Let the Games Begin

April 11, 2010 | Marty Mossa

This Wednesday the best tournament in all of sports will begin a long two month journey.  The 2009 – 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs is the best that sports have to offer.  After six months and 82 regular season games, sixteen teams will compete for Lord Stanley’s Cup.  The most treasured trophy in North America (probably the world) will be presented to the team who can endure the next two month through four rounds.  The magic number of victories to earn the right to lift the Stanley Cup is 16.
What makes the NHL Playoffs so special is simple.  It doesn’t matter where a team is ranked, nor does it matter who has home ice advantage.  The previous 82 regular season games are forgotten.  The real games begin in earnest on Wednesday.

The Washington Capitals are the odds on favorite to win the cup this year.  The Caps earned 121 points out of a possible 164.  That is a .738 winning percentage.  But before the DC faithful starts planning their parade, the Montreal Canadians may have something to say about it.  The Caps and Habs will clash in the first round.  Although the Caps won the League’s President’s Trophy this year for most points earned, they must still win 16 games over the course of the next two months.  Caps vs Mont   Caps in 5

Since its creation in the 1985 – 1986 season, only seven teams who won the President’s Trophy went on to win the Stanley Cup.  So winning it doesn’t guarantee a Stanley Cup. 

I told my wife that she would be a hockey widow starting Wednesday.  She didn’t hear the word hockey, but got a big smile on her face when she heard the word “widow.”  At any rate, here are my first round predictions:

Eastern Conference



 NJ vs Phi  Devils in 6


Buf vs Bos   Sabres in 7


Pitt vs Ott    Pens in 5


Western Conference


SJ vs Col  Sharks in 7


Chi vs Nash   Blackhawks in 6


Van vs LA     Canucks in 6


Det vs Phonx    Redwings in 5