2010-2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs
Since I have some free time on my hands I thought I’d throw in my two cents and make some second round playoff predictions. The first round was amazing and featured four game 7′s! Some pretty amazing stuff. The Semifinals should bring us more of the same great hockey. Interestingly, the East and the West both feature a 2 vs 3 and 1 vs 5 match-up. I did pretty well in my first round picks with the exception of the Ducks. That pick went south. (get it? South?)
So here are my picks and a few thoughts on each series. Enjoy!
Nashville (#5) vs Vancouver (#1) – The Preds are riding some self created momentum from their historic disposal of the Anaheim Ducks. The six game series win was the first playoff series win in franchise history. The Canucks come into this series on the heels of a near epic collapse culminating with a thrilling game 7 win over last years Stanley Cup Champs. My heart tells me to stick with the hot power play in Nashville, but my head tells me they won’t beat the ‘Nucks giving up over 3 goals a game as they did against the Ducks. Luongo and company in 6
Detroit (#3) vs San Jose (#2) – The Sharks were all over the place against the Kings. They were down by a ton of goals and game back, they jumped ahead by a ton and let LA creep back in to games. “Inconsistent” is not an adjective typically used to describe a championship caliber team and the Sharks are too inconsistent for a long run. I was hoping for an epic 7 game slugfest but if you watched any of the Wings dismantling of the Phoenix Coyotes it’s hard to imagine them losing. Goaltending is questionable for both teams but I’m going with intangibles and Detroit looks ready for the long haul. Red Wings in 6
Boston (#3) vs Philadelphia (#2) – Both teams enter the series having each played grueling 7 game series against clubs they should have handled with ease. I expected a better showing from the Bruins against their hated rivals in Montreal but I give them credit, they pulled through and moved on. Meanwhile, the Flyers had more then their hands full with the never say die Buffalo Sabres. Expect a game or two for this series to develop a rhythm but don’t be fooled because this will be a dandy. It was nearly a year ago that the Flyers pulled off one of the great comebacks in NHL playoff history by rallying from a 3-0 series deficit against Boston to force a Game 7. Then the Flyers fell down 3-0 in game 7 and came back to win the game and take the series. This is a tough one to call because Boston’s power play was awful against Montreal and Philly used 3 different goaltenders, both NHL firsts! But, Chris Pronger is back for Philly and that will give them a bit of a boost. Both teams are big and physical and that is ultimately going to be the difference in the series. The team that gets out muscled down low will lose and in this case it will be the B’s. Philly in 7
Tampa Bay (#5) vs Washington (#1) – My favorite series of the four. Both teams can score goals and play a very entertaining brand of hockey, so if anything this should be fun to watch. However, the Caps finally appear to be over the playoff failure hump and look posed to steam roll to the Stanley Cup Finals. They appeared mature and determined in the five game elimination of the New York Rangers and I expect the same against their division rivals. I knew Tampa would bounce the Penguins but I don’t expect a repeat performance against Ovechkin and his mates. Speaking of “Alex the Great” he looked so strong on his feet against New York. Look for Ovi to be the biggest difference in this series, plus the Caps are well rested and chomping at the bit to take out the Lightning. Washington in 5
Regardless of the outcome of these series we are all in for a heck of a ride. Game on!
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Deking Devils Second Round Playoff Predictions
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