And then there were four. The difference between the East and the West? As big as possible. A fan’s dram or nightmare, depending on your point of view.
Prince of Wales Conference Finals (Eastern Conference)
(7) Philadelphia versus (8) Montreal
Yes, you are reading that correctly. It’s the two BOTTOM seeds in the east. Montreal has been busy playing giant killer, beating Washington and Pittsburgh. Philadelphia had been the quieter of the two, just moving along and beating Buffalo and then grabbing everyone’s attention by coming back from being down 0-3 against Boston.
Clarence Campbell Conference Finals (Western Conference)
(1) San Jose versus (2) Chicago
Standings wise, the polar opposite of the East. The top two seeds have advanced to the conference finals in the West. Chicago makes a return trip (They lost to Detroit last year in a tough series reminiscent of the old Norris Division days) while San Jose is shedding their “playoff underperformers” label.
The picks! (This was a real time discussion between Beer and the King)
Beer: I’m not even going to justify my picks with logic. I want old school. I want tradition. I want an original six matchup in the Stanley Cup finals for the 1st time since 1979. I want to see Chicago and Montreal. That’s my pick.
King: I would like to see Chicago/Montreal, but believe it’s going to be San Jose versus Montreal in the Cup finals. One versus Eight.
Beer: Anything you’d like to say in the post beyond what you just did?
King: Just that this guarantees Montreal’s failure since we’ve never picked them until now.
So there we go. Beer goes with Chicago/Montreal while King goes San Jose/Montreal. Let’s see what happens!
(Note: As of this post, Chicago is up 1-0 on San Jose and Philadelphia is up 1-0 on Montreal)
Take Care folks
Beer & King
For the record, our picks can be found here. I think the title of that set of picks sets the tone quite nicely considering the results.
In the East we had:
(4) Pittsburgh versus (8) Montreal
We both had Pittsburgh beating Montreal, and once again, Montreal comes up with the upset. They’ve now offed both the top seed overall in Washington, and the defending Stanley Cup champs. Nice work if you can get it. (For the record, neither of us has picked the Habs yet, and they keep winning.)
(6) Boston versus (7) Philadelphia
We both had Boston winning this one. We’re both in agreement here, too. When you not only blow a 3 games to 0 series lead, but lose game 7 by blowing a 3-0 lead??? Folks, we need to channel Comic Book Guy here. Worst. Choke. EVER.
In the Western Conference:
(1) San Jose versus (5) Detroit
Detroit bows out in 5 games, surprising since it looked like they had found their stride in Game 7 against Phoenix. All but one game was decided by one goal. In the end, the Sharks do what the top seed in the conference is supposed to do to a 5th seed. Beat them. Quickly. And they did. Score one for the King as he fought off his inner homer to get the pick right. Beer is still sitting with the goose egg.
(2) Chicago versus (3) Vancouver
In the battle of 2 versus three, we have Chicago moving on. Much like the Sharks, the Blackhawks flat out took care of the business they were supposed to and as a result, they advance to the Western Conference finals for the second year in a row. Beer gets on the board, and the King moves to .500 for this round.
Beer – 1 for 4 (Ouch!)
King – 2 for 4
All in all, it looks like our effort to embarrass ourselves further was a success. Do we dare pick the finals? Sure (Even though we’re tardy on the post and they’ve already started). Stay tuned for that here later today!
Take care folks
Beer & King