Playoff Mail Dispatch: First Round Preparations

Since the Weeknder doesn’t lend itself well to a playoff series, it is suspended until the postseason ends. In lieu of some good ol’ content by way of our loyal readers and commenters, we decided to put this together.

And as a way to lure in new people, we’re actually taking in questions from.... [/gasp] social media.

If we’re willing to entertain a scenario where Nashville goes through and wins the chalice, the usual suspects will be among the favorites: Pekka Rinne, P.K. Subban, Filip Forsberg. The matchup in the Final would also present a chance for Ryan Johansen to assert some dominant play.

We saw it last year up until the game  when he got injured, and Johansen will have his chance to match talents with Nathan MacKinnon, and potentially Mark Scheifele or Erik Staal, and further potentially Ryan Getzlaf, Anze Kopitar, etc. The stage is set for him, and he will have more help than he did last year. Make no mistake about it: Kyle Turris has a large part to play in all of this.

Absolutely. This isn’t the time to get cute with the starter’s crease. This is Pekka Rinne’s legacy task. It’s not that we doubt Juuse Saros. In the postseason, you only see the backup if something bad has happened.

What is the most ridiculous craft/woodworking item that you have made by channelling nervous playoff energy?


My dad found an old piece of oak many years ago, and last year during the playoffs I started making it into a table top. It took a lot of manual sanding, plenty of wax and finish, and plenty of polish. It’s now my sofa table, and great for breaking out the laptop and writing stuff like this.

Best playoff pregame meals


Anything grilled. Smoked brisket, smoked chicken, smoked turkey, grilled seafood, and low starch side dishes are the way to go. You can make yourself miserable eating “comfort foods”, especially during pressure situations.

For those who have the time, swing by Martin’s BBQ and get some smoked turkey. I’ve come to prefer their “Redneck Taco” where the sliced turkey breast is served on top of cornbread with coleslaw. Pair it with a Coors Light or Mill Creek/Little Harpeth. This will save some room for those inevitable High Life bottles you have at Robert’s later in the evening.

Do we see any of the Flyers/Pens fights and petty shenanigans this round or will both teams be all business? When I think petty shenanigans I think of Crosby knocking Giroux’s glove further away. Crap like that? Crap, I say that but I sincerely love it. Bring me more acrimony and hate, I love it.

Follow up question which series is the most likely to have full on brawls like Detroit and Tampa’s series did a few years ago. That sh*t got out of hand fast.


Yes. There are more than a few franchises that believe that they owe it to their lineage to play a certain way. Boston, Philly, and to a more recent extent Anaheim all play that heavy still that emulates the last time they won the cup. Plus, a skilled yet physical underdog is the last type of team you want to play as a favorite. Philadelphia wants to fight Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh wants to just beat Philly and move on. The Flyers might not have Zac Rinaldo on their roster, but they have skilled players like Wayne Simmonds and Sean Coutourier that can ruin even the most talented players’ days. If the Flyers can win one of the first three games, it will get physical.

And to the second part? The Ducks/Sharks series looks like it has potential for some pugilism. The Ducks and Sharks are set in their ways, and both see the sand piling high in the bottom of their hourglasses.

Rank the game watching options

- At Bridgestone (on your own dime… free or heavily discounted tickets make it too obvious of a first choice)

- At home by yourself

- At home with friends

- At someone else’s home

- At the bar


At home with friends, provided they’re the type you want to be around during a hockey game, is the best option. The arena experience is spectacular in the postseason, but it’s not cheap. When people post their $1,000 bar tab at Rippy’s and the reaction is “they probably saved money”, that says a thing about the demand for tickets in Nashville.

It’s going to be interesting to see how much gold makes it in to the Pepsi Center.

I love the GameTime folks. Very few supporters can make you more interested in their team than this side of the Blues fanbase.

This is from an actual cookbook given to me by members of my own family, written by distant relatives of mine:

How do 8 people eat that, I don’t know. But this is what Great Depression-era food looked like in rural Tennessee.

OH... it gets better.


Also, the Oak Ridge Boys proved their worth in multiple genres of music. They also weren’t afraid to push to boundaries of traditional country and bring in elements of soul and gospel music. Richard Sterban is a regular at Nashville Sounds games.

A few thoughts:

  • Barry Trotz starting with Grubauer instead of Braden Holtby seems a bit odd. It may work during the first round, but that might just kick the can down the road even further. If Grubauer gets through the Columbus series and faces Pittsburgh, how short of a leash is he on? It has to be a shorter one than the first round.
  • First Tom Petty passes away, now Buckingham leaves the Fleetwood Mac. Not a great time to be featured in my poster collection.
  • I’m expecting Subban/Ekholm to match with the MacKinnon line, which means Josi/Ellis should have some room to roam.
  • Bernier works great as long as he only has to make the first save. As long as Nashville keeps pushing and stays in front of the net, I like their chances. /