Monday, April 21, 2008

Weekly Topic, and MOAR!

I am a total Western Conference girl. Normally, at this time in the season, my Stars would be slumping away with their tails between their legs, getting ready to tee up for the summer, and I would be forced to pick another Western Conference team to root for. Not this year. This year, Baby Hockey Jesus answered at least some of my prayers.

But, for the sake of the question, I have to pick another team that I'm looking forward to seeing in the playoffs. Again, normally, I'd say Calgary, and although I would LOVE to see Calgary upset San Jose, I just can't really root for them to go all the way - for obvious reasons. Instead, I'm going to go with the Penguins.

Yes, the Penguins. I know, Sidney Crosby is overexposed and overrated blah blah blah whatever, but I can't help how much I love that kid. I think the Penguins have some great goaltending in Marc-Andre Fleury, and they've proven they can get the job done in round one. Besides, I don't get to see much of the Eastern Conference, so it'll be nice to have a team to latch onto.

Now, my Stars. If you had told me two weeks ago that I would not be on the losing end of the first round, I may have called you a liar, or at least looked at you in surprise. I always try to be positive about the first round, but, to be completely honest, the Stars haven't given me much reason to be positive. This year, though, they managed to pull out a first round victory. I think this is highly important for them - it may give them the confidence and belief in themselves to go on further than anyone imagined.

Sergei Zubov and Philippe Boucher are both out (Boo-Boo will be re-evaluated this week, and Russian is skating, but still listed as day-to-day), leaving three rookies on the blueline. Mark Fistric has been performing SO well in his very first playoff games. Nicklas Grossman is a great shut-down guy. Matt Niskanen...Well, okay, let me preface this by saying that I adore him more than words can say. He is my favorite, will always be my favorite, I love him, etc. etc. But he hasn't been doing so great. He's without his best defensive partner, Sergei Zubov, and paired with Mattias Norstrom, who, up until a couple of weeks ago, had not earned anywhere near his 4.25 million salary. He's a thinking player, which makes Anaheim's rough-and-tumble style of play a little harder for him to handle, I think. In Game Six, though, he stepped it up a little more - I thought he played really well (but then again, I'm biased, and others would probably disagree).

Round One is almost over, guys, and I still have a reason to pay attention. It feels really weird.


Kerri said...

Needless to say, I expected the Ducks to pull away this round. The Stars impressed- and seriously, I think Stars fans can start dreaming some big dreams. I didn't watch much of the series, and maybe the Ducks weren't stellar, but they still are the reigning Cup champs (which apparently means nothing in recent years).

Round two, and I can't wait.

Cat said...

Thanks, Kerri! I had faith in the Stars, obviously, but I was worried, what with the first-round curse that they seemed to have. However, just getting out of the first round will give them an unbelievable amount of confidence, and I agree, I think we can start to dream big.

Ellie said...

welcome to our bandwagon!