Pick 'em: Bruins (3) vs. Hockey Club from Montreal (6)

The first round of the playoffs is absolute heaven. I can't get enough, and last night was perfect: Five games to gorge on, with some shutouts, an OT, games spread across time zones. Personal bonus: No one at my late-night rec hockey skate ruined the OT result for me, so I got to watch it later on DVR-delay unaware, the way nature intended.

Last Night's Games in 20 Seconds or Less (links go to SBN series story streams)

Penguins 3, Lightning 0: Pittsburgh bent, Tampa Bay broke.
Capitals 2, Rangers 1 (OT): Nice shot from Semin, showing Staal and Lundqvist can only do so much.
Red Wings 3, Coyotes 1: The 'Yotes have spunk, the Wings have talent. Detroit machine marches on.
Canucks 2, Blackhawks 0: Poor Chicago start, Luongo handles the rest.
Predators 4, Ducks 1: Preds are balanced, Ducks are top-heavy. Balance wins on this night.

Fortunately for addicts like me, there's more to see tonight. Leave your picks for Bruins vs. Hockey Club from Montreal after the jump. (Why "Hockey Club from Montreal"? For trademark reasons, of course.)

Bos-slim_medium              Mon-slim_medium
3-Bruins (46-25-11) vs. 6-Hockey Club from Montreal (44-30-8)
History: Way too long to recount here
Season Series: 4 Mon W (1 OT), 2 Bos W
SBN Fanatica: Stanley Cup of Chowdah | Eyes on the Prize

TV Schedule

Thursday, April 14 at Boston, 7:00 p.m. CBC (HD), RDS, VERSUS
Saturday, April 16 at Boston, 7:00 p.m. CBC (HD), RDS, VERSUS
Monday, April 18 at Montreal, 7:30 p.m. CBC (HD), RDS
Thursday, April 21 at Montreal, 7:00 p.m. CBC (HD), RDS, VERSUS
*Saturday, April 23 at Boston, 7:00 p.m. CBC (HD), RDS, VERSUS
*Tuesday, April 26 at Montreal, TBD CBC (HD), RDS
*Wednesday, April 27 at Boston, TBD CBC (HD), RDS

The Simplistic Overview

If they were at all healthy, I'm pretty sure the Hockey Club from Montreal (HCM) would be the better team and clear favorite. As it is, they're not healthy (no Markov forever, no Gorges for nearly forever) and what they've done despite serious injury losses is impressive.

Boston, meanwhile, is riding the amazing force that is Tim Thomas. If Thomas keeps having a year to remember that's even more worth remembering than his last year to remember, the Bruins have to take this. But if Thomas proves mortal, as he sometimes does, then maybe HCM takes it. I love watching Thomas play, but when things go awry for him it isn't pretty, because that same unconventional style that makes him fun to watch can also make you say, "Aw, man, if he'd just [done the fundamental butterfly percentages thing] he'd have stopped that!"

That's not to take away from Carey Price's fine season -- although really, in any discussion of a Montreal goaltender at any time, ever, you have to temper whatever the prevailing mood is by 30%. If the goalie sucks, he doesn't suck as bad as HCM fans say he does. If he's great, he's not nearly as great as HCM fans say he is. Both situations have applied to Price, and both situations will probably apply again.

Heart Says: Bruins in six, with Thomas getting four shutouts.

Head Says: Bruins in seven, in a series-long nailbiter that takes a few Boston fans' mind off the Sox and initiates several thousand calls to police in Montreal.

LHH Full Playoff Bracket Pool: Still time to leave your full playoff picks in WebBard's FanPost

Other series polls at LHH: Penguins-Lightning series | Red Wings-Coyotes series | Capitals-Rangers series | Canucks-Hawks series | More to come as these series begin...

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