Theme Thursday’s taking the week off (gretchenarchangel, next week you’re up, I swear) so I can help Raven preview the other NHL conference semi. Of course, I don’t know that much about hockey, so my guesses about who is going to win won’t be worth much, but we have plenty of evidence that my picks aren’t usually worth much anyway.
What I do know about hockey is that the last time I happened to mention the Blackhawks in a post, people demanded pictures of Patrick Sharp. So let’s get that out of the way right now. (And my apologies. I really need to pay more attention to hockey.)
Chicago Blackhawks vs. Vancouver Canucks
Who to Watch, Blackhawks: Aside from Patrick Sharp, who had 3 goals and 3 assists in the first round, 21 year old captain Jonathan Toews had 2 goals (one the game winner) in Game 2, and 3 assists of his own over the rest of the series.
Who to Watch, Canucks:
Goalie Roberto Luongo, with his 96% save percentage and 1.15 goals against average (both first in the league for the first round of the playoffs), will have to maintain those numbers to stop the Blackhawks.
I could be wrong about this, but don’t the Canucks and the Blackhawks have a recent history of disappointing playoff finishes? So somebody will be really happy regardless of who wins? Anyway, my blind prediction is Chicago, just because I’m rooting for more chances to see Patrick Sharp in HD.
Detroit Red Wings vs. Anaheim Mighty Ducks
Who to watch, Redwings:
Detroit, as usual, has lots of veteran superstars, but rookie defenseman Jonathan Ericsson apparently gave a strong performance in the first round. (I’d back this up with stats, but I couldn’t quite sort out the abbreviations for defense stats on the NHL website.)
Who to watch, Ducks: Rookie Right Wing Bobby Ryan was the top scorer for the entire first round, with 4 goals in 8th seed Anaheim’s shocking six game upset of the Sharks.
One of the things I do know about hockey is the Red Wings are to be feared in the playoffs. Anaheim’s an eight seed, and I’ve never really forgiven them for turning their back on the stupid marketing gimmick they came into the league with, so I’m picking Detroit.
I know we’ve got lots of knowledgeable hockey commenters out there, so be sure to correct me as needed. Oh, and look: