We’re halfway through the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs, and the best word to describe it is chaotic.
All of the division winners (Pittsburgh in the East, Carolina in the Central, Toronto in the North and Colorado in the West) are done. The shocking exits of the division winners are Toronto, which had a 3-1 series lead over Montreal in the North Division semifinals, and Colorado blowing a 2-0 series lead by losing four straight to Vegas.
The teams that are impressing me the most are Montreal, which has won seven straight, and the New York Islanders, who have Nassau Coliseum rocking like it did in the team’s dynasty years when they won four straight Stanley Cups from 1980-83.
Now it’s time for the semifinals. This will be the most intriguing semifinals because the teams haven’t played each other this season. This season’s shortened 56-game season was all division games. There could be a feeling-out process in the opener of each series.
I hope I can do much better with my semifinals picks than I did with my division finals selections. I went just 1-3, dropping my overall record to 6-6.
Here are my picks for the semifinals.
Tampa Bay vs N.Y. Islanders — Tampa Bay in 6
Vegas vs. Montreal — Vegas in 6