I went 6 for 8 during the opening round, which isn’t too shabby, and I guess it’s my own fault that the two I got wrong I would never have picked in most years because I despise both teams (Colorado and Philadelphia). Oh well. As for number of games predictions, nailed Pittsburgh/Columbus and San Jose/Los Angeles.
Round Two looks like it should be much easier in my opinion as only one series really is evenly matched. Here are my picks…
Boston Bruins vs. Montreal Canadiens
Gotta go with the big bad Bruins. I honestly don’t think the Canadiens have a chance in this series, but they’ll still manage to squeak out a few wins because of the hometown fans and the terrible, biased referees. Just too much depth on that impressive Boston team for Montreal to contend with.
Bruins in 6.
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. New York Rangers
Pittsburgh didn’t exactly look great against Columbus and when they were good it only came in spurts. Lucky for them, the Rangers are built very similarly to the Blue Jackets (mediocre offense, great defense and goaltending), so just as long as they can pot a few goals and Marc-Andre Fleury doesn’t completely shit the bed, they’ll take it.
Penguins in 6.
Anaheim Ducks vs. Los Angeles Kings
This is by far the toughest series to pick in Round Two, maybe even for the entire playoffs thus far, but in the end I think it’ll come down to the Kings having the edge in goaltending and on defense. Quick has really turned his game around after that disastrous opening against the Sharks and LA’s team defense is still tops in the West when it wants to be. This will be one heck of a series either way.
Kings in 7.
Chicago Blackhawks vs. Minnesota Wild
And this should be the easiest Round Two series to predict, though I also said that about the Round One series featuring Minnesota, so not a good omen. I just don’t see how the Wild can upset the defending Stanley Cup champions when their goaltending is patchwork at best and Ryan Suter can’t clone himself so he can be on the ice a full 60+ minutes. Sure, they can score goals when they outshoot the opposition, but that won’t happen against Chicago.
Blackhawks in 5.
The Power Rankings also went 6 for 8 in the opening round, incorrectly taking the higher ranked Avalanche and Lightning, though to be fair they would have picked Montreal over Tampa Bay had it been known that Ben Bishop would miss the entire series.
The Power Rankings have now been updated to reflect the opening round results and changed to reflect only the 16 teams that took part. Teams are still ranked based on overall strength, meaning a strong team that was eliminated, such as the Blues or Sharks, would still be favoured over an advancing team like the Wild.
Boston Bruins (#1) defeat Montreal Canadiens (#8)
Pittsburgh Penguins (#5) defeat New York Rangers (#13)
Los Angeles Kings (#3) defeat Anaheim Ducks (#4)
Chicago Blackhawks (#2) defeat Minnesota Wild (#10)
For Round Two it looks like I went with the exact same outcome that the Power Rankings predict.
To conclude, as of now, the official Puck Propaganda Power Rankings continue to project that the Boston Bruins will become the 2014 Stanley Cup champions.
Enjoy Round Two!!