Well I was definitely wrong about a few of my predictions in Round one of the NHL playoffs. Some series haven’t come to a close yet, in fact only half have secured a spot and only 1 series in the east is wrapped, but I thought it would be worth taking a look at the stats compared to my predictions. Let’s see where we’re at as round 1 will be coming to a close this week.
Vancouver vs. L.A. – I predicted the Canuckle heads, but the Kings took the series (in a major upset) in 5 games. This was not, however, a major upset for me to watch the defending Stanley Cup Losers go out in the first round. Suck it Vancouver.
St. Louis vs. San Jose – I guessed St. Louis and was right. They took the series in 5 games. A bit of a bummer that Joe Thornton is done now, but this one was pretty predictable with the Blues on such a streak this season.
Coyotes vs. Hawks – I put my money on Phoenix and they’re up one game on the series right now (3-2) (despite losing Raffi Torres to a 25 game suspension for a repeat offender head-to-head hit on Marian Hossa which sent Hossa off the ice on a stretcher). If they win tonight they take it in 6, if not then Chicago ties and we go to a game 7 (exciting series!).
Predators vs. Red Wings – I was sure the Wings were going to hammer this out, so this one shocked me, but Detroit went down to Nashville in 5 games. I have no strong feelings either way really but it would’ve been nice to see an Original 6 team beat an expansion team.
Rangers vs. Ottawa – Somewhere in the hockey-verse the gods are giggling at all of us (read: me) who picked NY to demolish the Sens. And who would’ve thought it would be such a tough series with so many penalties on both sides? This series has Ottawa up by a game (3-2) so they could actually win the round if they win tonight. I’d love that because the Rangers, being the second evil empire from New York, must be stopped. The earlier the better (read: so the Bruins don’t have to play them).
Bruins vs. Caps – I always vote Bruins, that’s no secret, but even I knew this was going to be a tough fought series when we got Washington instead of Ottawa (though I guess now I’m not sure the Senators would’ve been easier!). Series is tied 3-3 and Wednesday night seals the deal. Go B’s! I think they can actually pull it out if they stay focused and maintain offensive strategy but Timmy needs a fish-slap back to his crease. Again.
Devils vs. Panthers – Come on Jersey! Don’t lose to a team from a state where outdoor hockey wouldn’t even be possible, I know you’re better than that! (No comments on my backing of Phoenix please) Panthers are up one on the series (3-2) so it’s do or die time for the Devils on Tuesday night.
Flyers vs. Penguins – Another unpredicted upset. Another recoculously over the top series for penalties, fighting majors and game misconduct ejections. Seriously in one of the games (I think it was 3?) the combined total penalty minutes for both teams was 133. Yes for those keeping track that is more penalty minutes (by 13) than if the guys played two full hockey games! Despite the fact that Neal and Asham seemed to be looking to take Giroux, Schenn and Couturier out of play forever, Philly managed to take the series 4-2.
On fun and funny news…
The Bruins have not only managed to get the party started again with their episodes of “The Bear and the Gang”, but Andrew Ference has once again proved he is a motivating genius (and stepping up as captain material if and when Chara ever retires). Last year the guys had the jacket. I’ve talked about this before but the thing was God awful and is now hanging in retired player (sob) Mark Recchi’s closet.
They needed something fun again this year. Well enter Jacket 2.0 – The Chain
The chain is even more God awful than the jacket (if that’s possible) and is constructed of 20 industrial weight silver links with a padlock attached to the bottom. Andy carved a Bruin’s 8-spoked B into the lock and clicked the thing shut.
The chain is given to the best player of the night (Kelly is wearing it above after his OT winning goal in Game 1) and the links represent the fact that among the 20 players on the ice/dressed for a game, there isn’t a single weak link in the bunch.
Plus its good for neck workouts because that thing must weigh about 600 pounds.
It sure is fun, motivating, and a nice way to thank each other for the hard work out there. Now bring the series to a close with a win at home on Wednesday and let’s see who gets to be the hockey equivalent of Flavor-Flav for killing it in game 7 of the first round.
Picture of Chris Kelly wearing The Chain taken as a still from - http://video.bruins.nhl.com/videocenter/console?catid=659&id=172067