(1) Washington vs. (5) Tampa Bay
So I was wrong about both of these teams. I honestly thought the Capitals had the mental and emotional fortitude of a hungry 3 year old and would collapse against the Rangers like, well, Russia against everyone in the Olympics. Wrong-O, boyo. And the Lightning? Roloson is old! Stamkos can't score anymore! Martin St. Louis is short enough to be a Hab! (Thank you. Thank you. I know- original AND timely.) OOOPS! So now what? Well, top to bottom, I think Washington is a better team. But Tampa looks better to me all the time. Washington in 6.
(2) Philadelphia vs. (3) Boston
Philly will not get away with juggling 3 goalies this time. If they don't settle on one I pick a short series. And I doubt they will. Boston will, I think, exorcise their demon here. Boston in 5
(1) Vancouver vs. (5) Nashville
Well. The Canucks didn't, in the words of Bogdan Von Pylon "bend time and space" to meet my prediction of beating the 'Hawks in 2 games. But they did win, and I think it was an important victory - one which puts a lot of crap behind them. Big props to the Predators on beating "the best line in hockey" (Roenick) and securing their first series victory. Erat and Fisher, Weber and Suter. Rinne. Those are my big fears. That Weber shot makes me think of Doughty last year, and how the Canucks couldn't kill one damn penalty to save their lives. Well, Nashville is better than last year's L.A. squad and won't go down without a serious fight. Luckily, this year we have Hamhuis. Oh, and Bieksa remembered how to play hockey. And Kesler is, well, Kesler. Rinne is a slight advantage in goal, defense is a push and Canucks have a pretty big edge in forwards. Vancouver in 6
(2) San Jose vs. (3) Detroit
This one is going a minimum of six. Pretty sure Howard and Niemi are the same risk/reward. I will give the defensive edge to Detroit. So, forwards. Well, Detroit is crazy good. We all know this. But if Thornton came to play. Jeez. That is a big but, so Red Wings in 6