It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I have found my favorite series of the first round:

Granted I've only seen Pitt/Philly, Boston/Montreal and Chicago/Calgary, but the Sharks/Ducks game last night made me eager to watch some more. I waited through the Hawks game (thank you for scoring 11 seconds in OT) for VS to jump in just in time for the second period. I stayed up until one in the morning to see the finish (yes, that's late for me when I have class in the AM).

Here's my game thoughts:

+ Hello hits. I felt sore just watching those two teams throw the bodies around. Ryane Clowe was an animal out there.
+ Anaheim is the better 'playoff' team. They just are. You know a playoff team when you see one. They just have all the elements needed -- like Boston. It goes beyond skill. A successful playoff team has a little of everything. Can SJ lock it up or will they choke? How they respond in Game 2 will say it all.
+ Ducks really need to cool their love for the penalty box. Took way too many penalties and fortunately San Jose's power play was completely ineffective. As I always say though, taking penalty after penalty will catch up with you.
+ Hiller. I hate to see Giguere sit because I have all the respect in the world for the guy, but Hiller is hot right now. So important for the postseason.
+ Anaheim held Thornton to one shot. No other words needed.
+ The only time I heard the Shark Tank get quiet was towards the very end. The rest of the time they were very loud. That's awesome, but clearly their team didn't respond. For a Sharks team that was so good on home ice, losing the first one when you have home ice advantage is not so good. Anaheim's already in a good spot coming out of NorCal with at least one win.
+ My team above anyone else is the Penguins, but I will openly admit that I love Western Conference hockey.

Other series Notes

+ The Bruins & Canadiens are a close second for my favorite series. The score was tight up until the end. Gotta give one huge shout-out to my most hated player in the NHL, Josh Gorges, for taking a penalty and costing his team the game. Nice job bud! You're a winner.

Photo Credit: Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images



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