Friday, May 14, 2010

NHL Playoffs Round 3 - This is getting old...

"It's the NHL Playoffs," you say. "Why would you be getting tired of this!?"

Simple answer. It's not the playoffs I'm tired of, it's that I CONTINUE TO BE WRONG EVERY TIME!

We already went through how in Round 1, the Caps, Devils, Senators, and Coyotes were my downfall, and how the Caps were the source of intense grief.

I was at least content with my Western Conference picks. The West was much more predictable since they all seemed to be seeded at their appropriate talent level.

The East, however, was a mess. According to my Crashing the Net post, I would have only predicted one series correctly. But I covered my tracks by claiming on fellow sports guy Jay Scott's radio show that the Flyers would have a very high chance of defeating the Devils because of the Devils' failure to match up well against them.

So we move on the Round 2. I should have gotten through the tough part, right? Well, not so.

I easily explained away how the Canadiens would be too tired. The Habs would have spent too much energy to come back against the Caps with all that shot blocking to play the Penguins, who seemed to handle the Senators pretty well.

Flyers were too battered after losing two big players in Jeff Carter and Simon Gagne during Round 1. Secondly, the other underdog, the Bruins beat the Sabres in five games (at least I called that one), and would probably finish off the Flyers easily.

Out West, I expected the Sharks to choke in the second round like they normally do, and predicted the Blackhawks would have just a little bit more for the Canucks in a tough six or seven game series.

So much for all of that!

Caps fans were quite frustrated after the Penguins beat the Habs 6-3 after three straight games of the Caps scoring only one goal against Jaroslav Halak. The following game, Montreal turned back to form, winning 4-3. The rest of the series the two teams traded one-goal wins and losses until the Canadiens won Games 6 and 7, winning Game 7 convincingly by a score of 5-2, now dethroning the defending Stanley Cup champions.

The Bruins were handling the Flyers pretty well, and were on the verge of sweeping them going up 3-0 after Game 3. However, Simon Gagne returned to the Flyers, and so did their ability to win. Philadelphia would take over the pace early on in the next three games, and tied the series at three-all. The Bruins turned the tide very early in Game 7, and led 3-0, taking a 3-1 lead after the first period. The Flyers took the game completely in the second period though, and went on to win the game and the series 4-3 in regulation. Much to the dismay of the Bruins' home fans, Philadelphia became the first team in 35 years and only the third in NHL history to come back from a 3-0 series deficit and win.

For the Sharks, I just sounded really stupid, as they ran through Detroit, beating them in five games. Needless to say, I had no founding for picking against them, and I will admit that.

At least I was accurate for once, choosing the Blackhawks to win over the Canucks in six games. I expected the individual games to be closer, as the Hawks were able to average 3.83 goals in the series (about five in every win) and won games like Game 7 5-1 and Game 4 7-4. But Game 1, the Canucks won 5-1 and won Game 6 by a score of 3-1, making me question their consistency like I did before.

So here are the Conference Finals predictions (sigh)... here we go...

Eastern Conference Finals
Round 3
#8 Montreal Canadiens defeat #7 Philadelphia Flyers in 6 games

Western Conference Finals
Round 3
#2 Chicago Blackhawks defeat #1 San Jose Sharks in 6 or 7 games

STANLEY CUP FINALS
#2 Chicago Blackhawks defeat #8 Montreal Canadiens in 5 or 6 games

I look forward to the possibility of an Original Six Stanley Cup Final. It's great for hockey to see these teams experience the glory again.

Many can make the sentimental pick for the Blackhawks considering the following circumstances: The Hawks had classic greatness in the days of goaltender Charlie Gardiner (who died after winning the 1934 Cup, in case you didn't know, new hockey fans) in the 1930s, and then in the 1960s with Tony Esposito, Bobby Hull, and Stan Mikita (need I go on listing?). Then the Blackhawks had their more recent years of sucking, and now experience the possibility of winning a Cup with young superstars.

However, the way Montreal has gone back to the old ways of playing and added the confidence in young players i.e. PK Subban. You can almost put behind you the fact that they won 24 Stanley Cups, including their last one coming in 1993. Either way, it would be a great series, and definitely the best for viewers watching.

Of course, as a hockey fan, we all know I'm going to watch regardless, and I'm going to enjoy it. I'm just going to boycott a Flyers entrance to the Finals a different way.

p.s. I am working on fixing my East Coast bias, so no worries, West Coasters, I've got your coverage this round!

4 comments:

  1. I totally understand. Trust me, I am, too. I have to hide it in my writing but I'm still bummed as well. I mean after all, that's MY TEAM (as stated on the skin on my back lol).

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  2. As a Flyers fan, I thank you for picking the Habs. :)

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  3. LOL that's interesting, why is that? That's different to hear lol.

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