Monday, April 14, 2014

Blackhawks sing the Blues

I SWORE OFF the NHL for a long time. But I came back. Sorry, no cure for being a lifelong hockey fan.

Yup. It's the playoffs. For the hockey fan it's nirvana. I especially root for the West Coast teams so the games are on late, though I'm old and usually in bed before the puck drops.

My team is the Detroit Red Wings. I cannot stand the Boston Bruins. I'm not holding up much hope for Detroit, but last year the Wings barely got in to the playoffs and then upset Anaheim in the first round, and should have beaten a very fortunate Chicago team.

Maybe Detroit has a chance. Before he got hurt, Pavel Datsyuk was among the best players in the world. He's only been back for a few games and is already making Detroit better.

The other series around here attracting a lot of attention is St. Louis vs. Chicago. Blues fans are among the most long-suffering and loyal in hockey - they sell out plenty of games despite never winning a Stanley Cup or even being in contention. This year they were cruising along, but injuries and suddenly suspect defense has led to a late season swoon.

St. Louis simply doesn't have a sniper, a great offensive player who can turn a game around. Everybody knows defense wins championships, but you have to score, too. Guys who aren't known for offense have to score. Want proof? Watch the last two minutes of last year's Game 6 between Chicago and Boston. Dave Bolland? Seriously?

I will agree with Barry Melrose and say the winner of this series could very well win the Stanley Cup, especially St. Louis. I'm hoping they beat Chicago and make a nice run.

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