Crosby Malkins vs. Not Yet Brooklyn Islanders
The Isles' main rival over the years may be the New York Rangers and the Pens' have the Philadelphia Flyers (what about us, asks Ovie's Caps?) but the Isles and Pens have had some terrific history--both recent, past and back in the pre-HD age. Rick DiPetro, this is your life.
Everyone and their Ferraro knows of David Volek and the more than huge upset of the two-time defending champions in '93, but take the wayback time machine and see where the Isles' legacy of amazing 0-3 comebacks truly started here.
So, bring it on, baby!
Les Canadiens vs. House of Commons
How the Sens contain Howie Morenz in this two-game total goals semi-final will be key. The Sens are no slouches in the goal scoring department with Erik Karlsson feeding Cy Denneny. Still it looks like Carey Price's struggles in net are no match for Ottawa's outstanding netminder Alex Connell. I predict in this year 27 of the 20th century a victory for the King Clancys!
This should be one for the aged.
PJ, I'm open!
Washington Ovies vs. NY Shot Blockers
Yes, the Strangers were one of the most boring teams in last year's playoffs. Sorry, shot blocking may translate into wins, but it's not exactly off the charts on the entertainment scale. After all, let The Lundqvist do what he's paid to do...and what he does well. Maybe Torts woke up but after the trade deadline infused the Rangers with a bunch of bodies, they took off. At their scoring pace in April (3.57 goals per game), they were Pittsburgh-like (Pens averaged 3.44 goals per game over the 48-game schedule).
Throw in the revitalized Ovechkin under coach Adam Oates and it looks like the 2013 series will be infinitesimally more entertaining than last season's seven game snorefest.
Tarrana Kessels vs. Boston Trade Bonanza
No matter if you think Brian Burke was or wasn't a genius, the Phil Kessel trade will be his legacy in T.O. Let's remind everyone what the deal was exactly. The Bruins got in return three draft picks that turned out to be Tyler Seguin, a defenceman who has a fave superhero and Jared Knight. The former two are both playing for the B's and Seguin not only chipped in with a critical performance in their Cup run as a rookie but led the team in scoring in '11/12. Do the Dougie Hamilton has been impressive as a rookie this season on the Boston D. Knight--the jury's still out.
This trade was voted the best ever in Boston sports history (and remember the NBA Celtics got two cornerstones of an '80s dynasty in both Robert Parrish and Kevin McHale in a trade).
It doesn't stop there with Boston and the Centre of the Universe. Boston's outstanding goalie Tuukka Rask who's basically made most forget Tim Thomas's contract is on Long Island while his roly poly Gump body is on some couch in Colorado. The B's traded former Rookie of the Year Andrew Raycroft to the Leafs for Tuukka Rask. The Make Beliefs made this trade thinking Team Canada World Junior hero Justin Pogge was going to be their number one goalie. That Raycroft/Pogge tandem played all of 98 games with the Leafs. Pogge's only NHL games were the seven with the team and he had a sparkling .844 save percentage. Both are now playing in Italy. So, news flash, Maple Syrups, success at the World Juniors in net is meaningless. Yours, Jimmy Waite, Mario Gosselin and Mike Moffat.
You guys make me maple laff