We would usually have egg on our faces given that we only got three series of the first round correct. In the past the teams with the higher AB score during the regular season have been overwhelmingly successful in the playoffs. Not this year.
However, given the insane and unprecedented nature of the upsets of Tampa Bay and Calgary, among other surprising outcomes, we have discovered that getting three of these series correct was at the top of the Delta pledge class (meaning the best of the peer group punditry at ESPN, USA Today, TSN and CBS). In fact it was not unusual for prognosticators to get one, or even NONE right……and no one predicted four correctly.
When we step back from it, we were cocksure that CAR and the NYI would win. However, we had zero reason to believe DAL or COL would. What we have noted is that the influence of the “one good line approach” we have written so much about in the past has definitely materialized in these playoffs, even if those lines had muted point contributions in the series.
Witness the success of COL, DAL, NYI and BOS. These are the best examples, in recent memory, of teams that are quite top heavy. And they each advanced…..hmmm. We will have to investigate this more.
With respect to the second round, oddly, we think the outcomes should be more in tune with what has materialized historically.
BOS 25.04 over CBJ 18.43 – but notice that CBJ is no accident, and currently has the second best AB score of remaining teams
NYI 17.49 over CAR 14.81 – also two solid clubs, and this series is basically even
STL 7.71 over DAL -31.28 – still not sure how DAL made the playoffs, or beat NSH
SJ 5.27 over COL -20.62 – both clubs prone to lots of mistakes – but sort of a “local” rivalry. Lets see what the “mile high club” can do!
Lastly, it is also very interesting that ALL of the teams in the east have better AB scores than ALL of the teams in the West. We cannot think of another year in which this was the case.
Anyway, this is the best time of year. Enjoy!