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The Rite of Spring

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For everyone picking the Sharks over the Blues, when was the last time San Jose won a series it wasn't supposed to?

Well you could make an argument for the 2nd round in 2010. A lot of people thought they would crack against the Wings.

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For everyone picking the Sharks over the Blues, when was the last time San Jose won a series it wasn't supposed to?

Well you could make an argument for the 2nd round in 2010. A lot of people thought they would crack against the Wings.

I meant in terms of seeding; not "here comes the inevitable San Jose playoff collapse against an inferior team" sort of expectations.

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For everyone picking the Sharks over the Blues, when was the last time San Jose won a series it wasn't supposed to?

Looks like someone is getting a little edgy about his Blues :P

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For everyone picking the Sharks over the Blues, when was the last time San Jose won a series it wasn't supposed to?

Well you could make an argument for the 2nd round in

2010. A lot of people thought they would crack against the Wings.

I meant in terms of seeding; not "here comes the inevitable

San Jose playoff collapse against an inferior team" sort of expectations.

You may not want to be reminded of the last time that happened.

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For everyone picking the Sharks over the Blues, when was the last time San Jose won a series it wasn't supposed to?

Well, for years now the Sharks and Capitals have drastically underachieved relative to their capabilities.

So it would naturally stand to reason they will overachieve, now that they are the 7 seeds, not the teams in danger of losing to 7 seeds.

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1) Vancouver over 8) Los Angeles in five -- with Carter gone, LA's not any better than the scuffling team we saw for most of the season. Quick can steal a game, maybe two, but that's it. 'Nucks can survive Luongo.

Carter's back, but Richardson had an emergency appendectomy and Andrei Loktionov was called up.

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Rams, I picked the Blues to win it all. You seem like a level headed fan. How do you like their chances?

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For everyone picking the Sharks over the Blues, when was the last time San Jose won a series it wasn't supposed to?

Well you could make an argument for the 2nd round in

2010. A lot of people thought they would crack against the Wings.

I meant in terms of seeding; not "here comes the inevitable

San Jose playoff collapse against an inferior team" sort of expectations.

You may not want to be reminded of the last time that happened.

Yeah, all those guys are gone. Kind of like mentioning the Super Bowl.

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For everyone picking the Sharks over the Blues, when was the last time San Jose won a series it wasn't supposed to?

Well, for years now the Sharks and Capitals have drastically underachieved relative to their capabilities.

So it would naturally stand to reason they will overachieve, now that they are the 7 seeds, not the teams in danger of losing to 7 seeds.

....

....

....

What.

Rams, I picked the Blues to win it all. You seem like a level headed fan. How do you like their chances?

I think the Blues have a pretty good shot; goaltending is one of the critical ingredients in making a deep run in the playoffs and St. Louis is in good shape there, as well as possessing a very good defense. The teams on the Western side of the bracket that most concern me are Nashville (by virtue of them giving the Blues a dickens of a time playing them most of the last few years) and Vancouver (because when they are on, they are on.)

Hopefully the Blues offense can wake up a little more after the last few weeks; that could very well make or break the playoff run.

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You know who the Blues remind me of? The 2003/04 Sharks. No one thought they were gonna do that good, and they had a sound defense and goaltending. Their forwards were overall a young group with a few veterans. The offense didn't really have one go to guy, but a bunch of guys chipping in when it mattered. They were also the #2 seed and interestingly enough took out an older Blues team in 5, then shackled the loaded Avalanche to 7 goals in 6 games. I hope that doesn't happen this year to the Sharks :P.

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You know who the Blues remind me of? The 2003/04 Sharks. No one thought they were gonna do that good

I'm pretty sure people think the '12 Blues are going to do really well.

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You know who the Blues remind me of? The 2003/04 Sharks. No one thought they were gonna do that good

I'm pretty sure people think the '12 Blues are going to do

really well.

I was talking about entering the season, how there was no expectation of them doing well.

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You know who the Blues remind me of? The 2003/04 Sharks. No one thought they were gonna do that good

I'm pretty sure people think the '12 Blues are going to do

really well.

I was talking about entering the season, how there was no expectation of them doing well.

Ah yes, I stand corrected.

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For everyone picking the Sharks over the Blues, when was the last time San Jose won a series it wasn't supposed to?

Well, for years now the Sharks and Capitals have drastically underachieved relative to their capabilities.

So it would naturally stand to reason they will overachieve, now that they are the 7 seeds, not the teams in danger of losing to 7 seeds.

....

....

....

What.

I was using paradoxical logic. Of course it doesn't make sense. The reasons why I give the Sharks the edge were detailed in my original predictions post. Jaroslav Halak is capable of getting red-hot and taking his team a long way, and this Blues team is much better than the 2010 Canadiens. I just don't trust them. I've been wrong hundreds of times before - there's no reason to expect that to stop.

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Okay, better get these out of the way.

Rangers in 5

As terrific as their offense is, the Sennies are the one team more inept at stopping goals than the Hawks, which is precisely why they dropped down to eighth place at the end of the year. I'll give them one game where they fly out of the gate and pepper Lundqvist en route to a decisive victory, probably the first, and then get shut down in the next/other four games.

Bruins in 5

While the Capitals did make a "mighty" effort to overtake the Jets for second place and thus a playoff spot, I still haven't seen anything from them either this year that suggests that they have the requisite killer instinct to get past a defending champion with a knack for demoralizing you. In fact, it looked to me like they quit on two coaches in one year. Also, I think their goalie is now Squeaky-Voiced Teen from The Simpsons. Again, their offense will will them to a win, but this one shouldn't be hard for the B's.

Devils in 4

The Devils get kind of a bad rap these days, what with the ever-looming spectre of the NZT inextricably hung from their rafters (literally, if you want to make it a metaphor for the championship banners). The truth is that they have a bit of scoring punch and aren't quite content to hang back like previous Devils teams. If anything, that describes their piss-poor opposition, who settle for single-digit third-period shot totals in their wins, many of which are by one goal, and have a losing record in clear-margin games. While yes, the Devils are as heavily inflated by shootout wins as the Panthers are by overtime losses, they also did it in the crucible of the Atlantic Division, so the two factors pretty much cancel each other out and take you back to the original assertion that the Devils are an above-average team. The Panthers have fewer ROWs than most non-qualifying teams, a wider negative scoring differential than a list of teams so long that it includes the woeful Canadiens, and are 27th in the league in scoring on the year, worse than all playoff teams but the Kings, who are counterbalanced by a Vezina finalist. In short: one of these teams does not belong here and if there really are these "hockey gods" watching over us then they will be summarily dispatched.

Penguins in 7

Just gonna sit back and watch this one.

Canucks in 6

The Kings look like a team that exhausted itself just making it to the finish line, and Quick has a reputation for having nothing left by the time the playoffs roll around. LA will hang tough for a while there but ultimately lose to the better team.

Blues in 5

I've ragged on the Blues all year to fulfill FCC-mandated rivalry crap-talking requirements, but credit where it's due, what they're doing works, and despite not having legitimate primary scoring, a deep roster that specializes in shutting you down is the last thing the Sharks' piss-on-a-platter depth wants in a series. Five low-scoring games, two will go to overtime, and one will be won by the Sharks at home, but really, the Sharks are not built for this series.

Coyotes in 4

I don't bet against the house.

Red Wings in 7

Pekka Rinne is among the league leaders in minutes played. I think he finished behind only Hiller. It'll have been a tightly contested series the whole way, but Holmstrom and Bertuzzi will chip away at Rinne until something finally breaks or tears in Game 7, at which point their untested goalie will come in late and get blowed up real good.

I'm not doing predictions for the second round yet.

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It's time! What are your predictions for tonight's games? Here are mine.

Pitt over Flyers:4-3

Wings over Preds 2-1

Canucks over Kings 3-0

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Here are my picks:

NYR over OTT in 5

BOS over WSH in 5

NJ over FLA in 6

PHI over PIT in 7

VAN over LA in 6

STL over SJ in 5

PHO over CHI in 6

DET over NSH in 7

NYR over NJ in 4

BOS over PHI in 6

VAN over DET in 6

STL over PHO in 4

BOS over NYR in 7

VAN over STL in 7

BOS over VAN in 7

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