The first night of NHL playoff action in 2009 was not without its share of surprises. The recently struggling New Jersey Devils absolutely shutting down a now formerly hot Eric Staal and the rest of the Carolina Hurricanes’ offense, and New York Rangers’ deadline acquisition Nik Antropov playing the role of star in a game that featured names like Ovechkin and Lundqvist. I even caught Sean Avery giving Jose-Swiss-Cheese-Theodore a sharp cross-check after a whistle, though Avery kicking a guy when he’s down should hardly surprise me.
So, let’s take a gander at how your picks faired last night. An overwhelming majority took the Capitals to beat the Rangers, and if you’re in that boat, Theodore is reason enough to be worried. He could get the hook with another poor outing. Apparently Floyd, megameg, leaffaninbell, Tcgpay, hotstreak, and cmancuso don’t fear Alexander Ovechkin quite as much as the rest of us do, taking the Rangers to win the series.
After watching a period of the Devils/Canes game yesterday, a sickly feeling came over me. How could I, and many of you, have bet against that annoyingly effective, defensive system, backed by the best goalie ever to play the game?!? If game 1 was any indication of how this series will play out, well, dodge23 (who picked the ‘Canes to win the Stanley Cup) is likely feeling less spectacular than myself right about now. Bold, bold pick dodge23… Do note that I said bold and not wise – defending that pick will be a steep uphill battle!
While some contestants have yet to see their scorers play a game, like andrewg and datsyukkk13 who loaded up with Red Wings, one of our co-leaders, arseneau, reaped early benefits from players like Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin as the Pittsburgh Penguins roughed up Martin Biron. Woody, our other co-leader, scraped together some points from the Sedin duo as the Vancouver Canucks took a close game 1 from the St. Louis Blues.
The other four series’ are scheduled for this evening, and if you’re overwhelmed with all of the options, my advice would be to wait until 10:30 pm tonight to watch the battle of California between the San Jose Sharks and the Anaheim Ducks (cough-upset-cough). Good luck competitors and enjoy the playoff hockey!