Thursday, April 24, 2008

Looking Backward and Forward

Round one is over. For me, it took way too long. 7 game series are always exciting to watch if it's not your team, and full of abject terror if your team is in it. I let Gray do most of the Sharks series talk since mine mostly boiled down to "Fire bad, tree pretty." I must say I found the introduction of the Hockey Hippo inspired. But enough ego stroking, it's time to check our round 1 picks. As a refresher, here is what we picked:

Mina - Detroit in 5, San Jose in 5, Minnesota in 7, Anaheim in 6, Montreal in 5, Pittsburgh in 6, Washington in 6, New Jersey in 7
Gray - Detroit in 6, San Jose in 6, Minnesota in 7, Anaheim in 5, Montreal in 6, Pittsburgh in 6, Washington in 5, New Jersey in 6

I can still make arguments why all of the teams we picked should have won, but as it turned out, we only correctly picked 4 out of 8 teams and Gray was the only one to pick a series in the correct number of games. So much for early retirement from my Vegas winnings.

At the time, I said "I realize that taking all the top seeds looks like a cop-out, but none of the lower seeds have really done anything to give me a great deal of confidence in them. Though I did give some serious thought to New York over the Devils, it was too hard not to pick Brodeur and co (but really just Brodeur). Still, I would love to see a first round upset......provided it isn't the Sharks losing." There are several things that hold wrong about this statement (including the several typos....eep). The lower seeds did much better than I figured they could, including both 8 seeds. I think this lends confidence to the theory that time off during the playoffs kills momentum. And while on paper the 4-5 match-ups looked close, I really though the Ducks and Devils were much better than they turned out to be (this series will cause me to be bitter if Brodeur wins the Venza. Seriously, how vulnerable did he look? Wow.).

Moving on to the 2nd round....this time with commentary. None of the teams left got in based o luck, so I'm operating on the premise that there will be no sweeps.

Montreal vs. Philly
Man is Philly scary. They can score, they can hit, and they are getting pretty good goal tending. But man are they giving up a lot of goals. Washington scored 3 or more goals in every game except 2 and 7. And despite going 7 games against the Bruins and then looking like noobs by rioting, Montreal proved they can score and Price looks generally unbeatable until game 5 & 6. But he, and the whole team pulled it together for game 7. Montreal in 6

Pittsburgh vs. New York Rangers
I differ from the popular pensblog opinion here in saying that I think a long layoff during the playoffs is a bad idea. Yes, you can have lots of practice, but there is no real substitute for real hockey games against people who want you to lose a lot. And when this series opens, the Pens won't have played in over a week. However, I think they super lucked out in geting to play the Rangers, who won't have played in a week. I think the first game will be ugly with both teams working off the rust. But it is a 7 game series and as much I almost picked the Pens, I have to go with New York, their Vezna candidate, and their overpriced whores (I mean that in the nicest way possible). Rangers in 7

Detroit vs. Colorado
This is another hard series to pick for me (like any are easy). I would love to say I think that this series will be like the hate-filled series of the past, but i just don't think so. They haven't played in the playoffs in a while and the guys who remember those times are old. And yes, old does give experience but old is still old. If Osgood goes down, the Wings are in trouble cause Hasek is all messed up in the head. On paper the Wings are so much better, but I feel an upset coming here. I'm going to take the Jose Theodore, Joe Sakic, Peter Foresberg (I can't believe I'm picking this) of old to show up and finish what the Predators started. Avs in 7

San Jose vs. Dallas
I'm really trying to pick with my head and not my heart. Fortunately, both think the Sharks will take this. I know this: if the Sharks of game 2 & 5 show up, the series could be over as early as 5. But if the Sharks of game 6 show up, it could be over as early as 4....with Dallas winning. A lot of people are taking the Sharks in 6 but I think Dallas is tougher than that, particular with the secondary scoring they are going to get. If Turco reverts to the Turco of old, the Stars are in trouble, but they had an impressive power play in the 1st round and the Sharks penalty kill dissapeared. Stiil, I go with my boys in teal. Sharks in 7

No comments: