Short Version: Let’s review: The Sharks are in! (Whew!)
#1 Washington v. #5 Tampa Bay: Tampa Bay, 4-0!!! (My prediction: Washington in 5) No one saw this coming: no one. TB played lights-out hockey from the start of Game #1 to the end of Game #4. Ovechkin et al: no where to be found: same may be true of the head coach at the end of the playoffs. Dwayne Roloson played the series that was out of his mind. Could he be the hot goalie of the playoffs?
#2 Philadelphia v. #3 Boston: Boston, 4-0!!! (My prediction: Boston in 7) Brooms again! The Flyers were nowhere to be found in this series. Tim Thomas, Boston goalie, played great but did not have much of a challenge from Philly.
#1 Vancouver v. #5 Nashville: Vancouver, 4-2. (My prediction: Vancouver in 6). OK: I drilled this one. Pekka Rinne had a great run, but Nashville did not have enough D-men to help him out: the Canucks kept shooting and they won the series. Note toward the next series for the Canucks: the Predators hit them and took them off the puck in ways that were surprising, and the Sedin twins were noticeably absent from the score sheet for precisely this reason.
#2 San Jose Sharks v. #3 Detroit: Sharks, 4-3. (My prediction: Sharks in 6). Well, well: I guess the Red Wings did not want to go down that easily! After the Sharks ran out to a 3-0 series lead, everyone was thinking brooms or a Game 5, and get ready for the Conference Finals. No: give the Red Wings credit: Games 5 & 6 were really impressive, especially the former in the 3rd period comeback being down a couple of goals. Still, Detroit injuries plus superior forward play by the Sharks just wore the Red Wings down. That’s playoff hockey: draping your will over your opponent. When the Sharks got away from that kind of play: they lost three games. When they played it, Detroit looked like a club team.