Eeep. Well, that was quite a shake up of the Eastern Conference wasn’t it? Three out of four series upsets. I never expected Boston to beat Buffalo, but I really didn’t expect Philly to topple the Devils. In five games no less! And let’s talk about Washington’s epic ousting by Montreal. Oh so sweet. Washington cleaned up in the regular season, and then fell against a hot goalie. A game seven waived goal will probably have Cap fans reeling for the next 6 months, but you know what? It never should have gone to game seven. Washington coasted, and lost important games at home. They have no one to blame by themselves.
All that really matters though is that my Penguins made it to the second round. And, they are the top remaining seed in the East meaning they get home ice advantage until the finals (hoping they make it that far). After an exciting triple over time loss to the Senators too. I will hand it to Ottawa, although their fans are relentless whiners, with all the active injuries they had they put up a good fight. See you next year :P
The only thing shocking in the West was that most of the favorites lost their first games at home. San Jose looked like they might be repeating last year’s mistakes, but turned it around when it counted and finished it off in six. Phoenix tried their best, but in the end, were slaughtered in game seven by a veteran Red Wings squad.
My predictions were pretty weak. 4-4. Damn you Vancouver… Damn you Boston… I forgive you Montreal.
This round I’ll do better. I promise.
Pittsburgh vs. Montreal
The NHL playoffs have a long history of hot goalies carrying their teams through the playoffs. Montreal’s Jaroslav Halak’s last two performances were inspiring. 53 saves, 41 saves. I’ll save you the embarrassment of cheering for a losing team and let you know right now that Halak’s had his last win. Crosby is the league’s leading point getter right now, and Montreal’s luck has run out. Fluery is going to prove that he should have seen some ice time in the Olympics by shutting the Canadiens out the first two games. A lofty prediction, I know, but I have faith.
Pens in five
Boston vs. Philly
Hmm, never expected this match up to happen. Boston is the case of a strong team having a shitty season. I guess it’s not really that much of a shocker that they got passed Buffalo. Philly beating New Jersey though. That’s a double-edged sword for me. I hate me some Devils, but I also wouldn’t really want to see a Flyer-Penguins match up. I’m going to go with Boston in this round. I think Philly had some luck last round, and they also picked up a couple major injuries. Simon Gagne and Jeff Carter both suffered foot injuries that are going to sideline them for the entirety this round, if not more. A healthy Boston squad will wrap this series up.
Bruins in five
San Jose vs. Detroit
Well, Detroit pulled through the first round, as I predicted, but it took seven games to do so. The extra rest that San Jose had might give them an edge, but don’t expect the Red Wings to roll over. They’re notorious for conditioning. There’s always been this stigma on European players not being able to play when in counts in the playoffs. Well, Lidstrom and co. have proven that theory wrong. Time to see if Thornton and co. can tally one up for the Canadians. My gut tells me to go with Detroit, but I think I’m going to ignore it, cause I want to see a San Jose / Chicago Western final.
San Jose in six
Vancouver vs. Chicago
Ooooh, a repeat of last year’s second round. This time with Chicago having the home ice advantage. Will Vancouver be able to pull a Pittsburgh and get revenge on their previous year’s victors? I THINK NOT! But I was wrong last round. I love Chicago though. So young and scrappy. Hopefully Kane and Versteeg can keep their shirts on long enough during the playoffs to bring home four Ws. The Sedins were a powerful duo in the first round, combining for 18 points, and the Canuck support were pulling their weight as well.
Chicago in seven
I hate that I’m in a shitty time zone, and can’t really watch these games live. It’s always a happy morning though when I wake up and see that the Penguins have won on my iPhone.