And then there was one. Unfortunately for Schev and Koop, it’s the one who likely cares the least, but yet Philly couldn’t get over the hump in the deep dark Metro, and the Wild lost to Coach Yeo (which I still contend isn’t a huge deal) and the Blues.
And here I am with my Blueshirts. The Rangers. The pride and joy of my NHL season. After seeing what they did against the best goalie in the world and a very good Canadiens team (I still see Shea Weber and Max Pacioretty in my nightmares) and knowing that the Senators are up next, I couldn’t be more confident going into this series. We’ve got away-ice advantage — yes, it’s a thing with the Rangers — and Erik Karlsson came out and said he’s got two hairline fractures in his heel. Frankly, this Ottawa lineup doesn’t scare me in the least. Besides Brassard and Ryan, who have been hot in the playoffs, there’s really no one to worry about. The only reason Craig Anderson looked good in net was because Boston was absolutely atrocious in the first round. I say we take this one in five, flubbing one at The Garden.
My fear comes in the East Finals. Woof. I had some solace when Schev said he liked the Rangers chances if they made it out of the first round since the Pens and Caps would go seven and everyone would be exhausted after so much hockey. But the more I think about it, which ever team comes out of that series — especially if it’s a seven-gamer — is going to be pumped. If everything goes the way I hope it does, the Rangers will win in at most six games, get some rest, the Penguins win in seven, and the Rangers take game one in the Eastern Finals to snap Pittsburgh out of its high after the big series win over Washington. Easy, right?
Changing subjects to the bracket as a whole: wow was I wrong in the West. I thought the Wild and Hawks were going to be the deciding series to see who makes it to the cup. Both of those teams were absolutely throttled. I picked the Oilers to win just because I hoped to see them keep playing. I didn’t think they actually would win. Then the Ducks, who I figured would choke like every other year. Now, I’m thinking the Ducks and the Preds have the best chance at the Conference Finals considering the momentum each of those teams has. It would still be nice to see McDavid keep going, though. We’ll see.
All-in-all, the Stanley Cup Playoffs never disappoint… unless you’re a Wild fan, which I’m sure 99% of people reading this are. I’m truly sorry for your loss. I hoped they would win, too. Maybe McDonagh will bring the cup to St. Paul so we Minnesotans can have a chance to see it. (Too soon?)
Rangers 4, Senators 1
Penguins 4, Capitals 3
Predators 4, Blues 2
Ducks 4, Oilers 3