Archive for the ‘Playoff Preview’ Category

Jonathan Quick is unaware that normal people don't bend like that.

 

The last installment of the pre-playoffs injury updates is an all-California affair. In keeping with the west coast theme, now seems like a good time to mention that I predicted the Ducks would go far in the playoffs this year. Whatever. My thing is injuries, not picking teams that are worth a damn.

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These plastic rats are day-to-day.

 

Pre-playoff injury updates were originally being written in the order in which teams clinched. Since everybody clinched at once over the weekend, they’re now based on which combinations amuse me the most. Next up: Florida and Phoenix. A team that won a terrible division and a team that won a slightly less terrible but still pretty awful division.

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Like many people, I love cheering for an underdog. There’s something rewarding about backing an unlikely team against popular opinion, not to mention that an underdog’s success feels like our own success by proxy as we all see ourselves as underdogs in some way. Seeing a sports team unexpectedly defeat a superior opponent makes us believe that we can defeat those who we see as superior than ourselves.

But that’s getting too introspective and making me look like I have an inferiority complex. Let’s take a look at all eight of the first round playoff series and why each of them will assuredly be an upset (and also why they absolutely won’t).

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One of these guys may not be ready for the first round. Hint: It's not Dany Sabourin.

 

*Note* The pre-playoffs injury updates were originally being done in the order in which teams clinched. Since the rest of them decided to make my life hard and all clinch at the same time, updates are now being done in the order I find most amusing.

Welcome to the national capital edition of the pre-playoffs injury update. First, a bit of trivia. Ottawa (not Toronto) is the capital of Canada. Yes, it’s true. Go ahead and question everything you thought you knew. Next, it may also interest you to know that Washington DC is not a state. Having gotten those important little tidbits of information out of the way*, let’s look at how these two teams are shaping up headed into the playoffs.

* There are people out there that regularly get these two facts wrong. Yes, really.

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EXCUSE ME.

 

With a couple of notable exceptions for the Bruins (Nathan Horton, Tuukka Rask), both they and the Devils are looking good headed into the playoffs. Boston has a fairly standard crop of injuries – a groin strain, a knee sprain, and a couple of concussions. New Jersey is mixing it up with a broken wrist and a blood clot (what?). Weird. Here’s what’s up with these two teams as they close out the last few games of the regular season.
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"It was an accident, I SWEAR"

 

Vancouver and Chicago are as injury-ridden as Detroit and Nashville are injury-free. Both teams have big names out (possibly for the remainder of the season), and considering they hate the crap out of one another and could meet somewhere in the playoffs, this could get capital U ugly.

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Beards > Groin pulls

 

As teams get busy clinching playoff berths, I get busy running down their injuries and what they’ll mean in the post-season. Detroit and Nashville are both in pretty solid shape headed into the playoffs, which is great news because it allows everyone more time to talk about Shea Weber’s insane beard and not a bunch of strained groins.

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