The next round of NHL Playoffs will begin as the field has been cut from 16 teams to eight. The Nashville Predators swept the Chicago Blackhawks and the entire world of hockey fans was stunned. There is no one who could see that one coming.
Nashville will take on the St. Louis Blues, who dispatched the Minnesota Wild four games to one. The fact that the St. Louis Blues handled the Minnesota Wild so easily was a little bit of a shock, too. This series between the Blues and Predators will be a defensive struggle and goals will be at a premium. I expect a lot of 2-1 scores in this series. I don’t care who wins this series, as I like both of these hockey clubs. The Fat Guy prediction is: The Nashville Predators in a tough seven-game series.
The other Western Conference series will be the Edmonton Oilers and the Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks, coming off a sweep of the Calgary Flames, will be well rested. The Edmonton Oilers advanced by defeating the San Jose Sharks. The Oilers, and its fan base who have not seen playoff hockey in over a decade, will get to see round two. The Edmonton team is very young and will be severely tested by the tough Anaheim Ducks club. If you have not had the opportunity to watch Connor McDavid of the Oilers, make sure you do it. He is one talented hockey player. The Anaheim Ducks win this series 4-2 and move on to round three.
The Eastern Conference will have the New York Rangers and Ottawa Senators hooking up in round two. The Rangers wiped out the Montreal Canadiens in round one. I know many hockey experts liked the Montreal hockey club to win the series. So it goes. The Ottawa Senators took out the Boston Bruins in six games. This is a tough series and even tougher to pick the winner. The reason I am going with the New York Rangers is goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. I think he will be the difference and let the Rangers advance to round three.
This next series will be an awesome match-up: The Pittsburgh Penguins and the Washington Capitals. The Penguins quickly disposed of the Columbus Blue Jackets in five games. The defending champs will have their hockey gloves full of Washington Capitals. The Capitals won a very tough series over the Toronto Maple Leafs. I expect numerous high-scoring games between these two hockey clubs. There will be goals and more goals in what should be offensive hockey at its finest. I like the Capitals in seven games over the Penguins.
NBA playoffs not worth watching just yet
The NBA first round is not even close to being over for most teams. The Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers both swept their first-round series. Is there anyone shocked by that? I think not! I have watched very little of the games so far and will keep it that way until later when the games are more competitive and worth watching.
NFL Draft opens tonight
The NFL Draft round one takes place tonight (Thursday). The first round is always worth the watch. Why? The fact that no one really knows anything but speculation makes it fun. Let’s not forget that the Cleveland Browns own the first pick and they can make a mess of the draft after the first selection.
Here’s the big question: What should our lovable losers, the “Motor City Kitty Kats” do in the draft? The biggest areas of concern are defensive line and linebacker. I feel linebacker is the most glaring hole on the defensive side of the ball. It needs to receive attention with the first pick! If Detroit chooses an offensive player, I will break my flat screen TV and be very, very angry. When Detroit gets to round three or later, then it can start looking for a running back. The Lions need a speed burner out of the backfield. I can’t think how mad I used to get when Matt “Mickey Mouse” Millen was in charge of the Lions draft picks. I will say that Detroit has drafted better in the last few years. I will analyze the Lions picks next week.
Could have been a lot worse
The Detroit Lions schedule came out pretty nice, I think. In the previous two years, the season started out with too many road games. The home opener is the Arizona Cardinals on September 10 at Ford Field. Then the Atlanta Falcons at home on September 24. The Lions are on Monday Night Football in week two against Eli Manning and the Giants in New York. The Sunday night game October 29 with the Pittsburgh Steelers will have Ford Field rocking. The Lions play in Green Bay on Monday Night Football on November 6. The Lions’ annual Turkey Day game once again will have the Minnesota Vikings, just like last year. The season will end with the Green Bay Packers at Ford Field. Let’s hope it’s for the division title and a different result in 2017. firstname.lastname@example.org