I fear there has been a security breach, and Mrs. Lighthouse has gotten to the NHL schedule makers: There are only two playoff games on the docket tonight. That almost implies a "night for us" -- at least before the first game (CHI-VAN) kicks off at 8 p.m. EDT, followed by SJ-LA at 10:30.
With almost every series* now past three games, it's time to check how are our picks are doing. (*And every night dotted by suspension-potential hits, such as two in last night's Pittsburgh-Tampa Bay Game 3, and interesting player discussion of the Raffi Torres hit here.)
Meanwhile, are there indications from the final two months of the season that should have told us some playoff teams are trending better than others? After the jump, a look at our picks vs. reality, plus Mike's adjusted power rankings for the final two months of the regular season.
Our Playoff Poll Picks
These are the results from our series polls (where LHH readers voted on the winner and the number of games), not the LHH playoff pool (where you need only pick the series winner). And not my own picks (which are assuredly worse):
|Series||LHH Poll (%)||Current||Chances of Majority being Right|
|Capitals-Rangers||Was in 5 (45%)||Was up 2-1||Kill the Smurfs. Kill.|
|Flyers-Sabres||Buf in 6 (44%)||Buf trails 2-1||Buffalo needs to win out.|
|Bruins-Canadiens||Bos in 6 (30%)||Bos trails 2-1||Boston has major work to do, must win out.|
|Penguins-Lightning||Tie: Either in 6 (27% each)||Pit up 2-1||It could happen. Either way.|
|Sharks-Kings||SJ in 5 (65%)!||Tied 1-1||Anything can happen here, but SJ must win out.|
|Canucks-Blackhawks||Van in 6 (40%)||Van up 3-0||Looks like it won't even be that close.|
|Red Wings-Coyotes||Det in 5 (33%)||Det up 3-0||Last days of the desert dogs?|
|Ducks-Predators||Nas in 6 (25%)||Nas leads 2-1||Stay on target, mustard leader.|
Final 60 Days Power Rankings
Here is Mike's (LHH member ICanSeeForIslesAndIsles, who has run our Power Rankings and FIG tallies all year) explanation for these tables:
These standings are based solely on the last two calendar months of the season. If you look to [the second table below], you'll see a quick side-by-side comparison for each first round match-up. The first comparison is for the full year, and the second for the past two months. Finally, you'll see two columns that show the difference in power rankings points (the last column in the big table.... "PWR") between the two teams for both the full year and the past two months. If it's a positive number, it means the higher seed did better. Negative shows the lower seed did better (that's gonna happen when looking at just the past two months, since top teams might let their foot off the gas a bit while others have to win every game just to qualify).
Power Rankings, Final Two Months (Playoff teams in italics)
|Full Year||Last 2 Months||Diff||Diff|
|PWR||Rank||PWR||Rank||year||last 2 mos|
Again: If it's a positive number, it means the higher seed did better over the last two months. Negative shows the lower seed did better.
So this is another way of looking at who struggled down the stretch (Philadelphia big time, Detroit less so), and who had to play like gangbusters just to get in (Anaheim, Buffalo), or who played on fire to enter the playoffs as a healthy power (San Jose).