For those of who horrified to find Right Field talking about soccer, take comfort: the NHL playoffs start tomorrow night. Old-time hawkey! Eddie Shore!
Well, maybe not old-time hockey. There are a lotta hot-weather teams in the NHL’s second season this year. The NHL is fast becoming global-warming public enemy Number One. Anyway . . .
My eighth-seeded Rangers make the trip down to the capital to take on top-seeded Alex Ovechkin and a buncha other guys. [I'll take the Blueshirts in six.]
The (most likely) Sidney Crosby–less Penguins host the Tampa Bay Lightning (bless them). [Lightning round!]
The champion Chicago Blackhawks travel to Vancouver to face the powerful Canucks. [I'll take the Sedins in a sweep.]
Detroit’s Flying Hubcaps host the Phoenix Coyotes. [The Red Wings' balanced offense will be too much for the desert dogs.]
The Predators of Nashville (a.k.a., Hockey Town, USA) travel to Anaheim to take on the Disney Ducks. [Quack -- but Nashville's defense and penalty-killing stretch this series to seven games.]
The three remaining series kick off Thursday. We’ve got a great Original Six matchup in Beantown, Canadiens at Bruins [Habs in six!]; Sabres at Flyers [Blech: Flyers in six]; and the all-Cali matchup, Kings at Sharks [Marleau and Thornton make L.A. afraid to go in the water -- San Jose in five].