Stick a fork in me. I’m done.
With a six-game deficit staring me in the face last week, I had to go for some long shots. And for a while on Friday night, it looked like I might pick up an amazing four games on Jim heading into Saturday. My faux thoroughbreds, however, couldn’t hold their leads and wound up in the glue factory.
Now ten games back, I’m all but mathematically eliminated. Jim only needs to parrot my picks, no matter how foolish, and he won’t be able to lose. It’s what I did last year when he closed to within a game in the final week, so I won’t blame him at all.
We’ll see, though, if he wants to be called gutless like I was last year.
Onward, then, to my Bizarro picks.
Jim last week: 8-1-0
Jim to date: 181-64-36
Dave last week: 4-5-0
Dave to date: 171-74-36
(Each three-game playoff series will include three picks from each columnist. Game three is “if necessary” in all series)
No. 9 Vermont at No. 1 Boston College
Dave’s pick: Could BC actually fail to reach the Garden three years in a row? Inconceivable. Especially since Vermont dispatched the Eagles last year. But even though I’d be picking a BC sweep, Bizarro Dave goes in the other direction.
UVM 2, BC 1 (OT); UVM 1, BC 0 (OT); UVM 2, BC 1 (3 OT)
Jim’s picks: The worst part of this, I actually love this Vermont team. I think they have good defense an goaltending has been solid. But this still is a good BC team. If I lose games, I expect them to be in this series. But please, Dave, don’t act like a fool.
BC 3, UVM 1; BC 4, UVM 2; BC 3, UVM 2
No. 7 Merrimack at No. 2 Providence
Dave’s pick: I love the way Providence is playing right now. Normally, I’d pick the Friars to extend their winning streak to 10 games, but Bizarro Dave must believe in the Cinderella Warriors.
MC 3, PC 2 (OT); MC 4, PC 3 (OT); MC 2, PC 1
Jim’s picks: Providence was upset a year ago. And Dave will quickly learn that not only am I not a parrot, but I also will crush him come season’s end.
PC 4, MC 2; PC 3, MC 2; PC 4, MC 1
No. 6 Northeastern at No. 3 Notre Dame
Dave’s picks: Here’s a series I expect to go three games with the winner anyone’s guess. Both teams have played exceptional hockey in the second half. I might naturally lean to Notre Dame and home ice so my conventional pick would be the Irish, the Huskies in game two, and then the Irish. But I’m guessing that Mr. Connelly will also go with the Irish (and home ice) so I’ve got to go with a Northeastern sweep.
NU 4, Notre Dame 3; NU 3, Notre Dame 2 (OT); NU 4, Notre Dame 3 (OT)
Jim’s picks: I actually am okay with Dave’s picks here. I’m not sure Notre Dame will win, but I am very happy to match the Northeastern sweep. This is a solid matchup for the Huskies, even on the road.
NU 3, Notre Dame 2; NU 4, Notre Dame 2; NU 4, Notre Dame 2
No. 5 Boston University at No. 4 Massachusetts-Lowell
Dave’s picks: I don’t think there’s a chance in the world that either team sweeps this series. These two clubs are evenly matched all the way down to identical league records. What I expect is that the teams split the first two (I’ll give BU Friday night), and then Lowell’s home ice and depth proves decisive on Sunday. But that’s too easy for Jim to mimick so my Bizarro pick will be a BU sweep.
BU 3, UML 2 (OT); BU 2, UML 1 (OT); BU 3, UML 2 (2 OT)
Jim’s picks: Going back to the first two series, I’ll pick the entire series with my head. I think Lowell opens with a good win but needs three to advance to the Garden for the fourth straight year.
UML 4, BU 2; BU 2, UML 1; UML 5, BU 3