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RAZOR'S RANTS: A look at the first round

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Daryl Reaugh

 
   
 
FOXSports.com: What were your impressions on the first round of the playoffs? Daryl Reaugh: Apparently, goaltending experience doesn't mean squat, especially in the West. Three of the four goalies that advanced had never played in a playoff game before. And they slayed some pretty big dragons in guys like and . It was pretty impressive what went on; I don't know that it was overly shocking. Certainly the Anaheim one was. I mean anybody can upset anybody, but to do it four straight against the defending Stanley Cup champs just staggered everybody. FOXSports.com: Was that all in that series? DR: No. Obviously, a lot of it was, but it looks like Mike Babcock's a pretty good, young coach. They're a much better team than they were a year ago, and even better than they were at the beginning of the year. Some guys have sort of transformed themselves within that team, and then adding was huge for them. They're just a lot deeper and some of those kids on defense have matured. Vancouver's the same way. They've matured. They got a little taste of defeat last year when they were up early, and I think the lessons from that came through for them. I thought St. Louis was a better match for them in the opening round than Minnesota would have been. St. Louis was giving up goals and they were banged up a bit and they got even worse as the series went along. The got stronger as the series went along and they simply got better goaltending. I guess St. Louis should've gotten Sean Burke instead of at the deadline. It's not that it was all his fault, but he didn't seem to be the difference that they needed. The Dallas and Edmonton series was a little bit anticlimactic. wasn't very good in goal for the . As soon as they lost , they were done — as if they weren't done before that. They just didn't have enough offensively to handle a team like Dallas. With Colorado, I don't know that Minnesota winning was a shock. A lot of the same things that were in place early in the season in Colorado perhaps came back around and bit them. They looked like they had played too much hockey at the beginning of the year. They obviously rectified it and went on an amazing run, as did Detroit. But you get a young, well-coached, quick, team-first squad on the other side that has good goaltending. That's what happened to both Colorado and Detroit. I'm sure in Minnesota they're thanking God they switched goaltenders at the right time. won a minor-league title and it showed. He was outstanding as that thing went along. Father Time eventually catches up to everybody, and maybe it's even caught up to , who couldn't close out games and couldn't close out series and lost in a Game 7 again. In the East, I guess Tampa Bay would be the biggest surprise, although that Washington team just seems like such a heartless crew. I wouldn't call anybody beating them an upset. Guys like and others looked like they just couldn't get out of Washington quick enough, and they played that way, which is unfortunate. They've got some good players there, but they've got too many of those types to ever go anywhere when it means the most. (Coach) John Tortorella has done a really good job with that crew down there. Some of the kids have really come through for them, obviously. The Leafs and Philly was an outstanding series. That was the best first-round series. In Game 7, I think the way the Leafs played all year caught up to them. They had so many warts covered up by the way played, you get in a Game 7 against a really deep team like Philly, in their building, and with Ken Hitchcock having drilled home the way they're going to play all year, unless Belfour was the first, second and third star, they weren't going to win that. He looked tired, like he lost his edge and lost his focus a little bit and that ended them. Ottawa could come out of that side. Yeah, they lost Game 1, but big deal. They're a helluva team. So is New Jersey. That wasn't even a contest between them and Boston. The matchups are going to be interesting from here on in. You can see some upsets, perhaps, or you can see the cream rising. I like Vancouver and Dallas in the conference final in the West and Jersey and Philly in the East with Dallas facing one of those two Eastern teams in the Final. Daryl Reaugh is in his seventh season as color analyst for the Dallas on Fox Sports Net Southwest. A veteran of television and radio broadcasts since 1990, Reaugh came to Dallas from the Hartford Whalers, where he was the color analyst in 1995-96. Reaugh has also shown his talents to a national audience through his work with various networks, including FOX. Reaugh's playing career included stints in the NHL with both the Edmonton and Hartford Whalers. His promising career was cut short in 1991 due to a severe hamstring injury. Prior to turning pro, he was an All-Star netminder for the Kamloops Blazers under former coach Ken Hitchcock. Reaugh gives FOXSports.com his insight regularly.
Tagged: Red Wings, Oilers, Stars, Avalanche, Blues, Maple Leafs, Canucks, Capitals, Ducks, Wild, Ed Belfour, Radek Dvorak, Curtis Joseph, Jaromir Jagr, Jean-Sebastien Giguere, Manny Fernandez

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