Wednesday, April 29, 2009

NHL Playoffs Round 1 Recap

With the two game 7s that occurred tonight the first round of the NHL playoffs is now complete.  I made some predictions a few articles ago and for the most part I think I did pretty well.  I went 4-4 in the West but only 1-4 in East thanks to New Jersey blowing it tonight along with the Rangers.

Here are my predictions and how it actually went down:


Bruins vs Canadiens

I picked the Bruins to win this series in 5 games as I figured that Montreal would be able to pull out at least 1 game at home.  Unfortunately for all the Habs fans out there this didn't happen as Montreal was swept in 4 games and looked terrible while it happened.  Carey Price was garbage in net all series and even gave the Montreal fans the Patrick Roy arm raise during game 4. 

The Bruins looked good and steam-rolled the Habs who now have lots of questions to answer going forwards as the team is in disarray and is without direction.

Capitals vs Rangers

In this series I had the Rangers upsetting the Caps as I thought that the superior goaltending of Henrik Lundqvist and the immense amount of firepower boasted by the Rangers would be enough.  Things looked good for my pick as the Rangers took a 3-1 series lead but then the wheels fell off.

John Tortorella benched Sean Avery for game 5, which the Rangers lost, and got involved with a fan earning himself a suspension for game 6 which the Rangers also lost.  Having absolutely no momentum the Rangers were put away by the Capitals tonight 2-1 in game 7.

This is a series the Rangers should have won had their coach not been a massive idiot.

Devils vs Hurricanes

How on earth the Devils managed to lose this series is beyond me.  It went back and fourth the whole time and neither team never had a strangle hold on the series.  Even still the Devils were at one point leading game seven as with under 90 seconds to play they held a 3-2 lead.  Then all hell broke loose as the Devils proceeded to surrender two goals, one of which was a softy by Eric Staal that Party Marty Brodeur should have had, and lost the series.

I had the Devils winning this series in 5 and eventually going to the Eastern Conference Finals but that won't be happening because Martin Brodeur the supposed "Best Goalie of All-time" can't stop a snap shot waist high from the wing.  Good work Chubbzor.

Penguins vs Flyers

I had the Flyers winning this series in 7 but that didn't come close to happening as the Penguins won 4-2 and took the series pretty easily.  The Flyers are a solid team but their lack of quality goaltending is their weakness and will continue to hurt them until they upgrade.

The Penguins will now play the Caps in the 2nd round which should provide TSN and Sportsnet with too much to talk about as Crosby goes up against Ovechkin.


Sharks vs Ducks

Well I am happy to announce that I totally called this.  While the Ducks finished in 8th place they are still a dangerous team with talent on all 4 lines and a solid experienced defense.  No one expected Jonas Hiller to play as well as he did but he looked solid as he lead the Ducks to a 4-2 series win.

I thought this series would go 7 and be the most entertaining of the first round but neither of those came to fruition.  I don't understand how the Sharks can be so dominant in the regular season and then shit in the bed in the playoffs so consistently.  They have great forwards, solid defense, and amazing goaltending yet they still manage to lose.  A serious enigma.

Red Wings vs Blue Jackets

I had picked this series to be won in 5 games by the Red Wings and unfortunately I was wrong.  They ended up winning in 4 and denied the Columbus fans the chance to see their team win a playoff game at home.  This was the first time Columbus had made the playoffs and I think they played like they were just happy to be there.

The Red Wings looked dominant and outplayed the Jackets in almost every area of play.  Look for them to continue their hot play in the 2nd round with Chris Osgood maintaining his high level of play.

Canucks vs Blues

I had the Canucks winning in 5 as they are the superior team.  Once again I was wrong as the Canucks managed to win in 4 and dominant the Blues.  Credit can be given to Roberto Luongo who was incredible the whole series and kept Vancouver in some games they had no business being in.

As a Canucks fan I was glad to see this series in in 4 as the Canucks had quite a few injuries that they needed to rehab and the lay off should help them with that.  Hopefully players like Ryan Kesler and Alex Burrows Safari Planet can continue their great play.

Flames vs BlackHawks

My favorite series of the playoffs.  There was nothing better than watching the Calgary Flames lose so poorly to the Chicago BlackHawks.  Calgary backed their way into the playoffs and showed few signs of life the whole series.  I had picked Chicago to win but I thought it would take them 7 hard fought games to do it.  Instead they beat the Calgary Flamers in 6 and proved the critics wrong that they weren't too young and inexperienced.

This was seriously like Christmas in April for me as I hate the Flames and everything about that team.  After the loss instead of bowing out gracefully that prick Mike Keenan blamed the series loss on injuries.  He then remarked, "our top 3 guys were out.  If they had even 1 of their top players out it would have been a different story I can tell you."  

You suck.  Your team sucks.  Jokinen was a waste.  Now go play golf for a few months so you can come back and lose in the 1st round of the playoffs for the 4th straight year.

So overall I went 5-8 which isn't horrible.  If the Rangers and Devils didn't blow it I would have been 7-8 but oh well.  The first round had a little of everything and with the Penguins vs Capitals matchup in round 2 the NHL should be able to attract a few more fans to the game.  Let's just hope the Canucks can continue to win.

A Round 2 preview will be coming tomorrow.

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