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Playoff Journal: Angelique

Few things get the heart pumping or the nerves racking more than playoff hockey.  Most especially if it’s overtime playoff hockey.  Whether you have a team in the race or not, few things will pull you out of your seat then a glorious scoring chance in a thrilling overtime affair.   If you are a hockey fan, the 2010 playoffs have not been a disappointment.

I have seen blow outs, close finishes, a triple overtime classic and a defenseman’s shot finding its way into his own net.  I’ve observed these games on my couch, in my kitchen, and in one case in person.  It’s difficult to turn away even if a comfortable bed beckons and the clock is close to midnight.  Blowouts are boring and thankfully there have not been too many in the first round of the 2010 playoffs. 

I have already witnessed an upset with the seventh seeded Philadelphia Flyers beating goalie legend Martin Brodeur and the New Jersey Devils, with journeyman Brian Boucher between the pipes.  I’ve seen two eighth seeded teams give the number one seeded clubs in their conferences fits.  The Colorado Avalanche and Montreal Canadiens cannot match the San Jose Sharks and Washington Capitals in talent, but they are feisty foes that have not gone away easily.  The Avs run has ended, but Montreal has pushed Washington to the limit.

I’ve enjoyed watching the Phoenix Coyotes return to the playoffs.  I’ve been a big supporter of the team remaining in the desert and I’m glad to see the team reward its fans with a great season.  For their sake, I hope they enjoy a long and fruitful playoff run.

I admit to paying more attention to the series in the Western Conference and it is fun having the Chicago Blackhawks be a success once again.  The singing of the national anthem before each home game gives me chills.  You can feel the atmosphere without having to be there.  I do also enjoy the crowds in Nashville.  I’ve always felt the crowd emulates a college hockey atmosphere, especially with some of the more entertaining chants they use.  This is one series where I would feel I could have a great time in both buildings.

They are a Northwest Division rival of the Colorado Avalanche, but one cannot help but appreciate the performance of the Vancouver Canucks.  The Sedins are fun to watch and Roberto Luongo can sometimes let in a soft goal or make your jaw drop with a remarkable save.  Despite their season coming to an end, it was fun watching an up and coming Los Angeles Kings team.  That club will be a force to be reckoned with in the years to come.

There are still games left to be played, but I’m hoping the second round will be just as exciting.

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