The first round of the playoffs is usually a time to fatten the picks percentage, but not this year. Jim picked up another game on me to inch within three.
Too little, too late? We’ll see.
As with last week, we’ll pick all three games even if we believe there will be a two-game sweep. That way there’ll be a prediction for every possible contest.
Dave last week: 5-4-0
Jim last week: 6-3-0
Dave’s record-to-date: 160-81-25
Jim’s record-to-date: 157-84-25
Here are this week’s picks:
Friday-Sunday, March 13-15
Merrimack at Boston University
Dave’s pick: The league’s top offense against its weakest. Can the Warriors make these games 2-1 and 1-0 defensive struggles? That’s their only hope, and I don’t think it’ll happen.
BU 4, MC 1; BU 3, MC 2; BU 4, MC 1
Jim’s pick: I agree with Dave that the only way Merrimack wins is a 1-0 or 2-1 game. They’re not going to score five and I don’t think they’re going to limit BU to less than 2.
BU 3, MC 1; BU 3, MC 2; BU 5, MC 2
New Hampshire at Providence
Dave’s pick: These two teams always seem to face each other in the playoffs, and I wouldn’t be surprised at all for this series to go three games. But Jon Gillies should make the difference.
PC 2, UNH 1; PC 3, UNH 2 (OT); PC 3, UNH 1
Jim’s pick: I think this is the most difficult series to pick because you just don’t know how well UNH can limit this Providence offense.
UNH 3, PC 2; PC 3, UNH 1; PC 4, UNH 2
Vermont at Boston College
Dave’s pick: Bet the under on any total goals wager in this battle of defenses. The Catamounts could take advantage of BC’s rustiness in the opener, but I think BC is peaking at the right time. I wouldn’t be stunned to see the Eagles here in Boston at the Frozen Four.
BC 2, UVM 1 (OT); BC 3, UVM 1; BC 3, UVM 1
Jim’s pick: This is becoming a broken record, but if Vermont can hold the Eagles offense at bay, they may have a chance.
BC 3, UVM 2; BC 3, UVM 1; BC 2, UVM 1
Notre Dame at Massachusetts-Lowell
Dave’s pick: I’ve gone back and forth on this one many times. Is Lowell all the way back to the top form it displayed earlier in the season? Is Notre Dame as good as it looked in the final three weeks against Providence, BU, and BC? This series has three games written all over it with a 50-50 shot for both teams, but I’m going with the hot goaltender, Cal Petersen.
UND 3, UML 2 (OT); UND 4, UML 3 (OT); UND 3, UML 2 (5OT)
Jim’s pick: This might be my best chance to pick up a game or two, or end this contest against Dave altogether. That said, Lowell is 8-1 in the Hockey East playoffs over the last two years. That has to mean something. Though I’ll pick a sweep for the River Hawks, I’m not shocked if this one goes three.
UML 3, UND 1; UML 3, UND 2 (OT); UML 2, UND 1