Saturday, April 30, 2011

Well, Now There's Just So Much Going On

It's been a crazy week in sports. How on earth are we all supposed to keep up? There's more than enough to watch every night, with the NHL and NBA going deeper into the playoffs, the NFL draft taking place in NYC, and baseball...trying.

Today, NHL picks. Tomorrow, NBA picks. Sunday, a breakdown of all 254 NFL draft picks.

NHL Playoffs

Eastern Conference Semifinals

#1 Washington Capitals vs. #5 Tampa Bay Lightning
-The backstory: Washington managed to avoid a repeat of last year's disappointment by putting a 4-1 drubbing on the NY Rangers. Tampa Bay escaped a 2-3 hole against the Penguins behind hot goaltending from Dwayne Roloson.
-The pick: Tampa Bay in 6. Tampa Bay's superior goalie and better forwards carry the Lightning into the conference finals

#2 Philadelphia Flyers vs.  #3 Boston Bruins 
-The backstory: Philadelphia holds the edge, 1 to 0, in recent 0-3 comebacks. Boston, however, is leading the "least number of starting goalies" category, with a 1 to 3 edge.
-The pick: Boston in 7. The Bruins fall into an 0-3 hole and then climb out of it.

Western Conference Semifinals

#1 Vancouver Canucks vs. #5 Nashville Predators
-The backstory: The best team in the NHL almost landed a spot in the history books for all the wrong reasons, but managed to escape against the Blackhawks with an OT winner in game 7. Nashville surprised many critics by handling the Ducks with impressively little difficulty.
-The pick: Vancouver in 5. Nashville is a good team, and Pekka Rinne has a chance to keep them in the series. Vancouver, however, learned some important lessons from round 1 and it's hard to see them letting up this time around.

#2 San Jose Sharks vs. #3 Detroit Red Wings
-The backstory: Both Detroit and San Jose had relatively easy times in the first round, which is surprising giving Detroit's age/injury troubles and San Jose's propensity for choking. This matchup puts two of the most consistently dominant Western Conference teams against each other.
-The pickSan Jose in 6. It seems like things are finally coming together for the Sharks. Home ice will help San Jose sneak by the Red Wings.

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