This article is part of our From the Press Box series.
Let me begin this week by offering kudos to all of you who picked the Blackhawks and Kings to lose in the first round. I see all three of you of there.
Seriously, though, isn't that what makes the NHL playoffs so great?
A pair of shocking first-round upsets has already eliminated many people's co-favorites to win the Stanley Cup.
The mystery of anticipating the first round lies in identifying teams that can exorcise demons and/or overcome difficult setbacks to pull out upsets. San Jose and St. Louis were not teams at the top of that list for me.
In fact, we saw a number of surprising results.
In the East, things only went according to form in the Caps' series win over the Flyers, though it took a bit longer than widely expected. Meanwhile, the series between Tampa and Detroit was surprisingly short.
The other two Eastern series also produced surprises. Who would have guessed that the Penguins could get past the Rangers without Marc-Andre Fleury in goal, leaving the inexperienced tandem of Jeff Zatkoff and Matt Murray to face off against Henrik Lundqvist? And how could the steady and deep Panthers lose to the Islanders, who juggled their lineup almost every night and were forced to rely on backup goalie Thomas Greiss?
The West was even more shocking, save for the Stars eliminating the Wild, as the aforementioned perennial first-round disappointments, San Jose and St. Louis, took out the 'Hawks and Kings. The other series was