This article is part of our Neutral Zone Wrap series.Thanks a lot, first round. The precedent you established tricked us into believing this magical ride would continue all the way until June. And as much as this last set of games didn't totally suck, it could never have lived up to the promise.
One-sided affairs dominated the early part of the second round. A sense of inevitability prevailed, where all four series were assumed to be over. But then, along came the Red Wings. Kudos to Detroit for their tremendous (almost) comeback effort, especially that Pavel Datsyuk fellow. Guess no one really heard of the Russian center before these playoffs, but I think he'll make it one of these days. Heck, he could become the next Pat Falloon if he works on his game.
What's on tap for the penultimate round? Expect closer series, better overall goaltending, and more clichés than you can shake a hockey stick at. So fire up the stove and get ready for some barnburners. It's going to get bumpy, so buckle up and enjoy the ride. And
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