The start of the third round is today! Excitement? Hello? Right-o. Let's continue this discussion and wanted predictions.
San Jose Sharks (1) vs. Detroit Red Wings (5)
I know this will sound horrible, but I'm kind of glad Detroit is out now. I don't think anyone is questioning whether or not they're a playoff team, but I've grown a bit bored. When this round started I was thinking about how there was still a chance for the Finals to have the Red Wings against the Penguins. The sheer thought of the the same match up three years in a row was completely unattractive. But now that both teams are out, I can breathe a sigh of relief. The Sharks? My visceral reaction to this team has been on a steady roller coaster ride for almost 10 years (starting off with complete indifference) and I'm not sure where I am right now. Perhaps back to indifference? No... it can't be.
Chicago Blackhawks (2) vs. Vancouver Canucks (3)
The questions are now swirling around the B.C. province of how the Canucks need to make some decisions on the make up of their roster. I'm definitely not surprised seeing as how their captain is their goalie. What's the rule in the CBA stating as such? My memory eludes me and my apathy kills any effort to remember how the Canucks got around that rule. As a whole, they booted the Kings so don't think I'm talking trash about the Canucks. Just the usual "banter." From this round, am I glad the Blackhawks made it through? Of course, but it's mostly because they play an exciting brand of hockey (that I don't have a heart attack watching since they're not my team), but the fact that Antti Niemi will now be facing Evgeni Nabokov will make for an insane amount of news fodder.
FINAL: Sharks vs. Chicago. First, when was the last time the conference final consisted of the top two seeds? I must say, I'm impressed at this result. I had Chicago going to the final 4, but wasn't expecting San Jose to step up to the plate. Basically, I'm too biased with this match-up to come up with a prediction I'd be satisfied with.
Pittsburgh Penguins (4) vs. Montreal Canadiens (8)
Who knew. The named "worst 8 seed" by just about every news outlet has dethroned the defending champions. My cliched reaction? "I love this game; anything can happen." Shock around the nations and riots galore. Perhaps for the sake of the city of Montreal, this is a far as they should go.
Boston Bruins (6) vs. Philadelphia Flyers (7)
If "anything can happen" in the other series in this conference, the choking pheonomina can turn its head for this one. It shone brightly with the Bruins letting go of the series to a desperate team. I can't say I'm disappointed with the outcome for this one.
FINAL: Habs vs. Flyers. I'm not making any predictions here, but out of these four teams, the most exciting and high-flying Stanley Cup Finals has to be a match-up between the Blackhawks and Flyers. Plus, the sheer amount of "stuff" I'd have to endure if the Sharks won (not from blog-related people) would be almost unbearable. So, again, I'm not saying the Finals WILL be Philly versus the Hawks, but please please please. Let it be so.