NHL Stanley Cup playoffs continue with plenty of surprisesConference semi-finals are done and dusted, with four of the best remaining. It's been a spring full of upsets and all but one of the four teams has probably caught everyone by surprise.
In the eastern conference semi-finals we saw the mighty New York Rangers fall to Canadian underdogs Ottawa Senators. In a Swedish stars head-to-head, Senators defender Erik Karlsson defeated his compatriot, Rangers goalkeeper Henrik Lundqvist - despite sustaining an injury in the midst of the campaign. Senators won the series comfortably in six games.
The "battle of the century" in the East didn't reach the heights it was supposed to. Penguins, despite of injuries to key players, were able to gather enough momentum to overcome the Capitals in game seven, after squandering a 3-1 series lead. Another year for dominant Capitals to fall against a better organized Penguins and their red-hot goalkeeper - this time it was Marc-Andre Fleury who disarmed the Capitals.
In the west, indominable Predators gave the Blues no chance, with Pekka Rinne standing strong in the net. Predators offense did their part and gave the D and Rinne enough leeway for what seemed like a dominant 4-2 series win. Predators' solid and balanced performance have taken many by surprise, but the team has already proven to be extremely hard to beat. With brilliant defensive game and efficient offense, Nashville is lit up to go all the way.
The young guns of Edmonton met their demise in the hands of gritty Ducks of Anaheim. Ducks showed remarkable poise by coming back from behind on occasion and finally took the series in seven games. The inexperienced Oilers were close, but could not close the deal. Ducks have constantly improved as the season is growing older. Randy Carlyle behind the bench will make sure the effort is 100% every night.
Accuscore picks and predictionsThe top-4 has been extremely unfavoured in Accuscore simulations. The likelihood of these teams to go to Conference Finals were slim at best. With the favorites now already eliminated, the puck has bounced in a very unpredictable way. Despite the misfiring bracket-predictions, the individual game picks have performed remarkably better.
During the playoffs, Accuscore Side Value bets have made a profit of +657 if a stake of 100 units is set to each game. Furthermore, over/under picks have also proved positive with +300 units
As can be assumed from brackets not working so well, the money-line predictions have not been as accurate: in 68 playoff-games, Accuscore predicted 36 money-line results correct and 32 wrong. Taking the odds into consideration, the money-line provided a moderate deficit of -227.
In Conference Finals, the favorites in the East, reigning Champions Pittsburgh Penguins are likely to run over this years' Cinderellas from Ottawa. But in the West it's not quite as clear. The Ducks finally stop Predators magnificent playoff run, but only barely. It seems like a certain seven-game hardcore playoff-battle. Here's how the numbers play out from this moment on: