April 23, 2010

2010 Playoffs: WTF?

Nevermind the Bizarro Bruins- we'll get to them in another post. What the hell is going on in the rest of the playoffs?

I'm not saying that I'm an all-knowing and infallible playoff picker, but in the past I've always been damn good at it. Usually I only get a few series wrong throughout the entire playoffs. Technically I've only gotten one wrong so far, but many series in this first round are on the verge of embarrassing me further.

Let's first look at the series I got dead wrong: Philly and New Jersey. I thought that it would be a close series that could potentially go either way, but in the end said Devils over Flyers in 7 games. This was because I value goaltending over scoring in the playoffs, at least when the matchup is close. Of course, in order for my prediction to be true, New Jersey would have to actually get good goaltending, and that didn't happen. Brodeur allowed 15 goals in 5 games and managed a measley .881 SV%, despite facing the fewest shots against per game in the playoffs. Philadelphia, on the other hand, held up their end of the bargain (despite, I suppose, getting the fewest shots FOR per game in the playoffs). Basically, Brodeur shit the bed. Worse than that, he made me look bad. Worse still than that, he was nominated for the Vezina over Tuukka.

Sidetrack: WTF NHL? I understand not giving Tuukka the Vezina. Ryan Miller should win it. But he had the best goaltending numbers in the league- how could you not nominate him? And how in god's name did you pass him over for the Calder? And why isn't Patrice up for the Selke? Even the Wreck doesn't agree with that last one.

I was confident that Chicago would completely whoop Nashville's ass, potentially even sweeping them. The series is now tied at 2, which isn't a total disaster, but it's not what it should be. Chicago played more like themselves in Game 4, but before that they were genuinely being dominated by the Preds. The only explanation I can offer is that they weren't playing very well, which isn't particularly enlightening. I also sold Nashville short. They defied predictions with relentless effort, likely throwing the Blackhawks off their game. I still believe Chicago will recover, and Nashville may have won its last game, but you have to commend them.

I suppose "WTF?" was an overreaction, as those are really the only two series that have gone strangely (besides the obvious). I'm looking forward to the conclusion of the first round, and the start of the second.

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