Go Caps and Sens

By Jamie Harkins

April 20, 2017 12:00 AM

Who can’t love playoff hockey.
Apart from distracting any efforts to shovel out of a blizzard in the middle of April or get a bit of writing work done, Canada’s game also presents a few quality local headlines and predictions.
Lloydminster, and apparently the rest of Western Civilization, is focused on the Toronto Maple Leafs and their attempts to disrupt Braden Holtby from backstopping the Washington Capitals to their first Stanley Cup win.
It’s Holtby’s year Auston Matthews, TSN and Sportsnet, so wait your turn.
The real story of these NHL playoffs may be the Leafs cross-Ontario rival Ottawa Senators and its Border City warrior Clark MacArthur. The beloved veteran winger rejoined the Sens near the end of the 2016-17 regular season after sitting out the previous 78 games with his fourth concussion in the past three years.
MacArthur also missed 78 games in 2015-16 due to a concussion. The desire to play again brought the former Lloydminster Blazers forward back and the hope is he can finish the year by hoisting the Cup.
I only moved here about a month-and-a-half ago and my initial feeling is Lloydminster’s team is the Edmonton Oilers. Sorry, but it isn’t going to happen.
The San Jose Sharks have Brent Burns on defence and the Oilers don’t. Edmonton has an incredibly talented forward corps, but they need an impact defenceman to take the next step.
The Montreal Canadiens are led by goalie Carey Price and are facing the New York Rangers who rely on all-world netminder Henrik Lundqvist. It’s a wash-up, basically, due to the less-than-stellar lineup in front of each goaltender with a second-round loss for each club waiting in the wings.
I have loved the Calgary Flames since before I can remember, so watching them face off against the Anaheim Ducks in the first round really sucks. The Flames are not there in terms of superstar talent and young backbreaking workhorses yet, meaning another playoff exit to Disney’s Mightiest seems inevitable.
Two months from this past snowy Easter weekend slowdown, the top two NHL clubs will meet in the final. Here’s hoping MacArthur’s Sens or Holtby’s Capitals are there and the Ducks aren’t.

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