"You wish you had these electric threads, Randal."
Didn't Meatloaf once sing "four out of eight ain't bad?" Okay, so I stupidly, blindly chose the Devils -- heart over head will get you every time, as the Rangers did indeed dominate the Devils during the regular season; many thanks to Spartacus for reminding me -- but dammit, five of the six Avalanche-Wild games were decided by one goal, the Capitals lost in a game 7 overtime and Anaheim was apparently still hungover from all the Stanley Cup boozing and subsequent scraping of the vomit off their skates. At least I don't dress like Don Cherry.
Montreal vs. Philadelphia: What the hell happened to the Habs power play? The Flyers have -- outside of Old Man Kovalev -- more playoff experience up front (Briere, Prospal) and clutch of impressive young talent (Lupul, Richards, Carter), but Montreal has the blueline edge and a more critical one in goal, Carey Price's game 6, third period meltdown notwithstanding. Canadiens in six.
Pittsburgh vs. N.Y. Rangers: The best young offensive talent in the game against a legitimate defensive juggernaut. Sure, the Devils weren't as potent as in years past, but Henrik Lundqvist shut them down. He won't be as successful in slowing Crosby, Malkin and the gang, and if Fleury plays like that in goal again, despite their long layoff after easily dispatching the Senators, it won't matter anyway. There will be some initial rusty butterflies to take care of. Thus, Penguins in seven.
Detroit vs. Colorado: Any chance we can round up Patrick Roy, Mike Vernon, Claude Lemieux and Darren McCarty for a battle royale? Colorado's oddly successful mix of Methuselahism (Sakic, Forsberg, Foote), injured mullets (Smyth) and wild mood swings (Theodore) worked in the first round but Detroit overcame their near-annual nemesis, an inferior first round opponent and are therefore ready for the long haul. Add in Chris Osgood playing like it was 1998 and their old guys should have enough left in the tank to move on. Red Wings in seven.
San Jose vs. Dallas: "The Sharks, deeper than most of the league and as talented as anyone, will dispatch Calgary with ease." It took them seven. "That's okay, the Stars will set the world to rights by losing as they always do in the first round because of their putrid offense." They scored 3.33 goals/game against the defending champs (and their future Hall of Famer back tandem) which would've led the NHL during the regular season. So, hell if I know. San Jose was the best road team in the league, but middle-of-the-pack at home. Since they have home ice, this can only mean they'll advance, right? Sharks in seven.