by Tyler Rowe
My playoff bracket is in almost-shambles. The Flyers are already through, and one more win for the Capitals, Senators, Panthers, Coyotes or
Kings means I wasn’t just wrong, but wrong, Wrong WRONG! I like being wrong about as much as Mikael Sammuelsson liked Sweden after the 2010 Olympic rosters came out. Things are looking pretty wild.
This is how I had it:
(1)Vancouver over (8)Los Angeles in 6
(2)St Louis over (7)San Jose in 5
(6)Chicago over (3)Phoenix in 6
(4)Nashville over (5)Detroit in 6
(1)Manhattan over (8)Ottawa in 5
(2)Boston over (7)Washington in 6
(6)New Jersey over (3)Florida in 5
(4)Pittsburgh over (5)Philadelphia in 7
(1)Vancouver over (6)Chicago in 6
(4)Nashville over (2)St. Louis in 6
(1)Manhattan over (6)New Jersey in 6
(4)Pittsburgh over (2)Boston in 7
(1)Vancouver over (4)Nashville in 7 (Although this was a homer pick all along . In my brain I really thought Nashville would get past Vancouver, I just wanted a fantasy team I could love with my heart for a change. Is that so wrong? Yes. wrong Wrong WRONG.)
(4)Pittsburgh over (1)Manhattan in 6
Stanley Cup Finals
Who knows? I don’t pick the finals, just the finalists. The thought of Vancouver losing in the finals again was too much to bear, even if I did think that Pittsburgh looked pretty unstoppable. I also have an interest in rooting against the Preds. If they make it past the 2nd round, I think that’s enough to convince Weber and Suter to stay put, and maybe even attract a big name free agent to Music City. I would rather see big name free agents, Weber, Suter, a 22 year-old Mario Lemeiux and Jim Hughson permanently in Vancouver.
The St. Louis first-round pick didn’t take a genius, and I really think that Vancouver is the only team in the West that is/was getting in Nashville’s way this year, so I was confident about them getting past the aging Red Wings. But if the teams that are leading their series’ at the time of this writing all go on to win, I’ll be 2/8. Not a great number for an aspiring sports writer who flatters himself with thoughts that he might have some small idea of what he’s talking about.
To add insult to injury, check out my playoff pool teams:
This one is obviously a pick-any-25-skaters pool, and if things go poorly for me, I’ll be skating into the second round with Andy McDonald, David Perron and Alexander Radulov, 3 of my 25 picks, or 12% of my team. WRONG.
Things aren’t quite as grim in this pool, but I can’t imagine contending with four Preds, Ray Whitney and Andy McDonald. WRONG.
When you’re picking a playoff pool you have to trust your instincts. Be confident in who you think will still be around for the conference finals, and pick heavily from those four clubs. If you can get a guy in the later rounds who you think might get you 10+ points in the Conference Quarter-Finals and Semi-Finals, do so. Having your players spread out across too many teams is a great way to finish 3rd or 4th, but in my experience it’s not how you win. I thought Pittsburgh, Manhattan, Vancouver and Nashville looked like pretty safe picks to make the final four. Its looking like I was so very wrong.
Those Vancouver Canucks are back home tonight, and if they can play like they did in the third period of game four, anything is possible. Same goes for the Stanley Cup Champion Bruins, who are tied 2-2 right now going into the third of their elimination game. The Devils, Blackhawks and Rangers aren’t finished yet either, and any of those teams could win two straight and straighten-up not only my pool hopes, but the proper order of things.
On the other hand if things do go pear-shaped, at least we’re in for some fresh faces. Look at this possible second round; great for the die-hard hockey fans, really crappy for Gary Bettman:
(2)St. Louis vs. (8)Los Angeles
(3)Phoenix vs. (4)Nashville
(3)Florida vs. (8)Ottawa
(5)Philadelphia vs. (7)Washington
The only way the NHL head office ends up being happy with this is if Washington wins the cup. And I’d say that’s pretty unlikely, but I’ve been wrong before.
Editor’s Note: I think its fair to mention that anyone who claims they picked LA, Phoenix, Florida, Ottawa, Philladelphia and Washington is either a liar or hockey-Nostradamus. Picking one or two upsets is a sexy thing to do, and this is a good year for those who did. But picking all of those? If you did, show me the proof at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll congratulate you publicly. Also, pools are updated to include Sunday’s games.