After two weeks, the first round of the playoffs are finally over. There were some surprises, like the President Trophy-winning Sharks getting usurped by the 8th-seed “mighty” Ducks. And an exciting, “it-ain’t-over-’til-it’s-over” comeback by the Carolina Hurricanes.
Here are the predictions I made two weeks back, and how the series actually played out:
Series: Sharks (1) vs. Ducks (8)
My Prediction: Sharks in 6
What actually happened: Ducks won in 6 games
Comments: Wow…It’s funny how it seems that, more often than not, that the team with the best record in the regular season fizzles in the playoffs. I really thought this would be the year for the Sharks. I know they’ve come up short in past seasons, but I really believed that the Sharks would go all the way.
Series: Red Wings (2) vs. Blue Jackets (7)
My Prediction: Red Wings SWEEP in 4
What actually happened: Red Wings win in 4 games
Comments: We knew the Wings were going to win this series. They’re pretty much the same team as last year, only now they have Marian Hossa. Columbus is one of those “dog shit” teams that should not have won a game in the series, and they didn’t.
Series: Canucks (3) vs. Blues (6)
My Prediction: Blues in 6
What actually happened: Canucks won in 4 games
Comments: Wow, another sweep in the Western Conference. I thought that the Blues would pull of an upset, because while the Canucks are good, they still seem like a very beatable team. Instead, the Blues curled up and died like the Blue Jackets. Maybe having the word “blue” in your team name dooms you to mediocrity.
Series: Blackhawks (4) vs. Flames (5)
My Prediction: Blackhawks in 5
What actually happened: Blackhawks won in 6 games
Comments: Yeah, I’m pulling for the ‘Hawks because they’re my team, but I knew they’d win in less than 7 games. Most of the games were very close, and it was a very entertaining series. I thought Dustin Byfuglien would do well in the series; in actuality, he did OK getting one assist and one empty net goal. He was a presence near the crease, which did lead to some goals while he hovered near Kiprusoff.
Series: Bruins (1) vs. Canadiens (8)
My Prediction: Bruins SWEEP in 4
What actually happened: Bruins win in 4 games
Comments: I’ll admit, I didn’t want the Canadiens to win because this is their 100th season of existence, and frankly they are not that good of a team. If the Canadiens did pull off an upset, then we’d have to hear about how it has something to do with the whole “magical-ness” of this being Montreal’s 100th season, blah, blah, blah. Besides, the Bruins are a damn good team, so they deserved to win.
Series: Capitals (2) vs. Rangers (7)
My Prediction: Capitals in 5
What actually happened: Capitals won in 7 games
Comments: This one was close, and we all have to give the Capitals credit for clawing their way back from being down 3 games to 1. Rookie goaltender Simeon Varlamov came out as the hero after Jose Theodore started and lost Game One. Could this make Varlamov the next Cam Ward…and Theodore the next Martin Gerber?
Series: Devils (3) vs. Hurricanes (6)
My Prediction: Hurricanes UPSET in 6
What actually happened: Hurricanes win in 7
Comments: I knew that the smoke-and-mirrors known as the New Jersey Devils would not make it far. Some “Anonymous” poster–who thinks I’m living in the past–pointed out that the Devils don’t play their neutral zone trap anymore. Who cares? They’re still a boring team. The ‘Canes, on the other hand…scoring two goals in the last 90 seconds of play…going from about to be the losers to the winners. Now, that’s what playoff hockey is all about! I think the last time the Devils made a play that exciting, Kirk Muller was wearing the “C” (OK, maybe I am living in the past). Plus, we won’t have to hear from the Devil’s “fat goalie” anymore. No party for Marty.
Series: Penguins (4) vs. Flyers (5)
My Prediction: Penguins in 5 (though I really wanted a 7 game series)
What actually happened: Penguins won in 6
Comments: The Pengiuns were the better team, and have way too much offensive firepower to be brushed aside by the Flyers.
Anyway, I picked the right winners for 6 of the 8 series, so I guess 75% isn’t too shabby. On Thursday, I’ll give my predictions for Round Two. And eventually, I might even write something about hockey cards again.