1) NHL playoffs are only 3 days away. Easily my favourite time of the year. March Madness rivals the Stanley Cup Playoffs for excitement, but I enjoy the 7 game series aspect of the playoffs. The schedule is relentless, usually 4 games every night during the first round gives the sports fan a chance to sit on the couch for 6 straight hours. Can’t wait to see how things play out.
2)NHL Eastern Conference: The top 8 teams are in, but many positions in the standings remain uncertain. The New York Islanders are the only team finished their schedule while the Sens and Bruins hold the advantage with 1 game in hand on the rest of the field. Winnipeg stands as the only Canadian team in the East not to make the playoffs with Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto all hoping to bring the cup north of the border for the first time since the Habs did it in 1993. The road to the Finals will, as expected, be exceptionally physical, but rarely do you see teams fight in the NHL playoffs. That leaves me wondering how many fights the Leafs will be able to coax their opponents into? I think Pittsburgh wins the East (no shit, sherlock) but I’m picking the Rangers as my wildcard team. They remind me of L.A. last season, did just enough to get into the playoffs and have the potential to ride a hot goalie and gritty play all the way to the Finals.
3)NHL Western Conference: Chicago wins. Lets move on.
4) Ok, so maybe its not as obvious as I’m stating but the Blackhawks enter the playoffs a team on fire. They locked up the Presidents trophy this week and are 8-1-1 in their last 10 games heading into their finale with the St Louis Blues tonight. They will be a force in the playoffs. The only Canadian team to make the playoffs in the West is also the second hottest team heading into first round. The Vancouver Canucks, with the exception of the Schneider injury, are getting healthy and hot at the right time and look to win that elusive 16th game in the Stanley Cup playoffs. The bottom 3 teams are yet to be determined with Detroit and Minnesota facing “win and you’re in” scenarios, while Columbus needs to win and hope one of the other 2 falter in their games. I’m picking Chicago to win the West with L.A as my wildcard. I feel like I’m cheating by picking the defending Cup champs as my wild card.
5) Tough loss for the Oklahoma City Thunder yesterday when PG Russell Westbrook had surgery on his knee and will miss extended time. They unfortunately lose one of the top 10 players in the NBA, but I’m not sure it will hurt the Thunder as much as people think. Two things need to happen. 1) Serge Ibaka needs to play lights out for the rest of the playoffs. 2) Kevin Durant needs distribute the ball like he’s Chris Paul. Westbrook is often a very selfish point guard who always looks for his own shot. If Durant can accept the role of best scorer and great passer like Lebron James has in Miami we could expect big things from the 3 time scoring champ in this years playoffs. If not, I doubt the Thunder make it past the veteran Spurs.
6) Very interesting first round of the 2013 NFL Draft with 9 offensive linemen taken and only 1 quarterback. Shows how much the the draft can change each year with only 3 offensive linemen taken in the first round of last years draft along with 4 quarterbacks.
7) Great amount of sports on TV with the NHL regular season finishing for all but 2 teams tonight, 16 baseballs games today, 4 NBA playoff games and UFC 159. Can’t wait to do nothing!