Blogger Note: I will get to the end of year stuff by the end of the week. Year in Review will likely be done by Thursday or Friday.
We are down to the final four teams in the AHL with the Conference Finals set to start this week. Let’s see what series I got right and which ones I got wrong.
So far I am 5-3 in my predictions…
Toronto / Albany
What I said: “One of two things will happen in this series. Toronto wins in a sweep or five games or Albany drags this to seven. I think Albany is too good to get swept but Toronto is too deep to lose in a Division Final. Toronto in seven.”
What actually happened: Toronto won in seven games. The one series this round I predicted correctly.
Hershey / Wilkes-Barre / Scranton
What I said: “Penguins in six. If this prophecy is to come to fruition, then Wilkes-Barre will need to use that extra week of rest and study on the Bears and steal the first two games in Hershey. Or, at least get it back to Wilkes-Barre split 1-1, then take the next two at home. Penguins will make Peters look pedestrian, will shut down Bourque and company and rookies Daniel Sprong and Jake Guentzel will continue to shine and exceed expectations and the Penguins advance to the Conference Finals to take on the winner of Toronto / Albany.”
“Or, like last round, I could be totally wrong and Chris Bourque scores the game winner in double overtime in Game 7 and the Bears win that game 1-0 and Justin Peters is given the keys to Hersheypark and Chocolate World.”
What actually happened: Penguins got the split in Games 1 and 2, and 3 and 4, and 5 and 6, but it was the Bears coming out victorious in overtime in Game 7. Jake Guentzel exceeded expectations and Daniel Sprong faded. Chris Bourque wasn’t as big as a factor, not scoring a goal at even strength the entire series. It was probably overtime hero Travis Boyd riding all the rides in Hersheypark for free this week though.
Ontario / San Diego
What I said: “Ontario in six. These are the Calder Cup Champions from last year who have experience in these big moments. Ontario’s big game background is enough to see them through to the Conference Finals.”
What actually happened: Reign advanced, but it took just five games,. Seriously, has Ontario been challenged at all this postseason?
Lake Erie / Grand Rapids
What I said: “Grand Rapids in seven. This has the makings of a roller coaster series between these two. Grand Rapids offense trumps Lake Erie’s inexperience and it’s the Griffins moving on.”
What actually happened: Lake Erie won in six. It nearly got to seven, with the Monsters winning the first three and streaky Grand Rapids the next two, but Lake Erie finally came to their senses and put the Griffins away in overtime of Game 6.
2-2 in the predictions this round, with one round (Toronto and Albany) being picked in the correct number of games.
I’ll continue to try and predict things tomorrow when I give you the Conference Final Preview and Predictions. Look for it Wednesday at noon.