Organized Sports Stanley Cup Playoff Predictions: Second Round Recap, Conference Final Predictions

Yes, he has been playing since the original Jets existed.

Yes, he has been playing since the original Jets existed.

Organized Sports is a recurring sports column named for a seminal DC avant-hardcore song by the equally stupid and brilliant (to me, “equally stupid and brilliant” pretty much just means “brilliant”) band Void. Take from that what you will. 

I must admit I didn’t watch nearly as much of this round as I did the first, after the Blues’ elimination and the escalation of the NBA playoffs. But that won’t stop me from grading my previous predictions, making some more, and taking a few more potshots at the failures of my hometown Blues.

Grading the Second Round – Atlantic Division

(1) Boston Bruins vs. (3) Montreal Canadiens
Prediction: Canadiens in 7
Actual Result: Canadiens in 7
Right on the nose! The Habs are hot, the Bruins aren’t quite as good as they were last year, and we get an Original Six matchup of teams who haven’t won a cup since the early 1990s in the Eastern Conference finals.
Grade: A

Grading the Second Round – Metropolitan Division

(1) Pittsburgh Penguins vs. (2) New York Rangers
Prediction: Penguins in 6
Actual Result: Rangers in 7
Had the Flyers been the team against the Penguins, I probably would have picked this series correctly, but I didn’t believe the Rangers could get the Penguins off their game enough the way the Flyers could. Looks like I was wrong again. In most sports I’d never root for a New York team against a team from the Midwest, but I can always find room in my heart to be satisfied by losses for Sidney Crosby.
Grade: C-

Eastern Conference Average Grade: B-

Grading the Second Round – Central Division

(3) Chicago Blackhawks vs. (4) Minnesota Wild (Wild Card)
Prediction: Blackhawks in 5
Actual Result: Blackhawks in 6
Though the Wild put up more of a fight than I’d thought they would, just like the Blues they could not come through in the clutch in close games when it mattered enough to outlast the Hawks. I will be unsurprised if the Hawks win the Cup again.
Grade: A-

Grading the Second Round – Pacific Division

(1) Anaheim Ducks vs. (3) Los Angeles Kings
Prediction: Kings in 7
Actual Result: Kings in 7
Sadly, my prediction for this series—a hard-fought battle coming down to a final deciding game, with the team I’d preferred to have win taking the loss and ending the fantastic career of Teemu Selanne—came true. At least the Blues didn’t lose to the Kings this year. Maybe Teemu can start an overrated art and culture criticism site in Finnish called Selan.com.
Grade: A

Western Conference Average Grade: A

Overall Average Grade: B+

Eastern Conference Finals Predictions

(3) Montreal Canadiens vs. (2) New York Rangers
I have continually underestimated the New York Rangers throughout this year’s playoffs, but I’m not going to make the mistake of overcompensating by choosing them in this round. I think the Habs are the better team, and will squeak this one out on their way to Fanley Cup Stinals.
Prediction: Canadiens in 7

Western Conference Finals Predictions

(3) Los Angeles Kings vs. (3) Chicago Blackhawks
In a battle of the three-seeds, the Kings and Blackhawks face each other in the Western Conference Finals. The Blackhawks are the more skilled team offensively, and the deeper team top to bottom. The Kings have the better goaltending. This one is a coin toss, but I think the Kings will take it, even though I wouldn’t be surprised if the Hawks won and then went on to take the Cup.
Prediction: Kings in 7

We’re almost there. Only two more rounds. We can get this done before July—yes we can.

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