NHL Set to Begin Spring Tournament

April 10, 2011 | Marty Mossa

Well it’s that time of year again.  Hard to believe it but the Stanley Playoffs is set to begin this Wednesday.  The Washington Capitals rebounded after a horrific December and not only won the Southeast Division Title, but also won top honors in the Eastern Conference.  They will go up against  a very physical New York Rangers team that notched up the last playoff spot Saturday Night.  The Caps blew a 3-1 lead last year in the opening round to the Montreal Canadians.

The # 2 seed Philadelphia Flyers will who won the Atlantic Division will go up against the number 7th seed, the Buffalo Sabers.  The #3 seed in the Eastern Conference the Boston Bruins will play Montreal, and the #4 seed Pittsburgh Penguins will play the # 5 seed the Tampa Bay Lightening.   Boston blew a 3-0 lead against the Flyers in the second round of the playoffs last year.

In the Western Conference, the President Trophy winning Vancouver Canucks will face the Stanley Cup Champs Chicago Blackhawks.  Number 2 seed San Jose will go up against the #7 seed LA Kings, the #3 seed Detroit Redwings will face off against the #6 seed Phoenix Coyotes,  and #4 seed Anaheim Ducks will face the #5 seed Nashville Predators.  

The question will be this: will the Capitals find yet another way to lose a playoff series?  Or will they go all the way.  Anthing short of at least going to the conference finals in my eyes will be yet another failure of a year.  Will Vancouver be able to go all the way?  Those people in the great northwest are dying to bring Lord Stanley their way.  The Canucks lost to the New York Islanders in the 1982 finals 4-0, and again in 1994 to the New york Rangers in 7.