Wow this year’s first round was a disaster – both for me and the top teams in the West. I successfully picked the winners of only 1 team in the west – the Predators. My underdog picks of Chicago and San Jose were both wrong, and my Vancouver pick was also dead wrong. Although, you know, I like LA, they are a young and exciting team. I just didn’t think they could get past the playoff hardened Canucks.
In the east, I was wrong with the Penguins, and Boston, but 100% better than the West by being right for the underdog NJ and Rangers. Overall, that leaves me with a 3/8 record. Last year at this point, I was 7/8! Let’s hope I do better in this round.
For the second round, I am picking LA over St Louis, and Nashville over Phoenix. Both of these series will feature tight goaltending and might be a bit of a snore (compared to the Phi/Pit series from the first round). In the east, I’m picking Washington over the Rangers. I saw a couple of the Rangers’ games and they didn’t seem that dominant (for a first place team) over Ottawa. Plus although Washington finished seventh, they’re channeling their coach and playing Dale Hunter style hockey which is more successful in the playoffs. I’m also picking Philly over NJ because NJ is running on (goaltending) fumes.
I’m hoping that we see a LA/Philly final, which would prove once and for all whether Paul Holmgren did the right thing trading his Captain and Assistant Captain last off-season.