In any case, the 1st round was epic, only wish I got to see more of it. Four game seven's, and two on back-to-back nights, pretty sweet. Couple of things I noticed in that first round, where to start...
- Duncan Keith is a mean son-of-a-bitch. I thought the guy was pretty even keeled, but that mf'er really wants to win. He's a competitor.
- Speaking of competitors, Jon Toews is something else. That guy is determination.
- The Caps disposed of the Rangers pretty easily, but not as easily as they could have. A tougher team will expose that. Meet the Tampa Bay Lightning, who I severely underestimated.
- There is no way Ovechkin is 100%, which has been pretty obvious all season long. Here's the scenario, AO gets injured early in the season, he can play, but there's a potential for more damage if he does so. Caps brass have to weigh the options, shut him down for a healthy chunk of the season, losing their key personality for HBO and the Winter Classic, or let him gut it out. What would you do?
- Playoff teams of nobodies... Buffalo Sabres, or should I say Ryan Miller and the Sabres, the New York Rangers, the Nashville Predators, the Phoenix Coyotes. Which of those teams is still in the dance?
- Anaheim is another one of those teams, if you subtract their Big 3, since Hiller was already subtracted.
- The Sharks/Kings series was great, and the wee beginnings of another inner-state rivalry was born within the fans of each.
- The Phoenix/Detroit series was over before I had an opportunity to turn it on.
#1 Vancouver vs. #5 Nashville
I can't tell whether its hate for the Canucks, or whether people have them labelled as the next Sharks. But I think Vancouver makes short work of the Predators, then again I said the Ducks would do that.
Canucks in 5.
#2 San Jose vs. #3 Detroit
This one is very hard to pick, and may be the best matchup of this round. On one hand you have a well-rested group of champions in the Wings who know how to win. Granted not as deep as in years past, but that lineup is solid, top to bottom. The Sharks are definetely deep, but its their delicate sensibility that makes us always question them. They always seem like they're ready to take that next step, until they get swatted out of the postseason. Its a guess...
Sharks in 7.
#1 Washington vs. #5 Tampa Bay
Here's my upset pick. I just don't think the Caps have it in them. They made some key acquisitions at the deadline, that were for sure, deep playoff pickups, but they just haven't shown that they've got what it takes to make a run. Tampa on the other hand, has two steady hands guiding the ship, Yzerman and Boucher, and they have this team believing with the pick up of Rolosson. I believe them too.
Lightning in 6.
#2 Philadelphia vs. #3 Boston
This series should be a lot closer, but it won't. Philly was slow on the draw, but now they've got the momentum, and they're going to run. Hard. Boston is out of gas, and looking miserable. The Habs were not the Cinderella they were a year ago for sure, they were just overmatched by the B's. But the Bruins are going to have to turn their game around to even have a shot at this series.
Flyers in 6.