Hockey East picks: Mar. 17-18

The good news is that I clinched the picks title against Dave. The bad news is that I did so on undoubtedly my worst picks week of the year. My 3-6 record was enough to beat Dave last week. So I know.

But the reality is that you’ll get very authentic picks from both of us this week.

On to the Garden:

Jim last week: 3-6
Dave last week: 2-7
Jim to date: 161-93-32
Dave to date: 155-99-32

Friday, March 17

Hockey East Semifinals (at TD Garden, Boston)

No. 4 Notre Dame vs. No. 1 UMass Lowell
Jim’s pick: Really difficult pick here as I think either team has the ability to pull this game out. I’m going with the River Hawks based on their all-time record, which probably isn’t smart.
UML 3, ND 2
Dave’s pick: Can the Irish fail on St. Patrick’s Day? I believe they will. My faith in the River Hawks wavered a bit after watching them fall to New Hampshire on Friday, and Cal Petersen could very well be the decisive X factor, but only a fool bets against Norm Bazin and his boys.
UML 4, ND 3

No. 3 Boston College vs. No. 2 Boston University
Jim’s pick: If I’m picking trends here, I go with the upset. If I use my head, I go with the favorite. My record shows that I’ve rarely used my head this year.
BC 4, BU 3
Dave’s pick: Will the Terriers dig themselves another first-period 2-0 hole they have to crawl out of? If so, I don’t like their chances. But there’s a reason they’ve swept the three games they’ve played against BC this year. Sadly, the Eagles’ season ends.
BU 4, BC 3

Saturday, March 18

Hockey East Finals (at TD Garden, Boston)

We will pick all scenarios here:
Jim’s pick: Honestly, I think all four teams could win this. Plenty of reasons to believe in any. That said, I’m going with Lowell because of the experience in the situation.
UML 3, BU 2; UML 4, BC 2; ND 5, BC 4; BU 4, ND 2
Dave’s pick: I, too, believe any team could win it. As a Hockey East Homer, I’d love to see BC pull it off, since that’s almost certainly their only route to the NCAA tournament (it would appear that the other three are safe). I’d also just as soon Notre Dame fell short. It’s been an amicable divorce, but I can’t quite wish the Irish a Hockey East title as they prepare to say good-bye. I’m just not that magnanimous. BU? Very talented, but inconsistent. Give me the River Hawks.
UML 4, BU 3; UML 4, BC 2; ND 4, BC 2; BU 4, ND 2