the year of the upset | round 1 wrap up + round 2 predictions

Umm….what the actual is going on this year??

The defending Cup Champions are out.

The defending Western Conference Champions are out.

The President’s Trophy winners out.

The Top Seed in the West out.


We can all thank my brother, Chris, for perfectly titling this post and this post season “The Year of the Upset”. As you can see by the current status of my bracket, I have three correctly predicted teams left. THREE. I even did better than that during March Madness and I watch absolutely NO college basketball.

Round 1 Review

I want to start off by saying congratulations to both the New York Islanders and the Columbus Blue Jackets  for absolutely destroying the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Pittsburgh Penguins respectively. This is a perfect example of why I love the sport of hockey. It’s anyone’s tournament, it’s not always Lebron vs Golden State (I take umbrage with the NBA). In the NHL, you can see a little expansion team rise to the top (VGK last year) and you can witness the premature fall of team who had a record-setting season (again, sorry Tampa).

The Colorado/Calgary series surprised me. I couldn’t imagine Colorado coming through but they did. Which is exciting to see. I didn’t watch any of this series but from what I’ve heard, Colorado is absolutely on fire which makes the next round interesting.

I’m gonna be honest, the only game I watched from the Nashville/Dallas series was the last one because the guy in front of me on the plane was watching it. I did get to see Dallas win which benefits me because they are one of the three still holding on in my bracket.

Winnipeg/St. Louis – did not see that one coming. Like at all. If we direct our attention to my failed bracket, I had Winnipeg playing Vegas in a Western Conference Finals rematch. Well joke’s on us, who wants to golf? Is it even warm enough in Winnipeg to golf yet?

I was real nervous about the Boston/Toronto series. If you’re new around here – first of all, welcome! And second of all, I am a huge Boston sports fan and have been for a while. Vegas is always my first pick when it comes to hockey, however, and since my dreams of a Vegas/Boston final will not be working out, you know where my loyalties now lie. With one exception, which brings me to…

Vegas/San Jose…All of the things I want to say are not very nice. The main, cleaned up one being that the call on Cody Eakin was absolute horseshit and we can thank the refs for that one. #NotAMajor. In terms of the facts, I think this was one of the series to watch and it definitely didn’t disappoint. I think both teams are pretty evenly matched so at the beginning of all this I could not tell you who would win. Now that we have an outcome, I will actively cheering for the Avs.

And the last of all the series to be decided with yet another Game 7 Overtime, Washington/Carolina. All I can say is…I.Am.Shook. Another unexpected outcome, but this just goes back to what I said above and I’ve said for a while – it’s anyone’s tournament. Which might be the only thing I accurately predicted this year.

My brother has one final take on Round 1 –

Officiating was bad all around. It was obvious that the refs were horrible and there were major problems even without bringing up the series ending call during the VGK/SJS game.

Not to mention the fact that the NHL actually called the GM of the Vegas Golden Knights, George McPhee and apologized for that call. But here we are. Moving on…


Round 2 Preview

Since my bracket was absolutely trashed after the first round, I was very glad to get an email this morning about submitting my Second Chance Bracket for the NHL Bracket Challenge. It was actually hilarious because this is the “first time ever” having a Second Chance Bracket available. I’m not surprised they’re doing this – I don’t think anyone could have predicted an outcome like this. So now I present to you my “Second Chance Bracket” –

Please note – I still think it’s anyone’s tournament and this bracket was completed based not on emotion, but on what I genuinely think will happen. Stay tuned.

*Colorado will put up a fight but San Jose will ultimately prevail. (I hope I’m wrong.)

*St. Louis will make it out of Round 2 only because I have a feeling they will and I’m not sure how long Dallas can keep up the momentum. A highly scientific prediction, I know. This series is 100% a toss up for me.

*Boston will give up two games to Columbus but will make it to the Eastern Conference Finals. (Okay, this one might be based on emotion.)

*New York Islanders will make it to the Eastern Conference solely because of the Barry Trotz of it all. I don’t know what it is but he is a hell of a coach. However, I do think Carolina has a chance. Another toss up of a series.

My brother’s take on Round 2:

The series to watch are:

Dallas/STL – two teams that haven’t made much post season noise recently

NYI/CAR – two teams that also haven’t made much noise this post season 

So there you have it. Enjoy Round 2 and we’ll see you back here in a couple of weeks.

And remember….


Author: Jess

Las Vegas local / writer, creator, festival goer, explorer, marketer, promoter, special event & experience curator

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