How about that first round? Did you pick the Caps to make it to the finals? Sucks for you. And the New Jersey fans….and the Buffalo fans. The Montreal Canadiens became the first team to be the 8th seed and come back from being down 3-1 in a series to win against a #1 seed. But also in the East the 2nd and 3rd seeds lost as well, leaving the 6th seed Bruins with home ice. What the heck is going on here?
The West followed suit for the most part. San Jose had some problems early with the Avs but won out in 6. My upset pick did not pan out as the Kings lost in 6 to the Canucks. The hated Red Wings needed 7 games but they beat the Coyotes. And Chicago goes through a tough series with Nashville but wins in 6.
So now we are on to the next round. Here are my picks with just a little bit of thought. Leave your thoughts down below and let me know who will win and why I am wrong.
Pittsburgh Penguins (4) vs. Montreal Canadiens (8) : Do not count Montreal out right away. Coming off of what they just did and how good Halak has been playing since they put him back in, Montreal might have some momentum. The Pens may be a bit rested but also a bit rusty just sitting and watching all of this. Early this could be interesting, but as the series goes on Halak will have to continue to be super-goalie to keep Montreal in it. Penguins in 6.
Boston Bruins (6) vs. Philadelphia Flyers (7) : There is no way in the world you could have convinced me that Boston would have home ice in the 2nd round. But here we are. Both teams won out in a physical series against higher seeded teams. Boston could get back one of their best offensive players in Savard and I think have the goalie edge. Philly will try to be disruptive and pesty, but unless Boucher continues to play miles above what was expected the Flyers will be in for a rough series right back at them. Boston in 6 here.
San Jose Sharks (1) vs. Detroit Bleep Bleeps (5) : San Jose struggled in the first round with the quick and young Avs, but were able to take care of it and pulled things together late in the series. The Red somethings were able to beat out the Coyotes in 7 games and had an up and down series. Detroit has Howard, and how he plays could be big for this series. Another big factor will be the success of the Sharks power-play. It is really talented, but they have gotten very little from some of their biggest names. This may be the series to watch in this round, if not for the next match-up. The team I hate in 7.
Chicago Blackhawks (2) vs. Vancouver Canucks (3) : This is the series to watch if you ask me. Rematch of a 2nd round match-up from last season. This will be close, rough, and personal. Both teams remember the series from last season. A lot is being made about the goalies. Luongo is the better goalie, but has never lived up to what we know in the playoffs. Neimi is in his first playoffs for the first time. He looked good in the 1st round, but besides the two shutouts he was average in the other games. I want Chicago to win, but I really have to analyze this one. The Sedins were contained early in the 1st round but then got to business, and Chicago’s talented D will have to be physical and try to contain them. Vancouver’s PK was run over at times by the Kings PP, and Chicago will try to do the same and crash the net. I can not wait for this series. Chicago wins game 7 at home.