I almost never predict that one team will sweep another team in the playoffs. I suppose I should stick to that from now on if they’re all going to work out the way the Penguins/Senators series did for the first game. The Senators clearly aren’t getting swept by the Penguins. I still think the Pens will bounce back and win the series, but they’re obviously not going to do it in 4 games. If they look the way they did in game one, the Penguins could get swept. They had their moments, but the game wasn’t as close as the final score indicates.
I know NBC couldn’t possibly give up Minute to Win It (which I’d never heard of before I decided to see what was on tonight), Law & Order: Special Victim’s Unit (a show I’ve actually seen), & “To Be Announced” (that’s still what my DVR has listed for tonight, though it looks like a second episode of Law & Order: Special Victim’s Unit or another Law & Order). However, having all the NHL playoff games on only one channel (Versus, of course) in this round is very frustrating for someone who can’t get NHL Center Ice any more. The trade-off (not having to deal with the horrible Cox Cable any more) was well worth it, but I couldn’t watch tonight’s Flyers/Devils game and that was very disappointing for someone who missed fewer than 2 full games the last two playoff years. Four playoff games in a day and only three on TV in the United States is disappointing, but it could be worse. Last year, only two of the first four games were on Versus in the US. All of the games are, of course, televised in Canada and if it were the Los Angeles games that were being skipped by National TV, I’d be fine. Sadly, I won’t get to see ANY of the Devils/Flyers series (I can’t count the in-game updates and NHL on the Fly as watching the game). I really can’t imagine how the network deemed that series completely unworthy of national television. Of course, I guess it’s almost worse to say that the entire Penguins/Senators series is worth except for game 7 if it happens. I still don’t think that series will go to 7 games, but what if it does? If that series goes to 7 games and the only game of the series not televised nationally in the United States is the most important game of the series, Gary Bettman and Versus should be completely ashamed of themselves. Just as much as when NBC and Bettman chose horse racing pre-show coverage over the overtime ending of a playoff hockey game.
I thought it was great to see Muhammad Ali in Phoenix for the Coyotes/Red Wings game. Perhaps he can take some of the credit for the Coyotes being the only home team to win game 1 in the first day of the 2010 NHL playoffs. Then again, perhaps it’s the Coyotes’ reaction to a completely full building. I’ve never seen the Glendale Arena so full. In talking to the players when they were here for one of the Kings’ last games, I found out that their building has been a lot more full recently and that they’ve enjoyed seeing so the building get more crowded as they continued to do well. I’m sure it’ll stay that way through the playoffs. Hopefully, the attendance burst will carry over to the 2010-11 season for the Coyotes, too. The Glendale Arena isn’t that far from downtown Phoenix. Hopefully, those living in Phoenix will figure that out during the playoffs and keep going back. The Glendale Arena is beautiful. It’d be nice to see it full more often.
Due to the way the games were scheduled on Versus, I saw under 8 minutes of the Sharks/Avalanche game. It seemed like that game was going to go into overtime. I was thinking how fortunate it was for the NHL and Versus that the last game of the day would be the only game to go into overtime. No sooner had I thought that than I got to the Avalanche goal with just 49.3 seconds left in regulation. Stewart banked it off of Rob Blake’s skate and won the game for the Avalanche. Oddly enough, this was the only series that started out the way I would have guessed. It’s definitely going to be an interesting playoff season!