The Red Wings just signed Todd Bertuzzi to a one year deal. Crap! Why do the teams I like (Detroit, Calgary, now Detroit again) keep signing this guy?

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They all hope he'll attain his former greatness. Personally, for me, just one more reason to hate the Red Wings.
I know. But it should be pretty obvious that he won't. He didn't with Florida. He didn't with Detroit. He didn't with Anaheiim. He didn't with Calgary. So he's not going to do it this time either. He is what he is now. A 3rd or 4th line grinder with offensive ability who isn't as tough as he looks and kills you defensively.
How old is he now, and how much did it cost the Wings?
Bertuzzi is 34 and it's costing them 1.5 million. Not a lot of money. But money that could have been better spent elsewhere, even if that meant saving it 'til the trade deadline when a better player might become available.
Agreed. I would much rather see a team bring someone up on the upswing of their career to get them some experience, than bringing in a failed retread.
The Western Conference match-ups are all set for the first round.

#1 San Jose Sharks vs. #8 Colorado Avalanche
#2 Chicago Blackhawks vs. #7 Nashville Predators
#3 Vancouver Canucks vs. #6 Los Angeles Kings
#4 Phoenix Coyotes vs. #5 Detroit Red Wings

Who do you think will win?
And the Eastern Conference match-ups:

#1 Washington Capitals vs. #8 Montreal Canadiens
#2 New Jersey Devils vs. #7 Philadelphia Flyers
#3 Buffalo Sabres vs. #6 Boston Bruins
#4 Pittsburgh Penguins vs. #5 Ottawa Senators

Who do you think will win?
Just watched the rangers lose to the Flyers (thru the magic of Tivo.) My wife has rubbed off on me, and for once, I was rooting for the Rangers. And now... I guess I'm rooting for my hometown Flyers again.

Chris Fluit said:
And the Eastern Conference match-ups:

#1 Washington Capitals vs. #8 Montreal Canadiens
#2 New Jersey Devils vs. #7 Philadelphia Flyers
#3 Buffalo Sabres vs. #6 Boston Bruins
#4 Pittsburgh Penguins vs. #5 Ottawa Senators

Who do you think will win?
#1 San Jose Sharks vs. #8 Colorado Avalanche
San Jose. I know that the Sharks have a reputation for being weak in the playoffs but I don't see any way for them to lose this series. The Avalanche stumbled into the playoffs (going 8-10-3 since March 1) and their starting goalie, Craig Anderson, is a career back-up who was showing a lot of wear and tear down the stretch. On the plus side, the Sharks showed a lot of fortitude, reclaiming the division and the conference leads from Phoenix and Chicago after losing them briefly a couple of weeks ago.

#2 Chicago Blackhawks vs. #7 Nashville Predators
Nashville. I'm going out on a limb and picking the upset here. Maybe I'm just looking for excuses to not pick Chicago. After all, they score more and allow fewer goals than the Predators. And, after a slow March, they put together a six-game winning streak in April. But I think that Nashville has the goal-tending and the depth to pull off the upset while Chicago is facing questions of pressure, health and goal-tending that could shake their confidence if Nashville wins one or two early.

#3 Vancouver Canucks vs. #6 Los Angeles Kings
Vancouver. Another team fighting a "can't-get-it-done-in-the-playoffs" reputation vs. a team scuffling to make the playoffs. The Kings were slightly better than the Avs at the end (9-7-5 since March 1) but their goal-tending is in even worse shape with some fans calling for a goaltending change before the playoffs start. As for the Canucks, Luongo has now shown that he can play big in big games (see: Olympic goal medal), the Sedin brothers are a nigh-impossible to stop first line and there's enough secondary scoring (Kesler, Burrows, Samuelsson) to bury the weaker Kings.

#4 Phoenix Coyotes vs. #5 Detroit Red Wings
Detroit. A month ago, I was worried that I was going to have to pick against the Wings in the first round but they really poured it on and avoided a first round match-up with the big guns of San Jose and Chicago. The Phoenix Coyotes are no slouch. They are well-coached and have great goal-tending. But they were also lucky (leading the league in winning one-goal games). Detroit's healthy line-up and huge edge in experience should be the difference.
Looks like I was wrong. Bertuzzi didn't return to his earlier dominant form. But he did become a very good secondary player, working on a wing with center Pavel Datsyuk and even carrying the Wings for a little while when both Dats and Zetterberg were hurt. We got a lot more out of Bert than I had expected.

Chris Fluit said:
I know. But it should be pretty obvious that he won't. He didn't with Florida. He didn't with Detroit. He didn't with Anaheiim. He didn't with Calgary. So he's not going to do it this time either. He is what he is now. A 3rd or 4th line grinder with offensive ability who isn't as tough as he looks and kills you defensively.
#1 Washington Capitals vs. #8 Montreal Canadiens
Washington. In a walk. I've seen a few people speculate that a hot Halak could steal the series for the Canadiens but that seems unlikely. Montreal's goals against is barely better than Washington's (5th in the conference for the Canadiens, 7th for the Capitals) and not nearly enough to close the 100-goal gap on the highest scoring team in the NHL. Plus, the Capitals feel like they have a shot at the Cup. They didn't let up even when they had a playoff berth in hand and I wouldn't expect them to let up here.

#2 New Jersey Devils vs. #7 Philadelphia Flyers
Philadelphia. This is not a good match-up for New Jersey. I'm not impressed with Philly- they're a .500 team that relies on 3rd and 4th line toughness instead of secondary scoring. That wouldn't get it done against skilled teams like Washington or Pittsburgh but might just be the best bet for beating the Devils. New Jersey's forwards can be pushed around and great goal-tending can be negated by a crashed crease. Philly used that formula to win the season series 5-1. Plus, despite Brodeur, New Jersey hasn't made it past the second round since before the lock-out and suffered first-round upsets each of the last two years.

#3 Buffalo Sabres vs. #6 Boston Bruins
Buffalo. Fans around here are nervous about facing Boston. I can see why. Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller has occasionally seemed physically and emotionally exhausted since the Olympics while Boston rookie Tuukka Rask has been one of the hottest goalies down the stretch. However, Boston is the second-worst scoring team in the entire NHL and I don't see them getting enough pucks past the presumptive Vezina winner Miller to pull off the upset.

#4 Pittsburgh Penguins vs. #5 Ottawa Senators
Pittsburgh. The Penguins haven't shown their Stanley Cup form this season, with inconsistent campaigns from Evgeni Malkin and Marc-Andre Fleury. But they're still a very talented bunch led by Sidney Crosby, one of the best players in the game, and are probably better than their record. Meanwhile, the Senators somehow managed to finish fifth despite giving up more goals than they scored. They're not as good as their record would indicate which points to a fairly easy Pittsburgh win.
Well, I went 5 for 8 in the first round. Not bad, but not as good as I like. I blame Martin Erat for his atrocious giveaway which cost Nashville Game 5 and the Washington Capitals for their epic collapse. On the positive side, my Detroit Red Wings played a dominant Game 7 and advanced to the second round for the fourth straight season.

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