|2014 NBA Playoffs Expert Picks: First Round||NBA First Round Predictions||Datsyuk’s Late Heroics Topple Bruins in Game 1||Celtics Go 1-1 in Draft Order Tiebreakers|
With the Olympic break over and the home stretch to the playoffs in full swing, Washington has clinched a playoff spot (by clinching their division), and has claimed the top spot on our rankings (by taking down Chicago 4-3). But with much of our usual experts sidelined by depression over the U.S. losing to Canada in both ice hockey finals, only two of us are present this time to give you our rankings and prediction of who the Bruins will face in the first round.
Two teams drop from the rankings, one all the way from #6 and the other not getting any points at all. Unless the Sharks or Blackhawks can shake things up regarding the Conference or the Capitals, it looks like the top three is in place until next season.
A first place vote earns a team 10 points, a second place vote earns 9, and so on. Ties are broken based on who received the most first place votes, then the most second, and so on. The second tiebreaker is based on rank in the previous power ranking, then the one before that, and so on.
|John||KC||SoB Composite||Last Time||Comments|
|#1||Washington Capitals||Washington Capitals||(2) Washington Capitals (20)||#1, even||KC – The unstoppable Ovechkin is approaching 50 goals yet again.|
|#2||San Jose Sharks||San Jose Sharks||San Jose Sharks (18)||#2, even||John – The Sharks are two points in the lead for the West’s #1, and with a game in hand. Will losing to Anaheim (again) Sunday screw up their attempt at winning the Conference again?|
|#3||Chicago Blackhawks||Chicago Blackhawks||Chicago Blackhawks (16)||#3, even||John – So Chicago’s leading 3-0 in the 3rd, and loses at home to Washington? Chicago will get nowhere playing like that.|
|#4||Phoenix Coyotes||Vancouver Canucks||Vancouver Canucks (13)||#5, up 1||KC – Out of Vancouver for seemingly forever due to the Olympics, and the Canucks still lead the division.|
|#5||Vancouver Canucks||Pittsburgh Penguins||Phoenix Coyotes (12)||#4, down 1||John – With five wins in a row, Phoenix is looking like a sure bet to be #4 in the West.|
|#6||Pittsburgh Penguins||Phoenix Coyotes||Pittsburgh Penguins (11)||#10, up 4||KC – Watch out Matt Cooke, the Bruins are coming…maybe.|
|#7||Buffalo Sabres||Colorado Avalanche||Colorado Avalanche (7)||#9, up 2||John – Colorado plays in Vancouver once more in April. If they can’t get a regulation win then, they’ll have to settle for a low seed. The only problem? Colorado’s last win (and point) in the series was a 3-0 home win on October 3.|
|#8||Colorado Avalanche||Buffalo Sabres||Buffalo Sabres (7)||NR||John – With American Hero Ryan Miller on their side, the Sabres are once again putting some room between themselves and Ottawa, and look for their first division title since the President’s Trophy in 2007.|
|#9||Nashville Predators||Los Angeles Kings||Los Angeles Kings (2)||#7, down 2||John – The Kings are one of the surprises of the year, and seeing as how they have one more point and one more win than Colorado, they have a few edges towards facing their divisional rival and fellow surprise Phoenix in Round 1.|
|#10||New Jersey Devils||New Jersey Devils||Nashville Predators (2)||NR||John – With a couple of of post-Olympic wins over the Kings, the Predators squeak back onto the rankings. Currently in line to face the Blackhawks (who they lost the season series to 2-4-0), can the Predators pull off another upset?|
|Others earning votes:||New Jersey Devils (2)|
The injury plagued Bruins can’t seem to get a meaningful foothold in the East. True, they may have a point and two games on the Rangers, but multiple goal leads are few and far between for Boston, and they need a cushion to have any sort of chance in any game.
The Bruins will finish as the 8th seed probably, and the Capitals are the NHL’s best team. The Bruins could make it interesting and steal a game, but without Marc Savard, they’re toast.
Tags: Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche, Los Angeles Kings, Nashville Predators, New Jersey Devils, Phoenix Coyotes, Pittsburgh Penguins, San Jose Sharks, Vancouver Canucks, Washington Capitals