It’s good that I didn’t get around to picks for the conference finals, because I would have been wrong on both. I thought that the Sharks would be very tough once they got out of the first round, but watching them against the Hawks makes you realize that they’re no so much underachieving in the playoffs as that their talent — especially on the blueline — isn’t that impressive. (Although Marleau should be permanently excluded from the “choker” label.) The only caveat I would have had in picking Montreal is Pronger, whose greatness has always been a little undercognized — the more you look at the ’06 Oilers and the surrounding teams, the more amazing he looks.
So because of Pronger, I guess you can’t entirely write off the Broad Street Slightly Unpleasant People. But, still — since despite Pronger I didn’t even pick them to beat Montreal, I can hardly change now, and this might be the biggest mismatch on paper since Avs/Panthers in ’96. Hawks in 5.