So the second round of the NHL playoffs begins tonight.
Let’s ignore the first round, since I only went three for eight. That’s in the past. Focus on the present, people.
Anyways, here you go. Enjoy!
Detroit Red Wings VS Anaheim Ducks
Detroit is coming off a pretty easy series, sweeping the Columbus Blue Jackets. Anaheim had a much harder time with the San Jose Sharks, going to six games in that series. Still, these two teams are the past two Stanley Cup champions, and are determined to prove they can still win it all.
This series will come down to the Anaheim goalie, Jonas Hiller. He was magnificent in the first round, and is one of the main reasons the Ducks won. Detroit’s goaltending looked shaky in the regular season, but Chris Osgood has been in this position before. I think the Red Wings can get to Hiller early, leading to some lopsided games. They just have too much offence to be stymied by a guy most people never heard of two weeks ago.
Red Wings in 5.
Vancouver Canucks VS Chicago Blackhawks
The Blackhawks weren’t supposed to be here. They were supposed to lose to the Calgary Flames, the team with all the experience, and one of the top goalies in the game. Now, most people are expecting them to lose to Vancouver, the team with all the experience, and one of the top goalies in the game. Don’t listen to them.
Chicago has more depth on offence, and can keep rolling scoring lines that Vancouver can’t match. Eventually, they’ll wear Roberto Luongo down. Expect a lot of close games, with Chicago eventually winning them late in the third period or in overtime.
Chicago in 6.
Boston Bruins VS Carolina Hurricanes
Stupid Bruins. Eliminating my favourite team, the Montreal Canadiens, in the first round. And a sweep no less.
Carolina looked good against the Devils (or so I’ve read, I don’t know actually know anyone who watched any of that series). The Hurricanes would keep those games close. They won one game by scoring with 0.2 seconds left in regulation, won another by scoring two goals in the last 90 seconds, and won another game in overtime.
Boston won’t let the Hurricanes keep the games that close so they could sneak out some wins. Look for Boston to continue their playoff domination.
Boston in 5.
Pittsburgh Penguins VS Washington Capitals
The other series don’t matter. All of the focus will be on these two teams. This is the matchup almost everyone has dreamed about, and should be the biggest moneymaker the NHL could have (only topped by these two teams meeting in the conference finals).
Look for lots of scoring. There won’t be many 1-0 games in this series. I think the difference will be the Pens’ goalie, Marc-Andre Fleury. He was awesome in the first round, and has more experience than his Washington counterpart, Simeon Varlamov. Look for Fleury to make a lot of big saves and steal some games.
Penguins in 6.