Two great finishes last night in first round game 7's.
Veteran G Sergei Federov scored the game winner for the Caps with under 5 minutes to play to lead them to a 2-1 victory.
And the Carolina Hurricanes got two goals in the final 90 seconds to stun the Devils 4-3.
As for my first round picks, my correct predictions...
Detroit over Columbus in 7 (actual DET 4-0)
You may have blinked and missed the fact the Blue Jackets made their first playoff appearance. Columbus didn't put up a fight except a little in game 4. The Red Wings look like the new favorites.
Chicago over Calagary in 7 (actual CHI 4-2)
Chicago got a good road victory to close out the Flames
Boston over Montreal in 5 (actual BOS 4-0)
Good sweep, good team.
Washington over New York Rangers in 6 (actual WSH 4-3).
The Caps had to rally from down 3 games to 1 to put this in my correct column. Repalcing G Jose Theodore with Simeon Varlamov turned this series around. The Caps future looks bright if Varlamov keeps playing well.
The Wrong Picks (my excuses)...
San Jose over Anaheim (ANA 4-2)
This one dissapointed everyone. The Sharks have got to keep playing well in the playoffs or they seem doomes for early exits.
St. Louis over Vancouver (VAN 4-0)
So this one was wishful thinking. The Blues were a good second half story, but it turned out I underestimated the Canucks who have a very interesting series in the next round.
New Jersey over Carolina (CAR 4-3)
I was 90 seconds from getting this one right, but I did say Carolina was a tough team for a #6 seed. They never give up, I would be a little concerned if I were Boston.
Philadelphia over Pittsburgh (PIT 4-2)
I definatly underestimated Pittsburgh's toughness and the Flyers Just collapsed in game 6.
All right, here are my round 2 selections
#2 Detroit v. #8 Anaheim
Detroit looks like they found their playoff legs and they will be well rested. I didn't see anything that led me to believe the Ducks are any better than their finish, their victory was mostly the product of a Sharks collapse. A lot of people will get on the Ducks bandwagon, but I absolutly love this matchup for the Wings.
Detroit in 5
#3 Vancouver v. #4 Chicago
This is going to be the most entertaining series in this round. Both teams finished strong. Chicago has more offensive power, but they will be against Canucks G Roberto Luongo, who played stunningly well in the first round. This one is tough
Chicago in 7
#1 Boston v. #6 Carolina
The Bruins are very young but very powerful. The 'Canes never quit winning 2 of their 4 games in the final minute against New Jersey. The 'Canes are better than the standings showed (I attribute that to the 'Canes getting the fewest "extra points" in the regular season), and that was a really good Devils team they beat. Boston is young and may be overconfident after decimating a bad Montreal team. Still their getting good goaltending and lots of scoring. I wouldn't be shocked if the 'Canes pull this one out but...
Boston in 7
#2 Washington v. #4 Pittsburgh
The Matchup the NHL probably wanted. Get ready for overload on Sid v. Ovechkin marketing. I think the Caps got the ship right and can go as far as suddenly #1 goaltender Varmalov can take them. Also Federov is not looking his age. Lots to like about the caps here.
Washington in 6
My bracket from here (I lost both Finalists in the first round)
Detroit over Chicago
Washington over Boston
Detroit over Washington