Round 2 of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs gets underway tonight as the field has been narrowed to 8. Before I move onto the Conference Semifinals, I’m gonna recap and grade my predictions for Round 1:
#1 Pittsburgh vs #8 NY Islanders
Prediction: Penguins in 4.
Result: Penguins in 6.
Well I can safely admit that I underestimated the Islanders greatly here, they hung tough all series and if it weren’t for two OT wins by Pittsburgh this series could have gone the completely other way. Maybe the Islanders will be an annual playoff contender now.
#2 Montreal vs #7 Ottawa
Prediction: Canadiens in 6.
Result: Senators in 5.
Completely fucked this one up. Had no idea the Senators had this in them. I really think they looked like the best team in the East in the 1st Round. Absurd.
#3 Washington vs #6 NY Rangers
Prediction: Rangers in 6.
Result: Rangers in 7.
Ended up one game off here as the Caps put up more of a fight than I thought they would. But then again maybe they didn’t put up that much of a fight, it was just that Lundqvist stood on his head for 7 games and the Rangers couldn’t score for shit until Game 7. Oh and the Rangers have a god awful powerplay. Those are my takeaways from this series.
#4 Boston vs #5 Toronto
Prediction: Bruins in 5.
Result: Bruins in 7.
Although I picked the right team winning, the wrong team truly won this series. Toronto had one of the worst chokes I have seen in recent memory. Being up 4-1 in the 3rd of a Game 7 with 10 minutes to go should be an automatic win. So should being up 4-2 with 1:30 left. Bruins are lucky to have survived this. I give myself a C because I still think Toronto won this series.
#1 Chicago vs #8 Minnesota
Prediction: Blackhawks in 6.
Result: Blackhawks in 5.
This series went south for the Wild before it even started. Nicky Backstrom didn’t play one minute in this series because of being injured in Game 1 pregame warmups. And you’re probably not gonna win a series when your #1 goalie doesn’t play. Their 3rd string goalie played in Game 5 for god sakes.
#2 Anaheim vs #7 Detroit
Prediction: Ducks in 5.
Result: Red Wings in 7.
You probably think this should be an F but I still think Anaheim would win this series if they played again. They came one win short of salvaging the series and were up 3-2 at one point. If it weren’t for Detroit winning 3 games in overtime and all 4 games by one goal, then Anaheim would easily have advanced. Those old veterans legs are the Wings can still skate.
#3 Vancouver vs #6 San Jose
Prediction: Sharks in 6.
Result: Sharks in 4.
Giving myself a nice B+ on this one just because I did call the #6 over #3 upset here (as did I with the Rangers, the difference being that Vancouver was actually thought to win this series). Canucks just didn’t look like they wanted to play hockey. I told you their goaltending situation was fucked from the beginning in the my predictions and that ended up being true in the series. Zero stability there.
#4 St. Louis vs #5 Los Angeles
Prediction: Kings in 5.
Result: Kings in 6.
Another upset called her by yours truly. People thought the Blues might be for real but I never bought into that. They have no true goal scorer and that showed as they dropped 4 straight after being up 2-0 in the series early. Kings just wanted to fuck with them a little before they played like the defending champs.
Predicted 6 out of the 8 first round series winners correctly and hoping to maintain that roll in the second round.
2nd Round Predictions
#1 Pittsburgh Penguins vs #7 Ottawa Senators
This could be a real shocker of a series for some. Fleury has played like shit in net for Pittsburgh and I don’t trust Vokoun enough, especially compared to Craig Anderson who is playing some great hockey right now. I still think Sens might be the best team in the East at the moment. I like their chances.
Ottawa Senators win 4-2
#4 Boston Bruins vs #6 New York Rangers
I cannot emphasize enough how lucky the Bruins are to be here and I think they realize that too. Both teams coming off 7 game series, should make for an interesting matchup. Henrik Lundqvist can only steal so many games until the Rangers learn how to score and execute a powerplay. Yet somehow I still think this one goes the distance because the Bruins, although the better team, don’t look like the same team we’re used to seeing. They were exposed by Toronto. That’s disgusting.
Boston Bruins win 4-3
#1 Chicago Blackhawks vs #7 Detroit Red Wings
Absolutely great matchup here. Two teams that are the biggest of rivals and play very similar styles. Chicago, however, has been dominant and is way quicker than Detroit, who are filled with old veteran players. I think we’ll see a lot of highlight reel goals in this series. I didn’t expect Detroit to come this far but now that they have, they’ll exit the playoffs at the hands of their rivals.
Chicago Blackhawks win 4-2
#5 Los Angeles Kings vs #6 San Jose Sharks
The classic California hockey showdown. Gotta roll with the defending champs and home-ice advantage though. Sharks haven’t played in so long. I think they’re not gonna be prepared for the Kings, who went all the way last year.
Los Angeles Kings win 4-1