NHL Playoff Picks - Round 2
Painful as it might be, let's start with a recap of the first round. It's 1 point for the correct team, and a bonus point if the number of games is right too.
1) Vancouver Canucks Vs 8) Los Angeles Kings - Canucks in 5
There's a lot of people saying they called the Kings winning. Either those people are lying, or they just hate Vancouver so much they picked against them out of spite. No one could have called the Kings winning in 5 games.
2) St Louis Blues Vs 7) San Jose Sharks - Blues in 6
One of the few I got right, my only mistake on this was giving the Sharks too much credit. The Blues rolled San Jose in 5.
3) Phoenix Coyotes Vs 6) Chicago Blackhawks - Blackhawks in 6
I'm blaming this 100% on Raffi Torres. If that cheap shotting jerk hadn't murdered Hossa, maybe the Blackhawks wouldn't have lost in 6.
I have no problem admitting that this pick was made because of my bias to Detroit. Nashville was the better team, and Rinne was scary good in net, as the Predators won in 5.
I maintain that my pick is how this series SHOULD have gone, but Ottawa turned it in to a fight. Senators couldn't pull the trigger though, letting the Rangers come back to win in 7.
If it wasn't for Lloydminster's Braden Holtby, this series probably would have gone the way I guessed. Instead, Holtby played the games of his life, and the Capitals won in 7.
I had a hunch about the Panthers. At least by going to Double OT of Game 7, they didn't make me look totally stupid, but they did let it slip away, and the Devils won game 7.
Like I said when I picked this one, I didn't so much think it would go 7, as much as I hoped it would go 7. Pittsburgh showed some signs of life, but not until Philly was up 3-0. Hartsy and the gang are on to round 2, as Philly wins in 6.
So... I sucked. The only series' I got the games right in were ones the team I picked lost in, so those don't count. So, out of a possible 16 points, I got 3. You may want to go elsewhere for pick advice.
That said, I have a good feeling about Round 2. I'm predicting a 4 for 4, and maybe even some bonus points. Here's the picks.
2) St Louis Blues Vs 8) Los Angeles Kings
The Kings were impressive in the first round, getting clutch goaltending from Quick, and managing to shut down the Canucks weapons, but they didn't have to worry about a physical game out of Vancouver. St Louis also impressed against the Sharks, and this break has given them a chance to heal. At full strength, I don't see the Blues being shocked like the Canucks were.
Blues in 5
3) Phoenix Coyotes Vs 4) Nashville Predators
Heat seaking missle, Raffi Torres, is out for the playoffs, so the Preds can rest easy about getting wiped out with a cheap shot. These are two teams that like to sit back and play counter punch style hockey, but I see the Predators taking it to the Coyotes if they try to hang back. Nashville is a faster, stronger team, with a hot goalie right now. This one feels like the easiest pick.
Predators in 4
1) New York Rangers Vs 7) Washington Capitals
What more can we say about Braden Holtby and the new look Capitals. In years past, they were the team that scored a ton of goals, but had no defense, and suspect goaltending. This year, not as much firepower, but they shut teams down. And with Holtby playing out of this world right now, they're poised to go on a run. The Rangers were one of the top teams in the league in the regular season, but after struggling to 7 against Ottawa, you have to question where they're at now. I like this series to be the best one of the round.
Capitals in 6
5) Philadelphia Flyers Vs 6) New Jersey Devils
Hey, remember that time the Flyers beat the crap out of Pittsburgh, and then had a week off to rest, while watching New Jersey struggle to overcome the mighty Florida Panthers?
Flyers in 4
What do you think? Share your predictions in the comment box below.