Wednesday, May 03, 2006

One Round Down

Round one is in the books. If the rest of the playoffs are in any way like this round was, the NHL has very little to worry about. In a round that featured unpredictability, amazing goals, and even a game seven series thriller (not), and only a couple of teams were a disappointment (Rangers, we are all looking at you).

So I made some fearless predictions about the first round. So now it’s time to pay the piper. Let’s see how I did…

Eastern Conference

Prediction: “Ottawa defeats Tampa Bay in 5 games.” – Reality: Ottawa defeats Tampa Bay in 5 games. Nailed it! Uh yeah. Pretty predictable, Tampa Bay just didn’t look comfortable in this one, and the Senators came prepared.

Prediction: “Carolina defeats Montreal in 7 games.” – Reality: Carolina defeats Montreal in 6 games. One game shy. Carolina wins four straight to take the series in 6 games. Montreal nearly stole this series away from Carolina after winning the first two games. But Carolina switches goalies and Cam Ward wins his first four playoff starts.

Prediction: “New Jersey defeats New York in 5 games.” – Reality: New Jersey defeats New York in 4 games. A game shy again. I thought there would be a little fight in the Rangers. Instead Jaromir Jagr fakes a shoulder injury when things go bad. And when Jagr is out, where is the rest of this team? Guess it was all Jagr this year for the Rangers.

Prediction: “Buffalo defeats Philadelphia in 6 games.” – Reality: Buffalo defeats Philadelphia in 6 games. Can I call it or what? An injured Peter Forsberg is not quite the dismantling of the Flyers like the Rangers were without Jagr, but it was a factor. Flyers didn’t even show up for game 6 getting murdered 7 to 1. Ouch.

As far as the Eastern Conference goes it went just how I predicted with a few surprises here and there. At first I was concerned that Carolina wasn’t going to escape that series with Montreal since I have them winning the Cup this year. But all is well, so far.

Western Conference

Prediction: “Detroit defeats Edmonton in 6 games.” – Reality: Edmonton defeats Detroit in 6 games. Right number, wrong team. Edmonton was clearly the team that worked for every goal, every hit, and every save. Dwayne Roloson was the Oilers savior in this series. I knew the Red Wings would let their overconfidence be their down fall (they awarded the President’s Trophy before the season ended for crying out loud), I just thought it would be in the second round.

Prediction: “Colorado defeats Dallas in 7 games.” – Reality: Colorado defeats Dallas in 5 games. Efficient. Dallas just didn’t look like it was ready for the Avalanche at all. I figured that this would be a hard battled series, instead it was a minor glitch in Colorado’s machine to make it deep in the postseason.

Prediction: “Calgary defeats Anaheim in 5 games.” – Reality: Anaheim defeats Calgary in 7 games. Way off. The Ducks seemed to put it together for the playoffs. A lot more than I thought they were. Although the Ducks have played well, Calgary’s offense was missing. Can’t win if you don’t score.

Prediction: “San Jose defeats Nashville in 5 games.” – Reality: San Jose defeats Nashville in 5 games. Nailed it. Anyone could see that the Predators were becoming predictable as the year moved on. San Jose is playing good hockey right now, and I don’t see signs of that changing.

Okay so my Western Conference pick were a little off, but who would have guessed that Detroit would be surprised by Edmonton before this series was played. Even some Oilers fans were given this series up and talking about next year. Instead in a dramatic 3 period of game 6 in Edmonton, the Oilers scored 4 goals, sealing the Red Wings fate.

My overall grade on my picks: B-

All of the series have had their moments. I can’t wait for the playoffs to start up again. I will have to think about the games coming up and we will go for our fearless predictions once again.

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