Things I'm Not Doing
Seven goals one night. Eight goals the next.
And presto! - you have the two best nights of NHL playoff competition since the first round.
It's not rocket science, folks. Goals, and lead changes, make games, and its impossible to have the latter without the former. I can love the occasional 1-0 or 2-1 game just as much as the next guy, but not night after stultifying night. The best thing about the past 48 hours was we didn't spend two nights talking about shot blocking, the most boring, least skilfull element of the sport. Guts and timing, folks, should never be equated with heroism.
So gimme Game 5 of Kings-Coyotes or Game 5 of Rangers-Devils anytime. More of that, and you might even revive the dying TV ratings on both sides of the border.
But here's two things I'm not doing.
First, I'm not writing off the Rangers. The Capitals made that mistake - well, maybe they assumed they had Game 5 in the bag - and they were dead wrong.
This New York team sure isn't pretty to watch most nights. But they refuse to die and even though New Jersey has proven beyond a reasonable doubt over the course of five games that they are the better hockey club, I'm still not burying the Rangers yet.
The concern has to be that the Rangers rely so heavily on such a small group of players, and that group has run out of gas. Dan Girardi is making mistakes he doesn't make. Brad Richards isn't making much happen at all. In Game 5, the Devils didn't have a player with more than 23:33 of playing time or a player with less than 7:44. The Rangers had three players above 23:33, and two below 7:44. One team has more skates on the ground.
That said, Ryan Callahan just keeps going and going, and when it comes to the Battle of Hudson, we've seen the Devils up 3-2 before. And we know what happened that time.
Second, I'm not awarding the Stanley Cup to the Los Angeles Kings, as dominant as that hockey club has been in beat the first, second and third seeds in the Western Conference in this post-season.
Lots of folks want to do this, and why not? The Kings have been brilliant in the post-season, dominant against every opponent in what most believe is the better conference.
Then again, folks believed that last year, and Vancouver, as it turned out, wasn't better than Boston.
The Devils, I believe, can beat the Kings. Not sure about the Rangers, but the Devils can do it because they're playing the game to score goals and have demonstrated they are more than willing to turn the other cheek to do it.
So let's hold off on the coronation for now, cool?