Thursday, May 01, 2014
Six and two in the first round, let down by the Avs and Sharks. I mean really let down by the Sharks who I also picked over the Kings last year. Plus I picked enough of them (I had them and Chicago going to the conference final) in my pool that I am already done.
So for the first round over nine years I am 53 and 19 which is pretty solid but I looked back at round two and I am a sad 15 and 17. Pretty confident this year I get at least to .500 though. I tend to try and be clever in round two, so none of that 'gut' stuff (looking back at last spring I went with the Sharks in round two because of my gut - dummy) plus really the second round looks pretty straight forward.
First, the east.
Bruins - Habs
I'm figuring Bruins to represent the east again this year, I know talk about going out in a limb right? They rolled over the Wings pretty easily but I don't think the Habs will be an easy touch. Price could steal the series for them first of all and I think the Habs' speed might give the Bruins problems and I like the Habs' depth as well. A lot of decent players sprinkled everywhere through the lineup. The question is whether or not Therrien can refrain from putting Murray in the lineup if things get rough and tumble, which they will. We're witnessing the extinction of the big slow stay at home Dman these playoffs and Murray is the biggest and slowest of them all (maybe besides Hal Gill). Boston will tear him apart if he gets in there.
Seriously though is it just me or have we not really seen an acceleration in this the last few months? Teams still look for these guys - Fraser and Gleason for example - but more and more it seems players of that ilk are getting exposed badly. The two aforementioned, Murray, Gill, Matt Greene, Regehr, Brad Stuart. The league is getting faster and faster and if you are a big man who can't skate your time is coming to an end. Its the main reason why I'm looking at Chicago to come out of the west now if they can stay healthy. Unless the Kings can grind everything to a halt (and maybe they can), the Hawks are going to eat Regehr and Greene alive.
Back to Boston and Montreal. Probably the most fun of any series in this round and I think the Habs have a chance if Price stands on his head but really I think Bruins in six on their way to another berth in the final.
Pens - Rangers
The Pens have one edge and one only and that's their top end talent but other than that I don't rate them with the Rangers at all. New York has the decided edge in net, on the blueline (where Marc Staal looks to have rebounded by my eye) and in their depth up front. Columbus is a typical little team that could (that is, not very good) and they gave Pittsburgh fits and if Crosby is hurt, which seems to be the consensus, then even the one edge the Pens have shrinks to almost nothing.
And Fleury? Fleury skates from blame every year it seems but last round he was terrible in a couple of games, again, and he can be counted on being the same this round and that will be enough to cost Pittsburgh the series and probably Dan Bylsma, who I think is an excellent coach, his job. The Rangers are the one club that I think has a shot against the Bruins (though I think they will need injuries on Boston's side as well as some luck) and I think they beat the Pens pretty easily, with Nash tearing it up. He's due.
Rangers in six at most.
Posted by Black Dog at 11:37 AM