Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A "Re-View" of the First Round of the Play Off Picks

Now that the first round is complete, it's time to take a look back at the View's first round predictions and see how he fared.

Boston versus Montreal

The View's Pick- Boston in 6

The Outcome- Boston in 4

I really thought the rivalry juices would get flowing in this one and Montreal would give the B's a tussle. Instead, Boston dominated from start to finish to gain the sweep. By the end of the series, Montreal goalie Carey Price looked not only rattled, but frustrated. Montreal has a lot of off season questions to answer now, not the least of which who is going to coach this team that fizzled late in the season and in the play offs.

New Jersey versus Carolina

The View's Pick- New Jersey in 7

The Outcome- Carolina in 7

This series went to the seven games I expected. However, on home ice and in the deciding game, Devils goalie Martin Brodeur looked mortal. He dueled with Carolina's Cam Ward throughout the series, and frankly, the better goalie came out on top. Brodeur was victimized in several of the games by a lack of goal support, and I think this series turned in game six, when the Canes blew out the Devils 4-0.

Washington versus New York

The View's Pick- Washington in 5

The Outcome- Washington in 7

The surprise of this series to me was the Rangers taking the first two games on the Caps home ice. Down 3-1 in the series, the Caps roared back with balanced scoring and the stellar play of Simeon Varlamov in goal. In the 7th and deciding game, Washington exerted their will, limiting the Rangers to 15 shots on goal. Henrik Lunqvist was pulled from two consecutive games and looked pedestrian when it was crunch time.

Pittsburgh versus Philadelphia

The View's Pick- Philadelphia in 7

The Outcome- Pittsburgh in 6

Philadelphia committed more boneheaded plays in this series than in any other first round matchup. While they had the talent to compete with the Pens, they couldn't stay out of the box, and it cost them. Marty Biron's play in net for the Flyers was disappointing, and the Flyers will look back at this series with regret, knowing they let one slip away with their undisciplined play.

Detroit versus Columbus

The View's Pick- Columbus in 7

The Outcome- Detroit in 4

What. Was. I. Thinking? The Jackets were a case study about the lack of play off experience translating into being overwhelmed on the ice. I really thought the BJ's regular season success against the Wings would carry over to the play off series, and I expected this one to be a dandy. Instead, Detroit schooled Columbus in all phases of the game. Steve Mason was under siege in net, and the BJ offense was non-existent until game 4, but it was too little too late.

Chicago versus Calgary

The View's Pick- Chicago in 6

The Outcome- Chicago in 6

Injuries decimated the Flames blueline, as Dion Phaneuf was unable to play in the deciding game 6 and several of the Flames D corp was playing injured. That said, the Hawk's defense stifled the Flames forwards for most of the series, and neither Iginla nor Jokinen could get untracked. Khabibulin continued his mastery of the Flames, running his lifetime record against Calgary to 28-7-1.

Vancouver versus St. Louis

The View's Pick- Vancouver in 6

The Outcome- Vancouver in 4

The Canuckleheads outplayed St. Louis in all four games, although if you looked at the scores, you might not draw that conclusion. Watching the games, however, I never felt that the outcome was in doubt. Luongo was amazing in net, and although the young pups for the Blues competed gamely, they couldn't break Bobby Lou. The Vancouver D played surprisingly well, and the Canucks scoring was balanced. This team could be a surprise in the second round when they meet the Blackhawks (that was not a prediction, by the way).

Anaheim versus San Jose

The View's Pick- Anaheim in 7

The Outcome- Anaheim in 5

Another early play off exit for the Sharks and another off season of bitter disappointment. Talk about under-achieving, the President's Cup winning Sharks were never in this series. Jonas Hiller was superb in net for the Ducks, and the Sharks were not able to match the intensity and the grit that Anaheim brought to the ice. Jumbo Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau continued their disappearing acts in the post season, and no one else on the Sharks squad could step up and pick up the slack. I would suspect that when next season opens, the San Jose squad is going to look completely different than it did in the play offs.

There you have it. Eight series, and the View predicted 5 of the 8 winners- 63% correct, which makes the View glad he isn't making his living as a bookie. I will be back with predictions for the second round, which poses some intriguing matchups to the delight of all hockey fans.

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