- The Detroit Red Wings, having been thumped out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs by Manny Malhotra and the San Jose Sharks, granted CBJ General Manager Scott Howson the privilege of an interview with assistant coach Paul MacLean. Not a bad move by Howson, seeing that the last Mike Babcock assistant from Detroit just bounced him from the playoffs.
- Howson has interviewed Scott Arniel and Kevin Dineen. (For more info on all of the candidates, look to the left-hand column.)
- Kris Russell and Jake Voracek are playing in the
National Invitation Tournament- errrrr - IIHF World Championships.
- The Jackets and "the" Ohio State University agree to save each other a million bones by
colluding- errrrr - consolidating arena management services.
Other than that, nothing earth-shattering to report. I've been swamped with family and school matters, making my posts fewer and farther between. Also, one more thing to explain the lack of "Moments of Stanley Cup Playoff Greatness":
The second round of the playoffs, in my opinion, has pretty much sucked. Permit me to elaborate.
- The Columbus Blue Jackets are not in the playoffs. Not a news item, but it clouds my thinking about this postseason. Had the Boys in Union Blue been playing, I'd be all over them.
- The first round had some deliciously plucky play from the most unlikely places. Phoenix took Detroit to seven games. Ottawa pushed Pittsburgh to six games, same for Los Angeles against Vancouver, Nashville against Chicago and Colorado against San Jose. And Boston upset Buffalo in six. Never mind that the Montreal Canadiens knocked the President's Trophy-winning Washington Capitals out in seven games. Only one series went only five games, and that's where Philadelphia upset New Jersey. It was a wild couple of weeks - great hockey every night! Honestly, I'm not sure how it could have been better without the Blue Jackets in the mix.
- When my team's not playing, I'm a bit of an anarchist. I love the first round of the NCAA hoops tourney when a 14 beats a 3. I love the wild card round of the NFL when some crappy 9-7 or 8-8 team beats a division champ. And I love the Stanley Cup playoffs when an 8 beats a 1, a 7 beats a 2 and a 6 beats a 3. (I'd throw in the 5 beating the 4 except we all know Detroit was a better team than their seed indicated.)
- What do we have in the second round? San Jose dispatched Detroit in 5. Good for the Sharks, but not at all unexpected. The Canadiens are holding on by a thread against the Penguins. Boston is slicing and dicing Philadelphia (but Boston's injuries could make the series interesting). And Chicago and Vancouver are trying hard to decide who wants to lose less than the other.
- Note that, thus far in the second round, the higher ranked team is winning or has won. Yawn.
Look, nothing short of a CBJ trail being blazed through the playoffs could make the second round as fascinating as the first round. We had fresh faces on the ice. We had packed houses going crazy in the most unlikely venues. We had snakes being thrown. We had upsets, upsets and more upsets. We had hockey royalty getting egged (metaphorically speaking, Mr. Ovechkin). And this round has gone pretty much according to form, with the exception of a shark hitting the ice and a puck causing catastrophic damage to Sami Salo.
So, yeah, it sucked. At least Todd Bertuzzi won't get his name on the Stanley Cup this year - and the Stanley Cup Finals will have at least one new team in 2010 with the Detroit tee time coming so soon.
Fear not, good readers. If something memorable happens beyond Sami Salo's exploding jewels, I'll post it for all to read.
What's your take? Is the second round as boring as I've suggested? Are you seeing something I'm not?