NHL Round Three playoff picks

West

Vancouver/San Jose: I would have preferred Detroit, both because their offense is more fun to watch (funner?), and because the Canucks would have had better odds vs. the Wings. Even so, Luongo is better than Niemi, Kesler has been better than any Shark up front (Thornton has a better faceoff percentage, 60.6% vs. 53.8%, but Kesler has taken 100 more faceoffs; his 344 total faceoffs are the most in the playoffs, or 76 more than #2 Henrik Sedin), and the D is just as deep, I think. (The Canucks’ top four is better; I would take Wallin/White over Ballard/Rome, but it’s close.) Scoring from the twins would be nice but both Henrik and Daniel have been dominant even without scoring. Canucks in six.

East

Boston/Tampa Bay: I love Thomas, and Lucic, and Horton and Krejci have been good too (Eddie Olczyk referred to Krejci as “Boston’s Pavel Datsyuk”–would that make Pavel Datsyuk Detroit’s David Krejci?), but even with a healthy Bergeron (doubtful, at least for Game One) and a healthy McQuaid, it will be tough. Tampa has better forward depth top to bottom, Roloson (8-3, 2.01, .941%) has been Thomas’s (8-3, 2.03, .937%) equal vs. tougher opponents (sorry, Flyers), and the D (less deep than either Vancouver or San Jose) is a wash beyond Chara and Seidenberg. I’m rooting for Da Broons, and was a reluctant believer in the Bolt, but will take Tampa in seven.

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