Monday, April 23, 2007

Recap Round 1 Predictions

I would have guessed that many of this year's series would have been closer. There was only one series last year that went to a game 7 in the first round, I had predicted 4 games would see the dreaded deciding final game. So much for that thought. It was only Vancouver and Dallas that experienced a game 7 in this year's first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Eastern Conference

I predicted "Atlanta wins in 5 games" - Reality: Rangers win in 4 games
Wow, um, well... that was short. The Thrashers really screwed this one up. I bought a carton of milk today and on the side of the 1/2 gallon container was Atlanta's Offense with a big "Missing" title above it. My Series MVP: Henrik Lundqvist

I predicted "Buffalo wins in 6 games" - Reality: Buffalo wins in 5 games
Close, just a game shy. The Islanders just were not as deep as the Sabres. Islanders had no problem playing physical, but couldn't match the talent. How about Dainius Zubrus turning on the playmaking in the post season? My Series MVP: Adam Mair

I predicted "Tampa Bay wins in 7 games" - Reality: New Jersey wins in 6
The Lightning just played right into the Devils hands, and New Jersey just outlasted the Lightning with the dreaded trap. Marty Broduer proves that he is the catalyst of this team, when he plays well, so do the Devils. My Series MVP: Martin Broduer

I predicted "Ottawa wins in 7 games" - Reality: Ottawa wins in 5 games
Oh happy day, the Senators finally shake the first round curse and now gain some confidence especially in their offensive game. Ray Emery also looked really good and has Ottawa fans saying, "Hasek who?" Sid "the Kid" Crosby's Whine O' the Week - a dry but fruity 2007 entitled: "I think I broke my foot in March." He thinks he broke it, people. My Series MVP: Daniel Alfredsson

Western Conference

I predicted "Minnesota wins in 7" - Reality: Anaheim wins in 5 games
The Ducks just punished the Wild. Minnesota didn't use it's speed as much as they should have. The Wild clearly had the better goaltender while their offense was sporadic and unreliable. The Ducks were just too big and too physical. Anaheim got a little too physical in some cases, that needs to calm down a little or people will start calling you Nashville. My Series MVP: Niklas Backstrom

Red Wings/Flames
I predicted "Detroit wins in 6" - Reality: Dead on, Detroit wins in 6 games
I can pretty much sum this series up by saying that this was the Red Wings vs. Miikka Kiprusoff. My Series MVP: Miikka Kiprusoff

I predicted "San Jose wins in 7" - Reality: San Jose wins in 5 games
Nashville came out too physical in their rematch of a season ago. They never recovered and San Jose called their number, again. If you think this rivalry is hot, just wait until they meet again next year. My Series MVP: Joe Thornton

I predicted "Vancouver in 5 games" - Reality: Vancouver wins in 7 games
Goaltending, goaltending, goaltending. Roberto Luongo and Marty Turco shut down two inconsistent offenses and it became a battle of wills. If you thought Turco just doesn't have it in him to win, you obviously need to watch this series again. He was spectacular posting two straight shutouts. In the end though, Vancouver just outlasted the Stars. Shame too, because Dallas looked to be the stronger team. My Series MVP: Tie Roberto Luongo, Marty Turco

I correctly guessed 5 winners and nailed only one series down to the game. Hopefully next round will be better. Anyway, here are your 1st round winners and losers.


  • Versus for doing a good job at live look-ins and staying on top of every game. They continued their good work from last season at keeping everything hockey. If this was an ESPN broadcast, we would have heard mostly NBA Playoff news between periods.

  • Miikka Kipursoff, even though the Flames lost. Kip played spectacular. Too bad the Flames couldn't put a win together on the road.

  • New York Rangers for showing up for a series, finally. NHL has to be giddy that some major markets made it out of the first round like NY, Anaheim (L.A. area) and Detroit.

  • The whole Vancouver/Dallas series. This is what playoff hockey is all about, great hockey played on both sides. The right amount of physical play, great goals and some pretty good overtime thrillers.


  • Sean Hill's drug (or rather performance enhancing) antics becoming a distraction for his Islander team at a very pivotal time.

  • Jamie McLennan's attempt to make a difference in the Wings/Flames series by giving a couple of good whacks at Johan Franzen, Karma will always bite you in the butt in the playoffs. Some good whacks though ("Chop that wood!").

  • Atlanta Thrashers quietly going into that silent night. I don't expect this team to get over it for some time. Hey Thrashers, instead of trying to knock the heads off of the Rangers, how about playing some hockey? This might have been their only shot for a while.

  • The New Jersey/Tampa Bay series. Did anyone even watch it? If so, name a pivotal point in the series other than a great save by Marty Broduer. If you can't, than you just wasted good playoff hockey watching the bore that was Devils vs. Lightning.

Predictions soon to come for Round 2, Conference Semis!

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