Playoffs Gaining Momentum

*This years playoffs have been one of the best in recent memory. Obviously the Penguins/Caps games caught the eye of everyone, but the action in the Detroit/Anaheim was as good. In fact any series Detroit is in seems to bring out quality hockey.

*Detroit/Chicago is turning into another top drawer series. The veteran Red Wings looked like they were on their way after tying up game three. But a fantastic pass by Sammy Pahlsson to a streaking Patrick Sharp for the overtime winner kept the Blackhawks in the series.

*I know one player does not make a team, but Zdeno Chara needs to step it up. He left Ottawa for two reasons. He was still ticked off at the way his close friend Marian Hossa was treated, but more importantly he wanted the challenge of being a captain. Remaining in Ottawa he was never going to accomplish that with Daniel Alfredsson wearing the C. Next year will define him as a hockey player.

*Speaking of Hossa, will there be any money left for him to re sign in Detroit? With the cap expected to be in the $55 million range, and the Wings already committed to about $50 million, it will be tight. Jiri Hudler and a backup goalie need to fit into the equation as well. I know Marian told me he loves the atmosphere around the Wings; I also know he misses Ottawa and what the city has to offer. If I am the Senators I would give my left you know what to find a way to get him back.

*According to the NHL, 42 of the 44 first round games were sold out. Networks on both sides of the border are reporting better than usual numbers, except CBC. Of course Montreal and Calgary didn’t do the public broadcaster any favors. All of this has to be music to the ears of …. ESPN. Going to be easier to sell hockey to the network with ( relatively ) higher ratings.

*Many are looking at the Phoenix situation the wrong way. This is not about Bettman and Balsillie or moving the team out of a non hockey environment. It comes down to who really controls teams and what an owner can do with it. This is a battleground and all pro teams in North America realize this.

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