In praise of Bobby Ryan

In praise of Bobby Ryan
"The biggest thing is just his poise and his hands are unbelievable. I played with [Evgeni] Malkin and [Sidney] Crosby, and those guys are probably the two best in the league. Bobby's hands are right with those guys... He's a superstar in the making, it seems."
---Ryan Whitney, former Ducks defenseman

Monday, April 19, 2010

2010 Playoffs, round 1 (Western)

Even though our hometown heroes are well on their way to various golf courses around the globe, yours truly is hoping Duck fans are still enjoying playoff hockey. If anything, it's kind of fun to cheer against long-time Duck rivals.

And this post-season, the games have been very entertaining so far. The Phoenix Coyotes are my self-proclaimed mistress team, so I've been quite entertained watching them take on the Detroit Red Wings. Ex-Duck goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov has been stellar, capping off a Vezina-nominated season with what could be a legitimate run for the cup. Personally, yours truly would love to see this. The Coyotes have had their troubles this season, complete with ownership and bankruptcy squabbles that had most of the hockey purists denouncing the desert underdogs at the beginning of the season.

Under new coach Dave Tippett, the Yotes have fought their way into the post-season, breaking a number of franchise records in stride. They've risen dramatically in the playoffs, keeping pace with the Wings for a furiously entertaining series. Hockey enthusiasts can at least agree that both of these clubs have brought their best to the first round.

As a sidenote, I'm also enjoying seeing newly acquired ex-Duck Petteri Nokelainen bring his energy and enthusiasm to the Yotes. At least I get to see one of my boys in the playoffs.

I'm hoping to see the Yotes end the Wings' run early, and avenge my Ducks for last post-season's lame series-winning goal. It would be hockey justice, you know?

Also very intriguing is the San Jose Sharks contest against the eighth-seeded Colorado Avalanche. In keeping with the Sharks' post-season choking tradition, yours truly tuned in to last night's game just in time to watch Sharks veteran defenseman Dan Boyle fire a shot that was deflected behind his own goaltender within the first minute of overtime. I feel incredibly bad for Boyle, but I can't help but snicker at the Chokes' Sharks' misfortune.

I'm also keeping tabs on the Los Angeles Kings/Vancouver Canucks matchup. However, this is primarily to keep me aware of which nights to steer clear of the Staples Center. I've already mentioned how fond I am of Kings fans, and the hecklings I receive every time I step foot near Staples with my Bobby Ryan jersey. So here's hoping the Kings are quickly pushed out of their first playoffs since 2002.

I haven't been watching too many games in the Eastern Conference, highlights aside. But that will change as the rounds advance and there are less games to watch. Ducks fan or not, playoff hockey is playoff hockey.

Go Yotes/Avs/Canucks!


Jenelyn said...

It's been an amazing Round 1 already, no? I agree--I feel bad for Boyle, but not for the Sharks. If Buffalo fails me, I'm all in for the Yotes :) Go Hockey!

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