Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Round 1 Picks

Hockey plays an important role in my house. Hockey night in Canada means something. Okay, it means chips, dip and beer on the couch. It also means good competition, lively banter and well intentioned trash talk (if that's possible, it happens in my house) and that's just with the commentators before the game! Last week, it even meant a whirl wind trip to Edmonton and back in an evening for the chance to see our two teams play each other...while we sat in row 14. When, really, are we going to get that chance again!?

Tonight, the playoffs start and that means a whole new world of entertainment. I find it particularly satisfying that the fLames are not in the playoffs (note: I was perfectly aware all season that Edmonton wouldn't make it anyway. I get it. I'm aware of the realities of cheering for my team) and have had fun pointing out that, when April hits and playoffs are rolling, no one actually cares whether your team was 30th or 17th...until there's draft picks to be had. Did I mention that, as of this morning, it's confirmed that Edmonton has the first round pick? Where's Calgary on the list? Do they even get a draft pick this year? Oh, but I digress.

The whole point of this was that I was going to give my picks for the first round. I haven't posted them on here for a season or two but thought I'd get back in the habit with this season. Here goes:

Chicago (8) vs Vancouver (1)
I'm taking Vancouver in 6 for this one. Some might say that I don't have a choice in the matter but I wouldn't believe them if I were you. I know, I know. How many times has a President's Trophy team won the cup? Oh, and how many times has Chicago beat Vancouver in the playoffs? Okay, I get it, there's some superstition working against the Nucks this year but I'm not a superstitious girl. They've been first in pretty much every recorded stat category in the league this year, they've got two goalies they can count on and a pretty deep list of superstars. Injuries seem to be healing. Chicago is not the team they have been over the past couple seasons. They didn't finish the season strong. Plus, I just hate them. I do.

LA (7) vs San Jose (2)
If you would have asked me 2 months ago, I would have said LA hands down but they didn't finish nearly as strong as they started AND they've got a few key injuries. That said, they won't go down easy. I haven't been watching much of San Jose but what I have seen looks better than, well, LA. I'm going for San Jose in 7.

Phoenix (6) vs Detroit (3)
Detroit might be without Zetterberg and I might pretty much hate them (them and Chicago. ug) but when it's between a war vet team like Detroit and Phoenix who's only hope is a guy like Jovanovski, I've gotta go for Detroit. Not a sweep but I'm thinking 5.

Nashville (5) vs Anaheim (4)
I think this is a stupid match up. Who watches hockey in Nashville and Anaheim? That said, I like Perry and think that the last half of the regular season bodes well for Anaheim. There it is. Anaheim in 6.

On to the East...

New York Rangers (8) vs Washington (1)
I would love to say that this would be an upset because I think it would be funny but I just don't see it happening. Between injuries and guys just not playing to potential, I have a hard time seeing the Rangers doing anything useful in this match up. Washington in four. Yes, I said it. Sweep.

Buffalo (7) vs Philly (2)
I'm still not sure how Philly finished second instead of first. I think that's dumb. While riddled with injuries, I still think that this round is going to be relatively uneventful. Philly in 6 and even that, I think, is being generous to Buffalo.

Montreal (6) vs Boston (3)
If the regular season series between these two teams has shown anything, it's that these two teams have something to fight about. This match up is going to be on from the moment they hit the ice. This means war, I tell you, and I think they're going to fight it for seven games. I like Tim Thomas but I think the match up between him and Price is pretty even. Both stellar. The difference is going to be the power play. Montreal has it and Boston doesn't. Montreal in 7.

Tampa Bay (5) and Pittsburgh (4)
With or without Crosby (or Malkin), this one's still going to be Pittsburgh in 6. They've come off the regular season hot, matched up well against Tampa and have the experience. Tampa Bay will put up a fight, Lacavailer will play strong but, at the end of the day, the young team just doesn't have what it takes. Sorry Florida.


Shawn said...

I wish I had something profound to say or even something to really disagree with, alas, I like your picks and I'm pretty sure I agree (as much as I would like to think that Vancouver will sweep, 6 feels more likely). I do love that you are an Oilers fan and your man is a Nucks fan. I also love that you did this at all. I look forward to your continued thoughts as we journey on to the inevitable Vancouver Stanley Cup win (please, Lord, let this year be the year! I'm still nursing the wounds from '94).

Stacey Sparshu said...

With you, Shawn. If you need a place to watch the game, you come on over. It'll be on!