Well, the 1st round of the NHL playoffs is over. How’d we do with our Beerbarrel picks? Let’s take a look!
Here’s what we picked and said:
Washington (1) vs Montreal (8):
King: I think this is one of the easier match-ups of the first round. New York didn’t have an impressive March and I think the only thing that saved them is Lundqvist. Washington in 5
Beer: Based on the news I’ve read, Bryan Murray is in Ottawa now (Destroying the team and getting a three year contract extension for it). Why do I bring this up? Because for years when Bryan and Terry Murray were in Washington, they’d have a great regular season and then fold like a lawn chair in the playoffs. I’m tempted to watch history repeat itself here. King Henrik could give the Caps fits and steal the series. I think he’ll give the Caps fits, but not steal the series. Washington wins.
Did anyone notice that we messed up and listed Montreal playing the Capitals (Yet we talked about the Rangers in the actual write up)? Maybe everyone was just keyed in on the Western conference. In the end though, we both had the Capitals advancing, and they did.
Philadelphia (2) vs. Buffalo (7)
King: Something about Phillie just doesn’t sit well with me. Maybe I have this feeling like they’re thinking…oh wait, we made it to the finals last year…easy trip. Buffalo in 7
Beer: I’m with the King on this one. Pronger is banged up/out. Goaltending is unsettled. And the Sabres have Ryan Miller. Even though Miller has already played in something like almost every game this year, he’ll probably make it through the first round before running out of gas. Buffalo with the upset.
I really gotta stop thinking Ryan Miller alone is enough for the Sabres to win. Still, we both picked Buffalo to advance. And after a fantastic 7 game series… We both got it wrong.
Boston (3) vs. Montreal (6)
King: Except for Carey Price, I don’t see anything positive with Montreal. Plus Tim Thomas has been playing out of his mind. I’m a big fan of his. Boston in 5 (plus – CAM NEELY WAS MY IDOL!)
Beer: Okay, I added the Cam Neely part for him this year. Obviously the King forgot that part this year. For this one… flip a coin. This is old school, Adams division, Original Six, empty-the-benches, riot-in-the-streets hockey. These two teams do not like each other. Hockey as God intended. It could go either way, so flip a coin. What was the advice I ignored last year? “When in doubt, go with the Habs”. Done. Habs win.
Beer got the “This is old school, Adams division, Original Six, empty-the-benches, riot-in-the-streets hockey” part right. The King got the pick right.
Bruins win and move on. Took 7 games though.
Pittsburgh (4) vs. Tampa Bay (5)
King: No Crybaby….No Lurch..I mean Malkin…still think the Pens are a good team. I think that Tampa Bay is a better team though…Tampa Bay in 7
Beer: Hmm.. I get the feeling the King doesn’t much like Crosby, Malkin, or Pittsburgh. I think right now the Penguins are realizing the one thing that even Mario couldn’t explain. The thing you have to live through to really experience. When you play as much hockey as the Pens have the past few seasons, suddenly all that fatigue really starts to turn into injuries (See: Last year’s Red Wings). Still, I like the Pens to make it out of the first round. But I’ll be pulling for the up and coming Bolts. Penguins win.
Another 7 game series (I’m sensing a recurring theme here). Beer picked the Pens, and rooted for the Bolts. And get’s tagged with the loss. The King gets the pick and the number of games right. Told you he had inside info! Bolts win in 7 games.
Vancouver (1) vs. Chicago (8):
King: Vancouver reminds me a lot of the Wings in the 90s…great talent that never seemed to carry them far in the playoffs. That was until something clicked. Vancouver seems to have clicked this year. Vancouver in 6
Beer: Clicking in the regular season has never been the issue for the Canucks. Their playoff success, this round and throughout the playoffs will come down to this. “Which Roberto Luongo is showing up?” Canucks face off against a tough Chicago team that fought to the last game of the season to sneak into the playoffs. The champs don’t stay long at the party though. Canucks win.
And we still can’t be sure which Roberto Luongo is showing up, but both Beer and the King gets this one right as the Canucks oust the defending champs in a crazy 7 game series.
San Jose (2) vs. Los Angeles (7):
King: The biggest trade deal at trade deadline, Dustin Penner has only scored 2 goals in 19 games with LA. Kopitar is out with a broken ankle. I don’t think SJ is really that good this year, but in this match-up they beat LA. San Jose in 6
Beer: An all California match-up. Earliest start time is 9:30 EDT on a Saturday night. All but guaranteeing that I’ll probably only see highlights of this series. Is this the year San Jose gets over the hump? Can they finally make a run? I don’t know, but I think they get out of the first round. Sharks Win.
Joe Thorton makes his presence felt in the playoffs, scoring the series clinching OT goal. Okay, that was maybe a bit of an easy shot to take at someone like Thorton, but we both get it right and the King, again with the number of games (see, inside info!). Sharks win.
Detroit (3) vs. Phoenix (6):
King: I don’t think the Wings have been a great team in 2011. I think their defense looks horrible and with Zetterberg out, they will struggle. I still think they have a little bit of magic left though…Wings in 7
Beer: I’ll keep this short. Mostly because I’ll need to run and hide after this… Every year there is an upset in the first round. Here it is. Phoenix wins.
Yeah. Beer already posted a Mea Culpa on this one. The King had it going 7. It went four (And I’m sure the Wings liked that as they got out of the 1st round early and left the crazy games to other teams for a change). King gets the pick right, Beer gets egg on his face. Wings win convincingly. Possibly ending the hockey era in Phoenix.
Anaheim (4) vs. Nashville (5):
King: There is few teams that I find scary this playoffs, but for some reason Nashville gives me the chills. I think the pickup of Mike Fisher was a great move and I think Anaheim is still searching for a goalie. Nashville in 6
Beer: If a tree falls in the forest… does it make a sound… what? Oh, right the pick… Do I have to? Really? Is anyone actually gonna watch this one? Ok, fine. Ducks win.
King got this one right, Beer got it wrong. And other than people waiting to see who was going to play who in the 2nd round, I still don’t think anyone really cared. Predators Win.
There you go. King did pretty good. In fact, he whooped up on Beermaker pretty good. Still, we’ll probably be back tomorrow with some picks for the second round.
One’s kicking off tonight though, so quick and dirty to get them on the board….
Nashville starts out on the road against Vancouver tonight. Our quick picks (full write-up tomorrow)….
Until then (or until tonight should Beermaker get a little tipsy and consider blogging about the NFL draft)… Take it easy folks!
-Beer & King