NHL Playoffs Round 1 Recap
My predictions for Round 1 were just that, i should have really taken the Ducks i like that team.
The Boston Bruins really had no problems handling the Montreal Canadiens sweeping the series in four straight. Phil Kessel, David Krejci, and Milan Lucic had good regualr seasons and has continued into the playoffs. Carey Price had been subpar after the allstar break, and never regained form. Not that Price is solely to blame here, the team never rallied around each other all year long.
The Pittsburgh Penguins ousting the Philadelphia Flyers in 6 games, i actually had this one bang on. Martin Biron couldn't steal a game for the Flyers, all the while outplaying the Penguins in a couple games. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are a handful, and the Flyers could not contain them, couple that with Marc Andre Fluery returning to his playoff form of old make the Penguins a favourite to return to the cup finals.
The New Jersey Devils had the series all but wrapped up, until they give up 2 goals in 1:21 with under 3 min to play. Eric Staal ripped the winner by Marty and quickly it was over. A great playoff rivalry forming there. Hurricanes now face the top seeded Bruins.
The New York Rangers had a stranglehold on this series leading 3-1 heading back to New York. Simeon Varlamov, the russian goaltender making his 7th NHL start , got the Capitals back into this series. Lundquist held the Rangers in, but in the end Rangers scoring was anemic. A great 7th game! Thus leaving a classic match up, Sidney,Geno,Marc Andre vs. Ovechkin,Semin,and Varlamov. I look foward to watching this series.
The San Jose Sharks showed their playoff teeth again, this time being the Presidents trophy winner, then being swept in the first round. Granted i doubt you find a tougher #8 seeded team. The Anaheim Ducks showed their championship poise, by controlling this series from the onset. The Ducks are in good shape, no injuries, two starting goaltenders, second line scoring. Anaheim and Detroit Red Wings should be an epic series.
The Detroit Red Wings showed the Blue Jackets that beating them in the regular season is one thing, trying to beat the defending cup champs in playoffs is another. I was at game 2 of this series and it was really men against boys here. No offence to the Jackets, congrats on the first playoff appearance but now you know what to expect. The Jackets have a good young team forming but clearly overmatched by the champs.
I did not expect the Vancouver Canucks to sweep the St. Louis Blues, not because of the Canucks talent, but the Blues had been one of the hottest teams after the break. Vancouver looks good, a deep team with arguably the best goaltender in the world. I see a deep run for the Canucks.
The Calgary Flamed decimated by injuries run into one of the most talented young teams. I expected the lack of experience in the Chicago Blackhawks to cost them this series, but clearly i under estimated the speed and talent of the young guns, Toews, Kane,Barker,Seabrook,Kris Versteeg. The Bulin wall was dominant.