The Stanley Cup Playoffs are in full swing and already the first round is proving to be one of the most exciting in years.
Some random observations...
1. The New York Islanders are back! This young team is giving the Pittsburgh Penguins a run for their money. They're explosive, full of passion and talent. There's a ton of potential on this team and there's no doubt in my mind that they'll be a strong playoff contender in the years to come. Also great to see their fan base being loud and proud. It's tough being an Islanders fan... the team plays in a terribly outdated arena and will be moving to Brooklyn in two years. So it's good to see them have something to cheer about.
2. Speaking of fans... I'm pretty sure the Washington Capitals have the best playoff atmosphere in the United States.
3. The Washington Capitals could be very dangerous this post-season and if they go far, they can thank Braden Holtby for that. He's an absolute stud in between the pipes... a superstar in the making.
4. Expect some major house cleaning this off-season for the Vancouver Canucks. The way they've handled their goaltending situation this year has been nothing short of humiliating. Both Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider deserve better. Luongo was NOT the problem in games one and two of their Western Conference Quarter Final series against the San Jose Sharks. Yet Alain Vigneault decided to put in Cory Schneider for Game Three - which blew up in his face. Goaltending is not the issue in Vancouver... considering your star players have failed to make an impact or find the back of the net... there's a bigger issue lingering. I fully expect both the Head Coach and General Manager Mike Gillis to be on the unemployment line shortly.
5. Absolutely love the intensity between the St. Louis Blues and Los Angeles Kings. It's been one hell of a series and I sincerely hope it goes a full seven games.