By William R. Eller
The first thing you have to do is thank the hockey gods for getting us this far, they made it very interesting in game 6 but we'll take it. Secondly we must realize that now we can get some much needed rest, that is of course unless we play Boston, who are getting even more rest. Looking at the other series you have to admire what Washington is doing right now; they clearly are the better team. But after a hot goalie in the playoffs steals three games to come back and force this game seven, it cannot be overlooked. Cam Ward and Martin Brodeur are also going to be solely responsible for winning their game seven.
One thing I have realized in getting ready for the next series is be careful who you say you "want" in the next round. We all want the lower seed and the chance to have home ice in round 2. But I will never say I want the Devils with Broudeur in net, and I would shy against asking for Alex Ovechkin. So what do you do in waiting for round 2? Well, if you are the Penguins, get healthy - and more importantly fix the power play. I can't see the Penguins getting to the Stanley Cup without finding a way to get power play goals. Also, will round 2 be the time for Petr Sykora to wake up? Injury or not, I would rather see Petr over Satan any day.
Out west San Jose is trying to avoid the President's Cup curse at the moment, they look like they are trying to coast through the first round and it might just bite them in the rear. Detroit and Vancouver are at home and resting quite nicely right now; both teams look good. This must be a little strange for Vancouver who hasn't won a playoffs series outside of a game seven in years. Calgary and Chicago is a match up with the veteran Flames vs. the youth of the Blackhawks, and it looks like the speed and youth of Chicago will come out one top.
As our “Road to the Cup” tracker states, four down and twelve to go on the ultimate goal…or, Another race to four wins, as interim head coach Dan Bylsma (IHCDB) says. The next opponent does not matter, the road less traveled is always the hardest.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.