My second favorite time of the year is here – The NHL playoffs andÂ the long, arduous road to the most storied trophy in all of sports, the Stanley Cup.Â For the playersÂ and fans alike, it always feels like you are a breath away from victory or complete annihilation.Â
I always thought itÂ was because the game moves so fast, that at any second a small flick of the wrist, a quick move in front of the goalie, a shot taken perfectly at the 4 hole and 1-1 tie would become a 2-1 victory.Â Â (AndÂ while we never again go through theÂ
excitement hell ofÂ staying up until 2 AM to watch theÂ Pens inÂ a fourth overtime, Â I found myself really looking forward to watching shoot-outs at the end of regulation during the playoffs last year.)
So join me Ladies… and let’s check out the hotties head to head, skate to skate.
Ottawa Senators vs Pittsburgh Penguins
(Daniel Alfredsson vs Evgeni MalkinÂ and hey… how did that other hottie get in there?)
I don’t care how much everyone says that the Senators are due, so many recent playoff runs, they have more post-season experience, blah blah blah.Â This is one of the most exciting times to be a Pens fan, (no one expected anything from them in ’91 either), so the only thing we have to worry about is if our baby-faced boys Crosby,Â Malkin, Staal, and FleuryÂ can manage to grow play-off beards.
Atlanta Thrashers vs New York Rangers
(Ilya Kovalchuk vs Jaromir Jagr)
Kovy was benched recently for being cranky, but looks to come backÂ strong inÂ the Thrashers’ first trip to the playoffs.Â Â Jags, well, the Rangers looked pretty much out of it a little more than a month ago, but here they are in the post-season.Â Â I’m rooting for Team Kovy here because we could use more male models in sports.
New Jersey Devils vs Tampa Bay Lighting
(Cam Janssen vs Â Nikita Alexeev)
I could neverÂ cheer forÂ anyone in a Devil’s uni and quite frankly, I’m a little afraid of Alexeev.Â This whole series comes down toÂ “Fuck youÂ Brodeur” for me.Â (See? Like any good fan I am already inÂ fine playoff form.)
Buffalo Sabers vs New York Islanders
(Paul Gaustad vs Alexei Yashin)
YesÂ I know Gaustad is out for the season.Â Too bad.Â He’s the hottest guy on the Sabers other than Ty Conklin, and I am sure you Buffalo fans don’t want his bad mojo hanging around this post-season, what with your fancy Presidents’ Trophy for best season and all.Â Â Wait… what… bad mojo?Â What I am thinking?
Detroit Red Wings vs Calgary Flames
(Andreas Lilja vs Mark Giordano)
Hardly seems fair?Â I mean, if we were going to go on looks alone, really, Andreas would have a cake walk through to the finals.Â Typical.Â Life is too good to the Red Wings.Â How old is their center Robert Lang now? 38?Â 40?
Mighty Ducks of Anaheim vs Minnesota Wild
(Ryan Getzlaf vs Shawn Belle)Â
Ok, so it is a stretch naming Shawn Belle considering that he has gone back and forth between the Wild and their minor league team this season.Â But since they recalled him in time for the playoffs, he’s totally fair game in my book.Â (Besides, have you seen the rest of the Wild?Â The Hanson brothers would be an improvement.Â
Vancouver Canucks vs Dallas Stars(This one does not matter.Â There is only one winner here.)
Nashville Predators vs San Jose Sharks
(Jason Arnott vsÂ Mark Bell)
Hey, didn’t you guys meet here at the same time last season?Â It must be frustrating to face the same team in the first round again.Â Everyone’s picking the Sharks it seems, but I have a feeling that Nashville might come through this year.Â
Man.Â That is one frozen pond full of hotties we have here.Â Â Remember what they look like now becauseÂ in a couple of weeks, they will all be a lot scruffier.