Ok, so I decided I would watch the first round, at least selectively, and boy was I glad I did. There were some awesome games to watch. The last two games of the Vancouver/Chicago series were great. Even though I think he'll regret saying it, or at least revise it, I completely understand why Luongo said it was a bigger win than the Olympic Gold.
So before I pick the next round, here's a recap of what I did in the first, in case you don't want to click back to the previous post and see for yourself.
Washington vs. Rangers: Caps in 6. Got the team right and the games wrong (Wash in 5)
Philadelphia vs. Buffalo: Flyers in 6. Again, team right, games wrong (Philly in 7)
Boston vs. Montreal: Bruins in 6. (Bruins in 7)
Pittsburgh vs Tampa Bay: TB in 6 (TB in 7)
Vancouver vs Chicago: Hawks in 7 (Nucks in 7--wrong!)
San Jose vs LA: Sharks in 5 (Sharks in 6)
Detroit vs Phoenix: Coyotes in 6. (Wings in 4--really wrong)
Anaheim vs Nashville: Ducks in 7. (Preds in 6--wrong).
So maybe I just don't watch enough Western Conference action. But 5-3 is not so bad, especially considering how close I was to 6-2. I could have been 2-6 as well, with some bounces, so clearly the result is not from my own skill at divining hockey prowess. In fact, I'd say no one is really any good at guessing what will happen in sports, no matter what stats you might have at your disposal.
Might as well try it again! Instead of a hate meter, this time I'm going to go with Heart/Head: who I want to win, and who I think will win.Let's start in the East:
Washington vs TB. I am actually having a tough time picking this one. My heart is torn. I still want Ovie to win a Cup. But I really like Guy Boucher's coaching style, and I want to see him win, just to kind of stick it to Traditional/Old Boy coaches. That said, my heart does not want a team from Florida to win the Cup again. So my Heart is going to say Washington in 7, but my head says TB in 6.
Philadelphia vs Boston. Oh boy. My Heart says 7 knock'em down, drag'em out games where there are only about 4 players left on each bench by the end of it, with Boston coming out on top to redeem their loss from last year. My Head says Flyers in 5.
The West. Maybe I will have better luck this time.
San Jose vs Detroit. Oh boy. I think Heart and Head are in agreement this time. It is going to be a long, close series, but I think Detroit will come out on top in 7 games. Then again, my Heart would like to see some friends of mine from SoCal be happy, so the Heart is going to pick Sharks in 7. Either way, this will be a good series.
Vancouver vs. Nashville. Head says the Canucks can't be stopped. They will have a bit of a dip in the first game, but they are too strong to lose to a Nashville team that probably works harder than Chicago, but doesn't have the top-end skill. They don't have anyone like Toews who can just decide, like he did, to tie the game in the last minute. Unless you count Steve Sullivan. My Heart wants Nashville to win for lots of reasons: to make Canucks fans sad. Pekka Rinne (also a good reason why they might actually win). Barry Trotz. That guy is awesome. I know they play the trap and all, but they are a hard-working little team. They'll lose in the Conference finals anyway.
I had also picked Boston as my Cup Champ and Tim Thomas as my Conn Smythe winner. I don't think that's going to happen. Watching them sputter their way to a 7-game win against Montreal has convinced me that Boston is going no further. I think the Nucks will actually do it. I don't want them to, but I think that's the smart call right now. And since the Sedin's have done nothing, Luongo has been weak, I'm going to say Ryan Kesler for Conn Smythe. Maybe Lou gets back on track, though, we'll see.
Anyway, that's how I see it for round 2.