Expect the unexpected? Yes! And no! Two series played out as expected, while the other two surprised everyone. Here’s my look back at Round 2 of the 2010 NHL Playoffs.
Series: San Jose Sharks (1) vs. Detroit Red Wings (5)
My Prediction: Sharks in 7 games.
What Actually Happened: Sharks won in 5 games.
Comments: Every game Detroit lost was by only one goal. But the one game Detroit won was a 7-1 rout, thanks in part to a 4-goal, 2-assist performance by Johan Franzen. Suddenly, I’m kind of miss having this card…
Imagine if the whole series had been a series of one-sided stomp-fests, like the Chicago/Vancouver series. Speaking of which…
Series: Chicago Blackhawks (2) vs. Vancouver Canucks (3)
My Prediction: Blackhawks in 6 games.
What Actually Happened: Blackhawks won in 6 games.
Comments: I told ya so! This may have been the most even match-up in Round 2. When both teams “showed up” to play, the result was a relatively tight, evenly-matched game. But as soon as one team lapsed a bit–POW! Vancouver stomped Chicago 5-1 in Game 1, and Chicago won 5-1 in Game 6. All games in between were won by 2-goal or 3-goal margins.
The Canucks are a good team, but all the Sedins in the world would not have been enough to save them in this round.
Series: Pittsburgh Penguins (4) vs. Montreal Canadiens (8)
My Prediction:Penguins in 5 games.
What Actually Happened: Canadiens UPSET in 7 games.
Comments: Just like no one was expecting the Canadiens to beat the Washington Capitals, no one was expecting this colossal upset either.
Sniff, sniff…what’s that smell?
Oh, it’s the smell of my Jaroslav Halak rookie cards going up in value. Who knew it’d be so pungent?
So, the 8th seeded Canadiens bumped off the Capitals and the Penguins–the two teams everyone was expecting/hoping for in the conference finals (well, everyone except Captain Canuck, of course). Eventually, the Canadiens’ luck will run out–just ask the 1991 Minnesota North Stars or the 2006 Edmonton Oilers.
Series:Boston Bruins (6) vs. Philadelphia Flyers (7)
My Prediction: Bruins in 7 games.
What Actually Happened: Flyers UPSET in 7 games.
Comments: The fact that the Flyers won the series wasn’t really an upset. Both teams finished the regular season with 88 points, but the Bruins had 2 more wins. So the teams were pretty even.
What made this series so amazing is that the Bruins went up 3-0 in the series, and that the Flyers won the next 4 games straight. This has only been done 3 times in NHL history, the last time being in 1975!
The Bruins went up 3-0 in Game 7, just like they went up 3-0 in the series. Coincidentally, the Flyers scored the next 4 goals to win Game 7…just like they won the next 4 games to win the series.
The top two teams in the Western Conference won their series, as expected. The bottom two seeds in the Eastern Conference won too. Who–outside of Montreal or Philly–would have thunk it?
Stay tuned for my Round 3 predictions, which will be posted before the start of the Hawks/Sharks game on Sunday.