Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Stanley Cup Playoffs:

Although few watch it, the NHL's Stanley Cup Playoffs are one of the most exciting events in professional sports.  In terms of sheer drama and intrigue, I'd place it right behind The World Cup and March Madness.

The NBA Playoffs are less dramatic. With a too-long format and ridiculous scheduling designed to get the best teams on at the best times for television, much of the drama is sucked out of the proceedings while waiting 5 days for the Heat to play Game 3.

That said, there are some very quality matchups this year in both brackets so, without further ado, here are my picks for the NHL, to be followed by the NBA on a separate post.  As is usual, you get what you pay for these so here at Sharp, Like a Marble we are suspending our money-back guarantee.


NHL:

Round 1:

Western Conference

Colorado(1) vs. Minnesota(4) - I like the Avalanche in 4, possibly 5 if they take a night off.

St. Louis(2) vs. Chicago(3) - Hard to go against the defending champions in round 1. I say it takes them 6 or 7 games though.

Anaheim(1) vs. Dallas(4) - Anaheim is already up 1-0. I don't see the Stars winning a game in this series.

San Jose(2) vs. Los Angeles(3) - If Quick gets hot, the Sharks are in for some tough sledding. I like the Kings in 7.

Eastern Conference

Boston(1) vs. Detroit(4) - I am a Red Wing fan. That said I think they're lucky to extend this to six games. I have to say Boston in 5.

Tampa Bay(2) vs. Montreal(3) - Even though the Lightning are down 1-0 I still like them to win it in 7.

Pittsburgh(1) vs. Columbus(4) - Welcome to the playoffs Blue Jackets, sorry your stay will only be for four games.

New York(2) vs. Philadelphia(3) - I like the Flyers in 7, I will admit this is in most part because I want to see the Penguins/Flyers rivalry renewed.

Round 2:

Western Conference:

Colorado(1) vs. Chicago(3) - I'm still riding the Blackhawks, in 7 games  for sure.

Anaheim(1) vs. Los Angeles(3) - I think the Ducks just have to much. Anaheim in 6

Eastern Conference:

Boston(1) vs. Tampa Bay(2) - In my upset special the Lightning pull the upset in 7.

Pittsburgh(1) vs. Philadelphia(3) - The Penguins, also in 7. (Yes, because I WANT to see a game 7 between the two rivals)

Conference Finals:

Western Conference:

Anaheim(1) vs. Chicago(3) - Here's where I jump off of the Blackhawks bandwagon. Anaheim in 6.

Eastern Conference:

Pittsburgh(1) vs. Tampa Bay(2) - This could be one of the best series of the tournament. The fighting Sidney Crosby's in 7.

Stanley Cup Finals:

Pittsburgh(1) vs. Anaheim(1)  - Game 7's in a Stanley Cup Final are among the best spectacles in any sport, anywhere.  I hope, hope, hope this goes to one.  Penguins in 7.

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