Interesting stuff out of the first round of the playoffs. To whit...
#1 San Jose Sharks def. #8 Colorado Avalanche 4 games to 2
Very compelling series for me as a Sharks fan. Best way to describe it is I'm pleased as punch with how San Jose dealt with adversity (in the form of unlucky bounces and great Colorado goaltending) and kept plugging away. I am a bit nervous at how bad the team's presumed best player in Joe Thornton looked, but was thrilled to see Joe Pavelski play so well. To the end, I also think about the absolute monster goal he scored in OT of game 4 to knot up the series at 2. If Colorado takes that game, there's a lot of ways for them to win the series with a 3-1 lead. However, they didn't, he did, and the better team moved on.
#2 Chicago Blackhawks def. #7 Nashville Predators 4 games to 2
Not much to say... I think the better team won and while it's true that Nashville came within 20 seconds of taking a 3-2 series lead, I suspect Chicago would have still found a way to win in 7 games.
#3 Vancouver Canucks def. #6 Los Angeles Kings 4 games to 2
The Kings have a good young team and played pretty well, but similar to the Chicago series, the better of the two teams moved on.
#5 Detroit Red Wings def. #4 Phoenix Coyotes 4 games to 3
Differered from the other three Western Conference series in that it went the full 7 games, but similiar in that the more skilled and playoff tested team just proved too much for their opponent.
#8 Montreal Canadiens def. #1 Washington Capitals 4 games to 3
Wow, an 8 seed being down 3 games to 1 and coming back to win the series. Amazing stuff that gets perhaps less amazing when you consider they did it through crazy good goaltending from Jaroslav Halak. An average of 45 shots a game in these three with... 3 goals allowed, that's pretty good.
# 7 Philadelphia Flyers def. #2 New Jersey Devils 4 games to 1
The only one of the 8 series to end in less than 6 games... and pretty much everyone would have thought the winner of a short series here would be the Devils. Happy it wasn't though as I'm much more interested in watching the Flyers in round two than I would be New Jersey.
#6 Boston Bruins def. #3 Buffalo Sabres 4 games to 2
Great goaltending beats... great goaltending. Not much more to say as I didn't watch a lot of this one (and none of the Flyers-Devils series which didn't have any coverage on Versus), but I do like the idea of the Canadiens, Flyers and Bruins as steep in history teams advancing.
#4 Pittsburgh Penguins def. #5 Ottawa Senators 4 games to 2
Very much like each of the 4 series in the West, the better team just proved too much for a pretty game opponent. Actually, the only Eastern series in which the higher seed (and presumably better team) wound up winning. Also, that Sidney Crosby... he's good.