again next month, Tampa should make it a bit more entertaining. As of Monday afternoon, the Lightning trail Les Canadiens by a mere three points. If they do meet again this year, the Bolts should spray paint the work ‘Payback’ in gigantic letters somewhere in the dressing room…in both arenas.
The next top matchup….Montreal Canadiens vs New York Rangers
What the Canadiens did last year to the Lightning, the Rangers did to the Canadiens in the Stanley Cup semi-final. This cannot happen again. Hopefully the Rangers’ Chris Kreider will not jam his skate into Carey Price again if they do meet; but if they do meet, I would expect the Habs to exact some revenge on the Rangers.
St. Louis Blues vs Chicago Blackhawks
Now, possible awesome first-round or second-round matches over in the West, I am going with the St. Louis Blues again this year, and the way things have been going for them as of late, they will probably end up playing someone more heavily-favoured than they are. There is only one team that really comes to mind right here, and that is the Chicago Blackhawks.
What the Chicago Blackhawks have been doing to the Blues lately in the post season, is like what the LA Kings have been doing to everybody in the playoffs the two years that they won the Stanley Cup, and that is make everybody else look stupid.
LA beat up on San Jose so bad that they forced the entire team to check themselves over and they are still not finished doing it; Chicago does the same thing to the Blues the two years that they have met in the playoffs. I would like to think that this year, that may change.
Surprise, surprise, should the playoffs be starting tonight, it’s St. Louis vs Chicago, only three points separates these two, and St. Louis would appear to have home-ice advantage.
And the final series that I would love to witness again this year is…
Minnesota Wild vs Colorado Avalanche
I had such a good time watching them beat each other up last year, what better way to celebrate the greatest season of all than watch these two teams battle in the playoffs?
I think overall, Colorado would be favoured, however, first they would have to get there, as they remain in the hunt and are eight points behind the Winnipeg Jets, and they have seven games remaining in which to get back into it.