But first a look back at round 1. How’d I do?
In the west, I picked San jose in 6, Vancouver in 6, Chicago in 6, Detroit in 6. I picked all four series, and three of them finished in six, and the one I missed went seven.
Not bad. not bad at all.
In the east, I didn’t pick series specifically, but I did pick Washington, Pittsburgh and Buffalo as the three teams I thought would come out of the east and said that New Jersey was in trouble. And in fact, Montreal took out the Capitals, Pittsburgh did in fact beat the sens, Boston beat Buffalo, and Philly took out the Devils, so I ended up 2-2 but didn’t guess # of games.
So I come out of the first round 6-2. To put that in perspective, I’ve had playoff years where I didn’t guess six rounds for the entire playoffs, so I’m happy. And since I watch primarily the west these days, guessing them all that well feels good.
That and $5 gets me a latte. Onward to the second round.
I didn’t get this in before the first Sharks/Wings game, but I did announce in front of witnesses at the game before game time that I was picking San Jose in six, and I stick with that. I mostly want Vancouver and Chicago to go seven games and for the two teams to beat the crap out of each other, but if I don’t pick Chicago I’ll be sleeping on the couch again, so I’ll pick Chicago in six. It would not suprise me greatly if Luongo and the Sedins carry Vancouver through this round, but I really like the Hawks as well. It really has proven out that all eight teams in the playoffs in the west were exceptionally talented and very evenly matched — if not purely in talent, teams like Colorado and Phoenix road great goaltending and amazing work ethics into serious battles.
In the east, it gets tougher; no easy series now. I’m amazed the Capitals are out, but the team had some fatal flaws that Montreal exposed: you simply can’t be a one-line scoring team, and your goaltending can’t falter at all, or you die. The Caps need to figure out secondary scoring depth, and it shows.
But I can’t see Montreal doing it a second time against the Penguins. The Penguins should get through this fairly easily (well, easy as playoff hockey is defined), but watch out for Halak. He’s capable of a “mission from god” run that could make things crazy. But: Pittsburg in 5, and they’re now my pick to come out of the east.
Boston/Philly: six games, I’ll choose Philly, but I’m not sure whoever wins this series will be in much shape to compete the rest of the playoffs. Should be physical and intense, but the Bruins just don’t do much for me…
San Jose in 6
Chicago in 6
Philly in 6
Pittsburgh in 5
and onward to the next round.