The next round of the Stanley Cup playoffs are starting to shape up. Two more teams are out and 2 more teams have earned a spot in the 2nd round of the playoffs after their wins yesterday.
The defending Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks and the Nashville Predators are out, while the Dallas Stars and the Red Wings are in.
Detroit capitalized on 2 bouncing pucks to beat Nashville Predators goalie Dan Ellis and clinch their Western Conference Quarterfinal series 4-2. The #8 seeded Predators gave the #1 seeded Red Wings some opposition throughout the series, but luck was not on their side tonight as they could not stave off elimination, losing 3-0. After the game, the Nashville fans gave their team a buoying round of applause. It was good to see in a market where hockey is not as well known.
The Dallas – Anaheim game was somewhat gratifying to watch. It’s not that I don’t like Teemu Selanne and Scott Niedermeyer. In fact it’s the opposite. I respect them and was happy to see them both lift the Stanley Cup over their head last season. I just don’t agree with the way they sat out most of this season ‘contemplating’ retirement only to return with 20 games left.
The real reason I wanted Anaheim out is Todd Bertuzzi. I loathe what Bertuzzi has become – a rental goon who takes a contract with whatever team he thinks has the best chance at winning the Stanley Cup. Bertuzzi is a guy that -IMHO- does not deserve to win the Stanley Cup and should take an early retirement and disappear.
So to watch the Dallas Stars drop Anaheim in 6 games was very gratifying. I enjoyed watching the change in momentum in Game 6 when Stephane Robidas scored early in the 3rd period to tie the game. I also enjoyed watching him set up the game-winning goal a few minutes later. The best part of watching the end of the game was seeing Mike Modano leisurely skating with the puck towards an empty net to cap off their 4-1 victory.
In case you’ve been living under a rock for the last 3 weeks, the other teams that have advanced to round 2 of the playoffs are: Pittsburgh Penguins, NY Rangers, and Colorado Avalanche. The Boston-Montreal series will be decided in game 7 tonight, and Philadelphia Flyers also have a chance to put away the Washington Capitals tonight with a win in game 6.