Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Round 2 Predictions

Well, round 1 is now done, so onto the 2nd round predictions:

Eastern Conference

Pittsburgh Penguins vs Washington Capitals - Gee, do you think Gary Bettman's happy about this matchup? Crosby vs Ovie, the matchup the NHL has wanted in the playoffs for a few years now. It's too bad that both teams aren't playing up to their potential right now. Washington barely squeaked by NY, and if not for the complete collapse of the Rangers in game's 5 and 6 they could've very easily found themselves golfing right now. Even in game 7, it wasn't until the 3rd period that they really stepped it up and took over the game. Pittsburgh managed the win over Philly, but with all due respect to the Flyers, they simply did not bring their A game to that series (not even close). At any rate, kinda tough to call this series. No question that Pittsburgh has the edge in goaltending, and one could argue that they're a more complete team than Washington, but the best player in the series (and the league) is wearing a Caps jersey.
  • My prediction: Caps in 6
  • Wife's prediction: Caps in 6
Carolina Hurricanes vs Boston Bruins - Wow, was that an amazing finish by Carolina, giving NJ a really bitter pill to swallow in this off season. I thought that series could be an upset, but I don't think it's a stretch to say that they barely pulled off that win. Boston looked like, well, Boston in the first round, handling the injury-ridden and not nearly playoff ready Habs in very short order. No doubt for me that Boston's the better team, but I think the layoff combined with the high that Carolina is riding right now might tip things in the Canes favour early.
  • My prediction: Bruins in 7
  • Wife's prediction: Canes in 7
Western Conference

Anaheim Ducks vs Detroit Red Wings - Amazing upset by the Ducks over the Sharks in round 1, but this is easily the biggest mismatch in this round (maybe even this postseason). I think the Ducks might squeak out an early win as the Wings shake off the rust from the long break, but Detroit should be able to coast through this series. The Ducks have always been a team which takes far too many penalties and while the Sharks couldn't capitalize on that, Detroit will.
  • My Prediction: Wings in 5
  • Wife's Prediction: Wings in 5
Chicago Blackhawks vs Vancouver Canucks - My boys. :) Bobby Lou was spectacular in round 1, and the team in front of him played some of their best hockey in front of him. As the series wore on though, St Louis really started to press us, and in all fairness, early on the Blues just didn't play the way they are capable of playing. Chicago is coming off a very physical round against the Flames, where they looked a bit shakey at times early on, but shook off that young playoff nervousness and finished very strong. Khabibulin is getting a lot of credit for the win against the Flames, however, I think this praise has been rather overstated. The Flames simply didn't have a healthy enough lineup to really test him, and in many cases the great saves he made were as much luck as they were skill. No question my team has the edge in goaltending, but the speedy Hawk forwards are going to give the likes of Mitchell and Ohlund fits. This one I think will be really close.
  • My prediction: Canucks in 7
  • Wife's prediction: Canucks in 7

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