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January 26, 2011

Possible Cinderella Teams Still Pushing For Playoff Spots

I am very happy to see that there are so many teams that are still in the playoff race. With some of the best teams faltering as the season winds down, I think that the underdogs are putting up a great battle. While I do love to see the dominant teams play superb games, is just as exciting to see teams that are just outside of the playoff race give it their best effort.

The teams that I would really like to see make it into the playoffs are the Washington Capitals, Phoenix Coyotes and Columbus Blue Jackets and Florida Panthers. I know that all four of these teams will not be able to make it into the playoffs but they all seem to want to go so badly. Watching the Capitals forge their way through the last part of the season is very exciting. With the immense talent of Ovechkin combined with the veteran experience and a team full of hard working guys, the Caps have looked very good this season. It would be quite a feat for them to squeeze into the playoffs at the last minute. Over the years I have watched the team evolve and grow and it is just about time for them to make a post season appearance.

The Phoenix Coyotes have also come a long way this season. It has been a team effort in Phoenix but I think that anyone can clearly see the difference that Bryzgalov has made. One player can make a difference and change the face of a team and Bryzgalov has done that in Phoenix. It is about time to see the Coyotes try their hand in the post season as well. Not to mention, I would love to see Wayne Gretzky and all of his passion and love for the game in a playoff round. I admire Gretzky for sticking with coaching and debunking the critics again.

The Columbus Blue Jackets have had their ups and downs this season but this season games against the Blue Jackets were not obvious wins for strong teams. In the past Blue Jacket games were not that exciting and you could kind of flip back and forth without missing much. These days you actually want to watch the Blue Jackets because they work hard and play like they can win. Their new attitude might fair well in a playoff series.

The Florida Panthers are inconsistent but they are working on getting things right. With Tomas Vokoun in net and Ollie Jokinen leading the team, they are a fun team to watch. The hodge podge group of guys from a multitude of places come together nicely and play as a team. They might not have as many big, huge name players as some other teams but these guys are a unit. They could definitely pull off an upset if they are able to sneak into the playoffs.

Variety is the spice of life. I would love to see some unlikely match ups in the playoffs this year. If a few of these teams that are knocking on those final playoff spots can make it in, who knows what two teams we will be watching at the end of May.

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