With two rounds of the playoffs complete, my ability to pick the series winners continues to be uncanny. As of now I've picked 11 out of 12, including the upsets of both number 1 seeds. It could be that I'm just really lucky (I did need New Jersey and Boston to get eliminated in particularly cruel and hilarious fashion for two of those wins). Or it could be that I have something that no other gambler does: a system that can't lose. Either way, here are the rules I've used to pick the winners:
1. Look at the last two months of the regular season. If you're picking between a red-hot team and a team that limped into the playoffs, take the hot team, no matter how good the other team looks.
2. If that's a wash, look at playoff experience. If you're picking between a young, inexperienced team and a veteran team with lots of deep playoff runs, take the veterans unless you've got a really good reason not to.
3. If that's a wash, pick the team with the greatest top-to-bottom depth.
4. If that's a wash, pick the team that plays the nastier, more physical style.
So there you go. If you pay no attention to home ice advantage, regular season performance, or player matchups, you too can understand how the NHL playoffs really work. Got it?
(PS. The one series I didn't call correctly was Chicago-Vancouver. Maybe rule 5 should be to refrain from picking between two teams if you haven't seen either of them play.)