The first round is over and I think its safe to say that it was a pretty entertaining first round and a controversial one as well when it comes to on-ice discipline that was handed out. Here's what I learned after Round 1.
--Chris Osgood silenced his detractors!
--Cam Ward may be one of the top five goalies in the league and he has done it in a very silent yet efficient way.
--The Chicago Blackhawks are a very entertaining team to watch night in, night out.
--It doesn't matter what the Sharks do in the regular season.
--Don't leave your TV if its a one goal game and Carolina is playing.
--Brent Seabrook may win a Norris Trophy before his days are done.
--Alexandre Ovechkin needs to realize that other guys can help win a game and not just you alone.
--St. Louis and Columbus were just happy to be there but will be back.
--The decision to insert Simeon Varlamov in goal was pure genius from Bruce Boudreau.
--The Ducks are an eight seed but they are still a very good hockey team with guys like Getzlaf, Perry, Ryan, Pronger and Niedermayer.
--Vancouver doesn't have that one go to guy but they have six or seven guys that can get it done. That could be very beneficial down the road.
So now we go to Round 2.
Everyone is talking about the Capitals-Penguins series and for good reason. Ovechkin, Malkin, Crosby, Green, Semin, Gonchar, Fleury etc. etc. etc. This is a star-studded series and its one the NHL must love although I'm sure they would rather have it be the conference final. I'm going to take Washington here because they got their game going after taking a while to get going. I also think the Caps d can control Sid and Geno. If Ovechkin realizes that he doesn't have to do it all by himself, Washington wins...I'll take them in 7.
When I think of Carolina and Boston, I think of Tim Thomas and Cam Ward. Ward gets the edge but Boston has too many weapons offensively don't they. Kessel, Wheeler, Recchi, Chara, Bergeron etc. etc. I don't think Carolina can match their depth. Then again, I didn't think they could match the Devils depth. Im going to say Boston in a series that will feature multiple overtimes and may be the best matchup of the 2nd round.
Throw the seeding out the window in the Anaheim-Detroit series. Both teams have many of the same guys on it that played in the conference final two years ago when the Ducks beat the Wings. This will be a great series but in the end I think Detroit wins out. Wings in 6.
Chicago-Vancouver will be a dandy. The Sedins will see a lot of Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith while Willie Mitchell and Kevin Bieksa will see a lot of Toews and Kane. This series could come down to goaltending and if that's the case, you gotta take Vancouver.
Drop the puck!!!