The hallmark of the postseason is the abundance of confident picks and forecasts, including
Okay. Blame the Sharks' curse if you want, but all eight series went to 1-1, an unprecedented collective outcome, and the results have run the spectrum from the predictable to the downright improbable -- often within the same series.
The Washington Capitals, the top seed in the Eastern Conference, lost Game 1 to Montreal, then rallied from two deficits to win Game 2 in OT.
Ovechkin's bounce-back effort was really part of the expected, though. On several fronts, many of the top players around the league have turned in virtuoso performances of vim and vigor.
Speaking of spells,
Maybe the Coyotes and their odyssey from summer oblivion to worthy fourth overall seed in the west best symbolize all the mayhem of the first week of the NHL playoffs: Predictably, the stars will have their moments, but in today's game, every team has a chance to advance.
So much for prognostication...