Best playoffs ever? If everything keeps up like it did in the first round, then the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs will go down as the best postseason in hockey history. We’ve had shutouts, fluke goals, upsets and surprise heroes. And that was only the first round!
Here’s a quick look back at my first round predictions–and how things actually turned out:
Series: San Jose Sharks (1) vs. Colorado Avalanche (8)
My Prediction: Sharks in 7 games.
What Actually Happened: Sharks won in 6 games.
Comments: Craig Anderson made life hell for the Sharks, standing on his head and making it look like the 8th-seed Avalanche might actually win the series. But despite a fluke goal loss in Game 3, the Sharks did not choke. They might save that for the next round, though.
Series: Chicago Blackhawks (2) vs. Nashville Predators (7)
My Prediction: Blackhawks in 5 games.
What Actually Happened: Blackhawks won in 6 games.
Comments: When the lazy and uninspired Blackhawks showed up, they lost. When the “real” Blackhawks showed up, they won–even managing to shut out the Preds twice.
Do you hear that sound?
It’s the sound of my Antti Niemi rookie cards going up in value.
Series: Vancouver Canucks (3) vs. Los Angeles Kings (6)
My Prediction: Kings UPSET in 6 games.
What Actually Happened: Canucks won in 6 games.
Comments: OK, I was wrong about this one. The series was pretty even until Vancouver drubbed L.A. 7-2 in game 5. But you gotta admit, it did look pretty good for the Kings for a while.
Series: Phoenix Coyotes (4) vs. Detroit Red Wings (5)
My Prediction: Red Wings UPSET in 6.
What Actually Happened: Red Wings UPSET in 7.
Comments:We all knew the Red Wings would win–it would just be a matter of how many games. Hats off to the Coyotes, though, as they put up a good series against what is still one of the best teams in the NHL.
Series: Washington Capitals (1) vs. Montreal Canadiens (8)
My Prediction: Capitals SWEEP in 4 games.
What Actually Happened: Montreal UPSET in 7 games.
Comments: No one got this one right. No one. Sure, now you say that you knew all along that the Canadiens would win, but the only person to actually say it was the guy who writes for Canadiens.com.
Well, there are upsets, and then there are UPSETS. The Caps had the best record in the regular season. The Caps have Alexander Ovechkin. How they managed to flub this one is beyond me.
Then again, the Sharks have been doing that for years.
Perhaps the Caps are the new Sharks…
Series: New Jersey Devils (2) vs. Philadelphia Flyers (7)
My Prediction: Flyers UPSET in 6 games.
What Actually Happened: Flyers UPSET in 5 games.
Comments:Thank you Flyers for ending the Devils season a game sooner than I predicted. You’ve done all of hockey a favor.
Series:Buffalo Sabres (3) vs. Boston Bruins (6)
My Prediction: Bruins UPSET in 6 games.
What Actually Happened: Bruins UPSET in 6 games.
Comments: This is the only playoff series where I got the number of games right. Fortunately, that was the one I needed to get right to win a contest for an autographed Adam Oates card.
Series: Pittsburgh Penguins (4) vs. Ottawa Senators (5)
My Prediction: Penguins SWEEP in 4 games.
What Actually Happened: Penguins won in 6 games.
Comments: With Sidney Crosby scoring 14 points in 6 games, how could the Penguins lose?
It is interesting to note that in the Western Conference, the 1st, 2nd and 3rd seeds won–and the 4th-seeded Coyotes almost won too. However, in the East the 1st, 2nd and 3rd seeds LOST, with the 4th-seeded Penguins being the only favorite to win. That says a lot about the strength of the Western Conference, leading me to believe that the eventual Cup winner will be from the West.
So far, I am 6 for 8–or 75% right–in my playoff predictions.
I’ll post my Round 2 predictions later today (but before the Sharks-Red Wings game).