Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Projected (Well, Hoped For) 2009 NHL Eastern Conference Playoffs

Ok, I made reference to it in my prior post, but wanted to devote more space and an entire blog entry about how fantastically fantastical the Eastern Conference playoffs could be this year.

I still think the best two teams in the league are San Jose and Detroit (in some order thereof) from the West, but the greater top level depth and much greater tradition and storylines lie in the East.

Thinking about what we could (keep in mind this is a Christmas list) have in the Eastern Conference playoffs this year, let's start with where the standing are at as of today, Dec 23.

1. Boston Bruins *
2. New York Rangers *
3. Washington Capitals *
4. Philadelphia Flyers
5. Montreal Canadiens
6. New Jersey Devils
7. Pittsburgh Penguins
8. Buffalo Sabres

Good and compelling teams all, but let's imagine for a moment that the current 11th place Toronto Maple Leafs goes on a hot streak and displaces the Sabres (who currently are 3 points up on Toronto). Then, let's imagine the standing shuffling up a bit and giving us the following playoff matchups...

First Round
1 vs 8: Montreal Canadiens vs Toronto Maple Leafs - I know it's a pipe dream for the Leafs to make it, but how cool of a matchup would this be?
2 vs 7: Philadelphia Flyers vs New York Rangers - Rough much?
3 vs 6: Washington Capitals vs Pittsburgh Penguins - Alexander Ovechkin v Sidney Crosby. Fun.
4 vs 5: Boston Bruins vs New Jersey Devils - With Martin Brodeur benched in favor of Scott Clemmensen. Brodeur then starts affair with hot arena usher.

Second Round
Philadelphia Flyers vs Pittsburgh Penguins - Battle of Pennsylvania reprised.
Boston Bruins vs Montreal Canadiens - Just a battle.

Third Round
Boston Bruins vs Philadelphia Flyers - Bs vs the Bullies. Put on the foil.

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