Watch every one of these videos.
Don’t worry. I’ll wait. They’re short.
For as little attention as the NHL playoffs seem to get, the promotional videos for the playoffs on Versus are top notch.
Now, I’d like to share some storylines for tonight’s series-opening game, coming straight from a National Hockey League press release that I was recently emailed (their words, not mine):
- YOU Again!: Penguins GM Ray Shero just might have been thinking about this match-up on Feb. 26 when he obtained 6-foot-7, 250-pound Hal Gill from the Toronto Maple Leafs for a second-round pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft and a fifth-round selection in 2009. Gill, a left defenseman, has waged some memorable battles against Rangers RW Jaromir Jagr.
- YOU Again 2!: Pittsburgh’s LW Marian Hossa and RW Pascal Dupuis, acquired at the trade deadline from the Atlanta Thrashers, were swept out of the first round of the playoffs by the Rangers in 2007.
- No Looking Back: The Penguins trailed only 4:28 in their first-round elimination of the Ottawa Senators; the Rangers trailed only 15:10 in their first-round series against New Jersey.
- Friendly Foe: Penguins D Kris Letang and Rangers D Marc Staal were members of the 2006 and 2007 Team Canada entries that won consecutive gold medals at the World Junior Championships. In 2006, Pittsburgh C Evgeni Malkin had 4-6–10 for the Russian team at the World Junior Championships, but was held off the scoresheet in the gold medal game — in part by Letang and Staal.
- You Look Familiar: Penguins RW Pascal Dupuis played six games for the Rangers last season; RW Adam Hall appeared in 49 games for the Rangers last season, as well, and RW Petr Sykora played 40 games as a Ranger in 2005-06. Rangers RW Jaromir Jagr played his first 11 NHL seasons for the Penguins; C Martin Straka had two stints as a Penguin (1992-93 to 1994-95 and 1997-98 to 2003-04); D Michal Rozsival played his first four seasons as a Penguin. Rangers President/GM Glen Sather once played for the Penguins.
- Can You Top This?: This series will match two of the true ‘Super Pests,’ LW Jarkko Ruutu of the Penguins and LW Sean Avery of the Rangers.
Excited? Its the 2nd round of the playoffs! This is what we were denied last season. Even if you’re a casual hockey fan, its gotta be damn near impossible to be indifferent of the playoffs once teams keep advancing.
If you’d like the full press release, email me.