It seems when I pick with my head and not with my heart, I'm alright at this prediction thing (well this time, anyway). But though it's nice to be sitting ahead of the Al Strachan's of the world in the Score playoff pool, I'd give it all up for heart over head and a match-up against the Capitals...
This is what I had for Round 1:
Habs over Bruins in 7
I couldn't have picked the Bruins, Markov or not. I hate that I was wrong. Hate it.
Capitals over Rangers in 6
I didn't trust in Lundqvist, but he did OK, at first. Washington's a strong one.
Hurricanes over Devils in 7
I couldn't have predicted the way it would happen, with the drama and swings; but I've always liked the power of the Eric/ks
Penguins over Flyers in 6
This was a no-brainer. Just like the guy who entrusted another year in the playoffs to Martin Biron.
Anaheim over San Jose in 7
I didn't expect Anaheim to be so quick, but with Niedermayer (player of the decade with Lidstrom) and Pronger, the Ducks were much more dangerous than their totals suggested. they still are.
Detroit over Columbus in 6
Columbus were weaker than I thought. That's saying something.
Canucks over Blues in 5
All those who hyped the Blues should have learned that a late streak does nothing to overcome a good offense with a great goalie.
Flames over Hawks in 7
Oops. I thought the Hawks were earlier in the development than this. Gotta like teaming young team with reliable veteran goalie. I wonder if any other teams ever had success with that approach. Maybe last year? Can't think...
Enough gloating. Here's where I suffer the fall, as I have to make more predictions and will likely fall to the very predictable .500 level that suits 50:50 chance of success in prognostication (and faceoffs).
Carolina over Boston in 6
This isn't just my heart here, though it is involved. The Bruins were not tested at all, not at all, in their opening series. The Hurricanes beat the mighty Devils with a better goalie than Boston have and a better version of the same defensive system. Plus Staal is a stud vs. Savard. The weakness comes at the back for Carolina a with Montreal, but Boston would be blessed to get as many well-timed and easy goals as they eventually relied on to coast through round 1.
Pittsburgh over Washington in 7
Watch this series and you'll begin to understand why there should be some urgency about winning sooner rather than later in Montreal. Ovechkin, Semin, Malkin and Crosby could become conference final fixtures if they wanted to. They'll show us why with Pittsburgh's Stanley Cup creds giving them the final edge. This is OT in game 7 type stuff.
Detroit over Anaheim in 5
Whereas San Jose couldn't have looked at Anaheim with any relish, Detroit know they can counter. Hiller may be better than Osgood, but he is not as good as SJ made him look. He'd do well to come out of a match with Zetterberg, Datsyuk and company as unscathed as he is now. Lidstrom outplaying the big two will be key. I have faith in the best player of our time.
Vancouver over Chicago in 6
We must watch while Vancouver proves how waiting for Sundin was leagues better than trading for the consolation prize. It helps to have a good goalie who makes saves, too. I stand by my earlier statements as well – not Chicago's time yet.
There you have it. It will be mocked and ridiculed on The Score, so why not here. But as we've seen, even silly predictions like Anaheim over perfect franchise (exhibit A) happen; so you never know.
If I muster up the interest to watch after my sulk, there are match-ups here to like. Pittsburgh vs. Washington should be a great one, Carolina thumping Boston would be nice too.
Is it October yet?