• My only losses were Calgary over Vancouver and Tampa Bay over Detroit. In Calgary over Vancouver, that’s two Canadian teams who are going to lose in the next round anyways playing each other in a series no one cares about, so big deal. In Tampa Bay over Detroit, I watched almost all of that Game 7 and Detroit was clearly the better team. They just couldn’t capitalize on opportunities and gave it away, even after being up 3-2 in the series. I still stand by that pick but sometimes that’s just the way the puck bounces, or glides I guess.
• Somehow, despite my incredible bracket thus far I am only in the 87th percentile of brackets on NHL.com and ranked 118,663rd. I'ma call BS here NHL.com. No way 118,662 people had a better first round than me and NO WAY at least 912,792 people went to NHL.com to fill out a playoff bracket on your site. You could have maybe, MAYBE, convinced me that half a million people filled out a bracket on your site, but not almost a million.
• I know what you’re saying, “But Alex, in your first round preview you encouraged everyone to fill out a bracket. Maybe that’s why NHL.com had so many people fill on out?” Two things: 1) I posted that blog AFTER the first round had started so those people couldn’t have came from me and 2) Apparently only like 20 people read this blog so I’m not sure how much inflation Thoughts From The 808 had on that 912,792 number
• I still have all my teams alive in the 2nd round so I’m planning on making a big run from that 87th percentile. Lock it in.
• Playoff hockey is very enjoyable to watch. Each goal seems really important when it happens because there are so few. It’s not like basketball where you can go on a quick 10-2 run to get back in the game or get a big inning in baseball. Each goal is vital, so waiting for it is intense.
• Even if you don’t want to watch intently for the entire game, it’s a great sport to have on in the background while you’re on the computer or doing something else. You don’t always have to be engaged but still have an idea what is going on. And for the most part, the announcer’s voice will give you about a 1-2 second heads up that something exciting is coming. You may not get everything leading up to it, but if you can still catch the goal or the big save/hit 90% of the time.
• Listening to Doc Emrick call a hockey game is one of the great treasures in professional sports. I’m not even sure if this is a word, but his verbage is incredible. The amount of different words he uses to describe the puck moving, or a player’s movements is something you have to experience to believe. I know I’ve tweeted this before but if we could get Doc Emrick, Vin Scully, and Reggie Miller all in a pressbox calling a game of anything together it would be legendary. #Legends
If I “could” change one pick, I think the one I’d go with would be New York over Washington. I watched a couple of games in the Capitals/Islanders series and wasn’t too impressed with Washington. Not that I know much about hockey but thought I’d see more from them. Didn’t see any of the Rangers/Penguins series but sounded like New York looked tough, and Barry Melrose told me before the playoffs started that the Rangers were the best team in the NHL heading into the playoffs. Hard to go against the mullet, but I'm going to stick with Washington. In 6.
Still hard to bet against the national pride that the Montreal CANADIENS bring to the table. Another series gives me another opportunity to bring up how great of a team name the IOWA AMERICANS will be whenever Iowa gets a professional sports team. Serious question, does anyone know how I can copyright that to get some credit and cash when that day happens? Give me Montreal in 6.
I have the Blackhawks winning the Stanley Cup so obviously I’m picking them to win this series. But one thing you don’t want from your championship pick is a goalie controversy. The Blackhawks rotated both Crawford and Darling between the net in Round 1, which I’m not sure is a good sign for Round 2. They showed a graphic of teams the back up Scott Darling has been on since he graduated from the University of Maine and…..it was interesting. Here are the leagues he’s played in the past four years: SPHL, ECHL, CHL, AHL, and finally the NHL this year. Umm….not exactly the best vote of confidence there. If the 'Hawks are going to make a run, I think its gotta be with Crawford. He's getting the start in Game 1. This is going to go 7 I feel and Chicago will have the home ice there, which is good in hockey I'd assume. Blackhawks in 7.
Huge first round series from the Ducks. They swept the Jets in the first round and made it look easy. It’s always a good sign for your championship run when you can get in and get out of the first round quickly. Rest up, and not have to show too much of your stuff. They didn’t even have to use the Flying V or the Knucklepuck in Round 1. Tough for other teams to scout that without actually seeing it in the first round. Big advantage for the Ducks. I have Anaheim winning in 5 here but if they do win this series I may have to watch The Mighty Ducks trilogy again before my Conference Finals preview so I can get some new material.