Starting off - based on my past with picking teams, the likeliest (and most disappointing to me) results for the second round match ups are:
Phoenix vs. LA (like staying up late?)Vancouver v. LA
Nashville vs. San Jose (ugh)
Florida vs. Ottawa (stinker!)
Pittsburgh vs. Washington (this'd be pretty neat!)
I pick Vancouver, they're more fun to have go public - THOUGH it seems they're in a tough spot. Are they tough enough to make it through the first round after losing their first two home games and home ice advantage?
St. Louis v. San Jose
Vancouver might have San Jose in their crystal ball - what I mean is, if Vancouver continues to be great, but not win the championship, everything people have been saying about SJ for the past four years could very well be what they wind up saying about Van City.
All of that aside, I'm tired of SJ not being good enough to go deep. I'd rather see some new faces and names on St. Louis kick ass and go deep. They lost their goalie last night, but let's hope he's fine.
ALSO - Alex Pieterangelo is from King City (possibly went to KCSS?), so is Dan Carcillo (who was finally signed by Chicago) making these my rooting chances for having the Stanley Cup return to my "hometown" area, or where i went to high school, anyhow.
Phoenix v. Chicago
hmmm. I don't really know any of the names on Phoenix, so it's hard to say I've got much interest in them - and Chicago has Dan Carcillo (is he playing for them?) which means the Cup could come to King City, if they win, and Carcillo does that sort of thing.
I still like the swagger and character the jerks on the Blackhawks have, and how tough they can make it on the star players on the opposition. So I'm pretty keen on having Chicago win out. Plus, they could name another lake after Toewes and piss off some more mid-western mothers.
Nashville v. Detroit
This goes against almost every bone in my body - but I think Detroit is the sleeper pick for the Cup this year. Nobody sees them coming. And seeing has how (after watching the first two gaes) Lidstrom is taking a nap and resting up for the later rounds instead of making an impact against the Preds, the Wings should be in good shape.
Ultimately, I'm rooting for Zetterberg's playoff beard this year. Who cares about Nashville?
New York v. Ottawa
I was impressed with Ottawa earlier in the year, but ... even after that tough game, I still way prefer the Rangers. The Rangers seem to not care who they smash, which is cool. I think we realized last year most importantly that the playoffs kind of get worse as they go deep, because everybody's all f-ed up.
They've always said it was a war of attrition (which is becoming increasingly cliched) but it's simply because the first round is bad-ass. Rangers and Sens prove that. It's been fun to watch - and they kick each others asses without a sniff of repercussions from the league.
While no-holds barred continues in this series, it'll stay awesome.
Boston v. Washington
Gotta prefer Boston in this one, but that should have some devastating ramifications to the Capitals organization.
The Capitals are in some ways like the Flames, where they're really, really frustrated, but are insistent in sticking with their plan, that doesn't work. If Washington can't make it out of the first round, there should be a major shakeup.
Bruins can't possibly lose, can they? What would they do if they don't make it? Just chalk it up to a Stanley Cup hangover?
Florida v. New Jersey
This series is really more about career playoff statistics for a few players on the Devils. Most importantly, Patrick Roy has 151 career playoff wins while Brodeur has about 100. While Brodeur is right up there in the discussion for one of the greatest goaltenders int the NHL of all time, he still needs another 50 wins to be in the same discussion as Roy in the playoffs, which is ASTONISHING.
Just a heads up - does he have it in his career to win another like 15 playoff rounds?
Beyond seeing what Kovalchuk can finally do in post-season. He's never been part of a playoff series win, if you can believe that. Just something for conversation, I guess.
Florida? I can't imagine them winning anything. When's the last time they won a playoff series? Is this their year? They haven't won a playoff GAME let alone a series since 1997.
Pittsburgh v. Philadelphia
I'm not sure which one I like the most - but I think Philadelphia is kick-ass. I've always enjoyed how they can push you around and still score goals. This series has been absolutely ridiculous, but I still prefer the Flyers - not because I hate the Pens, but because the Flyers are motley with moxie.
That being said - if I would prefer Philadelphia, New Jersey, Boston, New York, Detroit, Chicago, St. Louis and Vancouver to win... expect: Pittsburgh, Florida, Washington, Ottawa, Nashville, Phoenix, San Jose and Los Angeles, because I literally have the worst luck and having the team's I'd prefer make it anywhere in the playoffs, if not higher than 25th in the league.