With both the Kings, Blackhawks, Red Wings and Wild down 3 games to 1 in a best of seven series, the NHL playoffs is in grave danger.
Los Angeles, while not possessing the same appeal as Chicago, has been a reputable money maker for the NHL over the past decade. The danger is within the nature of the game. If Chicago and LA are bounced from the big dance early, viewership is sure to decline.
Now, I don’t expect either of those teams to simply lay down and die, but their level of competition has risen. St. Louis is playing determined hockey and they appear focused on their goal to eliminate the Chicago Blackhawks, whom has been the biggest and most persistent thorn in their side. While the battle for California has seen San Jose take full control of the series.
With L.A., it’s never a good idea to count them out of anything until the final buzzer. Similarly to St. Louis, San Jose seeks their own revenge on one of their rivals.
That’s not even mentioning the fact that both Detroit and Minnesota are staring down the same barrel. Also, if your last game is any indication of how your next one will be played, then the Rangers are in deep trouble.
With all of this in mind, the reality of not only a new Stanley Cup champion is very real, but a new landscape that the die hard fans are typically used to.
However, not all is lost. In the East, the chance of a Pittsburgh v.s. Washington match up is appearing more and more realistic with every game. Plus Tampa Bay and Florida appear to be on a collision course with one another. Wouldn’t that make things interesting?
Before I get ahead of myself, I’ll hand you a suggestion. If you haven’t seen the Red Wings v.s. Lightning series yet. Tune. In.
By far it’s the best series of the playoffs. What we have here are two teams with some history who truly don’t like one another. Remember how Tampa Bay handled Detroit last off season with ease? Detroit is certainly making Tampa earn its victories this year. Almost from the drop of the first puck, these two teams collided head to head at full speed and the results have been phenomenal.
Panthers v.s. Islanders was an interesting one to me. Two teams who are certainly more similar than they are different. Goal scoring has come at a premium. Reilly Smith and John Tavares have led the way thus far offensively. While stout goal tending on both sides has made for some extremely entertaining hockey. This one is destined for 7 and the game will be better off because of it.
While I’ll be the first to admit I predicted the Stanley Cup Finals to be the Kings and the Caps, I am not worried. The Kings will bounce back and if the Caps can beat the Penguins, I am feeling very confident. Caps in 7 v.s. the Kings. Quote me.