Monday, April 19, 2004

4/19 Notes

... Ted Kulfan confirms what I said yesterday about the first round being a wake-up call for the Wings in the Detroit News. He even goes so far as to say they are "... indebted to the Nashville Predators" for preparing the Wings for the rest of the playoffs. That's true but you wouldn't think a veteran team like the Wings would need such help from a team like the Preds. It's obvious they that they had become complacent, though, and that they needed such a wake-up call. Now they just need to stay awake. It will only get tougher and there are three more rounds before the Cup gets handed out. ... The Wings will most likely start Round 2 on Thursday. They will face either Colorado or Calgary, depending on the results of the Canucks/Flames Game 7 tonight in Vancouver. The series could also start on Wednesday but that is not as likely, though I would probably prefer seeing the Wings play then. Rest is important in the playoffs but there is such a thing as too much rest and I don't want to see the Wings get complacent again. The sooner they start, the better, especially if they will be facing Calgary, a team which will be exhausted after a hard fought series if they come out of it. ... Ray Whitney's goal Saturday afternoon was his first goal in the playoffs since April 18th 2000 when he was a Florida Panther. His assist was his first since May 19, 1995 when he was a San Jose Shark. Ray has only played in the playoffs three times in his career, twice with the Sharks and once with the Panthers. He has not been on the best teams in the league, that's for sure. Welcome to the upper tier, Ray! ... There are three series going to seven games in the first round this year: Calgary/Vancouver (Game 7 forced Saturday night/Sunday morning when Canucks won) Ottawa/Toronto (Game 7 forced last night when Ottawa won) Boston/Montreal (Game 7 forced Saturday when the Habs won) The Habs will try to complete their comeback from a 3-1 deficit in the series tonight in Boston while the Canucks will try to win their series after going down 3-2 in it tonight as well. The Leafs and Sens play tomorrow night. ... As has already been mentioned by Tom Benjamin of Canucks Corner's NHL Weblog, there is an excellent piece by Dubi Silverstein in which he summarizes salary escalation in the NHL through the years. Definitely a must-read.


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