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Stanley Cup '06: Opening Round Review

By May 4, 2006

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Grading the entertainment value of each first-round playoff series.

Oilers 4 - Red Wings 2
A couple of games slowed to the point where it seemed they might grind to a halt altogether - part of Edmonton's master plan, no doubt. But this one scores high marks for drama and a spectacular finish. With the Oilers diving face-first in front of desperate Red Wing shots as the clock ticked down, it felt like playoff hockey had truly arrived. B

Avalanche 4 - Stars 1
A testament to the power of luck: Dallas played well enough to win at least another couple of games. Three overtime endings helped raise the excitement level, and watching Marty Turco's reputation as a playoff goalie take a final, fatal blow was an awful but irresistible sight. C-

Sharks 4 - Predators 1
After a promising start, it quickly became evident that the longer these teams played, the worse it would get for Nashville. C-

Mighty Ducks 4 - Flames 3
A defensive slog culminating in what had to be the dullest game seven in Stanley Cup history. Anaheim won by staying awake the longest. D-

Senators 4 - Lightning 1
Great stuff as long as it stayed close, but it didn't stay close for long. Having found out what it takes to win a Stanley Cup, the Lightning apparently decided they weren't willing to go through that again. The third straight season a defending champ has been eliminated in the opening round. C

Hurricanes 4 - Canadiens 2
Game-to-game and shift-to-shift, they played the most exciting hockey of the opening round. Too bad the Canadiens proved to be such an accomodating underdog: good enough to get a team's attention, put up a spirited fight, keep it close, and then politely get out of the way. B-

Devils 4 - Rangers 0
It might have helped if they let the Rangers have the puck once in a while. F

Sabres 4 - Flyers 2
Like watching a pack of young hyenas bring down a fat, aging, lame wildebeest. Fascinating and gruesome, but the result was never in doubt. The promotional video for the "new NHL." C


May 4, 2006 at 1:44 pm
(1) Mat says:

“F” for the Rangers/Devils? That’s kind of harsh, no? Fact is the Rangers had the puck plenty (hit the post at least 8 times) and that line with Jed Ortmeyer and co was quite entertaining to watch.

C, maybe. F? No way.

(Go Devils)

May 4, 2006 at 8:01 pm
(2) Jamie says:

That’s a fair comment, Mat. Obviously it’s impossible to watch every game and the Devils were up two games before I watched any of that series. When I did watch it, it looked virtually over to me, so I didn’t go back very often. I suspect the result was never in doubt in your mind. That’s not entertainment.

May 4, 2006 at 10:19 pm
(3) Matt says:

Yeah, that’s why I gave it a C. Remember that this is coming from someone who gets a kick out of watching a cat toy around with a mouse he’s found.

(Go Devils)

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