With last night's devastating (to me at least) goal by Adam Henrique to end the series between the New Jersey Devils and Florida Panthers, we bid adieu to the first round. After all the excitement of last year's first round which featured, if I recall correctly, 5 Game 7s, we've been treated to a 2012 first round filled with controversy about discipline and dread at the prospects (of lack thereof) for exciting hockey in the remaining rounds of the Western Conference playoffs. Tell the second round, "Not so fast," though, because I've still got something to say about the first round.
- With the Red Wings and Panthers now gone, I'm all in for the Los Angeles Kings. Unlike J.J. in his second round preview post, I think the Kings have the consistency to advance over the Blues, but I don't know how they'll fare once in the Conference Finals and, potentially, the Stanley Cup Finals.
- Even though I'm rooting for Los Angeles, I don't know if I want the Predators to go far. Without saying whether I think Phoenix or Nashville will win their series, I'm torn about how far I want the Predators to go. If you remember the last decade of Red Wings playoff hockey, starting in 2002 when the Red Wings won the Stanley Cup and ending in
2009I don't remember when, the Red Wings had a streak where the finalists to come out of the West either were the Red Wings or were teams that beat the Red Wings. It felt cool to say that the road to the Finals in the West went through Detroit. I don't know if I want to start another streak like that with Nashville. Maybe I'm just still bitter because we lost and it's not even May yet.
- Where is supplemental discipline headed from here? (NO PUN INTENDED.) With the most recent smackdown being the 25-gamer for Raffi Torres (unless I'm a dunce and there was something more recent), what can we expect from the second round? Will Shea Weber or someone else get it off to a rocking start in Brendan Shanahan's office tonight? The only certainty is that we're as unclear this whole fiasco as we were under Colin Campbell.
- Finally, Greg pointed out in last night's game thread that all the remaining teams in the playoffs fill in the 1-8 seeds nicely. The last time I remember this happening was the year when all the favorites won in the East, and all the upsets happened in the West. At least, I think that's how it was. It was
2006I don't remember. Looking through Wikipedia, though, the last time something like this happened was in 2010, when seeds 1, 2, 3, and 5 made it in the West with 4, 6, 7, and 8 coming out of the first round in the East.