Balls Johnson: NHL Playoffs Best In Team Sports

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“…the most exciting playoffs in all of sports are in full swing.”

Blues fan

NHL Playoffs brings ’em all out.

ST. LOUIS, MO31.8 seconds31.8 seconds…..  That was all that stood between the Blues and a game one victory Tuesday night in the 3rd period.  Then, out of nowhere, a glove-side wrister propelled a game that was seemingly open and shut into bonus hockey.  The Blues dominated 59 ½ minutes of hockey only to be put on the brink due to an empty net, last-ditch attempt.  A lesser team would have folded.  The Blues, however, battled on and something great happened.  On the hind end of a late shift, a man that has become a consummate prestidigitator for the Blues broke lines and went in on the forecheck, surprising Jonathan Quick. He intercepted the outlet pass and ended the game with a backhand into an empty net.

Its official.  The NHL playoffs are finally here.

For those you that are wrapped up in trying to figure out which player will come out of the closet next or what CFL jersey Tim Tebow will wear, you are missing the boat.  At arena’s around the country, where steel meets ice, the most exciting playoffs in all of sports are in full swing.

Sexy-NY-Rangers-FanTonight the Broadway Blue’s kick of their series in DC and unfortunately for many of you, I disagree with Cheesy Bruin’s pick of Blueshirts in 6. Growing up a Blues fan, I am quite familiar with the music of Hull & Oates.  Seeing Adam Oates guide this Caps team from abject failure to the 3 seed has me believing that the Rangers will be playing golf sooner rather than later.  This will give Mark Messier a sigh of relief from a public speaking perspective.  Yet another year goes by wherein New Yorkers get their hopes up only to have them crushed in April.

But while I honestly can’t make a Cup-winning prediction, I will say this:  Whoever wins the Cup will come from the Western Conference.  If the Blackhawks make, it they win.  If someone beats the Blackhawks, they will win.  The quality between goaltending talent between the East and West teams in this year’s playoffs is remarkably wide. alexander-steen-scores on qucikIf you look at the likes of Quick, Crawford & Elliot, versus Long In The Tooth Lundqvist, Flew The Coop Fluery, and Tuuka Beating Rask, there is no contest.  Hell, the Ducks held the Wings to one goal with a call-up from the minors in game one.  Did I mention Angry Ward’s Wild had a guy with multiple sclerosis standing on his head between the pipes?! Hands down, the Western Conference is the better side this year in net.

Pittsburgh+PenguinsIn the East, the series that most intrigues me is the Pens vs Isles.  The Pens have had the Isles number of late and spanked them last night. But this Isles team is the kind of group that can sneak up on a veteran squad like the Pens.  Every game they play is hard fought and close (except for last night).  The Isles have nothing to lose.  They don’t have a fan base.  They don’t really have a coach.  They don’t have a home stadium.  No one really knew they existed until they sneaked in.  Teams like that play for each other and nothing more.  I liken the 2013 Isles to the 1980 USA Olympic Team.  Everyone knows they are the weaker team and yet I believe that Pittsburgh will be sent  packing in 7 when Taveras scores in the 3rd to win it 2-1.

Blues over Kings in 6

Come back for Different Matt tomorrow, when he’ll be singing the Broadway Blues.

P.s… Anyone know what Balls Johnson means?

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About the Author ()

Cam James hails from Missouri and is a down-the-line St. Louis fan: Rams, Cards, Blues... Thus his occasional "Ram Rules" column. He hates Kansas basketball, lives in Denver, been a wrestler, dabbled in Ultimate Fighting and plays hardball. Oh, and he's Opie Taylor white.

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