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Six days of playoffs with more to come

Tuesday, 04.21.2009 / 10:33 AM / 2009 Playoffs Conference Quarterfinals

By Paul Kukla - NHL.com Correspondent

 
Only six days of playoff action? Doesn't it feel like the quarterfinal round has been going on for at least two weeks?
 
I am still recovering from the wall-to-wall hockey action we witnessed Sunday. I am proud to say I watched hockey from 3 p.m. EDT until around 12:30 a.m. Monday morning and I would do it over and over again.
 
* The Columbus Blue Jackets play their first home playoff game tonight. Even though the Blue Jackets are down 0-2 to the Detroit Red Wings, I am sure the Nationwide Arena will be rocking.
 
Columbus fans have been waiting for this moment for a long time and will finally be rewarded tonight. There is nothing like the atmosphere playoff hockey creates and my advice for the fans attending the game -- take it all in, soak it up and never forget the experience.
 
* The San Jose Sharks are down, but not out. They seem to be playing a mechanical type game, trying to play too perfect perhaps. They need to play their game and rely on their skill. If they find it quickly, this series could turn around quickly.
 
* Why is it taking 15 minutes to play the last two minutes of a game where the outcome is already a given? The message sending a few teams are trying to do isn't working. You lost, move on, bring the intensity at the start of your next game, not at the end of the game you are about to lose.
 
* Folks, the Vancouver Canucks are for real. Roberto Luongo is hard to beat and every player is contributing and playing a role in every victory. Earlier this season, many were asking for coach Alain Vigneault to be fired. I wonder what they are thinking of now?
 
* The Montreal Canadiens need to win four games in a row. I doubt they can pull it off and 100 years of Canadiens hockey may soon end on a sour note.
 
* Ryan Callahan of the New York Rangers has impressed me with his play. I now watch him when he is on the ice and he seems to be always involved in the action.
 
* Fans of Boston and Vancouver are probably starting to think if a long break between playoff rounds is a good or bad thing. Rust can set in, but on the other hand, bumps and bruises welcome the break.
 
* The Philadelphia Flyers had a great win on Sunday. But the most important game is tonight. They don't want to go down to the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-1 with the series headed back to Pittsburgh.
 
* The Carolina Hurricanes-New Jersey Devils matchup has seven games written all over it. One game one team looks good, then the next game a complete reversal.
 
* In case you haven't noticed, the TV viewing ratings are up. People are noticing our game and the players are delivering a great product to watch.
 
* Five games tonight, my HDTV with split-screen will be active tonight. I am off to bed for a nap, I need my rest since the only thing that matters to me these days is watching Stanley Cup Playoff hockey. Let the drama continue!


Quote of the Day

I might have blacked out. I was pretty pumped.

— New Jersey Devils rookie goalie Keith Kinkaid on his first NHL win Friday against the Tampa Bay Lightning
2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series