Wednesday, April 11, 2007

20 Things should know about the NHL playoffs.
1. Obviously, the Devils have the X-factor in goaltender Martin Brodeur. Brodeur, who turns 35 on May 6, has carried the Devils to three Cups already. This year, he's played in an amazing 78 games and logged 4,697 minutes both are career highs.

2. Tampa Bay, Jersey's first-round opponent, will go with Johan Holmqvist in net. Holmqvist is a playoff rookie who took over late in the season after free-agent signee Marc Denis failed to hold the job.

3. The Ottawa-Pittsburgh series should be a dandy. Not only will they be trotting out two of the league's top three offenses, they just played last Thursday in a game that was very chippy.

4. Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby (84 assists, 120 points) is a leading MVP candidate, while Ottawa's Dany Heatley became the first player with consecutive 50-goal seasons since Pavel Bure ('01, '02).

5. Nashville went 12-6-5 after acquiring Peter Forsberg from the Flyers. Forsberg played in 17 of those games, registering two goals and 13 assists. The Preds never have won a playoff series.

6. Eric Lindros (groin) hasn't played for Dallas since March 8, but could be available for the playoffs. Lindros played in 49 games this year with five goals and 21 points. He hasn't scored a goal since Nov. 20.

7. Quality over quantity: The Sabres posted the league's best record but were cumulatively outshot in all three periods and overtime. Unlike last year, Buffalo is taking a healthy lineup into the postseason

8. "There's no question that some parts of upstate New York, and Buffalo is included in that, has had an inferiority complex for a while," said Tom Golisano, the Sabres owner since 2003. "And to have this team emerge like it has, has been very, very good for the psyche of the area."

9. Atlanta captain Scott Mellanby, the active leader with 1,431 games played without a Stanley Cup ring, turns 41 on June 11.

10. Detroit has been eliminated in the first round in two of the last three playoffs. Like this year, they were the West's No. 1 seed in 2006 before losing to Edmonton.

The rest of the list of things you should know about the NHL playoffs can be found >>> here.

No comments: