I’m passing along this quote from Blues GM Doug Armstrong for one reason and one reason only — we’ll be making our first-round predictions next week on PHT, and I’m terrified I’m going to go like 2-6 and everyone in the comments sections is going to be all “these so-called experts have no idea what they’re talking about.”
Hate the “so-called expert” slight. It’s very hurtful.
So with that in mind, here’s the Armstrong quote, via ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun:
“I’ll speak more for the West because that’s what I know — there’s really no first-round upset. Obviously, you think experienced teams that have done it before have an edge because they’ve done it before, it’s not their first time through this path, but at the end of the day, you see what Winnipeg is doing now, their goaltending is at the top of his game. Inexperience doesn’t matter if your goalie doesn’t let in a goal.”
Hear that, everyone? There’s no such thing as a first-round upset. Ask Doug Armstrong.
As it stands today, only one playoff series is locked in, and that’s Vancouver-Calgary in the West. Because of course those two are matched up. Two teams that most predicted wouldn’t make the playoffs. Two teams that many feel are lucky to have made it. Now we have to pick one to go through to the second round.
Now look at the wild-card situation in the West. One wild card will be Winnipeg. The other will probably be Minnesota, but could also be Chicago. Any of those three is fully capable of knocking out Anaheim or St. Louis. Heck, the Wild have the same number of regulation/overtime wins as the Ducks, and they’ve got one more than the Blues! Has Minnesota even lost a game since Devan Dubnyk got there? I’ll have to check.
The East is just as bad. I know everyone’s really down on the Bruins and Penguins right now, but if those two make it in they could beat the Canadiens or Rangers. Yes, they could. And if one of them misses and Ottawa gets in, do you bet against the Senators, a.k.a. the guys with the 22-4-4 record in their last 30 games? Oh, and how confident would you be picking an Islanders-Capitals series? Because that’s probably going to happen.
In conclusion, I went 7-1 picking the first round last year. Please remember that when I go 1-7 this year.
Also, Halford picked the Penguins to beat the Kings in this year’s Stanley Cup Final. Be mean to him instead.
Unless the Penguins win the Cup.
Which they still could.