John: Let’s talk about the Blackhawks! They have just won 4 in a row. The only problem is Minnesota is a couple games ahead. If the playoffs were to start today how could you not include the Blackhawks? You’ve got guys who have been there before, they’ve done it and they have been able to keep up with winning games and being consistent. Since they are a veteran team, they want to make sure to put themselves in a position where they can be at least one of the top 8 teams in the Western conference. Then, when playoff time comes they will know how to turn on the juice! Minnesota on the other hand, is a younger team and they haven’t had the pressures of the playoffs before. Just because they might win the regular season doesn’t mean they will go far in the playoffs. The number one seed in hockey doesn’t win as often as they do in the NBA. It’s all about the goalie and experience. On the flip side the LA Kings are not hot. The Philadelphia Flyers are also not hot, but you hear a lot about them because their fans are very passionate about their sports teams. I think the Kings have a chance to make a run, the Flyers are playing for next year and the Blackhawks have an excellent shot of going to the Stanley Cup if things go accordingly.
Bill: I have a question because I’m not as aware of what’s going on in hockey. How much do injuries got to do with who is doing well?
John: I think there’s truth to that, but also you’ve got to have a goaltender that’s reliable, especially around playoff time. Even if your offense isn’t the greatest, if your goalie is saving what he can get, you can go far. This is the one sport that I think defense can win championships.
Bill: So if Philadelphia made it to the playoffs you’d give them more of a chance because they are good defensively?
John: Yeah, but they gotta get the puck in the net too. But, without a good goalie you can’t stand a chance.
Russell: There are a lot of good teams in the East, but Boston has the best record right now. They have the home court advantage, but like John said it doesn’t really matter because a number one seed hasn’t won the Stanley Cup in a while. The number one seed doesn’t really matter in hockey, like it does in basketball. The strange part is the New York Rangers have a better record than some of the guys in the division, but they will end up being the wildcard team. My favorite conference is the West. I’m kind of surprised to see Nashville there and would like to see St. Louis. The surprise team is the Edmonton Oilers, those guys can play. They’ve got a guy named Connor McDavid and he’s good. He gives the Hawks trouble. We don’t want to play them in the first round, that’s for sure, but they are right there. As far as the wildcard, you can’t count the Kings out. Hawks you better watch it, we don’t want to play LA in the first round. The team that bothers me is Minnesota 'cause they are really tough. The teams in the East don’t take this seriously, but in the West we’ve got the Blackhawks and the Kings, one of them in there. I’m looking forward to the Blackhawks and Pittsburgh playing, they are my two favorite teams. I think Boston might make it this year and it’ll be Boston and the Blackhawks.
Vince: For me, hockey starts with the Blackhawks and then there’s everyone else. The Blackhawks are like the Spurs with basketball. They don’t win every year, but they win every other year, every few years. I think they are in a good position. Minnesota gives the Hawks a run for the money, but I believe the Hawks can catch up. The Hawks near the end of the season get that final mighty push and then they get in the playoffs. Depending on where they place in the playoffs that begins to determine how well they will fare. I think they will draw energy from the Cubs winning the championship. I think we are going to have another parade in Grant Park.