I was going to do a post on the playoffs earlier today, but there was some big Thrashers news and the playoffs took a back seat. Before we get too far into this thing I'll toss out my picks for the NHL Finals. I know Chicago and Washington are heavy favorites to come out of the East and West respectively.
In the East the Caps were simply dominant, yes they were a bit lucky in their Shooting percentage but even if you control for that fact they were very strong. They also have three pretty decent goalies, they need one of those guys to be hot. I like the Caps to win the East. In the first round I'll take Caps over Montreal, Devils over Flyers, Sabres over the Bruins. My upset pick is Ottawa over the Penguins. Pittsburgh has had two very long summers and had a poor regular season. I think they're ripe for an upset.
Out West, I think the Sharks will fail once again, but manage to beat a floundering Colorado team. Despite the seeding Detroit should be favored over Phoenix. I'm picking Canucks to come out of the west so they need to beat LA in the 1st round. I'm picking the Predators to shock the world and beat up the Blackhawks goalies in the 1st round.
My Cup Finals: Vancouver and Washington with would mean the first ever Cup for both franchises. I'll take the Caps in the Finals, what could be more irritating to the sunbelt market haters than yet another Stanley Cup winner in the Southeast Division.