Preview: NHL Playoffs Round 2

So I miraculously managed to predict exactly what would happen in the West, and then fail miserably in the East. At least I got the length correct of each series in the West in addition to the correct team. Anyways, here are my overviews for each series in the Conference Semi-Finals.

Eastern Conference:

4. Pittsburgh vs. 8 Montreal

How they got here: Pittsburgh demolished Ottawa like almost everyone (except me) predicted. Montreal shocked the Caps in 7 games, which almost no one expected.

Series Overview: Jaroslav Halak was Montreal's saving grace in Round 1 and will have to pull off a repeat performance for the Habs to have any shot of advancing. The Bell Centre crowd will have to channel the old Montreal Forum to give their team a shot when on home ice. Pittsburgh will have to get good goal-tending out of Fleury and good play out of Crosby, Malkin, and Staal. Look for an interesting series. If Montreal can get stellar goal-tending and consistent offense, watch out. I'm determined to pick against Pittsburgh, so I'll take the underdog once again. Series starts Friday at 7:00 PM on CBC, RDS, and Versus.

TV: CBC, Versus, RDS, NBC (Game 2 only)

Prediction: Montreal in 7

6. Boston vs 7. Philadelphia

How they got here: Both teams pulled off upsets, although Philadelphia's was much more surprising than Boston's. Brian Boucher outplayed Martin Broudeur to help the Flyers advance, while Tukka Rask outplayed Ryan Miller to help the Bruins advance.

Series Overview: Boston gets Marc Savard back, which is huge, as he is their main offensive threat. Tukka Rask will have to play well again in order for Boston to advance. Philadelphia will have to hope that Jeff Carter and Simon Gagne both get healthy in time for the series, while Brian Boucher will have to stand on his head again for the Flyers to advance. Should be an interesting match-up. Series starts Saturday at 12:30 PM on NBC and TSN.

TV: TSN, Versus, NBC (Game 1 only)

Prediction: Boston in 6

Western Conference:

1. San Jose vs. 5 Detroit

How they got here: Detroit beat the Cinderella story team Phoenix after a thrilling seven game tilt, while San Jose partially got rid of their title of "Consistent Choke Artists in the Playoffs" by defeating Colorado in 6 games, even after they lost one on an own goal by Dan Boyle.

Series Overview: Detroit will once again ride on experience while hoping for another solid performance from Jimmy Howard. Pavel Datsyuk needs to continue his recent hot streak, while Nick Lidstrom will have to elevate his play from the first round. A few good hits from Kronwall would not hurt either. San Jose must hope that Nabakov does not manage to collapse and that Joe Thornton actually shows up for this series. In the end, I believe that San Jose will once again manage to either throw away this series, or that the Wings will just simply outplay them. Series begins Thursday at 8:30 PM on TSN and Versus

TV: TSN and Versus

Prediction: Detroit in 6

2. Chicago vs. 3. Vancouver

How they got here: Chicago managed to finish off a pesky Nashville team that squandered a glorious chance to go up 3-2 in the series by giving up the tying goal in Game 5 with roughly 13 seconds to go. Chicago also got lucky that Marian Hossa was not suspended for his hit on Dan Hamuis, which was quite similar to Ovechkin's hit on Campbell at the end of the season, which netted him a 2 game suspension. Vancouver managed to finish off LA after an interesting tilt that saw them blow out LA in Game 5 7-2.

Series Overview: This series is probably the most intriguing of the second round match-ups. This a rematch of last year's Semi-Final which saw Chicago defeat Vancouver in 6 games, including a Game 6 7-5 thrashing, which earned Luongo the nickname 7uongo on some boards. This series will be determined by which team has the better goaltender, as both Niemi and Luongo have been prone to mistakes during the playoffs (Niemi in Game 1 against Nashville and Luongo in the aforementioned Game 6 last year). In terms of offense, Vancouver will need to have the Sedins play like they did at the end of the season (or Game 5 in the playoffs), while Chicago will need Hossa to not choke and Kane to continue his success against Vancouver from last year (hat-trick in Game 6). This series could easily go both ways, but I believe that Vancouver will exact revenge for last year's humiliating end and move on to the Conference Finals. Series starts Saturday at 8:00 PM on CBC and Versus.

TV: CBC, Versus

Prediction: Vancouver in 7

Note: No season series statistics were available at the time of this post. All times listed are EDT.

Current prediction record: 4-4.

1 Response to "Preview: NHL Playoffs Round 2"

  1. Seth9 says:

    I wonder how many times a 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 seed advanced to the second round.

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