Can I get a do-over?
What a weird and wild first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. I would say millions of Stanley Cup Playoffs brackets on NHL.com, including mine, were busted when the Tampa Bay Lightning, the prohibitive favorite to win the Cup after dominating the regular season, were not only ousted by the wild-card Columbus Blue Jackets, but they were swept. The Lightning were humiliated. After jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the first period of Game 1, the Lightning were outscored 19-5 the rest of the series. Who saw that coming?
The only thing I got right in that series is the number of games that would be played, but the wrong team winning. I had the Lightning in four. Do I get some credit for at least getting the number of games right?
And that wasn’t the only upset in the first round. The Calgary Flames, the top seed in the Western Conference, was ousted in five games by the wild-card Colorado Avalanche. The Nashville Predators, the Central Division champions, were eliminated in six games by another wild-card team, the Dallas Stars.
And then on Wednesday night, those Bunch of Jerks, also known as the Carolina Hurricanes, eliminated the defending Stanley Cup-champion Washington Capitals with a 4-3 double overtime victory in Game 7 in Washington.
So many brackets were busted by the first-round upsets (I had Calgary and Tampa Bay making the Final) that NHL.com is doing a second-chance bracket.
As for my first-round picks, I went 4-4. I correctly predicted that the San Jose Sharks would win in seven over the Vegas Golden Knights (although I didn’t expect the Sharks to do it needing to overcome a 3-1 series deficit and erasing a 3-0 Vegas lead in Game 7). I also correctly said the St. Louis Blues would eliminate the Winnipeg Jets in six.
Here are my picks for Round 2.
Columbus vs. Boston – Boston in 7
Carolina vs. N.Y. Islanders – N.Y. Islanders in 6..
Dallas vs. St. Louis – St. Louis in 7.
Colorado vs. San Jose – San Jose in 6.
Here is the second-round schedule and where you can watch the games.
Boston [A2] vs. Columbus [WC2]
Thursday, 7 p.m. Columbus at Boston NBCSN, SN, CBC, TVA Sports
Saturday, 8 p.m. Columbus at Boston NBC, SN, CBC, TVA Sports
Tuesday, April 30 7 p.m. Boston at Columbus NBCSN, SN, CBC, TVA Sports
Thursday, May 2 7:30 p.m. Boston at Columbus NBCSN, SN, CBC, TVA Sports
*Saturday, May 4 7:15 p.m. Columbus at Boston NBC, TVA Sports
*Monday, May 6 TBD Boston at Columbus TBD
*Wednesday, May 8 TBD Columbus at Boston TBD
NY Islanders [M2] vs. Carolina [WC1]
Friday, 7 p.m. Carolina at NY Islanders NBCSN, SN, CBC, TVA Sports
Sunday, 3 p.m. Carolina at NY Islanders NBC, SN, CBC, TVA Sports
Wednesday, May 1 7 p.m. NY Islanders at Carolina NBCSN, SN, CBC, TVA Sports
Friday, May 3 7 p.m. NY Islanders at Carolina NBCSN, SN, CBC, TVA Sports
*Sunday, May 5 TBD Carolina at NY Islanders TBD
*Tuesday, May 7 TBD NY Islanders at Carolina TBD
*Wednesday, May 8 TBD Carolina at NY Islanders TBD
St. Louis [C3] vs. Dallas [WC1]
Thursday, 9:30 p.m. Dallas at St. Louis NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports
Saturday, 3 p.m. Dallas at St. Louis NBC, SN, TVA Sports
Monday, April 29 8 p.m. St. Louis at Dallas NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports
Wednesday, May 1 9:30 p.m. St. Louis at Dallas NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports
*Friday, May 3 9:30 p.m. Dallas at St. Louis NBCSN, TVA Sports
*Sunday, May 5 TBD St. Louis at Dallas TBD
*Tuesday, May 7 TBD Dallas at St. Louis TBD
San Jose [P2] vs. Colorado [WC2]
Friday, 10 p.m. Colorado at San Jose NBCSN, SN, CBC, TVA Sports
Sunday, 7:30 p.m. Colorado at San Jose NBCSN, SN, CBC, TVA Sports
Tuesday, April 30 10 p.m. San Jose at Colorado NBCSN, SN, CBC, TVA Sports
Thursday, May 2 10 p.m. San Jose at Colorado NBCSN, SN, CBC, TVA Sports
*Saturday, May 4 TBD Colorado at San Jose TBD
*Monday, May 6 TBD San Jose at Colorado TBD
*Wednesday, May 8 TBD Colorado at San Jose TBD
* if necessary
TBD – To Be Determined