Sunday, April 21st, 2002
Sixteen teams have taken the playoff ranks by storm. The Stanley Cup is now
up for grabs: who will win it this year? With extreme talent in every locker
room, ever wondered who would make your perfect playoff team? Forget the
actual rosters and injuries: here are some of my favorite player picks.
Oh, the possibilities.
Goalie: Patrick Roy (Avalanche)
No doubt about it, his techniques are the most effective in the NHL. Roy
has unbelievable moral strength, he's the best of the best.
Contenders: Martin Brodeur (Devils) for his great Olympic
demonstration; Jose Theodore (Canadiens) for his excellent saving
percentage of .939.
Center: Joe Sakic (Avalanche)
Although a lower production year, he still feeds his teammates with outstanding
passes and gets them ready whenever he is on the ice. Magic hands.
Contenders: Peter Forsberg (Avalanche), for his bodychecking
and scoring skills; Steve Yzerman (Red Wings), for his puck control
ability. Same hands as Sakic's.
Left Wing: Simon Gagne (Flyers)
What do you want more? Speeding, scoring, or cooperation throughout an entire
game? Hands mold in Sakic's and Yzerman's.
Contenders: Keith Tkachuk (Blues), for his physical element
to a game (6'2", 225 pounds); Luc Robitaille (Red Wings), for his
constancy in goal scoring.
Right Wing: Brett Hull (Red Wings)
Hull has a magnificent wrist shot, still considered a major threat today.
Experienced, built, brings a boost when team energy is low. The works.
Contenders: Owen Nolan (Sharks), for his brilliant way to rock
the opponent during a game; Ziggy Palffy (Kings), for his good defensive
Defense: Chris Pronger (Blues)
Pronger skates, shoots, scores, hits and knocks down any opponent on his
path. First choice for a complete defenseman. Out-of-his-mind talented.
Contenders: Rob Blake (Avalanche), for his incredible
striking/scoring forces; Nicklas Lindstrom (Red Wings), for his offensive
power and discipline.
Many names could have been added to this lineup. Tastes and personal opinions
vary from one individual to another, leading to heated arguments, comments,
and discussions. Thousands of player combinations are possible. Picking your
favorite NHL players for a real all-star game would be more than a high kick.
Therefore, fantasy leagues exist so we can dream about who we would like
to coach just for the thrill of it. Why would we want such a thing? Why not?
The playoffs atmosphere is something hockey fans cannot put aside. Who do
they crave for? Sixteen good choices: Canucks or Bruins, Coyotes or Blues,
Senators or Kings, Isles or Canes, Maple Leafs or Avs, Red Wings or Habs,
Devils or Hawks, Flyers or Sharks. The Stanley Cup is not a matter of chance,
it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing
to be achieved.